A scary couple of days

View from the 20th floor

So having played bridge all day at the apartment where the photo above was taken, I come home a bit hot and sweaty – it was so humid – and decided to have a quick shower.

Groover was out at Kareoke for a friend’s birthday.

So I get out my nice Chanel soapy stuff lather up and touch my right boob.


That feels odd.

There’s a lump taking up what feels like half my breast.

How did I not notice it before?

First thought – breast cancer.

Second thought – breast cancer.

Third and continuing thought – breast cancer.

I bundle into my pjs and try and go to sleep but I can’t.

Groover eventually comes home.


I think I’ve got breast cancer.

Yeah right.

No really.

Let me feel.


Eventually I fell asleep.

But in the morning the lump was still there and my boob is throbbing.

Of course it’s in the middle of a long weekend so I can’t immediately get someone to scan it, but thanks to a friend who is a doctor I manage to get into an imaging clinic on the Tuesday afternoon.

The last time I had a mammogram was May 2009.

So at 2.15pm I have a mammogram, and an ultrasound.

Jan – on the ultrasound – shows me these big black blobby things on the screen.

Those, she says, are cysts.

It feels like my entire breast is cysts – there are heaps!

So, she goes on, you can leave it or get the big ones drained…

I go for the Fine Needle Aspiration.

Ah well we might as well check out this area as well… unlikely to be cancer but while we’re there.

They give me a local anesthetic and then the needle goes in.

It bloody hurt.  A lot.

Apparently they don’t numb everything as it can interfere with the testing.

They suck out what looks like about 40 mL of dark pinkish liquid.

Then they go to another area, and jiggle the needle around a bit to pick up some cells from the fibro-thingy.

[Edited to say… er it’s a fibroadenoma.]

They seemed pretty confident so I told my friend the good news and champagne was drunk.

I got the all clear today (no worries says my friend) and I’ve got a slight bruise.

God.  What a relief.

I was so upset and it was a false alarm.

I can’t imagine how bad it would be to get the alternative result like a friend of mine did recently.

My heart goes out to you.


Tripping the light not-so fantastic


I love the Council House lightshow and when showing visitors around I will always point it out – if I’m near the city.

The other day for instance I drove my eastern states colleague back to his hotel and driving past Kings Park I thought a little detour was in order.

He made the usual appreciative noises about the view – which is pretty spectacular – and I, pointed out Council House.

“See that building down there lit up in pink”, I said, “Well the City spent millions on this great lightshow and I really love it. Any minute now it will change colour. ”

“It’s soooo beautiful!” I enthused.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

But the building remained stubbornly pink.

And I shamefacedly drove down the hill and dropped him off.

Two nights later I was driving back from bridge – State Open Teams – we’re coming last – and I noticed that the building was STILL pink!

What the hell?

Was it broken?

So I rang up the City of Perth (as you do) and asked them.

Turns out if you’re a not-for-profit or charity you can book the light show.

This week, apparently, the light show has been commandeered by the Pink Ribbon Day crowd.

You know, for breast cancer.

And get this… it’s free!

Well… unless you want a complicated show that is when it costs you the time it takes to program in the lights… maybe $50 the fellow told me.

And it can be quite complicated – words scrolling across the building for example.

I was blown away.

But, I’m afraid, still a little bit pissed off that the “proper” light show wasn’t on when I wanted to show off to my colleague.

But that’s just me.


Breast cancer research is a good cause – I just kind of wish they’d paid the $50 and put on a show.

Council House lit up in pink for Pink Ribbon Day...


Apologies for fuzzy cam but it’s only an instamatic camera – what can you do?

And that green spiky thing is the belltower.

I wonder if you can hire that too?

A good vintage

At the Sail and Anchor... again

You can’t wear your vintage dress just anywhere in Perth you know.

It would feel decidedly out of place (for me) in most places bar a fancy dress party and of course, Fremantle.

Fremantle with its bohemian culture is a place where anything goes so I went.

My vintage dress

I only wish I had the white gloves and bag to finish it all off but then again – matchy matchy is so yesteryear dahling.

A bit like my dress.

It felt a bit odd to have such a big skirt.

The skirt is full and heavy – backed by interfacing to make it stick out a bit.

I bought it many years ago for a Sound of Music film screening – we all dressed up and I bet you can guess who I was dressed up as.

Yes the famous play clothes made from curtains.

The boys enjoy a cold one... well Groover's might have been warm.

Anyway the reason we went out for lunch was because it was B’s birthday.

And the chilli mussels at the Norfolk were, as always, excellent.

At the Norfolk.

Of course the birthday boy had a burger.

Tunnel time for teen

My baby is thirteen and she is gorgeous.

Tunnel Tour

Today we went on the tunnel tour under Fremantle Prison, the largest convict built establishment in Australia.

I think my girl was impressed that the jail was still in use when “I was alive”.

In fact they closed the prison in 1991 and then had to wait a year before they could open the old jail to the public… it was made of limestone… they used toilet buckets… limestone is very porous and holds the smell apparently… they had to air the place out.

