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No Ordinary Joe

I have known a lot of Joes in my time, none of them I would say were or are what I would call an ordinary Joe.

The first Joe that springs to mind was Joe Dorosz, my mother’s first husband, my father being her second. Although I never actually met Joe we were sort of linked through my mother who often talked about him, and she cried when he passed away despite knowing him only for a very short time, their marriage lasting not even two years.

The next Joe was Uncle Joe who lived next door to my grandparents with his wife Auntie Rene, neither were related but in those days children called all adults Auntie and Uncle out of respect. Uncle Joe and Auntie Rene could not have their own children but they were always very good to us.

Joe number three was actually a galah that my Uncle Max found, gaain no relation but Uncle Max played an immense part in my life and is sadly missed. Anyway back to Joe the galah who like most galahs was an excellent mimic. In those days Uncle Max flew racing pigeons and when it was time for them to come in from training he used to whistle, you guessed it, Joe mimicked the whistle and used to call the pigeons in too early.

The next Jo, note the different spelling, was one of my best mate’s sister, part of the teenage gang I used to hang around with. This Jo left our gang early as she was the first of us to marry outside the group and our lives just went in different directions. A couple of years ago I organised a reunion which she attended, it was lovely to see her again, I look forward to the next reunion.

Moving forward a number of years there is another Joe, and not a particularly nice one. I met this Joe when he was dating my youngest sister Carolyn, he then dated my ex-wife’s niece whom he did not treat very well, and went on to marry my other sister who thoroughly deserves him.

Jo number six and her partner Kate are now two of our closest friends, we see them often and always have a great time. Jo has a heart of gold and I am sure this friendship will be a lifelong one.

That is it for me and my Joes. If I have missed anyone I am sorry.

Idyllic Little World

What has happened to my idyllic little world, the world where Disco music, Suzi Quatro, and ABBA ruled. I had no problems, great friends, a world where I coasted along from day-to-day, a world where I felt safe. Oh yeah, that was the 70s.

Granted we had terrorism then as well, who could forget the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, but that was on the other side of the world, I was safe. Who can forget the Family murders, the Hilton Hotel bombing, my innocence still told me I was safe.

Then came the 80s, marriage, and four wonderful sons, friends start to drift apart, the reality of a mortgage and responsibility set in. Then came the 90s, divorce, more responsibility, the passing of friends taken too soon, and my remaining three grandparents and my beloved Uncle Max pass on.

I remember the year 2000, I could not celebrate, not that I wanted to as my life was  a shambles by then as I fought with my sexuality. I had to work on 1 January, the joys of working in IT and the dreaded Y2K bug, the biggest hoax I think we have seen.

In November 2001 I met Brian, what a roller coaster that has been. We have bought and sold two businesses and one house, we are now in our second house, but in between we rented and moved, rented and moved again. We lived apart for a year as we tried to juggle two collapsing businesses, it was the toughest decade yet, at times the happiest, but the tough times were just too much and depression set in.

Here I am in 2014, Brian and I are still together, despite the odds being stacked against us at times. I still battle with depression although it is not as bad and does not hit me as often. My children are adults and three of them have their own children, and I have become reacquainted with old friends thanks to Mr Facebook, things could be worse.

What will the rest of this decade bring, a healthy retirement I hope, and world peace, a world without terrorism of any kind any where. One can only hope.

Some people don’t deserve to have kids

Being a parent is probably the hardest thing I have ever done, kids don’t come with a manual, and parents are only human, they make mistakes. Kids don’t ask to come into this world, although there are those that argue they do, and that they actually pick their parents. Some people don’t deserve kids.

I am particularly distressed at the moment reading about the sad life of little Chloe Valentine, could this poor little angel really have picked her own parents, why would any child pick people like them. This poor child was not wanted from the moment she was born, and her short horrendous life just leaves me speechless, how could any parents treat their children like this.

How do parents murder their own children, incomprehensible. Not long ago a young boy was murdered by his father in front of his friends, you read about this type of thing all the time and often the parents then kill themselves, cowards.

I am in no way a perfect father or grandfather, but my sons and my grandchildren know that I did, and continue to do, the best that I know how. I love them all more than life and support them  in their life decisions, although I may not always understand their reasoning.

All I have ever wanted is for my children to be happy, and to be able to bring up their own children in loving and happy homes. There have been many times when my  heart has ached as one or the other was going through a difficult period, but though it all they knew I was but a phone call away, and I always will be.

Random Memories and Mind Games

The mind is a powerful thing, I truly believe that if you think positive and wish for something hard enough the powers of the Universe will provide. Of course on the flip side your mind can drive you crazy, your own mind can play the most powerful of mind games with itself.

