Going Deep Sea Diving With The Admiral…

Love

Love is a breach in the walls, a broken gate,
Where that comes in that shall not go again;
Love sells the proud heart’s citadel to Fate.
They have known shame, who love unloved.
Even then
When two mouths, thirsty for each other,
Find slacking,
And agony forgot, and hushed the crying
Of credulous hearts, in heaven -such are but taking
Their own poor dreams within their arms,
And lying
Each in his lonely nights, each with a ghost.
Some share that night. But they know,
Love grows colder,
Grows false and dull, that was sweet lies at most.
Astonishment is no more in hand or shoulder,
But darkens, and dies out from kiss to kiss.
All this is love; and all alive is but this.
~Rupert Brooke

Dearest lovers of mine,

I welcome you to Nambucca Heads.

This is my little hot spot that I often get away to for some relaxation and rest when the bones have become weary, the body lethargic, the brain no longer wishes to work. And I am in need of some peace and quiet away from the real world that I tend to live in. Like you and I both, we need those moments of quiet to gather our thoughts and simply sit back with a gin and tonic with your feet up on the patio table; sipping away while waiting for the sinking of the sun and mozzies to come out to have a field day eating you.

Yes, I am speaking from experience as that’s the first thing that normally follows after a long eight hour

Aunty A & I 

journey from the Little White House to the ever welcoming arms of my Aunt. The cuddles and kisses on the cheek, when we bend down to be placed upon us, are simply divine and often the beginning of our recovery period. The usual comments about the jolly giants and how she swears we have grown in height, follows us down the hallway while we dump stuff on the beds before joining her outside.

This has become the norm for us as unlike most people who would collapse onto the bed with arms sprawled and a heavy sigh leaving their chests or promptly falling asleep on the couch; we congregate outside to said patio with a stiff drink or mug of steaming coffee and have a good goss. It isn’t until our bellies start to rumble from hunger, our mug/glass have become stone empty, even the trace amount has dried up and the slapping of hands against skin alerts us that we have been there for hours. Those hours have been spent being updated as to how things have been running and how The Admiral has gone out on the turf to throw some balls around in his ever formal pressed white uniform and swish buckling shoes. What has been happening in regards to blessed family friends, including how the new arrival in the family has settled in. Or the comment that The Admiral is busy fishing and will be back sometime. Hopefully with fish in tow as that is what we would be having for dinner tomorrow night.

Then it comes to the O’Chunkys’ turn and Aunty A is normally updated if not with email, how the giants have been faring. This includes going through the process of how Kaffy is settling into university, what exciting adventure Frodo has planned and not to say the least; what has been happening with Pablo and the army. I should probably include the vast amount of emails or rather lack of I have been sending home to alert the folks that I am still indeed alive and that I haven’t been kidnapped by anyone. As of yet. What adventures I have been taking part of and need I mention the powerhouse and the text message someone received much to my horror. Not including what delightful expeditions I have been undertaking while on my way to university in the mornings. For instance, taking the wrong bus and going to the wrong University in Brisbane which was highly amusing to Aunty A however she did sympathise as she had experienced the same thing.

The Godfather, Fairy Godmother
and Kaffy upon Graduation.

However before I begin, with these visits comes the welcome wagon being brought out featuring the gin and tonic or a cup of coffee that will put hairs on your chest. The welcome wagon involves two “average” height midgets standing on the balcony, waving frantically before Aunty A calls out “hello Dear’. With The Admiral in rear, having that familiar twinkle in his eye before the greeting of, “About time you got here” slips out of those lips and the laughter starts to flow. I can honestly say, if it had been someone else, they would have had a hand print on their face as the words were tumbling out however with him, you waited with baited breath to see what else in smart arse comments would be delivered. It was as he were the main attraction in the show and you were perched on the edge of your seat and he had you hypnotised.

However this visit would be different and in turn, would be the beginning of a new era.

Unfortunately this time The Admiral or rather I should start calling him The Godfather to stop you from being confused; wasn’t there to greet us on the balcony looking over the front yard of their house. It felt as if he had popped down to the road to play some bowls or that he was busy potting around with the next door neighbour, whom is a really good friend of theirs. Instead, reminding us of why we were really here wasn’t because of the fantastic beach conditions, no doubt the fantastic waves waiting to have surfboards ride them at Valla. No, it was the lone oxygen machine sitting in the hallway that was a sobering reminder as too the real reason of why we had made the eight hour journey down to New South Wales.

It was time to lay The Godfather to rest.

Meeting the extended family of Aunty A and The Godfather was welcoming if to say the least and the relevance of normalcy continued when a pair of scissors were taken to my hair. It was lovely to walk into the kitchen and dining room and see the flowers that people had sent with their cards of well wishes and warm thoughts on the passing of no doubt, a truly beautiful gentleman. Not including the letters that were received this morning when the postman dropped them off which made Aunty A shed a few tears at one time or another.

