Friday, February 27

Times are tough enough...

Everyone knows it is tough times. Every little dollar counts.

When things wear out & need to be replaced, value for what little money we have, is very important.

Which brings me to the vexing question of "Buying a Bra".

I have, in fact, blogged about this before. But in case some of you missed it, I thought I would share my recent misadventures, attempting to do the impossible.

First I tried a local outlet, which promises Bargains. Humph! Bargains would be a fine thing, if there was one item in the whole huge shop, which was in my size.

They have acres of bras, hanging on little plastic hangers- does anyone have a go at them about polluting the planet, I wonder?
They have bras for the pre-pubescant girls~ why do they bother?
They have bras for anorexics, in pretty colours, in pretty styles.
They have padded bras. Wired bras. Stuffed bras. Striped bras. Leery neon coloured bras. Black sexy bras. Pale pastel dreams in lace & froth.
They have bras like huge great trusses! They look as if they are made for cows! (Maybe they are?)


No, I didn't actually see any like these! Perhaps it would have made a nice change to have a laugh at.

Instead of feeling more & more desperate as I went about the shops, wearing my almost shredded & over stretched, unflattering, old bra, ~you know the one. The one they ceased making, the minute you found it fit, & was comfortable. Plus affordable.
It seems as if some cosmic conspiracy tells manufacturers when a person finds a bra that fits. Production immediately ceases. All stock is hastily got rid of.. who knows where, because you never can find them on sale or even slightly reduced.

So I trudged wearily off to other likely venues, which claimed to stock & sell bras.
Most of them did. But still, none of them had my size. WTH?? I am not a freak!
I stomped on further. Still no luck.
Finally, at an unlikely shop, I find not one, not two, not even three, but Four!! styles in my size. Two of the styles even come in colours!! Well... that is if you count black, white, & skin, as 'colours'.
Grasping them in my hot & weary little hand, I rush off to the 'fitting rooms.' The only thing 'fitting' about them is, the closeness of the walls!
It is downright claustrophobic in the damn cubicle, with the tattery ill fitting curtain to pull across. Always cut meanly, so they dont quite cover the doorway.
As if a generous cut would cut into their profit margin. Of course a real door that closed, would mean certain bankruptcy, I suppose, so that is out of the question too. I suppose I should be gratefull there is a mirror.
So I struggle out of my upper clothes, then become horrified that there IS a mirror...OMG! Who is that?? O hell! It must be me, there is no space in here for anyone but me!
As is usual with these fitting rooms, there is no airconditioning, & you struggle & sweat & squirm about trying on the bras. Crikey! They all look hideous. Well, wait... perhaps 2 of them feel quite comfortable almost. A third seems as if it might last well. Who knows how they actually look?
By now the temperature in the small cubicle is up to sizzle point, so you hastily struggle back into your tattered undergarment. Don your top. Lurch out to hand in the little tag that indicates how many garments you tried. noting, that the vague girl at the desk is on the phone, & doesnt even bother to check whether you are in fact holding all the 'returns'. For all she cares you might have 10 bras on, under your lumpy top.
The horror story doesn't really end there.
You go home, retry your bras, think philosophically, oh well, they are not pretty nor are they exactly what you had in mind, but, they will have to do.
Launder said garments. Proceed to wear them, one after other.
The first, is like some hideous harness, & not of the racing variety either. It pokes you in odd places, & suddenly seems to feel & look, quite different to what it did in the mirror- either shop or home. Why are the straps so fat & ugly? Comfort you say? whose comfort, I wonder??
Why do they make them in such hideous colours. Are larger people not allowed to have a bit of pretty? or at least attractive?
The second 2 are not much better. It seems you cannot really tell just how good or bad, the fit of a bra, is likely to be, until you have worn it around for at least 4 hours.
It is indeed a shame there is no way you can 'test drive' your garments, to see if they will be a fit or failure.
So keep the old tattereds for home wear, until they finally shred, & have to go.
I could say "Tough Titties" -but I won't.
***************************

Today is my youngest son's birthday.
As it does every year, it has brought memories flooding back of the joyous day he was born.
Because our birthdays are so close, we usually have a get together somewhere about the time, to celebrate both birthdays.
He is coming to stay, so it will be lovely to see him, as always.
Happy Birthday Son B.
This song is just for him.
He has always loved this one.


Kris Kristofferson, Darby's Castle.






