Friday, November 30

The Woodsmokey Days, - & Nights!

I suppose it is because it is so hot here, I keep thinking about the wonderful days I spent with my BFJ, (Best Friend J,) when we first went to the Southern City to live, on the way to our 'further travels'.

As it happened our 'Further Travels ', did not really eventuate. I think we both fell under the spell of that Southern City, & I know, even though we both fell in love with our future husbands, that was not the magic involved in our initial love affair with the beautiful Southern City, that is Christchurch.

It was, in those early days, of the 60s, a beautiful city. It was the beginning of 'The Rest of Our Lives'.
We had completed a season Apple picking in the Orchards of Neslon, & the wider district. We had journeyed to Christchurch for an Easter Long weekend. We had loved what we initially saw of the city.

When our Apple adventures ended we journeyed, along with many other 'Seasonal Workers' to Christchurch, which was the mecca, in those days, for the seasonal workers, at the end of the fruit Season.

The scramble was on for jobs, accomodation, & mostly survival, in a winter that seemed to be particularly harsh, to those of us from Northern climes, & no doubt, even harsher to the Aussie population among us!

The city itself had a magic which had nothing to do with the laconic & mysterious young local men we met.

There was the breathtakingly beautiful river, which wound it's way through the center of the city. The majestic seeming Cathedral Square, with the huge Cathedral dominating, & all the scurry & hurry occurring beneath it's awesome presence.

We remained in touch with friends made during our Apple Picking era. We made new friends. We obtained jobs we felt no obligation to, & 'fooled' our way through those jobs, as we explored the wonders of the Southern City.

We found 'Hovel' accomodation, moved 'up', to slightly better living quarters. We met our future husbands. But that fact was unknown to us at first meetings. Gom hates this fact, but he called upon me every night for a week before I went out with him!

Still, the magic of the city enthralled us, BFJ & I, & we sampled some of the pubs, & the Inner city bars, filled with fakes & posers, as they were. We met true friends, we met our futures.

This is a view of the Alps from the Sign of the Takahe. A scene of some terror for my BFJ. She was taken there, one dark night, & told the story of the girls who had murdered the mother of one of the teenage girls!*She began to believe this might be her last night of life. Luckily, she was returned to safety.
A view of the Avon River, which is truly one of the beauties of this Southern City. The Autumn magic is hard to picture, but oh, the wonderful cold nights, filled with woodsmoke. I guess that is no more, but in our young days it was a part of it all.
The wonderful leaves that fell in great curdles in the Park. The wonderful amber colours, the crisp crunch of them, as we dashed, running madly though the great swatches of them, curling & crisp, though dying, but so wondrous to behold, & enjoy!!

Those wondrous avenues of golden colour. The lengthening shadows, as we raced & laughed among the fallen glory of Summer passed.
As the Winter descended, we experienced the bitterness of real cold. Icey frosts, of depths we had no previous knowledge of!! The grass of Lattimer Square, white like snow. As we ran, black-stocking clad, with many layers on the top, to our job in the city. Arriving with clattering teeth, & chilled legs, arms, faces aglow with frost!!
Coffee!! Coffee to kick start the days. Dressed Pies* for lunch! Warming laughter to tide us through the days, knowing the chill woodsmokey evenings awaited. Filled with erreverant laughter.
Joys to recall, in old age 'poverty'.
*That is a true story, & a movie was made of the book, but I have forgotten the title.
**Those Pies were covered with a blanket of mashed potato, with crushed peas, on top, then a layer of beetroot!! The first time we encountered them, we were horrified! But hunger got the better of us, in the end. We used to call them 'Stuffed Pies' - they were!! in the worst way.
Tony Orlando, Halfway To Paradise.





























Thursday, November 29

Small slices of reality....

"What the bl**dy hell is that noise??"

"Doesn't the owner of that Fecking sodding machine, know he needs a damn good r**ting, for subjecting us to that ungodly damned din??!!"

Shouted at high volume through, or near, an open window, at the height of the din.
"Shut up!! You need some unnamed bleeping punishment for that racket!!

Sudden silence.

There is no way the man with the machine could have heard that! Could they??

The fecking sudden downpour of earth-stinking rain, drowns out all thought!

I am always mindful of the dirt from the interior farms, blown into the air, & raining down on our coastal greenness. I hope that is not what the earthen smell means!

The smashed glass, which has shattered on tiles in the laundry, has to be cleaned up with willing, cheerful surly, menacing, cooperation from the Gom. What do you mean? Are you implying I am pissed in the laundry?? A preposterous LIE!!

While the dogs try to run rampant through glass shards on tiles. The glass was empty- heh heh, thank goodness, we didnt waste a drop of the delicious white!

The humidity is so 'close', I feel it's touch on my whole body! I could just sit here, & drown in this ghastly sweat ridden reality that is supposedly, the joy, of living in Coastal New South Wales.
GRRRR!
Who will preserve my sanity this summer?????


Niel Diamond, Song Sung Blue.

Life of ease

Look at Honey. She likes to keep me company, while I am in here blogging & sewing. There is little sewing being done these days, but she still follows me.

I made her this cushion, & both dogs share it.
Yesterday, Honey had a bath, & a partial hair cut. I say partial, because she gets very stressed, & will only let me clip about half of what I need to.

She is very reluctant to face the camera. I suspect she doesn't care for the flash. I did my best to get a picture of them both facing the camera, but these were the results.

Leo obliged, while Honey looked down the stairs.

Then Honey looked up, & Leo turned away.


