Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Bikes, Changi.

Today I found an email to say that my husband has been the successful bidder on Ebay for a motor bike. I am p...ed off.
I knew this was coming and have done for quite a while, but now it is here. He has wanted to buy a bike for ages and knows how scared I am of them. Now he has one. My comment tonight when he came home was, "Well that should be good, I guess it won't be long before I am waiting for you to come out of your coma and be pushing you around in your wheel chair and changing your colostomy bag, if you are lucky. " I am sarcastic and very blunt when in this mood.
I do not care about him spending money on it, it is his money. I am scared of him getting injured. He has not ridden a bike for about 25 years and now he expects to hop back on one and ride it through peak hour city traffic. Nice. He says he is a careful rider, I am pleased he thinks he can vouch for every other driver on the road.
The reason I am so scared of them? I don't know when it really started. Thought I would never get on one, ever since my early teens. I was scared of them before my first boyfriend was killed off one when he was just 17.
When I was in my teens and lived in Singapore I went out with a Malay boy called Ringo. That was his nickname, his real name was Zionel. Anyway, he was my first gentle sweet innocent boyfriend. He was quite a dare devil on his bike and loved to show off and do tricks. One night he and his best friend, Rahim, were coming home after seeing some other Australian kids off at the airport who were returning back home to Australia, and probably mucking around as usual when they hit a land rover head on.
I remember sitting in the dark hiding, and not being able to talk of or face what had happened. Blocked it out. I did not go to the funeral, but my Mum and sister went for me even though they did not know him well. I remember sitting in a tree near Changi beach cuddling and sheltering from a thunder storm. I remember clandestine meetings at the back of the swimming pool at the army base and at the local shop because I was not supposed to be hanging around them. I remember going to his house in the kampong at Changi beach and being served drinks and snacks from his Mums best crockery, on a tray as a special guest by his Mum while his younger brothers and sisters were giggling and peaking around the edge of the door and him trying not to laugh. I remember seeing him covered with bruises after a beating by his Dad who had caught him being stupid on his bike. I remember having arguments with him and then going out with his best friend who was also in the accident with him. ( we did this a couple of times. I was very young. lol.) He got a broken jaw, ribs and leg from the accident. Not laughing anymore. I never would get on that bike with him though, I used to catch the bus and he would ride along behind or beside it and follow me down to the beach or where ever.
When I was about 17 and living in Wagga, my dear but eccentric uncle Wally had an antique motor bike and side car and talked me into going for a ride with him. He took great delight in lifting the side car off the ground at every corner and making me squeal. He took me down the main street and made everybody turn around and stare. But that was fun and the closest I ever got to going on a bike. My uncle Wal was always great fun and up to something, he used to be known as the oldest biker in Griffith, which was my Mum's home town.
But back to my dear husbands mid life crisis. He knows what I think of it and I can't stop him. He lost his own brother in law from a bike accident in the Victorian mountains near Bright on Australia day probably 12 years ago now. There you go!
While on the subject of Singapore. I was there in 1971 for about a year and a half and lived in Changi, before the new airport was built there. My Dad was in the army and was posted there. A couple of blocks from where we lived was the Changi prison which was built on part of the land that held the Changi prisoner of war camp during the second world war. My uncle , Arthur Roger Palmer, known as Roger, was there as a captive during the war and was sent on to build the Burma railway from there. He survived but was never a well man after that, mentally or physically. I went to a party once in the jail. It was held at a house of one of the prison officers which was inside the grounds. I knew his son.
Ah well enough of my silly whinging and old memories for now. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens now won't I.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Sunday Scribblings.

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is Quitting. Well here is another of the stories from my memory. One which was unpleasant at the time.
Quitting is something I nowadays like to say I don't do easily. I like to think I don't stand up and fight but I don't give in, is that a passive aggressive trait?