Wednesday, February 25

"Touchy"..or "Taboo"

This may be a hasty post. I have been accused of neglecting the Gom.
He likes his soaps of an evening, on TV. I seem to be almost allergic to 'Soaps'. I detest them, & cannot be enticed to watch any of them.


I may watch series of TV shows- such as "Gangs of Oz" or "Underbelly", with a strange compulsion, having been around, & watched, as some of those stories unfold. Having a second-hand knowledge of some of the characters, if only through their notoriety, & nationality.

Having watched with horror, as some of the stories unfold. To think of such wickedness. To think I was so naive to think the stories may have been exaggerated, or false.

Having witnessed a little of the life of Kings Cross, in the late '70s. Having been shocked & saddened to realise the reality of some lives. Having felt glad that no-one I loved, or cared for, was involved in any of that seedy, scene we witnessed.

To later discover, to my horror, that someone I loved, more than my life, had become a victim of the drug scene we had seen.
Not literally, that particular scene, but a part of the soul destroying drug scene in general.

I have seen how a life full of promise, has been destroyed forever. The utter waste, & devastation. The spiral into despair & hopelessness. The complete alteration of a personality.

Which brings me to the subject of of the title.

Suicide.

I find it very hard to stand in judgement of any person who does commit suicide.
I know all the cliches, of cowardice, & lack of care, & selfishness, which are levelled at people who resort to this method of escape.

I don't subscribe to the blame throwers. I can't stand in judgement of any of them. I find I feel infinite compassion for the them.
Every one of them.

From the young, who, perhaps have not thought things through enough, & have rushed to a hasty demise, to the very elderly, who must have agonised over their decision, & seen no light at the end of their tunnel, no way out of their misery.

Tail down. Tail up.


Who can say, what despair, a person on the knife edge of their despair, is feeling.
Having suffered from the depths of depression, I know how hard it can be to climb up from those depths, at times. Even clinging to the little core of knowledge, that says 'you will recover', 'you will see the light again', is not always enough.

The ones who fail to hear the little voice, or the see the small light glimmering, & go on to take their own lives, are not to be judged or mocked, with our small insights.

I can only reach out to them, & say their actions are no less valid than any of our actions. Do not judge. Do not think harshly of any of them.


It is not fashionable to discuss a suicide. It is never admitted, that a family member- old or young- may have committed suicide.


It is hushed up, & never discussed in families. It is regarded as a shame. Which is not how I feel it should be.
It is a part of life. Abeit a painful part.
It is too easy, to judge or be accusing, which, I suppose is all part of the hurt, of the feeling of betrayal, at being the one who is left behind to grieve.
Those who remain will suffer pain. But I would suggest, their pain is as nothing compared to the those who have gone.



Don Mclean, Empty Chairs.

Monday, February 23

Cotton & Wool, retardants...

"They" tell us to dress in wool, if we are in danger of fire. Modern folk don't seem to be aware of the fire retardant properties of wool & cotton. Natural fibres are far slower to burn than their synthetic counterparts.

Why are the young not taught this at school? It would seem they are not taught the basics of survival.

I watched a programme, from America, about a child who is determined to abolish homework!

I would support him in every way I could. I never could see, that the stress, on both child & parent, equalled anything useful from homework. It is an abomination, & a total waste of everyone's time!!

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


I was honoured with this Award, by my great friend & fellow Blogger Catalyst. He is a wonderful friend, & I humbly accept his award.



This Award, I am ashamed to say, was awarded some time ago. I have forgotten the awarder. I was probably a bit shaken by the god reference. I don't have a god, nor do I want one.
However I appreciate the sentiment of the Award- leaving aside the god bit! So thankyou, & I apologise for being so late to acknowledge your gift to me.

***********************
I spent most of the afternoon, slothfully, watching the Oscar Awards. People who know me, will say this is not like me at all!
I am not usually a fan of this Hollywood shallowness. I was 'seduced' perhaps by Hugh Jackman, who I see as a huge talent.
I was also impressed, for the very first time by Beyonce. I had no idea, how beautiful, how talented, she is!! Her voice is for angels. Her persona...just so beautiful!! She must be one of the most beautiful women in all the world?
**************
Over the past few days, I have been spoilt rotten.
Phone calls from rellies & friends, far & wide.
Family visits, with chocolate gifts....Surplus to my ever increasing bod's needs... but accepted, nonetheless!!
Lavish lunching...
A wonderful plant, potted, so the Garden Vandal, aka Gom, cannot uproot, or in any way, destroy or damage.
The company of family, friends, & many laughs.
What could be more perfect, for any birthday.
I have a tiny wee book, called "Garden Lovers." It is approx 2"x2 1/2".
There are 2 quotes I love.
The first is, " There is no better demonstation of faith than a man planting a seed in a field." So true.
Please note, there is no reference to any god in that statement. Nor is it needed.
My second favourite is
"Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there".
This is attributed to Francis Thompson.
I wish those were my words.


