Sunday, March 30

Plans

It really doesn't pay to make plans. Often they are thwarted. At least at our age & stage of life, it doesn't matter if we have to change our plans.

My current quilt plans came to a halt. In spite of a stash to sink a small ship, I couldn't find what I wanted to fit my plan, so off to Spotlight for a hunt for 'just the right fabric'. Of course it was not there, but I did find a suitable substitute, so Thursday saw me laundering & ironing the fabric.

Had a call from our daughter to say she was not feeling well, had some sore on her face, which would not stop weeping. Friday morning she rang to say she had gone to the Doctor she will not go unless she is dying or worse so I knew she was bad. Her whole neck & face, were swollen, & the huge 'sore' had grown in size & was weeping even worse. Doctor thinks she has been bitten by a some insect, or spider, & has her on antibiotics, & antiseptic cream for the site of the bite. I went to see her yesterday, & she looks terrible, said her tongue is so swollen it interferes with her breathing & sleeping, so it is a worry. SIL told me she looked 100% better yesterday to what she had been!

Thank goodness she did go to a Dr. Small Grandson was very good, & quietly played. SIL is off for the weekend, so he can minister to Daughter.


Our Son B, who lives down in the city, wanted a washing machine, & one of the large stores had a good special on, so off he went to purchase one, only to be told they were out of stock. He was livid, as he regards a lot of those 'specials' as fake come-ons to get you into the shop. I told him our local branches seemed to be good about stock, so we found out they had stock in store, so off Gom & I went to get one of the machines.

Round we drive to the loading dock to collect it. Supercilious storeman delcares it will not fit into our car boot. Will not set foot on the ground & sneers at us laughingly, telling Gom, "You are on your own Mate! Good luck. Don't like your chances at all. I can't touch it, can't be liable!"

Storeman appeared to have been bashed up the side of his head, had a black eye, & bruises, & a sticking plaster over a wound. I briefly wondered if his wife had socked him about, or if an irate customer had taken a swing out of frustration at his smarmy attitude. As he closed the shutter, I got out of the car, to look at the situation.

Sized up the carton, looked at the back seat, & decided it would fit into the car. Gom had his doubts, but agreed to try. It fit in with a little judicious manoevering, & off we zoomed. I guarantee the fatuous little twat storeman was watching us secretly, & I bet he felt cheesed off!

As we swished homeward, I would have liked to stop for photo opportunities but Gom is a man with a mission, & interruptions don't come into the plan.

Saturday, we decided to deliver the machine down to our Son, so off we set. Gom has admitted he doesn't enjoy driving much these days, & the trip down to the city is fast & furious, what with the Freeway, & huge Semis thundering along. Roadworks were to slow us down a little, though many cars ignored the slower speed limits, & continued to thunder along at breakneck speed.

The stop start pace of the inner suburbs is nerve wracking, & there are plenty of cowboys who seem to feel driving like a race car contestant is ideal, ducking & diving in & out of slowmoving patches. It was not a bad trip though, & I was not scared witless once- for a change.

Our son met me going up the stairs to his flat, & we duly installed the machine & then took a stroll down the streets. I love visiting the area he lives in, it has a lovely feel, & Saturday is a day when lots of folk are out & about.

Son bought us lunch, & took us to a park where we sat in the shade & ate our lunch, & chatted & watched the passing parade. I would like to spend a weekend down there, just exploring all the little shops, & parks. It is an old suburb, was once working class, & now, because of it's proximity to the water, & the city, it is very expensive, & very fashionable. Our son has lived there for 14 years, & really feels he belongs.


Following are some of the glorious flowers for sale at one of the shops. I have posted photos of this shop before, & never tire of looking at the glorious show of flowers. These colours are beautiful, & restful to me.
The tulips are lovely & bright.


Lillies & Chrysanthamums, plus quite a few Dahlias, & rose buds.



Lots of buds, to bloom later as the days pass.
The hot, fierce colours of the Gerberas are lovely.

I love the fact that this suburb welcomes dogs. Shop keepers set out dishes of water for all the dogs that come out to visit with their owners. There are quite a few resident dogs who accompany their shopkeeper owners all day. They come out to inspect the passing throng now & then.
This lovely Border Collie doesn't have a lead, she just waits patiently for her owners, & watches their every move, following them when ever they move on.


Safe trip home, & a flurry of phone calls. No time to sew.
Off to visit our Daughter, to see how she was feeling.
Gold is where you find it! This, last evening's lovely display. It will do me, for gold!


We are having lovely crisp Autumn mornings, & evenings. Sleeping under covers for the first time for months. Bliss.




Joan Baez, Farewell Angelina
















Wednesday, March 26

I have been...

I have been the child of a fierce, independent woman, who raised me on her own, with help from her mother. I have been loved by my mother, in distant & sad ways, with little physical affection, in my early years.

I have watched as she poured all the love in hugs & kisses on my children, & her other grandchildren. It seemed to me, as a child, she gave my brother that same physical affection.

I have, as a consequence perhaps, smothered my own children with too many hugs, too many kisses. Though, they tell me not, they are used to my 'smother' love.

I have hurt for my mother, when I learnt things about her, that were never known when I was young. I have hurt for her wounded pride, her soft & gentle nature, she tried so hard to hide. Her shyness, & sensitivity. I have wondered how she had the strength to carry on with her life.

I have been bitterly ashamed on remembering what a problem child I was as a teenager. Ashamed of hurtful words, flung in spite, in the manner of teenage girls, who feel wounded & aggrieved. In self centred ways. Not always unfounded, but then, they have yet to learn that they are not the only ones who hurt.

I have been loved by my mother, through thick & thin, though it wasn't always evident to me. I am sure there were times when she must have disliked me intensely, with good reason.

