Weekend Coffee Share – 17th January, 2021.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

My apologies. There are slim pickings on the baking front this week after a massive bake-a-thon on Tuesday. Since then, I’ve been trying to minimise the cooking with its inherent mess-making so I can make progress on the house and do some writing. I made a commitment to write in an extended journal this year, and my efforts have been intermittent, and we’re not even out of January yet. Then, when I do write, it takes hours and it looks like I’ll be through what is quite a thick A5 volume by the end of the month. I’ve been holding onto a lot of stuff, and I’m not sure whether it’s good to bring it all back up like this, or not. However, I should put a disclaimer in the front and clarify that this is where I deal with the dark stuff, and I’m actually reasonably okay. Or, at least I was before the teenager got stressed out, and took us on a panic with him. Of course, he rose back up to the surface straight away, but it’s taken us a bit longer.

The highlight of last week was my Great Aunt’s funeral. Not that we actually attended her funeral in person. Rather, because she lived in Brisbane over the Queensland border which is closed to people from Sydney due to covid, we had to watch it via livestream video link.

Our tribute to Aunty Louise – white roses and the Caramel Macadamia Nut Tart I made.

Now, I understand that this is now pretty much de rigeur with funerals nowadays, and perhaps you’ve already been there, done that. However, this was our first time, and there was a lot to consider. We’ve been to what we call “watch parties” on Zoom before where we’ve gone round to a friend’s place to watch a broadcast together in a small group. So, this gave me the idea of driving down to my parents’ place and watching it with them and my uncle to recreate some sense of the family coming together to celebrate my aunt’s life. It took a bit of talking round to get my Dad onboard and we soon delegated all technical matters to my husband who works in IT and I promised to bake, and Dad said he’d pick up dinner. Mum bought some exquisite white roses and equally beautiful dahlias from her exclusive florist. It was all supposed to go so smoothly, but of course, it didn’t. The derailment began when I couldn’t find my oufit in my cupboard and I ended up pulling everything out because I had to wear these new Italian linen culottes I’d bought recently, even though I wasn’t sure which top to wear and the top I’d had in mind was also missing somewhere at large in my wardrobe. From there it only went down hill where I couldn’t find the link to the funeral in my email via my phone and Geoff couldn’t connect his laptop to my parents’ wifi. So, even though the video cable was connecting to the TV, we ended up with all five of us hovering around Dad’s laptop. Each of us could barely see the screen and while there were buttons to operate different cameras, we weren’t game enough to touch anything and so the slide show of photos from my aunty’s life, appeared like a series of small postage stamps on the screen. At this point, Mum wanted to go and watch it on her own laptop where she could actually see something, but we couldn’t get it up and running in time. So, it was just as well I’d done all that baking and Dad had bought some great food, because we felt better after that. Food had brought us together is a way that technology had failed.

All of this would’ve been rather funny had it appeared in a comedy sketch. However, it was deeply disappointing when we were trying to grieve the loss of our much loved aunt, and that’s why I’ve shared our experiences with you and plan to write a more detailed post about watching a funeral online. If you want to do it in a group, you need to treat it like an event. You just can’t rock up and assume everything will go smoothly, especially when your emotions are already churned up.

After the funeral and my massive baking efforts on Tuesday, the rest of the week was fairly quiet. It’s been pretty hot, and too hot for me to go out at the peak of the day. My daughter, however, was more adventurous and warned me over the phone that she’d turned into a lobster at the beach.

Map of Patonga NSW 2256
Above: A local map with Patonga at the centre. We live at Umina Beach and that bit of land jutting out on the far right corner is Palm Beach headland and the lighthouse sits on top.

Then, today I really felt the need to get out and my husband and I drove over to Patonga to go for a walk along the beach and rocks. Being a keen sailor, Geoff was keeping a keen eye out on passing yachts. They always epitomise freedom and escape to me, but I don’t understand the technical nitty gritties. It flies straight over my head as sure as any seagull. For me, it was great just to be outside again and to have that vast sense of almost endless space you have at the beach when you look out to see and there’s nothing but blue for a seeming eternity. I also needed some exercise…a walk…and when I was last in Patonga, I’d walked around the rocks and found some intriguing swirl patterns on the sandstone, which I wanted to check out and photograph again. It turned out that the rock platform also had these swirl patterns and I’ll have to look into them further. Intriguing…

Patonga

By the way, I should’ve mentioned that Geoff was on holidays this week and still has another week of leave to go. It hasn’t really been very relaxing so far, as he’s been working on repairs at home. We had planning to go away to stay with family inland from Byron Bay, but we didn’t want to risk picking covid up on route and any of us getting sick. We tend to go up once a year, and we thought the timing could be better later in the year. –

My feet with these amazing concentric patters in the sandstone at Patonga.

