Thursday, June 21, 2018

A movie and our lives

I am not sure if I mentioned it already, but a couple of weeks ago Oldest Niece held her engagement party come housewarming party. We attended. It was perfectly organised. The weather was cold but there was adequate indoor and outdoor heating and a marquee. Lots of finger food followed by an adequate buffet meal. Drinks of everything supplied, except for light beer (frowning face emoticon as I could only have two glasses of wine because R hates to drive at night and someone had made him a very strong cocktail)  She takes after her mother, Ex Sis in Law. She gets parties right and doesn't spare the expense. We stayed from about 5.30 to 8.30 and of course the party really kicked on after we left. Nephew and his wife left about the same time, we chatting to her as she waited for Nephew. You know you guys are my favourite uncles, said she. I didn't say, but, Well, love, you only have one other, ABI Brother. Tradie Brother is your father in law. We gave Oldest Niece an engagement present of a few $00. We've bailed her brother and sister when they were overseas and travelling and left it as a gift. Just because she is a bit more responsible and has her act together, why should she miss out? Two weeks later, we are are still waiting for a text, call, note, card or some kind of thank you for the substantial gift.

Not too long after, Hippie niece with the twin daughters who has left her partner and is living at home, against chemist advice, bought some cold medication. She had a psychotic episode and was ignoring the twin babies at early in the morning while she slept on. She ended up in the local hospital psyche ward.

R was called on to help. One day he set off from home at 4am to look after the twins for a couple of hours, and another day, at 6am. Hippie's Niece's mother and step are juggling their lives and the same, Ex Sis in Law comes pretty close to be being the twin's main carer. Pretty hard for a grandma to take on semi permanent caring role for granddaughters. Of course I feel awful, as I have to work and cannot help, but then what use am I with children. R is the go to person for competent childcare, but he will be 70 next year. He is not a young man.

Since our friend died, we rarely go out for dinner but we did catch up with several people we know one night, including our dead friend's partner at The Dick pub a few weeks ago. It was nice.

Our dead friend used to always host a large afternoon tea at home on Queen's Birthday holiday, and his widower continued the tradition. It was, Ladies, please bring a plate*, and the tradition of scones, ham jam and cream did not happen. Apparently Fijian Indians are not expert in scone making. Who would have thought! While I wasn't there as I had to work, R went and enjoyed himself.

Mother has been in a private hospital for three weeks. She did not exactly go home last Saturday. She has gone back to to ABI Brother's place. Her target was to get off Panadeine Forte. She has, but the end result is not clear yet. At one point her blood pressure was over 200. At another point, it dropped below 100. One night in hospital, her temperature rose to 39 degrees, resulting in bells and whistles at the hospital. Her temperature was quickly lowered with your basic Panadol. She was a difficult patient at the hospital, but the staff were generally pretty good especially, as she said, the overseas born staff. One Anglo Aussie left her room with the advice, You'd better cheer up love. Mother has many old age problems and they can't be cured by doctors or drugs but while frail, she otherwise quite well. ABI Brother has just been brilliant with her, ignoring anything she moans about and just gets on with looking after her. Mother thought the foreign born nurses were much more caring and kind. That would be, Mother, because they are more tolerant of your nonsense.

But to give you some context, Mother was just brilliant after Acquired Brain Injury Brother rode his bicycle out into lanes of highway traffic in an apparent suicide attempt. Maybe a suicide attempt. He can't remember and we don't know. She was so dedicated to his recovery, so he does owe her. Mother was just as brilliant when her partner died, Step Father, who himself were great to my brothers and sister in their growing years.

How did my once smart and vivacious Mother end up being a moaning and whining old woman at the age of 84. Often enough we hear,  Sometime I think I'd be better off dead.

Moving on. Last Saturday night we caught up at the Elsternwick Hotel with our dead friend's partner, his rather luscious and stylish young Indian student boarder, our dead friend's brother and his wife, our Hairdresser Friend and our acquaintance from Beacon Cove and his Indonesian born partner. It was an absolutely lovely night, and we took no notice of France defeating Australia in the footyball on the big screen.

Last week R was so stressed by a visit by a plumbing firm. I'll save that for another post.

On this day, the 17th of June, the rain fell hard, the wind whipped around us so strongly. Fronts of rain beat upon us. What to do on such a day? Turn up the aircon by 1 degree, or even 2 degrees and stay at home? We went to town to see a movie. Movie review coming up soon. (the movie review came up first)

Next Sunday it a visit to The Bellarine to see Little Jo perform in her theatre group's annual concert and the Sunday after Oldest Niece is cooking us dinner in her new home to celebrate her 30th birthday.

* For you foreign types, 'Ladies bring a plate' is a long held tradition in Australia where, unlike in some European countries where the host of a gathering supplies everything, including alcohol and cigarettes, guests bring food and perhaps a bottle of wine along to a gathering, rather than the party host supply everything.  Of course the joke is that new Australians take the phrase literally and bring along an empty china plate.

31 comments:

  1. Funny about new Australians bringing an empty plate. We call those gatherings "potluck" in America, everyone brings food to share. You have a lot happening with friends and family, much of it difficult, such as the loss of a friend and your mom's aging. It is good to gather at as many fun get togethers as possible.

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    1. Thanks Terra. It is a difficult time but we just keep on at it, and try to enjoy ourselves along the way.

