Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Am starting to feel the Chill of Melbourne Winter

But my youngest says this is just the start - I think its the constantly cold toes and nose that gets me the most and this place hasn't got great insulation - not to worry its always better than being hot. Its wonderful to see all the tree lined streets all yellows and golds - something we didn't see in port Macquarie - it never got quite cold enough for the brilliant colours of Autumn to show - and the streets are pretty shy of trees such as you see here.

Am praying in my own way that my eldest's husband comes out of hospital okay tomorrow - a small cut on his thumb...but with Diabetes it has him in hospital on an antibiotic drip - after just recently beginning to get back to work after losing his leg last March, he doesn't need this setback...and I know its hard on my daughter as its a lot of travelling through city traffic back and forwards - and coming home late - as well it brings back to her the terrible time of visiting her Dad in hospital as he was dying - so much damage done there to her and all of us I guess.

I have grown very fond of my two sons in law - find it really concerns me that one is struggling right now
I am waiting for her to arrive home and find out when he comes home and if I will go up to Sydney depending on whats going on with them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A special day yesterday

Five years yesterday since Don died. A special day today with Melissa phoning to see if I was okay - but she breaking down as soon as she got on the phone and Alison making sure I wasn't alone - which was good for her as well I know - wonderful kids who have had lives that already haven't been easy - hard to credit 5 years - we went to the Op Shops - a favourite and cheap thing to do - Ali came back here and played with the cats - they posed pretty well as they usually act as if you have pointed a gun at them - maybe knowing Don's love of cats it's with good reason they are shy of cameras - although I remember his crying after our old cat Archimedes was buried - as he said when being serious (?) it wasn't the cats he hated but what they did when left to roam... sort of agree these days... which would amaze him.
Lit some candles as I usually do not just for Don but for all important remembrances such as Mum and Dad...got some flowers from my yard. I feel it's important to have those days in the year when we set aside time for reflection no matter how painful - a few tears never killed anybody. 

Just something that occurred to me and which is important - our families are getting smaller. The people we love and who love us are spare on the ground. Over the years I learned a lot from watching Don's bravery and suffering and through levels of pain most cannot imagine  - he was there with his quick wit and his caring for us all.
From the moment he came into our family he cared - sometimes that caring was a bit rough around the edges - what didn't kill me made me stronger (??)... and one thing he taught me was the value of having honest feelings for people.  

Don came from a different background where - although he was loved - it was fractured.
The girls know most of this and they should be proud of the man he was - not perfect but strong, brave and a gentleman  No matter what happened in my days and life he was there behind me. That's something not many have. Home meant so much to him before and after his accident. Family was all.

Some tears shed as the hours came closer - no harm done at all - nothing wrong with the odd good cry. Still I feel like I am a lucky person - always felt this way (so far) its  hard because it was so good. Some people never have what we had - and maybe its easier after - but I can't imagine living with normal, passionless,  ordinary or safe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Went to Werribee Mansion on Mothers Day with the kids...it was a request by me but at only $7 a head (for adults) it was well worth it. It was wonderful that they enjoyed it as much as I did... wasn't too long after we went to see the new version of "Woman In Black" (A MUST SEE! the scariest thing I have seen for years, after being scared by the first version) so a certain value was had out of trying to scare each other especially down in the kitchen area - Its set in Edwardian times - and centres around an abandoned mansion - most of the Melbourne based bloggers will have been there and its pretty impressive - I was amazed at the detail and those huge mirrors and the crystal chandelier - then the working class in me started imagining the work involved in cleaning and serving etc that poorly paid people would have had to do - no doubt their rooms were not  grand and its something that occurred to me - while it appears that the wealthy are remembered, the ruling classes etc it is the creations of craftsmen, tradies, those who work with their hands which endure. The pyramids were set up by the Pharaohs - but not one brick nor stone would exists - not one building, no Stonehenge, no thing but for the hands and backs of those who build - and - a thought train - lest we forget the whole thing...everything depended and depends on those who grow the food we eat, something so easily forgotten until we are hungry - if ever. I have yet to explore the grounds - as it was a real Melbourne day raining one minute sunny the next - but it looks beautiful and so close to where I live - 

The kids gave me  good things for Mothers day but I was very amused to open one package and find a bloody compass in it - I get a bit confused by where the bay is as the ocean has for 58 years always been on the east for me - so I think there was a message in gving me the compass - I should have known I was being set up because they started looking at each other a lot as I opened it - its good to be set up sometimes - nice to know my son in law can have a joke at my expense and enjoy it - bodes well for the future

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Burbs

Over suburban rooftops - the sunset is still something else -

 Andrew mentioned putting some up after he posted some amazing ones of his own... so I am still lucky I can still just step outside my back door and there it is - when I was younger I would easily be up before sunrise and saw many of those but admit to finding it a bit harder getting up that early these days in the cooler weather. Its a funny street that I live in now - you seldom see anyone walking around outside much less doing anything to their homes. Melissa and Chris commented that it would be the perfect street to make a Gothic movie in - all these houses and cars so close together but nothing moving... I am so used to open spaces, have been lucky most of my life to have been living either on the edge of town, out in the country or for a few years working all over from a caravan where our yard was the horizons around us...I've spent time in flats in the inner city which I loved as well as there is so much live and things to watch around - but never thought to find myself in this in between world the Burbs. Its okay - Just a different phase of my life.

