Tuesday, November 28

A Treat A Day

My BBrother has had to go off to work today, so I have some time on my hands.
I have been reading up on my favourite blog sites, & trying hard to leave some commets.
Challenged as I am, I cant work out how to use this Laptop computer, & I see my email inbox is full, & I cant seem to empty it! It is rather frustrating, & I am surprised that this computer seems so different to my old dinosaur at home!

Tomorrow I am being taken out for the day, by BFJ,& her Partner B. We will be travelling North to visit my eldest son & so I am very excited about that. We have not seen each other for some years now, & I cant wait to see him. I have never visited the city where he lives now, so it will be a very busy day.

I have had such a great time so far, & realise just how much I miss seeing all my wonderful rellies. I have been to visit my birthplace, & we have laid our mother's Ashes to rest, at her parents graves.
It was very moving, & even though it has been 9 years since her passing, it was still a sad time. I think my brother will miss having her ashes tucked away in his wardrobe!! But our mother had threatened him not to keep them, or she would haunt him! I am sure she didnt mind 'staying' in his warm & loving home.

I see on the news & other blogs that the weather has been atrociously hot in Oz, & the bushfires have been raging. How beautiful it is over here, & the green makes my heart ache, it is all so beautiful.

I have been very remiss about taking scenic photos, I have been so busy taking pics of my family, so I will have to really try to get some of the breathtaking greens, & the gorgeous roses! Flowers of all types seem to be so fresh & happy here. I had forgotten how dazzlibngly green & jewellike the countryside looks.

The weather has been perfect, even though it has rauined quite often, it has never been on my 'parade' & everything looks so fresh after the showers. Auckland is a very 'moody' city, weatherwise, & usually has 4 (or even 5!!) seasons in one day.

I must admit I am missing my "Aussie" family & will be glad to see them again. One of my lovely cousins has a little dog & he very obligingly let me cuddle him close.
We seem to have travelled such a long way & visited so many varied family members, I am reeling from it all, & will have to sort out my memories & blog about the hilarious things we have seen & done, once I get home again.

I spoke with GOM yesterday, & he tells me he is missing me too, & says the dogs are waitig for my return.

Monday, November 27

Having Fun In New Zealand!!

Time is very short over here, & going far too fast!!
I have spent a week travelling up & down the North Island, & am aching from all the laughter, good food, & wonderful company.
I will be tucking all these great times away, to use for blog material in future posts.

The wonderful family hospitality has been almost overwhelming. Time is passing in a glorious technicolour laughter-filled blur.

I keep having to find animals to pet, I am missing my little woolly 'babies'!!
I miss GOM, of course, & wish he was here!!

Friday, November 17

One Sleep to Go!

I spent a busy day yesterday.

Thought I would share the Pork & Apricot parcels I made for GOM, to have while I am away. It was a cold evening, & he couldnt wait, so we had one each for tea last night!!
These are pork loin steaks, which I find are a nice size, & usually well trimmed of fat.

Take an onion & dice it, quite finely. GOM came out to the kitchen to see what I was doing, & was horrified to see the camera sitting there. "You want to put that away" he said. When I told him I was taking pics, he snorted & went off. (I hasten to add, it was my little camera, & not the fancy loaner!)

I always cook my onion for 2 minutes in the microwave, so there are no underdone pieces in the stuffing.

Chop the apricots- & here I use pineapple quite often, as GOM loves his pineapple.Most of my recipes are very flexible. If you dont like Pork, use Chicken, Lamb or Steak, or Veal, for the meat. Or I guess vegetarians could use tofu!!?

Make a stuffing mix using about a cup of seasoned stuffing mix from a packet- or make your own version if you are a purist!
Add the chopped cooked onion, an egg & the chopped fruit of your choice.
Place the meat onto pastry of your choice- here I used puff pastry, but a nice short one is fine, or we like Philo, but I didnt have any yesterday. Philo makes a nice neat parcel, & you can use just light spray of olive oil or Pure & Simple to keep the fat content down, if you are counting your fat intake.
Sread the stuffing mix generously over the meat. I dont add salt, but season it to taste- we like pepper.

Seal the edges of the parcels.
Cook in a preheated oven at 200c for approx an hour, or until done.

The end product. Not a very fancy looking end product, but they tasted very nice!

I had sauteed courgettes & green beans with mine, but GOM had corn on the cob & mash.
It was nice & warming on a very unseasonal cold November evening!!
The other 3 parcels will go into the freezer for him to use later, while I am gone.

Today I am going to make him some Mushroom & Bacon Mix -not a creamy one, this time. He likes to have it on toast, & it freezes quite well.

Once when our son was a baby I went off up to 'my Island' to visit my mother- her first Grandson, & her first look at him.
I cooked a few things for HYH, (who was not yet a Publican) including a pot of mince, at his request. We didnt have a freezer in those young poor days, & I was flabbergasted when he told me it had lasted him a week!! I suspect he forgot about it, & just threw it out. We did have a fridge, though, so perhaps it lasted a day or 3.

We also had a cat called Chester, who was as black as midnight- not a white hair on him. When I got home HYH was bemoaning the fact it was very expensive to feed a cat. I asked him what he fed him, & he told me Fillet steak!
So I asked what he had been buying for himself, & he told me Gravy Beef.
I asked "And how did you cook it?"
"I fried it" he replied.
"And did you find it tough?"
"Yes, it was bloody awful, I think we need to change our butcher" Oh how I laughed!

I dont know what the other parts of the world call the cuts of meat, but of course Fillet is the top quality, & Gravy Beef is strictly for stews & casseroles.
And, it is what I used to feed Chester.

Over the years I have had many trips away without GOM, & he seems to fare quite well. He has become a not bad cook, & will survive well. As our Granddaughter is coming to stay, they can work out their meals together, & she is quite a good cook.

And now I had best be off this, & seeing to the packing.
Keep well everyone, & I will 'see' you when I return in 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 16

How small we are.

These photos were taken last evening from our balcony. I couldnt resist trying to capture the spectacular colours.
It is a shame to think these colours were caused by fire in the Blue Mountains. These photos were taken facing west, which is where the Blue Mountains are, though they are not visible to us, from here.

The evening air was smokey & we could see & smell the smoke quite strongly.

There was also an amazing cloud formation visible between hills, which is a view we get facing South. We can see approaching storms in the gap between the hills, and last evening a southerly change in the wind, which had been from the west, bringing the smoke from the Mountains, in the afternoon. The light on the clouds from the south made them appear to be boiling, & it is a shame I could not seem to capture them on my small camera. I have the loan of another fancy camera, but as yet I am still getting to know it!

The beauty of it makes me feel we are very small & insignificant in the 'wider picture'.

We are having really strange weather at present. Yesterday's temperature got up to 27 degrees Celcius, & it is predicted to only reach 16 degrees today! There has been snow for the first time ever in November in Ballarat which is in Vicotoria. It does seem we are having a much cooler November than we normally do.