Aunty A & Janet.

Than to be told that while walking down the Main Street of Nambucca Heads, that are crowded during the summer time with terrorists and you have to walk on the road; the heart warming and yet soul shuttering death notices that sat in businesses windows reminding the locals of the passing of The Godfather. Which Aunty A proceeded to lose the plot over as she had thought that no one would do that. To say the least, we are expecting over a hundred and fifty people tomorrow (Thursday) for the action packed, New Orleans style, kilt and suit wearing send off.

Which my Aunt had originally thought that a max of 50 people would show up. Oh Aunty A, you have clearly underestimated how much he truly meant to people and how much he will be truly missed at the same time. With the knowledge that someone is wearing a kilt, I must say that it has inspired me to go digging through the closet and see if I can find my childhood kilt that I had or claim, that I am in need of another in the family colours as I believe that I am not in position of having terribly knobby knees and that I would be able to rock a kilt with heels.

Might even start a new fashion trend. Who knows.

Today being Wednesday is being spent recovering from the eight hour journey, we originally started at two o’clock this morning by either hitting the beach for a cool dip; or in my case, writing this. However do not get me wrong, I plan on greeting home (the beach) with open arms but I plan on doing it when it is a little bit darker and not so many people on the beach. Nobody needs to be seeing me running down the beach, screaming my lungs out and then start randomly dancing. Or should I say, thrusting my hips like I am doing the time warp as I tend to find that song starts when I am at the beach.

And yes, I do this all the time when home and I reconnect after one of us have travelled afar. That normally being me who travels constantly. Maybe I might settle down one day and find decent place to stay that has an easy drive to home.

With that thought and it being replaced, tomorrow is the beginning of an emotional roller coaster. And as much as I am going to regret not buying water proof mascara; I am looking forward to meeting those that knew the man outside of the years that I did and try to understand why he would super glue someone’s boots closed. To which was a favourite story of his to tell that would no doubt come with a not so sorry smirk and that ever famous twinkle in his eye.

The Admiral’s.

All I can say is that while he was in the navy, he must have been a little shit and how many times would he had been punished for the naughty things he did. Probably never because he would of gotten away with it, just by flashing his little smile complete with puppy dog eyes. If I had tried doing something like that, I would have been grounded, forced to apologise and then be expected to do chores around the house like ironing. That is only after I would have had my head ripped off by my parents and then as extra punishment, the email/phone call containing Aunty A on the end of it would have been enough.

The joys of having three sets of parents ruling my life and each of them, expecting my life to pan out to what they hope it would. To which, I sit here and wonder if I am achieving what they hoped would have happened. For those reading who are listed in that section, just don’t include marriage and children yet and we shall be happy together with how things are turning out. We still need to wait until I find the man that ticks off at least six of the things that have been written on my list from many years ago as a young girl who was asked once, what she wanted in a man.

It wasn’t until I came across my first partner in more ways then one, when the list was shortened down to the ever impeccable list that contains the ten utmost important things. I always wanted a man who was taller then me and for some reason, the three or rather four men in my life at this present point of time all range from five feet and ten inches to well over six foot. There is something about being my height which I have to admit is slightly taller then the ‘average height club’, which has currently have a whooping two members in it.  Words cannot be portrayed how tall they, being my extremely tall Brothers, make me feel in comparisons as to what I am in real life. And often can be labelled as deluded as I suspect I may come somewhere near their ear level; until the words that I absolutely detest come out of my brother’s mouth which are and will probably never change in our lifespan, “Oh, look. Here comes the midget!”

Frodo & Pablo.

Then I realise I am somewhere near their kneecaps instead. In that reply, I can formerly understand why Lois and Aunty A have formed the ‘average height club’. And no, I am not welcome as I am over five feet and three inches in height and that is the cut off point. However they may have another member joining them shortly to form a trio as LBS falls into that category of tininess. That height discrepancy can be blamed on the fact that I take after my Father in the leg department. As to the ten important hints on my list, which I would like to mention to all the males reading this, every little girl has one; I do not know why it was originally formed but I do know that from the age of 12, I knew exactly what I wanted in a partner. And that list hasn’t changed one tiny little bit. Just shortened in length really.

And surprisingly enough, it was created in this little sleepy town of Nambucca. And the list was written around the men in my life at the present point of time. And I suspect The Godfather may have had helping hand in the section of: ‘must understand sarcasm and have a funny bone. Preferably not between his legs at socially inappropriate moments’. Have to say that those moments have been beyond awkward when on a date with someone and were entirely not appropriate indeed. And those dates did not feature The Godfather as my date at the time, just some other shmuck.

