Want to find me.. I will be at the bar with a glass in my hand, but not eating the nuts... bar nuts are sort of scary.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Granny Nap

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." George Burns

During this past year, I have spent an inordinate amount of time with the 'Pensioner Brigade'. A selection of fine specimens, all of whom, are well past the age of consent and rapidly heading toward the age of drinking your lunch through a straw.

With so much activity this past week, I have noticed something odd . Some new habits that have crept in to my repetoire. It would seem, by pure osmosis, that many of the day-to-day rituals that come with advanced age, have now become part of me. How odd!

Feeling very Wonder Woman yesterday after finishing the painting of the kitchen all on my own, I took a few moment to evaluate just were I am at in life.

Here are a few of the items that came to mind:

The word "new-fangled" seems to pop into my head whenever I am near any form of technology. The scary bit is, it happened around the toaster last week.

Regular meal times have become as important as regular 'toilet' times. Let me fill in the details. As a child, I loved staying at my grandparent's house. Life seemed good and simple, and you knew exactly where you stood. Shortly after breakfast, everyday, my grandmother would walk around the house asking everyone if they need to go to the toilet. "Are you sure?", would be the reply if you said no. After she was certain that it was all clear, my Grandfather would head off to the bathroom for his daily 'session'. I see him now, with his newspapers tucked under his arm, and his reading glasses on his head. He would still be wearing his wool tartan dressing gown and slippers. Once that door was closed and locked....forget about it....there was no way he was coming out until he was good and ready. Now those of you with children will know that there is nothing like the absence of a bathroom to promote the desire to pee. We knew there was absolutely no point hammering on the door, it was shut up tighter than Joan River's face lift. One learns to improvise, and I am sure my grandmother never quite knew why her Hydrangea bush died.....

It just seems right to take a 2 hour nap after lunch. Even if you don't need it.

You start telling other people to put on a jumper, or socks, or "something around their neck", because you are feeling cold.

Meals seem to involve more food groups from the 'puree' family, and less from the 'raw foods' family.

Tutting about 'the youth of today', can take up a good part of the afternoon.

I could go on...and on...and on, but you get the idea. As I was standing in the new white kitchen, having a few moments of self-appreciation, I decided to start acting MY age.....which I will do, just as soon as I find my support stockings and woollen underwear.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hanging by a thread

"Hope she's got a heifer heights! Stranded Lulu is airlifted home by cable car" *
That was the headline that was splashed across my early morning dose of tabloid newspaper. And it seems quite fitting. I know I said I would be blogging again, but at the moment, I am up to my armpits in white paint, spackle, wallpaper, and trying to work out how to dispose of the overgrown garden I have inherited.

Don't get me wrong, I am overjoyed to finally be back in the home-maker saddle, but the muscles are a little sore. The weekend was spent hauling furniture from one part of Germany to another, with many humourous stories collected along the way. My knees hurt, my back hurts and I suspect I am starting to get that vein-y arm look that Madonna promotes (I wish!).

With all my precious finds under dust sheets and plastic sheeting, it is time to remove the 1970's wallpaper, the door handles...which for some odd reason are upside down??? There is the 'home-made' loo roll holder in the upstairs bathroom.... and I still need to find some ceiling lights that I can live with.

In Australia we slap on a bit of paint.. then gloss the trims and Hey Presto.. good as new. In Germany...there was two days spent scraping wallpaper... Then we will put up a sort of New wallpaper.. which we will then paint over. I don't understand, but my mentor tells me this is the way it is done, and as I am terrified he will leave me to do it myself, I toddel along behind, looking agreeable.

Then there is the 20 years of Ivy that had taken over the front of the house. As we stood on Sunday morning, arms folded, scratching chins, wondering what the best plan of action would be to take it down, Mr Dear "GI Joe" Husband took off upstairs, opened one of the big windows, and just pushed the Ivy off the wall. It fell into a huge, but satisfying heap, and was quickly bundled, ready for the BIO collection. Now the house looks naked.. but ready for its new windows and front door.

So, would love to stay and chat, but I have a kitchen to paint this morning. Must find a shower cap so that I don't end up with a head full of white paint!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inches DO count...

