Posts filed under: ‘Family‘

Buying a smile

When I was a baby I had an accident. Well, actually, I had multiple accidents as an infant, but the specific incident I am referring to in this post happened when I was just ten months old.

It was mid afternoon, and I had been put down to sleep on a bed, with a bottle. Wriggly child that I was I managed to roll off of the bed, and I knocked my mouth on the collar of the bottle, dislodging one of my baby teeth, root and all. At the time, while I imagine there was a bit of blood and more than a few tears on my part, and panic and distress on my mum’s, I don’t think it was considered a serious accident. After all, it was only a baby tooth, surely the adult one would grow in eventually.

But time went by, and nothing happened. My baby teeth fell out, the adult teeth grew in, but not the one that I had been missing forever. And it wasn’t like I could hide it, after all it was front and centre.
Now missing front teeth might be considered cute on a kindy kid,
but as you get older it starts to attract looks, and by eight or nine you start to get Questions.

So, when I was ten I received My First Denture. (Now, there’s a title you don’t see often in the My First range.) It took a bit of getting used to, and it was a definite learning experience…the first thing I learned is that it didn’t mix well with bubble gum, rather it seemed to get tied in knots and end up in all kinds of weird mess in my mouth. This led directly to me learning the hard way not to put it in the back pocket of my shorts when I needed to take it out, because a week or so after getting my first denture, I had to get my second one, when I sat down and managed to break it into multiple pieces.
I was on double dentist visits at school…I had the usual six monthly checks, and on the alternate six months I would have my plate assessed.
And then I left school. And due to affordability, and procrastination, and apprehension I have had only a handful of visits since. And it is a testament to the workmanship of the school dentists that a denture that is supposed to last five years or so has lasted me five times longer.
You know, I’ve never been overly comfortable with my smile, and at times I’ve been very self conscious of it, but I’ve never quite taken the step to do something about it, after all, there’s always more important things to pay for.
And then my parents decided to buy me a new smile.
I had several options open to me, and I explored each one. I always thought if I ever did anything I would have an implant done…it costs Outrageou$ $tupid Dollar$ to get it done, but it’s as close to the real thing as you can get. Then I found out what was involved and quickly reconsidered. It was trips to Perth, probably surgery under general anesthetic, lots of healing time and a process that would take about six months. On the other hand, the next option only cost $tupid Dollar$ in comparison, could be done at my local dentist, and would only take two weeks.
I’ll take option B thanks, Eddie.
So that’s what I’ve been doing…on Monday there was needles and moulds and drilling and grinding. (And possibly tears, coz, you know, needles, and dentist!) And I walked out with a temporary measure to get me through the next two weeks. Except it didn’t survive my first meal. i bit into a soft, fresh bread roll and the temporary measure broke. Obviously this eating gig needs some readjustment. So yesterday I was back at the dentists. They were jam packed all day and could only squeeze me in at the very end of the day, so I stayed hidden away like the Hunchback of Notre Dame all day, until I could rush to the surgery for my emergency fix.
Apparently breakages are very common, so I figure I’m going to exist on soft foods for the next two weeks. Don’t want to risk that again. At least it’s soup weather atm. Soup and ice cream! ūüôā
It’s so weird though. For the first time in over thirty years (30??!!!) I don’t have a plate in. I can feel texture and temperature with my whole mouth now, and I almost have a lisp as my tongue tries to adjust to these few extra millimeters of play room suddenly granted. It’s a strange feeling indeed.

1 comment May 8, 2013

Meeting Parp

My paternal grandfather, Parp, died just before I was born, so I never knew him. By all accounts he was a larrikin, and a storyteller, and my dad is just like him. Before he died though, my aunt convinced him to write down some of his anecdotes and experiences of life as a pioneer in the Pilbara.

My aunt was the family historian  Рshe was the one who researched the family tree, and I think she had intentions of doing something with these recollections but time got away from her. It seems they may have sat in her office for decades, because when she passed almost two years ago my cousins found the half edited notes and decided to finish what she had started.

And so, at Katink’s funeral last week, all the siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews received their own copy of the book they had put together.Image

It’s full of Parp’s photos and remembrances, albeit some not quite politically correct now days, stories of station life, and even some stories about his father.

And this is my favourite photo in the book! My dad is the toddler. He is 86 now.Image

And so now I get to know Parp, just a little. And so do my kids.

