Saturday, May 07, 2011

Just another Sunday and a Mother visit

The mosquitoes where Sister lives are big buggers. I don't like itchy spots, so I spray myself for the times I am bored and carry the lappie outside so that it can get a fast signal.

Sis in Law and her new beau have bought a place on the northern edge of Western Port Bay. She cooked us a lovely lunch of roast pork. Only her ex, my Tradie Brother, did not attend. Otherwise, all the my immediate family were there. Sister picked us up and drove us. Sister was tired and asked if I would drive back to the Highrise on her way back to the Bellarine. Of course. But then she drove herself. Little Jo, R and yours truly all dropped off on the way back.

It was the first time we had seen Sis in Law's new house. To put it kindly, it is like her old house which Tradie Brother has now bought her out from, only bigger and with more various extensions. It was a nice catch up with her, her new beau, and Oldest Niece, Chainsaw Niece and Dreaded Nephew all made an appearance.

We took a walk down to the nearby creek where you can catch fish. Western Port Bay doesn't have the mega sized mosquitoes that the Bellarine has, but what they lack in size, they make up for in numbers. There were hundreds of them. I counted fifteen on R's back at one point.

Sis in Law seems deliriously happy with her new life. This is good.

That was Sunday. This Tuesday I visited Mother to take her to a chiropractor at Cranbourne and do some odd jobs. Oh bliss, no drive to Crimebourne as she was feeling unwell and had cancelled the chiro. As usual she had written a list of jobs. 'I have written too many Andrew. Don't worry about them. Take me to the shops a bit later.' Normally what she thinks is a long list of jobs can be done in half an hour. But not this time.

Cleaned two windows, repaired a holland blind, cleaned five hanging pictures, took down ornaments from curtain pelmets for her to wash, empty both vacuum cleaner bags (don't ask why she has two) mostly choked up with talcum powder and cleaned three exhaust fan covers. All easy but I was heavily perspiring. The piece de resistance was to clean the light fitting in the lounge room.

It has five branches with a candle bulb in each branch. I thought to take each shade off and give them a wash. I took one off. It took five minutes to get the fragile baked supporting ring off. It took ten minutes to get it back on. I ended up spraying the thread with cooking oil. Oh look, the nut at the base of the fitting is loose. I tightened it which resulted in the whole fitting falling from the ceiling and was only being supported by the wires. The small set of steps were ok for cleaning, and I just washed the other shades in situ. But to get the light fitting back up I needed a ladder. 'The aluminium ladder is in the garage Andrew.' No, it wasn't. I used an old timber set of steps. There was a threaded rod that kept the whole light fitting together. There were a few threads at the bottom and a few at the top. The stiff wire had to be tucked back up, while I supported the fitting and at the same time connected up the rod. 'Mother, leave now. I am going to swear'. If a large truck passes Mother's house, I expect the vibration will cause the fitting to fall, but it was sound for the moment.

Mother bragged about how she could stretch a tin of tomato soup to three lunches. I know how. She waters it very heavily and that was my lunch. It is not very sustaining but I can suffer hunger easily enough. Meanwhile Mother toasted some bread for herself. 'Sorry, you were busy', when I mentioned I was a bit hungry.

Back when I was about 15 I bought two packets of Kool cigarettes for Mother at the local shop booked to the account. One was for her and one was for me and friends. Mother has smoked Kool cigarettes since I can remember. Her local Ritchies supermarket has ceased to stock them, so now ABI Brother buys them for her at a tobacconist. Last time I took Mother to the shops, I took her to the tobacconist to buy her Kool. It was at least a month ago. I took her again and the tobacconist remembered her brand after a single visit a month ago. Mother does create an impression. I so wanted to say to her, of course he remembered you. Most people of your age who smoke are dead, never mind that you are well dressed and made up.

Next stop was the Chemist Warehouse. Mother had the staff running all over the self serve shop serving her. Mind you, I will also sing the praises of Chemist Warehouse staff in Chapel Street, South Yarra and Glenferrie Road, Malvern.

I drove her back home and I was ready to bolt back to the sanity of home. 'Andrew, I want to show you something'. She showed me an old book which I took little notice of, but inside on the front page was written, 'To T, A little powder and a little paint, makes a nice girl what she ain't.' Cute.


  1. It is all a bit sad. And worrying.

    You don't say how old your mum is, but I recognise some of the issues from my own parents, now in their 80s. The wheels are falling off and all you can do is be there, be supportive and do your best.

    Happy Mother's Day for tomorrow!

  2. 77 Hels. Her living situation is not sustainable, but we can't make her sell and move to a place more appropriate.

  3. Had a really good laugh at this - you could almost imagine a sitcom especially when the light fitting gave way - and the tomato soup sounded to die for

  4. I make my tomato soup go further too, by adding a little extra water than stated, plus cooked small pasta and some precooked veg like celery, carrot, onion, also a drained small can of bean mix. Great with grated fresh parmesan sprinkled over each serving.

  5. Laugh as you must at my expense MC. I was up a fifty year old rickety ladder, needing four hands and the sweat pouring off me.

    That sounds fine River. I will pass your recipe on, except 'I can't eat greens. I can't eat onions. I can't eat beans.' Maybe she can add the pasta.

  6. What about a puree of unidentifiable vegetables and some soup pasta??

    And I admire you even considering to fix a faulty light fitting while standing on a metal ladder!! Good luck it wasn't available, I say!!

  7. Red, I did actually switch the light circuit off.