I had my eye check yesterday. Satisfactory, so I am glad I dont need a new prescription. The pressure in my eyes seems to fluctuate a little, but it is not really a concern at present, so that is a relief.
I took myself off to see my nice GP, & she has given me something for my throat, so hopefully I wont have ear problems flying on Saturday. For some reason I seem to have developed 'Tennis elbow' in my right elbow, & consider myself lucky to be left handed.

DJ is leaving for a few days break with SIL & Small Grandson, so I wont see them before I go. We called down to say goodbye, last evening, & SG thought I should not go on the plane, but go with him. He told me I could sit on the carpet in the car, on the floor, when I told him there would be no space for me. He is so excited about going, he loves 'camping', though they will be in cabins this time. He will also get to see his little cousin, & they seem to get along very well, so he will enjoy it all. Granddog Oscar is recovering really well, since his second surgery, & he was very excited, - I am sure he knows he is going too!

AA Granddaughter is going to 'babysit GOM'. She is coming to stay with him for some of the time I am away.

I have promised to bake some things before I go, for the freezer, so I had better get off this, & get onto cooking.

Have just had an email from my dear Cousin telling me to ask for help- again. She had lectured me about asking for assistance, should I be overcome on my travels alone! I told her noone wants to assist fat old ugly dames. She tells me 'fat ugly old bags, have to look helpless!' If my knee gives out, I might BE helpless!! haha.

Listening to Leonard Cohen- love his poetry. Suzanne is a favourite

"Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags & feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
on our Lady of the Harbour...

Wednesday, November 15

The Rodents in the Cage in My Head.

This is a photo of a sewing box DJ made for me about 12 years ago. I saw one on Joyce's blog, & though the lid is different, it seems to be the same pattern.( Sorry, Joyce, I havent got the hang of inserting the links!)



I am starting to get little panic threads tingling in my mind, & the result is an infection in my upper respiratory system, & a sleepless night.

The little rodents are running in my head, round & round the cage!(Not really, but that is what I call my now-&-then sleepless nights)

I may even have to resort to making a list for myself!! Only 3 days left before I go!

I am not sure what woke me, but I thought it may be a mouse. I cant see any evidence of one, but they are sneaky little critters. We used to have a real problem with them, but havent seen any for a long time. We had a wooden pergola, & the rodents seemed to use that as a freeway into the roof cavity. Since we had the pergola replaced with a metal one, we dont have the problem.

When we lived in the Inner City Hotel in New Zealand, we had a massive problem with mice. But it was a while before we discovered we had the problem.

There had been a large biscuit factory close to the Hotel, & when it closed, I suppose the huge mouse population had to look for alternative accommodation. It is not a pleasant thought!

The hotel we lived in had 3 stories, & was a very old stone building, approximately 125 years old. It had had a colourful history, & as it was situated across the road from the river that ran through the city, it had been used as a morgue when the bodies of drowned unfortunates, floated down the river. There were two Hotels right close to the river & it was the law in those old days, that they had to be available as morgue facilities, until the body was identified or taken to a funeral parlour.

We were quite sure the Hotel was haunted, but that is another story.

By the time we lived in the Hotel, it had been turned into a Tavern, so there were no guests. During the first year we lived there, some of the rooms on the second storey were used as a hostel for staff at other Hotels, but that was run separately from the Tavern & we had no contact with either the staff or the caretakers. There was a staircase, with outside access, which was later boarded up, & there was no access to the upper levels except through our flat.

Our quarters ran across the front of the second storey, & we had 5 bedrooms, a huge lounge with a nice kitchen attached, bathroom, laundry, & a huge area I used for storage, & sewing. There was a huge closed in balcony, like a gallery along the front of the flat, & it was a lovely suncatcher in the cold winter.

One evening GOM (who was HYPH Happy Young Publican Husband) had gone off to bed & I was watching TV. I heard a noise in the kitchen, & got up to investigate. Imagine my surprise to see a mouse scuttling in the cupboard! I removed all the contents of the cupboard, & I could see a hole at the top of the cupboard, where the mouse had gained entry, & dropped down into the cupboard. I grabbed an empty jar, & snatched the mouse up, & put it in the jar.

I put the lid on the jar, & went into the bedroom to show HYPH. He was appalled & shrieked at me to get it out of the bedroom- even though it was safely in the jar!! I asked what he thought I should do with it- his suggestion was "Throw it into the Carpark". Which was just below our gallery. I couldnt bear to kill the wretched thing in such a cruel fashion, so I had a think about it.

I couldnt believe HYPH was so squeamish about the mouse. I suppose I had thought he would deal with it. WRONG. "Dont bring it near me!"

I remembered we had a bottle of some ether in the bathroom- you could freely buy ether at the chemist in those days, amazing as it seems now. (We had got it to take sticking plaster off my poor mother. She had broken ribs & the silly Dr had taped her up with elastoplast, & it nearly killed her trying to remove it.)

So the little light clicked on in my head, & I got some cotton wool & soaked it in the ether, then popped it into the jar- mousey went to sleep. So, I settled back down to watch TV. More sounds came from the kitchen cupboard. Back I go, snatch out another mouse! Into the jar with his mate.

By the time I had caught 9 mice with my bare hands, & despatched them all in the jar with ether, I realised we had a real problem! HYPH was trying desperately to pretend he had gone to sleep, but I could see him shuddering under the blankets- coward!!

Next day, we called an exterminator, & were thoroughly shocked at how many mice he caught! He would come once a week, & leave with a huge box of bodies. He set traps with 8 inlets, & they were always full at first. He told us that since the biscuit factory had closed, all the businesses around had a real mouse problem. As our flat was the only access, to the upper storey & the whole back of the second storey, we saw the masses he removed from the Hotel.

He told us mice carry so many diseases, some fatal to humans. I would certainly never let my children have pet mice, after the information he gave us. He also told us they breed a litter for food, if there is no food available. The damage they had done to the vacant rooms was astonishing, & they would eat almost anything, even the crumbling plaster on the walls.

Our son is a real softy, & hated to think of the mice being killed but when he learnt about the disease factor, he was not so horrified, but he tried not to think about them.

Our children have memories of being really frightened in that old building. I dont think I realised at the time just how spooky they found it. We had some very odd experiences while living there, & a lot of the customers could swear there was a ghost who lived in the Lounge Bar downstairs.

Who knows... but I swear I used to see a ghost in our lounge upstairs, often. Still, I would rather see a ghost than a plague of mice!!

Tuesday, November 14

Ancestors

I have never done any Genealogy. (which I once pronounced geneology- boy! did my mother roar!!)
I have male cousins from both sides of my mother's family, who have done some research, and also a cousin from my mother's father's side, has done some research into the 'Aussie' branch of the family.

Apparently the Irishman who was originally deported to Australia, had committed the heinous crime of stealing 7 Guineas from a widow! He should have been flogged before they sent him, if that story is true!!

There are a lot of myths about, & one nameless cousin earned my mother's wrath by immediately misquoting all the information she had given him, even down to paper proof. Frustrating indeed I suppose.

