Saturday, June 27, 2009

A happy surprise.

I went to the wedding of a friend's son today and had the most amazing time. For the last 8 hours I've hardly been off my feet and now that I'm sitting my legs are aching. And talk? My goodness, even for me I talked a lot!

I wasn't invited to the wedding, I was there as part of a group of friends catering afternoon tea in between the ceremony at 2pm and dinner at 5.30pm. It was lovely to be able to provide this for my friends, and I think I'll have to do a separate post on how my Zinni did me proud in helping with catering.

I vaguely knew the bride's parents too. In fact I knew them before they were married and about the same age as today's bride and groom. Let me tell you, it's a shock to realize that you are so into middle age that your friends, who don't live in the same cities, have children old enough to go to uni, meet each other, fall in love and get married.

I knew there were some friends I haven't seen for a long time who would be at the wedding, and I had made arrangements to catch up with them tomorrow, some time ago. However a friend who I haven't seen in 15 years was there and I was really thrilled to spend time with her again. Meg was there to drive her daughter who had become a friend of the bride, and as she wasn't invited to the reception dinner, I was able to invite her back to my home for dinner and we talked non-stop for 4 hours!

One disadvantage of moving a lot - Rob and I lived in 6 different towns during our marriage - is that you move away from people you love dearly. Of course I always thought I'd keep in touch with them, but the reality of hectic family life and work and community commitmets, makes it impossible to stay in touch with everyone.

Today was a very happy day when an old friend came back into my life. A friend who I had shared the pain of my miscarriages and her years of infertility with. The stuff of anguish that slaps you in the face and introduces you to the world of life after the fairytale romance and wedding. The stuff that wisdom is born through.

Thanks to the wonders of the technological age, we will now be able to keep in touch via a popular social networking site. Sometimes I really, really appreciate living in this age.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm not really sure why these signs annoy me so much

There are lots of stairways at my workplace and they all have a sign "Please use stairs safely" installed. These signs annoy me and elicit silent sarcasm from my mind.

I know the educational facility I work for needs these signs to remind stair users the stairs serve the serious purpose of allowing users to walk from one level to another and that skylarking is not encouraged. The subtext is, of course, that anyone who does skylark and suffers an injury as a result will not be able to sue the educational facility because the educational facility has told them to use the stairs safely via the signs. (I guess the international students who are on campus to learn English would be able to sue, as comprehension of English signs regarding stairways may not have been covered in language classes at the time of their injury, if they were to have one. An injury that is.)

One of the questions my mind silently poses is: what constitutes safe usage?

I'm sure pushing, shoving, and merriment of any kind would be unsafe. But what about running up the stairs because you're feeling buoyant and full of energy (or late for a meeting)? Is the wearing of high heels and traversing the stairways safe usage? High heels can be unsafe on any surface, so surely they must be doubly unsafe on stairways. Is the carrying of items in both hands unsafe? Surely one needs one hand free to grasp the side rail? Should stairway users with long hair ensure it is tied back so gusts of wind cannot blow hair across the stair user's face, taking away their ability to see any possible obstacles, or distracting them from safe foot placement.

Hmmmm. The perils of stair usage are many. I think a little sign on each stairway is insufficient and that something more in keeping with the risks involved should be employed. A safe stair monitor perhaps? Of course there'd have to be one at the top and bottom of every stairway, so that would involve about 40 stair monitors. Perhaps I should suggest this as an employment creation program that also takes OH&S and stair usage seriously.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

A great name for a dog

A divorced friend of mine has recently begun a new relationship. I haven't met him, but Sharon assures me he is the nicest man she's ever met. He's been divorced for 10 years and has 2 children in their mid teens. He also owns a beautiful Alsation named Prince. (Prince isn't really the dog's name, but it will work for this blog!) Sharon asked him why he named the dog prince and his reply was that he was such a fine, strong, dog with regal bearing that he needed something appropriate. That, and his daughter wanted to name him after her favourite primary school teacher, Mr Prince who was big and strong and very caring.

Yup! My friend Sharon is going out with a man who has a dog named after my husband!

It's nice to know he's remembered by others in very real ways. It just is, ya know?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A tragic accident

I attended Niel's funeral this afternoon, and unbelievably, it was a positive experience. The sermon spoke of God knowing and loving us before we are born, and knowing the number of our days. The story of Jesus calming the storm was read, and the reality of Jesus being with us in times of turmoil when we're being tossed every which way, and being able to bring calm to that situation. I'm not relating it well here, but we were all left with a sense of hope and assurance. There was no judgement of Niel, there was thanksgiving that his light had shone in our lives.

Red eyed, pale faced and drawn, his friends filled row after row of church seats. One boy whose mother died just weeks ago was wracked with sobs. At the end of the service the boy beside him casually put an arm over his shoulders while he did the same with his other arm to the boy on his other side. It was a beautiful non-attention drawing gesture of comfort to the young man who is struggling under a double grief burden.

