14
May
10

Snapshots of Childhood…

I’ve been very neglectful of this blog for the longest time, for reasons to numerous to mention, but have been thinking for awhile of starting to post things again, as there are things I wanted to say, that I don’t feel comfortable saying on the other channel, which is primarily about my crafting endeavours.

And then today, having lunch with a fairly new, but I hope will become, a firm friend, and talking about blogs, I was prompted to look at my very first attempts at blogging, that I abandoned when too many people in my real life (particularly my workplace) were reading readily, and I felt I had to censor myself, and I realised there were somethings there that I’m very pleased of, that I’d like to think others might like to read, one of which is the post below, about my Dad, written exactly 3 years ago, on what would have been his 71st birthday.    He would have been 74 today, if he’d lived… and while I can read these bittersweet reflections on my life with him, I find myself 3 years later, being much more understanding and tolerant of the two very different sides to his nature.

Today, would have been my Dad’s 71st birthday, if he was still with us. I have been thinking a lot of trying to put down on paper my father’s story. But I realise, I never really knew him. I knew the stories he told, but it’s sometimes difficult to determine what was fact or fiction. But I have memories, mental snapshots, and I wonder whether it is his story or my own that I need to write about…

Sitting outside of the old mansion in St Kilda, converted into apartments, that was home. My brother, Dad and I sitting on the front verandah watching the world go by, Dad telling funny stories about the people passing. And my yelling “there’s Father Christmas, Daddy, there’s Father Christmas” and wondering why he tried to shush me, as a heavily bearded man, in a black suit and a big hat walked down the street. It’s only now looking back I realise why he was so embarrassed, the man was an Orthodox Jew walking to the synagogue and here was I calling him Santa!

Dad yelling at us, cause we’d brought home a kitten found in a derelict house, that we wanted to keep. “There will be no animals in this house” he roared, and then we found the kitten asleep on his lap that night. He cried when he buried Dirty Dora in the backyard years later. And for every animal we had, we’d hear the same roar, and then he’d love them and they him.

Driving in the furniture truck with Mum and my baby sister, with my brother and Dad on the back to the new house in Thomastown, only to arrive and find the house has no walls or windows, and the builder’s done a bunk with our money and we are homeless.

Curled up on his lap, watching Little Women, and the two of us sobbing, as Beth dies.

Telling me to shut up or I’d be sorry, while I sobbed quietly lying on the top bunk of the room I shared with my sister, not understanding why I’d been sent to bed in the middle of the afternoon in punishment for some unknown misdemeanor. And then crying even more, as he closed the door and said to my brother and sister, who wants an icecream?

Sitting on his shoulders at a grown up fancy dress party, when I’d sneaked out of bed to see every one’s costumes, and him insisting I be allowed to stay up, much to my mother’s disgust. He was dressed up as Herman Munster, and he kept losing the bolt of his neck so he araldited it to his head, and it took weeks before it fell off.

Hiding under the covers, with my hands pressed to my ears, as he crawled drunkenly along the hallway, crying for his mother, after an alcoholic binge that lasted days.

Screaming through the hallways and alleyways around the apartments we lived in on a hot summers night, while Dad and the other grown ups threw buckets of water at us, as we raced around in our summer pj’s.

Being bundled into my parents bed in the wee small hours of the night by a neighbour, and seeing the flash of the ambulance lights against the windows, while we were told that Daddy’s had an accident, and has cut himself shaving… and my brother whispering to me, I saw him, why would Dad be shaving his wrists?

Watching a neverending stream of boys pile in or out of his Volkswagen Beetle as he drove them to football practice… the only father on the block with a car. He was also the defacto ambulance when we had an emergency, when Brian upstairs fell and broke his arm, or my friend Karen set her skirt alight while jumping over a bonfire.

Dancing around in his underwear, singing I’m So Pretty, oh so Pretty… and hamming it up for the camera.

Sitting at the kitchen table the night of my sister’s wedding, and reaching out to pinch me at every opportunity, until a friend asked him why he was being so mean, and him saying “Cause I hate her”

Walking up to wait for me to finish work at the local gift shop on a Friday night, and sweeping up and helping out while he waited, and then holding my hand all the way home and telling me how proud he was and how much he loved me.

Terrorising the teachers, and amusing all my classmates at every parent/teacher night he ever went to. One of the boys said “You’re Dad is so cool, you are so lucky” and I said “You can have him if you like!”

