Prattle, prattle, blah blah blah

Cute, eh? Bali 2017 © PJ Croft 2021

The seasons they are a’changin’.


When I first moved out here, to the “Deep North” in 2013, I was plagued by very weak digital radio reception with lots of fading. I bought auxiliary antennas with some success, but not much.

Then about three years ago, it improved greatly, to the point where I thought, “No problems.” The fading was gone. Great.

But about three weeks ago, something changed and now the fading is back. I can hardly get DAB+ reception on my bedside radio any more. It’s not the radio, the reception has deteriorated on my car DAB+ receiver as well, whereas a few months ago I was remarking how good it was.

At first I thought it might be some quirk of the change of season, with the sun angle interfering, but I’d expect that to vary with the time of day and to have gone away by now. I believe there’s a repeater for these northern suburbs up here somewhere. I wonder if there’s some problem with it. This is just VHF reception at about 206MHz, so it’s not exotic or difficult.

I think I’ll have to do some Googling and try to contact someone. It’s quite possible that there may be a fault in the repeater, but like me, everyone assumes it will come good and doesn’t speak up.


Damn, I’ve discovered another drug that I need, but causes me insomnia. I’ve got some Prodeine, a mix of paracetemol and codeine, that was prescribed for me around 2017. I need it for the chronic pain in my feet from diabetic neuropathy, and also an ongoing ache in my left foot from the pronation. It works! It’s very slow to act, taking around three hours before I suddenly realise it ain’t hurting any more.

But I’m sure now that it causes me insomnia. I hardly slept at all last night, same as the night before, when I’d taken the Prodeine both nights. Normally I can sleep quite well.

So that’s another drug that causes insomnia for me (the other is Tramadol). Damn. I need this pain relief. I take Panadol Extra but it has almost no effect.

I’d be interested to try cannabidiol oil, which in theory we can buy over the counter now, but the cost! I believe it costs more than $200 for a month’s supply. I can’t see myself paying that. Oh well.


The rotten scandals in Canberra parliament house are amazing and depressing. These guys are supposed to be getting on with the job of government, but mostly they are either rootin’, tootin’ or shootin’. They cannot be putting their full attention to their portfolios and departments.

The man in question at the moment condemned himself by his own writings and words when he was in law school at UWA in the 1980s. He wrote things in the yearbooks that he should have been ashamed of at the time and was known for his arrogance and misogyny then. Now it’s come back to bite him. He’s also been through two failed marriages, with the devastating consequences on his children. He was accused of another lot of bad behaviour last year, and now this. Yet he’s the Federal Attorney-General! How can anyone deal with him with any sense of decorum or respect?

Never forget, this guy was responsible for most of the unlawful Robodebt scheme that wrecked the lives of tens of thousands of the weakest and most vulnerable, and led directly or indirectly to hundreds of suicides! For my overseas readers, this Liberal (Conservative, right wing) government is wedded to the idea that if people are poor, it’s their own fault and if they are getting social security, they are probably cheating the system by understating their income.

So this nasty government came up with a scheme of using the department’s computer records to make welfare recipients prove their incomes, from all sources, going back seven years. They had to try to come up with pay slips and tax records, by contacting multiple previous employers if they could. If they couldn’t prove their incomes (could you?), then the government used an averaging method, based on assumptions, and hit the weakest, poorest in society with massive, multi-thousand dollar bills, payable on demand.

But slowly, over a period of years, a Melbourne law firm gathered evidence and led a class action law suit that finally proved this scheme to be UNLAWFUL! Yes, the attorney general, the chief law officer of the land, was running an unlawful scheme that led to hundreds of deaths. The commonwealth government is having to pay back over $1.2bn of debts to these poor people. It’s a bit late for the people who killed themselves.

This caused huge distress throughout the community and as I said, led hundreds of people to commit suicide! The head of the department at the time and the main instigator of this scheme is the man who is now pleading for us to believe him and to give him the benefit of the doubt! The gall! The sheer hypocrisy.

This is the most corrupt government in the history of this country. If you need any evidence, see It’s shocking, absolutely shocking! How can you vote for this slimy, stinking, criminal mob?


Early bird

Great shot. Not mine. Perth city last week. Photo © ABC.

Phew, quite humid today, but very pleasant. No rain.


I voted today. Yes, eight days early. I had been thinking that it’s walking distance to Butler Primary School, which is the usual polling place, but I wasn’t looking forward to the walk, then shuffling along in a long line, then walking back again.

