Monday, May 14, 2012

A gentle Monday meander

As will be self-evident to anyone who reads my blogs, I have been struggling to maintain my writing. I really have. I suppose that it's unrealistic to think that I could in in the midst of multiple moves and changes in family directions. I should be packing and cleaning, but I don't feel like it. I also left the house a bit after six this morning, and tomorrow want to be earlier still. I didn't sleep especially well last night, so that I find myself getting very tired.   

Given all this, tonight just a gentle personal wander without politics or anything else serious. Call it an indulgence!

This photo of Clare on Facebook  drew a comment from a friend:

Note to self: Don't get Clare angry, she knows how to use a gun!

I laughed.

Because Facebook is limited in its public access, I use it for short diary entries. Not too revealing, but a way of keeping people in touch.

There tonight I wrote:

Monday, 14 May 2012. Bloody cold this morning.

We have a new Belshaw to add to the very small number in the family, and that group spread across three countries - Olivia Alexandria Belshaw-Weir. So that makes Ryan and Kristy parents, brother David a grand father, me a grand Uncle (?!) and gives my girls a new cousin somewhat removed.

said that we were a small family. Including partners, there are just twenty of us on the Belshaw side in three generations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I know from family trees and photos that there are still some relatives in Northern England, but we lost all contact a number of years ago. In all the world, I have just two first cousins on the Belshaw side.

Another busy week. I am trying to work out how to energise my writing. It's been sadly neglected!

I have written a little on the Belshaw family. It's actually a remarkable story even though I am hardly impartial. I do so in part because of my interest in history, in part because I have my daughters in mind. In the hurly burly of their life there is little room for the past, the present is all. Yet I don't think that they are all that different from me, the interest will come because of the need to establish a link between past and present.

In Saturday Morning Musings - the quality of life I referred to gardening. This led Armidale writer, Express journalist and fellow blogger Janene Carey to write:

May I suggest you check out the Gardenate website if you're about to embark on a herb/vegie garden? Lots of info, a lively community swapping tips on gardening and cooking, and a free reminder service monthly.

It's a website (and also an app) that my software developer husband built because he wanted something like that himself -

Belshaw Picnic c1957I am always very happy to shamelessly promote one of my colleagues. But seriously, Gardenate is a very good web site. 

I have actually written a number of gardening posts. Perhaps time to pull them together.

Staying with the texture of life as well as the personal indulgence theme, this is a picnic photo of my part of the Belshaws. From left to right mum, me lurking behind Mum, Prof and brother David. It's very formal, I know, but I grew up in a more formal world. 

I have written on picnics many times before. They are one element of the texture of life. I have a picnic basket, one of those posh ones, in the cupboard. Perhaps time to pull it out.

Janene also referred to a story she had written for the paper on local MP Richard Torbay. It's a pretty good piece that links to an earlier story of mine, Why I support Tony Windsor. It may seem very local, but remember that the current Australian Government is in power because of New England politics, as have a number of other State and Federal Governments before them. Perhaps not so local after all!

In a comment on Saturday Morning Musings - the quality of life, Ramana wrote:

In a small town, an entrepreneur decided to open up a brothel, which was right opposite to a church. The church and its congregation started a campaign to block the brothel from opening with petitions and prayed daily against his business.

Work progressed. However, when it was almost complete and was about to open a few days later, a strong lightning struck the brothel and it was burnt to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the brothel owner sued the church authorities on the grounds that the church through its congregation and prayers was ultimately responsible for the destruction of his brothel, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection that their prayers were reasons for the act of God. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented:

"I don't know how I'm going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, we have a brothel owner who believes in the power of prayer and we have an entire church that doesn't."

I laughed, but as I also said to Ramana there is a very funny Australian movie along the same lines - the man who sued god.

Tonight I didn't feel like cooking, so I decided to have one of those weight watchers style meals that I had in the freezer for my wife. Then Clare unexpectedly came home for dinner, so now there are two in the oven. I need to go and stir them and put them back in. I actually find them unsatisfying, but I have promised Clare berries, cream and ice cream for desert! Then I am going to whip the rest of the cream and have it with coffee!

I think that it's time to finish. Maybe more tomorrow. 


Augustus Winston said...

Hi Jim

Reading your blog of your imminent life change reminds me of when I once lived in a toyota Hi Ace van in the eastern suburbs for 6 months after I had to move out from my flat. I decided not to look for a new flat but instead, buy a cheap van and live in it until I could save up some money to quit work and travel.

This was a bold step for me as I had always had a roof over my head either sharing or renting on my own. It wasn’t so bad. I parked near the beach where they have showers there that are free to use.

I would never stay more than two nights in the one parking spot otherwise you would get reported by some nosy individual or some cranky resident whose parking spot you have stolen. A good tip is to go swimming in your underwear - it washes them and you can rinse the salt off after in the free public showers. I had a small metho stove for cooking. I bought the van off a pommy guy who had just travelled around Australia and he included everything, matress pots pans stove blankets etc. All the stuff he didn't want to take back with him. It only cost $980 plus another$280 for rego and I was set. It was fairly beat up but roadworthy nonetheless and as such wasn't likely to get stolen.

I remember being scared at the time but soon settled into a routine. Morning swim, coffee, bus to work. Each night I would move it after another swim and shower. I would hang washed clothes on the line at the back of flats (never had any problems). At night if I got bored I would go and watch tele at the local pub.

Some would say this was living it rough but I look fondly on this time and it taught me to appreciate living in even the most basic accomodation without the bells and whistles we have become accustomed to.

The point is I made it an adventure, one I am not likely to repeat, but I did it and it gave me the confidence that no matter what life throws up I can fend for myself. My experience is most people live well beyond their basic needs. It doesnt hurt to downsize a bit and get in touch with yourself.


Jim Belshaw said...

That's an absolutely brilliant story, Augustus!