#Weekend Coffee Share: 17th October, 2015

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share where we can pour our hearts out sipping on whatever beverage while we munch on some Vegemite toast. I’m sorry Vegemite tastes like axle grease but you should have taken me up on the Tim Tams last week.

If we were having coffee, tea or even Bonox, I’d ask you how you’re going and hopefully read your eyes better than I can via a blog and be able to ask you that next question whatever it might be. After all, we know that “coffee”, “tea” or “Bonox” are just euphemisms for bonding, connecting and maybe even joining two souls…or at least building a decent bridge. Or, you can just swot me.

For me those deeper, probing questions would be asking me about my cough and why you haven’t seen me for awhile. The two go together along with a trip to Sydney for a routine medical appointment and an infusion of calcium the following day to build up my bones. I’ve been on prednisone for 9 years and it is starting to take it’s toll.

Clown Doctors. Photo: Humour Foundation.

Clown Doctors. Photo: Humour Foundation.

While I was at the hospital, I ran into a couple of Clown Doctors. Have you heard of them? They visit sick children in hospital and perform a swag of circus tricks to cheer them up. They cheered me up too! See:  http://www.humourfoundation.com.au/

“My Father & Other Liars” by Geoff Le Pared in Sydney sans Geoff.

I’ve had a few train trips to Sydney over the last two weeks, which has given me a great opportunity to read. I recently bought Blogger Geoff Le Pard’s two novels: Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle and My Father & Other Liars. I started reading his second book first and decided to do something a little different. So, I took the book on an unauthorised book tour to check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and Luna Park. It’s even enjoyed Vegemite Toast and given up its English Marmalade. It’s since taken over the couch and feels right at home. Calls itself a “couch surfer”.

You can read about it here and enjoy some Aussie scenery: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/an-unauthorised-book-tour-my-father-other-liars-geoff-le-pard/

After playing a spot of beach cricket, the book sunbakes at Umina Beach, North of Sydney.

After playing a spot of beach cricket, the book sun bakes at Umina Beach, North of Sydney.

Well, being a decent host, I finally took it down to the beach where it played a bit of beach cricket but it was a bit disappointment not to check out any other books at the beach. There wasn’t another book in sight. I think it was looking for a bit of romance.

Meanwhile, I had to explain what I was doing lugging a kid’s plastic cricket bat around the beach and taking photos of a book on a sand castle. I must admit that I’m quite used to these glares but I still feel a bit self-conscious.  Once it was understood that it was all about publicity, I was let off the hook. Phew. The “Loonometer” had returned to “normal”. As usual, being creative or doing “publicity”, you can get away with almost anything.

Our kids have gone away on a scout camp this weekend. This means they’re enjoying the great Australian outdoors with no access to electronics whatsoever. Fabulous! It also means that my husband and I are home alone. Well, we still have the dogs.

Looking down the spiral staircase. Quite striking but not quite Chanel.

Looking down the spiral staircase. Quite striking but not quite Chanel.

I have pretty much wrapped up writing about our trip to Byron Bay although you might like to join us in climbing Cape Byron Lighthouse.Although it had a magnificent spiral staircase inside, it wasn’t quite as luxurious as Coco Chanel’s famous Staircase in Paris but I’m sure the view from the top was so much better! https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/climbing-cape-byron-lighthouse/

The lighthouse door opened up to such an incredible view!

Byron Bay: The lighthouse door opened up to such an incredible view!

This week, I’ve also been trying to catch up on some of my long-standing, favourite blogs, which aren’t appearing in my reader and I’ve actually lost touch. I don’t know whether you’ve had this problem as well. I do receive some notifications to my email account but these became rather overwhelming, swamped my email and so I don’t get emails anymore. Any ideas?

Time is rapidly marching towards the end of the year and I really wish I could slow it down. Every year, as the kids get involved in more and more activities, the madness just gets worse…even though I love it all!

Well, I hope you’ve had a good week and have enjoyed the Vegemite toast. Yes, I know it’s an acquired taste but I love it!

