The Noswonky Web Log:
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Friday, June 30 2006[ Link to this entry ]
|Note the stylish red bracelet|
We work on the principle, that whoever drives Belinda last, has the responsibility to bring her into the garage in the evening.
But last night, although only Yuko had driven her, Belinda was left out in the cold overnight. When I was leaving for work this morning I was shocked to see Belinda still outside shivering.
Later I forced Yuko to apologise to Belinda.
|Belinda out in the cold|
Red Nose Day.
I didn't see anyone at all wearing a red nose and although
I have on occasion willingly made a fool of myself in public,
I draw the line at red noses. Instead I wore the
Adjustable Awareness bracelet seen in the coffee picture
above. Wearing it allows you to adjust your awareness - which
means you don't have to drink alcohol.
In the afternoon something happened which I have not experienced since my days at Cochlear... free cake!
|You can't beat free cake!|
5679 Days Ago
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Thursday, June 29 2006[ Link to this entry ]
I was present today when two people - one of each gender - had a conversation which shocked me to the core. They we both young - perhaps early twenties. The guy had been visiting another city and was recounting his experiences there. I now paraphrase the conversation as best I remember it...
He: I didn't know many people there, but [Name Omitted] took me out to a bar.
She: He's quite old isn't he?
He: Yes, but he's a real ladies' man!
She: Really? You wouldn't think it - not at his age! How old is he?
He: He's probably about...
And then he mentioned a number which happened to be one year less than my current age.
On the positive side, perhaps they felt comfortable having the above conversation right in from of me because they didn't think I could possibly be as old at the guy they were talking about.
Shortly after leaving work, there was an ominous traffic report on the radio. It sounded like there was a disruption on my homeward route. I soon confirmed it.
I eventually reached the site of the incident. It looked like there had been an accident and a vehicle had been loaded onto a tow-truck. Because of this, it took me about 90 minutes to get home.
|Car on tow-truck|
When I turned on the TV in the evening, I was confronted by the message below. As far as I know, we are legal users, so we may not need to avail ourselves of the amnesty. However, I was very disturbed by the spelling...
Wednesday, June 28 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Mother woke up early, just as I was getting ready to leave for work. She said she slept very well.
It was reported to me later that Yuko drove her home without incident after I left for work.
You can't beat a Lift by the river...
After the Lift, I found this odd structure nearby. It was a climbable tower, but I chose not to climb it.
The moon was again spectacular this evening, but a bit thicker and a bit higher, as is to be expected due to its orbital motion about the Earth.
|Moon. Unlike yesterday, the Moon is thick enough to be visible in this wide view.|
In the evening, we realised that we'd run out of washing powder! I ran a wash anyway.
Tuesday, June 27 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Having taped the overnight soccer game between Australia and Italy, I watched it when I got up. But as I didn't have time to watch it all, I put the VCR on cue, and watched it at high speed, only stopping to view the main bits at normal speed.
This is a very good way to watch soccer! Especially when Australia loses - as was the case today!
As I was leaving work, I beheld the finest and thinnest crescent moon I've ever seen. I took two pictures - one wide and one narrow - but it looked much better in real life...
Mother had to visit the RNS Hospital today for some tests. Because there is a small chance of adverse affects from the procedure, they advised her that she should stay overnight with someone. So she's staying with us tonight.
She went to the hospital by taxi in the morning, and had planned to return the same way. But it turned out that she wasn't ready to come home until after 6pm, so I went to pick her up myself after work.
I got to the hospital at about 6.30pm, but she wasn't quite ready to leave, so I had coffee in the hospital cafe. Since I was last there, they have added three franchise food outlets - Subway, Gloria Jeans, and a Juice shop, the name of which I don't remember. It's gone very commercial!
So of course, I indulged in a GJ coffee (see second coffee picture at top)...
|Coffee at the hospital|
Then I brought Mother home and we had dinner - Pie and chicken (not chicken pie). While we were having dinner, the phone rang. It was Mother's next door neighbour. She had seen Mother go out in a taxi in the morning, and was worried that she had not come home. I told her Mother had probably run away to become a gypsy.
|Mother with pie|
Then Mother crashed out on the bed we'd made for her in the Japanese room.
