Last year I turned eighty. What a special birthday it was! Another year is gone. I consider myself to be at an ‘advanced’ age. Still, sometimes I seem to forget about this a little bit. But more about this later. First of all I would like to insert a few pictures that we took yesterday, on Sunday the 20th September. Three of our friends joined us for lunch at the Treasure Court Restaurant of the Dapto Leagues Club:
All in all our lunch lasted for well over three hours. We were sitting and talking over afternoon coffee for quite some time. It was very stimulating, this talk with friends our age. We had so much to talk about! When we left the club, we showed our friends our new second hand car. They were very impressed because it looks like new. I now hope it is going to drive like new for a few years, for this ‘new’ car is already eleven years old!
It did not take us long to make up our mind to buy this car. Two days later (Thursday the 10th) we could already pick it up. In the meantime we already took it to the highlands for a drive. Peter had no problem to drive with it up and down MacQuarie Pass. It has a 2 litre engine compared with our old, 15 year old, car that has only a 1,3 litre engine!
Yesterday we told every one, we would go today to a funeral at Rookwood Cemetery. The funeral is to be in the Catholic section of the cemetery. Susan, Mila’s daughter, rang us the other day that her mother had died. I think she was 89 and had been rather sick for quite some time in a nursing home. We remember Mila well. She used to be our neighbour quite a few years ago. After she moved in with her daughter in Sydney, she sometimes came with a pensioners’ group for visits to the Dapto Leagues Club, where we could meet up with her.
Initially I really thought we would be able to make it to today’s funeral. Alas, Peter and I had a very short night. We both woke up much too early and just could not go back to sleep. We had been thinking of going to Merrylands as well as to Lidcombe to the cemetery. The funeral is to be at 2 pm. Peter pointed out that we could not go back to Susan’s place after the funeral for this would mean we would be getting home far too late.
Anyhow, we decided now, all in all it would be too much of a hassle for us. There are reason, why we should be going to Merrylands one day. But I think we have to do it on a day when we have nothing else planned. I reckon for younger people it is easier to plan to do several things in one day. We are just a bit too old for all this. I feel better when we can do everything at a leisurely pace and don’t have to stress ourselves out too much.
Anyhow, we decided to stay in our local area today to have a quiet, relaxing day – – –
For sure it is good to have good neighbours. I have about half a dozen extremely friendly neighbours, that are all well past 70. First of all there are two very friendly women who live with their very friendly partners of the opposite sex! And then there are two single widowed women that have been widowed for ages, and both of them have been my very good friends for nearly twenty years! However, we visit each other on average only about once a week.
Myself, having been widowed for close to one year now, I still often feel quite lonely. The other people in the rest of the houses I know only casually: One is a 92 year old woman, and all the others are much younger and out working every day of the week. Ayleen, this 92 year old very friendly woman, has her daughter living just around the corner.
Ayleen and I, we are the only people in the complex who do not have a car, for we don’t drive. I usually get outside help when I need some shopping done or when I have to go somewhere, or I call a taxi.
My two daughters are still full time workers and don’t live very close. However they are there, when I need them. My son, who lives in Victoria, is a lot of the time not available. So, I try to fend as much as possible on my own. Four hours help per week is provided by the government so that I can stay in my own home. Yes, I am lucky, that so far, being already 87, I have managed to stay in my own home and out of hospital. None the less, it is a rather lonely life, especially during lockdowns. And so far I have not been able to use public transport . . . .
When my husband was still alive, we would usually go on a little holiday at least twice a year. I wished I could go on a holiday now. Who wants to come with me? . . . .
Peter and I had often guests staying with us. Who wants to be my guest now for a bit more than a couple of hours or so? . . .