Anyway my first job after leaving school was at a dirty old commercial laundry at the back of the main street in Wagga. It took me a while to get a job as I was a timid and self conscious teenager, not confident in any way. Apart from that jobs weren't that easy to get in a small country town, as Wagga was then. It wasn't a nice job or nice people (I could write lots of other stories about them too) running the business, but I hung on in there for about a year before I quit. The job involved sorting and processing dirty linen from restaurants and motels around the district. Not nice, especially when you shook out a table cloth from the Chinese restaurant full of prawn heads that had been waiting in the sun since yesterday and they went in your face. While I was there I had quite a few experiences, like seeing a workmate get pulled into a big ironing machine and have her arm and shoulder dislocated and have asbestos pipe covering float through the air when there was a steam blowout, that was absolutely deafening. Or when the foreman was welding the petrol tank on the delivery truck and it exploded, that was pretty loud too. I also worked pressing pre- shrunk jeans which covered me in blue denim dye.
Anyway, back to the day I quit. I had been sick for a few days with a bug of some sort or other and I knew things were bad at work. I went back to work even though I was still unwell because they were short staffed, so I was feeling horrible anyway. My boss called me aside and accused me of having a sickie because one of the other girls had been doing the same and had been caught out. He gave me a huge lecture etc etc. So I went back to my work station upset and thought for a while and stewed, as I do when I am upset. I went back to the office, gave him a piece of my mind, quit and walked out the door and did not return. Then I had to face my parents. I walked home, which was quite a way, and on the way home I stopped in my favourite park. The park is the Botanical gardens up the hill from my parents house. I stayed there a while and worked it all out in my head before going home to face the music, which wasn't really as bad as I thought it was going to be as my parents knew the people running the laundry and their reputation.
Funny though, years later I got a job working with someone that worked with me at the first laundry (Debbie) and she remembered me leaving and said the boss used to look for me to do some special job (where is Linda) then remember.. Oh! She said she always remembered me when I first started there too, because they had bets going on which interviewee would get the job and he always chose the pretty blond dolly birds, not girls like me, but they didn't stay very long, hmm I wonder why, he was known to be like that. ( I won't talk about his slimy brother though.) Small world catching up with her and working with her again all those years later.
Anyway back to Debbie. I got to see her meet her husband to be, and years later meet up with her again to see her have her first baby and second, buy a home etc, knew some of her family and its stories, saw her loose her dad. He actually died in Junee hospital while I was working there. Funny, though not a real close friend, still a friend and I run into her in Wagga sometimes. She invites me over but I have never followed up on it.
Other times I have quit. Well one in particular I remember was on a bush walk, up a steep hill to get to the top of a waterfall. I was too fat and unfit, too puffed and too tired and carrying a small child so I gave up from exhaustion. Other things I give up on are mind puzzles and jigsaws I hate them, but not word puzzles I like those. O.K. now I am rambling on and I had better give up. So Bye .
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

As mentioned in my last entry my niece Janelle was coming for a visit. She has just left here a little while ago. I really enjoyed my time with her, she is such good value. We went for a drive around town last night and up black mountain tower for a 360 degree look at the lights of the city. The top of the tower is 860 metres above sea level. I call it the hypodermic needle because that is what it looks like to me, and you can see it as a landmark from just about all over Canberra. The other landmark I love, that you can see from all over Canberra is the huge flagpole that stands on the roof of new parliment house, we went there too but the security man drove around to check us out , we were not going to stop anyway, so nyah. We also drove to Mt Ainslee and past the war memorial which looks great lit up at night. In front of the war memorial was a big mob of kangaroos feeding on the nicely manicured lawns. I reckon there was at least 50 of them there that I could see in the dark. The city was brightened by a full yellow moon.
Janelle didn't bring her grandson with her. She has left one job and was taking a holiday before starting the next one. She said she might come back via here on the way home, depending on how sick of traveling she is by then.
My sense of humor is such that I find people using the wrong word in the wrong places highly amusing. Anyway this morning my Mum cracked me up. She was talking about her thyroid problems and she come out with,"You know, years ago we never called this thyroid, we called it coitus." She meant goitre. I had to leave the room to not laugh out loud in front of her. I love it!
Every time I've looked at her since then I can't help grinning to myself. So funny.
Anyway bye for now.
