Thursday, April 29

Little Portraits

Out & about. Small details stand out, as they tend to, when I am 'watching'.

Gom has a favourite Fruit & Vegetable Shop, at a Mall close to us. He likes to visit,  to catch some of the bargains. Which of course, are not always bargains.

But the persuasive patter of the Spruiker, gets a lot of ready customers. Gom included.

The man who Spruiks, is very thin, has dyed his thinning hair, so as not to appear grey, or elderly, in this youth oriented world. It is a rich Auburn, which I suspect may have been his natural colour, since his skin has the marks which would indicate a Red Head.

He must be very effective, since he sells quite a lot of his 'specials' by spruiking the bargains. People tend to become excited in the moment, and free samples of the sweet fruit or cheeses, gather in the crowds, who become willing to part with more money than usual, to 'grab the bargains'.

Today it was sweet strawberries, from Victoria. The samples were delicious. I am happy to say the bought product is equally delicious. I really dont know if they were bargains, but I feel they may be. We will enjoy, regardless.

A sharp faced man, with little hair, and an unfortunate cast in one eye, who assures me he knows his procucts, when I venture to enquire about his wares, on a Market Stall. It is quite hard to address this person, as I am unsure which eye I need to look at, when making conversation, and asking questions. I rather guiltily pass on by, unsure of the value of his wares.

The distant gaze of the swarthy skinned, incredibly handsome,  man on the stand of wonderful Olives, Antipasto foods, Artichoke hearts to die for, plus Sundried Tomatoes which melt in the mouth. I so badly want him to make eye contact, perhaps smile in greeting... He does not, and his gaze is firmly fixed on some distant point, which does not include me! Nor any of his customers, it seems, so I do not feel personally neglected, and purchase some Antipasto, in spite of the ignore.

A wheelchair bound lady, sadly perusing the clothing, in a shop offering incredible bargains. She appears to have an 'escort' who may be a Carer. The Carers have a difficult task, and appear to have endless patience. The lady in the wheelchair sighs constantly, while declaring nothing is in her size. I spy several items in her size, so indicate them to the Carer. They are all rejected. I think about the life of the Carer, but also the life of the incapacitated lady. What is left in her life to amuse her? I am sure there is very little, that she can pick and choose about. I sense the Carer is very aware of this. She remains patient, and caring.


The excited children, laughing at the Pet Shop Puppies. So trapped, so desperate to have cuddles, and company, those little animals. I suspect there are several, older than the optimum age for adoption.  Their soft, pleading little eyes look out at the spectators. They are mostly too expensive for the best possible owners. I hope their little lives are saved, for a better life. Who would want to live in a glass enclosure lying on shredded paper? Unable to feel warmth of loving contact. Gom refuses to look at them, becuase he feels too sad, at the fact we cannot possibly adopt them all.

Another haircut, from my favourite Stylist. He is amazed, he tells me, when I say my son is 42. He declares I am not old enough to have a son of that age! He holds his hands up, and asks "What is your secret??" What a charmer he is!! (He is Italian!)  He has other customers, who love his loud playing of a Pavarotti tape. The man customer sings along. All is joy, as we all enjoy the music. His waiting customers tell me I have beautiful hair! Fading and grey streaked as it is now, I feel suitably flattered, and leave on a high. I am soon brought to reallity on my arrival home. Cut right down to size by Gom, who declares the hairdresser, & his customers to be short of sight. Never mind, I had 30 minutes of happy!!

My driving skills are improving, since I am now the 'Driver'. It is not an easy mantle I wear, and confess, there are moments when I would wish I was anywhere else on the Planet.

It is almost 21 years since we became the proudest Grandparents of a gorgeous little girl. We are planning a Protrait session. Perhaps I will share.

Leonard Cohen, Everybody Knows

Monday, April 26

'Outraged Council Rates Payer'



Sorry, another whinging post. I do have English Ancestors, so perhaps I am genetically prone to whinge.

I apologise to all my English Ancestors and Friends, as I don't really believe they whinge any more than the rest of us.

We received a letter from our local council, informing us our address was to be changed. We live on a corner block and our ACTUAL address is not able to be accessed, because of the state of the road frontage. See above!

This photo is of the 4 foot ditch, plus crumbling road, which represents our REAL address.
It is a disgusting open ditch, which runs full of water when it rains.