So, today is the 23rd of November 2021. In one month we are going to be very close to Christmas. But even before Christmas we are going to have a few parties with family and friends. This is what I assume. I can’t wait! 🙂 It is such a good feeling that soon I may be surrounded by a lot of people I can relate too and talk to! And we can hug each other, and share nice food and drinks, and listen to enjoyable music, and maybe even do a bit of dancing! 🙂
I also hope that soon I can do a little bit of travelling again; that I can pend a beautiful little holiday somewhere, and preferably in a bit of company! 🙂
Last week I had lost my vaccination certificate. I have no idea, how this could have happened! Such a bugger! But I had a good idea yesterday. Summah, my home help was me yesterday from 10 am to 12 am. So I asked her to drive me to the pharmacy where they had done my vaccination. The people at the pharmacy were very friendly and helped me out by printing out another certificate for me. I was so relieved! We went to a little cafe afterwards, where they promptly asked for my certificate! So good, that I could produce it then and there. By the time we left the cafe it was already a bit after 11. But ALDI was not far away, so we could still do some shopping there. I like having Summah around. She is really good to me. 🙂
I used to like reading a lot of books. To my regret, with deteriorating eyesight this has become less and less. Recently I lost my strong reading glasses, However, I do get some new even stronger ones. I can pick them up tomorrow. Hopefully, having new glasses is going to encourage me, to take up some book reading again.
So, instead of reading books, I seem to have been watching quite a bit additional TV. During the week I like to watch Afternoon Briefing on the ABC News Channel, and then I switch over to ABC TV and watch Grand Designs and The DRUM.
Yesterday, Sunday, November 14, I watched a bit of Insiders and Songs of Praise and Landline and Gardening Australia, as well as Rick Stein’s Secret France.
In the evening I caught a bit of Death in Paradise and then I wanted to watch Total Control. But unfortunately I was so tired that I soon went to sleep saw not much of that program yet. I have to catch up on it sometime on IView.
I would like to read up a lot on the following items about the COP 26 Summit on Climate Change:
Today we had another look at Berkelouw’s Book Barn after we had not visited it for many years. It was a very good place to meet up again with Gerard and Helvi.
In one of Berkelouw’s pamphlets it says:
WE BUY BOOKS AND PRINTS IN LARGE LOTS OR SMALL
The Book Barn at Berrima is the first of its kind in Australia and responds to the demand of the reading public for inexpensive fine quality secondhand books . . . . ”
After not having visited the Book Barn for a number of years, we were astounded, how the facilities have improved. There is a huge restaurant area as well as a well established winery and a magnificent place for wine tasting!
I very much liked the pizza and the salad with flowers for lunch and later on a glass of wine at the cellar door.
The poplars that lead to the book barn look as healthy as ever!
On the way home we had a quick stop at Robertson Pie Shop.
And then we had to drive down MacQuarie Pass in dense fog and rain!
All the way home it rained steadily. Luckily the rain was not as heavy as it had been the day before. Last night we had some flooding in our home. When we arrived home today, there was still a bit of rain but thankfully no more flooding. Also after yesterday’s heat-wave with temperatures well over 35C, it is very much cooler today. Australia Day is coming up next Tuesday. Already today, Friday, a lot of traffic was building up for people going South to have a long holiday weekend.
8 thoughts on “A beautiful Day at BERKELOUW’s Book Barn, 22nd January 2016”
The C-SweetEditThe salad looks delicious – what a nice little surprise to find all the upgrades to the little bookshop, including of course, the wine bar!!! It’s hard to believe the fog/rain photo was taken the same day.Reply
auntyutaEditThanks for commenting, C. Berkelouw Books are well established. They still have about eight book stores in NSW, and one in Queensland. Apart from secondhand books they also sell a few newly published books..To us it is a well known fact that towards the top of the pass a lot of fog can develop. Luckily the pass is well signed all the way. Peter, my husband, is 80, but he has long practice negotiating along the pass, that is, there were times when his work required that he drove up and down the pass on a daily basis. So I am proud to say, that he hasn’t lost his touch yet and drove confidently around all the bends in fog and rain! Reply
auntyutaEditI did choose Riesling. They served it beautifully chilled. The grapes for this wine came from their own estate. I was very happy with this drink.
