You might actually be pleased, at this end … 4

I’ve just posted this on the other site, and you should know about it pronto, those of you who have been generous enough to double up with your follows …

Here, it means very little: there it means a good deal – mostly allied with irritation, I believe.     :-(

I’d be incredibly grateful for input on this thinking, regardless of foul language.


In the wee small hours 23

Last night I was awoken, very abruptly, by choking.

Have you ever experienced that ? – in your sleep done … something ! that meant some saliva went down your windpipe ? When you’re awake and upright, all it takes is an opening of the mouth during conversation and a too-quick sucking in of breath to speak, and lo ! – for whatever reason, you’ve also sucked in something tangible … and you have to cough like mad to rid your windpipe of it and be able to breathe again.



I’ve done the choking-in-the-night only once before: it was when Stringer and I were staying at La Nuova Jera, the little hotel in Tuscany that I posted about in Paula’s non-challenge (on the other site) of a week or two back. As I said, the comune of Jera is tiny; so you will comprehend that the depths of the night mean, without exception, total silence everywhere. No dogs bark because no-one is moving around. And of course there are no vehicles breaking the absolute peace.

I don’t know when La Nuova Jera was built, but it wasn’t constructed as a hotel; and its internal walls and floors are not terribly thick.

So … at somewhere around 2:30am one week-night in mid-September 2000, I did a violent awakening-because-of-coughing in our room on the first floor, which was fairly close to being directly above the room of Sig. e Sig.ra, our hosts. There was no way I wouldn’t have awoken them almost as violently as I did myself and Chic, of course. This was bad enough; but the business of trying to rid myself of the stuff I’d sucked in went on for a VERY long time – something like an hour. At least ! Poor Chic … he kept telling me it didn’t matter, every time I apologised when I was able to (and then he somewhat irritably kept telling me to STOP APOLOGISING !) …

Eventually the airway was cleared; but what followed was even worse – the need to clear my throat roughly every 30 seconds.     :-(

And that went on until light had begun to seep in around the curtains, at which point I must’ve gone to sleep – along with everyone else within the building. No-one ever said anything about it, but I was glad that we were leaving the following day: my embarrassment levels were astronomical. Let’s face it: when someone prevents you from sleeping for a very, very long time, you loathe ‘em, right ? – you don’t give a rat’s (_|_) that they didn’t MEAN to, and were not able to stop doing it.

So that’s what happened to me at 3am this-morning; happily, it wasn’t as terrible an attack, and I coughed for only about half an hour. I was awful grumpy, though, and muttered direly to Lui as I sat on the loo (might as well do something now I was awake) that It Wasn’t Fair. The subsequent throat-clearing went on for a bit, but not frightfully long; and I reawoke under normal circumstances – Lui scratching on my bedroom door – after 5.

The one thing of note re comparing the two incidents was that in Jera, all those years ago, I was terrified. Even in the company of my beloved husband, out of whose fundament I believed the sun to shine, I was really frightened. And this-morning, entirely alone, I wasn’t in the least bit afraid.

And here’s the point of this entire post: I’ve come to the conclusion that one’s fears are in some way associated with love. I mean that I suffered from fear of flying – at varying levels, most of which could be handled, but it was in truth there all the time – BECAUSE Chic was there. And I was afraid that night so long ago for the same reason.

In other words, I think it very possible that most of my fear was of leaving him alone and without me …

From my Probus talk 61

In early August, I travelled out to a suburb unknown to give my Atlmd talk to a Probus group.  It was always a bit of a puzzle to me that I had been asked to do so; as the young woman who mans the organization’s front desk refused point-blank to provide me with the names of people who arrange for speakers, which meant that Delores Munn had actually found me in the list of volunteer speakers and made contact. Why no-one else has ever done so is a constant reminder of my unimportance in the scheme of things. Alas.     :-(

Among the 50 or so people comprising the audience was a man with a camera who is the Group’s photographer, and he snapped me with Delores and on my own with the book.

Original single

Original single

Original 2S

Original 2S

You will understand my dismay at seeing what Del posted to me, folded over, the other day …

So I was bold enough to post on the other site to the effect that I would be truly grateful if someone felt kind enough to see what s/he could to by way of image enhancement, as I’d spent a fruitless day trying to make the photos look better; and my friend Pike12 came to my rescue. Lynne also offered, but I didn’t have an email address to send the originals to; and bloody Rosenberger professed himself willing to have a go, but his end product turned out to be … ahh … humorous, the bastard !     [grin]

Here’s what Pike managed to get out of the single:

How did she DO that ?

