December 28th, 2005

Me, Racing Stripes

That was Christmas

Finished work early on Friday (as you do) and did a little bit of shopping on the way home($200 worth of underwear and socks, go me!), then packed and got ready to go away for Christmas.

Traffic was heavier than normal, but not too bad and the trip took about the usual time.

Due to being in a hurry (and it being very hot at home) I didn't end up having dinner before I left, so I dropped into Hungry Jacks on the way for something to eat. My taste buds have changed, I think, as it didn't taste anywhere near as good as I remember it. Plus I ended up feeling a bit blah for the next day or so that I attribute to the Hungry Jacks. I must have changed a lot if healthy food tastes better! :)

Got to Mum and Dad's in good time, pottered around a bit and went to bed.

We all got up at their usual time for our morning walk. Leaving their place about 6:30 for an hour walk before it gets too hot and muggy.

Saturday was a fairly quite day with most of our time spent relaxing either at home or the Leisure Centre, with a trip to Sunshine Plaza for Mum to pick up a ring she had in at the jeweller's for repairs, plus Mum put on the Turkey for Christmas dinner. Mum wasn't originally going to do a turkey this year but after seeing a size 56 (5.6kg) turkey in at the shops she decided she had to (previously the largest she could ever get was a 36 or 38).

We didn't bother going for a walk Christmas morning, and had a sleep in instead. After breakfast they opened their presents. I didn't have any as the digital camera I got for my birthday was a combined birthday and Christmas present.

Mum however wasn't feeling all that good. About midnight a pain had started in her lower abdomen and it wouldn't go away. At first she thought it was gas or something like that, but by mid afternoon she was getting worried as it started to get worse. She tried to contact her doctor, but of course on Christmas day that was impossible and after talking to the carer (the retirement village has a carer on duty 24 hours a day) it was decided to call an ambulance and get them to have a look at her and see what their opinion was.

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics recommended her going to Nambour General Hospital for it to be looked at. So, Mum got a ride in the Ambulance and Dad and I followed along behind in his car. Glenn stayed behind to field all the phone calls and visits that were bound to happen once the gossip circulated.

We were there for over 4 hours, and got a fairly long list of things that it's not. It's not her appendix, kidneys or gall bladder, but other than that they have no idea. We probably would have been out sooner except for the fact that we have discovered that Mum has a bad reaction to Morphine, which they gave her to ease the pain.

As a small aside, I found out why Codeine is used in pain killers. It seems that in most people (but not all) the human body converts codeine into morphine. As a result, if you have a problem with morphine, you will also have a problem with codeine. Mum has always had a problem with codeine, and now she knows why.

Eventually they let her go with instructions to take pain killers to manage the pain, and to return if it got worse or changed. So we drove home (while watching a brilliant lightning show) and Mum went to bed, while the rest of us had out Christmas dinner. Cold turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum!

Mum's pain has stayed around, not changing or getting any worse. She planned to go in and see her doctor this morning first thing so they can start working out what is going on.

Boxing day was a nice lazy day, though again it started far too early as Glenn, Dad and I did the early morning walk (Mum didn't feel up to it). Since Mum hadn't had any of the Christmas dinner, she made sure she was going to get some on Boxing day. As a result we had open faced turkey and gravy sandwiches for lunch. Yum!

Most of the rest of the day was just relaxing and being social and letting everyone else in village know what had happened (got to keep the gossip under control).

Glenn and I decided to go and watch a movie that night so we wandered into Sunshine Plaza to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We go into the cinema at about five past eight. The 8:50 session had already sold out (according to the girl behind the counter it sold out about 6:30 that evening) so we got tickets for the 9:40 session.

The cinema took longer to clean than expected, so it ended up starting about 15 minutes behind the scheduled time. Of course they still had to show all the adds before it, didn't they? Cinema advertising is giving me the shits. Some adds, a preview, some more adds, another three previews, some more adds, one final preview, and then the movie.

In a word: Brilliant. I my mind, that is what a book adaptation should be like. It's been a while since I've read the book (something I intend to rectify shortly) but I didn't notice any jarring changes. A bit extra was added at the start to give the viewer the knowledge of why the children were evacuated (World War II) and a few changes were done throughout to improve things for a visual presentation, but apart from that it was fairly true to the book.

The creatures, both fantastical and normal, were exceptionally real. I couldn't tell where the human stopped and the CGI began on the fauns and the centaurs, and the beavers seemed real even though they were talking and doing all sorts of things that beavers don't do.

Well done. I am hoping they decided to the rest of the books in the series.

Due to not getting to bed until about 1 am I decided I was not going for a walk Tuesday morning. So Glenn and Dad went for a walk (Mum still wasn't feeling up to it) and when they got back we all had breakfast and then went in to Sunshine Plaza again for a little bit of shopping. We ended up getting there about 8:30 in the morning, before most of the people got there, and before most of the shops had actually opened. So we had a morning coffee (I had a hot chocolate) at a coffee shop there while we waited.

We went to the Australian Geographic shop first. Dad had gotten a new pair of binoculars and an indoor/outdoor weather station for Christmas. The binoculars were missing their strap, and I wanted one of the weather stations myself, so we went to do that. The weather station was normally $149, but was on special for $103.20, plus Mum is an Australian Geographic subscriber so an addition 10% discount made it $92.88.

After that we split up for a while to do bits and pieces of our own shopping, and met back up again at about 10:30 at the car to go home. By this stage the place was packed. According to Dad the lineup for the female changing rooms at Target was about 40 long, and the undercover car park was packed solid which was why they wanted to go in so early.

Home for lunch (more turkey sandwiches) and then over to the leisure centre again for tech support. The centre has two big TV's for the residents use, but do one was sure what channels were what, so they got me to program the both of them with the channels in the same positions and we did up a list of all the channels for their reference. We also got to watch the jigsaw brigade!

Dad has been doing jigsaw puzzles for years and has a fair number of them. In the workshop Dad and another guy mad made themselves jigsaw puzzle workstations (a flat work area at an incline with a raised border to stop the pieces falling off) and made an additional one that they donated to the village which they put in the leisure centre. Dad then left one of his puzzles there for people to do.

When we went over to the leisure centre on Saturday afternoon the puzzle there had been finished, so we packed it up (after taking a picture of it) and left another one it it's place. Every time we went over there again for the rest of the weekend there were at least two or three people working on the puzzle, and it had been finished by Tuesday afternoon. Again we took a photo of it and left a new one there in it's place.

Tuesday night was an early dinner (Mum and Dad were playing cards that night) on the BBQ, and then they went off to cards and I went home. Again there was more traffic on the roads than normal, but the trip was fairly smooth and took no longer than normal.

So now I'm back to the normal grind.

Much as I love my family, I always come away from them feeling tires and drained. My original plan was to hang around near them for another 18 months or so before moving to Melbourne, but I don't know if I'm going to wait that long.

Currently there are only two things holding be back from moving now.

Firstly is the general fear and trouble involved. I hate moving house, and an interstate move is probably going to be a hell of a lot worse.

The second (and main) reason is work. I am currently a hell of a lot better than I used to be, but I still don't think I'm well enough to change jobs yet. Where I am working is very understanding about my health issues and that's worth a hell of a lot to me. Plus I want to bring my skills up a bit before I go looking for a job.