Something good, something pretty cool

For most of my adult life I have written poetry. I love the bush ballad style of great Australian poets like Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson and I have written quite a few ballads.

I have gradually lost the ability to write this way and I had always hoped that someone would eventually set some of my words to music as I have no musical talent at all.

Some time ago, Australian country singer Graham Rodger picked up one of my ballads, The Eagle, and set it to music. I was ‘over the moon’ to finally have one of my ballads turned into a song.

Now Graham has picked up a second ballad, ‘No More Waltzing Matilda’ and has also turned that into a song. To say I am pleased would be the under-statement of the year!



Am I driving people away?

I have had a particularly bad couple of days with losing items that led to me losing my temper.

First of all I lost a phone, not the cheap phone of course, it had to be the expensive one. I ‘knew’ exactly where I had put it but when I went to get it, it was gone….

I then turned the house upside down trying to find it but the location it is hiding in still remains a complete mystery.

I don’t think I am at the point where I am putting things in silly places, like the fridge or the oven but I have looked in all the logical places and well, it just isn’t there. It will be interesting to see where it is when it does turn up (if it does).

Next I lost a spark plug that I needed to service the generator. I picked up two plugs, one was the one I needed and one was from an older generator. Guess which one was still there when it came time to do the job?

Eventually I found the one I wanted, I had wandered off outside and put it down on the patio table and instantly forgot where it was.

Then I lost the key to the angle grinder and was unable to do the job I had planned. I had even bought new grinder discs and had everything ready to go but without the grinder key I was stuffed.

That is when I lost my temper.

The frustration just got the better of me but the big worry is, as this condition gets worse, will I end up driving away the people who care about me? I know that there are limits to everyone’s tolerance.

Helpful Hints…

My posts are like buses, nothing for days then three come along all at once 🙂

There are some things we can do to help ourselves, at least in the early stages of this condition and I have come up with a few that I use, or promise myself I will at least work on. If anyone has more suggestions please leave a comment so we can share our ‘Coping Strategies’ – That’s how the text books love to label it.

  1. Post-It notes. Make a habit of writing yourself notes and posting them where you will notice them.
  2. ‘A place for everything, and everything it its place.’ That is what my Dad used to say and now I try very hard to make it a part of my life. If I know where things are because I ALWAYS put them there then I can find them just by habit. I am not relying on my memory so much. There are times when I don’t do this and that is when the melt-downs can happen.
  3. Learn to ask for help when you need it. Ok, so I suck at this one. I have always been independent despite the fact that I also have a life-long sight impairment. In fact it was my eyesight problem that made me fiercely independent in the first place. I am trying to get over that and I do ask for help sometimes so that is a bit of an improvement but I still have to work on it…
  4. Try not to fret about the things you have no control over. Bills will sometimes not get paid, the rubbish might not go out on the right day for collection, well so what? The bill WILL get paid eventually and the bin will go out when it gets stinky enough. Some things aren’t worth worrying too much about. Concentrate on dealing with the stuff you still have some control over. I have a special spot for bills (no it isn’t the waste paper bin) and sooner or later I notice that something has been sitting there for a while and I check to see if I should have paid it. If that is the case, then I pay it online (just about everything can be paid that way now) and it is over with.
  5. Don’t put off the ‘bucket list’. I had a friend die from cancer a couple of years back and right from the moment of her diagnosis, she made an effort to do everything she wanted to do before it was too late. If there is something you really want to do and the only thing that is stopping you is fear of the unknown, get out there and do it!

Well those are my initial suggestions, I am guessing there are all sorts of others that can help so if you have some ideas please comment.

Some light relief…

Life isn’t all doom and gloom, in fact far from it.

I am still able to do quite a bit and although the majority of posts on here tend to be somewhat negative, I don’t want to give the impression that life is all bad.

To quote the Aussie songwriter John Williamson, ‘Good news never made a paper sell’ (1) and we probably dwell on the negative more than the positive aspects in life.

Last week we were able to go away, down to a lovely seaside town in the south west of Western Australia called Augusta.

I had the joy of being there with those I love and I was able to just sit by the Hardy Inlet in the wee hours of the morning and watch the sun come up.

This is the kind of place that recharges my batteries and helps me to ‘centre myself’ again.

This was a shot I took as I sat and just soaked in the beauty and peace of this lovely place.

(1) From the song ‘Cootamundra Wattle’. If you haven’t heard it, do yourself a favour and have a listen, the words are exceptional. There is a copy on You Tube at :



There are times when I feel very stressed without having any reason to do so.

Noise more than anything else contributes to the stress. I seek peace and quiet whenever I can find it, which is rare.

