Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cooking up Christmas

Many years ago, we would all start thinking about our Christmas baking very early - around November, then our Supermarkets decided to start providing us with all the trimmings - not just Christmas cakes and puds, but everything - Rum Balls, Coconut Ice, White Christmas, Rocky Road etc.  So like everyone with too little time to spend days baking and making I joined in the easy Christmas.  That was about 9 years ago now, and of course what happens is we simply forget to plan, we simply forget  how to make our favorite things as the years go by.

At first I was proud of Coles because they didn't have all these things out in October and I thought YAY they have finally worked out to wait until it is actually Christmas time - so image my surprise this year when in the first week of December I asked "when are your Christmas Yummies coming out" not just cakes, puds and fruit mince pies (after all not too many of today's generation eat these things), and they said - not getting any this year.  BOO Coles, (but to be honest I also tried Woolies and Aldi and they didn't have these things either) not really good enough after all these things would walk off the shelves quickly and if you didn't get in early often there was nothing left even the week prior to Christmas.

Samples of Julies Yummy Corner

However in hindsight, I have had a lovely Christmas making things I haven't made forever.  Yes at first it seemed daunting, but I quickly got on line, found all those recipes I haven't needed forever, plus a few more - and low and behold Christmas was served.  To my amazement it didn't take days it just took some thought.  It was actually fun - if not a bit sticky, but I really enjoyed my day of Christmas Yummy Making, so maybe I should thank Coles for being baa-humbugs and putting me out of my comfort zone, for making me create shopping lists and troll through recipes and then have to find all the ingredients - yes that part was mildly annoying, but the end result was fun and it made me think of all those Christmas's with the kids making, baking and faking (for those things that didn't quite work out - we would rename them into something that seemed credible) in anticipation of a Julie's Yummy Christmas Corner.

If you want good recipes that take you back in time - google Nanna's eg Rum Balls - using the word Nanna in front seems to bring up the good old fashioned recipes - however I tried to do a bit of combining of the old and the new.  How?  Well back in the days Weet-Bix where primarily used - of course today its more upmarket biscuits or cakes - so I chose to use Weet-Bix.  Weet-Bix where used primarily because they where in easy supply as well as back then no one had blenders etc - it was crush by fingers or rolling pin - usually however there were lumps - now days well blenders do the hard work - but Weet-Bix are healthier, cheaper and still easier to use in my books, although the use of a blender helps to make the mixture more in keeping with the textures of today.  Also I found most of the older fashioned recipes used milk powder/coco and copha (something I have not had in the fridge for years), but the new ones tend to use melted chocolate so I decided to use a bit of both to give a smoother more luxurious taste (by using melted choc), but making the mixture go further and easier to handle by using copha and powders.

I must say I enjoyed the journey back and the fun of creating Christmas rather than buying Christmas in a packet.  I love my Christmas and love to get my Yummy Corner out early Christmas Eve (see my photos of my various Yummy Corners of the years) when everyone arrives.  We make guts out of ourselves as we hoe into all those incredible sweet Christmas treats, and I think we will enjoy them even just a little more this year given we haven't had any all month - yes Christmas Eve will be the first time we will have any of these out.  Well ..... except for my pudding nights.

Whats a pudding night you ask - well a few years ago after Christmas we had a lot of puddings left over (generally while I buy puddings for our Christmas Eve dinner we are generally too stuffed to eat them) and then the same goes on Christmas Day - so we 

invited some friends around to help us eat the remaining Christmas puddings (primarily this was to stop Derek from eating them all), it was most enjoyable.  I was looking for a way  to have some pre-Christmas fun with friends this year and so we decided to have some pudding nights, as they generally are a bit easier to prepare, they are a bit different and it's a nice way to share Christmas with everyone.  It helps to get you into the spirit, it's a night time event so generally a bit cooler and there isn't lots of prep and mess so a good way to entertain.  Take my advice if you are looking for something different to do next year try the pudding night.  I started off with Egg Nog (spiced with espresso and Tia Maria - very nice), we crank the air to about 20 and then put on the video of the log fire just add to the atmosphere, then some nice bits and pieces and then to the table to enjoy warm puds with all the trimmings.  Very yum, very special.