But when I checked the places where I could vote early, I found that there’s one right across the car park in the main street, right here. Easy walk. And when I went there, there was no queue at all, straight to a clerk’s position and bingo, it was all done in five minutes.

Even the voting is easy – this time Labor has the donkey vote in the bag. They have the number one spot (for John Quigley, the A-G) and they want us to number 1-2-3-4-5-6 straight down the form. That puts the Liberal candidate at number 3 but that’s better than an anti-vaxxer or a WAXIT (secessionist) or some other looney. So that’s good.

For my overseas readers, we have compulsory voting in Australia, and I’m all for it. Compulsory voting is not quite correct – it’s simply compulsory to attend, have your name ticked off the list and take your voting slips. What you do after that is up to you. If you want to leave them blank, or scribble all over them, or write some angry obscene words on them, you can. As long as you attend, get marked as such, and put your slips in the box, that’s compulsory voting. It’s not hard.

Anyway, even if that’s too much for you and you don’t attend, the fine is only $20.

Compulsory voting is important! Just look at the USA and the UK. In the USA, only about 46% of people bother to vote (I think that’s right). That means a government or president can be voted in by only 24% of the population and candidates or parties with big budgets can use their financial resources to effectively buy votes Also, and I find this incredible, almost unbelievable, state governments can pass “voter suppression” laws. These are laws that require people to have certain documents or fit certain legal requirements in order to vote. Guess who these laws are aimed at – yes, black people and unemployed or low income, low intelligence people. What a rotten country.

In the UK, they have “first past the post” voting, meaning the candidate with a simple majority of the votes wins. That means that if there are only five candidates, for example, the candidate who gets 20.1% of the votes wins, even though 79.9% of the voters didn’t want him or her. This is ridiculous. Britain is supposed to be one of the leading countries in the world, yet the iniquities and inequalities in the UK boggle my mind. Not to mention the blundering and bungling in this time of COVID19. Thousands of people have died because of Boris and the Tories’ ineptitude.

No, “compulsory” voting is the best system, least open to corruption. Long live.


After I voted I went next door and booked myself an appointment for Saturday 17 April. What appointment? That’s the day of our high school reunion and since I’m going all dressed up, I’m having a complete makeup job. Yeah, knock ’em dead.

I also said I think I’d better do a trial, so I’m going to make another appointment for a week or two from now. The cost is $85, about what I expected. But when you think it only lasts one day before you wash it all off, phew…


I’m certainly not going out much. Look at the lack of activity in the second part of the month. Saving money on fuel.

And Bam! Thank you ma’am

© Getty Images

What a change. Most of today was a normal summer day, warm 30deg, calm, light wispy clouds. Then 60-90mins ago, the clouds came in from the N-E, and lightning and thunder started and rain started, too. Yesterday we had 23mm in the 24hrs, which is above the 19mm average for the whole of March. This was the rainfall radar map at 6pm.

I’m located between Ocean Reef and Yanchep, between the 50km and 100km circles.

I love this weather. I like things changeable, not boring old sunshine all day.


Very interesting that the federal government cabinet minister is going to front up to a press conference tomorrow and deny the accusations levelled against him by the woman who killed herself last year, after she alleged he raped her in 1988.

Well, he would deny it, wouldn’t he? I’m afraid I’ll believe the woman and all her friends who knew the story and the details she told. Why would she commit suicide if there was nothing in it?

As to who the guy is, they were at school or uni in Adelaide in the early ’80s. All you need to do is search on “cabinet minister+Adelaide+1985” or similar, and in my mind only one name comes up. However, I’ll be very interested to see who it is tomorrow. I’m probably wrong, but that just illustrates why the real culprit must out himself, so that his colleagues are not unjustly accused. What a shocking, sad, awful story.


Oh, Windows! So much variety. It works properly one week, then the next week something changes and you have to work out what it is. I’m plagued for the last few months with long delays accessing the disk drives, i.e. i click on a drive, or right click, and I have to wait 20-30secs before it will show the contents. I didn’t do anything to make this change!! It’s obviously the disk powering down to conserve power but I don’t want that.

The latest new thing is that whenever I move the mouse pointer near the edge of the screen, or move it quickly, it moves sluggishly for a second or two and goes bing-bong, the sound. Why?? I don’t know what I’ve done or how to fix it. Grrrr.

Wham! Whack!