As I become more dependent on others, I am losing my ability to just be alone for a while.

I can go nowhere without someone taking me there and while it is nice to have people who care about me enough to want to do that, I miss just being able to go somewhere and do something ON MY OWN.

I have next to no personal space and more and more I am treated as an invalid. Yes I know I manage to damage myself, stick knives into my hand when cutting food, spill hot oil on myself and do all sorts of stupid clumsy things but I still have a need to try and do what I can.

There are days when I just want to shut myself off from everyone, to just be without having to respond to others needs. It isn’t everyday, it isn’t even often, but there are days, like today, when I would just like to be left alone…..

Not a ‘Dear Diary’

It isn’t my intention to turn this blog into some sort of daily or weekly diary, I have way too much to do to even contemplate doing that.

What I intend is to make notes here when I feel something has either changed with my condition or I have something specific to say about it.

I keep myself pretty well occupied as you will see for the list of online resources I am currently responsible for.

Some, like the Malaysian Cooking site, have started to drop away as I don’t have enough time to devote to them but there is just so much to get done and only me to do it.

Western Australia Now and Then :
Belle’s Veggie Garden :
Bush Ballads and Bulldust :
Let’s Eat Malaysian :
Belle’s Beauty Blog :
Dorothy Loader Watercolour Portraits :
Rosabelle. Colour Pencil Artist :

Our Twitter page :

Facebook Pages
Camping in Western Australia :
Western Australia Now and then :
Abandoned Western Australia :
West Australian Folklore :

YouTube videos :

WA Now and Then page :

wanowandthen :

Other Stuff
Panoramio page :
Flickr page :
Aussie Bush Ballads :

Zombies Are Real

Well, this shows how bad my memory is getting, I did start writing about my condition earlier than I thought. I just discovered the following on my computer and it is dated 2014. I have had this thing longer than I realised.

Zombies Are Real

Yes, zombies really do exist and I’m not talking about the fictional brain eating kind but the very sad cases of people affected by degenerative brain disorders who basically go through a kind of living death before their bodies actually expire.

My father was one of their number and if my recent brain scan is anything to go by, I will also become one if I live long enough.

No one noticed the early onset of Alzheimer’s in my father but looking back later, it was easy to see some of the signs that things were starting to go wrong.

My father always loved reading but at one point he stopped. No one is really sure when but it just happened. This, like many other changes, crept up on him and the progress of the condition was slow enough for everyone to miss the early warning signs.

It is doubtful if anything could have been done even if we had noticed what was going on but when the axe finally fell and the diagnosis was made, it was a great shock.

Since my father suffered and finally died from Alzheimer’s, I knew I was at increased risk of developing the condition myself.

The first warning sign I noticed was an inability to type some words correctly. Simple words like ‘the’ often came out as ‘teh’ and it became so rampant that it seemed as though my brain had been re-wired and could not help making the same mistake over and over again.

Other words gradually joined the list and it became obvious that something was wrong. A brain scan in early 2014 confirmed what I feared, my brain was showing advanced signs of ‘shrinkage’.

At the age of 53 I had to start considering what kind of long term future I was likely to have.

By the time my father was diagnosed, he had deteriorated so far that he never really understood his condition. He was frustrated that he could not think straight and he knew that things were not right but he was not lucid enough to grasp the enormity of his diagnosis.

From the time he was diagnosed to the time he died was less than 4 years and he died at the age of 84.

From what my doctor has told me, the condition can set in earlier for following generations, so I have to expect that 84 is pretty much unattainable for me.

Unlike may father I am still reasonably cognisant of my likely prognosis and I have the unfortunate ‘luck’ of being fully aware of what is likely to happen to me.

My mind has always been fairly sharp. I am a long way from being a genius but working as a computer programmer for much of my life taught me to focus on tasks and think rationally about things.

This focus and concentration are slowly slipping away and from month to month I can sense the difference in me.

Any kind of stress has a most unpleasant effect on me as my mind instantly turns to mud and I am unable to think clearly.

My typing ability is diminishing too and I find that after I finish a paragraph, I go back to check it and find several words are complete gibberish.

My eyesight, which has always been bad, means that I type while looking at the keyboard and I can usually tell if I make a ‘typo’ or two. This isn’t the same as thinking I have not made a mistake and going back to find several incomprehensible words that need correcting.

I have decided to track the course of what happens to me via this journal. I will assume that the entries here will track my deterioration to the point where I am no longer able to make entries.

This is my very first entry dated November 3rd 2014.

Wow, just wow! I was astonished when I found and read this. If I couldn’t even remember writing this then I have to suppose that things are worse than even I have given them credit for….