Wednesday, July 28, 2010


on a jet plane. On a Jetstar plane to be precise. Yes, I have made it to Mamafest, and not a second before time. Melissa and I leave husbands, children, pets and plastered parents for five days of hard core R'n'R starting as soon as we board the plane at 8.30 tomorrow morning. I have organised mum, she goes back into hospital on Friday for her next op, which is really sucky timing, but since I have 6-8 weeks of full on home nursing ahead, it was decided that I should still go, everyone will cover for me, and then I can take over again on Tuesday. My only problem is that I'm so tired I have visions of hitting the pillow tomorrow night and not waking till Monday. Although that in itself sounds like mannna from heaven right about now, lol. So, no posts for a few days, but I'll be back on line hopefully sometime Tuesday. If I come back. Which I'm sure I will. Honest.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have just spent 4 hours on the phone with the Mater Hospital and I am pissed. Big time. I swear to God, I'd have gotten better results chewing straws with the Village Idiot. Mum has to attend fracture clinic tomorrow and after Thursday's fiasco, I decided to ring up and order an ambulance pickup. Which apparantly, you can't have, unless you've filled out the correct forms. Which we hadn't because nobody told us about them. After speaking to idiot #1, who asked me why my mother couldn't drive herself (??), I was transferred to the head idiot, who informed me that I would need to "pop out to your GP" to get the correct forms. I asked her what time she was arriving to look after my mother, while I "popped out". She transferred me to the Complaints Idiot. I got her voicemail, on which I left a very rude message. She won't get it for a week 'cos apparantly she's on holidays. I then got transferred to the Assistant Complaints Idiot, who offered to send a volunteer car to pick up mum. I very politely told her that unless it was a volunteer ambulance with a stretcher in the back, she could jam it up her wazoo. She told me I was upset. I agreed. She asked if there was something she could do. I asked her if she could tape the 6 O'clock news for me, in case I didn't get a chance after calling the media and holding a pre-election press conference about the state of Queensland Health. She offered to organise me an ambulance. I said thank you. 'Cos my mother raised me right.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still here....

Mum is mending (slowly) and I am hopeful of getting a whole night's sleep in my own bed in the not too distant future. She's doing really well, but refuses to admit her limitations, which means I constantly have to check on her to make sure she's not trying to do something daft. Which she hasn't (much) although she did wheelchair herself to the door in the middle of the night to let the dog out, instead of buzzing my mobile. GRRrrr. See what I mean about checking?? The boys have been really good, fetching and carrying, plus walking the dogs and making squillions of cups of tea. I'm also rather keen on FF atm, he has cooked, shopped, cleaned, washed, parented and taxied without a word of complaint. MWAH!!! Knew there was a reason I married you. Going to try and have a power nap now, while I have a house full of people to keep Nanna under surveillance. Later xox

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life on Ward 9

Well, to cut a really crappy story short, the hospital has discharged Nanna, and she's home with us, complete with plaster cast, wheelchair, and lots of really dangerous painkillers. She'll be readmitted some time next week for her next lot of surgery. It's been a really hard couple of days, but we're getting on top of things, although we still have some serious furniture moving to do so that she can access everything important, like her bed and the bathroom. I'm seriously not happy with the hospital, who discharged her and then decided to ring me and tell me, after she'd been sitting in the transit lounge for an hour. They couldn't even loan us a wheelchair so Kit and I had to carry her from the car to the granny flat, and she was only one day post surgery. She was very upset and in a lot of pain, but she's so glad to be home where we can look after her properly. Last night she had a good sleep and this morning she's eating better and looking better. Thankyou to you sweet people who left me messages here, lol Kerryn for thinking it was me in hospital, heehee. Will update again as time allows. xox

