Blind Date Update ….. Wise Man Alert!

I did it!

I went on my blind date and I didn’t die!  I didn’t embarrass myself by flirting inappropriately and of course, I did over share!  In fact, I gave him my last blog post to read as an introduction and Dr Luke almost fell off his chair laughing.

He wasn’t what I expected, he was younger.  He had a bright cheery, manner but with a sincerity that rang true, he told me that he understood that I was grieving my break up with my old GP and he wouldn’t try to replace him but simply support and guide me in my quest for health.  Wise man!

Yes, we spoke about my weight …… on a first date.  It was a supportive talk – not about numbers but about taking care of myself and supporting the endeavours already taking place.  He listened intently, then praised the great things I am doing.  Wise man!

As I had known my last GP on a fairly personal level, I enquired if I could “ask questions about his personal life because I’m sure that there were things I might be able to help him with.”  Also, I told him “I’m better at give and take relationships!!”  He smiled graciously, and replied “that I could ask anything I wanted but he might choose not to answer everything I asked! Wise man!  He is married with a 4 month baby girl!  I was happy with that amount of sharing.


Mostly, I talked for the half hour appointment and he listened.  Towards the end, I asked him if he had any suggestions or anything that he thought I might change?  He said he certainly had some ideas but no way was he interested in doing anything quickly.  Rather, that we would take time to get to know each other better and that as I was moving forward and not backward, he would rather leave everything as is at the moment.  Wise man!

With that, he checked that all my scripts were up to date, that my referrals & mental health plans were in order, told me how much he liked & respected the work my psychologist was doing then wrote a few things on a post-it note to talk about with her during my next visit.  He thanked me for trusting him with my care and told me to keep writing …..  Wise Man!

My first ever blind date seems to have been a success.  It was uncomfortable in the beginning.  It was a relief when it was over.  And I will NOT be signing up for RSVP or Tinder anytime soon.

Blind Date!

Have you ever been on a blind date?  I haven’t but I am going on one today.  A friend has set us up – he seems to think we will be compatible.  In fact, the friend has hand-picked this bloke for me.

I’m nervous.  What if it is awkward and we can’t talk?  Maybe he will take one look at me and decide that my weight is going to be a major problem in our new relationship.  I have so many questions …. it has been so long since I’ve had to do this.  You know – sell yourself!

When people are at that getting to know you phase, pace can be everything.  Sometimes one person wants to share everything (ME) and the other person wants to take things a little more slowly (EVERYBODY ELSE)!  Holding back can make me seem weirder than usual.  It can make me share nothing at all or it can make me talk incessantly …. about inappropriate things.  It can also cause me to flirt at inappropriate times and places!!

Over sharing

Next issue is what do you wear at these times?  I want to be comfortable but also look so good!  I want to be honest about who I am but I don’t want to project the total disaster that I feel inside.  What if he thinks that I always look this good, when I know I won’t be able to pull this confident, sassy look off every time we see each other?  Then again I don’t want to scare him off.

Smell …. I must smell good!  Nothing worse than being stinky on a first meeting.  What perfume do I choose?  Something  fresh and confident?  But that’s not really who I am.  Or something a little dark and broody?  That’s more me but those kind of perfumes give me a headache and can be a little scary for some people.

Then there is my humour.  This is a key for me.  The death jokes!  The mental illness jokes!  The adult men as children jokes!  The menopause jokes!  The medication jokes!  Need I go on ……


The fact that I am always going to have lots of other men in my life – my three adult sons; their dead father – Adrian; Rod Stewart; Robbie Williams; Jax Teller; Rayland Givens …….

To soon?  What to tell and what to keep until later?  The fact that my best friend is my cat!  Now that’s should slow things down.  That I’m a blogger – yep that should STOP things completely!

I’m going on a blind date and these are the things that my mind is going over.

Blind date

Dr Luke …. I sure do hope you are ready for your new patient, with the long appointment booked for 1 pm this afternoon!

The Abi Diaries: ( A Prequel)

It was this weekend, one year ago, that got me thinking about starting my blog.  It took me a few more months to actually start but when the Timehop app on my phone threw up some pretty comical memories from my Facebook posts a year ago, I  thought I should really publish them here on The Mandy Diaries.  So here they are – unedited from my Facebook posts from a year ago ….

