Saturday, January 10, 2009

More real life

This is just getting so boring. No angsty, just the facts. Picked up Little Jo at 10 am. Chatted to sister. No one has called Mother for three days. Tried tonight, but phone was off the hook. No surprise.

Good enough time at Collingwood Children farm. Myuna Park in Dandenong is better. Return to the highrise for R to change his jeans because Little Jo had made such a mess of them, before his back manipulation. Return to Sister to deliver Little Jo, via Dairy Bell in East Malvern for ice cream and play park near East Malvern Station. R bashes off to chiro bloke in Burwood, but drops me off at Carnegie tram terminus. Break journey home to collect repaired computer. RAM has been replaced.

Use pc in shop for ten minutes, working fine. Worked fine for two hours once home and then started playing up again. Direct electric fan to cool computer and it does not seem to be a heat problem. Disconnect cordless mouse and keyboard and use corded ones, does not seem to be the problem. Earlyish night as computer was driving me crazy.

Arise this morning, and here I am typing away and it is working fine. I know it won't last though.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A pleasant day

I wanted bacon and eggs, as if I haven't eaten enough pork in the last couple of weeks in the form of christmas ham, so we crossed the road to the cafe and had a nice breakfast with coffee and they have just started issuing coffee loyalty cards, so six cups and then a free one, the same as my other coffee card for The Wedge at QV.

New non functioning pc was delivered to computer shop and the owner apologised profusely for taking a two week holiday after two years without. So he should.

We picked up our friend from Japan and our ambo friend, after looking at the ambofriend's new abode just around from the corner from my sister.

We went off to the sand sculpture exhibit at Frankston, walked out on the pier and then along the bank of Kananook Creek for a bit. Took some photos, but I am not going to post any pictures until the new computer is working.

Back to Soul Mamas in St Kilda just in time for the hot food to go off the menu. It was nearly four and we all wanted some serious food, not salad and cake. We ended up at another cafe within the same area and we sat outside, a bit windy, and had the set lunch menu which was delicious. Two glasses of wine and we headed to the night market next to Luna Park. All the usual crap. I am over markets.

However, if you recall, there was going to be a new work of art for my bedroom wall and it just did not happen. The first time at Docklands, I wasn't sure if it was right. The next time when we went to buy it, the market was cancelled due to the weather. We drove in the last time and she was not there, although she should have been. I took it as an omen that buying the item would be a mistake and gave up.

But there she was, at the St Kilda night market and after seeking the two girls opinion, I bought it. I haven't put it up yet, but I will of course post a photo when I have.

Just chilled this evening. We have decided to take Little Jo to the Collingwood Children's Farm tomorrow. Now who said I sounded frustrated by things? They were perhaps correct, so if I see so much as a raised eyebrow when R and I and Little Jo ask for a family ticket for admittance tomorrow, they will get the full force of me venting my frustrations. I am looking for someone to take it out on, so be very kind to me at the moment.

Normal blogging with a mix may resume next week, instead of all this personal anxty stuff. Actually, I have notice I seem to photo post in blocks and then rave on in blocks........ah for god's sake, I will shut up now.

Next Morning

After a decent night's sleep, I feel somewhat better than I did when I wrote last night.

We are taking our friend from Japan to see sand sculptures at Frankston. She has stayed the night with a friend who lives five minutes walk from Sister. Friend from Japan and her friend, the Ambo person, will both come to Frankston, then later as a measure of thanks, friend from Japan will take us to Soul Mama, a vego restaurant in St Kilda for a late lunch or an early dinner. I am looking forward to to that, as it is a great place.

Computer must be dropped off for repair and the whole day really revolves around when R can get an appointment to have his back manipulated. Usually I can work out how he hurt it, but not this time.

One slightly amusing moment from funeral day, I spied a hammock at my brother's place. Daniel thought his was a great place for a rest, so I thought I would give it a shot. Unlike Daniel's blokey way of getting into a hammock, I got in side saddle. Very nice. Then 16 year old niece decided to join me, top to tail. There goes the end of doze in the hammock.

There was much mirth at my expense as she had early stepped in dog crap in bare feet and I had her feet almost in my face. She assured me that she had washed them. She started swinging the hammock side to side, and crashed it into the wall of the shed beside the hammock. This hammock is not so relaxing.

Today is bill paying day, so better get stuck in. I should recall something about outgoings being 21 shillings and incomings being 20 shillings equals misery. But they did not have Visa or Mastercard back then.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I am so tired. I so much want some time for myself. It may happen Sunday. My work days off are tomorrow Thursday, and Friday. I have to work Saturday, but then I have two more days off. I did have a day off for Step Father's funeral yesterday, but it was hardly a day for me to enjoy.

Mother played the grieving widow perfectly. She broke up at the right moments. I thought I would have to escort her from the chapel like I did when her mother died, but no, the funeral Bull's of Pakenham bloke did that. Sat her down and delivered a cup of tea. I would recommend Bulls.

Sister was a mess, but with her school teacher background, managed to speak beautifully. Her class room delivery was brill for the occasion.

Little Jo smashed up the Bone Doctor's nose on the morning of the funeral. That was a bit of a laugh.

Step Father's children on an individual basis contributed a total of $950 towards the funeral bill of $5,500. Mother is stumping up $2000, which is Step Father's pension bonus and an extra week's pension. We kiddies will make up the difference. The Bone Doctor will pay initially so that we get the $500 discount.

While I am sure this is plenty of family history and problems with Step Father and his Geelong way children, grand children and great grand children, I am not happy with any of them. I doubt that there will be any future connection.

