Sunday Diary

I reckon our age care system here in Australia in a lot of cases seems to be quite good. So when we desperately need more  constant care subsidised, we can probably get it. At the moment I am just happy that Peter and I can both stay at home, even though we are not entitled yet to ’emergency’ home help.

Staying at home there are so many things that we can still enjoy: Music, reading, writing, playing games, watching TV! Also, we try to stay active as much as possible. Looking after personal hygiene, walking in the open air, shopping for essentials, doing the most necessary housework and gardening. But it usually does not take long and we are so exhausted that we need a rest. This means each day we can do only a very limited amount of work. That means, every day we have to cut back on something that we would have liked to have done. If we decide to do something, something else that might be just as important, cannot be done that day. Every day we seem to have a bit less time. How is that possible? The question is, what is really most important to us to be able to do?

Last weekend we had quite a few visitors because it was Peter’s birthday. The visitors came in stages: First two visitors for lunch. Later on when the first visitors had left, five adults and two children arrived for evening celebrations when it was already dark, and we had to stay inside. (Otherwise we could have spent time in our backyard where there is a bit more room and fresh air!)

Off and on Peter experienced some bad pain and had to lie down for a while until he could join the visitors again. Peter feels his pain is manageable when he can have a rest as soon as there is some pain coming. Most visitors came on Saturday, the 16th. The following day, on Sunday, we had two more visitors in the afternoon just for coffee/tea and cake. All our visitors were family members. Some of them we had not seen for quite a while. Because of the Coronavirus restrictions we took care not to hug anyone, and we also tried to keep some distance at all times. This is definitely rather difficult. I am sure, everyone in this kind of situation would have the same feelings how difficult it is.

I cannot believe one week has gone already after this rather hectic weekend of Peter’s birthday. In the meantime we found out our very old car is leaking some oil. We have to decide now whether it is worth it to get a major repair done to this 16 year old car! We can only hope that the car does not need a major repair. Last Thursday Peter booked the car in for its regular service. The booking is for Monday. So probably tomorrow we’ll  find out what can be done to the oil leak.

Diary for Thursday and Friday

Corona crisis: How are pandemics, environmental degradation and climate change related?

This subject how environmental degradation and climate change can have something to do with pandemics interests me very much. I looked up two apparently very knowledgeable people on this subject. While referring to these people in my previous post, I am looking forward trying to check out what they may have to say in future on this subject!

Yesterday, on Friday, the 22nd of May, Peter was contacted by the doctors at the hospital. They wanted to know, whether he was still alright. It was just a phone consultation, but Dr. Nasser asked Peter whether he could come to the hospital for a consultation in three months time, and Peter said yes. So an appointment was made for a Friday in August.

A couple of days ago, on Thursday, we had an outing to Warrawong. After not having been there for a few months, I was quite thrilled to see a shopping centre full of people. But I was absolutely careful not to come too close to anyone. There were ten seatings available at the Emporium Cafe. We were lucky that two seats became available when we arrived at the cafe for a bit of lunch. We were offered the two vacant seats at two tables that were pushed together. Peter sat at one end, I did sit at the other end well away from Peter! We had flat white coffees (oh, what a treat after not having coffees like this for so many months!) I could only eat half of my delicious vegetarian pizza, but I was allowed to take the rest home.

Peter made an appointment to take our car to Warrawong for a service this coming Monday. The car is losing some oil. So first of all the car gets the regular service on Monday, and then Peter expects to be told what can be done about the oil leak! Peter is kind of expecting he may have to take the car to Warrawong very soon again then for a hopefully not too major a repair. The oil leak is really a bit worrying at the moment, even though it looks like we are losing only a little bit of oil. But of course it has to be checked.


Uta’s Diary

Today I want to write about the life of an old age couple and who does the cleaning.

I turned 85 last September and Peter turned 85 a few days ago. Peter has multiple health problems. However the good thing is that so far he can still live at home. To me it seems like an enormous blessing that Peter and I can both live together at home. We enjoy every minute of it for we know that sooner or later all this is going to change; so we might just as well make the most of it while it lasts.

So, who does the cleaning? I would like to think, that we share it. With the sharing this works now only some of the time. Our strength is rather limited. So we cannot be too particular about certain cleaning jobs that should be done.

