Tag: Lyrica

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.   https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/squamous-cell-carcinoma/    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.

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 https://www.facebook.com/yuyinchinesecuisine/

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.   https://www.craftys.com.au/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb

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.

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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.
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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.

610 Sunday 24th November 2019. Progressive dinner, beginnings of recovery and music soothes the savage beast…

Monday 18th November

Today I was wondering if I could find a Chiropractor on the Gold Coast who was as good as Mary Beth Bauer who first treated me for this condition – Spondylolisthesis – in February 2000. If I could locate Mary Beth she may know somebody on the coast. I knew Mary Beth was now married and had moved to Cardwell some years ago. I could find nothing on line in either her Bauer or married name but did find the practise she opened with her first husband was still operating in Townsville. I called on the off chance they may be able to help. The lady who answered knew Mary Beth and had worked with her for many years and recalled me as a patient. The sad news was Mary Beth passed away 5 months ago from Liver Cancer. Such sad news and I believe her husband David was devastated. The lady was able to tell me what method Mary Beth used and suggested I could ask any Chiropractor or Osteopath to use the same method on me. I am still saddened by the news of her passing.

Tuesday 19th November

Carer Lynda drove me to Robina to see the Osteopath. I passed on the information from the treatment method used by Mary Beth. He did some gentle exercises and placed some Kineseo Tape on my back explaining, Kinesio Taping is a revolutionary therapeutic method that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process. It helps to stabilize an injured area of the body, supporting the affected area – but without immobilising the joints. It is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, so kinesio tape allows for better movement and less restrictions.

I am still using the new back brace I bought last week,

Tonight I took my usual cocktail of meds.

Wednesday 20th November

In the morning I felt good and in fact decided to go cold turkey and not take any meds. Most of the day I felt quite good but by dinnertime was beginning to feel pain so took an Endone and two Panadol but by bedtime was feeling I might be in trouble with pain by morning. I plugged my phone into the charger beside the bed, kept all my meds on the bedside table as well as a spare set of household keys and my Kindle and charger. I had this terrible recollection of last week not being able to get out of bed and if needed I wanted to be able to call the ambulance and other help. I drifted off to an uncomfortable sleep.

(Footnote to this comment. The NSW Ambulance Service invoice arrived in the mail today. $830 for the care and attention and the 9 Klm journey to the nearest hospital. I am sure glad I was not in an isolated place. Of course the good news is there is a reciprocal arrangement between states whereby if I provide proof of my state residency, copy of drivers licence and pensioner status the bill will be covered by Queensland Ambulance.)

Thursday 21st November

Woke in pain but was able to get out of bed and decided to maintain the Endone and Panadol but avoid the other meds which cause drowsiness. If I can maintain this regimen of tablets I hope to wean myself off the opioids and Valium. However I will not try to go completely cold turkey on all the meds. I know I am far from healed.

Today was our monthly Morning Tea in our clubhouse and a guest speaker for Nutrimetrics.

Highlight of the morning though was the birthday cake for Betty who is celebrating her 99th birthday. Betty is always one of the first to nominate for our functions and even turned up for Rock and Roll lessons a few weeks ago. A lovely lady who has many tales to tell and loves her music and these days watching the dancers. She lives alone and still does her own shopping and prepares her own meals. If only we could all be as healthy as her.

Friday 22nd November

A day of Endone and Panadol with a Valium before bed. I removed the Kineseo Tape in the afternoon and tried to do as little as possible. Tomorrow I may have to increase some meds as we have a progressive dinner with an Hawaiian theme which we have been planning for months. There is lots to do but I will refrain from heavy lifting, concentrating on providing beach music and beach photos on the Smart TV.

Saturday 23rd November

Setting up three locations for our progressive dinner was a bit more chaotic than planned. Unable to do any lifting, pushing, reaching, shoving, hammering and any other physical activity I was left to my own devices and as choreographer of tables chairs and tents.

