Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 15, 2011

Tuesday, 15th March 2011 – a significant family milestone

A significant birthday in the extended family today!  Shirley’s mother, Win [short for Winifred] was born on this day in 1921, which means she turns 90 years old today! [Come to think of it, my own father would have become 90 this year were he still alive]. Anyway, Win, her sister Val [who has made a surprise visit from Queensland], Shirley, and probably young Jodie [3 generations] are out celebrating at a meal tonight –  hopefully they will be back home by the time I call in after my radio show tonight – while a large component of the family  intend to go out for a more formal dinner celebration this Friday evening, when hopefully all of the immediate family will be present.

Well, after a couple of hours on the radio, where my following presenter didn’t turn up, yet again, I returned home later than usual, because as planned, called over at the ‘family’ home to greet the ‘birthday girl’. Apparently through the course of the day, Win had received quite a few visitors, and taken numerous phone calls, so the occasion was well from overlooked. I had a small gift for her, but was part of a general family gift which was going to be presented to her on Friday.  It was a pity that James or someone had not tuned her radio to ‘our’ station – during part of my show tonight, I played some tracks taken from my late mother’s collection of vinyl recordings, of a range of songs recorded by former Australian TV performers, some of whom were not specifically known for their limited singing careers, etc. My mother had been a great TV fan of many variety shows etc, of the 70s and 80s, and built up quite a collection of vinyl records often advertised as specials, and featuring many of the stars of such shows. I had ‘inherited’  most of Mum’s old records – not sure if that was by design, or I just happened to be there at the right time and was the family member most likely to be interested in her music. Added to my own large collection of old recordings, they make up quite a ‘weighty’ aspect of my belongings. Anyway, this short visit tonight enabled me to catch up with all who were now living at the family home – with Adam & Bec moving out recently, Shirley now had ‘her’ large rumpus room back, and I think was in the process of cleaning and renovating it. That room used to store my book collection, amongst other things – the inbuilt shelves [which we had constructed when we built the house] are still there, though in recent years, they have being used for more than just books!! Jodie and James [with his new dog] were present tonight, as was Shirley, and Win’s younger sister, Val, who had flown down from Queensland for the occasion. We all noticed the absence of Susan [up in Bendigo] who would normally have been very much a part of her Nan’s celebrations, though I gather she had been on the phone quite early this morning with birthday greetings! I notice her absence at home!  James, despite his ‘big poker’ win over the weekend, didn’t seem to have any more than usual available cash – his usual response at birthday times ‘I’ll get your present later’!! I was pleased to realise that he was at least ‘sticking on’ with his new year of studies – a couple of weeks ago, a few days into the course, it sounded as though he was going to work away from his course after just a few days, the whole thing obviously seemed too hard. I didn’t really get the opportunity to discuss it with him, but hopefully, he had given it some more thought, and at present, was continuing!  I was hoping that his ongoing success with poker competitions wasn’t going to become the dominant ‘other priority.  I noted an interesting comment to him, on Face Book from one of my kids’ cousins yesterday  – as part of the general discussion about Win’s age etc, Rosie raised the question as to ‘when are one of you lot [referring to her four cousins – my four children] going to turn your parents into grandparents?’  That comment, I noted was greeted with silence!!  But echoed my thoughts from time to time!  This ‘old softy’ would love a grand child to spoil 🙂

By the time this writer got back to his ‘home’ tonight, Susan’s cats were waiting at the front door to be fed!  I’m afraid they don’t get spoilt by me – they wait until I’m ready! Strangely enough, after having eaten one or ‘sweet’ things at Goonawarra, and earlier today, I really didn’t have an appetite though I should have done by that time of night.  Attempted to eat a light meal, did what task needed to be done [including attending to the ‘demands], eventually, of the two cats [mother and daughter], then simply ‘collapsed’ in front of the TV for half an hour and watched the latest ‘grim’ news coming out of Japan, together with further depressing depictions of the tsunami scenes, and the growing concerns about potential nuclear disasters occurring in the country. That issue continued to dominate much of the controversy, etc, and media coverage, and world wide had the potential for repercussions in terms of the future use of nuclear power for energy use, and the safety and security aspects associated with it’s use. Overnight reports such as the following, are doing little to lessen those kind of fears and concerns: –

“Japanese crews are battling to avert a nuclear disaster and say they may pour water from helicopters to stop fuel rods from being exposed to the air and releasing even more radioactivity. Radiation near the quake-hit Fukushima No.1 plant has reached levels harmful to health and was high overnight, officials said, advising thousands of people to stay indoors after two explosions and a fire at the facility Tuesday. Four of the six reactors at the crippled facility, 250 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, have now overheated and sparked explosions since Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami knocked out their cooling systems. The blasts at the seaside plant have shattered buildings housing the reactors but have apparently not penetrated the steel and concrete containers surrounding the fuel rods, reducing the risk of massive contamination”. Meanwhile, pictures like this scene of physical and personal devastation are going live with us for ever, I think:

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