Tuesday, 24 April 2007


I worked today. Started at 6.30 finished at 3.00. Our little hospital has been busy the last few weeks, we have had a full house for most of the time and the beds haven't been getting a chance to cool down before they are full again. There is a nice old man there at the moment who is very down and sad to see. Old age and the illness that accompanies it are very cruel to some poor people. How do you comfort a man who cries to you "I am 84 years old and bloody useless and I just want to die, I saved up all my tablets but the nurses took them away, so I didn't get to take them all." Do you lie and tell them everything will turn out alright when they know it won't. Do you sit and listen and be sympathetic? Do you try to ignore and disappear out the door?
I've got to know this man over the years he has been in and out of my workplace and he is always a lovely polite, courteous person (as much as anyone can be when they're struggling to breathe) whom I know is not in the easiest circumstances at home. He has told me about his life and personal history. I guess there wasn't really anything I could do. I tried to listen, adjusted his oxygen tubing and held his hand. Told him god wasn't ready for him yet. When people say to me of god "He's not going to help you" my answer is "Well people are dying to find out." I guess thats a bit flippant, that's the only way we do find out for sure and not many of us get to come back and tell people about it do they? Life is cruel for some people so maybe there is something better coming later on. Dunno. Maybe the saying "Life's a bitch and then you die" would fit in here. It is good to have work mates with whom I can share and compare notes with. I guess being flippant about some things that happen is a response to the saying "If you could not laugh you would cry." I s'pose i really do like my job in lots of ways and dwell on the idea that maybe I can help someone that needs it, even if it is not a job thats highly paid or takes a university degree to perform.
The weather here is still dry and is cooling down. It was in the mid 20's today. Nice sleeping weather, cool enough to snuggle up under the covers. I actually wore a cardigan for some of today. Almost cool enough in the evenings to go and buy a little electric heater to replace my old one that I threw away. Not cool enough for the wood heater yet. I am a sook in the cool weather and have the heaters on before everyone else gets cold. Pete feels the heat, I feel the cold.
On a brighter note. Isn't this beautiful. It is a picture of my newest great neice. She is learning about new tastes and really enjoys pumpkin. Her name is Ivory and she was born last September. The second one is discovering easter eggs.
I was going through old photos last week and found lots of happy memories in them. Lots of beautiful happy kids with laughing faces. I couldn't have been such a bad mother after all. We had lots of good times along the way. When your'e down you mostly think of the not so good times and forget about the good bits. My kids short comings can't all be my fault after all!
O.K. thats enough for today. Bye Love Linda.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


Yesterday morning I awoke to the news of the Louisiana shootings. I was horrified and saddened by what I heard, I know that things like that can happen anywhere i.e, Port Arthur in Tasmania. My deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and relatives of the victims and of course the shooter as well. Their families must be going through hell at the moment.
Gun laws in Australia were already in place before the Port Arthur massacre here but were tightened more after it. Yes I've heard all the arguments for and against guns and I am strongly on the anti gun side, always have been. Guns are a machine designed to kill. Thou shall not kill. I won't let them in my house or property. I'm angry that they were invented at all. ( yes I know thats irrational, this is an emotive subject) Especially when things like this happen and prove my point. Are people so worried about being politically correct that they can't see that having guns around can lead to things like this happening.
The massacre shows a sad side of society because it was carried out by a person who was obviously mentally ill and slipped through the cracks of the health system when there should have been help available which may have been able to prevent such a tragedy. It is also a reflection of how we choose to treat each other and possibly the result of bastardization of a sick individual, the shooter. There are and always have been people who don't fit our ideals within society and its so easy to turn away and not want to be involved with someone like that, but maybe a kind word and a bit of friendship might have made all the difference to the outcome.
Guns of course still are available here to anybody who wants to buy them illegally and has money. Other wise you have to have a license. They can be used by primary producers, and for sport and if kept for display or collection purposes must be disabled. A lot of people objected and still do about their right to have a weapon for protection but I reckon it is far too easy in a moment of anger to go and get it and use it and be sorry later. Once the damage has been done it can't be undone and if the gun wasn't there it wouldn't have happened in the first place.
O.K. get off the soap box Lindy.
