Archive for the ‘Journal’ Category


As part of the blog here, I get a list of items people search for that brings them here. Baby koalas, Como, who said too bad so sad….for example.

Then there was this.

July death Nigel 2011

And I wonder what they know that I don’t.

Really didn’t need that.

Every time I get a headache now I think this is it.


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Not Flash

Sorry. Completely not all that great.

More later.

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Why Facebook Sucks

On the off-chance you read this and are a Facebook “friend”, I need to warn you that I have somehow shared a link of a video with a friend of mine on it. I did no such thing, mind you. I tried to look at his vid to see why he liked it and stopped bothering when it led to page which required me to complete a survey to view the vid. I was pretty sure I couldn’t be bothered.

Somehow in the process of doing this I shared the link with him. False advertising at it’s worse. Don’t bother clicking on it.

I will one day rant about social networking  and Facebook being the spawn of the Devil but I gotta go to bed.  Despite being their all day. And last night. And yesterday.  I’m weary.

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If you may remember, I had the fear of God put in me that I had a mutant carcinoma about to eat my face starting on my lower eyelid by the esteemed Dr Thompson, esquire. His belief that the growth  on my eyelid was a Basal Cell Carcinoma was refuted by my GP, who maintained that it was a benign growth, a Meibomian cyst in fact.

So I was referred to an Eye and Skin Specialist for a deciding vote, essentially. This is, in of itself, not necessarily a bad thing. However to see the specialist took 4 and a half months to get into see him. In the mean time, my face could have been consumed by the face eating cancer located in my eyelid. No one seemed to care about this, nor the fact I pay for private insurance so I don’t have to wait for assessments. Too bad, So sad. Get in Line.

So I went off and had the holiday from hell, all the while expecting to return to Australia to have my face removed. It was just that good a holiday.

So eventually I have my eyelid examined and the Dr, who looks as though he has escaped from primary school and is playing dress up, decides that a biopsy is required as visual diagnosis is inconclusive. And so I lie back to have my eyelid sliced open and he warns me that the worst part will be when he puts the local into my eye. He lied in this but not by much.

He does indeed put the local into my eyelid and it is INCREDIBLY painful. I had planned to try to keep my eye open at this point so as not have the needle pierce my eyeball but the pain is so intense my instinct is to squeeze my eyes tight. He does this twice, both times like sticking hot needles into your eyes.

He assures me that the next bit wont hurt and proceeds to snip off the growth on my eyelids with scissors. And I could feel all of it. Each and every snip. And I am squirming and he’s saying “can you feel this?” and I’m trying not to scream and swear and admit I can through gritted teeth. He goes in for another round of snipping and this time the local has been given time to work and I don’t feel it as much. By this time though, I feel as though someone has repeatedly clobbered me with a baseball bat.

Then the bleeding doesn’t stop from my eyelid (which makes my hypochondriacal brain assume I have haemophilia) and the primary student uses a  hyfrecator on me to stop the blood flow. This is a delightful device I have been assured is being used in the Bring Popcorn Week event however I must confess I was appalled. I had to hold a rod to stop myself from being electrocuted while primary lad prodded my eyelid and filled the room with the smell of my burnt flesh.


Anyway this is me an hour after the procedure.

It got worse and I started to look like the Phantom of the Opera before I got better. There is a slight indentation where the bump was not completely removed and I have been told I can return and have that shaved off, however given my experience I may pass and learn to live with it.  

So I waited for the biopsy results in that awkward twilight state of wondering if you do have cancer or not. Who would be right, Master it’s a cancer Thompson or Master it’s a cyst GP.

Neither as it turns out.

It was a nevus mole. Common as muck. Dr Thompson is getting SUCH a whack for scaring the bejesus out of me.

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This is like a drug.

I have to say not writing blog posts was a welcome relief. Daily blog posting is a hard slog, particularly if your life is dull and boring when you aren’t actually on holiday. What wasn’t a relief was the number of people who expressed concern at the absence of blog and made note how their lives were that much the poorer for lack of thoughts of Nigel on a daily basis. Of course you wouldn’t know this from the comments made on the blog itself. Two people replied! Two!!!


Fortunately more people wrote to me at the email (including, God love them, the C word (not that C word) fans, expressing sadness at this blog moving on (and the loss of C Week – Bring Popcorn). And I sorta missed it. And I would go through life thinking that would have made a nice blog post.

