The 31st of August was my maternal Grandmother's birthday.
I can never remember the year she was born. Perhaps my Beloved Brother will leave me a comment telling me what year it was.
Her name was Christiana. She was the eldest girl in her family. Unlike her brothers & sisters, she was not given a second christian name.
I am not even sure how old she was when this photo was taken. She was born in Yorkshire in England, & when she was 18 years old, her whole family emigrated to New Zealand.
Her mother had very bad arthritis, & the family Doctor advised them that New Zealand would be kinder for her condition. Obviously, he had never been to New Zealand, which, while being very beautiful, is not kind to arthritis at all.
Christiana married an Australian born man, who had gone to New Zealand seeking work. They had 4 children, 3 boys, & my mother.
For much of Christiana & George's marriage, they lived in a very remote cottage in a wild Gorge beside a river in the North Island of New Zealand.
Christiana was the Post Mistress for the district, which business was just run from the cottage. And George was the Road Maintenance man, who kept the roads open for traffic- the 'Service Car' which was the bus service in those days, and the cars, but much of the traffic was horse & buggy!
My Grandmother loved driving the horse & gig, & in her young days, had loved to ride her horse alongside the train in Yorkshire. Until her father caught her, & forbade her to do it again. Plus she preferred to ride astride the horse, & not sidesaddle, which was considered disgraceful.
Christiana loved her family dearly, & was never happier than when they were all gathered together. She used to usually catch a cold on or near her birthday. Fickle Spring seemed to catch her every year, and she would spend about 2 weeks of misery, with running nose, & a general feeling of unwellness.
When she was about 50, she had a fall, which resulted in a badly broken leg, just above her knee. Her family found her lying beside the steps, unable to remember how she had fallen. She spent considerable time in the Waikato hospital, and the knee was left permanently stiff, & she walked with a stick for the rest of her life.
I can still see her, sitting on her stool, at the side of the bench, with her leg propped out in front of her, peeling the vegetables for our tea. She would go out to her beloved garden, & bend over from the waist, laying her stick on the ground, & she would weed, or collect the vegetables for tea.
She had a friend, Mrs W, who was Welsh, who used to come to visit, by bus once a week.
Often when I came home from school, Mrs W would be sitting in the dining room, chatting away with her lovely lilting accent. My Grandmother would have just slipped out the back door to the garden, to collect some parsely or lettuce, & quietly slip back in & murmur something, & her friend seemed utterly unaware of her having been gone!
We used to snigger about it, & wonder how it could happen. The rules of their friendship seemed rather odd to us. They never called each other by their first names, & it was always Mrs W & Mrs D. I have no idea how they ever met each other, as our Grandmother didn't go out really, & was more of a homebody, happy with her little domain.
She had a very forgiving heart, & when I was young, I used to be furious with how she could always make excuses for people who did seemingly rotten things. Our mother used to get impatient too, but as she aged she became so much like her mother in her thinking. And guess what. I have come to think like that also! Christiana used to study her bible almost nightly, & though she never rammed it down our throats she would say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged" and I see the wisdom of those words, though not in any religious sense.
Of course we remember our Grandmother every August 31st.
And then, there is the Diana factor about the day.
The August 31st she died on, was a surreal kind of day, & will always remain that way in my memory.
Our mother had died on the 17th of August. Her funeral had been held on 22nd August. We were trying to pack up her flat, & decide what to do with her small shoes, her neat clothes, in such cared for condition. And we had been going over photos, always guaranteed to bring tears, as well as laughs.
We had the radio on in the back ground. My brother & I were alone. He in one room, & I in another. Then I heard the news that Diana had died in a bizarre accident.
My first reaction was to laugh hysterically. Odd I know, but it is the truth. I was not laughing about it, really, it was just a reaction of .....hysteria, pent up emotions.... who knows.
The media had saturated us with Diana 'news' prior to her death, & we had discussed it, my mother & I, in a vague way, as one does when one is confronted continually with some 'gossip' on the media. I think we both felt she was a little foolish, but also agreed she could have no peace from the media hounds.
So, her death always springs to mind for me at this time. I am sure I would have no specific memory if not for the timing of her death. I am not one of those people who can remember exactly where they were when they learnt of any celebrity's death. I have no idea where I was when JFK got shot. Only remember about Elvis because he died on GOM's birthday, & we happened to be in Sydney on holiday.
And now, I would like opinions, help, any thoughts..
If it is true, that Energy Follows Thought, does Energy differentiate between positive & negative??
Or to put it another way. Does Energy recognize 'Good & Evil'?
If I keep hurling 'bad. thoughts at Bush, for his evil or deranged mind, are those thoughts going to manifest as more power to Bush, or as a lessening effect? So to say, a weakening power?
