A divorce you don’t want

Jen’s been doing it hard. In order to let me get another 7 months’ work at the Labs in Bristol, she resigned from her beloved Intensive Care Unit back in the middle of 2006. She could only take 12 months leave without pay, and time was up. By the time we came back, a little less than a year later, that rule had changed to allow 3 years leave, but it was too late for Jen. Continue reading “A divorce you don’t want”


We had a day for it, all right. It was, I think, the 3rd of August, a Friday, in what we would always have considered the depths of winter. It’s a Brisbane winter we’re talking about, and it can be cold and windy on Moreton Bay, but that Friday was, as you can see, balmy—blue sky, green-blue water, and a light wind. The water-taxi took us from Redland Bay out between Macleay and Coochiemudlo Islands, then up to Peel Island. Once we rounded Peel, we were looking across the broad expanse of the bay, with the port just visible to the west, Moreton Island to the north-east, and northern-most part of North Stradbroke to the east. Continue reading “Ashes”


T came home one day, very pleased with herself. She had attended one of those day-long seminars that sweep through organizations, both private and public, at regular intervals in order to leach some of the spare cash out of the system. She was particularly chuffed about a game they had played. In the exercise, members of a team collectively negotiated a response to a situation of some kind, and then individually passed on their response. No one in the team knew the individual decisions until they had all been made. The catch was that the points garnered to each member of the team varied with the number who chose a particular response. If all members chose response A, each received, say 40 points. If, however, one person chose response B, while everyone else chose A, that person gained 100 points, while everyone else gained only 10. If everyone chose B, however, each person got only 5 points. As T explained it, the aim of the exercise was for individual members to maximise their points. It was more elaborate than that, with points schedules for every possible result, but you get the picture, I hope. Continue reading “Shame”

Heart failure

I got a call from the counselling service of the John Tonge Centre yesterday. The autopsy report had finally been delivered. Congestive heart failure due to cardiac amyloidosis. There was no trauma to the brain. Jen’s hunch had been correct. Dad’s death was coincidental to the fall. In fact, the fall may have been caused by problems with his heart. Continue reading “Heart failure”

Births, Marriages and Deaths

I was the executor of Dad’s will, a circumstance both appropriate and unfortunate. Unfortunate because administration is not my milieu even in the mill-pond days of the psyche, and they are few. The storms that churn my teacup depths are many and varied. My cup spilleth over at the slightest disturbance. Taken together, the employment doldrums I drifted into after the Labs, the edginess they engendered about staying in the U.K. and the consequent move home were enough to fill the saucer. All of this prior to Dad’s death. Continue reading “Births, Marriages and Deaths”

Dad died.

Dad died on Tuesday the 22nd of May. He had a fall in the nursing home, where he was under house arrest due to his dementia, or, to be more precise, his inability to remember short to medium term events. He would wander, and lose track of the time and place. It wasn’t so bad when he was still in familiar surroundings, but when he moved to the home, he was completely disorientated. Continue reading “Dad died.”