berlioz1935EditIt is interesting that she passed away on the night of our wedding anniversary. A wedding she had originally not liked taking place. In later years she changed her tune and we were good friends. When we saw her last before she suffered her stroke she suffered severely from dementia. She actually did not know who we were. But I must say she was at that stage a very easy going lovely old lady. I think, without her memory her real good self became dominant.She was immortalised in the film about the Olympic Games in 1936 when the camera, probably scanning the crowd, caught her image. I made this into a fictional story and published it in a blog of my own.http://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/the-woman-who-jumped-up-for-jesse-owens/Reply
auntyutaEditThanks for the comment and for the link, Berlioz. Actually I reblogged the Jesse Owens story. Maybe this way a few more people are becoming aware of it. If it is true – and we cannot be 100% sure about this – it would say a lot about my mother. Peter Uwe, as I remember, refused to believe that Charlotte jumped up for Jesse Owens, when we showed him the documentary. But who knows? It might very well be true. This picture from the Leni Riefenstahl documentary for sure shows a great likeness, This is what I think.
Above is a link to my blog from February 2014 where I mentioned how my mother died and where her ashes got buried.
Catterel wrote a story about dementia and this led me to make the following comment:
‘I actually saw my mum only for a few weeks at the end of 1994 just before she had a stroke and died within a few days after that. So I had esperienced her dementia only for a very short time during our Berlin visit in 1994. My mother was 83 at the time. I wrote about it here:
In a comment to my blog from February 2014 Peter, my husband wrote:
“. . . When we saw her last before she suffered her stroke she suffered severely from dementia. She actually did not know who we were. But I must say she was at that stage a very easy going lovely old lady. I think, without her memory her real good self became dominant. . .”
I think Peter is right, for all the difficult times that she had experienced during her life, probably did not bother her anymore, and she probably forgot about people that she felt did offend her and that she did hold a grudge against. I had the impression she did not hold a grudge against anyone anymore. And she was even able to retrieve some beautiful memories about her travels that she had been able to do before she retired. She showed me Photos about these travels. I am sure these travels she was still able to remember!!’
The first Sunday in September is Father’s Day in Australia. So this was the 6th of September this year. We had a number of visitors on that day.
First came grandson Troy with wife Nina. They had stayed with Mark and Monika overnight and were on their home to Sydney soon after lunch. They came just for a brief visit to say Hello. And I think they had brought daughter Monika along.
Then came grandson Ryan with wife Ebony and their two boys Lucas and Alexander. It was great to see them all. Monika had given her Dad some summer pyjamas, and also four reusable face-masks ( which Peter shared with me!). Mark came a bit later.
Then we were waiting for daughter Caroline with husband Matthew and Matthew’s mother Yittah. They did not arrive at the expected time. It turned out, their car had broken down pretty close to Dapto where we live. Ryan went in our Audi to pick them up together with a large cheese cake that Caroline had baked as well as lots of stuff they had purchased for us from Ikea.
Unfortunately I took no pictures on that Sunday. There would have been plenty of opportunity to take pictures. Anyhow, this Father’s Day Sunday was for us a very entertaining and busy day. Lucas and Alexander were playing a lot of ball outside. They were full of immense energy. They also went with their mum Ebony for a terrific run/walk at the back of our place. Yittah and I were relaxing in our beautiful Ikea arm chairs. Yittah had brought some goodies along, as always. The new matching Ikea footstools that they had brought along, came in very handy. Matthew played with the boys UNO on one of the footstools.
Today is already Tuesday, the 15th of September. So Father’s Day is long gone. I am trying to recollect everything that went on last week. On that Sunday, the 6th, when ‘Paulchen’, the 20 year old Proton,finally broke down for good, Matthew ended up taking Yittah home to Sydney in our Audi. He returned the Audi the following day and then went straight back home to Sydney on the train. Caroline had stayed with us overnight. She took the Monday off work and returned home to Sydney also on the train, but some time later in the afternoon. Before she left, she took me to my doctor’s appointment. I was prescribed some stronger blood pressure tablets! During the few hours that were left to Caroline at our place, she did a lot of work for us. She even found time to prepare a sumptious little lunch for us!
