Reliquaries, fuddling cups, turnips and Mr FD.

Petite Fille declared this elephant "silly" for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!

Petite Fille declared this elephant “silly” for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!

 

Thankfully, I am not in a position to be involved in disaster management for the Queensland Museum’s current exhibition, Medieval Power : Symbols and Splendour.   During our visit, yesterday, as part of Mr FD’s birthday celebration, we played a game of “what two items would you save” and my choice did not fall to papal rings, or a saintly reliquary. I chose a combination ear scoop and tooth pick, and a minuscule fuddling cup.

To me, they were the most interesting artefacts in the display, and preferred over the dozens of noble seals that were on display. We debated whether the word befuddled orientated from the concept of a fuddling cup, on the journey home. We all agreed it probably did.

Prior to visiting the exhibition we (Mr FD, Daughter1, Petite Fille, my sister and I) enjoyed a lovely lunch at the GOMA Bistro, overlooking the Brisbane River. We toasted Mr FD with a glass of white. I chose the watercress, peach, salami, truffled mozzarela and capers salad, as did my sister which did not disappoint either of us. Mr FD chose the steak. Later we enjoyed slice of Opera cake with coffee before we drove back to The Village.

Petite Fille, unlike most children rarely falls asleep in a the car, but after a swimming lesson in the morning and a day walking around museums and galleries, for once succumbed to slumber.

She had been quite excited that the day was to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. I had barely risen from bed when she was pleading to make Grandpa a birthday cake. I made the mistake of allowing her to sort through my collection of cake tins, and that is how we came to bake a ginger cake in a gingerbread man tin! Ho ho Grandpa!

I think it was one of the more memorable birthdays of recent times for Mr FD. He continued his celebrations into the evening, enjoying a drink or two before bed. The day must have led to the land of dreams, for I heard him mutter in his sleep, “I can’t help it, it is turning into a turnip!”

sugar, cabbages and rabbit tales

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It’s just after midnight, and I have tried sleeping, but I think I have ingested too much sugar this Easter and now it won’t let me brain rest. So, now it is Easter Monday and here I am, sitting in my bed, probably talking to myself.

I have probably told you this a long time ago, but I was actually born on an Easter Monday, and every decade or so I celebrate a birthday on an Easter Monday again (but not this year). My mother always said the Easter Bunny brought me and they found me under a cabbage leaf in the vegetable garden. I don’t know if my mother ever read Peter Rabbit, but I sense some appropriation in her tale!. I have to admit, I fell for the story for many years, and loved it even when I knew it was the birds and bees who brought babies and not rabbits.

We had a delightful day with my sister and her daughter’s family, at sister’s home. Petite Fille and her parents were with us as well. Petite Fille is not allowed sugar but was permitted a few “treats” today. She was amazed, and even enjoyed an ice cream cone. She kept saying she was hungry, but she only wanted a treat. Grandma made sure she got her treat – it is Easter after all and if a Grandmother can’t conspire with a granddaughter, well, what is the use of being a grandparent? Her Daddy was in a state of anxiety at the sugar dose, but her mother turned a blind eye. She knows a child has to join in and not be restricted all the time. Easter over, and back to her healthy diet. Grandma will behave too!

Thinking back, I think the last time we had a large extended family Easter was the year my mother became ill and sadly had to be placed in care. If does make it a little sad to gather when we all sense the absence of family.

My sister has a large photograph os her husband BIL who died a couple of years ago, and sitting at her dining teacher, he looked down upon us. I kept thinking, damn you should be here too – and my dear Dad, as well as poor old Mum, who lives in her confused world of dementia. The cycle of life indeed.

I wrote about 1200 words of my story yesterday, but now I think I will delete a chunk of it – too pedestrian. I don’t view it as a waste, as it helped me to develop a couple of characters, and I am forming an idea on how to make the story more edgy, so all has been worthwhile. It’s a process, as is everything creative. Well, life is in general, isn’t it – a process?

The sugar doesn’t appear to have worn off, as yet, so I foresee a sleep in on my horizon, if the dog and our granddaughter allow it.

Maybe a cup of tea in the meantime?

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Grandma’s special sausages

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Petite Fille was walking through our large garden with Grandpa Mr FD and I.  Pausing by the fire pit that the previous owners had built and Grandpa Mr FD explained to Petite Fille what is was.

“That’s a fire pit.”

I should have known better, but I flippantly added to Mr FD, “That’s where I will burn your body.”

My little echo, 3 year old, Petite Fille, “What’s a burn your body? What’s a burn your body?”

“Grandma meant sausages. That’s where we can cook sausages.”

