Resting Places; Take Two

Resting Places; Take Two

At Tom’s,

Normans Road Post Centre

Normans Road Post Centre

I stop to browse the shelves; to see what’s new,

to post a letter,

and discuss the weather

The weather

The weather (remnants of Cyclone Lusi)

and the state of the nation,

and the state of the street, and the theme of the week.

Hairy Maclary and Friends "hungrily sniffing and licking their chops, they followed him past the school and the shops"

Hairy Maclary, from Donaldson’s Dairy, andΒ  Friends “hungrily sniffing and licking their chops, they followed him past the school and the shops”

And catch, if I can, the tales, that Mavis

must tell, of Mrs Carbuncle’s feet.

If I linger long, and lost, in Nancy’sΒ  garden of notes,

I am bound to hear of Audrey’s Jim, who’s rowed ever so wellΒ  in the Maadi Cup,

and big brother Ben, who’s working in London and enjoying the slum of his OE* flat,

whilst Susan’s Prudence has had enough and is heading back home, come next June, to give little Johnny and Sam the chance of living close to Nan, and squelching their toes in the soil of the land.

And I will hear Tom say, with wisdom and care, ‘That’ll be twenty, today, Alastair, and Margaret’s magazine will be here next week. See you then. ”

A few blocks north and it’s time to sit,

The old barber's chair

The old barber’s chair

in an old barber’s chair, where a golden-haired maiden, elegant and thin,

washes and trims this gossip’s, (yours truly πŸ™‚ ), grey mane ,

whilst we discuss the earthquakes, the state of repairs,

and her good young man who knows how to cook and take care of the kids.

And, as we engage in idle chatter, Hamish and Ryan wriggle and squirm on the bench by the door,

waiting their turn (no appointments necessary)Β  for a short back and sides, because Mum, flipping texts and pages, said that they must,

all oblivious to the fact that once, over there, Charlie stood,

and sold a half loaf of bread to Martha and Fred, and a scoop of sugar for Mother’s tea.

Only Mother said could they have it on tick, because baby Mabel is sick, and Pa’s got no work till next Tuesday week.

And kind Charlie nodded, and sighed,Β  with wisdom and care, and allowed them to add broken biscuits for free, because he knew Billy and Annie would pay when they could. Then he secured the safe in the floor,

and went to his home, out the back door,

where his Kathleen played and the dog kept watch.Β  And Charlie was content that, at least, for this day, he had food in the larder, stock in his shop and a place to stop, with his lovely Louisa andΒ  daughters, two.

The shop,Β  which is now Madisons for Haircuts,Β  was operated (owned?) by my grandfather for a few years, from 1921. It is one of the few physical reminders of our family history that survived the earthquakes.

[This will be my last post for a few weeks. I will be taking a rest from writing my blog as I will be busy with house guests until early April. I will try, as best as I can, to read your blogs and comments but I may not be as active as usual.]

*OE means Overseas Experience, a little like a Gap Year.


114 thoughts on “Resting Places; Take Two

  1. Pingback: Patience, patience…. | silkannthreades

  2. Pingback: Resting Places; a Trio | silkannthreades

  3. restlessjo

    What a charming post, Gallivanta! πŸ™‚ I’ve often seen your name on comments as I breezed by but don’t think I’ve had the pleasure till today. Thanks for taking first leap πŸ™‚

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for coming to visit me. It’s very hard to keep up with everyone one would like to. Lots of resting places are required to sustain the real life world and the internet one. πŸ™‚

  4. violetski

    I was really busy and had some visitors too and didn’t check friends blog! Just now I read your post and got you’ve been busy tooπŸ˜ƒ
    Happy to see your beautiful posts, pictures againπŸ˜ƒβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈ

  5. gpcox

    Is everything alright, Gallivanta? You were going to organize your spare room and that was the last we heard from you – 17 days ago. I just want to make certain you are well and all is A-OK.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you kindly for your concern GP. All is well. But I can’t believe 17 days have already gone by! I have been busy and happy with wonderful visitors. They leave tomorrow and I shall be sad, for a while, in the quietness of my house. I hope to be back on WordPress by the end of the week. Looking forward to catching up on everything.

