Changing routine

I have been analysing my daily routines over the past week, trying to figure out how to get more out of each week, and to achieve some of the things I am wanting to, but so far have failed to. Half the battle, I believe, is to get your head in the right space.

So now, I have a few major, non-negotiable things I have to do most days. Wednesday and Saturday are washing days, Saturdays are cleaning the house days, and during the week, I home school my son, so all those things have to happen that way. It’s the fitting in of other things that always seems to slip up. So now, I have started to make sure I am doing other activities with the same sort of regularity. I have started doping a session on the treadmill after lunch every day. I hate doing daily walks in public right now, I am self conscious of my weight, maybe when I get down a few more kilos, I won’t be so bothered, but for now, treadmill it is. I have one at home, so why not use it?

I am also doing weights now, which seems to be helping quite a bit with weightloss, I started doing it before the treadmill, about a month before, and lost 5kg’s just doing that. I still have a lot of trouble with my shoulders doing weights, but I persevere, as I know it’s doing me good. I am trying to make sure that it is one of the first activities of the day, and then I do another shorter session in the afternoon before dinner.

I have something like 40kg’s to lose, so any way I can make it come off, the better, and the sooner the better as well. I have lost 40kg’s since my heaviest, which was due to medication I should never have been on and bad medical management by my former GP, I was put on it when I was 34, and now 10 years later, and 5 years after I stopped taking it because I knew it was not doing me any good, I am getting it off again. I actually lost 20kg’s after stopping the medication within about a month, with no changes to diet or exercise. That shows you the negative impact that medication was having.

My current GP, who is, quite frankly, the best GP I have ever had in my life, thinks that this medication I was on actually created a situation called metabolic syndrome, which actually makes it very difficult to lose weight, so the fact I am means I must be hitting the right chords with slight changes in diet (mainly just dropping my 1 sugar from my coffee, not much else) and doing the weights and walking. The weights have seemingly triggered something that walking alone wasn’t.

Along with getting more structure in the exercise stakes, I have also started to set aside dedicated times for doing my art, doing photography, editing photography and video’s I create, and now also writing back here on this blog. I want to write most days, so here, day 2 of hopefully every day or close to it, I am writing again.

Next month, I am going on 5 day photography trip with my brother, just the 2 of us, in the Outback about 200km’s away from here. We are going to visit a place called Mt Surprise, part of it will be landscape photography, but my brother wants to do some astrophotography as well, and early September is pretty much the last chance to almost guarantee clear skies at night out that way, because from mid September the very early Wet Season Storms start out in that region. Personally, I am looking forward to being out there then, but also, I am starting to get very excited about the now not far off Thunderstorm season, as that is when the camera and GoPro will get a real workout.

Anyhow, I’ll leave this here for now, until hopefully tomorrow, when I write again.

Hey there.

Okay, so first things first. No, things didn’t work out, but they did. We have amicably decided not to continue. I think the age difference was a bit too much for both of us in the end. The good thing though, is it has given me a new confidence in myself, and we are still friends.

Now, I am seeing someone a bit closer to my own age, and apart from being closer in age, we seem to have a tonne in common, which is making things feel good. I am not going to jump the gun, we will see how it all goes. So far, so good. This dating thing is scary as heck when you are 44. It seemed so much easier at 24. Anyhow, at least, after 9 years, I am dating again. Finally feel the need/want for it, and feel ready.

Unexpected surprises.

After a lengthy break from the online dating thing (because it wasn’t working, and geez there are some frightening women out there who scared the heck out of me) I decided a few weeks ago to delve back in to see if I might have some luck again. Some things certainly haven’t changed, I have got some pretty scary, pushy messages, but something unexpected happened as well. I think I may have found someone.

