Author: frankeeg

Sunday 22nd March 2020. Farewell from this site platform but hello elsewhere…

Friend, I have predicted I would run out of allowable data on this platform.

It has happened.

I have now moved to

and my adventures, such as they are, will continue, uninterrupted there.

It is still a WordPress basic platform but the page setup will change. It will probably be a little more spartan in widgets but importantly the content, including photos will not change.

Friends, I will see you on the other site.

628. Sunday 15th March 2019. Pain management, Skin Cancer,broken tooth and coping with Covid-19…

Monday 9th March

OCovid-19 deepens and much of our daily lives will be impacted one way or another.

I will try to continue to do my daily walks and depending on the weather, exercises in the pool.

Tuesday 10th March

My usual good walk in the morning and in the afternoon exercise in the pool.

I have now settled on a dose for the Lyrica which seems to keep most of the pain away. There are some things which remind me the problem has not and will not, ever, go away. As well as the Lyrica twice a day also include two 6785 Mg tablets of Paracetamol and another dose at midday. It all evens out okay although I do refer to the Lyrica as mind altering drugs.

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Tuna salad for lunch. I have been buying Rocket but find it wilts quickly and only lasts a day or two compared to say Iceberg lettuce. I may have to go bach to the old standby.

Wednesday 11th March

A walk along the Broadwater in the morning. Ahhh fresh air,sunrise and lots of people walking or running or pushing prams.

In the morning I did the Line Dancing music and decided to try a few dances myself. The Physiotherapist suggested now the meds are working, I cannot break anything – I might experience pain but I will not break anything. OK so tried dancing and did not break anything.

Afterwards I went to Southport to sort out a couple of issue I have with Medicare. I then walked to Australia Fair for lunch and as a treat bought some pork crackling. It is a bit harder than I am used to but I happily chomped away. All good. Afterwards I had a piece of Turkish Delight –Made in Turkey – and as I chewed there was a loud crunch and I was suddenly missing a tooth.

In the afternoon I had a doctors visit to have sutures removed and new surgery on another lot of Squamous Cells.    Bad news. Last weeks surgery did not get all the cancer so he has to cut along the scar tissue. Not this week I said. Do a new section. Which he did. Several sutures and lots of blood later I was out of there. Did you know when the doctor needs a biopsy to determine if something is cancerous he has a purple marker which he uses to mark where he wants to take the biopsy. Then he stings you a bit with an anaesthetic and then uses a biopsy punch to take a sample. When he has the result and wants to do the surgery he uses the purple pen to mark out where he will make the cut so he can sew it easily and leave as small a scar as possible. Then he gives lots of stings of anaesthetic before he cuts the skin, cuts out the cancer and sews you up. I expect lots of small purple pen marks and lines with little stings over the coming weeks and months.

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My two lots of skin cancer surgery. I have several more needing a sharp knife. OIt’s not easy taking a selfie of the side of your head without being able to see.

Next it was off to the Gold Coast Dental Hospital where I have an emergency appointment. The year 5 student who looked after me will join the dental workforce in May so she was pleased to have me as a challenge. She did a temporary filling and will research doing a crown.

Thursday 12th March

Went to the movies at Star Casino with Ngaire to see Midway. It was delayed by 30 minutes. That’s OK. We can people watch. In my case, I lady watch. Once we got into the auditorium it was quite noticeable the crowds were less. Either because it is not a popular movie or Coronavirus is of concern. Once we were seated there was an announcement. Sorry folks but due to a technical fault we cannot show Midway today. Instead we have CATS. There was a collective groan from the audience who then started to leave. So did we. I stopped at the door to chat with the attractive usherette who is in my age bracket. Yep she loves her job and they are looking for people like us. Hmmm!

Friday 13th March

Oooo wooo! Friday 13th Scary Scary.

Up and down to the Broadwater for my 3 Klm walk. A stiff breeze was blowing from the south so I wore a light jacket. Despite the threatening rain, the wind, the overcast and the early hour it is still a delightful walk.

Next up was the art group where we share art, coffee and laughs.

In the afternoon the dental student called. Instead of a crown she and the professor studying my x-rays and other data suggests I can have an onlay instead of a crown. I have an appointment on 31st March. It will be a good experience for the student to have on her resume. Hopefully it will be a good experience for me to have a new tooth.

Saturday 14th March

OK 5 am start for my walk, when almost back to my start point I met Bill so kept on walking to his car which as luck would have it was parked near the Beach Café. Hmmm. I did a 4 Klm walk. Let’s go and have a coffee. Which we did. Bills wife Sueji or Sooji ( I’m not sure of the spelling) does the remedial massage which I will try to do every fortnight to help my back problems.

Sunday 15th March

The usual 3 Klm, walk along the Broadwater followed by coffee with Bill and home to make my traditional scrumptious Brussel Sprout omelette.

I went grocery shopping and as expected there was no toilet paper, no hand sanitiser, no liquid hand soap, meat supplies are limited as is frozen meals and frozen chips. No nappies, no facial tissues, no kitchen paper. There were virtually no eggs. Health foods and vegan and gluten free products are basically untouched. Everything which is in short supply or not available there are signs limiting products to one per shopper. There was no shortage of people blocking the aisle and it was difficult to move. That said, I got what I could on my list and departed. It was crazy. Panic buying has set in.

I went to the movies at The Star Casino.

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Grand entrance to the Star Casino Hotel.

I would guess there was about 1500 people therte, I positioned myself where I had a wall on one side and I was more than 2 metres away from people in front, beside and behind me. This may be the last time the movies are screened for some time.

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Inside the Casino one of several lounges, bars and dining areas encircling the gambling area.

627. Sunday 8th March 2020. Meeting another cousin, movies at the Casino, another camera group meetup and pain under control…

Monday 2nd March

Saw the movie Bombshell at the Star Casino and had lunch there as well. It was a near capacity theatre and lunch afterwards was a long line up.

In the afternoon I did my hydrotherapy exercises in our pool.

Tuesday 3rd March

Met up with my cousin Vicki who has travelled all the way from Perth to see her sister Lynne who has Alzheimers. She mostly does not recognise Vicki. In the last year since Vicki was last here I have not tried to contact Lynne as it would only confuse her more. I collected Vicki and drove to Palm Beach and had coffee and a good catch up at the Surf Club. Vicki is a cousin on my Fathers side of the family while cousin Greg whom I caught up with last Saturday is on my Mothers side.