When I was younger, I never paid much attention to the history of the family. My mother would get very frustrated with me, and now, of course, I really regret my bad memory for such things, as she has gone, & I can never ask her 'stupid' questions again. My brother has a much more reliable memory than I do, & he does very well.

And my Dear Old Aunt of 85, has a better memory than either of us- though she is the 'other side' of our family.
There are hilarious stories from both sides, & we have many laughs at our past history.

And as time passes, I expect the stories will be embroidered upon even more. And stories will come to be told about us, & some or our 'idiot capers'. My brother & I used to infuriate our mother, almost to the point of tears. We have always had the same sort of offbeat sense of humour, & can reduce each other to hysteria, at times just by a glance or reading each other's thoughts. My GOM fails to understand this, as does the SIL. They seem to have far more conventional senses of humour. They can be seen glaring at us, as if we are a couple of misbehaving children. Much as our small mother would do, although as we grew older, we could reduce her to tears of laughter too.

We feel lucky because we have knowledge or our ancestory to a degree, & I feel sorry for my Almost Adult Granddaughter, who would have liked to know more about her Italian Grandfather, & also her English-born Grandmother. And of course, her Australian-born father.

She & I are very fond of Pasta dishes, & we laugh about the fact that her love of pasta comes from her Italian heritage, but where does mine come from?? (really, I know where mine comes from- I just love food!)
I think AAG is going to be a good cook. Her mother is a good cook, & I have been told I am. My Mum & Grandmother were also good cooks, so I guess it is in the family.

I made a Mushroom & Bacon Pasta Sauce for my daughter's birthday, & even GOM had some, & he is not generally a lover of Pasta. He is more your steak & chips man, though I have managed to get him eating a lot more over the years.

I am not a very precise cook, I tend to make things up as I go along & have difficulty writing my recipes down.
Here is the recipe for the Mushroom & Bacon Pasta Sauce.

4 Large flat mushrooms
3 Lean slices of bacon
2 cloves of garlic- this is optional, -we like garlic!
Olive oil- about 1-2 tablespoons
about a cup of white wine- I used a Chablis
Approx a cup of cream
ground black pepper to taste- we rather like a lot.

Method.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, & fry the crushed garlic
Add the mushrooms,& the black pepper & cook gently.
Add the chopped bacon & mix through, keeping the mix cooking.
Add the wine, & simmer a little till the mushrooms look cooked.
Add the cream slowly, adding more as you like.
I usually thicken it with a little cornflour mixed with wine to a smooth consistancy. If you like a thin sauce just add more wine or cream to taste.
We usually like ours to be a bit on the thick side.
Our preferred Pasta is Fettucine, but any pasta works well. If it to be a buffet, probably shells or Penne are better- easier to eat, & not so likely to end up being worn, or spattered over your face!
I also prefer the flat mushrooms, because they have more flavour than the button mushrooms. As you can tell it is a very flexible 'recipe', & can be varied to feed one to many.
Sorry, no pics- it all got gobbled up!

I did try to pose a pic of a little sewing box that my daughter made me, but Blogger just lied & told me it was posted!NOT.

Monday, November 13

Someone Turned the Fan On!!

Yes, I know all the trite bloody things 'they' say- dont cry over spilt milk- try not crying, (or rather wishing you COULD cry) over dog eaten brand new shoes!!
I had only worn them twice, & though they were crippling, just a little, I had high hopes of them being tamed during my holiday, in cooler climes, where my feet would not swell so much.

I woke with a terrible sore throat during the night, & got up to take something to relieve it.. why didnt I notice I had left my shoes in a stupid place!! GOM was rendered speechless, when he heard me bewailing the fate of the shoe.

'Cheer up' "they" say, 'things could be worse'. So, I find when you cheer up,... things invariably DO get worse! So I wonder what is to come today??

I have been roving about reading blogs to catch up on news.
It seems a lot of bloggers have been having less than perfect lives just at present.

GOM just came in to inform me that the Teenage Hoodlum has eaten some Cashew Nuts which had also been left within his access. As they cost an arm & leg, what a bloody waste! And nuts are not good for dogs. (I am getting the blame for it all, though we were sharing the nuts.) I just KNEW things would get worse!

I need to have an eye check, so hope that doesnt come up with any worrying news. Some days definitely are diamonds, & some days are stones- or ruddy great boulders.

This is a bit glum, so I had better stop airing my moans & go away & do something positive... what else can I wreck or leave to be wrecked today??

Foolishly I had expected a little sympathy from the GOM, but I should have known better, after all these years. This Lion is never going to change his spots!

I just recieved an email that made me laugh- one of the items was;
Things you would like to say to someone-
"Wipe your mouth, there is still a tiny bit of bullshit around your lips."
Yes..

Sunday, November 12

NFFPV

A hot Sunday afternoon, following on from a very hot Saturday.
It has been overcast in parts, today, but the sun sure shone hot upon my hatless head at the Market Day.

We met up with Nice Exneighbours, who told Nice Neighbour they knew she was coming- they had read it on a blog.!!

The Market was fun, & there were lots of goodies to look at. We got some plants- I wont be touching those -you know, in case the brown curlies attack them! GOM can deal with them, he seems to have moderate luck, as long as he remembers to water them in my absence.

We also had a very nice lunch at a lovely airconditioned Club. Thank goodness for airconditioning, in hot steamy weather. and Nice Neighbours beautiful, immaculately clean car, so comfortable to ride in! With lovely airconditioning. Just lovely to be 'taken out'.

Which brings me to the NFFPV aspect of today's blog.
Not Fit For Public Viewing, is what the NFFPV stands for. It relates to my clothing. My post outing clothing. I ripped off the hot clothes which were ok for public viewing, & have now replaced them with my NFFPV set, which are for private use only!

These include unironed shorts- my daughter has taught me to only iron when it cant be avoided! And my sleeveless top, which does not hide the batwings that flap from my arms!! Where did they come from, & how long have the been there?? Off came the crippling shoes- which I darent let on cripple, as they are new! And GOM gets very annoyed if yet ANOTHER pair of shoes prove painful.. But hell, everyone knows you cant tell till you have worn them for at least 2 hours. And shoe shops dont like customers doing laps in the shop!! Test-driving shoes is not an option.

Nor is test driving bra's. My gosh how I HATE having to buy new bras. And they are another item that always seem to fit beautifully in the shop, in the hot airless little change room with those ugly mirrors, that everyone knows add kilos to your very body. And are probably under video surveillance, in case you try tuck a pair into your bag or something. So you shuffle about trying to 'hide' while you sneak sideways looks at the mirror image. Then you take bold looks up, to see if there are cameras in evidence. Finally you make your purchase/s.

And when you get home, you discover the expensive one, manufactured under a high Profile Famous Beauty Queen's name, seems to make you look like you are armed to do dagger fights, or Madonna impersonations! Or take someones eyes out with the sharp bits!! How did those 'pointed' bits get there?? You never saw them in the shop!!

And the other, equally famous-brand ones, seem to suddenly be 2 sizes smaller than they were in the shop. Their vice like grip nearly kills you, & you can hardly breath by the time you reach home. The 'comfort' staps kill you. What cruel swine designed these.