If you haven't started on your Christmas treat shopping don't be surprised if your favorite supermarket doesn't have much, but prepare to make a few things and enjoy the making of Christmas once again.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Friday, September 23, 2016

The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers .... flowers yes but a lot more

In keeping with our short breaks to areas having an event theme we headed off to The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers this week and let me say it was fabulous, well done Toowoomba what a great place to be for a few days of pure beauty, color, food, wine,music,art and generally appreciating a thriving country town center that hasn't lost its country feel.

It has to be a must do town at this time of year - so put it in your calendars - but pre-plan as well, as there are a lot of great events and things to do outside of viewing all the lovely gardens (some free and some for a fee).  They have a great website - www.tcof.com.au so you can pick and choose bus trips, food trips, music events, beer festivals (commonly call brewoomba), street festivals etc - don't wait until you hit town the website is easy to use and shows you a good calendar of events, prices etc.  The tourist center is packed and not sure if you would get the best out of the offerings.  Also by pre-planning and booking you can ensure you don't miss something that you might have wanted to see, do or hear as this event is over 2 whole weeks.  Also by pre-booking we where able to choose our accommodation close to where buses would pick up from so we didn't need to take the car and park. 

We found enough here to do and keep us busy for a 3 night stay.  Usually Toowoomba would just be a day trip for us and over the years yes we have been up for the festival, but generally came and went the same day, probably spent little money but these days they have  full festival events and calendar to just about please everyone.  After all Brisbane and Gold Coast dwellers are only a short 1 to 1 1/2 hour trip away, but again get online and book some accommodation for a few days and also book for some of the great tours available.

We stayed at The Bourke & Wills - it's a bit tired to be honest and really they could have taken the time I feel to have planted a few punnets of flowers 6 weeks ago to pretty it up for the carnival, but the service was good even offering a free drink at the bistro which was attached to it, offered room service and served up a lovely brekky in their conservatory room which was nice and it was right in the middle of the town center making it easy to walk to a lot of places and while they didn't take the time to plant a few pretty plants in what could only be called the worst garden in Toowoomba at this time of year the street it self had flowers a plenty. For us it was pure luxury given we did choose the spa suite which offered great space, comfy bed and a room service each day (remember we have been caravaning, camping, and cabining for the last 2 years so this seemed like a major luxury).

I had booked into 2 events prior to even booking our accommodation being "Talking Pubs Tour" and "Progessive Food & Wine Tour" through the www.tcof.com.au website about 6 weeks prior to leaving.  As I said earlier there where heaps of great offerings especially if you are a music buff, but these where the ones I really wanted to try.  Both where really great nights out, but I must say I did prefer the Talking Pubs Tour most.  Booking was easy and everything ran smoothly throughout the night all organised by Evenbright so well done!

It was raining when we arrived - too much to go out looking at flowers so we headed for the bistro in the B&W - cashed in our free drink and had a nice warm soup for me and chicken & vegie pie for Derek - it was nice in the cold misty weather and preceded to go and have a snooze - so we would be full of beans for the Pub Tour.  

The bus was picking us up at the railway station at 5:30 (a few blocks away) and with the weather cleared we headed off for a lovely walk around the city, looking through the shops on the way, all of which where lovely and it is just so nice to see independent shops - no one wants to go and walk through a mall full of the same old same old - however I think this may well soon disappear now they are building their new large, undercover shopping mall, sad really because we have been to towns like Rocky where the building of these types of shopping areas creates a main street devoid of personality, shops and unique shopping experiences, but for now it is still thriving and looking great.

We finally arrived at the Railway Station which has been so beautifully restored after the 2011 floods and waited for our bus.  I must say it would have been nice for Eventbright to have had some sort of signage to say bus tour meets here or something - there was no one around in the station at the time and we were the first there so hoped we were in the right place.

