21st of September 2015

Last year I turned eighty. What a special birthday it was! Another year is gone. I consider myself to be at an ‘advanced’ age. Still, sometimes I seem to forget about this a little bit. But more about this later. First of all I would like to insert a few pictures that we took yesterday, on Sunday the 20th September. Three of our friends joined us for lunch at the Treasure Court Restaurant of the Dapto Leagues Club:

http://www.daptoleagues.com.au/treasure-court/

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I had small prawns in curry sauce and boiled rice.
I had small prawns in curry sauce and boiled rice. Peter had chicken and fried rice. Klaus is waiting for his Schnitzel..

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I had a voucher for a com
I had a voucher for a complimentary birthday cake. Everybody liked it!
After we had our beautiful ice-cream desert we went to the League Club's lounge room for some coffee.
After we had our beautiful ice-cream cake we went to the League Club’s lounge room for some coffee.
We noticed this great ceiling in the room where we were sitting.
We noticed this great ceiling in the room where we were sitting.

All in all our lunch lasted for well over three hours. We were sitting and talking over afternoon coffee for quite some time. It was  very stimulating, this talk with friends our age. We had so much to talk about! When we left the club, we showed our friends our new second hand car. They were very impressed because it looks like new. I now hope it is going to drive like new for a few years, for this ‘new’ car is already eleven years old!

This is a picture from Tuesday, the 8th Sept, 2015, when we first saw the car at a dealer in Warrawong.
This is a picture from Tuesday, the 8th Sept, 2015, when we first saw the car at a dealer in Warrawong.

It did not take us long to make up our mind to buy this car. Two days later (Thursday the 10th) we could already pick it up. In the meantime we already took it to the highlands for a drive. Peter had no problem to drive with it up and down MacQuarie Pass. It has a 2 litre engine compared with our old, 15 year old,  car that has only a 1,3 litre engine!

Yesterday we told every one, we would go today to a funeral at Rookwood Cemetery. The funeral is to be in the Catholic section of the cemetery. Susan, Mila’s daughter, rang us the other day that her mother had died. I think she was 89 and had been rather sick for quite some time in a nursing home. We remember Mila well. She used to be our neighbour quite a few years ago. After she moved in with her daughter in Sydney, she sometimes came with a pensioners’ group for visits to the Dapto Leagues Club, where we could meet up with her.

Here we are with Mila in the Dapto Leagues Club.
Here we are with Mila in the Dapto Leagues Club.

Initially I really thought we would be able to make it to today’s funeral. Alas, Peter and I had a very short night. We both woke up much too early and just could not go back to sleep. We had been thinking of going to Merrylands as well as to Lidcombe to the cemetery. The funeral is to be at 2 pm. Peter pointed out that we could not go back to Susan’s place after the funeral for this would mean we would be getting home far too late.

Anyhow, we decided now, all in all it would be too much of a hassle for us. There are reason, why we should be going to Merrylands one day. But I think we have to do it on a day when we have nothing else planned. I reckon for younger people it is easier to plan to do several things in one day. We are just a bit too old for all this. I feel better when we can do everything at a leisurely pace and don’t have to stress ourselves out too much.

Anyhow, we decided to stay in our local area today to have a quiet, relaxing day – – –

Passed away 10 January 2014

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L, our 82 year old neighbour passed away last Friday and today, Thursday, was the Funeral Service. L had been born in Hungary in 1931. He fled Hungary after the uprising in 1956 and arrived in Australia in 1957. Four years later his wife followed him to Australia. They have two sons and four grandchildren. They also have a great number of friends, quite a few of Hungarian descent. Today more than a hundred people were gathered for L’s funeral service.

ORDER OF SERVICE

Prelude Music: Moonlight Serenade – Glen Miller

Welcome by the Celebrant

“Do not stand at my Grave and Weep” a poem read by L’s  eldest grand-daughter, who was quite weepy

Memories, told by L’s elder son, some of them were quite humorous

L’s Life in Pictures with Music: The Wind beneath my Wings – Bette Midler

Floral Tributes by the Family Members to say good-bye

THE LORD’S PRAYER, said by the whole congregation

FAREWELL, the coffin disappears behind a curtain

POEM: Miss me but let me go, said by the Celebrant

CLOSING MUSIC: A Hungarian Piece of Music

When the Prelude Music was played, the immediate family of L came along the aisle to take their seats in the front. The wife of L is a dear friend of mine. She was escorted  by her two very tall sons as she came in. The Moonlight Serenade sounded so beautiful. Seeing my friend in the midst of her sons, looking  very small beside her sons, I felt very teary. I imagined what pain she must feel.

