Oh! How pinkly pretty! How miraculously pure! Not a blemish! Not a freckle! A work of art for sure. * Was she really that uncrumpled? That uncreased? That fresh and bright? Was the day a little cloudy Yet she was bathed in light? * The young girls of that era Must have gazed at this in awe Thinking her the ultimate; The best they ever saw! * And did they suffer heartache Because their skins were beige With here and there the evidence Of swiftly-advancing age? * Today we talk of models Who're almost skin and bone, And we worry that our young girls May compare and weep alone. * But surely in the old days Comparisons were made And 'teenagers' were haunted By that dire phrase 'an old maid'! * This pinkly perfect poppet Has been air-brushed, in a way. The artist's brush transformed her And that is how she'll stay. *
This has been a very full week, but I suppose things will accelerate right up to Christmas now. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are in a different situation from all comparative societies, because the end of the year really IS the end of the year, in that it corresponds to an American or British mid-year. School ends and the long holidays correspond with Christmas. The New Year really IS new, with little children starting school etc. And, because of this we seem to get a double dose of parties etc. And all when the weather is steamy! I'm not complaining but......
Our local politics have become rather heated too. Malcolm Turnbull, the Opposition leader, wants to side with the Government on the matter of Climate Change, before Kevin goes to Copenhagen, but half Malcolm's party wants to hold back and his leadership is being threatened. Great angst all round. What thick hides politicians need to have!
At least he's good-looking!
On MONDAY Malcolm (Bryant) and I traveled down to the Central Coast to hear a friend's choir. During the course of the concert they performed one of my little plays so that was good for the ego!When they lined up at the end I also took a bow.
I'm the little blue person on the right.
On TUESDAY evening Malcolm and I were invited to dinner at a retirees' gathering, and I entertained with some of my sillier poems. I was delighted with this flattering picture of me in full flight!
In my element!
Theatricals held sway on WEDNESDAY as well, but this time I wasn't involved. A group of us went down to Sydney too see the musical 'Wicked'. I usually just put-up with the two-hour journey, but it so happened that I found myself in a very congenial group both going and returning, and I reveled in the social chatter. The journeys passed in a flash. However I did NOT enjoy the show. While the singing, costumes, scenery, effects etc were great, I found the story tedious and inconsequential, and the music uninspiring.
The Five Friends
THURSDAY was a much more relaxed day. Becca and I took Max to the beach as the weather was divine; not too hot, thank goodness! The Children's pool was being cleaned so we had to use the Ladies' pool , built in the mid 19th century to prevent the ladies seeing the naked men in the surf!
The Ladies' Pool.
FRIDAY became theatrical again, but not to any great extent. I wasn't happy with our last production of the 'Pirate' melodrama; things beyond our control threw us out of kilter. So we had an extra rehearsal at my house today and that was fun.
On SATURDAY I went to Marketown to do photocopying and I went very early to be sure of a parking spot.Sure enough, by the time I'd finished a little shopping the place was packed. I can't say the hectic nature of Christmas thrills me much. Becca came for the evening with Blake, as Brian was on Fireman duty down in Sydney. We had a low-key evening of pizza and a fairly so-so TV film, but it's always lovely to spend time in her company.
Alfred Hitchcock, of movie fame, (and now as dead as mutton) Wasn't like the rest of us! He had no belly-button! * When you sneeze the rest of you also plays its part; Everything ceases to function! Even your beating heart! * Babies have no knee-caps! Feel a knee and see! But they grow up to be knee-capped, just like you and me. * Five years of your lifetime will be spent standing in a line Probably obeying a little 'Wait here!' sign! * The toothbrush was invented in 1498! I bet you never would have guessed at such an early date! *
If you visit this blog you will enjoy a wonderful rendition of the original
'Count Your Blessings.'
COUNT THE TIMES
Count the times you say 'Hello!'
To someone new in every place you go.
It is really not too hard to do
It is something nice that far too few do.
Count the smiles that you bestow
On someone new who's looking rather low,
And when you leave you'll look behind and see
What magic's wrought by such a pleasantry.