Now, I am surprised as much as anyone. I have not been in this position for a decade. More my own fears stopping me than anything else. We are actually even going to go on a date soon, we have it locked in. The thing that has surprised me the most, is that she has so many things in common with me, and we have just sort of hit it off. Well, that isn’t the thing that has REALLY surprised me the most, it is the age difference between us. There is a bit. But, she doesn’t seem to be worried about it, and neither am I, surprisingly. With everything else going for gold in our relationship so far, I don’t feel it’s an issue. I was sceptical when she first sent me a message, but something made me respond. I don’t know what it was, sixth sense……

The funny thing is, she was scared to send the message, but did. She even said in the message that she hoped I’d respond, but she was nervous I would. The two of us, nervous about it, but, something has happened. It has felt like a whirlwind, and I can’t believe how……I will say it, how in love I have fallen for her. Okay, I will fill in the age question, she is younger than me by a bit. She is real, not a scammer, I do know this for a fact.

I seem to have really got lucky. I had dreamed of meeting someone with a few things. She has them. She is intellectual, which I have craved for in a relationship, she is even University educated and is working towards establishing her career in that field now. She is incredibly empathetic, so reassuring for someone like me who is also an empath. And luckily for me, she seems to be right into me, even though I am a single dad !!

I am not quite jumping on couches with Oprah, but I am feeling the happiest I have felt for a while. I can only hope that it is the start of a new chapter in my life, a happier chapter.

Dogs

Today I have found myself watching a few videos of very touching moments with dogs. I’m not talking about those ones where they do stupid things, or the animals are being made fun of, but things like dogs at animal shelters or being reunited with their owners due to a multitude of different reasons. I honestly shed a tear or two.

There were so many that got me, like a dog who had refused to eat at a shelter, so the veterinarian sat in it’s pen with his breakfast in a dog bowl, and another bowl the same with food for the dog, and with a little bit of patience, the dog finally felt at ease enough to eat. Or, the small dog who’s owner had passed away, and it was teamed up with a new owner, an elderly man who had just lost his wife of 58 years, and the almost instant connection they had was amazing.

Then, there were a couple where the dogs had very clearly been in horrible homes previously, where they were very afraid of people and would be noisy and snappy if someone tried to touch them (as the narrators said, probably the only time they were touched previously was when they were being abused), and to see the caring and patient people who managed to break through the protective shell these dogs had made for themselves, was amazing. All they needed was a bit of love, and a gentle hand.

The last one I want to talk about was a series of video’s by some wonderful lady in the USA, who searched for, and looked after dogs who had neurological disorders. These poor dogs were given up on, even though they deserved a chance. They were very loving dogs, and yes, they had some out there neurological problems (hey, I don’t judge, I have Functional Neurological Disorder myself!!), the one that got me started watching was one named Josh, which looked like one of those Poodle/Labrador crosses, who had a lot of trouble with his muscle control, but he never gave up. What an inspirational dog, as well as the woman who is his owner.

I guess the reason I was watching these today was because I needed to see some sort of positivity from humanity. What I ended up getting from it was so much more. It did feed my needs to see humans doing good things, but it also made me realise how vitally important dogs are to people. Yes, some of these dogs needed healing, but the amazing healing power these dogs have themselves is incredible. I know our little rescue dog has helped me enormously, it is tough going through the various maladies I experience daily, and the trauma I have gone through and it’s associated psychological damage, but Max has made huge progress with me, he just seems to know when a person in the house needs him the most, and I believe he is probably the most intelligent, and empathetic dog I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. Everyone needs a dog in their lives.

Andy.

Just a couple of photo’s for a change.

This beauty of a late season storm popped up a couple of nights ago, at about 10.30pm, out of nowhere. I ducked out and about an hour later, it was all over. Never got closer than about 40km from us, but was very nice to see a clear air storm like this (yes, they are stars above the storm), not typical around the coast here.

Anyhow, not much from me right now, just enjoy the photos.

Andy.

G’day again.

I feel really guilty not getting on here much. I find it difficult to keep myself together to write much, and everything else seems to go out the window as well. I hope you are all well.