I have been modestly successful academically at school. My mother was so proud of that fact, since she had not had the chance of an education I had. I wasted the gifts, in a way. I gave up the career I had planned. I became a traveller, I tested & tried life in many different places & styles.

I have been proud to be able to 'become' my mother's mother, at the end of her life. I have been so happy to have the chance to make her final time a little easier. I have been in awe at her wealth of knowledge, her wisdom, her huge interest in the world around us.

I married a man who was deemed HUH 'Highly Unsuitable Husband'. Divorced when I met him, a man from a very different background to mine. A man who had a child from his first marriage. A man who teased me. A man completely the opposite, almost.

A man whose grammar was not quite perfect. A sin! Whose parents had 'bad grammar'. A MIL who was said to be the 'Salt of the Earth'. That salt rankled & stung sharply in the wounds she dealt me, over the years.

I have been loved by that man, for 44 years. We have weathered our storms, shared our lives, & much of our careers. We have shared moments of great abiding joy. We have shared moments of loss & sadness so deep, we clung together to keep afloat. I don't always understand him, & he doesn't always understand me. We really are chalk & cheese. We quite often dislike the same things- a plus.

My mother grew to be fond of HUH. She respected his integrity. He greatly respected her level approach to life, her respect, & integrity also.

I have had children, who have been my pride & joy. I have been blessed with 2 Grandchildren. Also pride & joy.

I have had wonderful friends. Friends that mean more than mere words can express.

I have been heartbroken, felt pain unimaginable. I once saw an interview with Sir Bob Geldof,yes, I know that is not his correct title, but everyone knows him by that name speaking about the pain he felt when Paula Yates left him. He said he could feel his heart physically breaking. I have felt that pain. I know exactly how he felt.

I have been loved in ways I could never have imagined. I have loved people deeply, who were destined not to be part of my life for very long. I have had friends die, leaving unbearable holes in my heart, & my life.

I have been bereft when my parents died. My father, largely unknown. That terrible knowledge I could never get to know him, when he was gone. My mother, clung valiantly on to life at the end, dying surrounded by all who loved her. I was so priveledged to be there.

I have been fortunate to have friends who have lasted a very long time, & they are still my friends.

I have been on high mountains of joy, bliss, & happiness.
I have been in deep chasms, with no light, so black was the despair.

When people say, "If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger." I dispute that. It is a lie. It will leave you with scars. Some of them heal over strongly. Some never heal, & quietly bleed forever. That is my experience.


llllllllllll

I have finished the label for the gift quilt. It has flannelette backing, for cuddle. I used a printed label, as I am sure there will be many washes ahead.

Off to the post today!


Cat Stevens, On The Road To Find Out.

Monday, March 24

Scraps

I feel 'Retired' is a stupid word. My belief is, you are not 'retired' until you are dead & gone.

However, for want of a better word, we are now 'retired' from everyday working life out in the Commercial world. We can please ourselves how we spend our time, & our meagre funds. If we want to read, or snooze in the midday hours, we can.

Although, in Gom's case, he is more likely to be found screaming around behind the mower, or the Whipper Snipper like some lunatic, in the burning of the midday sun. Hell bent on either killing himself, or driving the remaining stubs of grass into the dirt, never to dare grow again. Of course the Dandelions laugh at him, & poke their heads up defiantly, & wave & nod as he glares at them.

I find in spite of not having to worry about working life, I still really enjoy the vibe of a long weekend. I love the calm, & the lack of noise about. Though we don't seem to hear the noise of the traffic thundering along the Pacific Highway, we must hear it, on some deep level, because on the weekends, the 'noise' is distinctly different. A nice sense of peace lowers, & I feel relaxed. The occasional hoon might be tempted to rev his motorbike, or 'gun' his car engine, but on the whole, ours is a quiet neighbourhood.

After my post about noise, I kept remembering the W. B. Yeats poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'. One we learnt at school, & I have never forgotten. I know that craving for peace & the quiet. Now I am sure the English police are out there. I confess I can never remember how to use my quotation marks. Do I use the double ones for titles or is that only for speech? I am open to reprimand here!

I have been enjoying this long Easter weekend. We have had friends to visit, & spend some time laughing & talking. Family meal out at a nice Pub, with excellent food & reasonable prices. SIL was raised Catholic, & will not eat meat on Good Friday, for 'his mother's sake'. Daughter is inclined to scoff, but I admire his respect for his mother. Our outing was on Saturday, so SIL could indulge his craving for meat. We all really enjoyed our meals.

It poured with rain on Friday & Saturday. It was cool, & lovely. Yesterday & today have been fine, but still reasonably cool. I have been enjoying the peace & quiet & indulged in some of Molly's therapeutic pursuits. I have been playing about with scraps with no particular plan. I know it will evolve, I will just play about, making more scrappy nine patches.

My other project is to be posted off on Tuesday. This is just another small peek at a little eye.


Below are the results of the scrap tomfoolery. Refugee squares from other projects, for a very scrappy happy quilt to give to someone. My daughter & I tend to really love scrap quilts, & we love that quilts can contain so many memories of other quilts, as we make them.

I have been enjoying doing these, & have not been stressing about colour placement. It is falling where it may, & seems to look perfectly happy about it. I will probably make another batch today, but will need to cut more patches. My back is not happy to be cutting, or sewing at present. I will need to resort to some of the heavy artillery painkillers I think. Mentally, it is wonderful to feel I can sit in comfort, climatically speaking, to sew.
I was surprised to learn that this year Small Grandson's school was having an Easter Hat Parade. I thought all the schools had stopped any Easter activities for fear of offending the other religions, but reason must have prevailed, somewhere, & so an Easter Hat was ordered from the Mums, with only a day's notice! Bit poor on the part of the school?
Daughter & Granddaughter went off in search of a suitable set of Rabbit ears. "No NO" said SG, "Those are all pink & purple, those are GIRLS ears! I can't wear those!"
O K Plan B. Find something else
They found a black plastic hat. Perfect fit. Green tinsel- bit doubtful about that... oh well, we could rip that off.
Then they found some plain white plastic 'eggs'.
Hmmn, we could paint those.. glue them on, get some of these fuzzy little chickens...
So, the Easter hat was born! They painted & decorated the eggs. They decided the green tinsel looked like grass. They glued all the eggs & the chickens around the hat, & lo!
How cool is that! SG was so proud of his Easter Hat, for the Parade. No one else had one like his. He brought it up to show me on Friday.
Being Nanna, I had to get a photo.
Which really doesn't do it justice!