Now comes Tuesday, the 8th. In the morning, Peter and I did a tremendous amount of shopping at Aldi’s. When we returned, Julie, a community nurse, appeared to do a blood test on Peter. Later on Peter made an appointment to see Amit Ch., his GP, on Sunday, the 13th, at 8,40 am, to find out about the result of the blood test. It turned out, that Peter’s kidney was still not too bad after all the medication Peter had to take to reduce the fluid around his heart and in his legs.
But now back to Tuesday. I think I probably caught up with a bit of cooking that I very much like doing when I am not under pressure and can spent plenty of time doing it. We had recently very good, mostly sunny spring weather. This was good for our washing, and also for relaxing in the sun or even to do a bit of gardening as far as this is possible with my and also Peter’s restricted movements. Both of us need all the time a lot of rest! Resting in the sun, I was hoping to catch up on some Vitamin D. My doctor found out through a blood test, that I am very short of Vitamin D and prescribed Vitamin D supplements for me! I have to take these twice a week now. I also volunteered to check my blood pressure twice a day, writing down all the values to see whether my medication works satisfactorly.
Now I come to Wednesday, the 9th of September. This was the day when Matthew invited Peter and me for an outing in our Audi, that means, Matthew did drive. First to the mycar Service Centre in Warrawong, where the old Proton had been deposited. Matthew had to settle a few things so that ‘Paulchen’, the Proton, could be sold for scrap. The scrap dealer who bought the car for 100 Dollars, was in Industrial Road, Oak Flats. We knew this road very well from the times when we used to live in Oak Flats. Gee, has this road changed. It has become extremely busy. Cars, cars, cars everywhere. Where the scrap dealer was hidden away behind the street, was rather difficult to find since hardly any street numbers were displayed. But Matthew was very adapt in finding his way around. Peter, sitting in the front beside Matthew, was remembering a lot about what Oak Flats for instance was like in the past. During this trip with Matthew he remembered so much about our past life. So, Peter kept talking about it and I did too. We enjoyed being driven around by Matthew. For a lunch treat Matthew did get us fish and chips from our favourite shop at Shelharbour Village. All in all it was a very relaxing, very enjoyable day for us.
The following day, Thursday, we ended up being extremely exhausted. We went by bus to the Heart Clinic at Wollongong Hospital. It took us more than four hours before we were back home again. The people at this Heart Centre were extremely welcoming and friendly and tried to find ways for Peter to better manage his heart condition. There is a follow up for Peter. He goes to Wollongong Hospital this week Thursday with the community transport people to get an ultrasound of the heart done, whereas I can relax at home on that Thursday.
I forgot to mention, that on Monday, the 7th, another community nurse came once more to bandage my toe where to whole toenail had been taken off. And then on Friday, the 11th, two community nursed appeared. The bandage on my toe could be taken off for good. Apparently there is no need anymore to wear a bandage. The nurses spent quite some time then to talk to Peter about all his ailments and what sort of help we might need. We have been put onto flexible Respite Care now, where we are supposed to get help every week, starting from Thursday next week. It looks promising. I hope, it is going to work alright.
Actually, last Thursday, when we had this exhausting trip to Wollongong. Monika and Natasha, with little Carter and little Evie, came to see us in the afternoon. On that Thursday Monika made a phone call to Hammond Care, to get the Respite Care going. Yesterday, Monday, Donna from Hammond Care, took all our details. Peter happened to have a very bad day yesterday. Lots of breathing difficulties. He took a strong painkiller last night. His sleeping through the night was not too bad I think.
In the above post from the 10th of this month I wrote the following about my paternal grandmother:
‘At the time grandmother was still doing a lot of cooking for her whole extended family. As I remember it, she would spend a real lot of time in the kitchen where she was being helped by two young Polish girls. This brings me to the subject of home help. I want to write about this another time. Actually, I think about this constantly, why on earth the average elderly woman in our society is these days not in a position to have some home help, usually not until she is very feeble and can hardly do anything herself anyway.’