There are so many things I want to write about, so many things. There is so much going on here in Australia at the moment that I have strong feelings about, but at the same time, to write about it is very difficult. One of the big issues right now is the treatment of women, especially by senior politicians in our current government. You’ve probably read stuff, or heard stuff about it. Anyhow, it’s an absolute National disgrace. There was a protest in Cairns a week or so ago, and because we feel so strongly about the issue, both my son and I went, to stand in solidarity with the women of this nation who our current government is showing the utmost contempt. I will leave it here for now, but I hope I can revisit this at some point. I am very triggered by it all myself.

My illnesses are deteriorating more and more, and that is the primary reason for my prolonged absences from here. It’s hard to function most days, and I try every day to push on, but geez, it is so damned exhausting. I might get the odd day here or there when it is okay, but so rarely now that a good day is gone in the blink of an eye. Hand tremors, muscle spasms out of no where, forgetting what I am saying constantly in the middle of a conversation, dizzy spells, and the ever present crushing fatigue and extreme pain. The only time I am feeling okay is when I am asleep, and that doesn’t always go well. Some nights I might get 9 or 10 hours more or less straight through sleep, others, well most, I am continually waking every few hours in pain until I just get sick of it and then get up.

Somehow, through all of this, my son has managed to do nearly half the years school work, and successfully mind you, in the first 8 weeks of the school year. He is just flying through. We work hard every weekday, and he is learning how to research now, which is just making his ability to learn expand exponentially. I am really proud of him.

Anyhow, this measly couple of paragraphs is all I can manage tonight, but I hope I can do more soon.

Goodnight folks, from The Land Down Under.

Andy.

The Dangerous Slide Down the Rabbit Hole……

*language warning*

I’ll get straight to the point, one thing in particular has bothered me for some time now, and it seems to becoming worse just recently, even though it was pretty bad before that. The rise of White Supremacist Right Wing Terrorists. You know, those people who our grandparents and great grandparents fought against in WW1 and WW2? Then they called them Nazi’s, but they are the same style of human detritus whatever they call themselves.

One of the most disturbing things I see right now, is the transition of seemingly good people, into the beliefs of these nutcases. I am increasingly seeing people I know seemingly unaware of the sources of things they share on social media, but with each incremental step, they are being sucked down the Rabbit Hole. I try desperately to point out the inaccuracies of the things they post, bombarding them with the facts about the issues rather than the lies being spread by these gym junky little boys with serious steroid rage. Sometimes I win the war against these scum, and those I know realise the lies of these nasty little boys (they are not, and never will be men…), but increasingly it is becoming more and more difficult to have these wins. I can clearly see now why the general populace in Germany in the 1930’s believed Hitler. These scum feed and use other seemingly nice people’s irrational fears.

Now, I unfortunately have several family members in my extended family (namely an Aunt and her daughter, and her daughters children, and another 2 male cousins from the other side of the family tree) who are deeply within these circles. My female cousin has been there for years (probably because of her mother, who is just plain stupid) and said cousin has been arrested for it. It was such a big deal that her son couldn’t join the police force because of it. He joined the army instead, and now he has jumped down the Rabbit Hole too. ( He fits the Mr ‘Roid Rage Gym Junkie moniker as well).

The two male cousins from the other side of the family tree….well their mother is my own mums sister, and her first husband is probably the main reason they went the way of the Nazi. He was a right royal piece of shit. The younger of the 2 male cousins, well, he’s been a selfish little turd his whole life (a few years back I actually called him one as well….) and has aspirations of being a Conservative Politician…..he’d actually fit right in with the current mob who run our country. God help us if he ever succeeds on his mission. The older one, well, as a kid, he was pretty reasonable. But I guess his father really poisoned him after the split. Homophobe, Xenophobe…..yep, he’s all those and more.

I don’t know where we go from here. This whole thing needs to be reversed, this same thing has already led the world into 2 world wars, why the fuck don’t people realise this stuff? I guess all reasonable people can do, is keep trying to combat the spread of this fear and hate, which is based on a bunch of lies. Will we win? We must, because we can’t afford WW3.