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02
Feb
09

Where am I?

Yes, I am still here… life a bit boring so not much to blog about, but have some ideas floating in the ether…

Am spending a bit of time writing on that other channel… http://zenofneedle.wordpress.com.. but will warn you if you’re not remotely interesting in needle and thread and major fabric fondling, you’ll be disappointed.

18
Jan
09

Checking in…

Sorry, I seem to be just as slack maintaining this blog as I was with the other one!

Probably an indication of how boring my life is at present, though there has been some blogging on my other channel!

Mum was given a digital photoframe for Christmas, and we are slowly digitizing some old photo’s for her… so here is one of Mum and Dad – don’t you just love his taxi-door ears?

mom_dad

11
Oct
08

Tram Tales … Eavesdropping

Don’t you just love the way people talk on mobile phones in public places as if there is no-one around to listen!

Overhead on the tram home yesterday, sleazy guy in a wrinkled tan suit, with a tie with jockeys and racehorses on it and Bono style fly sunglasses… in a hoarse whisper…

“There are so many beautiful women on this tram I can’t cross my legs”

Everyone, all together now… euwwww….. yuck!

24
Sep
08

My kingdom for a left handed can opener… Mr Burns, The Simpson

I’ve noticed some odd things about myself lately as I’ve moved into new environments both at home and at work in the last few months.

Discovering that my new house is the exact opposite to my old i.e. bedroom to the right of the front door not the left, laundry sink on the opposite wall, toilet roll holder on the opposite side, even the orientation of the driver side door to the front door and boundary wall…

So it’s thrown me a little and as a consequence I’m even clumsier than usual and makes me understand how people who have suffered slow loss of brain function like dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are often only diagnosed after they move into unfamiliar environments.

As a left hander life is always a bit more fraught – the world is not designed for us, and our brains have to quickly process and adjust things constantly in order to survive – hence the reason why left-handers are considered clumsier. It’s not that we are clumsy – just that sometimes the time it takes to look at something, and then reconfigure it to how our brains would expect it to be doesn’t always happen fast enough – hence the occasional walk into door frames and closing doors on fingers etc. Why doors? ‘Cause the handles should be on the other side for us, try opening a door with your left hand sometime and see where your body is in relation to the door jamb!

One of things that I’ve noticed about myself that has freaked me out a lot is when I use the bathroom at work. I keep using the same cubicle!

Why is that?

I only really became conscious of it at my brief stint at my last job, with 4 female toilet cubicles; I always used the one on the end. How did I notice this? Because my Team Leader, also always used the one at the end – and when we both did the semi-cross-legged race for the loo after long meetings it would annoy the hell out of me to discover she was in MY cubicle!

But in thinking about it then, I realised I always headed for the middle of 3 cubicles at my last job and only a few weeks into my new job I’ve discovered I’ve adopted cubicle number 2! I don’t think I’ve seen the inside of any of the others to date.

And even now I have noticed, I don’t seem to be able to stop myself from heading straight to the same cubicle every time…. Argh…

My kingdom for an empty cubicle!

Frou

21
Sep
08

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them…Twain

I’ve done one of these before, but different list I think, so when I saw Savannah had another list, I couldn’t resist.   Might be a challenge to aim to read all on the list, as a lot of the ones marked in italics I have sitting on my bookshelf!

“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.”

And so here’s the list, complete with the following instructions:

* Look at the list and embolden those you have read.
* Italicise those you intend to read.
* Underline the books you LOVE.
* Reprint this list in your own blog.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
(read this at school and hated it!)
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (sort of – dip in and out of it at will)
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (I love this book!)
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (Gotta love Pooh!)
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

21
Sep
08

I want one of these…

I like to look at houses for sale, dreaming about where I’d put my things, which room would be the library, which my craft room etc.

I would buy this house just for the luxury of a fireplace in the bathroom!

Though it’s in a great area, and the rest of the house is pretty cute too… a Victorian terrace house that has been updated but keeping the lovely old bits, like fireplaces – there are fireplaces in each bedroom too! Only $900k+ – what a bargain… sigh…




Quotes to live my life by:

I personally believe that each and every one of us was put here for a purpose, and that's to build and not to destroy. And if by chance some day you're not feeling well, you should remember some silly little thing that I've said and done, and brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as a clown has been fulfilled...RED SKELTON, 84 YEARS OLD
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