gerard oostermanEditWe enjoyed sharing food and wine too at Berkelouw’s. Uta. We drank some of their Semillon Blanc last night. We had a great day and pleased Peter still manages all those S bends down the Pass.Reply
DebraEditOh my goodness! I would love the Book Barn. This is my kind of place for sure. I have very little self-control when given an excellent used book shop, and this one really appeals to me. It’s probably good I don’t live nearby. LOL!Reply
auntyutaEditWe’ve been collecting books for over 60 years, Debra. To keep too many books if the space is limited, can be overwhelming. Right now, we are in the process of throwing some books out. In future we want to resist the temptation to buy more and more books. Some books we simply cannot let go, and eventually we’ll probably buy a few more books that we think are of special value. You are right, the Book Barn is the place to go to, to look for excellent used books.
Everyone knew already in March 2020 that Peter’s cancer was well advanced. So, it was only a matter of time, when his bladder cancer would spread into other areas.
By June 2020 the head oncologist at the hospital advised Peter, to bring his affairs in order. It looked to him, that the cancer had already spread to his bones. A few months later a nuclear test was done, that showed without doubt that the cancer had well and truly spread to his bones, which meant then, that in all probability Peter would have only a very short time to live anymore. It was obvious, that he was in the last stages of cancer and so was in need of some palliative care. . . . Soon, it was organised to give him palliative care at home with adequate pain reducing medication administered by Hospital staff who came to our home at scheduled times. To make the total care possible, quite a few family members were involved in helping to give this, plus we did get some subsidised respite care.
I would say, very often it was very difficult work for all the family. For sure it took a lot out of them, whereas overall I, the 86 year old wife, had not to do all that much physical work in looking after Peter. It was so amazing, how all the children did very lovingly look after their Dad! Also there was a constant stream of visitors by other family members, and a lot of friends were showing that they cared for him very much.
Somehow, all of us had finally to be prepared that is was highly unlikely that Peter would still be alive by Christmas. This prediction was close enough: Peter died on the 12th of the 12th 2020 and was cremated on the 21st of December 2020, our 64th Wedding Anniversary!
But now back to March 2020. By that time, Peter had enormous kidney pain. A solution was found, to drain the liquid around the kidney and his heart: A stent was inserted by an urology team. The stent went from the kidney to the bladder. The stent did its job quite well for a while. However we knew, the stent would have to be renewed after a few months. Finally this was done in August 2020.
On my birthday, on the 21st of September, Peter could hardly walk. I think he realised then that he probably would not last much longer. But somehow he may still have been in a state of denial. And I believe, one of our daughters and her husband were both in a state of denial too. The way they acted and looked after him once he did get palliative care showed to me a denial of very closely impending death.
I, on the other hand, I was already in 2018 convinced, that either his bad heart or his cancer would be the cause of his death. For instance, once the BCG treatment (Bladder cancer: What to know about BCG treatment)
was stopped, there was not much left, that could be done. It was said, that because of his heart trouble, it was not possible for Peter to survive a five hour bladder operation!
So Peter’s cancerous bladder could not be removed. That meant, Peter’s cancer would sooner or later be spreading outside. . . .There was just no denying it!
I think my sadness started already in 2016, when Peter first found out about the tumour in his bladder. I did not want him to die before me: He would have been able to cope without me so much better than I can cope now without him!
I was sad, that Peter developed a terminal sickness, of course I was sad. But for sure I was not in denial that eventually the sickness turned out to be terminal. I was just grateful, that we could still have a few good years together, for Peter was most of the time still pretty active and not in severe pain since he was always well medicated.
Yes, there was sadness, but we were also grateful that we were still able to enjoy a lot of togetherness! Really, most of the time life seemed to be still quite enjoyable . . . .