David Gray, Shine

Wednesday, February 18

How to Eat Jam.

Prompted by a post over at Stomper's , I was moved to memory banks.

Jam.
In this instance "Jam" means the preserve, made with fruit & sugar, mainly, to preserve the bounty of fruit, over the Autumn months, for use in the lean, lacklustre winter months. The making, the bottling, the storing.

Not the type of meaning where one might be 'in a jam' or sticky situation. Nor the meaning of jam, where one is unable to move. Nor the flooding musical experience of a Jam!


"Putting up the preserves", as our Grandmothers would have it.

My Maternal Grandmother was very good at the preserving. The useful use of the season's superfluity. She could take all the fruit,~ about to rot, ~& turn it into magic, sweet jam, for use in the winter, when fresh plums or peaches, apricots, or any other fruit, were unavailable. Even Rhubarb. Remember this.

Apples were a wonderul, bounteous crop, which arrived in buckets. While, perhaps, not so appealing as a jam, it could be made, painstakingly, into the most wonderful, light, delicious, clear jelly.

This brings memories of disused, -but perfectly clean! - stockings. They were filled with the pulp of the cooked apples, & hung to drip, suspended by a wooden spoon, above the perserving pan. The resulting, wonderful clear jelly, was proudly put into jars, labelled, to be admired, for the clarity, & the wonderul flavour!

Heaven help the thoughtless child, that might give the full bag a squeeze, on the way to the toilet!!!

For, in our humble home, the concrete laundry tubs, served as vats for the suspension of the jam/jelly drip systems.
On seeing the bulging stocking, dripping its liquid into a bowl, it was almost impossible, to restrain oneself from giving "the squeeze!!" But.... woe betide if you did, because someone always seemed to keep a tally, on who was out to the laundry-based toilet, when the 'cloud' in the jam/jelly appeared.

As children, we went on berry picking missions. I do not use the word 'missions' lightly. They really were missions. If we failed to return home with non-jamable quantities we never quite lived it down.

Any & all, berries we encountered were to be brought home, unmolested, uneaten, & in good order, for the sizing up, for the making of jams.



The Blackberry, was one of the favourites. Juicy, & so succulent, they would warn a watchdog, by the colour of the stain about the lips, had they been consumed...illegally! This is a Boysenberry. They were prized, for their flavour, sweetness, & longlasting joy, when made into jams, jellies, & puddings.

Tthere were no large freezers available domestically, back in our day. It was all, eat it now, or preserve. So our Grandmother preserved.
The wonderful Passionfruit of our childhood summers, would be made into a syrup preserve, for use when winter was upon us.
The bountiful fruit of summer, was transformed into sweetness & joy for our winter puddings, with sauces, or just bottled fruit, with the joyous taste of summer!
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I was never a fan of Rhubarb, (the veg/fruit/ plant.) but a lot of my friends were. One girlfriend used to come to collect a car-bootful of our rhubarb, in the season. So please, regard this vigourous plant behind our Gom & son, in the garden of the day!! I swear, you could not kill that rhubarb! Well, not with thought, anyway!!
This is Meggie, with 2 of our children, & the gift of the vines.