All who spoke of Niel spoke of his ever present lop sided grin, friendliness and positivity. Niel choosing to end his life was so incongruous with how he lived.

Speaking to another mother after the service she commented that it would be easier if it had just been an accident. My response was that it was an accident. An accident of thought, but an accident none the less.

Friday, June 12, 2009

At 1am this morning.

At 1am this morning it was cold. Moonlight gave a silvery colour to the coldness, highlighting the crispness of the air.

At 1am this morning I was coccooned in my bed enjoying the warmth of my doona. My children slept soundly and safely in their warm beds in their nearby rooms. All was well in my world.

At 1am this morning, Niel, a 16 year old friend of Zinni's stepped out of the cold shadows of the highway verge into the bright lights of a semi trailer. Its driver was gunning the engine as he left the slower speed of town and began a stretch bordered only by farmland.

At 1am this morning a teenage boy ended the pain he felt inside. The pain no-one saw. The pain masked by a happy go lucky attitude and ready smile.

At 1am this morning a middle aged truck driver slammed into a nightmare that will haunt all his waking moments. A nightmare he could not avoid. A nightmare he had no chance to influence.

At 1am this morning a mother and a father went into shock that will encase them in their early steps of gut wrenching grief that will be with them, leering over their every breath as long as they have breath.

At 1am this morning this world proved yet again that it is a world gone wrong.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Incredibly, these are true events

I have 2 co-workers in their mid 50's and they get really annoyed with me when I pick up boxes of A4 paper that weigh about 5kg. They maintain that I should put a work order through and organise our Maintenance man to move such boxes. Seriously! My bags of grocery shopping weigh more and I carry multiples of them!

One of these women declares that she is unable to do her grocery shopping without her husband because, wait for it, "the trolleys are too heavy to push". Ahhhhh, right. I regularly see 3 year olds pushing these trolleys as they 'help' their parents shop.

Today these 2 women had to fold 200 pieces of paper and put them in envelopes. This exercise took the women much longer than it should have, but the part that knocked me flat, was the comment by one at the end of the task "I'm exhausted after that. It's a very physically demanding task." and the other agreed and they had to have a cup of tea and a spot of gentle sitting to recover. Sadly, there was no sarcasm or wit of any kind involved in their comments and actions.

Please, may I never be like this.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday chill

We have a long weekend here, and my Sunday has been fantastic.

I spent the afternoon hanging out with my son. Often our time together is bracketed by me having to be somewhere for Zinni. Not today. Zinni is at a music festival with friends, so Davey and I enjoyed chatting in the sunshine while we ate fish and chips, browsing in the hardware store (he got to understand why I find them such interesting places!), buying solar cells and other stuff from an electronics store, watching a movie together and chatting about whatever came to mind.

Unpressured time is so rare, we really savoured it, and he thanked me for a great day as he went to bed. My Davey is an introvert, and my fellow introverts will understand why we found this time so special.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Shopping bliss.

I am so easy to please!

My local supermarket has new shopping trolleys, not just one or two, but ALL new shopping trolleys, and it makes me smile every time I go there. A trolley that glides along on smooth wheels, which turns at my every whim - and in they direction I actually want it to turn, is mine for the taking from the ranks of perfect trolleys all lined up for my shopping enjoyment.

Ahhh, the simple pleasures.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fifteen Books

Ok, so I don't post forever, and then I post a meme?

Yeah, well. It's all thanks to Alicia. She posted this meme and stipulated I couldn't read her list until I'd done my own. There was nothing for it but to do my own!

Here's the rules:

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends -- or not because I am all about free will, but link back to me (unless you list them in the comments) because I’m interested in seeing what books you choose.

Make your list BEFORE you read mine! My books appear in the order they occurred to me.

  1. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
  2. Heidi - Johanna Spyri
  3. The King Must Die - Mary Renault
  4. The Brothers Karamazov -Dostoyevski
  5. Crime and Punishment - Dostoyevski
  6. Golden Treasury of Poetry - Untemeyer
  7. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  8. Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Nicholas Nickleby - Charles Dickens
  10. 5 Roads to Nuremburg
  11. Tess of the Durbevilles - Thomas Hardy
  12. The Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy
  13. Anna Karenina - Tolstoy
  14. Cloud Street - Tim Winton
  15. Joan Makes History - Kate Grenville

This was a really interesting exercise. I had no idea what was going to come out. I'd like to keep adding to the list, but these were the first 15 books that came to mind. I was really surprised at how deeply ingrained childhood books are in my psyche. Black Beauty, Heidi and The Golden Treasury of Poetry are books I read over and over before I was a teenager. I read most of these books before I turned 21, and I think all but 1 before I was 30.

I guess what my teenagers are reading really DOES matter!!

I wonder if not having a TV until I was 10 changed my list by making childhood books more important. Oh, I forgot 'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie'!! Oh, oh, oh! How could I do that?? I got that book when I was 5 and it is very much a part of me.

I loved doing this meme. I hope you did your own!