It’s A Stinker

“It’s a stinker” as my mother’s stepmother, a Scot, would have said, as she delicately wiped the sweat from her brow and nose with a perfectly ironed white lawn handkerchief with that tiny spot of embroidery in the corner. It was she who made the most delicious Mint Juleps in Summer and had her own soda maker long before they were commonplace or perhaps it just seemed exotic and miraculous to me as a small child who loved the tiny miracles of life. Those Mint Juleps long ago disappeared into the memories, took residence in the past amongst the happy things of childhood. Today I ‘make do’ with a long glass of iced Bickford’s Lemon, Lime and Bitters as a ‘pick-me-up’ when the middle of the day has been achieved safely.
It’s reached 47C outside and it’s sunny, cloudless and with only a faint breeze. Nevertheless, the Country Fire Service have spotter planes out and will if necessary direct any operations from the air, prioritising fires and collecting information on arsonists. Known arsonists are confined to quarters in this weather and visited regularly. In my opinion they should be tagged for Summer for the safety of the rest of us, who could lose our lives, property, livelihoods, stock and peace of mind at their hands in a moment.
Barbara_Hanrahan_The_Children_500This is the sort of weather Barbara Hanrahan, a proudly South Australian artist, printmaker, author, teacher ( wrote about so beautifully and understood so well. She described the breathlessness, the threat and the fear that hangs in the air, the knowledge that a day like this could take our lives just because we happened to be out in it. My own Daughter described it so well when she explained last night how it felt to be travelling to the city each day in a 1970’s VDub with no aircon. Stuck at the lights or in a jam, overheating, breaking down and the water running out before the crew got there to get you going again. Quite scary! Something so simple can be so catastrophic on day’s like this. She changed cars! Life feels safer now! The weather does not and I guess unless you live in a country where this threat is real, it is hard to understand.
It is the sort of weather that makes me want to watch “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” for the beauty of the performances and for the way in which India has built and dressed for heat and does it with such style, colour and beauty. I also want to sit down and watch back episodes of Rick Stein cooking in India, sweating, undoubtedly cursing, genuinely loving the food, but so unconsciously racist, bigoted and British Empirecentric.
It is the sort of weather that calls for spicy foods, tasty morsels and light easy meals. I made Jamie’s salmon with cucumber and yoghurt dressing last night and found it quick and tasty. Perfect for a hot evening and no left-overs to deal with! Tonight a few salads – a favourite, kale with white anchovies; fresh coriander and lime pasta with something, possibly hard-boiled egg and cheese; potato salad warm with apple cider dressing and something green with tomatoes. Maybe fish too or some redgum smoked ham. Or both. What would life be without delicious food?
Right now it is a comfort, something familiar to fall back on when the going gets rough and it gets rough constantly. Sewing, a good mainstay in this weather, has become a battle of will against muscles, as my hands seize, cramp and refuse to work after a shortish time. Picking up pins, threading a needle are a challenge and one I refuse to give up. Everything I do turns clumsy. I knock over and drop things a hundred times a day, let saucepans fall on my feet, break glasses and am a liability. I continue to look for answers, to discover what the question is and to find others like me, who know better than the ‘specialists’, the ‘experts’. I wish I had known 2 or 3 years ago the importance of Vitamin D, our exposure to sunshine daily and the effects of not having that daily dose. I wish I had known and taken more notice of the importance of minerals, of Vitamin B12 and the Vitamin B complex and understood the complexity of their use in our bodies and in particular mine. The damage has been done by surgery, by prescribed medications and by my inability, due to severe illness, to pay attention to what was happening and had happened. Now that I’m awake, alert and sitting up to take notice it’s too late, the damage has been done and may never repair. I will have to come to terms with that, live with it and live the best life I can. I’m doing all I can to ensure the best repair job I can, but it will take time, maybe a year, before I can even sit up and start hoping. The journey has been a long one. What has happened to me is so tied in with my adoption I cannot prise them apart. It was as if it was predestined, my poor body set up for this from before birth. My mother is gone, she lived out a life mourning my loss, suffering from the stigma and in time learning that it was safe to talk about and discovering that it was possible to find me, to put her mind at rest. I’m so thankful she is not here to see this, to blame herself or to have to deal with it as I am going to do for the rest of my adopted life. Adoption!! Who would knowingly inflict this life on an innocent baby?


2 thoughts on “It’s A Stinker

  1. I send you all my thoughts and energy for a light body who can repair itself – as if by miracle! Love to you dear friend – and this love is for all time.

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