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.

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.

Flying Not So High But Thrilled

Photo courtesy Airborne Flight Training

Going up tandem in a motorised hanglider, or microlight (we used to call the ultralights) is one of the best experiences of my life, and I highly recommend going up for a bird’s eye view of the world while the wind rushes past. Coming down to land is such an adrenalin rush.

My flights were with friends over Singleton during late afternoon, then over the wheat stubble of Parkes in what felt like a kitchen chair with a seatbelt suspended from a triangular sail!

Ultralights then were under development, and I remember Airborne as manufacturers and developers of the best. Im assuming this company that also does flight training is a continuation from the 1980’s? I will correct if wrong.

My friend, Denis Cummings, was very involved with regular hangliding, being at that time a world record holder in the Guiness Book of records. He was also great mates with the Duncans who were totally ìnvolved in producing and flying those latest motorised craft. I often saw them flying over Newcastle towards late afternoon. Bit like ET in tandem against the sky!

It was a very cool and exciting world to be part of at that time. There was always serious risk involved. Nature can be fickle to fliers.

My two flights have never been forgotten, and I loved every minute.

Today’s microlights comply with stringent safety conditions.

The Newcastle Herald carried a feature today, (link in blue below), and having just looked at the amazing photos taken over Lake Maquarie I am sorely tempted to book a flight from Belmont, now renamed Lake Macquarie Airport.

But first I must lose a few stone!

Click here: Go on a flight through Youtube. Just how it feels!

Read about fun flights available from Belmont (Lake Macquarie Airport)

Not me, but this is modern version was how I flew! Photo courtesy Airborne site

I had the Best Day! Qwirkle!

Recently I met an interesting young man and learned to play Qwirkle!

Jonathon Bridge and Katie Butler came by Uber to our community room where we met up with Philip Atkins from Uniting to discuss Jonathon’s idea as a Young Entrepreneur With Disability of taking his passion for table games to engage people in the community to have fun.

His special interest would be disabled people, but on this day he took on the elderly (me), the vision impaired (Katie Butler from Challenge Community Services) Check out Katie’s page and one very well behaved guide dog.

Jonathan’s enthusiasm was infectious as and after a quick run through of how this game of Qwirkle works (on a similar line to dominos with colours and shapes) we were soon totally involved which for me these days with my short attention span was really a good result.

” I had hoped to work within the ndis, but my plans changed a while back”, Jonathon Butler said:“What I hope to do now is to host regular game nights for various organisations and their customers as a contract worker, perhaps even as an employee of one group or another. I am still interested in being mobile; taking my work with me, though my focus is away from individual homes and more towards community centres where I can set up a room for play regularly“.

Jonathan’s real interest is in designing new table games and it is refreshing that he does not want to put them on the internet as such.

He is also researching to find a way to put his games from the table to a big screen for people like me to be able to play with someone else in the room and not just remotely through a computer.

He is still in the development process and looking for people who will let him come and try his games with them.

We are going to have a go at Scrabble soon but he does have a range of games that he is keen to teach and play that he thinks are more interesting than the usual Monopoly and standard board games.However he is willing to set up those as well.

Since he was featured in the Newcastle Herald recently he has been inundated by so many suggestions and so much interest his “head is reeling,”, he says.

For my part I thought he might fill a niche with the elderly whose families no longer sit round the table to play Cluedo or Uno.

Jonathan was so patient and encouraging that Katie and I were soon taking him on.We only stopped when my backache overcame my concentration – my excuse for ‘I was losing’!

Phillip Atkins with Ros Betts listen to Jonathan Bridge discuss his plans.
Jonathon Bridge – young entrepreneur
Explaining the rules to Katie Butler- Co-ordinater of Challenge Community.Org.Au gives the game a go

Letter to The Editor (humour)

A local designer/manufacturer has had one of her bikinis featured in ‘Sports Illustrated’, says our local paper:

I was very pleased to see that Nicole Lucas is planning on expanding her recycled bikini range into what she deliciously calls her curve range, rather than extra-.large. Then I saw it only stretches to a size 18, (said your 72-year old correspondent sadly). I have an hourglass figure but unfotunately there is now too much sand in it! Bikinis are no longer an option. My eldest son told me, in his well-meaning way, ‘Dont lie on the beach Mum, they will keep trying to roll you back into the surf! Ha ha. I threatened to have him adopted.
Seriously though, it is great to have a talented designer ĺike Nicole Lucas choose to bring her swimwear design and manufacturing to Newcastle, where the beaches are among the best in the world and our local girls look better than any models.

O riginal story on Nicole Lucas

Earlier story

Best wishes.
Eunice English

The Height of Crazy!

Once you stop caring what other people really think life becomes a lot more fun!

For instance I can now swing from the chandelier – literally !

I mentioned before my love of glass and the more my sight deteriorates the more I like sparkly.

If you look carefully at the photos of Matt and Ainslie Hallcroft’s outdoor wedding (Will post on a separate page) you will see in their wedding marquee three chandeliers that they bought second-hand for the occasion. Afterwards they offered them on sale on Facebook marketplace and a friend brought them to my attention. Sold! Always wanted exactly this old-style type.

Problem. Sort of. Nowhere to put it. It was wired to suit an extension cable to a power point so what about my outdoor room?

I asked Matt, who is an engineer, if he could wire it to a little solar panel. Then I suggested I would just festoon it with fairy lights.

But Matt went much better. When they arrived for morning tea the chandelier had solar lights plugged into all the holders in place of light globes, safely secured with electrical tape.

He then fastened it to the patio with heavy duty cable ties!

I can’t wait for tonight when it gets dark and the lights come on. It won’t bother the neighbours and should fade out after a while.

It is such a joy to look at. I wonder if you can see it from space?

Much more shiny and sparkly in real life

My Outdoor Room


My neighbour Jenny from across the way just called in.

“I didn’t know the Queen had moved in!” she laughed.

“No, just Mrs Bouquet (Bucket)!”, I retorted. Happy days.

It is only coincidence that I am booked in for a brain scan next week).