Friday, April 30, 2010

The Library

Dear Diary ... The trip to the library was, how shall we say, 'different'. Harold and I strolled along, his hand gently on my elbow, as I was feeling rather excited, and excitement makes me dizzy. Perhaps not exactly dizzy, but certainly light headed!

I changed my book and chose a Jackie Collins novel ... I love reading about the famous stars. Had I been a little less reticent and shy in my younger days I could have been a big star in the movies, as I received a standing ovation when I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in my first year at school. Sadly I was overcome with shyness, wet my panties, and ran off the stage in shame. But that is all in the distant past.

I didn't encourage Harold to linger around the corner where the encyclopaedias, dictionaries, and medical tomes are housed. All to clearly I remember boys around the age of ten or eleven congregating in that part of the school library, and giggling about certain words. Men are simply big boys; the glint in his eye did little to make me change my long held opinion on that matter. There is a wonderful garden section that I casually steered him towards.

It wasn't until after we had checked out our books; he chose two on gold fish, which did rather surprise me as I hadn't thought he took all that much notice of Greensmith and Redshaw; that Harold suggested we find a cosy cafe for a cup of tea, and a cake. That idea went down extremely well! Niece isn't great on sweet treats, informing me that carrying too much weight is bad for my health.

The Cosy Cafe stands between two tall buildings, its quaint exterior echoing its 1950's interior. Small tables with red-checkered tablecloths cast a look of cleanliness, and proclaimed wholesome fare for sale. Harold guided me to an alcove. I was entranced to see the table had a tiny crystal vase containing three pink roses and a shivery branch of delicate fern, along with fine china; matching milk jug and sugar basin, both covered of course to deter unwanted intruders.

I allowed Harold to order. I have found over the years that this simple action gives a male companion a feeling of importance; and after all if they are paying, shouldn't they be allowed to choose? His choice was impeccable; Earl Grey tea, with lemon of course, and two large scrumptious looking, and tasty as I found out, slabs of cream filled sponge, as light and delectable as I have ever enjoyed. Such a lovely man Dear Diary.

A simple outing, a cup of tea and a slice of cake ... what more could a girl ask for?

A Better Day

Dear Diary, the little fish, Greensmith and Redshaw, are settled in their new home. Their lives appear extremely boring as they swim around in circles all day. They play hide and seek amongst the tall grassy looking plants, and Greensmith hid from Redshaw behind a large boulder that Niece plonked down hard to anchor the roots of the plants.

There is one downside to this ... the aquarium needs emptying every week or so, as I have been informed. I do consider that a gift that needs regular work to keep it in wholesome order a trifle tedious. Perhaps Niece will take on that task. I really do not have a head for emptying aquariums at all. I might spill the dirty water all over the carpet! [Now that might be a worthwhile exercise.]

Harold is coming around later this afternoon. I know I was all upset about him earlier in the week, but a few shed tears, a wallow in the long distant past, and a little mollycoddling from Niece all contrived to make me feel a happier person.

So Dear Diary, what am I to wear for this excursion to the library? Do I dress to suit my age, or do I don a bright rag to show the world that today is a wonderful day? Silly question really! Bright! Colourful! That is the way to go. In the back of my rather extensive wardrobe I have a pair of cream slacks [ladies wear slacks ... how dreadfully masculine is that word 'trousers'; makes me think of black pinstripe, bankers, white shirts and the old school tie, and shoes polished and shined until it is possible to view the colour of the wearer's socks in their reflection ... the colour of socks is invariably boring black. Funny isn't it how we don't see pinstripe socks?] The cream slacks would go so well with a soft apricot-coloured top that drapes well to hide, what magazines cutely call, the middle-aged spread, and truth be told I am not adverse to the classification of middle age. This all teamed with cream sandals, with the back in, as my feet do need the attention of the podiatrist.

I will forgo the bright nail polish on fingers and toes; there is no need to frighten Harold too much. Perhaps a wide brimmed straw hat? I must ask Niece if I can borrow her bunch of pretty apricot artificial flowers that she has on a thing she calls a fascinator, which is little more than a bunch of flowers stuck onto some tulle. The flowers and perhaps a velvet ribbon would complete the picture.

Dear Diary, I hear Harold at the door, must fly before Niece drags him into the kitchen for a cuppa and a chat ... and more nosey questions! He can come up to my room and view Greensmith and Redshaw while I dab a little Evening in Paris behind my lobes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Acquisition

Dear Diary, what an excitement this morning! I know that sometimes I do tend to go on about Niece, but this morning she came up trumps. Such a lovely girl, well woman then.

