Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #91.

What’s top of my mind: my ankle.

Just before Christmas I went and had my first mole mapping. As a fair-skinned person living in Australia, this is something that you absolutely should do every year once you reach a certain age, so it was my turn to start.

“How are the moles on your back?” asked the doctor.

“I have no idea – I’m single!” I replied.

He examined me all over and pronounced me to be absolutely fine… until I moved to get off the table.

“Hang on, there’s a mole on your ankle that I didn’t notice,” he said.

“Oh, don’t chop that one off – I like it!” I said.

Yep. Turns out that I had a suspicious-looking mole on my body after all. Yesterday I went back and had it removed.

It was interesting to see inside my own leg.

Where I’m going: nowhere.

This mole removal is the perfect opportunity to loll around all day and get lots of reading done. There isn’t a lot of spare flesh and skin on the ankle, so my poor foot is having to do a fair bit of healing. I’ve stocked up with some excellent books from the library so I should be happy as a pig in muck for the next few days.

Where I’ve been: out for New Year’s.

A couple of days after Christmas I went to Specsavers to get some new reading glasses. Izzy, my daughter-in-law, works there so I got the family discount. 🙂

After I chose the frames, the shop was dead so we had about 20 minutes to sit and chat. We were talking about something or other when she sat up straight and said, “Oh! What are you doing for New Years?”

“Nothing,” I said. I’ve never been a big new years person. My ex-husband used to have the boys between Christmas and New Year’s so the boys were always deposited back with me at 5 PM on New Year’s Eve every year. I got used to staying in.

“Do you want to come over to Mum’s?” she said. “We’re having a little get-together to bring in the new year.”

Well, how could I say no? I must be doing something right if she’s willing to spend time with her mother-in-law!!

What I’m reading: Normal Rules Don’t Apply by Kate Atkinson.

This collection of short stories is AMAZING. I really enjoy how Kate Atkinson can put a sentence together. I only had a day to read this as I had to get it back to the library and I couldn’t renew the loan because someone else had a hold on it, so I was committed to a day of reading.

I found myself enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end. I started getting up and doing things like hanging out washing or watering the garden just to eke out the experience of reading it just a little bit longer.

Truly, it was a great way to usher in 2024.

What I’m watching: The Last of Us.

It’s Ryan29 and my latest mother/child bonding show that we’re watching together. People have been telling me for ages to watch it and yes… it’s good.

We just finished episode 3. What a beautiful story. Tom31 said this episode is in line to win an Emmy and it absolutely should.

What I’m listening to: birds.

I love my leisurely mornings. The nice thing about where I live is that the birds that sing here in the mornings are the same types of birds that used to call in the mornings at Inverloch, where we used to go and stay for holidays with my grandparents when I was a child.

It’s a lovely little nostalgia thing.

What I’m eating: pizza.

We haven’t used the pizza oven for months, so I decided it was time to have another go. The last couple of pizzas we had were underwhelming, with undercooked dough, so this time I made Ryan29 wait until the pizza oven hit 400 degrees before they launched the first pizza, then we waited for it to hit that temperature again before the next one.

Bloody delicious! It definitely needs the pizza stone to be piping hot for each pizza.

What I’m planning: holidays.

I always said that I wanted an overseas holiday every year when I retired and nothing’s changed. However, I’m looking at possible other breaks during the year.

I’m friends on FB with a guy who was in my year level at school. One of the “popular” guys back in the day. He’s battling cancer and is in and out of hospital and isn’t having a great time. Every time he posts from a hospital bed, it makes me want to rush out and book ALL THE TRAVEL while I can still do it.

Irrational but there you go.

I’ve got Adelaide/Kangaroo Island at the end of this month and Canada/Alaska in the winter, but who knows? I may whisk myself off somewhere later in the year…

Who deserves a thumbs-up: You do.

Yes, you absolutely do!

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I appreciate it.

What has made me smile: having two really long chats with David30 on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t get to see a lot of my Virgo boys, so it was lovely to sit out on the back verandah of Izzy’s parents’ house and have a lovely long catch-up with David30 while the rest of them were massacring songs on the karaoke machine.

Evan27, the other Virgo, is coming for dinner with Jenna on Friday night. This makes me happy.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Josie

    I am totally with you for booking all the travel possible. After watching my mother, in-laws and my sisters’ in-laws, it seems the travel bug wanes starting around 70-s
    Ish. And that’s if they stayed healthy!! Multiple trips a year for the win!

    Thank you for all the wonderful posts!

  2. Cedar

    Aw, thumbs up back atcha FDJ! Hope your ankle heals soon.

    Travel is amazing. I’m heading to Prague again this year and Paris. All the Ps! ????

  3. Janice

    when I had squamous skin cancer a few years ago I had quite a gaping hole in the side of my nose and no skin to close it. My surgeon gave, sold me,some very expensive wound ointment to put on it every day. It is called stratamed wound dressing. It is made in Switzerland. I couldn’t find it anywhere in Canada to buy it but did find that it was easily available in pharmacies in Australia. Forrtunately DS#2 works for an airline and would fly to Sydney quite often. He brought me back a couple of tubes and it cost half what I paid from the surgeon. I have to say it is quite the miracle cream because you can’t even see where I had the surgery. I highly recommend it.

    • FrogdancerJones

      OMG, that’s quite the experience! I’m so glad that it all ended happily. I’ll have a look for that cream. Thanks.

  4. Karen

    FYI While you are busy researching for your trip to Canada…..The Last of Us was filmed in Alberta

    • FrogdancerJones

      Ooo! I know we’re going to Banff… looks like it’s just down the road!

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