Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I haven't posted much on my "Quick whipped up Faeries" blog for a while but a few newies there those of you who visit there might like... : )

It is so hot here today...unbelievably hot. At 8am it was 85% humidity and already 26C we are now close to 40C which is 104 F....Ahhh I just love summers...

I was born in late summer - February is the hottest most miserable month of the year here in Australia because after months of heat everyone is just about fed up with it and it seems to be a meaner sort of heat thanthe earlier sister next down from me was also born in February and on the same date... we are not twins but it is funny although we are sort of opposites in that she feely admits to being predisposed towards pessimism where as I am generally an optinist...and we both laugh about this as if we each got a bit too much of the quality that the other one should have been given... we have an understanding... both being Aquarians... poor bloody mum...two of us in the one house.
Some time back I wrote about the day I was born (hey - and conceived....mum remembered!!!) and considering no airconditioners then nor even fans in our home it must have been a hellishly hot time to have a new baby to take care of along with other toddlers...

Her pale blue eyes twinkling with mirth, her smooth, fresh skin blushing like a young girl's, my sixty five year old mother finally gave in and released her secret with an exhalation of air. Her shameful secret was that yes, she did know exactly the time I was conceived.

"It was the night of the Ball. We hadn't been to one since before we were married, your father and I. Anyway, your father's mother looked after Veronica and June, rather grumpily too. It seemed beyond her why anyone would want to go to a Ball. I mean what use was it. I'm sure she didn't think we would want to go to a Ball, not with two toddlers. I hadn't been to a dance for four years! Anyway, we didn't get home till the early hours..."

"What time exactly was that mum?" I asked, leading her into a story I knew she wanted to tell. She wasn't sure how to put it into words, after all her life of respectability. I sat at her little table, in the mid afternoon, eating yet another of her Tim Tam biscuits.

"It was about three o'clock in the morning. Your father had been away working for a few weeks and had to go away again the next day. That's how I..." she stopped short, "Don't tell anyone will you Therese. Your father said later that we should have danced all night. There! I've said it.!" she said with relief.

I was amazed and pleased. Amazed that she would actually remember, with all the events that had happened in her life since then. Pleased that she felt that she could say these things to me. Delighted to imagine my young mother and father, were human just like the rest of us. It marked a real softening in our relationship, as I began to see her more as a person in her own right, not just my mother, my sisters mother, my children's grandmother.

After she died, as I was disassembling her home, I can remember crying for ages over a grotesque mug that I had bought her, which fitted perfectly the occasion she had related. It was a large cheap pink mug, in the shape of a pregnant woman, and had written on it 'I should have danced all night.' Mum and I laughed raucously over that mug and the event, in the privacy of her little home. The generation of years between us as we enjoyed the joke, for a moment not mother and daughter, just two women.

I was born at seven o'clock in the morning. It was a blisteringly hot February. My mother had two active toddlers, and told me she was very tired and hadn't been well. She said that on the
afternoon of my first, and almost last day in this world she was
feeding me in hospital and she just fell asleep. A nurse
discovered us like this, me with my face going dark from lack of oxygen, mum sleeping in the awful heat. I was raced away and returned much later. Mum said she was wide awake after that. Of Dad there is no mention. Always present at the beginning of us children, he was like most men of the times very absent, at this most dangerous of time for his wife and child.

Few Australian women even had the presence of a friend or mother at the birth, leaving us more abandoned than most people of the world who have at least close family. This unnatural custom has thankfully gone
out of style of later years.

Sometimes I think it has gone too far in the other direction.

(Mum taken in 1950 with my eldest sister Veronica four years before this... she was a grumpier baby than me ; )

(She is the bruiser on my left... I am the sweet little blondie - and no she is not patting my head she would have been pulling imy hair out I reckon and can't you just tell which one became the Social Worker who "knows all about life and won't talk to me these days... she's assessing the situation as usual and making her judgement).
We still call veronics Atilla... of the Hens and her fist to chest salute was a precursor of bad things to come...but we got it all sorted in childhood and great mates these days...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Again! The post before this about the so called "good old days" was not sent by me. I don't post this sort of stuff...and wouldn't if I did like this sort of material because it is not relevant to is only relevant to the US. I don't know what is going on or why but someone is putting material on my blog, although I have changed the password... its got me beat who would be that bored and boring to waste their time to do this, so as before if anything appears here which appears out of character, or whatever ...