Monday, June 26 2006[ Link to this entry ]
|This is what Monday morning looks like in the Noswonky household|
Yuko was having problems with her Internet connection yesterday, and today it got worse. It reached the point where blogging became impossible and she called me at work in a panic.
The computer man suspected that there was a problem with our wireless router - which is very old and slow.
So in the evening, he came over to install a new router. I asked if he could get one with ports for shared disks and a printer. He was able to obtain one with two such USB ports.
After some technical problems, the device worked (except for the shared printer). Page loads are noticeably faster now, and we were finally able to activate encryption (which did not work earlier because of a compatibility problem).
The computer man again brought his son, who attempted to wreak havoc with only moderate success.
|Computer Boy watches as Yuko changes the fish water|
Yuko was very happy and blogged long into the night
The computer man's visit lasted until almost 11pm, which disrupted my plan to get some early sleep and then wake up at 1am for the Soccer game. So I decided to tape the game and watch it tomorrow!
Sunday, June 25 2006[ Link to this entry ]
|Yuko tries to emulate my coffee picture at Epitome|
Mother was reversing her car out of her driveway, when the garden hose became tangled in the wheel of the car! She asked me to come around and inspect the damage, as her hose was now spewing water when turned on.
I discovered that the hose had been pulled with enough force to twist the tap around. But surprisingly, there was no significant damage. The hose fitting had detached from the tap, causing the spewing I mentioned earlier. But I just clipped it back on, and all was well. I did not attempt to re-twist the tap.
Saturday, June 24 2006[ Link to this entry ]
We have replenished our jelly stock - just in time. The emergency supply had almost run out!
For dinner, we decided to go to our favourite Chinese restaurant, which is located at Darling Harbour. Before venturing across the Harbour, I attached Belinda's toll tag thingy...
|Attaching the tag thingy|
We drove into the city and parked in a parking station close to the Pyrmont Bridge. Yuko brought a weapon...
|Yuko tests her weapon in the carpark|
We then walked across the bridge to the shopping area on the Pyrmont side and entered Port Orient...
|Yuko took many pictures|
After dinner we walked to the apex of the bay and bought takeaway coffee from Starbucks to drink by the water (see second coffee picture at top).
I also bought a cookie (without getting permission first). I bought this cookie because it said on the wrapper that "you can't go wrong" with one of these cookies, which is only a step away from "you can't beat it".
|I didn't go wrong in buying this cookie!|
As we sat on the boardwalk drinking coffee and eating cookie, a young dude approached us and handed me something called "The Good Test".
It was a test in which you answer four questions, and based on your answers it tells you whether you're a bastard or not.
I zipped through the test, answering "yes" to all four questions. Then went to the next section to get the results.
It said that I was liar, a thief, an adulterer and a murderer. It also said that if I had answered "yes" to any one of the questions, I was condemned to burn in hell for eternity. This was the result I expected.
Then we went home.
5687 Days Ago
5686 Days Ago
5685 Days Ago
Friday, June 23 2006[ Link to this entry ]
I woke up at 5am to watch the soccer. Yuko was less enthusiastic having only gone to bed at 4am!
The game started badly with Australia going down a goal in the opening minutes. By half-time the scores were level and I took the opportunity to have a shower.
While I was in the shower, I heard Yuko call out my name. Slightly alarmed, I jumped out of the shower and stuck my head out the door of the en-suite to see what was wrong, and Yuko said "I woke up". I didn't think this news warranted getting me out of the nice warm stream of water! But Yuko was probably in a half-dreaming state in which she thought it was very important to tell me immediately that she'd woken up. So I got back under the warm shower.
When Yuko finally woke up fully, I gave her the bad news that Japan had been humiliated by Brazil (4-1).
The result of Australia's game was adequate - a draw.
It was also a morning of fog and mist. Ferries on the harbour were cancelled but I could see well enough to drive to work.
The membership of ChesSOS reached 200 today, and the number of games reached 1000.
But of course the 200 figure is only the number of people who have registered. The number who actually continue playing and actively using the site is only about 60.
And although there's a steady trickle of new members, the number of active users has remained steady for quite a while.
