Horror trip to the top end

Trip to the Top End
Good trip, bad trip, you decide.
“Look at this”, I excitedly told my mate John.
Return flights to Darwin, just $4 each. Too good to be true I thought to myself.
I logged onto the website and discovered it was indeed true. The Airline was having a fourth birthday promotion, hence the $4 tickets.
I just needed to log on at 10pm and secure our tickets. I sat poised to pounce as soon as the clock hit 10 pm. Done. Oh what joy.
We packed a small carry on bag each , this was the only luggage allowed. I wasn’t worried though as at that price I could buy some more clothes if need be.
After a five hour train trip, then a 30 minute airport shuttle ride, we reached Melbourne Airport.
The flight was a night time flight so we spent a fair amount of time milling about the Airport waiting for our flight to board.
Wait we did. Still more waiting, and more, then two hours after advertised departure we finally boarded. Our enthusiasm had somewhat depleted by now, but hey, we were onboard..
Uh oh. Trouble brewing. One engine would not fire up. The Captain announced a short delay in take off while the Plane was push started. Whrrr Whrrr Whrrr, the engine finally sprung to life. At this stage I was hoping it didn’t give up half way into the trip.
Soon we were airborne and everything seemed to be running smoothly. Apart from the fact that the flight was absolutely fully booked, not even room for a pea to fit in, it was a good flight.
As we approached Darwin I listened, ( as I always do) to hear the landing gear go down. All I heard was a few clunks but no gear down. The plane had already started its decent and as I looked out of the window, I noticed fire engines and ambulances speeding across the tarmac. Not a good sign . Suddenly the plane ascended again and the captain announced that we had to retry the landing. I turned to John and told him the landing gear hadn’t engaged. He went a ghostly kind of white and gripped my hand tightly. He never did like flying.
All of a sudden I heard the gear go down, we were going to be ok. On landing we emerged into the hot humid air of Darwin. It was 2am and we were tired. Luckily I had booked into a hotel and soon we were sleeping peacefully.
The morning came too soon and it was time to go and pick up our Hi Ace van. We had three weeks up here and decided to do some travelling about the Top End and also over to Lake Argyle.
All went well for a few days, John was still very pale and shaken but I thought he would come good before we had to get on another plane and return south.
It turns out the trip was doomed as a few days later John tripped and hurt his back. He had to buy walking sticks so as he could walk about. The pain was bad, the bed in the Hi Ace was hard and sleeping was a problem for him, as well as for me. We soldiered on though and saw many beautiful places , met lots of nice people and generally had a good time despite the odds.
The last week we returned to Darwin to explore the city. John was still in pain and still pale every time he thought about the plane.
It was then that the sand flies attacked me. There must have been millions of them. I was itchy, I was sore, I was oozing stuff out of the bites. What else could go wrong? I went to a Doctor and he gave me copious amounts of ointment and pills to combat the reaction to the sand fly bites.
None of it worked. I was now looking like a leper with huge puss filled sores all over me. The itch was unbearable. It was only 2 days left until we left again. John was very reluctant to get back on a plane. In fact he was making himself ill just thinking about it.
I had an idea. We could go home on the Ghan. It was amazing how quickly he cheered up when I suggested that option. I had always wanted to go on that trip. We bought ticket for the next days train.
John was still on walking sticks and I was still looking like a leper and itching like crazy but we were on the train. It was just as I thought, a beautiful journey. We went through the very centre of our beautiful country. At night the stars were bright and the sky crystal clear.
The only thing bad was my sand fly bites. Every time I walked I sounded like a slop bucket as my shoes would fill with the liquid oozing out of my sores. They still itched, Johns’ back was still sore but not too bad and the train flew along without a care I the world. It was a great trip, it really was despite our ailments.
Two years later we decided to give the Top End another go, but this time in the Caravan.
It was certainly a trip to remember, and for all the right reasons.


