Enter Autumn…

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Okay, not only spring but also summer is over…. 
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It always amuses me to have people ask enthusiastically “how was your summer?”  or “did you have a good summer?”   as if our lives somehow change dramatically for the better for 3 months of the year.  I don’t think Australians ask that question of each other but I haven’t lived there for 14 years….    So, seeing as I live in America, and I’ve lately been asked the question a lot,  I’ll respond.
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My summer started off well – in the last week of June we had one of the manservant’s friends stay for 4 days and on the day he left an Australian friend of mine arrived for 9 days.  These appear in the credit column along with the unseasonably “cool” weather; not much heat or humidity this year and I really, really, loved having my friend Pierre visiting – it was a great 9 days with him. DSC03716aBut unfortunately the debit side of my summer-ledger was heavy …   first we had an unexpected death of someone really close just two days after Pierre left.  This has really rocked us and will be forever marked by the cremation taking place on July 23rd, my birthday; a day which, prior to this year,  I have always loved and celebrated with vigor.   Ten days later we were at the ocean on a miserable day to scatter ashes.  IMG_2942Then our roof had to be totally replaced after numerous leaks sprang.  We did the due diligence thing and got 4 quotes which were so disparate it was ridiculous. About the only thing they had in common was the square footage to be covered!  One company didn’t even bother going up onto the roof!!  We chose the guy we found most personable which might not be the best way to select a company but his quote fell in the middle which met that old “dismiss-the-highest-&-lowest-first”  method of selection. collage And then, just after we’d double-mortgaged ourselves to pay for the roof, we had to sell the first born to pay for a bathroom repair!   The floor had to be ripped up looking for a leak; a leak we only realized we had when the kitchen ceiling plaster started falling down!  Oh, so yes that section of ceiling also had to be repaired.  A new floor, tiles and timber in the bathroom – and a savings account started for a pedestal to hide  that plumbing. IMG_3123aAnd now it looks like the $100 cheque I sent to the Princess for her early-September birthday might’ve gone to Austria in-spite of my block printing of “Australia” on the envelope!!!
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I’m really happy to be entering autumn and I’m sure people are somewhat sorry they asked about my summer.    
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26 responses

  1. If I’d felt better, I was going to email you this week!

    I missed out EmJay!

    Good to get an update but what a lot of crap you’ve had to go through. Damn.

    I’m not good with heights or I’d offer to have done the roofing myself. Brother used to do a bit of that! In fact, he continues holding his own roof together with holes (slight reference to the old lady cutting holes out of cloth nursery rhyme, which I don’t actually remember).

    ANYWAY! I may still sleep under the dining room table if leaks are still coming in. It’ll be just like home!

    Condolences for your friend.

    • Thank you MT. I hope you’re starting to feel better now. LOL re the holey roof rhyme & the dining room table. We’ve had a couple of torrential type rains since the roof was done and nothing leaked (that we noticed anyway) so, so far we are happy with the work.
      And other contractor seems to have done a good job on our little guest bathroom – no more plaster falling on my cereal 🙂

  2. Welcome back, Emjay! I’m sorry you had such a terrible summer, but I am glad to see you online!

    I’m also sorry about the loss of your friend, especially since it happened so close to your birthday. I had a similar experience with the death of a very dear friend, who was buried on my birthday. People gently joked about the cake that was served after the funeral as doubling as my birthday cake. (Actually, come to think of it, I didn’t think it was very funny and was quite put out about it.) Later I thought, ‘C. would not want you sulking and crying on your birthday. She’d be the first one to call and cheer you up if she was here.” So on my birthday I now drink a silent toast to her memory and promise her I won’t ever complain or mope about growing old.

    I hope your autumn is far more pleasant and enjoyable.

    • That’s a good way to remember your friend C – a sort of double toast as if she were there with you celebrating your birthday. Yes autumn is going to be a fantastic season followed by a great (and not snowy) winter! 🙂

  3. Well it is great to see you back on line, but you have had a time of it. So sad to hear the loss of your friend. Perhaps, as suggested in another comment, a consoling way to deal with it is to toast to all the happy memories on your birthday.

  4. So … cranky visited and THEN everything started going downhill?

    I think I remember your husband and someone else putting some sort of coating on that roof many years ago.

    The thing I hate about home ownership is having to pay for all the upkeep and repairs. The thing I LOVE about home ownership is not having to wait for a landlord to get around to getting upkeep and repairs done.

    Sorry for your loss, and it’s especially ‘sucky’ when bad things happen on what had been ‘special’ days.

    • Thank you GOM – yeah, there’s really no good day for someone to die.

      You have a great memory! Yes the manservant & a handyman painted some reflective coating on the “tar” surface which helped cut our electricity bill. This year we needed new timber & then they laid a type of insul-board and then modified bitumen is put over the top of that. That last step looks to be bloody hot work! They also installed 2 vents as there weren’t any & hopefully that will release a bit of heat from the itty space we have between ceiling and roof (not really big enough to be called a crawl space). The 2 skylights had to be replaced and we got 2 additional ones seeing as the roof was all torn off and just inviting us to do so.

      Sometimes I look back fondly to when we lived in a managed apartment block – if something went wrong we reported it on the way to work and when we got home it would be repaired. No worrying about quotes or fitting into someone’s schedule or doing without something while we saved for a new one! But, even with the hassles I do prefer to be a home-owner.

  5. Oh Emjay – i’m so sorry to hear about your friend and all the other problems. Losing people we love is, i think, the hardest thing in life, and to have it happen on your bday is even worse.

    Like you, i love the decorations and other detritus of the holidays, but they are very hard for me now. Maybe i’ll take up HG’s suggestion of drinking a toast or two to those who are no longer on this planet, and try to concentrate on the good memories.

    On another note, i have never understood why people in the US habitually ask about having a good summer, and i’m from here! We certainly don’t bother to ask about other seasons. It just makes no sense to me.

    • Thank you e2thec – unfortunately we’re getting to an age now where we will be “losing” more people each year. Our friend was only just 50 years old though so he should’ve had many more years.

      Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on the good memories around holiday times – my mind tends to think how sad it is that people are not with us.

      I think I will start asking people if they’ve had a good winter! 🙂

  6. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone ask how my summer has been. Sorry to hear yours came with so much bad news. I’m sure your friend wouldn’t have wanted the cremation to take place on your birthday either.

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