Photo Friday


Here’s my submission for this week’s Photo Friday – the theme of Still Life.

When I was at school I did art in my last year of school. I was really quite crap at it and one of the things I tried to do was plantlife in watercolours. I don’t think I could have chosen a more difficult medium to use. I ended up getting an ok mark for my work but I’m much more comfortable with taking photographs. My garden is a proliferation of healthy flowers at the moment and to me, depicts ‘Still Life’ out in the garden rather than something manufactured inside.

Thinking about mortality

While I was away on holiday I got a phone call from my mum one morning at 8am telling me my auntie had died. She was dad’s sister and died suddenly from a heart attack at aged 61. It didn’t really distress me because I’ve hardly seen her in my adult life and she didn’t make an effort to contact us and vice versa. But it got me thinking that my dad is four years older than her and it could have been him. That side of the family has a history of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack and dad is a bit overweight and loves his beer. I used to always think that mum and dad would be around until they were quite old and they might be but this made me think that it isn’t a given.

My auntie’s funeral was yesterday and I think a lot of people go to funerals, not just to pay their last respects but to catch up with old friends and not often seen relatives. Unfortunately just about the only time I see some of my relatives is at these funerals and my cousin mentioned it yesterday and said we should catch up when it’s not just a funeral. I said I’d organise a barbeque some time which I will do maybe around Christmas time. It will be interesting as my sister does not get on with some of my cousins but I’ll invite everyone and it will be up to them to settle their differences or not bother coming.

My uncle mentioned at the funeral that as the last person from the generation up from him died last year he thought there would be a break of about ten years before the next generation started dying but he was wrong. I told him something along the lines of you can’t be sure about that and to make the most of being here. Hopefully it’s got them thinking about their mortality and doing something about keeping themselves on this earth for as long as they want. I certainly don’t want to be going to another relatives funeral any time soon.

I’m back

The week I spent away has just flown. I can’t possibly write down a blow-by-blow description now. The high point was a Saturday afternoon barbeque I organised with a small group of friends who loved me enough to drive to my holiday house (an hour from Adelaide) and come and celebrate my birthday with me. It was a very pleasant afternoon with good company, some sparkling red which I just love, some good food and some laughs. By the time the last people left about 8.30, my girlfriend and I just sat there saying nothing which is very rare for us. We were just body and head tired so retired for the night.

The low point was doing a penguin tour with Jaycee Junior and being him being told by someone else more than once to shut up. I was quite shocked that they would even consider telling a three year old to shut up. I guess she never had kids of her own, or any experience with children. If you tell them to shut up they do the exact opposite. When we left the doors were automatic things and I couldn’t shut them so that created more noise than Jaycee Junior in the first place. Then I had to chase him around in the dark while we were supposed to be looking at penguins. The other low point was getting a phone call from my mum to say my auntie had died from a heart attack (my dad’s sister) and she was only about 60. Made me sit and think about my parent’s mortality.

Overall though, we had a pretty good time. We were right across the road from the beach and we all love the beach. It was too cold for me to swim but the dog and the kid didn’t think so.

I won’t miss the extra saggy and lumpy bed but that didn’t detract from very good sleeps every night execpt last night because of a big moth beating its wings against the wall on and off throughout the night.

It’s my birthday today

I was rudely interrupted yesterday when posting by my son arriving home. I usually find that I don’t have the time to just sit down and write properly, it’s usually done in a rush. Luckily I can touch type. Today is my actual birthday and I’ve had better. Last night Jaycee Junior had a sore ear so he was crying every 15 minutes after he went to bed until about 11pm when I took him into my bed where he immediately stopped crying and had an uninterrupted sleep until about 6am this morning. Consequently I’ve felt tired all day. I had a few birthday phone calls this morning and a friend took us out to lunch which wasn’t all that relaxing looking out for who Jaycee Junior was hassling. We went to a local pub and it’s pension day so it was packed with people having their lunch too. Always a glutton for punishment we went and did some grocery shopping after that.

This afternoon I have to start packing for our week away from tomorrow, so I won’t be posting here for just over a week. Today I have also done a load of washing and mowed the lawn which couldn’t wait until I get back. Tonight my sister and a friend are coming over and we’re getting take away before we sit down to watch Kath and Kim (my Thursday night religion).

