Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Kookaburra is still there

 Firstly – the typos and other errors are due to my editor Molly swanning about in the wilds of southern Italy and having almost no internet coverage.  I usually speak to her every day and have not been able to contact her for a week. I managed to communicate with her today – after a fashion – and she will be back in Paris today. She will have some tidying up to do when she returns.

Secondly - the lightning story is true in every respect. I tell outright lies on the blog only when these are absolutely essential – but  of course I have been known to exaggerate and use literary devices. This was not one. It was an astonishing sight but bothered PK not one scrap. He was engaged in close consultation with a Jamesons and was not to be deterred – but did say that his nectar had become slightly warmer and smokier.

After Blackheath Cate went home to continue the important task of earning money to keep me in luxury and Macs. I went to Melbourne to stay with my older brother Geoffrey – who lives there. My even older brother Burne – who lives in Sydney – had already gone down there.

Burne is an Anglican and religious, Geoffrey is Jewish and observes Jewish customs because his son-in-law is religious – but I have not tested the level of Geoffrey’s religiosity. I am an Atheist. We do not talk about religion.

They are both ferociously right wing so we have some interesting discussions about politics - but as each of them is deaf in one ear – and not the same one – these can be so difficult to conduct so that we lose the thread and move on to something else.

A few years ago the three brothers went on a voyage of discovery to the Riverina area where they spent their early years. This time our trip was to see where the junior member (me) was born and where the senior members first went to school.

Now – I do not of course remember the place where I first lived because I was very small and it was a very, very long time ago - and I was not there for very long.

It is in Bendigo which is a town in what were once the goldfields in Victoria. My older brother Burne remembered the house where we lived and guided us there. My older brothers have always told me about the Kookaburra on the wall next to the front door and it is still there. It is not what I imagined but it was nice to see it.

Geoffrey – being the type of man he is – knocked on the door and regaled the youngish woman who answered with the story of our lives so far. This took some time. She did not – as I had expected she would – threaten to call the police – indeed she seemed to be fascinated and told us many things of her own. She even said that if her husband was home she would invite us inside. Blimey. But it was getting late and perhaps she could not see that she was dealing with three ancient garden gnomes.

So we toured Bendigo and visited all the places I did not remember and my brothers had a fine time. They visited their first school and not much had changed – the classrooms were a bit smaller. No one at the school remembered them.

We toured the surrounding towns and stopped at many cafés for coffee and lunches. We had dinner at the Bendigo RSL and made a small investment in the poker machines.  We move at a pace consistent with our age and arthritic conditions – exacerbated by the cold weather. I thought I had this condition on my own due to the cold weather in Vienna but was interested to see that both my brothers are also afflicted.

In other news I have managed to give myself a tiny hernia lifting my massive new suitcase onto the bed in the hotel in Sydney. My doctor niece Lani examined me in the restaurant at a family dinner on Thursday night and said that I should be OK to get back to Vienna. (Cough -  and again – I think you are OK Unc - I will have the Penne Vegeteriana). This is Lani who caused the scandal with Mrs. Moneypenny by sleeping in the same bed in Vienna with Hannah. Shock. Horror.

I am communicating with Cate as time zones permit and she tells me that the cats are missing me badly. Monika in particular is moping about the house looking for a chest to sleep on and Sissi has lost her usual bounce.

Cate – as I had feared – is incapable of looking after herself or the cats. So far she has eaten only Vegemite on toast and scrambled eggs. The cats have not had any fresh meat since Cate arrived home because Cate says she cannot find it in Spar. In fact she has not been able to find the meat counter in Spar – and our local Spar is smaller than our lounge room.

Now I would have cooked a whole bunch of food before I went away and frozen it but last time I did this she left it untouched – saying that she did not have time to put it into the microwave.

So next time I will have to set up a saline and glucose drip next to the bed for Cate and will have to put the cats into suspended animation.


  1. Oh shit, I am reading this repeating three men in a tub, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.

  2. I haven't been back to my father's house in awhile, I was hoping to have it sold by now. Bankers move slowly. I am off to have lunch today with my sons and a d-i-law plus the wifey. My second son is the one who recently made it back from Australia and we haven't seen him since last Christmas time. I am glad you get to spend time in Australia with your family. Maybe Cate needs the suspension and the cats need the drip? It might be slightly cheaper.

  3. Sometimes I believe you're actually a famous author keeping this blog under a nom de plume. I've never met anyone with so many peculiar stories.

  4. You - exaggerate??
    My Granma always told the story about their old Queenslander house up on very tall stilts by the Leyburn creek having a lightning fireball come in the front door and go out the back door!
    (As a I child I was horrified and fascinated.)
    From then on, she always wrapped the knives in old teatowels when there was a storm (??!!)

    I love the kookaburra - look at the colours in his tail and his chest - he's beautiful.

    Great stories today!
    Love the deaf one.
    And the time-management difficulties of manoeuvring frozen meals from the freezer to the microwave.

  5. fmcgmclic: no it is just the three blind mice

    esbboston: No Cate needs to keep on the move to earn the money!

    SK Waller: OH if it was true!

    freefalling: My stories are always almost true

  6. I once watched a Kugelblitz hit a farmhouse. Good thing I was a kid then and felt safe under the apple trees in my parents' orchard.

  7. Merisi: That is an excellent German word! I shall use it!