The first 2021post……

Firstly, I hope you all had a good start to this year. Another year, hopefully a much better one for everyone, than the last year.

The beginning of this new year has been a rather hectic one for me, between having an extra person in the house, that extra person going through the stages of purchasing a house (the last few weeks in of 2020 was beyond hectic looking at houses) and then with all the things that come with living in a Cyclone region and having had to prepare for 2 so far (although they didn’t end up causing us too much trouble) there hasn’t been much time to even think much.

So following on from the previous post, my little trip to Rockhampton to meet my brother and then help him drive the rest of the way here went well, although it will probably be another 20 years before I subject myself to another 19 hour bus trip. I was sore, tired and frankly fed up with self entitled young men who pretty much think they are the only people on the planet. Nobody wants to hear your phone alerts every 30 seconds for 17 hours, and have a bit of respect for the person who is a whole foot taller than you in the seat behind before you recline that seat to take up 2/3rds of the minute space that person has already to survive in. Considering there were no seat allocations, and there were so many spaces where you didn’t need to sit in front, or even behind someone else just makes me think you did it to be an arsehole.

After meeting my brother at midnight, we drove to my Aunts place at Airlie Beach the next day, and then on to home the day after. Sometimes you just need to do a longer trip like that to remind yourself how awesome Australia is. (I am talking about the places and scenery, not necessarily the people…..)

Okay, so now on to how the rest of life has been going. I have finished my chemo treatment, and everything is good. I have, however, had another surgery, this time I have a 1 and 1/2 inch scar on my left bicep, as the spot that was biopsied there was something not right, so I had to have a much larger piece taken out. This time, everything has been removed, so another skin cancer bites the dust. I am surprised, seeing I have been sun smart my entire life, that I have still ended up with these skin cancers. I don’t even have fair skin, I have a very olive complexion.


Okay, so all the above I wrote 2 days ago……life came up again, namely my son stacked his bicycle, so I had to attend to those matters, like cleaning up wounds and dressing them, and also then hardly sleeping that night because I kept checking on him during the night. He copped the handlebars in his stomach, so was a little concerned for the first 24 hours, but it was just bruising, nothing more serious, you can’t be too careful (which is why he ALWAYS wears a helmet…..)

Anyhow, I will leave this post here for now, I am writing a new one and will post shortly, I can’t sleep until I do, because it is bugging me.

Adventure awaits and nervous waits

In a few days time I will be jumping on a bus for a long distance trip, the first time in more than 20 years. I am excited, but trepidacious, it has been a long time, I am older, and with the little quirks of getting older I feel a little nervous, hoping that my body behaves itself. Mainly the ablutions side, because it isn’t much fun on a moving bus.

I also feel a bit nervous as this will be the first time since acquiring diabetes that I will travel like this, and not just being able to stop for something to eat when I need to. It’s only 1 day, a long day, 16 hours to be precise, I should get through. Then, I will be seeing my brother for the first time for 12 months, the longest stretch we have gone for nearly a decade. That’s Covid and 2020……

The bus arrives at Rockhampton around midnight, fortunately my brother will already be there, he is driving in that day, and we are actually staying in a hotel just across from the bus stop. then, we have 2 days of driving in his car (the whole point of me going there to meet him is to help with the driving, by that point he will have done about 3 days and 2000km driving on his own, so I am going to help with the last 1300 to 1400km). 5 days of driving is a long time by yourself, so at least the last 2 days, he won’t be.

The first night, we plan on stopping at my Aunts place in The Whitsundays, then it will be about another 8 hours driving the second day and we will arrive back here.

Apparently, at this stage, I should be treated to a pretty good lightning show once it gets dark on the bus trip down, basically the last 1/3rd of the trip is through areas that are expecting storms that night. I have got my portable music player ready and noise cancelling headphones, so I can zone out on the trip, hopefully the bus trip goes quickly.

We finalised the preparation of my brothers room here today, it looks really great, a good base for however long he needs.