"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can." Cary Grant
"But it didn't look that far of Google Maps!", cried an anguished Lulu. Mr Dear Husband was doing 'the face' know the one, where his eyes suddenly get so big that it looks like they are about to jump out and start doing a can-can on his nose.

"Did you check the location before you put in the bid?"

"Of course, what do you take me for... do I look like someone that doesn't cover all the bases? At this point he started doing the Big Eye thing AND scratching the back of his head...that is never a good sign.

"Well, it is going to be a 300km round trip, we will have to hire a truck and YOU will need to get up at 6:00am on Saturday morning to come with me."

Hmmm.... now that didn't sound good. For the past couple of weeks I have been struggling to drag my lazy bones out of bed at the ungodly (and unLuLuly) time of 6:30am each day to get Miss Seven (but almost Eight!) to school on time. What in the world was the German school system thinking when they start decided in their infinite wisdom to have school start at 8:00am? And what's more... what were they thinking when they decided to send them back home again at 11:30am? There isn't even time to play a good round of tetris before grubby hands are hankering after hot meals. To add insult to injury, this week the early morning starts have been enhanced by the pitch black morning non-light. Oh Joy. My body keeps telling me to go back to sleep, well actually more like "Are you insane!!!" screaming in my head as I switch on lights and try to pretend it is morning.

But back to Mr Dear Husband. I am pretty certain I caught a glint of demonic pleasure pass through his boggling eyes,when the realisation hit home that I would be losing my sleep-in day...and it was all my own fault. For many years I have searched through and discovered treasures beyond my wildest dreams. Beautiful objects that seemed to be almost given away. "If only I didn't live on the other end of the earth", I would think to myself.... And now, finally I am in a position to hunt and gather. My first score was a stunning, hand painted, set of bedroom furniture for Miss Seven...the happy dance never felt so great.

"I swear, when I looked on, it was only an inch or so away from where we live!"

The eye bulging has stopped and I haven't seen him scratching his head for the past 24 hours, but everytime he looks at me, he sort of purses his lips and lets out a deep, loud sigh.

It really didn't seem all that far....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who turned out the lights?

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Lewis Carrol

There once was a LuLu who lived in Australia, Germany, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka and Egypt, which was where we last heard from her good little self. Many tales of gross exaggeration were conjured to entertain the fawning masses. But one sunny day, Mr Dear Husband came home and said "Pack your bags, oh most beautiful of all wives....", (ain't he just a charmer). And LuLu did just that. Unfortunately, on this particular occasion she neglected to enquire as to the destination, and before you could say Camels and Pyramids, she was whisked off to the unknown.

At about the same time, all over the world, families were sitting down to dinner, tucking into their meat and three veg. As they were digging into their neopolitan icecream scoop, the gentle and merciful father at the head of the table tapped his spoon against his plate and annouced:

"Due to the current financial crisis gripping the world, it is with great difficulty that your mother and I have decided that we are going to have to let one of you go."

As the panic erupted across the shiny mahogany tables, and the children scrambled to assert their right to stay, there was one quiet child (the one that had been furiously mixing the chocolate/strawberry/vanilla combo to create a dirty milkshake) that stayed still ...and waited for the storm to pass. That was LuLu.

Promises of Aladdin's treasure and great glass palaces in the sky did not appear. Calls were left unanswered and emails disappeared into the great ether that is the net. Let's call this the *Mushroom Period, shall we?

One day, a quiet little man, with an accent that could cut through soap scum on a shower screen, knocked on the door and asked "Would you like to come play with us?". There was much discussing and debating... many questions and not many answers. Could this work? Oh what the heck. What we now know to be true is that all life is relative i.e. Maadi, Cairo was a great place to live....if you had just spent two years in Bombay.

And so it was, before you could say "Faltenwegcollagenauffüllergesichtscremes", all the visions of wild sand dunes were replaced by green forests. World's largest Shopping Mall replaced by Thursday and Saturday Farmers' Market. Jimmy Choo by Deichmann. Hmmm reading that back makes me wonder if this is a good thing, certainly doesn't sound like I will be getting out of cattle-class anytime soon.

