Dreams are made of this

Last night, Peppercorn, now aged two and one quarter years, was having trouble sleeping. Her parents both had work today. So I gathered Peppercorn up in her Grobag/sleeping bag and carried her out to the balcony overlooking the river.

it was raining and we could hear the rain joining the river and see the lights of the high rises in the CBD disappear behind mist and fog. An event centre on the opposite river bank had string of lights, ending in a bright blue light that dazzled Peppercorn.

She cuddled into my arms and we chattered very softly under she started to yawn and rub her eyes, ready to settle back into sleep.

i know she won’t remember our night time moment, but I know I will for it was so precious. The city, the river and the rain as we sat together in the night shadows. Feeling very, very grateful and lucky today.

it feels like age is relevant after all

paris

I feel a great sense of urgency.  I want to live in an interior world that is creative, academic, and filled with ideas and information. Maybe, it is because I am only a couple of years away from the end of my fifties, and I must admit that I am all too aware of the clock ticking. Two parents who suffered dementia/alzeimer’s; I have been painfully confronted with the reality that the length of years has nothing to do with the quality of those years.

More and more, I feel resentful that I have to continue working. I like my job, some days I hate it, and I am painfully aware that I am more librarian than teacher, but then again a librarian is always a teacher anyway. I often feel like a pretender both roles.

I crave the freedom to be able to think and read, to debate and share. To enrich lives through information and awareness, but to be quiet when I choose.

The public face we need to portray is does not fit, if it ever did. The interior me is quiet, and contemplative. I want information and knowledge, and while I enjoy sharing, I do not share to force an opinion, I like to share to raise awareness so that people can form their own opinions.

My family are more extroverted than I, well, Mr FD has over the years become introverted in ways that seem to balance mine, but can also sometimes irritate me. No doubt my introversion does the same for him. We bump along somehow, but I don’t need nor do I seek, the distraction of people or places.

I am the person who could walk through a museum in utter contentment alone. I can dine alone and be oblivious to those around me, except for the undisciplined child beside me who risks my teacher’s voice. Mr FD has mastered the art of movie watching in theatres alone, but I don’t know if I can as I have never had the opportunity. I suspect I would do it well!

I resent the lack of time, the lack of quiet, the lack freedom to be and do what I need, not unlike most people, I know. I don’t care about you in this moment though, it is me, for when the last breaths come, that is all there will be…me.

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?

It started with a coffee; or Mr and Mrs. FD’s Saturday adventure.

The plan was a coffee and then to the supermarket. We had the coffee, or Breakfast Dessert as I declared it:

Start with a Breakfast Dessert on a Saturday Morning and you never know where the day may lead...

Start with a Breakfast Dessert on a Saturday Morning and you never know where the day may lead…

Mr FD has led a rather quiet life since his knee replacement in late July, but today he was in dire need of an outing; so the supermarket plan was scrapped and we hit the road for an adventure.

The trail led us to the Jondaryan Woolshed, almost one hundred kilometres from our Viilage! The last time I had visited  the Woolshed, we were living in Toowoomba and our children were tiny. We all have memories of a daughter attempting to milk a cow only to be splattered by a rush of cow poo. Ahh the memories of childhood!

It has changed quite a bit, and now boasts a fine restaurant, where we had a  tasty burger accompanied by a lovely glass of wine. And a pot of tea!

A few pictures will tell the story better than mere words…

...and lunch

…and lunch

ST Anne's Church, Jondaryan

On the way we passed Saint Anne’s Church built in 1865 by the then owners of the Jondaryan Homestead. It is apparently identical to the church represented on the Australian fifty dollar bill. I haven’t seen a $50 note for awhile so can’t say if that is true!

One end of the Woolshed was staged for a wedding that evening. There were fairy lights hanging above beautifully set tables, and I am sure at night the atmosphere would be magical. Hopefully, the bride’s perfume will cover the aroma of wool fat that has seeped into the floors over the many decades the woodshed was an actual shearing shed! Lovely backdrop though.

We are going to try for groceries tomorrow…who knows where that might take us!

remember why you started?

Remember why

Do you remember why you started blogging?

It all seems so long ago now, perhaps eight years, since I started blogging on Vox. Exactly why is now shrouded in my memory as well, but I know I still love it as much now, as I did during those first posts.

adventure

I remember wanting to update my ICT skills. I actually purchased a book to instruct me on how to blog! The authors recommended Vox as a good platform for a novice and as I was certainly that, Vox it was. Oh, those heady, Vox days; they were like a long, Saturday afternoon party with friends. Then, they were gone and we were cast adrift. Some of us landed on WordPress.

self

My “name” was easy to choose – Flamingo Dancer. Ever watched a flock of flamingos performing their mating dance? They are all together, but each within themselves as they experience the moment. It was the metaphor to represent my construction of our human society : alone in our individual experience, but still within our community. I would choose the same name today.

The first friends I made were Margy, Aussie Emjay and Cat, Snowy and GOF. Followed shortly after by dderbydave, GOM and leendadll. All still friends today, though I prefer to think of them as loyal subjects! Oh, so many loyal subjects; friends.

thank oyu best

Eight years ago, I worked in the Basement of Discontent at a University. Since then I have celebrated by fiftieth birthday, and several more after that. Danced at the weddings of two daughters, been gifted two wonderful son in laws; welcomed a granddaughter, lost a dearly loved brother in law, walked with my Mum as she journeys through dementia, farewelled both parents in law; been retrenched, returned to university as a full time student, and survived almost six years of teaching and four  of those  as a teacher librarian. Oh, and moved from the city to the country and bought a dog! Whew!

fabulous me

Many of you have been with me all the way and what a joy you have been. A joy and a blessing, for you have allowed me to be “me”, whatever my mood, or thoughts. You have accepted and dare I say, even encouraged from time to time, my evilosities. When I am exhausted from being nice for too long, you are there, giving me space and giving me voice.