You know what they say,... 'fruit of the vine'..
Good grief, I have forgotten the rest.. Hmmmmn..
And now to a confession of sorts, Stomper!
I have a love of Figs. They are not often available in shops, as fresh fruit.
Some very dear, & caring friends, are aware of this fig love of mine.
They bought me a pot of jam... Fig Jam, in fact.
I was so thrilled, I decided Gom was not to partake of this treat. So. I hid the pot of Fig Jam. Even though, Gom assured me he would not like it.
I know what he is like. He will even eat CHEESE! whe he wants to!! In great quantities, & also with gusto!!
So, I stashed the Fig Jam away, & sneaked it out at intermittent intervals, to slurp from a teaspoon. In secret. In the computer "Dont you dare come in here" room! OMG!! The Fig Jam was just so wonderful!! I loved every morsel. I loved every pip!! It was just luscious!!
So, Stomper, my story of jam snacking is not so terrible... is it??
*************
Here is a further photo of our little new family member.
He, of the rosey cheeks. Or should that now be of the cheeky cheeks!
You gorgeous boy!!
Did any one try the French Onion Soup? We all loved the end result!!
Tomorrow, I have been promised lunch out. I will be 66. Is that a good year, or, who cares!! LOL!!

Saturday, February 14

Comfort

I have been offered comfort from many sources over the past few days.

I humbly, say "Thankyou".
Though, I do feel it is not my place to accept the comfort offered to so many, apart from me.

I felt quite ashamed in afterthought, today. We went to our local shopping Village, where the local Rotary were running Raffles to raise funds for the Bushfire Appeal. I bought some tickets, & stood waiting for the spin of the wheel. Gom came up, & asked what I was doing. When I told him, he decided to buy some tickets, along with me, in the next spin. We had no idea of what the prize was... who cared, we were really there to Donate.

I had noticed an unusual name on the winners list. I knew that name. I used to wear that name! We stood & waited as our spin was taken. Number 33! Not our number. Then the wheel skipped to the next number, 14. My number! I could scarcely believe it. I went to collect the prize, which was a $25 gift voucher for meat at the Butchers. I was thrilled.

When I got home, I felt guilty. I wished I had given the prize back, to be given again. It could have raised further funds.

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

I was given this award by Brett, at Coachdad. Brett is a courageous Dad, with 4 beautiful daughters. He is a solo Dad, & I think he does a great job. Being a single parent, is never easy.


Thankyou Brett. I am a rule breaker about passing on such things, & am content to acknowledge this is your award, with your sentiments.
Thankyou.


I have posted some pictures, which will not necessarily reflect the subject matter. I just felt like some pretty.

This, a rose at an Aunt's garden in New Zealand. last year.

BTW, Hello reader from Maketu!! I saw your visit on my stats. I spent many happy hours at that beach as a child, & also spent happy days at Newdick's Beach. WAVING!! Please leave a comment. We might have known each other at school...the beach..
*********
We have had many days of rain here, in the state of New South Wales. The skies have been grey, clouded, & have frequently dropped heavy showers of cold tears, almost a mockery of the heated devastation of the fires in the southern state of Victoria.
This is a rose called Tequila Sunrise. Again my Aunt's garden in NZ BOP.

This cool weather, with the bleak outlook, has prompted thoughts of comforts.
Comfort in quilts. Gom has been huddling under his Red Square Dance. Of course, the irony of the fact that he also is dressed in shorts, seems lost to him!
I have cooked casserole food, which would seem to be the ultimate in comfort food. Pork, with a ton of vegetables. A one Pot meal, complete with potatoes, & so delicious & warming, after slow, aromatic, cooking.
Gom is a terrible coward, where vegetables are concerned. His childhood horrors, with force feeding of vegetables have never left him. It has taken many years for me to trick him into the joys, both taste wise, as well as health wise, of eating vegies.
He had a young Uncle, his father's brother, who boarded with his parents, when he was a young boy. The Uncle had preferences, where certain vegetables were concerned. He liked most vegies, but balked at the skins of Broad Beans. He ate the insides, carefully discarding the shells, & leaving them on the side of his plate.
Gom's mother said nothing. When Gom, who was around 9, left his skins on the side also, & finished eating his meal, she flew at him, & demanded he sit there & consume every last skin! Such tales of cruelty fill me with untold anger. I could NEVER have done such a thing.
As a child, I loved all my vegetables. I was happy to eat almost any, & all. My Beloved Brother did not like pumpkin. I was always so sorry for him, when our Grandmother would force him to eat it. I would sit & try to disguise it for him, telling him to mash it up & pretend it was eggs, which he loved.
To this day, he is not fond of pumpkin, but he will eat it. He still loathes chicken, & I wonder if it is a result of seeing our reluctant Uncle having to kill a chicken at our Grandmother's bidding, once it had ceased to lay.
The experience of watching him struggle with pumpkin stayed with me, & I never forced my children to eat anything they disliked. I am glad to say, they grew up to like almost every vegetable, with no hideous memory associations attached.
Mind you, I hated chicken, back in the day, too, & was never keen to have any of the awful, tough meat, that resulted from the roasted bird.


