Thursday, May 17, 2018

Such are the Dreams of the Everyday Housewife

Prompted by the example of D2 who borrowed from me a book called "The New Natural Cat  -  a guide for caring owners" I decided to gradually change my cats' daily treat over to something more healthy than commercial soft food.  So I headed out to Farmer Jack and bought some lean beef mince with the idea of introducing a bit at a time, adding other ingredients as I increased the fresh and replaced the supermarket mushy stuff.

On Day 1 I added about a level teaspoon of the mince to each of the feeding bowls along with their usual soft food.  They thought that this was a great treat and scoffed it down.  I happily went off to do my daily yoga practice only to find, when I went into the bedroom to change back into my clothes, that Poppy had neatly brought up the whole lot in the middle of my duvet.

Thank goodness for clothes dryers.  I bundled the duvet into the washing machine and put it through a couple of cycles in the dryer and it was back onto my bed by bedtime.  We are now back to commercial soft treats but a better, more expensive sort from New Zealand where they seem to do most things better or best.

My genealogy research is now focused on my one and only Irish forebear and there I have run into another brick wall.  I gather that the Irish archives were burnt down along with most of the BMD records and people seem to be second guessing their ancestors and then actually putting their trees onto where they are copied by other researchers.  I can trace the ancestor who came to Australia as he is in the record of assisted immigrants who arrived in Sydney in February 1842, along with his age (19), his brother and his occupation.  

It would be so easy to copy from other trees and give names to his parents but I contacted a cousin researching the same family and he doesn't know either.  He is, like me, insistent on sources before recording information -  something which got me into hassles researching the Mendus family.  I had help with the Davies branch of the Davies family and that is well sourced.  David Davies married Charlotta Mendus which is how the Mendus family connects with the Davies forebears.

My Irish forebear married in Sydney a few years after he arrived but his wife died, probably in childbirth, two years into the marriage.  He then moved to South Australia where he married my something-great grandmother and between them they produced 12 children.  She died with the twelfth child so I assume that it was all too much for her.  By our standards she was not very old.  Thems were the days!

I am trying to edit out most of the commas in this blog.  Reading news reporting from USA I sometimes find the reports confusing due to a liberal scattering of inappropriate commas.

The last of the sudokus:

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

... and it doesn't get any better.

Not long after writing up my last blog entry Parsifal, my boy cat, managed to get himself trapped behind the washing machine.  He does this periodically when he thinks that he is being ignored and the gap at the side is too narrow for him to walk out on his own and no way for him to jump up and out so the washing machine has to be manoeuvred sideways (and it is very heavy) close to the hot water storage tank.

This time he managed to also get the electrical cord twisted around his tummy with no room to untangle himself so I had to go over the top of the machine, unplug the cord and by lying over the top with my legs stuck out the back I managed to untangle him.  There were a couple of men up on the roof trampling around and talking and I was swearing like a trooper so I didn't hear my personal alarm give its preliminary 20 seconds of beeps and I assumed that the voices I heard were from the men on the roof.  I now realise that I must have triggered things by squeezing the alarm button between the washer and my ribs.

It was only after the rescue had been concluded that I heard D2's voice asking me if I was OK.  I can't imagine what she thought was going on but at least we both now know that the thing works.  Later I also received a call from my next-door neighbour who had received a text message  saying that I might be in trouble.  This happens of the alarm reaches a mobile phone.  My neighbour is fourth on the list so her role is to phone for an ambulance and beam up the paramedics.  Once again  -  it is nice to know that the gadget works.

And yesterday I attended the Lion Eye Institute where, after multiple tests with me looking into bright lights, I was told by the ophthalmologist that due to the previous laser work done to my retinas there would be a 2 - 3% chance that I could lose my sight altogether if I had my cataracts removed and he was not prepared to take the risk, especially as, with spectacles, my vision was really quite good still.  So I have an appointment to see him again in a year.  I suppose that eventually I will get to a stage where the risk becomes worth it and it will, by then, become a kill or cure scenario.

The penultimate sudoku:-

Having been erased
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Life Gets Tejus, Don't It

I seem to run out of time these days and I have realised that the culprit is American Politics to which I have become addicted.  Australian politics is really boring, nothing like the chaos which is America and I am spending an inordinate amount of time watching Rachel Maddow and a variety of comedians on a variety of Late Night Shows.