Improvement, eh ?

And the 2S of me with Del has been similiarly rendered viewable – by what means, I know not ! But Pike 12 is a professional photog., and prepares her own shots for press use; so her amazing skills she takes for granted !

Talk about image enhancement ...

Talk about image enhancement …

I would offer Del these improved versions of the shots for their Group’s use, but for the fact that none of them is on the ‘Net. I find this somewhat amazing, but it’s none of my business. Certainly, the Group has a list of activities as long as your arm and they do a lot of good things for charity; so I’m not pointing the finger in any way. It’s just so I’m so used to being able to send and receive stuff online that it kind of rocks me back on my heels when I can’t.

ANYWAY ! This post is my record (and yours, you lucky things !) of my sole appearance at a Probus club to talk about the writing of “Atlmd”. The audience gave every appearance of interest and enthusiasm; but I feel quite sure it’s going to be the only time M-R is seen among that body of retirees. Pity.

A new Library wrinkle 40

On 25th October I’m on a panel at a kind of mini writers’ festival, up in our beautiful Blue Mountains, at the Katoomba Library. Here’s a poster for it: Readers & Writers Forum

(I have yet to master con brio the business of inserting other than an image, bugger it !)

I shall leave you to work out for yourselves which panel I’m part of: I don’t think it’ll take very much brain-cudgelling.     :-)

And just in case you think I’m bunging on side about this, here’s an abbreviated programme for the day: R&WForum Program Booklet, in which you will not be able to avoid seeing my name on the second page, no matter how hard you try.     [grin]

Yes, I observe how they have referred to me: I shall attend to that …

Addendum: attended to.    ;-)

Naah: I’m kidding: the Katoomba Library people attended to it themselves, before I’d had a chance to do my attack dog number – while my computer was being rendered fit for use again …

Same whinge as whenever 49

I’m losing you.

I’ve lost 20 of you today ! – at least: more like 25     :-(

If those doing the un-following are amongst erstwhile followers who signed up but never, ever made a single comment or liked a single post, I have no problem. Be happy elsewhere !

But if any of you who are going away are those I call ‘friend’ – meaning people who have talked with me via comments, or maybe left the occasional like – then I am a VERY unhappy camper.

I’ve stated my clear intention for this site to be restricted to material touching in some way on my book; but that doesn’t mean you’ve read it all and there’s not going to be anything else/new to see !

For the time being, I’m completely distracted by the need to get this site and the archived material sorted and indexed; so I’m not doing a lot re posts right now.

But I PROMISE there will be more – and GOOD stuff ! – and I don’t want any friends to leave. In fact, if you continue to abandon me like this, I shall have to stamp and scream … and it’s an ugly sight, believe me.     [grin]

Where I am so far with this site 51

Picture0001Now that this blog is going to be strictly for its original porpoise (that’s the one on the left), I’ve managed to create a third blog for Archives, and have transferred to that every post from this that has nothing whatsoever to do with Atlmd or Chic.

It was a very laborious process, believe me: I had to add a special category to filter by for all those I wanted to move … and at that point I wished VERY GREATLY that I were not so self-indulgent and prolific a blogger.

Every post penned since 21-Oct-13 (which I how I like to write dates, but have found IMPOSSIBLE to do within the WordPress environment, dammit !) to the commencement of the actual/’new’ blog has been moved to Archives. Once they’ve been tidied up and had that extra and now totally unnecessary Category removed again (sighh !!!), I’ll post the URL for anyone who wants to consult ‘em – having been requested to do this by a few readers.

The bottom line is simple: there are three blogs, comprising this one for everything relating in any way to Atlmd; another for all other posts written to the beginning of this month – or you might call that my blog stage I; and a third, to be considered simply as my blog stage II.

On this blog, the important thing is that it now deals only with “And then like my dreams” and all things related. It is my attempt to tell as many people as possible as much as possible about my book.