Before I knew it, the list of what I wanted was replaced with the image of what tomorrow would bring. The thought of donning black, much to my Aunt’s horror as it had been stipulated ‘no black!’; the day arrived with the thought of ‘was it 1:50 their time or our time?’ Which was proving to be rather difficult as New South Wales is currently in daylight savings time and us Queenslanders, don’t put up with that shit. Hence why we had been over an hour late for dinner the night before. Needless to say the O’Chunkys’ turned up 45 minutes early for the funeral of The Admiral, Chief, Bendy, Baxxy and The Godfather.

“The Godfamily”.

If I had been watching it from a movie, I would have found it comical as everyone had this look upon their face which would had read along the lines of ‘don’t fuck with us. We ARE the Godfamily.’ Not mention the six of us were dressed in some form or shape, in the forbidden colour. We spent the next thirty minutes waiting outside waiting for Aunty A to show up as we had originally thought she was inside with The Godfather but alas, she hadn’t shown up yet. The time came when we all moved inside the Nambucca Heads Bowling & Recreational club, formerly known as the Bowls club and it was time to start remembering who The Godfather was as a man.

Like any funeral, the meanings of the readings were clear from the Bible, the songs surprised everyone as they expected some dreary, old heart jerker tune to be played no doubt by someone trying to Bach or Vivaldi but rather turned out to be New Orleans inspired. The Eulogy by The Godfather’s brother, J, was truly heart warming and presented a different side of the man that could be found telling men on the naval ships ‘do it once and once only’. J’s eulogy was spoken of love and warmth that he had for his brother, not to mention the fact that The Godfather still had upped him one in the last days of life, by making J were a kilt in the Australian summer heat. As for those who do not reside in Australia or who have never travelled to Australia beforehand, I suggest next time you go to your local gym or somewhere with a sauna, stand in that room for approximately 20 minutes and you might get the slightest idea of how hot Australia gets in the summer time.

The kilt wearing, J.

If you don’t live within traveling distance of a sauna, here is a helpful tip for you: we blew up three thermometers when we lived in the bush and it was in the shade. The last one to die, registered the heat to be at 52 degrees C. Which is about 125+ degrees Fahrenheit. So basically in my words: it’s fucking hot, mate!

Lois’ eulogy was one inspired by the words that all six of us has tossed into the open when having been asked and steadily enough the speech was written. Only to be rewritten again shortly before we left with criticism coming from me as to whether or not, it represented our feelings as a collective on how we thought and felt towards G. Following the eulogies of those who had been asked, including the eulogy on behalf of The Godfather’s ship mates, it came to placing those favourite articles of his on the coffin.

The favourites articles included two sets of dolphins that he had been presented for service both in the United Kingdom and Australia naval defence force. The green spanner that was featured in his shirt after being forbidden to carry tools with him and a spanner that he was known for wrapping around the bottom of boots if someone didn’t do it the first time. Correctly might I add. His love for music by guitar and singing songs that were not always in English were placed in the form of guitar strings that had been laid by my sister, Kaffy. And the love of having a schooner with the boys or two was represented in the form of his prized possession that he picked up while in Vietnam a few years ago which was his beloved Stubbie holder. The quote that got me was ‘going forward…’ and all I could think of, was how appropriate it was for the moment in time.

The Royal Navy Dolphins for Submariners.

I have to say that I was honoured when I was asked to do that as the men in my life has been asked to stand within him until the final parting came, Lois did a eulogy and Kaffy had the strings. Each of us had been asked as a collective and yet as loved individuals of the family household to be a part of his final performance. Next came the final blow to the end which was when the men who had served with The Godfather, were asked to come forward and lay a poppy and take their moment of silence after the final post had been played.

 Needless to say after that moment and the signal to play the music was fluttered, the men took their position to form a guard of honour and it was time to say a final farewell. Much to say, I managed to hold it together until I got to the fourth row of seats behind where I had been sitting, before hysterically breaking down into tears. Can probably say my crying face was not exactly on the beautiful side of life but I had this overwhelming urge to run in front and then throw myself at him and beg for him to not leave. Me.

But considering I was the one holding my sister up both physically and emotionally, I couldn’t/wouldn’t have left her. After watching him take his last drive, no doubt sitting in the rear passenger seat with Stubbie in hand, we waited until everyone had left to go inside. Those few moments of silent hugs, pats on the back, the one or five cigarettes that were needed to ward off any tears and in my case if I continued smoking, would have been half a pack; we nodded our heads in silence. Before some of us made our way inside to start the party of remembering who The Admiral was.

