The cats...doing what cats do best.
I had a phone call from the property manager last week. As I mentioned a few posts back, my place has been sold and I had until September to find somewhere else. Not any more. The phone call was to say that the owners want to move in earlier and I now have to be out by July! So...the hunt begins again.
Of course, I want a place where I can have the cats and hopefully, a sunny balcony. As you can see from the photo, they love sunning themselves and also just sitting watching the world go by. I have a small wrought iron table with a couple of chairs and it's most pleasurable sitting in the morning sun with a cup or coffee or in the summer evenings, with a glass of red. Fingers crossed something suitable comes up. I've just seen a lovely place in Labrador which is about 1 km away from here, with views of the Broadwater. It's $10 per week more but...what the hell. I've sent off an email asking about pets are permitted and also asking if it has its own laundry. I hate shared laundries! I've only had one place like that but I found some of the other tenants used my washing machine and of course, my power! So, no more shared laundry facilities.
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It's officially the start of winter tomorrow, or what passes for winter here on the Coast. May has been the warmest on record according to statistics. Apart from the first two days of May when the temperature dropped drastically, the days have been warm and sunny, certainly nowhere near cold enough to don winter clothes. Today is overcast with showers and is about 23C which is closer to the average daytime temp for winter. Apparently it will be warmer again (about 25-26C) later in the week. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, we're heading for another El Nino effect so that means drought. Not a good forecast, especially for the farmers out west, where rainfall has been sparse anyway. Poor souls. The last cyclone didn't make it very far inland at all. How demoralising to plant crops and have them do really well because of some relatively good rain, only to have everything die because there has been no follow up rain. It's not only crops, either. Cattle and sheep starve and if it wasn't for the generosity of folk in the cities and other farmers not so badly affected, a lot of station owners would be up a certain creek. Some people, unable to take any more, just walk away from the land after their families have been there for generations; some commit suicide.
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As I wrote on Facebook yesterday, I made a huge pot of pea and ham soup. I found a large meaty hock in the supermarket and that, along with a packet of split peas, leeks, carrots and celery made a delicious meal last night. After saving some for lunch today, I was able to freeze four meals for the future. It has to be my favourite soup and I think it's because I always remember my much loved grandmother making it. Being in a warm house on a cold winter's day (this was in New Zealand), with a steaming bowl of pea and ham soup made and served with love is a memory I've never lost.
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It's just started bucketing down once more. Actually that turn of phrase reminds me of a funny incident two or three years ago. I was at the small shopping centre not far from where I used to live before moving to the Coast. It had begun to rain lightly but was becoming heavier. I heard a little boy of about three years ask his mum if it was "buh-kuh-ting" down and his mother replied yes. The tot then called out to his brother (I forget his name, say Jake), "Hurry up, Jake. It's buh-kuh-ting down! Come on, Jake, it's buh-kuh-ting down!" I was walking along giggling to myself when a woman, coming from the opposite direction, snarled at me, "What are you grinning about!" I was astonished to say the least but ignored her and kept walking, smiling to myself as, in the distance, I could still hear the little one admonishing his brother to hurry up because it was buh-kuh-ting down!
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With All My Love: Patricia Scanlan (Simon & Schuster GB 2013)
This is a beautiful book filled with laughter, love, revenge and forgiveness.
Briony inadvertently finds a letter written and addressed to her by her grandmother whom she hasn't seen since she was about four. Now with a daughter the same age, the letter has opened up a Pandora's box of questions for Briony for which there appear to be no answers. For three generations, actions and harsh words have affected families and caused a rift which appears too big to heal and Briony, shocked to her core over what she has read, blames her mother. She and her mother have always been close but will Valerie's perceived lies and selfishness drive her and Briony apart? Briony is determined to find out the truth but...will she make the same kind of decision that caused the rift in the first place?
Patricia Scanlan is, along with the late Maeve Binchy, one of my favourite authors of this genre, nowadays called "chick lit". Her stories resonate with compassion for the foibles and dynamics of families and I can't help wondering if she's experienced some of these passions herself. She writes so convincingly that one is drawn into the story to the point of laughing out loud or grabbing the tissues to mop up tears. A lovely story which I couldn't put down and which I wanted to keep on reading after the ending.
It's the weekend here and I hope you're all enjoying lovely weather wherever on the planet you may be.