Heirlooms

From personal experience a common lament from empty nesters who are in the process of downsizing is that their offspring have no interest in the precious belongings handed down through the generations. The crystal punch bowls that were the crux of wedding parties all those years ago, the vases and all of those other family heirlooms simply have no place in todays modern homes with their all white interiors and granite bench tops. ( Didn’t anyone ever tell them that white shows up the dirt?)

My daughters were no different and the Wedgwood and Royal Doulton all went out with the cardboard moving boxes. And that’s fine.

My eldest however did have a special request. “Mo, these would be handy. May I have these?”

According to Australian Food Timeline the Jaffle Iron was “designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E.Smithers”.

When the Jaffle Iron was first advertised in 1949, the device was described as a “pressure toaster”. Its advantage was that the edges of the bread were pressed together to contain the hot filling.  According to my reading the jaffle iron was embraced with some fervour. There were even cookery demonstrations showing how to use it ! One advertisement said:

It may be used over any type of heat and we suggest that if you are having a barbecue it might be an idea to provide your guests with three or four bowls of appetising filling and let them make their own. Haute Cuisine!

I remember these jaffle irons as a child from Easter mornings sitting around a man made barbeque carved out of blocks of local sandstone with a billy tea over the flames. Instead of lacy lingerie they also accompanied me on a honeymoon around the National Parks of Tasmania where I shared breakfast with potoroos and wallabies. ( There may have been some lacies but given the temperatures more likely thermals).

Many years beforehand, prior to my existence even, they accompanied my parents on camping trips to Cobbity in western Sydney before it became suburban sprawl, where they would spend their days swimming and shooting bunnies for home made rabbit pie.

Good choice, Pocohontas. Much more interesting than the crystal.

A Vent. Sorry…………

I downsized prior to my retirement from a 1300 sq metre property with a pool to something less than half that size with less maintenance yet enough room to enjoy a garden. It’s a lovely position which affords me my independence and backs onto a nature reserve with far less work and expense. Isn’t that what retirement is all about?

With COVID my neighbours have been working from home even though in Queensland our borders are now slowly reopening and our infection rate is low. ( 6 deaths. Too many but ?) Half their luck.

Earlier this week the neighbour baled me up whilst in the back garden. When I say baled me up, I couldn’t see him behind the fence because we’re both short but I could most certainly hear him screaming at me.

For the second time of late I was reminded that they are “both gainfully employed whilst I am retired” with the inference that I sit around on my backside and watch The Bold And The Beautiful all day long.

I received a five minute scolding about :
⁃ talking to the wildlife
⁃ just talking in general
⁃ making funny noises whilst working ( sorry, carrying 30 kilos isn’t as easy as it used to be and there may be the odd groan)
⁃ and saying good morning to the garden each day really pisses him off apparently.

Meet Skippy and Swampy

The conversation ended with a “you’ve been warned”. In capital letters.

Firstly, I am retired, not dead.

The reason I retired young was because I worked hard for forty years and lived simply. I earned it in sweat, blood and tears.

I am busy most days which requires no further detail. Let’s just say that I believe retired folk are undervalued. Without their contributions many organisations would not exist, so lets start reframing the language and calling it what it is : pro bono work.

I would spend only an hour a day in the garden, perhaps double that when I mow the lawn.

My noise output is minimal. There is no motorbike in my garage nor do I have teenagers coming in and out at all times of the day and night. No pool, dogs, nor kids. I don’t even have a leaf blower. Old school, I use a broom.

I do have a courtyard that I look forward to using for entertainment purposes during Spring and Summer. Does this mean I should not be entertaining friends during the week, but only on weekends when the neighbours aren’t working? I’m not sure how to navigate these new living arrangements……….

Moving pot plants around is hard yakka

What really irked me was :

  1. You gonna bitch don’t do it hiding behind a fence. Wuss.
  2. Employment status doesn’t make you a better person than the next.
  3. Don’t even start me on Agism
  4. The old bod has worked hard in its day. I can’t physically do what I used to do thirty years ago but I give it a try. This is not Russia. You just can’t shoot me.
  5. My property. My house. Not ladylike but **** Off.

My apologies for the vent.

Tomorrow I will wake up feeling much better and say good morning to the garden as usual. Pity I recently sold the daughter’s drum kit………..

Downsizing For The New Year

Change is in the air, as old patterns fall away and new energies are emerging. Consciously release what needs to be released, and welcome with a full embrace the newness you’ve prayed for and so richly deserve.” – Marianne Williamson

Each new year brings the ability to implement fresh, new changes.

I’m downsizing. That will be my my big change for the new decade. I’m going to reduce the size of my handbag.

Research indicates that women generally carry twenty one basic items in their handbag on a daily basis. Other than keys, wallet and sunglasses these can include safety pins, mints, toothbrush and floss, medication, pens, diary, book, comb, hair pins, hand cream, tissues, band aids, lipstick ……….and the list goes on and on and on.

When it comes to handbags I’ve always been a minimalist. Basics only.  Money, keys, spectacles, and in recent years, the Ipad.

I’ve always maintained good relationships with my handbags. Whilst some women collect shoes my preference is for going barefoot. Carryalls have always been more my thing and I’ve relished them being colourful, large and on the empty side. I don’t do clutter well.

I tend to work a handbag to death. They are not constantly rotated according to my wardrobe. Their day starts early and can finish late, and there’s a hint of co-dependency.

The new year has me reviewing my relationship with handbags and so I will begin the new decade with a smaller, more compact version. I will continue to opt for colour and consider this my effort to reduce my carbon footprint.

Of course, this move will necessitate the downsizing of my wallet. Advice from friends indicates that I will require a change purse and a card carrier, both requiring a huge shift in mindset.

We can do this.

Change.

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. -Benjamin Franklin