Brian and I are not long home from a relaxing weekend away in Port Elliot, with three very dear friends. We drove down on Friday evening and had a lovely dinner at the Hotel Elliot, made all the more pleasant by the fact that they miscalculated our drink bill, in our favour. Par for the course I am afraid, I am sure we made similar mistakes we had our own café and pub.
Saturday morning we drove to the outdoor market in Victor Harbor, Saturday night we had takeaway from Mr India which was quite nice, and then this morning a hearty breakfast at Cockles.
We stayed in a house owned by a former workmate from my days at Wattyl, Brian and I had the master bedroom and en suite. Unfortunately the bed was bloody hard so I am very much looking forward to our own bed tonight.
One of the three ladies we were with is very much a “glass half empty” type of person so the weekend was not without its challenges, but overall good food, good company, and a lovely weekend away.
Not one to shy away from controversy I think now is the time for me to put finger to keyboard on this most sensitive of subjects. Let me begin by saying that I am not having a go at any one religion or race here, this is simply religion the way I see it.
I am not a religious person, I was not raised in a religious family, however I do respect the rights of all people to believe in whatever it is that brings them peace. I have never pushed my beliefs onto anyone else, therefore I will not tolerate anyone else pushing their beliefs onto me.
I do not agree with door knockers, and although I am never rude they are not welcome at my door. I do not believe in God as such or any form thereof, although I do believe in the power of the Universe, make what you will of that. Oddly enough I was married in a church, for some reason I would not have felt married otherwise, I don’t understand it so why should you. I suppose that makes me a hypocrite.
Until recently I subscribed to a Facebook page called Encyclopedia of Birds, it is a page predominately about pigeons, and we all know how I love my pigeons. Anyway I was surprised by a recent post telling me that Islam is the only true religion, and I should read the Koran, the end result, I no longer subscribe to this page.
Now I am not having a go at Islam here, I know it is a hot topic and very emotive, I believe there is good and bad in every religion and every race, I do not tar everyone with the same brush. What I objected to was that something that I enjoyed was unnecessarily politicised, why do we have to bring our religious or spiritual beliefs into every aspect of our lives.
I do not believe that all mankind descended from Adam and Eve, one could only imagine how inbred we would be. I believe in evolution, it is the only thing that makes sense to me. Another thing that I believe in, freedom of speech.
Friday 1 May was the 12th birthday of my eldest granddaughter Caitlin. Caitlin has faced a lot of challenges in her life thus far, in fact we almost lost her when she was just 18 months old, however other than the fact that she has a cochlear implant you would not know it today, she is a beautiful, charming young lady with a big heart and much courage.
Yesterday Brian and I took Caitlin shopping for her birthday present, this is something we do with all the older grandchildren, as grandparents we never really know what to buy, and as we found yesterday, Caitlin found our taste in clothes for her amusing to say the least.
Anyway after looking through all the shops at the Elizabeth Shopping Centre Caitlin settled on a black cardigan made with glittery wool, a pretty top which came with a trendy little necklace that she fell in love with, and a very sparkly ring.
When we dropped her back home we went inside to see the reaction of her parents to what she had bought, my son Kane was dubious as everything she bought made her look older, but he knows he can’t fight it.
This is where Papa was made to feel very, very stupid, I still can’t believe what I said so here goes. I was explaining to Kane and Kristin that the necklace was hooked into the inside straps of the top Caitlin bought, so they could just unclip it and connect to any top she wished, how very clever I thought. Then it hit me, if you can unclip it then you can obviously clip it around her neck. Duh! Enough said.
I take so much medication that I am sure I must rattle, in fact it is a standing joke in our house. I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and an irritable bowel. Brian finds the last one most amusing as he says I am usually the cause of an irritable bowel.
I take anti depressants, I am a Type 2 diabetic, fortunately no medication for that as it is diet controlled. Add to that glucosamine and fish oil as I have arthritis in my lower back and the back of both knees, and how could I forget my thyroid medication as I have an under active thyroid.
Now while it might sound like I am looking for sympathy or just having a whine I’m not really, as all this is much better than the alternative, at least I have a pulse.
I have already lived longer than some that I have loved and lost, and I intend to be around for very much longer. Sorry boys but I am going to do my very best to spend your inheritance, and what I don’t spend Brian will.
There is still a lot to do in this life, I am determined not to work until I am a wrinkled old fart, I want to enjoy my retirement when it comes, and it cannot come quick enough. I am looking forward immensely to racing my pigeons and spending more time with Brian and my family.
