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Day #73: A Bit Of Sam Neill

I saw this yesterday on twitter, and Oh Boy did I laugh out loud. This really brightened my day by just being, well, a silly bit of fun. Watch Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter do a two-continent skit—DAS FONE HELL—that if it doesn’t make you laugh, well then, you have no sense of humour!

That’s it. That’s today’s post.

I’ve been out on my balcony enjoying a lovely, sunny, warm day (23 degrees) after doing cleaning and laundry all morning. I dragged the sun rocker out there, grabbed a grenadine and lime on ice, and sat outside making Vit-D to boost my immune system.

And you, what have you been up to this weekend, Friends?

Whatever you’ve been up too I hope you stayed safe.

Take care.

Love,
Alex

Day #72: A Day To Be Positive

And, in being positive, I think I shall share some flower portraits instead of waxing lyrically about the corona virus, or feeling sorry for myself, or worrying about stuff that happens beyond my door. And concentrate on what I can control, and what makes me happy.

Baking, gardening, flowers, making things, creating art … these are the things, like sitting on the couch with my partner, on a Saturday morning, reading and just hanging out drinking home made lattes, that make me happy.

I can’t save the world, but I can make banana bread, and blancmange, and some of the best damn sticky rice pudding you are ever likely to taste! These are the things I can do. So today, I’ve repotted some plants. I’ve redone the soil (in preparation) of my flower boxes out on the balcony—my beloved balcony garden. With the hopes of being able to score some pretty flowers to grow, if not, I have seeds that I can start this week.

Especially as they’re predicting the weather is going to be hot and humid, with the occasional afternoon thundershowers. I might even drag my chair out onto the balcony and sit in the shade, and watch the world grow around me now the trees are turning green and copper, with vibrant colour. And watch the bees go about their business. And wallow in the soft sound of their humming.

These flower shots were all taken last July (during our holidays) in the University’s botanic gardens:

Day #71: Early Morning Drama

We were woken at just before 6:30 this morning, by frantic banging on our apartment door. The elderly woman from the apartment opposite ours was in a full panic. Her husband had collapsed and was having difficulty breathing, so my partner, still in their PJs, grabbed their phone, shoved their feet in a pair of rain shoes (we keep them by the main door) and called both security, at the main desk, and then, 911.

Security was there in a matter of minutes, and got dressed (sensibly so) in a disposable gown, mask, gloves, and face shield, before entering the apartment. My dumb ass partner, who followed in, didn’t.

Sometimes, for one of the cleverest people I know, they can do the most silly things. They didn’t need to go inside, but they did. I know, like me, they so wanted to help. But there are, in this day and age, sad to say, dire consequences to not thinking something through before acting. And this was on of those times, were in action was called for—given the circumstances.

There was, after all, nothing more they could do to help, but get in the way, as the security guard assessed the situation further, given he was also in radio contact with his partner, at the main desk.

I am so thankful for the fact we live in a complex where they have security 24/7. And, for the most part, they seem to be people with a few more ounces of common sense than my partner.

Still! These things happen. No need to cry now at what happened, it happened and we did what we could to offer aid and assistance. I really don’t speak enough decent French to have been any real help in this situation.

The ambulance, and paramedics, arrived about 10 minutes later. Once they arrived on our floor, I herded my partner into the shower. A very hot shower. And washed everything down with lysol, before, during, and after.

Then put a load of washing on, on a hot wash.

I can only hope that the gentleman is doing okay, given he’s in the same hospital I was not two weeks ago. He’s in good hands there. They’ve got great protocols in place, and the staff there seem to know what they’re doing. For his, his wife, and for our sake, I hope this was either a heart attack, or a stroke, and not a result of the corona virus.

Sad to say, my first thought was I hope his wife hears he’s COVID negative and lets us know one way or the other, as well. Because, it’s now in the back of my mind, and I so want to force my partner to go and get tested!

Irrational? Probably, as their chance of catching it from just being in the same space, despite keeping their distance from all concerned, is slim to none, but still.

I will now be a bundle of nerves for the next couple of weeks, waiting.

So again, please, for all those you love and hold dear in your heart, please stay safe, stay home, and take care of you and yours, where ever you are in the world!

