The saying “Old age is not for the faint-hearted” attributed to Mae West, is a well-known expression which I can relate to very well.  It seems that as one ages bit by bit all the things that one loves get taken away.

My first loss was very early in the piece.  Chocolate!  I had teenage acne. The skin specialist told me that one piece of chocolate, i.e. one small square, which we were doled out each Saturday night after dinner, would give me enough pimples to last for a year.  I have never eaten another piece of chocolate since.

He also advised that I had to remove anything oily, fatty or sugary from my diet.  No fish and chips, golden syrup pudding, lemon meringue pie, etc not to mention butter spread extra thick.  It seemed that everything I liked was on the list of banned foods.

Cigarettes had to go next.  Anyone who has ready my book will know I had my first one when I was 11 behind the Nabaron Tennis Club with Frosty.  When I played on the tour, all the tennis tournaments were sponsored by cigarette companies and their reps used to give us free cigarettes.  We were supposed to give them out but of course we smoked ‘em.  My partner and I even smoked one between the 2nd and 3rd set in the Ladies’ change room at Wimbledon.  However, they were just not a healthy option especially after I suffered an asthma attack during a tennis match.  I did love them.  Especially with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. But they had to go.

Tennis was next.  And it was a very sad day when I had to give up it up due to an ongoing back problem.  The last attack had lasted two years with nine out of ten pain every day.  The decision was a no-brainer but very difficult. Tennis was an integral part of my life.  I’d played since I was 7.  As a consequence, I went into mourning for several years.  It took me five years to give away my tennis skirts and ten years my rackets.

I also had to give up dancing which was very disappointing because I’d just started to learn how to dance the Flamenco.  Unfortunately, all that stamping on unsprung wooden floors proved treacherous for my back.  Jogging and squash also got the flick.

Then I got diagnosed with reflux with its inherent list of prohibited foods.  It seems that everything I like is a no no.  No wine, no caffeine, no carbonated drinks, no garlic, no spices, no herbs, no onions, hardly any fruit in fact anything with a PH under 5 – the list goes on.  Once again it seems that everything that I like is on the list.

Next fibromyalgia which has certainly put a hole in my social life et al.  You can read my post “Fibromyalgia – you are not alone” on my Website susanjoyalexander.com.

The I got bitten by a tick and developed the Mammalian Tick Allergy – Alpha-Gal which is prevalent on the Northern Beaches.  Red meat, pork and dairy are now banned from my diet.

So when you see the magnificent meals that Markus manages to turn out you will now appreciate what a tremendous handicap he working is under.

Now I’m stuck at home during lock-down and after an injection for trochanteric bursitis am not allowed to do any exercise for two weeks – even walking.  I am finding this hardest of all.   No walking in Jamieson Park or along the beach.

Woe is me!



Synchronicity – An Amazing Coincidence

I love everything about Spain – the people, the way of life, the music, the wonderful food and wine, the magnificent landscape, the beautiful buildings, both old and new, the bridges, ancient Roman to spectacular modern structures spanning lush valleys replete with the engineer’s name emblazoned at each end, the art – everything – except for bull fighting – it is definitely not for me.

I am soft-hearted when it comes to animals. In fact, I gave up eating meat as a young girl when Mum, who was a country girl, told me that the little lambs gambolling around the fields and the sad-eyed calves peering at me from behind the fence would soon be gracing my dinner plate. I told her they would not, and they never have. Continue reading Synchronicity – An Amazing Coincidence

Writing Secrets

Patti Miller, my first writing teacher, in a recent interview with Wendy Harmer on 7.02 AM, said that writing a Memoir is like walking nude down the street.   This feels very much the case for me. I wonder sometimes if I’ve made a mistake writing about what happened. I seem to have an urgent need to share my story. As we see on television everyday people who experience trauma seem to have a need to speak out.

I’ve kept my story a secret for over 50 years and it’s taken me 10 years to write it.

I’m good at keeping secrets. I learnt to keep them from an early age. Continue reading Writing Secrets

A Spanish Love Story

Welcome to my Website. I am so excited about this first step into social media as a writer. I hope you will make visiting me a regular habit and recommend it to your friends. Not only will I keep you updated with my progress in self-publishing “A Spanish Love Affair”, I will put blogs, snippets from my book and photos to pique your interest. I will also let you know when and where I’ll be launching my book and speaking about it.

Writing “A Spanish Love Affair” has been a long haul – it’s taken me 10 years. I sometimes compare myself to Geoffrey Smart, the artist, who couldn’t help dabbing at his paintings on exhibition much to their current owners’ horror, decades after he’d sold them. I could keep dabbing myself. But the time has come.

Over the past year I have been submitting my manuscript to publishers – albeit without success. I’m 68. Time is running out.  So I decided that I would bite the bullet and self-publish. Continue reading A Spanish Love Story