In the afternoon I had an appointment with the incredibly athletic Kellie the Physiotherapist. Apart from giving me a pep talk and a  massage on a back muscle, she encouraged me to take Panadol three times day plus the Lyrica as well as continuing my walking, floor exercises, hydrotherapy exercises and mental encouragement that I will get better.


Wednesday 4th March

Doctors appointment today. We have agreed to keep the Lyrica at the current dose plus Panadol as suggested by Kellie. Last weeks biopsies have come back positive for Cancer. Before he got his surgical instruments together he decided which of the three locations he would incise first. As he checked under the special magnifying lens he realised that each biopsy location housed more than one cancer. From the three locations he counted seven cancers and that does not include the others on my face he has not yet carried out a biopsy for. I joked that we could do a biopsy a week and a surgery per week and fill up his calendar for the rest of the year. No it is not funny but that is how I am beginning to feel.

Cousin Vicki is due to fly back to Perth today but we got to have early morning coffee at Burleigh Heads. Afterwards she was to say goodbye to her sister Lynne before jetting away. We talked about me taking a trip to Perth this year. I think that is a safer option than travelling overseas this year.

Later in the morning I met up with Kym and Jan at The Rocks, Currumbin Valley. 0400320 currumbin valley3040320 rootsThe plan was to once again walk to Cougan Cascades but once again very heavy rain put paid to the plan.040320 inukshuck 040320 currumbin valley5The heavy rain would make the walk dangerous so we stayed around the rocks and took photos on different settings. 040320 currumbin valley4040320 currumbin valleyWe discussed possibly meeting next week at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for another photo shoot.040320 currumbin valle1y040220 currumbin valley2

Friday 5th March

Today I booked in a remedial massage with Suji. I dunno what a remedial massage is intended to do but it sure loosened up all muscles and it took awhile before I could get co-ordinated enough to get off the massage table. It may be my imagination or it could be my medication but I am beginning to feel an improvement. Probably as good as I felt in early October but not worse than I have felt since late October. Is the pain less because I am getting better or I now have the correct dose of Lyrica?

Saturday 6th March

Today I did another workout in the pool. While in the pool I can feel the muscles being used. Once I leave the pool those muscles start protesting. That’s good Kellie the Physiotherapist told me.

I feel the need to talk about my new Samsung VR 7000 20W Powerbot. When I leave the house I make sure things like loose mats are picked up and close the door to the garage. I touch one button, lightly, and the Powerbot goes to work vacuuming the entire house including timber floor, tiles and carpet. Once completed it finds its way back to the charger base and re-charges. Once charged a message, FULL, appears on a screen. All I have to do is empty the cartridge of whatever it has cleaned including all the excess fibres off the carpets. I love it. I cannot vacuum and if I go out seven days a week I push the button seven days a week and it keeps my floors clean.

Sunday 7th March

Almost every morning I do my 3 Klm walk along The Broadwater at Labrador. It is wonderful being out in the fresh air. Some mornings I arrive later or earlier. Generally I see the same faces walking in the opposite direction and when I turn back I usually see them again. Sometimes they nod or smile in recognition. Often they have their head down in concentration or in the case of women, avoiding and eye contact with men.

In the afternoon, despite the strong wind and overcast conditions I did my exercises in the pool. Today I bought a couple of pool noodles. I cut one in quarters and taped two together so I can use them with my hands and also feet. Now I can do the full range of exercises mapped out by Physiotherapist, Kellie.

I accidentally missed my midday Panadol and the afternoon was difficult until I took them. Within an hour I was feeling pain free again. The large dose of Lyrica plus the Panadol work to keep me almost pain free. Any thoughts I was improving have been dispelled by missing a dose of Panadol. Kellie did tell me the healing will take a long time. It has already been a long time and it will be a longer time before I can be me again.

The time is almost upon me when I have to move to a new WordPress platform. There is a new platform design already set up and ready for new posts. The format will be slightly different but basic detail will remain. I expect that either next weeks post or the one after will be on the new platform. I will post details of any new address.


626. Sunday 1st March 2020. Pain, skin cancer, Photo Meetup and daily walks…

Monday 24th February

Well, as expected the doctor increased my Lyrica to 300 Mg at night and 225 Mg in the morning for another week. So far it has only been a couple of hours but the pain when sitting is still intense.

Also sort of expecting but hoping it would not be the case, the biopsy from last week is positive. Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The result is a bit worrying as the cells can move into other parts of the face and neck and worse, lymph nodes. That’s when they become really dangerous. Today instead of doing an excision he carried out two more biopsies. Overall I have at least 6 possible such cells – all in my face. I am wondering how they will carry out the surgery. Will it be all at once under general anaesthetic or one by one over several weeks. Of course we have not yet got to have a look at little lumps on my back and shoulders.

Today I also explored my WordPress account and realised I started two new Blog pages a few years ago and promptly forgot about them. Word press no longer give a free platform but these two locations have 3 Gb each which will be available for me when the current allowance runs out, possibly with only one more post until I have to make the switch.

Tuesday 25th February

Today I had an appointment with the Physiotherapist Kellie Nalder who is just back from her placing second in an Ironman Competition in Geelong over the weekend. Today she concentrated on massage of the big bad angry spasming back muscle. She reminded me that although I am in pain and experience pain in many day to day activities, none will cause any physical damage. So getting into a car may be painful as is getting out but I am not causing damage if I drive for a couple of hours.

Wednesday 26th February

Today I met two members of my Facebook Photo Group, Aussie Photography For Beginners.    Both are ladies which was not unexpected as the Group has 456 members and only about 10% are males. Being Admin on the site takes a few hours each day but I do have a fellow Admin who does lots of work and we are looking for another to help us out.

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Kym Jan and I. The Aussie Photographers for Beginners.
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A motorised kite glider off in the distance over The Spit.

Back to the group meeting.

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Typical Broadwater scene.
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The Police are questioning two jet ski riders

After introducing ourselves we introduced our cameras then walked along The Broadwater at Ian Dipple Lagoon, Labrador and finding several items worthy of a photo.

260220 labrador
The Pelicans and Seagulls are beginning to line up for the daily feeding.

Next it was coffee at the Beach Café.   By the way I come here for an early morning coffee once or twice a week and sometimes have breakfast. Over coffee we planned a photo shoot at the Cougal Cascades in the upper reaches of Currumbin Valley tomorrow.

