jealous of youth

After the wild success of our international jet-setting Christmas last year we vowed to return to New Caledonia for Xmas 2012 (and to leave the country for all Christmases going forward1).

Unfortunately our plans for this year have been scuppered by lack of funds due to: 1. Joan’s recent European Adventure and 2. Operation Remove Ute.

So we’ll be getting our festive on in ThePalace(Of Love). Rather exciting because it will be the first Xmas in Very Own Haus &etc, but a little sad because I’m really longing to return to the most excellent Noumea and explore further!

And so, it was with some amusement that we received Joe/Frank’s (who, you will recall has split year 12 over 2 years) announcement that there was a French excursion next year … to Noumea!

What a fabulous opportunity and how envious I am!

1yes, yes, provocative is me.


Ever since I can remember Bessie has been longing for the day she could donate blood and has been regularly giving since.


she has mummy’s dreadfully hard to locate veins – ouch!

What a civic-minded wee poppet she is! And an example to us all.

tempting fate

What was I saying earlier about things progressing nicely?

Had my final follow-up appointment with Serge this morning.

In recent days a couple of issues have developed which I was keen to ask about. As I was describing them Serge became progressively more concerned – evidenced by the furrowing of the brow and “hmmmmm”(s). Upon examination his concern did not lessen, after some more “hmmmmmmm”(ing) and brow-furrowing, he suggested my symptoms could be bruising from the op, in which case symptoms were a good sign or could be an infection – which would be Very Bad.

And so, I must carefully monitor self and have a follow-up visit in a few weeks.

And I must take it easy. This presents no problem as all I feel like doing is sleeping (with breaks for complaining and occasional reading).

peppermint tea delivered by doting husband

This does mean that I will need to have another week away from SaltMinesLimited, the fast recovery I had anticipated (delusional, much?) being not entirely forthcoming.

Which goes to show that there are upsides to everything.

a bit boring

Operation Ute Removal was successful!

hospital feets

Day 2 post Ute Removal I felt pretty fabulous and was ready to go home. I attributed the niggling physical annoyances I was experiencing (Giant Swollen Hand and Foot! Headache, high-ish temperature, aching joints, shortness of breath and nasty cough) to after-effects of surgery.

It was only when home and those niggling annoyances started ramping up a bit and I started developing a rapidly-spreading, quite nasty rash that I realised that I was having an allergic reaction to the penicillin I was taking.

I was allergic when I was a wee thing (though have no idea if it manifested itself in the same way), but assumed I’d grown out of it because I have had penicillin several times as an adult with no apparent adverse effect.

I ceased consumption immediately1 and several hours later began to feel a little more human. So nice to have normal-sized (non-purple) appendages and to be able to breathe.

Must book in for allergy testing once I return to the SaltMinesLimited!

I felt almost normal, indeed quite buoyant, for a time, but you might be aware what a combination of morphia and codeine can do to your innards (if you are not aware, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be), so after a couple of days I ramped down the HardCorePainkillers to ibuprofen. Now am feeling a good deal less fabulous but not too poorly (though with the rare ZOMGWTFBBQ! pain requiring bending over and clutching at lower abdomen).

I received a copy of Serge’s report to SuperHappyFunGP last week and it would appear that Ute was the size of a 10 week pregnancy – I guess that would go some way to explaining my formerly ENORMOUS belly.

I must say, this recovery caper is pretty tedious. So much I’d like to be able to get on with, but must take things relatively easy – so unfortunately I compelled to ignore those little projects I’d like to throw myself at which involve lifting, moving things about and such.

Am off for review on Tuesday where I expect everything is trundling along peachily – thought I expect I will be told I need to walk about more, but not to do anything too arduous.

1and contacted Serge when I could – who agreed it was the sensible thing to do.

well, i’m pretty sure it is not going to grow back

Holy!Goodness!, tomorrow came really rather quickly.

Last evening I celebrated with a “Farewell Ute” glass (or two) of vino and today Don took me out for lunch for my last meal.


I’m now on clear fluids until midnight, whereupon nothing at all will pass my lips.

