priyanka’s purse part ii

23 October 2008

Remember this little bag that I made as a gift to Priyanka, who is the child I sponsor ? I got a letter from the project last week, saying:

‘Loving regards to you from Priyanka and her family members.  They thank you for your love, care, support loving letter and gift of purse. Priyanka is very happy and took the purse in her hand’.

I was beginning to worry that the bag had been kidnapped on the way to Chhattisgarh, so I’m very happy to hear it got there in one piece.

The letter also had some sad news:

‘We are very sorry to inform you the sudden death of Priyanka’s Father. On 14th June he was on the mango tree to pluck the mango for pickle and meanwhile one of the branches broke down and he fell down and on the spot he died.”

What do I say when I write back? What do you say to an eight year old girl who has lost her father? A girl in a country where an already hard life is even harder for the widows and the fatherless. What do I say?


letters galore

19 October 2008

:: postcard of the SS Narkunda

I need to apologise to the letter swap participants for not being the most pro-active organiser.  Note to self: do not undertake to organise things in the middle of moving house.  Still, I enjoyed my letters from Kate, Beth and Jessica, Allison and Diana.  (to the last two: your replies are written and waiting to be sent and I will do that this week come what may)

When I was digging out stationery, I found the old postcard above.  It was in a second-hand book I bought once.  The message on the back says:

Dearest Peggy, (Hobart My Home address Hayelbrook Segerwood Tasmania)

Just a note to say I arrived safely at Hobart after a very rough stormy trip.  I missed two or three meals but was not sea sick, but very few were not sick.  We struck a very bad storm passing through Bass Straights.  One poor man died and was buried at sea at 11am Saturday morning, it was the first burial I had ever seen at sea, it was very sad, his wife was with him and she had to finish the journey on her own.

Merv and Mary met me at the boat, we were seven hours late getting in.  I might go home on Wednesday by car, I am anxious to see them all.  I can’t tell you much on a postcard.  I wrote to Avis on the boat also Ethel.

Well darling I wish you a very Happy Xmas and a Bright and prosperous New Year.  Write soon there’s a dear.  Merv and Mary send their compliments to you.  I will write more next time.  I went to Church twice yesterday, lots of love to you all Esme.

I wonder what happened to Esme?

what i did next

19 October 2008

  • I moved house.  The new house is a bit cold, but spacious.  It has lots of cupboards, and I like that – my old house had no cupboards at all.  It has a garden with big trees begging for hammocks, and a lawn.  It has no bench space in the kitchen, which is very frustrating, and an electric stove which has turned me into a bad cook.  It has a possum in the back yard who eats my rhubarb and my herbs.
  • I had flu, three times in three months.
  • I cut my finger, down to the bone, lots of blood, and badly enough to make me faint and need stitches.  It’s better now but still aches if bumped or cold.
  • My new job went crazy.  Two weeks after I started, my boss was seconded elsewhere at three hours notice and I was told I’d be acting in his place till further notice.  I panicked hourly (on the inside) while trying to maintain a calm demeanour on the outside.  Further notice was 8 weeks.
  • At the end of eight weeks, I was moved on to [Very Important Team] to write [Very Important Policy Document to Save World] in [Very Short Time Frame].  Very stressful.
  • I bought a bike.  I love my bike and have christened it La Bicicletta.
  • I organised internet access for the new house.  This took weeks and was extremely frustrating and could only be resolved, eventually, by getting a cable installed and agreeing to pay twice as much for half the speed and download capacity we had in Sydney.
  • I met the Canberra knitting ladies, who are very kind and welcoming.  And one of them gave me rhubarb which is about to be turned into a cake.
  • I unpacked my sewing machine and my yarn, and started making/doing again, and that feels pretty good.

Just before I left Sydney I was having coffee with J, and I said, I felt like my life right now could be a series of short spoken songs.  Small scenes that have a certain musicality about them,but no tune.

Here they are.  More because I need to start writing again than because they will be of particular interest for anyone.

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