Adjusting to living by myself has not been overly difficult, because I have always been content in my own company and, if I need it, there are plenty of new friends to socialize with and activities to participate in in the Brookland Village. I spoke at the 11th November Rememberance Day service and have been co-opted onto the Residents’ Committee. I attend many of the functions including a Christmas dinner celebration on 15 December. Summer is good for a dip but it surprises me that I am one of the few residents who use the swimming pool and the only male.
In a moment of madness, I nominated for the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland council and added another commitment and complication to my life as well as taking the role as TFO secretary, not just events officer. Both associations in different ways are struggling and facing future uncertainties.
My long term friend, Dick Mitchell, whose tennis court at Holland Park has been the regular place for a social game every Friday night for over 20 years, suffered a stroke in October, and after a long hospital stint is now in a nursing home. He keeps hoping to go home but with restricted mobility and poor balance that seems unlikely. My tennis is now restricted to Tuesday nights with Ian Craig’s group when I can get there at the Sportennis courts in Padstow Road.
On 13 Nov. I smashed the front end of my Subaru Impressa in a single vehicle accident. I won’t tell the whole story but it was another moment of madness. The RACQ offered a payout of $7000 less the excess fee of $600. Uncertain as to what to do I visited Zupps Subaru caryard and there spied a 2009 Subaru Impressa looking near immaculate and threw caution to the wind. I had the replacement vehicle within a week and am very happy with it. My extra outlay was around $6000 after including window tinting and 2 year warranty on all parts. For the first time in my life I own a sedan with a sun roof. I remain uncertain as to whether this feature has any real benefit but we will see when I come to open it on the open road.
My continuing uncertainty is how quickly my prostate cancer will progress and start affecting my bones. For now bouts of hormone therapy are keeping it in check, but the treatment brings with it side effects of shortness of breath, diminished physical drive, hot sweats and a little breast growth. My eldest son, Arnold, is now facing up to his rising PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood) and will probably have prostatectomy surgery in the new year.
Most days I visit Dorothy. It is sad to see her withdrawn into herself. She has little to say but always has a smile when I arrive. Often I am there at her lunchtime and help with the meals. Sometimes she won’t eat unless someone is spooning the food into her mouth. She accepts the fact that I can’t be there with her and always has a wave when I leave. At least once a week I ride my bike to and from the nursing home as part of my intermittent fitness regime. Looking forward to no goodbyes in 2016.