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On the Eve of my new Century

18 Jul

auntyuta:

Berlioz filed this under the “Betty and Jack” stories. So he presumably is Jack and his wife is Betty. Really, nothing to do with me then!. :-)
Reading this story again, set in the year 2035, I notice that Betty does spend a lot of time writing blogs, just like Aunty Uta likes doing! :-)

Originally posted on Berlioz1935's Blog:

2035

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 100 – yes, a one  with two fat zeros. They told me the telegram from King Charles is on it’s way. We still are a monarchy. Australians don’t dare to offend the English. Now is not the time, is the slogan.

That I’m still alive is just a miracle. When I was born I had a live expectancy of only sixty-four years. Against all expectations, and daydreaming by my wife, I’m still here. She has been a strong blogger for a long time and in 2007 forecast that in 2017 I will be dead and buried. Her wishful thinking never came true. I’m still around and she is still blogging to her heart’s content. Mind you she is blind but she knows were the keys on the keyboard are. The other day she pronounced with heightened optimisms that I wouldn’t last forever…

View original 323 more words

Short Story Writing and a bit of Musing

17 Jul

In the past I stuck mainly to journal or diary writing, or I tried to come to grips with some of my childhood memories. Only occasionally did I resort to fiction writing in the form of a short story. As far as my reading tastes are concerned I must say, in my younger days I always preferred reading novels: Only occasionally would I read a short story.

These days the time I spend  reading novels seems to be getting less and less, even though I still like novels a lot. Today for instance I spent half an hour reading a short story. It turned out I did very much love this story. It was a story I had been reading many years ago and I could still remember the subject of this story since this is a subject that interests me very much: What happens to a mother when she is suddenly widowed?

Barbara, one of my neighbours, is the author of this story titled “For better or worse”. Many years ago Barbara won a local award for this story. As I said I could still remember having read this story. I asked Barbara the other day, whether she is still writing. I told her how I remembered this story of hers. The mother in the story moves in with the daughter´s family after her husband died. She lives with the daughter, son-in-law and their two children for several months. In the end she decides, it is better to move on. Living together all the time is just not the right thing and brings about serious tensions in the family.

In the story we learn that the daughter is not at all like the mother. The daughter is more easy going whereas the mother as a very tidy person. This reminds me how all my children are very different from me. I am definitely not a very tidy person. None of my daughters nor my son are extraordinarily tidy either, but they are easy going in lots of different ways, not the way I am, not at all. Living with any one of them I can imagine might lead to frustrations all around. I just cannot imagine to live with any of them indefinitely. Maybe if there was a granny flat, it could work out?!

Well, I am fortunate, that my husband is still alive. God willing, we may still have quite a few years together. We live in a three bedroom house, called a villa, for it is in a corporate housing complex. There is a master bedroom, a guest bedroom and the third one is a computer room but can also be made into a bedroom. Our living room has an extension sofa for overnight guests. I always love to have family staying overnight at our place. We call ourselves lucky that we can make room like this for overnight guests.

Several women who used to live in our complex, eventually moved away after their husbands died.  They live now in retirement villages. Another neighbour, who was recently widowed, keeps thinking that she might want to move too. She is a very tidy person. She feels, the effort to keep her place and surroundings in the condition that she is used to, might become too much for her with advancing age.

Some years ago I wrote a fictional short story about a hostel for the aged. I used to have a friend in a hostel like this. This hostel was a very beautiful place on top of a hill with terrific views towards the ocean. In the beginning my friend loved her stay there. She was still mobile enough to go on outings with some of the other residents. Over the years she aged a lot and did not feel like going out any more. It turned out the people in that hostel who ended up needing nursing care, could often not be transferred to a nursing home because of bed shortages there. It was sad to see residents, who required constant nursing care, struggle on in the hostel where it became more and more difficult for the staff to look after all these feeble residents. In the hostel was not enough staff for nursing care. A lot of the residents were just sitting around all day, half dazed and not being able to participate in the life that was going on around them!

Originally I thought I would not mind spending my final days in a hostel like this with my own room and private facilities. But a nursing home? Oh, I hope it will not come to this. I hope that I can die before I need a nursing home. On the other hand, a person who is that far gone, maybe does not really mind too much to have to stay in a nursing home.

 

Ilse came to visit us in 1999

14 Jul
18th of April 1999 in front of Sydney Opera House

18th of April 1999 in front of Sydney Opera House. David took this picture.

The 18th of April 1999 was the day when we travelled by Ferry Boat from Parramatta to Sydney (Circular Quay). Peter’s sister Ilse was with us She was still sad, because her husband, Klaus, had died the previous year. However, she liked to stay with us for a while. After a two months visit she went back to Berlin with the promise to visit us again.

The 18th of April 1998 happened to be the birthday of Klaus, his last one before he died. So on the Ferry on that day a year later Ilse could not help but thinking that it was the anniversary of the birthday of Klaus and how he would have loved this Ferry trip too.

Gaby and David were with us on that boat. David went straight away to the front deck after boarding and stayed outside for the whole trip. Ilse and I stayed inside with Gaby who was in her wheelchair, of course. Peter went backwards and forwards all the time taking pictures.

