Wednesday, October 31

The Itch with No End...

Do you get a mental itch?? Do you have trouble scratching that itch.??
Do you ever wish you could just reach into the past & scrub the lot away??

This is a -yes another- blurry pic of a shrub that our former DIL gave me as a gift.
I love the fact it is flourishing at the side of our house. Blushing unseen, you may say. Which our daughter-in-law tended to do. She is a gentle, wonderful person, & we miss her in our family, & still mourn her loss. We wish she was still part of our family. We bless the fact that she is still a friend to our son. Here is the new spring growth on our Christmas Shrub, as they call it. I dont know it's real name, but is has red bracts, around Xmas, & apparently almost died out, because people stole & ripped pieces off the natural bush shrubs, to decorate houses when the Yuletide season was upon this land.
This one is a huge tree we have in our side garden. I have no idea what it is. The leaves are so remiscent of Pohutukawa, I am always surprised when it has no blossom -ever. I do love the new bright lime coloured growth, & plead with the
Garden Vandal not to trim it back.

Here is the heavily wounded Tibouchina. I gave permission to the Garden Vandal, aka Gom, to trim this huge tree. I was assured it would recover, & become sturdy & thick of growth. I see these new shoots & feel so guilty- & relievd, to see it is actually regrowing.
After the initial carving, I thought it had died, & when I went to investigate, I cringed at the evident crying of the poor munted tree.
The sap wept in strips down the carved off trunks of the branches. the moss even wept alongside the poor wounded stumps.
It seems it will live, & probably flourish. I hope it does. I transplanted it from elsewhere.
Other itches are developing on my skin. 'Crapsticks' as AG would say. I have no idea what has caused them. Great red angry welts across my arm, leg, & torso. Gom does not have any. We share the same bed, the same food, the same furniture. I have not changed the shampoo, soap, or washing powder. I am at a loss to understand where this itch is coming from.
I have another skin appointment. Tomorrow.
We have our beloved little SG tomorrow, for most of the day. I am sure it will be fun, & very exhausting! He had his first taste of 'Big School' today. His mother said he was not impressed. Hopefully things will get better!

Bob Seger, You'll Accompn'y Me

Tuesday, October 30

Ready Or Not.

I just adore the "i can has" site. I visit it quite often, being a bit of an animal sucker.

Somehow this dear little pic reminded me of the changing seasons, which are coming, whether we are 'ready or not.'

Our Summer seems to have sneaked in early, pretending to be Spring. Either that, or global warming is much worse than we realised. It has been gaspingly hot here for the past few days, & the thunderstorm we had on Friday just made it all seem worse.

Jogging about the blogging world, I see so many pictures of the most gloriously coloured leaves, in the Norhtern Hemisphere, where, of course, it is Autumn. The wonderful strong, rich, reds, the hot, beautiful, oranges, & brilliant almost electric rusts, & golden browns. Sunstruck yellows, limes, faded greens. I am sure our autumn coloured leaves dont attain such strong, brilliant colours. I wonder why?

Is it the light, or the lack of, or the strength of the sun? Does the sun bleach the colours out? Or might it be the different types of trees that grow? The promise those glorious greens seem to hold don't last very long in this dry, hot climate. Not on the deciduous trees at least.

I know that we never seemed to see such brilliant colours in Christchurch, either, & many of the same trees grow in Hagley Park, & the Botanic Gardens, as grow in England. Many of the Northern hemisphere trees, of other countries, also.

I have watched the wonderful rich greens coming on the trees, the wonderful young lime coloured leaves. Golden new leaves, that will gradually turn a darker green, as the Summer comes on. Even the Eucalypts have a myriad of new colours, as they sprout new growth.

It always amazes me, to see the wonderful brightly coloured Rainbow Lorrikeets, & Rosellas, & to see how they blend, almost into invisibility among the shrubs & trees. Even the pink & grey Gallahs blend into the grass as they peck around searching for, I know not what.

Our birds in New Zealand were much 'quieter', in a colour sense. Introduced birds were prevalent, Blackbirds, Thrush with beautiful dusk songs, Sparrows, who have seemed to diminish recently. Native birds tended to be dull & quite difficult to spot in among the native trees. Many of which were dark evergreens.

In rural areas in New Zealand Pine trees of many varieties became popular for use as windbreaks, hedges, & delineating areas, such as hiding the woolsheds, stock yards, or sheltering the dog kennels, or just as windbreaks for the houses, affording some privacy as well as boundary markers.

Most old houses would have had some conifers, macrocarpa, lawsoniana, & pinus radiata. When the occupants had long gone, or the house had crumbled away, the remnants of the gardens would be left, overgrown, dark, & lonely. Often foreboding, as only those gnarly old trees could be.

As a child I have vivid memories of those old pine trees. Their dark, threatening, shapes, the carpet of needles so quiet & stealthy somehow. I always thought of Hansel & Gretel, & always had a shiver on entering large stands of such trees.

I loved the pinecones however, & loved to go & gather them for the fire. My father made me a very nice owl, out of a handsome pincone, & I wonder if that is where my lifelong fascination with owls came from. though some say I was a witch in a former life, & that is why I love owls- & wolves, though we had none of those in NZ!

I remember the pine cones could be rather treacherous to burn on an open fire- they were given to spit in protest at being burned, & a good fire guard was needed to protect the hearth & carpet! Sometimes even the furniture! I was 'gifted' a spot burnt armchair, which had been a rescue from Gom's first marriage.

You have no idea how much I loathed that hideous holed, ugly yellow, vynyl covered chair. To this day, it remains in my mind, a symbol of my MIL.

I had intended this post to go in another direction. (Ha ha, much as we sometimes intend our lives to take other directions!)

A memory of an old man, who lived in a very tumble down old cottage. It was surrounded by many old plants, where a former, perhaps lovely, garden had once thrived, & been lovingly tended. There were several banks of pine type trees, & many thick vines, surrounding his dwelling.

As children we used to venture across the paddocks, to hide, & peep at poor Old Billy's house. He had a beard, & longish hair, & he could occasionally be heard muttering away to himself.

There were many old plants, flowers & shrubs that struggled against the encroaching weed forest. Lonely oldfashioned flowers could be seen blooming in spite of neglect. Sweet Williams, (Dianthus) flowering valiantly, among the riotous weeds. Old forgotten Primrose clumps. Wild Narcissus, Daffodils, Snowdrops.

A particular shrub of pink small flowers, with a spicy fragrance sticks in my memory. A very old fashioned shrub, which no longer appears in modern gardens. I loved it's fragance, & recall it vividly, to this day. The slightly sticky leaves on the tips of new growth.

Most scary, or surprising, was Old Billy's 'Midden'. We lived some miles inland from the ocean. A short distance by car, but not exactly a 'short' distance on foot. To my knowledge, Old Billy didnt have a vehicle.

Old Billy, must have been a shellfish lover. There was a huge pile of Pipi, & perhaps Cockle shells. It had obviously been created over a long period of time. I was always curious about how, or where, he got his supplies of shellfish. I suppose there were many fish skeletons among the midden piles, but I don't remember any stench or vile smell. I do remember it being very high, & wondering what would be made of it all, once he was gone.

I don't ever remember "Old Billy" stories really, in the township. We kids probably made his lonely life a bit harder, sneaking about spying on him. All he wanted, was to be left alone, to live his solitary life, in his little old, crumbling ruin of his "home".

My Beloved Brother probably remembers more than I do, about Old Billy. He spent more time, with his mates, roaming about the paddocks of the neighbouring farms.

Better Than, The John Butler Trio, ...for my lovely Granddaughter.

Monday, October 29

An Award, & A Meme.

Lone Grey Squirrel, of the Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel, has given me an award! I am not sure that I am worthy of this award, but I was always told to accept compliments graciously.
So, while blushing furiously, in the humid morning air, I humbly thank you, LGS!

I was also passed a Meme, from Tanya, at Purple Giraffes. It is quite a long meme, & as Tanya points out, it is rather cruel to pass these things along!
A little Warning here. If you go to visit Tanya today, be aware that she has very NON P. C. content!!
I was always a non-joiner, but in my old age, I must be mellowing a little.
So here goes, with an added dimension.yes that is me, I can never leave well alone
I am going to insert some lies into this, (I pinched this idea off someone elses blog, Tracey? sorry, cant remember where now, but I found it quite amusing to read.)

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
My Beloved Brother, who can always make me laugh.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Handstand on the patio.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Given my weight and agility, working out how to do a handstand.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
I flew to New Zealand for a fabulous holiday, & to celebrate my BB's 60th Birthday. I also began a Blog.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"Hello, how are you feeling today?" Silently, I was thinking "I hope you have learned your lesson!"