Funny story. We had a neighbor when the kids were in early high school who used to sit on his front veranda and watch the neighborhood so he could go down the street and talk about everybody. He really wasn't a nice person. My boys got hold of a half box of bungers. (Loud & noisy fire crackers) One of their friends had bought them back from Canberra where they are legal, they aren't in this state. My eldest son lit one of them in the driveway of our house and it made a great noise so being his age they all thought it was hilarious and let off another one. I went out the front and confiscated the rest of the bungers and put them away. About 20 minutes later 2 police cars pulled up outside my house ( they had to come from Wagga) with a tactical response group inside and they rushed to the front door with their hands on their guns to a very bewildered mum. The neighbor had rung them and told them that they had seen my son running around the front yard with a rifle shooting. They came here expecting to find murder and mayhem. The boys were severely lectured and chastised which is of course nothing more than they deserved. Peter came out of the bedroom where he was asleep and said" Hey Lin what are the two police cars doing....Oh what's wrong officer?" Very embarrassing. My younger son was made to give them the rest of the bungers and therefore lost the money he had saved for quite a while to buy them. Also no more than he deserved. The neighbor? Well, he was one of those responsible members of the local gun club who had a license to have a gun. I heard he was down the street a while later laughing and bragging to some people that he had been having an argument at he gun club with someone and they shot each others cars up. Yep! very nice man and a responsible gun owner. He came in to work a few times afterwards as a patient and I could not be friendly to him even when he tried to be towards me. I did all of the duties for him that were required of me and walked away. He moved away after a family break up I don't know where they are now. Good riddance I reckon.
Well, that's my thoughts on guns and again my sympathies to anyone connected to the Louisiana massacre.
Bye Love Linda.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Aussie slang

The other day I got an answer to a comment I left on Brad's blog who lives in U.S.A. So I thought I would write about some of our Aussie colloquialisms that might show up which other people can't understand. I think you might find some of them funny if you haven't heard them before. Aussies use a heap of them in every day language without ever thinking about them.
Dunny. Is a toilet, I think it came from the days before toilets were sewered in the country and were an out house in the back yard which consisted of a tin with a toilet seat which was emptied by a man coming to your house and swapping them over. He would hoist the full pan up onto his shoulder and leave a clean one for you. Outside dunnies were notorious for bugs, spiders and smells. They could be made from just about anything in the outback from canvas that flapped in the wind to tin or wood with very creative methods. My dear Aunty Marion's dunny was down in her chook yard and I was scared to go out there when I was a little child because the rooster would chase me and scratch my legs. I also remember one at the R.A.A.F. base golf club in Darwin when I was about 9 yrs old that was beside the runway and if a plane went past the canvas sides flapped and it felt like the whole structure would take off with the plane. I went to a bush woodworking day 2 yrs ago, near here, on a small farm and there was an American lady there whose face belied her feelings about using their outback dunny which was a long drop set up, full of spider webs. Very funny. Oh, a long drop is a pan set up above a deep hole dug in the ground. One thing in favor of the outback dunny, they were much more water saving than todays flushing toilets. Notice I didn't say environmentally friendly. Phew. There is a famous song about the outback dunny sung by Slim Dusty. "Red Back on the Toilet seat" A red back is closely related to the black widow spider in U.S.A. except it has a red stripe down its back. I'm sure it would be found on the web somewhere.
Colloquialisms for females.
Sheila, Bird, old chook, missus (wife), chick, old duck, other half, better half,
Males; Bloke, fella, dude, wanker, better stop there, there are lots of rude ones too.
We also use some rhyming slang that came from the cockneys in england. e.g tin lid is kid or a child. China plate; mate. Etc. Also in this category are made up place names , fictional ones that pop up in yarns. (stories). Like wheelabarraback or kickatinalong or chuckatinnydown. (barra is wheelbarrow, tinny is a can of beer, chuck can mean like tipping your head back and drinking quickly) But tinny can also mean a small tin boat, Barra is short for barramundi a great eating fish and chuck can also be to vomit or throw something as in not bowling a ball properly in a cricket match. But not in the place name context. Is everyone completely confused yet?
Good isn't it?
We also like to shorten names, e.g. like Linda can be Lin, Lindy, Lindy Loo, Linny. At work I get called Linda May because there is another Linda and they reckoned it sounded better than the fat Linda. ( They go crook on me when I say things like that.) Going crook means telling someone off or chastising them. Place names like Brisbane is shortened to Brissy, double names are common too like in this area there is Wagga Wagga, Book Book, Gumly Gumly, Mitta Mitta, Grong Grong, Walla Walla. My kids had a cassette when they were little with a song on it called Captain Sturt who was an early explorer in this area. The first verse it said "Captain Sturt had a stutter so he named the towns all wrong he called Gumly , Gumly Gumly He called Grong ,Grong Grong, etc it was quite well done.
