Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The mistress story

Reading over the last post and the reference to the mistress I think I had better tell you the mistress story now rather than later, least your fertile minds imagine something less innoculous than it is.

Well I think it is innoculous - who really knows.

At Dad's funeral we were standing in a family group outside the chapel, as you do, before the service. This attractive blond woman showed up, my brother went over to meet her, they hugged, she gave him a kiss on the cheek and went inside.

Brother's wife watched the greeting with a bit of interest and said "who is that?"
Now I was hoping she could tell us that cos I had never seen this woman before.
As quick as a flash, and with a perfectly straight face, my sister - who is known for her dry sense of humour replied "That's (brothers) mistress"
Some of us burst out laughing straight away, Mum took 20 seconds to realise it was a joke, sister in law looked vaguely confused (as well you could - after all the wife is supposedly always the last to know...)

I believe she goes to the gym with him and they had struck up a friendship through that.

It's a family joke now.

After the funeral one of Dad's old workmates told me a story about after hours drinking in the pub with Dad missing being arrested because he was out in the kitchen making himself a sandwich when the cops charged in, rolling a company car into a bull paddock an hour or so after that and walking/staggering miles to organise a ride home. Huh they reckon todays youth is bad!

On death and dreams...

Last week it was three years since my father died. Mum remembered the date at 2.30pm, I thought about it about 4pm and my brother remembered at 4.30. Not sure what time my sister remembered but she rang Mum from the other side of the world that evening so probably earlier in the morning than the rest of us.

In my mind the grieving for Dad is tied in with the Rainbow Bridge poem - you know the one about animals waiting at the rainbow bridge for their special human to take them into heaven. We were all reasonably brave when Dad died, he was 7 weeks in Intensive Care and it was in the end a family decision to turn off the life support on him (on the doctors recommendations). After that long I think we were as a family fairly braced for the inevitable. So we coped with only minor outbreaks of tears. (remind me to tell you the mistress story sometime too...). Some months before Dad died we lost our 18 year old cat, (that's got bugger all to do with it you say :-)) and a few weeks after Dad died I was emailing an old friend and when she enquired after Sasha and I replied she had died she sent me the Rainbow Bridge poem. I had read it before but I was reading it again and I had a vision of Dad going to heaven and at the Rainbow Bridge collecting the pony he'd had as a kid, his working dog, and the cat that he always professed to hate but used to fuss over when he thought no one was looking. So I'm sitting at work bawling my eyes out, luckily it was just about knock off time, and I cried all the way home, and most of the evening - to the consternation of my nearest and dearest. And after that of course it got better.

Anyway - Mum was saying last week that when she dreams Dad is always in the dreams alive and well. And my sister had a dream that she was at some event, garden party type thing and Dad was there. She said to him "But I thought you were dead" and he replied "Yes everyone thought that but I wasn't".

So my dream last week was a bit different. I went into this cafe - it bore a fairly close resemblence to one in town - and Dad was sitting at a table. I wasn't at all surprised to see him there. He said "I've been waiting for you - your coffee is nearly cold and I've eaten most of your banana cake" and I said "that's okay because I wanted carrot cake anyway" so I sat down and drank lukewarm coffee. Then he said "It's about time you showed up Dixie is waiting for you." Dixie was the horse I owned as a teenager. I said "But Dixie must be dead by now" and he said "Yes of course she is otherwise she wouldn't be waiting for you" and I said "am I dead then? I didn't think it would look like this" and he said "yes it is quite ordinary isn't it, but it isn't too bad"

Then I woke up - wondering if I was alive or dead... Strange how your subconscious weaves these things into your dreams.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

South Islanders got to play with snowballs

It didn't snow up our way. Actually a decent frost is cause for a mini celebration and dance round the lawn on the crunchy grass, not quite the winterless north but not a particularly chilly place.

So the south island vanished under a layer of snow on Monday. But of more newsworthiness apparently was the fact that Auckland had a power cut - for somewhere between four and six hours I gather. At least I hear it had more coverage on the TV news. I didn't get to witness this because we had a power cut too.

At about the same point Auckland lost power so did we. I waited for an hour or so and rang the power company. They started by telling me I wasn't a customer of theirs. I don't know why I fail to exist for so many companies, it must be because I cause so little trouble, pay the bills on time and never complain so when I do they tell me they have never heard of me. Anyway a terse wee comment about the money they could repay me since I didn't exist led to some locating of our account. And the news that they had no idea when the power would be back on. So I waited another four hours (eventually finding the little camp gas stove and having a coffee) and rang again. No they still didn't know when the power would be on - they were busy did I not know. Okay.

Husband came home and I tried the power company again. Except they must have got sick of my ringing them and had a word to the phone company cos they made the phone break too.