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Water & coffee. It is early, the wine can wait for the evening. I am not a Wino, you know!

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Who wrote these questions? It is black with red tips!

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
$1 for Debra Byrnes Memoir, Not Quite Ripe.

9.Where were you last night?
Down at the local shopping centre skating in leotards around the carpark, terrifying little old ladies.

10. What color is your front door?
Lime green.

11. Where do you keep your change?
I donate it all to garage sale proprietors for junk treasure they no longer want.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Humid, hot. A great day for the Home Nudist.
Bring back winter!

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

14. What excites you?
At my age, what doesn't. I am about to enter my second childhood!

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
As a matter of fact, yes, myself, with triple mirrors. It worked perfectly when I was 20, why not now.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Just a tad! But mentally, I can be any age I wish. It's called oldage time travel.

17. Do you talk a lot?
Define a "Lot"

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
I have no idea what the O.C. is. I am sure I would not watch it. On the other hand if it stands for Old Codger, I watch him all the time, to make sure he doesnt go out with stains on his shirt!

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
I dont think I do. I think all the people whose name sounds like that, are Stephens. Well, I almost certain they are...

20. Do you make up your own words?
All the time.

21. Are you a jealous person?
If by jealous, you mean wishing to gouge someone's eyes out because they have more than I do, then No.
But if you mean in the sense 'I am going home to kill myself & burn my stash because your quilts are so dropdead gorgeous & wonderful & mine look like rag rugs' -well, yes.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Any volunteers??

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
These questions are not for old farts are they? I dont have such a list.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
I dont have a functioning mobile phone, so I dont get txt messages.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Depends if I am in amongst the hay. Plastic is plastic- blech.

7. Do you have curly hair?
That is a very personal question. Most of it is straight.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
On a fabulous holiday to Canada, & Germany. Either that, or I haven't woken up yet.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
There are several definitions of the word Rude. I am not sure which one to choose.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Breakfast. No it was not cereal, which I loathe! I just know it was not, nor ever could be "Plumpynut".

31. Will you get married in the future?
Good Grief no! Once is more than enough. Besides, he is still alive!

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
You Kill Me, with Ben Kingsley

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
A small teddy bear called Pipi. And 2 dogs. No, not that one!

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Dishes? There are dishes? Gom takes care of those.

35. Are you currently depressed?
No, I take sacks of Happy Pills, washed down with gallons of wine, so I never get depressed.

36. Did you cry today?
Not yet, anyway.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
I was bullied into it by Tanya!

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey…
Well for criminy's sake. Who can tell who would do this meme?

In the past, I have tagged people, who, for reasons they are entirely legitimately entitled to, have ignored, refused, can't be bothered, or missed seeing, the tags, therefore they don't always get done.
Which is ok by me, & fair enough.
I would like to see variations on the theme. Loose approximations would be good. Feel free to make up your own lies- or even questions. Of course- only if you feel like it!!

I hereby TAG-

Aunty Evil at Evil Manor.

Mike at Tongue in Check

Lee at A Curate's Egg.

Tanya the Art Butcher

Lone Grey Squirrel, at Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel.

I also want to tag my BB for this meme, as he might have some good answers to offer. He doesnt have a blog, but I can post his response here, if he cares to do it. Are you listening Henri??

I would like to pass on the "Totally Fabulous Award" to Lee also.
His Blog is always guaranteed to make us aware, & alert. Everyone knows we need more Lerts!

Joan Baez, Luba the Baroness, because I always loved the thought of the 3 day wedding in the South of France.

Sunday, October 28


I have lost the art of posting!
A little time this morning, & I have been just procrastinating. Finding other fidgety things to do. Catching up on emails I owed answers to, trying to sort out where in the ether my letters to my cousin have been going.

Our Son B came up yesterday, to stay the night with us, & collect something, which we will take back with him today. I loathe the Freeway, -I am a clenched 'cheek' passenger, & can barely walk once we arrive at the destination. I suppose I should sieze upon it as a good opportunity to improve the pelvic floor muscles, & be glad I am so terrified!

Put me on a plane or a train, or even a bus, & I am fine. But put me in a sedan car, & I just want to be anywhere else on the planet. Gom is a good driver, with a good record. Only 3 minor accidents, & none of them his fault. I really dislike the fast pace on the Freeway, the thundering semis, the racing fools, usually with P plates on the bumper. I will be glad when the day is over.

I would suspect they will also be glad when this day is over, & they can sink into their respective beds. Those two never know when to stop. They never seem to realise that you can have too much of a good thing.

It has become a ritual, they go & play pool at the Club. Which is fine by me, & can fill my time, & it gives them a chance for father/son time. But they invariably lose track of time. Which is also fine by me, but not when other family members are to be considered.

As is usual in these situations, I get to be "Piggy in the Middle". I get the blame heaped upon my head. I become Mrs Poos for the day, or weekend...

Our Daylight saving has kicked in today. Just in time for their monstrous hangovers! I saw it was somewhat after 4am when a lurching mumbling figure came into the bed, fully clothed, & muttering "I love you, you know" Yeah right!

Quickly resisting the urge to strangle him for being so foolish in his old age, & suddenly notice Leo is missing. Honey is giving gentle little woofs. Nothing loud or panicky. No Leo.

I get up to investigate where he might be. I hear a muffled little bark. Assuming he is downstairs with Son, I go down to check. No little dog. Light blazing in the bathroom, but no dog. So back upstairs & check out the back door. Which is wide open to the night, outside light blazing away! No dog. Back downstairs, open the front door, which is unlocked, outside light blazing, one small sad looking little dog, waiting to come inside! GRRRR!

Luckily Leo is a real homebody dog. If that had been Honey left forgotten out there, she probably would have run away off over to visit one of the loves of her life, Mr Nice Neighbour!

Just wait till those 'naughty boys' get up. They might get a bit of toungue lashing! I know Gom will be horrified as he dotes on Leo. It seems to be mutual.
I can just hear them now. Each will blame the other. All is well that ends well I guess.

I am puzzled as to what is going on with my skin. I am sure the problem is not cancer, - it is near my eye, so it better not be!! I think what the Dr meant, was it might be some early keratosis thing, which of course is 'not exactly cancer'.
It is a little strange & may even be an allergy type thing. Though I dont wear eye makeup these days.

I do have another area of keratosis which is going to come off this week. Nothing alarming, just routine. You cant kill weeds you know!

I had better go & 'gird my loins' in preparation for the coming journey.
I had better try to mend some bridges in the family communication stakes, too.

Thankyou so much for all your kind wishes regarding our SIL. He is still to undergo further tests, & is still unwell, but not enough to warrant being in Hospital. The pain level is much reduced after his antibiotics, but says he knows something is 'not right'. It is a worry for everyone, but nothing we can do, except wait for further testing.

Buddy Holly, Raining In My Heart.

Thursday, October 25

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. ( Aunty Evil Alert!! Do not read!!)

This might be termed the Good. It is our 'Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow' shrub. It does have another 'proper name' which I am too lazy to look up, at present. It is very attractive- if you like purple & all the colour variations. It also has a very nice perfume.Ours is a little sunstarved, due to the over-hanging Grevillea, previously posted here, on this blog- too lazy to retrieve the post.

The past few days take their toll. I am on my 3rd glass of wine. Hell, I can barely type~ let alone do links!

This might be termed the Bad, or the Optomistic... depending on where you stand. It is a photo of a spider busily weaving some poor critter into it's web. On the other hand, it is an appallingly bad photo, so no harm may be done, regarding arachnophobics. You garden purists, please excuse the 'ugly' succulents. They grow so freely & willingly, we cannot bear to remove them. Plus we do admire their tenacity, & their form. The same applies to the fish fern in the back drop- however we feel no guilt at removing those when, & if, we so desire!!

This next pic is not really the Ugly. It is a shot from down on our lower garden, up into today's grey & weeping sky. The rain was sooo welcome. But not nearly enough! The Grey glowered at us all day. It periodically wept it's feeble tears. Those tears were woefully inadequate. In the grand scheme of things.
This is our roof, our top level palm- a Bandanna. And the fern tree on the left, sprouting it's new leaves, & the Maple on the right with a Draceana in the foreground. Dark? Foreboding? New life, in the fern fronds? New hope?