Come to think of it, the five stages of grief somehow may not have effected my life so utterly, since we had such an early warning, and I was never in denial of the situation and learned to accept it early on. The grief may have effected our children much more. So, I would like to know, how I can help my children!
Very recently I found out, that as early as March 2020 our son was extremely depressed and in tears about the condition of his Dad. This was the time when his wife decided she did not want to see him anymore. I think she had not seen his tears, but she saw his neighbour who had recently moved into the house next door. This neighbour is a very compassionate woman and willing to be a good friend to Martin, however she is due for some rehabilitation for she drinks too much. She keeps telling over and over again, that she had quite a lot of bad experiences and suffering, partly because of her mother.
This neighbour is divorced. However she has a very lovely daughter from an earlier relationship. The daughter is divorced too and has a new partner, she also has a very good job. The neighbour’s 27 year old daughter has a sweet little four year old daughter and shares that little girl with her ex-husband. And when she is feeling well enough, dear grandma can look after the little one for a couple of nights as well. I met the whole family. They are all very nice.
My son lives in Victoria and is already retired, whereas my two daughters still work full-time. The daughters live in NSW both of them close enough for fairly regular visits, and one of the granddaughters comes to help too, whenever her work schedule allows for it.
We are in the midst of HOLY WEEK 2021. So tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY, a holiday. Sitting in front of my house in the early morning sun – this is what I am looking forward to for tomorrow.
I am not looking forward to asking someone for a lift to the MEDICAL CENTRE. Do I really need a change of the dressing on my lower leg? We’ll see.
Sitting in the sun. This is all I am longing for . . . .
Last Sunday I returned from my two weeks holiday at my son’s place in Victoria. With the help of one daughter and one granddaughter I was able to go to the MEDICAL CENTRE on Monday and on Wednesday. I was able to use the ROLLATOR, which was really a great help. Right now, I do not feel confident to walk with my walking stick!
And anyway, I get some more visitors on EASTER SUNDAY. This is in only two more days!
I wonder whether I can adjust to be living totally on my own. My brother reckons, I sound alert on the phone, Then what about my mobility? Has it become better or worse? I would say unfortunately at present it is a lot of the time quite bad. But maybe this has to do with this terrible infection I had in my leg. And this infection may also have to do with my constant tiredness.
Yes, always feeling tired. However when my brother rang from Berlin, my tiredness soon became less and less. After a while it felt good talking to him and his wife.
I like living in my own home. Every Thursday I get two hours home help. There are a lot of plans, that I should get some more help in. Strangely, this makes me feel even more dependent!
Is this kind of dependency really better than living in an AGE CARE HOME? Living in such a home, how would that make me feel?
Maybe I should look into some kind of HOSTEL type accommodation? What a HOSTEL is like, I described in a blog I wrote many years ago.
I had a friend, who lived in a HOSTEL for many years. She died before she needed to be transferred to a NURSING HOME. I think, she was very lucky in this regard. She was 93 when she died.
Well, this was 17 years ago. Maybe what used to be called HOSTEL is now being called AGE CARE HOME. Why then do I have such a horror of ending up in an AGE CARE HOME?
It was acknowledged some time ago. that the house I live in needs a lot of changes and renovations, especially the outside area. I think it would be increasingly difficult for me to look after it even with some extra home help.
Why can’t I just organise everything myself? The two weeks away from home were good for me. I discussed with my son and his friendly neighbour that it would be good for me to join a SENIOR’S CITIZENS CLUB that organises outings and trips to holiday destinations. But since we are not out of the woods yet with COVID 19 maybe this is not such a good idea. Should I just stay as much as possible totally on my own?
What can I still do? I can still shower and dress myself, even if it takes a long time. I can still go for slow walks with my rollator. I have often trouble with my eyesight. However, I can still do some things on the computer and I enjoy some TV programs and listening to music. When I can get hold of a shopping trolley, I can still do my own shopping. I love cooking (mainly vegetarian meals), I have a good appetite and I do not mind doing the dishes. I definitely can do the dishes. I can do my personal washing. The home help on Thursdays hangs out the bigger washing for me and does a lot of the cleaning and sometimes drives me to the shops.
