Saturday, 24 January 2015

Being blessed

My son and his boys are staying with me for a few days. What joy. He is such a good and caring person, and has been doing very helpful things for me, such as sorting out my phone plan, which cost far too much and gave me very little. What is more, he has bought a new iPhone and has given me his old one. This involves me in more of a learning curve than I am accustomed to, but I think I am going to cope. I will need to concentrate, though.

Phone plans seem intrinsically complicated and confusing, and thus I have spent some time on a rather expensive plan. No more. It is all sorted out now.

After our session with Telstra, we treated ourselves at the nearby gelateria, and then went for a swim in a harbour pool, which was lovely. We waited until low tide, so that there was uncovered sand, and the water was not too deep. Then we came home to enjoy Tuscan roast lamb. Now all is quiet. The boys are in bed, my son is on the balcony playing his guitar, and I am sitting here at the computer communing with the wide wide world, watching the flashes of lightning and the departing aircraft. The clouds are low and so the aircraft, though they are flying low, are not visible. The storm is nearer, and the thunder noisier.

My son is a single parent, and his boys are blessed to have him. And I am blessed to have him. I had to argue hard to have a third child, and to have him, so loving, caring and generous in spirit and practice, is a great joy. He is kind and patient, and very thoughtful. What we call a truly good person.

I have not been an ideal parent. The breakup of my first marriage left me very damaged. I did not cope well. Yet out of all this my children have turned out to be good, decent, loving and caring people and parents, and have dealt, and deal, well with their own vicissitudes of life. I hope that, despite my own defects, that in some way I have helped them.

Monday, 12 January 2015

The New Year tidying up

A quiet week caring for my granddaughter has turned into the annual tidying up of things. We have been swimming a couple of times, and yesterday made Anzac biscuits. Later we might make a cake, as a togetherness activity, and to welcome home her mother and partner, who return this evening. Little Flossie has been very good, but has been missing her mother. The cat has been rampaging through the house, and sharpening his claws on all sorts of things which I would rather he had not. He is totally impervious to any discipline or discouragement, more's the pity, Kitty! And he yowls loudly, under the impression that he is grossly underfed, which of course is simply not true.

I have been going through the contents of drawers. The Christmas cards have been re-read, and put away. This led to checking the contents of various drawers, and deciding what to keep and what to throw out. They are much tidier now, and I found a few misplaced items.

It seems a pity that over the years, with moving house quite a few times, and combining household when I moved here permanently, that many letters and other documents have been thrown away. In the past most people wrote letters. I have retained some, but not very many. When I try to re-read them, I find the handwriting is difficult to decipher. And the contents are generally very mundane. I have a few letters from my first husband, and some from the time of our divorce. However re-living that distress is too painful, and I do not suppose that my children will ever want to read them. I did keep the cards and letters from friends and family to celebrate the birth of my babies. My children might like to have those. And their baby photos.

We wrote letters years ago because telephone calls cost too much. Now we have email. I do keep a lot of emails, but there are many from the past which are gone. Those sent from work, and those saved onto the computers. Many were lost when I hit the wrong button, when changing the ISP. Now I print out any which matter to me. Well, that is an exaggeration, as I have not printed out most of the blog posts. And I do not put photos on my blog, having not got the hang of how to do it.

There is such a contrast with the past, when letters were essential in keeping alive contacts with family, friends and the rest of the world. Biographies rely on letters. Florence Nightingale, who suffered/enjoyed ill health for many years, took to her bed, and maintained a most voluminous correspondence. For which historians are rightly grateful.

And I did find my missing diary, for 2011. That was a relief. The contents of the linen cupboard were checked, and the surplus has gone to Vinnies. Now for the rest of the cupboard.

Why is this activity called spring cleaning? This is the height of summer!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

This and that in the turn of the year

My daughter, her partner and my granddaughter are with me at present. I will be looking after my granddaughter while they are working in Queensland. There is a a lot of mutual help going on, with light globes being changed, the hotplates extractor fan being cleaned, and this and that, here and there. My granddaughter is busy playing with all my little silver and enamelled Florentine animals and birds. She likes to rearrange them, and to look at and fiddle with the various ornaments. I enjoy seeing her pleasure in these things.

The cat races around everywhere, rushes up and down the stairs, sharpens his claws on the carpet, gets very underfoot, and wants to hunt all the birds. They see him peering menacingly our the upstairs window and squawk threateningly to deter him and to warn the other birds. Life is noisier. Today we are taking my granddaughter to have her eyes examined, and I have booked her in to a creative writing workshop at the library next week. My daughter is exploring the local shoe shops, and helping them to stay afloat financially. And I have booked in my car for its pre-registration service. It is all rather different from my usual solitary existence at this time of year, the Great Pause between festivities and celebrations and resumption of Normal Life.

This year I was alone for Christmas, as the children were all doing things with the other side of the family. Dear friends invited me to Christmas lunch with them, so it was a lovely day. Otherwise I would have felt very bereft. Such situations make me ponder the future.

Before the arrival of my daughter and family, I had a surprise visit from a Canberra friend and her daughter, who were here to see the latest grandchild. We went off to the Art Gallery to see the Pop Art exhibition. It was interesting - and a very extensive exhibition, but there was nothing that I longed to own, or wished to linger over.  We walked across to The Rocks and looked at craft, art and glasswork. My friend is about to do a course in glass working and design, which sounds exciting. She and I used to do silk painting together, and always had a very good time together. Once you move away, it is not all that easy to keep in touch, especially once grandchildren arrive. It was lovely to see her and to discover the links of friendship which endure and give such mutual pleasure. My friend made my dress when I remarried,  a deep blue/purple silk dress. Gorgeous! Her new works will be wonderful, I am sure.