The Joy of twins

The Joy of having Twins.
I had always wanted to have twins. All my life I wanted twins. I had 2 sets of twin cousins, an Uncle and Aunt who were twins, and a good friend who had a twin sister and brother. I don’t know why, but I had this longing for a set of my own cute twin bubbas.
Life went on and I eventually grew up and married. The thought of twins was always with me.
My first child was a single birth, a dear little boy. I was happy. A couple of years later his sister arrived. I was even more happy, one of each. Life was good, my children were healthy and thriving. My marriage however, wasn’t. After 10 years we parted company.
Well, I thought, there goes my chance of having twins.
A few years later I met and a nice man and remarried. We decided to have a child, I was excited, maybe it would be those elusive twins. But no, it was another dear little boy. He was so cute, I was very happy to have him.
15 months on, we decided it would be nice to have another child. I was once again delighted when I became pregnant. This time it was different though. I was horribly ill. Not one of my previous pregnancies had made me ill. Never had I been so sick. It was terrible, I could not eat or drink without being sick.
I had my first visit to the GP and he assured me the sickness would pass and that I was healthy. The time came for my first scan. I was still feeling sick. The scan was done, and then the woman doing the scan said she would have to get the Dr to come in. I wondered what was the matter. Was something wrong?
Sit down the Dr said. I have some news for you. My heart was racing as I anticipated bad news. Do twins run in your family he asked? Well yes they do I replied.
Congratulations, you are expecting twins.
I was over the moon. The sickness was worth it, I was going to get my longed for twins after all.
I had regular scans over the next few months and the twins were doing well. I was still sick but was told that was normal with twins because of the extra load on my body. The babies started to move around, it felt like a football match happening inside of me. Suddenly one side wasn’t moving much. I had a sense that all was not well. Making an appointment I went and saw my GP. Something is wrong I told him. I need to get another scan done. He told me all was ok but I insisted, I knew something was not right. Reluctantly he arranged for another scan.
A specialist came in to see me after I had the scan. There is trouble he said. You have what is known as TTTS.
Twin to Twin Transfer Syndrome. What was this thing?
Well it occurs in identical twins and one twin starts transferring blood from the other twin.
We need to get these babies out if there is to be any hope of survival he said.
I was devasated. The twins were not due for another 8 weeks. Would they be ok, would they survive.
I was admitted to Hospital and scheduled for surgery the next morning. I was scared for my babies. In the bed next to me was a young girl who had already lost 3 babies and was also waiting to be delivered the next morning.
We talked and talked, both of us worried but also comforted by each other.
The Hospital overlooked a race track, there was a nice view of green track an, trees and flowers. There were no buildings anywhere. Late afternoon we stood looking out at the peaceful scene and reflecting. Both of us lost in our own thoughts of despair.
As darkness fell, I saw it. A huge cross in the sky. It was huge, brightly lit up with stars and glowing lights.
I looked across at my room mate. Can you see that I asked her? She nodded.
Our babies are going to be fine I told her. We both went to bed and slept.
In the morning as I was being wheeled off to surgery, I asked the Nurse what the Cross was. She looked at me in a strange way, and said “what cross?” I asked to be wheeled to the window, and looked out. There was nothing there, just green grass , trees and flowers.
A few hours later my adorable twin sons were delivered. Not in the best of health , but they were alive. The recipient twin had to have blood removed as he had too much, the donor had to have a transfusion and be topped up with blood, but all in all they were going to be ok.
The boys were 4 and 5 lbs so quite large despite being two months prem. Doctors told me they would always be on the small side and would probably struggle with learning.
How wrong they were. These boys are now 29 years old. They are both 6 foot tall and were A grade students. One is a High School math teacher and the other an IT Guru. If only those Drs were still around, I would take the little twins back to visit.S

The time my number almost came up.