First up I established my seaside slide show which will play as background visuals on the smart TV during the coffee, dessert and liqueur final phase of the dinner. I also established the sound system to play beachy 60’s and 70’s style music as background so as not to interfere with conversation but loud enough for songs and tunes to be recognisable. I also established the Rock and Roll /Line Dancing part of the programme to be louder to encourage those who want to dance to get up and do so. I also established the beachy background music around the pool for the first course and the same for the main course which will be held in pergola tents beside Biggera Creek. Citronella Candles on Bamboo poles were also placed around the pergolas.

Just in case I have not mentioned this before, or not mentioned it recently, I live in what is called an Over 50’s Resort. It is a gated community. That does not mean it is 100% safe and secure. It just means it keeps out most of the people who should not be there. There are 101 houses or villas or units or whatever you want to call them. Of the approximately 150 people who call this home, about half, keep to themselves, doing what pleases them. The other half is roughly made up of about 50 people who support every function the social committee organises while the other half support us when they are not travelling somewhere. Our progressive dinner was expected to have about 40 people but it is travel time so the tight group of 30 people still kept us on our toes. Some people did not want to attend as mostly it is outdoors and they have a perception outdoors means mosquitoes and or sandflies. Perhaps there are some of those insects but we took steps to ensure they were kept to a minimum.

My ancient, original iPad connected to a battery operated set of Logitech speakers kept the music pumping all night. Those speakers produce an amazing sound over quite a distance.

Graham did a great job of making two punches, one with punch the other without. He also kept busy making Pina Colada, a drink I have not had the pleasure of tasting before. Now, I am not sure how this drink should be served, in what type of glass, with or without ice or with an umbrella. Mine was in a disposable plastic cup and the three I had needed no embellishment. It did come with an umbrella and a chunk of pineapple and a cherry. The only problem was he ran out of ingredients and could not keep up with the demand.

Dinner of baked ham was beside Biggera Creek and the tide was in, making it a great view in the gathering darkness. Who cared. Dinner was fabulous and there were enough wine choices for everybody.

Back in the clubhouse for dessert, liqueurs etc and of course music and slide show. I got myself a Tia Maria with cream to sip/slurp/ inhale.

I was asked to play some line dancing music and of course had to do some dancing myself. My back will give me problems tomorrow. How could I resist when the music was calling?

Sunday 24th November

Packing down and unfolding everything from last night was completed by 10am. With a friend I drove to the Ramada Hotel at Hope Island to check out prices for a possible launch trip to Curran Cove or Tipplers Resorts for a Christmas function.

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Ramada Hotel Hope Island Marina

As most of the trips begin from the Ramada it was a good idea to start there. The Ramada is not an easy place to find and it is so easy to get lost along the way. Oh goody a band was getting set up so it was a good excuse to stay long enough and listen to the Memphis Moovers   https://www.facebook.com/memphismovers/   a really talented and fun group.

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Nope. No idea who the man in the yellow shirt is. I understand the band is often a 6 piece. The lady in black wore great big heavy 6 inch heel shoes.

Maybe next week I will be off the meds and can drive again and operate a camera.

498. Sunday 26th June 2016. A funeral, a look around Port Macquarie and a visit to Murwillumbah…

Monday 20th June.

Despite the overcast, rain and blustering, cold westerly wind I drove from Port Macquarie to Newcastle Crematorium at Beresfield. I had allowed three hours for the journey and even stopping for fuel and a coffee break I was still 90 minutes early.

As people arrived it was clear the small chapel was not going to hold all the mourners. Apart from family, relatives and friends, Bobby had a wide circle of people who respected him. After the chapel was filled it was standing room only – outside in the cold. Bobby’s daughter Libby, ably assisted by her brother Grant, gave a moving eulogy. Bobby was a member of the National Rifle Association of Australia and at one stage was coach of the junior team which toured overseas. Mourners from the club and other business customers from Coonabarabran joined family and friend s to pay their respects.

Libby commented that sometimes her father was a Grumpy Old Man but we loved him. Judging by the tears, the 12 grandchildren also loved him.

Goodbye Bobby.

After refreshments at Beresfield Bowling Club I drove back to Port Macquarie arriving well after dark. Within minutes I laid down and fell asleep for a couple of hours. It was a long day, including 6 hours of driving and an emotional event.