At least the view from my (albeit temporary) Kitchen Window has dramatically improved! What do you think...we have come a long way from the satellite dishes and the dust.

*The Mushroom... kept in the dark and fed on bullshit!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Re-setting up House, again...

"My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia."
Dame Edna Everage

....and again, and again, and yet again. Not sure that I remember the part in my wedding vows where it mentioned that I would be packing up, moving house, unpacking, packing up, moving house, unpacking...continuously through out this glorious union we call marriage. Maybe it is my fault, I should never have let that gypsy vampire bite me when I was putting out the garbage, one dark and misty night, in Transylvania.

You figure I would be good at it by now, wouldn't you? I suppose on some levels I am, although it it rapidly becoming clear to me that my favourite part of moving is the plane ride....from the moment I check-in to the moment I disembark...the glorious lack of control, the wonderment that comes from having no decisions to make other than "Chicken or Fish?" (does it show that I fly cattle-class? One day I might like to like to be asked "Moet or Dom?) There is something brilliant about the act of just sitting and letting a group of very "capable professionals" (must keep on the good side of people who can make your life a pure misery simply by forgetting to bring you a blanket) cater to your every need. I like to fly. I am the one that will ask for a toothbrush, just because I can. I will be the first up when everyone is asleep to scour for the basket of midnight snacks that the staff place cunningly out of the line of sight of passengers (Go JAL.. always the best nibbles). Even if I am so exhausted that I have to do it with one eye closed, I will manage to plow my way through as many 'on-board entertainment' films as it is possible to do. You have probably heard a moanful cry of pure angish when the captain tells us it is time to land, just about the time that Brad Pitt was about to.....yep, ,that was me. When it was announced that we would soon be able to use our mobile phones onboard, I threw mine out at 30,00 feet!

So where was I going with this? Oh yes, my wings have been clipped. At least for the time being (until I can conive my way into a new country). I have been given orders to stay put. Those that know me might ask "Where? Paris, New York, Bombay?" Weeelllll...not quite....*shuffle feet in the dirt a little, stuff hands into pockets and look uncomfortable* ... no, it would seem that life has determined that it is time for me to spend a little time in a town with a population of less that 20 million. Quite a bit less... No, even less than that... yep...a small town in Germany.

If you thought that Cairo was a blast... hold on to your hats, ladies and jellybeans! Here we go again.

*Foto: Teusch

Friday, September 18, 2009

Squeaky Hinge

"The young man who has not wept is a savage,and the old man who will not laugh is a fool." George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo

So the simple act of revealing oneself to the world is harder than it looks. It is not like I can just don a Burberry trenchcoat and head off to the park. The human soul is a fragile and delicate flower. Our hearts are like velvety, soft roses that bruise at the slightest mishandling. When this part of us is hurt, it is a natural defence to close down, shut out, lock the door. No, you may not come close. No, I will not let you in. And there we sit, just aching for the right look, or a kind word, for the magic that will allow us to let the sunshine back inside.

Now before we start getting all soppy here, let's get one thing straight. During the past ten months, it would appear I have learned a thing or two....

"It is not always necessary to express every thought that passes through your head."

This can often lead to people wanting to run you over when your cross the street...or when you are sleeping in your bed... whichever is easier for them.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ahhhmmm... is there anybody out there?

'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.' Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

For the past couple of days I have been reading blogs. Lots and lots of blogs. I have been wandering through the wierd and wonderful trails of other people's lives. And it made me want to write. Again.

Not sure that any of the old crowd are out there anymore.. are you there?

It has been almost a year since I fell down a rabbit hole and suddenly life started to look like a cross between a Tarentino film and Heidi (that is Heidi of the Swiss goat girl variety, not Heidi of the Klum variety). That last comment will need extensive exploration, which might make for some mighty fine blog posts. Do people blog anymore? Have I fallen so far off the radar that my idea of technology is now on the shelf along with 8-Track cassettes and platform shoes? Oh, hang on... didn't I see platform shoes in the Summer catalogues this year?

My camera finger is itching again and my creative juices have started to flow. The time has come to get back on the horse.

Have patience with me. The muscle is rusty and the joints steps.


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