MAY 2014: It all began when I was asked to have Abi for the weekend, while her Mum & Dad were off celebrating something!!!  This photo was taken moments after I told Fev that Abigail was coming to stay for the weekend!

Fev unhappy

Day 1: of a weekend sleepover has ended. We went shopping for groceries & came home with lip gloss, we have coloured in & made collage cards, we played with Fev, watched Frozen, played animal shows in the bath, we had fish & chips for dinner when I planned on spaghetti bol, we ate pink cakes & now we sleep! This child is her mothers daughter …. busy, busy, busy!!!  Hope I can fill the next 2 days …

2014 Abi bed awake


2014 Abi bed asleep

Day 2: Breakfast – Abi “I want juice & porridge with blackberry jam but no milk!” Me “OK but I don’t have blackberry jam, will strawberry do?” Abi “Yep.” Makes porridge & juice – all good ….. Abi “That doesn’t look like mummy’s porridge but I’ll try it! No that’s not right I’ll have toast with that jam on!” Makes toast with jam(eating porridge with jam and NO milk at the same time)! Gives Abi toast…. Abi “I think I’ll have just toast with butter only and a warm milo!” Me “OK” Makes new toast with butter (eats cold toast with jam while making milo!) Gives Abi toast & milo, Abi eats one piece of toast but asks “Where are the bits in the milo?” Makes COLD milo with floating bits (drinks lukewarm milo). Abi “But I didn’t want it in a tall glass, I wanted a cup with a spoon!” Me “OK!” 2 spoonsful later….” Mandy, I think I’m going to vomit & I need a square bowl not a round one to be sick in!!” Me “I haven’t got a square bowl but here’s a round one!! Do you think you might want to watch Frozen again?” Abi “Yes, & I might have one of my yoghurts that I brought with me!”
All good but it’s not even 9am and I’m exhausted!!!

2014 Abi Tea Party

Day 2: (Part 2):  After Breakfast – Abi & I had a tea party and then we built a cardboard doll house!  (Note to self: If the box says 6 & over take notice) actually I built a cardboard house BUT adding stickers is “the most & important part because Mummy says so!!”  Time to go to the park!  Lots of scooting on the pathways and some playing on the play equipment but only when no boys “because boys are strangers” (get that in writing now, Dad!) While at the park she managed to eat grapes, chicken drumstick biscuits but “you know (silly me) they are fish because Mummy says so!!”  Also, another yoghurt and a poppa juice & water!!  Just before we were ready to leave, Abi took a tumble and it was my fault because (silly me) we didn’t go to Melrose Park like Mummy does!!  Time for a band-aid & to go shopping for a pretty dress because “that would feel me better.”  At DFO we bought a pink hoodie, a pink drink bottle, a cream headband with flowers & a blue sparkly bedside lamp!!! (I have no idea how or why!!!)  Home after falling asleep in the car – Damn ….. the dreaded “fall asleep in the car, one street away from home and then wake up on arrival and think you’ve had a sleep” trick!!   You should have warned me about this one – then lunch then off to watch BabyBoy, play soccer – where more playing but this time there were girls’ to play with – not strangers!! Abi & I made a joint decision (she decided & I carried through – almost!!!) to get MacDonald’s for tea but it wasn’t until I was firmly in the Drive Thru line, that I discovered that I had left my wallet at home (winning)!  Home, tea, bath, DVD, bed.  Will I be able to stay awake for the FA Cup? Go Arsenal!!!!