Love Linda.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Here are my last few photos. Don't ask me why they are side by side. I don't know what I did wrong but the are lookable anyway. The two top ones are of a favourite recipe taught to me by my adopted Nanny Fox who lived next door to me in Urana years ago. She called it an apple cake but it is sort of a cross between a cake and a pie. This has peaches in it but you can make it with apple or apricot as well, and vanilla icing but it is also great with passionfruit icing or lemon or even just sugar sprinkled and glaze on top of it.
The next ones are my poor sore puppy dog after his misadventures last sunday. He is doing o.k now but still has to keep quiet until his ribs heal which will be for 4 to 6 weeks. He is getting spoilt though, because ever since the injury we have moved his bed inside so he gets to sleep inside out of the cold.
It was sure cold this morning. A white frosty morning with a minimum temperature of 2.7 celcius.Brrr.
I spoke to my new boss about the mix up with hours at the school and he said he will pay us for 1 & 1/2 hours and increase the time to 1 1/2 hrs each afternoon. He must have been thinking about it because I barely mentioned it to him and he told me he had fixed things up for us. So all is well.
I had a few hours extra work this morning cleaning up a house that had been refurbished. The painters hadn't finished on time though so we couldn't finish everything. It was a nice big, old, solid, period house with all the trimmings and about 12 ft ceilings. There was a framed story there about it, that said it was built in 1922. Must have been in the very early years of this city.
The picture below is of some visitors to my yard. A pair of lovely king parrots. I snuck up on them slowly to take the picture and they took off when I took about 2 steps closer than where I took this from. Mum loves watching the birds come into the back yard expecially these ones which are her favourites. The male bird is at the front of the picture and the female is the one at the rear. She has more green feathers and her red chest isn't as bright as the males. We were watching them from the laundry window on sunday morning and there were 5 of them walking around on the clear plastic roofing just above us. Reminds me of a kids book that was around when my kids were small. 'there's a hippopotamus on my roof eating cake." Ha Ha.
So we went out to the nurseries at Pialligo and bought a bird feeding table to attract them into the yard and watch them feeding. Mum has been spending all of her time sitting out the back in the sun complaining that they aren't there yet.
I got a phone call from one of my neices, Janelle, who is from Brisbane. She is coming to visit me tomorrow morning. She has been to visit her father in Wagga and is making a detour to here on her way home. Should be good, I am looking forward to it. I wonder if she has her eldest grandson, Jaydon, with her.
Also to look forward to tomorrow is, my new lounge is being delivered at last. I was really starting to get fed up with waiting for it after all this time. Nearly 6 weeks wait!. I got it with my finish up pay from my job in Junee when we moved here. Yipee! at last a bright red lounge.
O.K. goodnight, looks like another busy day tomorrow.
Love Linda.

Friday, 16 May 2008

I am tired, but not sleepy tired. I suppose disappointed and annoyed with myself for being silly might be a more appropriate assessment. I have been working for 2 hrs each afternoon cleaning a school and I was only supposed to be doing 1 hr and have been paid accordingly. Stupid stupid me. I have though it out and I think the mistake is mine. Ah well. I don't know if I can get everything done in the 1 hr time slot. I don't know maybe I should look for something easier. The trouble is the next job may not include sharing with my son Michael. Stupid. Stupid. Hey this fits the sore bit in the latest Sunday Scribblings prompt.
Rufus is getting better. He does not need to go back to the vet to be checked until Monday, after having to go there every day for the last week up until Thursday. He is a lot more nervous now. I brushed up against him with my leg in the kitchen yesterday, he was looking the other way, and he took off yelping as though I was about to grab him or something. Poor little fella. Also at the vet he was scared of a German Shepard dog that came in while he was there. Sore puppy.
We have frosts every morning now. There was some rain tonight and this morning, and more is predicted for the weekend. Ti's good, send it down. The more the better. Pour and soar.