I have always been a Nanna who doesn't think too much chocolate is good for children. Never mind that SIL is a chocoholic. He is not my son, & I don't feel responsible.

I have made it a habit over the years of giving the Grandchildren other things. Usually PJs for Granddaughter. This year I got her some very timely ones, she told me. All of her old ones are on their last legs- literally. She uses the pants for lounge-around-home use. It seems to be a very popular modern habit. And why not, indeed. If comfort is the thing, what better than Jamy pants!



I hope everyone has had a an Easter weekend filled with whatever makes them happy.



Dire Straights, Love Over Gold.



Friday, March 21

Further Absurdities

We have just witnessed a small truck run out of control whilst driving down our street. The vehicle ended up facing the wrong way. He turned around & wobbled, & swerved off down the road. No idea why, or how. Perhaps a flat tyre we could not see.

It is a very wet & dull day, but thankfully the temperatures are reasonable, & the humidity is low. Breathing & moving are possible, & even comfortable!

I have had 3 or 4 posts simmering in my head for the past couple of days. This morning's events sent the thoughts to the back of my mind.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will by now be aware that, from time to time, Gom, does some very bizarre things. Mostly quite humorous, though not always at the time. Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing.

Yesterday, I did some laundry, & since it was a hot fine day, Gom hung it all on the line for me. I am advised to avoid the sun if possible, so he obligingly hangs out the washing.

Prior to that we had been out to a Mall to get a few last minute items in the food line. We left early & returned nice & early. Later, Gom had brunch, & I had lunch, & we went about our separate pursuits.

Gom began complaining about a terrible smell in our bedroom. Since I heard scrabbling feet, one night, which sounded too large to be mouse feet, we concluded there had been a rat in the ceiling cavity, & it had possibly died. At first I couldn't smell the offensive odour, then I got a whiff of it! Blech!!

Later in the day, I suggested we watch a movie, & we began to watch 'August Rush'.

Gom sat sniffing, & wrinkling his nose. He could still smell the offensive odour. I got whiffs from time to time. Awful.

Gom decided 'August Rush' was not his cup of tea as a movie, so he went outside to read, & I enjoyed the movie in peace, & seemingly odour free.
Later we discussed what we might be able to do about the source of the smell, & I was dreading going to bed, as it had seemed worse in our bedroom.

I went off to bed early, to read, & was quite comfortable, - seemingly odour free. I had gone to sleep by the time Gom came to bed, & I rose early this morning well before he got up.

We always change our bedlinen on Friday- Good or not! So Gom stripped the bed, & he was sorting out washing to go into the laundry. He went into a pocket of the pants he had worn yesterday to discover....



A plastic bag, full of dog sh!t!!

He went into hysterical laughter. I almost fainted in horror. I can not understand how anyone could walk around with a bag of dog sh!t in their pocket, & be unaware of it!!

It seems when he was hanging out the washing, he collected the dog droppings up by the clothes line. He tells me he didn't want to stop his hanging, so he just must have shoved the bag in his pocket!

I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can put something like that in their pocket??

I know some of you will remember the incident of the 'mulch' in a Tale of a Tail post. Or, the Dead Rat in the Car Boot in this post. How many more of these hideous incidents will I have to witness. I have told him I fear he really is going nuts, & when he does, I will not be the one to care for him.

Oh, and 'August Rush'. I would recommend it for any woman. I loved it!!

llllllll

In other news, I have been sewing, & have completed an item, apart from the label. This is just a peek at a corner, as I dont want to reveal the whole thing. It is a gift.
Reading around some of my favourite blogs, I was struck by this lovely post by Mary, about her Log Cabin Quilts, & the wonderful story behind the one she gave her mother.

I suggested to Mary that it would be nice if we added a pocket to contain the story behind interesting quilts such as this one. I am sure future generations would love to know the story behind the quilt, & how it came to be. Not all quilts have such a lovely story as this one, but most have some sort of tale to tell.

I try to add the date made, who it is for, & who made it, for the label, when I make a quilt to give away.

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

Our good & faithful toaster died. It was just on 10 years old, which is remarkable in this day & age, when everything is so throw-away. We went to shop for a new one. What an experience. Some of them would need rented bench-space to occupy! Some of them resembled small cars!!

At the other end of the extreme were the trashy ones, with their innards hanging out in wiry parts. Not a good way to get sales, displaying the ruins of the display model.

We settled on a comfortable looking model, albeit a little more elaborate than the old one. White is my choice- I detest those stainless steel models with their neverending smudgy fingerprints. This new one is a little larger than the old, but is nowhere near the small sedan size of some of the new ones.

I hope it survives the antics of Gom, who does silly things when trying to get thick things like Hot Cross Buns out of the slots!! GGGRRRR.




*****************
Horoscope.

My Horoscope says, 'Get ready for change!
Prepare yourself now for a thrill!'
So I sit & I wait, and I contemplate,
What treasures the future will hold?

No sounds of the thunder, no traces of gold,
the hours tick by slowly, the day it grows chill,
I glance in the mirror- then I stand still.
The change is- I see I've grown old!

The Cosmos is laughing, that must be the thrill.
I don't get the joke. I don't think I will!