2014 Abi paper house

2014 Abi posing in the park

Day 3:  Breakfast – Firstly, Congratulations to my beloved ARSENAL for WINNING the 2014 FA Cup ….. but did you have to leave it to EXTRA TIME, which meant the game & presentation finished around 4 am? 4 am people!! That means our trip to Church is cancelled this morning & Monsters Inc is already showing and it’s only 8 am!!
Oh yeah, breakfast …. I did better ….. but she’s still a sneaky little poppet xx

2014 Peach

2014 Abi butter wouldn't melt in her mouth
Day 3: The Rest of the Time – Well, we had intended to go to church but I was tired & Abi had FROZEN on her mind!  Did you know, that I am NOT allowed to sing Elsa’s songs because Abi is Elsa and I am NOT??!!  Threading was another quiet activity …. until a very long necklace made for Mummy “because she has a very long neck”, was picked up by the wrong end ……. then we played pick up a million beads!!!  It was time for morning tea, so Abi took her ‘executive food platter’ outside and requested that “because she had already finished her treats of some gummi bears & some marshmallows, as well as those special ‘fish’ biscuits and an ‘expensive rescued’ peach …. she should also maybe have an icy pole and some ice cream & peaches!!! This did not occur because I had been watching Sons of Anarchy and I can be Gemma when I need to be!!   Scooter riding in the backyard was NOT a success but arranging gemstones ‘diamonds’ in my bird bath was!!  More birds arrived than ever before.  A toilet break was necessary, so I decided to make myself a cuppa & grabbed a couple of dry cracker biscuits.  I took a bite and a voice from the toilet said “What are you eating?” Me ” A biscuit.” Abi “Are you eating one of my special fish biscuits?”  Me “No!”  Abi “Wait on, I’m coming to check!!”  Me “Don’t forget to flush & wash your hands with soap!”  She arrives to count her biscuits, there are only 2 left.  Abi “You ate some!”  Me “No I didn’t, I ate my own – see?”  Abi “Well who did?”  Me”You did!”  Abi “Oh!” She runs off.  Me “Where are you going?”  Abi “To flush & wash my hands with soap!!!!!”  The rest of the day was taken up with baking, icing & sprinkling cupcakes and watching Monsters Inc & sneaking away to replace her lip gloss.  Lunch was uneventful, even though the cheese toasted sandwich did not have “lines”!  

Mummy & Daddy arrived to much excitement (and Abi was happy too!)  I now know why you should NOT have children once you are over 50!  Girls’ ARE different to boys!  Abi is growing up fast …. at no point this weekend did she mention my ridiculously sprouting facial hair (which I had forgotten to remove) ….. as she did, constantly, last time I had her!!!  I just realised that I have not had a shower since Friday!!!  It was a pleasure Mummy & Daddy but please do not call me tomorrow – it is my day off!

Photo evidence of Day 3:

2014 Abi beads

2014 Abi baking2014 Abi snackSo it was because of the reaction to these Facebook entries, one year ago that I started to think about blogging!

Thankyou, Abigail – from the bottom of my heart xx

Our Love Story – written on the eve of the 6th anniversary of my husband’s death.

My life was empty.  Finding that special someone was proving difficult.  Many of my friends were married, engaged or living with their special someone, but me – I had a few broken hearts but no-one that I felt I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  I was soon to begin my teaching career and not long after, turn the magical twenty-one but no boyfriend!  That was old to still be single in 1979, in New Zealand.  I was walking a fine line, between my love for Jesus and my love of partying. I was embracing my favourite of Martin Luther quote –

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”

It was the last weekend in October and my church was hosting approximately 100 young people for the yearly national youth convention.  I was in charge of housing, feeding and transporting the visiting youth over the 3 day weekend – so I was busy!  On top of this, my Nana in Australia had suffered a stroke and my Mum had flown out the day before.  Maybe frazzled was a better word for my state of mind!

When a bus load of tired and hungry attendees arrived very early in the morning, I put on my cheeriest smile and welcoming voice as I directed them to food and drink.  After making sure everyone had something to eat, I looked around for any new faces or people sitting alone, that I could introduce myself to, that might make them feel special and a part of the wider group.  I saw a blond, sun tanned guy, sitting alone that I hadn’t seen before.  I introduced myself with a “Hi! I’m Mandy!” and was totally unprepared for the “Yeah? Well I’m eating my spaghetti at the moment!” – that was rudely muttered in my direction.  He hadn’t even looked up at me!

Okay ….. moving right along then!

