Weekend Coffee Share 26th March, 2027.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

You’ve struck it lucky this week. After weeks and weeks of torrential rain, today I can finally offer you a cup of sunshine, which, when you’d been deprived of sun for so long, is pure gold and way better than a measly tea or coffee.

The sun is shining. So, why on earth am I sitting inside on my laptop when I should be outside seizing the rays?

It’s okay. I’m working on it. I’m still waking up and trying to psyche myself up for my “twenty minute walk”. Now that the rain’s stopped, I’ve run out of excuses for the physio. So, I’ve gotta: “Move it! Move it! Move it!” I almost feel like praying for rain. And for all of you motivation types, I know I’ll enjoy it once I get started and that it’s about time I went and checked out the beach before Winter sets in, but the power of the couch is very alluring.

I am finally starting to get a bit of direction and focus at last.

About a month ago, I received a rather generous assistance package through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This included a physio, Occupational Therapy and psychology combo as well as a personal mentor, 9 hours of cleaning and a budget to really Spring clean the house and get it back in order. Ten years of chronic illness have truly swamped the place!! So, at the moment we’re getting started. Friday, I began the dreaded process of sorting through about 5 in trays, hoping that by now, all that paperwork was well and truly redundant and headed straight for the WPB (waste paper bin AKA recycling).

Woy Woy March 20

Taken on one of my recent “ten minute walks”.

The other advantage of getting rid of this excess paperwork, is that it distracts the mentor from culling my collections. After all, if anything is well into that endangered category of “not being used for the last 6 months and collecting dust”, it’s my collection of antique and vintage tea cups. Moreover, even I have to admit there’s considerable “excess”. However, before I do the hard yards sorting through my beloved “old ladies”, I’d much rather throw out the old school notes.

1936 Eunice in London

Meanwhile, I’ve been head down tail up transposing newspaper articles about my grandmother’s career as an international concert pianist. These started going online the week of her funeral, which was rather freaky at the time when articles from 1935 suddenly started rising to the surface. I am viewing her career through a much broader social context, which is much more time consuming but has created a much more interesting story line. For example, there was a review of a London performance which she’d kept as a clipping in her scrapbook. However, when I found it online this week, I read the full article which mentioned the arrival of Sudeten Jews in London in 1938 and how Jewish children were being adopted by English families. It’s fascinating reading history forward instead of reverse, which, of course, is how it was experienced.

One thing which has been quite interesting about researching my grandmother’s journey, is that I am reading all these facts, stories etc as her grand-daughter, a writer-storyteller and researcher and NOT primarily as a musician. I read the list of her performance pieces like a shopping list, yet without the  recognition. I’ve been ploughing through the articles and trying to get through them all and so stopping to listen to the music itself hasn’t been a priority. However, I finally Googled Beethoven’s Waldstein and a few others, and they were as familiar to me as breathing. They were such a part of my childhood and I remember falling to sleep to them on my parents’ laps. It’s so precious to relive these moments, even if it is through the exceptionally humble speakers on my laptop. So, I am inspired to listen to these more and to get the stereo operational. That is, if that thing is still called a stereo!

Meanwhile, real life realities always beckon me back from the joys of research and discovery. I’m finalising my daughter’s application for the local high school, while we wait on the results of the selective schools’ test. This involves an academic test for selective class and three auditions for the CAPA or performing arts stream. These auditions are filling me with dread. STRESS x 3 is not something to look forward to and I am becoming quite an adept motivational coach as she does various auditions. It’s just lucky that I’m a natural performer. It’s just an ironic twist that I don’t have an act, unless you include stand-up comedy after my latest trip.

dancer box

Just as well I have my own creative and stress outlet. Tomorrow night, I have my last contemporary/jazz dance class for this term. I am truly going to miss these classes. We have so much fun. Not only with the dancing, but with the hilarious commentary, my pink satin ballet shoes with ribbons attached and the way so many of us seemingly “breathe out” during these classes. I know this sounds like a paradox, because learning dance as an adult sounds very intense and it’s such a perfectionist thing, but we’re not trying be prima donnas. We’re wanting to stretch ourselves physically, psychologically and philosophically and laugh from head to toe. It’s magic…even if my dancing has a way to go!