This suggests that people are becoming inactive at about the same rate as new users are joining. However, I haven't done an analysis of the data to confirm this. Perhaps I need to increase my advertising budget.
Mother invited us to Taiki for dinner, but we refused! Instead we split the bill.
Taiki was busier than we've ever seen it which was good because it meant that Yukiko (the waitress) didn't have time to have a long conversation with Yuko. They usually chat for a long time delaying our order getting to the kitchen and causing Mother and me some hunger-related distress.
Thursday, June 22 2006[ Link to this entry ]
I've established a routine of getting to work early and having coffee and raisin toast before most of my co-workers arrive. The raisin toast from the café at work is very nice indeed - and only $1.50.
I went to the local shopping village at lunchtime and decided to have fish for lunch. I went into the fish shop and was immediately recognised by the dude behind the counter!
He said "You used to live at Lane Cove!"
And I said "I still do."
He was the dude who owned the fish shop at Lane Cove - right next-door to Epitome! He said he had sold that shop and bought this one out on the edge of civilisation. We speculated on the probability of encountering each other in two such widely separated locations.
And the fish was excellent!
Fish should always be eaten near water, so I went to the river. And it was raining too!
|River where fish may be eaten (note umbrella at top)|
And the flag pole was looking particularly photogenic as I left to go home.
|Pole after rain|
Our E-Way tags finally arrived in the mail today. I was prompted to go electronic because my journey to work now includes a toll road.
The amazing thing is that by using the tag, you don't have to pay the toll! Well... you do pay it, but then you can claim it back from the government when you get your statement (excluding GST). This reduces the actual cost of the toll by approximately 91% - saving me $30/week.
When I told Mother about this, she didn't believe it. Actually I won't believe it either until I get my first refund.
|Tags - one for Mitsy and one for Belinda|
Wednesday, June 21 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Recently I've been occasionally taking my computer (Dixie) to work and doing a bit of personal work during lunch.
Well... I took Dixie to work today, and then forgot to bring her home! I remembered when I was already half way home. Poor Dixie was left alone all night in a dark bag under my desk at work! This debacle caused my blog to slip another day behind.
Yuko gave me a jelly on a stick and lent me Fujiko to check my email...
|Fujiko and Jelly|
Tuesday, June 20 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Mother has been painting. Here is Mother's interpretation of Eve in Eden...
Since the tiny boy ate (almost) all our jelly, it has emerged that Yuko has an emergency stash hidden away in a cupboard. We've accessed it and begun rationing...
|Ration for one day|
Monday, June 19 2006[ Link to this entry ]
|Breakfast - $4 at the on-site café at work. You can't beat that!|
Last night I went to bed at 8pm and got up again at 12:15am to watch the soccer.
First, Japan vs. Croatia. I only saw the second half, but it ended in a 0-0 draw. Yuko was happy with this result.
Then Australia vs. Brazil. We watched most of this game together and Yuko thought that both teams played better than Japan. Unfortunately, the result was Brazil 2-0.
|Watching soccer at 2.18am|
Group F in the tournament is now at a critical stage... Below is the current table (from the nifty Live Scoring Application)...
The computer man visited again in the evening. This time, it was to deliver and install Yuko's second monitor screen - a 19" LCD. She wanted the second screen because she has become a Power-user. The computer man also brought his tiny son who clung to his father's leg like a koala.
While the computer man was installing stuff, the kid played with my dinosaurs and demanded refreshments from the fridge. He also came close to causing a minor disaster involving a fish tank, but the damage was limited to some spilled water.
He also ate our complete stock of jelly snakes!
|Computer man (with boy clinging to leg)|
|Installing graphics card|
|Two screens operational|
Yuko is now very happy with her computing environment.
Sunday, June 18 2006[ Link to this entry ]
We skipped Epitome and instead went to BHP for lunch. That's what I call Birkenhead Point (although technically the abbreviation may be inaccurate and/or malformed).
We ate at the Birkenhead Café and had a nice window table.