I ask, because I am not religious in any sense of the word. But I do believe that positive thoughts can help people, if they are directed with sincerity.
And I see the wickedness in the world, that I associate with the Bush Administration, and I cant help but send some very black thoughts in their direction. But is that 'energy' working against them----or me?
And I can't apply my Grandmother's philosophy of 'Judge not' for those evil men.
I suppose I can see why people pray. I can't, but I see why others might.
Seals & Crofts, Ruby Jean & Billie Lee
Friday, August 31
The 31st of August was my maternal Grandmother's birthday.
Thursday, August 30
I don't know what is wrong with me. I seem to be feeling in the wrong season.
I feel like Three Dog Night's hit, Pieces of April.
"I've got pieces of April,
And it's a morning in May"
Except I've got pieces of April, & its a morning in August. Almost on the eve of Spring.
Perhaps the weather has added to my mood's confusion. It has been warm & mild, & quite Autumnal, not blustery or Spring like at all.
And perhaps the Eclipse had some effect on my mood. Who knows.
This disappointing shot is the best I got on the night. It is of the clouds feathering across the moon, as it rose above my horizon.
The later shots I attempted to take, look like bright dust motes. I suppose they were! I couldnt seem to get a focus on the actual moon. Never mind, there have been a lot of really good photos, on other blogs.
I seem to have this feeling that time is rushing past me, & I havent got the time to do all the things I want. The fact that I seem to be spending rather a lot of time
sitting vacantly staring into space 'smelling the roses', is not helping!
My lovely Cousin J, sent me some pics of her latest projects in the quilting world, & I am posting them, because she has done a fabulous job with them.
She & her husband came over to Oz & bought a huge Bus which had been converted to a caravan/motorhome. They spent 3 years travelling around, working here & there, & generally having a great time, sightseeing this 'wide brown land'. They used our place as "Home Base" & we had a wonderful Xmas with them here, as they travelled about.
Cousin J has always been a wonderful sewing artist, & when she saw my quilts she was very intrigued, & decided to try it for herself. And since then, she has made some fantastic quilts. Her lovely warm home is adorned with her work, & she had made many beautiful keepsakes for her grandchildren & family members.
This is a quilt she made for her husband, filled with memories of their happy days spent travelling about, over here. She called it 'OutBack Stars, & Wattle'.
Tuesday, August 28
It is not even Spring yet, but the last few warm days have brought a rush of 'Blowies'. They are blowflies, & are odious creatures, & I dont wish to have to give them house space. But the dratted things have been invading our house.
Please excuse the terrible photo, I should have nipped over to Aunty Evil's to nick her DH's pic of the Blowie.
At last count there were 12 carcasses lying under the lounge room window, & several in various other rooms also. We have a dispenser that automatically sends out jets of a non toxic insect repellent, which does seem to kill them, but not instantly, of course. GOM has been very busy vacuuming the offending bodies.
The dogs pause to sniff, & move disdainfully off, though friends say their youngest Golden Retriever wolfs them down! I think he is so eager for food, anything that doesn't get away, gets inhaled!
Blowflies dont normally appear until the summer. They are looked upon as the harbingers of Summer, in this part of the world. I am wondering if some small animal has died, & that has brought the blowflies out. I cannot smell anything unpleasant, but I suppose it need not be that close.
We have just been having these really warm days, with bright skies & little breeze. Perfect magical days. And it is to be clear tonight for the Lunar Eclipse. So I might try to get a pic or two.
Daughter J called in to collect Sil's keys & SG was here to see us. The dogs disgraced theselves a little, barking with excitement at loved 'family'. Honey even played with SG, which is unusual for her. I think she regards him as an annoying rival for my affections.
Daughter J is a Care Worker. She loves her work, & has a soft & kind heart. She tells me little stories from time to time about her work. Some cases are very sad. I hope I never have to rely on others for the basics.
It was one of my mother's greatest fears, that she would have to have care or go into a home. As it happened I was able to care for her, for what turned out to be the last weeks of her life.
And here is a piece of strange fabric I recently found in an Op Shop. I think it may have a little polyester in it, but I am not a Quilt snob, & the unusual pattern somehow appealed to me. It speaks of jungles & wild animals somehow.
I moved the pic, so dont think it will enlarge on clicking this time.
My Beloved Brother writes me wonderful emails, telling me of his life, & times.
I thought I would like to share this with you, from his yesterday's Epistle.
Unfortunately this seems to true of so many businesses today. People seem not to talk to each other, or policy setting seems to be in the Too Hard basket.
He is currently training staff to operate machinery. He has repeatedly asked for a computer, & repeatedly been promised one- soon. It is a difficult task, as very few of the workers speak English as a first language, & so he has to really work to make himself understood. He is very interested in language, & has learnt quite a lot of Samoan, & can understand quite a lot, & also speak a little.