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A gianmt super yacht is being brought into the marina. Shortly after I took this photo the sails began to be taken down.

Thursday 27th February

Did my usual three kilometre walk along The Broadwater to Lands End and return to Ian Dipple Lagoon. This is such a wonderful location to walk and I see many familiar faces every morning, all doing their daily exercise of running or walking. Sometimes I go the other way and walk to Loder Creek which is about a 2.5 Klm return walk. It is equally spectacular, summer or winter, rain hail or shine. Well sometimes I skip rainy days.

I met Kym and Jan at the carpark of Cougal Cascades noting the weather was threatening but thought we might get in a photo session before the rain began.

270220 currumbin
Currumbin Creek.
270220 rocks
Somebody was hard at work.

We did get halfway to the cascades but stopped frequently to take photos. Just as we reached the Old Timber Mill I heard thunder.

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REmains of old sawmill at Cougal National park.

Shortly afterwards there was a crack of lightning and thunder. Jan who lives in the Tallebudgera Valley commented that was a signal for drenching rain and we should head back to the carpark NOW! It was already too late as the drenching rain started immediately. Luckily I carry a beach towel and a light jacket in the car. We drove to The Rock Pools further down the valley where it was dry and we had a coffee.

270220 currumbin rocks
Currumbin Creek
270220 currumbin rocks1
Currumbin Rocks Swimming Hole.

Soon the lightning and rain began again.

270220 coffee sign
THis lonely sign advertised wonderful coffeeand ice cream. The only problem is, the cafe is only open on weekends

We waited out the heavy rain and managed a few photos. We also plan another photo shoot next Wednesday.

270220 pines
Small pine plantation.

Friday 28th February

Did my 3 Klm walk along the Broadwater.

Tonight we had our monthly Fish and Chips night followed by Bingo at the clubhouse. It was a fun night and I won $20.

Sunday 1st March

Went to The Broadwater and met Bill and Doug for a coffee at the Beach Café. The man who serves me knows what coffee I want and where I will be sitting. That must mean I am a regular customer. I do not think I have ever been a regular customer in my life.

After lunch I went to Paradise Point to listen to British and Beatles music in the park.

010320 music
One man band plus drummer.

The singer had a music machine and a drummer.

010320 crowd1
There was a fair size crowd. Mostly they brought their own chairs, Eskies and bottles of wine or bubbly.

010320 crowd

My back began to pain after a few minutes sitting in the camp chair so I packed up and came home.

I went to the pool and did my exercises prepared for me by the Physiotherapist.

Now I am tired, in pain and ready for bed.

625. Sunday 23rd February 2020.Hydrotherapy, pain, massage and a robotic vacuum cleaner…

Monday 17th February

Had a hydrotherapy session with the physiotherapist today. For some reason I could not find my costumes and thought I may have left them in a suitcase high up on a shelf in the garage. Climbing on a step stool and then stretching to lower the suitcase I felt my muscles complain. I was back in extreme pain again but managed to drive to the pool and shuffle in pain. The exercise helped enormously but proved I am in no condition to reach, stretch, lift, push or pull let alone bend or squat. Alas I could not find my costumes and had to wear normal shorts in the pool.

Tuesday 18th February

Today I visited the doctor and my Lyrica dose was increased to 225 Mg twice a day. I am approaching the maximum dosage of 300 Mg twice a day. The doctor also noticed sun cancers which needs further investigation so took a biopsy punch of one of them.


I expect that will mean some minor surgery and biopsies over the next several weeks.

Wednesday 19th February

I managed to do my 3 Klm walk along the Broadwater. I am now on a new Lyrica dosage regime since yesterday. My dose has been doubled to 225 Mg twice a day. Bear in mind the maximum is 300 Mg twice a day so I am not far off the maximum. Its early days to arrive at a decision but… pain does seem to be less especially getting in and out of the car and standing after sitting for awhile. We will review the dose and how I am progressing next week. I also discussed with the pharmacist and I do not seem to be having any side effects although a little half hour snooze mid- afternoon might be called a side effect.

Tonight I went to the clubhouse to play indoor bowls. Yes I can play if I use what is called a bowling arm which means I do not have to bend. It means learning all over again but we are not playing for sheep stations.

On the way I watched huge storm clouds and a magical lightning display. I used my phone to take photos but as usual I could not get any shots of the lightning.

190220 storm clouds
This same storm cloud formation was caught on video by my grandaughter at the same time but 150 Klms away.

Thursday 20th February

I drove to Caloundra on the Sunshine coast,

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Seat with a view at Caloundra.

150 Klms each way, to have lunch with my granddaughter Shelby as she turned 19 on the weekend.

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I was intrigued by the tree which has grown sideways at Caloundra.

Along the way I heard on the radio that a scientific study of drinking coffee shows it has many benefits. This information came from none other than my favourite scientist, Dr Karl Kruszelniki. One which my mind latched onto is that it helps prevent mouth ulcers. Whaaaaattt!!! That got me thinking. I used to suffer painful mouth ulcers regularly. Just last week I wondered to myself that I have not had bad mouth ulcers for a long time. Years in fact. It seems to me the cessation of mouth ulcers is linked with me becoming a coffee snob some years ago when we were on the road in WWWGO. I like to think coffee may have been my saviour. Thanks Dr Karl.

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The original saltwater pool at Caloundra.

Shelby and I met at Caloundra Surf Club which is confusingly called, The Metropolitan.


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Caloundra Beach with the modern saltwater pool.

It is located at the beach, naturally, overlooking a very nice natural saltwater pool beside which is a very basic original style saltwater rock pool.

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View of Caloundra

It was a lovely lunch with lovely company but I soon had to be on the road to avoid peak hour traffic south of Brisbane. As it turns out I caught the peak hour traffic on the northside but once on the M1 south, the traffic was fine.

Friday 21st February

Last week I got great back relief via massage carried out by the Physiotherapist on my back muscles. Often when I greet women and they give a hug they rub my back, not realising it feels comforting. A new found friend, Bill, suggested I get remedial massage and the best rfemedial masseuse is his wife Sueji, a Thai lady who works at Helensvale. It has been a long long time since I have had a massage from a commercial operator. In fact the last massage was also a long time ago by she who will not be named. After the massage I felt like I had legs of jelly and Sueji told me I would be sore overnight and the next day but my back felt good.

