Musical Bathroom Chairs

I’m hating this old person thing, buying all these aids, such as a deep sided dinner plate, but I do love my new bathroom chair in the shower.

Simple but effective
Adjustable hand- held or fixed hose works well with he shower seat
Add a clear acrylic long-handled back brush (hanging from tap). Plus a strong double-length grab rail on the wall for safety

Quite expensive through my Occupational Therapist, but there now case of those split- second blackouts I have now and then. My bathroom is tiny but easy-clean low maintenance. No room to swing a cat (pets not allowed). This is the second bathroom chair. The first nearly shot me on to the floor like a slippery dip when wet! Extremely dangerous. The company dont usually accept the return of used goods (I had only tried it once), but they decided the risk of accident and repercussions was not worth it and rang to offer an alternative.

Actually the tall and burly youngish man and I ended up having a good laugh as we tried squeezing nto spaces while we passed each other several times trying to adjust the seat height. I hope the neighbours weren’t listening, now I recall our dialogue relating to the chair, ending with “Yes that feels great. Thank you.”

So I can really recommend a shower chair. It is just lovely to take the weight off and let lovely warm water cascade gently over to ease the muscles while washing with lovely scented shower gel. How I miss no longer being able to use a bath, but this comes close.

A Helpful Medical Fund NIB


I dont know about you, but dealing with these robot pretend chat customer relations people online “does me ‘ead in” but once you get past it can be marginally better than hanging on the phone forever.

Having said that, my medical fund staff and service at NIB Medical Fund are always great, but it was after hours by the time Ihought about the information I needed from them.

The chat robot gave in immediately on the typed chat site, it could not ollow my simple query, and offered to ‘put me through to a human’ (sic). ‘ok hurry up’ I typed teresly, not holding out much hope. I am used to dealing with Telstra.

And voila, there was Nicholas. Now Nicholas was cool. He was right on it. He put me at ease, had obviously read the file in that few seconds, and even worked outside the script.

Nicholas is World Leader in online problem sorting. Fortunarely he didnt have to understand my Scottish accent, since I type in Australian English (apparently there is a difference).

I even asked him a trick question, “since my quote for my 2 teeth on a denture is $1400, I have $760 left with you, you pay $60%, so what will you actually give me?”

This is where Telstra on the phone would have hung abrutly, pretending a line break from Indonesia. Not NIB, not Nicholas.

Without even starting with ‘Duh!’ back he came in a flash. No not a real flash, my tablet is working fine.

This was great news. I felt so relieved. Only $640 to pay. So while I had my new best friend there I asked him why they had rejected my refund for my blood pressure machine, in the faint hope Nicholas could work miracles.

Other customer relations personnel would have sneeringly pointed out that if I had bothered to read their email (I read as far as ‘rejected’), there was light at the end of the tunnel. I had it in writing. Instead he swiftly inserted the relevant print, in clear-to-see print. Impressive.

So he checked the name of my provider. They were approved. Told me how to go about resolving the issue.

I was getting euphoric! I had paid $90 at the chemist for a blood pressure machine. I could claim 60% after all. You do the maths. I was ready to go and lie down, mentally and physically, but Nicholas was firing on all cylinders.

While I was slow-typing he was checking my file and mentioned that I didnt have a third party to deal with things in an emergency on file. So we promptly dealt with that as my long-suffering and highly trustworthy elder son has reluctantly accepted power of attorney.

It was time to wrap things up, and not only had I been treated with dignity, which believe me at our age is rare, I was about to get a refund I wasnt expecting, once I ring the chemist to ask for an official receipt. We will see how that goes. Time to say goodbye. But the elation was going to my head:

Nicholas replied that he liked my sense of humour. What a lovely person. He asked if there was anything else he could help me with. ‘No thank you, I love you, Bye for now’, and I disconnected before he could type ‘DAFT OLD BAT! I had such a good evening after that.

I confess to getting anxious these days when dealing with things that before would not have phased me. I used to organise festivals and functions for Heaven’s sake!

It is partly a Parkinsons thing, but young servers in shops can give that shoulder lift as if gearing for trouble that instantly sends my mind blank and I do end up meeting their expectations, to my inner annoyance.

So hats off to Nicholas and NIB for great customer relations.


Update: Heard from NIB today. The receipt my chemist emailed me for the blood pressure machine was promptly uploaded and today I heard back that $60 is on its way into my bank account. I also copied this item into the NIB facebook page and had a message back to say they would follow up with Nick to let him know his work was appreciated.

A Fridge That Does Your Shopping

You know that moment when you are in the supermarket aisle and you know there is something missing in the fridge that you were going to replace, but can’t remember?

Or you wonder which vegetables you wanted and you wish you could just ring your fridge and ask it to tell you?

Well now you can!