Roberta Flack, You've Got a Friend.
Monday, August 27
This is the nightsky this evening. Wonderful weather to fly. Anywhere. I absolutely love flying. Have done, from the first time I ever flew. I have had many domestic flights in New Zealand, on several different Airlines. Companies came & went, & they offered 'specials', at various times in the incarnation/evolution of their lives.
I vividly remember the first flight that GOM took, from the Southern City, to meet my family & visit the North Island for the first time. The flight landed at Whenuapai Airport, & it must have been 1964. He wore a suit, & tie, as men did, back in the day. It was a hot day, he had his jacket over his shoulder, the tie loosened, casually attractive. Sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He looked so young & handsome to me. I had tears in my eyes. But I never let him see them. I was the 'Ice Princess'.
I was so wounded, damaged, I was never, never falling in love again! And I didnt!! But....
Be warned. Love sometimes sneaks up. Without us realising.
He spent Christmas holidays staying at my family home. My mother really wanted to dislike him, but she couldn't. He was charming, faultless in his manners. It almost killed him to eat all the vegetables my mother cooked. He was the vegetable hater! The things
we he did for love!!
Me, I didn't even realise I had been bitten- yet!
He flew off to Southern skies. But to Northern Cities. Eventually, I flew off to meet him, - at his urging. Still, largely believing, that I didn't really care- one way or the other...
He found employment in a city. I also found employment. We had friends & laughs.
Then we took the InterIsland Ferry to the Southern Island.
Fell apart, ....or went our seperate ways. I found employment. He travelled off on other journeys.
And came in & out of my life. Erratically. And I had my best male friend G* & life moved along.
I had flights to & from the Southern City. I love those flights. I loved being alone to fly off to destinations of my choosing.
I flew off to meet the man who changed my destiny for all time. I discovered I was SO over him. All I thought about was GOM. It was very very stange.
I am sure life kicks us in the pants, tells us where we need to be! Plays practical jokes, leaves us with egg all over our faces! Mocks us!!
But back to the flights. I was lucky to have yearly flights to visit with my mother, & other family, in NZ, after we had moved to Australia to live, permanently.
Prior to that GOM & I, after our surrender to our fate, & our marriage, & subsequent birth of our children, took holidays, involving flights to Australia, for holidays. Or trips to visit family inter-Islandly, so to say.
We often flew with Air New Zealand Airlines. Which had a good record. And lovely service. And really nice meals!
And we often flew with Qantas. Good service, nice staff. Nice meals. Excellent service, really.
Sunday, August 26
Who could not love this little face! This is Mr & Mrs Nice Neighbour's little dog. He is such a good little boy.He has always been a lovely dog, but he used to get so excited & would jump & bark whenever we met him. Now he is the model of a well behaved dog. Mr & Mrs NN have been training him with a non force, non food reward, method. It seems to have worked miracles, & they have lent us the video, & we are so far very pleased with the results with our 2 outlaws.
Thinking of training dogs, the following conversation for your information.
"Oh goodness, what is that? Is it a football wearing a very badly dyed old sheepskin? And why are you dragging it along on that lead?"
"Your dog?? That is an actual dog? Oh yes, now I see the stumps for legs. And the bared fangs at the er.. front end?"
"Can I venture to ask how it got, er, shaped like that?"
" Oh I see. You have been training it.
Using the rewards/treats system."
"And how is that working out for you? Sh!t! It almost took my finger off!"
"Still a long way to go, you think?"
"Oh, look out, I think it is weeing on your leg! Oh I see your leg & shoe are very yellow already!"
Walks off muttering to self, "Wretched thing will very likely die of obesity long before it gets 'trained'. Owner is well trained though...in the art of giving food when required."
Proceed at you own risk!
This is the part, where I would ask anyone with Religion to look the other way, in case they may be offended with content.
We have been watching with amazement & interest, as the world seems to go periodically mad, at supposed findings of faces of the Christ, or the Mary or other 'religious' faces- though how anyone actually knows what these people or beings, actually look like is beyond us too!
And why dont we hear of Bhuddists finding Bhuddas, (although I do believe they are urged to kill the Bhudda if they see it) or Hindi's finding their supposed Deities? Although I do seem to remember some Elephant statue pouring forth milk... no one mentioned the smell that must have prevailed at that little phenomena site! And do the Muslims have such phenomena too?
I apologise if I am offending anyone. As I dont have a religion or an Icon to stand & worship, I am ignorant as to the names, & terms of most of these matters.
Anway, the point of this, is that we noticed some weeks ago, that there was a mysterious shape appeared out on our concrete in the back yard. We decided to wait & see if a face appeared.
