Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Saturday Afternoon

A few weeks ago Mother had water coming into her bedroom when it was raining. The roof tile pointing had broken down. Given her house was built in the 1940s and the roof not touched, that is not a bad run. A lad attended and secured the roof with tarpaulin. Mother could hear the tarp flapping in the breeze at night, so she called him back to check it was secure. He obliged and it was fine. Tradie Brother checked things out too, and he judged all was well, apart from the roof pointing. It is an insurance job, but with a $500 excess, guess who is paying that? Yes, we kiddies.

In the meantime her laundry tap has been dripping at quite a rate. She has been keeping a bucket under the tap and using the water for the garden. She has been panicking about her water bill. I pointed out that the drip might add 30 cents to her water bill. At her melodramatic best, when R took her to the doctor for an appointment, she had the nurse running around to find a splint for her wrist as she had hurt it carrying buckets of water and a splint was so expensive to buy at the chemist. This performance was to ensure R would feel sorry for her and offer to pay for a plumber to fix the tap washer. While her own children are quite immune to such performances, for a time they worked on R, but he has learnt how to say no. He returns after his Thursday of taking Mother out in an almost hysterical state. All I can say to him is, yes that is what she is like and has been all her life.

Some weeks later he said to her, for goodness sake, just get the plumber and we'll pay. The bill will come to me, I will pay it and get three quarters of it from my brothers and sister. The tap washer has been fixed and now Mother has said she won't use the tap to 'save it'. This was said to R and even he had reached exasperation point and told her not to be ridiculous as it was now the best tap in the house and the one that should be used.

Non Dreaded firefighting nephew in Footscray was going up to see his mum in Gippsland. Via Face Book he said he would call in to his Nan's to see her and have a cake for his recent birthday. Mother was terrific in arranging R to get things together for a lunch. We had nibbles, quiche and salad, followed by a birthday cake. The nephew's father, Tradie Brother came as did the nephew's partner who gave us a gift of pears and apples from her mother's orchard in the Otways. It was a lovely lunch. Tradie Brother brought his dog along who must be one of the most highly trained dogs in the world. My brother just adores his Cobber.

We went early though, with our old computer on board for ABI Brother. R dropped me there and ABI Brother was just eating an early lunch before going off to umpire cricket. Thank goodness he had the old computer, our one before last fired up but still, I clicked on his Gmail and it took five minutes to load. While we got rid of our last computer because it was tired and slow, his was almost to the point of being unusable. I noted the plugs on the back of his old one and removed and inserted all the plugs into our old computer and within about two minutes, everything was working. I made sure the printer was working, the sound and updated the virus checker. He uses Chrome and I added important bookmarks to his bookmark bar. There will be a phone call next week as there will be something he is not sure about, but because it is our old computer untouched aside from many programmes removed, I will easily understand what he is talking about.

It was Non Dreaded nephew's partner's first visit to Mother's. She dutifully admired Mother's fine china and glassware in cabinets, most of which was Mother's mother's. She told Mother how lovely her garden was. She knew all the right things to say. She told us how she had given my nephew a haircut and then things went to his former dread lock state. Surprisingly, Mother used to like his dreads and even nephew's own mother grew to like them. I liked them. They made him look more interesting than what he is. Ok, that is unfair. He is outgoing and gregarious and people of both sexes just adore him. He is now 29 and I think he is a pretty good lad. I am amazed at how he moves between worlds. He was fire fighting in the Otways two days ago, then home in Footscray, this morning picking up a cake in Sydney Road, then at Mother's in the very outer eastern suburbs, then tonight at his mother's in Gippsland and tomorrow meeting up with friends at Flagstaff Gardens. I just don't really get how he can flit between so many worlds and feel comfortable in them all. In fact both his sisters are a bit like that. They are a credit to their mother who never brought them up to be organised or tidy, but with a lot of love. Tradie Brother, their father was much more difficult for them. Now they are all in their twenties, they respect and like their father, but it was not always so when they were younger.

Nephew's partner is very easy to get along with for everybody and it is quite clear they love each other very much. I wish they would make a boy baby so our branch of the family will go on with our family name but no sign of that happening.

As I am writing this, R is checking our tattslotto ticket. Oops, it is just too early. I told him to switch over to Channel Seven and get the results live at the Penthouse Club.

Aside from a few close personal friends and my wonderful blogmates, we are increasingly dependent on family for socialising.