It was posted at 8.42 pm but at that time we were both in another part of the house...and no one else at home.

it just makes me bloody angry and thats probably the intention of whoever is doing this.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Subject: 1906
This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1906. One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1906 :
The average life expectancy was 47 years..
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average wage was 22 cents per hour.
The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, A
dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per
year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .
Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were
condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or
egg yolks for shampoo
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
Entering into their country for any reason
Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter
at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin
the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and
bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." ( Shocking?
DUH! )
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or
domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.SA. !
Now I forwarded this from someone else without typing it myself, and
sent it to you
and others all over the United States & Canada. Possibly the world,
in a matter of seconds!
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Why some women stay single...

I promise I will leave Hilary alone after this...but was sent this... with the caption that the lady can't sing... not a she's not alone here but...

Watch as she sings the anthem and turns to the microphone which actually picks up her voice...
They banned this I missing something or is it just that grannies are supposed to sit in a corner subsisting on cups of tea and toast and jam... I have four sisters ...some of us might turn out like this... ; )

Does anyone know why this was banned is there some symbolisim I am too thick to see???

I laughed my gizzards out

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A trio of of real down home folks

"Its my party and I'll cry if I want to..."

and now for some real opposition... just lovely isn't she...?

Yes its time the US had a woman in charge (tee hee)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Not a happy camper... but lucky I guess...someone posted a jokey fishing story on my blog last a time I knew I wasn't on... Lucky - in that at least it wasn't Porn or some racist shit or something offensive...but it is alarming to realise that others can figure out how to put anything they want on your blog... the up shot of which could be that regular posters to your blog would no longer wish to have any association. Quite a few of us have a pretty good "understanding" and it worries me as to who would have the time and interest in stuffing this up...but there it is...if something is odd in a blog you are familiar with...out of character...its worth inquiring.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nuns I survived

Nuns I Survived.

St. Joseph's College at Aberdeen was a boy's primary boarding ­school but local children were encouraged to attend to learn not only religious ideas but all the other things required of primary education. I must add here that as far as the amount we learnt, the nuns had to have been the most efficient teachers going at the time. We were always months ahead of the Public school that our school overlooked, by virtue of its placement higher on the hill. Closer to God as it were. I was nearly twelve before I realised that the kids at the Public school were not 'Publics' as I had thought for so long. In my small world there were Catholics who were always closer to God and Publics, a religion that all others belonged to, and we should pray for them, after all they didn’t have a swimming pool in the playground like we did. We used to splash as noisily as we could in the lunch hour on those hot inland summer days, and we'd see them sweltering below us, waiting to be allowed in on a once a week basis. We were just as poor as the Publics; the pool was donated to the school by a group of Boarder's parents who were better off.

Of the six nuns who taught me in primary there were three I would say represented the very best of humanity and had all six nuns been like this, school would have been a heaven. I owe them gratitude for the valuable things they taught me, about kindness, and compassion and humour. For sadism, maliciousness and sheer rat-cunning the other three would have to have been as bad as you could ever hope to come across in a lifetime. Mum said many years later that we were very unlucky to have hit three this bad. There would be no quarrels from any one who went through this school at this time as to this, unless they are fooling themselves.

Few kids these vicious natured teachers taught would have a lot of good memories of class years with these ladies. In the playground, all was fine, and a very happy place it was but these three were a trio who should never have been put in charge of children without checks. Possibly at the end of it all I may have to admit gratitude to them because they taught me to 'tough it out' to dissemble, to survive the day, till I was able to get out of their power into the safety of my home.

In the late 50's and early 60's parents did not question the absolute authority of teachers, especially religious ones. Children generally were not believed or if they were it was kept quiet, because then something might have to be done. The established order might have to be challenged.

