It is time to farewell the season of glistening warmth of the sun, bikini toned bodies and the occasional glance at the fine specimens of men entertaining our female eye sights. With that, I welcome the thought of winter woolies adorning my body, electric blankets warming my cool bed after a busy day at University with the addition of five blankets weighing down upon my body. Not including the rasping of cotton across the bottoms of my feet when I scuttle towards the kitchen to make that cup of tea so my hands no longer feel as if they have frostbite.
Now like most people particularly those who have been awake since the early parts of morning, that includes yours truly as I like to start my university days at 8 o’clock in the morning (I doubt that); the incredibly delicious idea of having a hot shower and stepping out and gliding through the steam is something that I cannot wait for.
I know that boiling hot showers are bad for your skin as it can lead to your capillaries raising to the surface of your skin, blah blah but seriously, I am not going to stop them because of that one little fact. Another factor that graces winter is a term that I love use and it is called ‘family shopping’.
Family Shopping only happens a few times of the year or whenever I am back at home for something, such as a holiday break away from the busy lifestyle of a University student, when I need to escape from the large amount of lectures/assignments that need to be done or someone’s birthday. This shopping expedition entails permanently borrowing a pair of thick wollen socks from my Dad’s draw as I consider it to be a parting gift for having me. Technically, I know I should be the one giving my Parents a ‘Thank You’ present for having me as I no longer live in the Little White House but what should I offer them?
The stems of what had been a really lovely bunch of flowers, who happened to die on the two and a half hour drive from Brisbane? A packet of half eaten skittles too keep the blood sugars going as I let rip because every man and his dog are wanting to go away for Easter and I need something to keep me energised. Or the third option is a used wad of tissue with bright red lipstick prints on it. Whoever suggested the half packet of skittles, we are no longer friends!
Back to the hidden socks which won’t be really be hidden as I will be walking out of the house while wearing them, I will be leaving my Dad the ultimate gift. Discussing who we are going to eliminate in Moto GP this year and in my defence, I am going to eliminate Pedrosa. The reason why it shall be Pedrosa sitting alone in the corner at the back of the shop, no doubt crying/swearing into his helmet as the camera guys peer at him; this will allow one of the under dogs to have a fighting chance of getting podium and maybe the cup. Now, I do not know if I have mentioned previously my distaste of Pedrosa,it simply boils down to the fact that I find him a little too smug when sitting in first place.
Next on the hit list is my brothers.
This is when I become particular in what I want as I have been scouting for this shirt for a while and with no luck, have I managed to get my little hands on it yet. Only time will tell and I have been patiently waiting for it. The shirt that I have been drooling over the past few years, reminds me of Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin and every now and then, it comes out of its hiding hole and it proudly displayed across my brother’s broad shoulders as if to remind me, ‘Ha-ha, sucker! Still have it!’. Now for the other brother, the fact of crawling into his lap and just spending a few minutes having a silent chat about how things have been in life, is exactly what I am needing right now at the moment.
Having relocated from USQ to QUT and having to find my foot holding has been proving to be a little difficult of late and I have been sitting here, wondering if I had made the right decision. No amount of Ted Nugent, Led Zep, Cream along with Tracy Chapman playing while studying or in moment of chilling hasn’t been helping with finding the answers to the questions.
In the same boat as myself is my sister, Kaffy who is going through a similar thought pattern at the moment. Is she doing the right thing, why did she chose to do dual degrees, will she be able to cope with the amount of pressure being applied, did she pick the correct degrees to begin with?
As for Kaffy dearest and my shopping trip, I do not want anything materialist but rather a mental connection is more important. Jumping into the deep end and asking the questions that she needs to be asked and myself also, will not only put us both at ease but it will do us both a world of good. I am hoping by asking these questions, will make her see that even if I am a three hour drive away and that I may not be constantly in her face or banging on the door to the bat cave; then she is constantly in the back of my mind and that I am wondering how she is going in this new transition stage of life.
And in regards to my sweet little Roast Pork, Pavlova baking with fresh cream, Lois, where do I begin?
Suspecting that when I arrive to ring in the Twin’s 21st birthday, a blur will be running out of the door while screaming on top of her lungs so then whole entire neighbourhood can hear, “She is home!” I have learnt to drop my bags on the ground, brace my legs apart and stabilise myself for the fact that this blur will throw herself into the air before landing down and wrapping her arms around me in a choke hazard manner. Am hoping this time that it won’t be around my neck like last but I can handle it if it was around my waist. No not my ribs Lois but my waist since I know that you will be reading this.