This is another flower from my beloved Aunt's garden in BOP (which is Bay of Plenty, New Zealand).
This afternoon, I decided to make some French Onion Soup. I don't know why, but it seemed the ultimate comfort for a cool bleak afternoon.
I used Ree's recipe- you can find her on my side bar. I have to say, it is the most delicious I have ever made. I didn't use the oven, but I was flitting about basting a long time quilt.
I have battled with this quilt top, & am still not completely happy with the result. I am hoping the quilting will improve it. It is for my Granddaughter, & she chose the fabrics to finish it off.
Another rose, from my Aunt's garden. A little blurry this one. Photographer's fault. I had been lent a camera, & it took me a while to get the best of it. I probably never did realise it's full potential.
And lastly, my beloved New Zealand bush, which has regenerated on our long abandoned family farm, & I love every inch of it!






Bob Dylan, Not Dark Yet.

Thursday, February 12

Break Out.

I have to break out.
I can no longer wear the muzzle, of politeness.

Just reporting conversations... or fractions, thereof..

"What the hell are they thinking? Why would some female 'reporter' shove a microphone in front of a shocked survivor, from devastating, life-stealing fires, & say "Why do you think you survived?" The woman appeared to almost shatter, or melt. She stammered, confused, "I don't know... the boys??" I thought that one of the sickest monents of commercial TV.

Next to the Ghoulish male reporter, who asked Christine Nixon, "How high do you think the toll might rise?" (breath panting, in the asking) His blanketty blank eyes gleaming! @rsehole! Do these cretins have any idea of the face they present to the world? Do they know how ghoulish they appear?




The female 'reporter', her glittering eyes, as she asks the most inane questions. I take offense, just seeing her idiot smiling face. As she stands in front of the community center, & confesses, it is a "NO GO" zone for media personel.
oh what a surprise, I wonder why??

Watching a staged 'reunion' with a couple. It looked like a f#cking dog trial being filmed, as the cameras circled the lucky reunite- ees. Over the paddock, into the 'flock'...OK the TV channel staged the reunion.. but really? How sick to exploit such human sadness, & despair.

Another conversation, in company.
"What about the stupid cow who had 8 babies... deliberately"
"She is out there, pleading poverty"
"Yeah, well, she wont get any sponsorship will she? She will be like a steaming turd on a shovel to any endorsement companies!"
"They won't want to touch her with a barge pole. She had generated such Odium in the public arena!"
"No "BumComfort Pampers" for her. She is a social pariah"

"I laughed, when they said the "seedy" 'seed donor' doubted he wanted to be part of the upbringing of the babies"
"It is just as I said. 'They can f^ck around, & then f^ck off & who will hold them responsible!"

"The seed donor, deserves his 'nads to be removed".
"I hope, while they were evaluating the mother's mental stability, they used "Discretionary Sterilisation" .
"If only that was a real option!!"
"Is the impregnating (IVF)Dr accountable?"

"I heard they are proceeding with charges?"

I would like to thank the many friends I have, who have cheered me with messages of fun, & laughter, as I have wallowed in this trough of despondancy.
Who am I, to feel such depair. It is not a personal tragedy, though it is a national tragedy, therefore, we are part of it all.

I have personal tragedy, which, upon my soul, resembles all of those photos of devastation & waste. I have lived through that, experienced it all, in my very being. Those pictures represent, my survival.
And, no, I do not wish to sound arrogant over this.

But I have felt that fire of annihilation. I have gazed upon that same devastation. That landscape has been my landscape.
Am I sane? Or completley mad?










I know you never recover. Though you pretend, & life goes on.

Wednesday, February 11

No Words

The following link, tells the story in pictures, that words cannot describe.

http://www.news.com.au/gallery/0,23607,5037339-5006020-13,00.html

Some of the fires were the work of arsonists. Murderers.

It is hard to take solace in the fact that we are having violent thunderstorms, with some heavy rainfalls.

It means we are safe for now. A local arsonist was caught last weekend. Luckily no homes or lives were lost, as a result of his evil intent.

Victoria is not having this weather. They still have high winds, & dry conditions. At least it is cooler.

Yesterday was the coldest February day for 17 years, in Sydney.

