Childhood memories

[This series of excerpts gives some idea of the difficulties my mother faced.]

28.9: Pom arrives home about 10 with a wire to say Master will be home today. I rush round the housebrushing and polishing like mad to have the place clean for him. He get's home about 2.30. Very thin and looking wretched.

9.10: Master goes back today. I walk to the store with him and ring Dr O'Brien. Home by the gully. Clean house. Write him at night. Fine and cold in the house, but pleasant in the sun. Very miserable without my love.

10.10: Feeling very unhappy and ill. Too much worry over Master and too many sleepless nights. Ric goes to the store, and returns with a wire saying Master has been given three months sick leave. The shock finishes me. I return to the cane lounge with a large whiskey. My legs refuse to hold me up. After lunch I go to the store to send him a wire. Get petrol. Write at night. Completely exhausted and have bad attack of staggers.

13.10: Very sick today. I think I have mumps.

14.10.42: Very ill indeed. Heart playing up at night, throat swollen and extremely painful. Master walks in after lunch. Very glad to see him.

16.10: The children pick up a baby flying phalanger in the gully. It has not got it's eyes open, but takes food from a spoon. We call him Jungella.

18.10: My birthday. Too ill to be interested in anything.

24.10: Fine and warm. All cranky and noisy and snarky with each other.

25.10: Beautiful morning. Have some difficulty starting car, but get away at 10.30. Cannot get the gas. At Kilsyth the petrol runs out, and fire not yet burning properly. Leave car in backyard of Mrs Legges house. Walk home. Dinky runs across in front of charabanc nearly causing serious accident. Only great skill on part of Air Force driver saves her life and prevents bus being overturned. We walk nearly four miles before Mr Bull picks us up. I carry Dinky quite half of them! Poor little Jungella dies. *

26.10: Fine and warm. I catch 10.30 bus to Kilsyth, get petrol tickets and bring home car and go Olinda for stores. Do some weeding and burn a little bracken. Very tired at night.

29.10: Cloudy and cool. Looked like rain early. I take children to dentist and oculist. Gas gives out on return and we reverse up the Mt. Leave car at store. Lose the milk money £1. Probably pinched in garage. Letter from Beryl.

* We were intending to take Jungella to Healesville Sanctuary so they could look after him. Soon after we started walking home a tourist bus came along and mother tried to wave it down, but Julian ran out in front of it. It wasn't allowed to pick us up anyway - some regulation or other!

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

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