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Have you ever thought about who you would ask to dinner if you could ask anyone, living or dead? I have given this much thought and I can bring it down to four I think.
The first of my dinner guests would be David Attenborough, what a truly amazing life he has lead. Imagine the stories he would have to tell about the places he has been, the amazing wildlife he has been privileged to film, the risks he must have taken. This man is a font of knowledge and I will never cease to enjoy his documentaries.
Second on my list would be His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The knowledge he could impart, his insights into all the famous people he has met, the history of those Dalai Lama who came before him, his previous incarnations if you like, and the experiences he has had. The story of his trek from Tibet when it was invaded by Communist China. A truly fascinating yet humble man, the very essence of human kindness.
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is third on my list, the last Empress of India, mother of our current Queen. The Queen Mother was born right at the end of the Victorian era, her life spanned the 20th century, she would have met almost all of the reigning monarchs of the world, and a good deal of those who had been deposed, not to mention presidents and other famous heads of state. A truly fascinating and privileged life.
I am a bit torn about who would round out the four, my first thought was the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, just think of the dirt she could dish out on Hollywood, on those truly great movie stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Then there is Pope Francis, another truly enlightened man, or Princess Diana just because she was Princess Diana.
In my heart of hearts I know who number four would be, my late Uncle Max, just because I miss him.
Brian and I can hardly wait for May to come when we are off on our next holiday, a 14 day cruise to Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. The only problem is that it is over almost as soon as it begins, but you get that. Two weeks of cocktails, amazing food, and exotic island destinations will certainly take the sting out of going back to work. Then we have two days in Sydney to wind down before coming home.
Not content with the anticipation of one holiday we decided late last year we would have another week off in November and go to the Melbourne Cup, as this is on my bucket list. The only problem was that we had to wait until now for the travel packages.
This morning we went to our travel agent to check out those packages, most of which were quite ordinary, except the only one that appealed to us at a meagre $893 each for one day. As neither of us could justify spending that much for one day the Melbourne Cup can now sink to the bottom of my bucket list and stay there.
Now we have the problem of a week of annual leave that we do not really want to spend at home so what to do. Brian suggested Malaysia but that does not appeal to me. I suggested Phuket but to stay where we wanted to would also cost us an arm and a leg, so now we are thinking about the west cost of New Zealand as we only cruised the east cost last time. Then again there is always the Cook Islands. Decisions, decisions!
In the end it all got too much for me so I had a little tantrum and we left armed with brochures and another appointment for two weeks time. Watch this space.
I am feeling rather frustrated at the moment, unfortunately I was not blessed with the ability to hammer a nail into a piece of wood, therefore I have no choice but to either purchase a ready-made pigeon loft or pay someone to build one.
I suppose it is hardly surprising that I can only find two Australian companies that actually build them, regrettably neither of them are prepared to return my emails, they must be inundated with work. One of them wants me to draw a plan of what I want, if I could do that I could build the thing, why can’t they just send me a quote for the perfectly adequate loft pictured on their website. The second one has some vague pictures and plans along with some very specific pricing, all I have asked is for a little more detail. It is all becoming too hard.
Now if I lived in Europe or the USA there is an absolute plethora of loft builders, however I imagine the costs to deliver to Australia would be uneconomical to say the least. My only choice now is to find someone who can draw to do a specification for me, and then find a handyman who can build it for me. I know exactly what I want which is a start, but that only adds to my frustration. I suppose the most difficult thing will be having something built that I can relocate when we move house in a couple of years time.
I had been hoping to be up and running for the 2016 breeding season, somewhere around September next year, but that means I need the loft in place ready for its feathered inhabitants by around July next year. I think I might be dreaming. Help me Universe.
While Brian is shuffling all over Adelaide taking his mother and sister on a shopping spree I am having a lazy day at home. Actually it is not such a lazy day really as I am pottering, but at least I am doing it at my own pace which is a leisurely one.
Two loads of washing done and another two to go. I have already been to see my doctor as I needed a prescription, then into the supermarket to buy some drinks for the grandchildren tonight. I also bought some Metamucil capsules that my doctor recommended for my ongoing irritable bowel, which is making me very irritable. Yet another tablet to add to the cocktail I take each day.