Some of our children sometimes act as though we do not have enough money to spend on ourselves. But so far this has not been the problem, not at all. On the contrary, we still have some savings and are usually able to save a bit more money on a weekly or monthly basis. Despite quite a bit of spending for medical items and consultations with specialists (General Practitioner consultations are mostly without any charge!), we feel medical expenses do not send us broke. Ambulance and hospital stays are for free! So, just how lucky are we? For some people in other countries this must seem like Australia is a dream country. I must say, we know we are extremely lucky.

And I must say, we are extremely lucky that we can still look after ourselves at home. With advancing age there are of course more and more dfifficulties in doing this. I for instance have advanced recently to using a ‘walker’. This light frame with wheels is extremely useful for when I feel very weak and rather than just using my walking stick to support me, I have this walker which makes it easier to move along! I believe my daughters think I have never done a lot of cleaning but now with advanced age it really is getting more and more difficult. Still, with Peter usually being able to do rather more than his share, we have sort of managed so far. Of course we could pay for some subsidised help. But this kind of help is very difficult to get in our area, unless it is an emergency. Anyhow, we have been put on a waiting list for subsidised help. We feel we are not in a position to pay for a lot of hourly help the way hourly work is paid for in Australia. That goes too for the rates that we would have to pay for gardening. So our backyard, where a lot of gardening should be done, gets extremely neglected!

Since we cannot pay for a lot of outside help, we should really be living in a somewhat more suitable place for old age pensioners. There are lots of reasons why it is rather difficult to move to a place like this unless it is an aged care home. And we would rather like to stay away from aged care homes. Even the very expensive ones tend to have staff shortages, and we could not afford a very expensive one anyway.

Both Peter’s father as well as my father did not live to a very old age. So age care was not an issue. Both our mothers though did live into their eighties. How were they cared for? Well, my mother paid her granddaughter to come in on a regular basis and do some work for her, and Peter’s mother paid one of her daughters to do some work for her. Both mothers lived in a very small apartment when they were at an advanced age.


Today’s Diary continued

Jenna Price today wrote an article in the Sydney Morning Herald with the heading:

At Sydney uni’s privilege factories the ‘mostly migrant’ workers clean up rich kids’ mess

Jenna Price says in this article the following: “. . . . we all know about the acceptance of alcohol and sexual assault, the relentlessness of the culture which says boys will be boys and girls will learn their place. What was more surprising to me was the stories of young men defecating in the halls and in the bathrooms . . . .”

I wonder what ‘culture’ we live in!!

The above Twitter notices I found when I googled the name ‘Jenna Price’.

This afternoon I wanted to write something completely different in my diary. Then Peter told me about the before mentioned heading in the SMH. I had no idea what was meant by “rich kids’ mess”. Now that I know, I am lost. I don’t know what to say to this . . . .

I had actually had wanted to say today a lot about the life of cleaners, that is people who are employed to clean up other people’s mess. In my head I had already contemplated how I could write about what over my whole life I had observed about the treatment of cleaners. Well, actually not just cleaners but all sorts of helpers that were employed to do some of the work that otherwise Madam or Sir would have to do. The very rich could always keep servants and as far as I know they still do. And why not? They can easily afford to pay for the service. In the past even people that were not all that rich could afford to pay for some help.

Maybe I start now on another post to write some more about what over my long life I had observed about the treatment of cleaners and other helpers in and around the home. I feel I could write for hours about it and how this 85 year old couple would enormously appreciate some daily help!

One Day before Mothers Day 2020

Today is Saturday, the 9th of May 2020. Next Saturday, the 16th of May, is Peter’s birthday. For Peter’s birthday we expect to be allowed to have a few visitors. This is why for tomorrow, on Mothers Day, we stay on our own, that is, just Peter with me having a nice special day. We do not mind this at all, since there is the pleasure of looking forward to having some visitors in one weeks time.

We had a very warm day yesterday, like a very pleasant summer day really, even though it is supposed to be autumn already in Australia. We expect to have another very warm day today. But from tomorrow on we are probably going to have much cooler temperatures again.

When we have a few visitors next week, we aim at spreading out in our backyard so we can still observe social distancing. We have a large and a very little table and plenty of garden chairs. So it should be possible to place everybody at a certain distance for as long as the weather is suitable for spending time outside. Especially for our great-grandchilden I think it would be good to be able to run around outside instead of being cooped up inside.