The second part of this whole post is the nervous waits. Yesterday I had 2 chunks cut out of my skin, one on my chest, the other on my left arm. Both because of suspicious sun spots. The one on my chest is precautionary, it looks like it may be something so it’s getting checked out. The second, the one on my arm, my doctor believes is a melanoma. A shallow one, the beginning stages, so she has removed a reasonable section and deepish around it. I should have the results in a few days once the lab has had a look at them. The one on my arm was a surprise to me, I hadn’t even really ever noticed it, it was, quite literally, about the size of a dot you can make with a ballpoint pen on a piece of paper by just pressing the pen down on the paper without moving it. This should show everyone the importance of skin cancer checks.

The chemo I am having on my face is working well, the treatment is now down to 1 application a day, from twice daily before. It is showing, fortunately, that the sun damage on my face isn’t actually all that bad, just a couple of small spots, and they are nearly gone now. I may have worked outside a lot over a long period of years, but I always wore a wide brim hat, and other protection. It seems to have helped a lot, especially on my face, the sun damage on my face is more in locations that would have been caused by reflected light. Like light reflected off car windscreens and water.

Hopefully my doctor has got the whole thing with both the spots she removed yesterday, and we can move forward without too much hassle.

Andy.

Being bounced around.

So much has been happening, and as such I have found myself neglecting this blog again. I want to write every few days, but life happens. Most of the time, life happens, and leaves me in a heap by the time I have time to write, relegating me to the bed, rather than sitting here writing.

So, since last writing, what HAS happened. Well, big news of the day, week and month is that my brother is moving here and arriving in less than 2 weeks. The restrictions because of covid have been eased, so now he is allowed to enter Queensland, finally, without having to quarantine for 2 weeks at an expense of thousands of dollars. He can drive into the state now. As such, in about 10 days time, I am jumping on a bus to meet him about halfway, and help him drive the rest of the way. It’s over 3000kms driving, a lot to do on your own. He is moving here permanently, leaving Victoria for good. He’s even buying a house here.

I have also had a running battle with an Ebay seller, I bought some items for car repairs at the end of August, it was an Australian seller, so you would expect about a 6 day delivery timeline. after 1 month, I asked what was going on. “Oh, we sold you something we didn’t have, it will be here at the end of October”. End of October, and after reminding them that selling goods you don’t have is a big no,no under Australian consumer law, as well as Ebay rules, still nothing, asked again. They ignored me for a week, then mysteriously in the middle of November, I get a parcel, 1 day after they finally replied. NOT ALL THE ORDER WAS IN THE BOX !!!!! Again, back at them, threatened them with legal action, they very quickly responded, and finally today, over 2 months after it should have been here, it arrived. Now I have the parts to fix the car, but now I am unwell again………so not up to taking the front suspension out of the car and replacing it just now !!! I was okay 2 months ago !!!!!!

I have also been doing a lot of medical stuff, doctors, medical imaging, biopsies, neurologists and ……….currently undergoing some chemotherapy………… It isn’t the full on, pump your insides full of poison to kill it, it is a cream, it’s for skin cancer. It still makes you feel a little ill though, today was a bad one for it. I have some cancers on my face, below my eye, so being sensitive skin, it seems to be absorbed into my system a bit more than it would on tougher skin, hence the nausea in particular. I have 2 more to be cut out in a weeks time, one on my arm, one on my chest. I have always been super sun-smart, hats, cover up or sunscreen up, so it just proves, it can still happen regardless. I don’t even have skin that would be overly susceptible, I have quite an olive complexion and not many freckles at all.

The other medical stuff has been in regards to an ongoing issue with my right foot/ankle, which has been painful for about 14 months. Still waiting on those results. Also, I have started to get to the verge of possible fits, due to the Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), the neurologist checked to see if it was epilepsy, as there is a family history, but that is ruled out. The cause is FND. It is part of the slow degeneration. Shit happens, pardon my French !!!!

Anyhow, life is still marching on, and I must now retire to bed, as the fatigue is going to make me fall asleep right here if I don’t do it soon.

Andy.