Friday 21 May 2021

A Change Of Scenery.

 A few weeks ago we  got a phone call  to let us know that my elderly mother who is 96 and lives alone  had taken a fall in her bathroom and had been taken to hospital.

The x rays and scans showed that she had  broken 3 ribs and some other associated damage. 

I was unable to go over immediately as Brian had contracted Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection passed from the mice in the plague that we have been dealing with and was quite ill. He spent a full week either in bed or on the couch which  is very rare for him.

My brother and sister in law  who live in Dubbo  were on hand and my sister from Parkes came over.

Mum had many visitors in hospital  to cheer her up and my brother from Sydney came and stayed for a week.

On Mother's day Mum was allowed out for lunch  and Brian was well enough , so we travelled over toDubbo o my brother's house .

My brother cooked a great BBQ and we had a lovely lunch.

Mum and I got a selfie together.
Mum was released from hospital the next day, My brother stayed with her for a few days  and then  when   I felt comfortable enough to leave Brian at the farm alone I went over   to stay with her for  four  days.

While I was there my sister in law suggested a trip out to "Dundullimal" an historic National Trust pioneering homestead established  about 1852.

Mum decided not to come with us as it was an extremely cold day  and she was still quite sore. She had been  there many years ago and thought she would rather stay inside and keep warm.

It is not far out of  Dubbo located along side the Macquarie River.

The original homestead is of vertical slab construction. You approach the homestead from the rear.

When you first enter, there is a room showing the internal construction of the walls, but I forgot to photograph it.

The home has beautiful original timber floors, beams and ceilings which was evident in the  bedroom.

They have decorated the house as it would have been all those years ago,

This beautiful old cross stitch was gorgeous.

There was a walk in pantry/Store room which they explained wouldn't have been for food but more likely held the china, glassware,cutlery, serving dishes ect.

There was a laundry room at the rear of the house, there were huge  flagstones on he floor which looked amazing.

There were a few other rooms, not sure of their purpose ,

This old babies cot was in one.

This  round object is a rotating pantry store, the various drawers pulled out, the accompanying notice said it was to keep stores safe from vermin, a much needed asset in the old days I am sure.

The front of the homestead was lovely, with verandahs  offering great views towards the river.

The original kitchen which was located in the east wing of the house had sadly burnt down but the  restoration group made the decision not to rebuild but to leave the homestead original. The area is marked out and a sign explains this.

In the grounds are the original sandstone stables, blacksmith and storage areas,

I loved the  beautiful pebble floors.

There are other various original out buildings, that are used for various displays and functions.

There is a small church on the  property which has had a few homes in it's life but finally finding a forever home on the historic property.It had 5 previous homes before ending up at Dundullimal in 2012.  It originally started out  at Timbrebongie amd is believed to have ties to Saint Mary Mackillop. This  sits where there was once originally a property church many years before.

It was a lovely couple of hours wandering around this old property. It is well used  for special events throughout the year, the day after we  visited there was to be a special opera performance  in the grounds. I will certainly return another day, and I think Brian would also enjoy a look around.

I had a  nice few days with my mum, she was healing really quickly and quite confident that she will be  perfectly safe one her own. She now has a daily shower lady and a cleaner which takes a lot of pressure off.

While I was there, I took Mum out of the unit each day for a short walk around her little village, and each day she seemed to be getting a little stronger. She had to have many rests along the way.

While I was visiting the Dubbo Show was on and we were able to watch the fireworks on the Saturday night from my Mother's unit.

It was good to stay with Mum, we talked  constantly about years gone by, Mum has an amazing memory for her age, it's just a shame that the old body isn't quite as good.

My sister from Sydney is now with Mum for a few days.

I am back home with the mice again now, Brian is much better, recent blood results show the toxin levels in his body is subsiding  which is good news.

So until we meet again,

Take care,

Stay safe

Wear gloves if you are dealing with mice,


Jane and Brian.

Monday 26 April 2021

ANZAC Day in our little town

 Every year for as long as I can remember our little town has commemorated ANZAC Day with a march and a service,now held  in the local park.

As a child I remember my parents being very involved with many aspects of the day.

We would be dropped at the school to assemble  with the return service men and march  to the Memorial Hall for the service. My father used to call the march and take part in the service. My mother would be in the kitchen with the other RSL ladies Auxiliary members cooking up a storm to feed the large number of returned servicemen after the service. Once they had eaten their fill they would all retire to the hotel for the men  to play two up, have a few drinks and one of my mother's friends would play all those great old wartime songs on the piano. I remember these times with great affection.

We always encouraged our children to march in the dawn service  with the school or the groups that they were part of when we lived here in town and  on the coast and now it's good to see that repeating itself in the next generation.

Yesterday we headed into town and the men, school children and townspeople were assembling  outside the Memorial Hall

Everyone had been given a sprig of rosemary to wear, my friend Lyn was busy helping the students to pin theirs.

They set off to the beat of the drums, students from the local school volunteering for the honour of playing them under the tuition of former drummers.

My brother in law(centre) marches and  carries a photo of my Father in law to honour his service and memory. 

The march comes along the main street, the council or police  always block the roads  for the procession and people line the street to applaud them.

The march ends and everyone assembles in  the park.
Many towns people gather for the service which is ran by the local Central School students who do a wonderful job.

Many wreaths are laid at the memorial, firstly  by our  ex servicemen,


Then  representatives of local organizations, including the school, Show society, Rail Heritage, progress,  boxing club,  fire brigade ect and any one else who wishes to lay a tribute.

The service concludes after The Last Post is played,  a minutes silence is observed , then Reveille is played and the service men headed to the hotel where a meal was to be served and the traditional two up played , a few  drinks and lots of catch ups to be had  with many memories and  stories shared.

A few of the ex servicemen were happy to pose for a photograph for me.

After we left the service, we paid a visit out to the cemetery to place some rosemary on both of our father's graves.

Last week I visited the cemetery with my sisters in law when they were visiting and  when I approached my Father's grave I noticed a snake curled up on it in the sun and when he spotted us he gracefully slid down a hole where the grave was sunk slightly and disappeared  below the ground.

I had hoped that it wouldn't still be there but alas for me it still was.

So unfortunately my father did not  get a bunch of rosemary yesterday and we placed both bunches on Brian's father's grave instead, I am sure my father would understand in the circumstances.
Hopefully our not so nice visitor will move on sooner rather than later.

Another ANZAC Day has come and gone, it was so lovely to be able to commemorate our  amazing  servicemen both still  with us and departed after not being able to commemorate it in the normal way  last year due to Covid . It was wonderful to see such  great attendance by our locals and many ex residents and family returning for the day.
I hope that this wonderful tradition continues for many years to come, so until we meet again,
Take care,
Stay safe
Jane and Brian.