Animal names get shortened and changed too. Kangaroo is Roo, Cockatoo is Cocky, Snake is Joe Blake or a wiggly stick, just to name a few. Cocky can also be used to refer to a farmer. We have black,rose, pink and white cockatoos, the birds that is. A cockatoo can also be used for a person who is a lookout. Cockies, the birds, set a look out to warn the rest of the flock of danger while they are feeding. Animals can also be used as names for people who have characteristics like a particular animal. E.g. A magpie is a bird known to collect all sorts of strange things. So a magpie is a person who collects things. I will write about Magpies another time . They are worth a entry by themselves as they are very smart, funny birds and real characters.
I often refer to someone as a dag. When I say that I mean it affectionately but the meaning of the word does not sound like that. A dag is a bit of poo that hangs off an animals bum. When you call someone a dag it means an uncool person, like someone who is a bit clumsy or says dumb things all the time, but its kind of meant affectionately as it means that person is acting as themselves and does not feel like they have to act cool and can just be themselves. I'm pleased to say I'm a dag. You might call someone a dag when they have done or said something dumb but funny. I don't think its used like that anywhere else.
O.K. I could go on here all night and still not be finished so I had better stop there. These are just some of the things I use myself in everyday language. Any questions please ask. I will try to explain. Bye Love Linda.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

I haven't been doing much over the last week or so except going to work and coming home to sleep. Mum who lives with me has been holding my house together, my 2 adult children don't do a lot in that department. Or in any other department actually. They have never been hungry enough to have the spark to get up off their arses and have a go. Or maybe I'm not tough enough to make them do it. We have a fairly easy life style in our country, and Pete and I have supplied all of their needs. Why do they need to bother, and I also don't like fighting, its akin to bashing your own head against the wall with them. I know I'm wrong, but its easier just to do things for myself than ask them to do anything for me and be made out by them to be a bad guy who is picking on them. So we go to work and they stay home and reap the benefits. Ahhhhh!!!! I can write what I want here within reason, Right?
I had today off work, there haven't been many off this fortnight, (9&1/2 days work) but I got a nice pay packet. Next month's roster is lighter on work for the first fortnight. We have lost a few people this month. One of these was a surprise as her death was sudden. Well, as sudden as anyone could expect in a nursing home style situation. She had been a patient for many years and there is now a big empty and very noticeable space where she spent her time on the veranda during the day. Sad, I and the other residents miss her a lot. I cleaned around her bed the other day and thought about her and that that was the last thing I could do for her. I didn't get to say goodbye as I was in Melbourne when she died. We also lost a man to alcohol related disease, who had links to an ex staff member, so that was close to many of us as well. Another couple of people are expected to go soon. Truisms of small town hospital life, where towns people care about and know each other. I guess I could also say that dealing with death often gives us the opportunity to help others who haven't had the same experiences. But, from personal experience, I also know that the death of a close friend or a family member is very very different to what you experience in a work situation.
The site for the new multi purpose centre ( our new hospital) is at the digging of the foundations stage. After about 2 years of setbacks and a few more years of planning and red tape something is finally happening. They reckon we will be in it mid next year. The kitchen will be very different from what we have now. We won't be doing any cooking as there won't be a stove. We will put everything on trays into a warmer, plates, cutlery and all, and from the same trays straight to the trolley and then to the patients. Generators will cover any power breakdowns we might have so they reckon we won't need any cooking facilities. It will take some getting used to to have nothing else to fall back on. Progress?
Rufus our pup is nearly a year old and king of his domain. He has had some problems with allergies. To grass I think, as he likes to rub his tummy along the grass and that seems to be where the rashes come out the most. He likes to sit on me when I watch T.V. and have his rash gently stroked then he slowly goes to sleep on me. I have shampoo for him and Michael has been putting tiny bits of tea tree oil on him so he doesn't lick at the rash. He is a real sook.
Mum has had a bad cold and been sick for a couple of days but I think she is on the mend with the help of antibiotics. Annie and Brett bought it home with them, luckily nobody else has caught it. We went down to the post office and chemist today, she rode her go cart I walked. I haven't been walking for a while and was a bit tired, I must have lost some of my fitness over the last week of not exercising. My iron levels might be a little bit low too.
