Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Curse.

There is something strange about this house. Well, I *think* it’s the house, it could, of course, be me that’s the problem but that’s a *way* bigger issue than I want to cope with right now and the implications are more horrendous than I want to consider.

So, moving on, why do I think the house is cursed? Just to begin, perhaps I should tell you that the previous two owners of the property (immediately before us) both had serious issues that forced them to sell. The first of the two we know about, was a building company  called “Gentry Homes” … ho went bankrupt and had to close down. The place was then bought by a couple called ‘Batty’. Well, that might have been a clue but, nevertheless, they opened a couple of fishing/sports supply shops and… yes… went bankrupt. To try to get finance the husband relocated to Indonesia, but when there he got involved with another woman and, they split up. With no money the property began to get *very* run down and eventually they were forced into what was, for them, a fire sale.

We turned up with a bucket of money from the sale of our ‘old’ house in Rouse Hill, bought it (for what I still considered a hundred thousand dollars over the natural price) and set about renovating the entire place. Assuming this was a forever house we started at the far end of the circle intending to work out way around to the main house. Which we did.

We had the usual run of things going wrong, as you do when you renovate, but we also lost some stock… for example two lovely Alpacas, two beautiful geese, and about 30 really lovely chickens that were so friendly. Actually, they were just the sorts of things that could happen to anyone in the country, but they were a ‘taster’, the *really* bad stuff came later. To begin with, my daughter’s behaviour suddenly began to slide downhill. She’d always been ‘difficult’ but her behaviour deteriorated so severely that we were forced to seek help from a number of professionals but… to no avail.

The sequence of events was pretty sad in itself. The stress, compounded by 60 years of bad eating and little exercise compounded to send me to the hospital to get 4 stents. After they were inserted I was told to take anti-coagulants, (i.e. blood thinners) and they caused an existing oesophageal ulcer to ‘burst’ sending me back to the hospital. Whilst I was there, my daughter took her own life. We had no idea she was so badly disturbed, nor have we ever found out what pushed her over the edge. I blame myself, but I suppose that’s what all parents do when faced with something personally horrific and inexplicable. Even finding her was a fluke because I shouldn’t have been ‘mobile’… yet something drew me to where she’d killed herself and I found her.

That was the worst of all the things that have happened but there have been other things. For example, we needed to get the pool area tiled as we were renovating it so asked the son of a friend of ours (both of whom are tilers.) to do the job. As it turned out he was not only short of work, but needed somewhere to live so we let him use the old house on the property for no rent on the understanding he’d work to renovate it and we’d pay the going rate for his actual work on the pool. Well to cut a long story short he *also* began to slide downhill to the extent that one day he simply downed tools, walked off the job and never came back… leaving all his tools behind!

Shortly afterwards my wife lost her job. No job means no income. No income means no mortgage payments… and trouble.

Well, she managed to get a consulting role three days a week at Cochlear which was enough to keep body and soul together as long as we took things a little easier. So it was with some dismay that we learned that she had a tumour on her pituitary gland. She’s due to be operated on next week (more on that soon as well) but while she’s off work… no sick pay so more stress.

This last setback has finally ‘pushed us over the edge’  and so, much as we love living here, we just have to move and give it all away. From one perspective I’ll be really sad to leave the place, but from another I want to move before something even *worse* happens for example that *we* end up bankrupt like those two previous owners!!. 🙁

If we get our asking price we might walk away with some dignity and enough cash to set ourselves up somewhere far away, South Australia maybe. Otherwise… who knows.

The ‘big move’.

We’ve come up with a plan… a cunning plan at that! We have to move. Deb’s employment is gone and this house is clearly cursed (more on that later). This means we *really* need to move to regain some sort of financial and emotional stability. The past few years have been appalling and it’s time to simply call it quits and pull up roots. We’ve located a place outside Adelaide that looks to be suitable. Three bedroomed house on 20 acres!!. If the place sells for our asking price, we might have enough to pay for our new house outright. This leads us on to the real plan.