While at one of the schools cleaning yesterday there was a little girl hanging around and when I asked her what she was doing and suggested she go back to her classroom as it was nearly home time she told me very proudly that she was only 5 and a half, and her tooth was already loose so she couldn't go back until it stopped bleeding. Meanwhile she was working it back and forwards with her fingers and marveling how mysterious it all was. So cute. Anyway today she sought me out again to show me and announce that it was still loose and very sore, speaking very earnestly with a proud grin on her face. Funny little girl. I remember when my son Michael lost his first tooth he was so proud he carried it around with him and lost it in the grass in our front yard. He was very upset to think the tooth fairy might not bring him something if she couldn't find it so he drew a picture of the tooth and wrote a note to the tooth fairy with a description of where to find it and even drew some blades of grass as well. I still have the sheet of paper put away with my treasures. The tooth fairy came that night. My daughter also lost one of her teeth and put it in a glass of water in my Mum's kitchen window when she was little. Mum threw it out and it went down the sink. My daughter was inconsolable and poor Mum didn't live that one down for a long time. Ha ha. And this fits the sundays scribblings prompt too. Soar and sore.
This morning I copied my blog buddy Krissie's idea and cooked some pasties to reheat when I come home from work for tea. Mm nice idea . Mum went to the Dr yesterday and she is now on a diet. She is funny. She has gone to the shop to buy healthy snacks and has been into them all day. I guess in a couple of days she will give up because she can't lose weight what ever she tries so she will just eat what she wants. Giggles. She has done it before and refuses to listen to advice and argues with you over it, so... The trials of role reversal.
It is late so good night. Have a nice weekend. I hope you get some rain where ever you are.
Bye Love Linda.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Autumn Colour

I thought that since I have not posted any pictures to support my blog stories of the last few weeks, today I would. The first picture is of the little camellia at my new front door. It has been flowering its heart out ever since we moved here.
Here are Rufus my little doggie, having a tug of war with Ruby, my sons staffie dog who visited us on the Anzac day weekend. She is so much stronger than Rufus that she drags him around the back yard and he just hangs on.
This is a picture of part of the Anzac day crowd watching the parade.
This is before the parade in the centre of Anzac parade, the marshaling area.
Also included today are Autumn pics taken this morning around my yard. This is one of 2 wisteria vines on the back of the house showing the last of their autumn colour.
A pretty red berberis out the front.
These orange leaves are out the front and are on a lovely flowering cherry. I can't wait until to see its beautiful spring display.
Same plant, close up of leaves. If you can see the speckled leaves, they are damaged by little pear and cherry slugs who have been having a lovely time eating them.
This is also out the front. It is a big snowball tree. Or if you want to be proper a Viburnum Sterile.
Cheeky our galah. The perch in his cage has a v shape branch and he uses it to rest his chest across when he lays in the sun. A very laid back birdy.
View from the back verandah where we sit in the sun. It is quite nice there, out of the wind. My Mum enjoys sitting there watching the birds visit the yard. She spends quite a bit of time out here and we leave out seed blocks to attract the birds into the trees.
I don't know what this tree is but the leaves are nice. I really slaughtered it when I pruned it back a few weeks ago as most of the top branches were nearly dead and I cut it back to just a few of these fresh shoots that were on it.
Straggly shrub with yellow leaves out the back.
Last but not least is a picture of the last leaves on the prunus out the back.They have changed from a dark burgundy to an orange for the autumn.
My mother's day was a disaster. Our naughty doggie Rufus was badly hurt. He was sitting in the front yard while Peter was raking up leaves and he decided he was going to show some big dogs that he was the boss of this area by running out to tell them about it and was attacked. I don't know what sort of dogs they were but they were bloody big ones. Something like rhodesian ridge backs I think. Anyway they were both on the lead so that was probably the only thing that saved him from being killed outright. One of them picked him up in its mouth and shook him. The man who had them managed to get Rufus out of its mouth. We rushed him to the vet. He had air escaping from a punctured lung and has a broken rib as well. There was escaped air gurgling around underneath his skin so he puffed up, on the way to the hospital I had to apply pressure to his lung with my hand. He spent a night at the emergency vets hospital and came back here where he spent the next day at the vet closer to home. At the moment he is back at the vet in Fadden, just down the road and is having more x-rays to see that the clot holding his damaged lung is staying where it should be and sealing well. He is a very sore and sorry little doggie, and not yet out of danger until we are sure that the hole in his lung is closed properly. The vet said this morning that they would try taking the bandages off today or tomorrow and see if it holds, which will be the big test. If not then he will have to have surgery to stitch it up. Silly little bloke though, I bet he forgets that you shouldn't chase big doggies next time he gets excited by them. It is a Jack Russell trait to be oblivious of their size when other dogs are around.