We will be standing there until Lois makes her mind up as to whether or not she is going to let me go and when having let go, the fishy face will follow as my Mother doubles and triple checks to make sure that I am still indeed her child. Not including checking that I am still alive after nearly a month and a half of not seeing each other and that I am being fed.
It doesn’t matter if the apron strings have been cut, sterilised and deemed non-functional however as Lois put it the other day; “I will always be her child”. After complaining that it is now starting to grow dark, I am starting to age and have to look at the idea of getting botox, I am presented with the smoothing of the hair back from the forehead, “Oh my gosh! You so look like your Mother!” before being crushed into another choke hold.
By this time, I had turned up at The White House while it had still been daylight and when I enter the house, the sun has long since gone to sleep and I am focused on what is for dinner. This is when I am ushered into the kitchen to help with cooking/peering at what is already in the oven before turning around and inspecting the fridge. And because Lois would have asked me what I wanted for my welcome home dinner; lying on a glass platter decked out in fresh cream, fresh fruit and a little sprinkle of love is sitting the most mouth-watering, taste bud tantalising pavlova.
I can honestly tell you that my hand will be reaching into that fridge when no one is paying attention and break off a piece because I cannot resist doing so. Before quickly popping it into my mouth and feeling the cream sliding down my throat, pavolova crunching away then being followed by the soft meringue.
Finding balance on the corner of a bench because clearly who needs a chair when all my life I have been doing that as I begin the nine hour spiel of: my uni life, my alcohol intake, social life/who I am seeing, corrupting LBS and how I have discovered that being free has the best thing in my life since slice bread. Before the discussion is turned to what is happening for the Twins’ Birthday, how I have no time for jet lag so I need to hydrate (preferably with water and lemon) and how I might have to return to Uni to do a makeup class.
As any mother would do when a child has been absent, she will be asking I have been seeing anyone and if so, what he is like. Even if I tried to dodge this question or pass it off like I was suffering from really bad indigestion, I wouldn’t be able to. It is not for the fact that I cannot lie or that I suck at doing so when I need to save my backside, but like any new relationship/romance interest, casual talk over a coffee or you skipped the country and were in witness protection; they would be able to smell it out. Only way to describe them in action of sniffing out the truth is like a bunch of pack hounds following a scent until they come across the rabbit. And the rabbit is me.
In my case, I am hoping to dodge that question like Neo dodging Agent Smith until to the epic battle in The Matrix. Yes, I am a female who loves the Matrix and will prefer to watch Neo and Agent Smith go head to head instead of studying for an exam. But in reality, I suspect I shall not be able to escape like Neo did. Lois will sick Kaffy, Bill running and barking behind her heels before I am swung up over Frodo’s shoulder and my final view of daylight shall be cut off abruptly when a hessian bag is dropped over my head.
Gagging is not necessary as I will be demanding my rights for attorney and that anything they say will be used against them in court and if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to them. Guessing I should probably change that into: that I have the right to be silent and that anything I say can and will be used against me in the name of the court of law.
I have the right to attorney and that if I cannot afford an attorney, the one shall be appointed to me. In regards to knowing that off the top of head, I should have either studied to become a lawyer rather than a nurse or I need to lay off the criminal shows. And if bail is applied and I get my lovely one phone call, that call will be used in contacting my Lawyer, LBS and stating I need her expertise immediately. And that she may need to bring fresh cookies and milk to bribe them.
But I suspect that I shall be deposited into a blackened room before I am able to make that phone call, on some seeding little cane chair with the sound of water tinkling and plopping into the background. Before the hessian bag is ripped off from my head, the sound of a chain is being yanked on and when I look up, I notice that it is swinging from side to side as it casts eerie shadows. Allowing my eyes to adjust to the seedy light, I notice that all 6 members including the humog (human dog) are eyeballing me. Before the lone figure of Lois steps out from the cloaking darkness and begins walking around me, stopping every now and then as my head firmly stares straight ahead. Waiting until the moment I crack under pressure and confirm what she had initially suspected all along.
Before continuing on with this delightful scene, I would just like to state that it has no doubt been portrayed countless times on television, in movies ie James Bond (anyone?) and we all know that the FBI have special talents of getting information. Um, I was talking about sitting over a cup of coffee, few donuts and a casual chat of the weather. What were you guys thinking of?