Cairns stormy sky 1987 © PJ Croft 2021

Wow, what a change. Right on cue, 1 March, the season has switched from summer to autumn, almost winter in fact. The sky is clouded over, it’s quite cool enough to be wearing a pullover and it’s been raining, a lot.

About an hour ago there was a flash of lightning and less than a second later came the thunderclap. That was close. But apart from another weak flash five minutes later, no more. Odd. Anyway, what a change. I slept all night on top of the bedclothes with the fan running, but I wouldn’t do that now. Too chilly. And my washing’s on the line too, getting a good rainwater rinse.


I’m feeling a bit depressed at the number of posts I’m seeing on F/B and in all the news reports of people I know or knew who have been struck down with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It seems to be much more prominent these days, although it’s probably because it’s out in the open now, whereas it used to be hidden by relatives.

This is a serious disease. I’m sure there are many researchers working as hard as they can and as funds permit to find a cure. Let’s hope one day we’ll be able to vaccinate against it as easily as we can for measles, pneumonia or shingles, not to mention COVID.


“It’s one thing to sit in cabinet, the ministry, or the party room with colleagues who have no apparent compunction about using public money for partisan gain. It is quite another to sit next to a man who is accused of raping a schoolgirl but won’t stand up and face up.”

These words are written by Michael Bradley in He’s their legal affairs writer and is a lawyer himself. He’s referring to the allegations against a sitting cabinet minister in this damnable federal Liberal government. One of the sixteen men sitting at the cabinet table has been accused of anally raping a sixteen year old girl in 1988, before he became an MP. She suffered the consequences so badly that she killed herself last year, but not before making a written complaint to police.

Unfortunately, her death means the likelihood of a prosecution succeeding died with her. However, the charge still stands and means that one of the most prominent men in the Liberal government committed that rape and is responsible for the death of this woman last year. Yet he stays silent! And so does the prime minister, who must know who he is. From the article, the crime was committed in Adelaide when they were in education together, so that narrows it down. Some journalist will out this guy sooner or later.

What will happen then? The government lost the vaccination-sceptic and climate science denier Craig Kelly to the cross benches last week, and so lost their one seat majority. If this rapist is forced to resign – and he should leave parliament – they will lose the balance of power. Therefore there is a strong incentive for the PM to hush things up, but how long can that last? What a crap mob.


This is a head strap for the CPAP mask I wear to bed. In Australia, it costs me $65 for a replacement. Daylight robbery! But from I can buy it for A$4.55 + $1.38 postage. Guess which one I choose. They’re identical as far as I can see. That means ResMed in Sydney has been ripping me off for the last 20 years. I need to replace it about once a year, so that’s 20x($65-$5.93) = $1,181 I’ve been overcharged. Bloody robbers, ResMed.

Likewise the mask itself. From ResMed I paid around $250 for an Ultra Mirage mask in 2008. But —

From, A$38.54 + $15.62 post = A$54.16, roughly one fifth of ResMed’s price. I have actually bought one of these. ResMed, no wonder you’re doing so well on the stock market, ripping off your customers like this. And I haven’t got on to the blowers – average price in Australia, $1500, but on from China, around $450 + $6 postage. Another saving of $1,000. I bought one locally last year. I felt I had to buy the genuine article as I was nervous about quality and warranty, but I still think we’re being badly ripped off.


Aaaaarrrrgh, I am fed up with noisy, rasping, thundering motorbikes and cars. One has just gone by and it drowned out the music for 10 seconds or more. Yet to do anything about it I would have to have number plates and dates and times. Not feasible. Grrrr.

Jibber jabber

Beach and sky © PJ Croft 2021

Wow, I can sense the weather changing. Nice day, but windy and clouds coming over, with the forecast of rain on Tuesday – Thursday. Bye bye summer. Still warm, though, with highs in the 30s. I’m not complaining.


Think you’re going to get vaccinated? I had not one, but two vaccinations yesterday. Not for COVID19, unfortunately, but one for pneumonia and the other for shingles or herpes zoster. I didn’t know you could be inoculated against that, but I’m happy with it. They told me I might feel a bit “off” after that one, but I didn’t notice any effects.

I asked about the COVID vaccination and they said they (the Brighton Beach Medical Centre) don’t know much so far, but they’ll let me know when they get any information. Being over 70, with diabetes and CLL I’m in the top risk category so I should be well up in the queue. Not that I want to be pushy. I’m not worried and I can happily wait my turn.