Facts such as that, astound, when considered with the incredible freak heatwave that fanned the Victorian fires.



Norah Jones, Somewhere over the Rainbow

Monday, February 9

Tragedy and Devastation.

This country is reeling from the most shocking fire devastation in the history of Australia.
The State of Victoria has been the scene of the most shockingly furious fires anyone has ever seen. Whole towns have been razed, not a building left standing.

Our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was moved to tears when asked about the destruction. The Premier of Victoria was in tears when he discussed the tragedy.

Thus far, they are telling us 108 people have been confirmed dead.
Kevin Rudd advised us to brace ourselves as a nation, for there is worse to come.

Some of the stories I have seen, bring tears to my eyes as I write. A four car pile up, where all the occupants perished, as they attempted to flee the flames.

We are lucky in this State of New South Wales. We have some fires burning, but nothing like the Victorian fires.

We have fires burning quite close to us, as the crow flies. It is bush, & at present no homes are in danger.

This is smoke from local fires, which are not currently expected to cause home losses. I took this photo from our balcony on Friday evening. The smoke has lifted a lot now, & today is much cooler, & there is low cloud, mingled with a little smoke.



The weather in Victoria has cooled, thank goodness. There has even been a little rain in parts, but in face of the furnace of destruction those fires created, I guess it would dry before it hit the ground.

Survivors have variously decribed the conflagration as a ball of fire that just instantly enveloped & melted everything in it's path.

The fact that some of these fires have been deliberately lit, seems beyond all comprehension, to sane people.


Meanwhile, in the norther State of Queensland, there are devastating floods occuring from deluges of heavy rain. It seems incredible, & makes one realise the vastness of this great country. The savagery of nature.

We are so lucky we have not lost loved ones.
I am hoping all my blog friends are safe & not in the way of danger.

For an excellent report on the state of Australia today, please visit June, of 70 Plus & Still Kicking.



Franz Schubert, Serenade.


Thursday, February 5

Animals are my Achilles Heel..

I mean, what the hell could be more cute, than some little Polar Bear attacking some leg!!?? I seem to have a freaky fascination with Polar Bears. Though, I do concede I may never see a live one!!

I would love to meet one, & I do dream of having an experience where I may encounter a live Polar Bear. I also

realise they are not to be tifled with, so I would try to be respectful!!
********************
Here are some of my favourite herbs... I love Basil! Such a distinctive herb.. so vital for Pesto!!And here, we see Thyme, such a lovley herb, so versatile.. so good in stuffing mises, or just to include in vegeatables


Parsley.. never fails to please. A good all rounder herb, goes with anything. An added asset.





Sunday, February 1

Slightly Dubious Doings...

If you read here often, you will by now know that I love Garage sales, & Op Shops.


Lately I have found the better option to be garage sales, rather than the Op Shops, (Charity shops) since they are feeling the hard times too, & prices seem to have skyrocketed!


Not having generous amounts of money for purchase power, & also, having rather a liking for what I regard as 'nice' things, I keep an eye out for those things I could not afford, but would rather like to have.


For some time now, I have wished we had a 'drinks' fridge. At various times, when our kinder have come home for 'respite' stays, when their lives have fallen temporarily apart, they have brought their furniture, & fridges with them. The fridges were invaluable for the overflow, of food drinks, etc.


We are lucky enough last weekend to meet a young man, Tor, who is returning to Norway. He has a smallish fridge which he wished to sell. He only asked that he be allowed to keep it, until this weekend, so it was agreed I would pay him a portion of it's cheap very reasonable price. The balance to be paid upon collection of the fridge.


Gom was not best pleased with this arrangement. It is ok for him, he stacks our fridge with beers, but there is no space for my wine. grrrr. He backed off, not wanting any part of me purchasing the spare fridge. Which will, no doubt be packed up with beer before you can blink an eye.


We have a friend who is going to transport the fridge for us. Yesterday, having not heard from the young man, I sought to identify a time when it would be ok to collect the fridge. Gom began to scoff, when I could get no answer to the telephone number Tor had provided. Jeers, of the nature suggesting I had been 'taken', could be heard coming from the direction of Gom.


So, I rang my daughter, & she agreed to come with me on a searching mission, to see, if indeed, I had been 'taken'. Round we went to the flat. We could see through the windows, that there was disarray- back packs on the floor, some dismantled shelving, blankets. We could not see the fridge from the angle of the window.