My first teacher, Sr. Martina prowled the aisles of my kindergarten and first class years. Slapping occasionally, hitting knuckles with her ruler unexpectedly. You never knew when she would strike. Her voice dripped with what I now know as sarcasm, pointing out always the defects in school uniforms, mostly of day pupils like us, too poor to readily rectify the problem of plastic sandals, or mismatched jumpers. Humiliating those who wet their pants out of fear of asking her if they could go to the toilet. She liked to sting and if I was to liken her to another life form, it would have to be one of those black and orange wasps, we all try so hard to dodge.

One time I ran away from school, out of fear of some punishment. She and another nun came to the house to fetch me back, or possibly to make sure I had arrived home. I fled to dad's chicken coop, which was just that, a chicken coop. Too small for hens, it was a construction only I could get into by sliding on my tummy to the back of it. I crawled right up into the back corner and can distinctly remember looking out through the wire at all the adult legs around the coop, coaxing me out. It was deadly serious for me, but I am sure from an adult's point of view it must have seemed a very funny incident.

The only good thing I can remember Sr Martina doing was to ask me to come out the front to tell impromptu stories to the kids, whenever she had to go on an errand. I could go on as long as needed, and now wonder what those stories were and where they came from, and where they went, because I lost the ability a year or two later.

My first real run in with the real cane and Sr. Borgia occurred on the morning of my sixth birthday. As always the little kids played together, boys and girls reasonably happily. There was a big old tree in the playground near the toilets, where we could climb and play. This I was doing, till Beryl Dent came running unto me to tell me she'd told Sr Borgia I was showing my underpants by swinging in the tree with the boys and I was to go straight to­ her class-room. My first caning was devastating. I remember having a sore lump in my throat all day long after that, and running home to tell mum and dad who'd surely take care of it. At six parents are all-powerful, but I don't recall feeling betrayed that they didn't do anything. Nobody's parents did. I­ can still see that day in vivid colour.

Sr Bede taught second class and along with Sr Annunciata and Sr Campion years later she was the first of the trio of good teachers. As a little girl I always felt comfortable standing close to her and she would often give kids a quick hug and say good things about their work. She emanated calm and I was glad to have known her.

In third and fourth class we were taught by Sr Marietta. Like Sr ­Martina she was only young but had a terrible temper and was fond of caning the eight and nine year old kids she was supposed to be looking after. I have to hope she has full recall of the terror she caused by the abuse of her power over us.

In third class there was a boarder called Larry Newberry who was always being caned by this woman. This was a little eight year old boy, separated from his parents and thereby totally dependent of the goodwill of the nuns who had him in their care. The quiet times this boy must have spent contemplating canings to come do not bear considering. The comfort those of us fortunate enough to­ be day pupils drew from our home life seem to steel us and act as an interlude, but there was no escape at all for these small boarders.

One time Larry was called out yet again to be caned on some triviality. It had become so commonplace that we hardly noticed, unless it was someone who didn't get it often. He refused to hold his hand out. The effect on the class was electric. Mutiny. None of us had ever thought of refusing to be 'punished'. He must have had enough. Sr Marietta tugged his arm out of his pocket, almost thrown off balance when he flung out his whole arm. With a grey sock on it. She went crazy and started caning him. Told to hold­out the other hand he obliged only to show another sock covered hand. He'd come prepared, that certain of the events of the day ahead. Sock removed and a few more cuts to that hand. I still feel a bit chilled when I recall this event.

