Plan for Thursday: Do Stats and Cobol, iron Johnny’s clothes and make the dinner: blanquette de veau (veal tail), lots of veg and rice followed by stewed mulberries and guava.
5:30 am Woke up and stayed in bed reading the Cobol book, did exercises, washed and dressed, talked to Johnny over coffee.
When I went to the kitchen at 6:10 am with Johnny, Barbara wanted to make coffee after she had started eating her egg. Johnny had said no because she didn’t do it while waiting for her egg to cook and would run out of time. When Johnny left the table, Barbara asked me if she could have coffee. I pointed out that Johnny had said no and if Johnny had said no, it was a no from me also. Johnny came back and said to Barbara something like, “Are you being tricky again?”
“Johnny…” I warned and mum appeared to freeze. I tried to explain to Barbara that she should be better organised.
“She knows all that,” says Johnny.
“You know all that, Barbara? Why didn’t you say so?” I asked.
“My mouth was full,” she replied.
Johnny went and had a quiet talk with Barbara about her talking on the bus and involving other people in her problems. Barbara was very sulky when she returned to the kitchen.
Nathaniel came with us to the bus stop this morning, it was such a lovely morning and so good to be outside.
When I returned, mum wanted my help with putting the newly hatched ducklings and their mother into a coop. Fifteen bright yellow ducklings were strolling around the yard while crows and kookaburras watched and waited in the trees. Also, a pullet had disappeared recently and there were small gaps in the fence.
The coop took a while to repair as we had neglected to maintain any of the coops so far and the chicken wire had come away from the frame. Monika and I had a talk about how to regularly and systematically maintain the house and yard.
The ducklings were tiny, really tiny, and they hopped away when we tried to catch them. The mother moved away from us when we approach. She seemed nervous, so I put a screen around the coop to calm her. The ducklings huddled together around their mother. The fence proved to be more difficult and will take longer to fix. One side of the fence had no retaining wall and we’ll have to stack logs and rocks against it by hand.
11:00 am Did some Stats, had some lunch and talked to mum and Monika.
1:00 pm Read some Cobol on file processing. Johnny came home with a quarter of beef, half a sheep and groceries from Flashers. We cut up, weighed and bagged the meat after quickly putting away the groceries. Mum managed to extract nearly a kilo of meat scraps from the bones after cooking. The bones will go to the dog and chooks and the soup, after having the fat removed, will be mixed with flour and given to the ducks.
2:00 pm Made coffee, put veal tail on the stove, tried again to ring Graham, the psychologist, and did some writing. Dozed a little after reading more Cobol.
Seems I did very little work today but worked later on from 7:30 to 9:30 pm
17th Oct 1980
Did one hour of study in the morning; who knows what else I did?
20th Oct 1980
Don’t move away from the desk unless absolutely necessary!
Made Spaghetti Bolognese, took mum to the clinic and went to the Conference Centre.
24th Oct 1980
Funny day today: Nathaniel is sick; Gareth is on holiday and limping around; Barbara is at home because of a school holiday and no bus run; Johnny is on holiday and not able to get on with any solid piece of work because he has to take the family to Rocky this afternoon. He is also unwinding after a hectic and tense week of important meetings; I have a pain passing through my head, almost on its way out now.
I must sort out what jobs need to be done. First the cooking of mashed potatoes, vegetables, sausages and liver. Johnny is making a cake and doing the library trip so I really have lots of time to sort myself out, tidy the desk, make scribble pads and phone calls, write-up my involvement in the Ecumenical Conference and sort papers into files.
25th Oct 1980
Did a little Stats revision in the morning and evening and picked our tomatoes – two small baskets full. Made the meat and bean goulash for Friday and stuffed a veal flap for tomorrow’s sandwich filling. Had liver and bacon for dinner. The liver was excellent.
Notes and Links
- This journal entry is part of the My Mother’s Voice – Journal Series and based on the journals of my mother.
- These posts are meant to be read in sequence and the Preamble post marks the beginning of the journal series. Refer to Archived on the Home page and scroll through to the bottom.