Uta’s Diary continued

I am still on the subject of cleaning and home help. This morning I mentioned in my diary how Peter’s mother and my mother managed in old age.  This is what I wrote:

Both Peter’s father as well as my father did not live to a very old age. So age care was not an issue. Both our mothers though did live into their eighties. How were they cared for? Well, my mother paid her granddaughter to come in on a regular basis and do some work for her, and Peter’s mother paid one of her daughters to do some work for her. Both mothers lived in a very small apartment when they were at an advanced age.

Peter’s mother was actually towards the end of her life in a care home. She had one room in that place. She did not like to eat anything except for cake. I think she was 87 when she died.  My mum ended up in a hospital after a severe stroke when she was ‘only’ 83 and she very soon passed away then.

Peter’s mother trained to work as a child carer after leaving school early. Probably when she was only 14. But soon after her training she joined the postal service, where she retired from with an adequate pension after 40 years service. Since she had three children, she was lucky that her aunt, Tante Mietze,  offered to stay with the family. So there was always somebody there for the children when Peter’s parents were out working. Peter says, his father would have preferred his wife staying home and not going out to work. But since Peter’s parents separated and divorced after the war, the mother was only too glad that she had never given up her job and that she still had Tante Mietze to look after the family.

My mum had in the 1930s and until the end of the war in 1945 always some live-in home help. The home help was called ‘Dienstmädchen’. These girls were rather young when they were employed. During the war we had Maria, who was Polish from the city of Lodz. Before the war we had every year another girl, all of them German girls from the country. I think I wrote a lot about Maria in my ‘Childhood Memories’. It seems to me she was extremely intelligent and efficient. Even my very demanding mum could not find any fault with her.

By the way as far as I know, Tante Mietze was from the country. At age 14 she moved to Berlin to be employed by a prosperous Jewish family as one of their home helps. This was before World War One!

Now I want to mention my father’s parents. They were German citizens who lived in Lodz. The Germans in Polen at the time were going back several generations! The grandparents had six children, and all of them married and had children. Grandfather was a ‘Tischlermeister’ (joinery master) and all his life self employed. At some stage he had a lot of people working under him. I am not sure what sort of home help grandmother may have had when she had all these children. I am sure the older children would have helped with some of the younger ones. Anyhow when I knew the grandparents. grandmother always used to have two very young Polish girls to help her in the house. However, in January of 1945 the grandparents as well as all the family, that was still residing in Lodz, had to flee the city, for the Russian army was getting very close. Nearly all of them made it to Germany. They were  on the road in freezing temperatures. My uncle Ludwig, who was the grandparents’ younger son, had married late. I think he was in his forties and therefore not required to be in the army. As far as I know he was right to the last still doing his best filling army orders in grandfather’s furniture factory. Anyhow, Ludwig was married to Hilde and they had a young daughter and a new born son, who did not survive the escape from Lodz. I think it was so cold on the way that babies’ nappies did get frozen to their bodies! I think this casualty of the little guy was the only casualty the family had to suffer during the whole war!

So the family had to settle somewhere in Germany as very poor refugees. Grandfather did not survive this life of a refugee for very long. He died in Leipzig in March 1947 being aged 77. Everybody thought he did reach a very good old age. Here I wrote about his gravesite and about our visit to Leipzig:







Uta’s Diary

Today I want to write about the life of an old age couple and who does the cleaning.

I turned 85 last September and Peter turned 85 a few days ago. Peter has multiple health problems. However the good thing is that so far he can still live at home. To me it seems like an enormous blessing that Peter and I can both live together at home. We enjoy every minute of it for we know that sooner or later all this is going to change; so we might just as well make the most of it while it lasts.

So, who does the cleaning? I would like to think, that we share it. With the sharing this works now only some of the time. Our strength is rather limited. So we cannot be too particular about certain cleaning jobs that should be done.

Some of our children sometimes act as though we do not have enough money to spend on ourselves. But so far this has not been the problem, not at all. On the contrary, we still have some savings and are usually able to save a bit more money on a weekly or monthly basis. Despite quite a bit of spending for medical items and consultations with specialists (General Practitioner consultations are mostly without any charge!), we feel medical expenses do not send us broke. Ambulance and hospital stays are for free! So, just how lucky are we? For some people in other countries this must seem like Australia is a dream country. I must say, we know we are extremely lucky.

And I must say, we are extremely lucky that we can still look after ourselves at home. With advancing age there are of course more and more dfifficulties in doing this. I for instance have advanced recently to using a ‘walker’. This light frame with wheels is extremely useful for when I feel very weak and rather than just using my walking stick to support me, I have this walker which makes it easier to move along! I believe my daughters think I have never done a lot of cleaning but now with advanced age it really is getting more and more difficult. Still, with Peter usually being able to do rather more than his share, we have sort of managed so far. Of course we could pay for some subsidised help. But this kind of help is very difficult to get in our area, unless it is an emergency. Anyhow, we have been put on a waiting list for subsidised help. We feel we are not in a position to pay for a lot of hourly help the way hourly work is paid for in Australia. That goes too for the rates that we would have to pay for gardening. So our backyard, where a lot of gardening should be done, gets extremely neglected!

