“Life is Lovely” – A Catch up With the Olds

Thursday evening I got home and baked a cake…don’t ask. Well okay, I have always liked baking (thanks Gran for teaching me), but last weekend was the first time in a long time.  I decided cake time again!  So baking away and I give Gran a call, it’s been a good month since I talked to her so she was readying a natter.  I got three stories in quick succession which I’ll try to relate because I love stories from home.  Hell, most people will know I get grumpy when I feel like I make a regular effort to keep family and friends updated but then all I get when we talk is ‘what have you been up to’? Darn it, read it later…tell me about home! Sphere awesome stories from Gran and pleas, when you read this Gran, correct me and fill in any gaps!

Some Damned Good News

This story starts about 25 years ago, which is ridiculously scary when I realise that I have vivid memories of the start of the story.  About that time Pa, strongest and best man in the world, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  My memory is of visiting him in hospital in the city, he was all very shy and ushered us out of the hospital very fast (self perception of weakness I guess), we went to the Captain Cook Cottage in Melbourne. I have a brief memory of us in the hospital and a longer memory of sitting in the park with him.

So he had the op. He had another a time later (I remember that less). At his last appointment, 18 ish months ago, the surgeon told him that he didn’t need to come back but he should for old times sake.  So Pa went back this week.  I guess they had a good chat.  The surgeon is a great guy and thinks ridiculously highly of all Pa’s achievements even though he has been a neurosurgeon and, as it turns out, studied law!  I can’t fathom being a highly effective neurosurgeon while also studying law, darned smart people.  So McNeil (surgeon extraordinaire) let’s them in then potters with his computer for a few minutes, stringing Pa along…I love it.  The great news is, Pa is fit and healthy; no issues.  The bad news, if something comes back from here on out, chances are he’d be considered too old to operate on…but that isn’t going to happen so happy days.

McNeil told Ma and Pa a story of the anaesthetist. She’s another highly regarded doctor and she remembered Pa!  If I didn’t know (hope?) better I’d say that Ma was jealous.  Apparently McNeil and the anaesthetist were chatting recently and she remebers Pa perfectly well. Funny funny.

Another part of the story…as they were leaving Pa is handed the cd of his results and told here is your passport to travel, or other similar comment.  McNeil always asks for a postcard whenever they’re travelling…Pa doesn’t always let Gran send one but she’ll work out a sneaky way at some stage I’m sure.  They need to get on a plane and come visit me!

Bigger and better

For the longest time, maybe 12 ish years or so, Ma has had the same kiln, in the same shed.  Now Ma professes to be somewhat anti social but she sure manages to get a lot done even with that ‘handicap’.  She was talking to someone who was selling her kiln, the interested buyer had welcomed a couple of times so Ma got Pa moving and they had a look at it.  Pa (apparently) immediately saw the worth and they bought it.  Silly thing is that Ma won’t be able to use it and time soon…the kiln she’d needs some adjustments to fit them both in.

The other giggle worthy (to me at least) part of this story is that there have apparently been years 9f hating on the old kiln because it doesn’t work as the instructions say it should.  When I mentioned the differences in cake cooking at altitude Gran decided that that’s why the kiln misbehaves.  Because 400m is ‘at altitude’ 😉 You’ll recall that Martha Stewart considers over 3000ft to be altitude which will affect baking.  Gold.

Congrats Gran on getting a bigger, hotter, more useful, but actually useless for quite some time, kiln! Hehe.

A little recognition 

For as long as I remember Gran has got a lot of her potting stuff from Potters Equipment in Ringwood. I don’t think I have ever been there, but whenever Gran has new stuff from there it seems like she’s been to the lolly store.

Some sad news. The lady who has run the place for most of forever has had one too many strokes and decided that enough is enough, time to sell up and retire.  There was a big farewell at a local RSL, 250 odd people by Grans estimate. Gran attended, hilariously she was dressed by Betty. Okay, that’s an odd statement with no context. Context part one: Grans name is Betty.  Context part two: she was wearing a top she fell in love with as soon as she saw it, then she put it on and fell a little deeper, then she noticed the brand name is Betty. 

So dressed by Betty and looking fabulous Gran went to this farewell and had a great time as the social butterfly. She professes to not be very social but it sounds like all she did was flit about and chatter with everyone…there were comments like you seem to know everyone!  I guess 40 years of potting, albeit on and off, in the same area will do that.  She got chatting with one of the old guru ladies, someone who Gran quote respects the opinion of, I don’t recall the name.  Anyways, the older lass was all about helping Gran out with some pointers etc but she’s super popular so didn’t get enough of a chat.  In a few weeks when she’s back from Perth she’ll catch up with Gran and I’m sure we’ll all get the full story.

“life is lovely” was the quote I got from Gran right at the start of our conversation. 

And a Bonus

It’s been so so long since I had a chat with Pa. I guess he’s usually outside working hard when I call.  This time it was almost lunch so Gran tootled down to the hydrangea and dragged him up to say G’Day while she did her wifely duty and made lunch. I miss Pa.  I don’t get random stories or much about what’s going on in their lives from him like I do Gran, but I do super enjoy just talking random shit with him.  Work, life, politics (USA, Australia, the world), family, you name it…I love it.
Big hugs flying around the world to you two. xxx
Oh and that cake? Turned out great. Loving the Lara Mud Cake recipe mum!

I love this photo!

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