So, you may have guessed by now, the bra gets ripped off too. Oh the relief. Of course you are now left looking like some lumpy old bag of spuds with weird lumps in inappropriate places. But Hell, you are home, in the privacy of your haven. Cringing about, avoiding windows, which might show glimpses of the dishevelled untidy wreck you have now become. Should visitors arrive GOM is instructed to use delaying tactics, while Meggie rushes off to re-robe, & don the torture suit again!

Our airconditioner has undergone a nervous breakdown, & is no longer working. We have been advised it will be a very very costly exercise to get it either repaired or replaced, so we are praying for cool weather, or at least an absence of humidity.
We have fans on full blast to try to keep cool. And I am resorting to looking like the old bag of spuds!


This was a decietfully cool looking sunset!



And this was taken a little later, -tried to catch the sun on the clouds, but my little camera was not really up to the task. Still it looks nice & cool.

It has been a very nice day. We enjoyed our birthday bash yesterday at DJ's, too.
Small Grandson had a great time, then told me " We are going to have Karoaky Nan, so Go Home!" He gave me a great big hug, then said, "I love you Nan, Now Go Home!!"
So off we went. Karaoke is not our 'thing'.

Saturday, November 11

OMG!

Blogger is telling me in large type, that my new Blogger setup is ready & switchover now!!
I am barely getting used to this one.. dont think it will be today!

Had a very busy morning cooking some items to take to Daughter's. The SIL has had his surgery for his hand, & now has his hand all plastered up, with wire to support a broken bone. Looks very painful, & he has been told the wire will have to come out at some time in the future. Not something to look forward to.

It has changed all their plans. They had been going camping, - the actually LIKE it!!
Now of course they wont be going, as DJ cant do all the heavy things herself.

We are spending the afternoon at their place, so it is all go here.

Tomorrow we have been offered an outing to a Fete with Nice Neighbours, so I am really looking forward to that. Should be some interesting things to see & perhaps buy.

Hope everyones weekend is pleasant.

Friday, November 10

Friday Fever

This is a pic I tried to take of the crescent moon, on it's back. It illustrates how I feel today. Not quite 'there'. The perspective is all wrong too. The palm was closer to me, & the Lilly Pilly tree is actually huge. And I love it. Gom keeps wanting to take lower branches off it, but I have threatened him with loss of one of his limbs, if he does!!

This next pic is GOM with our 'kids'. They like to get on his knee, & totally rule his movements!










This is Leo as a baby. He was such a little boy!










This is Leo now! He likes to sit in the window on the Blanket box, & watch the passing parade. His eyes look sad, but really he is such a happy little dog, & so full of life!


I am feeling a bit blue. There has been an accident in the family. SIL is in hospital, with a badly damaged hand. There will be, or has been surgery. Poor DJ, it is her birthday tomorrow. We had the grandchildren here last evening. I have tossed & turned all night.
My appearance resembles snow, with Yeti prints for eyes.
I had best be off, in case there is news.
I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Thursday, November 9

Tooth Troubles, but Gollies to Cheer.

What is is about teeth!
I have loathed & feared any type of dental experience all my life, it would seem.

I broke a tooth about a week ago, & had to have it repaired yesterday. As it was a front tooth, having it repaired was a real necessity.

Apart from the damage to the bank balance, it is a terribly harrowing experience for me. I try to convince myself it will be ok, & these days they have so many things to lessen the pain. Nothing seems to reduce the terror factor.

Growing up in New Zealand, during the 40's & 50's it was impossible to avoid the dreaded "Dental Nurse" who resided in "The Murder House" ( Dental Clinic, in adult speak) in the grounds of all Primary Schools.

It was routine, once you were enrolled in the school, you had to take a turn at visiting the Murder House. Where the Nurse would prod, poke, drill, fill, or possibly remove any or all, of your teeth. OK! perhaps not all, but why why, did they feel the necessity to remove any of your 'baby' teeth? These wicked witches of torture did far more damage than good, I am sure.

I had to travel to school on a school bus, & it seemed a long trip, & I was always tired at days end. Plus I was a such a sook!! If anything was going to hurt, I didnt want to know about it! I seemed to have a very low pain threshhold. One day it was my turn to visit the Murder House. I have the feeling it was the first time I had gone.

Imagine my horror when said 'Nurse' decided to rip out one of my double teeth! I have no idea why- I was only about 6 1/2 at the time. I cried & cried, & was almost hysterical, & the socket bled -& bled-& bled!! All the way home in the shool bus,I sobbed & blubbered, -& bled! My mother was horrified & indignant. My Grandparents, who were very protective, were also angry.

I think it set the tone for the rest of my life, & I have always had terrible trouble forcing myself to keep dentist appointments. I have tried to be 'mature' & 'logical' about the visits. But the deepseated fear remains, & my palms flow like rivers, & my body lies rigid on the chair/lounge affair. It used to be, the only parts of me that touched that chair thing, were the back of my head, & my heels!Great pools of sweat would drip from my back & the back of my legs. I could scarcely walk once the ordeal was over, my muscles would be so cramped.

With the advent of intraveinous sedation, in NZ, I used to happily trot off & be almost 'laid out' with drugs. They could have sawn off my legs, & I would have probably welcomed it. A friend once saw GOM pouring me into our car, after one visit, & she couldnt understand why I was 'drunk' at 10am!!

When we moved over to Australia to live, I couldnt find a dentist who used intravenous sedation, at first. Then I found one, & went for an initial consultation, where he assessed the work to be done. The appointment was duly made, & imagine my horror when I picked up the paper next day, to read the swine was being prosecuted for 'molesting' his sedated women patients! I couldnt understand why he was still allowed to pracitce!

I rang to request another Dentist treat me. The receptionist told me Dr Swine has 'the most experience'. I replied, "Yes I read about his experience in the newspaper! And I wont be back."

So I found another dentist, & had to endure the laughing gas, (which never made ME laugh!)plus whatever else they could offer me, in the way of pain dullers, & distractions.

My experience yesterday was not in the horror category. The view out of the huge window was very soothing, lovely trees, water, shrubs. A dentist I have visited before, so 'trust' to some extent. A new Dental Surgery, all modern & airconditioned. The newest in 'loungechairs' that fit the contours of the body & prevent rigidity. But, all the same...

The hissing noise of the drill is terrifying. The sensation of being so helpless, with a mouth full of instruments, fingers, & sucking things. I keep my eyes closed, lest I catch sight of the 'needle'. It still hurts, no matter how many kilos of that numbing cream they rub in there!! I try to 'see' all the colours that flash before my eyes, & use them to distract myself.

The worst part is, the next tooth is on the point of breakage too, so I will have to go through it all again. Next month. I couldnt stand another visit this month. Anyway, I will be away. And trying bloody hard not to think about that appointment.


Here are some cheery little Gollie bags I have been making, as a nice change of subject! DJ & I have been thinking of doing a Boot Sale, & thought we might sell them. They are nice to make, something to sit & work on while watching the idiot box.

