Nothing to add, I admire Gordon’s eloquence .

Originally posted on Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain:

I came across this summary of grief recently in an interview with the Dutch poet Pieter Boksma: “Immediately after the death of a loved one, grief is a kind of friend: so long as the grief is there, the departed is still close by. Your grief connects you with him or her. Later on grief becomes an enemy that forms an obstacle to new happiness and a new life. Until one morning you have to say to yourself: it’s over now, it’s time to make a new start. It’s an illness that you can only cure yourself.”

Boksma covered the terrain of grief meticulously in his 2010 collection Doodsbloei (Death’s Bloom), which followed the death of his wife two years earlier, when Boksma was 52 and his wife 50. Fifty-two is a young age to be widowed (not as absurdly young as 39, but still a good few decades ahead of schedule), and…

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Birthdays of My Dad and My Father

Originally posted on inspired2ignite:

Dad’s birthday is today; gone now nearly 5 years, he would be turning 92.

He hated Christmas.  Apparently his birthday was forgotten every year in the midst of Christmas preparations when he was growing up.  The pain of being forgotten never seemed to leave him.  He would not allow us to put up a tree until his birthday had passed, and even then did so grudgingly.

I know now Dad’s Christmas experience is only a tiny window into his life story.

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Merry Christmas, Mr Morrison.

Originally posted on speakupforthose:

Merry Christmas pic

Dear Mr Morrison,

As promised in February, in the tradition of William Wilberforce, I have continued to write to you regularly even though I rarely receive a reply.   I also write consistently to my local Member of Parliament.  She always ends her responses with, “Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further queries regarding this or any other issue.”.  However, she has now requested that I focus solely on writing to you directly.  She says that you are best placed to address my concerns.  Therefore, although I suspect that you will not reciprocate, I have decided to write you this Christmas greeting.

Merry Christmas, Mr Morrison.

I wonder how you will send your Christmas greetings this year.  Will you choose cards emblazoned with words such as ‘peace’, ‘hope’ and ‘joy’?  I wonder how you will reconcile those words with the turmoil, hopelessness and despair inflicted on lives…

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A book and some thoughts

I have read a really stunning book recently,  The Invisible Bridge  8733603.

Regular readers will know that I have a longstanding interest in the Holocaust and this wonderful book looks at the lives of two families of Hungarian Jews and the effects of the War (that is WW2) upon them. I am very ignorant about the lives of Eastern Europeans and know little about Hungary and it’s people. All I knew was that the relationship between Hungary and Nazi Germany was complicated and depended upon who was in power. I didn’t know that on the whole, Hungarians treated their Jewish population much better than a lot of countries (relatively-speaking) and that it wasn’t until later in the War that many Hungarian Jews were transported and lost their lives in the Holocaust.

The beauty of this book, is the see-saw of emotions that the reader experiences. I smiled, I cried, my heart raced, I felt cocooned in the story… this book talked about friends who I hoped would survive the terrible circumstances of their lives. As one would expect, it was not all good news, most of it was horrible and blighted, but to find out at the end that the characters were real made me cry loudly for them and the hardships they endured.

Every time I read another account, every time I see another photo, every time I view another film about the War; I wonder just how my Father’s family and more specifically his Father and Older Brother survived. I am sure their experiences moulded the people they were, the families they raised and the fears they felt; I am a product of all those things. Opa in Vienna (This is my Opa and other men, taken as slave labourers to Austria)

It is really only when I got older, that I could honestly forgive the people who loved and raised me for their mistakes, after all, we can only do the best we can, with the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

This book was an education, thankyou Julie Orringer.


Busy, busy, busy and a book!

So my husband and daughter have gone on a road trip down the coast for beach, fish and bush. School has finished for the year and the long stretch of summer holidays is upon us.

I am home with my (nearly) 21 year old son and it has been interesting. The dynamics are very different when the mix of people at home changes :)

I am sitting here munching pepernoten ( two days late!) and having a cup of tea, it is nice to relax after a hectic weekend…I have given myself a long list of jobs to do while the home population is halved and I am probably insane for trying to get it all done, but hey?!

