I slept as long as I could this morning but it wasn't long enough. Once the noise of the family and daylight interrupt unconciousness it's hard to find a way back. After breakfast I took the boys around the corner to meet Margery. Margery is an old lady I met yesterday when I went to look at a recliner chair she had advertised in the paper. It used to belong to her husband but he died last year and she didn't need it any more. We chatted for a while and I really liked her, she apologised for the colour of the chair, which admittedly is quite unusual, a combination of leopard and zebra patterns! but there was no need to apologise for the chair itself cause it's very comfy, and Margery likes to haggle so we eventually settled on a price. I went off to drive the cab but I got Carolyn to go round and look at the chair, not because I was worried about her opinion, but because I wanted her to meet Margery. As I suspected, she liked her too and stayed for a chat. She moved to Busselton from Tasmania with her husband about three years ago to be nearer to their family but now that he's gone she's lonely, they were married for 62 years!!
So, I took the boys round to meet her this morning, not to help with the chair, I had a trolley for that, but because the whole situation reminded me so much of my childhood.
When I was a kid we lived on Aberdeen St Newtown in Geelong and behind us lived an old lady called Olive. We were often in her backyard retrieving our football, or cricket ball, depending on the season. She had a marble game and on special occasions we were allowed to play with it. I now know it was a solitaire board, and we loved it.
Next door to Olive lived a lady called Margery who was a spinster, and her mother, Mrs Wooten. We would often go and visit Margrey and Mrs Wooten, there was usually something yummy to eat when we were there, and on occasion even a treat of a small coin. It sounds crazy now but the 2c we were given was a treasure! It would buy enough lollies to keep us happy for the rest of the day! This was when licorice squares or aniseed balls or cobbers were 4 for a cent!! I don't know what ever became of Margery and her mum, the last time I saw them I'd have been about 11 years old, but I have very fond memories of them and our neighbourhood visits. The days of knowing everyone who lives in your street are gone mostly and our own kids don't have the freedom we had at their age. So it was a return to childhood memories that prompted me to take Jordan and Sport Boy round the corner with me this morning, and they both behaved admirably, speaking politely and showing respect. I suggested to Sport Boy that perhaps some days he might take round some biscuits or a cake and visit Margery or invite her round for a cup of tea. He already told her about my paintings and that they are "abstracts"!
We have not gotten very involved in our local neighbourhood since we moved to Cloisters but this was a really lovely episode and hopefully the beginning of a friendship we can build on.
Cloisters has a good reputation in terms of real estate, two houses near us, one next door and the other two doors down in the other direction went on the market last week and were sold this week, for above $400,000 each, which is a good indicator of the prospective value of our house. We are not thinking of selling or moving, we love where we are, but it's good to know the property values are going up. We paid $245,000 for our house about 18 months ago.
After the purchasing of the chair I took Sophie into town so she could make a payment on the pink guitar she has on lay-by at Blue 62, the music shop where Toni works. I went to the post office to mail a present to dad in Queensland (G'day Pop, let me know when you get it and what you think of it, I think you'll smile in recognition when you see it)
I was on roster at the gallery from 1-4 this afternoon, something I'd forgotten until I checked my diary. I sold a couple of pieces while I was there (by other artists not me) and had a good visit from 5 kids who'd been on the camp and shared lots of stories and anecdotes with me. The thing they enjoyed most was meeting the kids from margaret River and making friends with them, one of them was with them today in fact.
I worked on a couple of paintings, one of which got rave reviews from Carolyn and Sophie when I got home and Jordan asked if he could have it in his room!
I took a little car for a test drive this afternoon, a bloke up the street is selling it. It's cheap, for a reason! It's a bit rough. It's most intriguing feature was a light on the dashboard that came on several times and said "Check the engine"! Check it for what I wondered each time. I'd already checked it for oil and water before I drove it so waht exactly I was supposed to check for was a mystery. I knew it was still there because the car was still running! The fuel guage didn't work which is always a little disconcerting but the bloke assured me it had at least 10 litres of petrol in it. I don't need a car but Carolyn and I were talking about it because Sophie can get her license ( in theory, if not in practise!) and The Heir will be home in January and perhaps having a car they can share/drive might be useful. It was priced at $750 (for that price I wasn't expecting much) but it was still over-priced!
I then hunted through the shed for the Christmas tree and lights. In my shed, being the size of an average broom closet, searching for things means rearranging crates and boxes continually until you (hopefully) find the one you're looking for. That took a long time but as a bonus I found my tripod and some bottles of coloured ink while I was searching, both of which will be useful for things I'm doing at the moment.
I set up the inflatable illuminated Christmas tree on the front lawn, our token street decoration. We look like the poor relations in the Christmas decoration stakes compared to a few houses nearby but we won't be entering that particular "keep up with the Joneses" fray.
Finally tonight I went to see "Little Miss Sunshine" a quirky and sometimes funny movie that Megan Spencer the Triple J film critic rated as the best film of the year. It was good but probably not that good. "Kenny" is still top of my list for 2006.