I can't get to work today as my car is still in the garage having seals fixed in the motor and steering and god know what else. I do know its costing me a fortune, over $1700, but it is necessary for me to get around. My blog entry will benefit from my afternoon off anyway.
I got the car registered when I moved here and the mechanic told me that he had passed it on the condition I had it fixed soon. Last week I got a letter from the powers that be stating my car had been chosen for a random audit to be carried out in the next 15 days so I had to get the repairs done. They have had my car since yesterday and hopefully I should get it back late this afternoon.
Alright I better go and get lunch for everyone. Bye Love Linda.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Telephones. Telephones, well... here goes.
Today I got a phone call from my children in Wagga. It is Mothers day tomorrow. They had expected their father to drive the 3 hours each way to visit them, and his Mum of course. I couldn't go. While he was there they were hoping that he would bring my mothers day present back here to me. So I will have to wait. That's O.K. but a phone call without the present would have been good enough for me. I sort of got the idea that wishing me mothers day a day early over the phone was a second thought to seeing their Dad. Their Dad is a good Dad and it is right they should love him, so why do I feel a bit bad. Ah well.
Phones are a necessity of life nowadays. We didn't have or need one when I was younger. We made our plans ahead. We never got a phone in our home until I got a casual job when I was first married. I needed a phone contact for that. I think my parents didn't get one until after that. Now everybody relies on their phone so much. We did get by without them once upon a time believe it or not didn't we. Ha. I do sound old.
In our home we have a land line phone and each member of the house has a mobile phone to themselves. Even Nanny, even though she doesn't know how to use it and has to call my son to do it for her. But I.... am a technophobe. I have not got a mobile and nor do I want or need one. Let alone know how to use one. I do feel a bit ashamed though when I see a 5 year old operating and talking on their phone.
Phones have shaped our towns and cities and the way we choose to live our lives. We now can call out for food, services, entertainment, repairs, work, etc making the distances closer together than they were just a few decades ago. We can therefore spread our business and not need our neighborhood services or facilities as we did before. This has lead to the death of the local corner shop and the friendly personalized service that it provided. Giving way to big supermarkets and shopping malls becoming the places we choose to do our business. However, with the global price of petrol being continuously on the rise we may have crueled ourselves there. ( Yes I am getting off the track.)
There was a time before we had a phone that I really needed one. In the time before we had a home phone and the days before mobile phones. Pete and I were newly weds and he had been out all day in the middle of summer, volunteering, cooking over a B.B.Q. to raise money for a charity. Being the good boy that he is he didn't take a break to drink or eat all day and when he came home he had heat exhaustion and collapsed in a heap. I didn't know what to do at the time, so I ran down to the corner phone box and rang up our Dr , so that was O.k. but while I was at the phone box I had terrible trouble because at the time I had a spider phobia and there was a huge huntsman spider inside the phone box, right at eye level. I can laugh about it now because I have beaten my phobia, but then it wasn't good.
Anyway, back to tomorrow being Mother's day. Pete, Nan and I went to the shopping mall at Tuggeranong (isn't that a funny name!) this morning, because Pete wanted to buy me, his wife, a present for said day. He got me an egg poacher, which is a kitchen gadget that I have always had but recently broke in our house shifting. I do know how to do poached eggs in a pot but the egg cooker does a great job too. The first one I had was actually a wedding present that I have had all these years. I actually got 3 of these for my wedding and sent the others back. I have been promised a poached eggie for my mother's day breakfast. Yum.
For my mum, we all call her Nan, I got tickets to a concert by Foster and Allen who are Irish folk singers. Very Nanny type music, she should like that. I also got 2 purple pots of cyclamen in flower, for her to fuss over, because the concert isn't until 25th of may.