I was not aware of it at the time, but when we sat down, Yuko found $10 lying on the table, and pocketed it. Then two waiters came over and asked if we'd found any money lying on the table. So Yuko reluctantly relinquished the cash.
|The aptly-named Birkenhead Café.|
We then walked down to the water and observed the scene.
|Model radio-controlled boats engaged in a racing conflict|
We browsed the shops and Yuko put her hand in the mouth of a mean looking dude...
|Hand in mouth|
We also bought a new sheet/quilt set which we spotted on sale. Actually, all the shops at BHP appeared to be advertising sales. They are probably having sales all the time.
When we got home, I went for a walk...
Saturday, June 17 2006[ Link to this entry ]
At Epitome, Yuko fraternised with the staff. Chubba recently completed his Uni exams and Yuko found out that he specialises in network security.
|Yuko with Chubba and Natalie|
In the afternoon we drove over to Milsons Point and walked across the Harbour Bridge to the Pylon lookout.
Then, we climbed the pylon...
|This dude was hanging inside the pylon|
|View from the top|
We could see the Bridge climbers. We did the climb ourselves in 2002.
|Looking through the glass, you can see where stuff is.|
Yuko took enough pictures to fill her 1 Gigabyte memory card. Fortunately, she now carries a spare.
We then walked down to The Rocks and had dinner at an Italian restaurant which we've been to once before - La Mela. Yuko had a woosy pasta dish while I had pizza. You can't beat a pizza...
We considered catching the train back to Milsons Point, but we decided that would be too wimpy, so we walked.
|Cars speeding by on the bridge|
Friday, June 16 2006[ Link to this entry ]
At work we had a drinky/nibbly session in the afternoon. You can't beat free food...
|Free food as the sun sets.|
The real men drank beer, while I drank a red alcoholic beverage in moderation...
I'm sure I've seen a flag on the flagpole... well actually I'm only moderately sure... but I haven't yet managed to photograph it with a flag raised.
|The flag pole again (this time before sunset). The Moon is visible just above the sign.|
Thursday, June 15 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko continues to punish herself by getting up at 6.30am to have coffee with me. Thus she's sleeping only about three hours per night. She makes up for this by power-napping at intervals throughout her day of solid blogging.
|Yuko in the morning|
I went to the local plaza at lunchtime to find a nice eating place. I'm still exploring the local area around work to determine the best places to eat and drink coffee etc. I found a reasonable cafe in the plaza near the giant chess board. Hence, today's second coffee picture.
|The plaza (including giant chess board)|
Wednesday, June 14 2006[ Link to this entry ]
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Mother came to our filthy house for dinner. Yuko make soup.
|This might look like a pie - but it's soup!|
XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XX XXXX X XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXX
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Mother brought dessert and we ate it.
Yuko only had one (1) blueberry...
Tuesday, June 13 2006[ Link to this entry ]
I saw the near-full Moon setting while I was driving to work. Then I saw it rising while I was driving home from work! In both cases it looked big and spectacular. I photographed it in the morning, but not in the evening because my glimpses of it were too fleeting.
Unfortunately, the Moon's bigness and spectacularity of it is not conveyed by photographs.
|Moon setting in the morning (it looked better in the real world)|
At lunchtime, I went to the beach...
|Beach (I didn't swim)|
|Sign telling me it's a beach|
The flag pole in the carpark at work is becoming a favourite photographic subject. It is often seen against a red dusk sky and it makes a good picture.
Yuko's computer doctor came again tonight. This time he installed some fax receiving software. He also brought a monopod...
|Computer doctor with monopod|
I went to bed last night at 8.45pm and got up again at 11pm so that I could watch the match between Australia and Japan. Yuko and I watched together.
Early in the game, some Japanese players man-handled Australia's goal-keeper and knocked him to the ground in order to score a goal. Yuko was very happy but I was disgusted!
|Australia's goal-keeper downed by Japanese players|
But Australia got revenge and the final result was correct...
After the game Yuko was heard to say...
"Congratulations you bastard!"
...or words to that effect.
Monday, June 12 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Belinda is adorned with two flags, reflecting the rivalry which now divides the Noswonky household...
At Epitome, I faced off against a fish...
While Yuko surfed the web...
And soccer was the preferred game in Lane Cove Plaza...
|Soccer in the plaza|
We went to Milsons Point because Yuko wanted to take pictures of Belinda in motion with a Sydney landmark in the background.