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

For those of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you a pleasant weekend.


Dusty Springfield, If You Go Away.

Tuesday, March 18

NOISE

I must be getting old & cantankerous. I am finding noise, in all sorts of ways, really annoys me.

If the noise is melodious, it seems not to bother me. On the other hand the sound of some lone loon practising his drumming filled my heart with dread. I would even consider offering up pleas, to a god I don't believe in, if I can be spared the horror of living anywhere near a drummer- or would-be drummer.

I find neighbours can be considerable cause of noise, of varying types. My daughter & I used to be endlessly entertained by a feral family who lived next door. The brightly coloured language was an education, & the inventiveness of insults quite impressive. We would sit quietly out in our pool, or on the back terrace, & just listen. Of course we never let on that we heard any of it, & we would mutually exchange cordial greetings over the back fence next day.

We are lucky where we live now. Apart from some industrial-type noise of compressors- I think- at one neighbour's, & a barking brainless mutt or two in another yard, there is not much to ruffle our feathers. I am mindful too, that our dogs can on occasion bark, but we do endeavour to shut them up, quite quickly, if possible.

However, there has been a shift in the balance. One neighbouring property has a family with children living there. We have been told by the usual resident, that they are only waiting for their own house, newly purchased, to become available. We wouldnt mind, & we really like the owner. I think he has moved out while the family are there. Who can blame him.

The children seem to be particularly given to shouting in the morning, & heated shrieking exchanged between their mother & them, has shattered the quiet, still, morning air. Desperate hissed threats, rising in volume are issued. Their father is not so given to keeping it subdued. His threats are quite often very loud, & quite colourful. I feel sorry for the parents, though it is mostly the mother who has to deal with it, alone.

The children like to show off. They like to play on the terrace, which is above the area where we sit in our backyard. Flying balls, & thongs- the footwear type, not the knickers- have come hurtling down amid our quiet reading or conversations. I was so startled I offered to lay the thong around the young boy's bum. I hastily laughed, & said "Only Joking! Haha!"

Of course all this frenzied activity sets our dogs off barking, so we have to shut them inside, to keep them quiet, as much for our sanity, as anyone else.

We have had our Small Grandson here a few mornings for Brekky before school, & today we had to collect him from his bus until his mother finished her Course at 6pm.
SG likes to watch Cartoons on TV. I really dislike them, & part of the dislike are the stupid voices! I can't stand the whiney distorted sounds they make! Why dont they just use normal voices?? I try not to let it show, but SG knows I don't like them, & today he said, "S (his sister) hates the commercials, Nan, & you hate the Toonies!" I even hate all the noise effects they use in the Cartoons too.

We went to a Garage sale, & man had a very nice little Stereo system for sale. He said they had bought it for his mother, & she had just got to the stage where she couldnt stand any noise at all, not even music!! I hope that never happens to me.

There are certain noises, that pass for 'music' - rap springs to mind- & I can't abide those. I really loath loud motorbikes, & thumping doof doof radios in cars.
Extra loud bass on music systems annoys me. We really are lucky, we dont have neighbours who have all night parties, or play persistant loud music.

The last time Gom & I went to the Club, we both commented on how noisy it seemed to be. The loud music the poker machines made, & loudspeaker paging people, the chatter. We both concluded we must be getting old.


This was the sunset sky this evening. A flame orange. We have had a hot day.

Ten minutes earlier it had been a lot lighter. Clouds almost always indicate that it is humid, at this time of year.

lllllll


Betrayals.

My body's betrayed me, it makes me feel trapped,
It aches & it pains me- it seems to be clapped!
And it's size now seems to be 'free'!
My weakness exposed, is this supposed,
to be how my life was changed?
The grey head of hair, the wrinkled old face,
A mind on occasion- deranged!

I thought I'd grow old and erratic,
And have fun, while years fled away.
But reality is, (and it hurts me to say)
A pain in the neck- and the ar*e,
And points in between!
And the fun factor's not automatic!



Simon & Garfunkel, The Boxer.

Sunday, March 16

Memeory Lane.

Thought I would do a nostalgia post this morning. I was reading around the blogs & read a post at 'Days Go By' that swept me right back to my childhood.

Though my experiences would have been almost 6o years ago, I could still see & hear the excitement & the playing out of those activities. I remember the gangs of boys, the 'goodies & the baddies'. The almost hysterical pent up excitement & the thrill of a boy asking you to dance. Sometimes I am not sure if a good memory is a curse or a blessing.

When we were at school, there would be a dance, or party at the end of the year. We would dress up, in costumes, 'fancy dress' as we called it. Mostly our mothers made the costumes, or some of them were hired I suppose. It was so exciting, waiting while the costume got made, but the fittings were hated, as I inevitably got stuck with pins, somewhere among the folds. "Stand still!" "Don't grizzle!" "Do you want this or not?"

My mother was talented with sewing, & she made all my clothes when I was young. The costumes for these end of year dances/parties were usually made of crepe paper, which was cheap & could be sewn & evolve into wonderful creations. I tried to find some photos on the internet but couldnt. I seem to remember once being dressed as a daffodil. I think flowers were quite a popular costume choice, & the crepe paper skirts would be stitched together with perhaps a cheap taffeta lining for a bodice.

The parties would be held in a hall, which I think from memory was the local picture theatre with the seats all taken down. I remember the heat & the horrible sickly food, & the nasty bright coloured soft drinks. To me they didn't taste nice at all. I remember seeing one boy being spectacularly sick, all down the front of his fancy dress & the little girl standing next to him. The colours in the crepe paper ran hideously when wet, & so there was this giant stinking multicoloured mess to be dealt with by some hapless mother & teachers.

Of course the smell of vomit mingled with the excitement & hot air, prompted further vomitting for other children, & the evening ended most unpleasantly.

