Category: Life & Death (Page 1 of 8)

Scattered on the sea

Did I swim this morning? Yes. Yes I did. Thanks for asking…

Then we went out to the airport to say goodbye to M’s niece and squeeze. (Why do I have so much trouble spelling the word ‘niece’? It just looks wrong however I type it. Gah.) Hung around the house with M’s other sister, Y, until J came over with her 11 month old grandson, Ben. He is M’s GREAT-NEPHEW – bwah HA HA! – and he is very cute. M and I were made to look after him while his sisters went to see someone at the bank. It seems that everyone is nicer to you when you’re pushing around some cute kid in a pram (…back when I was a nanny, everyone just used to look at me like my life was RUINED because I was 19, dressed entirely in black with a tiny baby that I had to push around St Kilda to make it sleep).

J apparently was a disgrace at the bank as she’d knocked back ONE glass of wine before going, and Y had to explain to the bank manager what a cheap drunk her sister is. When they got back, J had three more wines and that was it – she was a staggering, semi-hysterical gigglepot. Y took care of the baby and sorted out some dinner, while her squeeze and J, M and I hung out with the next door neighbours. I half carried J home, where she wisely stuck to soft drink. I’d shared a bottle of champagne with her on Thursday and she’d been fine. I mentioned this and she said that champagne is the only alcohol that she has any tolerance for!

M had been doing his own imbibing throughout the afternoon, while Y and I stayed moderate. It was about 9pm when they decided that the time was right to take Faye’s ashes out and scatter them into the bay at the end of the pier. We’d planned on going out in a boat, but the weather was too crap, and we figured she wouldn’t mind, as long as the tide was high. I felt like a bit of an imposter, but on the other hand I was fairly determined to go along. I asked J whether she minded me tagging along, and she said ‘no’. So I didn’t pursue it.

Hello Chloe Rose!

On Christmas Day L rang me to say ‘Happy Christmas’, and added “I’m pregnant!” It was odd. She was the first one of my girlfriends that I am in regular contact with to get knocked up. She was due in August. It seemed like more than forever away. She told everyone quite early so we didn’t think she had a major disease because she felt so ill. I waited the full three months before I told her about PartyPie and enjoyed illicitly pumping her for information during that time. She is a fantastic researcher and is my conspirator in the exhaustive pursuit of a bargain.

How is it possibly AUGUST already!?? We went shopping last week, and I could barely look at L side on in fear of the whale I am going to become. Her baby – a girl – was due on Saturday. I knew in my heart that L could never possibly have a baby that arrived on time. It would just not be right – she is chronically late. Last night I got the text – she was on her way into Masada. OMG. I have spent the next however many hours poised to… to I don’t know what! This morning I got an update – still no arrival.

I was just out striding around the paddock. It has been the most sublime weather that we’ve had for weeks and weeks. I had my phone with me. A text came through at about 5pm: Chloe Rose – born at 3.58pm – 8.9 pounds – 49.5cm long. CONGRATULATIONS L & D – you are champions! Now I’m going to study you all like lab rats for the next six months!! Can’t wait to visit bearing sushi and brie!

All was serene…

Too serene, as it turned out. I was working from home, and punctuating the day with the domesticities that a lack of concentration seems to aid and abet. Went out to hang out the washing. The lack of wind was extremely soothing. The sun was out. Both cats were asleep under a nearby tree, Buns was sprawled in a shady spot and Blossom the Aged Pony was lying down in the far paddock. The other horses mused among the grass.

First of all, the lack of wind for which I was so grateful meant that every mosquito and its extended family in the area gathered around my head and divebombed every exposed bit of flesh, so the remainder of my time at the washing line was punctuated by squeals. I had thought of going back inside to get my camera to take a few pictures of the various animals in their states of languor.

In some ways it was good that I was thwarted in this by the mozzie attacks. I decided, instead, to visit M at the shed and take him some lunch. I was just getting in the car when a woman who had been feeding her horse (we have a few horses agisted here, as well as the few that belong to our landlord) pulled up in her car. She looked awkward. There were mozzies massing around her head.

“Um. The owner doesn’t seem to be around, and…well. We just went to say hello to Blossom…”

Ah, I thought, someone else appreciating the combination of animals and tranquility.

“…and she’s lying on the ground with one leg in the air. She’s Not Moving.” She looked at me apologetically. “I’ve got my daughter with me and I didn’t want to go any closer.”

I did a small I-don’t-cope-with-dead-things shudder and averted my eyes from where they had strayed to the distant sight of what I had thought was a bucolic Blossom.


“Sorry. I thought I should tell someone. But I’ve really got to get going!” She ended with a yelp as she was pursued by about a million seething insects to the front seat of her car.

“No worries,” I said, waving forlornly. I drove the red car down the driveway and stopped outside the landlord’s house. Walked the front door. Heard the unmistakable crunching of gravel and ran back to stop the car disappearing down the driveway. Yanked on the handbrake. Went back to the front door, hoping that Small Brother in London had not just awoken with an odd car-related twitch that something had nearly gone amiss.

After living here for almost 18 months I met the landlord’s wife. She was very nice, and said she would steel herself to go and look at Blossom – they’d got Blossom for their daughter when she turned one. Their daughter is now 27.

When I got home a few hours later, our landlord was digging a horse shaped hole in the paddock. I didn’t watch. RIP Blossom 🙁

Sunset and Blossom the horse

Throwing Pesto and meeting Elijah

I was putting off posting this until I knew the baby’s name…and had permission to publish. A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to our lovely wondrous friends, former housemates, canoeing and camping companions, and generally all round good mates, D and E on the birth of their little boy Elijah. He arrived on 8 December at around 1.20am in the morning and weighed in at about 6.4 pounds (2.87kg). I find the fact that our two friends that we have known forever have suddenly come up with a third member made up of bits of both of them quite bizarre.

I have a gorgeous photo of M, D, E and Elijah that I was going to post, but I will get permission first, as I’m not sure that I would want someone else sticking up my photo after what sounds like extensive sleep deprivation (even though the photograph is v.cool). So instead I will show you a picture that really doesn’t illustrate the extent of my disastrous greeting when we arrived at their place last night. M had made some green gold – PESTO – his specialty. And somehow, in greeting D and sort of handing over the pesto I managed to drop the container, coating the walls, floor and doors of their very beautiful new house in green goo.

M was beyond horrified. I was mortified. D was fairly amenable, but that was due to new-father hormones and general lack of sleep. E was breastfeeding and did not see the carnage. Oh. Woe. Thank god we also took along some champagne.

My greeting card. Throwing pesto at the door, walls and floor.

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