Friday, May 18

A Brother

First, look at this beautiful Jonquil, kissed by the rain this morning. The perfume is quite intoxicating.

This is a pic of my brother & I taken when he was about 4 years old, so I would have been about 8 I suppose. Just ignore me, as it is my Beloved Brother I wish to blog about.
As you can see, he was a sunny little boy, & always had a smile, & twinkling blue as blue eyes. I always felt a little jealous of him when we were young, I think. My mother's eyes always looked so soft when she looked at him, & she always gave him the first kiss. I felt I had to ask for mine. She denied this in later years, & I know she loved us both, but a love for a son can be different.
My brother has always been a happy optimistic person. A glass half full man. When we were young growing up, we tended to not be too close, age difference playing a part I am sure. Plus I could be a bossy b of an older sister. But my brother still seemed to love me, no matter what.
Once we 'grew up' we became best friends, & remain so. We almost communicate in our own language at times. We can read each other's minds. we are likely to get an attack of helpless laughter unexpectedly, & find it odd that noone else 'gets it'.
We spent some years apart when my brother went away to school, & I started a career as a nurse. (which I didnt complete). When my brother was about 16 he came to live with our mother & I again. He got an apprenticeship ~ remember those??~ as a Printer. He loved words, books & everything about the printing trade when he did his apprentiship.
He had to do most of it by correspondance, as there was nowhere in Auckland where he could go. That seems incredible today. He had to send his work backwards & forwards to Wellington. He once answered a question with "Several or more" An answer came back, "Several IS more!" We have teased him about that for years.
He worked initially with a one man band. Well, when I say that it was a two man printing shop, with my brother as the apprentice.
He bought himself an old hand printing press, & spent hours restoring it, & sorting his type & just loving it. We all called it the "Clean Machine". I do believe at one stage he had parts of it in one bedroom after he was married, & needless to say, his wife was not impressed one bit.
He kept it in our mother's garage, & would happily spend hours playing with it, -even days would have passed had our mother not called him in for meals. He did small jobs for friends. He became friends with an artist, who gave him some of his art in lieu of payment.. they are now worth REAL MONEY. My brother would never part with them.
Our mother worked shift work. She would prepare meals for my brother & leave them for him to reheat when he got home from his 'day job'. He would often put them on to reheat, then nip up 'just for a few minutes' to his beloved Clean Machine.
Once our mother enquired as to how he had enjoyed the stew she had made, & Where the Hell is the Rest of it?? So he valiantly lied & said he been extra peckish & had eaten it all. Of course our mother exploded & told him not to be so stupid, there was whole pound of meat in there, & he couldnt have possibly eaten it all! I dont think she ever found the burnt pot, I think he cunningly bought another & disposed of the original. He did that many times. Many delicious meals went the way of charred ruins. He would completely lose all track of time. He would suddenly remember with horror, that there was reheating food. He would run down to the house, to be greeted by charred to death food, & how he never burnt the house down, no one knew.
He still has his machine, now not in working order & his type is scattered about, in disarray in boxes. He still loves his books & words. He has a remarkable memory for poetry, & dirty ditties, & can recite so many just from memory. He can tell many hilarious stories about what happened to his 'ring' when he was lifting the "Clean Machine" into place in the old garage. A friend came to help him, & reckoned he had tried to make him a Eunuch.
The old shed which housed his beloved old hand machine, has long gone, & been replaced twice. Firstly with a huge double garage, now with his new house.
Printing is not the art it once was, & the business my brother is in now, is... well a bit rotten. A related field I guess. Not books or art. Fast food containers. That sort of thing. A bit rotten, IMHO.
Anyway, here we are today, a sort of after picture. Taken last November when he turned 60. He still has his twinkly eyes, though they dont twinkle quite so often. He is one of my favourite people in all the world.
Keep passing the open windows!


catalyst said...

Meggie - Nice post. And thank you for having that music on your site. I checked it out and now I have it also. Hurray!

crafty said...

Hi Meggie,

How lovely that you are friends with your brother. I am also enjoying your music.
May I link you?

Thimbleanna said...

How lucky to have such a wonderful and interesting brother. And, obviously, he's very lucky in his sister!

sMC said...

A lovely post and lovely people... aubirdwoman

Judy said...