I also had to call a locksmith in when my door handles started falling off and I was unable to work out how to get into their inner workings to tighten the screws.  I know now but my fingers are not strong enough to remove the outer ring so it will be SIL or GB1 who has to come to the rescue.

And I have been given the super new quadruple-strength 'flu vaccine.  Last year Western Australia was essentially fairly mildly affected but a large number of people in the Eastern States died, especially the elderly and the chronically ill people so a super-vaccine has been made available for those over 65 and only administered by a doctor.  Normally 'flu vaccines are available at the local pharmacy and administered by a pharmacist.

I had a slight reaction to the stronger dose  -  a bit headachy and a big muscle achy but it only lasted for a couple of days and hopefully I will now be safe from the killer 'flu this winter.

And in two days time I will be off to the Eye Institute for a preliminary visit to check out my cataracts and discuss what is to be done about them.  My optometrist panicked me by saying that, because I have had laser work done on my retinas the surgery might be a bit more difficult and I must expect to be hospitalised instead of having Day Surgery.

My main problem is the cats; overnight is OK; I can leave them for that long but any longer they will need feeding and the cleaning out of their litter trays.  GB1 has agreed to do it if necessary and as he is at a school close by and has to walk past my apartment to get to the train station he seems to be the logical one to get the job.

On the strength of the uncertainty about the timing of the surgery I have tried to resign from COTA and that went down not so well but I will have to stop at some stage and even though someone has gutted all the junk from the computers, Windows 10 is not easy to teach to people who haven't progressed through earlier versions of Windows.

D1 has sent me, for Mothers' Day, what feels like one of those caps which Mr Trump wears but I doubt if it has any sort of political slogan on it  -  probably cats at a guess; people always give me cat presents.

The Sudoku for this episode of my Blog:

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky
But we never will.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Adam versus Darwin

I had an interesting phone conversation this morning.  I realised immediately that it was not a telemarketer because there was no background noise of a big room full of talking people  -  and the caller gave his full name  -  and he had an Australian accent.

He introduced himself as a Jehovah's Witness and invited me to a meeting next Sunday in Subiaco which is about ten minutes up the Fremantle train line.  As he was polite and not pushy I politely declined his invitation and then he asked me if I believed in Creation  -  which I don't.

I told him that I had been to a very High Anglican boarding school and by the age of 16 I had formed my own ideas about the Bible which was that the first two chapters of the OT were fiction and the later ones were probably based on some truth but very partisan and to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Then I asked him how he had got hold of my phone number.  He said that he had been going through the telephone book and phoning anyone who lived in the Western Suburbs.  That sort of dedication is amazing and deserves that he brings in a good crowd.  All power to him and I wish him well although I refuse to believe for a minute that I was created from any man's rib and FYI men have 12 ribs on each side and have done so since the first humanoid.

I had my eyes checked out last Wednesday and was found to have cataracts but so far have not heard from the organisation nominated to remove them but it might be a good time to resign from COTA although someone has finally cleaned out the computers.  It is about time someone did and since two of the teachers are ex-IT people I suspect that one of them did it on the sly because I have been threatening to delete all the old files and been told that they probably belong to someone who will miss them when they are gone.  Both computers now think that they are named Boardroom 1 but since the password is the same for both anyway I can't see that it matters at all.

Today's Sudoku:-

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

There are vibrators and then again there are vibrators

I was diagnosed with a type of hereditary deafness when I was aged 20 and since my early thirties I have, on and off, worn a hearing aid.  The off times were when I had surgery to replace the ossicles in my middle ears but I have reached a stage where I can no longer hear my alarm clock which can be awkward.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a "Sonic Alarm with Bed Shaker"  which has been sitting on my hall table for over a week.  The problem was that the instructions were in the fine print, with the buttons on the back and the display on the front and two buttons had to be  pressed simultaneously to change the settings.  I seriously considered asking GB1 to set it for me but today felt brave enough to tackle it myself on the assumption that if I totally messed things up then GB1 could fix it for me.

Hopefully it will now work although I haven't plugged in the bed-shaker bit and will not do so until I need to get up early.  It is very fancy with several levels of dimmer for the LED display, five different sound levels for the alarm (which will continue for 30 minutes unless turned off because I haven't yet managed to shorten the time for that and I assume that I would have woken up and turned if off by that time anyway).  When I tested the sound level for the alarm it scared the pants off the cats so I know that even without the bed shaker it will wake me if I turn the sound up.