Enough about me and my delightful viewings that have no doubt traumatised some people and their hands are inching towards the phone to call the police, I am seriously fine. Unlike most times, this post is not about me for once and what has been happening in my university induced coma of horror. Rather it is about two people who deserve a few words to be written about them as they deserve recognition for all the things that they have done in the time that I have known them and with that, the whole world should see as well.
This pair have stuck by each other’s side through thick and thin, shown more courage than the average man and personally have both of their faces listed in my dictionary next to word ‘amazing‘. During this time, have raised a bunch of kids that have no doubt caused countless eyebrow rises, grey/blonde hairs and the occasional thought of ‘why in Lord’s name, why me?’ and can walk an elderly person across the road without feeling like they are doing society justice.
With that little introduction, allow me to tell you the story of how they met but before we begin, we have to start from the very beginning of when they were placed on this earth.
The year is 1956, Joseph Cahill is the Premier of New South Wales and in a small subtropical town in north-east of New South Wales, what is often described as Cane Country, a little boy was born. This little boy would soon grow up running amongst the farm that his parents owned, fishing off the jetty at the back of the pub and racing around on motorbikes. However for the mean time, he went to spend to a few years living with his Great Auntie and Uncle, who would play an enormous and influential outlook on his life before re-joining his family. This is where he learnt to develop his skills that would lead to him leaving school at 15, to start his butcher apprenticeship.
The controversial beginning of the 60’s begins before we stop in the year of 1963. The year was a memorable one for a small family living in New Zealand as it brought the safe delivery of a little girl. However, this little girl was not your average baby as she had already defied the odds as she had been prematurely but upon inspection, had been born with a hole in her heart. After surgery and a few minor illnesses, she lived a relatively normal lifestyle.
During the years following the birth of the little girl, the little boy who now was becoming a man, worked at gaining his foot into the butcher industry. This entailed learning the different styles of meat cuts and the little girl would spend a birthday, waiting at the gate for her Daddy to come home from exercises. However, he never would and the little girl would have to be carried inside. Time changed replacing the swinging sixties with men having Farrah Fawcett in a red bikini, posing seductively on their walls and girls styling their hair so they could look like Farrah in the hair department.
With this change brought the apprentice butcher from his teenage days into manhood along with the title of being a professional butcher. This man would eventually pack his bags; leave his family and the farm behind to enter the big smoke of Sydney, Australia.
Which would set the wheels in motion, the butterflies in a certain person’s stomach fluttering madly and the journey of multiple phones calls, letters before they would eventually come to the one phone call that would end in “I love you” being screamed down the line and the phone being slammed. However before that chapter begins, we need to start with the ‘how’ rather than the ‘who’.
Whereas our butcher was now working for a friend, the girl having blossomed into a gun tootin’, khaki clad, army brat decided that the line that she was heading was not her destiny. With that decision made, she headed into the sector world of administration and began to work for the Big Boys in New Zealand. After working for a few years and the love of travelling soon followed, she decided that one day she was going to board a plane and visit her friends in Australia. The land of brown twigs which happened to be living trees, kangaroos, the Opera House and her friends, Helen and Pete.
She did not know that this trip would entail the ending of her life in New Zealand and the beginning of the rest of her life in Australia.
After booking her ticket, boarding the plane with her parents in toe from Auckland to Sydney and touching down, she noticed that the butterflies that had been there since making this decision began to flutter. The thought of being home once again came to greet her as she touched down on tarmac and made her way to the outer skirts of Sydney. Feeling like she was going to be sick from the sheer force of the butterflies now moving like someone had given them rocket fuel, she had a sense of calm wash over her as the train started slowing down for the station.
Not even bothering about her parents or luggage, she bolted from the train and left her parents in the dust without a single thought. Sprinting up the road before coming to a sudden stop at the edge of the drive, the first thing that she noticed were this pair of fantastic looking legs and a seriously cute butt in a pair of tiny, white shorts. Whoever this person was bent over and peering at the engine of his car, the thought of ‘I’m going to marry you one day’ came to her.
Standing there like a stunned mullet and staring at the back of this man, she nodded her head when her friend Pete said hello which caused this man to straighten up. Dusting his hands on a rag before casually turning around to see who Peter had spoken too, it was only then that she knew this man was the man of her dreams. Literally. She had been dreaming of him for years however had only ever known that she would marry a man with beautiful red, curly hair and green eyes.