Love,
Alex

Day #70: Some Days …

Some days it’s easy to be my upbeat usual self, somedays … but there are almost as many day, these days, under these quarantine conditions, where I feel like it would be easy to succumb to depression. Even if the sun is shining, even if the weather is improving.

It’s that last little niggle that does it. That one more tiny irritating thing that finally makes its way beneath my skin, and I want to snap. I want to yell. Loudly! And more, I want to lock the door, for good, and throw away the key. And stay on the inside, insulated from the amazing number of callous, unthinking, stupid people this world has spawned.

And there, you see it. Me being angry. Me being annoyed.

It’s so difficult at times to contain it, to squeeze it out of my pores and get rid of it. That annoyance, that anger.

At people.

Where is my zen place. My happy place. Where do I feel safe from life, and stupidity?

Locking the door helps. Sadly, though, they’re still out there.

So I deal with my frustrations. I go through my mental exercise of riding myself of negative thoughts, and retreat into my quiet place, and, like a snake moulting its skin, try to shed this film of negativity from my being, my soul, before it taints me further.

I know I’ll bounce back. Tomorrow is always a new day, and the slate is wiped clean with each new morning, as it dawns. Just as surly as the sun comes up, I’ll find my way back to that happy, upbeat, carefree child inside of me, and whether the real sun shines or not, I’m in back my happy place and content.

Stay upbeat, stay positive, where you can, and stay safe out there, where ever you are in the world. And take care.

Love,
Alex

Day #69: Thinking of my Dad

My dad never really talked much, being a quiet guy who had already witness a lot of death by the time he retired. He had a peculiar habit of buying the RAF monthly newspaper to specifically read the Obits, and learn who of his old colleagues from the war years, had finally died. He always thought he’d die young from ‘kicking’ bombs during his years on bomb disposal, in Germany. You know, to see if they would start ticking.

He told me they use to send the junior in (newest on the team) to the pit to see if a bomb was ticking and, if not, to kick it and run … run like hell! And, if all else failed, the axiom from those who’d been at it a while was, hit it with a hammer.

I think he was joking. I hope he was joking. But then, you never know.

So it was something of a surprise to him that he lived as long as he did—he died aged 68 in 1991. Especially as, even before I became a teenager—I think I was 10 at the time, and we were stationed in Singapore—my dad had his first heart attack from stress and, of course, the ubiquitous build up of cholesterol in his arteries that also gave him angina.

He would have been, oh, about 42 at the time. Still young and yet, his own father died at 52. So I’m sure this was also on his mind way back then. But that one heart attack, and the 17 (yes, he was almost proud of the fact) that followed within a year, didn’t kill him either. Though, they did make the doctors stop and think, we better check this guy out.

The following year, about six months before we repatriated to the UK, they took him into hospital and opened him up. In that, I’ve never seen my mother cry. What they did to him made her weep. They cut him open like butchering a pig. From breast bone all the way down past his belly button.

The resulting scar, and stapler marks never went away. But made him look like Frankenstein’s Monster, when he went without a shirt, which wasn’t often.

But even after all that, and staying in the airforce for for another 4-5 years, pushing papers, he hung in there.

It was lung cancer that finally got him, and, as he was wont to say, it started the day he stopped smoking. Maybe it did, maybe it was 50 years of puffing almost 20-30 cigarettes a day that did it. It’s like they say, we’ll never really know. There was no autopsy, he died in hospice care, and the doctor signed off on the death certificate, cause of death: heart failure.

My mother and I were the last to sit with him the afternoon he passed. He’d been in a coma since the day before and when we came, the doctor on call told my mother it was only a matter of hours, and shooing me out of the room, had a private talk with her.

When I returned to sit with my mum, her holding his hand, while I rubbed his head, we sang quietly to him, and something beautiful happened. A Red Admiral butterfly came into the room and was there, with us, for that final hour. It even landed on my dad’s chest a few minutes before his last breath.

That’s when I saw just how much my mother could cry.

I hope a butterfly comes for me when it’s my time.

Take care and stay safe out there, where ever you are in the world.

Love,
Alex