My son was telling me about the latest fridge that you can look up on your smartphone app which connects with a camera inside your fridge and you can actually stand in the supermarket and see what you’ll need. I kid-you-not!

Not only that it’s has a screen on the door that you can use to bring up a recipe to cook, or call up children’s school program and see whether you should be planning something. The the options appear endless because it links online as a cmputer.

You you can be playing music, or watching a movie, catching the quiz on tv or possiblySkyping family overseas so they can watch you cook.

It even keps food cold and fresh, or frozen! Who would have thought it!

I thought my son must be kidding so I looked it up on Google and here it is. In JB Hifi at Kotara, right on my doorstep. This I have got to try.

He then started to tell me about a fridge that you could change around so that one side could be a freezer when you had a lot of frozen items or you could make that the chilling ing side instead and the other side could be the freezer, just by fkickng a switch, but my head just wouldn’t go there.

I used to think having a fridge that made ice cubes in the door was the Bees knees but this refrigerator they call a Family Hub takes the biscuit – and the ice cream, pardon the pantry pun. Oh crumbs.

PS. The style is called a French Door Fridge, and I was going to say ‘but I bet it doesnt speak French, ha ha’, but then I thought that with Google translate it probably does. Bloomin’ eck.

Forgotten whats in your fridge? Look on your smartphone! Click pic for more details on website

Balloons and Tristan the Twister

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How lovely must it be to have a Daddy who is a magician! Daisy and Willow could tell you.

I came across these photos taken years ago when I first met my magic young friend, Tristan the Twiister, or Tristan Stothard. He was entertaining at The Lockeeper during lunch, blowing and twisting bright balloons into all sorts of recognisable shapes, shown in the slideshow.

When my craft shed was erected in the corner of the garden, one of the neighbours said it was like Downton Abbey and needed a Grand Opening. So Eunton Abbey began! But that is another story.

click to visit his website
Tristan and his balloon Union Jack

I sent an invite for help to Tristan who arrived with his lovely daughter, Daisy. He went to work and made me a balloon Union Jack to hang across my stable door.

Then he made grande chapeaus (my French is tres terrible) for my garden party guests. All wonderfully pretentious!

Despite all the merriment, the magician seemed lonely.

Soon after my event Tristan met his new wife and soulmate, Emma,, who totally encourages him in all this wonderful madness, and, as if by magic, along came Willow.

Tristan also made some wedding flowers from balloons to accompany a framed poem I was giving the couple. They were a great hit and lasted longer than real flowers!

Soon after I came back to my family in Australia. In meeting my very kind magician friend at a low point of my life, following the passing within months of my Mum and Dad, those balloons lifted my spirits and left brightness iin my mind that stays in one corner forever.

Tristann is on FacebookLink to facebook page

The Nicest Thing You Can Say

“I forget you have Parkinsons” my helper said as I was struggling to get out of tthe car after our two hour outing. For a professional to say that was praise indeed, for I try hard to stay on top of it.

We had set off for the little shopping centre at Jewells with the great bargain shop that is chokkers with things you forgot you needed, like another $2.50 long-handled grabber and 4 old- fashioned ce cream dishes,

AAA batteries, 3 cans of turqoise spray paint for the outdoor metal bench, some craft clay for kneading to strengthen my weak left arm, plus set of wooden tools to work it (spent a happy hour on Youtube later while horizontal learning how to make things with it. Will take it up to the big table in the community hall during the week and have a go. Should be good for hand brain workout.)

Back to what I call The Treasure Cavern: I have a shopping list app on my phone that works really well, and kept me mainly on track, if you dont count the sundae dishes…and the windmills in the photos. Another weird item I was looking for was a shopping list pad that consists of money- sized colour prints of banknotes from $100 down. Had a bit of fun writing notes on the backs of $100 and handing those over! Used ones decorate my old bookcase as a reminder to keep writing. Yes it may be weird, but it works. My life. I am giving everyone a handfull of banknotes with their Xmas present – in the form of a notepad. Its the thought that counts.

I had left my helper talking to another client we ran into – at my request – and enjoyed looking at the myriad items with the improved focus of my last eye injection. $70 later at the checkout and my usual cheery chat with JJ, who never tries to rip you off like some dollar shops do.

Remembered powdered cinnamon and avocado garlic dressing from the organic veg shop, and we headed into what I call ‘The Geriatric Cafe’ because it is always full of pensioners. We had a laugh at the notice on the counter

but decided to barge in anyway!

I got halfway through my tasty bacon and egg roll when I hit the wall. What they call ‘off time’, when the levadopamine has worn off and the next dose is due…speaking of which…Made the mistake of deciding to wait the 20 mins till I got home – paid later in pain.

I am not conscious that I slow down like the Energiser bunny on the wrong batteries until it is pointed out, because my thinking slows as well, even my speech apparently.