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The Opera House is already in sight, so Circular Quay is not far away any more.

The Opera House is already in sight, so Circular Quay is not far away any more.

In March 1999, soon after Ilse had arrived from Germany, we went with her to visit Gaby at her place in Merrylands West. This is where she met David too for the first time.

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This is probably a more recent photo when Gaby was about fifty years old.

This is probably a more recent photo when Gaby was about fifty years old.

Caroline’s Message on Facebook for Peter

13 Jul
Gelato de Messina

Gelato de Messina

For you and Mama. Reminds me of the day we were wandering throughout the botanical gardens with Matthew and decided “to go in search of gelato” 

“When someone is seeking it happens quite easily that she only sees the thing that she is seeking; that she is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because she is only thinking of the thing she is seeking, because she has a goal, because she is obsessed with her goal. Seeking means to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.” Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
I, Uta, asked Peter to send me Caroline’s message. I think Caroline chose this passage from Hermann Hesse’s SIDDHARTHA very well. Thank you very much for this, Caroline. I too remember that day when we were wandering throughout the Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I actually enjoyed our walk very much. Finding a place for buying gelato? It was not to be, not in the Botanic Gardens anyway. Then we looked around near the Opera House. However the area was much too crowded for our liking. So we went on. In the end Matthew and Caroline led us to their favourite gelato shop. This made us very happy. I think we did have a great day!
I can see that it would have been very bad to be obsessed with this goal of getting gelato. I admit, I was on the lookout for it. Had we been able to find some in the Botanic Gardens, I am sure we would have enjoyed that too. None the less, I very much loved  this walk, I really did. And as it turned out, having to wait for the gelato a  bit longer, made it even more special when I finally did get some of this very delicious home made on the premises gelato.
I say, it is always worth waiting for GELATO DE MESSINA, made on the premises in Victoria Street! :-)

Are first born Children bossy?

7 Jul

I am a first born one, and as someone with two younger brothers I probably always tended to be bossy.   Peter, my husband of more than 57 years, is a third born one. He claims his two older sisters used to boss him around. He always lets me know in no uncertain terms that he very much resents being bossed around by me. I have to be very careful in what I am saying to him;  it can often be interpreted as an ‘order’ even if it is meant as a suggestion only.  I have the feeling Peter always  fears that I want to act as though I can make all the decisions. I think he feels immediately like a little boy who can be bossed around the way his sisters used to do it.

So I always want to try my utmost to sound like a person who is not bossy in the least. However no matter how hard I try, more often than not I come across to Peter as wanting to be bossy! It used to distress me a lot when I was younger. With advancing age these relationship difficulties don’t seem to be the end of the world anymore. I think old age teaches us to try to be more tolerant and accepting. And of course for as long as there is love in the relationship any frustration can be overcome!

Family Pictures

3 Jul

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Jenni, our neighbour,  gave us this tealight tower.

Jenni, our neighbour, gave us this tealight tower.

 

 

Thursday, 3rd of July 2014

Today we did get a surprise visist by Monika and family. All the pictures are todays pictures. Peter took some and I also took some. Caroline and Matthew were with us too. Sorry, nobody thought of taking pictures of them too. Krystal isn’t in any of the pictures, also Peter is missing in any of them. Ebony is in the background of the picture with Lucas.

It was so nice to have visitors! It was also great to have Caroline and Matthew with us for a while. I kept talking about our trip to Sussex Inlet in a few weeks. There’s going to be a special family meeting at Sussex Inlet for one weekend. Family from Melbourne and Newcastle are going to be with us too. I hope we’re going to have plenty of sunshine during our Sussex Inlet weekend. We are probably going to be about sixteen people  for this family meeting. The family booked four units already. Each unit  is for four people. There’s also an annex with every unit which can be used for additional people.

Cuts to Aged Care

30 Jun

Here is what Kaye Lee found out:

Kaye LeeJune 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

To just underline the society we now live in…..

Tony Abbott’s $1.7bn cut to the Commonwealth Home Support Program will affect services including Meals on Wheels, respite care, cleaning, maintenance and other in-home services for elderly Australians living in their homes.

The government said the $1.7bn in savings from this measure would be directed to repairing the budget.

A $1.5bn scheme to fund wage increases for the aged-care workforce will also be scrapped, but the money will be redirected into boosting subsidies to aged-care providers by 2.4 per cent.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/budget-2014/cuts-to-aged-care-to-rake-innbsp25bn/story-fnmbxr2t-1226916709506

My Beliefs

20 Jun

“Thanks for telling us about your history. I found it fascinating. I have always admired your positive outlook on life and also not being afraid to speak out and make comments on political events and standing up for your beliefs. thank you.”

It is great to get a comment like this one that Elizabeth made in response to my previous post. I hope I am telling the truth when I say I probably always had a rather positive outlook on life. Even during times when I felt very down there was always hope at the back of my mind that things would turn out all right. Something comes to mind what I did when I felt depressed: I looked for people I could talk to about my problems.

