OK- I haven’t kept up with NaBloPoMo this month, in spite of my ambitions. Life threw me a bit of a curler. Two people I knew happened to die on the anniversary of my mum’s death and I got all discombobulated.
One person died peacefully in his sleep after many years of heart problems, plus having a burst blood vessel in his brain in 2009. At that time the doctors decided to let him go peacefully but his son (who is actually my good friend, not the old guy) persuaded them that he was quite functional – running his own little computer network at home, chatting on Facebook to friends all over the world and staying in touch with his former singing students. So they removed the clots over his brain surface and patched him up with metal plates. He was quite OK for an 81 year old, until he went that Friday night.
My friend of only 52 who died, had been quite close. He was the partner of my best girlfriend for about 20 years and they only split up 2 years ago. He was one of the happiest, healthiest people until he became depressed about 5 years ago. I think it was his “immovability” that broke them up as my friend was jibing at him for being “lazy”. My impression was that their business troubles (caused by old-fashioned local council regulations) were so deep that my girlfriend didn’t see the depth of her partner’s distress. Very sad all round because he then left the state and I couldn’t contact him. Apparently, shortly after he left he started having the health problems that eventually killed him. In spite of his great eating and fitness habits, he got bowel cancer which spread to his liver.
His wake (no funeral), was a tribute to his life, but was also sad for me. There were reminders of his happy life everywhere- his scuba diving gear and underwater camera, his racing bicycle, motorcycle & jet-ski. There was a continuous DVD playing of photos from all his adventures both overseas and in Australia. I thought that the most exciting thing he had done was when he was part of a BMW advertisement that was being made in the Arizona desert. He got to ride with a heap of others in a mile-wide line across the desert, with the ad being shown all over the world. It was great to visit, as he cooked wonderful food, always using the best ingredients and generally spiced up with a mixture containing chilis. Some people at the wake speculated that all the chilis might have produced his cancer, but my money is on his extensive exposure to high-octane fuels during his motorcycle racing & playing with other toys. We’ll never know- that’s cancer for you. Too sad.
Last night no alcohol- this morning, no hangover- yayy!! However, we had to get up early as Bridie and AJ were off to drive to Melbourne and subsequently Zeehan, Tasmania. Bridie has gone for a short but indefinite stay, summoned by her old friend Alan who needs company as he goes through the last stages of bone cancer- very sad. AJ has gone to drive the Jeep with caravan and dog in tow so Bridie has some accommodation at various times. AJ will fly back to the mainland in a few days to resume her uranium-mining job at Roxby Downs.
It has been a busy time having them stay 3 months, with one on the family room sofa and the other on a new chair sofa in the front room! We all thought they would only stay a few weeks originally but the job market was not very bright for either of them for a while. Now AJ has the mining job (after training to be both a heavy-rigid vehicle driver and a security guard) and Bridie has as much part-time work as she can handle with a “helping hand” agency looking after the disabled.
During this time I managed to complete a semester of my Masters in Public Health, although I had nowhere to study quietly and do my assignments- didn’t do quite as well as expected, but ended up with a Credit anyway.
My mood is a lot better than it was 3 months ago, although it took a few dives under the stress of coping with extra people in the house 24 hours a day! I know it was a big ask of myself to cope with house guests when I’m not wildly OK myself- but I could hardly leave them homeless- I would expect other people to look after me in a similar situation!
I think the cats will be relieved to have their humans back unaccompanied! Poor Moggsy has been extra shy about coming into the house for food- if she hears Bridie’s voice approaching while she’s feeding she runs and won’t return to finish her meal. Consequently she’s lost some weight- which isn’t all bad! Bendix adapted reasonably quickly but has been a little ratty at times- he was disappointed that Kevin was a dog and not a cat as he wanted to play with him on an equal basis! Moustiers thought Bridie and AJ ALWAYS lived here, and only haunted us in bed at night as she always did- why she couldn’t haunt AJ more often I don’t know!
Our back garden is somehow surviving the 40degC days, although the magnolia tree is burnt again and another cypress pine lost its top in a whippy breeze. The petunias are mostly OK in their pots and starting to flower, we have a pot tomato thriving, some chives and a few pigface ground covers. The cumquats are greener than last year, but not very healthy yet. I wish they’d come good- perhaps they need root pruning and larger pots?
The atrium plants are OK- tuberous begonias are starting to flower and the liliums have finished. the camellias seem to be withstanding the heat as long as we put the sprayers on often to keep the air moist. I bought some colourful resin pots from Ikea but haven’t managed to plant anything in them. They are supposed to be standing in 2 neat rows on the plant stand in the atrium so we have something colourful at eye level! Fingers crossed- I still have to drill holes in the bases for drainage.
So life goes on at Number 13 and we hope 2010 will be happier and healthier. I’ll put in a big wish for WEALTHIER! Greedy me- but I would like to go back to my old way of living with a minimum of money worry! I don’t want to live in luxury- especially the sort of thing that is publicised as “luxurious celebrity-style”- no gold taps for me- just let me pay the bills on time and go to the movies occasionally!