I awoke, still down in the doldrums. Upon opening the drapes I was awestruck by the glorious sunrise. A blue/orange dappled sky, all the world like a horse's coat, except for the colours. The gum trees created an illusion of distance, the magpies warbled in a high-up branch that overhangs the road, and the galahs screamed their welcome to the day.

I heard a noise outside my door, a sort of scuffling sound. Of course my mind ran instantly to mice, or their larger cousins, the rat. Please, no rodents! The sound carried on for a moment, and was broken by Niece's agitated voice asking if I could please open the door. I knew a crisis was at hand. Niece seldom sounds agitated; she is one of those people who has the world ordered to suit her requirements.

I hurried, because I am feeling brighter and more agile this morning, and swung open the door. Niece, her face red with exertion staggered into the boudoir carrying, what at first glance, appeared to be a large wooden box. I stared, perplexed.

"Aunt Alice", she gasped, "please clear the end of the little table for me."

I hastened to obey, curious to see what was in the box.

She placed it carefully away from the table edge, turned it around, and there, Dear Diary, sat an aquarium. In it two small goldfish swam around in no more than two inches of water.

Niece said that she would be back, and three and a half minutes later, she almost ran in, carrying a bucket of water and some plants.

Dear Diary, you should see the aquarium. It is delightful. The fish swim around and around and around and around in circles. It's a real wonder they don't become dizzy! Wait til I tell Harold about this new acquisition.

And yes, Dear Diary, before you think scolding thoughts, I did thank Niece ... in fact I hugged her and kissed her, quickly, on the cheek.

A Day of Recuperation

Dear Diary, After a terrible sleep disturbed by dreams I had long forgotten, I was awakened by a loud banging. For a moment I believed the horror of war was upon me as I saw Bobby's dear face fading into the cloudy distance. However Niece's raucous voice brought me into the present moment as she harangued me to open the door. She demanded I get up out of my bed; that I had lain and sulked too long.

If she only knew how much my feelings were hurting; how her noisy insistence that I rise frayed my fragile mind.

I rolled over, pretending to be still asleep.

Luck was not with me this morning. She rattled at the door saying that if I didn't open up immediately [Immediately Dear Diary! I do not do Immediate!], she would find the spare key and enter my room. I had always been under the impression that my boudoir was my own Private Space, and would only be entered by invitation. Seems Niece has other ideas.

Slowly I struggled out of bed, and hobbled across the plush carpet to unlock the door of my privacy. I must have looked a wreck; I know I felt like the wreck of the Hesperus. Niece gently led me back to the armchair near the window and offered to bring me a cup of tea. Acquiescing weakly [one must make the most of such a situation], I allowed her to take over.

Thankfully she didn't enquire too closely as to the reason for my sorry state, and Dear Diary, I am in no mood to enlighten her. A day of pampering and cosseting is just what I need.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Sadness

Dear Diary, I had such a wonderful day yesterday. Harold and I took tea with Niece, to calm my nerves, and after conversation ran a little low [Niece began asking embarrassingly nosey questions] we retreated to my boudoir and sat out on the little patio where we played Scrabble. I, ladylike, and not to appear too clever, allowed Harold to win.

He is a lovely man Dear Diary, but now I am in such a quandary. His wife passed away three years ago and he is extremely lonely, and hinted, not so subtlety, that he would like a lady companion ... not mentioning exactly what he meant by 'companion'. My mind closed down refusing to accept the inference.

Do I tell him all about me? How my Darling Bobby was taken from me in the Korean War, how I was pregnant with Bobby's child and the shock and grief I suffered caused me to lose the child, a little boy, a miniature Bobby. It all came back to me as Harold rattled on; tears began to roll down my cheeks as memories engulfed me, and Harold, not realising he was treading on extremely fragile territory, was at a loss to understand my emotions.

Dear Diary, today I am staying in my room; am not even dressing into day clothes as I grieve for the past, and what my Life could have been.

Ohhhh, I am so sad. Poor Bobby, and poor Bobby Junior, we could have had such a happy life together. Blast that war!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Afternoon in the Park

Dear Diary, the day began as a new day should. Breakfast, followed by a quick turn around the vegetable patch, as I checked upon the resurgence of a grub that appears to love cabbages. Curled green leaves with holes nibbled along their edges remind me of a torn broderie angliase frill on a petticoat. Niece diligently sprinkles a dull white powder daily, but to no avail.

