Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s – on a Thursday.

What’s top of my mind: SO MUCH!

I can’t believe I forgot about Wednesday W’s yesterday. I’ve suddenly become really busy with a lot of projects on my hands, so I suppose it’s not surprising. I really want to share with you what I’ve been doing and planning.

Have a look at this photo. I was devastated when ‘Death of a Salesman’ with Anthony LaPaglia was coming to Melbourne, because I was going to be away on my trip the whole time. If there was one actor who was born to play this role, it’s him.

I was at the theatre on Friday night with my friend Megs and she happened to mention that it was still playing, with only a couple of nights to go. Before the show started, I was sitting there on my phone, buying a ticket for the matinee the next day.

IT WAS FANTASTIC. I think Anthony LaPaglia is a terrific actor. (His brother Jonathon is the Australian host for ‘Survivor’ and is even better than Jeff Probst.) The ticket definitely wasn’t cheap but I’ll remember this show for years to come.

Funny story – my sister hasn’t read the play and thought it might have been a good, motivating show to take her sales team to!!!! When she told me I yelled out, “NO!”

Where I’ve been: The Teacher’s Pet – an interview with Hedley Thomas.

When I was in England at the beginning of the trip, Megs messaged me, said she was going to this and had an extra ticket. I messaged back, “I’m in!”

I’ve mentioned this podcast on the blog before, probably a year or two ago. Basically, a woman disappeared from her house on Sydney’s Northern beaches in the early 1980’s – her husband said she just walked out, leaving behind her two young daughters and every stitch of clothing she owned, including contact lenses and glasses. The police barely looked for her and her daughters grew up believing she’d deserted them. If not for this podcast her husband would have gotten away with murder.

He’s released a book, including things that weren’t in the podcast. Of course, you all know that I’ve requested it from my library! I’m 4th in line. It was interesting to hear what he had to say. Some audience members asked some excellent questions, too.

Where I’m going: Back to Flight Centre.

No sooner am I home from the last trip that I’m booking the next one. Megs has long service leave next year and we’re booking a 3-week trip to Canada and Alaska. This will tick off my last continent, which will be a fun thing to do, and we’re sure to see some spectacular scenery.

It seems that I’m booking expensive places to explore… maybe next year I’ll stay closer to home…

I’m also seeing Evan27’s Fringe Festival show and Jenna’s one. They’re on the same night but hers starts 30 minutes after his ends. We’ll be sprinting to get from one to the others!

What I’m reading: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.

I just finished this novel and I really enjoyed it. I’ve loved her work in the past – she’s the one who wrote Life After Life, which I’ve never forgotten – and now I’m going to track down the rest of her novels.

What I’m watching: Everything that has banked up while I’ve been away.

My sister-in-law and I text each other while watching The Block, so top priority was to get up to date with this. It helped that there’s a couple on here who are just AWFUL. I can’t imagine what their families must be feeling as they watch this show. But it’s excellent viewing!

I only watch TV in the evenings, so it’s going to take me ages to get up to date with everything.

What I’m listening to: Podcasts and Spotify.

The same banking-up effect has happened with my podcasts. I’m currently listening to my son’s podcast episodes as I drive around, but there are lots of others as well.

I’ve added some of the Irish tunes that the coach driver played for us to Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers on Spotify.

What I’m eating: Nothing special.

I’m hosting a big family get-together next weekend to celebrate 4 birthdays – 2 ending in zeros – so I’m starting to think about what to do for this one.

What I’m planning: LOTS!

  1. Three days after I got back I had my plantation shutters installed. They looked so good that before the guy had left, I was on the phone booking an appointment for the company to come back and measure up the rest of the house. I didn’t know that you could get them for sliding doors.

So the whole house should be shuttered before Christmas. I’m hosting Christmas this year so I’m happy about that.

2. I’ve popped my artwork from the trip off to get framed and when they come back I’ll be hanging everything – including my North Korea propaganda posters that never had a permanent home. The Man Cave is taking shape and hopefully will be looking good before the party. If not – definitely before Christmas.

3. I’m giving my living area a major overhaul. Kate, my sister, suggested going to a carpet place and getting two large rugs made from carpet, one for the Man Cave and one for the lounge. With the shutters going in, although they look lovely, it does mean that the spaces need a bit of softening.

I’ll be getting rid of my current TV cabinet, moving my TV to the Man Cave and getting another TV mounted on the wall at eye level, with a couple of lamps for nicer lighting at night.

4. New handles on the cupboards in the kitchen… it’s all happening!

Who needs a thumbs-up: The nice man from Dawsons and Ryan28.

When I got home, Ryan28 greeted me with the delightful news that we had a rat problem. UGH!!!!!!!

They were eating the bark from my lime trees, they were digging holes under all the fences and had gotten in under the house. I was appalled.

Two days later the house was treated. Turns out they hadn’t made it to the roof, which was great. I also had two outdoor traps installed.

Ryan28 is even more grossed out than me. He actually SAW one in the backyard one day. He’s been doing a massive clear-out of the backyard, ripping out foliage that could offer them any shelter. He’s also lining the back fences with wire fencing to stop them coming in. Added bonus, it’ll stop the dogs from ever trying to dig their way out, not that that’s an issue.

The worst thing? I let all our neighbours know. The next morning I received this text from the woman next door with the loud dogs, hoarder’s house, overgrown garden and lots of little kids:

“Dave told me about the ????
We hadn’t seen any inside until today when I saw one come in through our front door! ????”

She said that she couldn’t believe how confident it looked. (I’m thinking that we may have just located where they’re coming from…)

What has made me smile: The dogs.

They were so happy to see me. And I was missing them too.

This is an old photo. Ryan28 clipped the cavaliers while I was gone and they’re not looking their best at the moment.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Jan

    Canada and Alaska are really beautiful – stunning scenery, you’ll enjoy it. We’ve just booked for the UK next year so I’ll be re-reading your posts for sightseeing suggestions. & yes, that couple on the block are just awful!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I just read an article that said that Kristy and Brett said in a radio interview that they were the only couple on the block that didn’t cheat. “Except for that incident with the Monaro.” Horrible people.

  2. Lucinda

    You’ve certainly been busy. Would love to see AP in Death of a Salesman. Would have been a funny team building activity for a sales team!

    • FrogdancerJones

      They all would have left the theatre and resigned!

  3. bethh

    Oooh can’t wait to hear more about your Canada/Alaska plans! I live in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest is the absolute best. What time of year and what are your destinations? I’m sure you’ll share more.

    I’m curious about those shutters on the sliding doors so will be curious to see pics once it’s done.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Doing a circle tour beginning and ending in Vancouver, then up to Anchorage to sail down the coast. May/June.

  4. sandyg61

    What a list you have to work through. You will love Canada and Alaska. Like you I think long and hard before buying souvenirs and from Canada we have an inuksuk, the Inuit symbol as well as a couple of xmas decorations.

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