Another year, my mother dedided that all the skill & energy she put into these costumes was rather wasted for one night's doubtful fun. She decided to make my costume as Miss Muffet. She made me a lovely new frock, & then she made an apron with a huge spider on the skirt, & a Miss Muffet Cap. It was a great success, & she used sequins on the spider's body to make it shine. I copied her idea when it was my daughter's turn to have a fancy dress occasion at school, but I don't think my spider held a candle to the one my mother had made.

I dont seem to have any photos of any of my costumes, from when I was young. My brother was the Toy Man once, & our mother made his lovely costume, complete with top hat. He does have a photo of that somewhere, but I dont seem to have a copy.

This is an old photo of our son & daughter dressed for a book character at school. Son was Badjelly the Witch, & Daughter was Miss Muffet.


I remember my mother hated going to those parties. She was always such a private person, & she would stand or sit alone, & was never one to chat in idle gossip. Small talk drove her silly, & prying made her very uncomfortable.

I was more of a 'joiner', seemed to know a lot more people at my children's schools, & I would attend quite happily. I did tend to keep to myself, not liking gossip, either, but I did know some of the parents, & got along well enough to spend time talking. I watch my daughter now, & she is just like my mother. She hates the clutch of mothers all chattering nonsense, & she can't be bothered with gossip or small talk. We used to go together to her daughter's events. Now she takes her daughter to her son's if she can, or his father, if he is not working.

Small Grandson has had a spate of Birthday parties to attend, & our Daughter just hates them. A whole bunch of screaming kids is not her idea of fun... nor mine! As she says, they go so far overboard, with gifts & more gifts for the attendees, & lollies galore. Small Granson is not really fussed. He would probably be just as happy not going.


My trip into the past included memories of old books, which I still have. My Christmas was not complete unless I got books, it was all I desired. These are from various years. The Surprise Doll was a gift from my father. How I loved & treasured that book! It was about a little girl whose father went to 'sea'. From each country he visited, he brought her home a special doll. I used to wish I was that little girl, & wish I had all those dolls.

I often wrote the year in the book, so I know some of them were around 1954, 55. Of course the Enid Blyton books were endlessly exciting. Famous Five, & Secret Seven. I see an Aunt gave me Bright Island in 1955.

If I ever get through my To Be Read pile of books, I would like to read some of these old ones again. My Granddaughter had some fun reading some of them. She loved Scoring for the School. I thought she would find it too old fashioned!


Connie Francis, Among My Souvinirs.

Friday, March 14

Book Meme & waffling about trivia

Sherry at Q's Corner challenged me to do a book meme. I have done this twice recently, but since I am usually reading several books at once, it is not hard to find another book to use for quotes.
The book is Patricia Cornwell's "Predator".



I have taken my quote a little differently- I feel free to change the rules a little, for the sake of a good quote. This was the beginning of a new paragraph.

'The man behind the counter is older & more distunguished than Lucy imagined. She expected someone who looks like a has-been surfer, someone leathery and covered in tattoos. That's the sort of person who ought to be working in a shop called Beach Bums.
She sets down her camera case, and her fingers flutter through big, loud shirts printed with sharks, flowers, palm trees and other tropical designs. She peruses stacks of straw hats and bins of flip-flops and displays of sunglasses and lotions, not interested in buying any of it but wishes she were.'

I came down 4 sentences, & took 5 for the quote. I am almost halfway through the book, & am enjoying it. I tend to like grisly forensic books.

""""""""""
I have been sewing, & am glad of the chance, even though the humidity has clung to my skin like some filthy sheet of webbing, dampening my body & aggravating the itches.

We had to get groceries this morning. A tedious chore at the best of times. Brightened a little by a chance meeting with our Granddaughter & a friend, so we gave them a lift home, & were glad to see them.

Gom is determined to kill himself off. He tore out in yesterday's heat, to attack weeds in the ditch outside our place. It is the Council's ditch, open, deep & a mess of weeds, small trees, old newpapers & grass up to 3 feet high. The council informed us they rely on the adjacent house dwellers to 'keep things tidy'! I told the Council person that we are a bit long in the tooth to be clambering in & out of rocky deep ditches, & it is a double insult, as the said ditch, is actually the road frontage of our address!

For the past 8 years of living here, the Council has listed this road as being on it's list of works in progress. A small section at one end, has been tarted up, & looks a credit to the council, from the Highway. A larger section at the top end leading out onto the Highway has been fully completed & is very nice. The section in the centre, unseen by travellers is still a ghastly mess, with no footpaths & no curbing or guttering. A local man told me he has lived here for 30 years, & it has been a promised project for all of those years!

Seeing as it is doubtful we will live another 30 years, Gom got a bee in his bonnet about clearing the mess. It must have been close to 40 degrees Celsius yesterday, so it was no wonder he spend 2 hours dozing after he finished.

It is not quite so hot today, but he intended mowing the lawns- only the midday sun would do! Mad dogs & Gom, go out in the midday sun!

However we were lucky enough to have a friend drop by, so Gom sat & talked instead. So he lives another day.



llllllllll
I love seeing the birds on Sherry's blog. I would love to be able to post photos such as she takes. We don't have the same birds here, of course, but there are some very beautiful birds in Australia.

I found this sad little token of some poor Lorrikeet's demise. Poor little bird. They are so brightly plumed, & yet, when they are in the trees it is amazing how hard they can be to find.

We used to have a lot of visits from the Lorrikeets, but they don't call anymore. The Shrikes have taken over the Grevillea, & seem to regard as their personal playgroud. They are very dull plumed, & are very hard to photograph, as they are so quick, & blend into the trees so well.