I have been looking around the blogging sites, following links and finding pictures and blog entries by people who are gardeners in their northern hemisphere spring and being envious of the flowers all popping up and coming to life. I do so miss my garden in Junee since moving here and the autumn in my garden winding down towards winter dormancy. Canberra, known for its infamous cold weather, has had a lovely show of autumn colour though, but it is not the same as what is in your own garden and has been tended by your own hands. I was looking across the lake today at some beautiful trees, a line of prunus trees which were in their autumn red glory with a line of taller bright yellow trees behind it. And walking under some other bright yellow trees whose leaves were carpeting the ground. But no, its not the same.
What a strange mixed up post. I hope readers can make sense of it.
Well that's all folks. Goodnight.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is family.
It got me thinking about different types of family. I have my family who lives with me, a son and daughter who have grown enough to live elsewhere and grow their own lives, being still part of mine. Then there is my sisters and their children. My uncles and aunts and cousins who I don't see often but still love. My husbands family who don't always impress me so I won't bother trying with them much anymore.
Branches of a tree with myself in the middle branching and spreading out towards the top, but also, roots spreading out into the earth that nourishes the tree with its ancestors. Hmmm.... what a nice picture. If a bit egocentric.
I also think of different types of families being made up of a mixture of relationships that just a few decades ago would have been determined as incorrect. Homosexual, inter racial, inter denominational, single parent. Nowadays we are a bit more broad minded, who are we to judge.
Another family, maybe in the community/ family area is the people who we share interests with. I became a member of the Canberra Potter's society today. People I don't know yet but through mutual interests I hope I will come to know well.
There are so many directions you could go with this prompt.
Something funny I thought up ages ago was a false botanical family name for myself. It links my country, and my interest in gardening and pottery together. "Australis robustus clayii". Australis-meaning Australian. Robustus- meaning big and strong. Clayii- meaning associated with clay. See if you can think up one for yourself and let me know. Just for fun. I thought up some for my workmates at the time too which they liked. Lucy was Australis mini alba. She is tiny and her sir name is white. Sharon, Australis robustus stitches, she is big and sews. Leonie, Australis robustus alba. Her name was white, etc. See what you come up with.
Today being sunday I went for a Sunday drive. Mostly because I wanted to get my route through the city between my two cleaning jobs right after stuffing it up so badly last week. Over near the school in Kambah that I have to clean I saw a road sign pointing to Kambah pools. When I had a look at it on the map, it lead to picnic spots beside the Murrumbidgee river which is the same river that runs down through Wagga. My river. I went down there for a look today and it is a really beautiful spot, covered in walking tracks. The bush is thick and steep and the river is very different to look at than what it is in the Wagga area. The water runs through rocky shallows over black basalt and red granite rock, into pools that are cool and green with tiny sandy beaches at the sides. Just the kind of spot I would have loved to go exploring in when I was a child. Beautiful. Today we had Rufus with us in the car and there were signs prohibiting dogs (because of the wildlife I guess) so I wasn't able to explore very far as he had to stay in the car. But I will return with more time and energy for a better look later. Puffing and panting as the terrain is very steep, but I won't let that stop me.
Family Comes First. If it doesn't then you are on the wrong track.
Bye Love Linda.

Friday, 2 May 2008

I got the results of the x-rays I had done last week. There is arthritis in my spine and neck and the pain in my arms that I am so sick of comes from my neck too. A squished nerve. The blood tests were good but didn't show up a reason for the indigestion I've had so I went to have a breath test for the helicobacter bug. Very nice...... funny to be sending a bag full of your bad breath to get tested to the lab. I am glad I don't have to open them.
Goodness me I hate it when old ladies can talk about nothing except how sick they are, don't you?
Yesterday, Mike & I went and did our cleaning at one school and traveled on to the next one and I got gloriously lost. The bit where you find the way through the city is where I went wrong. I nearly ended up back here at home, turned back the other way and almost got back to the city before I worked it out and found the other school. It was about an hour before I found it and I was ready to burst into tears. Which is something I rarely do. Oh well I only have to go to one of the schools this arvo. The boss Brett was waiting for us anxiously and was worried what had happened but he wasn't cranky thank goodness. He had brought me a new vaccumm cleaner to use as the back pack one was not good for my back. The day before I did the trip between the two schools no problems and it took me 20 minutes.
On saturday I will go for a drive over the route between the 2 places and make sure I work it out.
Bye Love Linda.