Anyway the tunnels were made in the 1880s to harness the water in the underground aquifer, by 1910 the water was getting saline from a rising water table and by then of course the Mundaring Weir was supplying the water to the metro area.

And they were forgotton about.

Until an oil leak in the tunnel system caused oil to spray out of the prison reticulation in 1989.

The tunnels are well cool.

It’s what is known as an Extreme Heritage Experience.

There are harnesses and headlamps involved.

Anyway we had fun, learned a bit, and loved spending the morning together… although I think my gorgeous girl would have also enjoyed hanging out at home playing with her tablet.

I love you gorgeous girl!

Fremantle Prison

The Art of Consipicuous Parenting

Colonial Brewery

Have you ever heard a parent say in company:

“Say ‘Thank you’.” 

If the  parent’s voice is slightly louder than necessary – that’s conspicuous parenting.

Take today.

We were on our normal walk that we haven’t done for several weeks due to slackness.

A young mother was blocking the path.  

She was crouched down next to her young child, pointing at the sky:

“Look at the sky darling!” She crooned. “What colour is the sky?!”


Conspicuous parenting FAIL.

You hear it all the time…

“What do you say darling?”*

It’s not that I haven’t been guilty of the odd bit of CP myself.

I have taught my kids to say “Thanks Mum! You are the greatest!” when I do something for them.

Frankly I’m pleased when they go out of the house with their shorts on the right way.

But when is conspicuous parenting just good parenting?

I was thinking about the parent who brings along a little container of chopped up raw vegetables for her child to munch at a restaurant or party.

Is that conspicuous?  No.  That’s just good.

The conspicuous parent pretends they would normally only feed their child raw vegies and allows them to have chips.

“OK darling, but just this time, chips are an ‘occasional’ food…”

Yeah right… bet the kid gets them every night next to their fish fingers.

So go on, ‘fess up, what’s your example of conspicuous parenting?

* Which reminds me of that joke:

Child: Can I have some more icecream?

Parent: What do you say darling?

Child: Can I have some more icecream now?

Flu preparation


I’m getting ready for Flu Season.

I’ve booked in for a flu shot (April 30), free at my workplace.

And I’ve made up my flu prevention essential oil mix… which is also nice to use if you have a cold or flu.

I have great faith in my mix.  I use it all the time.  

At the slightest and I mean slightest sniffle I’m putting a drop on my tongue and rubbing it into my skin, breathing it in.

I didn’t get flu last year but more impressively I didn’t get flu when the rest of the family came down with it in the US (and I hadn’t had a flu shot).

I’m a believer.

I’m not as sure about the flu shot.  

I didn’t get the flu last year and I had the shot so I’m going to do it again.

A colleague surprised me by saying… “Hmmm I’m not sure I don’t want the flu… a week in bed sounds nice…”

That would be okay only if you had the flu symptoms during the day.  

It would be annoying if getting the flu interfered with your life.

And why is it that I get a cold just as someone has a baby so I can’t go and visit them?

It’s happens all the time.

Am I allergic to babies?

Not going to happen this year peeps – I’m armed and dangerous.

I’ve got my brother’s baby to visit in May and a (almost) sister’s baby to cuddle in August.

Hmmm and those essential oils smell SOOOOO good.

A dinner for clever people

Remember how we won that quiz nite way back in July? Well last night we used the prize – a $500 voucher at Lamonts in Cottesloe.

Winners are grinners

Winners are grinners.

This is another Kate Lamont restaurant to go with the East Perth posh dining and the more rustic fare in the Swan Valley.

The business model is a wine bar, serving little plates of yumminess – none of which I photographed (sorry TFP).

It is not a cheap night out.

I’ve been there a few times now and enjoyed the atmosphere – which is buzzing. I’ve never been there when it’s quiet. The wine is always good. The tea organic. The service exceptional. But the food…

You know, it is beautifully prepared but I just find it a bit meh.

Last night we had the scallops… or should I say scallop. You only get one scallop per serve and even for a small plate of yumminess that’s a bit rich I think. The slice I had was delicious.

The venison chorizo was also tasty – I’d recommend that if you go.

The truffle fritters were deep fried and that saves many a dish – I found the centre tasteless myself.

The roulade was generous (for Lamonts) and quite tasty – loved the pistachios.

We had the beef and mushroom pie – the pastry was heavenly, the filling was okay – but I didn’t crave more…

We had a potato and artichoke (I think) stack – which I didn’t like at all… but it was slightly better than the scordalio I had last time – bleah… it’s like a lump of cold mashed potato.

And we had the saffron chips. They were yummy.

We tried the chocolate mousse – which I had last time and found a bit heavy – and the creme caramel – which I must admit was the best creme caramel I have ever tasted.

I left feeling vaguely unsatisfied with the food.

It was like reading a book from an award winning author. All the ingredients are there, you know the author is celebrated, but… you just can’t get into it. You feel you should… but you’re left wanting another book.

Hey the company was great though!

Does this look like a girl whose car tire is flat?

Winners are grinners

Winners are grinners

And afterwards our chivalrous blokes changed a tyre.

Chivalry is not dead