Dame M died in 2008. We still talk about our friend so many years later. Through her we came to know the dyke couple Dame M called The Mountain Women. I don't know how she knew them. We last saw The Mountain Women at the funeral of James/Jazzie who died in 2016 and shortly afterwards for a pub dinner.
Out of the blue they called us before Christmas and said we should catch up in the new year. With a little toing and froing and it was arranged for 2pm Tuesday at their home in the Dandenong Ranges as you can see in the background of my header photo. It was a little rainy as we drove the hour up into the hills but we allowed enough time and were five minutes early.
They had completely forgotten we were coming, but it didn't really matter. C is English born and 71. K is 66 and German born. I expect if K remembered we were coming, she may have put on a bra. There was way too much information to be seen. They have both been married and have children. Their house is nice and comfortable, albeit a little dated. We had never really seen outside. Surrounded by bushland their garden has azaleas, rhododendrons, roses, dailhas, magnolias. It was looking stunning and although the block of land is steep, there is a levelled back garden lawn. We were shown through their three 'She workshops', sheds mostly used by K, full of tools, gardening equipment, paints and crafts. There were four separate abundant vegetable gardens.
They are both very well travelled, having lived in Paris for three months and visited countries all over the world. They have a modest car and a huge but quite old and functional campervan and travel often around Australia. Their dogs Marks and Sparks died a few years ago and they don't want another pet. I get that. They both play table tennis and C is a member of a walking group and a choir.
We were there for about three hours and had a wonderful time with them reminiscing, but mostly catching up on our respective lives. C said, we normally try to keep conversations with friends to about medical problems to fifteen minutes but it was something we kept revisiting. There was a lot of travel chat, and oh how we all laughed throughout the afternoon.
We returned in evening peak stop start hideous traffic but we had so enjoyed the afternoon, it didn't matter and we were home a little after six.
Then down came heavy rain and hail. I guess this photo of Dame M was taken about 2006 when The Mountain Women hosted us for a barbeque on their decked terrace. It's so hard to believe it was 14 years ago.