We have SG here this afternoon. He is out of the balcony entertaining Gom. I am not sure what game they are playing at present, but he seems to be chattering a constant stream of instructions.
He came barrelling in before, rushed off into the toilet, then came out having trouble with his pants. He asked me to do them up for him, & told me,
"You can do the zip up for me, Nanna, but dont zip up my doodle!" I assured him I wouldn't & off he went, all happy, to play with Gom again.
We had a day out at a shopping Mall yesterday. Gom went off on secret missions, & I got to sit & wait for him. I watched the puppies being admired. I swear the biggest fans were the elderly. Of course the pups were mostly the small fluffy cute variety, & of course, very appealing.
I was interested to see a spike haired 'tough guy' with dark glasses, stop & grin foolishly at the little Foxie dogs.
Another young man came along, with those hideous earlobe holes. I swear the holes were at least an inch in diameter, & they just hung like empty looped pink worms at the sides of his head, & wobbled when he moved. I found them very off putting, & wonder how anyone could ever bear to look at them. He also had a very thick black nose ring, which pierced his septum, & appeared to have spikes on it, which hung almost to his upper teeth! Various other studs & rings hung from other parts of his face, & altogether I am sure he would set off a metal detector at an airport.
I seemed to notice a very high number of heavily tattooed men too. One young man must have only recently had a whole arm done, as he walked about holding it about a foot away from the rest of his body. Perhaps he was just showing it off.
I was surprised by the number of old people shuffling along, intent on missions of Xmas buying I suppose. Some of them appeared to move so slowly, I could only admire their determination & stamina, for bothering to go out & shop. I was having a bad knee day, & was feeling a little savage, & uncharitable about shopping in general.
Standing in a Supermarket queue, watching a very large woman, with a pretty daughter around 10, & extremely trying young son, who was awhine over everything he saw. Nagging for every item he touched. An old lady in front of them, turned & glared fiercely at them all, & the daughter blushed, & as the old dear's eyes glared up & down the mammoth mother's form, she blushed, & then the young boy suddenly went quiet.
The daughter cringed behind her mother's huge frame, so to break the ice, I asked if she had the day off school. She looked embarrassed, & her mother said she was sick, & they had come to get panadol.
Next thing the little old fierce glarer, burst into smiles & she began to talk too! I am not sure who was most surprised!
****
I have noted the media keep referring to Kevin's -the incoming Prime Minister- wife as a "Multi Millionaire" and use such terms as 'astute & successful business woman'. I cannot recall the media referring to Jeanette as a 'stay at home pauper'. Or whatever it was, she was/is. Surely the financial status of the wife of the Prime Minister is their business?
In my younger days, I was guaranteed to make a baby cry, if I smiled at it. They just didn't seem to like me much. Of course there were exceptions, & some friends once wanted me to go away with them on holiday, to be Nanny for their 5 children. Their youngest 2 daughters just seemed to adore me, & one of them would cling to me like a limpet every time we visited. As I was still young & single, I didn't particularly fancy being a Nanny to 2 boisterous older boys, who though nice, were nonetheless vigorous boys, & 3 little girls of varying temperament. So I politely declined their offer.
Now, some thing about me must have changed, as I find that babies invariably respond with big smiles when I smile at them now, & even gurgle, & laugh. This pleases me a lot, & I told my poor daughter yesterday, that all I want for Xmas is another Grandchild. She wont be having any more children, I know, & unless our second son gets a move on I doubt he will.
I just seem to be awfully clucky at present, & would love another baby in the family.
Of course they inevitably turn into teenagers. I am not keen on teenagers. About the only teenagers I have ever liked were my own! Even our granddaughter had her unattractive moments in teenage hood. Sort of like a Werewolverine, or wolfess, or whatever they are. In the blink of an eye, that sweet girl turned into some vile stranger. O yes, we loved her in spite of it all. But we were so glad she grew out of it!!
I know I was a vile teenager. I was very lucky, my daughter was a nice one for the most part. Hormones played havoc now & then, but on the whole compared to me, she was a saint!
Janis Ian, Sugar Mountain.

Tuesday, November 27

Jade

Not Jade in a good way.
Jade, as in "Jaded".
Perhaps it is the weather?
We have had more rain. The garden looks quite green. Even the stumps of the grass might be attempting to grow back.

Is it dinnertime yet??
I think this is a Draecena. It came in a pot, looking very sickly. We planted it in the front garden, & it has 'reached for the sky'. Well, it has had to, because the surrounding growth has made it somewhat crowded.

The sight of lovely raindrops on the camellia leaves looks so nice. I see the grass is sneaking in there too.
This is a picture of the relucant release blossom. Flaring out freely.

We dont seem to have many buds on the Agapanthus this year. They are sulking . The white ones dont seem to have sent up one bud.

There is a lone Gladioli flowering. It has it's back turned to us, seeking the sun. I had to twist it around, to show it's face

This sunlit fern tree, with threatening rain clouds in the back ground, reminds me the fern is lucky to still have any branches. Gom has been up to mischief again. grrrrrrr!!

There is Allamanda flowering in the front garden. A Budliea, which is straggly & very untidy, also. I tried to get a nice photo of the Budlea- which I am sure I am misspelling, but the pics turned out blurred. There is also a Gardenia which smells divine in flower, but the pic of that got blurred also.

There is a Cycad in the bottom of this pic, & also a small patch of purple, which is the Budliea. The Allamanda smell nice too, but being in the front garden, we dont get the benefit of the perfume.
Shades of Jades.
Rod Stewart, The Killing of Georgie

Monday, November 26

Evolution

There is a New Order about to be impressed upon Australia.
It would seem the voters made it quite clear, they had had absolutely enough of the old order. Perhaps the icing on the cake is the fact that the past "Leader" has been voted out of his own electorate.

I have personal likes & dislikes. I tend to be very cynical about politicians in general. It seems to me, a lot of them start out with lofty ideals, & high morals. As they evolve, the edges become blurred, the shape changes, and often, the morals, & ideals are tailored to fit the circumstances, once office is gained.