The time my number almost came up.
It was the late 70’s and I had been living in the beautiful Samoan Islands. I was there with my then Husband and our two children.
Life was idyllic to say the least. Such beautiful people, friendly, easy going and most of all happy.
Over the years I lived there, many friends and relatives took the chance to come and visit.
It was at one such time that the following incident happened.
My sister in law had come over to visit. We were the best of friends and had a great time catching up.
It had been a habit of mine, to go for a walk each evening. I had done this ever since I arrived in paradise. It was far too hot to walk in the daytime.
The locals would all sit out in the evening, I had fun talking to each family and got to know them really well.
My walk took in a large block of plantations. It took about an hour to walk around the whole block.
There were Fales and little shacks most of the way around, except for a bit of a stretch where the cemetery was located.
This particular evening, Sis and I were having our nightly walk. We were talking and generally having a great time when all of a sudden someone grabbed me from behind.
I felt a big machete ( blade about 24 inches long) pressing into my stomach. Oh My God!
I gave a yelp and Sis looked around to see what was happening.
The bloke dragged me off into the bushes, the blade still pressed into my stomach. I was speechless, I wanted to shout out but no noise would come. I could hear Sis shouting out for help, but no one around, it was too near the cemetery.
What can I do , I thought to myself. My assailant spoke only in Samoan, I understood enough to know what was on his mind.
I was flung to the ground and this great bloke leapt upon me, almost knocking the wind out of me. He had dropped the machete, I thought I might be able to reach it. But then I thought again, what would I do with it, I couldn’t kill him. I could hit him with it but it might make him mad and he could chop my head off.
By this time he had torn most of my clothing off me.
Suddenly, I had a thought, I knew how terrified locals were of ghosts and spirits. I found my voice and pointed upwards, at the same time, shouting Aitu Aitu . This means ghost in Samoan language.
Thankfully he took off like a rocket.
I was a mess, I was shaking and sweating, Sis ran over and helped me get my clothes back on.
We limped home and I snuck into the shower to get cleaned up and composed.
We decided to keep this a secret, mainly because I didn’t want to get police involved and bring shame on the family.
Each evening after that, we invited some of the locals to walk along with us. They were more than happy to do so and polish up on their English.
And we felt safe again.
So for all these years it has laid low, but I have decided it is time to get it off my chest, and you know what? It feels wonderful to do just that.

The day my mate Kenny Died

The day my old mate Kenny died.
Kenny and I had been friends for 32 years. We went through thick and thin together.
He was always at my house, always by my side when I was cooking.
Kenny and I travelled far and wide. I first met him in New Zealand, that was where he was born.
We travelled to Western Samoa, spending several years soaking up the relaxing Island lifestyle.
We went back to New Zealand, spending another couple of years there.
It was then over to Sydney and a few different places in Australia.
I finally brought him home to the Mallee, the place where I was raised.
My mother met him and thought he was a little bit fancy.
Kenny never complained about all the travelling. He was always there when I went to my new house, wherever in the world it was.
I couldn’t cook properly if Kenny wasn’t at my side.. It was essential to have him with me in the kitchen.
My kids all loved him, they learnt much from him as he was so versatile and could do many different tasks.
At times I was a bit rough on him. I would make him work flat out for hours at a time, he never complained. Other times I would let him just coast along, taking it easy.
Deep down in my heart, I knew I would outlive him, but I was unprepared for his sudden demise.
I should have seen it coming. He was starting to show signs that all was not well.
He wasn’t going as fast as he could and would make strange noises.
A couple of weeks ago I had a mammoth task of making 72 mini pavlovas for a friends’S party. I really needed Kenny to help. I couldn’t do it without him.
Wouldn’t you know it! He died halfway through mixing up the first batch of egg whites.
Darn it!
Next day I had to go out and buy a new Kenwood Chef!