I drove around and around and Yuko photographed Belinda on each pass. She was trying to get the blurred effect of motion by using a slow shutter.
Then we parked and went to Luna Park (again) where Yuko photographed wheels and other moving stuff - trying to get the blurred look.
Meanwhile, I tried for an animated look...
While Yuko was occupied with that, I ate potato...
Sunday, June 11 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko bought a salt grinder...
Yuko has been having problems with her computer (Helen). For the past few days, Firefox has refused to connect to the Internet while IE still worked. There were also a couple of programs which I installed on her machine (including iTunes) which simply and silently refused to start up.
So today Yuko got her Computer Doctor to make a house-call. He determined that Firefox had updated itself and thus made itself incompatible with the firewall which was active on Yuko's machine.
He switched to the standard XP firewall and it all worked again. Still, I don't understand how Firefox updating itself would have affected iTunes!
|Computer Doctor tends to Helen|
The Japanese media is buzzing with talk about the Australian soccer team.
|Australian on Japanese TV (NHK)|
Saturday, June 10 2006[ Link to this entry ]
I finally got a chance today (being home during daylight hours), to see Yuko's big leather chair outside her window. Note the fly-screen leaning against the wall just beyond the chair. Yuko removed this in order to put the chair out through the window!
In the afternoon I went out to buy one home appliance. But I returned with two.
Because Yuko's hair is now quite long, she needs a hair dryer to dry it. She therefore sent me to buy one. It had to be small but powerful.
I went to Kmart at Chatswood and found a suitable drying machine quite easily. I was also seduced by the lure of the fancy-looking heaters on display. With the coolness of the air in the early mornings when I get up to go to work, a nice heater is highly desirable. So I bought a heater too!
|Yuko tries it out|
Friday, June 9 2006[ Link to this entry ]
A reader of this blog has become a writer of political commentary with the publication of her letter in the Sydney Morning Herald today.
|Blog reader's letter in the highly sought-after "First Word" position|
I reproduce it here with complete disregard for copyright...
Thursday, June 8 2006[ Link to this entry ]
|9th coffee at XXXXXX . The next one will be free!|
For lunch I had fourteen pizzas - and they were free! You can't beat free pizza!
|Not all pizzas are shown|
My weight increased a little compared with yesterday.
Someone told me that if I bought this woosy but stylish wrist-band, a cure would be found for M.S. As I know two people who have M.S. I decided to buy it...
Wednesday, June 7 2006[ Link to this entry ]
At lunchtime I did some more exploring in the local area. This time I went seeking forests, raging rivers, deserts, exotic fauna and the grandeur of nature.
I found a park in which the cultural richness of the area shone ...
|I assume Shitler is the one responsible for tearing the left-hand seat out of its concrete foundations|
Then, I found a rambling herd of deer... probably on their annual migration from Campbelltown to Hornsby. I rate this as a better than expected result in the fauna category...
It could have been a dangerous situation if not for the warning which was posted nearby...
In the evening, Mother took us to Maroo...
Afterwards, as usual, Yuko went shopping at the little Korean supermarket nearby. It's a good source of weed.
5704 Days Ago
Tuesday, June 6 2006[ Link to this entry ]
At lunchtime I went to investigate the available shops in the local area. Actually, I wanted to find two banks - one to extract money from and one to insert money into. Having heard a rumour that there was a Westfield nearby, I decided to find it. It turned out to be only a few minutes' drive from work...
I walked around inside and found the two banks and a lot of other businesses which I may find useful in the future.
|View from carpark|
When I got home, my office chair was gone from its usual location. Yuko had stolen it and installed it in her office!
|My chair in Yuko's office|
She said that this was because her chair had broken, and she said I was responsible for breaking it. Her chair - a huge leather rocking chair which she bought from a garage sale in 2004 for $10.00 - had suffered a structural failure as a result of my touching it.
The broken chair was so big that due to the narrowness of our hallway, Yuko had to lift it through the window to get it out of the room!
I am still disputing ownership of the chair pictured above.
|Yuko's $10 chair in 2004|
Monday, June 5 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Since I started working at XXXXXX I've been getting up very early. Therefore Yuko normally sleeps on and I don't make breakfast for her anymore. But today she decided to get up early and she asked me to make coffee... so I did...
