Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A s$^% of a day. Well, week really. Um, life?

Uncle T died last Friday, about two months after he decided enough was enough and to stop the chemo. We all miss him very much so although his funeral this afternoon was a celebration of him rather than an outpouring of grief, it was not fun. He was a character; he was full of life; he was generous and sharp-witted and adored his family (including two wives and a later partner); he could be irascible; he was a terrific saxophonist.

This evening I backed my wonderful car straight into the hinge of somebody's ute (and clearly he thought it more wonderful than my car) in the carpark having dropped Running to basketball practice and about to ferry Princess to dance class. I was less than gracious to another mum who beetled out in the middle of post-prang discussions to ask me for subs or something. I blamed the Princess for the accident on the grounds that she had been whingeing at me immediately beforehand. Going to get fish-and-chips, me and the kids were almost run down by somebody who didn't feel the need to stop at a red-light pedestrian crossing. As I sat down to eat, accompanied in my case by a glass of red, the Princess helpfully reminded me about my resolution to drink only on the weekends.

My contract at work is up for renewal and the renewal negotiations have been going not really terribly well. Infuriatingly, I have to concede things because while the CFO's new business builds up I am the breadwinner.

Yesterday the Princess said how nice it was when her cousin the Bella picks them up from school as all the other girls envy her for having such a young and beautiful mother.

I might not have entirely disclosed to the CFO exactly how many people are turning up to our election-night party this weekend. He likes small gatherings, very rarely. I don't!

And the diamond doves have eaten all the grass seed, so the backyard is still mostly mud.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Double naughtiness

Buying Papa Meilland and Souvenir de la Malmaison comprised the first naughtiness of the afternoon, because I have already put in Margaret Merril and I had told myself one baby rose was plenty to nurse through summer. But I also resisted buying Rosa Mutabilis, Aoteoroa, Scentimental and Penelope, so I think it evens out.

The Eastern Common Froglets (I think) have started spawning at my favourite nursery so I will have to decide how many frogs is enough for one family and whether I should acquire any more spawn-encrusted pond plants.

The second naughtiness was finding out my Mum's garden has Green Goddesses tucked in a corner just behind Dad's astronomy dome and deciding to get some from her, even though I had earlier been told by that same favorite nursery that they don't stock these because arum lilies can't keep themselves nice in Australia. So I didn't tell them about the plain white arums I'd bought by mail-order, wished callas came in green, and wandered off to have another coochie-coo at the tads.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Saturday report

The Royal Commission into the 2009 Victorian bushfires has now handed down its final report. Read it here. I think you would have to be a very unusual person to be a Commissioner, to sit through the most awful evidence imaginable and still turn your mind to making things better.

I hope these recommendations don't get buried and forgotten. I thought people could never forget Ash Wednesday's impact. I remember driving past the nightmare wreckage of Lorne and Anglesea - my grandparents' caravan was burnt out at Anglesea - and some weeks later going to a party in Bendigo with a friend, how we stopped chattering when we passed the first burnt-out chimney. There were no fit words.

We had a Royal Commission into Black Friday too; yet the same things happen over and again. Heroes like Mr Sigmund do emerge but over and over again the transcripts show rules becoming more important than their purpose. I have little faith that even with an election imminent the State Government will do anything except produce more wretched spin. Can you imagine a mum scrambling frantic kids into a car ahead of a firestorm sayng "now come on, we have to get to the Neighbourhood Safer Place!" Apparently there is no scope to nominate an area that's better than nowehere-at-all-to-run, so some towns don't even have a NSP. Places that saved lives aren't good enough.

Rest in peace and may we finally learn some lessons.