This used to be a bedroom. Now it is a storage bay for boxes of STUFF. And this is by no means all of the stuff - or all of the boxes ready to go into the removal van...next Monday. Where did all this come from? Surely we didn't actually buy all this STUFF.
In some countries peole live in tents or huts. Why do we have to live in houses with so much stuff and so many THINGS, that to move them is a great effort that takes weeks and weeks of sorting and packing. Then, of course, there will be weeks and weeks of unpacking and re-sorting. Why do we do it?
In Fiji, we saw many families living in houses that had a roof, but only three walls. The people all seemed to be extremely happy. But, then again, the weather was very warm.
Ah, well, moving day is but one week away and soon we will be in a new home where we can look and wonder at all the stuff we have accumulated over the years and decide what is truly worth keeping.
Wish us luck!
The reality of moving house is starting to kick in. We have had the garage sale and there are boxes filled with our possessions filling a room. We have organised when and how money is to be transferred to enable finalities of purchase of the new property, but that is all just hard work and chores. Today I had my hair cut and the hairdresser hugged me goodbye and told me how much she would miss me. Then I came across a young woman I had taught when she was five years old and she asked for my new address and told me that she knew it was the right thing that we are doing but it was a shame we are leaving this town. I took a buch of rosemary to place on the grave of my friend who died three years ago and whom I had helped care for for the last 6 months of her life. I said goodbye to her grave. I cooked some soup and bought a gift for a friend who is not well and who has been my friend for 40 years and who lives 5 minutes away. All these things have made the Big Move seem somehow more real than any amount of packing and sorting. Oh, dear...we leave this house in about 10 days time. Will I be ready?
Here's an idea to get you tired: Hold a garage sale!
You spend a week or more sorting out stuff that you're sure will sell. You put an advert in the local paper (so you can't wrangle out of having it).
The night before the garage sale, you sort and price as much of the stuff as you can, then decide that nothing can be put out ready, as by the time it is 8pm, the cold night air has told you that there is going to be a frost and that would dampen and damage much of the stuff. So, you blow up (display) balloons and put the finishing touches on the signs you have made to put around town.
When the morning of the sale arrives, you discover that the temperature is minus 2 deg and there is frost and ice on everything outside.
You've just started to eat a quick breakfast at 7am, when your friend arrives to help and to 'sus out' any bargains. Wearing five layers of clothing you carry all the sale items out into the frosty air. This takes over an hour as tables have to be arranged and then cloths for the tables have to be found as anywhere else is far too wet to place anything.
You grab the 'float' of money to be used for change and await the customers. Your helpful friend has brought her own insulated mug of coffee, so she's ok. She even has time to smoke a cigarette!
Eventually the local residents (& some strangers) come to buy - or have a 'sticky beak' at what's for sale. Sales are slow at first, but pick up a bit as the sun warms up the day a little. As many of the customers are well known to you, you end up giving quite a lot away, or reducing the prices dramatically. Ah,well, that's as it should be.
After 4 hours we 'close up shop', stagger inside, eat quite a bit of chocolate and then go out again to sort and tidy up what is left.
The grand total olf our takings = $520:85. Was it worth it? Maybe! But I am ready for bed and it's still only late afternoon!
It’s been raining here for more than four days. Before
this we had been experiencing drought conditions. The garden still had to be watered occasionally, even though it is winter and most of the smaller dams were completely dry. Then, last Wednesday, we noticed that the family of ducks
had returned to the (empty) dam. Oh, we laughed, they must think it’s going to rain and there’ll be water in the dam!
The next day (Thursday) the rains came.
It is now Monday and the rain has not stopped. The dam where the ducks arrived is full to overflowing and they (the ducks) are having a wonderful time. Not so us humans. We cannot go outside without getting wet. The driveway is a river and all our
paving is under water. The mat at the back door has stopped floating and is now underwater; the water is creeping up towards the door.
Talk about ‘…droughts and flooding rain…’! Dorothea Mackellar knew Australia then. And we know it now.
The little dog has arthritis in one back left leg and hip. She’s been in pain and is currently on a course of weekly injections from the vet. It’s costing me a lot of dollars and I can’t help but feel guilty at spending money on a dog, when there are humans in need. But what can I do?
Matilda and I share a special bond as I once saved her life.
When she was half-grown, we also had a (very naughty)
rough-haired Jack Russell with whom she (Matilda) played a lot of games and generally ran amok. The two dogs used to love playing tug-o-war and, if there was not a suitable piece of old rope or a doggie toy with which to play this game they were only too happy to use one of my socks, or a glove or, even in one case, my sun hat. One day there was obviously no toy available and Chappie, the Jack Russell decided to simply tug little Matilda around by the collar. I was unaware of this game until it was almost too late. I glanced out a window to see Chappie flinging Matilda around. It didn’t look right to me, so I raced out to see what was happening. Chappie’s large canine tooth was caught in Matilda’s collar buckle and, in his effort to dislodge it, he had spun poor little Matilda around so much that her collar had tightened and choked her. By the time I
managed to unbuckle the collar, Matilda had ceased breathing and her eyes, though bulging, had rolled back in her head. Her tongue lolled and her gums were white.