Wednesday, November 8

CAN YOU HEAR ME??

This is a picture of a Monarch Butterfly, sent to me by my Best Friend J. I have been promised the loan of a fancy camera for my trip, & so I am hoping I might be able to take some nice pics. I would love to be able to take beautiful photos such as Anty Evil has on her blog!!
This was taken in New Zealand, & I am not sure what the flowers are, but they look a bit like something that is considered a weed over here?

But my photo envy has nothing to do with today's post, really.

When GOM started to go deaf, he just totally refused to acknowledge it. He would pretend to have heard what was said, & make idiotic responses. It got to the stage where the neighbours on the opposite side of the street would wince, from the sound of our TV. You could see the walls shakiing from the sound impact!

I would find excuses to cower in the next room, to bear the volume.

I suspect hours of noisy bars, & loud bands in the Australian Hotel, had done the damage. GOM never minded the loud music, & sounds that would make me cringe in pain, seemed not to bother him at all.

I finally convinced him he needed to have his hearing checked. He had tried for months to deny he was going deaf, & he infuriated me by telling me it was I who was deaf, and that I mumbled, & that other people had bad manners- they wouldnt face him when talking to him. Apparently, all common denial tactics. He felt admitting to a problem was admitting aging!

When he first went to have the tests, he was given some literature to take home, to read & try, while the assessments of his hearing were being made.

This paper included such ludicrous suggestions, as 'Try to work out what has been said, by using the words you think you have heard, & then if you find you cant work it out, ask politely if they could repeat what was said.' Thereby making yourself look a complete, slow witted F***wit- (which they did not say, of course)!! Other such nonsense was suggested as a means to 'hear'.

Finally the assessments were done, & sure enough GOM was quite deaf, & he did need hearing aids. The imrpovement in our relationship was amazing, once I convinced him he needed to actually wear them! He said the resultant sounds were quite startling, & he couldnt believe that the sound of his footsteps was so loud. Apparently this is common, as people usually go deaf slowly, & they dont realise how much sound they have lost. We could at last have the television at a level of comfort.

As he was still working at that stage, he found the sound of machinery too loud with the aids in, so he wouldnt wear them to work. I asked him if he had told his boss, & co workers that he was in fact deaf. NO he said. I suggested it might be a good idea. And I laughed when he told me his boss had told him he just thought he was a grumpy old man who didnt want to listen!!

Now my brother tells me he has deafness, industrially caused, & he is to have assessments done for hearing aids. I am sure he will not be so stubborn, about not wanting to wear them.

When I was first trying to get GOM to go for tests, he told a neighbour's mother that he was far too young for hearing aids- she lifted her hair & showed him she had aids, & had worn them since she was 50!! I think it shocked him.

I dont know why men seem so reluctant to acknowledge they are aging.. Perhaps not all men do??

Tuesday, November 7

Cup Frenzy

Well, it is the First Tuesday of November, & if you are a fair dinkum Aussie, or Kiwi, you will know it is Melbourne Cup Day! The Melbourne Cup is a horse race, & the whole of the nation/s -because NZ joins in- stop to watch this race.

I am not a gambler, nor do I like to watch horses racing. I am No Fun.

I dont mind others having the fun though. I do like to see the Fashions on the Field, & see the clowns who dress in bizarre costumes. And watch the antics of said Clowns as they proceed to get legless.

But I am happy to make my observations from the safety of my lounge room, on a TV Screen. In younger years I would happily host masses of people who came upstairs into my private lounge, to watch the Race, away from the crowds in the Bars, downstairs.

I have even joined in the Office Sweeps, run by almost every place I have ever worked. I have even occasionally won some money, on said Sweeps. But really, I just couldnt care less. And cant be bothered to watch the Race, lest I see some horse, or jockey come to grief.

Melbourne Cup Day always makes me think of my mother. She dreamt of going to a Melbourne Cup one day. She loved to go to race meetings, & watch the horses run. She loved to have a 'little flutter.'

When she lay in Hospital dying, I told her I imagined she would be free, & able to go to a Melbourne Cup, at last, if she chose.

And go to visit Ireland, which had been her lifelong dream. To visit the County where her father's family had originally come from. I like to think she did get to go to the places she had wanted to visit.

I still love you Mum, & I still miss you!
Melbourne Cup Day will always be yours, Mum.

Monday, November 6

Monday's Blue Mood

I pormise I will just play with my toys!!



I cant understand why I dislike Mondays. Doesnt make sense since we are both now retired.

GOM is still not well, & spent most of yesterday dozing & resting. We watched a DVD "Walk the Line" story of Johnny Cash & June Carter. I enjoyed it, after initially thinking I wouldn't. I do like C & W music, but was not really fussy about Johnny Cash. I enjoyed the music though & was impressed with the acting.

In the morning DJ took me over to a large shopping Mall. The idea was, I was going to find shoes, for my increasingly painful feet, & I was going to also find a shirt or 'something'. I used to like shopping for clothes, but now, after surgery, I seem to be an odd shape. I did find a top to fit, that DJ assures me looks good. Shoes were another matter, for another day. I found some T Shirt tops that would be nice for casual wear-- but---they all seem to have sequins & beads & pearls all over them! Rendering them unfit for 'casual' wear.. well to me, anyway. I dont 'get it'. T Shirt fabric doesnt really lend itself that well to beads etc. And if they dont have sparkly trims they have things like 'Active' or 'Working Out' or other similar ludicrous words plastered all over the front of them! One of my favourite old tops I now only wear around home has 'MFC' on it- I wont tell you what the GOM said he thought it might stand for!! Along the lines of, ahem, MO FO CLUB! Which did make me laugh when he told me.

I have a friend who only shops at the Op shops & does very well, always looks so nice. I, on the other hand, never seem to find anything I can use- apart from eyeing it off to cut up for quilty things!

We had SG with us, & he delighted me with his observations about the clothes. He found the little packets with spare beads, sequins etc attached, & he said "Oh look Nanna, you can decorate it!" He was quite excited, & told me he 'decorates his paintings". He was intrigued by the spare buttons too, & wanted to know why they were there. He really wanted an icecream, but was quite patient about waiting, when his mother said he could have one "After". He hid inside racks of shirts, startling some little old ladies by leaping out. He startled me too, flinging open the curtain when I was semi clothed, which was not such a delight.

We walked & walked, & then I limped & limped, courtesy of my knee & one foot! We coudnt find any of the myriad Ice Cream stalls that had previously littered the Mall. Where the hell have they gone?? It seems to be all juice bars & fancy drinks- at fancy prices. We stopped to admire the little puppies in the pet shop, then decided ours were nicer. SG was only interested in the black & white ones, like his Oscar.

The Xmas decorations were a source of wonder for SG, & he was excited abut the trees. He said we needed to get something for Xmas- "Tomorrow". I told him, no it is not Xmas yet. But it is his mother's birthday next weekend. And then it will be his father's birthday. And then he had to stop to read the Map of the Mall. His mother was rather impatient about that, but Nan waited patiently. A chance to rest!!

