wings and things


My computer, internet and wordpress are all having a holiday it would seem. Please forgive me for not replying etc.


Computer problems

I had intended to reply to comments today, and continue re-connecting with bloggers I lost touch with during May, but my computer is doing weird virusy stuff … So I might be out of action for a few days whilst the problem is fixed.



1995 060

It’s all very odd to me, and possibly illusory, but for the last few days our visits to Anthony, little drives here and there and, today, Ming’s famous NOSEY with Anthony, have reproduced a longlost joy.

Sorry – that sentence was far too long. Oh, and what is a NOSEY? It’s when you ‘kiss’ someone with your nose. We three have now been doing this for nearly 20 years. It’s quite pleasant.


You’re the only one left

Anthony and I exchange I love you as if we are some sort of romantically tragic play that never reaches its denoument.

But the other night on the phone the script shifted, rustling the worn paragraphs of our repetitive goodnight conversation.

Me: I love you.
Anthony: You’re the only one left.

That shocked me a bit, but he didn’t say it self-pityingly at all; he said it with certainty, like a simple fact.


Hospice – friend or foe?

Vic's Final Journey

Hospice – friend or foe?

A blogger friend, Terry, is preparing for her beloved brother Al, to move home from an Assisted Living Facility. Al suffers from Parkinson’s disease and his general health condition is extremely precarious. Terry blogged: “I finally heard nothing from the phone. I had done everything I could find to do trying not to have to make the dreaded call to Hospice. I decided not to use the Hospice here in our county. I was very disappointed in them with the lack of care they gave to my father.”

Vic wrote this on her Face Book page on the 15th of May 2011… “Today Hospice came to access my Grandfather… They dripped him & made him comfortable. He has lost his swallowing reflex, sleeps most of the day, is completely bedridden & can barely talk… The suddenness of his deterioration is…

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Subtle and sudden shifts

Anthony’s recent shift from despondency to humour has been gradual, subtle, under-stated, whereas my inexplicable shift from sad to happy has been sudden and boisterous.

I know that part of these shifts are to do with our mutual acceptance of the reality of our situation but, if so, why didn’t we accept this months ago?

Oh who cares why – we are happy again!


Ming has moved out!

Around three, maybe four, years ago, on one of Anthony’s good days, he and I shifted a heap of junk out of a back shed because Ants had an idea that we could make this shed into a place for Ming.

Over time, we have gradually had it renovated and Ming slept there last night for the first time. He’s still allowed to come for dinner but if he misbehaves I can just tell him to go home – haha!



Anthony has always been really good at encapsulating what would take me paragraphs to describe. And, in between the worsening mumblingishness of his speech, he comes out with extraordinary witticisms.

This afternoon, for instance, we were drinking red wine and watching an appallingly good soap opera on TV when the guy in the next room (I’ll call him John for anonymity) accidentally walked in.

I see Anthony’s eyes, usually expressionless, harden. So I get up and gently steer John back into the hallway where a nurse takes his arm and tells him she has made a cup of tea. He looks back at me and says, Tomorrow we gistust this potatoes worry, okay?

Leaping back into Anthony’s room (before he drinks my wine!) I ask him about John.

What do you do when he comes into your room and disturbs you? I ask.

He looks at me really seriously and quietly says, PANIC!

I laugh so loud that a nurse comes in, worried that I am upset about the John incident. I tell her what Ants said and she guffaws too.

As I am leaving, I hug my husband and he whispers in my ear, I am making people laugh again, Jules!

So you’ve stopped the grumpy thing? I ask, hopefully (knowing that my gentle man has become uncharacteristically cantankerous lately).

But in just these few minutes of saying goodbye, he has gone somewhere and there is no point trying to follow him.

So I go to where my sobs won’t be heard – the disabled toilet near the exit from the nursing lodge – then I wash my face, put my lipstick back on, and go back to say seeya to Ants.



I figured out what is wrong with me!

Nothing. Haha – gotcha!



I don’t think ‘style’ is quite the right word but it will do.

There are all sorts of styles….
– of breathing
– of living
– of dying
– of grieving
– of laughing
– of hoping
– of loving


And each person’s style is unique, sometimes chosen, sometimes accidental, but always, always, very personal.

Let’s take grief, for example. My own for Anthony’s slow decline into the fog of Parkinson’s disease/Parkinsonism and dementia has taken a few U-turns. No, no – that’s not right – it is I who took the U-turns.

I know this is going to sound terrible, but I have gone through phases of not wanting to see him; getting him home only to find it impossible to lift him, and becoming angry; wanting the wheelchair taxi to come early. Can you imagine the guilt?

But of course these emotional transitions are not just mine; they are his too. In the 18 months since he entered the nursing lodge, Anthony has had to get used to hands other than mine undressing and showering him, meals that I didn’t cook, unfamiliar blankets, surroundings, people….


This is my grief, my guilt, my love, my style, my Anthony, and, despite the private/public paradox of my blog, it has never been a cry for help.

My style:
– Do not try to rescue me
– Do not worry about me
– Do not try to get me out-and-about
– Respect my privacy.

I love Ants in a past/present way, that beautiful figure of male virility, running through the paddocks to get the cows in and yelling, ‘Jules, RUN!’

We were friends for years before our relationship became serious … and now we are friends in that original, platonic way (despite his occasional innuendos).

And I seem to have fallen in love all over again which is quite weird until I realize that Anthony is the only man I have ever loved in that falling-in-love way. It is the same for him.