Tuesday 21st June.

I decided to stay another day so I could be refreshed for the drive back to the Gold Coast. I drove around looking at some of the many beaches around Port Macquarie.

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Town Beach

Town Beach is adjacent to the breakwater and marina wall. This wall is different to most I have seen elsewhere, almost every stone face is painted with a memorial or endless love sonnet or even just a memento of a visit.

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These are the painted rocks along the breakwater walkway.
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This man is painting his own message on one of the breakwater rocks.

There is a great deal of beach erosion, a legacy of the violent storm experienced all along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia a few weeks ago.

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Beach erosion along Town Beach from recent storms

It was here I watched the cargo ship, “ISLAND TRADER” enter the narrow seawall opening into the Hastings River and marina and canal residential community. The ship carries supplies to and from Lord Howe Island almost 600 Klms offshore. LHI is part of NSW and therefore part of Australia. Port Macquarie is the closest NSW port to LHI.

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Island Trader returning from Lord Howe Island.

Shelley Beach has a memorial to Harry Thompson who arrived with his family in a caravan in 1960.

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Shelley Beach
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Harry Thompson is silent sentinel over his Shelley Beach. Note the cleared understory of the beachside vegetation.
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Picnic shelter carved to represent the interior of Harry Thompsons caravan where he and his wife and son lived for 40 years.

Perhaps the best explanation of the story is from this Flikr Page.

 “In 1960 Harry and Jean Thompson moved from Warren in western NSW after winning the lottery and buying a caravan. Being from the bush, with no experience of the beach Harry got bogged in the sand at Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie on the NSW mid North Coast.

The Thompsons decided there and then that they had found their spiritual home and thereafter made their caravan their permanent home at beautiful Shelly Beach,

The Thompsons were long time unofficial caretakers of this idyllic Port Macquarie beach and in the process became legendary as they successfully garnered the support of Port Macquarie residents in their effort to resist many vigorous attempts by the local Port Macquarie – Hasting Shire Council to evict them from their self proclaimed beach side home.

Harry Thompson, died on 31st January 2000 at age 83 and the community began fund raising for a memorial, now evident at the northern end of Shelly Beach in the form of a wooden sculpture of Harry and interestingly, his caravan. The area has become known as ‘Harry’s Corner’ and a walking trail with 254 steps, all laboriously built by Harry, leads to a nearby lookout now known as ‘Harry’s Lookout’

Such was the fondness with which Harry was held he was elected citizen of the year in 1983 and in 1999 was proclaimed ‘Mayor of Shelly Beach’

 

In 2009 an unbelievable mindless act of vandalism saw the sculpture of Harry decapitated. Fortunately local builder and friend of Harry, Ted Sala, came to the rescue and repairs were made and Harry once again stands a silent sentinel watching over his beloved Shelly Beach.”

 

I also visited secluded Miners Beach now an unofficial nudist beach, and given the weather today very few people were seen, all dressed of course.

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Miners Beach. Note the Banksia.
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Little Miners Beach.

Most of the beaches on the south side of Port Macquarie are at the base of steep cliffs much dressed in native vegetation including the wonderful Banksia’s.

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Much of the cliffside around the Port Macquarie beaches have all native vegetation. Currently Hastings Council are removing non native species. These beautiful banksia frame the scenery.

A walk has been established from Town Beach all the way through the beaches as far as the Tacking Point Lighthouse.

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Tacking Point Lighthouse.

Nobby’s Beach is on this walk but does have a one way access road as well.

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Nobby’s Beach

At Flynns Beach

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Flynns Beach notice to weed brought in by recent storms.

I watched boogie board riders in shallow water in front of the cliff face.

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It was cold on the beach today but these wetsuit clad boogie board riders were enjoying themselves.
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This rider needs to be careful he does not bite off his tongue.
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These riders were following the break of the waves…towards the rock!

At the end of my journey was Tacking Point Lighthouse. The  lighthouse was built high on a rocky headland in 1879 and is listed on the National Trust Heritage Register. The light house was built due to the large number of shipwrecks in the area. There were twenty shipwrecks between 1823 and 1878. The lighthouse was only 8 metres tall due to the height of the headland itself. It is similar in construction height to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse which also sits on a high headland at Seal Rocks South of Forster.

