Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Telegram

Dearest brothers in law stop Run out of money stop Please send $1000 to secret Scottish account stop Favourite sis in law stop

Reply: We will put into your bank account electronically stop You daughter can give us details stop Favourite Bros in Laws stop

Oh that it was that easy.

Last night I text teenage niece for older nieces mobile number. No reply but there was a left message for me asking where Mello's restaurant was. I was driving and I did not answer phone. Really, she meant where is the Republic restaurant. Don't ask. I don't know, although I do know about Hellenic Republic, or am I mixing my restaurants. The one in Lygon Street.

Call younger niece at 9am. Woke her up. Seems to be a problem. She is a two day school camp in Melbourne and has hurt her arm and said something bad to a teacher. I am concerned. She called back a few minutes later with her older sister's mobile number, since her older sister got home late and did not return our call left her the family answering machine.

Call older niece on home phone, no answer. Call her on her mobile and she answers. She was asleep too. Nine bloody thirty and they are all asleep. Niece says she will text details of her mother's bank account straight back.

Meanwhile I am tearing around trying to get things done before I have to be at work by ten.

The day passes but not in a good way. I am extremely grateful to my employer for giving me an air conditioned workplace, but it went down for forty minutes, I was feeling savage. No reply with bank details from older niece.

Home. Tell R the so far details. R gets stressed. I am concerned about younger niece. Clearly big problem with her. I know getting stressed gets nothing done. Must be methodical.

Why did not older niece sms me bank details. Does she want her mother prostituting herself in Dublin?

Call Tradie Brother, former husband of sis in law and father of nieces. Worst case is to ask him for sis in laws bank details, but I don't think she would want him to know we are funding her travels. Tradie Brother fills me in on details of younger niece. Not good. Older niece had carted younger niece off to the far north of Victoria to chill out at my step mother's place. Younger niece is truly in a mess. Yes, she did talk inappropriately to a teacher and did hurt her arm. An xray showed there was nothing serious.

I don't know what it is about my sis in law. Her children are just so strongly attached to their mother. They seem to barely function if she is not around to look after them. So different to my upbringing.

Ok, I really need the bank details to send sis in law money. Call older niece mobile. No answer. Call younger niece mobile, phone off or out of range. Call step mother. Step mother's partner answers. Make small talk about weather. Talk to step mother. Yes, niece is here. Older niece is on way back to Melbourne. Step Mother might be able to get younger niece to talk about her problems. She won't talk to anyone else, not her father or older sister.

While talking to step mother, another call is coming in. Must be older niece. Call older niece. I sent bank details, she said. Repeat of my mobile number explains. 628 not 268. Resends to correct number and at least finally I could put money in sis in laws account.

We have never really connected well with older niece. I said to R some time, she will come into her own when she gets older. It seems she has. She has sorted out her younger sister with a break in the country. In spite of the mixed up phone number, she eventually sorted that. Tradie Brother is proud of her for looking after her younger sister so well.


  1. Slowly good things can start to happen. I waited 12 years for my little sister to one day finaly email me. Now, about 7 months down the track she is starting to grow up into a lovely young woman. Unfortunately realising things were out of her control from when we were kids..and hopefully not taking blame on herself.
    Older neice seems to be slowly wokring things out for herself there Andrew....and it would be so hard for her, as it has been for me, to begin to help out her baby sis.
    One day at a time is what it takes. Meanwhile, they have some awesome Uncles there to perhaps lend an ear, even if they don;t realise it yet. Offer your ear and don't make a fuss if they at first reject it...the door is always open approach works :)

  2. ignoring the spam above (not you Cazzie) may I express concern that the wrong number has s-i-l's bank account numbers ? oops.

    all families are riddled with incident and intrigue.
    all quite normal.

  3. Thanks Cazzie. Interesting that she won't talk to anyone, yet she will still talk to me. But I am not competent to offer advice or even listen and insert appropriate comments. She can certainly chill out with us and no pressure, but that does not solve anything. If she doesn't improve once her mother is back, then I think she needs to see someone. Apart from her parents separating, there is really not much else to trouble her in life, except for what comes from within. She is very loved.

  4. What spam might that be Ann? We were typing at the same time. Yes indeed re bank accounts, but you can't really do much with bank account numbers as a stranger, except deposit. Anything else, the bank will have to wear it.

  5. Perhaps that's why she feels comfy talking to you, Andrew, you don't offer advice or tell her what she should do or think or behave like others no doubt have done...you do just what she needs ; you listen.

  6. Yeah Jayne. The last thing she needs is advice from old uncles. Just sent her an sms about gum leaves and added how much she was loved by so many people, especially by R and myself. No questions. No asking anything, just contact and pointing out the obvious. She is, at the age of 16, a very troubled child. I am worried. A week still to her mother returns but she doesn't know that her brother is coming home too.

  7. "They seem to barely function if she is not around to look after them."

    In Blighty we call that 'lazy and spoilt' syndrome.

  8. Certainly not lazy Brian. And no more spoilt than kids of their age. But by our standards they are.

  9. Family huh? We are all attached at the navel for better or worse... glad your nieces have someone who cares... its a scary time when you are young can go either way or ten other ways all depending onluck or fate but people caring is a big plus

  10. Niece has plenty who care. Maybe she really is too indulged.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.