So that was when my helper remarked, in a complimentary way, ‘Sometimes forget you have Parkinsons’, as I was just slowly getting hold of my walker (called Harley) for the longest walk home (the same few short metres I did easily earlier, got in the door, took my tablets, lay down leaving shopping iin bags, moaned and groaned while my muscles protested at the change of gravity, and fell asleep.

But it was a good fun day. Today is Saturday, my horizontal recharging day. I am writing this lying down. My mind says eagerly ‘lets go out and drag the bench over to the grass and give it 3 cans of turquoise spray paint, c’mon!’ My body says, abruptly. ‘Shutup!’

One of the items I didnt realise I needed till I saw it! Got two.


Note: compulsive behaviour is a side-effect of Parkinsons. I consider mine impulsive behaviour, but I have always been that way. Other recognised side effects are gambling (does the occasional $2 lottery ticket count), and increased sex drive. Still waiting.

Med Appts Are the New Hot Dates

Definitely not my desk

There was a time when seeing a good-looking doctor could at least brighten the day but now all my doctors are either children or young females so that takes the shine off that.

We are still trying to coordinate carer transport and medical appointments which nearly sent me round the twist this morning. First I have to ring my care service to see when they have scheduled my regular helper because they have a habit of changing times, which I forgive as I am in the habit of changing it too for emergencies so it works both ways.

Then I find we are going to be a bit short of time for the appointment I have made for next week. So I ring back the skin clinic and see if they can bring it forward yes. But I have already put it all in the phone calendar with a reminder an hour before and all that stuff.

So I go back to my care service to say when did they say my helper was starting and they said 11:45 and I said that was good because I now had made made my appointment for 12 15 in Charlestown, pause for thought, I did I say that I’m trying to read my very big print notes which says Gail comes at 11. 15 Dr 11:45. and if that waswhat I have put that in my calendar well that is what it will have to be because I am turning up at 11:45 at the skin clinic whatever.

So that is one appointment done now I have to get ready for my eye clinic appointment that until yesterday I had forgotten about it because I have had visitors and my whole schedule is out of whack and I don’t know what day it is. I would have known today was Thursday if the Gardeners had come yesterday as they always did on a wednesday but now the village has sent the Gardeners packing who were a lovely little team of garden gnomes and have hired contractors who have not been seen yet so the courtyard is becoming a mess without their leaf blower every week. But that is a minor problem.

It was a big mistake to wake up at 6 a.m. and decide to get up to get things done when my brain is decided it’s not going to function till after 11 a.m. .

Today should have been shopping social day with my helper my but I have overspent during my cruise and trips to the garden centre plus the retail therapy handbag previously mentioned and I had my online groceries delivered and paid for yesterday and I have to come up with $500 upfront to have a needle stuck in my eye at 12:45. I think it’s a good idea to curtail the shopping anyway.

Now I did say my appointment was at 12:45 didn’t I?


Later: Sooooo, c can only blame lack of sleep but I was only just showered and dressed when my helper arrived at 11:15 and we set off for the eye specialist and arrived there at 11:45 a.m. Yes you know just 11.45 when I had just said about my appointment was 12:45. Oops. That worked out ok as we had time to go across to the shopping complex and check out the mobile phones at JB Hi-Fi plus HP computer tower I had ordered without actually looking at it and found a new midnight blue Delonghi kettle on special or $69 which I texted to my son would be a great idea for my birthday in September ! Well he gets it at discount.

By then there was only just time to get back for my appointment and my helper had to leave me there aas arranged because it was nearly 2 hours before I actually went in for my eye injection, and after 3pm when my taxi dropped me home $30 poorer. 4 hours of not fun, apart from the laughs Gail and I had along the way.

Such is my social life. The only hot in my hot date was the new date in my calendar and warm latte we got from the bistro next door.

Does Retail Therapy Kill Pain?

Well that got your attention! I did find the most wonderful bag today which has been made locally in Belmont and was so nice and well done with lots of inside pockets and the smell of leather that it simply had to come home with me.

At the time I felt no pain apart from a little twinge of guilt that it was too expensive, but then it was 30% off so that made it a bargain, right? Retail logic beats financial restraint every time.

silk and leather bag by Which Bag?

Ive been looking for a bag that will fit upright into the basket of my Harley – rollator with a flap that comes down over the front to prevent pilfering. Tick. It slides into the front basket easily. Tick. Wont keep tumbling off like my silver leather backpack did. Tick. The strap reaches round the handlebar to hold on to. Double tick. Bright enough to find easily, and it makes me feel good. Lots of ticks.

Funny how a new handbag can make a girl feel special.

And it is perfect to take on my Xmas in July lake cruise on Tuesday.

Well Merry Christmas to me!

Sheryl Keating and Brooke Galea are the designers and makers of each individual bag. Here is some detail from their Facebook sales site.