Belated Posting-written from my Hospital Bed
Tuesday, 22nd December,2000
What a year! Both on a personal front with the horrors of the global pandemic providing the background music.
As usual I approach this task from a self-centred chronological perspective. I fear I will overlook major family events.
Once again I am very aware of how lucky we are to have been born where and when we were. Australia’s handling of the pandemic,with the exception of Victoria’s management of quarantine, has been quite outstanding. Not perfect but with our natural advantages (island and isolation) top draw compared with most of the world.
It is now over eleven years since Gail was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s with much faster deterioration towards the end of last year and early this year as her Memory Clinic doctor had warned us. Amid much trepidation on my and the family’s part we put her into a very nice care home at nearby North Turramurra just after Easter. With some wonderful help from senior staff at the home the move proved to be the most over planned and over managed manoeuvre I have ever been involved with! Gail’s compassion for the elderly (and little babies) came to the fore. She settled almost immediately as she went into nursing mode and there was no pressure to go home. I don’t think she remembers where home is or more accurately,was.It is such a relief to know she is being well cared for and appears happy. I am very grateful for all Susie’s help and support with all this and subsequent events.
With funds required for Gail’s care and me not needing a six bedroom home I decided to sell the house and buy a smaller unit-north facing with a view, in the same general area of where Gail, Susie and Kate live.
Most of you will know that Gail was not a minor hoarder-to say the least.With the help of family, and a highly competent professional organiser we took some three months to get the house presentable for sale. We removed about two thirds of the contents-five skips,several on-line sale apps,two auction houses and several charities- resulted in a still adequately furnished presentable home. In fact it looked so good my ideas of value increased! We sold prior to a scheduled auction for a good strong price in a tricky market. Susie found me a top floor north facing unit (I am reluctant to use that pretentious word penthouse}, meeting most of my criteria.It’s on the Pacific Highway at Pymble,at the back of the building well away from traffic noise. We engaged Mike’s wife Georgia, an interior decorator/furnisher, to select furniture everybody being agreed that none of our old world furniture was suitable.I needed to have walls for my art collection of mostly rural landscapes and Georgia instructed me that I was to engage “The Hangman” to do the hanging. I think the place looks fantastic with the modern furniture, the art, the broad terrace and panoramic view.
A very nice twist was that a lot of our timber items were built for us by our great friend Bob Young at Walcha. Our move coincided with the planned marriage of his granddaughter and the need for additional furniture in the neighbouring homestead of “Cloverdale” which the Young family have just purchased. So the best of our furniture has gone back to the St. Leonards Creek family from whence it came.
The bad news is that I have spent less than two weeks in the Unit. One night I got a mysterious pain in the tummy. I ended up spending two weeks in the San Hospital with a seriously infected gall bladder. Had a week out including a visit to the Young’s at Walcha before entering the new Northern Beaches Hospital last Wednesday to have the gall bladder removed. Yesterday I had an ERCP (endoscopy) procedure to remove three stones from the bile duct and I’m writing this from my hospital bed.My Surgeon assures me that further intervention should not be required and I will be discharged tomorrow or Christmas Eve.
Enough of me!
We are very proud of the fact that Mike and Georgia’s son Charlie, who enters Year 12 at Shore School next year has just been appointed Head Of Cadets and School Vice-Captain. He is a really impressive kid. Strong academically and a good sportsman. Sister Heidi is likewise excelling at School (Queenwood). A gifted athlete (rowing) and in the top ten academically.
Susie and Hagen’s pigeon pair are likewise thriving. Max keeps breaking bones, but has no fear and loves his sport. He goes into Year Six at Pymble Primary School next year and not to be outdone by big cousin Charlie was appointed a House Captain. We were all very chuffed.Maddie is growing up and throwing her weight around at soccer.She continues to show great compassion and is very popular with her schoolmates.
Daughter Kate continues as the “Customer Relations Manager” at Woolworths St Ives and managed well recently on the family front when the focus was on others!
We continue to be impressed with how everybody who shops at St Ives seems to know and admire her.
This epistle carries our best wishes for a better year for all in 2021 and the happiest possible Christmas,2000