Perhaps the Ugly here. Twisted trunks. Our pitiful Jacaranda, which this year has graced us with NOT ONE flower!!! Gom has threatened to cut it down. For the past 10 years I have begged for it's life. Does it reward me with blossom??
NO WAY!! It jeers at me. It makes me think it will produce blossom, to curse, or bless. But, in our 10 years of life here, it has only ever given us about 3 clumps of flowers. Perhaps Gom should be given his head??
This following may be said to truly represent the Ugly. The neighbour has a penchant for Penile or Phallic symbols. He carves his poor pinely trees into Phallic symbols. They now house Mynah bird nests. A true curse on our society. I do not see the attraction to Phallic shapes. Perhaps I am a peasant??
I also find the wires & aerials of home CB? or such like, rather ugly.
However in the interests of neighbourly harmony, we say nothing, & turn our faces away from the unsightly aerials & wires, & the sounds of fecking bloody compressors machinery being acitvated at hours when we might enjoy our back yard, & the peace therein.
We do try to concentrate on the positive. Hell, if you are laughing you cant very well cry can you??
The Sil continues to be tenuously at home. It could change in a second.
The said disposition might be deemed to be 'foul'. Pain is a factor I am sure.
I wish to thank your all, for your good thoughts. prayers, or whatever you might term them.
These times are difficult. It is hard to remain up, & illogical. I still see the humorous side of things. Then guilt steals in?
My silly skin complaint is refusing to clear. I have consulted the Dr again. We shared a laugh about it. I am sure it will be resolved.
He told me it is "Not exactly cancer" haha. I dont think it is!

John Denver, Shanghai Breezes. For Joyce!!

Tuesday, October 23

Warning! Boring, Infuriated, Rant Ahead.

I hope that whoever gets elected next into a position of "Power" over State, or Federal Coffers, would choose to spend money to help to address the disgusting state of the Hospital Systems.

I am sure it is a hopeless dream on my part. It seems to be some sort of worldwide malady. A reluctance on the part of the greedy rotters slurping at the troughs of power powers-that-be, to spend any money on welfare services, such as our ailing hospital systems, or, our ailing systems for the protection of children-at-risk.

Son in law was discharged from hospital this morning. After being on the Urgent Surgery List. He was assured he could NOT go home before Thursday, & since he remains undiagnosed, & his tests all indicate infection, & serious problems, he would have to undergo further scans, & tests.

Then, suddenly it becomes a choice of 'turf someone out, who is not exactly dying', so that some other person can lie in his bed. He has been told to return immediately on increase of pain. They still dont know what the hell what is causing the infection, & the warning tests. He is on painkillers & antibiotics. One Doctor told him he wished he could take his case on personally. Another told him 'Dont mess about if the pain increases again, come straight back!'

Nurses were livid. Citing those "Crazy stupid little b*tches, who take Ecstacy, knowing the dangers, & then take up beds genuine sick people should be occupying". They could not believe Sil was being discharged while still so sick.

Yesterday Gom read in the paper where the Coalition' which is the Federal Govt has given a Quote, "grant of 6.5 Million Dollars to the Bradman Foundation to assist in establishing a cricketing hall of fame at the Bradman Musuem at Bowral."

Apart from the fact that I disapprove of the Idolisation of 'sports' people, I was stunned & all the cuss words in the world could not begin to express the disgust I felt at that news.

The same newspaper carried the story of the little boy, whose naked body was found in a suitcase, in a pond. His mother has been arrested for his murder. He had been reported "at risk" repeatedly, to the understaffed, underfunded, useless toothless tigers appropriate authorities. Once more they failed. Lack of staff. Lack of funds. Another life snuffed out, so needlessly.

I happen to know, as most Aussies do, that Sir Donald Bradman had a child who was born with 'problems'. I am sure he would have rather seen that funds dedicated to the no I cant say that in public Museum in his name, could be spent on the protection of innocent little lives of children at risk.

What is the world thinking, to Bankrupt our children's future? To Bankrupt our Health & Welfare Services?

In the still of the night, I can see why so many people are depressed.
I can see why so may people give up.
In the still of the night, I taste despair.

And this evening we hear the news of a millionaire, who dropped dead, whilst out for a run, aged only 42. Money wont buy life.

But it might prolong life, if spent in hospitals, & on services to protect children.

John Denver, Country Roads

Sunday, October 21

Waiting Games.

There are many waiting games we play throughout our lives.
We wait to be born.
We wait to begin school.
Go off to High School or University.

Wait to wed. Or not. Usually wait to meet Mr or Ms Compatible.
Wait for our child/ren to be born.
Wait for them to begin school.
Leave school.
Begin careers.

Marry again.
Or repartner.

They begin their 'cycles of heaven', for want of a better phrase.
The older generation continues to wait.
For Grandchildren. If we are very lucky.

For Birthdays, Christmas. Holidays. Family Celebrations.

Then there are the agony waits. A child is ill, hospitalised.
We wait with terror, for the verdict, telling us it will all be ok.
For some, it will not be ok.

We wait for the grief, & the anger to pass.
We wait to try to heal.

A parent is ill. Dying in fact. Though that is terribly hard to face initially.
When the final realisation comes, it is a nurse who gently tells.
Were the Doctors cowards? Uncaring? Disinterested?
It looked a lot like that from where we stood.

That was our perception, as our loved one lay dying in a grubby, shabby, 'treatment room'.
Devoid of windows. Full of leftover equipment, broken or useless.
Full of detritus of ward life.
It felt to us, like a final insult at the end of a good, caring & loving life.

Now we are so fearful again.
Son in law is in hospital.
In such fierce pain, he is on a morphine drip.

He helped us yesterday, to move furniture.
He was in a great deal of pain then.
He didn't want to let us down.
Now he is undergoing all sorts of tests to try to determine what is wrong with him.

Tests have ruled some things out.
More tests are yest to determine the cause of his pain.

We are waiting at home. Waiting to hear the next step.
Our Daughter J, is waiting by his side.

I want to tell his parents.
If that was my child, I would be furious if I wasn't told.

He is adamant he doesn't want them told.
They are not as close a family as we are... but,
My Mother's heart quakes in fear.


Quote from The Prophet, Kalil Gibran.

"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons & daughters of Life's longing for itself.
The come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as
living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the
infinite, and He bends you with His might that His
arrows may go swift & far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He
loves also the bow that is stable."

As you all know, if you read these posts, I have no "Religion". But I love the words of wisdom in this little book. It just seems like such common sense.
Of course we don't own our chilren. Of course they should not be like us.
But I feel we have the right to love & cherish them.

Mozart, Anything at all!

Friday, October 19

The Question of RAGE.

We are all increasingly faced with rage. In our daily life we read of road rage, supermarket rage, parental rage, phone rage.

Who, has not sat, punching in numbers, silently fuming, only to hear another recorded message tell us our further options, of numbers we can punch- & by then it really is punch - to hopefully get to speak with a real live person.

How many times have you been fooled, & begun to speak, only to discover it is yet another recored message! All guaranteed to induce rage. Impotent rage. Short of smashing your own phone, you can't take the frustration out on a recording. It is also, very unwise to take it out on the poor individual who is live, who eventually comes to talk to you.

Then there is the Supermarket queue. The one I join, can almost cosmicly be guaranteed to be the slowest in the whole store. You know the scene, Darlene lazily unhooks the microphone, & loudly proclaims "Price check on reduced items from the Trolley in small goods!!" Everyone cranes their necks to see what shoddy item you wish to purchase, what spotted, mouldy, package, you, in your total *cheapskate* mode have the idiocy to want to purchase.

You stand flashing the idiot foolish grin, & cower, pretending it is ok, you are an 'eccentric'!! You shrivel, as the checkout Charlie or Charlene, says, loudly, "I have never tried 'those' what are they? Everyone cranes again, trying to see what sort of cretin wants to try that, & at a reduced price!! Obviously, risking Salmonella or Botulism, by even risking such marked down items.

It all mounts up, in the rage quota, that lies in the back of your mind.

If you are the male, out there earning the crust, to bring home the bacon! You are upstaged at work. Your PR girl makes snide remarks, - did she mean me?
Was that my tie she was ridiculing by the coffee urn?? What were they all laughing about in Accounts? Why did they stop when I walked in??

It all builds up. The rage quotient. You get home from a hard day at the Bacon slicer, the Accountant office, the hairdresser, the driving range...
Your kids mock you, they take you off, behind your back. Your spouse laughs out of context at something you are trying to tell them.

You get in your vehicle to drive home, after a day's work. That smart arsed little bitch P plater in the lane next to you, zooms off at the lights, & cuts you off!! Red flashes appear before your eyes!! No little tit P plate driver is going to get away with that!! Holy Cow, I have got a Full Gold License, she, on the other hand is barely dry behind the ears! Who does she think she is?? How bloody dare she!