As I am just a tad older than Brian and will therefore presumably retire first, it will become my job to run the house and prepare the meals whilst he continues to work so he can keep me in the style to which I have become accustomed. Hopefully by the time he retires we will still have a number of good years to enjoy what will be left of our time together.
Both of my parents are about to turn 80, I intend to beat that. I consider myself very fortunate, while I may rattle I am relatively healthy, nothing life threatening, and I have a healthy attitude towards life. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Another dear friend gone but never forgotten, Mary passed away last week leaving her long-term partner Marg alone but hopefully not too lonely. Mary and Marg had many friends in Clayton Bay and I am sure they will rally around Marg as she comes to terms with a new phase in her life.
Brian and I were very touched to be included in the private funeral service held last Friday, Mary had told Marg who she wanted at her farewell and it was our privilege to be in attendance.
It was a bittersweet occasion as we got to see many of the people we had known in Clayton Bay, and although it was lovely to see them and have a good chin wag, it was still a solemn occasion, but not too solemn, that was not Mary’s way and her touch in her own farewell was evident to everyone.
Mary and Marg befriended Brian and I when we had the business in Clayton Bay, and they soon became two of our closest friends. We have had many a lovely meal cooked by Marg, and many a good laugh with them both.
During the period I was alone in Clayton Bay when Brian and I were trying to juggle two businesses and maintain our relationship 300 kilometers apart, I would have been lost without these two wonderful ladies.
RIP dear Mary.
The last couple of weeks have been quite emotional, I have lost two of my dearest friends, and although both were suffering and are now at peace, one cannot help but have mixed emotions.
First was my lifelong friend Kerry, I had known this moment was coming for quite a while, and her husband Sherif had warned me to expect the worst just a couple of days before her passing, but it still hurt.
Kerry and I first met when we were nine, Kerry’s sister and brother-in-law lived next to door to my family, and Kerry spent almost every school holiday with them as she lived in the south-east of South Australia in Naracoorte. I have many fond memories from those times, we were almost inseparable.
Fast forward and our relationship changed as we became young adults, and while we did not see quite as much of each other we remained firm friends, and each time we were together it seemed like yesterday. I went with Kerry to her first rock concert, Rod Stewart at Memorial Drive in Adelaide, I was not a fan but it was Kerry’s first opportunity to go to a concert so we went.
Before long Kerry told me she was to be married so down to Naracoorte I went, then it was my turn to be married and Kerry came to Adelaide with her then husband Duncan. The years rolled on and we both became parents, and I was elated to be asked to be the godfather of Kerry’s daughter Summer.
As time passed our lives went in different directions, Kerry’s brother-in-law Max was suddenly killed and I was shattered, he was like a father to me and I miss him dreadfully, and without that bond we drifted apart only to find each other again year’s later thanks to Facebook. We were both over the moon, our lives could not have been more different, but when we finally saw each other again the years drifted away, my friend was back.
Our children were now adults with their own lives, and before long I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to my god daughters wedding, what a lovely day that was, not only did I see Kerry, her second husband Sherif, and all her children, but I got to see Maureen, Kerry’s sister and Max’s widow, a lovely memory.
Last August Kerry and her husband Sherif came to Adelaide from their home in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Kerry’s health was failing as the cancer took hold, and she wanted to say goodbye to her friends and family in South Australia in her way, whilst she still could. It was a bittersweet moment as I watched Kerry get into her car and we waved goodbye, and now she is gone. Rest in peace my dear, dear friend, and say hello to Max for me.
Last week I lost another friend, again it was not unexpected but when the end came it was quick. I will not elaborate further at this point as the funeral is a private one and yet to be held, suffice to say I will miss you, rest in peace.
I do not believe in capital punishment of any find, I do not believe it is a deterrent, and therefore the only purpose it serves is revenge. My belief is that you will either commit a crime or you won’t, I do not believe that any criminal ever thinks about the consequences of their crimes until they are caught. Some people are just born bad, the death penalty cannot stop that.
I also believe in compassion and rehabilitation. Take for example the current situation of the Bali Nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran, what good can possibly come from their execution, will the world be a better place, will it stop drug smuggling, I think not.
I may look at things in a simplistic way, but it would seem to me that by the Indonesian President showing these two men mercy, along with those other poor souls on death row, he can do more good for his country in the eyes of the world, than by executing them and facing condemnation. There is no shame in being seen to back down and show these men clemency.