But not for long.

I was going to a wine and cheese night tonight and dress code was Black and White. I needed to iron a shirt. Getting the ironing board out of the cupboard and lifting its weight and unlocking it was more back stress than I realised. The simple motion of ironing and I could feel all the muscles in my lower back complaining. After ironing several shirts I then sat at the computer for too long and could not stand without searing pain.

The wine and cheese night was fun, it included some fake money and a gambling casino so those who won the most also won a bottle of wine. Graham made up a huge amount of Pina Colada and Wayne did a magnificent spread. All this for $5. As treasurer I can say everybody got great value for money.

Saturday 22nd February

Did I report that last week I got an iRobot Roomba Robotic vacuum cleaner from stepson Peter. The last time I had the Roomba was last year while Peter had his furniture in storage. I cleaned all the brushes and replaced the sweeper and filters and generally tidied it up to clean house. She who will not be named gave it back. Peter has not used it for some time and thought the batteries were stuffed but agreed to give it to me. Once again I cleaned all the hair and bits of string stuck in the brushes and emptied the dirt canister and yesterday put the new batteries I ordered on-line, on 24 hour charge. Or so I thought. Today I set the device to clean, which it did for awhile before stopping and announcing it needed a charge. Hmm I thought. Normally it would go back to base by itself. I manually put it on the base but realised it is not charging. I tried charging direct but got an error message. Err 03. I looked on line Err 03 means take it back to the manufacturer as it needs a new motherboard or buy a new one.



I did some research on iRobot Roomba, Samsung Powerbot and few lesser known makers. I also visited Godfreys Vacuum cleaner store and they had a several to choose from  with the bare basic model from $300 to over $2,000. On-line prices of other brands and models are in the same price range.

Hmmm! I did not want to spend that much but realise I cannot use the normal Dyson (or any other brand) vacuum cleaner any more. I need a robotic device which will run around and clean the whole house unless the battery runs out before it is finished. In which case it goes to home base, recharges and then finishes. The first three or four times it cleans it maps out the house and remembers the pattern of rooms and changing floor material. That’s what I want.

Sunday 23rd February

I went to Harvey Norman to look at their range, iRobot Roomba, Samsung or Electrolux. There was a model of the Samsung available at a special price of $470. I checked elsewhere and they sell for $890 to over $1,000. I bought it, got home, put it on charge and it was fully charged in  two hours and it spent another hour running around the house doing its mapping and cleaning before finding its way back to base and re-charging. I love it. It sometimes seems it is getting stuck but is in fact mapping and learning.

Happy days.


624. Sunday 16th February 2020. Rain, big rain, a cyclone, minor flooding and big seas…

Monday 10th February

Rain, heavy at times and a lightning and thunder show.

Tuesday 11th February

Once again rain is on and off today along with thunder and lightning.

I had an appointment with a physiotherapist today. She told me she could see that when asked to do simple movements my back and chest muscles operate in spasms. She massaged the main problem muscle in my back and made an appointment for me to have hydro therapy next week. The massage gave me some relief and I slept well for 7 hours.

Wednesday 12th February.

Another day of thunderstorms, heavy overcast and rain, often very heavy. The bowling green is a pond and the swimming pool is overflowing.

On one of the photo sites I Administer, somebody posted a photo of early hard hat diving apparel made out of leather. It reminded me that my uncle, Bill Gray, established a dive business in 1945 after the war.

bill gray
Both these old photos are of my Uncle Mickey. For some reason he was known to us as Uncle Mickey or Mick. Everybody else knew him as Bill.

The business still operates today and is thriving. It operates 24/7 365 days a year to cater for the needs of its clients. bill gray1

Of course my uncle is long gone but the business name lives on.

There is still some pain today but nothing like the pain I have been experiencing for months.

Maybe, just maybe I am beginning the comeback to a normal healthy pain free lifestyle.

Tropical Cyclone Eusi which formed in the Coral Sea near Noumea and is tracking along the Queensland coast is bringing lots of heavy rain. Here on the Gold Coast it just seems non- stop heavy buckets of rain, louder and heavier as the hours rolled by. Of course it was accompanied by lightning and thunder. It was just a good reason to stay home. The seas have been producing bigger swells each day and by tomorrow and Friday expected to reach four metres. Already warnings have been issued to stay out of the surf unless you are a really exceptional experienced rider. All beaches have been closed.

Today I bought fuel for $1.19.9 per litre. That’s E10 of course.

Thursday 13th February

The rain is, if anything louder and heavier this morning. For hours I wondered if it would let up long enough for me to drive to the airport to collect Frank and Kay. The rain stopped for awhile and I got excited it would stay stopped. Nope, just as I was leaving I heard on the radio the heaviest falls are at the northern end of the Gold Coast and to expect minor and localised flooding. I did not want to hear that.

I decided not to drive the M1 as with heavy rain, a speed limit of 110 KPH and hoons it was a recipe for disaster. The Gold Coast Hwy seemed like a better but slower option. If there were floods or accidents it would be at slower speeds and more people to help. The rain did not ease off. Within half a kilometre I encountered my first flooded road and of course there are hoons of all ages who think it best to race through floodwaters sending up big waves and showering cars and people and sending waves into homes and businesses. As I got closer to Surfers Paradise the rain eased and the further south I travelled the rain was less. By the time I reached Coolangatta Airport the suburbs were dry and had not had rain for hours. It was still raining at home! After collecting Frank & Kay we decided to come home via the M1. But first we drove to Coolangatta to see the huge waves at Kirra, Greenmount and Snapper Rocks. There was no parking anywhere. A huge crowd of sightseers had descended on the Cooly to see the action. We could only see the action as I drove slowly, one eye on the road one eye on the surf. How I would have loved to have stopped somewhere and walked back to see the action. All was Ok until we turned off at Helensvale where we reached a Police partial roadblock. Some cars were continuing so I did too. The first flood was about knee deep, flowing quickly and several cars stalled. One was stalled in the first lane and a 4WD had stopped to offer assistance which blocked 2 lanes. I was forced to drive near the shoulder to get around them. That patch of flood was about 200 metres long. The next was probably a bit deeper and I could feel the flow of water pushing at the car. A hoon in a 4WD came rushing through sending a huge wave over us. Sorry no photos. I was too busy concentrating on driving while Frank and Kay were putting finger impressions in the upholstery for anybody to take photos. Once we emerged from the last of the flooded sections we noticed the only other cars which came through were 4WD. I did well in my low slung i30.

