Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Take The Dice

Everywhere we look we are surrounded by numbers! Here's a few important 'numbers' from my world!

I was cleaning up today when I came across these dice and they made me think of my sweet niece Madeleine as she just loves to play board games!

I rely on my calendar to keep me organised; without it I'd forget appointments, birthdays, assignment due dates... Of course the key is to actually 'look' at the calendar as I've sent out late birthday cards a few times recently when I haven't checked the calendar regularly enough!

Money! What can I say? There's just never enough!

A birthday invitation. This is just full of numbers - age, date,
the address, the time and the rsvp phone number!

Concerts are one of my absolute favourite things in the whole world!
I always keep the stubs and put them in my diary!

My university schedule for this semester. I was working on an assignment today when I realised I hadn't filled in the assignment dates on my calendar! I have now though!

A reminder that Sunday is almost over and it's back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pop Trash Movie

The weeks ahead are going to be hard for us as my stepfathers illness is progressing rapidly. Bob used to fluctuate between knowing who Mum is and confusing her for a nurse but the lucid moments seem to have disappeared completely and he often asks her 'do I know you' or 'what time does your shift start'?

With Lewy Bodies the nights are worse than the daytime as he often hallucinates, sometimes that there's snakes or giant flies in the room, but the hardest bit is that he pleads with Mum to take him home so he can go back to his wife.

Anyone who has dealt with dementia knows that it is a cruel disease and Lewy Bodies is even worse. For my mother it's like looking after a baby as she has to shower and dress Bob and even feed him sometimes, and yet she never complains or says she doesn't want to do it any more. In fact it's exactly the opposite, when we mention putting Bob in a home (which two Doctors have advised), she refuses and says she would rather keep him at home and look after him herself.

This morning my niece Madeleine went for a walk with Bob in the garden and I was so proud of her as she is only 9. Some of my older nieces are staying away as they feel scared or uncomfortable as they can't understand what Bob is saying and they don't know what to say back - but not Madeleine! Beautiful Miss Madeleine didn't pull away when he took her outside and whether Bob knew who she was or not is irrelevant as she spent time with him, which is exactly what he wanted and needed.

Earlier this evening Madeleine and her friend Martha watched the new Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus live concert TV special, which was in 3D! I imagine a lot of households in Australia with pre-teen girls would have been watching the same thing as it was talked about by young girls everywhere - in fact my neighbour asked me to tape it for his daughters as they don't have that channel and they didn't want to miss out!

And just to keep the kids watching the same channel the concert was played again immediately afterwards, sans 3D. I bet it won't be long before its released on DVD!

Madeleine and Martha watching Hannah Montana in 3D

Sunday, July 20, 2008

All She Wants Is... (to see Thirsty Merc)

Unfortunately I embarrass easily and sometimes the fear of embarrassment stops me from doing things I want to do - like going to see a band perform by myself!

All last week I tried to find someone to come with me to see Aussie rock band Thirsty Merc to no avail. Not only were they performing at my local club but they're about to go and record their third album so they won't be touring again for ages so I just *had* to see them live!

After the begging and pleading failed I realised I was either going to miss out on the show or go by myself, neither was an option I was happy with so I made a deal with myself that if there were tickets available on the day of the show I'd go by myself and if it was sold out then it wasn't meant to be.

Guess what my friends? There were still a few tickets left for sale (although by the afternoon it had sold out) so I bought my ticket over the phone and spent the whole day fretting about it!

A couple of my friends told me they'd been to concerts by themselves and I'd have a good time anyway but I was dubious about that right up until the doors opened! As it turns out I got chatting to a lovely couple who have just moved to the area and were on their first night out together since relocating from Sydney.

Despite feeling like a Neville-no-mates before leaving home I didn't spend more than 5 minutes by myself and I had a brilliant night - and even exchanged email addresses with my new friends!

Sometimes Wollongong cops a bagging for being in the sticks but I have to say the crowd at the gig were so enthusiastic even the support acts had a full dance floor of people, which is pretty rare as a lot of people only turn up for the main event! I've been to a lot of shows at clubs where there are tables right up to the front of the stage, which kills the atmosphere as there is no place to dance or jump around like an idiot (of course I'm not referring to myself in that instance), but thankfully on Friday night the tables had been moved to the back of the venue so people were really able to enjoy themselves!

Rai, Sean, Phil & Karl - meeting the happy punters after the gig!

Rai and a very happy fan!

I may not have had anyone to take a photo of me with the band but at least I got a CD signed!

While the boys do some killer rock songs they can also do beautiful ballads - multi talented I say! This is an acoustic version of 20 Good Reasons, which I think is beautiful.

So all in all I had a brilliant night and not a hint of embarrassment! Next time someone is playing at the club I won't hesitate to go by myself, and who knows I might make even more friends!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The 7th of July was Belle's birthday; she would have been 6.

It's hard following your normal routine when your mind is full of questions... why did it happen to us, what would she look like, what would her interests be???

The only thing we can do is honour the beautiful soul that she was so family and friends spent Belle's sixth birthday at the local animal park - just what a six year old would want to do on their birthday!


Belle's friend Inari

Tassie Devil

Ashanti the meercat

Meercat Lisa

Hungry Deer

Maddy feeding the deer

An inquisitive Llama

The Crocs

Lazy Kangaroo's sunning themselves

A koala doing what koala's do best... sleeping!

So while the day was hard we kept ourselves busy and it ended up being better than it could have been, though we all missed Belle who was constantly in our thoughts.

Our lovely Bella; forever 3

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Some weeks are harder than others and this week it has been an effort just to get out of bed in the morning. My stepfather's health is deteriorating rapidly and it has finally dawned on my Mother that he will eventually have to go into a home. Until this week she was convinced that she could look after him herself but his hallucinations have increased, a symptom of Lewy Bodies Disease, and he no longer recognises her anymore. I can only imagine how awful it must be for her - and for him too as he thinks his wife has left him and that he is living with a carer.

On top of all that Isabelle's birthday is Monday... she would have been six and I wish with all my heart she was still here to celebrate it with us. Despite her absence we will celebrate her birthday anyway and honour the memory of all that she gave us and all that she was.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom this week as my niece Madeleine provided us with a high point today. Maddy entered an art competition for the Children's Hospital at Westmead and her picture was successful in making it through the first round, which meant it was framed and hung at Penrith Regional Gallery.

The official opening of 'Operation Art 2008' was held today so we went to the gallery to see her picture and she was so proud to see it hanging on the wall!.

Miss Madeleine in front of her picture

Maddy's artwork

Maddy with her Certificate

Maddy's brother Mason had his first operation at Westmead Hospital and he's booked in next month for the second major operation so the competition had special meaning for Madeleine as 50 artworks become part of Westmead's permanent art collection.

Madeleine and Mason

The 3 M's - Maddy, Mason and me!

The proud parents - Danielle and Noel with Maddy and Mason

After a long day out what's a boy to do but have a sleep in the car on the way home!