I saw the cardiologist on Thursday, too, and found that I should have been on aspirin since my stent operation on 25 January, but since it wasn’t explained, I haven’t been. He looked a bit shocked and told me he wants me on it today! Sounds important. OK, no problem.

Apart from that he measured my blood pressure – 130/54. No problems there. I asked what the low diastolic number means. Apparently it signifies very flexible blood vessels, that is, not stiff and calcified. That’s great. I mentioned that I’ve seen it drop below 50 many times when I’m in hospitals. Likewise my cholesterol is always low to normal. No problems there either. I’m lucky.


I finished The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. It’s lucky it’s not a long book because I don’t rate it too highly. He time-zooms on to a trillion years into the future where the sun is turning into a red giant and almost all life on Earth is extinct, except for a slimy sea anemone creature. The problem with this is that the Sun is forecast to die down in the tens of billions of years in the future, nowhere near a trillion. However, given that these ideas hadn’t been properly formed in 1890, he was quite prescient.

He zooms back through time to his house and finds that little time has passed. His friends are there for a dinner party (all males, hey hey) and the book is his exposition of his travels through time to them. It’s written in the typical flowery prose of the period, but it’s quite pleasant reading and I added a couple of words to my vocabulary thereby.

But the conclusion is that a few days later, he sets off on another time journey and three years later, he’s still missing and is not heard from again. The end. I’m glad I read it, but I sorely wished for more science and a better story.


There’s increasing chatter about international travel being opened up earlier than previously expected, perhaps in October this year. The problem is that the destinations I would like to visit are virus hotspots. I mean Bali and the UK. Even if I’m vaccinated, it’s not guaranteed immunity. We’ll be getting the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine, I think, which is only 72-75% effective. I’ll be happy to have that, but I won’t take any risks. I don’t want to have to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine at my own expense, either.

So I can’t see myself travelling until 2022, at least.

Lies, lies, and more lies

Trigg Beach, WA

Beautiful day, 39deg and the same tomorrow. I can hardly believe this is the last week of summer. Noooooo!! I don’t want it to end. The sun is rising later, 6.00am, and setting earlier, 6.59pm. It’s noticeable. Still the temps this week are (Mon-Sun) 39, 39, 32, 36, 36, 36, 36. I shouldn’t complain.


The headline is because I’ve been reading the news about the rape that happened in Parliament House in Canberra in 2019 and the lies being told now in trying to cover up who knew what, and when. Three more women have now come forward and told new stories about the guy, and how they felt pressured to keep quiet, and there seems to be a pattern of lies being told about who was told, who was not told and so on. Luckily journalists are right onto the story, digging, digging the facts and showing the prime minister to be a liar. We knew he was anyway.


On top of that, there’s a new story today, that the Liberal government of Malcolm Turnbull lied about the cost saving of dumbing down our NBN, the National Broadband Network, by around $10 billion! It was always obvious to me anyway, but I’m glad to see it being exposed.

In case you didn’t know, the original Labor government plan in 2004 (I think) was for a fibre-optic network for high speed data connections (up to 1Gb/s) to almost every house and business premise in the country, within reason. (Satellite and fixed wireless for areas where it’s impractical to run cables.)

When the Libs took power and Malcolm Turnbull became PM, he had to have a different plan, and so he ordered that the whole network be redesigned to take the fibre-optic cables only to junction boxes in the streets, connecting from there to existing copper wires previously used for phones. He touted this as saving 10 to 20 $billion and taking five years less to do.

Well, the fact is that the savings were never there, costs blew out to at least the original estimate and the network is still not finished in 2021. It was obvious five years ago that Turnbull’s plan was bullshit and now, I hope, the figures are coming into view.

Unbelievable! The only reason Turnbull (Malcolm Turncoat, so named because he abandoned his climate change principles) ordered these changes and cost cuts was so that he had a point of difference to Labor. Therefore I have no hesitation in branding him, The Man Who Crippled Australia’s Broadband Network. I revile him.