Friday 14th February. Valentines Day. I looked everywhere around the house but found no cards with love words, no boxes of chocolates or bunches of roses. I did find the load of washing from yesterday which I had hung on an inside clothes line were still a little damp. I guess there is no Valentine for me this year.

The surf at Snapper Rocks, Greenmount and Kirra Breakwater was huge and televised around the world. Some big name surfers were here for the 4 metre monster waves. Big seas are still expected tomorrow but nothing like the monsters of today.

I plan on being at Cooly in the morning. Full batteries and empty memory cards in the camera.

I noticed fuel was $1.69 or $1.71 all over the coast today except for my local at Labrador where it was $1.17.7 with a huge line-up of cars waiting for fuel.

Saturday 15th February

I drove to Cooly and as expected it was crowded but I managed to get a parking spot and walked to Greenmount Point for my first lot of photos.150220 greenmount150220 greenmount exit150220 greenmount2150220 greenmount6150220 greenmount7 There was so much salt haze in the air, no amount of lens wiping was going to ensure all photos turned out OK. I did my best. 150220 greenmount 1150220 greenmount3150220 greenmount4150220 greenmount5Next I walked to Snapper Rocks. 150220 snapper rocks150220 snapper rocks1150220 snapper rocks2Swells are a metre to 2 metres. 150220 snapper rocks3150220 snapper rocks4Yesterday by news accounts the waves were 3 to 4 metres with occasional 5 metres. 150220 snapper rocks6150220 snapper rocks8150220 snapper rocks7Why wasn’t I here yesterday? 150220 snapper rocks9150220 snapper rocks10150220 snapper rocks11That said there were still some good waves and entertaining activity in the water and around the rocks.150220 boys150220 boys1150220 boys2

On my way home noticed fuel was still $1.17.7 at Labrador, clearly 50 cents cheaper than anywhere else on the coast. Again there were big line ups waiting. I decided to go after dinner. Big mistake. They increased the price by the time I got there.

Sunday 16th February

My back pain seems to be easing at least for a period. Sitting, especially getting in and out of the car produces extreme pain. I know, the simple solution is not to get in the car. However the computer chair, the chairs at the table and my verandah chairs are all the same. Some chairs at other peoples houses are even worse. My car is comfortable compared to Linda’s 4WD. At least it seems to be easing and I have more time with little or no pain. Perhaps I have turned a corner.

On this day in 2011 I am still housesitting on top of Mt Traveston and it has been raining. Sound familiar?

Today (2011) I spoke with an old workmate, Brian. He left Oceanic and joined another insurance broker in Townsville. Brian who is 20 years younger than me had a heart attack! Sigh! You never know when its your turn.

See you next week.

623. Sunday 9th February 2020. Back pain is getting worse and looking back in time…

No Photos This Week.

Monday 3rd February

Today was hot, about 36° with high humidity although we had a sea breeze blowing in off the creek.

In the morning I went with Shirley to the Telstra office to sort out a few problems with her new smart phone. She has had the landline disconnected and will use her mobile to Hot Spot her tablet to do her emails and banking. Afterwards we went for coffee.

Frank called around and cut down two large shoots on the Golden Cane outside the kitchen window. They were rubbing against the house and ants were using it as a platform to enter the house.

Late in the afternoon Diane invited Shirley and myself for a Scotch while sitting on her verandah overlooking Biggera Creek.

After dinner I took Ngaire to the Star Casino to watch The Gentlemen. A violent but humerous movie with lots of twists and shock scenes filled with extreme bad language but midway through you become immune. I was astounded by the number of people here on a Monday night. The theatre holds over 2,000 seats and there were very few empty seats. Afterwards we grabbed a coffee and strolled around the gambling area and watched hopefuls losing hope… and their money.

Driving through Surfers Paradise to the Casino we could see constant  flashes of lightning in the distance. Once home and after my shower the thunder and lightning started again along with some heavy rain and a huge drop in the temperature.

On this day in 2011 I was on the Sunshine Coast in severe pain once again and had X-Rays. Nothing new. The same problem as 10 years ago only this time it had degenerated and there was a tear in the muscle.

Tuesday 4th February

The day started cooler and overcast. I managed to do my 3 Klm walk along the Broadwater before the expected rain arrived. In fact by 6pm the rain still had not arrived.

Mid- morning I had my appointment with the GP to discuss how to tackle chronic pain over a long term. We now have a new plan.

Increase my current Lyrica by 25 Mg for another 3 days. Then increase by another 25Mg every three days until our next meeting in 2 weeks.

I have a referral to a physiotherapist and my first appointment is next week. To be on the safe side I now have Endone to be taken a half hour before the Physio appointment.

We discussed Medical Marijuanna. He is prepared to go down that path but pointed out it is time consuming and expensive. First we have to get a referral to a specialist who will interview me and determine if I am a candidate for the MM. That appointment is $250 and not covered by Medicare so I am out of pocket by $250. If approved the specialist will determine the type of MM will suit my needs and the dose. He then makes a script and the cost of MM is around $250 and once again IS NOT covered by Medicare so again I am out of pocket $250 or more. The benefit of this method is it is an approved treatment and I get a prescribed dose. On the other hand I can drive to Nimbin buy MM there without a prescription, without an interview and without a dose. The quality is not guaranteed.

Last year about June I drove to Nimbin and bought some MM for stepson Peter when he was having surgery for throat cancer. I called to ask how it worked for him. It didn’t. He never took the MM. $300 worth of MM is still sitting in a bathroom cabinet. He has agreed to give it to me. Hmmm! This could be interesting.

Roll on weekend.

Stay tuned as I am sure there is more to the painful back saga, after all it has been going on since September but much worse since early November. The MM might be interesting.

Wednesday 5th February

On this day in 2011, I was housesitting at Traveston and woke with… drumroll…A Painful Back. I even referred to the time when my back was so sore and my saviour was Mary Beth. (It is strange that I mentioned Mary Beth at this point. I am now writing this on Sunday morning. I went back through my notes to look at what I was doing and noticed that on 3rd February 2011 Mary Beth rang me from her home in Cardwell after having spent a terrible night living through the hell of a direct hit from Cyclone Yasi. She told me there were many boats sitting on her deck and in her swimming pool. I suspect that may have been the last time I spoke with Mary Beth. I am sad all over again today. RIP Mary Bet)

A walk along the beach at Noosa did not cure my back but it sort of eased the symptoms. That night I went to a Blackboard Acoustic night at Cooran. I dressed in my baggy Vietnamese Fishermans pants, Wintermoon Festival T-shirt and shortly after arriving realised I was overdressed. Once I took off my expensive leather sandals I looked like one of the locals, in fact I was mistaken – several times- as one of the performers. I had to change seats often and stand to ease the back pain. No different to my daily life at the moment.