Since we cannot pay for a lot of outside help, we should really be living in a somewhat more suitable place for old age pensioners. There are lots of reasons why it is rather difficult to move to a place like this unless it is an aged care home. And we would rather like to stay away from aged care homes. Even the very expensive ones tend to have staff shortages, and we could not afford a very expensive one anyway.

Both Peter’s father as well as my father did not live to a very old age. So age care was not an issue. Both our mothers though did live into their eighties. How were they cared for? Well, my mother paid her granddaughter to come in on a regular basis and do some work for her, and Peter’s mother paid one of her daughters to do some work for her. Both mothers lived in a very small apartment when they were at an advanced age.


Today’s Diary continued

Jenna Price today wrote an article in the Sydney Morning Herald with the heading:

At Sydney uni’s privilege factories the ‘mostly migrant’ workers clean up rich kids’ mess

Jenna Price says in this article the following: “. . . . we all know about the acceptance of alcohol and sexual assault, the relentlessness of the culture which says boys will be boys and girls will learn their place. What was more surprising to me was the stories of young men defecating in the halls and in the bathrooms . . . .”

I wonder what ‘culture’ we live in!!

The above Twitter notices I found when I googled the name ‘Jenna Price’.

This afternoon I wanted to write something completely different in my diary. Then Peter told me about the before mentioned heading in the SMH. I had no idea what was meant by “rich kids’ mess”. Now that I know, I am lost. I don’t know what to say to this . . . .

I had actually had wanted to say today a lot about the life of cleaners, that is people who are employed to clean up other people’s mess. In my head I had already contemplated how I could write about what over my whole life I had observed about the treatment of cleaners. Well, actually not just cleaners but all sorts of helpers that were employed to do some of the work that otherwise Madam or Sir would have to do. The very rich could always keep servants and as far as I know they still do. And why not? They can easily afford to pay for the service. In the past even people that were not all that rich could afford to pay for some help.

Maybe I start now on another post to write some more about what over my long life I had observed about the treatment of cleaners and other helpers in and around the home. I feel I could write for hours about it and how this 85 year old couple would enormously appreciate some daily help!

Uta’s Diary

I found the above video in my drafts.

I looked at my drafts this morning. My goodness, there are 133 saved drafts! Do I really need to save them all? I don’t think so. So it is about time that I go through them all, sort them out, maybe publish some and discard the rest. I hope, I’ll be able to make time for it!

So here is another video that I saved in my drafts:

I really would like watching both of these videos again. Right now they are in this new diary post and I am not going to leave them in draft this time, but I am going to publish them.

I hope, after breakfast I’ll find time to go through some more drafts. Publish some and discard others.

Today is Tuesday, the 19th of May 2020. The time now is half past seven, time for breakfast!

I just found out that this diary post had ended in trash. Luckily I could get it restored and then I published it at three in the afternoon. Maybe I can try now to write another post. Please, wish me a bit of luck!

~ Social Distancing? No problem ~

Ryan Millward says: “All my life I had been stuck in a society that catered almost exclusively for extroverts. Introverts had always been told to be more sociable and outgoing to fit into the system, but now the tables had turned and the extroverts would have to learn to be happy in their own company to survive the lockdown. The age of the introvert had finally come and the thought of it made me sit back on my bed with a smug sort of grin. What a time to be alive it truly was.”

~ A Voice From The Wild ~


~ Social Distancing? No Problem ~

The great crisis of our generation came almost out of nowhere. It was just after the turn of the new year when reports of a novel coronavirus spreading through China started appearing in the media. At first it seemed like something very far away – a drama unfolding in the far east, something similar to the outbreak of SARs virus a few years before that quickly petered out into nothing. I guess it was that sort of scenario which people expected again. After all, we were a generation who was regularly being told the world was about to end: swine flu, bird flu, ebola, the climate crisis, Donald Trump – we had read about our imminent destruction many times before as editors fervently created sensational headlines to shift newspapers. So, it was only natural there was a sense of ‘here we go again’ when…

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Europa, wohin gehst Du?

We listened to Vicky Leandros’ music today. Among others we found the video that Peter published in July 2015 when he wrote this blog about the difficulties that Greece was in at the time. It seems to me. the difficulties all around look very different now. How is the world going to change with covid19 around?



Pethan35's Blog

Ich lebe zwar fernab von Europa, aber es ist meine kulturelle Heimat und wird es immer bleiben. In den letzten Tagen wurde in meinem Heim viel über die Krise in Griechenland diskutiert. Die Nachrichten waren voll von diesem Thema. Es war fast so, als würde das Ende der Welt vor uns stehen. Ein neues Wort wurde geboren und es schien, als ob es dem Weltuntergang gleich kam: Gretix.

Deutschland ist ein mächtiges Land, in Europa. Jahrzehntelang wurde es immer gesagt und nun hat sich die “Eiserne Kanzlerin” Merkel entschlossen mit dierser Karte zu trumpfen. Was hier getan wurde, und der Welt  als Lösung angeboten wird, ist weiter nichts als ein Krieg mit anderen Mitteln.

Merkel, Schäuble und Co haben sich wie Machtmenschen benommen und nicht wie unsere Beauftragten die Konflikte lösen sollen.  Diese Machtmenschen aber sind nicht voll zurechnungsfähig.Sie haben die europäische Perspektive vollkommen aus ihren Augen verloren. Sie glauben, sie haben…

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