A bit of good news: a friend has sent me a link to an article that says Telstra is implementing a software solution to scam calls. It’s trained to recognise the characteristics of a scam call and block it. They say they blocked more than a million calls last year and are now blocking up to half a million calls per day! Hooray! I have noticed a lessening of the number of spurious calls these days but I put it down to phases of the moon. Telstra stands up automated platform to block scam calls – Telco/ISP – iTnews


I’ve had a visit this morning from two ladies from Silver Chain. Two? It looks as if my request for “someone to have a chat” has finally paid off. One of them was the Claire that I mentioned last week, who organises this sort of thing, and the other was a lady called Kim who lives five minutes up the road and will be my “chat lady” or chatterer. We talked for about an hour today, with both of them, but Kim will come next week, just to visit and talk. We’ll probably go across to the Dome, not sure yet. She’s from the UK, Kent, and I’m sure we have plenty to talk about. I’ve been to Kent a couple of times.

The other side to this is that Claire wants to recruit me as a volunteer for social contact as well. In our talks last week we got onto the subject of older people and using technology. I said often think about older people who never had to use computers before and how difficult it must be for many people. It’s really an essential skill these days. Banking in particular is mostly on-line now, with bill paying in particular being part of that. If you don’t feel comfortable using a PC, how do you cope paying bills?

So it’s occurred to me to try to pass on my knowledge about this. I have, in the past, thought of going to the aged care home near here and asking if they would like me to run classes. I’m thinking I would want a bit of payment, maybe $10 per hour per participant? I’d have to tell Centrelink, of course.

One thing that’s often occurred to me, though, is that teaching someone to use internet banking would almost inevitably involve revealing passwords, or at least showing how to write them down or use a password manager. This is a bit dangerous. If the person somehow made mistakes and perhaps “misplaced” some money, it could get messy for me and could generate accusations and ill will. It might need a disclaimer to be signed before starting.


Bali, 2017

I was browsing a map of the Sanur area of Bali where I’ve stayed many times and know quite well. It’s very noticeable how cheap the hotels have become. My favourite, the Taksu, used to cost $65 to $85 per night. It’s now down to $30. How I wish I could take advantage – but I can’t. First, we’re not allowed to travel there, and second, I could not go there due to the COVID pandemic. Even if the locals declared it safe, I could never relax and enjoy the stay, because Indonesia tends to be a bit too relaxed about these kinds of things. No, I think it will be another three, four, five years before we can think of going there. Only once the vaccines are in wide use and are proven to work.


Speaking of vaccinations, I got a text this morning asking me to come in to the GP for an annual pneumonia vaccination. I was surprised, I didn’t know it was being done. OK, fine with me.

Busy week this week: the visitors this morning; podiatrist tomorrow; Wally Lunch Wednesday (Wally’s our school mate who has MS – I’ll be going to this lunch fully dressed up and made up, and I’m expecting many ribald comments from these sports-fan old high-school mates); cardiologist at 12.15pm Thursday in Mt Lawley, followed by another GP appt at 2pm; and finally the pneumonia shot at 1.45pm Friday. Crumbs! Appointments every day. I might have to retire.

At least they have some excuse

Isn’t that enticing? It’s Bremer Bay, WA, a bit too far to go I’m afraid. Photo: ABC

This is what I mean by the headline:

Sicks is right!

They do look pretty sick, don’t they? Fascutis? Busters? But after all, their native language is Chinese so they’re excused. Anyway, if I were a Gen Z or Millennial, being called sick is a compliment, isn’t it?


However, I’m amazed and disgusted at the lazy, ignorant and incredibly low standard of written English in this country, right here. People don’t look at what they write, they don’t check it, they can’t write proper grammar, they can’t spell, they don’t understand syntax. They just don’t care!

I’m on this rampage after spending a few hours on Facebook and the Nextdoor website. I feel dirty when I’ve looked at the garbage people write; unclean, contaminated, stained by their sloppy, careless howlers. How can people care so little about how they’re seen?

I refuse to drop my standards. I learnt to read and write from good books and I’m proud of the way I write. I look down on misspellers, grammar fools, syntax idiots.


Speaking of Chinese, would you like to try their latest tools?

Ingrown toenails? Time on your hands? High threshold of pain? Try these high tech solutions for your ingrown toenails. Just go to 🙂


My last book finished is My Place, by the local writer Sally Morgan. I was a little disappointed because before I started it, I was under the impression that it was a biography of the woman who married Ernie Dingo. I’ve heard her talk on radio and it was a very, very interesting story.

But that’s not this book. Sally Morgan was born right here in Perth and lived in Manning (a suburb just south of Perth city) for most of her life as described in this story. She’s still with us, I don’t mean to imply that she’s died. But it’s the story of how she grew up not realising that she was Aboriginal, thinking that her slightly darker skin was Indian, from being from India. Only slowly did she learn of her heritage, despite denials and prevarications mainly from her grandmother but also her mother.