Tonight most of the family will be together at Blake’s new home where he will also be introducing his new girlfriend Jackie and her little bundle of joy Kyson. What a little chubber he is, Brian and I met them last weekend so at least they are not being inundated with the entire family en masse for the first time. It is just a shame we will not all be together, but that is another story.
This afternoon I need to wash a couple of chairs we need to take to Blake’s as he does not yet have seating for all, and about 4.30 Blake’s daughter Jade will arrive so we can take her with us.
Bills are also paid, that is always a joy, just a couple of emails to send, when will it end? Exhausting!
I find myself with somewhat of a conundrum at the moment, one of those times when I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Two of my four sons are not particularly happy with me at the moment, and in at least one of these cases my son is probably correct, it would appear that I am a hypocrite.
I am happily ensconced in a same-sex relationship, as is one of my sons, and while I would like to think I am fairly liberal-minded, there are some things that I just do not understand. I do not love him any less, I simply just do not understand some of his choices, and while I would not try to stop him from living his life his way, there are some things that I would prefer not to confront. If that makes me a hypocrite and a bad father I am guilty as charged. I apologise profusely if this hurts his feelings, but that is how I feel.
As for my other son, a similar problem but a far different scenario. All I ever wanted is for my sons to be happy, to make their way in life as best they can, to be good men, good partners, and good fathers. I want them to have the opportunities I did not, and to have long, happy and fulfilling lives.
Sometimes I just can’t help myself, I am human so I interfere, but at all times it is done with love. I don’t ask much, just the occasional visit, it doesn’t have to be an all day affair, just a quick chat and off again. In time he will understand, he will feel the same way I do with his own children.
Where do we go from here, well I have always told my sons to stay close, one day their mother and I will be gone, and it is my hope that they will support each other throughout their lives. Unfortunately there is currently a rift that will not go away, one is too outspoken and the other very defensive. Xmas should be fun!
Regardless of what happens my four sons will always mean the world to me, and their children are the icing on the cake. I love you all. Be happy and play nice!
If I were a rich man, all the things I could do, if I had a little money, it’s a rich mans’ world, words after my own heart by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and ABBA. They say money can’t buy happiness and I would not want it to, but wouldn’t it be fun trying. I really don’t think money would change Brian and I, we are quite content with our lot in life, but that is not to say we wouldn’t like more.
In saying that I have been telling Brian for years that I could feel a big win coming, and I still can. We are not poor but we are not rich either,we have been through hell and back financially, we have paid the price for our folly and we have grown and moved on, and we are rightly proud of where we are now.
What will I do when that windfall blows in, first cab off the rank and Brian and I would go away to consider our future, to decide what we will do with our new-found wealth. Without question of a doubt my four sons would all get a handout, nothing ridiculous, they will have to wait and see what is left in the will for that.
If I know Brian he will want to give his mother some, we would buy our dream home, buy me a new car as he has just got one, and have a long, long holiday. When the dust settles and we are in our dream home it will be time for my racing pigeons, no expense spared.
I am also a big believer in what the Universe gives it can also take, so just to help karma a little we would give a certain amount to charity, although my personal preference would be to buy some new equipment for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
I can’t help thinking I have forgotten something, oh yes, I would retire. Dream on Sunshine.
I have just spent a pleasant afternoon with my 80-year-old Dad. It is not uncommon for Dad to reminisce when I am with him and today was no exception, the memories today were of his childhood in Adelaide, South Australia during World War 2.
Dad was four when the war started and ten when it finished, and he remembers my grandfather taking them for a drive to a local Adelaide beach, but you could not use the beaches during the war as they were covered in barbed wire in case the Japanese invaded.
He also remembers that the people who lived next door would not talk to his family, they would not even return my father’s ball, because their father had been sent to war and my grandfather had not. My grandfather did try to enlist but he worked in munitions so he was sent back to work for the war effort.
Before the war my grandfather used to breed spaniels, at one stage he had over twenty, but as there was no meat to feed them during the war he had to take them to the local council to be put down. Something one never considers when talking about the war, the effect on people’s pets.
My grandfather also dug a bomb shelter in the back yard which he lined with mud as you could not get bricks, and my grandmother used to cook outside using any wood she could get for a fire.
Here we are 70 years later and we take so much for granted, we truly do live in the lucky country.