Preferring a stroll around the park two blocks closer to town, I declined my Nana Nap, and grasping my sturdy walking stick with its polished brass lion's head, headed out the white wooden gate that helps keep unwelcome creatures, animal and human, from straying up the garden path. The Park beckoned; double iron gates tall enough to deter an elephant entering, welcomed visitors to meander the gravel paths that intertwined tall trees and flowering shrubs. A wooden bench snuggled enticingly under a shady tree whose wonderful red flowers attracted the buzzing bees. The walk had exhausted me. I slumped onto the bench, and sipped from my water bottle.

All was at peace with the world. The blue sky, the buzzy bees, and a black and white magpie that strutted inquisitively towards me, all pointed to a perfect day.

A small dog of indefinite breed; short legs, black fluffy coat badly in need of a cut, a pointed black snout, long hair impairing its vision scampered around enjoying the freedom of being off the leash.

The magpie took exception to its presence and fluttered, menacingly in its direction. The dog, seeing the beginnings of a game, barked and ran at the magpie. Magpie uttered a protest. Dog barked louder, and longer. I sat to attention. The makings of a serious disturbance seemed imminent. Not certain whether to hurry home, or sit tight looking invisible, I plumped for the latter.

Without warning magpie flew off; dog, perhaps frustrated by the sudden departure of an adversary, ran, yelping excitedly in my direction. Suddenly frightened I let out a scream and tried to clamber onto the bench. I fell sideways, as my balance no longer is reliable, and landed in an untidy bundle on the grass. The dog, appearing not to recognise a disaster, ran yapping at me, and sinking its teeth into my posterior left a bruise the size of a saucer. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and it was only the arrival of a kind gentleman that saved me from a fate almost as bad as death.

Dear Diary, Harold, [I did ask his name, as a lady should not speak to strangers] graciously walked me home, and feeling a little less shattered, I invited him in for a slice of carrot cake and a cup of tea, as a small token of my appreciation. Niece, thankfully, refrained from asking too many personal questions of Harold, whose entrancing blue eyes have me spellbound.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Dear Diary, You won't believe the chaos created here today! Visitors!

I dressed discretely in my sleek black jump suit, with my new pink underwear. I had contemplated wearing the black set, but thought that just too sombre, and rather boring don't you think? Black from inside out could be worn to a funeral, but I am, as yet, not ready for a funeral. As my bunions are giving me gip today I plumped for my comfortable, and oh so warm, pink slippers with their sheepskin lining, and they did match my outfit.

Visitors arrived; all was well as we settled in comfortable chairs in the lounge and sipped on tea, and those ghastly lamingtons, which I will admit, tasted scrumptious, and aided by my extensive general knowledge and conversational powers, the morning began pleasantly. What we did not know was Visitors had a new acquisition since our last 'catchup'.

Without warning the door, that was slightly ajar, flew wide open, and in scampered a dog, an Irish Setter wearing a studded collar, similar to those short squat dogs owned by bikies and the like. Niece and I stared in amazement! Visitors made sloppy noises of affection to this long legged creature, who responded by running around the room like a cyclone. Nothing was safe! The Setters gangling legs knocked the aspidistra off its tall wrought iron stand, seared a huge crack in the chartreuse ceramic pot scattering potting mix wide and far over the cream shag pile carpet. Niece, bless her soul, showed considered diplomacy by ordering the dog outdoors, and in a blistering silence she managed to scoop the worse of the damage into a dustpan.

You will have to excuse me Dear Diary. I am going to lie down with the drapes closed against the watery sun, and with the aid of my trusted smelling salts, I hope to soothe my normally tranquil, but momentarily severely shattered, equilibrium.


Dear Diary, Early this morning, long before the birds were twittering in the trees, Niece knocked on my boudoir door, requesting permission to enter. I thought about it; almost pretended I was asleep, but my better nature took over. I invited her in. One has to be sociable!
Evidently the household will be in a state of chaos over the weekend, as visitors are arriving. My baking skills are required.

I love baking, but Niece has a strange idea of what constitutes baking. No chocolate sponges, no seed cake ... its the seeds she dislikes; she considers they resemble mouse droppings ... no caramel meringue square over-laden with calories, nor a plain ginger biscuit. Niece expected me to make lamingtons, which are so easy to concoct that a 7-year old could make a respectable job of it.

She must be counting her pennies! No runny chocolate icing for these lamingtons. Instead I dissolved jelly crystals [the cheapest brand], cut a slab of bought sponge cake into manageable squares and sneakily slipped the edges into my mouth ... all this before breakfast! The coconut supplied was not as I am used to, but a versatile cook learns to work with poor tools.