As she learnt more, and gained a degree in psychology from UWA along the way, she determined to find the complete story and write a book about it. It’s a story of how “natives” like her gran and mother were employed almost as slaves at the huge pastoral stations in the Pilbara and Kimberley. However, many of the relationships were close and kind, and many children were born of relationships between the white male station owners and the Aboriginal women.

It’s a thick book, 450 pages or more of small type and to be honest, I skipped ahead in a few places, but I’m glad I finished it. It’s a well regarded book and I can see why. It’s nothing to do with Ernie Dingo, though. I’ll have to dig a bit to find that one.


My current book is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, that classic of science fiction. It’s a slim book, less than 200 pages, I think. Despite knowing of it for most of my life, I’ve only now got around to reading it.

I’m only 2/3 of the way through and despite the flowery prose, it’s holding my attention, even if putting me to sleep as intended. It’s set in about 1890, I think, telling the tale of a London well-to-do gentleman (he must be, to be able to afford a big house, servants and a laboratory) who invents a machine that enables him to travel forward in time, to the future, the year 8021207 to be precise.

There he lands in a world of little people, small in stature that is, who live in a lush garden world and who seem to have no apparent work or means of production of their food or clothing. Except for the abundant fruits of the gardens.

But his time machine disappears and he is forced to search for it. In doing so he discovers an underground world inhabited by what seems to be a separate species, the Morlocks, dark adapted, with large eyes and who try to capture him. He escapes, but realises that these subterranean creatures do the work producing the clothing that the upper world people wear.

I’m at the point where he’s finding another group of people at the moment. It strongly reminds me of episodes of Dr Who. Stay tuned for the finale.


Urrrgggh, I’m finding that sitting all day is producing pain in my left buttock, radiating down my left leg and into my foot. Luckily it’s not sharp pain, just an ache, but unless I take all the weight off that left side, it hurts. But try sitting with all your weight on the right side for a while. It’s too hard.

Therefore I’ve fallen for an ad of F/B for a kind of foam cushion:

Blue Cloud cushion.

It’s coming from the USA, home of big bums. It costs about US$50 so it better be good.

Aaarrrrrgh, done it again

My distress is because it looks as if I’ve killed a $200 car battery again. I only replaced it about six months ago.

I haven’t used the Honda MDX for a few months while it’s had the DVD player hanging from the roof lining. I was gunna get onto it, honest Danny. But time slipped by and I must assume it was powered up in some way, draining the battery. I’ve had the battery on charge for 24 hours so far but it’s not showing any signs of life (showing only 1.4V). Damn, it was new last year and cost more than $200. There’s nothing for it but to buy another one. Damn, damn, damn. I’m a fool. What am I? A fool!


I had an interesting experience today. I had a visit from a Silver Chain lady, who I was told was “social support”. I thought she was here to “have a chat” as they offer. But not exactly, she was just gathering information about my needs – this is the third time this has happened in the past six months or so.

Anyway, she had a fairly strong Scottish accent and in the course of talking, her name turned out to be Lawrie. She was born in the Shetlands but grew up in Edinburgh and has emigrated out here.

The thing is, Mum’s mother, my grandmother, came from a Lawrie family from Scotland via South Australia in the early 20th century. I’ve only become more aware of this since I’ve been doing the MyHeritage family tree. I kinda knew it earlier in my life, but not well.

The other thing is, as I looked at this woman, it was almost as if I was looking at my own face. She looked familiar and we seemed to have an awful lot of things in common; likes, dislikes, interests, eating and drinking habits, health issues (she’d recently had a heart attack and a stent inserted) and so on.

We talked for quite a while, nearly two hours and at the end, she said, “Is there anything you want to ask?” I said, “Yes, will you go out with me, could we get together?” Bit bold! I was attracted. But she said she already has a partner, so no. Oh well. But that was quite unusual for me.

So, no result, and she said it will probably be a few months before I see any visit from a “chatterer”. Crumbs, since I saw the offer in a Silver Chain ad more than a year ago, I’ve asked three times if I can have a visit from someone to chat to, with no result. I’ve lost confidence that anything will happen. It does depend on volunteers, I suppose, so I can’t complain.


Yes, folks, step right up for this year’s bargain – the NSHS 2020 Reunion thrown in absolutely FREE
with the 2021 NSHS Class of ’64 Reunion!