I well remember Bob Hawke's triumphant ride to victory. We were newly arrived in this country, to live. We knew a little of the politics, but not a lot. We knew that Malcolm Fraser was voted out, on a tide of hatred, much like the one which has voted John Howard off.

My private opinion of Bob Hawke was how vain a man he was. I never changed that opinion, but I did not necessarily dislike the man, for his politics, or even his vanity. I did not like his private persona regarding his wife & family, but take much of the media hype with grains of salt. Not knowing the people personally, how could I judge.

My favourite for sheer wit & charm, & intellect- to me anyway,- was Paul Keating. He gave me many laughs. He tended to arrogance, or that was how he was percieved, & I was a lone voice among my family & friends, who actually admired the man. Again, who knew about his private life.

In the days before I had given up the TV, I watched & listened to Kevin Rudd. He used to feature on a morning news programme & would debate various newsworthy items with his counterpart, Joe Hockey. I came to really like & admire Kevin Rudd. I also liked Joe Hockey, though I have noticed he seems to have changed in ways I am not quite so keen about.

He has a young family, Joe. I always feel very sorry for the families of politicians. The insults & the hurtful comments that get thrown about. In New Zealand, the daughter of a Politician worked for us, at the Inner City Hotel. She had 3 brothers, & all the family suffered for their father's involvement in politics. It was in the era of Muldoon's government. The wife was expected to go & live in Wellington, which she hated. The youngest son never forgave his mother for abandoning him, & sending him to boarding school. The wife hated the public eye. She told us she had married a farmer, & all she wanted was to be a farmer's wife. Not some wife posing for silly photos, & trying to fill her days on 'good works' she was ordered to take up. She was expected to give up her own life completely, on the oders of Muldoon. It was not generally Government policy, but it was Muldoon's policy. I won't say more, but it certainly destroyed that family.

I still like & admire Kevin Rudd. I wish him well. I congratulate him.
It will be an interesting journey to watch his evolution. I am sure there will be an evolution, as it is inevitable. It comes with the territory. Some politicians seem to manage to evolve in ways that are good. They appear to grow, & improve like a good wine.

Good Luck Kevin.
A New Order.

What lies over the Horizon?

*********

We are told there is another week of rain to come. It has cleared to steamy blue with clouds thus far.

The impending rush for Christmas just fills me with dread, & I have been trying to avoid all thoughts of it.

We had an outing to a Leagues Club yesterday, for a change of pace. I am not really interested in poker machines. They just gobble up perfectly good fabric money!

But Gom likes a flutter now & then. I like to watch the other players. I slyly watch their 'techniques'.

The lighting was dim, & groups of a few machines are placed about, to decieve. So it doesn't appear that really, the Pokies are what it is ALL about.

Since the new non smoking in pubs & clubs came into force, there are lounges outside the edges of the Clubs. These are for the smokers to drift off out into, & feed their addiction. There are no Pokies out there, & though they are sheltered, one side is open to fit the law. Addicts can be seen sliding in &out of the doors to the Zones. Some have painted glass, so the smokers can not be observed, but some have slatted windows & the smokers can be freely viewed enjoying their 'poison'.

I watched a man playing a large machine, with Chinese symbols. Not sure what it was all about, but I was fascinated with the man's rituals. When the machine had a payout, he would rush away from the machine, as if his prescence would stop the amount of payment. Once it had stopped playing it's idiot music, he would advance back, & hit it slyly up from the side, then sneakily press the play button. As if it wasn't really him, that had done it. I watched him again & again. He had a series of rituals he indulged in. He varied them according to some pattern known only to him, & he really did entertain me.

He had about 6 differing methods of striking the play buttons. These involved different fingers, hands, positions of his body, & differing time intervals. He actually seemed to have quite a few collects from the machine, but I think he was gradually feeding the money back into the machine at the same time. I suspect, had we not been close, he may have had incantations he would use aloud, also, judging by the way his mouth was working.

There are various lounge chairs scattered about, with tables & people can just sit, if they choose. I cannot understand why these people must use their mobile phones, for interminable, loud converstaions. They whine on & on, & it all seems trivial & pointless. Why waste money? Why not visit the person? Why not stay home & phone them, if a visit is out of the question.

Then, they put the person on the other end, onto some loud speaker feature! A disembodied squawking can be heard, not quite distinct enough to catch every word, but about every 4 out of 6, & you are left with this feeling of rage, as your aural space is being invaded, against your wishes. Aurally Raped!

We have all heard the urban myth, about the mother who is so exasperated by her tantrumming (Is that a word??) toddler, that she just gives in, & gets down on the floor right beside the little darling, & screams, bangs her heels up & down & refuses to get up.

Well, that is how I feel when I see people on mobile phones, bellowing inane crap into my space. I want to rip the phone out of their hands & bellow at them. I want to shout down the phone to their hapless caller, or callee, & tell them how bloody boring their lives must be!!


But anyone observing me, would not know these thoughts are boiling away behind the benign smile. The polite glance. I just hope the day doesn't come when I develop Alzheimers, & I do just as I feel.

Jeff Buckley, Hallelujah


Saturday, November 24

Persisting Down

We have had rain. More rain. Yet more rain. We are not complaining. Rain is good.

We are told, that the rain is landing in catchment areas, so we are hopeful of filling dams. This is largely in New South Wales. I dont believe the Victorians are having such beneficence from the skies.

I recently watched a programme on the dreaded TV about a Citrus Orchardist, who was cutting down, & uprooting his beautiful Orange groves. Because of the drought, they were not allowed enough water to maintain the trees. They could buy water, at an enormous cost, which was far too prohibitive to sustain, either their fruit trees or their livelihoods. I could have wept as I watched this proud man, destroy the work begun by his father, who planted the wonderful trees.

