My husband Andrew, who began this blog in July 2011, died peacefully on September 3rd 2012, at the age of 83, following a sudden brief decline after long-term chronic illness. As I go through his notebooks, I come across pieces of writing which I'd like to share here. I'll date them when written, as far as I can ascertain (not all his scribblings are dated). At some point this blog will become an archive, without further additions. — Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Against the chugging sound of the washing machine, comes Freya's strident miaow. She wants food.


Freya, crouching, expecting to surprise me, leapt out from her hiding place in the corridor with a short, sharp miaow.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Musical cat

Levi lies on the bed pretending to be asleep, but the flicking of his ears betrays the fact that he really is listening to the beat of John Denver's lively songs.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eating Icecream

Icecream is luscious and creamy — especially chocolate, which swirls about my mouth and brings joy and happiness into my life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Rosemary makes me smile. She is the one whose infectious smile is catching and makes me feel happy. I want others to feel the same.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I walk to the end of our drive and a flock of fruit bats suddenly takes to the night sky, blotting out the moon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Seen on TV

A tribe of Aboriginal people, very young to very old, meet in desert country to celebrate their lives and their culture. They sing tribal songs together and cherish friendships.

They remember when the big atom bombs decimated their numbers, but they have learned to be patient with the ways of the white and continue to flourish in dreadful circumstances.

This refers to atomic bomb tests at Maralinga, central Australia in 1953. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Today is a day for bed. Levi is the first to arrive, snuggling up to me while I enjoy my breakfast of muesli and sliced bananas.

Fifteen minutes later Freya leaps on the bed, looks around and settles in her own space.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Saturday morning — the surgery has been quiet over the last two hours. A trickle of patients leaves the waiting room. By 10.30 we are alone and the call comes from a young, attractive doctor near the entrance. I answer questions and Rosemary fills in the gaps. 

We leave, and Rosemary drops off a sample of urine I took at home to the lab across the road, and a new script from the doc to the pharmacy.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The pain in my legs has largely gone away. A mystery! Unless God has at last adhered to my wishes!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New bra

She strides into the bedroom, pulling on her new bra.

'I love my new bra,' she spruiks, tugging it into place.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Over breakfast

Freya and Levi lie on the bed, occasionally turning over.

When Rosemary comes in with my breakfast, I ask how she is.

'And what about you?' she asks me.

'Sore,' I say. 'Very sore.'

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My companion

My blue wheely walker sits by the wall awaiting my attention, its empty cage hanging.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This morning

Rosemary's foot is aching and giving her hell. She makes a bleep or two and goes back to sleep.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Levi is our male cat. He's cute. He comes up to me when I'm sitting in my armchair in the lounge room, looks up at me with his big soft eyes and sweeps his paw across the coffee table I'm using as a desk, knocking pens and pencils to the floor.

He knows he's being naughty. But he doesn't care and just likes to disturb me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Doctor's waiting room

A visit to the doctor's surgery. Today it's bright and sunny. We're on time but the doctor isn't. The waiting room has only six patients waiting. Our doc is tall and athletic and usually on the ball. Today should be fast, and back home by four. It's 3.50, and we won't be.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Silly hat

The toy lion has a funny hat on. It's purple.

It looks silly in a purple hat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Most of us miss out on what is going on around us and, as a consequence, our understanding of our children, our parents and our friends falls through the cracks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Galloping Cat

Freya waits until we're both in bed, then we hear her coming as she gallops through the lounge room, across the corridor and into our bedroom, where she leaps on the bed and snuggles down between us, purring softly, her large eyes looking up in wonder as if to say, "I'm here, Dad ... now you can relax!"

Levi soon follows at a leisurely pace and before long they are both asleep.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the bookshelf

Two bright-eyed clowns with red noses sit together eyeing in wonder whatever it is that is before them, tufts of grey hair grow from beneath their black berets, and big buttoned white shirts feature below their delightful bow ties as they shout: "Hey! look at us, we bring you joy. What fun it is today!"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7.20 am

She plunges the needle into my stomach as I hold it pinched between my fingers — my morning insulin injection.

On the other side of the table lies my red cap, partly hidden by two sauce bottles.

Salt and pepper shakers, both white, need to be cleared away.

I get out of my chair and switch on ABC News.

Another day begins.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Under the Ice

There were eight of them, eight men and one dog.

They were dropped onto the ice with the task of diving under the Pole and recording the temperatures and the condition of the ice packs.

It took four hours to travel just 30 kms. Conditions were not good and they were not moving fast enough. Conditions were dangerous with the ice packs breaking up. The National Geographic narrator said it was witness to a world that is coming to an end.


There's a photograph of a bear staring at me from behind a large branch. It's on the cover of the Sun-Herald. There's a caption that says, "The animals your children may never see!" What a terrible thought! I wonder if it's likely to happen?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Morning. The wind isn't blowing now and everything is quiet. Even our two cats, already fed, are lying, satisfied, on the doona.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The storm

Rain and wind lashing our car, still not under shelter of the new tarpaulin we bought at the weekend to protect it from the weather.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 5.30 a.m.

Levi licks my hand, which is hanging off the bed. I pat him gently. 

Rosemary, still asleep, throws up her arm before letting it down slowly. Freya, Levi’s sister, leaps on the bed.

Rosemary sleeps on.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The car

Neither Rosemary nor I had noticed it before, yet when I looked closely under our "new" car, a 1984 Camry, it jumped out at me and sent a chill through my system. We had checked the car out thoroughly before we paid for it but the rust mark, the size of a 20 cent piece, spelt danger and I wondered what else we had missed. Then it rained and I had to dash inside to tell Rosemary.

When the rain stopped she came out with me to take a look, and half the supposed rust mark — a rotting brown leaf — had been washed away.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Setting up this blog

I noticed the extraordinariness of it all. Just the simplicity of posting is complicated!