The Talking Pubs Tour was much more than we had anticipated as we all got out at Fitzy's a beautifully restored pub, which is very upmarket while keeping the charm and character of the building.  We were taken on a tour and told all the stories of the building that is in the 100 year old bracket, this was the really nice thing about this tour - the stories, the interaction with the staff as they gave  you the history of the building, of the business, of the people.  If you are in Toowoomba would highly recommend a meal, or even just a drink in this historical pub.  If you are into craft beer this would also be a must visit place, we had a lovely platter of Mini Angus Beef Mignons, Pork & Veg Spring Rolls (which were absolutely delish probably the nicest I have ever had) and Crumbed Prawns - along of course with your choice of beer, wine or bubbles - very nice start.  So good food, drink, ghost stories the night was off to a great start.

Next stop was the equally impressive Mort Estate - another historical building, with a great story and beautifully restored and as I watch the platters of food coming out to the other guests my mouth was salivating - impressive presentation.  Again we had a great presentation about the history of the pub, area, people whilst being served cheese, breads, prawn aranchini balls and bruschetta and yes you guessed it our choice of drink.  I probably enjoyed Mort more than Fitzy's but both where great and maybe Mort felt better because we had all loosened up a little and had started to enjoy the company of our bus friends.

Now onto the Spotted Cow - another boutique brewery but a bit more of a standard pub arrangement, the owner again gave us a great run down of the pub and its past as we ordered our main meal.  This was more pubgrub, but yum nevertheless and as you can see we were all feeling happy and having a great time.

Last stop was desert of course and let me tell you, if you like a Sticky Date Pudding, then you will not be disappointed with the offering at the Irish Club, which once was a hospital - again the stories of its past and choice of drink, we were served up what could only be described as the biggest bowl of SDP I have ever had and it really was to die for.  The 4 hour pub crawl went all too fast, but we left full, happy and had a terrific time - Hammond our bus driver was terrific and gave us a good understanding of Toowoomba, its history etc while we drove from one place to the next - Thank You Hammond you did a great job. This tour had it all, great personalities who where passionate about their establishments, their foods, their grogs and the buildings they where in, the 4 hours just flew by, it was so much fun - Thank you Toowoomba and thank you Eventbright for a fabulous night and thank you to our hosts.

Next day the rain had cleared, but the winds had set in, so it was freezing, of course the one time I decided not to pack everything we own, let me tell you it was cold so don't forget to pack your winter woollies, but it didn't stop us from going and seeing the gardens.  Now we didn't go to any of the gardens where you had to pay to get in, and we didn't do a bus tour. Toowoomba isn't the largest city in the world, it's not hard to find your way around and parking is pretty good.  I won't bore you with all the details, but between Picnic Point, Spring Bluff (not only a lovely country drive away, but a beautiful destination - some choose to take the train), Queens Park and Laurel Banks you really don't need to spend a cent on touring beautiful gardens.  The rain and wind had taken their toll a little, but generally the stood up really well.  This along with more street walks, galleries etc and general sight seeing took up 2 days.  All of the gardens where beautiful, colorful, had some great themes and had everyone happy, smiling and of course taking photos (flowers seem to be a great equaliser people from every race and religion had the same smile on their face - maybe flowers should be introduced into the UN), because there was always just another more beautiful bed of flowers awaiting.  Click here to see my entire album of beauty be warned over 300 photos!

We finished off our great 3 day adventure with the Progressive Food and Wine Tour - there where a lot more on this tour than the Pub Tour, but that was probably because it was a Friday night.  We started off at The Cobb & Co Museum - this was probably the best part of the night - seeing the museum under lantern light - yes we walked through all the exhibits with our little lanterns and where told the stories of bush rangers, ghosts and life in the 1800's.  It was such a unique experience - I suppose we have been to so many of these types of museums over the last few years travelling around Australia, that it wasn't really a place I would have gone to, but this unique way of seeing it was lovely.  The curator was again passionate about the place and told the stories with such gusto, that you just couldn't help get involved and feel the history.  We walked through the museum and finally we where treated to drinks and canapes and of course a few more stories.  Lovely!  I suppose my only criticism if I had one, is it probably would have been nice to have been able to sit down to listen to the stories and eat rather than stand, but the food was lovely and generally it was the highlight of the night.

