wings and things


Ming was allowed to come home today, three days after his surgery which was a fantastic surprise (we were told he’d be in hospital until Christmas Eve). I’d been staying in a hotel for a couple of nights and coming and going to the hospital, but checked out yesterday, planning to visit Ming then go home to the farm to feed and water the dogs, birds and alpacas, only to be told he’d be discharged today! So I quickly rang a friend to see if she could do the animals and checked back into the hotel for another night.

Yesterday Ming was still attached to the pain+antibiotic drip, a catheter, and a blood drain thingy, oxygen, and he could hardly get out of bed and walk a few steps, but today he was free of the various tubes and fighting fit – amazing! It is 8pm here and we got home around an hour ago. Ming is in a lot of pain but has three kinds of painkillers so is now in bed.

One of the painkillers has a strange side-effect – Mummy love! It is so hilarious; on Tuesday evening when he finally came out of surgery, he kept looking at me woozily and saying, “Oh, Mummy, give me your hand, hold my hand, I want to have a cubble (cuddle), you are the best mummy in the whole wide world, oh I love you so much” etc. If I let his hand go for a moment, he would yell, “Mummy, I need your hand! Muuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!”

Now this would have been okay if (a) he had a private room, and (b) he had a quiet voice. But he was in a shared room with three men who were all chuckling every time Ming yelled out, “Mummy, hand – where’s your hand?” After a couple of hours of this I started to get a bit embarrassed and sick of holding his stupid hand! His nurse was laughing hysterically (but quietly) at his antics and, as Ming got sleepier, she helped me remove my hand from his so I could escape to my hotel and have a well-earned wine.

My hand is still aching from his grip – so funny!

And so absolutely wonderful!

Note: Thank you so much to my WordPress and Facebook, and other friends and family (especially my own mother) for all of your prayers, wishes and messages to us. I haven’t had time to reply properly but please know how much your comments, care and love is appreciated by Ming and Muuuuummmmmyyyyy!


What to do if your computer overheats.

In the southwest of Western Australia we are experiencing a heat wave and, at 7.30pm the thermometer in the kitchen is nudging 38 degrees C to over 40 and apparently tomorrow will be even hotter. Oh that’s great – the air conditioner in the car stopped working a week ago and I have to take Ming up to Perth tomorrow for his surgery on Tuesday. I am going to be so worried about the animals in this heat (yes I’m just a tad worried for Ming too). Ming suggested he drive himself up for the surgery (that’s how nonchalant about it he is) and I have to admit I was a bit tempted but no, of course not.

So we are booked in to a hotel within walking distance from the hospital so that we can have a ‘night before’ get together with friends, a good sleep, then walk up to the hospital at 6am on Tuesday. Ming spent a couple of hours with Anthony at the nursing home today and we got Ants home yesterday for the afternoon so I am hoping he will remember what is happening and why I am not visiting. I will ring him of course but that is problematic in itself because he is often unable to remember how to answer the phone. But Ants hugged us both and wished Ming luck and said he would understand if I didn’t see him for a few days.

Oh, that’s right – this is about what to do if your computer overheats.


Put a frozen package of something or other under it and it will gasp with relief!


I am changing my name to “Whoops”

A couple of days ago I wrote about Anthony’s 1963 stove that has recently died. My first ‘whoops’ was when I described it as being a tiny bit older than me when it is actually a tiny bit younger. I don’t feel the need to apologize to the stove since it’s dead anyway but I did want to correct that minor inaccuracy for blog posterity purposes.

My second ‘whoops’ was when one of my blog friends commented: “1963 a very good year… your stove lasted 50 years and so did our marriage.” I took this to mean that something had suddenly gone amiss with her marriage so I replied, “I’m so sorryxxx.” Then I went about my daily chores a bit sad for her.

Much later in the day, I logged on and saw that my friend had written: “What are you sorry about…… we’re still married… sorry if I confused you…” Oh, I was so relieved that her marriage was in such better shape than my stove that I laughed hysterically for a few moments, then she and I exchanged a few ‘haha’ messages.

I have done a few ‘whoopsies’ lately (I seem to have a talent for it), and some of them have gotten me into trouble, so I am beginning to realize that I need to think more carefully before I speak or write. This particular ‘whoopsie’ though was so funny that I am still laughing and laughing. I have not revealed the identity of the blogger who I ‘whoopsed’ because, well, privacy and all that, but if she is willing to comment you will all know.

I imagine she is still laughing too – argh – whoops!


Not buying into Christmas

Such a relief! Today, Ming and I had planned to go into town, get presents for each other and Anthony, get a Christmas tree, a ham, wrapping paper, sticky tape (which I can never find), send a few last-minute cards, decorate the house, find the Christmas tree lights and ornaments (oh where did I put them?) and generally have a frantic, stressful, expensive, horrible day.