None of the Geelong way folk came back to Langwarrin where the wake like thing was held. Some were going to, but someone talked them out of it. Get through the city before the traffic gets bad was the excuse. Valid at other times if it wasn't so quiet on the roads.

Normally quite time focused son melted when Mother said that she never gets to go out for social things of late. I did not point out that it was because her husband is dying. Instead I decided, ok Mum, this is your day and I won't hurry it to finish. As a result, we left for a funeral at 10.30 am and arrived home totally exhausted at 9.30 pm.

R has known all along how manipulative my mother can be, but he has now verbalised it. So now he knows what he is dealing with.

I said to R, before the funeral, I hope Mother gets her clothes right. She did, a pale blue two piece suit from Savers, with a lace blouse and a pink hat.

Mother has always had disappearing make up. She started off being well made up, but by the end of the funeral, it had started to disappear. By the wake, vestiges of make up had gone. Yet earlier she had been worried about a shiny face.

It was a crap day. I told R it would be and he could not see why. I said the service will be good, but it will be a shit day, there, I swore, and I was right too.

Poor R. While I was off earning a cent or two, today he went and picked up Step Mother from the swamps of Langwarrin to get her to the train station to go back home to a totally horrid place somewhere near Echuca or Rochester. They missed the train by one minute and Step Mother had to get a later train, actually a bus. R had to take her out for a bite to eat etc and entertain her until he could deliver her to the bus home.

Sister has called and asked if we could take Little Jo out for a few hours on Friday. We can do this. I am so poor, I cannot afford entrance to Zoo as Sister suggested. We will do something. Mordialloch Beach maybe?

I called computer man today about our new non working computer. He said licence problem. He knew what the reboot problem was already before I told him.

Our ex NT politican/NT friend came to Step Father's funeral. He is a bit of proffesional funeral goer. I am not going to his ninety year old's folk's funeral unless it is my day off. I will send flowers. He admired my mother's self control. He said nothing about me mopping up boddy fluids with my hanky.

Hey, we have a new car to drive around in and a new computer and had a great holiday in the UK, but in summary, it has all fallen apart, reinforced by Step Mother saying R looks fat, to his face after she had drunk too many Strongbows thingies.

Very much a case of publish and be dammed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Marge, Lal and Moo

My two great aunts, Marge (Marjorie) and Lal (Charlotte), and my maternal grandmother, Moo (Muriel), gossiped terribly when they were together. But if two of them were present, then they gossiped about the one who wasn't.

Here are a couple of things I recall them saying when I was a kiddie. I always liked to listen to adult conversations and was admonished more than once for listening in.

Moo: I ran into your sister at the fishmongers in Portman Street last Friday. She was wearing slacks.

Marge: Slacks? Lal was wearing slacks?

Moo: She was. Made her looked skinnier than ever. Some cheap synthetic fabric. (I actually recall the slacks. They were crimpilene? with a horizontal bands down the length of them.)

Marge: You don't think she is trying to look modern to get another bloke do you Moo? Think she would have had enough of men after the no good rotter of hers Jimmy drank himself to death.

Moo: I wouldn't put it past her. Slacks at her age indeed.

Marge: Here she is. A taxi! She is just around the corner and there she riding around in taxi cabs. Where does she get the money?

So it sounds like they were aligned against Auntie Lal. Not so. They were aligned against whoever wasn't there.

Moo: Marge's Studebaker is looking old.

Lal: Expect they will buy a Fairlane next. Moo, those people who pick you up and take you church in their Mercedes, is that a nice car?

Moo: Too small. It is hard to get in and out of. Your sister is such a skite. Lucky she married Bobby with all that money.

Lal: And a show off. Have you seen her fancy old reproduction telephone? The handpiece must weigh a ton.

Moo: Bobby P has let her get away with everything. She was spoilt as a child and has been ever since.

Lal: Your Bertie did ok. You have a nice house. Not like me on a War Widows pension.

Enter Auntie Marge from the Studebaker just pulled up in the driveway.

Marge: Moo, your blinds (Roman festoons) are rotting away. I can see it from the outside. And your stove Moo, does it actually work? (it did, but barely) For goodness sake Moo, spend some money on yourself. Fix things up.

Moo: Bertie says we have to be careful with our money.

Marge: You two are impossible. We are in the nineteen sixties. You need to be more modern.

Lal: I know what it like to lose a husband. Your Bobby is looking very thin. You spending money like a woman with no arms must worry him.

Moo makes supportive noises.

Marge: Moo, this is such a lovely cup, but it needs a good scrub. And Moo, can't you see all the runs down your kitchen cupboards? Honestly Moo, you have always been hopeless. Ah well, your magnolia looks very nice. Do you get a man in to mow?

Lal: So how is Beverly (Marge's daughter) going now she is divorced?

This is a kind of a compilation of various conversations I overheard. My grandmother, Moo, is long dead. Lal died a couple of years ago, after a period of dementia. Marge is still going and in her nineties in her own place in Berwick. I am not sure if anyone would have told Auntie Marge about my step father dying, but she, like many of her age, reads the death notices in the newspaper meticulously and so it won't surprise me to see her at the funeral later today.

Mystery Object

I am astonished that no one knows what this item does. As Ann discovered with her diligent research, the address is that of a well known restaurant in Hue, Viet Nam. There were ten of us in a group there dining and when we were leaving, the owner presented each couple with one of these. What great publicity and so cheap.

While Aussie beer bottles, the little ones, or stubbies if you like, can be opened by hand, I needed to open a bottle of Stella (Artois) and so had to search out a tool to remove the cap and at the bottom of a drawer I found the mystery object, a tool just to remove caps from bottles and it does the job very well.