However after begging and pleading with Dad to hold onto my phone, Lois and I slipped off our heels and proceeded to dance on the bowling greens to Zorba The Greek. Which did not go down well with some of the locals, who were having a heart attack over the fact two strange women were dancing too Greek music on their fields! But in my case, I do remember The Godfather telling me about how he wanted to tell them to shove it where the sun didn’t shine and had wanted to dance on the bowls green. Just once. And since he was a tad bit busy, I decided on doing that for him.

After four minutes of twirling around with my dress ending up somewhere near my hips and yelling out “Oppa”, we slipped our heels back on and walked normally into the club as if nothing had happened. We then spent the next four and a half hours catching up with submariners who had worked with The Godfather and told us delightful little stories about what nonsense they had gotten up to. Then whisking away to spend an hour or two, regaining our composure and processing what had just happened before going to dinner with those who had been invited.

Dinner was an eye opener as to who could talk louder then the next and seeing how pissed off a submariner could get when being referred to as an ‘ex’ submariner, it was quite an eye opener indeed. Aunty A escaped on the arm of a young stallion who escorted her to her car and bid her adieu before walking back with us to where the cars were parked. All the while, Lois and I discussed how disgusting it was to leave a used condom on the Main Street of town.

Which reminds me, gentlemen and Neanderthals: if you feel as if you are to important too wrap your condom up in a tissue or get the lady who you have just slept with ‘take care of it’ because you are lazy; you are a pig and how would you like it if you were slapped in the face with someone else’s condom. No doubt you would laugh as you would find it hilarious, but seriously, it is fucking disgusting and disturbing at the same time. P.s. The lady doesn’t need to take care of it as it is your responsibility to carry one of you so therefore, you take care it.

Fast forward to where I am at the moment and that being in bed with an empty mug, as I have proceeded to drink all of my tea and yet cannot be bothered to make another as that entails getting out of bed. Today was a day that most would not think would happen as you would expect someone who has just lost someone, too lock themselves physically away and be buying shares in Kleenex for the amount of crying they would be doing. Not in Aunty A’s case as we, the O’Chunkys’ started to clean things around the house such as pruning the mad hatter of a shrub that grows crazily, selecting rods for beach fishing in the hopes of gaining better skills and in entail, fish; to being rewarded in my case, several shirts of The Admirals that will somehow be incorporated into the steady piles of shirts that are being collected. In hopes of one day being turned into a bedspread that holds move travels of destinations than you can say ‘Tiger Airways’.

In turn, asking J how his head was this morning after being supplied with drinks from all the boys and admitting that there had been a bet going on between us. As to whether Aunty A had to drag him out by his hair, if he was still standing with a drink in tow or if he was asleep under the bar after having fallen down. Needless to say, he was neither of them but was rather standing there quite proud in his kilt and yet, I just remembered that we forgot to ask if anyone did peek up J’s kilt as the rowdy men had asked me during the day at one stage or another, to peer up underneath his kilt to see….I’m sure you can figure the myth out on your own.

Needless to say, I didn’t cooperate in that little game of theirs. Much to their disappointment.

With this as it is one o’clock on a Saturday morning, it is the coming of an end for my stay in Nambucca and staying in my bathtub. With that, the ending of an era and the beginning of a new one. I can say for certain that I will not enjoy the eight hour drive back to Brisbane or the fact that I have close to a weeks worth of university work that I need to complete before Wednesday of this coming week. But I know that I will miss the warm hugs and kisses that are bestowed upon me while knowing that I am equally loved, the sound of the waves roaring outside of my bedroom window as they battle against themselves, the feel of cool, squeaky sand between my toes and the peace and tranquility I get while being here.

I however know that I wouldn’t have been able to be as strong and brave as I have been, without the phenomenal help, support, care and most of love in some way or shape that I have received. Whether it be from a beloved family member, amazing set of friends that any girl could possibly want and the incredibly broad shoulders that have been offered during this time of grieving. For those, I do not know how to thank you however when the time arises, I will be standing there beside you, holding your hand or wrapping my arms around your shoulders and allowing you to shed your sorrow or at least offering kind words and the courage to ‘keep your chin up’.

Thinking & Pondering.

As I told Lady T many months ago when responding to comments while taking a bath, as that is where I tend to ponder and think about life in general, I will repeat those words. Just the once. “I will love you when you are fat, annoying me beyond redemption, when you have ultra saggy old boobs and Master S has locked you away in an old folks home with dementia. And when you cannot remember who I am, I will love you continuously until the day our friendship dies and even then; I will still love you.”

For those who have not met me in person but know me through this screen, thank you for sticking around from the beginning. You never know how truly amazing you are.

You are all incredible in some form or shape. Thank You.

Until next time,

Cheers.

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