We knocked repeatedly on the door. I am not sure why, but I tried the door handle. To my horror the door was unlocked! I hastily closed it again, having not actually opened it. We knocked some more. Then my daughter decided to 'peep' in the door, to see if she could see the fridge.


Yes, she saw the fridge, & quickly closed the door. I wrote a note on a piece of paper to leave at the door frame. Suddenly my daughter squeaked! There was a figure looming on the other side of the window. A man in undies. I am not sure who was more horrified.


It was Tor's flatmate. He hastily locked the door, then put on a pair of shorts. He opened the door, & after ascertaining our identity, he told us Tor was off out surfing, so he was not home. It was agreed he would be home today, & we can go to collect the fridge!


As we walked off down the drive slightly shocked at ourselves, & sniggering, my daughter was rather horrified to think she had actually almost 'entered'. She reckons that the young man will lock his door in future.


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


I was recently sent an email asking if I would like to be analysed about my writing style. I forget the wording, but the gist of it was, they would study my experiences growing up, to see how that influenced my style of writing.


I decided I dont really want to be someone's study sample, & I don't particularly care how my life to date has 'influenced' my writing.


To me, that seems like asking, "How long is a piece of string?"


I know that I seem to feel comfortable in my skin after years of ups, downs, doubts, & pressures.


I have discovered I like a hotch potch of things. I love mismatched china, odds & ends of cutlery, odd glasses. I feel very comfortable with 'casual', & 'relaxed'.


When we first got married, my brother gave us a Dinner Set. It was Crown Lynn, in an Autumn toned pattern, a design that was very popular in 1966, when we married. I was quite distraught when the first piece got broken. Luckily, Crown Lynn was still making china back in that day, & it was easy to replace pieces if they got broken.


Crown Lynn was probably the most popular china back then. It was reasonably priced, made locally, & was readily available in replacement pieces all over New Zealand.


As it happened the Crown Lynn factory was quite close to where we lived, & Gom got a job there, pouring plates, just after we married. It was even before Gom was HYPH- which was Happy Young Publican Husband- it was before we had moved to his beloved Southern Island. It was before he discovered his true calling in life, which as it turned out, was to be a fantastic Publican. His stint at Crown Lynn, was when he was still "That Bum You Married", to some of my friends. I guess I was the "Fool Who Married Him".


It is true we are chalk & cheese. We are very different people. We don't always like the same things, but we very often dislike the same things. He gives me space to be myself, which is invaluable in a relationship.


I could never afford Villeroy & Boch ware these days. I got this lovely dish in a garage sale for $1. A deceased estate sale. I felt sorry to think of the owner, who had obviously used it. It had little browned on 'leftovers', which easily cleaned off. I love it, & use it often

I like the grape leaves pattern.




Another favourite of mine was Temuka Ware.
My mother knew I loved it, & for my birthday or Christmas she often sent me the money to purchase a piece locally. I still have all of the pieces I got way back when. I have since collected some more, over here in Australia.


I have some in dark brown, but this was my favourite & still is.




This is a pattern of Crown Lynn that became popular in the 70s. I had the whole dinner set, with jug sugar bowl etc.

These are the only pieces I have left now, as it seemed to chip & break rather easily. I am surprised that these 2 pieces have lasted so well, as I use them still.


This is a garage sale find. Beautiful handmade pottery platter, with 2 little bowls. $2.





This is my favourite cultery of all time. I think they called them Sporks, or Splades. I have had my original set forever, it seems, & have gathered more along the way. So handy for eating at a party or in front of TV.





This is some of my current crop of mismatched dishes for everyday use. I use the term 'everyday' lightly... it is my all the time set, posh visitors or not! Some of it is my original china, but most of it is from garage sales. I still love those old colours... am I set in my ways?? Does this mean I live in a time warp?


Haha, I find I dont care at all. It is so relaxing to not worry if a piece gets broken or chipped. It is lovely to just enjoy company, & small fingers don't need to worry if they lose grip on the plate or cup.


I don't have to impress anyone with my 'matching china glassware & cutlery'. I impress myself with oddness, comfort, & ease.
Some of my quilting readers may notice the Bunny Hill Designs button up on my sidebar. I have not decided whether to make this or not, but I really like the first block. I have it all ready to go, should the weather cool down!




Gomez, How We Operate