I suppose we had become accustomed to from the 5 places we had been to on the 2 tours so far of not only food and wine, but learning about the establishments we were visiting, hearing about their passion to restore the buildings etc and for food - this was a great part of these tours so we where a little disappointed when we got to Gip's Restaurant our next stop for dinner that this didn't form part of the event and while the food here was probably the best of all the food on the 2 tours, and the ambiance here was fantastic, it all felt a little cold - sit, drink, slap a plate of food in front of you and we felt a little disappointed - it also meant the time spent here didn't go as fast and we where left to our own devices to converse with the others rather than be entertained - as I said the food was superb, but there was no personality here unfortunately even though since writing this blog I have found out it is set in a 1800's mansion and hearing about what they want to achieve from their food style etc would have been fantastic, and also made the time we had there go a little faster. 

In saying that it was still a better experience than our desert stop, which was at The Rex Theatre, where we were originally picked up from, I was really looking forward to perhaps a tour of the Theatre, or being told about its history, who had acted here etc but this was even colder than Gip's, at least it had great food and great ambiance (and I suppose that in itself should be enough), at the Rex, we were lead up to what looked like a standard conference room with 3 large round tables - nothing in the room to represent you where in a historic theatre, and plates being shoveled at you - also while the menu had said desert wine will be served it would have been nice to have had a choice, but the wait staff came and went and that was the end of it.  My other issue with this stop was - if you are in Toowoomba on a cold night who wants a fresh fruit mile feuille over a pecan and maple syrup pudding - at our table no one so there wasn't a choice (Gip's was the same and yet at The Spotted Cow the night before we got a choice of which main we wanted but at least at Gip's both where beautiful and appropriate to the weather etc), so that also was a bit disappointing.  While none of the 7 establishments we visited put on the worlds best wines let me tell you cheap desert wine is hard to shallow and in fact at our table everyone took 1 sip and sort of went grrrr, there were a lot left half full.  Our bus picked us up 1/4 of an hour late to start with, and the tour was meant to finish at 9pm, we arrived at The Rex about 8pm and we were back at our room by 8:30, whereas the Pub Tour was 41/2 hours in total so half an hour longer but the night just seemed to roll along better.  The food generally on this tour wasn't any better, the wine definitely wasn't better and the night didn't roll quite as well, but still a lovely night.

Overall Toowoomba was a fantastic getaway and the tours a great experience - talking to others who had done other tours it seems like they where all good and where providing everyone with a lot of different experiences. The town walks are nice - street art, trendy shops, nice cafes etc. The free city gardens where blooming beautiful and Toowoomba itself seems to have recovered well since the 2011 floods which is great.  With hop on hop off buses as well you don't have to drive or walk to see the beauty. So don't forget to put September into your diary for next year and take a trip to The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers you won't regret it. For those who do not want to scroll through my 300 odd photos in the link above, here is a small example of the beautiful color you will see if you go to Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Change of Pace

It seems like forever since I have blogged, and of course looking back it is a long time ago.  I am not quite sure why this is, it is either that I don't have much to say (yes I know hard to believe), or not sure if what we are doing is all that inspiring.  We have been trying to live a more simple life this year.

It's not that we have been boring or lacking for things to do, but maybe I feel they are just a little more routine - something we haven't been since we have retired.  There is nothing wrong I suppose with routine, it is just harder to write about.  It did make me think though what have we been doing and this year has been the year of short trips - this is primarily due to us now doing Volunteer Marine Rescue 2 days a week and not wanting to let the team down by being away and like all volunteering the more you can do the more you get lumbered with - not that we mind but you do have to be strong sometimes and say NO or otherwise it can take over your life, we learnt this lesson during the year.