The price they could get at market was the same price they had been getting for 7 years. The markup at Coles, Woolworths etc, was 2000% ! Yes, two thousand percent markup on what they paid the grower.

Then there was all the produce they couldnt sell. It was not the 'desired size'. There were large oranges, smaller oranges, all delicious fruit. All perfect. But they did not fit the size mould, required by the Supermarkets.

Crikey! Think about that! There may be a day coming soon, to a venue near you, when you wont fit the size requirement! You may not fit the colour requirement either! You may be too tall, too short. Too thin, too fat. Too sweet, too sour. Too wrinkled, too smooth. Your navel may be the wrong shape!! Or, like some oranges, you may have none!

What the Hell is the world coming to, when imperfect is null. Nature does not make "perfect" very often. Nature has a place for imperfect. A place for all shapes, all colours, all sizes, all creatures. Nature, basically, is all about imperfect.

What are we teaching our children, when all they see is uniform fruit, vegetables, loaves of bread, buns, biscuits, cuts of meat. Neat fillets of fish. Eggs, all of a uniform weight. Turkeys, neatly sized to suit every gathering.

Is this society encouraging individual beings.. or shaping, in sinister ways, little monsters, who will be future huge monsters for convenience of 'law & order', a society of sheep who will conform, & obey, & bow down to Authority.

I could carry this post on & on. Suggest the fruit be bought for other uses. Suggest educating people to accept the slightly over/undersized. The 'wrong' colours.

Then again, if we can't accept peoples of the world in all these variations, I suppose that is the ranting of a fool. The dream of an idiot.

I cannot help but think, about times of war. People would give anything for fruit- of any shape or size.

I am sure there are better minds than mine, who ponder these matters. I am sure there are many, who could offer some reasons for all of this.

Who will offer any solutions... or is it too late?

************

Perhaps the rain has turned my thoughts dark. Who knows.

I keep thinking of a friend who went off to some 'Exhibition' & came to visit me, on her return. She was all excited, & presented me with a gift she had got for me. She told me, "I saw this, & knew it would be perfect for you".
On opening the gift, I was speechless, & not in a good way.

Has that ever happened to you?

I looked at the item, buckled & bent as it was, from the packaging, a creation of twisted wire & 'gem stones'.

I stuttered, "I don't know what to say!" It was true. I was so touched that she had thought of me.

I was fond of her. We shared many things in common. I just could not understand why she would have chosen such an item for me.

I felt so awful I got tears in my eyes. I just could not understand what part of me, she thought she had seen in the item.

As I hugged her, & thanked her, I just felt wretched.

We lost touch with each other when she moved to another State. I still wonder why she chose that particular object. I still feel guilty when I think of how I viewed it.

Has this ever happened to you?

Has this turned into a "Frog & Toad are Friends" post??
(My daughter knows exactly how I feel about this. She felt the same.)


*******************


All was not doom & gloom today. We got some bargain books!
10 books for $5!! Too cheap not to buy, as American friend used to say!
two books for me, as I still have not read Memoirs of a Geisha, nor God of Small Things. The others, I have a feeling I have read Patricia Cornwell, but I will try it, in case I have missed it. And I will read Good Morning Midnight, as I always enjoy Dalziel & Pascoe.

These 3 books made up the numbers. We had only 7 books so I decided to get these to add to my craft library. After all, a girl can never have too many quilt books, right?
Nor too many Knitting stitches, or Embroidery ideas!

Ahhh, I miss those cold Christchurch nights knitting by the fire. Or huddled by the heater during the day.
Neil Diamond, September Song.
I just flatly refuse to discuss politics today! heheh.

Friday, November 23

Happy Birthday Beloved Brother.

Today is my BB's 61st Birthday. This time last year, I was over in New Zealand, celebrating his 60th birthday, with family & friends.
I took this photo whilst we were visiting an Aunt.This is a more recent photo, taken in May this year, of my BB, my Uncle G, & a Beloved Cousin, who is the son or our Beloved Aunt, sister of our father, & Uncle G. The occasion was the 90th Birthday of our Uncle.

We think he has a secret portrait hidden away, because how else could we explain his youthful face? And wicked sense of humour, & ready wit, & wonderful memory. In his youg days he had auburn hair, which my mother always wished I had inherited. His own children didn't inherit the hair colouring either.
He is our Father's eldest brother. Here he is with our Beloved Aunt, who is 85. She has the most wonderful sense of humour too, & her memory is very clear, & accurate. She married our mother's brother, so we always felt a special bond with her & our Uncle.

This photograph was taken at our Uncle's 90th 'Birthday Bash', as he called it, in May 2007.

*************************
These next photos are from family long gone. Family we came from. Family from my mother's side.
This was the home of our Great Grandparents in Yorkshire.
They grew espaliered fruit trees on the brick walls of the house. I suppose it helped the fruit to ripen, & kept the trees alive in the harsh climate of their winters, but I am not sure about this.
This was taken in the field alongside the house. It always makes me smile to see the family & animals spread out & displayed.


These next two photos are of our Great Great Grandparents farm. I think this is the one that our Great Grandfather was disinherited from, because he got the servant girl, our Great Great Grandmother, pregnant, & duly married her, against his family's wishes.

This stiff & formal pose makes me smile too. I do believe our Great Grandfather is the little boy standing upright, & his mother is seated, with his father behind him. I also love the little dog, sitting so straight at his mistress' feet. I think the 2 other women were aunts of the boys, but I am unsure whose sister's they were**.
That is a little of "Where we came from". One of these days, I will do a detailed account, perhaps.
Bob Dylan, Thunder on the Mountain. For you, my Beloved Brother.

** I have just realised this information can't be right, as the old lady seated is obviously the Grandmother, & it is her photograph in the Mizpah locket, which I previously blogged about. One of the young women must the boys' mother, but I am not sure which one it was. Perhaps my brother has a better memory than I have. He has the originals of these photos.