Virus permitting, it’s on again

Saturday 17 April 2021

This is what I’m doing at the moment – sending out around 200 emails and collecting the replies. We usually get about 45 including partners and spouses. It’s very popular.

Another milestone

A picture that got past Facebook’s censorship. Balinese schoolgirls in 1941. No wonder two of the three guys are smiling. What’s wrong with the guy on the left?

Why has the font changed? This WordPress is a heap of crap. So different from other word processor software. It’s not a word processor, of course, it’s blogging software, but word processing is a big part of it, the main part. Why can’t they follow the same conventions as real word processors?

OK, it seems to only be in compose mode that the font has changed. Weird.


I turned 74 yesterday, another milestone, or should that be millstone? Mum died at 73 and Dad at 78. The 70s are ominous years, in other words. I feel the need to prepare for my death. I’ve remade my will recently, just to get it up to date. I contacted a funeral company a couple of months ago about buying a pre-paid funeral, but their price is too high and I haven’t tried any others yet. Must do so.

Also, the idea of an Advance Health Directive is in the news a few days ago. I was asked if I have one at the Mount Hospital recently, and although I have all the necessary paperwork (in the form of PDFs downloaded from the web), it’s so complex that I haven’t made a start. It will require answers to be supplied by my doctor and it would need a “long consultation” to do it, I think. I know, what about making a resolution to do it today! That would be revolutionary.


That’s the thing: I’m suffering from a chronic, ongoing lack of get up and go. I had brekky with a couple of mates yesterday and they both agreed that they’re feeling the same, a loss of the energy to get things done that we used to have. Mind you, one is 83 and the other, although only 70, suffers from chronic pain and depression, so we’re not exactly set up to be bundles of energy.


I saw him yesterday about the cyst on my right temple. The Aldara cream doesn’t seem to have done much good, as far as I can see, and he agreed. He’s referred me to a surgeon to cut it out, or he suggested that a laser might be used. It’s quite sore now.


My endless search for the perfect car has me fixated on the Peugeot 407 coupe now. There’s a beautiful V6 twin-turbo diesel 2006 model in Ballarat, Victoria at the moment with distinctive maroon leather:

Boring silver paint. I don’t know why people choose such a dull colour when there are so many other excellent colours available.
But being in Victoria, with lockdowns and hard borders, it would be too difficult at the moment. I’m just daydreaming.

I’ve just had an SMS from my neighbour. She’s a strong Liberal supporter and has a sign in her garden for the Liberal candidate for this location in the upcoming state election on 13 March. It’s a hopeless cause, of course. Labor are going to steamroll the Libs. But the local branch office phoned me a week ago asking if I’d hand out how-to-vote cards. I said I can’t, because I can’t stay standing for long periods, but when they asked me if I’ll have a sign in my garden for John Quigley, my ALP local member, I said yes, gladly.

So now we’re two neighbours with competing signs, cancelling each other out. 🙂 My neighbour says she realises they’re going to lose, but wants her candidate elected because she’s a woman. Sorry, that’s not a sufficient reason.


I finished my second viewing of a program on Netflix the other night, The Bodyguard. WOW! What a great program. It’s a BBC drama production, six one hour episodes, about an ex-army, now London Metropolitan Police Protective Squad guy assigned to protect the Home Secretary. She’s a very attractive woman, of course, and after a couple of episodes, they fall in love. Strictly against the rules. But there are attempts on her life (ultimately successful) and it becomes clear there are sub-plots involving MI5 and other top politicians. It’s an absolutely excellent production, full of realism and tension as only the Poms know how to do. Highly recommended.


4 January 2008

We had a meeting of our school reunion committee last week and I went fully dressed as a woman for the first time. No problems. I’d told them last year that I would do it, but then the virus hit and I never actually followed through. Now I have. The women loved it and the guys were completely accepting. What a change in societal attitudes there’s been in the last couple of decades. I used to be knotted up with anxiety when I went out, but now it’s no trouble at all. I’m totally relaxed about it.

I talked briefly about my transformations with one of the guys yesterday, and he said how good I look when I’m made up. He said his wife had also commented (to him) on how good I look as a woman. Wow, that’s music to my ears. I have to visit him to fix his desktop PC, so I’ll be sure to show my style again. Strut my stuff!

Aaaah, beautiful rain

Isn’t that beautiful? Esperance, WA.