The beauty of the music I think contributed to the feeling of sadness. However, at an occasion like this it is quite all right to feel great sadness. As it said later on in the poem: Miss me but let me go!

Peter asked me later on, whether I would like to have a funeral service at the Catholic Church. I thought about it and came to the conclusion, that a service similar to the one L had would really be perfectly all right for me. I have only one close Catholic friend I can think of, who would come to my funeral. Everybody else who would come is not Catholic. I am the only one in my family who is a Catholic! So what is the point in me having a Catholic Service? It does not make much sense, does it? I have never seen this as clearly as today.

In Memory of a Funeral Mass, January 2013

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I wrote this on the 16th of January 2013:

This is about an elderly couple, both born in 1933, just a few months older than Peter is and I am. We’ve known them for ages. When we moved, we lost touch with them. Then we found out they had moved too. It turned out they lived not far from where we lived. What a surprise this was! They had moved into a very beautiful new home in a village for the elderly. From then on we started seeing each other about once a month for coffee and cake and a few games of Rummy. They always enjoyed playing this game with us. We had some good times together. Both of them suffered some ill-health; we thought the husband more so than the wife. We couldn’t see them for quite some time because the husband apparently was in a bad way, so the wife said on the phone not to come and visit. I ask myself now, should we perhaps have made an effort to see them anyway? Instead, I always waited for them to tell us when we could see them again. I wrote them a Christmas card. They knew that we had gone overseas for a while and that one of our daughters had died shortly before we left. So I wrote in the card a bit about our overseas trip and that we were now back home again. When we didn’t hear from them, I should have made a phone-call finding out how they were. But I didn’t ring. Why do I tend to put off phone-calls like this?

Then, yesterday, we got a phone-call from one of their sons. “Mum died last Friday,” he said. I thought I hadn’t heard right. “Did you say your Mum died?” I asked. He confirmed it and explained the funeral service would be on Friday at 11 o’clock at the Catholic Church in Dapto with the funeral procession going to the Memorial Park in Dapto after the service. And he said all the details were in the Illawarra Mercury if we wanted to have a look. “How’s your Dad?” I asked. His response was that he’s very shocked. But the family is with him. They are of Dutch origin and have a large family in Australia and overseas.

On the 21st of January 2013 I wrote the following in response to a comment from Noeleen:

Thanks, Noeleen, for commenting. We went to the funeral on Friday. This was am extremely hot day, 45 Degrees in the early afternoon! Still, a lot of people had come to the funeral. A lady, who used to be their neighbour and who’s well into her eighties now, had come too. She used to be a good friend of ours too. But we hadn’t seen her in more than twenty years! She talked to us after she had talked to the grieving husband. It was as though we had only seen her yesterday. Then we talked to the husband for a bit too. One of their sons, who is our son’s age, came over to us for a little bit. He explained that his mum had been left for the past three years with one rather sick lung. There’s a big name for this sickness which I can’t remember. This was before the church service, which was a Catholic Mass. One section of the church was packed full.
In the afternoon of that Friday Peter and I went to Wollongong for a scheduled Body Cooperative meeting. Nearly all the home owner residents turned up for the meeting despite the heat. Since Saturday the temperature is back in the twenties.
Peter and I had a very quiet weekend. From next Thursday on we’re going to be very busy again. Peter’s older sister, who lives in Austria, is back in hospital again. It looks like she’s not going to make it much longer. I think the family is prepared for this.

Peter made the following comment to this:

It looks we had a bad trot with funerals lately. But at our age we have to expect that. The previous generation is gone and now it is us, our friends and so on.

My sister is in a bad shape, but she is still smiling and she thinks the medical profession is crazy to want to prolong her life. In fact they have with great skill since the mid-seventies. But now, she has enough.

I said to this that Peter’s sister is a courageous woman. Now, one year later, she is still struggling on and living at home. From time to time she has to stay in hospital for some treatment. In the meantime her husband has had a heart attack. He recovered and claims that he isn’t very sick, still being able to do everything as before. She turns 82 this year and he is 78. She has been fighting cancer since she was in her forties.