My problems resulted mainly from a feeling of self doubt. I doubted that I was any good to anyone. One day a friend of mine told me: “You know, God does not make rubbish!” This simple statement somehow brought about a change in my thinking. I started to believe that I must have some kind of value. I started to accept myself the way I was. I think Peter did not like me to have friends that were not his friends. But I told him that I needed people to talk to. I said that I just could not talk solely to him all the time.

In my last post I said that some things I could not change as for instance the war- and post-war conditions. In the meantime I talked with Peter again about our dear first born daughter who passed away on the 15th of July 2012. She was a very strong willed, loving and courageous woman. Yes, I say woman for she was close to 55 when she died. Even though, in a lot of ways she seemed to us a bit like a teenager right until the day she died. But these days women stay younger for longer, right?

The daughter’s name was Gabriele. We called her Gaby. Some Australians called her “Gabby” which I think was fitting for she liked to talk a lot. So she was a good organiser, a good talker and had an outgoing personality. However she was a quadriplegic with breathing difficulties. Some of my blogger friends may remember that I mentioned this before. Gaby was not the intellectual type. She never got around to doing university studies. But I believe she made of her life as much as was possible under the circumstances.

When Gaby ended up in hospital as a four year old, she soon started bossing every one around. The very motherly head sister called her “the boss” of the ward. Who knows what career Gaby could have had had she been able growing up without these extremely severe disabilities! A vaccination against poliomyelitis could have prevented Gaby falling sick during the 1961 polio epidemic. Peter and I assured us again and again that we were not neglectful since the vaccine was not available at the right time. It was a disastrous set of circumstances. Still, the regret is there of course. Peter would say it was fate, I say it was the will of God. Gaby understood the position we were in. We did whatever we could do for her throughout her life. And she always showed us that she loved us! She was a “pain in the neck” as the saying goes, but she also had a very big and generous heart. Gaby was loved and admired by a great many people. She had a marvellous memory for faces and names. And she liked to keep in touch with every one in our family.

I wish that some things could have been different. But I have to accept that some circumstances could not be changed. The decisions I made during my life always felt right at the time, even though later on I sometimes doubted whether I had made the right decision. I think with most important decisions like marrying and having children I overcame any doubts. There is one decision I certainly never regretted: Our coming to Australia. I regard it as a blessing that we were accepted as migrants in 1959. Coming to Australia for me was the best decision we ever made. I never had any doubts about this.

Experimental Photos on a dark Sunday Winter Morning June 2014

15 Jun

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I have my laptop in a very small easy to heat room. I love this small space on a cold winter morning. It feels so snugly warm. Still I have diverse layers of clothes on. I am out to keep as warm as possible. I do not want to catch a cold. With temperatures like we have right now I cannot be too careful! The forecast for today is: Cloudy, windy, max. temperature 16 C.  This means no sun! Doesn’t sound very good, not good at all. If it gets very windy, I better stay indoors. I do not like cold wind!

Peter is watching a football game in the living room: England versus Italy. I took my coffee to this computer room to occupy myself with taking pictures rather than watching another football game so soon after yesterday’s game: Chile versus Australia. I liked the way the Australians played, but really I am not that much into football that I want to watch every available FIFA World Cup game. But it is great to see that so many people get a lot of enjoyment out of it. In many cities all over the world the games are being watched on big outside screens. Our twin grandsons watch the before mentioned game in a pub in London right now!

All the above photos I took this morning. I glanced some very colourful clouds when I looked outside. My pictures are just some trial pictures. I saw the cloud much more colourful. It did not turn out that good in the photo.

There are several pictures on the wall in front of my laptop. One picture is titled “Family Name History”. The picture was given to us on our 50th Wedding Anniversary by our children. It says a lot about our family name. The print is rather small. This is why it did not come out well in the photo. Maybe some other time I can try to take a better picture of it.

Lifestyle and Depression

14 Jun

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/doctors-quick-to-criticise-lisa-curry-over-rushing-womens-syndrome-advice-20140613-zs7f0.html

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/lisa-curry-opens-up-about-her-divorce-to-grant-kenny-20140613-zs6dg.html

What is this about hormonal imbalance and lifestyle? Lisa Curry apparently is selling supplements. Is she making false claims about the supplements? Some medical people seem to think so according to the above article. Do I understand this right?

And what do some medical people claim about ‘depression’. If a woman is overwhelmed by having to cope with multiple tasks over a long period of time does this lead to depression? Why treat the so called depression instead of seeing to it that the woman is relieved of some of the burdens in her life?

As far as I know a hormonal imbalance is not to be taking lightly. Maybe it can lead to depression. But my question is, does not the hormonal imbalance need to be treated first of all?

At 79 I am well and truly into old age now. But I remember different periods in my life. I am sure I had periods in my life where hormones were playing up quite a bit. Of course in old age some of the aches and pains related to old age are not very welcome, but other things seem to be getting easier. For one, I think there is usually less stress in old age. And if you pamper yourself a bit you have no qualms about it. Also you are probably more likely to admit that some things you cannot do any more. So you enjoy life as much as possible and relax as much as possible! :-)

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