You can't get enraged with the phone service, as it is laughingly, nay jeeringly, referred to. NO!
You can't get enraged with your work colleagues. Hell no! You might have to pay!
You can't take it out on your family. They might see you for the swine/prick you are, deep down.
Hell, keep smiling at the neighbours, dont let them see the rage bubbling away beneath the surface.
No, choke it all down. Smile, be cordial. Be controlled. Be charming.

Be careful though, for out on the highways of your life, you never know when that RAGE is likely to blow!!
You might meet a set of strangers. A golden chance to let it all hang out!! Let it all errupt in a vituperative spewing forth of all the previously carefully contained RAGE.

You can't be so bald faced with family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues.
But by Golly!! You can be anyhow you choose amongst total strangers! You can let the 'sewage' spill.
No one knows you, so it is ok! You can really go for it.

Do you suppose that is how rage builds. That is how rage gets so out of control, people do unspeakable things.
Are they afraid to take off the mask of their respectability, & bare the ugly face or reality, to loved ones or people who 'count' in their lives.

Is all this Urban respecatibility wearing us down. Causing a volcanic overflow of RAGE every now & then?
Should we rethink our social acceptables? Should we allow a good, safe, venting in our family units? An acceptable level of rage venting at work?

Daughter J & I were all for designing a Rage Outlet Centre. We would have padded silent rooms. You could hire them for a nominal fee. We could provide china to be smashed, clothes to be ripped, books to be shredded.. anything the hapless Rage vicitm desired really. We are sure there would be less damage done to families, children, vehicles, should such centres exist. Therapy for Rage.

A healthy outlet for all that pent-up rage, that wont cost a fortune! Or lives.
Or marriages. Or sanity.

I had a visit to our GP. Hopefully, I dont have a cancer.
Also, I was told something very nice, about my health, so it is a good day! Hot, but good!

Thursday, October 18

The Little Man with the Hammer..

This is a pic of our 'Fuzzy Reality'. Last evening. The sun was setting, & cast a glare upon the photo. I usually crop them, so that no neighbours are visible.
To the right of the photo is our spare room window- which is where I sit to sew, & also compose my posts.
The window beyond that is our bedroom window, which looks out over the valley, & down to the village.

On the left is the palm tree, which grows at the front or our balcony. It is a Bangalow Palm, which are native to Australia, & I am very fond of it.

Across the road is our neighbour's drive way. He shares this with people who live on a block hehind his. He is a friend, & he lives alone. He is a tradesman, who is generous with his time & his skills, to his neighbours.

It is nice to feel we know our neighbours, & have acquaintanceship with them. They are all nice people, & I am sure, would be supportive should we need them. We are on call, should they need us, & it is nice to be called upon occasionally, & nice to know they can feel comfortable enough with us, to call when necessary.

I feel this is how neighbourhoods should be. We should all be here, to support one another, if the need arises.

We had very aged sisters, who were accross the road from us. We ran errands, & visited often. They both had to go into homes. Have both passed away. I have cried at their passing. Another couple, lovely neighbourly people died within 2 months of each other. Shockingly, unexpectedly. Nice, new folk bought the houses. We are here, should they need us.

I feel we were brought up with those ideals. Our Grandmother was a friend to the neighbourhood. She was called 'Danny', my childish nickname for her, by all our neighbours. They all came to consult with her at various times, & she was loved & respected by many who knew her. She kept her wise counsel, & never gossiped. She was a true lady, I feel.

To return to the little man with the hammer.
We had SG today, for some hours. He has a very heavy cold, with accompanying cough, a rather brochitic sounding one. Each day we have had him, I have tried to steer clear of the involuntary coughs errupting. I have got him to blow his poor litte nose, to rid of the green mucous. Placing the tissues into the toilet or the waste bin, hoping not to spread the bacteria. Washing his & my hands, hoping to prevent cross infection.

He was reminiscing about his babyhood this afternoon. Asking why he was absent from photos of his parents with is sister. I tried to explain, he was not even an egg whe the photos were taken. He couldn't seem to grasp it all.

He reminded me, that I used to cradle him in my arms when he was a baby. I used to hold him till he slept, & he said, "I used to sleep in your arms Nanna" I agreed, that was true. He snuggled into me, & went to sleep this afternoon.

We had a friend come to visit. He watched SG fall asleep, lying in the crook of my arm. He noticed I looked very tired. I was. The little man with the hammer was in the back of my head. At the base of my skull. Reminding me, I need some rest. I am tired.

But, who could resist the trust of a little boy, resting, so blissfully safe, uaware of life's harsh realities? So safe, in his Nanna's arms. Safe from the outside world, of expectations. Of life's unpleasantries. Just. Peacefully. Safe.

The little man with the hammer can call again another day. Perhaps I will give him time, attention. But today he can get in the queue, behind SG. Who needs my attention more.

Perry Como, (I think) Catch a Falling Star.

I love those lyrics.
"Catch a falling star,
And put it in your pocket.
Save it for a rain day.

And when that rainy day comes a calling,Some starless night
You'll have a pocket full of starlight...

Those lyrics could be incorrect, & I hope I havent breached copyright!!

Wednesday, October 17

Hell's Teeth!

A friend used to use the term "Hell's Teeth!" as a curse of wonder, or awe. I never really understood it, but it seemed quite a good *curse*. It was not really swearing- though to my Grandmother, that could have been debatable, she regarded 'hell' as a forbidden word, & we were not allowed to use it, well.....not in her hearing.

"Damn" was another forbidden. I don't remember what she said when she was frustrated or angry. My Beloved Brother may remember. Drat? Bother? Darn?

Another friend used to say "Bloody Hell", & that seemed quite descriptive also. Cussing with meaning depends a lot on the inflection of the words. The absolute scorn & damnation of the words. Some people can make simple things like "Damn" seem like the ulitmate insult. While others can make the vilest of words seem like a small joke. "Oh Feck! " they might say. With a smile & a nod. Noone blinks an eye. Or "F@ck!!"

In our small rural town, our local Cinema owner was a Greek man. He had poorly pronounced English, but his handsome sons married local girls, & he continued to own & run the local Cinema. I don't know how he did it, but he seemed to know, & remember the faces & ages of every kid in town, who entered his Theatre. He knew the second every kid in town turned 13, & were thereby up for paying adult rates, to enter his movie theatre. He challenged them, on the very day they turned 13, & would turn them away, heartlessly, should they not have the required coinage to pay for admittance.

He would challenge them, should they have the temerity to argue & pretend to be younger than they were, demanding they provide proof! He would shout at them, saying things such as,
"You bludda buggers, you try to trick me! I know how old you bludda buggers are!! Don't try to lie to me!!"

Many a child could be found, sobbing on the steps, unable to enter because the parent had provided too little money for entry, thinking to fool "Old Graffas".

There was the Saturday afternoon Matinee to watch, the weekly serial, such an ongoing thrill. If you missed a week, it was dire! Then came the Main Feature! Oh, the excitement. Kids shouting, jeering, offering advice.."Watch out, he is behind you!" "Be careful, he has got a gun!" "Dont go in there!!" "Ohhh I can't look!!"

Pandemonium ruled. Pale faces would emerge after the show was over. Excited conversations would ensue. What is going to happen next week? What did you think of that? Did Old Graffas catch you out? Did he know you turned 13 or did you fool him? You are so short, how could he know you are 13?

All innocent compared to today's tricks & deciepts.

Which leads me to Blogger vagiaries. I was chuffed to be able to work out how to change my ID picture.
I was pleased to find all worked perfectly after the change. No penalty.

The the system decided the price to pay was to totally hide my right hand column. No blogs visible, nothing. Big Blank.

So I got bold, & tried to change the header. Which seemed to work in it it's poor fashion. So far so ..... well perhaps good. I hope I can visit you all tomorrow!!

Smashing Pumkins, the whole of 'Melon Chollie & the Infinite Sadness.'

Tuesday, October 16

Odd People.

I suppose every small town has it's share of 'odd people' or eccentrics.
It seemed the small rural town where I grew up, had many such people, who tended to live alone or with their cats or dogs & their eccentricities. They were generally accepted about the town, & we were taught not to be rude to them, or ridicule them, or laugh at them in public.

Of course it didn't stop us, when we were kids, from laughing behind their backs, & having a snigger at their tatty old clothes or 'funny' smell. And though I lacked the courage to do it, I have seen my bold girlfriend strutting along behind some of them, mocking their walk, or their pompous strut.

One such old man always wore a bowler hat. Why I am not sure, but he invariably dressed in a three piece suit, with stained waistcoat, straining over his enormous pot belly, & pants which seemed somewhat filthy. They were possibly even urine stained! I dont think I ever got close enough to sniff him. It was a dark navy striped suit, & I cant remember if the shirts were white grey or blue. I think there was always a somewhat stained tie under the waistcoat, which was always buttoned, on even the hottest of days. He really gave me the creeps, & he had a very unusual name, which was always used in full, as in Farley Ballin. Which was not his actual name, but he may have relatives still living, so I won't use his real name.