We could see raking in the dosh, as we charged admission to view. And sold tissues for the tears that would be sure to be shed at the sight of such a wondrous thing.
Alas, this seems to be as far as it was going to go.
Saturday, August 25
Remember Big Hair? This was taken around 1963. I have always hated going to the hairdresser's & used to do my own hair.
In this photo I am with a family friend, who is now dead. It seems sad to think he has gone. He was younger than I, & his whole family has died, apart from his children & grandchildren.
I was very lucky, I had an unusual dressing table with 3 mirrors, & the side mirrors were hinged, & I could sit in the lower centre part, & see all sides of my hair. I even used to cut my own hair quite often. And I would love to have that dear old dressing table in my life today!
I remember the clouds of hairspray those high hair styles took! And the little black dress could have told many tales. My Best Friend J used to share it with me! It saw many a night of fun, & dancing. Would that I should be that slim today!
And this next ugly picture is of my 'groove' these days! It is the groove made by my socks on my swollen leg! Needless to say I dont wear those socks very often.
And on a happier note, here is a little bear that came home with me today. I was assured he is a French Bear, by the French man who sold him to me. Never mind that the label says 'Made in China'.
Friday, August 24
On a hot summer day in February, in the Southern City's summer heat, the children were bored. We lived in a Hotel, in the centre of the city, & so there were no grounds or lawns for children.
I used to often take them into the nearby Park, which was huge, & beautiful. The Park contained swimming pools too, & on really hot days they could go for a swim. Although we were warned in the newpapers, not to allow children to bathe naked. Or leave them unattended at the little pools.
It seems perverts were known to lurk in the bushes spying on the little kids splashing, & enjoying the summer fun. A sinister side effect which cast a little shadow on such beautiful surroundings.
It somehow seemed incredible to contemplate in such a beautiful Park, with it's glorious shrubberies, & wonderful flowering garden beds, & beautiful trees. And the lovely winding lazy river that wove it's way through the park, so gently.
We had many happy excursions to the Park grounds, & the Botanic Gardens. And the children hired small canoes, to row up the river. And if someone fell in, well, the river was slow, & gentle, & shallow. Children could easily wade out, with nothing more than dignity harmed.
Every now & then I would try to take the children to different parks & give them some variety of scenery.
We knew of a nice park, with fun ropes to climb, nice tall slides, & swings, seesaws, & unusual cubby house structures, which always seemed to delight them.
There was a stand of bamboo they could run through & hide, & just generally have a great deal of fun. It was quite a parent friendly park, in that there were nice comfortable seats in amongst the shrubbery & carefully tended flower gardens.
On the day in question, I took the children to this park, & as I sat enjoying the sun, & the sound of their laughter, a huge pretty butterfly came & hovered around all the flowers.
And then it came & settled on my arm. I sat frozen. It was very beautiful, very colourful. I had never seen a butterfly of such beauty before.
But I felt cold as ice. And I sat in frozen horror. Not knowing why.
It finally lifted it's wings & flew off, away from the park. I felt very cold. And still. And that hot summer day was suddenly so chill.
I called the children. Insisted we needed to go. And we went home. And I told the HYPH (Happy Young Publican Husband). And, in the manner of men, he laughed it off, probably didnt really listen to me.
Then, the following day, we got a phone call from my stepdaughter's mother, HYPH's ex-wife, to say his daughter had been in an accident. She was in a coma, on life support.
The accident happened the night the butterfly landed on my arm. It was February 21st, 1976. She died on February 28th. She never regained consciousness.
We spent almost the week, at her bedside. We had to return to the Southern City to our children.
We had been visiting the city where she lived a week prior to her accident. We had taken photos and they were the last photographs ever taken of her.
Here she is on the left, our beautiful girl, fifteen years old. A lovely lovely person.
With her father, & her half brother & sister. Her only siblings.
And we took this photo of her in her new jacket her mother had made her, on the Sunday before we left to travel home to our Southern City.
Thursday, August 23
When we first came to Australia, just on 24 years ago, we went shopping for furniture. We had not brought any items of furniture with us, & the few pieces we did choose to bring, were on a container, & didnt arrive for a couple of months after we did.
We were very lucky to find a partially furnished house to rent initially, but we needed some beds, & various items of linen, crockery cutlery etc.
And of course Television, as the Cricket season was in full swing, & perish the thought that GOM should miss that! So we got the requisite TV, & a VideoRecorder, it seemed so the neighbour children could spend all day in our house, playing wretched games, or watching cartoons, since their mother was not too keen on having them mess up her house.
