Monday, January 29

Another Offer

Another call today - a friend from the writing group wants to go away for four days and needs someone to look after her two cats. We'll see. I know the house, and I'd be happy to do it, but I'm still not 100%. Anyway I've given a commitment to consider it over night and let her know tomorrow. I think it's amazing that there is so much house sitting around.

Thursday, January 25

Another possibility

A friend has suggested I look after her house - after the Lamb Island house sit. It is a house in Clayfield - northern suburb. Nice house, quiet street, wonderful outdoor area to sit and do my writing. No dog - just a lovely cat and a swimming pool. Sounds good to me.

Dates could be an issue, but we will have to wait and see.

Friday, January 19

Plans for next months

Well, I have accepted the housesit on Lamb Island - it is for 2 weeks, so I look forward to it. I hope my health has improved such that it will be more fruitful time than last time. In any case it should be a little cooler, and with any luck I shall be able to walk a bit more.

I finished the Manly house sit - lovely quiet place, but I must remember that I do not like windows without screens. The mozzies came in and for some reason I feel more secure with screens.

I've never felt particularly at risk when I have been on my own at a house sit, but I do recognise that it is a step "out of the ordinary", and not knowing neighbours etc it is isolating. I know that the owner had some "security concerns", but she wouldn't elaborate. It made me a little more alert.

Anyway, I had quiet nights, no problems, but it won't be on my list to do again.

Sunday, January 14

New House Sit

I received an email. Bella needs a room mate for the end of February. This is the housesit on Lamb Island. I'm still sorting it out - we have a few commitments and I'm trying to ensure that I have the time to get to Lamb Island. Oh, I love it there.

A day at the hospital

Our daughter had to go to the "Fracture Clinic" at one of the major hospitals, so as she cannot drive, I went with her. We arrived a little early, but that was OK, and she was called in to have her x-ray 10 minutes after appointment time. There was some confusion there as it was recorded that she had an injury to her elbow AND SHOULDER, that required x-ray. As the shoulder had no injury or pain, it was curious, and perhaps unnecessary. She was told that there had been several significant errors that day! It was a much longer wait before she saw the doctor.

I went in with her - thankfully, as I would have gone spare sitting in the waiting room for nearly 2 hours wondering what was going on, and she would have been fearful on her own. A doctor, possibly Chinese with poor English introduced herself to Janet. (Janet was handed a form later which set out to determine her needs and it asked if she needed an interpreter - she was tempted to add that she needed one to understand what the doctor was saying.) She started talking about the x-ray that was taken on the previous Wednesday - and was surprised to learn from our daughter that she had just had another x-ray. She disappeared.

At one stage she was looking at an x-ray, we could see clearly from our "vantage" point. J asked if it could be her elbow. I asked how many pictures were taken of her elbow, which she replied only one. There were many views of the particular elbow on the light screen, so we deduced correctly that it was someone else's x-ray.

We were close by the "working" area of the staff and curiously watched as at times some 7 staff (doctors, nurses, wardsman) stood doing nothing. Could there be better use of their time? We heard the Chinese doctor discussing J's situation with a senior doctor, and heard every word. The Chinese doctor's interpretation was quite different to what we had heard! When J asked a question the doctor looked blank, looked upwards, said nothing and disappeared!

She at one time held her arm out, as if in Nazi salute saying that J would have a splint to hold her arm in this fashion. We looked at each other and laughed. It seemed surreal. There was little communication of value, there was no explanation about the arm splint, and we sat there watching the parade of staff, few patients and much waste of time. Staff would appear and refer to J not by name, but as "the elbow."

At 3.30 pm I suggested that staff might be finishing at 4 pm and we'd be left "high and dry" if nothing was happening soon. J asked, and sure enough, they were winding down and yes, would be off duty at 4 pm. They talked about "Lawrence" who was to apply the splint to J's arm, and then referred to a girl who was busy in Intensive Care and would be available soon. I asked if it was "Florence" or "Lawrence" - humour that didn't work except for us.

There was more confusion and at a quarter to 4, gave her some paperwork, and instructions to go to the Rehab building for the splint. I might add that the English speaking senior doctor had shortly before come and explained things to J, in a manner that we had overheard earlier. It was helpful to get her questions answered, and we were given inustrctuions to get t Rehab.

Fortunately we found a staff member carrying a big body caste, and it appears she was from
Rehab so escorted us to "Florence" or "Lawrence". Actually it was Sue who appeared, and applied the splint. When we mentioned the name confusion she laughed. "Lawrence" was the admin officer, and in no way would have applied the needed splint.

It gives one great confidence in the health system here. We left at 4.30, paid the exorbitant fee for parking and went home. Oh, for a stiff drink!

We heard our Chinese/poor English doctor discuss the

Long Days

Our daughter is quite incapacitated since her accident. She is in a deal of pain, and unable to use her left hand, which of course is very limiting. She can shower as long as her arm is wrapped in plastic held in place by tape. Something she cannot do herself. She can put some of her own clothes on, but not all. The children, although quite understanding, are still frustrated that mummy can't open bottles, peel apples, and do things.

She did help them make jelly, so they fed themselves jelly and cream. They've been very very good.

My housesit is not far away, and although I am not 100% I have been able to do a few things.