How about you go and visit Diana at Part-Time Monster http://parttimemonster.com/ as well as the linky: http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=573568

Best wishes,

xx Rowena

39 thoughts on “#Weekend Coffee Share: 17th October, 2015

  1. Ula

    Thanks for the coffee. I love that you took Geoff’s book to the beach. I bet Geoff’s jealous. I know I would be. So true about creativity and publicity enabling not typical behavior.
    You Aussies definitely have some strange food. This Vegemite sounds completely disgusting. Why would anyone want to eat something that tastes like axle grease?
    Thanks for the laughs. As always, I enjoyed your wonderful sense of humor.

  2. roweeee Post author

    I recommend trying it very cautiously and like they pictures show just a scrape on buttered toast. I’m right down the other end of the spectrum and take my Vegemite thick.
    I had to Google the durian and that sounds like a brave and noble quest given the stench. I haven’t heard about them before. Hope you’re having a great weekend xx Rowena

  3. roweeee Post author

    Ah but Luther are you going to buy and try it? C’mon. Cross the great divide and still that butter knife into the pungent black tar and have a go xx Rowena

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Ula. It’s taken me awhile to realise I had this sense of humour as I’m quite sensitive but the blog writing has definitely nurtured it.
    I had a lot of fun with Geoff’s book. He loves Australia and he’s a huge cricket fan and even watches the game at Lords which is only one very small step away from being in heaven for a cricket fan. Sometimes, something which takes you very little effort can make someone else’s day.
    The thing about the Vegemite is that it doesn’t taste like axle grease to me. I couldn’t tell you what it tastes like except for yeasty and salty but I love it. However, I was brought up on the stuff the same way kids grow up on chilli and develop a tolerance.
    Take care and have a great weekend. It’s cooled down a bit here which is a welcome relief. I’ve been like a hermit crab hiding from the sun. Take care xx Rowena

  5. vanbytheriver

    You give a whole new meaning to taking a book to the beach ! ☺ I’m a huge fan of the lighthouse. This one has a special interior. Nice post. I have also lost blogs from time to time on my Reader. ( I don’t like to get so many e mails). Just not sure what’s going on with WP lately.

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much. That lighthouse was incredible and always looks so magestic perched on the top of the cliff. The lighthouse is on what must be the headland to Byron Bay and so is a little bit out of town. It just seems to sit up there keeping an eye on things like a Mum or Dad watching junior at the park.

  7. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Corina. I have intentionally included a lot of Australian content in my blog and tend to write for an overseas audience. I am finding that so few Australians read my blog that it’s not worthwhile. It’s not unusual to get double the number of views from USA to Australia and it can often be something like 15 to 1. This obviously tells me too that my family and friends aren’t reading my blog.

  8. Nancy

    It was very enjoyable reading about your (and your book’s) adventures. I have a question about Vegimite though. What is the story behind its history? I have heard so many about its taste and how it’s not for everyone. Maybe it’s a little like “Span” or “scrapple” here in the Northeast US? They are also foods that people who unacquainted with, would look upon with great question!

  9. Alex Hurst

    I love old lighthouses, and you’re right – that view is spectacular! I used to live near Pt. Reyes in California, and the trip to the lighthouse always included a steep descent down an uneven stairwell. Made for some great photography, but on windy days, I didn’t so much appreciate the creaks in the wood. 😛

    I didn’t know you could get calcium infusions. That’s useful to know, since I have my own health issue that strips calcium from my bones, and especially my teeth. Are there any side effects? (Besides having to spend the day in the hospital…)

    Your impromptu book tour sounds pretty fun. I’ve only been able to do retrospective book touring in Japan. After reading a bunch of Japanese novels in college, it was interesting to come out here and be like “Oh yeah, I know where that is! I know it’s history, too!” for the most random places.