Finally we found an ice cream stand! SG was busy eyeing off the colours- DJ looked at the price list, groaned in horror- $3.50 for a KID's icecream! She said she could get a 'Maccas' tub for 50c, so off we limped, skipped & walked- depending on who we were, to the car. SG, to his credit, was very good about it, & didnt complain. He almost fell asleep on the way home, so we had to keep talking to him.

He has never had a 'special' toy, or friend, but lately has developed a passion for an Umbrella. He calls it his 'scewer-ity brella', & no one is sure why he is so obsessed with it. He is actually quite happy to use any umbrella, so there is no panic if he cant find a particular one.

I overheard him telling Leo "Leo, you are a scumbag, & you will have to go down" No idea where he got that, & DJ said he came home from Pre School on Friday saying his best little friend is a 'twat'.(BF is a boy) It is not a word they use, nor do we, so we have no idea where he got it. DJ said she explained to him, he couldnt say that, but he insisted it was not a 'naughty word.' He is actually good about not using most of the 'colourful' words he hears at home at times.

We had been downstairs & I said to SG to come upstairs, as it was a bit cold down there. He took my hand, & said "Hold my hand Nanna, I've got special powers!" So we flew up the stairs! Dont I wish!

Had some sad news at the weekend, re a cousin's husband. The tests would seem to indicate he has cancer, & now he has to undergo tests to determine what type, & whether it has gone into his bones. It is very difficult to know what to say, at times like this.

Hope I manage to get some clothes dry between showers!

Sunday, November 5

Doggy ways

This is a pic I tried to get up on the last post- to lighten the mood! It is Honey's preferred position while I am on the computer. Keeps my bum warm on winter days!










And this is the guilty party! Leo has just de-potted another pot plant, spraying all the dirt & shreds of the plant over my sunlounger seat. After getting a lecture about that, he stole a little soft pig I bought for DJ (she collects pigs) & took it outside for a mud bath!! Do you think he looks truly sorry??


Oh well, all is forgiven. Honey never did such naughty things. I wonder if it because he is a boy? We have never had a male dog before, & it is a real education.
I can hear GOM, out in the kitchen, threatening him with the dogs home! As if!! He is more besotted than I am.

Guilt trip.

It is wet, which is good for the garden, & tank water, & I just hope some of it ends up in the dry dams.
My BFJ tells me they have too much , in NZ, & it is all spilling over the spillways at the Dam they visited on their Rainforest Railway trip.

I tossed & turned all night, thinking about the nasty name I called MIL.
I feel for GOM's sake I should clarify some things.

I was brought up to respect other peoples feelings, belongings & privacy. We did not go near our mother's purse, or look into any of her drawers.

We were taught you didnt 'nose' into other people's things, business or houses. I can still go into my daughter's house & not 'see' the condition of it. I dont care if someone has not done their housework, or the colours dont match. I suppose I was very naive to think other people were the same.

I am usually very observant in public places, but it is as if the detection/observation meter is turned off in people's private domains.

When I met GOM, or HUS as he was then, it was a while before I met his mother. The first time I met her was on a visit to relations, with HUS's daughter, who was 4 years old at the time. It was also the first time I had met his daughter. I was very shocked to be introduced as 'The Barfly'! Luckily the relatives were nice, & just laughed about it, while indicating to me they took no notice of what she said.

In the early days of what turned out to be our 'courtship', I had little to do with MIL & didn't see very much of her. (Perhaps if I had, I would have run!!)I really have no idea how she felt about our marriage, & I didnt realise what a problem she would become after we had moved down to live in 'his Island'.

My first shock came when we were staying with MIL & FIL, until we found jobs, & our own place to rent. I discovered she went through my suitcases, almost daily, & was reading all my letters from my mother. I liked to wash my 'smalls' myself, & I would find they had been taken & washed while I was at work. I used to read my mother's letters, & immediately burn them, which was awful, because I am senitmental about things like that, & love to re-read letters.

We couldnt wait to find a house to rent. But when we did, she came around & rearranged all the furniture. I said nothing, but changed it all back after she had gone. I hate confrontations, & go to silly lengths to keep the peace. But every now & then, as BFJ will testify, I can be pushed too far, & I will rear!!

MIL had grown up very poor I suppose, & then in her early marriage there was a waterfront strike, & FIL had been part of that.It was Depression time, & MIL worked all her married life, & worked very hard, & I suspect at times her job was the only thing that kept the family solvent. She was a skilled machinist, & made mens shirts, & graduation gowns for Capping. She was employed by one of the top retail shops, & always had employment. Because she had seen such hard times, she was a hoarder. She was also known to be extremely generous, & was the mother all GOM's mates turned to for loans, at weekends.

MIL also seemed to be a kleptomaniac, & I will never know the length or breadth of her stealth. She would take little things off relatives, or go & 'steal' fruit. A very complicated person.

The things she did to me sound far fetched & fantastic, & there are times when I retell some of them, that I can scarcely believe I put up with it. She used to break into our house, if we were out, & go through all the drawers & read all my mail- she even stole a letter I was in the process of writing, once!

She was not a bad grandmother to our children though, & they do have happy memories of her. They have a disabled cousin, who spent almost every weekend at MIL's & they loved staying there & spending time with J. MIL was not cruel to the grandchildren, & seemed to have endless patience with J.

MIL, like most people was a very complex woman. She had been eldest girl in a family of 7, & her father was a seaman, who was very cruel, from all the stories I have heard over the years. He was at sea a lot, but when he came home, he tattooed his poor wife, & left her pregnant one more time. They lived on a hillside in the Port & life must have been hard for them. Photographs of the old chap portray a very handsome old white haired man, but with a cruel face. He beat his wife, & children alike. GOM says his grandmother was a small lovely generous little woman. Also his paternal grandmother was very doting of him, & he spent almost every weekend with her, until she died when he was 12, which might be why he is so gentle, & tolerant.


Mil interfered relentlessly, from the day we moved, & when our son was born, she almost drove me mad with her criticism. It is hard enough but to be undercut every day was just too much. I lost my milk, & was a nervous wreck. I dont think I had realised the extent to which she used to pry into our affairs even then.


The final straw for me, came when our children & GOM's sister's children had stayed the night with MIL & FIL. We went to collect them, on Sunday morning, & as my daughter was always Mum's girl, she clung to me. This enraged MIL & she lashed out with her toungue, more criticism, so I just picked up J & went out to our car. MIL came flying out and physically attacked me, pulling my hair & shrieking, & then, I knew she had stolen the letter I had been writing all those months ago. My kids were just shocked & screamed & cried, as she yanked out clumps of my hair, through the car window. Our nephew never forgot that, & I think it changed his view of his Nanna forever, as he often refers to it, with shock, & as he was fond of me, I dont think he forgave her. It changed the way my children saw her, & it was so shocking to me, I was hysterical.

