Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Abroad thoughts from home, again
Back home, I have mixed emotions, as usual: wishing it could have been a longer stay - like another fortnight - with time to do more and see more people, thus not being so peripheral to the lives of the various relations, and perhaps having time for some touristy things as well. Having a luxury apartment, garden and car there would help. But I miss my husband, and my own home.
Melbourne was lovely. It is such a pleasant and amenable city. While they all complained about the traffic, it is easy to get around. I had two days with Stomper and her family. She is such a good and loving mother, so involved with every aspect of her children's lives, and enjoying them so much. The boys are delightful,well-behaved and affectionate, and play happily together. I listened to Cherub's reading homework, and was most impressed by his ability, and the evident thoroughness of his teachers and their methods. He is only six, in his second year at school, and can work out such words as whales, population, migration, information and slithering, and understands both vowel and consonant combinations. How gratifying to have such charming and talented grandchildren.
Stomper then rushed off to Craft Camp, and I moved to Sister 2, C, mother of five and grandmother of 10, soon to be 11. I saw the two latest grandchildren, who are nine weeks old. The second of these is apparently carried about for most of the time, and consequently has not learned how to settle herself to sleep. As a result the entire household is subsisting on very little sleep. (The grandmother and great aunt do realise that One Must Not Interfere, whatever the temptation.) The baby slept on my shoulder for about 40 minutes, while I tranquilly stroked her back (doubtless contributing to the problem) enjoying the delightful feel of a baby snuggling into my shoulder.
When I contacted an old school friend, she dragged me off to celebrate the school's feast day. She and I were friends from our first year at school for the whole 12 years, but we see each other very seldom now. Last year's class reunion spurred me to renew contact. It was the first time I have returned to the school since I left it all those years ago, and that I have sung the school songs again. The school is much larger now, with excellent teachers, facilities and opportunities for the students. I asked my class mates whether we had heated classrooms - I did not think so, and the resounding answer was No, and we recollected suffering severely from chilblains.
The wedding, later that day, was beautiful, and watching the love, trust, devotion and hope between bride and bridegroom (my nephew) was very moving. My two youngest sisters became dissatisfied with their choices of attire, and went home and changed before continuing to the reception. It was the first time that all seven of us were not together for a family wedding, and we felt our sister's absence.
Much as I love being away, and seeing all the family, it is good to be back in my own space. Dr P managed well, which is a relief, says he missed me a lot, and that SD1 and grandson B1 called in each day. Reunions are lovely. When I arrived I was greeted with a plaintive statement from Dr P that he had no TV. That was the first thing I sorted out. Literally. The instructions for the TV, which live in a green plastic folder of the Officeworks variety on the coffee table next to Dr P's chair, somehow found their way into the newspaper recycling bin (?). Fortunately it was possible to retrieve them before the garbage collectors arrived. I chucked out all the dead flowers, cooked a proper dinner, did lots of washing, and restored order. Normal service has been resumed. We have been back to the audiologist, who reinforced the message to Dr P of always wearing the hearing aid. So far Dr P is in Meek Mode. We shall see.
Already I have seen my GP, and arranged to have an ultrasound of my sore hip, which is not much better than when I arrived home from Italy six months ago. The ultrasound will probably be followed by an injection of cortisone, which is likely to be absolutely excruciating. I had one such injection umpty years ago into a calcium deposit in my shoulder, and the mere recollection makes me shudder. However, if I really want to get to Spain later this year, such things must be endured. Italian resumes this week, the choir is starting our next work, the night is clear, the moon is full, and it is time for bed.