My birthday celebrations continue tomorrow night at my holiday house about an hour’s drive from Adelaide with two close friends staying with me. Saturday I’ve organised a barbeque and about eight adults are coming to that. I just hope the people bringing the actual barbeque don’t pull out otherwise I hope the grill in the oven works. Sunday night a girlfriend and her daughter are staying with me and I’ve had other friends say they will come and visit during the week. I think it will be a busy week in all, but hopefully a relaxing one. I’ve got too much stuff to do around here to stay here and relax so I’ve got to pay to get away.

Well, onto the packing.
Oh, I just remembered I didn’t talk more about the matchmaking – that will have to wait.

Happy birthday to me.

The week long celebration that is my birthday has started. I say a week long but as I’m on two weeks annual leave, let’s say two weeks. This week I’ve had Jaycee Junior in childcare so I can do some things both around the house and elsewhere and not have him around. I got a great big pile of compost delivered yesterday and it took 4-5 hours over two days to distribute that around the garden. I got too much so know how much to get next time. I’ve got a sore back and was really tired last night but have a good sense of achievement. Even more noteworthy of my efforts was the fact that it was 36 degrees celcius yesterday and blowing a hot north wind. I only worked till about 11 though and had a shower before heading out. I’ve still got a bit of sweeping up and I’ve got a mini stockpile in case I need it because of the oversupply.

Today after I finished I caught up with a friend and we went to have sushi for lunch. Mmm, mmm mmm. I love sushi and this was like a yum cha sushi because you picked plates off train carriages going round in a big circle in front of you while two staff members busily made all different kinds of sushi. I do love it a lot and was glad my friend suggested it. We then drove into the city and bought tickets to see Somersault. We sat in the cinema and 15 minutes after the movie was supposed to start it still hadn’t. We had to leave and get our money back as we both had to be somewhere straight after the movie was supposed to finish its advertised time. Bummer – I don’t get to the movies very often so was looking forward to it.

I’ve also installed a CD burner in my computer. I had planned to keep the original CD because you never know if you might need it but I need special brackets and after finding out that they’re specific to the manufacturer I decided to just swap over the old for the new.

Post election blues

My last post saw me rushing out to vote. I went with Jaycee Junior armed with biscuits to keep him quiet while I voted. I also took the pram so he could be belted up in it and not run around everywhere stressing me out and annoying everyone else. All my good intentions and plans went out the window. I did the green lower house slip ok as that was only a few numbers and then I moved on to the senate votes which required 47 numbers for the below the line voting.

Well Jaycee Junior decided that being in the pram wasn’t good enough and wanted to get out. I eventually let him out and he ran amok just as I foresaw so I forced him back in the pram. Not a good move. I was only up to number 26 and thought I have to keep going so he sat there screaming, I just breathed harder while trying to find where I was up to. Luckily the woman next to me must have been a bit deaf as she didn’t even look my way – in fact I saw nobody look my way and I definitely got no offers of help so on he kept screaming.

By the time I finished Jaycee Junior was out of the pram again. I went and put my papers in the voting bins and asked if I could leave the screamer there but they didn’t want him. I thought I was going to have to drag him out which I’ve done before but I gave him the choice of walking with me or hopping back in the pram. Luckily he chose the walking so we made it out of there quietly.

I must reflect on reading books about toddlers and I’ve read that when you want to go somewhere to say to your toddler firmly that you’re going NOW. That’s all well and good but they don’t always listen and they quite often don’t care. It’s taken me a while to figure out that the more stressed I am about going right now because I’m in a hurry or he’s in a shit, the more likely he is to put on a turn. My local supermarket is quite used to us now having tantrums – yes and that’s both of us. No not quite but I come pretty close.

When I had to do my grocery shopping on Friday morning I rang up a woman in my mother’s group to ask if Jaycee Junior could come and play and she was happy for him to come over. I was only gone for an hour but it was lovely. I also love it how the toddler books say to leave your toddler with somebody while you go shopping but not everyone can do that or want to ask someone if they can help out while you go shopping. If the Family First party got their way the husband could stay home and look after the kids, or failing that an extended family member could do the duty. Anyway I digress.

I haven’t talked about the matchmaking that has happened to me recently or my two nights out in a row on Friday and Saturday night. Next time.