The life of Boss

The life of Boss
Boss has travelled far and wide in his short life. He is a beautiful dog, I bred him myself and as I usually did with my puppies, I found him a good home. Boss went to Brisbane, all the way from Victoria. His new owners came and collected him and he travelled up in a Jeep. Yes folks, a Jeep. This was a good start I thought, nothing but the best for this pup.
All went well and I received regular updates on his well being. About 10 months after Boss had left me, I received a call asking if he could be returned. Why, I wondered, and asked.
Oh, Boss has learnt how to dig out and was causing the neighbours grief. No worries, bring him back I said. He came back and was no trouble at all to me. He did not try to dig out, he didn’t bark, he was perfect. The only trouble was, I already had his Mum and Dad and a sister of his. What to do. It was a hard decision but I advertised him free to a good home.
A nice young man from Mebourne called and was keen to have Boss. He sounded a nice young bloke and was willing to drive the five hours to collect him. Ok, come up tomorrow I told him. If Boss does not like you he will be staying here.
The young man came up the next day and Boss went straight to him. Tail wagging he almost licked him to death.
Off they went to Melbourne, Boss sitting up on the back seat, seatbelt attached of course. I was a little teary when he left, but thought it was for the best. Four dogs was far too many for me to feed and look after.
All went well , I received regular updates on Boss and how he was doing.
It only a few months after Boss left that I lost his Mum. She developed throat cancer and I had to have her put to sleep. It was a sad day for me. It is always sad when one loses a pet. She was just 5 years old. Too young to leave this world, but too ill to keep living. My heart bled tears for that dog. She was such a beautiful natured animal.
Life went on and I got over my loss. Then, tragedy struck again. Boss’s Dad succumbed to snake bite. I was starting to think I must have killed a chinaman by this stage. But, as before, life went on. I snakeproofed the whole area where Boss’s sister lived. Quite a lot of snakeproofing too, all 3 acres of it.
Fast forward now to this week. I received a phone call from the young man who had taken Boss. Is there any chance you can take Boss back he asked. It seems that Boss had discovered how to climb fences and was escaping from his yard.
Oh yes, please bring him back I said. The young man really loved that dog, he was well looked after but it was too dangerous to have him escaping in Melbourne. So Boss came home. He walked straight in as if he owned the place. He comandeered his sisters chair by the fire. He climbed up into it and looked at me with his big brown eyes. There was a cheeky glint in them. I am sure he knew exactly what he was doing when he started his life as Houdini. He knew it would bring him home to the place he really wanted to be. I now have two very happy dogs. Brother and sister. One thing for sure, Boss will not be going to any other home, ever!
Note, for anyone wondering, both dogs have been desexed so there is no chance of any puppies.

Can Woman ever work out how man thinks, or would she want to?

Can a Woman ever work out how a Man thinks..
Or would she want too…
I was inspired to write this little piece after recent events in which I was involved..
I have been caring for a friends’ dogs for quite a while. A male friend I might add.
There is a male and a female dog. I noticed the female had come into season and so locked her away so as she would not get in pup. Mere male did not want her to have pups, but at the same time, was a bit reluctant to have her desexed.
All was going well. Both dogs happily separated and no problems at all.
I had to go to Melbourne for the weekend and gave mere male instructions on keeping the dogs separated.
All good he said, that sounds easy enough.
Off I went, happy in the knowledge that I would not be left caring for numerous puppies in months to come.
How wrong this was to be…
I duly returned from Melbourne, all refreshed and ready to tackle the daily grind once more.
Mere male was looking very sheepish when I next saw him.
How did the dogs go, I asked. Oh, he replied, I think we are going to have puppies.
How did that happen, I was curious to know…
Well, I let them out for a run together, I didn’t think anything would happen if I was there he said.
I mean, how dumb can one be… Dogs don’t mind an audience.
Don’t expect me to look after the puppies I told him.
No , I will be right with that he replied.
63 days later whelping time was here. Because I am a caring person I sat with her while she whelped. Mere male couldn’t stomach the whelping procedure.
First pup born without any problem, second ok, maybe she will have about 5 pups I thought ,as I sat with her.
By morning there were 12 of the little wrigglers…
Time to hand over to their owner , I thought.
Oh he thought they were cute, but did not realise that now Mum had to eat about 5 kilograms of food a day to keep up to the feeding of the litter.
I need more money for food I told him, what are you doing with it all, a dog couldn’t possibly cost that much he complained..
Just wait until you have to feed the puppies too I told him.
Mother dog did not want the puppies, she would not feed them or clean them up.
Needless to say I was left in charge of all feeding, cleaning up and making sure all were ok. It was just too much for a poor bloke to cope with.
The puppies are cute, but oh how I need a holiday. I am worn out.
I am now in the process of selling the puppies. I told mere male I would be keeping any money I get for them . He didn’t complain about that. First thing will be a trip to the vet with Mum and Dad, they are both going to lose their reproductive organs if they are to stay with me.
I tallied my costs.
$420 for vaccinations, $85 a week for 8 weeks for extra food for puppies, Unknown amount for time spent on caring for the dear little things, and oh yes Costs for taking some of them to new homes in Melbourne. Oops I forgot, $65 each for microchips…
I might break even perhaps….