I have been picking beans and cooking them straight off the bushes which is taking advantage of my gardens best. I have also been using fresh herbs and spring onions straight from the garden. I have quite a lot of herbs growing. Basil of different types, parsley, Italian and curly, bay leaves, rosemary, chives, coriander, oregano, and garlic are the culinary ones. The lilly pillies are ripe and I have also been munching on those. My little mandarin tree is heavy with fruit and the branches are drooping, the won't be ready to eat until late winter.
It has been perfect weather here except for lack of rain. The weather man says it is coming though. I wish it would hurry up. Today was in the high 20's and the night time temperature has cooled down to make sleeping more comfortable. All of the plants I have planted over the last month or so are looking happy and healthy. The butterfly bush I planted a few years ago has died after struggling for a long time. It either didn't like the drought or where I put it. They are supposed to be tough, and they do grow around here, obviously not tough enough for me. O.K. till next time bye. Love Linda.

Monday, 2 April 2007


We got back from Melbourne (capitol city of Victoria, 3 1/2 million people) on Saturday evening. Had a lovely time there. Took some good pics at the flower show which I thoroughly enjoyed. Went to the Caravan and camping show and sticky beaked around the city in general. Had a look in the Catholic cathedral, Saint Patrick's. Beautiful, a real work of art and a rival for St Mary's cathedral that I love to visit while I'm in Sydney. I'm not a catholic, Pete is, but I can still admire the architecture and design of beautiful buildings, anyway they were all built to the glory of the same god. Both St Pat's and St Mary's are ornate Gothic churches with lots of beautiful stained glass and wood work.
I had a lovely spend up at the flower show and got some red day lilies, a Louisiana iris, a black hellebore, some autumn crocus and Japanese iris bulbs, some black echiums, and a black scabiosa. All things that I know will grow in my soil here. Except the Louisiana iris which is a bit of an experiment, but worth a try. I also got a hug and my photo taken with Don Bourke who is a garden celebrity. He had a garden show on T.V. here for many years and now runs his own garden magazine and does radio shows. The other 2 flower pics on here are of a display of bromeliads and the yellow /orange flowers are lycoris or commonly named nerines. I had not seen them in this colour before. Pete was very patient with me while I looked at everything, isn't he a darling. He spent some of his time sitting on the grass enjoying a group of south American Indian blokes playing and singing their music who were very good.
I didn't cook one meal for all the time I was away except toast for breakfast. We ate Thai, Indian and Chinese food for tea each night, the Chinese place we went to was in the middle of the city in china town and we sat in the window so we enjoyed people watching while we waited for our meals. We used public transport so didn't have to drive. It was easy to learn how to use the tram system. I was not so impressed by Pete not following my directions and driving around in circles on the way out of the city . I was the navigator, but we found our way around eventually. My excuse for this when I am driving is "We are just taking the scenic route".
The place we stayed was in a good position and only a 15 minute walk from the flower show. St Vincent's hospital was also nearby and I thought it was funny that they had a sign on the footpath pointing to the Aikenhead ward and another a bit further along to the Healy ward. I think I would rather be in the Healy ward is I needed to be there.
We went to the Queen Victoria markets before we left on Saturday morning and had a lovely shopping spree, clothes & shoes for the kids, Pete's birthday presents, I got a pretty table cloth, and I was annoyed about the prices of fruit and veges as they were about half the price we pay here inland where things are actually grown. I got lovely fresh figs ( made them into jam last night) and passion fruit and some other fruit & veges as well to bring home. I also got some fresh seafood which we had for tea last night. The ling fish I bought home, I paid $19 per kilo, its $26 here if you can get it.
This morning I have been gardening and finding places to plant all of the lovely things I got from the garden show. They are all now in place except the Japanese Iris which will have to wait for me to lift and divide the row of agapanthus that is along my front fence so they can be mixed amongst them. They flower at different times.
The combined Bonsai and Pottery club's exhibition was on over the weekend and I went in yesterday for a few hours. It was a nice social afternoon as I didn't bother to exhibit anything, it was nice to talk to other club members etc.
The weather here is lovely at the moment. It has been in the high 20's to low 30's and though we haven't had much rain, what we have had is actually still in the soil and not being zapped straight back out again by the hot weather, so the garden is benefiting from it. It's a good time to plant and garden.
I go back to work tomorrow after a bit over a week holidays. Why don't I have a rich husband so I don't have to go to work? Ho Hum.