While we were out shopping for beds, GOM spotted two figurines. They are tall elegant ladies in the 1920s style of dress & thinness. He fell in love with these elegant figures & enquired as to their cost. One of the ladies had 'lost' a hand clasping a purse, & so we were able to purchase the pair of figurines for a fraction of their original cost. Apparently an errant child had broken the hand-plus-purse in a mad rampage around the shop.
And we have enjoyed them over the past 24 years, albeit one hand, clutching the purse, was always resting down on the base upon which the lady stands.
Over the years as we have moved from place to place, I have fancied the lady less the hand, has been comforted by her partner, the lady with both hands.
I finally decided it was time for some repair.
Well, that is untrue really. I had decided long ago to effect repair. I bought some Super Glue & duly glued the hand with purse onto the slim wrist. Of course the first time I moved it, it promptly fell off!
But I remembered over the weekend, that Mr Nice Neighbour is very artistic at mending things, & has on occasion, mended items for us before. So I asked if he was prepared to try to mend our lady less the hand. He agreed he would, & today he returned her fully restored.
And, you know, I swear I can hear her singing! And I swear she and the lady of two hands, are singing duets!
These are truly lousy pics of the ladies concerned, but you will get the idea.
This is the slender lady, who for so long was handless. Now happily clutching her purse once again, thanks to kind Mr Nice Neighbour.
Wednesday, August 22
When I was young, one of the treats of our lives was Blackberry Jam, & Blackberry Pies. Our Grandmother would make the most delicious blackberry jam, which tasted so lovely in the winter months when it was cold & nary a berry could be found. It was like a little sliver of the Summer's heat & fullness, when the country was still, & bare, & cold. And berryless!
That rich, luscious, full flavour, somehow seemed to embody the full richness of bountiful summer days, with plenteous warmth, humidity, & languid, lazy days to be filled with pleasure. Such as can only be experienced, or perhaps enjoyed, as a child, without care or responsibilities.
We had several varieties of Berries we could plunder at will, with no ownership or 'private' rights to deter us. They grew wild & free, & were there for the taking, if we could only be bothered to gather them.
Blackberry was a weed in New Zealand. It was reviled by the diligent farmer, & cleared from his land.
Luckily for us, there were pockets of land where the owners of the land had neither the time nor the inclination to kill off the Brambles. Nor did they care who chose to avail themselves of the wondrous crops. And our mother would load us into the car, with buckets, & pans, & off she would drive, up winding, dusty, country gravel roads, in search of thick patches of the blackberries. Growing in thick tangles among the patches of Bracken ferns.
And we would climb the ricketty old fence, always at a post, as we had been taught, & proceed to pick the beautiful ripe, full, berries. And they always seemed so fat, & juicy, & just wonderful!
And there were often the slightly, larger & redder-hued, berries growing among all the blackberries, & these we took to be Boysenberries, but whether or not they were true Boysenberries, to this day, I am not sure. But they were equally delicious & we gathered as many as we could, before fatigue, or our mother's pleas for respite, would call a halt to the day's gatherings.
And of course there were extremely hot, humid days, when we would whine & complain, & yelp in terror, at the stabs of the thorns, bloody & painful, & wish to be home again. And our mother would grimly return to the car, vowing never to take us out again!
But of course, once our Grandmother had made the jam, pies, & Blackberry or Boysenberry jelly or jam, we would beg to be taken again, & promise, in the hollow way of children, to be 'good this time' & not 'whine or complain'.
And our Aunt & Uncle lived on the side of a valley, carved over many years by the river, which wound sluggishly down in the very bottom of the valley. On the banks below the boundary fence, of our Uncle & Aunt's property, there grew a wonderful light red berry we called a Wineberry. And the thorns, or prickles, on these vines were very mild, & hardly scratched at all. And very rarely drew blood.
So when the crop was ripe, we would eagerly climb the fence, & clinging to the steep sides of the bank, spend an afternoon, gather the lovely delicate red berries, to be made into Wineberry Jelly, or Apple & Wineberry Jam. And sometimes into pies.
Or, when the crop was large, they could be rinsed, & sprinkled lightly with sugar, & just enjoyed 'au naturale', with a little fresh cream added. The bliss of those memories! And the wonderful colours of the berries. And that lovely memory of Summer, when the jams or pies were tasted in the Winter months.
We forgot the whining, of heat, & bramble's sharp stabs, & just savoured those wonderful rich Summer tastes, fillled with memories.
Chris Isaak, Sweet Leilani.
Tuesday, August 21
When my brother & I were kids, our mother had to work, as our parents were divorced. Our father eventually remarried, & had another family, so there was never enough money for him to support us as well as his second family.