Thursday 6th February

I increased my Lyrica dose by 25Mg. I now take 125Mg twice a day. I find it does make me drowsy and I can fall asleep on the recliner within a minute.

I could not do my usual walk today as it was raining and thanks to the drop in temperature and the Targin/Lyrica combination I slept until 7.30 am.

On this day in 2011 I was housesitting in Traveston. It was raining, in fact raining on and off for the last couple of days. It is the same at the moment. The days are almost a mirror image of themselves. 2011 was also the year of the Brisbane floods. I also had back pain and would walk along the beach to ease the pain. Sitting and getting in and out of the car was a problem. The same as now.

Friday 7th February

Now I am on Targin and Lyrica 125Mg, both twice a day. It takes a long time to kick in and when it does it makes me sleepy and I get some relief. I sit in the recliner and fall asleep. In fact it is about the only chair I can suit in without the overwhelming pain. Regular pain, yes,  but once in a correct seating position and cranked back, the pain disappears. Long before my next dose the pain returns. Perhaps I should supplement the day with some Paracetamol or the MM which Pete has promised to bring on Sunday.

On this day in 2011 I was on top of the mount at Traveston, my back pain was not getting any better. I was given Panadeine Forte for the real bad pain and Panadol for the standard pain. I was seeing an acupuncturist as now it seems strange, the referred pain was in my left hip and leg. The acupuncture did nothing to ease my pain and after three visits I gave up. Later the doctor treated me for Bursitis. That means rest (Hah) Panadeine Forte and Panadol.

Saturday 8th February

Another wet days with some heavy falls. I watched a little recorded TV and sorted through some photos and prepared a slide show presentation and created a gentle background music for a wine and cheese night we have organised for the 21st of this month.

Tonight I decided to take myself to dinner and went to Runaway Bay Junior Rugby League Club. Naughty me ordered a pasta dish which is not in my diet. I slapped myself on the wrist several time….and got some strange looks. Perhaps it was strange looks as I tried to sit down in piercing pain. I could not find a position without pain and without making little noises or muffled screams as I did so. Eventually I found a position less painful until the buzzer went off and I had to stand up, shuffle to the counter, collect my meal. Shuffle back and try to sit again.

On this day in 2011 on top of ole Traveston it was a “D” day. That is a Dreadful Day. So many things went wrong on the laptop. Some backing up saved the day. As well I still had my pain in the back/hip/leg left hand side. Now it is right hand side.

Sunday 9th February

Lots of rain overnight and rain on and off during the day.

Once again there is nothing much to report.

In fact on this day in 2011 there was not much to report either. I drove from Traveston to Tin Can Bay and the weather was terrible. Wind and rain. Totally overcast. No opportunities for photos. I walked barefoot along a beach had lunch and drove back to Traveston. It’s kind of strange that both days were wet and miserable and both days there was nothing to report. I suppose I cannot be on the go every day. Oh, by the way. I had back pain on that day too.

622. Sunday 2nd February 2020. Australia Day, pain,Chinatown and looking back…

Monday 27th January

We had our Australia Day celebrations at the village today.

Wayne cooked up a storm of pies, peas, potato and gravy for lunch.

There was damper, also made by Wayne for morning tea.

Dessert was Pavlova with fruit salad and cream or Lamingtons with fruit salad and cream.

Typical Aussie tucker.

Graham did his usual MC task to keep the games rolling along.

I was Barista and prepared fresh coffee.

Frank and Marie kept everybody happy by sorting problems before they became umm err, problems.

The day progressed along happy lines. A few hiccups were quickly sorted and no complaints.

My back got steadily worse during the day. Lucky I have a doctors appointment tomorrow.

Tuesday 28th January.

The doctor repeated that I have a Chronic Pain condition. In fact I am intoo much pain at the moment to consider any physical manipulation – such as physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy, even massage. He increased my Lyrica dosage to 75Mg twice a day and will increase that to 100 Mg twice a day after a week. He also prescribed Targin twice a day. If I get the wobblies, discontinue the daytime dose. At the end of the day there may have been some relief but I know the Targin is messing with my head plus it makes my skin itch. I have heard the itch is similar to what heroin addicts get!

Most Opioids, including heroin , can cause intense itching. This itching is related to the way the opioids interact with the immune system and the central nervous system. Opioid- induced itching will usually go away when a person stops using the drug.

Targin is an Opioid!

Wednesday 29th January

In the morning, two things stand out as things I look forward to.

The first is a walk along The Broadwater early in the morning. Today I met up with other walkers, Bill, Doug and Mark for a coffee at Beach Café in the Aqua building on the corner of Marine Parade and Imperial Parade Labrador. What a wonderful location for coffee or breakfast.

The second is, as good as breakfast is at the Beach Café I also enjoyed making my own mushroom and capsicum omelette and eating it on my verandah with a light breeze coming off Biggera Creek.

Friday 31st January

Hmmm! It seems the Targin is doing its job of making me drowsy which helps me to have a good sleep at night. During the day I often struggle to stay awake so have accepted the fact and allow myself a snooze after lunch.

Saturday 1st February.

Sister Enid arrived today and carried out, in her usual whirlwind, cleaning house and gardening. The work got the better of her as she lost track of time. She planned a walk along the Broadwater, then cocktails at the Grand Hotel followed by dinner in Chinatown. We started our walk but as it was already after 6pm we had to postpone, yet again, the cocktails. Darn, I was so looking forward to a Pina Colada. Next stop, Chinatown where parking was not going to be easy. It meant walking only 2 blocks then wandering around the food places. I started off by looking at the budget places run by mums and dad’s and gradually worked our way up the more elaborate establishment. Surprisingly the prices were not much dearer but included full waiter service, a larger choice of dishes and a liquor licence. We finally settled on an upmarket place called YuYin

The food was good, the service was excellent and as expected, Enid finally found a restaurant which serves jellyfish. In this case it was a chicken and jellyfish salad. As expected it was served cold. We had this many years ago in a Chinese Restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown. It’s a dish I can take or leave. I chose to leave it tonight.