There was a family whose house was very close to the centre of town. It had been the mayor's residence, but the Mayor of the Day, must have built it himself, because the whole grounds, including tennis courts, still belonged to the family. I dont even remember the Mayor's name from my days, but I do remember the Mayoral Mansion. Rumour had it, that in days gone, there had been huge garden parties held in the grounds, & the tennis court had been well kept, & well used. The gardens had been formal, & they had been lovingly tended, during the Mayoral years. The most prominent memory of it, in my mind was an enormous Magnolia tree, which had those huge cream blossoms the size of Dinner plates, & the smell was just about heaven! I would deliberately dawdle as I walked past the tree, & deeply smell the wonderful perfume.

Among the 'Dags' which is a name New Zealanders used for 'hard-case types' who were unusual, there was a painter/paperhanger/decorator, whose nickname was Cot. I am not even sure what his real name was, but everyone referred to him as Cot. He was the best man at his skill in town. His work was perfection. He had a wonderful eye for colour & style.

Cot, however had a problem. Cot was given to going on Benders! During which time he would be unavailable for any sort of work or even sensible speech. He would emerge from these benders a changed man. He would be thin, from weeks of not eating properly. He would look grey & wizened. His skin & hair would be in a terrible state. Gradually he would begin to recover & once he drove off his shakes, & regained his health, he would begin working again. He would work like a veritable demon, a man driven.

People soon learned to time there calls upon Cot's skill, so that they would be between benders. They would ask him how long the job would take, & he would tell them he would undertake to complete the work. He always promised to complete the work, & faithfully promised to make sure he didnt fall off the wagon until the job was completed.

Mostly this worked very well, but as he aged the 'fever' seemed to come upon him more frequently, & he began to fall off his personal wagon slightly before completion of the job. He lived in an old caravan alone, apart from his faithful mutt. The dear old dog saved Cot's life numerous times, as it would go insane, with barking & biting at the unconscious man's clothing, until he roused to burning bedclothes, & tumbled out the door of his caravan leaving ruined bedding in his wake. He was a smoker, & would fall asleep on his benders, & of course his bedclothes woult ignite. The neighbours kept watch when they knew he was on one of his benders. They would watch to see if the dog was fed, & allowed out for breaks. They also watched for signs of smoke.

It was said Cot had a great sense of humour. He would joke about his 'affliction'. He would promise he would be available for complete jobs. As he aged, he got less & less work, as his reliability got worse. No one wanted to hire him, for fear their house would never be finished. There would be women howling at his caravan door begging & threatening him, to get up, & get their house finished. The police would be called, suings would be threatened. But Cot would be in a world of his own, & nothing could rouse him, until the demons were quenched, & released him, & he slowly surfaced into the world again.

I believe he had once had a wife, once lived in a house, but he had lost it all over the years. What a tragic mix he was.

I thought to try to change my boring ID picture, & was thinking of using this pretty flower. However it seems I cant now, unless I change back to old blogger.

Damn bugger & blast it.
So here is this morning's flower pic.

And here is a blurry one of a rose.
I am asking the camera god for a new camera that can take closeup shots of things, with clarity!!
We had SG again for a time this morning. He was good, & declared he was hungry, so luckily Nanna had some macaroni cheese for him, & was very surprised at the amount he ate. He had had his cereal for breakfast too! Today he was a cowboy in his hat. The guns stayed at home though.
Chris Izaak, Waiting for My Lucky Day.

Monday, October 15

The Cool Dude is 5!

We have had the 'Cool Dude' here for a goodly portion of the day. "Take my photo Nan," he said. "I will wear my Shades!" He also wore his #5 Spiderman Badge off his Birthday Card.
Sorry for the lava lamp, which looks strangely penile in the background.
I used to poke fun of people who took photos, seemingly unaware of the background. I have been guilty of more than 1 faux pas concerning background effects. I try to monitor the background scenery, but sometimes the moment escapes, if you dont sieze them.
The 'Cool Dude' is a man of very strange dietry habits. He was thanking me for his red jelly I had taken down for his birthday. He mentioned the fact that he "really really like Green Jellies Nan!"
As it happened I had made him a green jelly early this morning, thinking it could be a surprise addition to lunch for him. I duly produced the jelly, he decided which plate he would like to eat it from. He rejected it, on the grounds that he thought it was not jelly.
"Are you sure it is not green slime Nanna?" So I showed him the packet, which he had been getting out of the pantry cupboard, regularly telling me he needed it to be made up.
"Are you sure it is not green snot?"
He remained unconvinced, & so the jelly was rejected. Never mind, it so happens Gom likes green jelly!
When he went home, his mother said he was demanding " Nutella* sandwich" for his birthday tea! He would probably get Macaroni Cheese, which remains a staple favourite.
I am sitting here, soooo hot! It was a fairly warm weekend, but not unbearable. Now, it seems, today has turned ovenlike! A humidity factor has been added, & I have suffered all day. I LOATHE this weather.
I have been trying to grow my hair into a semblance of a satisfactory 'style' I feel I can live with. I can tell I am going to have to return to the 'pig bristle look' which is coolest, for the Summer. I must be worrying about it all, as I dreamt last night that my hair was long once more, & I was proud of it, & very happy with the colour. On waking, I felt a dire sort of dread! An indication that all this healthy hair I have grown, is about to be razored from my head, & I will once again be wailing, re the state of the awful savaging some 'hair dresser' -hah! I use the term frivolously, & vaguely- has inflicted upon the sorry sight that will be my skull for the next 6 months or so.
Last week I recieved a phone call from the Southern City from a close friend, who named her daughter after me. I never liked my given name, but my friend did, & though she knew me by my nickname, she chose to use my given name for her daughter. I did regard it as an honour, though I felt somewhat sorry for the girl, being given a name, 'out of time' so to say. She grew up, not having anyone named with her given name.
My namesake has recently given birth to her 2nd daughter. She has not been given a nickname herself, (though her father suggested calling her my nickname, initially) & she has chosen unusual names for both her daughters, & won't, I would think, find any/many children named the same. Her daughters are both very wanted children, as she was. I wish I could be present to cuddle them both. (I am happy to report, the names are not hideously grotesquely spelt names, they are genuinely unusual names which are 'nice'.)
I really have to get over my 'clucky patch'. I need to accept the fact there will probably not be any more grandchildren. (I might insert here, I am quite prepared to accept & love, step-grandchildren. What child doesn't need to be loved? There is no such thing, as too much love!!)
*Nutella, is a chocolate & Hazelnut spread available here in Australia.
Joni Mitchell, Carey.

Sunday, October 14

Party Mode.

Yesterday was party day.
Small Grandson will be 5 on Monday. His paternal grandparents don't live close, so they don't often get to see him. They came to visit for his party yesterday, & brought his little cousin, who is 5 months younger. They are great mates & play together in harmony, with similar tastes in games etc.

I think the hit of SG's gifts, was a cowboy hat, & some guns, with spurs handcuffs, a Sherriff badge & some gun holsters. Both boys just loved them. They capered around playing all sorts of games, & generally had a really great time. Our daughter does not really approve of 'guns'. But you can't stop little boys from liking them. They will make them out of fingers, or sticks, if there are no 'real' ones.

It was a warm fine day, but the flies were vicious, & swarming. When a breeze came up that chilled aging bones, it was decided we would go indoors. Which had mixed blessings. There was music playing. Paternal Grandfather said to his son, "Your taste in music has mellowed!" Son replied, "It is not my music!! It is J's" DJ then said she chose it because it was about our era, so she knew we would like it. Which was very considerate.

The level was a tad too loud for me, & I fiercely resisted the urge to get up & reduce the volume! I find conversing against a competeing noise is very tiring. A sign of getting old I suppose.

I was utterly disgusted with myself for forgetting my camera, so dont have one photo to show! I am hoping the other grandparents, who took quite a few, will send me some copies.

Paternal Grandfather is a computer fan. He told us he has now got a laptop, & can sit out in their lounge with Paternal Grandmother, his wife, & play on the computer. PM doesn't like the computer at all, & doesn't understand how he can be so besotted.

The situation is somewhat similar here, but I don't have a laptop. Gom declares I have chairs growing from certain regions of my body! He fails to understand the fascination. When I wake him early in the morning with gales of laughter, he just shrugs, rolls over, & goes back to sleep. I have tried to interest him, but he gets impatient.

I suspect it must be quite common in marriages now. One partner is completely hooked, while the other is not a bit interested?