Recently some friends gave me a lift to go to Mass. But I have not contacted them yet since my return from Victoria. A while ago I took up joining my friends again for our Friday afternoon games: Scrabble and Rummy Cub. Well, of course for the last two weeks I was away, and this week on GGOD FRIDAY there won’t be any games.
For the next few days I’ll be sitting as much as possible outside to enjoy some sun, and maybe I can do a bit of walking too with my rollator. If I get sick of being by myself for every meal, I can walk with my rollator across the road to the bowling Club for some lunch. I do like their prawn cutlets!
Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Widowed Wife of German Descent. I’ve lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We had four children, eight grandchildren and now six great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too, as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, used to publish some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com View more posts
On the 21st of December 2012 we had our 56th wedding anniversary. On that day we went up to the highlands for a visit to Bowral. As I remember it, Peter and I had an excellent time up in Bowral on the day of our anniversary . Looking at these old photos brings back memories. So here they are:
These pictures were taken in a Bowral shopping centre .
In the morning we had visited the Bradman Oval:
At the Bradman Centre there was a nice cafe where we had had some morning tea:
Peter took this picture on the 21st December 2012, our Wedding Anniversary. The Corbett Gardens are in Bowral. This day in 2012 was the last time we went to see the Gardens. Over the years we did go a few times to have a look at the tulips there in spring time during the tulip festival. This year we missed out again on seeing the tulips there.
Two years ago in December we quite liked to walk through Corbett Gardens on a summer day. There were no tulips there, but the gardens looked lovely none the less.
On the way to the Gardens we had stopped at the Bradman Museum.
I just had a beautiful morning walk in Lakelands Park at the back of my house. There were hardly any clouds. I enjoyed walking on the track next to the very overgrown bush along Books Creek. Everything looks and smells so nice in the sunshine after we had quite a bit of rain over the past few days with some breaks in between the rain but hardly any sun.
In some areas close by there were often some thunderstorms during the afternoons. Maybe Dapto is going to get a bit of thunderstorm too this afternoon! Today I stayed in the park for one whole hour. During this hour, about a dozen people passed me with one or two dogs and talked to me for a bit. Also a couple of people with kids in strollers passed me! They all seemed to enjoy the sunshine very much. 🙂
Before I left the house this morning I had made a Tele appointment at the Dapto Medical Centre to talk to my GP about the result of my recent 24 hour blood pressure monitoring. I did get an appointment for tomorrow at 3 o’clock. I wonder, when my doctor wants to see me again now to do some more checking of my blood pressure! For a while it was often up to 200. But with some medication it has come down a lot now.
Exactly one week ago, Gerard did pay me a surprise visit coming down Maquarie Pass. He did bring sweet little Bentley along. Bentley is an especially beautiful dog and very calm! We took Bentley for a walk along the track in Lakelands Park before Gerard had to head home again to the Highlands. 🙂
Last Thursday Monika and Natasha did bring two of my great-grandkids along. It was wonderful that I could see them again after the long lockdown. We had a lovely vegetarian Thai take away lunch at my place. We had just finished our lunch, when the two electricians arrived who installed some new ceiling fans in my living room! 🙂
Aaron, the carpenter/builder and his apprentice Aidon did a lot of good work for me during the week. Next week they are coming back to put up a cover over my outside deck. This will be good to have when we want to have a party on the deck and it does rain! 🙂
Fridays I can join my friends again for the games afternoons. During Peter’s sickness I often did not join them for the games, and during the lockdown I did not join them at all for I did not want to enter any one’s house! It is really good, that I was able to see my friends again in their houses, and they can come to my house too.
