50th and 55th

Last Saturday we were invited to a 50th birthday party. I took a few pictures, but unfortunately they are not ready for publishing yet.

It so happened that at the party all of our daughters and quite a few grandchildren were present. And we did get the good news, that another great-grandchild is on the way! So that means our daughter Monika is going to be a grandma first time around. She was thrilled about the news. I think she had been longing for a long time to become a grandma. She’s going to be 53 next week. Her partner is the one who turned 50 and in his honour the big party had been organised. They did not have a barbecue this time, but Monika had prepared lots of delicious finger-food. There was enough to eat for everyone. And Mark, the birthday-guy, had engaged a disc-jockey, who had set himself up in one of the big garages. In the other connecting garage all the food was later served. The disc-jockey played nearly non-stop from 7 pm to midnight!

When we arrived towards 8 pm Monika very enthustically let me know that she had ordered a couple of songs especially for me. It nearly blew me away when soon after ‘Rock around the clock’ was played. Nobody danced. Young and old were scattered around the backyard, sitting on garden chairs around huge garden tables or standing with drinks in hand,  talking to each other. Mark had shown me before  where the music was and he and the disc-jockey had obliged to pose for me for a picture. When I heard the sounds of ‘Rock around the Clock’ I immediately found my way back to where the music was. As I said, nobody danced. So I had the dance-floor all to myself!

Later on I danced with Peter to the sounds of Glenn Miller music. Still nobody else danced. Anyhow, I had had my fun. After that my old bones needed a rest. Not so Peter. He continued dancing with a few younger women once a few people had finally appeared on the dance-floor. The music was beat, beat, beat and extremely loud. I found a conversation was impossible! I enjoyed the balmy night, taking some pictures here and there, resting for a while on a chair outside; then getting up again and making a few movements to the music. The noise was easier to bear when I was able to do a few dance movements by following the beat.

I watched the dancers in the garage from outside and took pictures. Mark’s slim, tall, blond daughter and her boyfriend were by far the best dancers. It was a joy to watch them. I saw none of Monika’s three daughters dancing. The youngest one and her girlfriend were giggling a lot when they saw me dancing! We went home soon after 10 pm, after all the birthday-cake ceremonies were finished. Maybe some more people, who hadn’t danced before, started dancing later on.

Our youngest daughter, who turns 33  a few days after Monika’s birthday, went home with us, feeling quite sick. Her partner stayed overnight at our place too. He had to leave early on Sunday morning to go back to Sydney to work. Daughter Caroline still felt too sick and couldn’t go to Sydney with him. We took her back to her place in Sydney on Monday morning when she felt a bit better. Sunday night, when she still hadn’t felt all right and hadn’t been able to eat anything for twenty-four hours we took her to our Medical Centre at half past nine, where a doctor was still in attendance. He advised her not to eat anything till she felt better and then only eat dry toast with honey. He told her to drink plenty of water, but only boiled water. He said he had a few people seeing him that evening with similar symptoms. Apparently it was a virus.

After having delivered Caroline back home we went on to a newly opened IKEA shop for lunch. We had Swedish meatballs. Simply delicious! Then on to Fairfield, one of the Western suburbs of Sydney. Gaby, our eldest daughter, was to meet us there. Gaby had managed on Saturday night to get two of her carers to take her to Mark’s party. By the time she got back home with her carers and put to bed, it was close to 3 am!

Now to the 55. This refers to Peter’s and my wedding anniversary. We invited the family to have lunch with us in Parramatta (another Western Sydney suburb) on Sunday, 18th December. This is not just for the wedding anniversary but also a pre Christmas celebration. This year the family cannot come to our place on Christmas Eve.They are all upset about this. To spend Christmas Eve at our place has been a long held tradition. It saddens them that this year is going to be different.

On the 23rd of December Peter and I  are off to Melbourne to stay with our son, Martin. On Monday the 26th of December we’ll be off  to the holiday cottage at the beach. This is were we’ll be celebrating the start of 2012.

This year is coming to an end. It has been a very eventful year again.

‘You gotta have balls’

This is the title of a novel by Lily Brett. This very funny novel was first published in Australia in 2005. One character in the book is a buxom sixty-something woman who came from Poland to New York and loves to cook meat-balls. She tends to feel hot while she’s doing the cooking. This is why she stands in her kitchen in her beautiful, elegant bra with just an apron on top of it.

After my morning walk I felt hot again and had to strip down to my bra. I helped hubby in the kitchen with the breakfast dishes and didn’t even wear an apron on top of it! When I do this sort of thing, I’m always reminded of that boxum woman in the book.

Lily Brett is an Australian writer and lives with her Australian painter husband, David Rankin, in New York.

Paul Keating Event

The Sydney Writers’ Festival organised an event at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place, with Paul Keating. He was Australia’s Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996.  A  book with some of his recent speeches had been published. Kerry O’Brian interviewed Keating on Sunday afternoon, October 30th, about the speeches in this book. The hall was packed full with 1250 people. After the talk Keating was available for signing his book which was for sale in the lobby.

Peter and I enjoyed to listen to what Keating had to say. Afterwards we strolled through Martin Place in the CBD. We took a picture of the old Commonwealth Bank building. Right in front of it was a betting tent where people would be able to place their bets for Melbourne Cup Day. Race Number 7 on Melbourne Cup Day is the most famous. It is said that this is the race which stops the nation!  For this race even Peter and I always place a bet. Melbourne Cup Day is on the first Tuesday in November. So this year the race was already on the 1st of November!

Sculptures by the Sea

Every year at around this time you can view on the walk from Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach an exhibition of ‘sculptures by the sea’.

We went by train from Dapto to Bondi Junction, where we met our daughter. From Bondi Junction going on the bus it wasn’t far to Bondi Beach, where we started our walk.View onto Sydney's Bondi Beach