Back at the house, the cat survives, and I haven't seen the possum. I wish it would rain as I've struggled using water from a pool to water the garden as much as I can. It's painful for me to do things as well. I didn't stay at the house on Saturday night, but I've called in to see that Slinky is OK and fed.

Thursday, January 11

The visit from the possum

Just outside the back door of the house at Manly is a cupboard. I think the door is always open. I've had a peep in. There's a bucket and mop, some household cleaning items, a row of shoes and a few bits and pieces of things.

Last night I had the back door open, and after a while I could hear this banging and crashing in the cupboard. My first thought was that it was the cat, Slinky, and I went to the cupboard and came face to face with a ringtail possum. We faced each other - our faces only 18 inches apart. We just stared at each other.

I chose to back off, and slowly inched my way back through the back door, which I shut so that the possum could not enter. Interestingly I wondered if a possum had been in the house during the day. There were a few things in the bathroom and kitchen that had fallen and I don't think there was any wind. The cat could have done it. I don't know.

Ps. our daughter is back home from hospital. A little sore! Actually her elbow was dislocated. So it was put back into place and sent home. We all have to wait on her now!

Wednesday, January 10

The accident

Fortunately not mine! I had a phone call at 5.30 am - our daughter had falled off her bike and broken her arm. I was up and dressed so I hopped in the car and raced over there. The ambulance came eventually, and she was taken to hospital and as I type this we are still waiting to hear what is happening. It was quite a nasty break and displacement on the left elbow, and she was in a lot of pain.

Happy soul is our daughter and maintained her sense of humour - which escalated when she was given pain killing injections and "laughing gas". She laughed, giggled and joked more than usual.

Perhaps her riding will be curtailed for a while - but I was so proud of her - riding 10 - 15 kms a day four days a week to get fit.

Exercise always bothers me. People who exercise are prone to accidents.

Tuesday, January 9

Slinky the Cat

At this Manly house there is only one animal - a rather lovely tabby cat called Slinky. I don't seem much of him, but he's always there for his breakfast, and at night when he's made keen for his scheduled can of cat food. He evenknows what cupboard it is in, and will put his head in to see what variety is on the menu!

A nice cat, and at times he's quite amorous. He'll fall at my feet, and rub my leg. He even got onto the table and rubbed up to the laptop. (Don't know what he thought of that!)

When I arrive at the end of the day he's there to greet me. I remember being very fond of cats as a child, but I'm less inclined to pat and cuddle them now, as they make me sneeze and my eyes have a tendency to water when cats are around. I'm taking it cautiously.

The Word is Spreading

I'm not sure how much of a "career" I want to make out of "house sitting". Already I have had several more "expressions of interest" from folk who want me to look after their homes while they go overseas etc. It seems I could house sit almot 52 weeks of the year. But do I want to do it? I appreciate the quiet nights and the peace during the day to write, but what is it I really want to achieve.

Anyway I'm not committing to any more, though may do a short one in February, not far from here.

I'm still not feeling 100% so have not ventured for my usual walk, although I went for a short distance last year. I like walking in the early evening and seeing houses at night. I'm not into sticky beaking but I like the way some are lit up at night and I note that some look far more attractive with their lights on, than they look during the day.

There's a lot of rubbish in the side walk too, stuff that the council is planning to clear up, but many folk thought they were due to pick it up some time ago, and the streets have been pretty cluttered with all sorts of rubbish for weeks.

Sunday, January 7

Quiet nights

I'm still suffering from Shingles, and have stayed at the house each night, but during the day I return home. The plan is to stay at the quiet house during the day and catch up on my writing, but I've been in too much pain to concentrate on the writing. In any case, I had to set up a blog and I needed my other computer to do it. I followed a program that I found and now recommend. You'll find information about it in this blog post Click here

I love the peace at night. Little traffic. I've been able to sleep mostly for four hours at a time. Better than at home. And I can read in bed which I don't do at home because it disturbs someone. Especially the dog!

Yesterday, (Saturday) I had the two grandchildren to look after and we went to the new Portside to see the Pacific Star readying for afternoon departure. The girls loved seeing the big ship up close. Later we went to watch it go under the Gateway Bridge.

Friday, January 5

First Night at Oceania

I was due to move in on Wednesday and duly arrived, only to find that a guy who was supposed to have moved out was still there. He has moved into a room under the house, but was supposed to be gone. I didn't stay. I'm very aware not to put myself in circustances that might put me at risk. I didn't know him, and I refused to stay.
I moved in late yesterday. (Thursday). I'm still feeling a little unwell, so a bit slow. I had a bit to eat, and went to bed early. I like being on my own as I can read when I want, play music that I want when I want. I was awake early. I think the cat tried to get in a window that I had shut, and it bonked it's head. It is OK. Found another window. I was up early. Had some fruit juice and meal replacement and milk for breakfast. Oceania Tce is one of the smart streets of Manly. Lota House the huge aged care establishment has the best spot surrounded by a couple of acres of bushland. The house I am looking after is opposite.

I went for a slow meandering walk along the road and then did a loop coming back along Brittania St. Some absolutely fabulous houses here. Stunning. Side by side with an old house that is in dire need of refurbishment. There are fabulous views from the houses on the high side of Oceania - right out over Moreton Bay.