I have cut back on writing on my blog this year. However, I am still enjoying writing my weekly flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers. You can read this week’s effort here.

So, how has your week been? I hope it’s been great and that the week ahead goes well for you too!

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd In the Brain. You can join in the  Linky.

Xx Rowena

11 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 26th March, 2027.

  1. bettylouise31

    Nice that you find the time to sort through all your memories of your Grandmother. Sorry you are still waiting to hear about your daughter ‘s school.

  2. TanGental

    Well it’s grand you’re getting some help. It’ll give you some headspace as my children say for all those many projects. Weather wise we’re a bit short of rain this end of the winter but loads of sun today if only 15C. And how fascinating about your gran and the Kindertransporten.

  3. Tara

    I love the dance class bit! I love ballet shoes. Maybe I should take up a class. 🙂 Sounds like fun. Busy times in your world. Enjoy!

  4. Rowena Post author

    Go for it Tara. I’ve found it such a buzz, although it can be difficult to find an adult class. Hope you have a great week! xx Rowena

  5. Rowena Post author

    I’ve needed some headspace and I’m now finding that my thinking has become a lot more structured, which is such a relief.
    It must be nice feeling Spring in the air and those dreaded temperatures start to improve…and even some sunshine. We’ve had so many weeks of rain here, that when the sun came out yesterday, we almost leaped out of our skin.
    My research into my grandmother is yielding so many stories both about her and those she mixed with. No doubt, you have heard of Sir Thomas Beecham the famous conductor. My grandmother toured Australia with him in 1940. From what I’ve read, he sounds pretty hot-headed and the Gordon Ramsay of conductors and he copped quite a lot of flack for his derogatory remarks about Sydney while he was here. Anyway, I found a reference to him helping my grandmother pick up all the roses up from the stage and he almost sounds nice…fatherly perhaps. Of course, my Gran wasn’t elderly at this point and a rather attractive 22 year old. Not that that had anything to do with it, of course!

  6. Dale

    I took an adult ballet class years ago and it was so much fun. Too bad they don’t offer it anymore. It is such a nice way to get exercise – way better than running nowhere on a treadmill!
    What fun to be researching your grandmother…

  7. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Dale. I agree that doing the dancing is so much better than being stuck on a treadmill. We have so much fun. Indeed, I wrote a dedicated post to the dancing today. We’re going to be moving onto tap next term, which I’m looking forward to trying. I’m hoping it makes me a “Happy Tapper”.
    I am really enjoying researching my grandmother and her domain. It was such an interesting period in history and I’m uncovering so many asides as well. It’s definitely proving to be a veritable gold mine.

  8. T Ling (@Tweetymighty)

    I was Miss Gardiner’s pupil at the Sydney Conservatorium from 1980-1985. i was looking for information about her and stumbled upon this site. I live in Malaysia, teaching piano for the past 30 over years. It’s my regret not having taken any photo with her. I have fond memories of her and her singing as she played! Glad to meet her granddaughter here. Cheers!
    Thomas Ling Swee Chin, Sibu, SARAWAK, Borneo island. tmsling@gmail.com

  9. Rowena Post author

    Hi Thomas,
    Thank you so much for getting in touch. I am always so excited tohear from any of her former pupils. Indeed, my mother was her pupil, which was how she met my father. You must’ve been among her last pupils at the conservatorium, if I have my dates right. I’d be happy to email you a few photos and would love any anecdotes. What was she like as a teacher and did she advise you about life in any way. A few of her pupils have told me how she encouraged them in areas beyond piano and got one a job as my grandfather’s dental secretary which I think was to broaden her outlook beyond piano.
    I’ll email you in the next couple of days. My email address is rowenanewton at outlook.com
    Best wishes,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.