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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Two good people

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If my parents were still alive they would now both be 100 years of age.

They were products of working class, suburban, devout Methodist families.
Dad a printer by trade, and Mum a factory worker.

Their individual young dreams were probably irrevokably altered by the real depression of the 1930's,  and they deferred plans of marriage until after the second world war.

Dad enlisted in the air force and was a navigator on Beaufort bombers.  He later spoke little of these experiences, but I know he was posted to Winnipeg, Ceylon, Cairo and England.

His war was to leave him embittered and physically injured.
Yet he rightfully had great pride at having defended Australia from invasion.  Had it not been for him and all the other brave young Australian men and women, this blog would probably be written in Japanese, for there were political plans in place to sacrifice at least half of Australia to the Japanese should an invasion occur.

My Mum did what all the other women of that period did.  She kept the factories and the country operating in the absence of men at war.

War injuries and a quarrying accident ensured my Dad would have difficulty finding permanent post-war employment.  So many memories I have of my Dad involve me seeing him in a hospital bed.
He died at age 65.
Enduring inner peace and happiness having been denied him by the stupidity of war.

They raised me in an era when children were "seen but not heard".  
I was compliant.  Even when my Mum was ailing at age 80, I still felt I had no right, as her child, to ask about many events in her life.   
I retain numerous regrets about that, and resolved that my own children would not be deprived knowledge about my life, thoughts and philosophies.
That, in part, is a reason for the existence of GOF's scrap bucket.

I hope my Mum and Dad are in their heaven, and looking down upon the life of their boy, finding some pride amongst the disappointments,  thankfulness that he has not witnessed military conflict, and observing that he retains some principles of what is right,  moral, and good from their teaching and example.

Perhaps they might also understand my reasons for jettisoning organised religion as the vehicle for transporting these qualities with me through my life.

I thank them for providing this miraculous and wonderful gift of life.

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Mysteries of life #22; Eyebrow plucking

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Regular readers will remember that not long ago I found myself in a wee spot of bother in a shopping centre.
I am unable to elaborate further because the whole sorry saga is still sub judice.
Suffice to say that I have lifted my game, and my line of sight.

I have discovered the fascinating subject of plucked, pruned, and partially bulldozed eyebrows.
Personally I have always considered bushy eyebrows to be an attractive component of womens natural beauty.   I am however cognisant of the fact that I possess perhaps more than my fair share of peculiarities.

What I now see both intrigues and amuses me.
Faces where eyes are enclosed within scrawny quotation marks. (they used to be called inverted commas until someone messed with my language)

Each mark an elongated island within a sea of angry crimson bearing witness to the pain and suffering which must have been required during the manufacturing process.

It should be noted for purposes of balanced non-sexist reporting, that I am equally perplexed by the early twentieth century phenomenon of men sporting "pencil thin moustaches" as an underscore for their probisci.

Humans certainly do come up with some imaginative and unsuccessful procedures to improve upon what is natural and beautiful.

Next port of call;  tattoos.

After that I will probably have offended 100% of my readers and The Bucket will rightfully float into unused rusting oblivion at the edge of cyberspace.

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Sublime music

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I love music.  The soundtrack to my life.

Musical taste of course is very much in the ear of the behearer.
One persons Pavarotti, Aled Jones, or Barbra Streisand will be anothers Macy Gray,  Robbie Williams, or Thirsty Merc.  I think I have been  fortunate over the years to find enjoyment in such disparate musical genres which include all of the above, and many hundreds of musicians in between.

Here is todays short list of my favourites, in no particular order.  Next year it might be a little differerent.

1. The music of Enya       haunting, original, surreal, meditative.

2. Mens choirs of Wales, or the Mormon Tabernacle choir.

3. Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.   Brings tears to my eyes every time,
especially the version by Paul Potts, the unlikely winner of a
British talent quest.

4. Cavatina from the movie Deer Hunter.   John Williams and
his beautiful, simple guitar arrangement.

5. Katie Melua the unique guitarist/singer/songwriter equally
comfortable with folk, pop, blues or jazz.
Her song “Spiders Web” which begins with the words;

“If a black man is racist,
Is it OK?
If it’s the white mans racism,
That made him that way. ”

then;

“The piano keys are black and white,
but they sound like a million colours in your mind”

Here’s Katie, whose entire repertoire has enriched my world, singing  “Spiders Web”

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The correction collection

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If you, dear reader, require corrective lenses in order to read my words, then I am sympathetic to your sight deficiency.  Firstly I would point out that at this precise moment you could perhaps be making better use of the technology than reading this rubbish, but I really do understand your plight because I have required glasses for 53 years to correct shortsightedness.

I am an understanding and sympathetic man.

Mostly.

Should however, I come across any old classmates of mine squinting at items in the supermarket and holding them at arms length in the vain hope of being able to read the ingredients, then I will have the following appropriate response;

Nananananana

for you were the ones who derided me in school as "goggle eyes" and "four eyes".
The absolute wonder of being myopic is that I can still read the fine print unassisted.

One person for whom I must necessarily have empathy is Mrs GOF.  She has reached a certain age where I have become a useful object to have around to decipher the tiny and the miniscule.

I am obviously unreliable, for I have been partially replaced by the collection illustrated above. 
This is only her "living room collection".  There are others that I know of residing in the bedroom and the car, and, I suspect, even though I have neither the inclination or right to excavate there, in her handbag.
I also have evidence that somewhere under this roof is an Optical Appliance Infirmary, accommodating everything she has sat on, stood upon or otherwise irreparably damaged.

Now I admit to having 3 pairs of glasses, for long distance, computer reading, and for reading music.

Why on earth does one human being require so many glasses?

I have no idea, and certainly no intention of asking, for I know that it will be an invitation to a lengthy dissertation on the origin, history, purpose and likely fate of every single one in the collection.
Mrs GOF, whilst having no shortage of glasses, has an even lesser shortage of words and explanations.

Perhaps she is some sort of spectacular visionary well beyond the understanding of a simple man.

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There are frogs in the bucket Dear Henry

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