Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!
This week, I can actually share a good dose of balmy sunshine with you. It’s a lush Spring day here (just North of Sydney) and I’m feeling rather re-energized, and the bear is out of hibernation, and almost active. We dropped another carload of stuff off at the charity shop and we booked a council clean up for tomorrow. However, although large bulky items are disappearing left right and centre, our place is still packed to overflowing.
Well, we still live here, and we haven’t moved for 20 years. So, you could say we’re very settled. Alternatively, you could say we’ve been buried alive, but that wouldn’t be very nice and not a good way to start off a friendly chat over coffee, tea and left over Sticky Date Pudding. My Sticky Date weaves a strange spell over people. So, you don’t want to come in with a barrage of criticism and miss out, do you?
How has your week been? I hope it’s gone well. It’s been getting easier to escape the omnipresent influence of the coronavirus here now that cases in Melbourne are coming down, and Sydney didn’t take off and has managed to avoid lock down. I don’t know whether that’s because we’ve all been careful, but I know we’ve been lying low for a long time and didn’t go down to Sydney for Father’s Day with everyone out and about. A bit of short term sacrifice made for long term gain.
Last Wednesday, Geoff and I celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary. We got married two days before 9/11 and flew to New Zealand first thing on the morning on the 12th having watched the destruction and tragedy unfold on TV the night before Sydney time. Mum mentioned the other night that we must’ve been brave catching a plane at the time and heading overseas. However, flying to New Zealand felt like an even safer option. It’s even more isolated than Australia. However, as we toured Rotorua with its gurgling thermal pools and returned to our hotel to watch the coverage at night, the two landscapes made a ghostly parallel with the steam rising out of the geysers and the ash rising out of Ground Zero. No one will ever forget where they were and what was happening for them at the time and how we all were gripped in the wake of those attacks. Life has never turned back.
It’s unfortunate that talking about our Wedding Day invariably involves 9/11. It was such a magical day and the consumate fairy tale. It was held at Curzon Hall which is just like a fairytale castle. I’d always wanted to have my wedding reception there. It’s so magnificent, especially here in Sydney which is largely a modern city. By the way, let me just say, I’d love to live there. However, after we returned from our honeymoon, we were back to our “Renovators Dream”, which was meant to be a stepping stone but we’re still here 20 years later and the renovation still isn’t done yet.
As I mentioned, Geoff and I went out for lunch for our anniversary at a local nursery. In addition to lunch, we’d decided to buy a Cymbidium Orchid, which I’d had in my wedding bouquet and in pots at the Church. However, although the nursery was out of stock and so we we ended up buying a couple of Gardenias and some ornamental cabbages as well. I haven’t done a great job with gardening in recent years. However, I saw some photos of when our son was learning to walk and I’d planted heaps of bulbs in the garden and really took care of it, and it looked quite pretty. Of course, I’ve been very ill since then and I’m not getting younger either. However, it gave me a flash of hope. Or, at the very least, a maybe…
It would be lovely for our house to become a home again!
Meanwhile, my research continues. I’m now reading Louise Mack’s A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War—was published in 1915. Louise Mack was an Australian journalist and author who was based in London when the war broke out. Of course, all journalists were vying to cover the war and it was unlikely they’d send a woman. However, she spoke four languages, had her papers all ready to go and was very persuasive. That, along with having a lot of pluck, courage and determination. The book outlines her eye-witness account of the German invasion of Antwerp and what it was like living in occupied Brussels. After she returned to Australia in 1915, she gave a series of lantern tours around much of Australia talking about her experiences in Belgium, which particularly brought the sufferings of Belgium to life. Although they were outlined in detail in the newspapers here, it must’ve been much more meaningful to meet someone who had been there and lived through it. Australia responded generously to help the Belgians and extensive fundraising was undertaken right around the country, which I only found out about while doing this research project.
Are you reading anything at the moment? I always seem to be reading a lot of different things without getting them finished, which concerns me. Somebody more disciplined and regimented would finish one before they start on the next, and if they were iffy about finishing it, they’d pass it on. I have been reading some books I really love for awhile. Some, I really don’t want to finish, and this includes Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence: on Awe, Wonder and Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark. It’s a brilliant book, but it’s also one you can draw out and don’t need to read it in one sitting for it to make sense. I’m also reading Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. A few years ago, I started reading: The Book Thief . Although I absolutely loved it, I’ve started it twice and haven’t got through it, and I don’t know why. Perhaps, that’s one I really have to focus on. Meanwhile, this morning I started reading Selwyn Hughes’s How To Help A Friend. This book is brilliant too. While this might be stating his message too bluntly, e argues that everyone who considers themselves a Christian not only has a responsibility to care, but should have the heart for it as well. Just to share one quote I particularly appreciated from this book: “Harvard psychologist Gordon Allport called love `incomparably the greatest psychotherapeutic agent in the universe.'” I can see this book is really going to fire me up, although it might make me a bit disillusioned as well. After all, it is usually difficult to translate visions into reality, but I have to believe that if our hearts are in the right place, that we’ll at least offer some difference and a bit of hope.
Anyway, I’d better keep moving. I’m trying to get things sorted out for the council clean up. Our Rome took almost 20 years to construct, so it’s not going to disappear overnight. However, we’re at least we’ve making some good progress, and are trying to keep the momentum going.
How has your week been? What have you been up to or have you read something you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you and hope you and yours are keeping well and safe.
This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/.