And I said, that at the time (about 1940) grandmother would have been close to 68. From 1945 on as a refugee in Germany she lived a very impoverished life until she died in 1950, lovingly cared for by Elisabeth (Lies), her youngest daughter. Now, my maternal grandmother, Olga, never had any home help as far as I know. But for most of her life she had sombody close living with her.
My mother-in-law, Frieda, was born in 1900. Her working life at the Post Office lasted for 40 years. She retired at 60 and then lived another 27 years. The last few years of her life she needed a lot of home help, which was provided by her younger daughter Ilse. My mother, Charlotte, born in 1911, also needed a lot of help the last few years of her life. Charlotte was helped by granddaughter Corinna. Both Ilse and Corinna received a small amount of payment for their efforts. Frieda as well as Charlotte were able to provide this payment out of their pensions.
I was born in September of 1934. As I remember it, during my growing up years, we had always some live-in home help (called ‘Mädchen’). This ended only in January of 1945, close to the end of WW Two in Germany. Even during war time my mother was allowed to have home help because she had three children, and she also was not required to accept a job, whereas women without any children had to go to work fot the war effort!
I guess in the past any home help would have been paid substantially less than what is the going rate these days. That means, a lot of elderly people are not in a position to adequately pay for home help. This is where in our society we expect the government to chip in. Alas, government funds for social services somehow do not seem to be able to cover every needy elderly person. And families these days do not live close enough any more, to be able to be of help on a permament basis. Besides, most younger family members are usually in full time employment and also are inclined to help younger family members with raising children where that is possible because they live close enough, and when they can spare enough time away from work.
So, societies have changed. Social conditions are verty different from what they used to be. Still, a lot of people do have no job security and can be out of work any time. Some people offer to become ‘volunteers’, meaning they work for very little pay. But then, the people who have enough resources to function as volunteers seem to become pretty rare. Maybe in future more and more people are going to become very needy in old age? Or just wont live that long any more? So, is it going to sort itself out in the end? I don’t know.
At the start of this writing it is still Sunday, 30th of August 2020, but close to midnight already!
Peter and I, we still enjoy good food and fresh air and sunshine! For lunch I cooked a very likable Vegetarian meal today. (I think, Peter liked it too!) It was lots of different vegies with a cheese sauce. As a desert we had sour cherries (that came in a glass from Poland!) as well as some fresh cream and custard. We also had some chilled muscat wine.
And yes, we had a most beautiful sunny day today. So, I spent a lot of time outside, meaning, for hours I was just sitting or lying down in the sun! Sometimes, I went to sleep for a bit. In the afternoon Peter joined me in the sun for a while. We each had a glass of chilled ginger beer. This was so good!
Later on we watched a German movie on television. I soon went to sleep. I also went to sleep watching the evening news. Later on I was awake for a while watching ‘Vera’. Before ‘Vera’ was finished, I went to sleep again, probably for hours. When I woke up around ten o’clock, Peter was still awake. We soon reminded ourselves that tomorrow is Monday and we have doctors’ appointments. By 8 o’clock we have to be in the Medical Centre here in Dapto. That means getting ready on time we ought to be up by 6 o’clock. Reluctantly, we both made an attempt to get ready for bed. I think it was about 11 o’clock when finally we were both lying in bed. Peter was very tired, and he soon went to sleep after having helped me along with taking my blood presure again. Actually this was once more an immense struggle for me. Just to establish a reading on the monitor was so difficult for me!
When I realised, that Peter had gone to sleep already and that I was not quite ready for sleep, I actually decided it was better for me to get up for a bit of whisky.
Well, I did have this bit of whisky, and now I am glad that I ended up having a bit of time at the computer. In the meantime, it is already a bit past midnight. Time for me to go to bed again. I am sure, I am going to have a wonderful sleep now.
Today is the 22nd of August 2020. Caroline took Peter to the hospital. They are still waiting in Emergency. I don’t know yet, when I can see Peter. He is supposed to have another procedure done on Tuesday. But the doctors wanted him to be in the hospital already now so they can do some monitoring.
