Thursday … 21st … Cloudy with only a gentle breeze, but still damn cold outside
Was a late start today, didn’t hear anyone moving around down stairs, so I lay in bed until eight thirty, when I arrived in the kitchen I see Norma has indeed been up and put the gammon on to boil, this takes about an hour or so, after which she scores the fat surround and inserts cloves into the slots before popping it into a hot oven, for about twenty mins to half an hour.
Pat wandered in so we all had brekkie, cleaned up the kitchen and headed off to the local supermarket to pickup last minute goodies for the family get-together Norma’s catering for tonight, once back home it’s all systems go, Pat starts making a tossed salad, Norma prepares the gammon for the oven, I am sent out into the hot house to attend to a parcel of seedlings that we found on the doorstep. on our arrival from the supermarket, it appears Joe had ordered them prior to becoming ill.
Next came lunch where we all ended up having cheese and crackers with a hot drink of our choice, just as we were finishing, a knock on the door and in walks Ian, just dropped in to check his mum was doing ok, I did the dishes and een upstairs to my room, leaving the three of them discussing family matters.
Once Ian left ,while Norma tended to cooking a large slab of salmon, Pat and I bought in extra chairs, I ducked into the shower while the other two set the table up with glasses and nibbles, the gamin was by this time out of the oven cooling, but the mouth watering aroma was almost cruel knowing we couldn’t sample any.
My only contact with the family results from a forty one year close friendship with Joe’s sister Pat, Patricia whom I accompanied on a visited here for a month twelve years ago, admittedly Susan and her hubby John came to Aus last February, for a visit with Pat and her family, and of course we reconnected.
Tonight was a bitter sweet gathering, where I, as last time was treated as a long standing member of the family, the memories shared bought forth laughter as well as tears, they toasted Joe as a Husband, father, Grand Father and as a friend, with Champagne, and bubbling grape juice for we non drinkers, tomorrow morning we will all gather again to say a final good bye, it will be a sad, sad day.
On a brighter note, after everyone left we took our hot drinks of choice into the lounge room for a spot of TV, I was waiting in anticipation until ten forty five pm, being six forty five am Aussie time, so I could safely ring our daughter in Aus to wish her a happy birthday, she is a sleepy head in the mornings, I knew it was fifteen minutes before her alarm goes off, I’m sure she will find it in her heart to forgive me when she thinks about it later J. It was lovely touching base and having a chat, luckily home sickness doesn’t affect me as such, but every now and again I miss my family and the pets, but it’s a more peaceful sleep I’ll get tonight thanks to chatting with Bindy.