The beginning of the year seemed to be hectic with us doing our ESS (Essential Shipboard Safety) weekend - mid January and stinking hot this took a lot out of us but we did thoroughly enjoy it.  It meant we could finally participate in VMR at a higher level - it was a big weekend of theory and practical involvement - learning how to fight fires, flare handling, getting life rafts up etc.

This was quickly followed by a few days in Melbourne for The Australian Open, I love my tennis and had always wanted to go to the Aussie Open - what a great time to go and discover Melbourne - while I had probably been to Melbourne 100 times during my working life I never really had the time to discover all it has to offer.  It was great to catch up with friends but it also showed us how good it is to go somewhere when there is a specific event on as they are usually held at a time when the weather is good and there is lots of activities on making your stay a little more enjoyable as everyone is out and about enjoying the festivities. So we learnt to start doing shorter trips to places where events are on - this month we are off to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers as they have some great events on at the same time so it gives you more to do in some towns that you may just drive through - more on that when we come back.

We have also boarded 2 cruises this year - one in early March which to be honest was horrible, and we found ourselves getting off the cruise after 2 nights of a 14 night cruise in Noumea.  I am not going to go into why we got off, but lets say I fell into the trap of trying P&O from Brisbane - to try and avoid airports and large amounts of air travel but I think once you have done Princess or Holland American cruises P&O leaves a lot to be desired.  It wasn't a total waste though because we discovered Noumea - what a beautiful place this is and we had a lovely time enjoying fantastic French cuisine in a place where the Bonjour was more than just a greeting, everyone here was happy, helpful and more importantly unlike France itself cheerful, in a beautiful clean and pristine environment.  So we ended up doing airports and flying back from Noumea - c'est la vie.  See below for some more of the beautiful foods we consumed and all at very reasonable prices.

When I booked the cruise from hell above, I also booked a family 4 day cruise - which we did and while still P&O the short cruise and especially with the whole family is a fun way to all get together and enjoy each others company.

We did something we haven't done for years and drove to Sydney to catch up with some of our oldest friends - WOW the roads now are so good, just about dual carriage way the whole way which made the drive only 9 hours and enjoyable.  We both love Sydney having met there, getting married there and building our first home there so it was a lovely couple of days full of all things Sydney as well as catching up with friends.

We discovered a perfect get away at Byron Bay earlier in the year as well - staying in a cabin at the beachfront caravan park - we miss our camping adventures and chats with vanners - people are not so chatty in motels so this helps us to connect with people travelling around while being in a great place right on one of the worlds iconic beach fronts, and of course there is always something to do at Byron - Derek keeps busy with his metal detecting, I get long beach walks followed by some great sun baking, reading and of course just a little retail therapy.  We have enjoyed just looking at the weather forecast and saying lets go for 2 or 3 nights something we have done a few times this year.

We have recently just returned from Hervey Bay where we celebrated Dereks 60th staying at the Mantra - I went via booking.com and got a fabulous room for just $90 a night - right on the water front and in a nice active area.  We did something we have never done before and did a day trip to Fraser Island.  I had always wanted to go to Fraser so it was a great way to discover it.  The 4 wheel drive bus ride certainly was a great way to see all it has to offer, then as we are driving up the 70 miles of beach we came across one of only 4 beach front airports so decided to do a scenic flight which was truly spectacular.

Derek was studying hard over June and July and finally got his 2nd Stripe.  This along with fund raising events etc seemed to make it like we never left VMR over these months - like I said earlier it can consume you life if you let it! 

We still continue to participate in life here in our community, albeit not as heavily as we did in the early days - but when the weather is great we still love to take the boats out, beat everyone at Bocci which is a fun Sunday afternoon event we have here, go to events like Christmas in July, Chinese New Year etc and enjoy our facilities - yes even using the gym grrrr - no matter what I do I cannot seem to loose weight but at least the body is moving I suppose.

