Sunday, June 09, 2024


 I know that I am stating a known fact when I say "June! What the?"

Because yesterday was February, right? 1992?

Where has the time gone? Blink of an eye, this year - and yet a year ago seems at times a lifetime.

The 36 hours of my weekend were 1/6 driving, 1/9 sleeping, 2/11 on the sidelines in hospital, 1/13 having cups of tea, 1/50 waiting for take away, 1/18 watching the Broncos lose (I lie - they only lost the 2nd half), 1/29 cooking in a hurry, 1/40 on the phone, 1/100 waking up with the sun streaming in as the vestiges of Rage Against The Machine's "killing in the name of" played out (it must have been in my dream as I cannot imagine Macka playing it on Australia All Over which is mandatory Sunday fare at Mum and Dad's).

I also spent about 2/79 sorting through a third of a box of paperwork - letters home from boarding school and later from my siblings and I - and those from their parents to them. Dad has been threatening to dump the box as he is sick of sorting through all the stuff. Mum is no longer in a position to help and we are all so busy.

I am so blessed that I can recognise at a glance whose handwriting is whose. Grandma Jean's curlicues and flourishes, Grandma Mart's "chicken scratch" (she called it) from her years of education in a left-unfriendly system, my sister's precision lines and my brother's bold round writing - and mine.

Mine is where we can be glad that computers were invented.

I also invested five minutes in walking down to the Dr station with the patient and another maybe 3 in him pronouncing her fine to be busted out with no more clues as to what took her there in the first place.

We had waited 20x that length of time waiting for them to do so of their own accord.

Apologies, future medical interaction recipients, but the annoying advocate wanting attention that you may meet was made no longer meek from this.

But I also got at least 50 hugs across the weekend, so that's good.

One of whom sat next to the spouse of someone who has been diagnosed covid.

Then again, the Dr who assessed at both A&E and who we got the release from had a terrible hack from "the dry air" so who knows.

Good thing that it's now endemic, hey?

Friday, June 07, 2024


 I, too, fell foul of exactly the same issue as this gent when younger. (Link is to an article titled "I just realized I’ve been misspelling and mispronouncing “detritus” all my life." by Dennis G. Jerz)

Like until about last year.

But I have a far firmer hold onto the detritus of life these days.

Or it on me.

About seven years ago, when working at a small community organisation, I had cause to attempt to document and archive a few rooms for the organisation.

One of the issues facing such small community organisations is that even smaller community organisations have need to dissolve and find a willing resting place in the original small community organisation.

An when they do they leave donations. Some welcome, like currency, and some endured, like histories and files.

Finding the balance between being ruthless and being nostalgic is sometimes difficult in small community organisations.

But sometimes you have to let it drift off with the tide.

It's a bit like being a middle-aged people-pleasing person who receives overtures of friendship from another and, not wanting to appear to be elitist or standoffish, does not firmly say no to overtures of friendship.

One hopes, statistically, that such a response would be the winning option.

But (as I experienced only last weekend) it really only takes one experience of the overturee demanding as price for receipt of this "overture of friendship" that you be available at all times to be the recipient of "overtures of friendship" and if you fail to respond in as alacritius a time as they see fit they react in ways that make you think "hmm, there is something in that  elitist or standoffish option after all."

Finding the balance between being elitist and being friendly is sometimes difficult for  a middle-aged people-pleasing person.

Sometimes the tide is assisted by a deluge. Sometimes white ants.

And sometimes you need to hose.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Once upon a time in Vegas

 One thing that I love about reminiscing about places that I have lived is that I have had many to choose from.

Although I have been in Paradise for the entirety of this blog's life, prior to that I lived in many parts of the Eastern Seaboard of this continent. Mainland only.

The first quarter of my life I lived only two places, but between the post-school era and the pre-Paradise phase, I had over twenty addresses in a decade and a half.

Not long after I returned to Vegas (the fond nickname for the State Capital, as opposed to the Nevada destination)(during the latter stages of that time), I met 'Salina's Dad and not long after that I moved in with him. And during that while I had the most beautiful landlord and landlady couple.

George and Georgina lived down the road and around the corner from the duplex that was their retirement plan.  They lived underneath that house, and their adult son or daughter's family lived upstairs.

Georgina always wanted to feed you something when you arrived. Their flat was a large kitchen/dining/rumpus room. I remember nothing else of it - I suppose it had a bathroom and bedroom, but this huge low room had her command centre in the kitchen corner. 

This was where she could see who was coming and things on the stove (like a rich stew)or in the oven (perhaps kourabiedes) and the grandkids playing or watching television or doing homework. Or the tenants bringing by their rent.

George going down to his patch and then coming back with offerings.