So back. I did think of starting a new blog which I even went and registered. I may still do that. But I got bad feedback about the name of the blog and I am nothing if not easily influenced.

And building bridges.

So welcome back.

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Until There’s Nothing But Sky

I’ve been putting off the inevitable.

For a variety of reasons I am curtailing this blog. I’m back from holidays and my life is really boring to report about daily. That’s one of the reasons. Guess the others.

Thanks for reading and for commenting. You were appreciated more than you will know. Truly.

Good night. God bless. Goodbye for now.


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Following last year’s successful merging of our blogs (more successful for me than him really – I got way more hits), The Brad and I had a further team up last night. (And apologies to the regular readers that I am jumping around chronologically in the blog, I have loads more about to Charlotte and getting here to Maryland to post.) The Brad is so up to date though and has already posted his write-up here.

So The Brad and I headed to Outback Steakhouse for, he said giggling behind his hand, a genuine Australian meal. Now while the decor was not as evil as I was expecting (for indeed I have been here where my eyes bled)

(Can I just mention in my efforts to keep up with The Brad I  am writing this in Ray’s car heading towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  I am rocking all over the place cos Ray likes his speed. )

The menu at Outback, of course, was delightfully inane. Their speciality is a ‘Bloomin’ Onion” which is carved fried onion that you peel off the petals of the onion and place it in some sauce.  It was pretty but I’ve never seen one in Australia. Nor have I seen cheesy chips (fries with cheese on top…bleh) anywhere other than England.  We didn’t have either of these though.  In fact we had kookaburra wings (chicken wings) and The Brad had some Mahi  Mahi (a type of fish) and I had a Melbourne Steak which allegedly is a “really tasty porterhouse”. But, in actual fact, was a really sinewy T-bone that was impossible to eat. I had to get Brad to look away each time I took a mouthful of sinew and had to spit it out.

The Brad is fun company. We discussed the world’s problems and then some. We had our requisite Doctor Who discussion and, now that I’ve seen it, the Curse of the Black Spot was complete plop, Brad.

Then we got kind of deep. We had this fascinating discussion on evil in the world and how sin is responsible for this. As a Anglican with a low to moderate knowledge of the Bible versus the Religious Education Teacher  who knows his stuff backwards, it was Daniel versus goliath all over again.  I considered it a tie (well I thought it was a tie and Brad would be too polite to disagree with me.). I was impressed.  With the quality of the conversation and the fact that we could agree to disagree on some topics without killing each other.

I  left him with homework which I hope he does. I was worried I was overwhelming him with my religious questions, I didn’t want to seem like I was one of his student nor that meeting me was a continuation of work, which is always a pain. Again he was polite and said that my questions were far more… cant remember the word but let’s say intense… hehe.. than his students.  Yay me, dinner with intensity. Poor bastard.

Fortunately the meal and the waitress were far more impressive than our last visit.  We had pictures taken together in front of this scary ass three-dimensional map of Australia.  If you believe the map, where I live has a giant wheat sheaf cutter standing on top of my capital city.

I was appalled at how fat I looked in my picture (silk purse and sows ear… my personal trainer is going to have a fit) so asked this very kind lady to take a picture of us in front of the outback sign. She was a bit challenged, shall we say, as to taking pictures. We were in the frame but, God love her, so was half of Maryland.

The night was incredibly pleasant. I had fun. Brad had fun (I think.) We get together again next year to discuss which of us was right with our Doctor Who theories. The genius thing about meeting new people is what they teach you. And finally, The Brad gave me a nugget of wisdom I will take to my grave.  I was complaining that everywhere I went I took the sun with me, despite my desperate need to be rained upon.  Brad asked if I had read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and was referring to this quote:

“And as he drove on, the rain clouds dragged down the sky after him for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him and water him.”
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide)

Now, through the power of The Brad, I realise I am a Sun God and the bloody sun is worshipping me by keeping me away from the rain and snow and cold and all the things I would much rather.  I am sure this could be marketable….

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Just to put you out of your misery, the curtains won.

