Getting Physical

Getting Physical

“Let’s get physical,” trilled Oliver Newton-John, in her pop video, while being filmed with gorgeous hunky young men and some others who clearly needed to get a bit more activity that is physical. There was no doubt she herself was in good shape, by the way. But, it didn’t inspire me then and still doesn’t do it today.

Exercise and I have a lifelong, ambivalent relationship.

Like most, I have gone through periods of being convinced I would exercise every day for the rest of my life, because it’s good for you and your body, but found I got bored with it fairly soon. I was never good at sport during my school years, much preferring to read a good book than run 100 yards. While my Dad was very athletic in his younger years, my Mum and I both lean more towards academic ventures.

Except – when there is something specific to be done, a goal to be achieved. You may have read or heard that I am making a sea change and moving to Mandurah. Before we can do that, my Dad and I, there are some modifications needed for the unit into which we will move.

We are modifying the bathroom by having the bath removed and a new, walk-in shower recess created. My Dad is 96, has a gammy leg, and is getting a little unsteady on his feet. There is no way we could have him trying to step into a bathtub for his shower. So, that entails removing all the wall and floor tiles and having them replaced, as well as a new bathroom vanity cabinet and some handrails. First step, find a tiler and a plumber, who are happy to do a small job. Then, I had to choose wall tiles, floor tiles, and cabinet. It is no exaggeration to say I have walked at least five km, up and down Albany Highway and its side streets, looking at tiles. In the end, they have come from Craft Décor (wall), Bunnings (floor), and Masters (vanity).

The wardrobe space in the second bedroom, his, is about 50 cm wide. Asking him to give up his 120 cm wardrobe, with four drawers as well, was not an option. So began the hunt for a spacious wardrobe, with sliding doors, because between his bed and the dressing table he will not relinquish, there was not enough room for a wardrobe with opening doors. After a few unsuccessful viewings of wardrobes on Gumtree, and trawling all the major furniture stores, we bought one for each of us in flat pack. It was finally a matter of walking into the store, where the floor staff recognised me (from my frequent visits) and me putting up my hands and saying, “Please, just take my money!” We have engaged a young local man to assemble them for us and he has proven to be a godsend. Dad has already hung his clothes.

We also have to downsize some of our lounge furniture, so I spent a few days looking at LazyBoy single chairs in the furniture stores; I found an excellent one on Gumtree, at a quarter of the retail price. Fortunately, my son was able to collect it for us and my Dad already loves it. While Warren and I footslogged through the displays, we found a small TV cabinet, that was exactly what we needed, and which is already in the unit. We bought a bed for guests, along with a couple of red bar stools that offer a bright spot of colour and the promise of hospitality. Notwithstanding the fact that he had to collect the TV cabinet from another suburb and Lisa had to get the second bar stool for me, from Midland. A smaller two-seater lounge is already on offer from the family, so that’s taken care of and the existing display cabinets for my cat collection and Robbie’s model cars will finish the lounge, very nicely, with the floor lamps we already have.

The lockup garage is already two thirds full with boxes, shelves, and chests we have packed and transported down there, in anticipation of bringing their contents in to furnish our new home. We will get the removalists to bring the heavy stuff: fridge, kitchen dresser, beds and mattresses, chests of drawers etc – so that’s not too physical except for the final clearing of the rooms. The intensive packing is done and Dad and I are living like squatters in our almost empty unit, except for my office. That is something I haven’t been able to contemplate yet – but the bonus of the move is that Mandurah already has broadband and I will be able to connect to the NBN when we do move the PC.

It really got physical when I decided to refurbish the kitchen, as well. I trekked from IKEA, to Masters, to Bunnings and back again, pricing cupboards and choosing colours and finishes. With those settled, and not being prepared to wait ten weeks for an installed kitchen, I decided we would do it ourselves. Todd knows how to build flat pack furniture! With scaled drawings in hand, it was back to the showrooms, for tiles for the kitchen splash backs and dining / kitchen floor. I have already collected five boxes of tiles for the bathroom walls and four boxes of tiles for the floor, brought them to the garage, then moved them to the laundry to be clear of the flat packs. Masters delivered the flat packs on a pallet; I discovered the basin top for the new vanity was broken clean in half, had them find a new one, loaded the broken one into my car (with the help of a passerby) and drove from Mandurah to Safety Bay to get it changed. I drove from Mandurah, to Cannington, to Belmont, collecting up the eleven boxes of tiles I needed for the kitchen/dining room floor and took them to Mandurah, too.

The curtains were chosen in Cannington, after visiting at least four soft furnishings stores; a second trip to get the rods,  a third to return one curtain, which proved to be faulty when unpacked.