She also wrote me a shopping list...
It rained in the morning...
|Rain in the morning|
It also rained in the evening. The traffic was thus slowed to the extent that it took almost 90 minutes to drive home! It took so long, that I got thirsty and was forced to drink and drive...
|Drinking and driving|
Sunday, June 4 2006[ Link to this entry ]
The weather was dull, cold and threatening rain - so we went to the beach.
Our reasoning was that it would not be crowded, but the seagulls would not care and would still be hungry. Yuko wanted to take pictures of the gulls.
We went to Balmoral Beach, stopping first at the fish and chip shop at Mosman (not De Costi but the Chinese one which is much better).
|Yuko in the fish and chip shop|
Then we ate lunch on the pier. In addition to the gulls, a lone pelican appeared and consumed a couple of hundred megs of flash memory...
Then I assisted Yuko by throwing chips to the gulls while Yuko took pictures. She filled up a 1G flash card and part of a second card. Here are some of her pictures...
|Gulls look skyward at an airborne chip|
|A gull eyes a chip in flight|
|A fast flying mynar bird debarks with the gulls' lunch|
We then returned to Lane Cove and had coffee at Epitome.
|Yuko at Epitome|
A few days ago Mother gave me one of her mobile phones and asked me to program a bunch of phone numbers into it.
This afternoon I walked around there to return it. She said that she has still not fully recovered from the debacle on Thursday when she had to drive to Eastwood and ended up getting lost in the dark.
I gave her back the phone but she still hasn't mastered the procedure for making a call. And having two phones - slightly different from each other - makes it even harder.
I gave her another lesson. This time I made some notes which she can refer to next time she want's to make a call.
By the time I left Mother's house it was almost night and I had to walk home in the dark.
5708 Days Ago
5708 Days Ago
Saturday, June 3 2006[ Link to this entry ]
The iPod I bought from a shady character with an envelope filled with cash in a secluded carpark two years ago, is dying.
|Shady dealer in 2004|
The battery only lasts about 20 minutes, even when starting from a fully charged state. I can therefore only use it when connected to a power supply. I should contact the dealer from whom I made the purchase, and demand satisfaction!
Other than that, it still works perfectly. So I now have it beside my pillow connected to a set of computer speakers.
|iPod beside pillow|
5707 Days Ago
5705 Days Ago
5704 Days Ago
Friday, June 2 2006[ Link to this entry ]
Today's coffee picture was taken in a café at the little shopping village near my workplace. I went there for breakfast before work. The coffee was adequate, but the food was a tad primitive and as the place was not fully enclosed, I nearly froze!
I've been spending a lot of time in my car... so here are two pictures of rain as viewed from my car...
|Rain by day|
|Rain by night. The drive home took 50% longer than normal although there were no major delays. It was just a bit slower all the way.|
Although it's been a while since the iTunes Music Store became available in Australia, I had so far only bought a couple of individual songs just to test it out. But tonight I bought my first album - Morph The Cat...
Thursday, June 1 2006[ Link to this entry ]
As I'm now working in a locality I'm not familiar with, I went exploring at lunch time. I discovered a military installation and a nice little shopping village.
The picture below was taken at the shopping village, but it is not representative of the variety of shops available. I look forward to eating chicken there frequently.
|Shopping village where chicken is sold|
Today Mother had to drive to Eastwood in the morning (as I mentioned yesterday), so I was interested to find out whether she successfully found her way there and back.
When I got home from work the phone rang as I was walking in the door. It was [Name Omitted] who said that she'd been trying to contact Mother without success. I also tried calling her, without success.
So I drove around to her house. She was not there and her car was not in the carport. Then, as I was standing outside her house, Mother arrived in her car.
She told a tale of woe... She had been at the place all day and had not left until after dark. Then, on the way back she got lost (in spite of yesterday's intensive training course). And of course, the traffic at that time (6-7pm) was quite heavy. All this resulted in Mother being drained and ready to crash.
I called [Name Omitted] back to tell her that Mother was ok, but too tired to talk on the phone.
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