A Morning at the Pool

And, please read today’s (13th Jan. 2014) update:

Yesterday, on Sunday, I went to the pool instead of going to church. It was another beautiful morning at the pool: Pleasantly warm, no wind. Just perfect for a relaxing swim. Peter declined to come to the pool with me. It was his old excuse about the pool water being much too cold for him! But later on he was waiting outside the swimming centre to walk home with me, which I enjoyed.

Having just reblogged last years pictures of Dapto swimming pool area I noticed with the pictures are some pictures of the Gala Cinema included. This reminds me, that on Saturday (two days ago) we went to see THE BOOK THIEF at the Gala. It was an afternoon session and this time there were quite a few people in the cinema to watch this excellent movie.

But back now to my attempts at keeping up a little bit of swimming. Over the Christmas period when we had family staying with us, I had several times the chance to go for a swim. With Martin and S we went to Wollongong Olympic outdoor pool on a warm morning when even Peter dared to have a dip in the water. The following day Martin and S walked to Dapto pool for a swim early in the morning. I opted out to go with them. I felt I needed a bit of a rest before all the Christmas celebrations would start.

On Christmas Day Matthew drove us to Port Kembla Pool. It was a shockingly cold morning and of course Peter just watched Matthew, Caroline and myself having a good swim. Peter joining us on such a very cold morning was out of the question. And I must say, the sea-water in the pool felt indeed very, very cold. I think Matthew and Caroline went to Port Kembla Pool again the following day, however this time without me. I did not fancy the strong cold wind at Port Kembla.

It’s now several weeks since Christmas, and I finally made it for a swim in the New Year at Dapto Swimming Pool. It is predicted that we are going to be into an extreme heatwave by the middle of this week. The middle of this week (Thursday) we’ll be going to another funeral same as around this time last year when we had a couple of days with temperatures of more than 45 C.

We are distressed that our very fit and healthy 82 year old neighbour all of a sudden died of a massive heart attack. Well, one never knows for whom the bell tolls.

AuntyUta

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I saw the doctor today. He let me off lightly: He said the blood-tests are okay but when he took my blood pressure it was a bit too high again. He gave me some more time to get my blood pressure down. If it doesn’t improve, he wants to prescribe medication. He was happy that there’s no more swelling and no more pain. Ah, and he said to go easy on salt in my diet and to walk frequently. So far so good. Actually, I can give myself a pat on the shoulder today because this afternoon I actually did go for a walk. I bet the doctor would be pleased about this!

A few weeks ago I walked to the pool early in the morning. Strolling along the way I took some pictures of some flowers in the gardens in front of people’s houses. I always enjoy looking at…

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Haircuts

This Dumpling Lunch was very enjoyable
This Dumpling Lunch was very enjoyable
I had chosen the vegetarian option for myself
I had chosen the vegetarian option for myself
This I wrote two months ago:

‘ Peter and I went to Prenzlauer Berg on Tuesday and had dumplings at a restaurant near Rosenthalerplatz.

Wednesday it was time to travel Criss-Cross-Through-the-Country to Munich for my cousin’s Urn-Burial on Thursday. On Friday we travelled back to Berlin. Travelling time was about nine hours. We just had to change trains frequently. That way we were able to travel at a much reduced price. For the two nights in Munich we stayed with my cousin’s family. We love this family. They are such friendly people. Even though it was a very sad occasion to meet them, we still had a good time with them.’

I remember on that Tuesday I had planned to have a much needed haircut. After our lovely dumpling lunch I looked for a hairdresser. There was a place just down the road near Prenzlauer Berg. They gave me a number and asked me to wait till my number was called. After about one hour my number still hadn’t been called. Two of the four hairdressers in the shop had left by then, presumably to have lunch. I decided I didn’t want to wait around any longer. I left the shop without having had a haircut.

The following day we traveled to Munich for my cousin’s Urn-Burial on Thursday. Soon after breakfast on Thursday my cousin’s family decided they needed something from the shopping center. I asked to be taken along so that maybe I could go looking for a haircut. I didn’t have to look for long. This place was right where we had come into the shopping center. DIGITAL CAMERAThe place looked busy. However one of the hairdressers saw to me straight away. About fifteen minutes later I had had my haircut while the others had gone for their errands. Drying the hair was not included in the price but I was offered to use one of their hairdryers for drying the hair by myself. I felt so much better after that little trim to my hair!

My hair grows extremely slowly. Now, after exactly two months, I still haven’t had another haircut. The Munich haircut still suits me rather well. I remember the last haircut before the Munich haircut I’ve had in July just before our daughter’s funeral service.