Afterwards Enid suggested we go to Harbourtown and have cocktails at Crafty’s.

When we arrived, customers were packed in, shoulder to shoulder, three guys were providing music and the noise levels were toxic. Nup. This is not the place to be if you want to sip on a quiet cocktail.

Sunday 2nd February

Enid did more gardening for me and headed back to Brisbane after lunch.

I should mention here, as I have not mentioned for awhile, my back pain is no better and in some respects it is not worse. In other respects, it is worse.

I still take the Lyrica and Targin although neither seems to stop the pain. However it could be that the meds are screening the worst of the pain. Sitting in some chairs creates a painful experience and then makes walking painful for about half an hour afterwards. Getting g in and out of i30 is painful but once seated I am virtually pain free.

This week in 2011 I was housesitting at Traveston on the Sunshine Coast.

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I was housesitting on a mountain top at Traveston. Although I used the house for watching TV and cooking, I used WWWGO for sleeping. Oftren various wildlife came down the hill to eat and have a look at me.

The weather was unsettled with many days of rain.

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This is the underground carpark at a new shopping centre at Gympie. It was opened only a few weeks before Christmas. Then the rains came and flooded the Mary Valley. Although the Mary River is across the road, the floodwaters never reached the shopping centre. However there was so much rain the shopping centre itself was flooded, The water also permeated from the shopping mall above and down to the carpark. The centre was closed for weeks while a cleanup was carried out. Hmmm! Either a design flaw or poor workmanship.

Of course earlier in the month there were the flooding rains which devastated Brisbane, parts of the Gold Coast, Mary Valley including Gympie and parts of the Sunshine coast.

290111 guitar picker
While housesitting at Traveston I yook the opportunity to explore the Sunshine Coast. This guitar picker was sitting on a little verandah of a shop at Eumundi selling Hemp clothing.
290111 pomona hotel
The local; watering hole at Pomona.

The weather here on the Gold Coast has been hot and humid. It is typical summer weather.

Heavy rain is forecast next week.

621. Sunday 26th January (Australia Day) 2020. An unexpected road trip…

Monday 20th January 2020.

Went to the movies at Star Casino at Broadbeach. I went with Linda and Ngaire and we saw Judy. It is the story of the final months in the life of Judy Garland. It was very emotional.

The Star Casino! Wow! I became a member when it was Jupiters Casino way back in 2014 or 2015. I needed to update my card but that only took 5 minutes and I have all the benefits of a base member. Way back when we first joined we went with a friend who is a Gold Class member and she took us to exclusive places including a free buffet. Naturally you are expected to gamble. I suppose I am like the majority of members who go there for the cheap or free stuff the casino offers.

Lynda took a small back cushion for me to use. She was very insistent. Good thing she was too. I needed that cushion.

Friday 24th January

Today the colour of the water in Biggera Creek has changed from muddy brown to mild black tea. The reason for the massive water coming down the creek at low tide last Saturday was the release of water at Biggera Dam. The Biggera Creek Dam, or formally the Biggera Creek Flood Mitigation Dam, is a dam established for flood mitigation purposes over the Biggera Creek, located in the suburb of Arundel. It is operated by the Gold Coast City Council. The dam has a capacity of 3,700 megalitres and the height of the dam wall is 12.5 meters. Because its sole purpose is flood mitigation, the retention basin behind the dam is almost always empty of water. At times like this with exceptionally heavy rainfall, the dam is opened as the tide is going out. The idea is to avoid flooding rather than collect a domestic water supply.

Saturday 25th January

As I do every morning at around 5 or 6am, I go to The Broadwater for a walk. 250120 broadwaterIt seemed there was a light mist or haze of some sort. 250120 broadwater1The water is returning to its normal clarity and cleanliness after the heavy rain this time last week.250120 broadwater2 It’s still not pristine but is looking good.250120 broadwater3

As I watched a group of 17 Stand Up Paddleboarders paddled past. They were followed by a couple of pods of dolphins rounding up a school of fish just a few metres off the beach. I was standing with three guys who I know and who were about to go for coffee. While watching a group of ladies stopped to ask what we were looking at.


I chatted with the ladies and found the men had already left for coffee.

It is nice to be able to begin to recognise and know people on my morning walks.

Sunday 26th January AUSTRALIA DAY.

Last night I received a phone call from my grandson Anakin. Long story short, he is stranded on a farm outside a town called Bungunya about a 6 hour drive from the Gold Coast. The next nearest town is Goondiwindi a four hour drive away. It seems he has been abandoned by his drilling contractor employer. He has to find his own way to town and the next bus service from Goondiwindi (pronounced Gun Da Windy) is Monday. Well if you are gunna be stranded for a couple of days there are worse places than Gunda. I like the town.

After a troubled sleep I was on my way to Goondiwindi at 4.30 am. By the time I reached Cunninghams Gap, the steep and winding pass over the Great Dividing Range, it was full daylight but low cloud cover meant it was not only dark but constant moisture, not rain, meant I needed the wipers turned on. I caught a few glimpse of cliff faces but due to the switchbacks and low speed and poor visibility I needed to really concentrate on driving. The few glimpses I saw reminded me there would be some good photo opportunities here. Then once over the pass I was heading to Warwick and a much needed stop for coffee, toilet and walk to ease the back pain. Naturally I saw lots of photo opportunities but I was on a mission of mercy and needed to stay focused.

By now the sun was up, temperature was climbing to mid 30’s and it was apparent there had been lots of rain over the last 24/48 hours. I passed through towns which screamed photo opportunities. That is until I reached Yelarbon and making good time.260120 yellarbon The Silo Art just had to be photographed. In fact the small town is worth a day of photographing.

260120 yellarbon1260120 yellarbon2260120 yellarbon3260120 yellarbon4About this time Anakin called me and asked if I would bring his friend back to the Gold Coast. WTF! The original plan was to bring Anakin home with me for a few days until we could organise a flight. It seems his friend was also abandoned by the same employer except the friend had been injured on the job and taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs. I asked that they have the friends mother call me first. She did. I agreed to bring him back but only if I could get a copy of hospital discharge papers and details of any medication and or treatment he may need.