      1. gpcox

        Thanks for getting back so quickly – just wanted to be sure you were alright. Glad you’ve been enjoying the company of friends!

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          With guests and sightseeing and meal planning etc I haven’t been able to keep up with WordPress as well. 😦 But you are a good friend to check on me πŸ™‚


        an extended limerick with sonnets and haikus?

        yaaaaay! happy happy birthday, dear gallivanta! πŸ˜€

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And it was a very happy birthday even though no limericks were forthcoming from my ageing brain! Sonnets and haikus were absent too. πŸ˜‰


          we all age once we’re born πŸ˜›
          glad to hear it was a very happy one. may the new gallivanta year be like a pearl necklace of very happy days.

          funny though that I wrote about jewellery the day of your birthday… hehe.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I saw that. I had a quick peek. It’s lovely to know that some jewellers are taking environmental issues seriously. I must confess I can be very good re the environment concerning clothes, food, cosmetics etc but jewellery is a great weakness of mine. If it’s beautiful, I just want it and I can blot the environment out of the equation. 😦 But I am trying to improve, (with age) on this weakness.


          there’s brilliant earth you could consider (link in the post, some place on top). they ship for free to australia and they work with recycled metals and with canadian diamonds which are per definitionem conflict-free.

          (sadly they don’t ship AT ALL to germany)

          and tracy has a collection called “reflection” ( – I love those pieces too, somewhat edgy yet glamourous, and I don’t need to pick my auntses old jewels apart to get those ;). have put a few items on my wishlist ^^ my birthday is in may, so I might as well spoil myself, hehe

  6. mmmarzipan

    what lovely glimpses of your life! I have been scrolling through my reading list, hoping to see one of your posts come up… and this was a lovely one to start with! I hope the last couple of months have treated you well. Looking forward to catching up more now that I am home πŸ™‚ x

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Miss Marzipan! How lovely to see you again. I have been wondering about your whereabouts. I am sure you are glad to be home but also missing your Australian family. Hopefully the worst of the Northern winter is over and you can move straight in to a glorious spring :).

  7. Miss Lou

    Beautiful account of ones daily adventures!! I love Hairy Maclary – as do my children πŸ™‚

    Makes me feel like I am there – reading your words and looking at your pictures… the details of so many lives, what provides a community with a sense of ‘community’ Knowing each other, and sharing and caring…. sometimes gossiping, but mostly caring and being there when it counts.

    I hope you have a wonderful time entertaining your guests over the next few weeks πŸ™‚


  8. Clanmother

    I find your ability to create extraordinary moment within a ordinary day, to be absolutely remarkable. A wonderful post.

    β€œ…and it occurred to me, with the forcefulness of a thought experienced in 360 degrees, that that’s really what history mostly is: masses of people doing ordinary things.” Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  9. melodylowes

    Love this! Absolutely adorable, the charming little details of your day. Have fun with your guests – enjoy some tea and tears and smiles and laughter – you see, I know what will happen! πŸ™‚

  10. Leya

    Thank you for sharing a part of your daily life – a stroll, a feeling of being with you and listening to the conversations. A poetic journey accompanied by lovely photos and lovely you! I do wish you a pleasant and entertaining time with your visitors. I know they will have a great time in your care – see you soon!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am missing our daily communication but have had a lovely time with my first visitor. I am now preparing for my next guests who arrive at the airport on Wednesday.

  11. Dina

    Thanks for letting us take part in your life, I enjoyed this post very much. Enjoy the time with your guests, have a great time! πŸ™‚
    Love, Dina and Klausbernd
    and Siri and Selma say hellooooo, too! πŸ™‚

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have had a wonderful weekend with my first house guest. My next guests arrive on Wednesday. Special hello back to Siri and Selma. They would love all the new books that have arrived on my doorstep this week.

  12. shoreacres

    I’m still enjoying discovering your world – everything from the books to the foods to the lovely notecards. I have no doubt you’ll show your guests the same lovely time you show your blog visitors. Enjoy your time with them. We’ll just poke around a bit while you’re gone….