But on waking up this morning to a day that was already promising relentless heat, I changed my mind and a bit later I discussed my idea with Ming:

Me: I think we should postpone Christmas.
Ming: What?
Me: Well, you will be in hospital until Christmas Eve … actually maybe we should just skip Christmas this year.
Ming: What? No presents?
Me: No presents.
Ming: No tree?
Me: No tree.
Ming: No turkey?
Me: No turkey.
Ming: No Christmas crackers?
Me: No Christmas crackers.
Ming: Mum, this is such a relief!
Me: So you agree?
Ming: I think it’s a brilliant idea!
Me: Without all the usual fuss we can celebrate Christmas for what it is.
Ming: Do you mean go to church?
Me: Yes.
Ming: Okay, let’s shake on this.

So we shook hands and grinned at each other.

The sense of relief is huge! I don’t have to fight through the throngs at the shops, spend a small fortune on ‘stuff’, don’t have to worry about how the hell I am going to cook a turkey with no oven, don’t have to search the whole of Australia for cranberry sauce, don’t have to spend hours wrapping presents, don’t have to queue up at the post office – ahhhhh!

A bit later:

Ming: But what will we eat for lunch on Christmas day?
Me: Ham sandwiches? I mean Anthony hardly has any appetite anymore anyway, it’ll be too hot for me to eat and you’re a fussy brat.
Ming: I like ham sandwiches.
Me: Good, then that’s decided.
Ming: But Grandma’s still coming on Christmas day isn’t she?
Me: No.
Ming: WHAT?!
Me: I’m joking, you idiot!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – now all I have to do today is frolic with the peacocks – yeeha!



The stove that died

A couple of weeks ago I put the kettle on and it boiled and I made my morning coffee A bit later, I put the kettle on again for my second cup and nothing happened. Anthony’s 1963 stove died quietly.



Sigh … it is only three years older than I am, poor old thing!


Here we go again!

Yesterday Ming and I went up to Perth for the pre-op. things – blood and urine, ECG, consent forms for bone graft and bone marrow, consultations with a nurse, a doctor and an anaesthetist and, in the midst of all of these exciting events, I opened the letter we’d been given on arrival.

Well I got a bit of a shock because his surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, 17th December! This means he will come out of hospital on Christmas Eve, or may be in over Christmas. Ming is elated it is happening before the new year but, with such short notice, I am a bit panicked about organizing things. He has to be in the hospital at 6.30am which means we will have to go up to Perth the night before and stay in a hotel. I will probably book in for two nights so I can see him the next day but then he wants me to come home again (“so you have time to get my Christmas presents, Mum!”)

This revision surgery is nothing compared to the massive scoliosis op. last year so it should be a piece of cake (I hope!) I took his photo this afternoon after asking him how he felt about the op. His expression is difficult to read but to me it says, “Fine!”


While we’re in Perth, these two guys will look after the farm!



A peaceful place



Mother goose


After weeks of feeding Ola special grain and replenishing her water, and looking forward to her two goslings hatching, I went out this afternoon to find that she had abandoned the nest and there was only one egg there. So I brought the warm egg into the house and put it in my shirt pocket and googled goose hatching whilst stroking the egg and saying little mothery things to the gosling inside it. I found enough information to warrant going outside again and slightly cracking the egg so it could get out.

Well, guess what? There was no gosling; it was just an unfertilized and beautiful egg with a massive yoke – not a chick. And to think I was stroking this stupid egg for two hours when I could have used it to bake a cake! Argh!

Ola is frolicking without those eggs and I am feeling like a goose!



I have learned a lot about blogging over the last couple of years since I began doing it, and I have made hundreds of mistakes like oversubscribing and then being overwhelmed by emails, unsubscribing then trying to find people again, trying to read everybody’s thoughts every day, not having time to comment, not having time to answer comments, etc!

One of the things I have discovered about the WordPress blogging world is an abundance of compassion and empathy and very real (albeit internetted) connection. I don’t even remember now what I intended with this blog with all its faux pas, and now obselete pages, and ideas and goals that went nowhere. I was surprised and delighted when people responded to my birdy posts, then extremely moved that those same people would offer such amazing support to me/us as we faced our traumas of life.

Ming’s pre-op. appointment is on Wednesday so the date for his surgery must be soon (we still don’t know). His court case is likely to coincide which is going to be tricky (we still don’t know that date either).

So this is a longwinded way of saying that I probably won’t have time to read, like or comment on the blogs I subscribe to (too many ha!) but I will still keep posting mine if that’s okay. I will try to catch up with your blogs in the new year.

Happy Christmas!


My great niece

Several weeks ago a baby girl was born into our family – my nephew’s first child (with the help of his beautiful wife), my brother’s first grandchild, my mother’s first great grandchild, and my other brother’s and my own first great niece.

Seeing her today was wonderful! She has changed so much already – as babies do. Surrounded by the love of her parents, grandparents from both sides of the family, and great aunts like me, cousins and second cousins galore, this child already has the delighted expression in her navy blue eyes of being Number One!

My mother had a long conversation with her while I sat on the floor, ignored and jealous, until suddenly this fantastic baby turned her head to me, squeezed my finger in her tiny fist and told me a few home truths (I was unable to interpret but hopefully her parents will translate what she said to me later). She fixed her piercing eyes on me and uttered several baby sentences which I tried to answer to the best of my ability but eventually she threw my finger away with a look of ‘omg this auntie is thick!’

Neve – I love you, my first great niece, and your parents are pretty okay too (but you already know that!)