Towards the end of September 1943 we left Berlin to live in the country. We moved to a place called the ‘Ausbau’, which meant that eventually ‘more’ was to be added to the building.. It was a simple rectangular red brick complex with several entrances around the building. There was no plumbing or electricity. The entrance for us ‘Berliners’ was on the left side at the front of the building. We had a cellar, a groundfloor and two upper floors.
Mum, my two younger brothers and I, shared a bedroom on the first upper floor. We also had a small kitchen and a living-room. I would sleep in the living-room when my dad came home on leave. Two maids, one Polish, the other Russian, shared two rooms on the top floor. All the rooms on the top floor had sloping ceilings. Our Polish maid was in her early twenties. Her name was Maria. She was very efficient and always rather serious.. The Todtenhausen Family, who lived on the groundfloor, employed Katja, the Russian maid, who was only eighteen and extremely fun loving.
My mum’s sister, Aunty Ilse, also had her rooms on the first upper floor. She had a bedroom and a living-room. On the groundfloor, right underneath her upper rooms, she had a kitchen and a dining-room. She hardly ever used those downstairs rooms. Our friends from Berlin, the T. Family, occupied three rooms downstairs, namely a kitchen, a living-room and a bedroom, the same arrangement of rooms that we had on the upper floor.
There was an additional larger room for storage under the sloping roof. T. Family and my Family stored in that room additional larger furniture which we wanted to save from the bombs in Berlin. — In that room Mum stored a lot of Boskop-apples during the cold season. They were neatly spread out on some straw. Come Christmas-time, other delicious food was also hidden somewhere amongst our stored furniture. It was very tempting for me to go exploring in that room! Mum noticed sometimes, that some food was missing. And I admitted, when questioned, that I had helped myself to some of the goodies. However I was never punished for doing such a thing. That shows, that Mum must have been quite tolerant. —
On the same upper floor right under the roof was a playroom, which my brothers and I shared with eight year old Edith T. There was another room next to the playroom where Mrs. T.’s parents had stored some bedroom furniture. The parents were Mr. and Mrs. Braun. They had a business in Berlin. (They sometimes stayed at the ‘Ausbau’ in that bedroom in order to be with their family away from the bombs in Berlin.)
Our toilets were “plumps-closets” some distance away from the house. Water for cooking and washing had to be fetched from a pump in the backyard. Fetching water from the pump kept both maids very busy indeed. For lights we had kerosine-lamps, for heating there were coal-fired stoves which could also be used for cooking. Everything was very basic.
Gradually some changes were being made. The first big change was that our landlord had electricity laid on. All the workers who lived with their families in the other part of the building, received the benefit of electricity at the same time. This certainly was a very welcome improvement for them.
The ‘Ausbau’ was built close to a dirt-track which meandered through wide open barley-, oat- and potato-fields. On the track it was a good half hour to walk to the next village. Bike-riding however made it a bit quicker.
Werner Mann, the owner of all those fields that went on for miles and miles, was an acquaintance of Tante Ilse. He was apparently quite rich. He also owned extensive brick-works (Ziegeleien). It was said of him that he was a millionaire. He was our landlord, and he liked to spoil us. With no strings attached! Tante Ilse only had to voice a wish and Werner M. immediately did whatever he could to fulfill her wish. He spoilt us by constantly getting produce delivered to us: Potatoes, cabbage for making sauerkraut, wonderful treacle made of sweet-beets, and coal for our stoves.
Even I, as a nine year old, could see that sixty year old Werner M. was hopelessly in love with Ilse. I also was quite aware, that she always kept him at a distance. He was happy to just be invited for ”Kaffee und Kuchen’ on weekends and to spend some time with all of us. He always came to visit on his bike. On his daily inspection tours of the workers in the fields he also went around on his bike. He owned coaches with horses, but hardly ever used those to go anywhere.
When we were invited to his place (which people called ‘Schloss’), he would send the coach with a coachman to pick us up. Once in winter when there was plenty of snow, Werner M. sent a ‘Pferde-Schlitten’ (horse-drawn sledge). On this sledge we were wrapped up in blankets under a clear night-sky with the moon and lots of stars shining on us. It was unforgettable and one of the rare highlights in our otherwise pretty dreary country-life existence.