Next, I am off to the cabinetmakers, plans in hand, to get the bench tops made. The new stove is in the kitchen, not yet unpacked, with the old one already decommissioned. The measurements for the overhead cupboards have been checked and rechecked. The dining room vinyl is in the skip, which is already full and another one is coming.

So far, I have been able to spend one night in my new sea change home and am commuting from East Victoria Park every day while we are refurbishing. Luckily, all my tradesmen have family responsibilities and want to start after they have dropped the kids off at school, which gives me time to get there.

There has been no time to be idle, especially when making sure the tradies are scheduled in the right job order, but they are all great blokes, and are making it easy for me.

Already, I have walked by the water, up to the supermarket, to the Post Office and the tile shop. I have walked to the locksmiths, the coffee shop and the bank. It seems I am going to be getting physical, after all.

Yabbies and Deja vu

Feeding The Yabbies

Standing by the top dam at Chateau de Liswar, after the tragic fires of last month, in January 2014, I had a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was early Monday evening, close to the road and the driveway gate and there were no signs of the tragic Parkerville or Stoneville bushfires of the previous day. Not even the smell of smoke, as a strong sea breeze blew up from the coast to keep the temperature down.

Lloyd, the Persian cat, had done a bunk – he had skipped out the back door after I put him inside, but I knew he would be back for dinner. Rather than trying to catch him, I decided to let his curiosity do it instead.

He followed me to the dam the first time I went down the bank, staying cautiously back behind the bushes, out of reach. I pretended to ignore him and went back into the house.

I chopped two carrots up very finely, returned and spread them around the edge of the dam. I was hoping the yabbies (small freshwater crustaceans) would come up to feed, before it got too dark to see them. Some of the goldfish I rescued last year were swimming about, their black and gold scales showing clearly under the surface of the water.

We had a terrible heat wave in January last year, (2013). Warren and Lisa were away and I was recovering from breast cancer surgery of the previous month, but hadn’t started my chemotherapy at the  time. [Read more...]

“Mack the Knife” Beggars Belief.

Mack the Knife

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old Macheath, babe?
And he keeps it out of sight

It has been impossible to escape news about sharks, their teeth, and other matters marine in the past few weeks. It is highly unlikely when John Gay (1685 – 1732) created the character of Macheath for “The Beggar’s Opera” that great white sharks were on his mind. When it first appeared, in 1728, it was in a performance designed to lampoon and make cartoon characters of notorious criminals of the day, as well as a notable Whig political leader, and politicians in general.

He was bitterly disappointed at his failure to find a place of patronage at the Court of either George I or George II in London. After fourteen years in the Court and finally awarded a lowly position, he wrote “The Beggar’s Opera”. [Read more...]

Mandurah Move – A Seachange

Mandurah Move

I am a water person. My family all know that. I am obsessed with things that live in water. Frogs and tadpoles. Fish, and octopus and sharks. Images and stories about them fill my Twitter stream and my Facebook pages. “Grrk, The Motorbike Frog” is a story, still half written.

Before I went to live in Stoneville with my beloved husband, Robbie, we had lived in South Perth and Como for years. First, it was just the children and myself. We lived between the Zoo and the Swan River, where we had easy access to the sandy shore. A curving pedestrian walk led over the Freeway at the end of our street. My kids and I spent many a warm summer evening, paddling and picnicking on the river foreshore. We walked in the early morning light, to find the piles of weed and discarded jellyfish left behind by the prawning parties, who had long since decamped with their prize of sweet, juicy river prawns. We kicked our way along the white sand, jumped over the [Read more...]

Download Hey Dude

Hey Dude – Who Moved My Gumnuts?

” I absolutely adore Stories My Nana tells, and have gone on to subscribe to the regular “adventures” (Kiera – HomeSchooling Mum via Kidspot)

GET YOUR PREMIUM $3.99 STORY NOW!

Hey Dude – Who Moved My Gumnuts?

introduces children to the world of seeds, plants, gumnuts and black cockatoos in a bright and breezy story, filled with full colour pictures and interesting information.

Hey Dude! Who Moved My Gumnuts? - a story about seeds and how they work.

Hey Dude! Who Moved My Gumnuts? – a story about seeds and how they work.

Now available as a ‘stand alone’ story from Stories My Nana Tells’ author, Lesley Dewar, it is getting rave reviews from parents and educators. This is an immersing adventure through the wonderful world of seeds and trees. Written in clear, easy to understand prose, the story explores some of the seeds we most commonly found in our back garden and helps children learn about conservation and nature. With questions at the end and links to good websites, it is a MUST HAVE for parents who want their kids to understand and love our Australian wildlife. Get your copy here >>>>>>NOW!