We children had a sort of code of behaviour about canings. It was generally kept between the kids; it was just something that happened. I must have told mum and dad this event, as it was a major happening, but cannot remember. It would not have been unusual for dad as stories he told us of his school days in the­1920's are pretty barbaric

Larry Newberry was then dragged off to see the Principal. The class, surged to the door to watch their progress, but just outside the door Larry took off with her in undignified pursuit. We thought it was wonderful entertainment. By now Larry's mind had to have been in total panic as if he was dodging bullets and he went for broke, running on survival mode. We were with him all the way, from the cowardly comfort of the classroom. Some kids whispered, "She'll kill him now" and such was our feeling we were pretty sure he was in bad trouble. He picked up a garden fork, left in the grass and turned on her. Bloodthirsty savages we were we cheered (quietly of course). We'd have loved to see her get some of her own medicine. In this we were disappointed. We never saw him again. At times as I grew up I used to wonder if what he went home to was worse but I doubted it. That he would have had a black mark against him at age eight I am in no doubt of. The adults would have taken the saintly nun's version of the story as truth. Man-made black marks don't count in heaven and God is never fooled, Larry.

Sr Marietta was to continue in her sadism. The apex of which I witnessed was the day she hit Robyn O'Hara across the forehead with the metal edge of a ruler, leaving a mark. She made a mistake this time, as Robyn was a day pupil with a very protective older sister in sixth class, Judy O'Hara. Judy, only twelve, complained to the Principal, which was extremely brave of her in that climate.

Sr Marietta when confronted by the Principal and Judy O’Hara turned to us all and said, with her back to the Principal, "You didn’t see me hit Robyn with the ruler, did you." not a question, but a statement. Such was her faith in her control over us. Wedded not fail her. All of us at one time victim to her unsuspected hits to the back of the head as she walked up behind us, rattling her holy rosary. The shamefaced mumbling's of our united denials that followed would echo in my ears for some days. We'd had our chance, but we were only eight or nine and looking back I don’t believe that the principal tried very hard to get to the truth, there was a livid stripe on Robyn's forehead, which was never explained.

Judy O'Hara for her bravery was rewarded by being branded a liar and troublemaker, and I think she went to another school, but am not sure. I thought she was so brave. She must have been very disappointed we did not support her, but never showed it. We were too young to dwell on these things, living if not directly in the present, no more than a day or two ahead.

In Sr Annunciata's fifth class, our classroom was closed off from sixth class by a large folding wooden partition. The top was glassed but far too high for anyone to see over. None of us was in a hurry to get into the next class anyway. The constant haranguing and screaming we heard from the teacher in the next room was enough to have us all in dreadful awe of the by now, legendary Sr Borgia.

One day after an outburst of her hysterical screaming, we could hear the sound of the cane, its sharp, whipping sound, whack! whack! Then right before our amazed eyes the cane flew up into full view on the other side of the glass, hit the roof and disappeared down again, followed shortly by more whacks. The sixth class kids said that she'd caught it on the way down and never missed a beat. Who were we to argue with that?

Sr Borgia was one in a million. Highly intelligent, slightly megalomaniac and progressive. She even gave the sixth class girls rudimentary instruction on puberty, something none of our mothers had done thus far, and unheard of in country schools of the time. She had taught Veronica and June before and I was often told how I didn't measure up to standards set by them. Never terribly competitive in our family it didn't have the desired effect on­ me. Sr. Borgia was a firm believer in the old, long since discredited I.Q. tests. Basing her punishments on how well you did on these tests. If the results showed you were reasonably intelligent, you were more inclined to receive her attention. Something none of us wanted.

There was one moment of equality in the day. Who could forget her “Answer or whack" session, just after lunch time? On the black­board would be ten questions on Social Studies. For each wrong answer you had to go out the front and get that many strokes of the cane. Some days I'd get all ten right, but many days like, two, three cuts; blots on my book, one cut; untidy writing, one cut, talking, one cut, like the death penalty on China, there was a multitude of reasons for her to use her 'tickler' as she called him. She thought it was funny. Homework unsatisfactory, as many ­as she decided depending on her temper. The times she called me out the front, with the words, "Will that bold girl, Therese Spencer come out here now." I did look that way with my perpetual sunburn; twisted uniform; short hair and habit of always grinning at the wrong moment especially if nervous and there was plenty to ­be nervous about.

June and I were in the same class for one year. It was June’s second time in. sixth class, her second year with Sr Borgia.­ Brave girl. We did our homework together, and there were times I shared her answers and it would only have been human nature for her to do the same on occasion. I honestly cannot remember if she did, but we often sat near each other.