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well there's good news and really sucky news. And since the sucky outweighs the good by a long margin, we'll start with that. Mum will be hospitalised for six weeks. She had the first of two operations yesterday, to realign the bones in her leg and ankle, and is now sporting the latest in toe-to-knee hard casts. She looks like she stacked her skateboard. She came through the surgery pretty well, and is concentrating on making life as hard as possible for everyone else by refusing to lie down and rest. Which is why she has to stay in hospital, as the doctors have realised that if they send her home after her second surgery, the first thing she's gonna do is get out of bed and try and answer the phone/ paint the ceiling/ scrub the floor. So she stays put until she's recovered and rehabbed. Which means on the (slightly) up side, I get to go to Mamafest next Thursday, providing I can organise a visiting roster in the meantime. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of leaving her up there but we've kinda had our choices taken away. So today I shop for all the little things she needs. You know....knitting wool, bourbon, poker chips....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Danger Woman.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside....
The mother of all mothers is currently residing at the Mater after managing to break her ankle in three places after slipping while walking the dogs. She'll be having surgery to put a plate and some screws in the joint and will be plastered for six weeks. Which is making Mamafest look like a long shot at best and an absolute impossibility at worst. There are no limits to the lengths my mother will go to to stop me spending money, lol. So, for the moment, we sit and wait. Updates as they happen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week One

Week one is practically over and both boys are still in one piece. Second son was not keen to go back, but has done amazingly well with lots of backup from his beloved Mrs Saal and her cast of several. I've got him on a really structured platform this semester, working things down to the minute, which seems to be the way he functions best. Firstborn, on the other hand, continues to do it solo, with very little input from me (sing halleluiah). He's had a slight dip in grades, which I am attributing to an overdose of girlfriend and far too much facebooking, but he's still on a B- average, so I'm not panicking (yet). I'll save it for the next round of face piercing arguements, which are due any day now. I'm gonna be 15 soon mum and you said when I was older....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


One day back on the crossing and I've managed to catch a mild case of death. My chest feels like there's a brick sitting on it and I'm working on a gold medal migraine. Which is all good as long as I get rid of it before the 29th. I have a failsafe remedy involving 3 lemons and a pint of whiskey, which I'm gonna indulge in as soon as I drop the kids off. Providing I live that long.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to school.

Firstborn and second son are back in the grip of the Dept Ed as of this morning, leaving me free to clean what's left of my house after two weeks of Manfest. I love the holidays, but domesticity has suffered big time. I'm scared to shift the couch in case something mutant and toxic reaches out from between the cushions and grabs me. I also need to complete a major grocery shop as the cupboards are completely bare. On the plus side, we are inching closer to Mamafest....just over 2 weeks till Melissa and I head to Sydney for some much needed down time!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anthem/ My life in sound

Music is powerful stuff. I was looking through some playlists this afternoon and found myself revisiting times in my life that I haven't thought about in a long, long time. Midnight Oil, when Peter Garrett was an icon and an activist, not a politician. Short Memory still gives me chills. The things I wanted to do. Change the world. March, shout, wave a banner....get arrested. Something, anything to show that I was here and I had a voice. I did what I could....sponsored a child in a third world country, joined Greenpeace, signed petitions, demonstrated at Parliament House. It never felt like enough. I look at my oldest child, weeks short of fifteen, watching the news, BP oil spills, young men killed in Afghanistan, and I see the same look on his face that I wore all those years ago. Frustration, anger, wanting to do something, to make his voice heard. Full circle. I hope his voice is louder than mine.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Man House.

Can you smell the testosterone?? Yes, Casa Hartwell has temporarily evolved into MAN HOUSE, where teenagers inhale entire boxes of cereal at a single sitting. Where you have a choice of TV programs as long as they start with WWE and involve much throwing of furniture and bad acting. Where the hallway is being overtaken by hoardes of teenyweeny tiranids from Planet Mongo. Where XBOX 360 apparantly means "playing video games till your head does a 360 turn a-la Exorcist". Where Pizza is a food group. Along with Coke and Betty Crocker Instant Frosting. Where 4 boys make 400 times more noise than 2.
Where am I going to hide??

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Counting the days till I open the gate and spread my wings for a few days of high calorie chocolate coated "me time". I love my kids. (honest) FF too. (seriously)
I am coming back. But I need this on a totally selfish me first level. So I'm having it. With a cherry on the top.


Well, I went, I watched and I wondered what all the fuss was about. It was OK, certainly something to rev up the average teenage girl, but I came away feeling decidedly 'meh' about the whole thing. Maybe I turned adult without realising it. Sigh.


Introducing our resident masterchef....Sebi "Crocker" Hartwell, King of the packet mix.

He decided to entertain himself by exploring the depths of the kitchen yesterday afternoon, and this was the result....

I'm hoping to extend his interests to vacuuming and laundry in the near future....


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