Sunday, January 13, 2008

A distinguished birthday

I attended a birthday celebration for Anne's mother today. There must have been about 40 people there for a lunch. Anne is in her 60s and her mother has just turned 90. Her mother is still mentally alert and articulate but just in the last year or so has had to adopt use of a walking frame. Some good genes there.

The function was at Beerwah RSL club and was very efficiently catered. The meal was a traditional Australian lunch -- a piece of roast chicken, a big slice of ham and a salad. The salad comprised lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and pickled beetroot but there was no dressing on it. I gave my piece of beetroot to Anne. Dessert was apple pie or Pavlova.

There were quite a few short and affectionate speeches -- in which it was repeatedly noted what a demon housekeeper and outstanding cook of lemon meringue pie Doris (Anne's mother) always was. She did seem to enjoy the occasion and answered back a few times during the speeches.

Bill, Doris's husband, was there. He is even older than Doris and also cannot get around well but he was still the perfect gentleman that he has always been. He is not a gentleman in any formal sense. He spent his working life in sawmills. But, as my father was, he is a natural gentleman. A lot of the old "bushies" (forest workers, country people) were. Apologies for the lame translation of "bushie". It is yet another part of Australian English that just does not yield well to translation.

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