Our entrance is on another street, which means we have to climb stairs to access the inside of our living are. The letter we received from Council informed us that the change of address would enable mail, deliveries, visitors and Emergency Services to locate our property quickly and accurately.

All I can say is B*ll Sh!t!! We have lived here for 12 years, with no lost visitors, deliveries,  or mail, etc.
My argument is, if they fixed our road, as they have been promising us for the past 12 years, we would have no problems at all.
Now that Gom is ill, he can no longer attend to the weeds growing in the Council's bl**dy deep ditch. Nor could an ambulance access our home, without difficulty, since our 'other' address involves the use of awkward stairs.

We are strenuously opposing a change of address. We pay our exorbitant rates, therefore we should be able to receive mail, and Emergency Services, without any drama.

Several of our neighbours in this street are hoping the proposed improvements eventuate. Some have been promised they will be able to install driveways--- at last, after 14 years of promises.
I do believe our local Council is one of the most complained about, in the whole of New South Wales. The peccadillos of various Council Members do nothing to inspire confidence!!

Infuriated letter writing has begun!

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In other news, how gorgeous is this! My Loved Cousin's Ark. I think it is brilliant.

She is such a lovely friend, as well as a Rellie, & if I could have chosen, I could not have wished for a better Cousin, or Friend! Her quilts are Joyous! She has designed all these herself, and brought them to reality with her wonderful patches. What a fun quilt.

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Our Son came to stay for five days. It was lovely to have him, and I know his father got a health benefit from the visit.

I have also spent a huge amount of time watching this Live Barn Owl nesting box. http://www.sportsmansparadiseonline.com/Live_Owl_Nest_Box_Cam.html.
I am so fascinated by Owls, I keep going back for updates. The whole website had provided me with wonderful windows into other birds nests, also. I loved the little Bluebird. Her five blue eggs, then hatched to her little babies, with open mouths, begging for food.

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Gom really is not travelling well. He has better days, and some really, dismal,  less than good days. There are many health issues to be dealt with, but we do the best we can.
The wall climbing exercises are all mine! I should be extra fit now. But, who wants to climb walls??

Pearl Jam, Black

Friday, April 16

You know you are really old when....

You know you are really old when the Surgeons who treat your ailments are Doctor Jason Rhubarb*, or Doctor Kylie Grasshopper*.
They do say that names can date people, and you can hazard a guess as to the age, by the given name.

A lovely friend recently had Brain Surgery by Dr Kylie Grasshopper*.
Gom has had (very successful) surgery by Dr Jason Rhubarb*.

*Very competent and expert those Surgeons both proved to be.

However, it was with some shock, we all realised those Surgeons are probably a generation slightly younger, than our eldest offspring!

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It is that time of year again. The Camellia are blooming. I know Cat will appreciate this, should he visit.
This is my favourite Camellia, I love it's very simple blossom, plus the really delicate shade of pink. It never has enough flowers to satisfy me, so I savour each blossom.


As someone has mentioned out there in Blogland, it is hard to 'catch up' when you have long breaks, between posts..
I have so many topics I planned on posting.

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My 'brilliant' (haha) thoughts on Music, (as I was showering, and not singing.)
 I have a very eclectic, or catholic,  taste in music and a wide appreciation of singing voices from Bass, Tenor,  to Soprano, and all the ranges in between. I love Enya's wonderful gift of vocal ability, and may have had some green-tinged thoughts about it all. She does, after all, seem to have it all. Beauty, plus a wonderful vocal talent. I wish I had been given the gift of a beautiful singing voice. On the other hand, I am so grateful I have been given the gift of recognition, and appreciation,  of beautiful music.

There are people who have no 'ear' for music, or any of the wonderful world of sounds. I know Gom has a certain tone-deafness, when it comes to subtle variations in music. He has no liking for Classical Music at all.

Or many other forms of music, which escape his interest entirely.
I, on the other hand, am filled with admiration and awe, when I listen to so many forms of music.
I consider myself blessed to be able to enjoy so much music, which fills my soul with delight, joy, and pleasure, immeasurable.