Gom has taken quite an interest in food for gatherings, & if we have friends around, will organise some nibbles. It used to fall to me to do all the foodie type things, & I am quite happy for him to display his flair, now.

He is an excellent Asparagus Roll maker, & these seem to have been a hit with our Aussie friends, who had previously never had them. Sorry, I don't have a photo, I should have taken one yesterday, before we went off to the party, as they were a great hit again, & PG & PM had not had them before, or even seen them.

We used to go out for dinner a lot with friends when we were younger, & I loved to try new foods. I would come home & try to recreate the dish, then inivte friends around to see what they thought. DJ does that too, & she is really good at nailing the sauces.

We dont get out so much these days, & eating in food courts can be quite fraught. Having to watch young children who seem to regard their nose as a snack box can be very off-putting to a dining experience. Also watching blubber being added to lard, can be disconcerting.

Just as distressing to me, is watching the skeletal, &/or chubby, young things who 'delicately' pick at morsels of their food with their fingers, poking small bits into their mouths. What is that? Are they not taught it is rude to eat with your fingers? Do they imagine they are being 'dainty'?

It is as if the thin, are afraid they might put on a few kilos by using a fork. The chubby pretend they are really only small eaters, their size belying their actions. A fork would be gobbling??

I think I prefer to watch the giant lad wolfing his food as if he is never going to encounter another meal! The elderly who eat with gentle steady pace, carefully holding their knife & fork correctly, until their plate is quite clean.

When you grow up being told not to waste, & not to 'be greedy' you tend to develop a slower pace. I suspect now that so many people eat off their knees in front of the TV, table manners are becoming a thing of the past? We, too, are guilty of snacking off a tray. But for family gatherings, the table with the full cultery, plus china & trimmings are nice.

Do manners still count? I feel sorry for the kids who don't have the chance to learn table manners.

Rod Stewart, Fool for You.

Friday, October 12


I have been awarded the You Make Me Smile Award by Connie W . I recently recieved this, so wont post the badge again. Thank you Connie. I would rather make someone smile, than the opposite!

I have also been retagged for the Facts that Make me me. Last time I did this it was the 7 facts version. Ann has tagged me to play this time, so here goes.

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.

3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

1. When I was little, I had an imaginary friend. Needless to say, she was the one who did the 'naughty' things.

2. One of my most vivid early memories, was being taken up a bush road, on a horse with my loved Aunt, to my paternal grandmother's house, & watching the little creek that ran across the road.

3. I loved to be allowed to play with my Grandmother's button tin. It had an old button hook for shoes, in with the buttons.

4. I can remember my Grandfather had tinned tobacco, & it was 'Riverhead Gold' with yellow on the label.

5. I still love Macaroni Cheese.

6. I believe babies hold healing powers, for the sick & the weary. I don't know why I believe this, because I dont have religion in my life.

7. I feel that a death that touches us, makes us yearn for life all the more.

8. I don't have a very sweet tooth, but watch me around savoury pastry!

I am breaking the rules here, because I am not going to tag anyone this time round. I hope anyone who would like to do this, will. I like to read all the answers & see how everyone reveals a little bit about themselves.

When I was young, I loved classical music, & we heard quite a lot of it on the radio, which seemed to play most of the day. I was born on the eve of the tidal wave of 'Pop' Music, I guess.

I remember an Aunt who married my mother's youngest brother, who loved all the latest songs, & she would listen to them on a different radio station from the one my Grandmother usually listened to. My Grandmother had her serials she would listen to, one in the morning, & one in the afternoon.

There was 'Portia Faces Life', & 'Dr Paul'. I seem to remember one called the Black Tulip, which seemed quite bloodcurdlingly cruel from memory. It may have been an evening serial.

I confess, I think this is where I got my aversion to 'soaps'. I suffered from Tonsilitis a lot during my Primary school years, & had to spend many days at home, while I overcame bouts of hideous illness it caused me. I hated to listen to the serials, & could never understand why my Grandmother, who was otherwise such a practical realistic woman, would want to listen to these preposterous stories. The twists & turns to the plots infuriated me, & I would try to absent myself from having to hear them. I would cover my head & read in my bedroom. On days when I became delirious from the dratted Tonsilitis, I would somehow imagine some of the gruesome characters from these awful stories were coming to get me.

In the evenings there were comedies, some of which were silly- well I thought so! 'The Glums', was one such, & I remember being so irritated by it. I don't think my Grandmother liked it much either, & she used to go off to bed.

I cannot abide soaps now, on TV & never have watched any day time soaps, and very few evening soaps either. Gom is a secret soap lover, & he will sit & watch the ones in the early evening. I sneak away to write of sew or just read.

I do like some serials, & I like good British thrillers. I enjoy Wire in the Blood, & liked Cracker. I am currently watching Damages, but I am wondering if it is something I might give away soon. We began watching Prison Break, but once it broke down into the realms of ludicrous fantasy, we both stopped watching.

I have found I quite like some TV series made from books written by Lynda La Plante, but I disliked her style of writing, when reading the books.

We have had some thunder storms this afternoon, with a little hail. It is still somewhat surly looking but I dont know that there is much rain amongst the black clouds. It has cooled the air considerably.

I am currently listening to Ben Harper's lovely soft voice. I watched an interview with him once, & was most impressed with how he handled & touched his guitars with such respect & reverance, & obvious love. I felt it showed a real joy of the instruments, and I respected his music all the more, for his passion.

Ben Harper, The Three of Us.

Wednesday, October 10

Magnet Principle.

This morning I have decided to have a bit of a rant.
While I was over reading the lovely Muriel's post, about finding a family came to sit almost on top of them, on a deserted beach, it reminded me of what we, in our family, call the Magnet principle.

It seems every time we decide to go somewhere, or look at some item in a shop, the magnet principle comes into force.

The beach/park/bush track, will be utterly deserted. There will not be another soul visible for miles. But you can almost guarantee, the minute we decide we would like to sit on it, walk on it, or play in it, there will suddenly be hordes of noisy, nosy, obnoxious people, pets, & insects, who all suddenly discover a pressingly urgent reason to be in the exact spot we are.

What the hell IS that? Is it the natural herding instinct of the human race? Or a more sinister desire to have what others have? Or just an innocent need to want or seek company? Or some sort of natural 'clotting factor'?

We can go off shopping, & be looking at a deserted shop, with no other customers. Perhaps seeking some sort of item one might require or need once in a life time. A crotch truss or some other obscure item. (Not that we have ever needed one- are there such things??) The moment we begin to examine said Crotch Truss, there will be some, or many, other people who suddenly realise they need just such a Crotch Truss, right at this moment. They will stand close, peer over our shoulders, crane their necks to get a better view of the velvet linings. They will reach out to grasp the item the minute you look as if you might be going to return it to the shelf.

Same thing can happen in the Supermarket. Innocent & priorly deserted aisles of vegetables, need only attract our attention, to suddenly warrant hitherto unseen swatches of people. All panting after just the right leek- ie, the one I am holding. Or just that particular melon. Wrested from my grasp, it goes bowling down the aisle. Suddenly it seems, it is not nearly so attractive.

Same thing in the fabric aisles. Just the very colour I am needing will be flavour of the month it seems. Bolts will be hastily snatched from the shelves, & I will be left stunned on the edge of the frenzy.

DJ & I have often thought of offering our services to large stores to help move along stale stock, which has previously languished, unused, unloved, or even unwanted, for months on shelves. We could stand & ponder it, & it would be sure to suddenly be attractive & desirable to many, who formerly had not known they needed such an item.

It is SG's birthday next week, so we went out into the world of toys yesterday, to see what is currently 'hot'. We examined a lot of plastic junk! Think of all the oil that is used for the manufacture of useless trash. We also stepped up the desirability for quite a few things, just by picking them up to examine them!

I was amused to see some little Cowboy & Indian figures, which sit astride little plastic horses. I was reminded of such toys my Beloved Brother used to have, & how we used to play Cowboys & Indians. I suppose it is not PC now, & this is the reason they disappeared. I picked up one of the figures to look at it, it's legs permanently astride, so it could straddle the horse's back. I was a little surprised to see a huge hole in the,... erm,... seat area, of the figure!
Life must be very hard out there in the Wild West!!

Joe Cocker, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.

Tuesday, October 9

Roller Coaster.

Yesterday evening, someone did something so lovely for my Daughter J, I was really touched, & just so happy for her. She has a heart of gold, & deserves some good to come her way.

As she had been so sick during the day, she was not feeling very bright in the evening, & then a lovely opportunity came her way. She was still suffering from the headache, though it had diminished in intensity.