Thursday, November 22

A Surly Sky

This is today's surly beginning. The 'dew point' I hear them mention must be very high, as the chairs on the balcony were quite wet. It is oppressively warm, & there are storms predicted. Yesterday was clear & fine, until late in the day, when we had thunder & a passing electrical storm.



The clear blue skys, & strong sunlight, pouring down upon the mourners following the hearse for the interment, seemed a fitting farewell to the Bride. She had been a valiant traveller in her life, enduring hardships, & working hard beside her Groom, with her children, through untimely deaths, of a son & a grandson.

She had been a lithe slip of a girl, a dancer. There was a photographic tribute to her, which was really nice. There had been the good times, when success came to the Bride & her Groom. In the end, their devotion to each shone true & bright. Her Groom nursed her to the best of his ability for five years, as her health faltered & failed. As was mentioned, she had not wanted to die, for she had loved life.

Gom & I walked away, as everyone began to leave. The grounds are very beautiful, with Rose gardens & neat rows of plaques. It is primarily a Crematorium Memorial Garden, but there are plots for burials, also. There are some lovely trees, allowing shade, & it is a serene place to visit, with a feeling of peace & tranquilty. (No, I don't have shares!)

The only times these days, that Gom wears a tie, seems to be for funerals. Our Granddaughter loves to see her beloved grandfather in a tie. So I took his photo for her. I asked him to smile, but he felt this was good enough!

As we made our way back towards the carpark, we slightly miscalculated, & had to detour!
Crossing a small bridge, I happened to see a water dragon (?)lizard, resting in the sun, on a piece of wood in the brackish water of the stream.

Can you see it? It is in the lower left corner. I am not exactly sure it is a water dragon, but think that is correct.
Here is a slightly larger view of it. The colours blended remarkably well with the sun & the water & leaves lying on the surface of the stream.

Leonard Cohen, Suzanne.
I know I have used this song before, but it is a favourite, & to me speaks about life in general.



Wednesday, November 21

Snippets.

It has been hellishly hot here the past few days. Sticky & enervating.

We have had SG 2 days in a row. Not such a long day yesterday, but he manages to pack such a lot into his days! He did some clever constructions, then he went off to investigate what Gom was doing.

Gom happened to be shaving the balance of the stumps of what used to be the lawn, with the mower. So SG stopped to assist. I has slathered him in sunblock, & checked over the fence to see he had his hat on.

"Nanna, I love you!" a voice called up through the fern tree.
"I love you too!" calls Nan.

When they came back upstairs, I was using the computer.
SG came in, to investigate, & this is what he siezed upon.
"What is this in here for, Nanna?"

"That is my back scratcher"

Eyes widen in disbelief. "No it's not! I belongs in the kitchen."

"I know, but it makes a good back scratcher."

Gravely, "But Nanna, there are 'back germs'!"

Nanna can't help laughing.

And then, he tries it out. "You know Nanna, it does make a good back scratcher!"

Some friends had visited on Saturday, & L had used the computer. When she came out she said "Er, I have to ask, why is the pasta spoon on the computer desk?" I told her it was my back scratcher. I am still having issues with my skin problem, & am the point of madness. I have clawed pieces of skin off various locations, & must get back to Dr. Just give me time!

*********

I took this photo last evening. I like the way the sun struck the Jacarandas. It was late, around 5pm. The leaves on our palm look almost golden.





This I took on Sunday evening. The sun was setting & I tried to capture the fierce red glowing patch low on the horizon. My camera is not very powerful, but it still managed to capture some of the effect. I could have cropped more off the top, but I rather like the ripple effect of the clouds.

We will be attending the Bride's funeral today. I always find funerals difficult.
These good folk were more the type to 'Practice' being good people, living good lives. They were never the 'Preaching' type.
Bread, She's The Only One.


Monday, November 19

Lucky Me

I am such a lucky person! Two days in a row!
Recently, I won a prize in a draw, by the lovely Julia, of Camille's Place .
Julia kindly let me know I had won, & notified me when she posted my prize.
Julia is in Western Australia, & we are on the East Coast. I think the parcel has taken a week to get here, but what a wonderful treat, when it arrived today!!


I was so thrilled. When I opened the generous gifts I was just amazed! Julia sent me one of her wonderful notebooks, with a beautiful cover she works. A lovely Cameo in the centre, with beautiful ribbon roses, & lovely lace with bead work. I just love it!

This photo just does not do it justice. There are lovely little beads in the lace flowers & the wonderful ribbon embroidery is just gorgeous. It is a real treasure.
Check out Julia's blog for much better photos of her wonderful book covers!
There was also a wonderful bundle of fat quarters for me also! How generous, you are, Julia. I love the colours, & I tried to fan them out on our bed, to show the lovely fabrics.


Here is another view, when I first opened the package, taken outside. I am not sure which is closest to the actual colours, but trust me, I love the fabrics & will now be searching for something to showcase the lovely selection.

As if all that was not enough, there is also a "Clover" Yo-Yo maker! I had been thinking I must look out for them, & get one to try, so now I will have no excuse!
As soon as I get cool enough, I will be trying this out.
Thank you so much Julia. I am so happy with my lovely parcel. I love visiting your blog to see what you are doing. I really admire you beautiful work.

************

We have had SG for the day. He was very good, & spent some time on construction matters. He was making it "Perfancy". When it wasn't perfancy, it was "Perfecto".

He spent quite bit of time with me, chatting away, making houses, & furniture to go in the house, telling the story of his constructions. Then Gom decided he was going out to do some pottering in the garden- the front garden, thank goodness! SG was off like a shot, in case he could 'help'. All hatted up, against the exetremely hot sun, they did some trimming of unruly plants. The delighted stream of chatter is such a happy sound.