The first thing on my Bucket List was to have my eyes tested and I now have cataracts which will need to be dealt with.  Because I have torn retinas in both eyes which were lasered into place a few years ago my optician is not confident that I will be able to simply have day surgery but might need to be hospitalised.  He is referring me, at my request, to the Lions Institute which did one of the laser treatments  -  and they are seriously good  -  so hopefully I will get the best possible treatment.

But it might mean boarding the cats for a while, a prospect which I haven't yet told them about but none of us is going to enjoy it.  In the immortal words of Donald Trump  -  we will have to see what happens.

Oooops! I forgot the Sudoku

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

My Bucket List

I have been compiling my Bucket list.  I am not sure how the phrase came into being but I gather that it is the things which I intend to do before I die.  I don’t think that my list closely resembles those of others who have listed their pre-demise must-do activities.

I started organising my list this morning and here it is:

Visit my Optometrist and get my eyes checked out for cataract and glaucoma and be tested for newer, stronger spectacles.  Appointment made.

Visit audiologist for hearing test and aids adjusted or replaced.  Appointment made.

Visit Podiatrist to see if he has any bright ideas on how to treat the exostosis in Right second toe.  I am not holding my breath on this one as a surgical podiatrist has already referred me to a corn cutter when I know that it needs surgery.  In the immortal words of Donald Trump  -  ‘we will see’.

Get the fridge door fixed.  Miele technician or handyman?

Organise an electrician to replace the flickering or dead lights.

Set my new alarm clock/bed shaker as I am sleeping through the alarm on my current alarm clock.

Organise for the ‘Big Persian’ to be taken away and cleaned.  Six years of two black cats and it is starting to look grubby.

Organise to have my pictures more securely hung.  I don’t trust the fishing line which Second Wife organised.  Parsifal (first cat) likes to swing them and a couple have fallen down.

Organise to have my limited edition  plates securely attached to a wall so that they can go on display.  They have been packed away for over six years.


I have given up on  the Mendus Family for now but there are still questions not yet answered.  They are like a willow-the-wisp and keep calling me back.  It is really a ‘just because they are there’ attraction and all of my Welsh connections are complicated by the limited number of Family Surnames  -  the Welsh having come to them later than the rest of England and they are mostly derived from Given names I.e. Thomas, Evans, Johns, Rees, Davies, Roberts, Richards, Rogers  etc. -  I am sure that you get the gist.

The Sudoku:-

A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.

Friday, March 30, 2018

I may have finally found my genealogical block

And I must have found it before because it was saved on

John Sexton appeared out of nowhere, claimed on his marriage certificate that he was a mariner and seemed to have risen, fully formed from the waves, like Venus.

What I discovered was a 1841 entry from the British Census  for a John Sexton, aged 19 years old and listed as an Able Seaman, address  -  Lifton Park House in Devon.  There were a couple of dozen names under that address which makes me wonder if it was a courtesy address for a Naval Training Facility  - and although I am unable to find any mention of one Devon would be the place to look.

I will keep on plugging away at it and maybe one day something more will come to light.

One thing I am sure of is that his father was not named John Ebenezer Sexton.  He had a son called Ebenezer John who died when he was in his early thirties, unmarried.  John's father was given a name John Ebenezer on my John's death registration and I suspect that it was a feasible made-up name to fill a place on the form.   I have scrolled through ancestry and there isn't a single John Ebenezer Sexton listed there in any category.  No easy contact with England when needed has caused this to happen before  - in my Davies family when Ted the Tanner's daughters were unable to work out who his first two wives had been they took a stab at it and probably got the right one but there is no proof.

I am getting very annoyed with Facebook and their proliferation of advertisements.  A couple of days ago I went to a site to check on lip gloss colours available and immediately there were company advertisements on Facebook.  All they do is to take up space and bandwidth and put in trackers which all have to be deleted before I log off.

I used to go there for the US politics but more and more I am going straight to U-tube and Rachel Maddow.  Her commentary is always enlightening and she manages to make politics interesting.

And now for the Sudoku.  I am not sure what I am going to do when I run out but I have a book of Limericks and some of them are actually reasonable clean  -   so maybe ...

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

Blondie, I notice that you are still listed as a follower; I'd love to hear from you if you are still out there -  just post in the comments.