She was given a gift, & was almost overwhelmed. There really are some wonderful people in this world. The gift will make her life that little bit better.
Like all mothers, I was just so thrilled for her, & felt her happiness keenly. It put me on a great high, to see her so happy.

I came home feeling wonderful. A later phone call from her changed the mood instantly. Why do some people have to ruin the joy for others. What sort of spiteful anus jerk, would deliberately set out to spoil someone's pleasure. What do they get out of doing that? They must feel there is some bitter payoff for that sort of behaviour. Is it a feeling of power?

It is a form of abuse. Mental abuse. It is becoming more & more of a regular occurence. It breaks my heart. The change in the abuser's personality is very marked. It has been deteriorating for a while. In 8 years, it has been a gradual process. I hesitate to mention something such as this on a 'public' place. But it colours my life, as well as the lives of those I love.

I feel so helpless about it all. There really is nothing I can do. I intervened once, with positive results, on behalf of someone, who had no one else to go to bat for them.

I feel I can't interfere now, in this instance. The situation is different. But it still makes me feel ill. I hate injustice of any sort. I hate to feel so enraged on someone else's behalf.

I feel, to some extent, we are all a combination of our upbringing, & our own choices as we mature. What I find heartbreaking is to see patterns of mental, along with some physical, abuse being carried on into the next generation. Perhaps the person is a victim of their upbringing. But to acknowledge that may be the case, & then flatly refuse to seek or accept counsel for it, seems inexcusable to me.

My first instinct would be to walk away from such a person. It is not my choice, in this instance.

Because I never grew up with such things, I don't have answers, I suppose. I grew up without physical violence of any sort. One evening, a wider family discussion was going on, & someone said, "We all got hidings when we were kids, didn't we?"
I calmly said, "We never did."

There was a very loud silence. Then someone said, "Mum always said you were spoilt." Well, maybe, but I never beat my children, & was never comfortable with physical violence of any sort. As to mental cruelty, I think that can be more damaging than physical, because you cant always see the damage, and I feel it lasts far longer, with far deeper wounds.


But look!
We had a wonderful visitor! He is blonde & huge, & muscular, & just beautiful!
His name is Boof, & he is such a gorgeous natured young gent!
Honey was not exactly approving, but as long as she could sit on her Daddy's lap, she was prepared to accept he may be tolerable.
And he was more than willing to share his huge tongue with anyone who wanted!
Leo was banished! He would not play nice! "This is not fair! It is my yard! Why am I locked inside?" We were afraid he might deafen the neighbours with his protests, & poor Boof complained when his tail got nipped!

Here is all of Boof, & you can see what a truly lovely dog he is. A beautiful Golden Retriever. He has a sister called Zari, who is just beautiful too. She is older than Boof, & she is much smaller in stature. But she has an equally lovely nature.
Sitting at the traffic lights, watching the pedestrians waiting to cross.
M " I see fishnet stockings & hot pants have made a comeback!"
Gom, glancing over, at the young girl, with shapely legs, & yes, fishnets, & hotpants. "Hmmn, yes."
As our Daughter J says, she has never seen her father 'ogle' a woman or girl, in all her life. Unlike another poisonous individual who shall remain nameless.
In the Mall, waiting to be served.
Gracious Lady. "Oh Hello! Do I know you from somewhere?"
M, "Nooo, no I don't think so."
GL. "But you look so familiar. I am sure I know you from somewhere."
M, "No I am sure I have not met you before." Thinks, 'but you look so nice, I wish I did know you!'

Bread, If.

Monday, October 8


This lovely flower has been giving me delight, & surprise for the past week.
This pic is the truest as far as colour goes. It is a very soft pink, & not the bright colour that it appears in the other photo.

A very kind woman gave me 2 leaves from this plant some time ago, & I did my best to get them growing. I did manage to get them both started in pots.

The dogs broke one plant & it died. The second plant has struggled against insects, dogs, small children, & a blundering Garden Vandal.

So I hung the pot up on a hook. It has been looking so forlorn & sick, & ravaged by some insect eating it's leaves. Imagine my surprise when I found it had buds all over it's pathetic skeletal eaten leaves! I had been on the point of repotting it, hoping to prolong it's life. Now, I suppose I should wait until it has flowered. I hope I dont kill it!

We have had a busy day. We had Small Grandson here with us & he has been busy busy.

We have played at being turned into bugs, turning him into bugs, & turning a visitor into a frog as well as various other insects. SG has been all sorts of animals, insects & Super Heroes. We had to draw some of these Super Heroes. There were some very peculiar looking Super Heroes, I can tell you!! (Who can remember exactly what Spider Man, or Super Man looks like??)
I had bought him some large crayons so he can use them when he comes to play, & he had a great time with them. A whole bunch all held together makes a wonderful 'Magic Rainbow'! He drew some water, & Nan drew a boat to sail on the water. Then there had to be rooms, beds, a lounge, a kitchen. SG was seen to be fishing from the bow, a nice fat fish on his line.

His mother was not well when she came home. She had a blinding headache, with flashing lights, & nausea, similar to a migraine. So I called her work, to say she could not do her afternoon call. She lay down in a dark room. Which was ok, except Leo thought he should be with her, & he lay at the door whining quietly.
Once Daughter J felt well enough to drive, she went home. She does not look well. She is under considerable stress at present.
After DJ, SG & our visitor had gone, the house seemed to deflate. All seems so quiet once SG has gone, with his happy piping voice, & his busy little body dashing about. Old Gom & Meggie sink back into quietude. Honey & Leo curl up to snooze.

I have been recently called upon to sit with a lady who has multiple health problems. It is so sad, as her mind is as sharp as ever, & she has the most wonderful sense of humour.
She lives in a Nursing home. "Lives" is loosely correct. Her lovely husband, who is in his late 70s collects her every day, & has her at home with him for the day. She has to be on oxygen quite often, so can find it hard to talk sometimes. She gets very lonely in the Nursing Home. Her 3 companions in her room, have all 'gone to the pixies' in some way. One poor soul can speak, but just simply refuses to! No one is sure why. The other 2 are suffering dementia of differing stages, & my friend says one of them raves & rants all night. With not a word of sense spoken.
My friend recently had an infection, & because she has breathing difficulties as it is, she was finding it terribly hard to breath, & it caused her to cough all night. She said the Night Raver, screamed at her, "Shut that bloody coughing up.!! Shut your bloody mouth!!" & "Will you shut your bloody coughing!! Shut up!!"
So my friend said, between coughs, "If you are going to speak to me like that, could you say Please & Thankyou?"
She said to her surprise it shut the shouter up for some time! She was laughing as she was telling me her little story.
They recently lost a son, who died of cancer, & I think my friend never really recovered from his death, as she seemed to go rapidly downhill after he died, & they had also recently lost their eldest grandson, who died after a prolonged coma, from an accident when he was only 16 years old.
She told me her husband takes her every week to the grave of their son, & parks close to the grave site, & opens the car door for her, & they sit & talk to their son, as if he is still with them. She said she supposed people think they are mad, but it comforts them both.
It was such a pleasure to be able to sit & talk with her. How sad to be trapped in a home without company to talk to. I cannot imagine which would be worse- to lose your marbles, & know nothing, or know that you once knew lots, & now cannot remember your own name, or to be so crippled as to need nursing care, but have no one to talk to, to stimulate your mind.
Getting old is damn scary!
I had better play up, do silly things & damn well enjoy myself to the max before the chances are all gone!!

Joe Cocker, Hitchcock Railway- loud!!

Sunday, October 7


It is 6am. The sky is overcast & rather sullen looking. We had very high winds yesterday evening.

Great gusts, seeming to register protest at something. Perhaps Myanmar. All the storms could not protest enough.

Gom is sitting in the lounge watching the All Blacks v the French- I think!

I usually get up around 5am- roll on Daylight Saving! Gom sleeps on, in peace, apart from Leo leaping around occasionally. I like the early morning hours, so peaceful, before the day really gets underway.

Although, of course, now that we are retired we can choose what time we get up, go to bed, & do any other activities of choice. We approach it quite differently, Gom & I. I love the freedom, & frequently feel happy, just for the fact that I am almost totally in charge of my time. No timetables to keep, no screaming round, so as not to be late for work.

Gom seems to view his time as somewhat 'rudderless'. He was a born bully "Boss" or to put it kindly, "Leader". He was a very fair & tolerant employer. Our ideas of how to do things were not always the same, - still differ greatly- but he was very good at handling staff, & I rarely interfered with that side of our businesses. I occasionally watched interview applicants arriving or leaving & would say which ones I thought would be good workers. I was quite a good judge, just from body language I suppose.

