It was my ABI brother's fiftieth birthday last week. In case you have forgotten, ABI is Acquired Brain Injury. I no longer refer to him as brain damaged brother. He hired a venue last night for a party and we attended, as did most of our family, along with his friends. It was an ok night, although very late for Little Jo to stay up. R looked after her today while Sister and Bone Doctor went to some hockey match in Parkville and they both fell asleep together on the bed. Once again I was working.
Mother looked very nice in her $10 Savers dress. Step Mother came down from Echuca way by train for the occasion. Tradie Brother got quite drunk. Par for the course. Sis in Law and Tradie Brother's girl friend did not speak but nor did they come to blows. Mother and Step Mother are long past that point. Caught up with Dreaded Nephew for the first time since his return. We brought him back into town to catch up with friends at Riverland Bar. Nice chat in the car on the way back. Good kid and much more mature since his return from old Blighty. His two sisters worship him.
Remember, well I can hardly, but when ABI brother was on tv show earlier this year. Something about a gang of interstate girls meeting up with some local Pakenham guys. The guy who was with my brother when the show was screened was there. He was the same one ABI brother did the Ashes cricket tour with. I met him and his girlfriend.
Now she was interesting, if a bit challenging. Via ABI brother, they both knew rather a lot about me. She invaded my personal space just slightly. Not too badly, but enough for me to note a slightly visible moustache. Maybe she had a wrong impression of me from what my brother had said and she spoke a little too frankly.
"I am not a suburb snob, but truly coming out here to Pakenham is the pits." The obvious response was "Ah, so where do you live?" "Yarraville". I refrained from making a remark about what Eastern Suburbs folk might have thought of Yarraville twenty or thirty years ago. I think I made positive comments about Yarraville and Williamstown. Bah, she probably lives in Spotswood. (can a young person tell me if meh is an appropriate alternative to bah?)
She did seem like she would be good fun though, but as nominated driver, I wasn't there to have fun. She had not finished there. Slight paraphrasing follows.
"You know your work, well, how do you deal with all your co-workers? I am not racist, but......". I lack the energy to fight the good fight on much more than a non emptied rubbish bin these days. I just replied along the lines, "Well, they are rather like us actually, except a bit different".
She still hadn't finished. Sheesh, I only spoke to her for five minutes. She was surprised that I did not give her the obvious answer about the biggest problem I have in my work place. My reply was my workmates and their work performance, rather than very obvious things that most people, and she, suspect.
Thinking back on it now, I guess she had had a decent drink.
ABI used to drink heavily but no longer does since his accident some ten years or more ago. But last night, he drank a lot of beer. Tradie Brother and his girlfriend were staying the night at ABI brother's place. None of them had cars there, but I was very insistent about them getting a cab home and not walking and crossing Princes Highway in a less than sober state.
Families, who'd have 'em. Well I would really. You know who you are and your simple remark made me appreciate my brothers and sister more. I am fortunate indeed.
Little Jo went off when Mama Mia came on the Juke Box. Her eyes even went weird.