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Lighthouse Beach looking south.

Late in the day I went to Lake Cathie (Locals pronounce it Lake Cat Eye which is probably a derivation of the original, Lake Cat Hie. It depends on which local you speak to and how long they have been a local). Calling it Lake Cathie alerts locals that you are an uninformed visitor.

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The calm reflective beauty of Lake Cathie where is runs into the ocean.
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Lake Cathies looking towards the bridge.

Wednesday 22nd June.

Another long day of driving home. Although there were lots of stop/slow roadworks I still managed the trip in 7.5 hours. Once home I fell asleep and woke in time for a light dinner and watch round 2 of the 3 round State of Origin series. Queensland won round one and only needed to win on their home ground to win the series for 2016. Despite strong defence by NSW and some good tries to both sides, Queensland won 26 to 16 and making them series winners ten years of the last eleven. The third round in NSW in three weeks was a sellout before tonight and the game will be just as tough despite it being a “dead rubber”.

Saturday 25th June

Astute and regular readers will recall I broke my wrist in an ummm, bicycle accident on 2nd August 2015. I required wrist surgery to install a T piece stainless steel plate. For 10 months I have been doing regular physiotherapy and taking strong nerve pain medication. I was on 300 Mg of Lyrica twice a day (the maximum advised does is 600Mg per day) and another pain medication, 10 Mg of Endep at bedtime. Although the medical profession say the medication is not addictive it is not something which you can just stop taking as there will be withdrawal symptons. One of the many side effects is weight gain. In my case about 10 Kg. I am pleased to report that I have stopped physiotherapy and now using the hand in regular daytime functional uses rather than the regime of particular exercises to regain use of the hand. What I am most pleased about is I started a slow withdrawal of the medication and I have not had any medication for two days. No constant pain and I am sleeping.

YeeHar!!!

However, although the last two nights sleep have been a little troubled and have woken a few times during the night.

Silly repetitive dreams.

Hmmm!!!

I mention these two drugs in case readers ever find themselves on Lyrica or Endep and need to know the slow process of coming off the drug.

Sunday 26th June

Yesterday evening and again this morning it was quite cold with overnight temps down around 10 degrees. Yeah Yeah I know. It only begins to get cold at minus 10. Remember we live on the Gold Coast and spent the last 30 years living in the tropics. Anything less than 23 degrees is cold!

Now for something totally different.

I drove to Murwillumbah about 70 Klms from home. The town is just over the border in NSW and is situated on the mid reaches of the Tweed River

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Tweed River looking east.
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Delightful timber cabin cruiser on the Tweed River.
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Another lovely old boat on the Tweed.

in what is surprisingly called the Tweed Valley. Once upon a time the original Pacific highway ran through here, following the Tweed River into Tweed Heads and on into Coolangatta Queensland. The town is not large in terms of size or population but it does have an impressive art gallery called, Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

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Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Apart from the impressive paintings and sculptures it also includes a re-production of Margaret Olley’s home in Paddington, Sydney. The rooms have been re-created using photos and includes all the bric a brac, furniture, clothes, magazines, books, painting materials, weird statuatry  and assorted junk which was in the house at the time of her death. It also includes the stove top, oven and the kitchen sink. The windows also include the original tissue thin ragged curtains on the original house. The gallery sits on a hill overlooking the lush pastures of the Tweed

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Tweed River and valley.

while in the distance is the looming presence of Mt Warning (named by Captain Cook when he sailed along the coast in 1770) and other peaks which were formed by a massive volcano twenty million years ago. The other peaks are also

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Mt Warning
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Mt Warning and Tweed Valley.

the remains of the volcanic caldera. There is much to see in the Tweed Valley and surrounding peaks, National Parks and caldera farmlands.

 

I will save a return visit for when Donnis is home.