SO! Have arrived in Charlotte after a nightmare trip in the plane. Normally the Toronto Charlotte trip  is on a small plane, max of 24 people and if you stand up your head hits the ceiling. Usually there are four or five people on it. Yesterday there was 24. It was hideous. These planes aren’t designed for a full complement of people, certainly not the chunky Americans (and Australian)  on board.  The engines struggled, the take off was laboured, the plane wobbled like a jelly all the way up… It got better but only just.  Then the air conditioner turned itself off. Hurrah. Fortunately I survived the trip (obviously..) and then caught up with Trey and Wesley.

We went to the most fabulous restaurant, the Capital Grille in Charlotte. It was exquisitely decored (if that is such a word) and impressively priced. This place was fine. And it had THE most exquisite martini I have ever tasted. Superbness in a glass. So I had two. And we had wine, which somehow or another donated money to charity by us buying it. And all up, between the three of us, we had 1 and a half bottles. So keep this in perspective, two martinis and maybe if I was lucky two glasses of wine. Truly not a lot and, in normal circumstances, I would scoff at and ask for more.

I was hammered.

I have never in my life been more drunk. I attribute it to sleep deprivation and having flown 15 hours but I was so maggotted I couldn’t see straight. There was two of everyone, Wesleys, Treys, waiters, restaurants. I went to the toilet with Wesley and completely broke all tradition by having lovely chats with everyone in the toilet. Evidently it is the room for no discourse, much like a gay bar. (Minds out of the gutters please. It was all innocent. I was way, way too smashed to be of any use to anyone.) I walked back from the toilet and marvelled at the way the room was like a roller coaster, ups and downs and spinny.  We went back to the motel and I was poured out of the car. I walked through the lobby hoping that no one would realise how smashed I was. I staggered to my room, all the while giggling to myself that no one knew I was drunk then entered the room.

Then there was the curtains. Still open and ridiculing me with its openness. Being drunk yet sensible I tried to close the fricking things. Being drunk yet not sensible I had stripped off and thrown all my clothes on the floor in drunken piles of shame. Thus, dressed for battle, I began the curtain war. For the life of me I could not work out where the curtain rods were to pull them shut. I looked for ages. I gave up and tried to pull them shut with brute force. No luck. They weren’t budging. After twenty minutes of doing everything possible with the curtains I realised I was showing my all to Charlotte who possibly wasn’t too impressed to see the fat, naked drunken Australian swearing his head off while he tried to wrap himself with curtains. Eventually I stormed off to bed where I instantly lapsed into my alcoholic coma.

I woke at five where I could then see the curtain rods and see the pretend curtains they use to pretty up the room but don’t actually work. The real curtains were on the inside, behind the netting. I pulled them shut, swearing as I did so. Charlotte had seen more than enough of naked Nigel.


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While the Internet is indeed a wondrous thing here, faster, easier access, cheaper sometimes you hit a wall as a traveller, particularly on the days when you absolutely need to access the net.

As a traveller I buy access in chunks, use up a chunk then buy a new one. Which is fine if the shops are open to buy a new chunk. Or if the website accepted australian credit cards.

So i returned home last night to realise that i had left the comp on for some reason. And while I had downloaded the latest episode of Glee I had run out of usage. And try as i might, no way of accessing it until this afternoon.

Not having the internet is like me losing a limb.

So apologies for lack of post and lack of emails I owed people

And Glee was not even very good.

(why have people stopped commenting? Are you all on holidays?)

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I sent Wesley a birthday present for his 51st. A boring tie and another present. All wrapped beautifully.

Now you remember the haircut/ beard clipper abstinence when I was losing weight. I got particularly woolly and was harassed daily by Wesley to trim the bloody thing. He was relentless. I have to admit I was keen to do so but had to hold out.

So when I did trim it finally I kept Mr Thompson in mind and saved the clippings to send to him. I even told him I would do so. He didn’t believe me because, really, who would be stupid enough to do such a thing. Me! I’d be that stupid.

So I wrapped them beautifully and posted them along. And waited for a response. And waited. And waited.

I was becoming a bit concerned when Wesley advised that the parcel had arrived finally. And had been opened. And been DNA tested. And had a bio sticker on it. And an identity number.

Then, to make matters even MORE genius, they rewrapped it for him.

I love the fact that my beard is considered a terrorist threat. Love it. Love the fact it was DNA tested. Love the fact they rewrapped it, which was really sweet of them. LOVE the fact I am mad enough to do it.

I just wish it had been more than just beard hair.

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