Thirteen lamingtons stand in the refrigerator. I hope that thirteen does not prove to be an unlucky number, though now I think about it, perhaps I should consume one, just for luck?

Dear Diary, I am not sure if I will have time to write over the weekend. Niece will expect me to make conversation, and finding a moment alone could be difficult.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shopping Expedition

Dear Diary, This morning Niece informed me that we were off to the city. It seems that I need new underwear, though how she deduced this I am at a loss to explain, unless she closely examines my knickers when doing the washing. The thought of such an obscene act makes my stomach churn.
I bustled around, pulled on my stockings, and after checking the back seam was straight, wriggled into my plain grey, slightly flared skirt, and neatly tuck my pink blouse into the waistband. Niece was ready before me. She doesn't wear any makeup, which let me whisper, makes her look older than me, while I, always one to take utmost care of my appearances, dab on a little face cream, powder, and just a touch of rouge, and a hint of pale lipstick. The overall finish is stunning!
At the departmental store Niece heads straight for the corner that sells ladies under garments. I thought we were looking for satin bikini briefs, which are an absolute delight to wear. But no! She drags me [I can't rush, I am not a spring chicken], to a rack of disgustingly cheap looking cotton panties with waists almost up to the armpits, and the nearby cluster of brassieres in shades of virginal white or puce. I protested! I protested loudly! [That always works; niece hates a display of what she calls childish behaviour.]
When I quietly spoke of satin briefs and perhaps a matching bra [not that I like that word bra ... such a short word isn't it for such an important task in life], she acquiesced. Well she had little option. I am not one for letting myself be bulldozed into a corner all day and every day.
Dear Diary, I relished my triumphant return home, my tiny worked-to-the-bone hands carefully clutching my parcel of bright pink matching under garments, plus another set for good in a wholesome black, with an edging of black lace and tiny pink roses as a delicate embellishment.
A small postscript Dear Diary, I would love to show you how I look in these garments, but modesty prevents me from such a wanton display of vanity.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Dear Diary, what a day it has been. First of all niece and her man decided to buy some furniture. Did they tell me the house would be in an upheaval? No! I mean, here I am, a little old lady, with not too much emphasis on the old thank you, who pays my share into this household, and I am informed of absolutely nothing. Why the place could be sold and I left here without knowing where they have gone.

The tea party went OK. Flies zizzzing around and landing on the butter is not what I am used to! We should have partaken of our loaf and tea in the shade house, amongst the ferns and the plants sitting in plastic pots until they root enough to be planted out. But no, we sat on the patio, where flying critters assume ownership.
As an aside, I wonder if this place ever was sold, would those pesky flies follow?

Anyway the new furniture duly and arrived and Niece has fluttered around much of the morning shining glasses, and placing dishes and other unimportant trivialities in place. It looks like we live in a mansion!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tea Party

Dear Diary, I am such a lucky aunt! The niece, who is often bossy and strong willed, is giving a tea party, this very afternoon! Because I dribble when I drink a cup of tea, so she says, we are not having any guests [I would love to invite that gorgeous young man from down the street, but ... well I suppose a 50 or 60 year age gap is a little over the odds], but we are using the bone china tea set.

There is nothing like drinking breakfast tea from bone china. As this is a tea party, we are not drinking breakfast tea; niece has broken all rules of thrift and splashed out on a small packet of Earl Grey tea leaves, none of those bags for us. Don't they remind you of 'women's personal supplies, one sees in the supermarket aisles? This afternoon tea is for ladies, and ladies do not speak in such a common manner. Why in my younger days we kept our personal lives and afflictions to ourself.

Oooh, the table cloth is coming out, and some of that rather tasty loaf niece is so good at baking.

Must hurry and find my powder puff ... a lady needs to look her best at an afternoon tea party.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dear Diary

Dear Diary, This is to be absolutely top secret, especially from my niece who is so straight laced and proper. She has no idea of what I am doing.

Today, Dear Diary, is unlike any other. We have weather: sunshine and a little cloud. The willy-wagtails are chittering on the patio chasing spiders and other luckless small creatures for a meal. Truely Dear Diary, I am shocked at the cheek of birds even considering devouring such small helpless creatures. We have plenty of moths, having not long met their demise from the blue light, which I inform you, is so much more decent than a red light.

But Dear Diary, there is work to do, and I can hear my niece bustling around doing dishes, which means she will be, ever so gently, reminding me to take my pills, and to have a Nana nap. She is so bossy!