Hi, I’m Kiera! I’m a home schooling mother of four little boys ….I recently read “Dude, who moved my gum nuts” with my 6 year old. What a delightful story. Actually, it’s not really a story, more of an immersing adventure through the wonderful world of seeds and trees.

“We were lucky enough to trial one of these stories and loved it! It was very informative and so well written. There were pictures for him to look at, links for us to go off and explore and questions for us to share at the end” (Bernice via Kidspot)

GET YOUR PREMIUM $3.99 STORY NOW!

Update post

Is Your Nana An Extreme Activist?

Numbat - photographed at the Perth Zoo

Has anyone called your Nana an “extreme” activist?

If you were a little surprised to see the posts about #tweet4taiji on the Stories My Nana Tells Facebook page, perhaps we should tell you a little more about Lesley Dewar, who writes all the stories, and what she stands for.

For a very long time, she has actively campaigned for (by being there) and written about  (in stories, emails, petitions)  environmental issues.

Which begs the question:

When do you become an “extreme” activist?

Is it when you speak out and turn up, on a lot of really worthwhile issues? Is it when you see things are being “done” in response to the campaigning?  This is the term being given to protesters against the proposed shark cull in Western Australia, by the Premier The Hon Colin Barnett, MP.

 Parents want to know who’s talking to their children

and what about!

We understand that parents are very concerned about the information given to their children, [Read more...]

Lunch Is Served

Champagne

Part of the adventure of travel is flying and I love it. Being waited on, relaxed, having lunch served and enjoying the “ride” is part of the fun.

Qantas Airbuis A380I don’t agree that “to journey is better than to arrive” because for me, the  journey is part of the whole experience. Certainly the planning, plotting and scheming to get your travel organized is exciting, as well.

On planes, I have a ritual about eating and I feel sad for people who,just open their hot box and shovel it down without making the experience a pleasurable part of the journey. If you are confined to a metal box, 35,000 feet above the ground, for four hours or more, why not make it fun.

Airline meals are delivered from a trolley in a strange mix of hot and cold food. The bread roll, butter pack, cheese and biscuit are all cold, straight from [Read more...]

A Tale Of Two Beetles

ANTS-with-blue-tummies1

This is not a story about John and Paul, nor even Ringo or George.

My beetles are not “The Beatles.”

How I love Google! Let me make that clear at the outset. In the last week of July 2013, I chanced upon a Facebook conversation between parents about the best way to treat gastro with natural remedies, and mention was made of raspberry cordial.

That immediately sparked my memory – Robbie and I always took a small bottle of raspberry cordial with us when we went to Bali – on the specific advice of our GP, Dr. Zeke Pervan. The first time was about twenty years ago and we did it every time we went. While we were careful with our food and drink, we never suffered Bali Belly and always came home with the cordial bottle empty.

anchorlogoSam (our cleaning lady) was there at the time of the Facebook discovery and we had a fun conversation about old cool drinks and cordials: we remembered “Passiona” when it was made by Cottee’s, recalled Weaver & Lock and talked about “Mexi” cool drinks which were home delivered. The name of who made the specific raspberry cordial escaped us.

Enter Google. Aha! Of course, it was Anchor! [Read more...]

5 Key Food Myths and Truths

Fruit-and-veg7

Too many people are looking for a “silver bullet” when it comes to health issues and these are some popular (and unsubstantiated) food myths.  Some other widespread beliefs have a sound basis.

1. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day (myth)

This myth is not supported by scientific evidence; originated around the time jogging got to be fashionable and is popular because it is easy to remember.

The Mayo Clinic recommends eight glasses of fluid a day, but the need for water has to be evaluated according to the level of activity and external temperatures. A guideline on the need for fluids [Read more...]

Getting Your Timing Right

Turban

TIMING

Love my pink hat.

September was definitely a month that needed getting my timing right. Before my six monthly cancer follow-up with the oncologist, I had a series of special blood tests and then an MRI, with dye pumping  into my arm while the scanning was happening. These rather intrusive procedures were done in the right sequence, so the reports were ready for my meeting with Dr. Ng. With a sore “mousing” finger, I grabbed a referral from my GP and had an X-Ray done at the same time, so my oncologist could check that out, too. Having had cancer and chemo, you do get a little paranoid from time to time.

On the day, I dressed to the nines in a cream suit and a fabulous pink hat and looked lovely. The scan was clear; the world was bright and when I left the clinic in Subiaco, I set off for the city to explore several of the newly renovated laneways around Murray and King Street s – where little bars are enticing and new experiences await you.

Wolf-LaneI was excited because I was going to a Social Media event [Read more...]