Back in the house I told Petite Fille’s Daddy of my misdemeanour.

“It’s where we cook sausages, isn’t it Petite Fille?”I added as she appeared again.

Daddy mischievously adds, “Shhh that’s a family secret. We don’t tell people about our sausages.”

Poor child doesn’t stand a hope of being normal.

the modern way

Shaun Tan

Daughter One has flown to the other side of the country,  the west coast of Australia, to visit with her sister, Daughter Two and finally meet new niece,  Peppercorn.

I was at work when an email arrived from D1 telling me she was downstairs enjoying a solo coffee while waiting for D2 and Peppercorn to wake up.

Seconds later, an email from D2 with a photo of a smiling Peppercorn wishing me a happy Monday.

Microseconds, another email from D1 saying she wished D2 would wake up.

Mother (me) five hours away by plane on the east coast, emails back and tells her D2 and Peppercorn are awake. Family reunited.

Scary isn’t it.

 

head matters

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The alarm didn’t go off this morning – because it is Saturday! Yay Day. It’s almost over though, and that is heart breaking. As we have all sadly noted, weekend pass too quickly.

I have promised Petite Fille that she can help me make a birthday cake for Uncle Son when she wakes from her afternoon nap. Earlier today we agreed that if we danced too hard and our heads fell plop! onto the ground that Uncle Son would screw then back on, because he is very good at fixing things. I think that knowledge is helping her to sleep soundly in her bed. Head issues all resolved, tick!

Another major life issue solved.

 

 

 

 

Sunday is for terrifying little girls; unknown bad hair days and introverts

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Visited my Mum. Always depressing. She was bright and talkative, except we had no idea what she was talking about and often the poor dear was frustrated as no language would come to her. Alzheimer’s.

It’s also exhausting as we keep up a facade of normality and try to give her no hint that she is speaking nonsense. I don’t think she knows anymore. She certainly didn’t recognise Daughter1 who was with me. Petite Fille provided grand entertainment as Mum always loved children, so spending time silently watching her play is enough sometimes. I always leave physically and mentally depleted.

Not about me, though is it? It’s poor Mum who is being cheated of quality of life. Sigh.

Afterwards, we took Petite Fille to the nearby park. She was playing up on the adventure play area when I quietly poked my head around one corner. She shrieked and begged “Don’t do that Grandma!” Of course, I repeated it several times, and she never tired of reenacting her own part. Hopefully, she won’t have nightmares of being chased by a granny tonight! I also didn’t think I was having such a bad hair day. Bad face day? Bad face lifetime? Not of course not, it is me, after all!

We have new neighbours. The third in our three years here. I think they have all the makings of the perfect neighbours. He will retire in four years and they chose a tree change because it can live without people. Introverts! Be still my beating heart! His comment was that they have been here a week and he feels like it has been forever. I think he meant that in the nicest possible way – and that is our feelings too. Hopefully, they will stay longer the eighteen month average of the other two couples. We are actually nice to our neighbours!

Really wanted one of those fruit filled cocktails this afternoon, but we had very little except a bottle of not very good bubbly red and some lychees. Passable. Maybe it needed an umbrella and a flamingo swizzle stick for perfection.

The richest woman in the world

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No, I have not run away, I have been in the City visiting Petite Fille. One morning we went to the State Library and GOMA.

As soon as I walk into the children’s play area of the State Library I always have such a pang of desire to be a little person’s Librarian. I have such envy of what a large budget and a team of creative artists can do for a Librarian!

Petite Fille had great fun making peg people and playing in cardboard houses.

I am not one of those Grandmas who take over a child’s craft project. If Petite Fille wants to cover her peg lady in wool hair from top to toe she can. As well, she can wrap the whole lot tight in an arm’s length of sticky tape if the whim takes hold.

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We had morning tea in the garden cafe at GOMA and I walked with Petite Fille through the water feature. At first she was frightened and held my hand as we walked over the stepping stones. As we retraced our steps a few times, she gradually let go of my hand. I walked beside her, then behind her, until I quietly stopped and waited as she walked across herself, unaware I was no longer following. We both clapped our hands in joy as she realised “I did it!”

It might be a small thing to others, but it was a very special moment for me. It makes me happy just to think of her happy little face as she experienced overcoming her fear and experiencing success.

The next afternoon her parents went to the movies and dinner, leaving Petite Fille and I home alone. I wore pink fairy wings, a blue tiara and danced with my magic wand with Petite Fille. We also built a house with two chairs and a blanket under which we shared tea.

Petite Fille stopped mid fantasy and said,”Grandma, I like playing with you.”

