Thursday, December 28, 2017

                                          Mucking around in the holidays

ABC radio Health report is informative tho it is not clear whether the health professionals know about the same information that is relayed to us listeners.  One can try being proactive armed with a little knowledge unaware of how things are with the professionals.  Medicine can be a uneasy path in which to participate.
A surgeon said I need surgery and surgeons seem rather easy going about their plans for an operation.  As I am not young I decided to seek a cardiac assessment and the new GP readily referred me to a cardiac specialist for a pre operative assessment.   
After some weeks the specialist took details about my life style and health.  He remarked ‘does the GP want this and that done’ and I said that I had asked for an assessment and did not know what tests would be suitable.
The specialist did not ask about the date of the operation and it was very off putting to find that there were no further appointments available prior to surgery in which to get information about the results of the tests.   Should I postpone the surgery until I could return again?   The suggestion was to take the results to the anaesthetist!  The professionals are the ones with the high IQ  not me.  The expectation was that an assessment would be made prior to surgery or I might have been informed it was impossible to do.  
The visit to the specialist was bulk billed and when I signed the form I noticed the amount was considerably higher than that charged by other specialists that have been consulted.  On looking at the Medicare website the fee looked as if it included the task of writing a care plan.  Well, the consult had lasted a generous amount of time partly because of some difficulty experienced by the doctor over his typing ability.  All the same, how can a care plan be prepared before diagnostic testing and diagnosis is made?  I toe the line but I am not keen to return for the next appointment in a few months time.  Instead, a somewhat extreme idea is to consult another specialist in Sydney who is well approved of by someone I know.
Where does it get you?  I keep in mind the costs where Medicare and taxpayers foot the bill. Have never liked signing a blank form for services which is the usual way.   One does not see what items will be billed.  Otherwise, diagnostic tests are surely a gold mine that the professionals own or invest in.  Few of us have ‘stumbled’ into the dreary basement of a hospital where the juggernaut support activities crawl along and depend on lots of labourers and a fair share of the health budget instead of the budget being dissipated, for example, on path tests ordered without much thought at all.  Now, a computer would be ok to act as a GP because their work is about nothing else except ordering tests which are interpreted for them by the service.  Prescribe the correct drug?  No way, just try out this or that and see if it works – where is the skill in that?
Appointments were made with diagnostic services and I was asked about allergies and I mentioned that a contrast medium was not ideally suitable for me and was told there was no problem.  Yet the contrast had been debated during an earlier test and their web site confirmed this so I made sure to mention it to the technician at the time.
Subsequently the GP informed me about the results of the diagnostic tests. As it turned out the GP could just as well have ordered the tests and saved me and Medicare a visit to the specialist.  The GP said my condition was good enough for surgery and said to take Asprin each day and I said I didn’t think I would start that prior to surgery which maybe I should have refrained from saying  and at the time I didn’t notice that a script was written for a stating.  The chemist drew my attention to it and I am postponing the statin.  Is it denial?  So, it is the GP who has read the results and has prescribed the treatment
Next was a peri operative consultation at hospital.  An RN began taking base line information and soon a doctor, who is not the active anaesthetist, came to review me and spoke of judgements based on the fact that my face looked healthy and that I could walk some distance with ease and I said that my diagnostic tests must be unnecessary but I handed them over and they were read but I have a feeling that the reports, which are technical, were not come to grips with but were put with my other data.  When there was talk of a spinal or a general  the doctor said that cognitive problems associated with anaesthetic were recognized when I expressed some concerns about a general anaesthetic.   Such concerns are often dismissed, not this time, but that these problems were more likely in a different situation in a person who is more at risk.  Ok, I still opted for a spinal but it does not sound like a real choice as it is dependent on this and that on the day itself.   
 Well, I tried to involve myself in my health and probably should leave the technical aspects well alone.   I was barking up the wrong tree and should concentrate on what I can do about a good diet, exercise and prevention with far more diligence and prepare for hospital and then work on recovery.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Now you see it now you don't.  The Store in Hunter Street West.  Former co-operative store with a full range of  departments in which many people in Newcastle were shareholders. Parties and weddings were catered for and services included petrol sales and delivery service.  New suburban supermarkets would have led to the decline of the store and to its closure quite some time ago. Believe it is marked for demolition.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

           A very quaint book for a young child.  Not a Cloud in the Sky from author and illustrator Emma Quay.  Publisher HarperCollins 2014.
Lets be specific. We are told Emma Quay used wood panels, pencil, acrylic paint, watercolour, chalk pastels, an oil pastel, ink, a plastic straw, paper stencils, a champagne cork, a toothbrush, sponges, foam rollers, relief printing, photography and Photoshop for the illustrations. Colour reproduction by Graphic Print Group, Adelaide.
Picture books are often very engaging.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