The place where Werner M. lived, did not look like a castle at all, even though people called it ‘Schloss’. It was not even a mansion but a rather large, but fairly plain house. There was a huge, fenced in veggie garden next to the house. I have seen the veggie garden only once. However I was very impressed by it, because it seemed to be so very large.
When we moved to the ‘Ausbau’, Ilse had already been divorced from Adolf Schlinke. It was obvious that Werner M. would have liked to marry Ilse. However, it never came to that. Ilse married Helmut Lorenz on July 20th, 1944.
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES CONTINUED
It was a big thrill for me to go exploring amongst the furniture in that big storage-room: and especially in the weeks before Christmas!
Mum used to store lot of goodies for the Christmas season. It was very exciting for me to find out what new things had been stored in that big room. I remember seeing huge chunks of nougat (a yummy hazelnut-paste) as well as heart-shaped marzipan-pieces. There was a pot with sweetened thick milk. Sometimes I dipped my finger into it to lick this wonderful sweet stuff! I also liked to eat a few of the stored raisins and prunes! Smells of ginger bread and apples: It made me feel that Christmas was something to be looking forward to.
Where on earth did Mum get all those things from? It was war-time, wasn’t it? We were in the midst of war! I knew very well where all this came from. The parents of Mrs.Todtenhausen had a distributing business. It was called ‘Backbedarf en Gros’. That meant they delivered goods to bakeries and cake-shops. Even in the midst of war deliveries of the above mentioned goods still took place! Of course there were shortages, but basically most things were still available.
Mr.T. and Mrs.T., as well as Tante Ilse and Mum were all good friends. Every Saturday night they came together for some card games. Eight year old daughter Edith and I were allowed to stay up late on those nights. For hours we were watching the adults playing cards and at the same time entertaining ourselves with doodling on bits of paper. At around ten o’clock some cake and hot chocolate as well as coffee would be served. But the maids did not have to do the serving, They were already in their rooms at this hour. The cake was usually freshly baked, very fluffy yeast cake topped with delicious butter-crumbs and filled with a thick custard. Hmm yummy!
Mr.T. would stay in Berlin during the week, where he was employed by his parents-in-law. Being over forty, he was not required to join the German army. Mr.T. always brought some sweet goodies along when he came home from Berlin for the weekend.
During the summer of 1944 Mr.T. and Mum liked to go on their bikes to a neighbouring Nursery where they were able to trade sweets for fresh produce. Edith and I were often allowed to go along with them on our bikes. The sweets were traded for strawberries or cherries or gooseberries as well as peaches and apricots, and later on in the year for pears and apples. I remember the Boskop apples were still in season in late autumn. The owner of the nursery was a well-off looking middle-aged woman who was very fond of sweets and loved to trade her produce. At one time we found out that she thought Mr.T. and Mum were a couple and we girls were sisters. Laughing joyfully, Mum and Mr.T. explained, that this was not so.
Only once as far as I remember were we shown into the lady’s home. Mr.T. made complimentary remarks about the interior of the house. He said it showed off the owner’s good taste. I liked the lady’s house a real lot too. Our families used to have well furnished apartments in Berlin. But this modern looking villa in the midst of the nursery really was something else. My feelings were I would very much like to live in a place like that. However we had to be happy with our accomodation in the Ausbau. To us children it was always pointed out, to be happy that we did not have to live amongst the bomb raids in Berlin. I’m pretty sure that by myself I felt that I’d rather live in Berlin, bomb-raids or not. I think to children bomb-raids usually didn’t seem as scary as to the adults. At the time we children had had no experience yet how absolutely horrible those bomb-raids could become.
In 1990, soon after the Fall of the Wall, I went with my family to have a look at the area where we used to be hidden away from the bomb-raids. We discovered that the nursery as well as the lady’s house had completely vanished. There was nothing left of the ‘Ausbau’ either!