One day Sr Borgia threw my homework back at me and said I must’ve looked at June's work. On this day my work was my own, but my denial had nothing to do with the truth. It had to do with survival. If I'd said yes I'd copied, a few cuts of the cane and ­it'd be over with and I would have only been punished for all the times I'd gotten away with it in the past. But once I'd made the decision that denial was the best course, there was no going back. Her perpetually florid face, reddened even more than usual and I realised quickly as only a child can, that she'd lost it. I took off, back to the safety of my home, one block away.

Home never felt so good. An hour later June and another girl arrived home under instructions from the Borgia herself, with the promise that should I return I would not be punished. Mum being an honourable person but rather naive at times as far as authority figures went had no reason to doubt Borgia's honesty. I was proved to be a good judge of character in a very short time.

On my arrival back at school I was left waiting on the low wooden verandah outside the classroom. School was in. It all sounded so ordinary and friendly. In the moments I had, I tried to prepare myself, but so fast did Borgia whoosh out of the door, grab hold of my arm and spin me round that I had no time to get it into any order. I had never seen her so angry. Inches from my face she screamed at me close to my face, spraying me with her spit. It went on and on, not making any sense at all and finally she dragged me into the classroom in front of the class where she proceeded to humiliate me. To the credit of the class, not one person laughed, which I feel now was her aim. There was silence. I got the cane many times that day. I forget exactly, but I never cried, I protected myself by looking at June who was looking at me, and it was she who had the tears. Something I have never forgotten. I felt very angry inside about this event because at twelve I was old enough to know how wrong it was.

Sr Borgia did things she thought were funny, like when the cane split on someone's hand pinching the skin and she'd turn and joke to the class, that she'd have to get another tickler soon. One­time she caned Wally Meakes so many times his hand was bleeding. But he was a boarder, who could he tell? The other nuns knew and nothing was ever done.

She had a huge lolly jar she liked to coerce us to put lollies into it too had a name which thankfully escapes me. The lollies were then handed out to any Kindergarten kids who came in on messages. Good Sr Borgia, Kindly Sr Borgia, patting them on the heads. More than once if she heard anyone down the back chatting she heard this hard plastic jar in the general direction of the offender seldom missing her target. When I recall the weight of that jar and the distance she threw it, as an adult I realise that she was not really in control. It had the potential to cause injury and it was not something I had ever witnessed any adult doing. The adults I had come across up until then at least had a certain dignity. June tells me that Sr Borgia did indeed cause injury with her lolly jar as she said she recalled that Lawrence­ Beisler was knocked unconscious when she threw the jar at him. You would have thought that this event would have had her terrified of just reprisal, but she continued.

I left Primary school under the humour and good sense of Sr Campion. She had a genuine concern for the children she cared for. She put on the first end of year school play that the school had done in the town hall in my memory. I played an old woman who was always making dramatic sweeping entrances and exits with pronouncements which were meant to be serious, but which had the packed audience in splits. Such a difference one teacher could make. Later on she formed a youth group for catholic teenagers, and others, which June and I joined. Under the Borgia regime this would have been unthinkable.

A few years later Sr Borgia would see us and call us Junee and Therese in an affectionate way, and we'd go along with it. I never saw Martina again but bumped into Marietta sixteen years ago in the Hastings Hospital and blow me down I was so gutless as to be polite to her. I can now only feel pity for these three maladjusted women and hope that they managed to find some peace. I owe them gratitude for teaching me that much authority has clay feet, and depends on the personal whims, and wishes of those we allow to hold too much power. I learnt to be cautious inside, whilst appearing impetuous. I learnt not to be gullible. I also learnt that much of the caning of the day pupils was selective. Those who had parents with a certain level of money, or influence in the church, the committee ladies, those who could make generous donations, there kids were often left alone, where as the rest of us, whose fathers were labourers, and whose mothers did not play the 'tea ladies game' were more likely to be ‘punished'. Possibly it was a reflection on the perceived powerlessness of the parents. Although there is a contradiction, as June and one or two others seldom were hit. More an ability of doing everything properly all the time so as not to be noticed when the punishments were being allocated. June says that it was not so much being good as being sly enough to avoid punishment. She said she was a pretty good cheat, something I did not know about her until she told me. June has a birthmark just above her knee, which is an almost perfect representation of England. Many times she used this map and sneakily put place names on it in order to pass exams. She also used her legs to write other answers on. Not just a set good pins to walk on, hey June?