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  2. With blazing temps here in North Carolina, I would have loved to have experienced those cool temps at the party.(lol) Potlucks are big here where people cook things and bring it to the party. Great way to try new food, but to also cut down on the costs of feeding tons of people. I sure hope you get that thank you, and like you, don't understand why it's taking so long to show appreciation for kind gestures. Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, yes, we cope better with cold weather than hot. I think it probably started in Australia because of cost and perhaps a lack of pride that might have been held in other countries.

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  3. You're Not Alone - Great Read Here

    Cheers

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    1. Thanks Padre. I have some fine friends here.

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  4. I can't make a scone to save my life, but I have a breadmaker and Lion makes a great scone mix. 45 minutes of mixing and kneading from the breadmaker, into the oven, perfection. :)

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    1. Snoskred, I don't get that. In my opinion that is way too much working on the scone dough. It should be a minimum.

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    2. perhaps that should be 4-5 minutes?

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    3. Well the breadmaker is a little less deft than a human, but it does take 45 minutes for the machine to make the dough. It works out fine. There is no butter involved at least none added, which might be part of the reason it is ok. ;)

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  5. Your Mum needs a hobby - and inexpensive hobby.
    Get her into bird watching or the Great Bird Count in October, or swimming the Yarra in July, or something.
    Playing catch-up on your posts, there will be blatherings hither and yon.

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    1. Jayne, she just is not the type. She does read trash magazines and the Weekly Times, watches some tv but not a lot. Whatever, she won't be told.

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  6. So much happening Andrew, your life is more whirlwind than mine and you seem to be coping with it all okay. The internet is a good place for venting, right? Sad about Hippie niece and I really hope things come together for her, maybe with some sort of childcare assistance so she can have them in day care a couple of times a week to take the pressure off. I'm glad to hear your mum is off the Panadeine Forte that stuff is quite strong and very helpful when it's needed, but an addiction is bad.
    Thank you notes are a thing of the past these days but a quick call or email to say thank you is easily enough done by those who wish to do so.

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    1. River, don't think that. I go to work each day and get stressed, and even more stressed coming home in traffic. But I come home to a nice meal. Hippie Niece is being cared for by the system. She has free daytime creche, supplied by the government. If anything, the twins need to learn to be adaptable. Mother is back on Panadeine Forte, but promising she will limit it to three per day. If I get the chance, I will insert a cutting comment to the the niece when I see her again in a couple of weeks.

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  7. I still do that with dinner parties. I will ask the host how many guests they are having, and what type of meal it will be. Then I offer to bring the entree, soup, salads, vegetables or sweets. Almost always the offer is accepted.

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    1. Hels, while it is a bit of the Royal We, we do the same, usually some dessert or cake.

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  8. Andrew, you have a very colourful group of family and friends, they make my lot seem very dull.

    The 'bring a plate' tradition does exist in europe, but not chez nous; we always supply everything, except the cigs.

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    1. Cro, then send me my invitation to your grand abode. I don't have to bring a bottle either?

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  9. Well that is a newsie post.
    Poor little twins, and Hippie Niece - such a problem for her is her mental state, let's hope oneday soon she improves in that area..
    Your mum, helpful to others when she was younger, so it's nice to read some are helpful to her..
    Enjoy your days..

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    1. Margaret, it all worrie me, but R gets so stressed by it all. Perhaps not surprising as I go to work and does the hard yards.

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  10. Andrew many things going on in your family. Need to be brave to face them. You have many lovable friends and family members to help you. Everything will come good in some time..

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    1. WW, lovable friends and family? It never seems like that, but at least we don't fight or fall out.

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  11. Oh Andrew. You have such a lot going on - and I am very pleased to hear that both you and R had some treats as well as the stress.
    My heart goes out to Hippy Niece, the twins and everyone who cares about her.
    And I am very glad to hear that despite her complaints your mother is getting the support she needs (and deserves). Thank you all.

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    1. EC, I fear I have put a sugar coated gloss on things. Nothing is right.

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  12. My goodness! You sure have a lot going on. Try not to stress out too much. Take care of Number One...that is always important.

    Andrew, I believe "thank you" is out of fashion these days. I part-catered for a wedding party about three years ago.

    I prepared quite a feast of "goodies" - expended a fair amount of money doing so (but that's by the by...it was my choice to do so) for a
    pre-wedding party. The food I'd prepared was my wedding gift to the couple at a relaxed gathering at the groom's parent's home here on the mountain. The bride's family were visiting from China.

    I never received a "Thank you".

    A year or so later the young couple had a baby...(said baby is now two years old)...and I gave a gift/s upon the birth of the child. I never received "Thank you" for the gifts, either.

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    1. Lee, ask R and he will tell you that I always look after number one, me.

      So it wasn't a paid job for you. That is crap.

      The second incident is just as bad.

      How I deal with it is good with good grace or not give at all. I am usually reticent about giving, but when I do, I follow give with give good grace.

      That doesn't really change being disappointed.

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    2. looking after number one is very important. if not you, then who?

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  13. Oi vey! Family, what you gonna do! No I haven't been taken over by a wee Jewish lady but somehow when I myself have family frustrations that expression pops into my head ☺ Sounds like there's lots going on Andrew, the sooner you retire the better! Hope mum is recovering well.

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    1. Grace, it is a good and useful line to use. I will try it myself.

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  14. Here too at gatherings it is common for one to host and everyone else to "bring something". Sometimes it is designated in general what to bring, so that everyone does not bring an entree. Some will bring dessert or finger food or drink. I hope your niece with the twins gets better and can care for them but how nice so many step in to help.

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    1. Strayer, yet I have heard it is in Europe, well three decades ago, that you would insult your host by bringing anything to a dinner or whatever, as if they are too poor to feed you.

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