A bit later we got part power but no phone. The house wiring is sort of interesting in that there are two lines in - each to different parts of the house. So if it half goes you can run huge amounts of power cords through the house and make most appliances work. And found that the computer, the fish tank heater and a variety of other household appliances had ceased working. What is particularly upsetting about that is that I had a week and a halfs work on that computer. The repair shop are currently assessing whether this can be rescued. This would appear to be a lesson about backing up. It seems to be a hard one.

Finally got full power and phone back on 36 hours after it went off. Not entirely unheard of in our neck of the woods. We are usually without electricity for an hour or two a week. We had an 18 hour power cut between Christmas and New Year. No one seems to care much and no one ever apologises for it.

The biggest issue is no power means no water as the water pump doesn't work. I'm not that keen on climbing to the top of the water tank to dip a bucket in the inspection hatch and anyway that would need a rope attached to the bucket if it hasn't rained for a week or so. Otherwise it probably isn't too bad - we have a fire with a wetback. The fish get a bit chilly and the freezers get a bit warm but the rest is just about bearable. If we just had water and maybe could watch the tele it would be okay.

So yesterday we bought a generator.

I just feel highly ripped off that we couldn't have snow to go with this.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Faith in the medical profession?

I'm pretty cynical I know. This cynicism has grown over the last 10 years or so as I question the things I was taught were correct and sometimes find them not as correct as originally assumed. The last year or so has reinforced my feelings of unease, if I did what they told me to do I would not be as healthy as I am now (which admittedly is probably not that healthy but passable).

The other week I gave my mother some vitamin and mineral supplements that I thought might be useful to her. Now mother has also been fairly well done over by the medical profession. She spent years with a tranquiliser addiction which she struggled to conquer and eventually beat because a GP failed to realise she had post natal depression and gave her the pretty pills when she really needed something else. Then there was the surgeon who took off her whole breast when every other surgeon in the country was doing lumpectomies for breast cancers the size of mothers (caught very early and miniscule) - he also told her reconstructive surgery was likely to fail with her (why I don't know, neither does she) so she got one boob removed when it really wasn't necessary. Along the way were the other surgeons who reported they had removed her ovaries when they hadn't. This caused untold grief when the ovaries that didn't exist grew cancer too. She struggles with bone density problems and they feed her drugs that make her sick so she won't break a hip. When she reports the current meds make her sick they give her other drugs that do the same thing. So one of the things I got her was a calcium supplement that is supposed to be extremely natural and very digestable.

She gave them all back the other day. Why? Because she asked her doctor who said she didn't need any vitamin or mineral supplements so she won't take them. Whatever... I'm not insulted that she doesn't want to take them.

But I don't know why she still trusts the conventional medical people so implicitly.

Or maybe it is that she doesn't trust me.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bloody vodaphone!

Communications companies and I just cannot get on. I try. I am reasonable. Sometimes I try to be funny. But we just can't be friends.

Yesterday I had to make a call on my mobile. Now the little phone has been sitting there on the car charger for a while, not doing anything much. I can live with the fact that no one wants to talk to me so I wasn't that worried. So I punch in the number and hit ring and nothing happens. This is because the display now tells me "SIM disabled". I'm guessing that means it doesn't work.

After not making the call I eventually get home. Husband greets me with "I tried to ring you but your phone has been disabled" Grrr yes I know.

I ring Vodaphone. The recorded message tells me to ring from my mobile and I will get faster service but to push 0 to speak to an operator. Thanks... then it hangs up on me! I redial and this time it puts me on hold with some particularly ugly music for five minutes before I am disconnected. Third time a person picks up after a minute or two. English is her second language (or if it is her first language she has an unusual accent and a great deal of difficulty constructing a sentence. Though I did wonder after a minute or two if her IQ was a little below average...) She looks up my phone number. Well actually first she looks up someone elses phone number and tells me it is working fine. Then she looks up my phone number and tells me I asked for it to be disabled because it was stolen. I tell her I didn't. She tells me I did. I ask if I put this request in writing or if it was done over the phone. She doesn't know. I give up on that argument and ask for it to be reactivated. She tells me that is impossible, I will need to buy another SIM card. I tell her that the last thing I will do after this is buy a Vodaphone SIM card again. She tells me my phone will never work again unless I do. I thank her - admittedly not very politely, and hang up - possibly rather abruptly.

This morning I ordered a little Telecom phone with all sorts of features I will probably never use. I'm sure it will be very pretty. And I sent Vodaphone a nice email thanking them - if this hadn't happened I would never have known about some of the good deals Telecom have now. In fact I would probably have stuck to the old SIM card for another five years because I could remember the phone number.

Small perfectly healthy little Vodaphone phone for sale cheap. You will need to bring your own SIM card to test it.