Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Applying the brakes firmly

It was my youngest brother's 55th birthday. Tradie Brother was already drunk by 1.30 when we arrived. He doesn't really celebrate his birthday and pretended to not know he is now 55 years old. While he has a good head of hair, he has now chosen to shave it. He is slim as but the grog has really knocked his facial features around. He was probably the best looking of all of us and of course as I have said in the past, (content removed). We'll just keep that between ourselves, hey. Sister and Bone Doctor know, but no reason to upset any apple cart. I once discussed it with Mother. The next time I mentioned it, she denied it and asked, who said that.

It was a day to celebrate the short six year life of his dog Cobber, black part Labrador. He had written some notes and made a long winded but quite good speech as Cobber speaking about his life with his Master. As I said to Firefighting Nephew after the speech, it reminded me of his speech at your 21st birthday. Too long, but actually quite interesting.

Of course visiting any family involves freeway and/or toll road travel. Much as I hate driving in congested inner city traffic, boy, how things can quickly go so wrong at 100 km/h on freeways, with terrible consequences. We were nearly a victim of gross stupidity on a freeway.

R is not a terrific driver and a truly horrible back seat passenger. Think of Hyacinth telling Richard, 'there is someone coming out their front door. Watch out Richard.' Apparently I am the worst driver in the world. Not sure why. My last serious car accident was when I scraped the side of my Humber Super Snipe against the gatepost hinges in 1986.

"Stop", R screamed. No, I am not stopping on a 100 km/h freeway. I will brake appropriately. Five lane freeway and I was in the second inside lane, not a lane I prefer. The car two in front of me decided he, and it would be a he, decided he needed the exit and braked severely to let cars pass on his left and then cross over to the exit, leading to massive braking behind him. I applied the car brakes hard, like I have never really done before, while also watching the rear view mirror to see if someone was going to plough into the back of me.

I can only identify it as a blue car. Should someone have run into the back of me, the blue car driver would not have known and been safely on the exit ramp and I would have been left with the insurance excess of around $500 for car repairs.

I think I may become one of those terrible people who drive at 80 km/h on a 100 km/h freeway. Don't worry, I will stick to the left lane.

Freeways are truly scary and I wonder if justice had been served for Grace's niece.

This is Tradie Brother's shrine to his dog Cobber and photos of some of his captive birds. Missing is Betty the corella and Thelma (sorry Hels) the chicken. I don't really approve now of holding birds captive, but as Hippie Niece said in her FB tribute to her father for his birthday, he has mellowed a lot. The pipe along the top of the fence is to keep possums off. It didn't work so he added barbed wire and that did not work either. He has now bought a fishing license so that he can legally have sling shot. Go figure what part of state government legislation that is! He was not in any state for me to ask why he wanted to shoot a slingshot at possums. He has mellowed, but not quite enough yet for my liking.

Still, it was really nice couple of hours in the freezing cold, but with his half 44 gallon 205 litre drum fire burning. Mother became a bit too cold and was wrapped up in a really soft blanket, which we told her was Cobber's bedding and shroud and she would smell like a dog later. It wasn't.




32 comments:

  1. Jack believes I am the worst driver ever and he berates me while I drive. Truth be told, I am a great driver and I know it. He is dreadful, and does not know it.
    Parental lineage is a strange this. I will explain it to you sometime.

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    1. Maribeth, no doubt his skills are when he has wings, not wheels.

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  2. Long speeches so rarely are interesting that your brother is to be commended.
    I regularly apply the passenger brake (hard) but mostly stay silent as a passenger.
    I am chuckling at unkind people telling your mother that her warm blanket was Cobber's shroud.

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    1. EC, it was clever the say he spoke, through the voice of his departed dog. We do like to send Mother up at times. Thanks.

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  3. Dear gawdess, I howled at this:
    "He is slim as but the grog has really knocked his facial features around."
    You won the internet today.

    XO
    WWW

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  4. Sad but true WWW. Thanks.

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  5. I don't like long speeches and tend to tune out after a few minutes, no matter how interesting they may be. My attention span is way too short and getting shorter each year. I think the galah looks a bit sad and think also the other cages are too small for more than one bird. Even one bird wouldn't have much flight room. I remember my mum keeping birds years ago, the cages were big enough for us to walk around in, like sheds with wire fronts, and lined both sides of the back yard.

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    1. River, he really should have a proper aviary, as you describe. I think he is looking after the three birds for someone, but it has been a while.

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  6. Fascinatingly indiscreet of you re TB: not just half brother, but half-cousin!