This coming week, our kids (teens) are off to youth camp for a few days with Church and then our daughter is going off to a Young Carer’s camp at Camp Breakaway about an hour away from here. The break will do us all good. Our son is also helping out with sound at camp and also has two DJ slots and he’s really looking forward to that and takes it all very seriously. It’s very important to him, and he seems to be quite good and developing well. That’s a relief in itself because it’s not always easy for young people to find their thing. Now, we just have to hope covid gets lost and the entertainment industry can get back on its feet.

We were in awe of these massive chunks of sandstone which had fallen from the headland, and smashed into pieces. Glad e weren’t standing down below!!

Well, it’s time for me to get 40 winks now, and head off to bed. How has your week been? I hope you and yours are being spared the worst of these dreadful Covid pandemic. Have you been vaccinated yet? How was it? The vaccine, is, of course, our big hope.

This has been another Weekend Coffee share now hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/01/08/welcome-two-in-one/ We hope you might come along and join us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

12 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – 17th January, 2021.

  1. Natalie

    Rowena, Sorry to hear technology let you down at your great aunt’s funeral. The pandemic has made it hard for so many of us, even to grieve. I’m glad you’ve got some time outdoors. Your photos are lovely with the blue skies, the sandstone patterns and the sandy beach. Have a wonderful week ahead! #weekendcoffeeshare

  2. Sagittarius Viking

    My condolence about your aunt. You shared some wonderful photos this week. It is so great to see photos from other corners of the world especially now when we don’t travel. Have a great new week.

  3. tidalscribe

    I was isolating with and caring for my husband in August last year when he was still alive and my daughter came and stayed in a little hotel round the corner ( which was meant to be Covid safe ) and we ate our meals in the garden. Then she got up at 3am and came round to the house, put on her NHS protective gear and sat on the opposite side of the room from me. At 4am we watched my mum’s funeral from Perth on line; there was one break – just as my sister started reading what I had written – but soon we were back on line and we watched the recording of it later.. It was a lovely service, which Mum had planned five years previously, in her own church and as the ‘limit’ was 65 people it seemed normal in every way. Of course in normal times we used to miss funerals if we couldn’t get there, so for those far away live streaming has been good.

  4. Bear

    May I share a hug of condolence. I, too, had a week of funerals, mostly neighbors and a few distant friends. I played my cedar flute for a couple… taps to honor their service. So I get the virtual thing all too well. It doesn’t quite “feel” the same, does it. Anyway, I really enjoyed your photos..Its snowing here this morning and cold. Have a great week ~Shalom, Bear

  5. Gary A Wilson

    We had a much looked-forward-to wedding, but it was truncated due to covid so there were actually very few there live with us. It was surreal, but we still came away with a new daughter-in-law. It was sad, but everyone understood.
    It’s so sad that your funeral was impacted. Such times should be reserved for more dedicated attention to each other and the person we all lost.
    Virtual hugs are helpful only go so far.

  6. Inspiring Max

    Sorry for your loss. How disappointing the planned funeral watching go according to plan. I hadn’t thought about the photos looking small on the computer but it makes sense.

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    So sorry about the technical glitches from your aunt’s funeral. My own luck with Zoom has been hit or miss. My essential oil group will sometimes record the sessions, but even that has been less than perfect. When my own large family tried to get together digitally it was madness. Too many and with the lag in voice synchronizing to moving mouths, and postage stamp sized faces, it was a bit chaotic. Noises coming from everywhere, small kids screeching on screen, and a couple of attention seeking dogs nose nudging both arms…it was all too difficult for any meaningful dialogue. COVID is definitely cramping our close family ties and technology can only help so much. Course it’d help if I wasn’t such a techno-failure. *sigh

    On the plus side your images with those sandstone rock formations are excellent. Looked like a picture perfect day outside. Have a lovely week and stay safe, sane while continuing to smile.

  8. Beaton

    Sorry for your loss and the episode with the tech drama sounds like straight out of a tragicomedy called the worst online funeral ever… Like I always say laughing about some of what life throws at us helps us survive ..
    But you are so right just because something is online does mean preparations should be done before hand like making sure everyone can connect and figuring out how to add bigger screens like the TV or beforehand and trying it out with the laptop you will be using and yeah am writing this from experience after hosting a hilariously disastrous online event but it worked out well eventually, it always does…

    the patterns in the rock looks like something the aliens did

    ~B

  9. Rowena Post author

    Yes, attention-seeking dogs have strained quite a few phone conversations. Zac howls his head off whenever I’m on the phone. Geoff reckons he thinks he’s talking.

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