They came inside, hot, & tired & stayed downstairs where the temperature is about 10 degrees cooler. I heard a small voice saying "Giddyup giddyup giddyup giddyup..... etc etc. Finally I heard him tell his grandfather to say Giddyup. Gom replied, "But I am the horse! Horses don't say Giddyup." "Oh, I forgot"

SG had his lunch, which today, he insisted was, "Whackaroni Cheese!" laughing away. We went back downstairs where he had the curtain pulled & it was dim & cool. He went & got some candles, pretended to light them & said it was "Romantic & Cosy".

Then he ran around the room & said "The winds of change have blown the candles out!" & gathered them up & put them away. I was stunned. I have no idea where he got that expression, but I suppose it might be from some of his DVD viewing.

His mother arrived to take him home, & he was rather upset to discover his sister was working, & would not be home this evening. He really does miss her when she is not there. She spent the weekend staying with friends, & he missed her. His father is currently on night shift, so he sleeps all day, & works all night. He told me his stomach seems to be ok, so that is good. We still dont really know what was wrong with him, but he seems fine now.

Enya, Marble Halls


Sunday, November 18

Hasty Posty

This will be a somewhat hasty post. I have been busy, & there doesn't seem to have been much spare time. Life has been getting in the way!

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your kind thoughts for us since the death of the Bride. I know that it really is a blessing. All who loved her, feel it is a kindness. It is easy to be selfish when thinking about the death of a loved one, or a friend. Grief is largely a selfish emotion. It is pity for self at the going of another, more than a thought for the release of the life that has lost it's joy & pleasure. Once health is gone, it is very hard to struggle to 'Live'.

I know it was a daily agony for the Groom, to watch his loved wife struggle for her every breath. He is lucky in the fact that though he is in his 70s, he still has his work to fall back upon. His Bride always said he would never retire. He is very good at what he does, & since it is his lifes work & passion, he doesn't regard it as work. What a truly "Good" man he is.



****
Marja Of Dutch Corner awarded me this lovely Friendly Site Award, which she designed herself. Thank you Marja, it is very pretty. It came just when I needed some flowers to cheer me.

I would really like to pass this along to everyone on my fav blogs list! I cannot limit it to one.


*****

On quit another tack here, Jelly of JellyHead Rambles, wished me well, & hoped that something really lovely would happen to me today- or maybe she left the comment yesterday. Well, Jelly I think it did happen!!!

As some of my regular readers may know, I am keen on Garage sales, when & if we can go. Yesterday we went off to several, without any real expectations, & little in the way of exciting finds. I did get a book, & Gom found several. I am always on the lookout for fabric 'treasures'.

Our son had said he would like a juicer, if we came upon one, & as it happened, yesterday we found a beauty, - for $5! An excellent brand & barely used!

Friends of ours, who quite often go out to Garage sales too, had gone off to farewell their daughter at Sydney Airport. Daughter is going to Japan for 2 months as an exchange student, so she was very excited, & as she is only 15, it seems a long way for one young girl to go, all alone, although there was another girl travelling with her.

Later in the afternoon they called around to see us, & I mentioned that I wouldn't mind going out again this morning, as there were a few sales on today. Our friend L said she would like to come with us, so off we went early.

Nothing much to be found, but L got a book she had long wanted, in new condition for $1. I got some Stickle Bricks for SG. He loves to play with them, & these had figures with them. Thinking that was our lot, we had one more to call into.

I looked at all the items on display & thought, seeing it was the second day of the sale, they must have had an awful lot of goods to sell!

My Beloved Brother collects small Japanese carvings called Netsuke. They are very precious & can also be very expensive. I dont know a lot about them. I happened to see a small figurine thing, & it was standing on a small Chinese stand. I felt the stand didnt belong with the small carved looking object, but asked the vendor how much they were. She said "Oh one dollar". So I purchased it, thinking it might make for an interesting little object for my brother to have.

I took some pitiful photos & sent them off to him via email. He emailed me back to tell me the object is 'magic' & almost certianly a genuine Japanese Netsuke!
You can't imagine who thrilled I was to find such an object for my brother. It is possibly quite valuable, so I am so happy I found it. It really made my day.
A front view, which doesn't do the charming little face justice!

The back of the carving.


Lastly the feet! Apparently the fact that the bottom is carved is an indication that it is very probably a genuine Netsuke. There is some writing & a number, which my brother thinks could indicate it has been in an Auction at some stage.
Apparently the figure is a fox, disguised as a person. I hope for my brother's sake, it is a real one.
It is very hot & humid, so we are laying low this afternoon.
We have SG tomorrow, so will no doubt have more laughs.
Tracey Chapman, Baby Can I Hold You




Friday, November 16

A Life Ended.

This is one of Mrs Nice Neighbour's new gardens. I think it is lovely. She said the little church is pottery. I don't know where she finds her little figures, but I know she shops around, & keeps her eyes open for any little treasures, to use in her gardens.



I had another post planned for today. It has been very oppressive & so humid & hot. I even had a doze this afternoon.

We had to have the carpet adjusted in some places, so the carpet man arrived, & dealt with the problems.

Our Daughter J had some problems from work, so she called in to tell us the state of play there, & spent quite some time just talking. It is always nice to see her.

I later had a phone call from her, to say SG wanted to talk to me. His news was that he had got a bee sting on his thumb. He said he had cried, & it hurt. He told me they put Honey on the sting! Some Mother had said that would be the thing to do. That was a new one for me, I have never heard that.

Thankfully he doesn't seem to be allergic. His mother is very allergic, & so am I.



All day, I kept expecting the Groom to call in. Every time the dogs barked, I waited for a call. He had told us on Thursday, that the Bride was in a very poor state, & was not expected to improve much. She had such a determined spirit, & he had been told she might recover from this bout, but of course the end was inevitable.