Count the times you smile and say
Some simple words like 'Have a lovely day!'
If sincerity is in your eyes
You will find that's where a friendly high lies.
Count the times you give a grin,
No matter what the state your heart is in
And when you go to bed at close of day
You'll feel rewarded for your give-away.
P.S. I've always been in awful trouble with my family because I speak to strangers! My daughter, as a teenager, used to clutch my arm and hiss 'Mum! They don't want to know you!' But I still think my lack of self consciousness has been a boon rather than an embarrassment.
After all the excitement, followed by ill-health, of last week, this week was remarkably normal. The only abnormal thing, and a very worrying one at that, is that the Summer Heat arrived a month early. November is usually fairly mild, but a Heatwave hit us this week and we've probably got to get used to that, because of Climate Change. I always felt the heat from December to March was over-the-top, but I must now think of it as 'November to April'! Thank goodness for air-conditioning, although one feels guilty using it! Of course, there were bush-fires too, although none in our area. The temperature reached 37 degrees on Friday!
A press photo of swimmers cooling-off at the Bogey Hole.
My own early-morning shot at Merewether Beach.
World news faded into the background this week, as my own personal affairs took-over. But we were all spellbound by the separation of the conjoined twins in Melbourne and by the fortitude of the legless Australian who crawled the Kokoda Trail.
Navigating a bridge in the jungle.
'My own personal affairs' weren't exactly mine, but a son and his lively family moving-in next-door is bound to impinge and it's all been quite exciting really. Greg came round a lot to check-up on things.
Here he is leaving on his bike after an inspection.
He then decided to repaint the walls! (He asked permission!) As you can see, he got pretty hot!
In our own lives there was a lesser flurry of excitement when we bought a new wide-screen TV. I don't like how it dominates the room, but the picture is great.
An icon on an icon.
On MONDAY and TUESDAY this week I was still without a voice and not very lively, so I did some Xmas letter-writing and sorting-out Melodrama 'gigs' for next year. The heatwave hadn't arrived then, so I had a pleasant relaxing time. In the evening on Tuesday we went to our Book Group. This was held at Anne's house up in the hills, where it was delightfully misty when we arrived. I got a shot but the sun had already set.
The gentle hills of the Hunter Valley.
On WEDNESDAY my Scrabble friends came round for a game and we had our usual convivial time. And on THURSDAY I went to the beach with Max and Becca. We were delighted that we managed to coax Max into deeper water. He actually laid down in it and said 'Water's nice!' so progress was made.
On the way home he fooled about in the flowers.
FRIDAY was dominated by Greg painting next-door. I didn't do anything to help but I was very aware that he was there, and I kept suggesting drinks etc. SATURDAY was a limbo sort of day. Greg and family were moving in next door. He had lots of burly male helpers (he'd hired a truck) and he assured me that there was nothing I could do, but I sort of hovered all day and felt unsettled. Anyway, they're in now, for better or worse. We spent the evening with friends Vera and Angus. When we got home the removal truck was still ferrying to and fro!
I wrote this when I was in my twenties and, obviously, not doing too well in the romantic department!
It originally had a rather plaintive tune!
I am struck by the innocence of these fifty year old lyrics!
When they walk in the park on Sunday I watch them as they go
Two by two with a bill and coo,
Walking to and fro.
It's all so neat and practical, the way these things are done;
Moves sublimely tactical
Underneath the Sunday sun.
When they walk in the park on Sunday I feel like a wingless bird
Looking-on till life has gone;
My fate to always dream of things, my life my own affair.
They're all little cogs in the scheme of things
And I am just a spare!
When they walk in the park on Sunday I see with a jaundiced eye
Born in England in 1931. Evacuated in World War 2. Trained as a teacher at Brighton Training College, Sussex. Taught in London. Moved to Zimbabwe. Seven years later worked on a mail ship. Married Malcolm in Capetown. Two children, Rebecca and Greg. Moved to Australia in 1974. After retirement worked for a publisher. Three grandsons, Blake, Harry and Max. Disabled by stroke in 2013. Now in wheelchair with husband as carer..