1 comment December 30, 2012

Here’s to you, Katink! xx

The two people most like me in the world, in looks and personality, are my (half) sister Katink, and my niece MiniMe. If you have ever wondered what I might be like if I hadn’t been raised as a Witness you only need look at them.
Out of nowhere, Katink suffered an aneurysm on Friday.
Family and friends gathered at Charlie’s to stand vigil at first, and then to say goodbye to this vibrant woman. It was a testament to the person Katink was that the hospital had to make a conference room available so the doctor could talk to all of us when it came time to male *that* decision.
At 10.15am this morning we turned off her life support and let her go.
She was a voracious reader, devouring SF and fantasy, and thankfully was between books when this happened. Otherwise we would have found the audio copy of what she was reading so she could finish it. She was smart and did a three night stint on Sale of the Century, and was yelled at by the production manager for ‘taking the money’. She was a free spirit. A punk in the seventies as a teen, and a groupie after that – hooking up with one of the (pre fame) INXS guys for some time.
She was wacky and crazy and beautiful and thoughtful.
Katink was a mother and a wife, and for most of her life a little sister. One of her greatest wishes was to be a big sister, and I was blessed in being able to have that relationship with her for the last fifteen years or so.
Farewell Katink, you were more than just a sound effect, and we will see you again.
I also want to thank everyone for their thoughts and wishes and messages over the last few days.

1 comment December 17, 2012

I Know a Valley…(With pictures and MOAR PICTURES)

…I know a valley, My Secret Valley the world has to see

Yesterday was one of those rare moments of near perfect alignment of rosters and health and weather and free time – so (almost) on a whim, we seized the moment and headed to Araluen for a picnic.

We’d been as far as the tea house across the road for my cousin’s wedding a hundred (13) years ago, but had never made it to the gardens themselves.

The day was glorious, and the setting is stunning! Meandering along winding paths, laying in the sunshine. Admiring the poppies and tulips. Oh, the tulips…

Araluen is set in this gorgeous valley, and was originally a youth holiday camp, starting in the 1930’s, so it is very Secret Valley-esque.

But instead of being all native bush,

and wildlife,

waterfalls, both natural,

and cultivated,

there are large gardens of roses. velvet green lawns, and stunning fields of tulips


I’d been told the tulips this year are particularly magnificent, and I have to agree.




Hmm…that’s probably enough of tulips for now.

There were also stone cottage ruins, and carved log thrones scattered around the place.


The upshot is, if you haven’t been, then GO. And now is a good time, because, TULIPS. Another warm weekend or two and it might be too late.

Add a comment September 14, 2012

Should I warn my parents about a possible auton attack…?

Yesterday while shopping at Target Geraldton I ran across a familiar figure acting as the door greeter.

Add a comment June 24, 2012

Making amends

When I was little, not even in school, my mum had an Old Country Roses gravy boat. It was one of the few pieces of good china she owned, and the only piece of Royal Anything (in this case Royal Albert). She loved this gravy boat, and owning more pieces was always on her wish list.

Sometimes, when I had been good, she would let me make crunchy milo in the gravy boat. It was the perfect size for a small ‘tea party’. Then one day, I broke it. I’d climbed on the bench to get it down from the overhead kitchen cupboards, and it slipped from my grasp. I was devastated. Not least because, even at just four or five, I knew what that gravy boat meant to her.

Last weekend I finally made it up to her. While I didn’t get here a gravy boat, ¬†we bought her a full OCR dinner set and matching tea set.

There are some things you will never forget in your life, and the look on her face was one of them.




1 comment May 10, 2012

The House of Plague

We’re battling the plague atm. Well, Tusk certainly is. I’m not sure how much of my sore throat is plague, and how much is just from all the haze and smoke from the bushfires that are around.

Poor Tusk though. Not only has he got the chesty, raspy cough thing happening, and the aches, he is a little feverish. Which becomes a hassle for him. It seems when he gets a fever he tends to get bad claustrophobia and panic attacks. He can’t lie down, or even sit still really. So he was up most of last night. He had several showers, came to bed about four times, watched tv, and sorted paperwork, and didn’t sleep at all. Not that I knew any of this, coz it takes a freight train to disturb me when I sleep.Good wife that I am, I didn’t know a thing until sixish this morning, when he actually woke me up so I could talk him down a bit.

Of course, since he was up all night, it meant that The Duchessa was as well. She’s a funny cat. Highly strung and very needy. One of her (many) quirks is that she won’t go to bed until everyone in the house is tucked in and settled. So when she gets tired she gets cranky at us to go to bed.

