09 December, 2014

Grumpy Rant Face from Hell.

I've been awake today since 3am, so there's a good chance this post isn't going to be coherent, articulate or free of spelling or other typographic errors.  I am, however filled with something of a fury.  So I can promise that there is definitely something I intend to say, and with purpose.  So grab your listening eyes if, indeed you care to engage, and jump on, particularly if you are up for some mixed metaphors and jumbled imagery.  I've got a lot of that going on right now in my delirious and irate brain.

But first, let me set the scene.

This morning I was awoken in the wee small hours by the sounds of my father who was very very unwell.  So unwell, in fact that I was prompted on checking him to pretty much call an ambulance within a few minutes.  The paramedics arrived promptly and on hooking Dad up to all the blinkers and beepers ascertained that he was, yes, in a very bad state.  I'm sure he won't mind my telling you that his blood pressure was hovering around 60 on 40 and his heart rate while they were with him was dropping, and got down to 30.  

You can pretty much ask anyone, and they'll tell you that vital signs like this are not bright, although just one look at him could've told you he was in trouble.

It took about half an hour for the paramedics to stabilise him to the point where they were confident they could get him onto a trolley and in transit to hospital, and to their credit, as always, they were great.  Big round of applause for the ambos who always do an incredible job and should without a doubt have pay and conditions to reflect the amazing and indispensable work they do - this announcement was not paid for by any political party).

So we arrived at the hospital at about 4.15/4.30ish and Dad was handed over and  shunted into a cubicle by around 5am.

It was not a busy morning at the hospital, thankfully.  There was a dementia patient who had repeatedly fallen on his head, poor old love, and another man, who I think was drunk, who kept insisting he couldn't breathe, although apparently all the monitors were indicating he was getting plenty of oxygen.  And that was all there was on our side of emergency.  Sadly, our side of emergency wasn't actually equipped with the monitors necessary to deal with assessing what the suspected was Dad's issue, that is, is his heart.  So for two hours we were parked in a cubicle with no equipment.  

Oh, but there was blood on the floor, blood from a former occupant.  And a few droplets inside one of the stainless steel drawers where they keep the sterile syringes, swabs, etc… Lovely.

Sure, questions were asked of Dad.  Bloods taken.  X-rays.  More questions.  People typed into databases. Bla bla bla.  More staff came in, more questions were asked.

And then Dad was moved to the other side, where there were monitors.  Lots of empty cubicles with monitors and I wondered why the hell we weren't sent over here in the first place.  Dad was hooked up to the machines immediately and blip blip blip, you could see and hear what was happening with him straight away.

And then the nurse on the well equipped side commented that Dad was sent over without any paperwork, but that didn't matter.  He went on to read some notes (apparently) in prep for hand over to the next shift, and conservatively got thirty percent of what he told the new nurse wrong.  But that wouldn't've been his FAULT only because he didn't consult the computer.  Instead, you see, in his wisdom, he chose the superior technology of his MEMORY. (!!! ??? !!!)

In the meantime, the doctor had come back and said that she had received the results of dad's blood tests and they'd not found any markers for heart attack so… and this is the kicker… so he was being discharged.  See you later.

Just like that.

Don't know what caused you to nearly drop off the perch old timer.  But we're crossing one option off the list so you can go now.  Turrah.  And by the way, get yourself out of that bed.  We won't even be bothered putting the sides down for you.  Help yourself.  Hoof it.

I cannot tell you how cross I was.  How cross I am.  He's so unwell still.  Not like he was this morning, but still terribly sick, and they don't even care to investigate.  Or even to put anything in place to begin investigations.  Or even to write up a comprehensive set of notes of what actually occurred so that the GP or anyone could actually refer to it in the future.  The discharge notes are so brief and inaccurate it's a joke.  (But not funny.)

So this is the care my dad received in the ED at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, folks.  Shabby it was.  Shit, in fact.  Really truly not good enough.

And so endeth my rant.

08 December, 2014


So this is my final night in Queensland for this trip.  Members from the other side of the family tree left before lunch and are still apparently struggling to make it home to Sydney, delayed due to some stupidly violent storm activity that's seen their plane rerouted to Newcastle where they were decanted into buses bounded for Sydney airport before somehow, I guess eventually finding taxis home along with the other hundreds of other passengers.  Ah the joys of a three hour journey turned into a 10 to 12 hour epic, eh?

from the ABC website today
Thankfully the forecast for Melbourne is much more benign.  "A few showers clearing." it says.  "Min 15.  Max 21."  That all sounds perfectly civilised.  I always thought Sydney was much too flashy for me.