But first, as preparation for surgery, I was required to consume this:

lens flare added, because you don’t want to know what this does

Trust me. You really don’t want to know.


This morning we were up bright and early to collect Joan and Vincenzo from the airport from their European Adventure.

They were stuck on the plane for a good while because there were about 20 other flights which landed around the same time. So Don and I drank bad coffee and people-watched. Arrivals always make me teary (the final scene in Love Actually invariably makes me weep buckets) – so much hugging and joy. No, I don’t know what happened to my Gen-X cynicism either.

I was tempted to bring Vincenzo some work to complete on the weekend. Honestly, I have been LOST without him. Such a star performer and perfect right-hand (how I ever coped without him, I am not entirely sure – comparisons to Bratson deserve another post).

After we dropped her home, Joan presented us with the most wonderfully thoughtful gifts: an Icelandic jolf set for Don and gorgeous Icelandic wool and skin care products from the blue lagoon pour moi.

As I’ve said before, I’m so delighted and proud that my grown-up baby is a World Travelling, Independent Woman.

And so, today when we found out that Don’s bro’s daughter (who is Joe/Frank’s age) is expecting, I thanked TheUniverse that I escaped from SpootCountryTown and that my sprogs did not follow my example of having babies while still babies – where such things were deemed completely normal, right and proper.

While I do not regret my path for a single second, the path has been quite challenging (to say the least), and I am infinitely pleased that the babies have other examples of how to be.


Surprisingly the most difficult part of this impending Ute-removal is that, despite our resolution to have no babies, and my advanced maternal age, it will see the end of any possibility of procreating.

I have no idea why this is even a thing, but I’ll ascribe it to hormones or fear of change or … something?

Nonetheless, the bag is packed, kindley well-stocked and exhorbitant medical billz paid.

It will be rather nice to live like a human (however aged) again.


On Saturday evening Don and I attended the 60th birthday celebrations of TheProfessor. There were several SMLsters in attendance, including the previously unmentioned DrNotQuitetDon and his wife.

DrNotQuiteDon is almost the identical twin of my lovely husband. DNQD has the same look, the same mannerisms, the same earnestness and the same nerdly work interests. Though of course my husband is infinitely more adorably, wonderfully gorgeous.

I’d not met DrNotQuiteDon’s wife before and was somewhat nonplussed to find that she was rocking almost precisely the same look as me – but a good deal more polished (though my earrings were mighty superior).

Don and I agreed it was like living the Bizarro Jerry episode of Seinfeld – where we were definitely the B Team (what with his Dr-ness and her extremely high-powered career).

It was quite a civilised evening, food and company were excellent (despite being seated next to MrT) and a lovely time was had by all and I was so grown-up that my evening’s alcohol consumption consisted of a single glass of wine.


And in portentious happenings, about 8 years ago Bessie drew a perfectly gorgeous kitty & I made a magnet from it. The magnet has travelled with us all over the place and now lives on the dryer.

It was only last week while sorting laundry that I noticed a little similarity in colouring to Kitty(Not her Real name):


So much for my claims that I would never, ever own a torti katze.

And now I am contemplating another.

A short-haired almost twin for beloved Kitty(Not her Real name), but who will apparently sit still for photographs and loves cuddles (K(NhRn) is the antithesis of cuddlesome and is reluctant to be photographed).

potential kitty

Kitty (Not her Real name)

Hmmmm … perhaps I should alert D&MNQD and NQK(NhRN) could join Team Achiever.

Moar kitties for everyone!


A couple of months in and I am still totally delighting in home-ownership (otherwise known as enslavement to the WhichBank).

It means I can do things like this:

This is our haus & I can write on the wall!!

There is a whole lot of somewhat daunting interior work to be done (lo. the hideous colour & cracking of the skirting board), but it is truly marvellous to be in a position to actually do this daunting interior work rather than a constant refrain of “if we owned this place, we could do x“.

And then there is the complete joy of never, ever having to deal with a Real Estate Agent Property Manager ever, ever again. Verily, it makes for the contentment.