I noted Sherry's lovely little crocus blooms, & remembered I had some lovely little Autumn Crocus bulbs... which a zealous Gom ripped out, telling me he 'thought it was grass'. GGGRRRRRR!!

llllll

What about that creep Spitzer? I don't understand those men. It is almost as if they want to be caught & punished. The public 'falling on the sword', the stupid wife, standing like some idiotdishrag, at his side. What IS that. Why humiliate yourself even more, by still remaining at the dork's side?? I don't say 'Stand by your man'. I don't say give him support. I might be swimming against the tide here. What do you think??

I just hate liars. I hate hypocrisy, that says "I am holier than thou. Oh whoopsie, I must have slipped!" "OMG, my feet were clay! Forgive me!" I don't think so.

Ben E. King, Spanish Harlem.



Wednesday, March 12

Champagne?

Champagne

He had champagne eyes,
they bubbled & sparkled
with ever changing amber lights,
full of the joys,
Love, unbound in delights.

I could drown in those bubbles
the magical joys,
they promised in endless array
swirling about me
beguiling, enticing, leading astray.

Then, the absence of draught,
hangover of the soul.
A sudden withdrawal,
Too painful to contemplate
Life, bleak, without the enthral.

A long distant meeting,
The bubbles still rose
with diminished exuberance
but bubbling still
In a quiet effervescence.

Further forward in Fates,
to futures grown old,
Changed, in the passage of time.
The bubbles are gone now,
the lights in decline.

Did his champagne lose
the bubbles, the life in the lights,
Or did the shadows, his lashes foretold
Reveal in ashes of years,
A love just grown cold.

Tuesday, March 11

All Sorts, -but No Liquorice

Firstly here is Sweet K, with the new little man. His Grandfather says he looks like a wee Chinaman, & he does have Chinese ancestry, so not surprising. He is only a few minutes old though, so no doubt he looks different again today. Ooh I wish I could give him a little cuddle. He weighed 8 lb, in the old 'money' - I don't know how much that is in the Kilo stakes.
Welcome to the world, little Man.



Gom decided to take me out for lunch today. We went to a local Club, & had a very nice meal. Snacks for tea, Yay! No cooking tonight.

I am always intrigued by the antics of SFM (Stick Figure Man) since meeting Mike's SFM, & also various activities of other SFM on Tethered Cow.

Naturally, I couldn't resist taking this shot on leaving the car park. Is is just me, or does this suggest that it is the Pedestrians who ARE the Hazards??



In Neighbourhood news, here is a beautiful garden, made by Mrs Nice Neighbour. I think this is one of her best. It is quite large, as you can see by the chairs & the cup. I love this one.


This is blatant cheating! These were not gathered by me, on some lovely beach. I wish they were. They are my shells, but goodness knows where they came from originally. I can remember when I was a child, finding much larger & more attractive shells than there seem to be about on beaches these days.

I expect the fact that the beaches were more remote, & far less likely to have been walked upon, made the difference. I have always had a fascination for the little dwellers who inhabit these shells. I loved inspecting the small rockpools & watching small crabs, & various other creatures.


It has been 33 degrees celsius today. Not too humid, luckily. I feel sorry for Adelaide dwellers. This is their 9th day with temps above 39 degrees!!

I hope you are all managing to keep cool down there!




Bryan Adams & Rod Stewart, All for Love



Monday, March 10

Fun & Games

We went to the beach yesterday afternoon. It was hot & humid, so I was a bit uncomfortable. I foolishly forgot my hat, towels & sunscreen.

What was I thinking? Well, obviously I was not thinking.
We took Small Grandson with us. He was so excited. He loves the beach.
We took our dogs & were to meet up with friends who were taking their son, & one dog.

I did take my camera. Which I locked in the boot of our car, along with my purse. Fool!

Luckily our friends took their camera, & this is a pic of SG on top of a large slide, in a very nice playground, with bright sails to provide shade.
Our friend L took this photo, & sent it to me last evening. Much appreciated L!



What a day I had. I had been hankering after the ocean, & the soothing sound of waves, & the feel of the lovely gritty sand. When our friends suggested taking the dogs for a run, we thought that a great idea.

The dogs were actually quite well behaved in the car. Thankfully neither of them get car sick. Our friends' Golden Retriever does. You can imagine. He is a very large dog!

Our dogs were very excited to get down to the beach, & we had hoped that Leo's training might give us a more relaxed dog out in public, among other dogs.

It was not to be. He was loud, agressive, & if we let him off the lead he would attack other lovely innocent HUGE dogs- including our friends' dog Boof. Who, to his credit, ignored Leo.

I wished I could have dived into the sea. I feel sure the seawater would benefit my itches. They boys had a ball, leaping among the waves, & Boof had a ball chasing his Frisbee.

Somehow the Frisbee ended up at my feet at one stage. Boof came to get it, & Leo went ballistic. In the midst of it all, I got bitten the leg. On the soft puffy part, above & behind my knee!

I am glad it was me that Leo bit, & not someone else. It did put a damper on my day. It drew blood, & stung like crazy. (I didn't swear, though!) Gom seemed of the opinion, if he didnt see it, it hadnt happened. O well, what is new?

It seems when the Universe, or whatever, decides to throw you some crud, it makes a good job of it, & sends several 'lumps' to keep you on your toes!

We delivered SG home. He said he had had fun, & he gets on well with our friends' son, so they had a good time.

We had to give our dogs a good bath each, as they had incredible amounts of sand in their woolly coats! Trying to trim a little off, was a hopeless task.

I am waiting for news of my Grand Nephew's birth. His mother had had one trip to the hospital yesterday, & had been sent home again. She was off again last night, but I have had no word today, so perhaps she went home again. I have been there & done that! Poor K. It is her first baby. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

Not dancing at present.


k d lang, I dream of Spring.





Thursday, March 6

Horror Stories.

I do my best to avoid the TV news. I find the forced shock horror too depressing. The faces of human misery captured in the unkind glare of probing media. Microphones shoved in faces, and worse, if they get half a chance! intrusions into private parts lives.