He called in around 4pm, to let us know she peacefully passed away this afternoon around 1.30pm. He said it was sooner than the Dr had thought, but it was peaceful & really a blessing.

As I looked at his sad face, I felt so sorry for him. He has been a faithful & wonderful husband to his Bride. He was so proud & happy at their 50th Wedding Anniversary party. She was so excited, & happy & proud.

I have blogged about them previously. I am too tired to find the posts tonight. I wonder how he will manage now. He has spent so much time with her these past months, bringing her home daily, when he could. Sitting with her when she was too ill to bring home.

Mozart, "Elvira Madigan"

Thursday, November 15

Busy Being Grannies

We have had SG for most of the day. He arrived very early this morning.
Still in his jamas, hungry.

"Don't worry Mum, I can have breakfast at Nanna's."

"Are you going to get dressed?"

"No, I can get dressed at Nanna's. I will get my slippers."

Sitting at the table, eating his cereal.

"Nanna, I really love you!"

"I love you too, SG!"

Later, sitting side by side, Nanna & SG.

"Nanna, are you going to get more stitches?" touching my face.

"No, SG, I have had the stitches out now." (Stitches from biopsy)

"But you will need some more Nan, you have all these cracks. They will need stitches."

Nanna muffles some laughs!

"Nanna, your hands have got old. They used to be new hands, but now they are old- see?"

Nanna looks at SG's new hands, & kisses them. His 'new' little face is such a delight. Kiss his little soft cheek.
His 'new' pale skin. His eager mind, so keen to learn all about everything.

SG had his lunch, Macaroni Cheese- what else? He ate it outside with an audience of Leo & Honey. And Nanna had her lunch beside him. An English Muffin. Nanna find bread upsets her.

Most of his afternoon hours were spent with Gom. His little voice piping away, as he made "Potions, to put you to sleep!"

A few fart jokes were giggled about, out on the balcony, so Nanna couldn't hear.
After all that is such a male thing! What else could a Nanna expect!

SG delightedly leapt up & down the balcony. Nanna wisely stayed inside. Heights scare the sh!t out of me!! I can't bear to watch him standing beside the rail, peering down.

His mother came, bristling with tension from a work meeting. He gave her healing hugs, so glad to see her. He kissed us good bye. Hugged us. Blew us kisses as they drove away.

Calling loudly, "I LOVE you!!"


I have lashed out this evening, & had 2 glasses of wine!


David Gray, My oh my.

Wednesday, November 14

Bursting forth,
From tight enclosure,
A reluctant release.
As if, like a mother,
it wishes not,
to free the blossom,
that is her child.


Please excuse my blush,
As I reproduce.
I know it is time, & right & meet.
But still I fail to see
Why my heart should have to blush.


Reality, or reflection,
how can we tell?
Slip into the image,
Is this a new reality,
or just a relection
of a dimly
remembered reality.
Which side of the door
do I stand.
Which side
is my reality?


I cannot write poetry.
This I know.
But sometimes
this is how my thoughts appear.
The Waifs, How Many Miles.

Tuesday, November 13

Don't People Hate It/You, When You Are Right!

Recently some family & friends were having a discussion about this & that, in the way the conversations go.

I think the discussion began when we were comparing television programmes, that had initially been introduced by British Television, then 'stolen' or copied by American Television.

Several of us were saying we had preferred the British originals. Over the years there have been quite a few.

The only one that springs to mind at present is, "Till Death us Do Part" which starred Warren Mitchell, & the American copy was "All in the Family" with Archie Bunker.

Conversation moved along, & I mentioned that America now had the London Bridge.

This comment was greeted with derision, & laughter. Everyone assured me I was mistaken, & of course England had not sold London Bridge. I was equally adamant I was right. I remembered that 'Bread' had written a song about it., called, appropriately enough, "London Bridge"


I had declared I would look it up on the Web. Then forgot all about it. I happened to remember it this morning, when another matter of 'slight dispute' came up, & so I looked it up.

Imagine my triumph when I came across the truth, & so I have posted this picture with a link here.

When I showed Gom, he snorted & assured me that this was NOT the bridge everyone was meaning. It was the Tower Bridge. Since I was the one who had raised the topic, I know which bridge I was meaning!!

Some days you can't possibly win an argument with a man, & so the best thing is to forget about it. I couldn't, so I have posted about it instead!

I will try really hard not to mention the fact that a beloved Fuchsia, which had almost died in the drought, but was now flowring again, & full of life, has been brutally ripped out of the ground, & I hope it fecking well haunts his dreams & chokes him

****
Last evening I decided spend some boring tv time quality time with Gom, instead of pottering about on the computer, or sewing, or having fun. Of course that meant he had to pretend he didn't care, whether or not he watched his soaps.

I don't know if it just me, or if anyone else has noticed, that most of the recent televisual dross programmes, are using agonisingly long facial close-up shots. We watched an episode of 'City Homicide', which is an Australian drama. Some of the stories seem ok, some of the acting is good. Some of the acting I see as dismal, but I think it has a lot to do with prolonged facial shots.

One poor girl Nadine Garner, had to stand, attempting to show a range of emotions & thoughts that only a contortionist would be capable of. She flared her nostrils, rolled her eyes, raised the eyebrows to differing heights, sniffed a little, ... all the while, not frowning, not smiling & certainly not laughing at the ludicrous range of facial tics she is developing as a result of all the angst ridden close-up takes.

If that poor chap, Aaron Pedersen, has to spend many more episodes scowling, he will be a very wrinkled man at the end of the series! As to the curl of the lip, in snarl mode... well, I suppose plastic surgery is always an option for actors. The only 2 I see in a favourable light are Noni Hazlehurst, & the man off 'Thank God Your'e Here'. Shane Bourne*. Sorry to keep overseas readers in the dark here, & I am hopeless at actors names! Dont get me wrong, I am not really knocking Oz actors, I just think they could do with a little less 'directing'?