Oh yes, as per normal, I emptied Mother's vacuum cleaner barrel. I am the only person in the world who knows are to properly put it back together after emptying it. I tap the filter on Mother's old incinerator carefully to rid it of impacted talcum powder. I am careful because I doubt a new filter can be sourced.  In noticed as I walked back up the yard that half the lemon tree was missing. I also noticed there was no fresh cut. I am very unobservant at times. It must have been like this of a year or more. There were a couple of ripe lemons at the top of the tree so Non Dreaded Nephew got busy with kicking a soccer ball at the tree, and sure enough, down came the two ripe lemons.

Enough rambling.






19 comments:

  1. That is a talent to flit comfortably world to world. I admire people who can do so. Here my world is so very small, mostly all white people in this area, mostly all conservative Christian sorts also. Not much diversity at all, or culture really. Bland I'd say. It's nice you have family and not so far off either.

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    1. Strayer, above all else about America that puzzles me, the devotion to religion against logical thought is the most disturbing.

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  2. your's mum garden looks nice but the drought is visible

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    1. Gosia, yes drought probably finished off the lemon tree.

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  3. Fitting comfortably in many worlds is a huge talent/gift/skill.
    Your mother stories are more than family. Mine made an art form out of being a drama queen. Which was part of the reason she refused help from her children. Things going wrong/things not working made a better story.

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    1. EC, it is skill I try at but not sure that I succeed very well. I never thought of my mother as being a drama queen, but the description of you mother concludes that mine is.

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  4. Not using the tap to save it? sounds like so many other elderly people who don't use things 'to save them'. Like my mum, who 'saved' all the nice things we kids sent for birthdays and mother's days because they were too nice for everyday; instead of using the box of rose scented soaps, she continued to buy cheap soap at the supermarket. Instead of wearing the thick, warm dressing gown, she'd wrap a blanket around herself.
    And I've just now thought of the brand new electric kettle, still in its box, up on the shelf, that I bought three years ago, but I'm not using (saving it, ha ha) because the old one still works, even though it drips when I pour and the lid doesn't spring open anymore when I push the button.
    I have my own admiration for the younger generation too, with the way they cope with so many different people and situations with far more ease than I ever did.

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    1. River, tomorrow shuck out that worthless faulty kettle and get down the new one. Make sure you use steps if it is on a high shelf. I agree about the younger generation. They face all sorts of things we never did.

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  5. Not a bad run AT ALL... if the roof tile pointing had broken down for the first time after 70 years! Securing the roof with tarpaulin might have stopped the water temporarily, but I am with your mum. Constant dripping is a torture form only used by the Americans in Guantanamo Bay prisoner camps. Think of the suicide rate at Guantanamo!!

    But $500 excess? for an old age pensioner? That is outrageous. Insurance companies bargely charge $500 excess for things that we are likely to claim on all the time eg cars. I would be ringing the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner - they will direct you to the right government department.

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    1. Hels, it would be on the policy, the $500 excess. That was what she signed up for. The premium to delete the excess is absurdly high and that is one thing that regulators could look at. In spite of having insurance for most things, I have only made a couple of car claims, both in the seventies and nothing on household, because of our own excess. I have no doubt self insurance is the best way to go for disciplined people.

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  6. Sounds a busy time, or seems to be with your mother, but I expect similar every week.
    We have to have our tiles roof re cemented it's a long time since it was done, and I found a 'big' water mark on the ceiling in the entrance hall today and I wonder how long it's been there.

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    1. Margaret, we are undergoing a period of busy times, but it is not always like that. Are you sure it is a watermark and not possum urine?

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    2. Certainly not possum urine as we don't have them in this area where I live....just those cooing doves :)

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  7. I might complain about mine at the Home but yours is still free range in the pest paddock.

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    1. Indeed she is Jah Teh, and still in full control.

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  8. Ah, family, it can be a real pain in the caboose at times. And that's all I'm going to say about that. :-P

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    1. Cranky, pain in the caboose. So polite and I like it.

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  9. I guess I always feel that parents look after, feed and educate us from birth to whenever, really it's just a form of payback right! I know for a fact all three daughters, my sisters and I, gave my poor old dad a hard time over the years and probably cost him a fortune :) As much as you have a wee niggle now and then it comes through very strongly how much you treasure your family. You big softie!

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    1. Grace, my parents never stinted with us and were there for us in times of trouble. I guess in a way it is payback, a responsibility at least. It is a lot easy to help people who will help themselves and that does not describe my mother.

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