About Miss Olli

Creating this blog is an outlet for me to share my caregiver journey which encompasses fears, joys, compassion, gratitude, sadness, difficulties and much aloneness.  
Despite the many rewards of caring, the path is also fraught with many tears of hopelessness, despair and frustration that you question your own ability to keep going.

Then you see the flicker of fear or love in their eyes - or the radiant smiles of gratitude or joy - these fleeting moments in time are what refuels your commitment and makes it possible to carry on. By taking one day at a time and having faith in the knowledge that your smallest caring act has a healing and positive impact in alleviating the fear, suffering or loneliness of another is one of the most rewarding and satisfying gifts you can give or receive. The biggest lesson that I am learning on this journey is that love does not discriminate and is limitless in its its capacity to show compassion.  Love is an invisible but real entity made up of compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, kindness, courage, sacrifice and humility.

The beauty, power and courage of love has brought me to my knees with an overwhelming desire to comfort and 'be there'.

It is this all consuming love that makes it possible for me to carry on with my caregiver journey despite, sadly, knowing already how the story will end.

It would be safe to say that Miss Olli's is the result of 'carer's burnout' in combination with the isolation and punitive measures of Sydney's latest and lengthy Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

Teaching myself to design with the help of Canva, to produce my first diary as well as learning how to set up a blog, with a lot of help from Google Blogger, has been great therapy in helping me combat feelings of isolation and loneliness made even worse by the current world pandemic with all its restrictions and lockdowns.

It caters to my curiosity, my creative side, my imaginative and intellectual side.  Most of all it fills my passion to learn.  I can do it all at home too.


Blogging is helping me to deal with the sadness that comes with accepting that I will never experience Coverley's wonderful love or embrace again.  His presence used to uplift and encourage me daily.

I miss his wisdom, humour and encouragement.  I miss that I can't bounce ideas off of him.

Miss Olli's Diaries and Journals might be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Just maybe I have found a purpose in a world bigger than dementia.

How did I choose the name Miss Olli?

The years 2020 and 2021 have been dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The virus has led to us being either locked-down in our homes or living under severe restrictions whereby our movements and freedoms have been regulated and controlled by our State health and government officials. 

For much of this time I have been prevented from or restricted in visiting my partner, Coverley, in his secure dementia unit in a New South Wales State Government run facility.   I have also been unable to visit my grand-daughter, Olive, in Adelaide, South Australia during this time.

Olive was born in November 2020.  I was able to be there for 2 weeks at the time of her birth, during which time Adelaide went into a snap lock-down for a few days followed by hospitals imposing visitor restrictions.

Olive weighed 2.1kg at birth due to being growth restricted and having to be induced a few weeks early.  She was a very tiny, skinny and fragile little girl.  She had feeding difficulties and it was a struggle for her to put on weight, but she did manage to put on between 10 – 20 grams a day so that was promising.

After a week in hospital, she was allowed to go home.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic she got daily visits from a community nurse to check on her weight and feeding.  It wasn’t long though before Olive was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease.  This caused her a lot of distress which prevented her from sleeping well and made gaining weight all that more challenging.

Her Mum, my daughter, and her Papa were very loving and attentive parents but were extremely sleep deprived.  I had to go back to Sydney before I was either locked into South Australia or locked out of New South Wales.  I also needed to get back to Sydney to see how Coverley was doing.  He still knew me so as I was quite concerned that he was missing me.

I got to see Coverley for four days and then his Aged Care Centre went into lockdown due to the Northern Beaches coronavirus outbreak.  Like everyone, I felt that life was a yo-yo of emotions and foiled plans.

I was able to go back to Adelaide to see Olive for a week at the beginning of February 2021.  I also was able to visit again for a week at the beginning of April 2021 which included Easter.

Then in June 2021, when I was planning another trip to visit Olive, Sydney experienced another outbreak which was the very contagious Delta variant.  South Australia immediately shut their borders to all of New South Wales.  This was the beginning of Sydney’s four-month lockdown. 

I couldn’t visit Coverley in his Aged Care Facility even though he is at end of life.  I couldn’t visit my first and only grand-child Olive, who was at the beginning of her life.  I was missing spending precious time with Coverley - time that is lost forever due to the relentless ticking down of the clock.  I was not able to hug or comfort him.  In fact, I didn’t even know if I would see him alive again.  

I was missing out on Olive’s milestones and the cuddles that all grand-parents crave.  Her parents were doing it alone without any family support to help them navigate their new parenthood.  Given that Olive was initially struggling with weight gain and her debilitating gastro reflux, her parents could have benefitted greatly from additional support, but the restrictions and lock-downs imposed by our governments made that impossible. 

Most people’s emotional and mental health suffered not from Covid-19, but from the oppressed living environment imposed on us by our health and government officials.

Families were separated.  Everyone suffered in some form.  Loved ones died alone.  Businesses collapsed and people’s jobs were lost.  There was and still is so much suffering worldwide.

Olive’s paternal grandparents, who live in Mexico, have never met or hugged Olive.

Having decided to spend my lonely and long lock-down months in losing myself in creating my two designer diaries and developing a website to blog and sell them, I then needed to come up with a name for my blog.

The pandemic has made it impossible for me to be able to physically support my daughter and son-in-law with their first born child or to be able to spend precious bonding time with my first and only grand-child, Olive.  I have called her Miss Ollie since she was born because she is a real little Miss with attitude.  Nearly 12 months on and she is blossoming and has a giant personality.  She is so very cute too – no bias here! 

It only seemed natural to call my blog Miss Olli’s Diaries and Journals.  Miss Ollie as a domain name was not available hence dropping the letter ‘e’ off of Ollie.

Miss Olli

In a nutshell my blog is to honour Coverley by writing about his and my experiences with dementia.

My Carer’s 2022 Diary is to honour and encourage all caregivers. 

My Optimist’s 2022 Laugh a Little Diary is in celebration of a freer and more hopeful 2022.

And my blog name is to honour my grand-daughter, Miss Ollie.

Contact Miss Olli:

“Breathe in, breathe out. Without the fire, the phoenix never rises from the ashes. Let the fire scorch the skin and burn the soul, allowing yourself to absorb the pain and understand the sincerity of the pain. Breathe in, you are not the past, you are not the future; breathe out, you are simply each breath, the present moment. As you breathe in and breathe out, acknowledge all the trials you have overcome thus far, and that you can continue to overcome all else without doubt. Breathe in, breathe out.”  - Forrest Curran, Purple Buddha Project:  Purple Book of Self-Love


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