Friday, 7 August 2009
Here today, gone tomorrow
It was a busy week, one full of contrasts, lows and high, hostility and friendship, cold and warmth, people to love, and others to try to tolerate, things to welcome and anticipate, and others to dread and endure. My mind and moods have swung accordingly, and I feel rather wrung out.
I was in Canberra from Saturday to Tuesday, and am off to Melbourne tomorrow. While I enjoyed Canberra, despite catching a cold which is creeping up on me oh-so-gradually, I felt in many ways as though I had been driven from home. No, no, I chose to take the opportunity to be elsewhere. While I was very glad to get away, I had a feeling of oppression hanging over me, which of course will not really lift until the step-daughter leaves the country.
Thanks to all of you who gave me such warm and sympathetic comments. They do help, especially when I wonder whether I am just a total bitch. I am not (of course), but there are some people and circumstances which can edge you in that direction...
It transpired that when SD1 said they were never coming here ever again, she did not quite mean it like that. She meant they were not coming to stay. Here. Overnight. Of course, she did not let me finish my sentence about why I was offering her a key to the house, because of the front doorbell being broken and her father being too deaf to hear anyone knocking. So in fact they were coming and going each day. And so were the rest of the family. They have gone elsewhere for a week, and then they will have another week in Sydney, so I will just have to grin and bear it - or go out each day. Or both.
I think Dr P is quite enjoying the visit, but finds it very hard to hear any of them, and I get the impression that there is relatively little conversation directed at or including him. But we are not talking about it much.
Canberra was very cold. All the warm clothes I brought with me from Canberra - the angora jacket, the alpaca sweater, the silk jacket, which are seldom used here, were needed. I stayed with an old friend, whose house has ducted heating, the sort which is on a timer, turning itself off sometime between 10 and 11 pm. My bed had an electric blanket - just as well.
H and I see each other irregularly, and it is the sort of friendship which picks up from where we left off, always enjoyable and supportive. H was widowed nine years ago and so we talked much of life, death and funerals, as well as about people and many other things. We had a lovely time together, talking late each night, each with a lapful of cat. She has two gorgeous beasties, Fred, who is fluffy, and George, who is sleek. These cats go wandering off frequently and people are forever ringing her to say that Fred, or George, or both of them, are with them and have no apparent desire to set off for home again. Fred looks very like a part Persian cat my family had for over 20 years, and it made me feel quite nostalgic. I do so miss having cats, but Dr P is one of those who flinches away from cats them, and thinks 'Avaunt'. Cats do get underfoot - quite deliberately, trying to make you feed them, and it would be utterly dangerous.
I had good times with my children and grandchildren, and saw lots of friends, who were all most hospitable. I was able to see some friends from my former workplace. My son helped me with some of the intricacies of my new iPod, which Dr P has given me for my birthday. It is great to have help with all the new technology, while dandling grandchildren on the knee and playing peek-a-boo.
Trying to take photos of the grandchildren is aggravating. They won't keep still, my camera is too slow, shots are out of focus, and the grandson sticks his fingers in his mouth and pulls it apart, in the (mistaken) belief that this makes him look funny. It is very easy to take photos of the backs of their heads, though.
I took lots of photos of the exterior and interior of Parliament House, including the wonderful marquetry of Australian flora, which decorates the woodwork in the main entry hall. I do think that our new Parliament House building is beautiful, and makes wonderful use of natural materials. Although I call it new, it has now been in use since its opening in 1988. In another post I will have another go at showing some photos.
Today I had a panendoscopy, ie a tube down my throat, done under a light general anaesthetic. All is well, and I get some pills. So I have been rather sleepy today and am about to retire. When I came home I found out that a friend is to have surgery for colo-rectal cancer. After I had talked to her to wish her well, I found out, from another friend, that she already knows she has secondaries in the liver.