Remember when I turned 50? Well today I turned 51, so I guess that was a year ago which seems impossible to believe. 2014 flew by but I think 2015 is going to be supercharged and disappear before we know it.
I don’t get too excited about birthdays any more but I’m feeling grateful today for having another one. We have a funeral on Tuesday for someone we knew who died very suddenly and unexpectedly. She was only 53 and it really was the case of her being there one second and gone the next so today I’m just trying to be grateful for being here and being able to spend time with family and friends.
Here I am fresh home from the hospital and about to be dropped by my sister Min. That’s what happens when you’re the fourth child; your parents become very reckless with you.
Last week – on the 27th January – it was two years since Dad died. Which kind of does my head in because that whole time is still pretty vivid and feels very current. Not only the weeks leading up to his death but the year before it when we were dealing with hospitals and aged care homes and lots of arseholes in the medical profession that left me wondering why they actually picked it as a profession when they obviously don’t give a shit.
Last year Australia Day was pretty shitty – that’s the 26th – I felt a bit antsy and anxious the whole week leading up to it because it was such a shit time back then but this year it was okay. That’s what happens isn’t it – you live, you die and the world keeps turning and that’s just the way it is and he wouldn’t want it any other way. Obviously I’m sad about him dying but what bothers and upsets me the most is the undignified end you seem to end up coming to not matter how marvellous your life before that was.
It’s a shame he won’t be around for my 50th birthday because that would have been pretty cool – to see your baby turn 50. Actually I’m sure he would have found it much more of a laugh than I’m going to.
Here is a photo of him as a young man with two of his best friends – he’s in the middle. This was taken the night before he set sail from his island home of Guernsey to travel to the other side of the world (or the arse end of the world) Australia, to start a new life.
I’m glad he had that adventurous spirit and set sail that day. Lol, that’s kind of crazy how that’s my Dad, who ended up being a farmer in central NSW.
To my Mum, who had her hands full I’d say for a few years.
I’m the baby – see I wasn’t found on the beach in Sydney. Luckily my brother looks as if he’s taking the job of holding me seriously. Thats the thing about being a fourth child – parents become very reckless with you.
My grandfather was a man ahead of the times as this photo shows.
Here is is taking a selfie shot in 1957 decades before it became the rage that it now is. Thank god he’s not pulling a duck face pout.
As you can see there is a massive pipe sitting in front of him and a suspicious looking little bowl. He picked that pipe up in Egypt and bought it home with a little something to put in it that my father once told me – almost blew my head off. Mum still has the pipe in her lounge room and it really is quite unique. Actually I’d better put a sticker with my name on it under the base next time I’m there.
The little banner on the left says Arcadia; that was the name of the ship they were on. It travelled between Australia and England via the Suez Canal which was why he had the opportunity to be shopping for bongs in Egypt.
A couple of interesting things there in the photo, the first being an airmail letter – I hated those things. When I write a letter it’s practically a novel so trying to fit all my stories onto one of those flimsy scraps of paper was always a stressful time for me.
Second thing is the bottle near the flowers which is an Oil of Ulan bottle – why did they change the name to Olay anyway? The blue box looks familiar but I can’t place it, it has a snowflake on the front.
The other Where am I’s seem to have been way too easy so this one should test you. Mind you I do hope someone knows a thing or two about Russian naval history and can tell me something about this banner.
This would have been taken in 1957 and I’m thinking St Petersburg but could be wrong, I’m only thinking that because there are a few photos from there although I think they might have gone to Moscow as well. I was trying to figure out what it said on his cap but then I realised it was just a really long Russian word I couldn’t translate anyway – couldn’t zoom in on it, it just goes blurry. I don’t know if he has scrambled eggs or not.
It seems pretty adventurous for a group of Australians to be travelling there at that time.
Hang about – what do we reckon about this? (ridiculously long link)
I don’t even understand what it means when I look at my search engine terms and see someone arrived by searching for
Friday the 13th – doggy style. lol – WTF people.
but I don’t think they found what they were looking for.
I thought it was funny the other day when I was trying to find some information about one of Papas photos that he took in Russia of this banner on a building and I was googling info about Russian naval caps because the guy on the banner was wearing one and you know you get suggestions from Google after a word or two about what you might be looking for and so I’d written
Russian naval caps with – and I was going to write with gold stars
but the suggestion that came up was
with scrambled eggs
Really google? – Russian naval caps with scrambled eggs
I’m just trying to work out what that actually means.
Anyway I can’t find it now damn it because I obviously renamed it something ridiculous but hopefully it will show up again today and someone out there is an expert on Russian naval history and it’s association with eggs.
So for now can someone can tell me who lived here or what it is and why a bunch of Australians would be taken there on a tour in 1965 to look at it.