George had a steep backyard, unsuitable for playspace or lawn. But with post-war Greek economic refugee ethic, he carved a staircase and his garden from this slope.  Every piece of exposed earth had purpose, with compost and mulch and a scraggly orchard (a mango in the corner) and at the bottom, a cement blocking rectangle housed hip height beds around three sides and a seat along the middle and a shaded end with a frame and chain link enclosing the whole structure of absolute bounty.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Playing Angels

 To put this into context, the school of my childhood was regulation small. Two teachers with 20-40 kids across eight years.

The working bee to make the playground after the septic system was installed had several tractors at it's disposal, and a full contingent of outdoors men all trying to outdo one another.

It was the playground of kids dreams. 

There was a cubby house made of an old electric wire spool that could house three little kids - bright red with a door and a window cut in;

A swinging bridge with timber planks strung by high -tensile cables across 80 metres of gully:

A pyramid of logs bolted together with big industrial nuts - steampunk before it's day;

A treehouse with a ladder through the middle and rails all around, Swiss Family Robinson style. ***

There were four girls and a boy in my year. One, occasionally two the year above us and one, occasionally two the year below. **

There was J, the tall, confident one; S, the pretty blonde exuding a tough skin; H, the feisty, sporty redhead - and me, the nerd. I devoured long words for breakfast, dreamed over recipes for food that I would never eat, and observed from the sidelines in hindsight a lot. ****

This , of course, made it ideal for us to take on the roles of Charlie's Angels*, being action heroes across the swinging bridge in the downtown of our imagination. We would entice littler kids, who were always harassing us to get them to do so, to be the Mexicans or bank customers or spies in our dramatics.

J and S (& occasionally W from the year below) were hybrid Jill/Kris Munro characters, while H and I were Sabrina/Kelly girls. It is one of my strongest childhood memories.

That and the night where I wore pyjamas out to dinner.

* Recently at work I joked about us being (insert my boss's name here)'s Angels and realised that I am now from the television equivalent of three Charlie's Angels generations ago. I discovered that those that I work with have only a historical knowledge of the original cast, and were comparing the Netflix series with the movies! Plural!

** I went to a school jubilee - I was going to say the other day but it would be twenty years ago now - and saw the boy from my year. We occasionally granted him the role of Charlie, but generally we never heard boo from M.

"What did you do?" I asked him.

"I played a lot with boys either 2 years older than me, or 2 years younger," he replied.

*** A year or so after I left that school, the education department did a safety audit and found the playground wanting. The cubby house was a great place for kids to hide after lunch if they didn't want to go back inside, the swinging bridge was a falls risk and the cable was shedding shards of steel fibres, the nuts were accidents just waiting to happen and the logs were extremely effective at camouflaging snakes, and there was no paperwork whatsoever on the treehouse! It was demolished.

**** I only today realise what The Spice Girls were emulating - Us!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Middle

 Statistically, middles were approaching extinction until the intervention of both the pragmatism of need for aged-care workers and the whimsy of big family Mum bloggers.

In the good old days, families writhed with multiple marriages and fluctuating child records by the score - the role of the middle was shared by many, easily outnumbering the sole oldest of the brood and the never-really-sure-of-their-retainment-of-their-title youngest child. With the balancing equation of mortality, the middle was the far likeliest title of whoever you met.

In the modern world, however, we have our time-saving devices and keeping more and more people alive in more age categories and ability to control our fertility and make considered choices about the children that we conceive and carry. 

Is the most numerous the oldest now? 

This was by the logic that every oldest has been the youngest but not every youngest has been the oldest. Does that work?

Only children can be both.

 It takes at least three children to even get one precious middle these days.

Of course, once you get over 3, the middles are the majority.

I do know that when you come from a family of three, and you were the middle, you were never the only child at home.

Put away the violins! That wasn't what I meant. 

I read an article tonight about kids going to kindy at 3, and the family folklore was that my big sister was sent to kindy early as she would get bored at home.

 These days I think that it was for Mum to catch her breath in dealing with the "dream" of having a big kid and a baby, but that took a thick lens of hindsight.

I also think that big sister missed having her Mum. Both of them did. 

By the time I was a big kid, Mum had my baby brother AND a schoolgirl to juggle.

I never got her alone.

Then I look at the family of my 6th great-great-grandfather, born himself in the melee in the middle of 6, then had 13 children with two wives, all peasant labourers in small neighbourhood communities where at least two generations either side had come from less than 5 miles away.

All very, very middle.

Now we three are dealing with being there more for our parents. Pretty darned happy that I am one of three.

And the middle. Love you both heaps (& your spouses)

BTW history nuts - I googled "what happened in 1703 UK" and found out about the great storm. Oh my.