What a neat post about your brother. I feel as though I know him!

Stomper Girl said...

Oh I laughed at your brother wrecking all those meals. Although if I'd been the thoughtful mother preparing and leaving those meals I would not have found it so funny! At least he cleaned up the smoking remains. I can never get the charred smell out of the kitchen when I set fire to stuff.

meggie said...

Hi, I am kicking myself! There are so many things I left out! How generous he is, how kind, & compassionate. What a wonderful caring son he was. And a wonderful loving, fair, & generous father to his 3 gorgeous sons, & a loving, adoring, faithful husband to his wife.
He is a favourite among all the rellies, & loves his wider family
as well as his close family.

Now, if only he had a dog....he would be perfect! hahaha.

fifi said...

What beautiful little faces!
How beautiful is little meggie, with her pretty eyes and the bow in her hair. The lovingly smocked dress, the big smile...
so sweet.

Your brother sounds completely lovely. Lucky you!

ps I am sitting here in a ray of sun after a busy day, the music lovely, looking at the two long-ago children. Nice.

MargaretR said...

I'm so glad not to have missed that Meggie. brought back so many vivid memories of my own DB who died many years ago and was also my mother's favourite. There were reasons for this and my DM and I understood each other on this point and I had no hard feelings. you are a wonderful writer. I look forward to more about your Brother.

Henri said...

Goodness , Meggie , you have almost ' sainted' me !( apart from the pot burnings ) I almost saw faint traces of a halo in the mirror as I went past haha People will wonder what I paid you . Seriously , I can assure you the love is reciprocated fully. You were always and still are one of my favourite people too . As a boy I was in awe of you , my clever big sister ( and still am ) - you could do no wrong really in my eyes .
The Clean Machine only needs the print rollers re - covering to be workable again ,although I may no longer treadle it as fast as I once did ! The type is more or less sorted too .
As to poor Mary's pots , I did finally learn to cook a bit better and did buy her a full set of copper bottomed stainless ones which she made good use of & which are in full use today . Her food was wonderful -- apart from those neck chops , which you may remember ?
I do too have a dog ! Don't forget the wonderful little Japanese ' Amber'
Mostly the view from the windows is good -- I will keep passing them .Thanks for your loving thoughts and comments .xxxxx

Joke said...

I recognize that meal-wrecker mindset!


Isabelle said...

Awww! What a lovely and loving pair you are. I envy your relationship. I'm fond of my brother and we get on well, but we're very different people.

sueeeus said...

What a priceless relationship! You are so blessed to have each other. Thank you for sharing that.

I tagged you for a meme. I hope you don't mind. :)

Molly said...

I always thought it was a great injustice that I didn't have an older brother. Think of the ready made boyfriends! I did/do have a younger brother and love him, but we don't have the wonderful closeness you describe.. Life did bless me with a wonderful sister though, so I guess things even out in the end.

Lee said...

Lovely post, Meggie.

BoggyWoggy said...

What an excellent story! I also love that you posed so match the original photo!
I have 2 brothers, both younger. I miss them often...but, I'm sad because they really don't care about me. See, like you, I'm the daughter...and the oldest. It was tough being a girl. When I had a daughter, I was so excited. Then, my second pregnancy was a boy. I said to my mom, while pregnant that I'd hoped I'd have another girl. Her true colors showed clearly upon her response: "Ah, girls are nice and all, but a baby boy? Oh how they melt your heart."

Sheila said...

It's lovely that you are still so close and loving toward each other.
I have two sisters, no brothers, and always wondered what it would be like.
I'm amused by the burned pot episodes, as I tend to get on the computer and do the same thing myself these days..!

Ribbonwiz said...

Beautiful photo meggie,
I'm glad i came by and got caught up with your blog..
I always wanted a brother or a sister for that matter...
It's lovely that you both get on so well together..

h&b said...

How funny Meggie - we keep having so much in common ( the Eden link, and now the printing link ;)

And also the parentage and favouritism link ...

Most/all parents will have a favourite, although they won't admit it ;) I am loathe to have another child, as my favourite is already firmly picked, and i'd hate another child to feel as you did, as I did .. I guess being aware of it though, i'd just have to make the greater effort.

My grandmother still firmfastedly prefers her firstborn, and I am said to be just like her ;)