  10. New Journey

    love the sand castle, you did the book well….no wonder the people were yelling encouraging things at you on the beach…sill girl your suppose to be resting…love your post…and I am never going to get tired of the pictures of the lighthouse….xxkat

  11. roweeee Post author

    I had a good rest yesterday but have pushed it today. My husband and I went out for a lovely lunch and I don’t know what possessed me but I decided to get stuck into our daughter’s room while she was away. She wants it clean but it went feral and was so overwhelming that it just kept getting worse. Anyway, I’ve extracted over three clothes baskets worth of stuff but it still doesn’t look neat. I don’t even know if it looks any better. Anyway, I’ve overdone it and am about to head off to bed. Take care. The lighthouse is smiling at you! xx Rowena

  12. Rose F

    I love lighthouses but have never been in one. (They’re not so friendly for wheelchair users.) We had a clown doctor on the children’s ward once when I was in for surgery.

  13. New Journey

    kids rooms have a way of doing that…hell my room is bad!!! I am a terrible pack rat and can’t throw out anything…I am trying, thank goodness we have a full up stairs unused, as it is a clutterbox box…driving my husband nuts….LOL she will appreciate all you have done…maybe she can get it finished now that its started…sweet dreams….kat

  14. Nooce Miller

    Thank you for the coffee! I love it that you took your book and the cricket bat to the beach! I have been to Australia once before, many years ago. We visited Sydney, and drove down the coast to Melbourne, stopping for the night in Bega, where we did the cheese factory tour. I’ve never been to the Gold Coast or Brisbane before, but Byron Bay looks really lovely!

  15. roweeee Post author

    That cheese factory tour sounds great. We’re planning to go to Tasmania in January. My husband grew up there and various branches of his family have lived there since the early 1800s. There are some wonderful cheese factories down there including a family-owned one which makes Wasabi Cheese…Ashgrove Farm Cheese.
    It sounds like you did the Great Ocean Road, which is a lovely spot. Stunning scenery! Byron Bay is incredible too xx Rowena

  16. roweeee Post author

    I can so relate. I’m a clutterbox box too. I collect books and vintage tea cups and anything old. I haven’t been op shopping as much lately but I am a bit obsessed. I find such great stuff. Trouble is that the house is now full. Good luck with your efforts. Sound like we’ve both got a way to go xx Rowena

  17. roweeee Post author

    Rose, I have quite a few friends who are in electric wheelchairs as they have Muscular Dystrophy. I spent two weeks in wheelchair before I had treatment. I have all over muscle weakness but prednisone and swag of other drugs usually keeps be mobile. The lighthouse was a bit of an achievement for me as stairs aren’t always my friend. Have you ever been skiing? I joined the Disabled Winter Sports and they were great. My family loves skiing and I wanted to be a part of bthings and expected to be in a sit chair but made it onto skis. To get back, my instructor carried my poles, boots and skis down while I caught the chair lift. The main hill was a bit steep and I was pooped as well. Going down one hill was enough.
    The clown doctors entertained my daughter when she had surgery on her finger. As she was leaving they announced “Amelia is now leaving the building.” It was so funny and I still cherish that moment. xx Rowena

  18. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Gulara. I do appreciate the outdoors and the beach but I have to watch out for the sun. My auto-immune disease is somewhat photo-sensitive. I do go in the sun but I need to be careful Besides, some days the sun is so intense, I just stay away and go to the beach early or late. I can understand with it cooling down in the North and with the cooler weather lasting so long how much you’d simply miss the sun. We really have about 3 months a year where we don’t go to the beach for a swim. We’re a bit spoiled! xx Rowena

  19. Rose F

    Sounds like quite the ski trip. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it. I used to ski when I was in my teens/20s. I’ve lost too much arm function nowadays. Oh well!