I think some of our present tensions come from Gom's wish to 'manage'. Of course my being a free spirit, individual, - or to put it another way stubborn, & contrary, we some times clash.

I have been heard to mutter, "For goodness sake! How come I have been doing things wrong, for 39 years, & you have only just noticed the fecking dishes are stacked the wrong way in the cupboard!"

Or I might be found, mouthing behind the "Trolley Pusher", "Hitler!!" & other small epithets.

It is currently School Holidays here. Malls, & Arcades often provide activities & entertainment for children. Long rows of seating laid out in front of the Stage area, usually means there are going to be 'sing songs', with perhaps Clowns.

At other times of the year, the rows of seating often mean there are going to be truly cringeworthy entertainment provided for captive elderly. By the agonised expressions on their faces, one can see what they are thinking. I am sure if they were only able bodied they would make a run for it! But walking frames, dont allow for fast getaways!

Some devise clever getaway strategies. One enterprising old man staged a very convincing Tourettes like outburst, & was hastily carted away, with flailing arms, & further outbursts. I have filed that away for future reference, should I need to make a getaway myself. Another good strategy is the sudden flooding puddle appearing under the chair, seeping into the slippers & stockings. Also guaranteed to occasion sudden, & urgent removal.

Flatulent outbursts don't seem to work. One can only assume the assembled elderly are either deaf, &/or have lost their sense of smell, as well. The staff must use Vicks Inhalers or something.

I digress, however, as it was the school children we happened to clash with at the Arcade on Friday. As soon as I noticed rows of seats, I hurriedly took off in the opposite direction. My quest was for a shirt, in a shop on the level above the stage. No sooner had I entered the store, than I was assailed by some hideously off key girl, singing "Goodbye Cruel World, I'm off to join the circus, Gonna be, a broken hearted Clown"
What the Hell?? She was shieking at the kids, trying to make them 'sing' along. I could scarcely believe my ears. Not only was it an extremely odd choice of song, which the children didn't seem to know, but the 'singer' seemed to be tone deaf!! I have no idea if this dismal performance was accompanied by actions or heaven forbid, "Clowns", but I didn't hang about to find out. I scurried off to the car, & we left, none the wiser.

Gom had been listening & watching I think, over the balcony railing. He, however, seems to be tone deaf too, so he didnt notice anything amiss.

I am off now, to 'frog-stitch' the quilt top. I did put a border on yesterday, & watched & waited, until it told me it was not happy. So plan B will have to come out.

A slightly crestfallen Gom has just mooched off back to bed. The All Blacks lost!

Paul Simon, Graceland.

Friday, October 5

What next?

This is what I have been doing. I am a little disappointed with how the centre blocks seem to look overwhelmed with the surrounds.

It actually looks brighter in reality, than it appears in this pic. It currently measures 36" X 42". I intend it for a child, so dont want it too large, but it needs some border I feel, & I cant decide what to use. Black & White might look good, but I dont really have any suitable fabric.

Suggestions?? Ideas?? All appreciated.

And yes, I know it has mistakes, but they are my mistakes, & I like them!!

** **
I noticed a de lurker badge in my travels, & it seems there must be a lot of readers who come this way, but never leave a comment. Quite a few do send me personal emails, & I do appreciate those.

I am not fishing for compliments- if this is the blog you 'love to hate', that is fine. But I really would like to know who you all are.

I am surprised to see there are now 75 countries who have visited here! Allowing for the fact that a lot of visits may be accidental it still seems a mind boggling number of people.

I notice some replies I get from my comments seem to come directly from the comments on the blog, & I would like to know how to do that? Is there some special way to do it?

**** Much Later...

We have been off into the township, so Gom could have his hearing aids checked out. It took quite a while, as he was due for a compelte re check, & so I wandered off to look at shops. I found a nice piece of fabric in an op shop.

I bought the paper to read, & some crayons to keep here for SG to use when he comes to play.

I also discovered walking out in the 'fresh air' was quite hazardous! I was innocently walking along behind a very elderly man, when I more or less walked into a wall of stench! It was so bad, I had to stop to recover! He must have been feeling bad!

Then when I got to the car, I wound down the window, & quietly read the paper. Another dear old chap passed beside the car & Whammo!! There I was, with a car full of gas- not the type you ever want in your car!

Last week, I passed a shop with lovely shirts, & wished I had time to buy a couple. Revisited this morning, & it was truly a case of "She who hesitates, Is lost" as there were none of the ones I liked left, nor were there any others I would choose to own!

Not my day, perhaps. But it is lovely & sunny, & not too hot. The fires are all under control, so that is a good thing.

Paul Simon, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.

Thursday, October 4

Beaches of Childhood

I was given this award by Marja, of Dutch Corner. Thankyou Marja, I didn't realise you had nominated your whole blog roll! But that is how I feel about my list, & there are many not yet on the listed list, that I also enjoy. So please, anyone who reads here today, consider yourself selected!

Marja has some great pictures of Sumner, a beach I know well, & which we visited often with our children when they were young.

Ali Honey also has some lovely pics of a beach I knew well, as a child, & also as a young adult. It is an oft visited beach, with a harbour side, an ocean side, & a small 'mountain' to be climbed or walked around. Many happy hours were spent as children on that beach, & in the ocean, lying out beyond the breakers, on Lilos as they were called. They were black rubber inflatable floats, & could be hired for a small fee, for the whole day, if you wished. I would be as brown as chocolate, & my mother would refer to me as a 'blue eyed Maori' by the end of summer.

When I was at Primary School, our class would invariably be taken off somewhere for School Picnic Day, once a year. The bus would be filled with excited children who had packed picnic treats, & special drinks. I remember that our school often went to Mt Maunganui, & we would spend the day being herded about, carefully watched while we had a swim in the ocean, & eating our -sometimes sandy,- lunches. My Grandmother always made me something special to take in my lunch & often it was wonderful Raspberry Biscuits - cookies to USA readers. I never did get the recipe for those, but made one of my own for my children & they loved them as much as I had.

When I went nursing at 18, in the City adjacent to the Mt Maunganui beach, which had become the Port, on days off, a group of us would get over to the beach, to sun ourselves, & swim. Or the current boyfriend might take me for the day. It was always a pleasant destination, & I had relatives who lived there, & still do, so the area was well known to me, & still brings a lump to my throat, though it has changed quite vastly from the old township I remember.

I have also been recalling my Grandmother's stove. It was a "Neeco", an electric stove, covered in green enamel, & it had heavy solid elements on the top, & an oven which would seem primitive nowadays. She cooked huge meals in & on that stove, & would cater to her whole family at Christmas time. Usually around 8 adults & 7 or 8 children. It was usually very hot, & I can still see our Grandmother's face, gleaming with perspiration, & a bright red, from her labours. All done with love, & never a complaint.

Our Grandmother was an excellent cook, & I remember her using asbestos mats to 'stop the milk from catching' when she made her sauces, & milk puddings. Knowing what we do today, about asbestos, it is hard to believe how often people used such mats. They were made from the asbestos, with a rim of metal, & fit over the elements to keep the heat down.

She made wonderful Yorkshire Pudding, & a dish called Toad in the Hole, which had fat sausages placed in the midst of a dish of Yorkshire pudding batter, & cooked in a really hot oven. It was divine, back then, & the sausages would come out crisp & brown, in the middle of the wonderful light puffy pudding. I would never dream of eating such a dish today!!

She always made a pudding of some sort, & often in winter it was a steamed pudding or Jam Roly Poly. Or apple pies. She would spend hours in summer, bottling fruit, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, & she would make lots jams & they would all be stored out in a huge old Welsh Dresser, which stood in the porch, as the kitchen was too small to accomodate such a large item of furniture! I have no idea what ever happened to that old dresser. I would love to see it again now.

We always had cake to eat, or biscuits, & seemed to be very well fed, even though times were not financially easy. Our Grandmother could make a meal from next to nothing, & we did have our own vegie garden. A neighbour used to go fishing often, & would give our Grandmother fish. She wasted no part of the fish, & would make fish head soup. My brother & I were horrified with that particular dish, & never would try. My brother swears he could smell a mile down the road, when coming home from school! I didn't mind fish, but preferred the only "takeaway food" we knew in those days- Fish & Chips. They were cooked in hot fat, & the batter on the fish would be thick & crisp. But it was such a rare treat I would doubt anyone got fat from having it once in a while!

When our mother took us for a day out at the beach, we would always have the treat of Fish & Chips, usually for tea, & we would sit & eat them out of the greaseproof paper, & newspaper wrapping. No vinegar for us! That was an English fashion that never really caught on in New Zealand. Salt & perhaps a little lemon juice, was about the extent of 'dressing'.

Split Enz, I Hope I Never.