On Reaching THAT Age!

I’ve never thought of myself as particularly young or old. It’s not that I’m vain about my age or unrealistic. It is what it is and you can’t change it, so why worry about it? I’ve never been shy or coy about telling people my age either. As I said: it is what it is. No amount of lying or denial will change the facts.

However, I must admit to finding it very funny recently when dealing with the medical profession, all of whom ranged from a third to two-thirds my age, who kept referring to me as being THAT age.

“You’re at that age when you can expect things to go wrong.”

“You’re doing well – considering your age.”

It seems, once a person is THAT age, we can expect things to go wrong, pack in or generally give up. It was almost enough to make me give up.

No, only joking!

Never once did I consider giving up – I just found it funny and somewhat ironic, as Ron and I had not long completed a 160-km cycle ride in New Zealand and we were probably fitter than we’d been in years.

However, it was during that trip that I received a phone call from Breastscreen Queensland to say that they had found something suspicious on a routine mammogram I’d had just prior to leaving for New Zealand. So, as soon as we returned to Australia I went for further tests and the upshot was that I did indeed have cancer.

After two failed attempts to remove the tumour, I had to have a mastectomy, which proved successful in removing the cancer and I’m now doing well, powering on in my Buzz Lightyear moment: onwards and upwards!

But, what I wanted to announce to you all is that today, according to the government, I have finally actually reached THAT age, the one defined by the powers that be when we become officially over the hill, when we can expect things to go wrong and things to pack in. Though, even if any more bits do, I certainly won’t be giving up. I intend to defy it for as long as I can. And, although I am a year older, I don’t feel a year older – and I intend to get back to cycling and doing other active things I enjoy just as soon as I can.

To all my age mates and former classmates who either have achieved or are about to achieve THAT age as well, may all our futures be happy, healthy and long. More power to us and happy birthday to all of you, whenever your birthday may be!

Taken at the end of our 160-km cycle ride in New Zealand. The fittest we'd been in years!

Taken at the end of our 160-km cycle ride in New Zealand. The fittest we’d been in years!

Ron and I at Russell on the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

Ron and I at Russell on the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

The magnificent view of the sunrise from my hospital room when I had my third op.

The magnificent view of the sunrise from my hospital room when I had my third op.

My great friend Heather and I celebrating our birthdays early. This was taken a few days after my third and successful op.

My great friend Heather and I celebrating our birthdays early. This was taken a few days after my third and successful op.

Ron and I with Ruby, about to go out for a celebratory dinner with our precious family. Thanks, guys, it was delicious!

Ron and I with Ruby, about to go out for a celebratory dinner with our precious family. Thanks, guys, it was delicious!

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Book giveaway!

Last day to enter! For a chance to win one of two signed copies of Mark of the Leopard, follow this link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/164514?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018HDTZ52

From the author of Chameleon comes this historical fiction novel, Mark of the Leopard, the second in the African history series, a story of romance, mystery, danger and betrayal set against a backdrop of wild lands and raging seas. In 1703 Sabrina Barrington and her children are shipwrecked and presumed drowned off the Cape of Good Hope, the site of the present-day city of Cape Town. Fourteen years later, an investigator tells Sabrina’s brother, Lucien Castle, that one of his sister’s children has been seen on the island of Madagascar, off Africa’s east coast. It is imperative to return the youngster to England before his twenty-fifth birthday, otherwise his grandfather, the corrupt and detested Robert Barrington, will usurp his rightful inheritance. Castle is the only one who can confirm the young man is not an impostor. In order to do this he must leave the comfort of Amsterdam in Holland and embark on a journey into the unknown. Will Castle be able to overcome his demons and find his nephew in time? Or will he succumb to the perils that beset his epic expedition every step of the way? In a voyage that takes them from the untamed island of Madagascar to the storm-tossed Dutch outpost at the Cape of Good Hope, Castle and his companion must face innumerable dangers and battle not only rival investigators but also each other.

Enjoy!

 

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Review of Outback Midwife by Beth McRae

I read the Outback Midwife via a book club and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a light, easy read and by the end of the book I felt like I knew Beth and liked her so much that I didn’t want the book to end. This memoir details Beth’s life as a midwife from the time she qualifies until she decides to retire. Although all her experiences had a significant influence on her life, none were more profound than her posting to a remote Aboriginal community in the far north of Queensland. Beth writes with compassion and empathy and her love for the people she nursed is amply evident via her writing. A wonderful and uplifting true Aussie tale.

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Sow, sew, or sough?

Words that look the same, or which might sound the same but have different spelling or meanings can be confusing, so how do we handle words like sow, sew and sough?

In this case, sow can have different meanings and different pronunciations, though it’s spelt the same way. As a noun, a sow is a female pig and is pronounced to rhyme with words such as now, how, and cow. If used as a verb, it means to plant seeds in the ground, and it’s pronounced to rhyme with words such as hoe, grow, and low.

pig

Examples:

The pig farmer separated the sow from her piglets.

The farmer went out to sow the seeds in the field.

 

Sew means to stitch a garment or fabric, and is pronounced to rhyme with words such as hoe, grow, and low.

cotton

Example:

With the price of store-bought clothing so low, people seldom sew clothes at home anymore.

 

Sough can be used as a noun or as an intransitive verb. The noun means a rustling sound, and the verb means to rustle. The pronunciation is a bit troublesome, though. As far as I’m aware, both are pronounced to rhyme with how, now, and cow, but I have heard the word pronounced to rhyme with hoe, grow, and low, and also to rhyme with words like enough. Any opinions on the correct pronunciation are most welcome!

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Examples:

In the early morning at the top of the hill you can the sea breeze sough (verb) through the trees.

The gentle sough (noun) of the wind through the trees reminds me of the murmur of water over pebbles.

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Far be it from me or far be it for me?

Which is correct: far be it from me, or far be it for me, and what does the saying mean?

Far be it from me is actually correct, and it’s usually followed by ‘but’. It means the equivalent of ‘God forbid that …’ or ‘Don’t let me try to tell you …’ and is used in a self-deprecatory way.

Examples:

Far be it from me to tell you how to run your life, but do you really think you’re making the right decision?

Far be it from me to advise you on which lawn mower to buy, but do you think that’s the best choice for your garden?

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The Armoured Train Incident – Out Now!

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A hundred and fifteen years ago today, on 15 November 1899, near the start of the Anglo-Boer War, an armoured train manned by British soldiers and containing a young British journalist named Winston Churchill ground its way towards Chieveley in the misty hinterland of Natal, South Africa. The Boers, those fearsome, brave Afrikaner farmers known for their horsemanship and marksmanship, had proved to be a fearsome and formidable force. So as the train steamed along the track, the soldiers were well aware that the often elusive enemy could strike at any time.

The Armoured Train Incident commemorates this event and pays tribute to the brave men involved, including Alexander James Stewart and Charles Wagner, who both played a part that day.

The Armoured Train Incident is available in print from Amazon as well as other online bookstores, and as an ebook from Kindle, Smashwords and most other ebook retailers, including iBooks and Sony.

Here are the long links should you need them:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Armoured-Train-Incident-Kathy-Stewart/dp/1503093859

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Armoured-Train-Incident-Kathy-Stewart-ebook/dp/B00PE59P8O/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/491997

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Further or farther?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between these two words?

Both further and farther refer to distance. Further is more commonly used in a figurative sense, whereas farther is used in a more literal sense to refer to an actual distance.

Examples:

The farther they went from the town, the denser the woods became.

The thief stole whenever he could to further his own ends.

Farther and farther they travelled, until ‘home’ was but blip on the distant horizon.

Further to this, I have nothing more to say.’

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