I put her on her back & rolled her from side to side, then gave CPR pressure on her chest, reminding myself that she was only the size of a human baby so as not to press too hard. I thought I saw a glimmer of life and there was only one thing left to do: give her “the kiss of life”.
Cupping my hands around her muzzle (I did not put my lips on her mouth!), I puffed in little breaths at intervals, while I kept up the gentle, rhythmic CPR. Suddenly there was a slight sound from within the little dog and her eyes seemed to flicker. I ‘roughed’ her around a bit and she
regained consciousness. Very unsteadily, she attempted to get up on her feet, so I carried her inside.
A check-up and overnight stay with the vet saw her back to her lively self the following day. That was over eight years ago. There was no sign of brain damage after her ‘near death experience’, but now she has arthritis. She is such a loving and faithful little dog, there is no way I can not spend money on relieving her pain. I hope I am doing the right thing.
A cold, wintry sky and the little caravan sits in its shed, waiting to be taken to a warmer climate. We hunker down inside the house, in front of a blazing open fire, dreaming and planning our escape to the northern state of Queensland.
In just 28 days we will set off in the ‘van, dog strapped in her soft travelling cage, for the four day drive to our new home. Will it be warm when we get there? Well, it will certainly be warmer that our current abode. The thermometer on our veranda (when did people stop putting the ‘h’ on
the end of ‘verandah’?) showed minus 2 degrees c. this morning. That’s
We were all quite fond of vicar Bob. He was a friendly and non-demanding presence in the life of
St Luke’s parish and Dad appreciated Bob’s enjoyment of a small glass of sherry whenever they met. And we all valued Bob’s carefully timed seven minute sermons; never more, never less.
This happy relationship endured for some years before Bob was transferred to another parish. The replacement vicar, Colin, was very much different from Bob. We were shocked to find that our new vicar thought that any drinking of alcohol was a sin. He discouraged parents from bringing any small children to services and his wife swiftly escorted mothers and their offspring to the back of the church building where there was a ‘crying room’ sectioned off.
This new vicar delivered the longest and most boring of sermons imaginable.
Although Dad continued to serve on the vestry, he soon became disgruntled. The crunch came
one Sunday morning, when, owing to the extreme length of the sermon, the Sunday school classes had been dismissed and there were children playing and chattering outside the church.
Colin, the vicar, stopped his preaching and ordered a church official to go outside and order the children to be quiet and, in fact, to move right away from the church building.
At the next vestry meeting, Dad asked to speak. He spoke of children and how one of the most
beautiful sounds in the world was the sound of children happily playing. He then handed in his letter of resignation from the vestry and the church, saying that any church that found the laughter and chatter of children to be offensive was no church of his.
This tiny snippet of a newspaper clipping from about 1934 tells a happy story. What is doesn't tell is the rest of the story of how Iva, who was a nurse, contracted a disease from the Melbourne hospital where she was working and sadly died a few months before the wedding date. Iva was my husband's aunt (his mother's sister). What became of the heart-broken Harold we do not know, but this little piece of paper still helps us retain some memories and ponder on what might have been.
I’m trying to sort out the cupboard that sits beside my piano. Hundreds upon hundreds of music books fall out as I try to extricate just one smallish pile from a shelf. There are books of music of all types from classical pieces that I am no longer able to play, to sheet music of once popular songs, to Play School compilations. All bundled in together. And now I am attempting to make sense of it all and throw away torn and useless pieces as well as fill a box full of music that someone may like to buy at our forthcoming garage sale and, of course, decide which music I simply must keep.
There is so much music from my days as a teacher; from Bananas in Pyjamas, for the little ones, right through to the likes of Ash Grove, for older ones to sing in eisteddfods.
So much singing was done in the days when I was a teacher…and that’s just the other day, really. But there doesn’t seem to be the same amount of music in schools nowadays. It’s a disappointing thought for me.
As a teacher I always liked to “start the day with a song” (in fact many songs usually!) and I always thought it gave a great start to the day. Not so, now, it seems.
When I was newly retired, I visited the local kindergarten and offered myself as a volunteer pianist for the little people to sing along to. I was greeted with a puzzled look. “Play the piano? Piano? What piano?”
It had not dawned on me that a kindergarten would exist anywhere without a piano!
I felt a little foolish and very old fashioned. But what a shame!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.