We have started back on our being a tourist in our own back yard again, doing Whale Watching Tours and other touristy things prior to the influx of the late spring and summer visitors.  We live in one of the biggest tourist regions of the world and it's nice to sit with people from other countries/areas and see things we take for granted through their eyes and thoughts as they experience our world.

Shove in the stock standard family events and it really seems like the year so far has gone just way too fast - it has been nice making a change to the way we live this year so far and while maybe not as exotic as past years it means we are doing something every week. month rather than 1 or 2 big events a year.  

On reflection living in an over 50's community and volunteering can take up most of your days without even really trying and I suppose that is what it was all about - living a simpler life where there is always something to do, but at the same time you have to get away as well otherwise you can be consumed by it all, so the short breaks and event travelling has worked well for us this year.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The joys of volunteering

If you read my blogs you know that we started on our volunteering journey mid last year - we took a lot of time to decide on the type of volunteering we wanted to do - just like working if you are doing something you love then it is so much more enjoyable.

The view from our office - not bad!
We chose Volunteer Marine Rescue - primarily because we obviously love boating, the environment is great - you can't beat working on a beach front - it makes for an inspiring office, plus it provided a learning environment for us - we could gain new knowledge and being in a learning environment and feel a sense of achievement - but we have gotten a lot more from it than what we expected to.

Learning how to use a life raft -
now there is something I would never
thought I would learn!

Volunteering puts you in contact with like minded people, people who are passionate about what they are doing - lets face it you don't trudge off to volunteering like work unless you truly like it and like being there and you feel it is a worthy environment - so I would say generally you are in a good uplifting space.

You meet some great people along the way - both those you work directly with and those you may well be helping - the appreciation from those you have been assisted by the organisation you volunteer with is generally high and it makes you feel good that you have able to do something of significance.  Those you work with can also inspire you - I know we look around at the people we work closely with and those in other teams and think WOW how great are these people, they go above and beyond nearly everyday, their knowledge about the organisation is fantastic to learn from and many go over and above what is required of them to ensure these volunteer organisations continue to grow and prosper.

Not only can you learn new skills, new information, but it can provide a unique platform for you to practice and enjoy success in areas of business you use to participate in - so you can bring new skills to an organisation as well which is also great and makes you feel like you are contributing.

Getting Sponsors - uses our Sales & Marketing skills
Yes sometimes volunteer environments can look a little disorganised - but that is generally because they don't have the money to spend on the things we all take for granted when working, and yes often you have to do things like clean the office because these are not things that get done by professionals and of course in a lot of cases many volunteer organisation rely on retired people who may not be as quick to respond to an email or be as tech savvie as those in business - but you know everyone is just trying their hardest every day they are there, and each person is contributing something to a worthy cause.

We have more certificates now than we have ever had in our entire working life, and our training in all areas of rescue has been full on, but on the other hand we have been able to provide others with information on things we know as well (and that is the beauty of volunteering - everyone brings something to the table) and we are able to provide the organisation with a skill set from our previous working lives that was not readily available - Sales & Marketing - so it is the coupling of new skills and the well known ones that make volunteering such a valuable thing to do and make you feel like you are contributing to a good cause.  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Retiring Intern

Yesterday I had the great please to watch The Intern with Robert De Nero and Anne Hathaway - what a joyful movie it was but more importantly it had a powerful message - utilising retirees to mentor business owners, university graduates and teams and generally assist in bringing values back to a company. 

It is a must watch for everyone in business and more especially those who own a business or those who are struggling to understand that while the world is changing - new positions being created, new ways of reaching target markets, new technology etc some things don't change and never will - like work ethics, standards, dress for success (yes look like you are successful and not just gotten out of bed) and how older people within the organisation can bring a sense of calm, stability, values as well as a common sense approach not necessarily learnt in the home or school these days and a life time of experience and support to an office environment in a non-threatening manner.