And, yes, after all of this I sent our daughters to Catholic schools run by the same order of nuns. You see some of the most genuine people I have met of late have been nuns. Truth really is always stranger than fiction and curiouser and curiouser.

The playground was good fun, and home was loving and safe so two out of three wasn't too bad. I don't feel negative about these things, but feel I've been able to hold onto the positive things I was able to glean from these rather unpleasant times.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And if you liked "Women know your limits" you will like these two - women keep your virtue = women don't drive
I hope that this works...but tee hee as this well respected video shows my brain scrambles if I should attempt any task which requires thought...tee hee

this is a hoot!

My youngest sister, who lives in new Zealand sent all of us one of her excellent family Christmas cards - albeit a tad was worth the wait. This is her little family - but the baby Jesus is rather "healthy" for a newborn...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bloody bloody bloody blogger... I posted two happy cheery blogs all centered around Thorn the very handsome doggie and "pfft"...yes Charlie S1 and Amy "pfft" just bloody gorn....gorn orf like a Bondi Tram" I have lost gums are sore as and God may be in his heaven but alls not right wif the world. Bloody blogger!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I just visited Sling's (see link) blog...and listened to a clip Celtic Woman...I had purchased this DVD before Christmas and it bought tingles ...don't care what others think or is beautiful...thats all

Then I listened to Allegri's "Miserere Mei" ... offa this planet and I am not religious...this is just amazing and beautiful a... am looking for it but unfound on the is just sublime.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Next week I will be going down to Sydney (Australia ) to have my teeth sorted out. I have been waiting for ages for this... financially its something to think about first...and although this dentist is no more expensive than some of the garbage ones I have experienced locally, it has been more of a logistical problem for me to be able to get away from home for the week as we need someone trusted to be able to stay with Don 24hrs a day... and someone who he likes and who lets him do his own thing...not easy to find. But we have a friend who does this occasionally when she is able... and the timing has worked out perfectly.

So next week I am having all my amalgam fillings removes and a root canal tooth removed. If anyone ever advises a root canal as a way of saving a dead tooth get the tooth ripped out... its not worth the money and the dangers of bone cavitation caused by this procedure. Mine was not done properly...should not have been done at all...and obviously decay was left in and the lovely dentist just covered it all over with shit...from the day I left his office it has been painful at a low level and although complaining he would not have it there was a problem.

Re the amalgam ... never ever have one put in okay... there is that much mercury in these that it is a wonder we are not all like the mad hatter... get composites. Dentists hate these BECAUSE THEY ARE HARDER TO WORK! I have had mine in since my teens and what I have learned in the past decade about mercury in fillings is idsgusting. So this is worth a look of you have amalgams or root canals...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

And here he is in his full glory...Fang Mackay ...lucky to be alive Fang Mackay.
He who falls out of wheelchairs daring his loyal wife (moi) to catch him and lift him aloft...sounds easy peasy in the movies... not so in real life...he went down like a bag of lead peas and just as easy to pick up ... not!

but can't be too hard on him tonight... just glad to still have him in one piece
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A scary Saturday morning for us. We parked in town outside Hog's Breath (its a good parking spot) and Don was on the footpath waiting till I got my bag. He moved the wheelchair a bit then overbalanced and just fell out!

