Well, I just got a shock. Got an email from my brother Mark,. Auntie Margaret passed away Monday night after a year's battle with cancer. Dee, my sister in -law heard in the morning that her mother had died, and in the evening that her natural father had passed away as well!I think I might give her a call and offer condolences.
She also said that she missed her mum. Grandma's been dead since 80s. She told me how she remembered walking down a hill after visiting her parents (probably walking down Second Ave in Claremont) and her mother saying "Take care of yourself". She also remembers her mother dying the next day. Ronnice told me that she doesn't think she'll be around much longer, and I believe her.
So anyway I talked to Mark later and Ronnice is moving into the nursing home soon. I've committed to traveling to Perth to see her and the rest of my family in six weeks time. Any later than that and It might be that she wont be there for me to see. It'll be an intense 2 weeks while I'm there, I know.
Then I spoke to mum, who sounded a thousand times happier than when we last spoke. She been in terrible pain then, but now she sounded so much better.
I thought she was going into hospital next week. When last we talked there'd been some stuff up with the waiting list for the surgery, and my brother was going to see what he could do about it. She went private and got it done.
So relieved it's done.
I will be travelling to Perth at the end of November, leaving on the 30th and returning on the 6th December. I will be able to catch my brother's and mother's birthdays on the 1st and 3rd respectively. Felt a deep need to see mum before next June/July, when Queer Collaborations is on in Perth. A little voice in me is say she may not be there then. I' may be wrong about that (been wrong before) but what if I put it off and I'm not. Besides, it's a good time to visit Perth - still not too hot and dry to comfortableness.
I'll be travelling via Virgin Air, but this time I'll be prepared!!!!
Had a phone call from Mum - her brother Allen has died.
In fact, she was phoned by Allen's doctor who was passing on their condolences and was shocked that the police hadn't contacted mum as yet. It seems that Allen hadn't been seen for almost a week, and when the police checked they found his body. It may have to have an autopsy to determine what he died of, though the fact that he has type 2 diabetes would have affected things. He had several cats and they are running wild now. Mum phoned uncle Steven to tell him about the death. Today was Steven's birthday - some news to get! Mum and Allen's sister - aunty Glennis - died in 2007.
The odd thing is that this mirrors what happened to uncle Brian who was dad's brother. In each case they were allowed under the will of their parents to stay in the house as long as they wanted to. The only difference was that Brian paid some of the rates, whereas Allen didn't (and this was a point of contention). Looks like they both died alone, to be discovered about a week later. At one point there were plans to sell the house as the it was behind the royal show grounds and they were interested in expanding, but that fell through.
I have fond memories of Allen. when my family would go on visits I would talk to him a lot and we'd listen to his collection of stage musical LPs. As I got older I suspected that he was gay, but if he was, it was a "Peter Allen sort of gay", if that means anything to you (and in fact uncle Allen looked and sounded a bit like him as well). Didn't matter to me either way though when my sister-in-law asked directly about this recently he was offended. I hadn't seen Allen in years since the start of my transition, though when I visited my family in 2008 he had lunch with mum and me. Wish I could post a photo but I don't have any of him, and we didn't want me to take any on that occasion.
Will miss him.
It wouldn't have mattered that much if the guy who was planning to buy her home didn't come through (he didn't), because one of my brothers was going to finance her anyway in the short term. But there were problems with the place she was moving in to - it seems that the husband (who was also a carer for his wife) had a heart attack and needed to stay somewhere with good transport. So it goes.
Odd, I felt that Mum was definitely going to move there, or somewhere that looked pretty much like it. When I broke up with Carol years ago I had my heart set on moving to #1 in a block of twenty flats that I'd checked out. Just kept on thinking about it so much, that I was was disappointed when someone else got it. But - #7 in the same block came up for lease as well, and when I looked at it I found that it was a mirror image of #1, so I was quite happy with that (and in general happy living there).
Maybe Mum will find a place like that.
I spoke to mum on the phone last night. She's out of hospital and back home.
She seemed to be in good spirits and really wanted to talk about things. She seems to be missing some language but is mostly OK. The doctors checked her stomach and seriously reviewed her medication, taking her off long-term use of cordrazine (sp ?). She's also going to have to allow silver chain and others to come around and do things for her. Thelma was watering her lawn but it seems she's forgotten to pay her rego (or renew her licence, or something) so won't be driving around any time soon.
I'm glad she's back home and it wasn't too serious, but the next one might be.
My brother Mark just phoned.
Yesterday he took mum into Swan Districts Hospital after she had trouble talking and it seems that she may have had a mild stroke. She's currently in the stroke unit there and is also going to have some sort of exploratory surgery on her stomach, as doctors there are worried that all the medications she's on have caused an ulcer.
I'll be phoning her (or trying to) in a few minutes.
This is rather odd. I've been feeling "brain dead" myself since I got back from Fair day yesterday and have been having problems with words and comprehension. I went out for food shopping today but it was a real struggle. Um, this might sound odd that connections like that happen in my family. Am I feeling her problems?
Time to phone.
- - -
She has no phone, but I left a message so that she'd know I knew she was in hospital.
