The teen niece: She is back from her sabbatical with Step Mother in the north of Victoria. She stayed one night with us. She barely ever stops talking. She is mentally very fragile and has strong mood swings. Fortunately she does not mood swing with us. I am not sure how I would react if she did. She is snapping at everyone. She sends her father nasty abusive texts one day and loving ones the next. She is rude to her father's girlfriend who has never said a bad word against her. I think she will be going to see a counsellor in the near future. Her older sister picked her up from our place the next morning to go to the airport to collect Sis in Law. R helped teen niece make a decorated welcome home Mum sign.
The dreaded nephew: Much to everyone's surprise, except us who paid his airfare, the dreaded nephew returned from England with Sis in Law. It was a joyous reunion at the airport between firstly Sis in Law and her two girls and then shortly the later, the dreaded nephew and his two sisters. There were tears aplenty. He gets on well with both girls and may help the younger to stabilise at little. He intervened already when teen niece snapped at older niece in the car on the way from the airport. Hey, ease off Sis, he said.
Sis in Law: She had a great holiday and adored England, Scotland and Ireland. R's family in the north east of England made them very welcome for a few days. Sis in Law's travelling companion and friend was staying on longer to visit Paris. Sis in Law knew nothing of the troubles with her daughter back home. Sis in Law spent a night in a posh hotel in the outskirts of Seoul on her way over to UK. She and her friend discovered a newly built and empty underground city, complete with huge railway station, two shopping centres and a university. (Get that Premier Brumby and Minister Madden? Build the facilities with the development before the people move in.)
Mother: Sis in Law called in to see Mother on the way home from the airport. Mother was over excited to see her grandson return. Mother and late Step Father used to take the children out a lot on Sunday drives. The children have grown up, Step Father died and life has changed a lot for Mother. A scrap metal man had been to Mother's and taken away two fridges and an old parts car and gave her $100 for the lot. Better than paying. A mega garage sale has been arranged to happen at Mother's in a a couple of weeks. Damnation, I am not working that day. It will be all family hands on deck.
The Dreaded Nephew: We have not chatted to him yet, but no doubt will soon when he rings to arrange repayment of his air fare.....oh, I make myself laugh at times. While he is certainly not posh, I would call him ocker, he remarked to Mother that how ocker everyone sounded at the airport when he arrived home. He must be used to the refined accents of Eastern European English that are to be found widely in England and Scotland.
Older niece: She has turned into a very capable young lady. She now occupies the bungalow with her boyfriend that used to be the abode of the dreaded nephew. Of course, totally forgetting what I was up to at sixteen, I am not sure I approve of 21 year old young ladies living in sin with their boyfriends.
Little Jo: We looked after Little Jo one night this week and tonight when the Bone Doctor arrived home after a hard day sawing and drilling bones, Little Jo said, 'we go to pub for dinner'. So, Sister called us and we all went to the pub for dinner. Very pleasant. What a shame I am working on Sunday and R will have to look after Little Jo on his own while Sister does a swimming instructor course and Bone Doctor plays cricket. Such a shame, such a damn shame.
ABI Brother: He turns fifty next month and has arranged a bash for himself at a venue near his home. I am just not looking forward to this.
Tradie Brother: He and his girlfriend are gung ho about Mother's garage sale. Good, they can do the work. We would rather call for a dumpster and give her a couple of hundred dollars.
Sister: Psst, shhhh. Sister and Bone Doctor and donor have been busy with the turkey baster with some success. Nothing official until the first trimester just before new year. Uncle R and Auntie Andrew are very very happy and have their fingers crossed. Sister is 42, so it is touch and go. Andrew is such a nice boy's name, don't you think?