My weekend continued, making sure everything ran smoothly on the food and transport front – as well as being a part of all the activities that had been organised for the weekend.  I did, however, make it my place to find out who the rude blond guy was ….. it came as no surprise when I was told he was the trainee Vicar from Australia, as his reputation as a bit of a player had preceded him.  Great!  No single, nice guys to think about for the weekend.  In a similar vein, Adrian (because that’s who it turned out to be), had been teased about meeting me, who also had a bit of a reputation (I have absolutely no knowledge why) most of the way up during the tedious bus trip!  Even to the point of being sung the hit of the day – Mandy!  There was no way he was going to pursue that little black duck!!!

So things didn’t sort of go to plan for either of us.  We both had busy leadership roles that whole weekend but every time we seemed to have a spare moment, we found ourselves enjoying each other’s company!  We chatted and got to know each other and discovered that we had both been misrepresented by the masses.  We had things in common.  We were both committed to Jesus, we both struggled with our committment at times, we were  both musical, loved sport, were nearing the end of our studies and getting ready to embark on our chosen careers.  Most importantly, we had both stopped looking for the one but were still lonely and hesitant about our futures.

A connection had been made…. when we had least expected it.  Apparently, I had patted his butt at the dance on the Saturday night and that was the sealer!!!!  I really don’t remember, as I had just got the news that my Nana had passed away.

All too soon, Adrian was back on the bus for the 6hrs 33min journey to Palmerston North, where he was to spend the final 3 months of his vicarage, before returning to Australia for his final year of study.  He said he would write …. and he did …. every day that we were apart, until we were married 12 months later!

Precious letters
Precious memories!

We had the opportunity to see each other again, a few weeks later, when I had to travel, by bus, to Palmerston North for a meeting.  Adrian’s parents were visiting from Australia but as he hadn’t told them that he had met a girl, they were shipped off on a tour of the South Island, so that we never met!!  He arrived to pick me up from the meeting in his tennis gear and I was smitten – big time!  We spent the rest of the weekend at the beach talking and making plans for Adrian to come and spend Christmas with us therefore extending his stay.  It felt like something important was happening and that we needed more time together, to find out exactly what that something was.

A  holiday in a caravan is not the best place for a traditional family to meet a new boyfriend – especially a boyfriend that I already knew was going to be in my life for a long time – even after only knowing each other for a couple of weeks and having only spent 5 actual days together!  It probably needs to be said that my sister and her husband went together for 6 years before they got engaged!  Plenty of time for Dad to get used to that idea!  Whereas, I was driving back with my Dad when I blurted out something like …..”You know that guy you met the other day, Dad?  Well, I think I’m going to marry him!”  To which my father replied, “Has he asked you?”  My answer of course was,”No but he will!”

The proposal happened on New Years Eve 1979, at another Youth Camp.  We were standing in the middle of a pond (don’t ask me why?) but Adrian made me wait until it was midnight, Australian time – 3 hours after midnight New Zealand time.  We had known each other for a whole 2 months and had spent a total of 9 actual days together!

We were in love and it would last forever!  We bought my engagement ring on 26th January 1980, with money borrowed from my Mum.  Adrian always remembered the date because it was the Australia Day holiday, which as a New Zealander, had no significance to me at the time.  We celebrated a joint engagement / 21st  party in early February, after which Adrian returned to Australia to complete his studies and I began teaching in New Zealand.  We had set our wedding date as 13th December 1980.  Still the letters came….

In May 1980, I flew to Aussie to meet his parents and friends.  The 2 weeks we spent together were intense and wonderful and awful at the same time.  Continuing to get to know each other and never wanting to let each other go but knowing that all to soon we would once again go our separate ways.  The September school holidays were much the same, but add to that having my wedding gown made by Adrian’s aunty, choosing material for my sister who was to be my maid of honour and now also lived in Australia and the death of my Australian Grandfather – emotion was high!

Bearded Adrian
Surprise beard!