Road accident victims become statistics. The sadness & ugliness is given prominence only to feed the avid glare of the media. Vying for the most shocking, the ugliest, the most monstrous. Feeding a public fascination with the secrets of 'sinners'.

I sometimes feel a sympathy for the hapless 'victim' even if they are an evil doer. The understood 'right' of the media to expose, & shine a light onto, the 'perp' seems wrong somehow.

However, I make exceptions.
A light deserves to be shone in a harsh merciless glare on some evil doers.

I am deeply disturbed today. I debated with myself about posting about this very personal matter.

I have discovered that I have been a patient of a man dubbed, by the media, The 'Butcher Of Bega'. Google him. You may understand how I feel.

Twenty years ago, I underwent a series of 'treatments' for a gynaecological problem. It was not solved, with minor surgeries, so eventually I was told I needed a Hysterectomy. I thought about this for some time. I was, naturally reluctant. I had been treated by the Butcher. Who, of course, was not known as such at the time, & seemed a pleasant enough man, with a kindly manner. Though I did remark to the GP that he rather resembled a vet, than a Gyno. His manner was probably best described as 'down to earth'. Not exactly crude.

I asked my GP to refer me to another Gyno for a second opinion. The second man proved to be a crass pig, to put it mildly. I did not appreciate him demanding I open my blouse & undo my bra, then plunging his hands into my breasts in a brutal fashion, asking did I check them regularly. I was not there to consult him about my breasts.

The rest of the consulatation went even worse, resulting in my leaving, crying in a hysterical manner, & crying in the car for half an hour, before being able to drive myself home. I should have put in a formal complaint. I did complain to my GP. He was shocked, & agreed it was not any way to treat a patient.

So I went back to the Butcher, & my operation was scheduled at a Private Hospital, where he operated on a regular basis.

Now, as far as I know, he did nothing untoward to me. Who knows, however, just what the insides of themselves are like, after a major surgery. He did make some referance to my bladder which I found odd at the time. I have since had surgery for a bladder problem. I have no idea if it had anything to do with the surgery for the hysterectomy.

After reading of the absolutely dreadful unimaginable things this Butcher has done to other women, I realise I am very lucky. I just want to weep in sadness for the lives he has ruined.

But I can't explain how it has made me feel. It is the 'survivor who lives' feeling to a certain extent. I am left with this feeling of horror. Of narrow escape. I also feel violated in retrospect. Which seems slightly ridiculous, since I am apparently unharmed.

I wanted to talk about it, with someone, a stranger. I phoned a telephone number that was on a website. It was the 'Mental Health' line. I almost hung up. I made mention to the person I spoke to, that I felt further shamed & 'slapped' if you will, to be lumped into the 'mentally disturbed'. Why are the victims made to feel it is their own fault? I am not sure if the person I spoke to offered me much in the way of support, but she did ask if I wanted to make a formal complaint, about the Dr. Or, if I wanted to seek further counselling. I declined both.

I think of myself as reasonably well balanced, comfortable with who I am, & where I am. I have weathered my share of life's storms & hard lessons. I am shocked at how this has disturbed me, I suppose.

The victims noted that they had complained & had been made to feel ignored & hopeless, as no steps were taken to stop the Butcher from treating more patients. Maiming would best describe what he has done.

It is a such a very vulnerable position a woman finds herself in, when confronted with gynaecological problems. To be abused confirms her worst fears, somehow.


It is a truly shocking case of a man who was known to be mentally disturbed, yet no steps were taken to prevent him from accessing more patients, & doing further harm.

I suppose by coming out & writing about this, I am attempting to purge myself of the knowledge of how close I could have been to being damaged beyond repair.

Really, there is no punishment that could be enough for this man. As Gom said, he should just be put down.

Sorry to bore anyone reading. I think I do feel a little better, now I have written about it.


Roberta Flack, Tradewinds

Tuesday, March 4

Winter Moon.

Winter Moon.

Have you ever
held your breath
in a sharp intake of cold air,

as you gazed
shivering, transfixed, at the sight
of the huge silver lighted moon

Feeling in your heart
that the stranger seated next to you
emanating warmth

Could give you that moon
those stars
the magic moment that could last forever

Knowing, if you died right then
It could all be preserved.
The perfection, the joy,
time would stand still in eternity

The Ever-Increasing List of Things That May Kill You

Before I begin to rant, here is last night's deceptively serene closure to the day.

A cool lemony soothing glow. In fact, today has dawned beautiful, crisp & blue, with sunshine & very little breeze.



Fabric finds over the weekend Garage sales wont kill me...unless the growing stash/stacks fall on top of me & crush me to death!!

Nor will the large collection of buttons & oddments that I might need one day! For a time I worked in a shop that sold fabric & buttons. My collection grew every payday!
I keep this collection in a small set of drawers, & have more than I could ever need, if I live 2 more lives. My Granddaughter has spent many happy hours playing with this collection. When she was a bit bored she would ask me if she could get them out, & look at them. I would give her a tray, & she could empty the little drawers out, & pore over the contents.
I also have tins of buttons, many of them from my Grandmother's collection. They also have provided hours of entertainment for me as a child, my children when they were young, & the grandchildren.


None of the above will kill me. In fact playing with fabric & buttons may well prolong my life, seeing it makes me happy. It is current opinion you live longer if you are happy- I think?



"They" say changing your Doctor can kill you. I can well believe it. In the ongoing boring & itching, twitching saga that is my skin, I went back to our Dr's for a referral to a Skin Specilist, since nothing is improving & in fact, has worsened. I am like some demented St Vitus dance victim, clawing & scratching at parts unmentionable, & wake to find I have made myself bleed on my chest & upper arms & legs, from indiscriminate scratching in the night! Sorry for that last bit, perhaps a bit TMI.