Earlier, she had told her mother that “Grandma is my very best friend.”

The gift of a three year olds love – what more could anyone want in life?

A time it was, and what a time it was,

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I am working on the theory, that as the allergy rash is marching its way around my body, that eventually it will have no new territory to colonise and will simply get to the top of my head, or the tips of my toes and move on. It’s a theory.

At the moment it is itchiest in those inaccessible areas like my back, especially my shoulder blade areas, so I am rubbing my self up and down door jambs like a crazed pole dancer.

Better  to suffer now, than in two weeks time when school returns.

Ugh, already having stress dreams about going back to work. Looking forward to seeing Minerva and various colleagues, but not many of the students. Trying to reframe and organise my procedures and thought patterns, plan a few fresh initiatives so I can leap out of the starting box, so to speak. I guess every day is one day closer to the end of the school year, but I am getting too many years behind me and not enough in front of me to really find comfort in that thought.

I spoke with Baby Peppercorn on the telephone, tonight. She ignored me, as only a four week old baby can. Her Mummy is coping quite well, now that there are no grandparents and Peppercorn’s Daddy has gone back to the mining site. He is away four nights a week, and home for 3, so not intolerable. Peppercorn’s paternal grandparents arrive next week, so there is backup on its way!

Life just seems to be romping on. Christmas over, New Year over, Peppercorn four weeks old, Petite Fille will be 3 next month. I will be 58 this year. When I started blogging I was still in my forties! Feeling maudlin now, so perhaps it is time for a shower and a cup of tea.

Goodnight.

 

Home again, home again, likety split

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Home again
Home again
Lickety split
Where does the time go?
Where does the time go?

Home in The Village; Baby Peppercorn far, far away. Tired from our cross country journey and quite positive I won’t see the New Year in, well, not consciously anyway!

We had a blessed three weeks with our new grandchild. I was to babysit Petite Fille tonight, but that family came down with sore throats and so cancelled their plans. I shall have to wait to see my “big girl” for another few days.

I returned home to Son who had done a few handyman jobs around the house, and sorted through some kitchen drawers and cupboards to tidy them as a Christmas gift to Mr FD and I. I couldn’t have asked for anything nicer! Our aim is for a simpler life in 2016, as I am sure many are hoping and wishing for as well, so Son’s efforts have been both a gift and a motivation. Tomorrow, tomorrow.

Poor Mr FD was almost strip searched again. Since his knee replacement, he appears to have become a target. I was always the one who was pulled aside for a wanding previously; because mature, grey haired, angle saxon women are sure terrorists. However, now he seems to be their target, despite wearing shorts and parading his knee scar! They had him take his runners and socks off as well.

When we were sitting on the plane, Mr FD made the comment that it was a wonder that they didn’t search his shoe heels for bombs, and I shushed him. Seconds later a little old lady from behind us tottered up the aisle towards the cabin crew and I was sure she was reporting him, but no one ran down to thrown him into the aisle and bind him with plastic ties. No surprise to anyone that Mr FD has the penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

He also tried to use earphones to listen to music on his iPhone or iPad and didn’t connect properly so three seat rows around us got treated to Mark Knofler as well. I signed to him that I could hear the music and he discussed the issue with me in a loud voice until I ripped the earphones from his ears. Well, I thought it was the earphones he seemed to speak loudly ALL THE TIME.

We had a middle and aisle seat, but no one claimed the window seat, so I slid over and pretended I knew him not. I don’t think I fooled anyone, least of all me.

Does anyone else find airline food extremely salty? Son-in-law the food technologist explained some time ago that salt and sugar get added altenatively until the “flavour” is achieved. Since trying to reduce salt and sugar, I notice the salt in processed foods more and more. I guess the positive is a lessening desire for “bad” food. Notice, I said, lessening, not non-existent!

Son-in-law the engineer, Peppercorn’s Dad, is a man of his own heart. He does not view that a man’s barbecue as equal to the size of his penis. (Should I be discussing my SIL’s penis in public? Or private for that matter!Smallish pun. Ooops double entendre pun!) Anyway his manhood is not invested in the size, or brand of his barbecue.

Hence this is his barbecue:

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And this is what he cooked for us last night – included marinated steak, chorizo and nectarine for a start.

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One night he created a delicious rolled roast, another night spare ribs to die for. More than a hidden talent! Both our son in laws are superb cooks – we are blessed. Or at least our stomachs are!

The young men in our family are gifts. We won’t speak of the “old” men.

More to share with you, but tomorrow is another year and soon enough. To sleep perchance to dream…