The next time we saw each other was 2 weeks before our wedding  in New Zealand and my dearly beloved had grown a massive beard in the interim, and forgotten to tell me!  Needless to say, we travelled home from the airport in different cars and Adrian, never a morning person, was up at 6 am shaving!  The remaining time before our wedding was tense –  with me finishing up my teaching year; nerves setting in; introducing our parents for the first time, the night before the wedding; my sister just fitting into her gown (we found out  later that she was pregnant with my nephew); extreme happiness at our approaching marriage and extreme sadness because soon after, I would be leaving my home, family & friends forever and moving to our first parish in Queensland!  Wedding

Our wedding was everything we had wished for.  We loved every moment of our day and to this day, I would not change one single thing.  We were in love.  We were married –

to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

We were married for 28 years, 4 months and 1 day.  We used up every part of our marriage vows – even when we really didn’t want to anymore.  Our love was enduring, committed and real.  Our marriage ended on 14th April 2009 but this was our love story.

Adrian Grave

Endings and Beginnings.

Do you ever wish things would never end?  Or do you just want some things to end quickly?  I do both of these things at different times.  If the footy is poor and the night is cold – I just want it to end, so I can go home and warm up!  But if the sun is warm and the sea is rolling in gently, soothingly – I want to stay forever!


I’ve come to realise that letting go of heart stuff can be the same as something coming to an end.  Often times a quick ending is less painful than wanting to stay forever!   But not always. As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 starts it’s engine, I am aware of the necessity of saying goodbye to different important parts of my life.  These are not quick endings but long slow painful ones.

Abi 2 days old

I am losing my baby!  Well, not my baby but my gorgeous god daughter Abi, is starting school and that means “I’m a big girl now. Not your baby any more”, as she happily told me on Christmas Day.  How am I handling it?  Not well at all!  Of course, as a retired teacher, I am thrilled to see her development and growth.  I have no worries that she will cope and fit in easily.  But ME?  I really don’t want her to grow up.  Who will give me those whole body, smooshy, never let me go cuddles?  When Abi was born, she filled that constant yearning for physical touch, that comes from living with someone for 28 years and then losing them.  I could hold her and stroke her hair and smother her with kisses when I saw her and no one would know that I hadn’t actually touched another human being for a week or more.  I would drown myself in Abi, drinking up her unconditional love – hoping it would get me through the coming week.  When my Counsellor asked me what I was going to do to fill the gap when she started school – I sincerely looked her in the eye and told her as soon as Christmas was over, I would be out on the street looking for some pregnant woman who would like to share her baby with me!  She almost fell off her chair and it wasn’t until she saw my wink at the end of my statement, that she realised I was joking ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

Mum's Day Andrew & Patrick                       Jonathan Brewers Christmas 2014

My boys are men!  They are 31, 29 & 23 years old.  I no longer have any of them living at home and this has been the case for 6 or so years.  I have been saying goodbye to my little boys for many years now but no matter how independent they become, I still want to take away as much of their pain and heartache as I can.  Their dependence on me for financial back up or transport needs or the occasional home cooked meal (although all are very good cooks), means I am still their mother and they need me!   It also means that I am able to enjoy the mannerisms of their father, that I miss so much.  But I want my men to live their own lives and continue to develop their independence and find that special someone to share their world with – that isn’t me ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

And then Sons of Anarchy finished – forever!!!!  Yes, I know!  It’s a TV show!  It’s not real!  The characters were BAD boys!! But have you seen Jax Teller?

Jax 2

I know that TV shows do not go on forever ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

With endings come beginnings!  Just as endings can be hard, so too can beginnings have their dangers.  It’s a risk to do something new or different.  Just in the same way, looking at old relationships with new eyes and expectations is also difficult.  Fortunately, humans keep changing and growing – especially young people – and that forces us to keep changing and growing as well.

So with 2015 only one day away, I am thinking about the ways I can make sure those special relationships do go on forever.  Not as they were, but as they can be. Will be!  Have to be!!  So the changes that occur will be natural and satisfactory for all involved.  But there will be changes.  My 2015 Resolutions will not be the normal unattainable  ones of years gone by – lose 30kgs & get fit.  This year they will be simple and helpful.  Encouraging me to keep changing and growing.

I will simply ……..

add a little structure to my life

forgive myself

love myself

If I can do these 3 things, who knows what beginnings lie ahead for me?

Love yourself

And as Jax Teller would say


“I got this!”