Gom & FIL came running out of the garage where they had been talking, & pulled MIl off the car, & we left. I would not have her in my house for over 6 years after that, & though GOM took the kids to visit, I never would go. She tried to apologise, but I just told her I didnt want her in my life, & that was the end of it. After we moved into the Hotel, FIL, who had retired, but worked as a tidy up man, for GOM, used to come every morning & have breakfast with the children before school, & he used to tell me 'the old girl is sorry'. I just told him I would never trust her again, & wanted nothing to do with her.

In the end I felt sorry for her, & decided one Xmas that it was time to forgive & (almost) forget. We invited them for Xmas, & MIL never took me for granted again, & was always very careful not to pry, or touch anything without asking. I am glad, for GOM's sake, that we came to a peace. I suppose she couldnt help her domineering ways, or her odd personality traits, & to a large extent was a product of her upbringing & circumstances. I dont know that she realised just how destructive her behaviour to me was. After we moved over here to live they came to stay with us, a couple of times. The last time they came was when GOM turned 50, & we could see something was radically wrong. She was beginning to get Alzhiemers. After FIL died we realised how much he had covered for her. It is a terrible disease.

She really was a mix of very complex nature. So generous & kind to so many, yet so strange in other ways. GOM's sister, of the Green Eyes, tells stories of terror, about her mother.

She was just like all of us, a flawed human, with feet of clay.
An Astrologer once told me I would have difficulities with In-Laws- well after the fact! I couldnt help but be surprised though, & wonder if it all 'planned out' for us!

Saturday, November 4

Saturday rambles

It is a wet day-hooray for the garden! But I fear that none of the precious water is going into any of the catchment areas.

GOM has another bout of bronchitis, so he is asleep. He must have felt bad, as he actually made his own Dr appointment!! It is only a month since his last bout of it. We suspect we keep getting infected by SG, who seems to have constant coughs & colds, since starting Pre School.

Still trying to get on top of old photos, & lots of 'stuff'.
I thought I was doing so well, getting all the photos into albums all those years ago, but as time has passed I suspect the albums have damaged some of the photos, & they now seem very faded & pale.


This is in memory of my little Katie, & our cat Aslan. They were the best of friends, & always slept together- usually on a blanket on the bottom tray of an old tea trolley.
Another beautiful garden of Nice Neighbour's.
A lovely little pic of Nice Neighbour's little fairy!












I have been remembering how GOM & I first met, & how determined he can be when he wants to be.
We met at night in a bar, in a hotel which used to trade (illegally) after hours.
All this was in the days of 6 o clock closing, & there was a secret, roaring trade in after hours- prices were always higher in light of the 'risks' the Publicans had to take!

BFJ & I used to go, on Saturday afternoons, to a large Hotel, in the Southern City, which had a huge lounge bar, & we got to know the 'regulars' after a while. Plus we would see quite a few people we already knew from our days of Apple Picking.

This particular Satruday evening we were given a lift with an acquaintance, who offered to take us to the 'afterhours' place. The way things worked in those days, was you didnt get in, unless you were 'known' to the management, or were accompanied by a known customer. All very hush hush, & quite exciting for girls who had previously known nothing of Hotel life.

There was a 'code', of course, & entry would be denied unless you followed strict protocol. If you wished to enter you had to give the 'secret door bell ring' - this was usually 3 short rings. The police, of course, played the game too, & it was well known if there was one long, solid, ring, a 'raid' was about to take place! So all customers would be hustled out into toilets, or upstairs, to cringe & sway on the upper levels, until the constabulary had conducted their inspection, & went on their way. I remember one seaside hotel, that was notorious for afterhours trading, & all the customers would be hustled out the back door, where they would have to shiver & cower under a huge rock cliff face- & it was usually freezing too!

The particular evening I met GOM was a cold night, & we didnt fancy running home through the cold streets to our small grotty flat. The bar was small & crowded & very noisy. GOM came over to introduce himself- he knew the man we were with, & spoke to him, then spoke to BFJ & I. As it happened he was with BFJ's future husband, & little did BFJ or I have any idea it was a fateful meeting.

GOM asked for my phone number, but we didnt have a phone. So he took my address on a matchbox & I never expected to see him again. BFJ had a regular boyfriend at that time, an Aussie, who shared a house with several others, & we used to spend most evenings at their house as they had 'mod cons'! TV & comfortable furniture.

I had a sort of understanding with another of the Aussie boys, but I was suffering a broken heart, which I really felt would never mend, so I wasnt really bothered about anyone.

GOM had other ideas, I guess. The first night he came knocking on the door, I laughed & told him I was off out for the evening, so off he went. The next night, there he was again. Same thing. Next night -same thing. For a whole week. In the end, I thought I would never get rid of him, so I agreed to go to a movie with him. We saw a Beatles movie- I forget which one now,- but I bet he remembers. He was so polite, & shook my hand goodnight! I went inside & said to BFJ that I thought I might have met a real gentleman! And really thought not much more about him, but he kept right on coming around, & sheer persistance won the day I suppose, as I started going out with him regularly.

The MIL- who was BOM- (Bitchfaced Ogre Mother) was not least impressed & liked to introduce me to GOM's rellies as, 'the barfly'. Thankfullly most of his rellies were nice & pulled faces behind her back. When my rellies met her they felt sooo sorry for me,- especially after we were married.

It didnt particularly worry me what she thought anyway, because I never dreamed that I would end up being married to GOM.
But that is another story!

Friday, November 3

Friday -Again

Where do these weeks go??
They all vanish so quickly. I can remember my Grandmother saying how quickly the years passed, & it never seemed so, when I was a child. But it does seem to speed up, the older you get!

Today I will post some pics I tried to get on here yesterday.
The first is a lovely fisherman garden of Nice Neighbour's.
It looks so nice & cool, wish I could sit there too.




This next pic is another of my dolls. She stands by the little pram with the twins.

This next one is Gillian, & she is in her school uniform. She seems to be a favourite with most people who see her.



I pinched the next idea off My Float!
But, I changed mine. I was not particular about what my 'boobies' would be called, & when they turned out to be Cheech & Chong, I was even less impressed!! I could never stand those two, never found them entertaining at all.

So I decided to see what type of puppy I am.

You Are a Beagle Puppy

Cheerful, energetic, and happy go lucky.
And you're sense of smell is absolutely amazing!

I thought that was strange, because I have always loved Beagles.

This is a pic of me with my beloved little dog Katie, who looked very beagle like, but was a real mystery girl! She had patches of Blue Heeler & she was a very clever little girl. This was taken in the kitchen (yes, gasp! shock! horror!) of the country Hotel we had in NZ. Pile of laundry waiting to be taken upstairs, beside me.

It is a cloudy lookng day here, & seems to be really warm
Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Thursday, November 2

A Question of Reason

Blogger is not being cooperative at the moment, re photos.

Reading lots of lovely blogs, & feeling joy & sometimes sadness for people 'unknown', in reality, but 'known' from their writings, has become something I look forward to each day.

I initially got interested in Blogs through reading an article in Australian Country Threads, by Ruth Buchanan, whose quilts I greatly admire, & also her excellent style of writing, plus her blog, Patterning the World, which was the very first Blog I 'met'.