07 December, 2014

All you need is...

Today was all about love.
Two lovers dedicating their lives to one another. 
Parents' love for their kids.  
Sibling love.
Love amongst friends.
Love amongst the cousins and uncles and the aunts and grannies.
(I don't think there were any grandpas there, today :( )
Love in all the nooks and crannies.
Love on the dance floor.
Love in the pudding.
Love love love…
The Beatles sang about that a few times.

06 December, 2014

Two hands.

When something is hideously wrong at the very core of things on one hand while one is surrounded by great celebration and familial coming together and happiness on the other, it can be the cause of schizoid conflict and confusion.

What the hell and I talking about, you ask?  Let me explain...

I'm sitting amongst my family: beloveds, acquaintances and new folk – all gathered at Ken and Merri's, on the night before their eldest gets married, and it's truly the happiest of nights.  Impossible not to be swept up in the fun and buzz and excitement of what will be a benchmark event in our family's life.  I wish my Mum was here.  I wish Milo was here.  I wish Hec was here.  I wish Ev and the girls were here.  But instead I am here.   And I'm soaking it all up for all of them.  And it's lovely and I'm lucky.  And so glad to be the chronicler for all of them.  Tomorrow I will be going crazy with the camera (mental note to plug it in before I got to bed).

But then there's the other thing, on the other hand, occupying me simultaneously.  The great evil.  The thing that doesn't personally touch me but that's done in my name and by my country that is so despicable that I can't, I just can't believe we are so so low as to have let it happen…  Shame shame shame shame shame on us for allowing Scott Morrison to manipulate/blackmail the Senate into passing his draconian migration legislation.  Such an evil and anti-human manoeuvre.  Such a dreadful man.  Such a horrible indictment on this society and community and country to be capable of such cruel barbarity, selfishness, paranoia and shortsighted idiocy.

If I was my friend, I wouldn't want to know me any more for what this represents..

So even though I will be loving my family and celebrating the most momentous of days tomorrow, a part of me is sickened by the the society in which my family is situated because I know the materials the framework of the society is constructed from, are rotten.

And it didn't have to be that way.

05 December, 2014

Please don't take a-fence

A very bad photo of a truly awful fence.
A metaphor for a pretty shabby post on a terrificly* fun day.

I know. I know.  I was going to try and go to sleep with that being my entry for the day and I just can't.  I've just read "Wendy of the Rock" and now I feel I need to put in a bit more of an effort before my head hits the pillow, even though it's already tomorrow.

I'm sure today (yesterday officially) is/was not what it is/was supposed to've been.  I've had too much fun even though much of it is/was punctuated by my dodging and weaving around a migraine.  You see, my girl Jorj is here.  And when Jorj is here there is giggling and lightness and often mayhem.  Also pondering, confusion, reminiscing and general feelings of buoyancy and good will.  

It's a bit like the circus is in town when Jorj comes visiting.

So that's why I haven't had time to write.  I've been having too much fun.  It's not as though we've been swinging from the chandeliers or anything.  Far from it.  Dropped off the motorhome for a service, doctor visit, coffee, pizza lunch at Milo's school, ran a few errands, dinner, hang out the washing, just stuff, you know.  But gosh, what larks stuff can be when it's done with your identical triplet.  As Jorj and I are.  As evidenced by the snap in the previous post.  Born just 5 days apart to completely different families, with completely different ethnic backgrounds, body types, colouring, features and wholly and completely different interests in every way except some music, we are indistinguishable from one another.  It's uncanny.  

We are also conjoined despite the fact that she lives mainly in NSW (but is something of a gypsy now) and I live here in Victoria.  Extraordinary.

So there you have it.  That's my excuse for not writing a post today.  Sorry.  I'll do better tomorrow. 

03 December, 2014

You get what you get but you don't get upset...