On arrival I found the friend in lots of pain but no serious injury, no broken ribs but bad bruising including bruised ribs. Another long story. The hospital would release him to me but by now his mother had organised air flights out of Brisbane this afternoon. This meant I was on a timetable to get them there on time. I was a bit annoyed the booking was made without consultation with me. That was a 5 hour drive including stopping for toilet breaks and fuel and food stops. The quickest route was via Toowoomba  and I dreaded the long slow drive through the main street. However just out of Toowoomba I found a new Tollway which detours the town saving us about 20 minutes. It avoids 18 sets of lights and was only opened in September last year. I have no idea how much the toll cost but by now all I wanted was to stop but still had to deliver the boys. By now my back was sending messages to stop and rest and walk around for awhile.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time then I had another hour to drive home. By the time I arrived and tried to get out of the car my back was in spasm including the muscles in the thigh. I had trouble standing let alone walking.

Bugger it. If I am ever called upon to be a guardian angel again I am going to take time for my own needs.



620. Sunday 19th January 2019. Back pain, no job, heavy rain and Rock and Roll…

Monday 13th January

The long awaited visit to the doctor occurred this morning. I had expected that with an MRI, X-Rays and Ultrasound I might have some answers to the pain of the last 3 months. That did not happen. The doctor talked about managing my pain.

I do.

I only take Panadol when needed. He also talked about looking at a video about pain. Then suggested I take up Tai Chi and Yoga. Then after telling me I should be looking at pain management alternatives he prescribed Lyrica. I have been doing pain management and exercise for at least the last 20 years. But when my back muscles go into spasm’s no amount of exercise and walking changes that fact. I will always have Spondyliolithesis and that will never change. The vertebrae will always be out of alignment, the disc between L5 and S1 will always be compressed and pinching the nerve. So, while the muscles are in spasm I will need pain killers. When the muscles settle down I can start walking and do my special exercises again. So far that has been months and may be many more months before I am temporarily better…until the next time. In the meantime he wants me to take 25Mg of Lyrica twice a day for a week then increase it to 50Mg twice a day for another week. Then we review pain and a Care Plan with the Phsyiotherapist.

After lunch I drove to the C-Bus Stadium at Robina for a group job interview. Time will tell if I am suitable material for a Casual Customer Service Event Day Staff.

Tuesday 14th January

Today, at the suggestion of the doctor I went searching for a Physiotherapist at Runaway Bay. The idea was to discuss my needs with them and come to an agreement about costs and a treatment plan. I spoke with the head honcho. It seems that if I get a referral via the doctor for a Care Plan I can get a $53 rebate from Medicare. The head honcho drew up a diagram of what he thinks is my problem – he is yet to see the X-Rays etc and the attendant reports – and a suggested treatment plan. His fee is $120 per session, less the $53 rebate. He suggests I see him initially, he reads the reports and looks at the X-Rays, he draws up a treatment plan, commences treatment and gives me exercises to do at home. Thereafter I see one of his colleagues at $85 a session.

Friday 17th January

Received an email from C-Bus Stadium. I was unsuccessful with my job application. Oh boo hoo , sob sob. I am crying dry tears. Naah, not really. It was just an application for a job to earn some pocket money and get involved with something happening in the community. I was not depending on the job.

Now my time is free for something else.


Saturday 18th January

The forecast rain began last night about 10pm. Lightly at first then gathering intensity. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of rain.

I was woken at 4.30am by the thunderous roar of rain, then by thunder and lightning. The rain really came down with a vengeance as follows.

300mm overnight, 145 mm in just 2 hours 4am to 6am. I walked along my street which was mostly clear and drains were working as a drain should, even with torrential rain. Further along the street things were not working so well.

180120 rain6
Flooded Street.
1801210 rain7
I suppose you could say the water was one foot deep in places.

The drains from the multi- story complex next door must have been blocked. Their drains were overflowing into my neighbours houses across the street. The water ran across their backyards, under the house and through their garages and any ground floor rooms and poured into the street. Along the way this torrent of water picked up any debris which in turn was too big or too many for the drain which had become blocked. The water still continued to flow into the street and backed up. Further along the street where our caravan parking are is located the water was about 600mm deep, so deep it was running through the caravans at floor level. There was some debris here but the water was so deep the drain had a whirlpool spinning in a wide circle around the drain.

180120 rain
Just look at that heavy rain and the whirlpool.

The swimming pool was overflowing. Like most pools this is designed to have an overflow system so the water level never exceeds a certain depth and is drained off quickly. The rainfall was so heavy over a period of time the drain system could not cope.180120 rain1

The bowling green was a small lake with a depth of 300 mm.180120 rain2

At the end of our street is our private park which faces Biggera Creek. The creek is normally a placid water way with the only movement of the slow and steady tidal movement. Today the creek was a raging river with the current going only in one direction – flowing towards the ocean. Luckily the tide was still on its six hour run out for low tide. Had the tide been incoming over the last few hours, many houses (not in our village) which were low lying would certainly have flooded.

180120 rain3
Biggera Creek umm err River.

180120 rain4180120 rain5

Sister Enid arrived in time for lunch.

Tonight we had been invited to a barbecue and some music and dancing at the clubhouse by friends, Frank and Kay. It was a nice group of 18 Rock and Rollers. Although my back is still not up to performing the gyrations required for dancing, I was able to do a few line dance movements which are a bit easier. My favourite dancer was there as well but once again my back problem stops me from enjoying my night to its fullest.

I have been nicknamed music man as I supplied all the rock music for tonight. Unfortunately I did not have time to set up Playlists and apart from the line dancing, had to select each song by standing at my ancient, original, iPad.

Enid was asked to dance by some very accomplished dancers and the glowing look on her face was wonderful to see.


Somehow the night which seemed like it was only just beginning, disappeared. By the time we got home it was almost midnight.


Sunday 19th January

Although there were threatening big black clouds in the north and fluffy white cauliflower type clouds in the south the day stayed hot and humid. The expected thunderstorm and rain did not happen. Enid and I drove to The Spit. Although the Gold Coast seemed chocked with cars we found somewhere to park and enjoyed my favourite walk to The Spit Light station and back along The Gold Coast Waterway along the Doug Jennings Park walkway as far as Moondewarra Beach and back to the car.

We had fish and chips at the delightful Seaway Kiosk which serves up a huge menu of mostly seafood. We had a great long walk followed by a great lunch. My back pain permitting.