Usually, this isn’t an issue. We’ve settled into a reasonable routine with her and we get to sleep at a mutually acceptable time.

Except of course, that didn’t happen last night. She spent the night pleading with him to go to bed, and since he didn’t, she¬†is tired and cranky with everyone today. ¬†And you can bet, come eight o’clock tonight she’s going to be tearing our legs off trying to convince us to go to sleep.

Add a comment February 16, 2012

The downside…

Do you know the big sucky thing about this new job? It has coincided with Transperth trialling the 4am trains. This means Tusk is now working full nights on a weekend.

What this means for us is that from 6am today until probably around 11am Sunday, we’re going to have seen each other (in a conscious state, at least…as romantic as the whole watching someone sleeping supposedly is, it doesn’t quite cut it for me) for a total of maybe 15 minutes.

1 comment November 18, 2011

In which I get morbid….

Today I went to a funeral.

It was sad, as these occasions are wont to be, but for me I found the sadness reached a new level. Uncle J was the first of The Next Generation of my maternal family to pass away.

Earlier this year, Aunty P died. She was my dad’s only sister, and she was 89, so she had a good innings.

Uncle J on the other hand, was the husband of my mum’s oldest sister. He was not quite 70. (Yeah, work the maths out, there’s a big age gap somewhere that maybe I’ll tell you about one day.)

He’s been battling cancer for the last six months, in a not very pleasant kind of way. So in the end, it was a blessing really.

Anyway, it occurred to me in the last few days that this is the beginning of the end of my mum’s generation. Yeah, I know, rather morbid, really, but the reality is that all mum’s siblings and partners are of an age that really they are going to start passing away.

In fact, the maternal side of my family has done rather well really, when I think about it. My mother has five siblings, and each of them is married. So I still have two parents and nine aunts and uncles. Pretty good really, in the scheme of things. My grandparents were both close to their 90’s when they passed away, but other than that the only death in the subsequent generations has been my brother, Brusome.

And while one side of me is saying “Come on! They are entitled to grow old!” and “Really!? One person out of twelve family members! Be thankful!” the other is doing the math (1) and saying “Time is running out!” ¬†But despite this, I’m being all morbid, and looking at the prospects of my various family members: ¬†My aunt has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer – some incredibly rare form that even her specialist has only ever read about, so they are totally unsure of how it will respond to treatment. My uncle has some lung disease that requires some heavy duty treatment every couple of months. Closer to home, my dad is 86 now and his health issues over the past few years have really started to slow him down and turn him into an old man, and this isn’t to mention the health issues mum has¬†accumulated¬†since her car accident.

So, yeah. Possibly over tired from a big weekend, and emotionally drained = morbid.


(1) Have I told you one of my motto’s is ‘Maths is evil’, and I’m not very good at maths!?

1 comment October 1, 2011

Welcome to the family…

Something rare and exciting happened yesterday. I spent the day with my four sisters. When I say rare, I don’t mean it’s a once a year treat or something, I mean that as far as I can recall, this is the second time in history that the five of us were in the same room together.

The only other time was about eight years ago at their mum’s funeral. We all see each other in singles and pairs fairly regularly, but to have the five of us in a room together – that was a rare event. And, apart from riots in London and the stockmarket crashing, the world didn’t implode too badly.

It was a very impromptu plan – devised, I think, over a bottle of wine on Saturday night. It involved all of us descending on S1 who lives in Margaret River for lunch and a slumber party, because really, if we need to choose somewhere to gather, why would we choose a house in suburbia when we could stay in a castle overlooking the ocean. Particularly when that castle comes with a wine cellar!

We met for a late lunch at the Watershed, which has absolutely divine food!

My lunch:

Prawns, vanilla mayonnaise (OMG! Yum!), and other ‘elements’.

It was a wonderful chance to bond a bit and get to know each other a little better. It was fun discovering how alike we are, and to drink some wine together.

S2, part gypsy that she is, is fresh from spending a few years working, first in the Turks & Caicos, and then in the Yukon, and is now working in Gove with her husband, so we got to look at all her gorgeous photos.

Of course, no family gathering is complete without Dramah! is it? After a few glasses of wine, S4 had a bit of a paranoia meltdown, and she ended up taking herself off to bed a bit earlier than the rest of us, but she was fine by morning.

All in all, a wonderful day, and I hope we get to do it again, soon.

Add a comment August 8, 2011


I’ve Said It Once…

Past Ingredients