What I hate is when I am having a good day, and this usually occurs when I am driving and not concentrating on very much at all, then it hits, a random memory from years ago comes back, usually a memory that brings back either feelings of self loathing or hurt.

Everyone has done something in their lives they would rather forget, everyone has memories of sad times as well as good, why oh why is it usually the sad ones that come flooding back, and why do those same feelings experienced all those years ago still seem so raw.

Try as I might when I am feeling like this the more I try to think positive thoughts, the stronger the memories become. Why is it that happy memories seem to skip through your mind but those that make you feel so helpless linger.

Then of course there are the fears that start to creep in when I am alone, I start to hear noises that are not there, I see shadows that are completely innocent but my mind is telling me there is something or someone there. The more scared I become the stronger the feelings, your mind feeds on itself.

I am sure I am not alone, it just feels that way sometimes. I know there is nothing to fear but fear itself, and I know that memories are just that, they cannot hurt you. Think positive and be strong. All good things come to those who wait.

My Dad

I have just come home after a pleasant afternoon with my Dad, a late Father’s Day visit. I know Father’s Day was last weekend but my siblings saw Dad then and to be honest, except for one of them, we just do not get on so I would rather go when they are not there. It is better for all concerned.

My Dad is a very unique character, and we talked about all sorts of things, the breakdown of his marriage to my mother, something for which my mother has always blamed him for 100%, but she was no angel, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, and of course my own children and grandchildren.

We talked about his poker machine addiction, his horse racing addiction, and my poor stepmother who is the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Dad told me how lonely he is, what a wonderful life he has had, and the fact that his only regret is my stepmother’s illness. He told me that she always stood by him no matter what and he will never give up on her.

Dad is a Type 2 diabetic with a very sweet tooth. He gave up checking his blood sugar years ago and basically eats and drinks whatever he wants, he has bags full of lollies at his fingertips, some of my favourites, but I resisted.

One of Dad’s favourite lollies are jubes, not only full of sugar but covered in sugar as well. One of Dad’s favourite drinks is coffee with a bit of port in it, and what does Dad sweetens his coffee with, he saves the sugar that collects at the bottom of the jubes bag and puts that in his coffee. What more can I say!

The week that was……..

I’m glad that’s over, another very busy week behind me. It has now been five weeks since the merger, I was off work ill for a week and I just cannot get my head above water. September, October and November are my busiest months of the year for meetings, and I just don’t see how I can catch up, but I will. Rock on December, I cannot wait to get to New Zealand.

Thursday was a good day, absolutely nothing could have wrecked that day. I had a 5.00pm meeting to which only two out of sixteen owners attended and I had six proxies, one short of a quorum, not my problem but mildly annoying just the same.

Anyway son Number 3 Blake moved to Alice Springs back in April and on Thursday he came home for a few days break, I was beside myself I miss him so much. Alice Springs obviously agrees with him, I know I look at my sons through rose-coloured glasses, but he looks so happy and healthy. He went away to deal with his demons and as much as I miss him it is not yet time to come home.

Blake’s intention was to surprise his daughter and all his nieces and nephews so we arranged for the entire family, with the exception of Wade and Gink who were on holiday in Phuket at the time, to come to our house for a pizza night. Unbeknown to the children Blake was hiding in our spare room.

When everyone had arrived Blake facetimed his brother Kane and was talking to everyone, the children were so excited to see his face and talk to him. Quite out of the blue the phone cut out, hmm, I wonder why, and then Blake walked into the livingroom, the children just looked at him in amazement and then all of a sudden the penny dropped and he was mobbed. It bought a tear to the old man’s eye I can tell you.

Thursday was a good day.

When in Rome……

There is an old saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, given the amount of travel and migration between nations today I believe that statement is more relevant than ever, although perhaps it should now read, “When in my country live by the laws of my country.”

I don’t care what ethnic background, what religion, what way of life you come from, when you choose to live, or even visit a foreign country, you are obliged to live by that countries laws. Should you choose to live in a foreign country I also believe you should have to learn that countries native language.

I am not saying that Australia has it right, not all the time anyway, but I do not believe we should change our laws, our way of life, to suit a minority of foreigners who have chosen to live in this country. I am damn certain that should the roles be reversed no country on Earth would change their laws to suit their own migrant minority.

It is simple really, if you choose to live in a foreign country, then good or bad you must abide by the laws of that country. Generally speaking you leave your homeland and move to another country because there is something about your home nation you are not happy about, and you select the nation to which you relocate because of the way of life available to you and your family there, so why would you want to change it.

Yet another reason why I will always live in Australia.

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