In 1943, when we had lived at he ‘Ausbau’ for a couple of months, Mrs. T. delivered a healthy daughter in a regional hospital. The day after the baby was born, it may perhaps have been a Saturday or Sunday, Mr. T. and Edith went for the forty-five minute bike-ride to the Hospital. I was thrilled that I was allowed to go with them! The baby was on the tiny side and soon called Krümel (tiny crumb). Edith had a pet-name too. She was often called Honkepong.
As soon as Mrs.T. came home from hospital, there was a nurse waiting for her to take charge of the baby. Mr.T. said something like: “Katja is a very nice girl, but I would not trust her with our new born baby. I am glad that Nurse is here to help my wife to look after our Krümel.”
Nurse used for herself the bedroom next to our playroom. Sometimes she sat with us children in the playroom. Since Christmas was approaching, she taught us how to make some Christmas decorations. I was very impressed, because I was nine years old and nobody had ever taught me anything like it! Nurse also made sure, we learned our Christmas poems. We had to be prepared to recite them to Santa on Christmas Eve!
Maria, our Polish maid, had been with us since before my little brother was born. He regarded Maria as his ‘Dah-dah’, that is he always called her ‘Dah-dah’. By the end of January 1945 we had to flee from the ‘Ausbau’ as the Russians were approaching fast. We went to Berlin first and then by train to Leipzig to stay at Grandmother’s place. Maria remained in Berlin with her Polish fiancee, who was a butcher.
When we parted from Maria, little brother Peter-Uwe had just turned three. Yet he must have missed her for quite a while since she had always looked after him and I am sure, he loved her very much and she loved him. Mum always trusted Maria, who was in every way caring and efficient at the same time. Mum was always impressed how quickly Maria did all the house-work. Any dirty dishes were washed immediately. She was indeed capable of doing all the housework and Mum was happy to let her do just about everything. An exception was the baking of a large cake on Saturdays, which Mum loved to do herself.
Maria always made some potato-salad for the weekend. I watched how she did it. To the peeled and sliced potatoes she added finely cut onion, some oil, pepper and salt. Then she poured hot vinegar-water over the potatoes as a finishing touch. The huge salad-bowl was placed outside on a shelf near the stairway so the salad could cool down. I often helped myself to some of the warm salad when nobody was looking, because I loved to eat the salad when it was still a little bit warm. It was the same every Saturday. I watched Maria preparing the salad and placing it on the shelf outside. Then it did not take long before I had a good taste of it!
Friday night was the night for our bath. Maria placed a small tin-tub on the kitchen-floor. She carried several buckets of water from the outside pump to the kitchen. Some of the water she heated on the kitchen-stove in an especially huge pot. I was always the first one to use the bath-water, then it was brother Bodo’s turn. Little brother Peter-Uwe was always the last one. Some hot water was added for everyone, but still the water must have been quite dirty for little Peter after Bodo and I had had our baths!
When Maria first came to live with us, she knew very little German. However she was determined to learn German quickly. She liked to ask Bodo and me how to pronounce certain words. She also asked me how to write those words in German. Mum often praised Maria, that she was willing and able to learn quickly. This applied to everything she did. She was an amazingly efficient person. A ‘pearl of a maid’ people would say of her. Maria was a city girl. She came from Lodz, which was called ‘Litzmannstadt’ at the time. We had spent the summer-months of 1941 at Zokolniki (near Lodz) and that was when Maria was assigned to us as a help. Mum liked Maria and wanted her to come with us when we went back to Berlin. Maria told me later that she did not want to leave Poland. But she had not been given the choice to stay in her own country.
When Katja arrived, we could see that she was very different from Maria. She was a country-girl from Russia. She never learned German as well as Maria did. She could never be trusted to do all the house-work by herself. Mrs.Todtenhausen always had to supervise her and do certain things herself because Katja took too long to learn to do it properly. But we all loved Katja. She was always cheerful and full of beans. As a country-girl she did not know certain things that a city-girl had been brought up with. Maria took to instructing Kartja about certain things. I think they communicated in German. After they finished work in the evening, they had plenty of time to stay in their rooms together and keep each other company. Both girls always had to get up early. During summer, school-classes in the village started as early as seven o’clock. That meant, I had to get up at six o’clock to get ready for school. Mum never got up that early. But Maria always came down at six o’clock to start working for us. She often had to do Peter’s linen early in the morning, which I am sure was not one of her favourite tasks.
Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Wife of German Descent I’ve lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com View all posts by auntyutaPublishedJuly 10, 2011
auntyutaEditWith hubby’s help I managed last night to add some of the continuation of my memories 1943/1944. Over the past five years or so I saved quite a few pages of memory writing in Open Office. So far my writing is not very well organised and needs more editing. When I started with memory writing I did it hoping that maybe some of my grand-children and great-grand-children might be interested in reading it later on.Hubby and I joined a writers’ group for a number of years. When this stopped, I stopped writing since nobody seemed to be interested to read any new writing of mine on a regular basis. In the writers’ class we were given lots of encouragement by a qualified tutor! Recently I always found excuses why it wasn’t important to keep writing. Somehow there were constantly other things that took priority.I’m glad now that my niece encouraged me to try blogging.Reply
muniraEditWhat an incredible story Aunty Uta. I loved reading every word. Somehow, listening to or reading someone’s stories of the past is so much better and that much more evocative compared to a history book. I felt transported to a different world as I read this post. I’m glad you started blogging. It’s very commendable and your memories are amazingly vivid.Reply
auntyutaEditThank you very much, dear Munira. Your reply made my day. I started reading some of your blogs and enjoyed them very much. Blogging for sure opens different worlds for us, doesn’t it? I try to read as much as possible. I loved it that you included old family pictures. I hope that some day in the not so distant future I may manage to add some of my old family pictures. I’m going on 77 and there’s still so much to learn. Yet I have to try to take it easy. I have to accept that certain things take longer as you get older. When I change trains at Central Station in Sydney for instance it takes me much longer to proceed along the stairways than most other people. I JUST HAVE TO TAKE IT A BIT SLOWER THAN ALL THE YOUNGER PEOPLE: And that’s it. As long as I can manage a little bit, it’s better than nothing.I enjoy my life.I can honestly say I am grateful for every day that’s still given to me.Reply
WordsFallFromMyEyesEditSending a coach to pick you up! Makes you sound so old, but you’re not that old…. the world’s progressing so FAST, really.Great memories, Aunty Uta. Precious, really. I feel without memory, well, I would feel I had not even existed, I imagine.Reply
auntyutaEditHi Noeleen, I love it when you go to my earlier writings. It’s a great thrill for me that you like to look these things up. Well, in the 1940s, when I was a kid, there weren’t many cars around yet. In the country we had no public transport. Usually we went on our bikes or walked. Werner M was a very rich man in his sixties. He didn’t own a car and thought nothing of it to use his bike to get from A to B same as any other ordinary citizen. As I remember it, horses were still being used for different sorts of transport and for farmwork. I imagine in the 1940s you weren’t born yet, dear Noeleen. True, what I write about my childhood goes a long way back. I wonder whether any of my descendants are ever going to read some of my stuff that I’ve written!Reply
WordsFallFromMyEyesEditI wish your descendants would read you, Aunty Uta, as I strongly believe knowing where people “came from” (circumstances, life, family, and physical) is really valuable in our understanding of now today. Also our appreciation of today, mind.I bet having a bike was special 🙂
auntyutaEditI am amazed how self sufficient we were as kids. We were able to do maintenance to our bikes like fixing holes in the tubes! 🙂Reply
auntyutaEditReblogged this on auntyuta and commented:This post goes back to my earliest blogging days. I tried to find whether I reblogged it before, but could not find it anywhere. It might be of interest to some of my followers. This is, why I reblog it now.
We arrived at 10,30 am at Martin Place station to meet Angie and Roy at 11 am. We walked along Macquarie Street to their hotel and Peter took some pictures along the way. When we arrived at the hotel they offered us refreshments straightaway. And we soon got into talking amiably.