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I recently visited a weekend Market, which was quite small, but very interesting.
I found a lovely Quilting Stand, with beautiful examples of Patterns and Quilts.
I promised to give the lovely Proprietor, Carol,  a shout out, which I have not done, so here she is-
http://cherrypiedesigns.wordpress.com/. Please visit, as I am sure you will be delighted with her lovely designs. She has some gorgeous fabrics for sale too.

At this Market, I also found some lovely soaps. I bought a soap to bath the dogs, which I used when I returned home. It was a very hot day, and the dogs enjoyed their baths, and I enjoyed the beautiful smelling soap. If you would like to learn more about the lovely soaps, here is a link- http://soaparomatherapy.com.au/.

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It has been a period of ups and downs, with some low patches, and some very high patches, as good news arrived after Gom's surgery. His problems are not over, but one aspect is very much improved, and though he underwent a very harrowing after surgery effect, all seems to be well now.

We have had our lovely son to stay, and he mowed the lawns, which set Gom's mind at rest.

We have had a problem loo. I jokingly suggested we need a whole new toilet suite. Gom was appalled. Our neighbour Plumber came obligingly to investigate, & came out to heartily tell us we need a new toilet suite!
Gom almost choked. Obliging Plumber said he was joking~ he could replace FOUR washers, and we would be ok with our existing toilet suite. All duly accomplished and no more problems. The cistern is Royal Doulton Porcelain.. but who cares... I would trade it in an instant for a new one. However, I guess we have enough to cope with at present, one way and another.


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We have been having some glorious days of perfect Autumn weather. The wonderful cool nights, when bedclothes are welcome, for the fist time for months. A little sleep in has been most welcome, under warm covers.

The gorgeous blue diamond days to follow have felt crisp and comfortable. I have felt quite energised, in spite of worries.

I loved this sunset colour, through the branches of our Lily Pily, looking towards the friendly lights of our neighbour's home, in the evening.

Here, the lovely colours of the clouds as the sun set on a perfect day. (Shame about the lines of power, but a modern necessity.)


I had a small shopping spree, a little Retail Therapy. The beautiful blue-eyed woman Assistant and I had a conversation, and the end result was, she came out from behind the counter, to give me a lovely, big hug! I was so moved, and decided Angels are about, where we least expect them.


The feathery silhouette of our Jacaranda always looks pretty against the evening sky, to me, and I am always inclined to include it, in my photos of the sunset.


Enya, How Can I Keep From Singing



Wednesday, April 7

Nothing prepares us for our 'Real Lives'.

When I was young, I would vaguely think of my future life, or my Real Life, I suppose. The teenage years seemed somewhat vague, and largely unrelated to what Real Life would be, later on in my life.


I did not have a clear picture of what the Real Life would entail.
I think my actual Real Life was so different to anything I would, or could, have imagined, much of it has been a huge surprise.

I was going to be a Nurse, and nothing disuaded me. Until I went Nursing. Several things changed my mind. Not least the Geriatric Ward. I was sorry for the old folks, but I think it takes a special type of person to nurse the Elderly, who may have lost, or be losing, their marbles. On the other end of that scale, if I could have just been an Obstetrics Nurse, I would have been deliriously happy. It was Not to Be, back in the day.

A new path, was not so much chosen, as happened. The great education of Life began. An Education I frequently protested, but Life had other ideas, and little old me, did not really matter. You know the scenario, Mind Over Matter. Life did not mind, and I did not matter!

My experiences with Mothers of the current boyfriends, certainly never prepared me for the eventual Mother in Hell Law I ended up having, I might have been tempted to run a mile from Gom, & everything to do with him, and his family, had I been lucky enough to have been gifted with second sight.

It does seem curious to me, that every mother of the beau of the day, as far as possible, liked me, and I, invariably, liked them right back. Alright, there were several I did not get to meet, being as they lived in other countries. However all the ones I met, and knew, were very nice friendly mothers, who seemed to regard me as an acceptable future DIL. Or friend at least.

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Just for a momentary change of pace, do you think this might be a hand... or a foot...??



The Spirit of the Tree, begging for mercy? Begging to get out?
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Easter weekend brought many (un)pleasant memories of my MIL. Though she is gone now, and I should be able to move on, I am constantly reminded of her, in little gestures and mannerisms of Gom.
I know it is unfair of me to resent these unconscious little things. However, I need to unload this cr^p, or it will eat me up.
I know it is not Gom's fault he reminds me of his mother. (Probably the happiest period of our marriage was when she overstepped the boundaries completely, and I banned her from my home, for about 5 years. I had several years of peace and harmony.) Had she been another person, I may have felt a rush of affection, on seeing reminders. The ugly truth is, I feel an irritated anger, & feel I possibly need counselling to deal with such thoughts. Or a large Voodoo Doll?? haha.
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Here is a photo of the Apron in Action! This young man loves to cook, and he is giving the apron a good workout.


The resultant stew, cooked in the slow cooker was declared a delicious success!


Here 'we' ( his lovely mother & I) are at the Blowhole. I was glad to see my blue top did not get splattered with food, but if you look closely, there appears to be some small animal attached to my bottom lip!
A friendly stranger offered to take our pic, so L offered her camera. People are generally friendly and very obliging on trips like this.
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Today's little adventure was not a pleasant experience for me. 
Yes, I know, here I go, flitting off the track again.  
I had to go for a Stress test  for my heart, having had a small 'episode', as they seem to be now known, about 8 weeks ago.    

Finally, after several cancellations- not mine- today was the day. It was hot, humid & very sticky. Ugly weather for anything...just breathing felt stressful!
Off goes Meggie, in her most loose, comfortable, cool!!,  clothes    
On arrival, I walked the 2.5 k to the center. OK I exaggerate, but it was the length of the block, almost!
I fervently hoped there was aircon, as I cannot stand exercise of any vigourous nature, nor can I breath in humid weather. 

ShockNo 1. I was required to strip to the waist- well shirt off, at least. This caused me some embarrassment, since I wore my most clapped & worn out bra- well they advised wearing comfortable clothing! Who could wear a new tidy bra?? They hurt like H#ll don't they??

So here I am, after being led out through an open Breezeway, to the now converted Double Garage Space which is to be the Stress Testing Zone. WHA???
I am sandpapered, vigourously, in various spots,  then have some several studs fitted to my person, which will be used to attach various monitor wires to be hooked up to machines. 
So here I stand in my partially naked state, waiting to meet the Doctor. He Introduces himself, trying not to look  too keenly at my partially undressed state. I would not want to gaze upon it either! 
I am instructed to lie on a bed for my 'resting heart rate' to be recorded. I am then further hooked up to wires, & studs, and told to mount the walking machine.
I might venture to say here, my heart is filled with dread. Such devices strike a primeval loathing within my being, & I immediately panic.
My blood pressure is taken. It is abnormally low, for me. The fear factor, I guarantee!!

Then they turn the walking torture  machine on. My legs resist the urge to fly out from under my body, backwards! I am instructed to take long slow strides. WTF, who can take slow strides on this hideous contraption?? I eventually 'Get the Stride' they tell me. 
Then as I struggle to breath, they, being the nurse and the Doctor, tell me they are stepping the speed and gradient up. 
I sweat like some navvy, and I gasp for breath, telling them, I cannot stand this heat, so they obligingly turn on a PEDESTAL FAN??? WTF?? What ever happened to aircon?? 
Finally the sweat on the handle bars begins to drip, I am so miserable I call for a halt! After all, I can barely breath, & I feel bloody minded, & hostile. 
Meantime blood pressure has been taken several times, and it is higher higher. 
I am released from torture.
I am led to a chair, where I gasp & heave.

Then I am told, "Well we didn't manage to get your heart rate up, so the Cardiologist may want more tests"
Over my dead body! I will not be going back for more, & would rather be dead~!

If it is heart-rate increase they want to measure, just come around here when I am trying to find previously available objects. GRRRR.

I know the signs are, Gom might well precede me. Some small signals tell me this may not be so.
He is on a diet in preparation for his big tests, so we are hoping we will get some answers to some of his problems.
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Our Easter was filled with Joy. We had family, and friends, and we enjoyed our company.
I had a call from a friend, Overseas, who would love to come to stay, so we look forward to that.
We also look forward to Overseas friends who are currently in OZ who may come to stay too.

Our Daylight Saving has ceased- for once it was the same weekend as NZ. I find I am ready for the sleep-in.


I don't know if this will work. I may have to start just suggesting music again.
This, if it posts, I love!
Jean Michel Jarre.
Genius.