So we should have a house paid for. If Deb can’t find a job in Adelaide we’ll manage on unemployment or part-time work and live quietly. If she *does* find work then this is where the clever part of the plan comes it to play. We save… and save… and save… for three years. Towards the end of the three years, we buy two strong containers, put them on blocks somewhere sensible and fill them with our furniture. Oops… let’s backtrack as little. Before we pack up the furniture we buy a caravan and a decent car to tow it. We test out our ability to live long term in the van and… hopefully… all will work out well. We can practice driving around the property to learn how to reverse, tow, park etc so we’re ready for the open road!

It’s *then* we pack up the furniture and other gear into the containers so that we can set off on our adventure!

The general idea is that we rent out the house and that income, along with the income from the Brissie house, would be enough to keep us mobile… approx $1000 or so monthly (maybe up to $2000). We do this for as long as we feel fit and active enough to do it and then when we decide we’ve had enough, we get off the road and settle down in either of the two houses. In between times we have capital growth so we’re not losing out… much. Effectively someone else will be paying us to go on an extended holiday!

As I said, the timeline for this move is three years so by the time the wife is 55, and I’ll be 72… we’ll be set to go. I’m not fit for much now so I’ll not be up for physical work anyway by then but who knows, I might just manage to lose some weight and get fit. 🙂

There is much planning to do between now and then, and it all hangs on Deb getting a job with a decent salary, but we are being positive. At the very *least* we’ll leave the trauma of living here behind us and move on with our lives. It’ll be sad to leave Karmah and Leuca behind, but I’m sure they’ll understand one way or another.


Well, I couldn’t find the netbook and I have no idea where it is either! I’ll just have to use one of the other old notebooks I bought for the kids and they ‘outgrew’. The problem with them is that the batteries on all of them are pretty much shot to pieces and it costs as much to replace the batteries as a new machine… crazy isn’t it.

Anyway, I have to empty the office ready for the big move so I may yet find the damn thing. 🙂

Gone a bit quiet.

Still a bit worried about Deb who sees the neurosurgeon this arvo at 3:30. She’s got no more symptoms as far as she’s aware anyway but there is still ‘growth’ so… well who knows.

As for the other things I want to talk about or write about, not really sure. The initial urge has diminished a little but it’s still something that needs to be done. Part of the problem is that I need to write when I need to write, but the desktop is too big and the laptop has a dreadful battery life. The answer which came to me as I typed… is to use the Netbook I bought last year but hardly use!

I think it’s time to go searching around the office to dig it out sand tuck it in my bag!! 🙂

In the meantime I have to go shopping for Week two of the ‘Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation’ (12WBT) but I really need to both weight myself *and* do the exercises. My leg is a lot better so I need to focus.

Housing… starter.

Here we go again. So where do we start… maybe a list of the places I lived all these years could be a start. Also, they’d no doubt remind me of more and more stories!! So, as you’ll see. I’ve moved about a bit in my 68 years…… for example…

In Caerffili I’ve lived in… Bartlett Street, Dan-y-Coed, St Martin’s Road, White Street, Princes Rise, Newport, London, Barry, Princes Rise, Lansbury Park, Princes Avenue.

From Caerffil to Pencoed… Deri Avenue.

From Pencoed to Sarn… Crescent Road )I think… will check!).

From Sarn to Pontycymmer… Upper Adare Street

From Pontycymmer to London… Lutheran Flat (will have to ask), Whitecross Street

From London to Croydon… not sure of that address.

From Croydon to Caerffili… Princes Rise.

From Caerffili to Wallendbeen… (that was a biggie)…

From Wallendbeen to… South Wentworthville…

From South Wentworthville to Penrith…

From Penrith to Kellyville… York Road

From Kellyville to Rouse Hill… McGilvray Place

From Rouse Hill to Kenthurst… Lang Road

From Kenthurst to… undetermined right now. 🙂

Seems, unless I’ve forgotten a few moves, I’ve lived in at least 24 places… not counting the places I’ve lived in temporarily such as a couple of months in Goodge Street, a few months in Butlin’s Barry and a year in staff quarters in a hotel in Newport!!!