494. Sunday 29th May 2016. Lonesome Blues and a short trip through the past…

Many years ago, as a teenager I recall my father became interested in guitars. Not just learning to play them but he wanted make a traditional accoustic guitar and a solid body electric guitar. By and large he succeeded. While learning to play he would play the same tune over and over. Oh Lonesome Me by Don Gibson – In later years the same song was sung and recorded by Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Kentucky Headhunters.I for one had no interest in the song, overloaded from my Dad’s less than accomplished attempts at playing. For some strange reason the words Oh Lonesome Me popped into my head tonight. Perhaps I am missing Donnis.

Much of this week has been spent doing the usual household chores that everybody has to do.

I visited the Pain Management Clinic and told them I am still reducing the Lyrica and should be off completely within a month. The same goes for the Endep tablets. The only pain comes from using the hand in such a way where it is not 100% healed. Once off the two lots of medication I should start to lose weight. The PMC are so pleased with my progress we both agree I no longer need to see them unless I have some issues.

Next week I will pull the cycle off the stationary rider, pump up the tyres and check for items which are worn, bent or need replacing. If all goes well I should be back on the bike again real soon.

Have been for a walk on the beach several times including trying to fly the kite. Twice the winds died just as I was about to get the kite airborne. It just did not happen.

This week I feel a rant coming on… I will keep it brief…

Several weeks ago, after holding off for such a long time I joined Facebook. The idea was to use Facebook to find friends from primary and high school and discover any re-unions. Donnis school friends from primary and high school seem to have a re-union every second year.

Well I joined Facebook and found one school friend, Les Allan, who I have not seen or spoken with since part way through the second year of high school. Les has found some friends as well so perhaps we can all link up on FB or Skype.

I invited family and friends and some friend asked to be a friend on FB. So far so good.

Now the rant part begins.

All the friends of friends and all their “Likes” and “Shares” now appear on my FB. FB users will know what I mean. How do I stop all this extra stuff???

End of rant.

Saturday 28th May

The sun was shining but a cool wind was blowing from the west.

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Main Beach on a clear cool sunny day with winds blowing from the west.

Down at the beach, any swell which may have been around during the week has been flattened by the offshore breeze. The little breeze coming over the sand-hills is not enough to lift the kite off the sand. Two hundred metres offshore the breeze is quite stiff, the few board-riders sitting huddled on their boards waiting for the occasional wave.

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Yet another boardrider carving up the small but fun waves.
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There was not much surf but occasionally a set of three waves would roll in and the face was held up by the offshore westerly wind. The boardriders enjoyed it.

It sure looks pretty.

Sunday 29th May

A sunny day spoiled by a cool breeze from the west.

As usual om a Sunday night I weigh myself. The little measures I took about 6 weeks ago to exercise more and restrict my diet saw a 5 Kilo drop in weight but there the scales have stopped. The initial 5 Kg loss has not changed. That is, until tonight. Is that an illusion staring at me from the face of the scales? I cannot see too clearly but it looks as though I have dropped another 2 Kg. Hmmm! Once off the Lyrica and Endep my medical team all promised I should loose the weight I put on since the surgery.I used my smart phone to take a photo of the scales so I could enlarge the image. Yep. No doubt about it I have lost another 2 Kg. I felt so enthused I tried on a pair of trousers which have been a little tight. Now they will not stay up. Next I tried on a pair of trousers I simply could not do up the buttons. Still cannot but the gap is less. Yahoo! Headed in the right direction.

Can I celebrate with some chocolate???

Not since early last year have I gone back in time to re-visit where we were each year. Now might be as good a time as any to do it again.

In May 2004 we went on our first motorhome adventure. We hired a motorhome from a Townsville dealer and headed to Cairns and over the Great Dividing Range to Mareeba & Atherton. We visited most of the waterfalls in the Waterfall Way. The hire vehicle was good for us to understand all the little must do’s and must not do’s as well as deciding what size of vehicle and what fittings suited us. What became abundantly clear was that we did not want to have a big car and tow a caravan with all the hitching and unhitching involved.