Thinking of the space at the back of our house, I am getting somewhat anxious that quite a bit more gardening is required. I actually tried to do some gardening here and there. But I feel it is never enough what I can do, and what Peter can do is very limited too. We have this extra problem now with our frontyard, that is actually common property. However there are certain issues again as to the maintenance of the common area. This is quite upsetting for me, but I try, not to worry too much.




DSCN5880 This picture is from the frontyard, the others are from the backyard!

Social Distancing

I reblogged this post:

The Things You CANNOT Say About Coronavirus

The Things You CANNOT Say About Coronavirus

The author seems to be fed up with Social Distancing and argues that it probably is being overdone, meaning not necessary to such an ‘extreme’ extent, but that you are not allowed to say this.

Here is my comment to this about social distancing:

Isn’t it true, that we cannot be sure who might be spreading the Coronavirus, the one that is called Covid19. Anybody can accidentally have picked up the virus somewhere. It is easy to pass it on if you do not keep a social distance. This is a fact, isn’t it?
Well, with the flu, I reckon it is a bit different. Somehow we have mostly learned to live with it. Sure, a lot of people get infected during the flu season. We try to stay away from people who have obviously a bad cold. Most people do not end up in hospital if they happen to infect themselves with a bit of the flu virus. The medical profession and the hospitals are not overloaded just because a certain number of people happen to have the flu.
But now, isn’t this a bit different with this present Coronavirus? You cannot protect yourself from this virus unless you practice strict Social Distancing and avoid touching surfaces where the virus might be present. So you are not allowed to touch your face before you washed your hands thoroughly! And if you say I do not like all these restrictions, therefore I do not care if I spread the virus around. Well, this may be so, but please, do you say the same about the flu virus? If you have a bad cold, do you go around and let your droplets reach others by coughing and sneezing regardless how close other people are to you?
I agree, generally speaking dying is something all of us can expect sooner or later. However is it not obvious that the infection and dying en masse because of a virus we ought to prevent as much as possible?
Sure, a lot of us are extremely upset when Social Distancing is necessary over an extended period of time, but are you not concerned how overloaded all our medical facilities become when Social Distancing is less and less observed and when millions and millions of people die at a time when they would otherwise not have died?

Peter’s 80th Birthday in 2015 and Pauly the Car

This is what Peter wrote on the 19th May 2015:
“Last weekend was my 80th birthday and I had a really good time.”

And he says: “Our son Martin had even flown in from Melbourne for the weekend. He had to fly back on Sunday and we offered to take him back to the airport and take daughter Caroline home to Sydney.

The only way out from Wollongong, which is practically just a few meters above sea level, is up a steep road, Mount Ousley Road, across the Illawarra escarpment. It was only constructed during WWII by the Americans with their “can-do”  attitude.

While going up the steep hill, Caroline was driving,  the car seemed a bit sluggish. With four adult people on board, it did not seem unusual. But, we started to discuss the car’s age and Caroline suggested we could buy another car. Maybe not a new one, but at least a well preserved and reliable second-hand car.

Just seconds after discussing this, and not remembering Ilse’s advice,  the car showed severe signs of illness. It lost power and no amount of gear-shifting would help. Soon enough, belching smoke poured out everywhere and we feared the engine could blow up. Our car looked more like an old steam engine than a 21st Century automobile.  We decided to pull up at the turn-off to the Clive Bissell Drive where there is a convenient parking area. We thought of letting the car cool off and then continue.

Caroline did not trust “Pauly” anymore and rang a friend who lives in a neighbouring suburb. He came  and Martin made it, just in time, to the airport.”

In my Diary from 19th May 2015 I found the following pictures:













Big Meal for Peter at the German Club.
Big Meal for Peter at the German Club.


Veal Schnitzel and dumplings for me.
Veal Schnitzel and dumplings for me.

Everyone could order what they felt like. For entrees there was Rollmops, or baked Camembert cheese or soup.
Most people got German beer from the tap. Ebony left soon after dinner with the two little darlings, our great-grandsons. There were later on 12 people left for the welcome drink, a nice sweet bubbly.