There is a slight air of excitement about the place. Would be more if the weather was less humid and there wasn’t so much tidying to do. Marcello went mowing today and Gareth and I hung around filling sacks with grass clippings. Good stuff for the chickens and the plants.
Jobs to be done today:
- Fridge to be cleaned
- Bottles to be taken under the house
- M.O.W rosters to be delivered
- Clothes to be washed, sorted and put away
- Stay at desk as much as possible
- Bills to be sorted and paid
At 3:10pm Gareth and I went out and delivered the M.O.W. rosters. We worked efficiently, I thought, and were back home in 30 minutes.
Johnny is cooking dinner – garlic soup, bread, Christmas cake and ice-cream. Later in the evening we are going to Yeppoon to pick up Monika.
The black cockatoos are leaving the pine trees for home. Where is home for them? They were here all day, large, raucous, destructive black birds, almost unlovely if it wasn’t for the flash of red feathers under their tail.
I have to structure my life, Johnny tells me, rightly of course.
11pm We’re waiting for midnight. There was no late night shopping in Yeppoon. Maybe the shops stayed open later than usual but they were shut by 9:30pm. So we drove home through Tanby. We were in Yeppoon, where Monika’s mum lives, to drop Marcello off for their Christmas gathering and opening of presents. What a lot of presents there are under our Christmas tree.
So midnight came and the family had a drink of Vermouth on the rocks and fruitcake before opening the presents.
Christmas Day was quiet and enjoyable. We also tidied the house in preparation for leaving on camp the next morning. I will tell Trudy what to do about the chooks. My desk was tidied and also part of the bookshelves. The evening was spent in front of the TV with the kids. Read a bit of Schumacher.
31st Dec 1978
The last day of the year. Will have a do a review of 1978 and a rough plan for 1979.
To W. J. Cass,
Thank you very much for making it possible for us to receive the rates discount. Your allowance for our error is much appreciated. If more bureaucrats adopted the attitude that systems should serve people and not vice versa the life of the common man would be more pleasant.
May the Livingstone Shire Council have a trouble-free and joyous year in 1979.
1st Jan 1979
I didn’t get very far with my entry yesterday.
We cleaned another plot in the garden. The rains we’ve had over Christmas have made our weeding easier. Marcello did more mowing so we had a lot of mulch.
At breakfast Johnny, Ruth and I discussed ‘women’. I’m going to try to put down my thoughts on the subject:
More women are in the workforce:
- Purely for economic reasons?
- Because ‘housework’ and ‘housewife’ have been devalued?
- A mixture of both?
- A genuine desire to get out among people?
Women’s Lib. seems to have missed the main point which is developing or pointing to a better way of life. At the moment these women haven’t contributed anything new, they might even have contributed to chaos or an upsetting of the social patterns used hitherto i.e. full-time mother and hometender. Women’s Lib. wants a fair slice of the present cake, has no philosophy on how to bake a better and more humane cake. They are attempting to be breast-swinging men, jostling for an equal stand in a world created by men. What have they contributed? What have they to offer that’s of value to people, to the social system we’re in?
- Why are women afraid of the dark, of isolated places?
- Why don’t more women go off on their own camping and fishing?
- Why don’t women do car maintenance, repair household equipment, design household machinery, indeed any type of machinery?
- Why, in their own area – fashion – do men seem to do better than women?
What can women do better than men? Johnny questions the validity of the question and it’s relevance. It’s rather like the European attitude that because a race hasn’t produced an Einstein, they are somehow second-rate human beings.
Women appear to have a different perspective. They’re made differently, are capable of bearing young, their ambient is different, their perspective must necessarily be different.
If more women read Mareuse, Friere, Illich, Schumacher, would they be able to implement a new direction or philosophy which will make living more humane than it is at the moment? Will they be able to stop the suicidal trend of medicine, education and technology? Johnny is very depressed; the worst I’ve seen so far.
The weather is slightly humid and still. Not as bad as I expected. I must keep cool however, and not lose my temper. The urge to twist someone’s ear or squeeze an arm comes over me so violently I’m quite dangerous, not to mention unpleasant to have around the place.
The problem is Barbara, having one of her withdrawals. She saw Patty in Yeppoon across the road and she went white with excitement, nostrils flared as she said his name in a shrill voice. She saw him several times as we went up and down the street in our Land Rover, once to the sports shop, then to the veg shop and then back to pick up a member of our party. Barbara only needs a certain type of excitement to make her go inward, lose her appetite and start talking to herself. If left without attention, she does not sleep at night.
We have so many chicks and ducklings. The three Rouen ducklings have been promoted to the main pen – it must be rather frightening to be put in a general pen with so many strange adult birds they haven’t seen before. On the whole, the ducklings seem happy, especially with the large communal pool. They spend most of their time either in the pool or on the edge. A male Rouen died and was buried in the compost drum.
This afternoon, Johnny and I went for a walk on the beach. The cloudy weather kept most of the holiday folk away from the sea, so Nun’s beach was nearly empty. The wind was strong and small stinging showers of rain fell from time to time. We talked and laughed and at the end of the walk, Johnny declared he had got out of his depressed, hemmed in, state.
Dinner was good: mutton chops in marjoram, golden rice, chokos and a Provencal sauce from the book of sauces. The Provencal sauce was made from chopped tomatoes, chives and garlic, onion fried in olive oil and a little meat glaze. The special almond and chocolate cake was a near disaster. The oven went out while the cake was in it and it sunk horribly in the middle. Johnny was in despair. However, he served the cake stuffed with whipped cream. It was delicious.
Johnny has started reading The Lord of the Rings to the whole family. He reads extremely well. We stopped for a while to eat chocolates and cake. Had an excellent date later.
There have been sharp, scattered showers most of the evening. The wind sounds very loud through the pine trees.
Barbara is a little withdrawn after having seen Patty in Yeppoon on Saturday. She’s back on Melleril at night to get her over this relapse.
3rd Jan 1979
Gareth and I had to get fishing line in Yeppoon, to the replace the one we damaged while camping at Five Rocks.
I had snagged my hook on an oyster shell on the rocks. Gareth came to help me and dropped the yellow plastic reel over the edge. “Not to worry,” he tells me with a grand gesture holding my line, “I know a way of getting the reel back.” So he starts pulling the line off the reel. The line curls up in a tangled mess at his feet. Then he reaches the end of the line, but it’s not tied on, so the yellow reel bobs further down near the water. Gareth has the line to sort out.
Meanwhile, I climb down carefully, holding on tightly. A wave hits against me as I reach down to get the fishing hook. I can’t pull it up. It’s caught inside an oyster which grips it’s shell tightly. I break off the line, asking forgiveness of the oyster, for any damage the hook might do to it, and then I go lower down the rocks near the crashing waves to get the reel. I move cautiously. The rocks and waves together can do considerable damage to me. I have to go around some rocks into a gully to get at the moving reel. I almost reach it when a large wave whacks me from behind and lifts me back onto the rocks. Another wave crashes and pushes me further up. I flop flat onto the rocks, barely scratched, with the reel.
Feeling a little sore, I take the bream I’ve caught and Gareth takes his trevally and we go back to the others to get a hook. But the line is too tangled to use. We’re told the reel was not ours. It belongs to the neighbours.
Notes and Links
- Click here to go to Home
- This journal entry is part of the My Mother’s Voice – Journal Series