I caught him but not till his head hit the ground (no blood) and his whole body was sort of twisted sideways. I was able to get behind his shoulders and hold him so his head wasn't taking the weight of his body but from that position I couldn't get him up ...started calling for help loudly...quite a few times. We saw a man look at right at us and then walk into Starbucks. Then luckily a large man left his table and along with his family came over. It was a hell of a mess and job to get Don repositioned and the worry was about the hips and leg bones...(all the bones are like eggshells) it is unbeliveable - a miracle actually that nothing seemed broken (we hope).

Don't know what it is whether it is the new chair or Don's balance or a combination but twice in as many months is too dangerous. Since 1982 Don has only had three falls from the chair, the last two in the last two months. There is obviously a problem we have to sort out asap.

Next time I most likely won't be there. He likes to be independent about town and do his own thing.

We are going to get a leather velcro strap...some guys wear they don't fall out.

We went to the Chemist shop and did a BP. ( just in public interest if you know any Quadriplegics a sharply climbing blood pressure in them indicates unrelieved painblocked cathete, broken bones, ingrown toenail whatever... and is a life threatening condition call Autonomic Dysreflexia...don't try to figure it out, because their nervous system is totally differenti n this aspect and has NOTHING TO DO WITH COFFEE OR STRESS NURSES AND DOCTORS FOR THE 1,000 TIME! Just relieving the pain and dropping the BP can save a life as stroke can be imminent)

But BP was and is at this stage steady... so touch wood

His elbow is grazed and knuckles but not too bad at alll was expecting much worse. I managed to spill bloody brown Betadine all over his shirt and we wondered was it the 13th...but no its 6th.

we were a bit of a shonky circus in the back of the Chemists, but it livened up their day as it did ours.

Its 1.30 pm here and he is sound asleep at home...we were both pretty shocked. He seemed to be really tired when we got home...shock seems to do that to him.

Poor bugger. And I was doing a really cruel drawing of him last night... with his remaining one front tooth hanging out (when that dentist comes back off long holidays it'll be a whole new set of front teeth and a flashy must get the mileage out of this new look for now...
And I even let him kiss two of my sisters good bye, before Chirstmas when he still had two remaining front teeth. Ah you can't keep an old reprobate down... :)

Thats true love aint it?

Friday, January 05, 2007

I just re discovered this poem and had to re type it as it was written on an old style lap top
Its all exactly as the poem says...apart maybe from Divine Intervention...don't wat to be struck dead yet folks.

Alcohol Free Day (or Mum’s Wake). - 1993

Mum would have been proud of us all, (if she’d been about)
Of our total abstinence; and surprised no doubt,
That the day of her funeral was alcohol free
And that her five daughters drank just coffee or tea.

A life long teetotaller… “I’ll just have lemonade again”,
She’d giggle like a girl, drinking ‘first date champagne’.
“I just don’t like the smell, that’s all, you go right ahead”;
smiling with amusement and shaking her old sober head.

Outside our motel it was cold enough to snow.
The rain slashed like ice and dark clouds lay low.
Around her photo-shrine, was held mum’s impromptu wake,
As bottles circulated, Mum’s past became awake.

There was Jackie’s duty-free and Joanie’s Johnny Walker.
And June with her O.P. Rum; my goodness what a talker.
Veronica bought her wine, of that we can be sure,
And didn’t I drink a whole bottle of Para Port liqueur?

The kids and husbands sat amazed and quite spell bound,
With the stories growing louder and raucous laughter going round.
“Remember when the full chamber pot upended, right upon Mum’s head?
When the dog dragged a rare chook home from Scriven’s farm… was it really dead?
Or did Mum have to kill it…so badly was it mauled?
What happened to that big shotgun, she’d take out late if anybody called?
And what about the time she reported you to the Newcastle police.
Ooops! Don’t tell us you never knew about that one; we thought you did Therese.”

“Haw! Haw! Haw!” We hurt our mouths laughing and in tears.
Mum sure chalked up some curiosities, over all the years.
Years of her arrivals with plastic bag supplies
Just like a city bag lady, excepting for her eyes.