                                 Lego land for ants.
  Lego is found in the form of an Advent calendar.  The tradition of the calendar has lost almost all its meaning.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

This weekend, Supercars came to Newcastle after months of prep.  I may as well be in Timbuktu as all I saw was on TV and car racing has become a regular procession.
Virgin Australia Supercars Championships are held in 14 locations around the land plus one meet in NZ, I believe. Pehaps the tv coverage is a money spinner.
It was impossible to find a channel among the satellite services overseas in Asia that aired programs with any real content, there were only two minute snatches in between advertorial and nothing substantial was found and that was from the major Western style programmers. It is difficult to imagine who  would be happy if interested in what's going on and in entertainment. Sport is another matter. Nor were all the sat services trialed.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A lucky sighting when a beautiful snake slide across the road ahead.  There was no time for the best angle and what if it was venomous?  Looks like a Diamond Python.  A venomous and vulnerable Broad Headed snake looks similar.
We are always advised to leave a snake alone.  Many people are bitten when they try to kill a snake.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A flock of ducks was caught napping in a park by the shore.
 We can be full of thanksgiving for birdlife.
 And Thanks Be for The Australian Ballet; for environmentalists and, despite the lack of risk, for our good life in a strange land - to mention but a few.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fairy-Wrens are tiny birds.  Like a large insect.  The blue version takes the eye but this bird is never still for the camera, even these seemed familiar with the campers.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The birds I know as Plovers. Are they Masked Lapwings?  Imagine their indignation consternation on living near a walking path.  The uproar is almost constant.  And a mobile group is different to the usual solo bird.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Could this be a mature Crimson Rosella?  Could we be camping in wonderland?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Laughing Kookaburra - the most massive of our kingfishers and best known. These are youngsters.
We can take their laughter for granted yet it is very bizzare.  A benign stretch of bushland will suddenly erupt in unheard of sound effects.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Heirloom embroidery, Australiana style.  Gum blossom in detail.
Could be the Eastern Rosella where a hundred per cent accuracy of colour was not the point of the exercise.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Campers visiting a spot near Chichester Dam would very likely know and love a flock of Australian King Parrots who front up seeking attention.
The local said over 150 different birds had been identified by birdwatchers and thought bird numbers had not declined there.

Friday, November 10, 2017

My wish to you is that in your life time you will drive down a country road and find the countryside a true delight.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

I wish that in your life time you will enjoy seeing a country stream.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beersheba and the first world war and one of the last large cavalry charges, is honoured today at its centenary with an enactment in the Middle East. order was given; one unheard before in military history. Cavalry were to be sent against infantry who were well entrenched, supported by machine guns and covered by artillery. The 4th and 12th Regiments of Light Horse were ordered to charge.....

Drawings from a little old copy of The Wells of Beersheba by Frank Dalby Davison with illustrations by Will Mahony, 1947.
Horses, said to be from all corners of our land, were shipped out for an alarming cruel long desert march to a battle front that put everything at risk.

 It is the time for blue blossoming jacaranda trees all round town. Thunder storms arrive now and hail pounded us last week.  The storms batter the flowering trees and are a disaster for mango trees where the fruit is in early stage - what could be worse? At least delicious mangos from the north are on the shelves.