Yipeeee! It’s raining and cool. It’s not heavy, just drizzle, but it started a couple of hours ago and should be enough to at least dampen the fires in the hills. The fireys will be relieved! The forecast is for much more rain tomorrow, “heavy” rain the bureau says, but strong winds, up to 80km/h. I think the rain will probably kill the fires today, though.

I was saying to my European friend, this is Australia: at the same time we have big, serious, out of control bushfires, big floods from the 36th parallel northwards, a cyclone and a pandemic, and there’s a huge mouse plague in NSW. What a country.


Ooops. I think I got away with it, Horace. I had just pulled into the parking area at the Butler shopping centre, fully dressed in my girl-gear of course, and as usual I parked in a group of bays clearly marked for “Elderly” with markings showing a person bent over, pushing a trolley and with a walking stick.

As I was about to get out of my car, a young guy bounded past me and got into his car which was parked next to mine. This was no elderly person! This was a young, fit guy driving a 4WD tray back ute.

Without thinking about it, I got out and just stood next to his door and stared at him. He soon got the message and wound his window down and said, “What?” I said, “You don’t look elderly.” he said, “What?”

I said, “These bays are marked for the elderly.” He just muttered something which definitely included the f… word and drove off.

But what was I thinking? I was talking in my male voice while dressed as a woman, and because it was only a quick trip and I was wearing a mask, I hadn’t bothered to shave. Hah hah hah … I’m lucky he didn’t take it further. Must engage brain next time.


When I came out, what should be parked next to me but one of these:

Image result for peugeot 407
Peugeot 407 Touring, same model and colour

I’d just been looking on Carsales an hour ago. I love the styling and almost everything about this car. The only problem is, most of them are four cylinder diesels and according to the reviews, are underpowered.

However, there are six cylinder petrol models, V6s with twin turbos! I want one!

I freely admit, styling and the look of a car mean everything to me. I have to love the looks to want to own a car. Here’s the same model in the sedan form:

Image result for peugeot 407
Peugeot 407 sedan, also a lovely looking car. (IMHO) This is the 4D sedan but below is the coupe, which is pretty rare here. I like it even more!
Image result for peugeot 407
Image result for peugeot 407

I love that too and I’d have one if I didn’t need the wagon.

On the other hand, I’m becoming more convinced that this is the car I should buy:

Image result for lexus rx 350
2004-5 Lexus RX330

Why? Out of my two present cars, I like the Honda MDX the most. It really is true, the high driving position and the room inside make it preferable to the Verada wagon for me.

So if I want a car to see me out, what better than the luxury and legendary reliability of a Lexus. I don’t need 4WD, but I do want a smooth, luxurious and above all 100% reliable, low maintenance vehicle. Which means Lexus (Toyota but built even better). A 2004-5 model is about $10,000 used in good condition with low kms.


Oh, this stupid, stupid Word Press editor. It’s just lost two of the images I’d placed, saying “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed.” Grrrrrrrr! This WordPress is a load of garbage but what can I do? I have 12 years of posts – it’s a bit hard to change now, and where would I go?


I have a cyst on my right temple and it’s been there for more than six months. It doesn’t hurt, much anyway, but it’s about 6mm in diameter and stings a little bit, as well as slightly oozing a foul smelling fluid.

The GP says it has to be either surgically cut out, or he’s prescribed a cream called Aldara which seems to be designed to burn it out. It destroys the flesh and leaves a wound which should heal over. You are supposed to apply it three times, but spaced two days apart, ie Mon-Wed-Fri. And it’s supposed to be done at night, and you have to sleep with the wound uppermost, ie no contact with the pillow. And definitely no contact with eyes or other skin as much as possible.

I applied the first lot last night and it didn’t hurt as I expected. I thought it would burn and sting, but mostly OK so far. Sleeping exclusively on my left side was difficult so I think I’ll apply it during the day tomorrow. I can’t see why not, unless it requires darkness.


Yum – while in the supermarket, I noticed that McCains have added to their sourdough crust pizza range. Up to now it’s only been spinach and cheese, or Napolitana tomato and cheese. I add other toppings like prawns, anchovies, olives, smoked oysters and so on.

Now there are three new toppings – Italian meatball; salami; and another kind of cheese (can’t remember what). I really do find these pizzas the best I’ve had. At $8 each frozen, I get two meals out of each, so a $4 pizza dinner with wine is good value!