I think maybe the stories will take a long time so perhaps it would be wise to write them up one at a time. 🙂

The MRI results are in!

Got to the consultant at lunchtime having picked up the wife’s scans. By the time we arrived I was *sure* the results were going to say Multiple Sclerosis so I sat down in the office and waited. The ‘eye guy’ did a preamble making sure we understood what was wrong wasn’t his fault… and then explained what was wrong.

Seems she has a pituitary macroadenoma with a haemorrhage. This basically is a benign tumour on the pituitary that has also had a ‘bleed’. The result is that it became swollen, and pressed against the optic nerve in the region of the optic chiasma thereby affecting her visual disturbances.

Off to the neurosurgeon on Monday for advice and probable date for an operation.

Guilt is a pain.

Occasionally I do things and feel guilty immediately. However, the most common experience for me at least is to get a memory of something that happened a long time ago and suddenly think “Oh god did I really say/do/make/etc that?”. Then the guilt hits and because, whatever it was, happened so long ago, there is no going back so no making amends of any sort. I tell myself the usual guff, i.e. learn from your mistakes and move forward, but that doesn’t help. What I usually feel guilty over are the effects, real or imagined, on the other party whether it be a person or animal and there’s no easy way to deal with it… especially for an obsessive like myself. Not more to add right now, just saying… 🙂

Dogs and Mountains

I originally started writing this post when I remembered an old dog I had called ‘Charlie’ (another story there) who was a lovely strong animal that I really loved. At the time I was married to my first wife, Fenella, who I called Nelly much to her family’s disgust..

Anyway, the occasion I was remembering was going for a walk with wife and our toddler, Matthew in his pushchair. We decided to walk along St Martin’s Road and up the mountain past the Watford, around through the forest and back to our home in Lansbury Park. It was a long way but we were young and fit (well Nelly wasn;’t as she had Type 1 diabetes… another story to come). We set off and all went well until we came to the upward stretch of the mountain, at which point the sheer weight of child and pushchair began to tell. We moved slower and slower until, by the time we reached the reservoir, it was almost impossible to go further.

Then inspiration struck and I tied the dogs lead to the front axle of the pushchair and let him go. Wow! He took off like a bullet. He’d always ‘pulled’ but now he was clearly enjoying the effort to the extent Nelly and I had to *trot* to keep up with his as he dragged us up the hill!! Sadly I was forced to give Charlie up when Nelly and I fell out. I have no idea what happened to him in the end but I still see his face in the back window of the car that took him away and the big floppy tongue waving as his questioning eyes looked back at me. Still miss him. 🙁

More ‘leggy’.

As I said earlier, the Doc gave me stronger antibiotics to fight the infection in my shin, but I’d forgotten he told me to stop taking the iron supplements I’d been taking because they interfere with the efficacy of the stronger medication. Naturally… I immediately forgot so each day I’ve been taking two of the antibiotics along with one iron pill so, basically, I’ve been compromising their effectiveness. Tomorrow I’ll have to try to remember. My excuse is I have a lot on my mind right now. 🙂

Today is an ‘H-Day’ for us.

Last October the wife had dual cataract operations. She already has Glaucoma and this we felt was just another load to carry. However, since November, she’s noticed the sight of her left eye was deteriorating significantly. Because of this, we visited her consultant on Monday morning for him to investigate. After discovering she had a badly damaged optic nerve she was sent for an urgent MRI, which she had on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening we had a call from the consultants secretary asking her to come in urgently so we’re off today at 12:30 to see what’s wrong.

There are a few options of course, and none pretty. There is the obvious possibility of pressure on the nerve cutting off blood supply, i.e. a tumour… which may or may not be benign and, also, may or may not be operable. Or there are the  demyelinating diseases (such as Multiple Sclerosis) which are not quite as dangerous immediately but have long term life consequences. She has already reported to the doctor having a ‘numb’ feeling in her foot… which in itself isn’t an issue, but in combination with the eye issue raises questions.

Those are worst case scenarios of course but as far as I can see there would be no reason for us to be called in urgently if there was no good reason… i.e. something needs to be fixed *now*. We’re all rather worried.