  20. roweeee Post author

    Sorry to hear that, Rose. Your symptoms sound similar to mine. Have you read my About? There were elements with skiing that I found easier than walking as you have the supportive boots and glide over the snow. I have had a few nasty falls on pavements. Last year, I managed to ski the week without falling over, which was an absolutely incomprehensible miracle as I am usually unable to right myself once I wobble. Yet, I broke my foot when I tripped over an almost invisible dip in the grass. My arm strength is fair but I wouldn’t be able to push my own wheelchair. Fortunately, I am walking okayish. I also rest a lot at home. I’ve had troubles with bronchitis/barking cough for a few months and have spent a lot of time at home. I am just grateful for my blog and the community of friends I have online xx Rowena

  21. roweeee Post author

    You wouldn’t want what I’m currently getting rid of…broken kids toys mostly and literal rubbish from my daughter’s room. She is actually either lazy, lacking in energy from her health problems or a bone fide hoarder and I suspect the last one. I think her fears of losing me have turned her into a hoarder. It doesn”t help when the same issues promp[t me to keep buying things for her as well. It looks like we could well be partners in crime. xx Ro PS sounds like you could join in as well!

  22. New Journey

    Yes…all I have to offer at this time are novels written in German, hoards of books on nothing and of course all written in German, a box of miss matched salt and pepper shakers Peter has been keeping in a cupboard upstairs for at least 20 years…LOL that’s just the first little cupboard upstairs in the back of the room…getting the big picture…there is soooo much more…..and yes I think you are probably right about your daughter….keep buying her stuff…its important…but you will be around for a very long time….xxxxxkatxxxxx

  23. Gulara

    Sounds amazing… I was never that much into the sun until I started living in England. Well, enjoy, and many thanks for your comments on my blog – it’s lovely to have your sunny presence!

  24. Rose F

    I’m sorry about your foot! I have cerebral palsy and some long-term RSI damage. It’s complicated. Take care.

  25. roweeee Post author

    I thought a bit of what you were saying made sense. I don’t know a lot about CP but I am a member of Muscular Dystrophy NSW and every year there a real grudge match between us and the CP Alliance in the Boccia. They’ve been trying to get me interested in Boccia but I’ve never really been into sport. I’d rather talk at these functions.
    It is quite awkward for me as most of my symptoms are invisble…at least if I’m walking on flat ground and am not having a flare. However, I do have some understanding and I really identify with people in wheelchairs even though I walk. This is definitely an empathy, which is hard to explain especially if you see me on a good day and I look 100%.
    What I also understand is the cost involved in getting helpful equipment. A firend is needing to raise $8000 for a bed she needs to do her physio. It makes me pretty angry because she’s young and already battling so much and her family shouldn’t have to be fundraising. We have a National Disability Scheme which is slowly being rolled out but she’s not covered yet. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. My MD friends though are incredible tenacious, even though their bodies are weak. Some have been doing the Duke of Edinburgh program and really stretching themselves beyond what they ever thought possible. ONe friend went down to Melbourne and there was a photo of her on the tram in her electric wheelchair wearing her oxygen mask, which she usually takes off for photos. That was a huge hurdle. Anway, I could write about this all day. Love & best wishes,

  26. Rose F

    unfortunately I know a lot of folks with various disabilities whose equipment or services aren’t covered by health care. 😦

  27. Minuscule Moments

    Rowena keeping up with you is hard you are such a busy woman. I had over 400 emails to get through the other day. I follow way too many other blogs. Not sure how to fix, maybe have to unfollow a few people. Its hard isn’t it?

  28. roweeee Post author

    I haven’t checked my emails for awhile so that could explain it. I’m not working at the moment and just doing the blog and the family. I do a few blog shares and can get through them pretty quickly and I tend to read a few posts at a time on the blogs I follow. I also go to bed too late! Good luck with it all xx Rowena

  29. Sarah's Attic of Treasures

    Hi there my friend. YES, I have been having the same problem. I signed up for a bunch of emails. Then I can’t find the ones I want to read….YOURS for one.
    I couldn
    t remember the name of the blog.. I saw a few of our comments yesterday, then the computer locked up on me a few times.
    Overload here as well.
    So between WordPress, a very SLOW internet, my computer, too many emails AND ME being a middle aged, blond, brain fog gal who simply can’t keep up no matter how she tries …..
    I’ve missed you.
    Email me if you want to. It may get lost for a day or so but I will find it.
    Hugs Sarah

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