It made me think how lucky I am - I have 2 daughters - one who at 23 has her own business and one who is 24 and working her way through a large banking organisation, each week I get the joy of experiencing what Robert De Nersos character did in the movie by helping and mentoring both them through their daily business issues, how to overcome them, work with them with new technologies, research things for them to help them in their business lives - it along with my Volunteering keeps me connected with the business world, provides me with a sense of purpose while being able to help the next generation to learn, grow and take on issues in a supportive role.  It is very rewarding and I believe they are more successful because of it and so are their companies.  I believe more companies would prosper from utilising switched on Retirees.

Since I have been retired, I have had many people contact me to help them with their businesses, or with projects that simply don't get done in a busy office environment - I love these projects however it always amazes me that most people seem to think because I am retired I will work for nothing - guess what as a self funded retiree happy to work and keep connected, but I too like to be paid - unless of course I am volunteering.

Living and being around retired people most of the time now, there are so many people out there with so much life left in them, so much experience and so much knowledge like the Robert De Niro character they are busy doing things but could give so much more if only organisations understood the value they could give and not look at them as being old, not expect them to work 90 hour weeks but look at them as being experienced in lifes ups and downs, business up and downs and they have made it through, they have gone through changes in business and life and seen that while often it seems fruitless perseverance, support and people can get your through and they also understand that a good work life balance is important because without friends and love ones around you when you retire you have nothing no matter what you put into building the organisation.

Be bold and find energetic Retirees to help your business or people within your business, provide them with support and mentoring not from the latest speaker of the day or methodology of the day, not from some upmarket counsellor, but with someone who can support them in the office and help guide them in a unique manner (personally and professionally) so your business will thrive and in return maybe some older people will feel that their life experiences are not going to waste and they learn and grow as well.
Food for thought

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Looking at life through rose coloured glasses

Many years ago I got sick of wearing glasses - at about the age of 40 I started to have difficulty reading etc, but after a few years of where are my glasses, I decided to get my eye lasered.  I only needed one eye lasered at the time given my long vision was fine.  It was such a fantastic thing to be able to read things again without wearing glasses.

The only problem was all of a sudden I could see things I hadn't seen for ages - like my eyebrows - of course I could see them when I looked in the mirror, and they always seemed to look quite respectable, until I could really see them after having my eye lasered -and realised they really needed a good old fashion pluck,  there were wrinkles I had never seen before as well which was quite disturbing at the time.

So after 7 years of not needing glasses I have realised that the 4 year laser treatment is finally wearing off - so after all these years I needed to head down to the optometrist once again - unfortunately being a self funded retiree I found it hard to justify spending $3000 again, especially given we fork out for private medical insurance of which we very rarely use and laser is not covered so it is back to wearing glasses for me once again.

No doubt when I look in the mirror again and can see I will be shocked and horrified but that's all a part of getting older I suppose, but I have missed reading over the last few months because it really was just too difficult so I had to bite the bullet.  

I just hope when I look around the house with my glasses on I don't see too much dirt this time - that was another thing I noticed when I got my eye lasered, all of a sudden what I had thought was a nice clean house turned out to be not so clean at all.

I always recommend laser eye surgery to anyone who will listen because to me it was such a great thing, to be able to see and read once again without glasses all in under 24 hours if you can afford it - and I suppose I got nearly double the amount of time out of it so I am happy enough with the value for money.

For me being slightly short sighted is like looking at life through rose coloured glasses - yes you can see your face - but not every little wrinkle or facial hair, yes you clean and think you have done a good job because you cannot see everything quite so well. I might even see flaws in you that I had not noticed lately.  So I guess next week when I get to look at myself with glasses on I might be doing a lot of cleaning and quickly making some appointments at the local beautician - hopefully it won't be too much of a shock and at least this time I am prepared for it.

I didn't choose glasses quite like the ones in the photo here, and of course Derek hasn't worn his lasered eye out so he doesn't need glasses yet (given he doesn't read - so maybe that is the secret to a never ending lasered eye - just don't read) but it is going to be strange to need to wear them again and no doubt to begin with they will feel like those in the picture.