So we resolved we wanted a motorhome. Instead of going out and buying something cheap we decided to take a year to research and look around and save a bit more towards the purchase.  As things turned out we found a converted Toyota Coaster bus which was the right size and was newly fitted out and suited our needs. We were able to pay cash and as we were in New Zealand at the time my daughter Averyl and husband Paul offered to collect the bus from Brisbane and take a week to drive it back to Mackay, having a little holiday as they went.

May 2005 saw us attend our first Wintermoon Festival at Camerons Pocket in the foothills, sort of midway between Mackay and Airlie Beach.

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Our converted Toyota Coaster bus is way in the back of this sea of tents. Can you see us? Often we would get to bed around midnight when the official programme has closed for the night. Impromptu jam sessions were held around a giant fire. We were lulled to sleep by the soft unamplified music.
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The Wintermoon Festival has several stages, the big stage has a giant set of tarpaulins erected over the stage and spectator area. Bales of hay are laid out in a line so you can sit or lay on them or bring your own recliner chair and use the hay as a footrest. Kids love using the bales as hiding places. It is a real relaxed atmosphere.

We spent a week at the event and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had solar power and only the water we carried. The toilet was emptied twice. The refrigerator only worked on 240 v AC or 12 v DC. We did not connect to power nor did we have a generator. That was probably our first real test of self- sufficiency and the Coaster passed with flying colours.  Now that we are retired we would love to go back again but perhaps we could hire a van or tent. Hmmm! What can we plan for 2017?

May 2007 Donnis was away in Canada which left me to attend the CMCA Rally at Barcaldene and to take part in an attempt at the longest line of motorhomes.

We wanted to achieve a line of 700 moving motorhomes to beat a world record set in Italy. Camped on the plains the night before I thought we would easily beat the record.

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Can you see the Toyota on the side of the road? Once darkness fell, little fires were lit and people sat around listening to or playing music or simply having a get to know you chinwag.

Next day, I was vehicle 51 and by the time I reached the showgrounds and set up I was able to watch the 7 Klm long line of motorhomes slowly move forward to be counted.

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Once the motorhomes were counted we were directed to the showgrounds where we were put into three lanes and directed to our camp spot which was included in our welcome package.
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This was one of several very interesting home made motorhomes.

I was disappointed to find we were 39 rigs short of setting a record. After a week in Barcy I came to a fondness for the town and its historic significance which I still hold.

May 2009 I had accumulated 10 weeks of Long Service Leave and we were on our way home from Tasmania having seen as much as we could before catching the last ferry to Melbourne at the end of April. We took a little over a month driving back from Melbourne to Airlie Beach. Along the way decided to move on from the Coaster as it was somewhat limited in its features and always felt a little crowded, only one person could eat at the tiny cramped table. As well it was beginning to rust and rubber seals around the windows had perished causing a leak problem.

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That is more than 3 months growth of beard. Photo taken at Lake Conjola on the NSW south coast.
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A lonely little beach in strong winds and heavy seas at Port Macquarie.Our good friend Dawn was showing us this statue erected in honour of a hermit who lived in a tent for many years at this spot. He would spend his days cleaning the beach and rock areas of debris and rubbish. After he died the Council erected the statue in his honour.

In Brisbane we found exactly what we were looking for and the dealer offered us, on reflection, a good price for the Coaster and we bought a Winnebago Motorhome which we eventually called WWWGO.

May 2010

This was a big month for us. We used WWWGO twice. The first was at the Wintermoon Festival at Camerons Pocket. The camp site at the festival site was booked out as was the Stoney Creek site 5 Klms along the road. Good thing it was heavy rain the week before turned the site into a bogey mosquito infested  swamp. Overflow campers were sited on a hill above Stoney Creek. We camped with friends Nevin and Maree in their Nissan conversion and Glennis in her Paradise Motorhome. Donnis drove there in the Subaru Imprezza so we were able to drive to the festival but for those wanting to go earlier or stay later could take the shuttle bus. Once again it was a great festival.

Later in the month we travelled over the Great Dividing Range and camped in the grounds at the back of the Retreat Hotel. Although the hotel laid on shower and toilet facilities and we elected to have dinner at the hotel, all in all it was a boring location. We could not have a campfire so there was no central socialising point except for the main bar at the hotel.