Wednesday, August 14, 2013

yet another trip north, part 2

In the same hostel at Jindera where TO’s mum lives, Aunty E resides across the hall. Her parents and TO’s grandparents were firm and fast friends, with the next two generations following.

I think these are Aunty E's gran and mum
[don't ask me why these photos are even on my pc I've no idea]

On the downhill slide to 101, E has become quite frail, though she remains relatively unconfused. It’s hard to believe just 3 years ago she was still living independently, growing vegies, doing her own washing, and feeding the family horses every day.

I go looking for her when we are visiting TO's mum, but increasingly find her asleep when I pop in to try and say hello.

Bugger other people’s problems, and bugger the pies – my greatest disappointment every time I meet up with Aunty E is that she has been stone deaf for years.

She and her husband were committed communists at a time when the world was a big unknown, except for common ideals. They were by no means committed to Stalinism, just to decent values in a world struggling with an Imperial War and its aftermath, followed by the dreadful, extended economic depression in Australia.

Somewhere, she has a stash of scrapbooks full of newspaper cuttings, letters to editors and more that constitute a living history of her husband's political activism.

Aunty E has always been an avid reader of non-fiction, and taken a great interest in the world and what makes it tick. During an extended stay at Franger a few years ago it was exciting to have someone about who was actually interested in reading some of my own weird assortment of books. We managed to communicate with regular shouting matches, but I can’t imagine how isolated her deafness has made her feel over the years.

I would give up pies forever if only I could sit and really chew the fat with Aunty E for a while. She is tired, but always smiling, never complaining, and she still gives great hugs.

Seriously, I think so highly of her that I've even forgiven her for giving birth to five sons who are all Collingwood supporters.


  1. Great wedding photo, isn't it. Communism is now seen as a dirty word but in the first half of the 20c its ideals attracted many followers in Australia, decent people who wanted a better and fairer society and whether society is now fair or not, I am sure it is fairer because of them.