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You are so right. I have just taken my guest for a tour around the city and shown her many of the things I have shown you on my blog. πŸ™‚ We have a beautiful day for gallivanting/sightseeing.

  13. dadirri7

    Enjoy your guests … ours have just left, meaning I have time for the blogging world again, time to browse and catch up on the news, just like you did so beautifully in your lovely post πŸ™‚

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      First guest arrives tomorrow. You did well to post so much whilst your guests were with you. I guess it’s a little bit 😦 now they have left.

  14. tamara

    What a vivid post, I almost feel like being there myself! I’ll miss your WordPress presence but I do wish you a great, joyful time with your visitors!

  15. Tiny

    Thanks Gallivanta for taking, us along in making, this poetic journey! Enjoy your guests, and take a deserved rest, from blogging too. Will miss you.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I feel a little guilty abandoning online friends for real life friends because you are all precious, but I am not a very good multi-tasker, so this blogging break seems the best way to go. Bumble’s story should be here soon, so you will be in my thoughts during my break.

  16. Mary Mageau

    What a delightful journey you treated us to. The photos enriched the whole story so well. Enjoy a break with your guests and we’ll welcome you back when you return.

  17. Virginia Duran

    I found this post really poetic! Good to hear your family will be around the following days. Enjoy the break πŸ™‚

  18. vsperry

    A perfect post for this morning’s blogging time…I feel like I was right there (maybe in a corner) watching it all. Have a lovely blog break, enjoy your guests and (I guess) Happy Birthday…

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you! I wondered if that was you that I caught in the corner of my eye πŸ˜‰ . Yes, another birthday soon. I will try to keep calm and enjoy it.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you YC. If the weather is good, I will be doing some sight seeing with my guests, so I should have some interesting new photos when I get back to blogging.

  19. Mrs. P

    I loved it!

    Seems like several of us are busy with projects. I found I was starting to get stressed, something I avoid at all cost. I want blogging to stay a fun journey, best to break when needed.

    Thank you for the birthday wish. It’s so much nicer being able to share it with you. You have a lovely birthday, too. Sounds as if you’ve already invited your birthday guests… Should be perfect! πŸ™‚

  20. gpcox

    No matter what the hardship, your people are strong and your country survives – in the meantime, you supply us with interesting posts!

  21. KerryCan

    What I like best about your post is the sense of interconnectedness, among family, generations, townspeople. It’s a special feeling to live where your family has a history and deep roots, and you convey that so well!! Have a fun break with your guests! I’ll miss you.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am touched that you find that I convey history and deep roots. I have struggled for years to know where my roots are and have often felt very alien in my surroundings. Perhaps, at last, in a quiet way, my feet are finding a foothold and maybe my heart too. Thanks for missing me :).

  22. utesmile

    I always love your posts they are always for me so calming and interesting. You enjoy your guests and give them your full attention as they deserve. I can already smell the goodies you make for htem in your kitchen……..
    I’ll miss you but I now you will be back. Enjoy every moment and stay in the presence. Much love Ute x

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks Ute, and I am already thinking about what I will bake. I will probably start with a rhubarb cake because I still have lots of rhubarb in the garden. It’s nice to know I’ll be missed πŸ™‚ but you may see me pop up in a few comments now and again!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mmmm….well….they probably aren’t all that exciting but, these days, I much prefer visiting shops where I don’t have to hurry and where there’s friendly customer service. Thanks for your good wishes. I hope I can offer my guests better weather than what we’ve been having so far this autumn.

  23. Juliet

    What a delightful taste of your neighbourhood, your day, and your life. Have a good break. I’ve been occupied with the big project, so have not been such a regular visitor or blog poster over the last few weeks. We bloggers need to find our rhythm, don’t we?

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Juliet. Your big project sounds exciting. I am not very good at doing lots of things at the same time, so I have decided I need to reduce my concentration on my blog and be fully present for my guests. I will keep checking in from time to time. πŸ™‚


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