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    1. Marcellous, such is the benefit of having an anonymous blog. However, down the track things may get altered such as in this one, removing the dog's name and the photo. It could then be anyone. I have mentioned that about TB before.

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  7. I like Cobber's grave. Mine have always had much simpler shrines; just a slab of stone with their names. All other stuff (balls, treats, biscuits, etc) have been buried with them.

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    1. Odd that TB never paid much attention to the two family dogs they had when he was still married and had children at home. But this one was his own and his close companion.

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  8. Amongst my friends all in their 3rd youth I am the only one who loves to drive and so I became their official driver. It doesn't bother me at all. Had to laugh about your mother and the "dog" smelling blanket !

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    1. Gattina, I am sure you are a very fine driver and good that someone takes on the responsibility of driving.

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  9. He must have thought the world of his late dog, had to get it all out in his long speech - if I had of been there, I would have listened - as you said it was rather interesting.
    Couldn't buy my dog in the backyard, would have to go elsewhere.
    Gosh you were lucky regarding your brakes, just as well as they worked! :)

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    1. Margaret, I suppose it was only 15 minutes, but yes, entertaining. Apparently for a medium sized dog, you have to dig a rather large hole, and it is not so easy. Yes, modern car brakes are so good now.

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  10. There are SO MANY bad drivers.

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    1. There are Fen, and I don't know why. There weren't such bad drivers around a few decades ago. What has changed?

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  11. Just came over to catch up with you. I don't and have never driven. Hate being in a car, people are stupid.
    As I always say, family, enough to drive you crazy. Think I should be a hermit.

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    1. Jackie, my family doesn't drive me mad, although they do R at times. You are all the better off for remaining ignorant of the evil motor car.

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  12. Glad you did not make contact with either the car in front or behind. I lost my driving nerve when I became a parent. Come to think of it, I lost my nerve for anything dangerous. Just kept thinking of my children and how much I didn't want them to be motherless.

    As another commenter said, it was good that your brother had the chance to let out his feelings over his pet.

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    1. Jenny, I am starting to lose my nerve now, or perhaps confidence. So many things can go wrong and you can be totally blameless (see Grace's remark below).

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  13. I'm so with Wisewebwoman above,you sure know how to build a picture with words.. I just pictured R screaming STOP 😀😀 Seriously though thank goodness all is well, you are right, I know first hand how tragically things can take an instant turn for the very worst. I don't mind driving on the freeway but I think our freeway is nothing like yours, understatement! I always enjoy hearing about your family get-togethers, there's a lot of love and fun there 💙

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    1. Grace, you are right about freeways. When the traffic is light, they are not so bad, but when it is really busy, with most travelling at 100 and lots of ducking and weaving, it is a recipe for disaster, and disaster happens often enough. Yes, family is always good for a laugh.

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  14. Happy birthday to to your brother. I always laugh at your descriptions of your family get-together's Andrew.
    Your brother certainly loves his pets, although I feel sad to see birds in cages.
    Glad all ended well on the freeway. I consider myself a good driver and have been told by my husband too that I am, but I also see a lot of idiots on the road, who suddenly cross from right to left in front of other drivers!!

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    1. Thanks Sammy. Yes, I am not keen on caged birds either. We are so at the mercy of some very unsafe drivers.

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  15. You know when I was younger, I didn't think much of it one way or the other, but now, I too hate the idea of birds being kept in captivity.
    Driving on a five lane freeway would scare the bejesus out of me, especially at great speed.

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    1. Sandra, yes, we never gave it thought. We had budgerigars, canaries, parrots in an aviary. It is wrong. Such freeways can be scary.

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  16. I no longer drive in city traffic (I don't visit cities)...and I no longer drive on motorways/freeways...by choice. To partake in either is not my idea of a pleasant, relaxing drive.

    One's attention has to be on full alert just driving on the roads around here where I live, without having to go through the torture described above.

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    1. Lee, what a curious association. Pleasant and relaxing, and driving. Never for me. Inattention to the task of driving is now a huge problem.

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  17. He must have loved his dog a lot. Why did the dog die so young? I like to drive fast but I can't afford a ticket so I usually stay the speed limit unless I can shield myself from potential tickets being within fellow speeders. My brother has never been a good stealth speeder and has the tickets to prove it.

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    1. Strayer, lumps appeared under his skin and with a visit to the vet, he was riddled with cancer. Genetic, I suppose, or just bad luck. The devious speeder you are, lol. I just don't. The risk of getting caught here is just too high.

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