I must be a sucker

I must have a sign on my head that says Sucker.
Just recently, at the age of 55, I have finally realised that I am destined to forever, be without a partner.
So many times I have met seemingly eligible men and it has always turned out to be a wrong in so many ways.
I don’t go out looking for male company, it just seems to find me. It is like I have a neon sign on my head that says “come lead me on, I am a sucker, I am gullible”
Last attempt, just recently, a male contacted me through this site. He seemed to be a gentleman, said all the right things.
I was close to setting up a meeting. He assured me he was alone, not involved with anyone else, texted me about 20 times a day, telling me all the things a woman likes to hear.
Golly, I thought, maybe my luck has changed.
He was even a different star sign to what I had normally encountered.
We chatted about all manner of things, got a long like the proverbial house on fire.
He seemed a gentle soul, we liked many of the same things, he did community work, always a good sign I thought.
Must have a kind heart I also thought.
Maybe I think too much. Maybe I imagine things are just hunkydory. So many maybes.
Time flew by, I was getting keen to meet, he was as well, or so he said.
I thought at least we could be good friends, even if nothing else became of it. Always good to have friends, one can never have too many of them.
I asked a few questions, like, have you met many women online. He answered no.
Assured me I was the only one. Alarms started ringing in my head.
The only one!
Where had I heard that before?
Oh yes, the last one, and the one before, as well as the one before that.
Surely, I thought, a man could not only have one friend. That didn’t sound right to me.
I mean , I have many friends with whom I chat and text. I even go out to social occasions with male friends. I travel all over Australia with a male companion.
I don’t pretend to be the one and only of anyone. It doesn’t mean I sleep with any of my male friends. It doesn’t mean I have sexual relations with them either.
I firmly believe in platonic relationships. Platonic relationships are great.
I am quite willing to be that one and only though, if I jell with someone special.
Why is it that men always have to pretend. Why can’t they be up front and honest about everything.
Why, indeed you may ask.
Well, I think it is just because they are men. It seems to be built into their brains to be deceitful.
I know there are exceptions to the rule in anything, so please all you men who read this , do not be offended.
Suffice to say, my latest contact turned out to be sending suggestive messages to a good friend of mine, who incidently, is a happily married woman. She told him she wasn’t interested but he persisted, she had to block him in the end.
When I queried him about this, he told me that she, had contacted him and made suggestions.
All I could say was, be careful who you chat with, you never know who their friends with.
And, be honest, there is no need to lie, no one, especially me, likes a liar. I am happy if men have women friends, it shows they are normal.
My friend and I had a bit of a laugh about it and deleted him from our lives.

snippets of my life as it is and how it was