Looking for the things in life that make us happy

Easter and ANZAC Day

Easter has passed and it’s ANZAC Day tomorrow. A short week for workers and school children with holidays on Easter Monday and tomorrow. Nothing much changes for those of us who are Retirees and one day is much the same as the next.
However, the Easter break was really nice beginning with a morning tea on Good Friday for the residents in our complex. A really beautiful day; the sun was shining and not a cloud in sight and although quite hot a lovely breeze rustled through the shrubs and trees, keeping us cool. Portable gazebos had also been erected for the occasion which kept the hot sun off us.

We had no plans for the rest of Easter but we were very happy when our youngest son Scott and his wife Rhonda arrived on Saturday afternoon. We went to our favourite seafood café which is situated right on the water and when the tide is in the water laps at the pylons supporting the building. The view is wonderful as we can see the Pumistone Passage between our island and the mainland as it stretches to the north where it flows on to the tip of our island and then out to the bay. Looking to our left we can see the bridge a distance away that connects us to the mainland and also the water that flows in and out at and into the bay. In the distance we can see the Glasshouse Mountains, rising into the sky and although not high mountains, they are distinctive and add to the beauty of the vista.

Many craft travel pass by travelling either south to the Moreton Bay or north to the other end of the Passage which also flows into Moreton Bay; a trip we made on many occasions when we had a boat. The water sparkled brilliantly and an abundance of birds swooped and soared as they searched for fish and then dove into the water usually claiming their catch. Several Pelicans swam indolently below us no doubt in the hope that one of the diners would throw a morsel of food to them. I love pelicans and am fascinated by their size and their habits. Whenever we drive across the bridge that spans the Passage we count how many pelicans are sitting on the lights. Sometimes there may be none but this week there were 13; three lights had two pelicans on each, all no doubt watching the water below in order to see fish on the ingoing or outgoing tide.
As we sat eating our fish meal we took in all the beauty before us and marvelled once again how fortunate we are to be living in such a place. The sun slowly sank behind the mountains and we were then treated to the spectacular sunset that was unfolding before us. We watched in awe as the sky changed in hue from blue to yellow then pink and finally a fiery red, a sight that never fails to make us gasp at the magnificence of nature.

The next day – Easter Sunday – our other son Marc and his wife Jacinta and their 3 children Jamieson, Joshua and Annie came to visit for lunch. “Don’t worry about food”, Marc said “We’ll buy the food and have a BBQ at the waterfront”. Well, sometimes plans don’t always happen the way you would like. They arrived on the Island only to find the 3 supermarkets closed but were lucky to find a fruit and veg shop and a butcher shop open.

The waterfront was packed with people with no BBQs, parking or picnic tables available. Quite understandable when one considers the beautiful weather, holidays and only an hour’s drive from Brisbane. So, we had our BBQ at our place – Marc had bought marinated Chicken Maryland which he cooked beautifully on the BBQ and his wife made a salad. A most enjoyable afternoon, all unplanned and unexpected – lovely surprise to. see them all.

Tomorrow, ANZAC Day, we will travel to visit our daughter Catherine, her husband Brett and their 3 children, Harrison, Cooper and Kara about whom I have written many little stories about the boys’ sporting achievements. We will stay with them for a couple of days.

ANZAC Day commemorates all the soldiers who fought in all conflicts and also honours those who lost their lives. ANZAC means Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and began in the First World War when Australian and New Zealand troops fought side by side at Gallipoli.

It is a day that has grown in meaning in this country and it is heartening to see our younger generations joining in the Dawn Services all around Australia and marching alongside our Diggers proudly wearing the medals of lost family members.

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This week has been a fairly quiet week for me with mainly medical concerns but in the background many things have been happening around the country. This included a cyclone that hit North Queensland but then travelled south to central Queensland wreaking havoc to crops, homes and businesses; cutting the Highway in several places and generally making life unpleasant for people in its path.

We had the Premier of New South Wales resign over a $3,000.00 bottle of wine which he was given as a gift and failed to declare. How Pollies allow these things to happen is beyond me – not that I care one way or another. Would one ever drink a bottle of wine costing $3,000.00 or would it be show-off value – obviously not the case as he supposedly “forgot” about it and so it could not have been on display. No wonder voters have become cynical. However, I’m not going to worry about New South Wales politics.

No: I’m more interested in Queensland politics and the decisions they are making. I’ve mentioned previously the struggle my Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group is having with the government regarding their decision to cut funding to our group. A measly $150,000.00 per year to fund this service which reaches out to women all over Queensland who are dying from this disease. There are many areas in the media which are being covered and more being planned in the hope that we can make an impact on the government and cause them to change their decision.

A bright spot of the week was the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. They are a great advertisement for the Royal Family and love or hate the Monarchy, they are like a breath of fresh air.

Good Friday tomorrow; the weather is superb and holidaymakers have already filled the caravan parks and holiday units and our little Island will be buzzing for a couple of weeks. When school holidays are over the Grey Nomads will begin to make their annual pilgrimage to Queensland for the winter months where the air is warm and balmy compared to the southern states where they come from.


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Fighting for Right

What a week it’s been – my support group is involved in trying to get our State Government’s Health Minister to change his decision to de-fund this unique and important service group. This service began in 1999 and over the years has evolved into what it is today, namely a weekly phone-in via teleconferencing which reaches women throughout Queensland and two workshops each year whereby we meet face to face with the voices on the other end of the telephone. The phone-in and the workshops are facilitated by two female Psychotherapists. The women in our group are all suffering from advanced breast cancer for which there is no cure and which will sooner or later take our lives.

Our number is not large for a few reasons ie, some women don’t know of our existence or they might feel that group support is not for them but the other reason is that many women don’t stay in our group for long because they die.

Many women feel isolated and abandoned when diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and to be able to talk to other women who are living with the knowledge that this disease will take their lives gives us comfort to know we are not alone. We protect our families from much of what we go through psychologically and try not to burden them with our darkest thoughts as they are also coping with the knowledge that their loved one will die from this disease.

Living every day with the effects of treatment often is difficult and without the support we get from the other women in our group, it would be easy to become depressed and feel like giving up. There are people who do not understand our situation and what it means to live with this disease but I guess they have their own agendas.

Being part of the media campaign and the online petition has been stimulating but tiring. We hope the Health Minister will be persuaded to change his heartless decision as this group is for all women. Hopefully with enough support People Power will win and if not I hope our campaign makes the government squirm. 

If you agree that this Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group should continue to be funded by government, please put your name to our petition by clicking on the address below.


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