I remember once, being angry at the injustice of it, & asking my mother why she didnt go to the police to make them get the money off him. She rightly pointed out, that he only had so much money, & if he couldnt pay, he might have to go to jail, & what use would that be? Two families would be without money. And the fact that there were 6 children in the second family probably made money pretty tight for them, too.
And though I was quite young, I could see the logic in that, & never mentioned it again. And to be fair to our mother, she was a very good provider for us. We never went without. We always had shoes, nice clothes, & plenty of food. There was always money for school excursions & books pencils etc.
Admittedly, there was the help of our Grandmother. We lived with her, & my Grandfather until he died when I was about 8. Our Grandmother was always there when we came home from school, & always there in the mornings when we left for school. We always had school lunches, & wonderful meals cooked by our Grandmother. Or, when she got a chance, our mother would cook.
She once made a banana cake for my brother's birthday. The only thing wrong with that was, my brother hated bananas, cake & all, & it made his toungue itch. So, he never did get a cake that year. And we have laughed about it ever since. I dont remember her ever cooking me a cake, but then I probably wouldnt have minded much. I preferred savoury things even as a child.
Our mother used to look forward to when she had time off, & could take us out, & it would be just the 3 of us. At Christmas & New Year there would be a Fun Fair at a Beach near the little town where we lived. And she would take us over in the evening to listen to the music at the Sound Shell.
The Sound Shell was a large, shell shaped edifice built specially for the festivities, with a stage, with steps & it was shaped to amplify the sound, & there would be singing contests, Beauty contests, & Raffles, & next to it, there was a Side Show Alley. With a Ferris Wheel, & huge rides with swinging metal seats, suspended on long chains, the went way, way, out when the ride began, & scared the hell out of everyone! I think it may have been called the Ocotopus. I am sure my brother will remember!
Or the Ocotopus may have been another ride from a slightly later era, where the chairs were on the ends of long 'tentacles' of steel, & they went around as well as up & down, as the ride progressed. There was usually a good reason the barriers were set far away. Flying snacks could be seen being involuntarily 'tossed' as the ride went on, faster & faster.
And there were the small Carousels, with the mysterious painted ponies, that went up & down, for the younger children, or the more timid, such as myself.
I loved those wonderful wooden, painted ponies, with real horse hair manes & tails, & they all seemed to have personalities to me, & to this day, I have a love for Carousels. And I loved the clanking music they played as the rides whirled around.
We would take rugs with us, & some cushions, as seating round the Sound Shell was strictly ground only. And because it was so close to the beach, the grass would be dry, & it was a tussocky, prickly grass that grows in the sandy beach soil. So a rug was a luxury, or a necessity, if you were allergic to the grass prickle.
And we would take raffle tickets, with little luck. Though one evening, we just had this sudden feeling we would win, & we were arguing about who had to go to collect the prize, when they called our number. The people around us looked at us as if we had 3 heads each! And I unwillingly slunk up to recieve the prize, which was a towel! Most prizes were at least 2 towels, but ours was only one! We felt a little cheated.
And the singing contests could be very painful affairs. The total lack of talent of some contestants was truly cringeworthy, & I always felt sorry for them when the heartless crowd booed them off the stage. And once there was a group who sang "That'll Be the Day" - sang it flatly & droningly, & no one had ever heard it before, & booed them off. Later we learned it was a new Buddy Holly hit, & of course when he sang it, it sounded nothing like the version of the hapless young boys.
And there were the usual laughing Clowns, in the Side Show Alley, with ping pong balls to put down their gaping mouths, & darts for cards, & guns, & soft balls to throw at targets. And the prizes were crappy, but somehow they seem so much better than the current day prizes at such side show allies. I still have a pair of pottery egg cups that are supposedly now worth about $20 each to collectors! And even the little Kewpie dolls on the sticks are said to now be collectors items.
And there were the snack vans with their odious Hot Dogs. These were saveloys, on a stick, dipped in a heinous yellow thick batter, & then deep fried in fat. And then they were dipped in thick tomato sauce & poked through a serviette when you bought them. Or put into a paper bag. I can only remember eating- or partially eating- one in my life. The huge lumps of gristle made it most unattractive to me, & later when I learned what they may contain, I was very glad I was not a fan.
And many a chundered hot dog could be seen in the vicinity of the Ferris Wheel & the flying chained chairs!
And the popcorn, & magical Fairy Floss, which always seemed impossible. I think it may be called Candy Floss in America. It is spun sugar, & always seemed to be pink. I think it might still be pink?
And the Beauty Contests, which were supposedly won by the roars of the crowd. those poor girls standing cowering on view, with skimpy bathing suits. No question, it was the body alone that won them the Quest! Never mind intelligent conversation or any other skill. You dont look good in a bathing suit? Forget it!