Since then, I have been 'hooked' you might say.
Thank you, Ruth, for more than just your quilts!

After I got brave enough to try this out for myself, I found I had a lot of help, & also discovered I was having a lot of fun, just blogging about all sorts of odd things that have happened in our lives.

I can see, we are all very different, but I think we are all very alike too. No matter what your age, you still wonder if you are making the 'right' choices.

With the benefit of hindsight, I feel a bit like the words of a song by Don McLean, Crossroads;
"You know I've heard about people like me,
But I never made the connection.
They walk one road to set them free,
And find they've gone the wrong direction.
But there's no need for turning back,
For all roads lead to where I stand,
And I believe we'll walk them all,
No matter what we may have planned."

That has been one of theme songs of my adult life, -life after children. I believe it is true.
I always tell my children I want to have Cat Stevens song, "Miles from Nowhere" played for my funeral, or death dance, or whatever they have.
"You know that my body has been a great friend
But I wont need it, when I reach the end."

I always tell my daughter, when she is fretting over 'not being a "perfect" mother', that no one person ever is, & I truly believe all mothers do the best they can. It may not the be the 'best' from another's point of view, but I am sure no one ever gets up in the morning & says, "Today I am going to be the Crappest Mother I can!" Do they??

Just I am sure we never 'decide' to make a complete 'ballsup' of our days or weeks.

When my children were born, everyone used to say, "It will all be alright once you establish a 'routine'. I got to the stage, where if I had heard the word routine, one more time I was going to leap on to the person saying it, & just throttle the life out of them!! I hated that word. My babies NEVER seemed to fit into routines. It may have been more to do with me, than them. I dislike routines -always have. I like to think of life more in terms of changing rythyms.
A routine would imply you couldnt have a spur of the moment choice - which I loved, & so did the children.

I see a new 'worry' word would appear to be 'balance'. Having read Bec of the Ladies Lounge- who writes so beautifully,- I confess, 'balance' as such never enters my mind. Of course the concept of it does, & when the children were young, we tried to give them -& ourselves- what I would call a 'satisfactory mix'. Which after all, is really balance. When my children were small I was lucky I could be a stay-at-home Mum. When my 'baby' was 5, I became a working mother, but as it was Hotels, & we lived on the premises it was not the same as having to go off to work each day.

I watch my daughter struggling with her 'balancing act' for her children, work, & leisure. It is always she who misses out. Women seem hardwired to make most of the sacrifices.

Now, I suppose i will be deluged with people disagreeing iwth me. Which is good, - & if you do let me know!

Sorry to rave on - if anyone reads & cares.
I explained to my Nice Neighbour that most days my blog almost seems to write itself!

I sincerely hope i have not misquoted the words of the songs, which are from memory. My Beloved Brother is sure to let me know if I have- he has a phenomonal memory for words of the themes of our lives!

Wednesday, November 1

A Gun to the Head & other Trivial Events

When GOM was the Licensee of a Hotel in Western Sydney, & we had to move into said Hotel, & it was a very different experience to having Hotels in NZ.

Just as many 'characters', locals, & for GOM, just as much enjoyment, & just as many laughs. I was caring for AAG at that stage, & so was not about in Bars, but did occasionally do the upstairs cleaning, & preparation of meals for Accountants when they came each month, & other various tasks.

There were permanant residents, who had their oddities. Luckily for us, a long term tennant died just before we moved in, so we were spared that.

There was a mischievous old woman, who was very lonely, & seemed to have no relations, & few friends. She would hide things from the staff, & do all sorts of odd things which could be infuriating. Such as go out leaving her taps turned on, in her basin in her room, with the plug in it. Resultant overflow flooded the Office downstairs, ruined 3 carpets, plus numerous items on the office desk. Denied all knowledge of the taps being turned on- of course. Like a child, & so alone it was easy to feel sorry for her, but then she would do something outrageously nasty, & it was difficult to be civil. She has remained there through several changes of managers, & owners, & as far as I know she is still in residence She told me she once broke her leg when the floorboards gave way under her! The Hotel was a fairly old building with horrible old concrete floors downstairs, in the kitchen & laundry rooms, & creaky, uneven, old floorboards upstairs, & shabby living for the Management- which is often the case. But as least we did have our own little kitchen, which had been tacked onto the roof, in a little extension.

There was an alarm system in the Hotel, which was connected to the local police station. When we first moved into the flat, our son, who had moved home again, after a stint flatting, wondered what the heck the small square thing was on the wall of his bedroom, so he examined it. Next thing there were police with guns out, flooding through the bars, & our Asst Manager was mystified! It turned out the strange square thing, was a panic button! Previous manager hadn't bothered to let us know about it.
That is when we found out there was another in the passage in our flat, & another in the office downstairs.

The office was a cramped smelly little room, partially under the stairs. It had a big old safe in the corner, & a window with 'peephole' glass for 'spying' out into the bar. The window didnt line up with the only space for the office desk, so it was a bit useless, really. There was always a nasty odour in the Office, & investigations never seemed to find the source of the smell. I remember once a local plumber, removed some floor boards, to find water lying under them. I was horrified, & suspected it must be sewage, judging by the stench. I almost died when he dipped his finger into the liquid & TASTED it, declaring, "No that is not sewage".

In the mornings GOM would go into the office & sort the day's Banking, & attend to other 'office' things. One of GOM's friends, (we can call him S, for Shocked) was husband to a woman who ran the Snack Bar, & he would often come in early to clean the Grill for his wife.

On the morning in question he had come into the office to talk to GOM. Suddenly there was a gun pointing at GOM's head, & a voice said "Give me the Money!" GOM thought it was a joke of some sort, till he looked at the gun. Gunman then pointed the gun at S & told them both to lie on the floor. As the office was very small & cramped that was no easy feat! Then the gunman ordered GOM to open the safe, which was closed, & had to be opened with a slow combination lock. Gunman was pretty hyped up, & kept snarling at GOM to hurry, & S said all he could thnk about was 'If he shoots GOM, I will be covered in his blood!', as he was lying under GOM, as he struggled to get the safe open. Then, after GOM got the money out the Gunman demanded their wallets. GOM didnt use one then, & S was on compo, & told the Gunman, so he just grabbed the money & ran out of the place. GOM hit the panic button, - & Gunman had known about it, as he had threatened & poked GOM on the head with the gun, telling him not to touch it.

Then as they waited for police to arrive GOM rang upstairs to tell me what had just happened. He seemed so calm, & he didnt suffer any after effects. His mate S did though, & I was flabbergasted to find there was no type of counselling available for him, & even the police coundnt offer any advice about where to get some. It took months for S to recover from that episode, but it has not affected GOM & he laughs about it now, as another of lifes 'free treats'.
The Gunman was never caught, though he dropped his hat on the office desk, & both GOM & S gave good descriptions.
We did hear rumours that it was known to police who he was, but that was all.


As to this next pic, I got it in an email & laughed, & thought thank goodness it was just the tiolet paper that SG used for his 'dressup'!!
The joys of small children.








And this little pic is of Maybelle, a small porcelian doll among my babies.