Addendum: bloody hell ! I cannot move my Freshly Pressed to the archive site because it was awarded to THIS site. Sighh … So I have replaced the genuine FP logo with one that does contain the correct link-back to WP, but added the link to the relevant post underneath. Pity you can’t have two links on one item, eh …?

So as far as I can see at this point, I’m stuck with having here a post not relevant to Atlmd, because of its having far too much cachet to do away with! Hevvings ! – THAT modest I’m not* …     :-)


*although I know this will come as a great surprise to you

CS monthly photo #11 80

And now for something completely different … (I wish I’d said that first !)

This is a shot from the 10-year anniversary of the Bicentenary anniversary of Australia’s beginnings !

The tall ships had been here in huge numbers in 1988; and for the same period (January) in 1998 someone had the brilliant idea of seeing how many we could get back again. The answer is a fair bloody few: these are the latecomers who had to moor down in Pyrmont Bay – when the Stringers had 2 months previously moved in to their Pyrmont flat-with-divine-view.  Of course, we did go down there in person and wander about, as well.     :-)

The big black RORO vessel you see has just left the very long wharf that’s out of shot on the right: it was called “The Hungry Mile”, that wharf, and was part of our nation’s seafaring history. Now it’s called “Barangaroo“, and is the most enormous development of offices / second casino ( ! ) / shops / residential units ever undertaken in Oz. It will be, it’s now being claimed, a suburb in its own right. The link takes you to a selection of articles from The Sydney Morning Herald, a Fairfax publication (that means it’s not owned by Rupert Murdoch).

We LOVED the commercial shipping. There isn’t any, any more: the NSW guvmint realized they were sitting on a fortune and sold all the waterfront land to developers. Plus ça change …

Nice pic. but, eh ?

Black & White Sunday: Ominous 61

My take on Paula’s non-challenge this week is fairly radically different, as you see; so I need to explain it.

Here is my now very large, 8-years-old-in-October moggy, Lui Stringer. That is to say, here he is at somewhere around 5 months.

The ominous part of this photo is what he would develop into: not just the largest cat ever had by the Stringers or by me before I was a Stringer, but the most loved and depended on.

Readers of ATLMD will recall, perhaps, that Stringer, when trapped in his hospital bed here at home, knowing he was dying and knowing I refused to accept it – and encouraging that ! – was trying to work out what to do to fix the problem we had inadvertently created by being totally happy in each other’s company … to the extent that we had made no effort at all regarding maintaining outside friendships.

The best he could do was to pronounce one evening; “This house needs a CAT !”. And how right he was !     :-)

So this is a photo of a little animal who has wormed his way into my heart like no other. I never thought I’d be able to say that about any of the myriad cats of my life; but it’s the truth.

In spite of the fact that he is the least friendly to others, the most difficult, and the least predictable, and in spite of his tendency when crossed to bite me ( ! ), Lui Stringer has me firmly by the heartstrings.

Never thought it would happen. Never saw the signs …

Experimenting … 71

I have the space upgrade that should enable me to play music. Occasionally. That is, if this works, I mean only occasionally to utilise this ability, and certainly not normally to provide a track of this length. But this is a very particular track …

ATLMD readers may possibly remember a chapter that starts with my recounting an anecdote in which Stringer and I had watched an episode of a marvellous Italian music show we used to get direct from Galaxy-TV (when it lived), and, loving particularly a song in this ep., decided to ‘phone up Rai-TV to ascertain its name ! Which we did, which total success. Such fun, with me trying on my fairly ghastly Italian, and the show’s host giving every sign of comprehending it all !     :-)

I know I shouldn’t be doing this: I’m probably breaking every rule of musical copyright in the entire world. I honestly don’t intend to make a habit of it !!

But … this is that song. It still speaks to me.

“Un mondo che non c’è”; Enzo Gragnaniello, rel. Hydra Music 1993.


Thursday’s Special: Enchanted 34

Paula’s Thursday non-challenge comes around again …

With a topic like this week’s, it really impossible to avoid things like historical ruins, don’t you agree ? – and I lean in that direction all the time, anyway. Stringer and I went to Europe to look for them, after all.     :-)

(You can see more pictures of the area on our travel site, should you so wish, at

So here’s my entry for this week; a ruin that’s the subject of argument amongst historians. Les Ruines de Taillefer have been explained in a couple of different ways; but we didn’t care – we just thought they were beautiful.

And enchanted …