I just realised that maybe one reason I liked Bert from The Fastest Indian so much - he reminds me of my grandfather, Ronald Seabrook.
My mother's father fought in WWI, and among other things, built and rode motorbikes in the local speedways and elsewhere. In fact my aunty Glennis (who died this time last year) met her husband Jack when he was racing at those events as well. Ronald was very clever with his hands and very much a D-I-Y person. He also built my very first push bike from spare parts.
Always loved him.
Well, it may not have seemed so in the last post, but I enjoyed yesterday.
I got away on schedule, leaving Barnsley at 8:16am and arriving at Circular Quay at 11:22am. However, mark, Dee and Sophie were late. I waited for about 40 minutes and then (because I had an all day ticket) checked the ferry just in case they were on it. Got to the bow (or is it stern, as the ferry left with the opposite end) and saw Mark and Dee just arriving at the wharf. Shouting their names at them had no effect (lots of noise there) and though I raced back to get off the ferry they'd already raised the gangplank and off I went to Manly!
Mark and family were still Circular Key of course. I considered my options:
- catch the next ferry back;
- try phoning mark's mobile from a pay phone (my mobile is still missing); and/or
- wait at Manly for them.
If I did the first I might miss them coming the other way. I'd done the first when I got there but all I got was a message service and for all I knew, they might not be heard until they got back to Perth (leaving today). The only sensible thing to do was wait at Manly Wharf for them. They didn't turn up on the next ferry, but were on the one after that.
This however proved a problem. As originally planned, I would have had about two hours with them until I had to catch the 2:15pm ferry back into the city and start the trip home (arriving a bit after 6pm). But they only got to Manly about 1:30pm! I decided to take a later train home and either walk (and as it happened, I did) home from Cardiff Station, or catch a taxi/bus part of the way (nope, too late for buses and no taxi stopped for me). I think that was the right decision, even though my feet are still sore!
So, anyway, we walked up the Corso to Manly beach (see a 360° VR Photo of this) and had lunch from a corner shop on some benches in the sun. I was really pleased meeting up with my brother Mark, his wife Dee, and my niece Sophie.
We went for a walk on the broad walk on Manly Beach. Dee and Sophie also walked the beach, talking to 60 year old lifesavers (and picking up litter, to Mark's amusement) while I chatted with Mark. Then we had a look at the street markets and Dee bought a paper silhouette that was really nice, while Sophie had a look at hand-made wooden furniture, which she might make versions of when she gets home.
I'm very impressed with Sophie. She is a sweet, bright kid with a potentially great future. I have this feeling that if she applies for it, she'll be working on props for the up and coming film The Hobbit. :)
Anyway, we were thinking of heading back when Mark expressed a desire to have some Onion Rings, just like the ones they used to make in Manly 30 years ago (last time he visited it). After a search, we couldn't find any. Rather than giving up however, I went into the Information Booth there and they suggested we try a cafe called the Bronze Onion in the nearby suburb of Harbord / Freshwater. And yes, we took a bus there, and no, they didn't make any. In fact, after asking, they suggested we try either Oporto or Hungry Jack's. OK, they do make union rings, but I know they aren't what Mark was after.
So, we all had a bit of an early dinner and caught the 6:20pm ferry back to the city. From there we walk back to their hotel on Elizabeth St opposite Hyde park. It was a long walk (my feet were starting to get sore) but we also detoured via Hyde Park and Sophie and Dee took photos of Archibald Fountain (featuring statues of Apollo, Diana, "the young god of the fields and pastures", and Theseus slaying the Minotaur). I paid my respects to Diana (Artemis) and we got to their hotel.
I had a rest, and they gave me a picnic bag of cutlery, Kaluha and clothes hangers (saved them carrying this stuff back home) which I carried with me last night all the way home. By the time you read this they should be back in Perth.
I'm really glad that, despite slight mix-ups and endurances, I caught up with they while they were in Sydney. It was a good day, and it's nice to feel part of a family again.
I'm going down to Sydney today to meet up with my brother and his family. We're going off to Manly for lunch. The last time I was in Manley I was suicidal, back in 1996. This visit should be a lot better.
It'll be a long trip. I leave here at 8am, and won't be back until 7pm. I'm going to lock the dogs in the house though, because I can't trust Hallie with no one else here.
I'm not going to go home for Xmas.
Instead, I'll leave on the 2nd of the December, and be home for mum's birthday on the 3rd. I would have left last day of November in time for my brother's birthday on the 1st, but I have an E.E.G. test that day. I should be able to stay for a week at least.
Well this is going sound bizarre.
Pegasus is still alive. He's been extremely lethargic, seems to have a knotted muscle in his back and may be constipated. He hasn't eaten anything all day except some honey from my finger and a couple of bowls of water. Kevin massaged his back earlier, and is currently out with Michelle buying some castor oil.
Told you it'd sound bizarre. But Peggy's not dead, just very weak.
In totally unrelated news I had call from Mum who said that my brother Mark has gone into hospital with kidney stones and that his wife has a couple of slipped disks. Not sure if there's a connection there, but we really all sound like healthy cases don't we?