Today, despite my best efforts, I did not buy a new dress.  Nor did I buy a pair of neat (or even funky) slacks, or pants or other legwear.  Or a top.  Or a scarf.  Or earrings.  Or a necklace or a bracelet.  Or any footwear, headwear, shapewear, or even underwear.  It could, in fact, be said that I came home empty handed and empty bagged, except that wouldn't strictly be true.  Because I did buy a book.  

The purchase wasn't strictly for me, of course, because the book is for the plane and for the trip to Queensland on Friday for the wedding.  And also, the book isn't the one I wanted to buy today anyway, so it doesn't actually count.*  

So this is where I make my confession.  It is almost impossible for me to walk into a place of books selling (be they old or new) and emerge empty handed.  (There's the most CRACKING thunderstorm going on as I write…).  In my search for the book I was actually after, I came across such jewels that I almost dacked myself, so vigorous was I in shoving my hands in my pockets to keep them a-distance from the itchy credit card in my bag.

If only I were the kind of girl who was as excited by groovy clothes shops (or even knew what some were called or where they were located) as I was by books, then I'd probably be a bit more … oh, I don't know …  I'd have more clothes and fewer books, that's all.  And I'd probably still not have anything to wear to the wedding.** 

*What I was really after was Liam Houlihan's Once Upon a Time in Melbourne. Reviews?  Anyone?
**Even though I do, because I'll wear my nice, black dress that Hollie said'd be fine.  And I believe her.

02 December, 2014

Basketball: When good things go bad.

Our Boys.  The Valiant Runners Up.
Rear:  Alec (Coach) Ollie, Max, AJ, Gus (Coach), Robbie, Harvey
Front:  Caleb, Milo, Jimmy
At the end of the game you could've been excused for thinking there'd been a stabbing  on the court.  The air was so thick you could've cut it.  One of ours and one of theirs had, in the dying seconds, lunged at the ball and collided heavily knocking one another sprawling.  A mother of the other had sprinted onto the court and awkwardly half dragged, half carried the possibly injured, but obviously distressed child off the court, while our lad tried to collect himself while the final siren sounded.  There were poisonous recriminative glances coming from the collected other, directed at our boy.  He'd done it on purpose!  It was clear.  He's a thug.  A bully.  A beast.  

Our brute's mother made her way over and wiped the tears away from his face and offered a warm, comforting hug.  He'd played his heart out.  We'd lost the grand final and he'd been hurt in the dying seconds.  And for his effort those grown ups in the bleachers were collectively shooting him filthy looks en masse while he stood and nursed his aching shoulder.  Sad face.

What we who were observing didn't know at the time was that a giant man-mountain of a man – probably 110kg of muscle (and no sense to speak of) – the father of the other who had collided with our sweet eight year old monster, had approached our boy and threatened that if he ever ran into his son again, he would ensure he'd never again played basketball.

Aha.  Yep.  Because that's what grown ups say to kids at school sporting events.  A huge ginormous man of mega bouncer proportions to a grade two kid.

I can't even believe it.  I don't know what to say.

01 December, 2014

An Eliza Doolittle Moment is Looming...

At the other end of the this week I will be leaping aboard a plane pointed northwards to attend the wedding of my eldest young cousin, to fly the flag for the southern branch of the family.

Everyone is VERY excited.  

Hollie and Matt
To be betrothed on 6.12.2014
Very excited - and so say all of us.

The Groom, Matt, is my uncle Ken's first born and it's the first wedding from that branch of the tree.  (And it's a small family tree.)  Ken's always felt more like a brother than an uncle since he's only 11 years older than me.  And consequently his kids and I have never really had a conventional cousinly camaraderie.  There's a generational time warp and cultural disconnect between all of us that's been inevitable due to the fact that I'm twice their age, ethnic, black-clad Melbourne and they're youthful, Aussie, lamé Gold Coast.  And heck!  I'll try and say this without getting emotional... I'm Blue and they're Bombers – shocking, I know.

So the question has arisen:  what am I going to wear?  My aim is to look nice enough, but not to be notable in the amassed group.

I've got a lovely dress I bought it a couple of years ago and it hasn't had much wear. If the wedding were in Melbourne I'd wear it without a second thought. But me in black to a Gold Coast wedding – particularly with my white glowing calves and I might as well accessorise with a huge neon sign flashing "SOUTH OF THE BORDER".  Not quite the effect I'm after.

I think I'm going to have to go shopping.