Later on we had Japanese lunch with them at the Opera House. The sky had cleared for the day. In beautiful sunshine we walked up to the Opera House. Peter took some pictures. When my lunch arrived Peter took a picture of that too. I had ordered a vegetarian roll. It looked beautiful with the avocado on top and cut up in small pieces. Somehow I managed to eat all this with chopsticks! I spiced every piece with soy sauce, horseradish and ginger. Delicious! The others had ordered something with fish. They all commented that my dish looked much more colourful.
After lunch we walked through the Botanical Gardens and Peter took some more pictures. By 2 pm we were back in Macquarie Street where Angie and Roy were staying at the InterContinental.They had tickets for a concert for later in the afternoon at the Opera House. So it worked out well that they could have a little rest before going out again. Peter and I wanted to catch our train back home from Martin Place. We had had a lovely day with two people we had never met before. But some of Angie’s family are known to us. They all were emailed some photos of yesterday’s meeting. One of Angie’s sisters, who lives in England, already emailed back saying she and her husband were planning to travel to Melbourne next year to see their two sons there and meet other family members. It’s such a small world! Peter worked out that a lot of the descendents of his paternal grandparents already live in Australia.
Angie and Roy travel today, Monday, to South Australia and to the Barossa Valley. They stay in Australia for two weeks only. During this time they also plan to fly to Alice Springs (to see ULURU), as well as to Cairns and from there back home to America. I think in Sydney they had had only three days.
File:’The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on …
commons.wikimedia.org › wiki › File:’The_Visit_of_th…
File:’The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890, Art … Description, British painter and university teacher.
We went to the Art Gallery to see this painting about the visit of the Queen of Sheba. We have a copy of it at home! And we have been to the Art Gallery already lots of times and always went to have a look at this huge painting by Sir Edward John Poynter.
On the way to see the Queen of Sheba we also saw this picture:
On the wallaby track is a 1896 painting by the Australian artist Frederick McCubbin. The painting depicts an itinerant family; a woman with her child on her lap and a man boiling a billy for tea. The painting’s name comes from the colloquial Australian term “On the wallaby track” used to describe itinerant rural workers or “swagmen” moving from place to place for work. The work has been described as “among the best known and most popularly admired of Australian paintings”.
A print of it hangs above our bed. Since we have prints of both of these paintings we are very familar with them and are always overjoyed when we are able to see them again at the Gallery.
This year it was a very brief visit of us to the Art Gallery. But it was worth it. It was very good that our daughter could take us there.
Our daughter took us to the Art Gallery on the 4th of July this year. On the pictures, that Caroline took, you can see that I now ‘advanced’ to a walker! My walker is actually a ‘rollator’ and has wheels so it can be pushed. I can walk very well with it. Gives me some kind of balance. The good thing is that this rollator can be folded and fits into the back of the car.
In Google it says: “Do I Need a Walker or Rolling Walker? Walkers are needed for a myriad of reasons. If you experience shortness of breath, arthritic pain, or can’t walk and carry objects at the same time. If you are afraid of falling, being alone and becoming socially isolated, you may need a walker.”
I must say the reasons why a Walker is needed, do all apply to me, all of them! To buy such a thing was really an excellent decision for me. Now I can go out on daily walks without having to be scared of falling and also being able to take a rest whenever I feel getting out of breath.
Without Caroline’s help we probably would not have made it to the Gallery on that day. We stayed with Caroline and Matthew in Sydney from Friday night to Saturday on that weekend. It was great to spend some time with them. But we observed ‘social distancing’ with them as much as possible!
Caroline and Matthew live in Marrickville. Peter did drive there from Dapto and back the next day. It is good that for the time being he still has his license for because of the virus we would not like to go on public transport.
Caroline offered to drive us to the Gallery, this is why it was not a problem to get there. Also, we stayed there only for a very limited time. Caroline was able to park right in front of the Gallery, which was lucky.
The above mentioned pictures Caroline sent me in an email. But sorry, so far I was not able to transfer them from the email to this blog. Maybe I can do this another time.
I published here an update from the Gallery regarding Covid-19: