Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #50.

What’s top of my mind: Country hospitals.

Remember last week I was saying that I was looking after 2 dogs for my friend Jenny while she was off getting a knee reconstruction?

I’ve tried several times to call the hospital to talk to her to see how she’s getting on, but I either can’t get through to the ward, or when I do, they say there are no individual phones for the patients and they can’t give out any info over the phone “for privacy reasons.” I left a message on the only time I was able to get through to a nurse on the ward, asking her to pass along to Jenny that her dogs are missing her but are doing fine and are now part of the pack. I hope she got it.

But yeah. It’s been a week. No one can talk to her, short of me driving another 7 hours in a day to go up and visit, which I really don’t want to do…

It’s amazing to me that in this day and age, if a hospital patient doesn’t have a mobile, then they’re effectively cut off from the outside world. I’ll be trying again today. I might ask if a nurse could send me her own mobile number via text, and then I could call at a prearranged time so Jenny can actually talk to someone other than hospital staff. I can’t think of how else to find out how she’s doing.

Where I’ve been: To the tyre place.

Argh. After replacing all four tyres last year, on Tuesday night on the way to see Evan26 in a play, I got a flat. Thank goodness it was opening night, so I was able to see him last night instead.

That’s why this Wednesday W is being sent out on Thursday. I was busy.

Where I’m going: School.

Yep – term 1 starts tomorrow with a student-free day… then the onslaught starts on Monday. Today I’ll be cutting out pictures of England and Ireland from the brochure I got from the travel agency, so my desk will be COVERED in them to remind me of why I’m doing this to myself.

What I’m reading: The Leisure Seeker.

Now that I’ve wrapped up my ‘Earn your rates back by reading’ challenge for 2022 – 2023, (which had a finish date of September 2023) I’m feeling way ahead, so instead of reading a library book I’ve picked up a book Dad passed to me that he liked. It’s about an elderly couple, one with dementia and one riddled with cancer, who decide to drive off in their camper van for one last vacation.

There’s a movie with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland which I think is streaming on Stan, so I’ll probably watch that on the weekend after I finish the book.

What I’m watching: Thrive.

I’m watching MY SON IN A PLAY!

Evan26 is currently acting in a play called ‘Thrive’, which is of course on the other side of the city in Footscray. I had a ticket for Tuesday night, but halfway there I got a flat tire. The RACV obviously had a busy night… they didn’t get to me for nearly three hours! Thank God I had an iPad with podcasts with me.

So tonight I made another attempt, this time navigating a part of the city that’s almost totally unfamiliar to me, with a phone on 10% battery. Thankfully, Fortunate Frogdancer made it to the venue 3 minutes before the phone died.

‘Thrive’ is a verbatim play, which basically means that real people have been interviewed and then the actors have to use every word/pause/umm/’you know’ etc exactly how the person said. The play itself is looking at queer people’s experiences in Australia, with the people ranging in age from 24 – 72.

The actors were directed not to play an old character as ‘old’… you know, not hobbling around with a walking stick and having wrinkly make up etc. They had to speak the exact words but also bring themselves to the portrayal.

They also had snippets of the original interviews, so we could see how the original interviewees actually looked and spoke. I was sitting next to a couple and we started talking. Turns out one of them was one of the characters being portrayed on stage. She loved it.

It’s no secret that I love seeing my son up on stage, living his best life and doing the thing he loves best. I’m also lucky that he’s good at it! I’d recommend going to see this play if you’re within reach of Footscray. You’d better hurry though – there’s only 3 more nights.

What I’m listening to: Mrs England.

I’m listening to an audiobook called Mrs England, which I downloaded when I was waiting for the RACV van to come. I’m around a quarter of the way in and I’m loving it. The woman reading it has the best English accent!

What I’m eating:

I’m entertaining at home a lot over the last week of the holidays, so I’m eating lots of salads, homemade pizza, bread and zucchini slice. I’m so glad I put that huge verandah roof out the back- it’s been lovely sitting out there on these beautiful summer days, eating food that has come ten feet away from the garden.

What I’m planning: Nothing much.

My trip to England and Ireland is pretty much at the stage I wanted it to be, with all of the broad brush strokes put in place. Apart from that, I have nothing much on the horizon just yet.

Who needs a good slap: Umm…?

I’ve been sitting here wracking my brain and I can’t think of anyone specific.

What has made me smile:

Look at the photo at the top of this post! Timo and Garrett from the Antarctica trip popped in to see me. After Antarctica, they saw a bit more of South America before coming to Melbourne. Timo is from Germany and Garrett is from Ireland, so I pulled up the itinerary of the Irish leg of my trip to see what Garrett thought. He comes from a small town near Dublin, so he had heaps of suggestions for things I could do and see. Turns out Tim used to have an Irish girlfriend so he had some good ideas too.

After a leisurely lunch under the back verandah, we wandered down to the Backyard Beach. It was an absolutely sparkling day. These guys are an absolute delight. They’re such great company- so funny and easy-going. That trip to Antarctica is the gift that keeps on giving.

Just before they left, they ate sun-ripened plums straight from the tree. Can’t get much more ‘Frogdancer Jones’ than that!

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Maureen

    I recently saw that movie based on The Leisure Seekers. I did enjoy it. Good luck on the jump back into teaching. You have plenty of incentive to get you through.

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