What! You are the Mayor's
lumpy, plain daughter? Well,,,, "For gosh sakes can someone talk the lump-of-lard out of entering?" "Well hell, I dont know! Say it is too late...there are too many entrants...., anything,... she will be booed for sure." " He likes a drink, get him sloshed & maybe he won't notice!"
"Hell, I know, we'll use her to present the prizes!! We can pretend she cant enter because of who her father is!" "Brilliant! Problem solved."
These were the days when there was no such thing as Political Correctness! Girls bodies were there to be ogled, & everyone knew that was how it was!
The loud music, the warm night air, the smell of the sea & the sand. If I close my eyes I can still see it all from the young teen's perspective. I can still hear the music of the Carousel, the spruikers shouting for custom. So exciting, & the laughter & music seemed a portent of good times to come. And the rest of my life, waiting to begin.
Buddy Holly Peggy Sue.
Monday, August 20
Friday, August 17
Posted by meggie at 8/17/2007 08:22:00 a.m.
Thursday, August 16
And here he is 'stepping out' with Meggie. He was Highly Unsuitable Suitor.
And here he is with the 'baby'. Happy Dad!
It is hard to find photos of him with the kids together, or all of us in a group. You have seen our wedding photo, & various pics of him with our dogs.
Wednesday, August 15
Tuesday, August 14
This was the sundown last evening.
Today has been partly cloudy & the wind has been chilly.
Grocery shopping is a chore to me. I hate having to do it, & can understand people who choose to use the internet, or only try to do it once a month or so.
Gom & I dont usually argue while shopping, but I am always ear-wigging on elderly couples who do. You know me, I love to watch & listen.
Feel sorry for the poor 'old girl', thin, & lined, with the portly man of the bright pink, porcine features snapping & grunting at her. Stopping her small spidery hand as she reaches for some little tin. With his porky, ham fisted
trotter hand, oinking at her, "You know we dont buy that!" And she quietly subsides, & lowers her shoulders a little further, creeping off down the aisle. While he hitches his trackies, up over his ample arse buttocks. And I wish track pants had not been invented for people like him!
I bite down the urge to trip him up. Or loudly point out how thin his wife is, she could certainly do with a treat or two?
Feel sorry for the harrassed mother, with the one in the trolley, & the one in the oven. And the one in the trolley is grasping everything in sight, & loading it into the trolley. And wailing at full volume every time she takes the item out. Smile & wink at the one in the trolley. Hoping to distract. Occasionally rewarded with a beaming smile back. Or not. Perhaps an offended screech, & the LOOK! "Dont you dare smile at me!! WAHHH!"
And the mother absent mindedly pats the one in the oven, with a sort of "What the bloody hell was I thinking?" look. Or maybe she is doing mental deals- you know, the ones, 'Please let me get this one to behave & please dont let this next one be just as badly behaved. I will do anything,...anything.... honestly!!'
I recognise the signs of both generations. Now we are GOM & GOW, I get bossed about a bit. I get reminded what we do, & dont 'need'. I am not thin, & I sometimes fight back! And I grab it anyway! And GOM is happy to share it, once it is home.
And I remember the panicky feeling of "What the hell have I done?" When awaiting the birth of the next one.
There is 21 months between our son & our youngest, our daughter. Our son was such a cute, happy, lovely sunny little chap. Everyone loved him, & he loved everyone. "O goody" we thought, this is lovely, we are good at this! "Let's have another!"
And then, just before our daughter was due to be born, our son seemed to turn into some sort of minor 'devil'. He discovered he could have a tantrum. He discovered he could be demanding. And it was almost as if he suddenly realised he wasn't going to be the one & only Golden Child.
And by the time his little sister was born, he was well practised in the art of flying rages, & full blown tantrums. It seemed he learnt the art of the Terrible Twos a little early. Just to keep us on our toes.
At least he didn't kick people in the shins, like my little nephew. "Oh hello Dear" little old ladies would say to him, & bend down smiling. Only to be rewarded with a swift kick, or a scowl that would curdle milk. And they would rear back in fear & pain, & hobble away. He has grown into the most polite, lovely, man.
And the visit to the Fruit & Vegetable shop. Local produce. Smaller, perhaps, slightly spotted, or misshapen, but so much cheaper. And fresher. Lovely, cheery service.
Why do we get so accustomed to expecting fruit & veg to be perfect? It is sad. When home grown vegies were the norm, perfect didnt score much. Unless it was the local A & P Show. And surely there should be enough to share with a few insects & creatures? It is, after all, how the world was designed. To provide for everyone, & everything. And not everyone, or should that be 'anyone' can be perfect.
Think about the people you love most. Dont you find you forgive them their imperfections, the same as you hope they forgive yours. And, dont you often find the imperfections or supposed flaws, very endearing, appealing & attractive?