From the past: Lambton Memorial Baby Health Centre.  Now our offspring are not monitored in that way but in the nearby shopping centre is the commercial equivalent in a 'baby nurse'.
The memorial has become a tea room.  Panels at the entrance refer to the war years.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Times of change.  Want that 'sickie' validated at the chemists?
 Same sex marriage is best accepted in our present day.  It is a matter for the state to enshrine it in law.
  Respect for LGBQ community is due in a just society.
It is frowned upon to mix this with further issues but does it imply that relationships, casual or other, are made between people of any genders or of any sexual orientations? Is it gone along with that more than homosexuality that all or any orientations are acceptable relationships. It is a totally private matter most of the time.  Change is underway.  I'm slow on the uptake.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Jumping ship. 
No original thinking in these words.  They say the young and old have become disillusioned with politics.  Look at the latest romp in federal politics.  It means interviews, publicity and focus on the group of dual citizens whom the court has invalidated.
We have got it all wrong.
Loss of a seat in parliament is significant but no other specific "sentence" so to speak.  What is the penalty for wasting time and money on elections, for leading supporters up the garden path, for parliamentary salaries and more, for legislating while disqualified or for using resources to determine next in line or by-election. For High court deliberations priced at millions per day.  No penalty. Not even an apology.
There are some extenuating circumstances but that's too bad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It is no Westconnex (50 billion plus), on a back road between Vacy towards Singleton this bridge rattles a lot and to give it its due is well patched up, craftsmanship is not high with the timbers left all uneven and one thick bent 'pin' the size of a stake on the wheel track, is it marked so as to dodge it or is it marked for repair?  No load limit is signposted nor passing or no passing.  Local drivers use their common sense probably.
The budget for road work no way compares with that of the city with the harbour bridge and the constant traffic snarls..
Believe it is the Paterson River, just north of where it joins up with the Allyn River.
Captain Cow and the dairy is in the vicinity where the lucerne on the river flats is bright green and contrasts with the dry brown countryside. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Gresford is easily reached and today the past was celebrated with a fair with rural themes and the little old Saint Helen's church celebrated 150 years which is rather old by our standards.
The church organist is shown with her baby son.  With grand parents at her side the baby was shared around and probably listened to the hymns.   

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A country river crossing heading towards Vacy and Gresford.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spring didn't make much impact on this corner.  Rain has been scarce.
ENVIRONMENT.  A dim pink and dusty summer sky is not unusual but not so in England where they were confronted with a red sun, and dust and smoke driven from deserts and fires in countries to the south.
Scenes from a sc fi coupled with the effects of a hurricane - is it a wake-up call?
Shame the anti-intellectuals, including our so-called scholar and politician, were not meeting this week in this strange atmosphere in London.

Monday, October 16, 2017

This festival was well planned and well financed and highlighted a certain nation - the object of my    love/suspicious relationship.  Some say that that country has too much influence around our universities - for one .  I wondered about that when their centre of learning opened at the local university but who can say? The university would know what it is doing.

ENVIRONMENT.  Currently, with Ireland in its path, the powerful hurricane, Ophelia, is the most powerful hurricane to have ever been as far east in the Atlantic on record.
 Currently, our decision makers only toy with policies to curb the emissions from energy use that contribute to climate change. The law makers are weak and pushing back.
  One educated politician,  Jesuit education, I believe, and Oxford scholar, has abandoned science and talks second rate anti-climate-change gossip to make matters worse. We need to pay for our pollution in cold hard cash if that's what it takes.     

Monday, October 09, 2017

Hunter Street once again and the new bumptious presence of the University of Newcastle city campus. Or 'New'.
No gain without pain. A lane was closed all year while building was in progress now the whole street is closed.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Hunter Street as never before.  Revitalising Newcastle. Newcastle Light Rail. NSW Government.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Karaoke gave way to the league Grand Final with rapper Maclemore beamed into every corner of our parallel universe and Same Love was heard without a reaction in the country pub before it all became more hectic as the evening got underway.
 The tables filled, wifi pagers blinked, eating began, rowdy children came indoors from a grassy space with a big tree to climb, a few hopeful dogs prowled through, several bikies called in, two police arrived for a meal break their divvy van out front, the TV got drowned out, a local apple cider with a kick was enjoyable, the match itself so so.
Ours was a secure evening with a sense of ease, the rapper and his culture to be pitied and almost rejected, an urgent lesson for us to learn.  

Monday, October 02, 2017

 Gender issues are topical but campdrafting is unrelated.  Australian Stock Horse Society Eastern Branch 43rd Annual Breeders and Performance Championships and Campdraft this weekend at Gresford showground. A splendid warm calm day to farewell September. 
Stock Horses are a strong national tradition as is campdrafting. One beast is singled out of a mob by a horse and rider then let loose with horse and rider in hot pursuit to 'persuade' the cattle to run a set course rounding several points all of which is timed - my uninformed description.
 Pictured are events for the younger women wrangling calves or similar . The quality of the horse is of great importance as well as horsepersonship.
At one stage, a lively calf escaped in among the nearby tents, caravans and campers by the river bank but a pack of riders soon headed it out of the chaos.
 At least, there is a tiny strip of access to a river, hugged by the campers, access difficult to come by despite the endless waterways all over the countryside. Of course, lovely out of way legal camps are 50ks further on beside remote streams and need a bit more planning and determination. Someone we know has been rescued by chopper no less than twice (not two times) when injured coming down the rocky little river.
  Forget primitive access to the coastline, most of it has gone private and wherever can you find a real 'frontier'?  The most primitive hotel we ever found was in Merriwa, not so far from here.