And, frankly, the past few days I've felt that my energy would be better oput into being astonishingly lazy. So, I've missed my daily blog. Actually, lazy isn't what I'd call myslef on weekdays: this job of mine is making demands on me that I never thought possible... but the rewards certainly outpace the demands.
OLD. Don't let me get old and dependant. I'm dealing with a varying bunch of old folk every day. All of them are dependant to one degree or another: they are, after all, housebound. They're the blind, the lame, the halt, the derelict of our society. And what a brilliantly diverse bunch they are. I shared some time with a stone-blind pianist and artist today: what a vibrant woman, Strong and powerful. I also spent a few minutes with a bedraggled alcoholic South African lady who is probably the last apologist Vorster's apartheid has in the world. I've spent time with those in their last few days in hospices and hospitals, I've seen those in nasty little Old folks Homes, and nattered with them in very flash gated communities. I won't mind being physically buggered as long as I retain my independence: I dread being brought to the stage of having someone else wipe my arse.
Myself. What is it with this word? So many people are saying "myself" when what they should be saying is "I" or "me". I hear them on the tele, on the radio, and in casual conversation. "Michael and myself went to Brisbane for the weekend..." "I've always thought that magenta suits myself. What do you think?" I think that you need to learn to spikka da English, asshole.
Words. A couple of people have made the same point to me recently: why use a $5 word when a 10 cent one will do just as well? Well, 10 cent words don't carry the precision or power of $5 words, that's why. I'd rather use one $5 word to make a point than twenty 10 cent words.
Sweat: It was a hot day today, and very busy. I sweated like the proverbail pig - a statement that's always made me wonder: do pigs really sweat heavily?
Anyway. I came home, finally, at around 6.45 - and I'd only had two cups of tea to drink all day. I was as dry, as they say, as a dead dingoe's donger. So what did i reach for? A 50/50 split of lemonade and orange juice. Perhaps i'm getting old already....
Kia kaha, folks!
Reading:Dunno.Ireally can't remember.
Listening to: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Shit, they were great!
Word of the Day: sweat. Don't sweat the small stuff. Actually, don't sweat the big stuff, either.
More Moana!“Off you go, Treen. We'll see you when you get back. There's no hurry, the wedding doesn't start 'til real late. As long as you're back by 5.30, OK?”“OK, Mum,” she said. She gave me a kiss, and rushed off to the laundry. I heard Gentle Annie start up, then Treen calling to her Father.
Mum was sitting at the table, a vision in Lavender and purple, with a river of blue eye shadow glaring out at the world. She spread some jam onto a cheese scone, and took a bite.
“She can't read, you know,” she said.
“What's that, Mum? Who can't read?”
“That Diana Spencer, who's marrying our Charlie. I hear she's still going to kindergarten. Talk about cradle robbing,” she muttered, darkly.
“She teaches kindergarten, Mum. She doesn't go there to learn, she teaches. Anyway, there's something I need to talk to you about. I'm planning a surprise for Chutty.” I was worrying whether I could rely on her today, but I didn't have any option. We had Wendy to look after, and a lot to organise. I started to tell her what I had planned, when Russel burst in, carrying a load of clothes.
“Joan got us all sorted, Mum. I got this for Dad, this for Treen, and this one for me. Hello, Nan, how 're you?” All this came out in a rush, and he kissed his grandmother's cheek.
“You're a good boy, Russel,” she said. “So much like my Colin, you are.”
“Good oh, Nan.” He'd heard it a million times.
He went through, and dropped everything onto my bed, then wandered into his own bedroom to turn on the old TV set he had in there. He'd liberated it from the rubbish tip just out of town, and repaired it himself. It cost him $7 and change, and two hours of time.
It had a better picture than the TV we had in the slop room, and I occasionally went to Russel's room to watch if there was a movie on that no-one else wanted to watch.
I carried on telling Mum my plans, and Wendy came in from the bathroom, looking pink and scrubbed. Treen's clothing was a little loose on Wendy, but she looked comfortable enough. She was entranced at the plans I had, and asked if she could stay.
“We'll need to tell your Mum, dear,” I said. “In case she worries.”
“Oh, she won't worry, Mrs W. She's gone across to Napier with Tony.”
Tony, I guessed, was the new boyfriend. “In that case, love, you're welcome. In fact, I'll put you to work. Can you cook curried sausages as well as your Mum can?”
Mandy Millar's curried sausages were famous in Northridge. If there was ever a bit of a “ladies a plate” do on down at the school, everyone in town hoped that Mandy Millar would turn up with a big bowl of her curried bangers.
“I can do 'em better than Mum, Mrs W.”
This was great news. If there was ever a meal that Chutty Wrigley liked, it was curried sausages. “Well, hop to it, then. There's no time like the present.” By golly, I can organise people when I can see it'll save me a job. Wendy looked for the ingredients, and asked about carrots. “There's a few ready down at the far end of the vege patch,” I told her, and she went out to get them.
“She can't read, you know,” said Mum.