As it happens our GPs, a husband & wife, have been away for the month of February, so there was a locum attending. A perfectly nice man, very kindly & quite concerned to see the condition of my skin. He decided it was one of the drugs I take for my Arthritic aches & pains. "Dont take it" he said. I explained that I had been off it for a fortnight previously to see if there was any improvement. There was none. He declared it needs a month break, at least, & prescribed a hideously expensive alternative drug, to use for the month.


So far there is no improvement. Nor is there much pain relief from the new drug. The most effective relief came from a drug which is almost 'guaranteed to kill me', this Dr declared. I told the Nurse, it is a trade off. Sometimes I think I would rather live less, if it could be painfree! I am a coward, plain & simple.


In another cosmic conspiracy to piss people off amusing twist I rang to make an appointment with Skin Specialist.
"Erm, Haha," said the receptionist, "We are booked out until the end of June, & the books are closed until the end of March. So, if you would like to phone back then, we will be taking bookings, for the following 3 months."

Oh JOY does this mean I might get in around September!


Frustration at the shortage of Skin Specialists may kill me. That, or a rage attack, at the idea of clawing myself raw for another 6 months.


In other news Gom continues to keep rather well. He is hanging out all the laundry now, & gets it in, folding as he goes. That is another idea the Locum GP had. It may be 'sun sensitivity'. So, I am doing my best to keep out of the sun.

There was a beautiful butterfly kept flitting about the garden yesterday, taunting me. I am sure it was deliberately teasing me, making me think I could get a photo. I kept trying to sneak up on it, but it would sit perfectly still, & the minute I lifted the camera, off it would fly. Another CCTPPO! I have learnt that balancing precariously on the bank, can almost certainly almost kill me!

Last time I tried it, I had a haematoma the size of a cricket ball on my shin, & various deep wounds bleeding profusely, when I plunged down the bank, impaling & gouging my legs & other bits on sharp branches of Grevillea. Gom was horrified, & told me to get up! I told him it was ok, I would just lie there for awhile. The pain was so bad, I couldn't even swear! (It must have looked hilarious though! Gom was to be commended for not laughing.)




Dire Straights, Romeo & Juliet.


Sunday, March 2

An Award, a meme, & the weather grumble grumble.

First up, today, Lone Grey Squirrel has given me an Award.
Blogging Mentor. I was very surprised to get this. I do try to encourage others when I can. If there are tips I can pass along I am very happy to do so. I try to be polite. I do delight in reading LGS' posts. He travels about, & has the most interesting of blogs.
Thank you- taking a bow in humble thanks.


I am now supposed to pass this along to 5 other worthy recipients, so here goes.

Sherry at Q's Corner. Her photo graphic skills are wonderful & her words complements to the photos. Sherry is also very polite, & will answer your comments.

Mike, at Tongue in Check. Hilarious, light hearted, & also very polite at answering your comments. A true Gentleman, but don't tell him I said so!

Josie, at C'est la Vie OMG, I have just realised I spelt your blog name incorrectly on my last post Josie. Sorry! You have helped me & encouraged me. Love to visit your posts.

Pauline of Writing down the Words. Pauline has a way of saying things that are just at the back of your mind, unformulated. She does it for you, beautifully.

Ian, of Or so I thought. Ian is a writer... & it shows! He is wonderful to read, & has a nice turn of phrase with the irreverant touches I love.

Obviously there are others out there who are mentors too. I read a lot- some say too many -blogs every day, & can learn something new, ever day.


llllllllllllll

I have been nominated for a book meme by Leslie, from the Pedalogue .
I have done a slightly different version of this book meme, 2 posts ago.
As I am reading 6 books at present, it is no task to find another current read & do this version of the meme. For this version, you go to page 123, & write the first 5 sentences.

The book is Bill Bryson's "Down Under".

Page 123

'In Canberra you have the sense of being in a very large green space you cannot ever quite find your way out of; in Adelaide you are indubitably in a city, but with the pleasant option of stepping out of it from time to time to get a breath of air in a spacious green setting. Makes all the difference. The city was laid out as two distinct halves facing each other across the green plain of the Torrens River, with each half fully enclosed by parks. On a map, therefore, central Adelaide forms a large, plump, somewhat irregular figure of eight, with parks creating the figure and the two inner halves of the city filling the holes. It works awfully well.

I had no special destination in mind, but the next morning as I drove into the city from Tanunda I passed through North Adelaide, the handsome and prosperous zone inside the top half of the gigure eight, spotted an agreeable-looking hotel and impetuously threw the car at the kerb.'

I love his long sentences!

I am enjoying the book, but not quite as much as his 'Notes from a Small Island', which is about his travels around England. I have another of his books to read, waiting in the huge TBR pile!

If there is anyone out there who has still not done this, or who would like to, please feel free to share your current read.

llllllllll
Rhubarb rhubarb. This is the weather. With custard even! Plenty of custard, in the form of wet & more wet. Winds, bursts of little gales. Then the sun comes out. The blue flashes. Puffy innocent clouds scud overhead.

"Ah!", you think to yourself. "This is Autumn. Crisp, sunny, coolish."

"The Epitome of Pleasure!"

Then the clouds thicken up, just like custard. They turn black, like burnt custard. They weep just a little. Then comes another downpour.

Then it all repeats itself. It is like being stuck in a bowl of bloody rhubarb & custard! I never could stand rhubarb! Nor can I stand custard!

BUT... I am not really complaining, because at least it is cool! Which is the main thing for me.

Puffy innocent looking clouds. They can be rhubarb & custard, before you know it!

PS. Who has laughed, along with me, to see dear old Flo BjelkePetersen saying she can't understand anyone saying Joh was a rogue!! Hahaha.


Roy Orbison, Falling