We have been playing the same sort of games for over ten years! We always play one game of Scrabble and 7 games of Rummy Cub. In between we have some refreshments! 🙂
Following a copy of one of my blogs from 2014 with pictures from one of our games afternoons!
Here I repeat what I wrote already this morning in another post:
“Next Friday is going to be the 19th of December. On that day we are going to have a Body Corporate meeting in Wollongong. The following day, on the 20th, we are going to have a Christmas Party for the residents and some previous residents. And for Sunday, the 21st, Peter and I are being invited to a Christmas Luncheon in Sydney.
Christmas Eve we are going to have the family at our place as is traditional for us. Early the following morning on Christmas Day Caroline, Matthew, Peter and I are going to travel to Melbourne in a rented car.
Ah, and I forgot, this coming Sunday, which is the third Sunday of Advent, we are also going to be in Sydney to belatedly celebrate Caroline’s birthday. Last Sunday we went to see Monika for her birthday.”
Does this sound busy? Peter seems to think so. Both Peter and I have a few health issues at the moment. We just hope all will be well pretty soon despite our rather “busy” life.
Well, tomorrow is the last day of October – and then the day after, on Monday, we have the significant first of November when some more restrictions are going to be lifted for the people that are fully vaccinated!
I have an appointment for Specsavers for Monday morning, for I need new reading glasses. Specsavers is in the Dapto Shopping Centre. Summah is going to take me there at 10am and doing some shopping for me at Coles while I am at the optometrist.
Today I went across Fowlers Road to the Bowling Club to get some take away fish and chips with some vegies for lunch. This meal was the best! 🙂 Really, very, very good!
On this coming Thursday Monika is bringing Carter and Evie along around lunch time. I am very much looking forward to this. I haven’t seen the kids in ages. Dear little Carter said the other day that he wants to see great-grandma, that’s me! 🙂 I hope the weather is going to be nice: Then the kids can play outside on the deck! 🙂
Next Friday, early in the morning, I am going to see my two doctors again. I love to talk to them. It is so good, that they have some extra time for me. They make every effort to bring my blood pressure under control. But I still get exhausted very quickly and very often extremely tired – I have to do everything very, very slowly . . . . There is not much I can do in one day, but I can still do something. For instance I can still prepare my own meals and take showers by myself! 🙂 I can take walks with my rollator and enjoy nature. I love eating good, healthy meals. However, I cannot consume meals that are too large for me. I like very small meals, but I like to eat often. I always have a very good appetite! 🙂 I try never to throw away any food. I don’t mind eating left-overs. 🙂 I like to prepare vegies and fruit. What has to be cut off, goes into the council’s FOGO bin and gets recycled. These FOGO bins are a very good idea.
I really wanted to mention today my first love. I met him in the spring of 1952. We had to cut it short, but it was beautiful while it lasted! 🙂 One year later, in the spring of 1953, I did fall in love again. But for some reason he never loved me back the way I would have liked him to. Maybe he thought, he was not quite the right young man for me – I can still remember, what he used to humorously quote to me in a singing voice: ‘Der Mann, der vor mir war, der war so wunderbar!’
In the spring of 1955, when I was twenty and seven months I finally realized that it was no use waiting for Karl-Heinz to change his mind about a togetherness with me. I started going out with a girl-friend. The two of us were looking to meet nice, young men by out on dance floors! At the same time a colleague of mine introduced me to her older brother and for a few weeks we went boating together on one of Berlin’s lakes. This was the only time that I dated an ‘older’ man. He was already 30, and his girl friend had moved to West-Germany! When I met Peter, who was only 20, I preferred him, and we stayed together for over 65 years! 🙂
I know, last year, when Peter knew already that he had to leave me quite soon, he was not afraid of dying, but he did not like the idea, that I would be very lonely . . . .
Well, I do have my memories, don’t I?
My doctors tell me, I should socialize more. Maybe I should . . . .
How do I do this? Well, I can only keep an open mind. That bit of time, that perhaps is still left to me, might become more and more precious!