It seems to me to be a general trend, as all the American, & rather a lot of British TV I have watched lately, tend to dwell too long on the faces of the characters- IMHO. Even 'Judge Deed' series, is a little inclined to spend a bit too long in close-ups of faces.

In the case of young females, one could conclude perhaps the cameraman, or perhaps the director might be smitten with her, therefore eager to soak up her gorgeous face. But surely not every cameraman is thusly smitten, not every director swooning at the sight of his -oft times, minor- female actor.


Bread, London Bridge.

Edited to add;

* I went & checked out some of the names for the actors,- would have added pics, but they were not there!

Monday, November 12

Notes to Me.

Yesterday was our daughter's 38th Birthday. A frightening thought. How did all those years pass so quickly. How did that little girl with the blonde hair, grow into this adult, with dark hair, & such a soft heart.

She was our 'baby,' the last of our children to be born. She has always been 'mum's girl'. She is one of my best friends.

She can be impatient with children, but has all the patience in the world for elderly people. She is gifted in her rapport with old people, & even the grouchiest respond to her over time.
Happy Birthday!


Here are her two 'babies'. Her 18 year old daughter, & her 5 year old son. As you can see they adore each other. He is a lucky little boy. It is like he has 2 mothers. He is so proud of "My Sister."


Here are 2 'mates'. Leo is always up for a cuddle. SG asked me to take a photo of them together, & this was the one. Hmmm pity about the bottle growing out of SG's head!

Notes to me.
Always check the background before taking the shot!!
Always double check the time of the Party, to suit all parties.
Remind the family, 'Gravy is not a beverage!'
Remind certain family members, the Crackling is for all to share! Do not sneak it.
Wear an apron when making the gravy. Huge splotches of gravy are not a good look on any apparel.
When the dog stabs himself on the lemon tree spikes, he is likely to roar inside, & massage dirt into the sofa, trying to stop the sting.
Those beetles that live on the lemon tree, ruining it, STINK beyond belief!
Gom has little, to no sense of smell. He does not realise he reeks of the stink beetles.
Most plants need labels stating DO NOT TOUCH!! or they will be hacked & wounded.
Why do people insist on saying "alls". There is no such word. example- "Alls I want is a fair go." All I want, is to leap on their throat & rip the word out of their head.
Try to keep calm at all times. Passionate ravings, against injustices, are ok in the privacy of your own home, Meggie, but not such a good idea in public, or unknown mixed company.
A final note to me, is to get over the fact that 6.5 million dollars was given to some fecking Museum about sodding bloody Cricket in a town called Bowral. When children continue to be murdered by family members, becauses DOCs lacks the money to provide more staff to prevent such things. In spite of the at-risk children, being flagged as being gravely at risk.
Politicians should hang their heads in shame at such things!
Bring back the Stocks.
I am too grumpy to think straight!
k.d. lang The Valley.



Saturday, November 10

How could I be so blind??




I recently posted here, about a tree we have growing on the side of our property. I always felt this tree had the leaves, & appearance, of a Pohutukawa, & I wondered why I had never seen flowers on the huge tree. I finally concluded it was not a Pohutukawa, & wondered what it could be.


I ventured out, after our rain, & strangely cool weather, to see if there was a photo-worthy sight. Imgine my surprise, after living here for 10 -ten!- years, to finally discover I was correct in my recognition of the leaves. I was so surprised. I could not believe I had never seen these flowers before. I do believe they are in the family of Calistemon, but the Pohutukawa tree is known as a New Zealand Native, & it flowers around Christmas time in New Zealand. It is also known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree.




When I was there last year on holiday, slightly later than now, I was happy to see the Pohutukawa were bursting into blossom on the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty- my home ground.They bloom all along the East Coast on the cliffs above the beaches, & if they bloom early, are said to auger an early, long, & hot Summer.


This is an illustration from wonderful books from my childhood, of the Adventures of Hutu & Kawa, by Avis Acres. These were the New Zealand equivalent of the Gumnut Babies of May Gibbs, of Australian fame.


'"We must be cousins!" said Hutu'

An illustration from Hutu and Kawa find an island (1957), by Avis Acres.





While I was on the lookout for things to photograph, today, I was struck by this cloud formation, looking to the west. I could not believe the colours, when I transferred the pics from the camera.
Where did the yellow, & the pink come from?? Very interesting to think about. Was it some reflection? I was not wearing garments of either red or yellow colour. I had white shirt, with a pale green & blue print.
This view is what alerted me to the colours, when I cropped the photo.

We used to experience the phenomena of 'Ghosts', when we lived in the Christchurch Inner City Tavern. We felt cold spots. We heard noises. Friends experienced strange happenings, visitations, when they spent the night in our flat.
Our children had water sprayed at them- real water, with no apparent source. We had many strange events. Patrons in the downstairs Bars experienced odd, cold touches, chills, so cold they defied explanation. Staff swore they felt the presence of 'persons'.
A strange law, ('Strange laws' have been the subject of some blog interest lately,) for our Hotel, was that, as it was situated on the banks of the Avon River in Christchurch, it was to be available at all times, for use as a morgue.
This was necessitated, by it's proximity to the river, & the fact that many drowned bodies were fished from the Avon River in those days. There was another Hotel which was designated for Morgue duties too, & that was the Oxford Hotel, which later became a Tavern, of the same name. This was the case in our Hotel's evolution, & it was known as the Royal Hotel, way back before it's reincarnation as the Grenadier Tavern.
Enough of the ghosties & the ghoulies.
Take some music, & drift away on the thoughts.
Joan Baez, Daddy, You've Been On My Mind.