Monday, November 2, 2015


The morning after J was discharged now that her mitral valve leak had been repaired (the fine fibrous tendons which finesse its closure had ruptured - the strings of my heart were broken she confessed in an unguarded moment of truth about her past) and a ring inserted into the tricuspid valve which had collaterally been distorted by a struggling ventricle, we took her for breakfast at Jackies before heading off to the Blue Mountains for a swap to another car to complete the four hour drive homewards.

Jackies is where C told Debbie to stop worrying about turning fifty and for fucks sake, have a party. Which she did.

There's a fashionable women's shop next door, or overhead mostly, as Jackies sits mainly in a gorgeous golden old sandstone cellar. A side service door to the shop is from Jackies upper courtyard. There's interesting comings and goings often enough, and on this morning a fine looking young woman in sensible shoes carried in a bucket chocka with the most gorgeous roses, a soft pale apricot pink rose at once subtle but attention commanding at the same time.

A second bucket arrived as we were leaving. I for one couldn't help myself. I mostly can't. The smell was a thing increasingly rare, and transporting, literally back to childhood. My father's favorites were 'Forty-niner*' and 'Peace", about as old fashioned as old fashioned roses get, or got. I all but swooned and smelt again. "Take one" she smiled, "it's 'Josephine'." 

(* named after the 1849 Californian gold rush)


At last I find some time to log into blogger. While I can't say that I've been aching to do it, not really, there has been something knawing away inside me - the need to keep a rudimentary record of things.

This post started a month or so ago when the first signs of spring appeared and by now we seem to have catapulted into an early summer with storms and humidity already all the go. Everything is green, and there's leeches about and the dog had a tick under her mandible the other week. The ceiling fan over the bed in on most nights, and the lawn scattered with bedding during the day

Things have been a bit askew the past few months. About the only constancy, and comfort, is the diurnal-ness of the bush - kookaburras in the morning calling in the day and a lengthening twilight with wombats out, brazen as ever. These photos are weeks old now, when the summer grass was first shooting.

                                                              (drenched but undeterred)

                                                            (only cute from a distance)

Anyway, as I said, there's been some hiccoughs.

The dog tore a hamstring when she took off one evening in the hunt for whatever - most likely a wallaby or roo, or fox maybe. She came back lame and the dreaded suspicion of a cruciate tear didn't realise, but rather she had a grey-hound kind of injury which needed rest and patience and is now completely healed.

More significantly, there was a fall on a coast walk when someone beloved felt the land give way and snapped both tibia and fibula just above the ankle in a dramatic and instant upheaval, highlighted in its extravagance in that the Police Rescue needed to be involved.

Broken bones in legs are sobering. They highlight vulnerability. They destroy independence. They threaten deformity. And like all illness, they bring you together.

It makes me consider just what courage was involved in the great Dame recovering from bilateral broken femurs. You need the one to support the other and, without the either for the or, a return to weight-bearing seems impossible. But she for one did. While our episode was only the one leg, my (equally big and Scottish) dear one managed admirably.

Here's Joan, back on her timbers in the most matter of fact kind of way and, as usual, dismissive of undue adulation.

And just recently a country friend with neither family nor strong city connections has been our guest while waiting for and eventually having heart surgery. She disguises much of herself well with a visage and patter of unending and not uncommonly inappropriate optimism. Or denial. Is there a difference?

The night before her scheduled appointment with the heart-lung machine (which actually turned out to be a rehearsal of sorts: we were to sit all day waiting, her chatter became less oblique and more grounded as the hours wore on before being told mid-afternoon that it was cancelled and delayed at least a fortnight, sorry about that) she handed me an envelope, awkwardly. Inside was a cash cheque for a large amount of money which I shoved back in with an exclamation of: 'whatever are you thinking?'

'In case you need to dispose of me.' She was as white as the envelope with fear.

I hope to do some dot point memories of some recent shows shortly. Web browsing and commenting is still some way off yet. The back-list needs to be worked through some more still.