The drunker that we got all day, the more we did recall.
And the sainted photo of our smiling Mum, she got to hear it all.
All about those undies she bought … too big and just so plain,
All about the coats and umbrellas, we drank and masked the pain.
Came the night the alcohol was well and truly gone.
We headed to our welcome beds, each one on their own.
Our heads went spinning backwards; sleep came in a crazy spiral sinking,
“I’ll never drink again”, was the thought that each one of us was thinking.

The day dawned; we woke; no headaches and we had to wonder why.
We figured Mum had some words, with all the powers high.
The day flowed on and all we drank was purely alcohol free.
Toasting our dear old “lemonade Mum”, with coffee, cake and tea.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

And on a much nicer subject... I took some lovely pictures of our daughters when they came home at Christmas...

They are probably my best mates...very down to earth... an beat me at cards, scrabble whatever but still have to ask me how to spell "Voyeur" hM thats a worry!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Charlie featured his son's delicate and treasured hands in a recent post and it set me to thinking about hands and how young hands used to look and how old they begin to look after a certain time in life : ( and it reminded me of a short story I wrote once about an old tricky one paragraph she considered her hand and all it had I am happy that my hands are "used" and lived in... its honourable every one can have pretty young comes with the territory...

From Maray's Chair

"She thought about all of this as she sat in her chair. Her hand had washed dishes, clothes, cars, babies, kids, herself, her husband and a myriad of other living things no doubt. Her hand had cleaned up dog, cat and human shit, vomit, and mucous. It had picked up dead cats, birds, and a dog and buried them. It had twisted and turned, thumped and been thumped, thrown and caused its own childish terror, hit out at others and been caned in childhood school days too many times to recall. It had been in the soil, peeled vegetables, cooked, served, and held a book all at the same time, or so memory made it appear. Maturity and advancing years had turned a youthful taking hand into a giving hand.

This hand had written letters to people long dead and those still living, and would write to grandchildren yet to be conceived, hopefully. This hand had lain in the hands of her mother and father, and had held with love the hands of her daughter and sons. It had symbolically linked the generations. It had rested upon the brows of Maray’s children when they were sick and across her husband's when he was dying.

Maray was rather fond of that sturdy hand. She knew that it would serve her, robustly, perhaps not as elegantly as some, but it would serve her well. But then Maray was always so easily pleased."

And a successful morning's shopping was had as I planned on how cheaply I could entertain my two visiting sisters while we waited for Don (husband) to turn up at a coffee shop... at 11.30AM!

Younger sister hit the shops and collected gossip magazines with which to while away the long warm afternoons at our place, but these were read while we were waiting for Don to turn up at 11.30am

Eldest sister older than me!!! : ) tee hee... even got time to go back into the big shopping entre and buy socks for her beloved son ... find a tourist information shop, and using her photographic memory, memorise all the shopping centres hereabouts...and still Don did not turn up at 11.30am.

He did not turn up at 12.30pm, when we ordered lunch.

He did not turn up at 1,30pm when we finally had to leave before the circulation was cut off from our legs.

After searching town and hoping he had not been clobbered by a car, of fallen out of his wheelchair we had to drive back home only to be followed down the driveway by the big toyota taxi.

The driver had the biggest grin on his face and Don was all sheepish in the back...he had forgotten WHICH coffee shop...a likely excuse. He was loaded up with shopping bags and old tab tickets...HMMMM and quite hungry which he deserved.

And he got all his shopping carried inside by his own personal servant... well I never... then it was time to break out the quality Chardonnay and a good time was had by all... or thereabouts!

I spent a certain amount of time yesterday posting some Christmas pictures with stories and voila the bloody blog thingie monster just ate them...

They were sooo brrrrilliant I just could not face doing them again

And now I have experimented trying to get it to work with photos...if they come through they are of our daughters who visited and had great fun with Don's waterfall : ) needless to say he was asleep when they climed its towering heights risking all his ceramic frogs etc etc...

here it says its sorry but can't complete my request...

how could it be sorry...I am sorry...but it is a odd...the machine is sorry...and we begin to believe that it really is sorry...

okay so no photos...darn it...hope the print at least gets through!