They both were under the impression that the other had known it was a set up. They spent four hours together which were filled with happiness at meeting each other. But with that, were scared shitless at the intensity of their feelings for one another. This meeting would bring up the touchy subject of how this woman had managed to right her car off after having a severe accident and would make the man stand there and think, ‘Well-spoken young lady with a Mind of her own!. She was very shapely and with that, stood up for herself!’
After spending those delightful hours with another, the woman staring at the man like he was everything and the man not doing that in return, he got up from the table and walked away. Standing up from the table and grabbing her handbag, the woman had assumed that he had just gone to the bathroom when after standing there for a few minutes, it than clicked that he had left. And with leaving had essentially left her behind and had not asked her once during those four hours, to marry him. Sitting back down at the table with an awkward laugh, she thought about whether or not they would see each other again.
That was until one day, many months after having left Australia; she received a letter in the mail that was addressed from I. Perry. Not knowing who the hell I. Perry was, she opened it and realised that the man from Sydney had written her a letter. With that, proceeded to run through the house, screaming, “I am going to be Mrs. Helen Perry”. It would be a further 6 months from the first meeting before they would met again for the woman’s brother’s wedding.
After attending the wedding and meeting the extended family, they both agreed that it was time to be alone with one another and the woman decided on taking them to a beach. Sitting there for some time, having discussed what they wanted in a spouse, children names, the butcher from Australia asked the woman if she would marry him. This woman knew that moment in time, they would spend the rest of their lives together and with that, accepted his marriage proposal.
Almost a year to the day since they had met, they were married in a little church in Rockdale, Sydney in front of friends and family. It was that day after hearing, “I give you six months” that they had decided to beat the odds and give their family members a ‘fuck you’.
That set the ball of determination into effect and with that, would lead to the woman sitting there later on in life, telling her children for the one millionth time; “I ALWAYS knew that the person I would marry was not in the country I lived in. I KNEW I had to travel to find him. This feeling started when I was 15 years old, I had a dream. I met a man with vibrant Red hair and green eyes. I couldn’t see his face properly but I was told to be patient and he would come. I met him when I was 23 and fell instantly in love. I wanted to go home with him immediately after we met, where ever he wanted to go, I would follow!”
Before finishing with, “I did not ever doubt my feelings when I met Red that first time. I KNEW he was my destiny, a part of me that had been missing”.
It would take some time for the man to sit there and think about how he had truly felt about the woman at first sight. However when asked, he would answer with, “I realized that she added something to my life and in my heart. I did not know it was missing until I met her. I saw her and wanted to be with her. She is my soul mate, the Love of My life. It was just a funny feeling that I had”.
However with time, the honeymoon phase of marriage would end and the rose tinted glasses would be yanked harshly off the eyes of the woman. She would sit there and think about the comments that had been made over the years from the ‘I give you six months’ to various comments of; ‘you should leave him and be with me. I have been here since the beginning. What makes him so special?’ Furthermore, these comments would lead to the complete change in their marriage and potentially the way that they raised their four children.
The Question of ‘How would you describe your marriage from start to now?’ would set the ball in motion and both of them thinking. The answer that would follow is: It has sometimes been sheer hard work. The reasons being because our thoughts of trying to find compromise which were within the structure of our marriage. It has been joyful and wonderful because we have learnt so much from one another and as a couple.
We have been through a lot of experiences that changed us but also brought a lot of fantastic memories! We have been to a lot of places that each have never seen and came home really happy because we got to see and experience it together. Nearly 27 years after we married, we both accept, compromise, listen, are honest with each other, faithful to each other and respect the other’s point of view. We are most importantly… best of friends. Simply put…we adore each other.
Their values and ethical code were important to them and they used this to show what a good model of behaviour both in the home, within their marriage and outside their home environment would be like. They would encourage their children to be the best that they could be and would always try to improve, keep learning and never assume “we know it all”.
Though it may have only taken several years before they were able to fully merge into being a family unit while retaining their individualism, they found the key of a good marriage. The key to a good marriage was the fact of able retaining who you are as a person while becoming a couple.
Of course they had both made some dramatic decisions that would affect their lifestyle and family, which some of them they do openly regret and those who are regretted privately behind closed doors. However, from adversity they have learnt so much in the time that they have been married which balances on being a strong family unit and having pride in WHO they are and we stand for.
As one of their four children, I am beyond proud of who they are as people, how far they have come and with that, what hurdles they have had to jump together and why they have allowed me to be the person that I am today.
Can you still look into each other’s eyes and still say I Love You!YES…EVERY SINGLE DAY……with all of our hearts!