Its funny here all the yards have high paling fences so no one can see into the next yard - sort of a good thing re privacy but its odd to hear conversations and movements so close but unseen. I even found myself one day so curious about what all the strange noises were I looked through a tiny hole in the fence to see  - lucky there was no eye looking back at me - (haven't told anyone but the kids this yet...) I couldn't see anything but the side of the house next door about an arms length away from me... I would say 100% of us would do the same left to their own devices for too long! I usually let the bad cat out late in the day for a short time - she is the one who has an almost 100% kill rate so I stay with her - she can't climb these fences yet or hasn't figured out she can - not a good idea as there are dogs on all sides - So while making sure no birds came her way was when curiosity got the better of me. Was disappointed - it was so ordinary.

Does anyone know what this lone bird sitting on the next door's antennae is? Its a newie to me.

I haven't seen any parrots of any type near here - put bird seed out but apart from a few little unknown birds I seem to have mainly sparrows and starlings...and pigeons.

I am leaning slowly to like it here but sometimes I find myself wondering how in hell did I get here. This time last year I hadn't made any decisions...although I knew keeping my few acres was financially unsustainable as well as emotionally draining. As much as I loved it it was getting harder and harder to come home - so many beautiful memories - the new people are really loving it and i am so happy about that. We liked each other straight off and its nice to know there are kids and horses running about my place as well as their mum who loves being there. What better could you want for a place as special as Craggy island?

I had to drive into South Melbourne yesterday got a bit lost when I missed a turn off the free way but found my way thanks to the technology  (GPS) - Later found the South Melbourne Markets which Ali and I used to go to when she was living in there. Was a nice day and only came away with a second hand book - moving after 35 years taught me I don't need any more stuff till my old stuff dies or is worn out - no more ornaments  - am a bit of a boring person to shop with as would rather sit and watch the world go by than blow money I don't need to spend - not a bad place to have my head in really.

Something I am slowly getting used to is the fact I don't have to be home at any set time. After most of our adult lives together, when if I had to do shopping we would either hire someone to stay with Don - or in the earlier days - I would need to be home within a few hours as not safe for Don to be on his own for too long - I still feel as if I have to be home at a certain time after I go out. Its unconscious. But in a way I miss being needed to be home because I was always happier there than anywhere. We became very self sufficient and grew used to not needing others apart from paid staff. I am still the same - quite happy in my own company generally. I actually get really tired when I have to be amongst people for an extended period of time apart from the kids. A couple of hours does me and is good.

Must get out in the sun now while it lasts - its a bit chillier here than I thought...

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Time was

I just came across this photo of the girls (now in their 30's) asleep... kids can sleep anywhere - Its the arm right across Ali's neck which amused me. I remember we came home late from somewhere and I just walked and carried them into bed and let them stay in their day clothes - Never wake a sleeping child! They are still pretty close and as with siblings they are very different in many ways but very much alike in the ways that count.
Its been a quiet week here. Its taking a bit of getting used to the cold. My house is not that well insulated as when I go to the kids' house its a lot warmer and I am a mad window opener - needed when you have cats. I gave in this week and put the heating on and it works fine. I never used heating in my old place except when people came because I don't like heating unless its from a real fire. I have been lucky enough that I have lived in houses where there was a real fireplace (up until 2004) that could be used and nothing compares.
Whenever I smell the woodfire smoke it takes me way back to childhood and I can easily see our old fuel stove where we would make our own toast on the end of a long fork - this before we had a toaster. Like many in my age group who grew up in the country I can remember the kerosene fridge, the ice chest before that and the copper which heated the water for our baths. Water which had to be carried in buckets into the bath tub.

Change seems to be happening exponentially of late and I wonder at the world I grew up in. Was fine for me because I didn't have to wash the family's clothes by hand as Mum did. I didn't have to chop the wood as Dad did . But what I do recall is that along with the hard work which no one misses people seemed to have time to sit on each other's verandahs and chat. Mum always had time to listen and I mean listen. Dad was gentle and very strong something never spoken about but you just knew he would be there...and the shock when he was killed knocked us about terribly.

I wouldn't want to go back because it was hard and the people who were poor were really poor with no way out if you hit old age with nothing after a lifetime of work. But somewhere along the way it feels like something has been lost with all the change. I think we are desensitised to things which once would have rocked us. I was explaining to the kids once that when people first went to the pictures (the silent ones) and saw someone being shot off a horse they were appalled. People walked out. Some people got sick...because it was real to them.

Now I can watch and seldom think anything at all - and its much more graphic - but while I can recognise easily its not real a part of me is disconnected... and not sure that's a good thing. Unless it happens to us or our friends or we actually see or are part of it - a lot of what happens isn't real.

just a bit of a thought train.