How did I get to this point in this post?? I think it must have written itself!
If anyone is reading, so sorry if I bored with self indulgent thought.
I am off on the cloud line, singing in the sunset. Humming to the rest after a busy day, out & about.
Chris Isaak, Pretty Girls Dont Cry.
Monday, August 13
Here is a picture of my corner of the world this morning. Rafts of clouds appearing from the South West- I think!
And, I have been watching with fascination, as a pair of large black birds, perhaps crows, appear to be building a nest, in the top most branches of the centre tree.
They come flying from the East usually, bearing quite large sticks in their beaks, & appear to land on the tips of the top most branches, then disappear into the foliage. I must get the binoculars out, & see if I can get them to focus on the birds at closer range, to see if I can tell what type of birds they are.
I dont know what type of pine tree it is, that centre one. But to me, it is quite unlovely. I really dislike the growth pattern, with the oddly balanced branches. It is very old, one of the original planted in this area. There used to be orange groves in those grounds, & all around here.
And, at the bottom of our street, there is a grave stone, surrounded by a fence. It is supposedly the grave of a man named Hely. It is close to the banks of the stream. Council men told us there was no sign of any bones or body when the site was restored, so noone knows where the actual grave was, but it was marked, for many years, as being there, so they have kept it in good condition.
There is a house beside the grave, & the owners say they feel quite comfortable supposedly having old Hely in the vicinity of their lovely new house. Even if he is not actually in 'residence'!
I have always had a fascination for Cemetaries with old graves & stories of families to be found on the headstones. I have always found them to be places of such serenity, with a feeling of utter peace.
On to other matters.
I was awarded this Nice Matters Award, by Bren, of Pieces from Me.
As I understand it, I am to pass it along to a further 7 worthy recipients.
This is something I usually avoid, if I can. I hate to play favourites, haha.
However I will endeavour to choose 7 blogs I feel are very 'Nice' indeed.
Connie, of Simply Quilted. Who could not love Connie. She has a lovely blog, & also shows us glimpses of her life.
Joni, of My Farm Life. Joni is children friendly, & always has items of such interest to present.
Jeanette, at Jens Chronicles. If you are feeling down, & need a laugh, Jen's your girl!
Kim of Ragged Roses. Her creations take your breath away, and are indeed very Nice!
Sheila, of Birdwoman blogspot. Sheila has a heart of gold.
Mari-Nanci, at Smilnsigh. Beautiful pictures & a "Nice" place to visit.
Jelly, at Jellyhead Rambles. Jelly is such a lovely person, & her stories are wonderful.
And, Crafty, at Craftymum, has awarded me the Rockin Girl award! Not bad for an oldie!
So here goes for some passing it forward
Wanda, at Exuberant Colour! Those colours sure rock!
Joyce, at J's Quilting Blog. Joyce is about my vintage, & we can still rock!- even if it is only in our minds, haha.
Aunty, of Evil Manor. She sure rocks, & her humour is just great. I see she has already been awarded, so she is a mulitple rocker!
Bren, of Pieces from Me. She has to rock, because she has taken on young children after having raised her own, & it must take a lot of energy!
Isabelle, of In This Life. Isabelle has to be a rocker, to keep up with those kittens!
I dont want to make anyone feel obligated or stressed over it. After all it is just a bit of fun!
Well, I am off to see what GOM is getting up to, today. He is all dressed up, so something must be afoot.
Elton John, Crocodile Rock.
Sunday, August 12
What cunning swine designed packages, which, while displaying the contents handsomely, are :
1. Impossible to open, without resorting to incredible lengths of nail tearing frantic hunting for the 'utility scissors', or a sharp knife for hacking apart the snugly fitted packaging, resulting in blue aired surroundings.
2. Provided with a nicely perforated little aperture, suitable for accessing the contents, which, when ripped apart, one discovers that the instructions have been completely & utterly destroyed by the ripping access aperture.
3. Said instructions are written in some type of heiroglyphic nonsense which is meaningless to any one but a Rocket Scientist. Or an Ancient Egyptian.
4. The written instructions which are not heiroglyphic, are in writing so small you would need a huge magnifiying glass to be able to read.Another small ponder is swinery. Or piggery. Or the love of all things porcine.
My Daughter J loves pigs. Real ones too, but mostly the ones she can keep in her house, as decorative items. Yesterday's find were these two items for her collection. One is a bottle opener, I can see, but I am not sure about the other? A useless small dish? Anyway, I could not resist getting them for her collection.
The concrete has now been repaired. Yesterday was the day GOM suddenly decided to act. I stayed well away, so as not to be critical. I hope it never has to be dug up again.
Ben Harper, Momma's got a Girlfriend Now.