The front garden is tidied (although the marri tree is dropping leaves like there is no tomorrow), I am tilling and composting the vege garden and then leaving it fallow over summer. Summer used to be our most bountiful season in the backyard, but our neighbour decided to chop all his trees down and now our backyard is too hot to support any plant that needs a lot of water…it is a pain really, I miss growing stupendous lettuce and artichokes and my asparagus has just been pathetic this spring :(

The Christmas tree and decorations are up, Mum’s art bag is completed (thankyou little Pfaff for sewing through 8 layers of upholstery fabric like it was butter!!!) and presents wrapped (to avoid snoopage by recipients)’ finally menu planning for the day has begun in earnest. As there will be five nationalities represented, I am going all-out ethnic! It will be an interesting menu and very unlike the usual fare found at an Aussie Christmas lunch (prawns and crayfish, ham and cold chicken, salads etc), I am going to try and make pirogi for the first time, they don’t look difficult, but we’ll see…does anyone have a good recipe, I am thinking pork (it is my favourite meat)?

Meanwhile, I have read a very evocative book. Do you ever continue reading books where you dislike all the main characters? I usually put them library returns bin pronto; not this one…

275982 This novel centres around a young teenager who has grown up in a very dysfunctional home, she ingratiates herself into a spartan Christian sect and what ensues could be inconsequential in the everyday, but isn’t within the rites of this group of extreme Protestants. The novel is takes place in the present and in flashback to 1969 when Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon. We know that there is something different about her face in the present because people find it difficult to look at her, but we don’t find out what it is until the end. This description gives away very little, mainly because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might have a look at, my advice is to persist past the “unlikeability” of the main characters- it is worth it :)

I have a big pile of books to read over my holidays, 26 wonderful days off work!!! Watch this space, there will be no (repeat, no) reports of boredom from this happy little Vegemite :)



It is finally starting to feel like Christmas (in my head)

It has been a ridiculously busy year and trying to find time for thoughts other than busyness stuff has been difficult. However, the weather is finally becoming warmer, I have been to a couple of present-themed markets and it is starting to feel like Christmas in my mind. To this end, I have finally made a list of things to get and to do and have actually done a bit of sewing :)

I made this pair of trousers two years ago, specifically for Christmas Day, they are a silk/linen mix and beautifully drapey and cool, however the top I made to complete the outfit always felt a little too like surgical scrubs. I have now updated things and intend this to be my Christmas Day ensemble, same pants, different top.

fbjLZMt714dAZhaNlrluen2axx_mjKA4Bax9iZd6jFs=w603-h1072-no If the shape of the top looks familiar to some of you, it is because it is a Sorbetto to which I’ve done a bit of embellishment. The fabric was always a fave from Ikea, but I never bought it as it seemed a bit pricey, however at half price how could I walk away empty-handed? The neckline is pleated and the top itself feels pretty special, quite dressy in fact… I like it!  DSC_0978

The next project has been somewhat bigger in it’s production. My lovely Mum has finally rediscovered her inner artist after an hiatus of probably 60 years. She works in acrylics, oils and pastels and is really enjoying herself. When she saw my daughters art bag she took a shine to it and asked if I would get her one next time I was in the art supplies shop? Of course I said, but then I got thinking…

I asked my daughter if her bag could be better and she thought of some modifications that would improve the design, basically, all the fundamentals were good, but the whole thing needed to be BIGGER, so I went to work.

P1030622 P1030623 P1030624 P1030625 P1030626 The fabrics are an assortment of pieces I have bought at different times, that have come together nicely for this project. The front has pockets for brushes and paint tubes, the sides are pockets for rulers and whatever else, the back has a large pocket secured with velcro and the inside has another separate pocket. The inside base is removable stiff cardboard inserted into a sleeve of thick denim. I have just two things left to do, the outside bottom which will also be in denim because it will need to be hard wearing and I am waiting for my labels to arrive, so I can proudly sew it on the inside. Knowing my Mum, she will love it (fingers crossed!!!).

If life couldn’t be any busier, I have ventured into the land of Etsy. At the moment the store is not open, I am just listing stuff from my extensive wardrobe of designer 1980’s stuff (that I just couldn’t part with before). When I was single and the only person I needed to indulge was me, I spent a lot of money on some gorgeous clothes, but frankly, I am tired of a whole wardrobe being full of beautiful clothes that will never fit me again, the funny thing is that Etsy classes the 1980’s as Vintage!

Ha ha! If anything is going to help me feel as if I am on the way to decrepitude it is being classed as Vintage, I feel “Classic” might be a word I would respond to better!!!