Puzzles, poetry and politicians part of Judy's life
MONDAYS mean one thing for Judy Malone - it is cryptic crossword day.
Every Monday, the 77-year-old crossword fan treats herself to a copy of the Woman's Day for its cryptic brain teasers that punish, and sometimes reward, those who dare attempt them.
This week one stubborn clue remains unsolved but she is determined not to let it beat her.
Judy solved her first cryptic during a visit to her son in Canada and has been hooked ever since.
"I used to think they were the silliest thing going," Judy said.
"Then I looked at this crossword and the clue was 'expensive wet weather flying at Christmas'.
"I thought it was so silly but then I started thinking that expensive means dear, wet weather is rain and Christmas, well it had to be reindeer."
Inside her Toowoomba home of 39 years, piles of magazines lie in quiet testament to her weekly contest, with evidence of her other great pleasures.
She has always been a keen cook and a regular letter-writer to politicians to "keep them honest".
But it is her poetry writing that is arguably her most impressive talent.
"When Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in Ireland in 1979 I felt this strong urge to write a poem and I have been writing ever since," Judy said.
"I wrote one for World Expo 88 called Expo Fever and another for my son's wedding called A Mother's Prayer plus numerous others."
Her latest poem, called Time the Deceiver, has a nostalgic tone and reflects on how quickly life passes.
"One day you are 77 years old and you wonder where the time has gone."
Judy is thankful she is still able to live in her home of 39 years where she raised her two sons.
"I like my own company and independence, so being able to still live in my own home is very important to me.
"The help I have received from ASSERT Services over the years through their Home Assist Secure program has made sure I could stay here."
"When you are on your own it is good to know that friendly help is only a phone call away.
"They've helped me change light bulbs, put in security screens and install an outdoor sensor light.
"Nothing is ever a bother."
Living in her house, Mrs Malone is reminded of happy memories including her favourite German Shepherd Jip, the mystery cat named Mystery and stuffing the Christmas turkey with her sons in fits of laughter.
One of her favourite memories is the time they cut down a pine tree in the front yard and brought it inside to decorate as their Christmas tree.
The next morning they were astonished to see the tree had somehow mushroomed in size and had taken over the corner of their living room.
These days, the only thing taking over Mrs Malone's house are the boxes of assorted stuff belonging to her sons.
"I'm trying to encourage them to take it away but they keep telling me they don't have any room," she laughed.
She has decided to take matters in to her own hands and sort through it but not before she solves that stubborn cryptic clue.
For more information about Home Assist Secure contact ASSERT Services on 4632 7385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.