...but if you tell anyone I hugged you, I will deny everything!

…but if you tell anyone I hugged you, I will deny everything!

Every day, I get to write my words, to be creative in the way that I need and for that I am grateful. What a gift and a bonus, blogging has been for me. It is as much a part of my life now as my numerous cups of tea each day, my books and I hope the children don’t read this; my family.

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And now, what about you? Why did you commence blogging?

 

I’ll make us a cup of tea and you can tell me all about you…

tea cup stack

I’m laden with sadness

Multitasking, ipad and TV at the same time, I fumbled with the cable remote and hit a music channel instead of the TV channel I was seeking.

The song, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” was playing, and suddenly I was taken back to childhood, when we were still three children at home, with Mum and Dad. The memory felt like it was a winter’s night and we were all doing our own thing.

I don’t think it was of a particular night, more images created by emotion. The image was so strong, that in my mind’s eye I could see Dad sitting in the kitchen reading a paper, Mum at the sink, my brother and sister in their rooms.

As the song continued and the emotions washed over me, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness, and of course, loss, for nothing is as it was then.

The power of music, and even more, the power of memory – and love, above all, love.

In the eye of the beholder; or was it a Blue Wednesday?

Memories are made of this!

Memories are made of this!

The School Secretary was in the habit of walking up a certain sets of stairs each morning. It was the 1970s and mini skirts were the norm. My high school friends and I fell into the habit of being under the stair well at approximately, exactly, the same type as Ms Secretary would ascend the stairs.

The money was on what colour her undies were that particular day.

Odd the things we do, and the things we remember.

 

What is my biggest fear right now?

say

Dying before my future grandchildren are born and that they never get to know me.

Assuming that there are to be more grandchildren, other than Petite Fille, but even if she is the one and only, I do not want to die before she has real memories of me, and knows how much she is and was loved by me.

To me, a person is never really dead until the last person who remembers them is dead. I have learnt however, that those “memories” do not have to be first hand experiences. My parents shared memories of their parents, their grandparents and now I hold those memories as the moments I shared with my parents, so even now those people are not really gone. Does that make sense?

As long as we keep sharing the memories, we live on longer in this world.

So, I want my grandchildren to know me, and to have made memories with me, and to have listened to our family stories so that we all travel on through time together.

Simple.

Are you a table dancer?

party 1

I’ve never been comfortable meeting people in social situations, or any situation for that matter. No doubt, it stems from being an introvert. I really don’t need “other” people to make me happy. My family is all I need.

I have always been a solitary person, though throughout school I always had a large group of friends. To this day, I still have friendships with my inner high school friends, and my BFF is from kindergarten, so I can and do make friends. It is just the social hurdy gurdy that I don’t need.

For most of my life, I found this difficult to handle – avoiding social situations. It often meant I whinged and whined and made any excuse not to attend things, but one thing that life has taught me is how to say, no thanks, to social occasions.

I am honest, I tell them, “That’s lovely, but I find it very exhausting to be nice for too long. If I attended I would need to lie down after a short time, so, no thank you.”

Without fail, the other person laughs, thinking I am joking, so I repeat, “I really do find nice difficult, so I don’t do social.” And with that they know. They never appear insulted; they know it is me, not them, and I get to go home and lie on my bed sooner.

Of course, if I did attend, I would be the life of the party, as I always am.

Does the mind replay what the heart can’t delete?

trixie belden

I remember:

Watching The World of Disney on a Sunday evening.

Being allowed a sip of beer from teeny, tiny liquor glasses on “special” occasions.

My Mum sitting by my bed as I ate vegemite sandwiches and drank a glass of milk, when I woke hungry in the middle of the night.

The places our imaginations took us when playing with my best friend on her farm. Nothing like a ute (utility truck) to become a boat, a space ship, a caravan,or an island.

My nose starting to bleed in the middle of My First Holy Communion.

Being diagnosed with Scarlet Fever.

Visiting the library for the first time.

My first and only Barbie doll. She has dark permed hair! And yes I still have her!

Kneeling on bare wooden floors to recite the rosary in grade one.

My Grandmother’s fruit, jelly and ice cream desserts.

Feeding the pigs with my Grandmother.

My Grandfather telling me mixed up fairytales, and laughing.

Cousins, lots of cousins and always playing.

Wishing I had a baby brother or sister, so I would’t be the baby and I wouldn’t be lonely.

Our family doctor making house visits and teasing my sister for the Beatles posters on our shared bedroom wall.

My parents always helping, opening our home, to the children of friends and family in crisis.

Never not knowing how to read.

Waiting for each week’s edition of Teddy Bear magazine to arrive.

Reading and rereading my Trixie Belden books.

My father “paying” me twenty cents to comb his hair.

My best Christmas ever when I got a large boy doll and a table and chair set. The doll had clothes sewed by my mother and the table and chairs had been made by the family living next door, but they were perfect in every way.

Sunday visits to relatives, or relatives visiting us.

My Grandfather’s funeral and seeing my mother cry for the first time.

Being allowed to write with a pen for the first time.

The arrival of a second hand typewriter in our house and the hours I spent writing stories.

 

Just a few things that defined my life and shaped me into the person I am today. The beginning of me…

Memories are the architecture