Monday, 23 October 2006

Happy 50th Birthday Mum

Today (well, still today my time, technically yesterday Australia time) is my Mum's 50th birthday. Yeah, she's pretty old :)

I called her and wished her happy birthday in person, but I just wanted to publicly announce that my Mum is ace and has always been a great mum to me and my siblings and deserves to have a very happy birthday (and spend as much as she wants on a new quilting/sewing machine ;) ).

I love you Mum.

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Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Edna Dorothy Ford (1926-2006)

I've been very quiet over the last few days, very much in my shell - I haven't gone to work yet this week because the thought of facing 25 teenagers is insane. On Sunday night (UK time) I got a phone call I'd been dreading since the day we left Australia - my Grandma passed away. She has been going downhill for a couple of years now, but the cancer just got too much and she went in her sleep with my grandfather by her side.

My siblings and I really only had one set of Grandparents growing up - my dad's dad died when dad was only a teenager and his mum was sick for most of my life and died when I was 10. So mum's parents, Grandma and Pa were our Grandparents, but we never felt as though we missed out on anything by only having the one pair. Every time a new brother or sister was born, we got to spend time with Grandma. We went there during school holidays, often we had some of our cousins there as well, and we always had a wonderful time. When I was 4 and it was time for me to go to pre-school, Mum was pregnant with my sister and Dad was both working and studying, so it was decided that I would go to pre-school where Grandma worked. This meant spending almost half the week, every week living at Grandma and Pa's. I had my 5th birthday party at Grandma's because all my friends lived around her. Their home became my second home and my unique relationship with my Grandma began.

Grandma was surrounded with love. She loved her siblings, she loved her husband (no matter how much they argued, sorry, discussed) for over 60 years, she loved her children and grandchildren, she loved her job and the children she worked with for much of her life and she had many friends. All these people loved her back - our extended family still got together every year because she made it happen. She also loved the Lord and told me that when she died, she would go up to heaven and look after all the kids who had died too young and were waiting for their parents. That’s where she is now, with my little cousin Ally, waiting for us to join her. I'm sad that she's gone and that I won't get to see her when I go home at Christmas. I'm sad that she won't be around when I have kids of my own. But I'm also glad that she is at peace and isn't in pain anymore.

Grandma never wanted a sad, mournful funeral when she died and I'm happy that there is going to be a party after the funeral. The hardest thing for me right now is not being there. I'm the eldest daughter, the big sister, the big cousin and I can't be there for the ones that I love.

I talked to her last Tuesday night. It was early Wednesday morning there. We didn't talk for very long - Mum had been doing a good job of keeping us both updated on each other. But we laughed. And I'm glad my final memory of the wonderful woman that was my Grandmother is of the happy person who loved her life every day for almost 80 years.

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Friday, 13 October 2006

Guys and Dolls

Patrick Swayze is playing Nathan Detroit in the West End production of Guys and Dolls. At the moment, however, he's "indisposed" (I think he's got a couple of weeks off). So as I was leaving school yesterday (at 5pm, after building some stage elements for the school musical) I got a phone call from Graeme to say he had got cheap tickets through his usual work connections for the show - only catch, I had to get home and then into the city as fast as possible, because the show started at 7.30pm that night.

So once again, we saw an understudy, but you wouldn't have known it. The show was awesome. I really loved it. Graeme probably didn't enjoy it quite as much, because he didn't really know the storyline or any of the songs. Although he was singing "Luck be a Lady" all the rest of the night because he had heard me sing it often enough to know it well enough for it to get stuck in his head :)

And, once again, its Thursday evening and my week has already exhausted me and tomorrow, Friday, is always my craziest day at school. Oh well, one more week and its half-term, which means a week off.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2006

And one more thing...

...while I'm in the posting mood.

There's this awesome pie shop in Shepherd's Bush (not too far away from where we live and where the cinema we frequent is) called Jumbucks, which prides itself as an Aussie Pie company. Everyone who works there seems to be Australian and they always have plenty of the local Australian Times on hand (a newspaper published here in London aimed at expats - the also have a NZ one and a South Africa one) so you can eat a familiar dinner, read news from home and hear other Australian accents. My family and friends can feel free to confirm with Elizabeth the awesome-ness of this place, as we went there a few times while she was here. Anyway, the point is, I realised on Saturday that not only do they sell excellent pies, great chips and a drink for a very reasonable price, but they also have a stock of things like Violet Crumbles, Cherry Ripes and other fantasticness that you just can't buy here. So now I have even more reason to eat there.

Also on Saturday (in the same trip), we saw The Children of Men, which is one of those films that you can appreciate and be enthralled by, but not really like, if that makes sense. Because some of the ideas are so harsh and yet so realistic/forseeable, that you don't leave thinking "well wasn't that nice", but more like "shit, I can totally see the world heading down a path like that" (and it obviously wasn't a happy, cheery, stroll through the forest type path).

And that is all. Since it is now past my bed time and I have a pretty full day tomorrow, I should be sleeping.

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OK, so I am a bit of a nerd

Picture Chewbacca (the big hairy guy from the original Star Wars movies). Now picture a black top-hat. Now put the top-hat onto Chewbacca and try not to laugh.

I wish I could take screenshots from the xbox, because this looks so funny I had tears streaming down my face. You see, a few weeks ago, Graeme (who owns a perfectly good original xbox back home), decided to buy a brand new xbox 360. He got one game with it - Burnout Revenge, which is a car racing game that also incorporates levels where you have to crash as many cars as possible (much funner than racing). Today, our second game arrived in the mail from Amazon - Lego Star Wars 2, in which the story of the original trilogy is recreated entirely in lego. For some reason, there was a lever on one of the early levels which, when pulled, places a random hat on the person who pulled it. I got Han Solo an Indiana Jones style hat. Graeme made Chewbacca wear a top-hat.

So now you all know - I play video games and I enjoy them. Oh, did I mention I got a Nintendo DS Lite as well? Enough said.

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