Monthly Archives: April 2011

Could get to know Aussie hospitals

Bronwen and I came to Canberra last Thursday to stay with our son and his family. It was our first chance to see our latest grandchild, Joseph Philip Douglas Duncan, now 6 weeks old.

It is nice to celebrate Easter with them. We went out for dinner on Saturday night to a local Chinese restaurant. That night, between 10pm and midnight I bled about 250ml into the stoma bag. I was a wee bit worried we might have to make an early morning visit to Canberra Hospital A & E for a transfusion. Fortunately I only lost a further 80mls during the night.

As always, we try to work out what aggravated the duodenal ulcer and it might appear that the ginger in my roast duck dish might have been the culprit together with some not-so-mild spices in the lamb dish.

The weather has been the best we’ve experienced so far in Australia and Easter Sunday has been a relaxed family day. Joseph even smiled at me!

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Posted by on 24 April, 2011 in Family, Personal


Visit to Hobart Oncologist

While visiting Hobart last week we had lunch with an old friend who is a Neuro-surgeon in the public and private hospitals. He was amazed to see how well I was looking and suggested he arrange an appointment for me with the local oncologist. He hoped there might be a treatment available in Australia I could undertake.

The Oncologist adjusted her appointment diary to fit me in the very next day. She was extremely helpful and interestingly knew our son Simeon who used to be a youth leader at St Johns Presbyterian Church that she attended. Unfortunately there was nothing she could add to what I already knew. She is on the Royal Hobart Hospital Ethics Committee and phoned the secretary to see if there might be any trials in the pipeline for approval. The Sirflox trial I was admitted to in Auckland in December 2008 has only just been authorised to accept candidates in Hobart!

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Posted by on 24 April, 2011 in Family, Personal


Cold in Tassie

After four days of overcast weather in Victoria, we arrived in Hobart last Thursday to more of the same but coupled with a significant drop in temperatures. We did have a couple of lovely sunny days on Saturday and Sunday, but it’s Monday now and we’re back to cool and overcast. (It seems to be a bit like the political climate!)

Anyway, the fellowship is warm, and yesterday we enjoyed visiting Hobart Baptist Church where I had pastored for 5+ years. Our visit coincided with a church lunch so we were able to catch up with so many that we had grown to love when we lived here. Our social round over the next few days is pretty full as we meet with others we’ve known in Hobart as well.

Healthwise my body seems to be coping with the pace and travel although Friday was a very ‘blah’ day. (I blame some of that on having to travel Jetstar and enduring the long queues, delays and lack of service I’ve grown accustomed to receiving from them)

We’re looking forward to going to Canberra on Thursday to see the latest grandson for the first time.

On top of it all, we’re so grateful for God’s grace and physical enabling that is enabling us to do this trip.

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Posted by on 18 April, 2011 in Family, Personal


Winners are grinners

Bronwen and I have enjoyed the first few days of our visit to Australia to visit the family and a new Grandson in Canberra. Abraham and Phoebe are with us and rejoin their mother when she arrives on Thursday.

On Monday and Tuesday I watched Grandsons Nick and Abraham at a Football coaching school in Geelong. The Coaching Camp ran for 2 days under professional coaches from Melbourne. Both boys enjoyed each other’s company and the coaching.

On the last day they had a mini world-cup. Because of the weather the game was played in the gymnasium. Nick was captain of a team including Abraham. They called their team Argentina and wonder of wonders, they won the Gold medal trophy! The favourite was an all-girls team that Nick’s team knocked out in the semi-final. Even the coaches were surprised.

Winners are grinners!

Abe, Nick (captain), Lachie, with Dave, the head coach

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Posted by on 13 April, 2011 in Family, Personal, Photos


The preciousness of tender hearts

Phoebe and Abraham had a ‘sleepover’ at our house last night as their mother had an engagement that ran till late. The children always love sleepovers and always like Grandad’s special porridge in the morning.

Last night I had to go out to conduct the third of four seminars I am doing for men at a local church. Before I left Phoebe asked where I was going and I asked her if she would pray for me. I got home late and the children had been asleep for a while. Phoebe had started the evening in Grandma’s bed so we woke her and transferred her to her own bed. I had kissed her and tucked her up and as I left the room, a very tired little voice called out to me, “Did the preaching go well, Grandad?” How touching, that even though she’d been interrupted in her sleep, and was returning to her sweet dreams, she had suddenly realised Grandad was home again and she wanted to know how his preaching was.

It sure melted our hearts and we gave thanks for the lovely sensitive spirits of Abe and Phoebe. May no-one put a stumbling block in the way of their development!

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Posted by on 1 April, 2011 in Family, Personal