Sunday May 31 was my 75th birthday. I don’t really believe it. I am now officially “old”. According to the Queensland Government anyway, which deems that I must now have a doctor’s certificate to say that I am fit enough to drive a car.
And of course in the eyes of all young people I am indeed an old lady. But let me tell you, this old lady ain’t going quietly! After all, I can not only still drive a car with a certain amount of verve and the same pleasure I’ve always found in driving, I can also rock and roll! And sing. And play the ukulele. And bushwalk. And indeed do most of the things I’ve always done. I just do some of them more slowly, is all. Take the time to smell the flowers.
This makes me one of the lucky ones. Though I don’t feel so lucky right now because 2020, which began with so much promise, has turned out to be a bugger of a year so far. First there was Covid19 which though it didn’t affect Queenslanders too much still restricted our lives and saddened us with what was happening elsewhere – as well as dominating the news for weeks.
Then I lost my beloved son – a blow that will always damn 2020 in my memory long after the Cvirus has gone from it. And I had a tooth abscess. And shingles. And as I write this we are not yet halfway through the year!
But life, while we still have it, should still be celebrated. And so I made as much of my birthday (because I’ve always loved birthdays) as possible under the circumstances. Here it is in pictures:
Bernice’s poem – “Owed to Julie” (with apologies to certain other lesser poets!). It’s a marvellous poem and has me nailed – beautifully illustrated too. A real keepsake. Lots of subtle references. And please note the final infernal reference – cheeky girl! – but never mind Bernice, I’ll see you down there!
She of shapely leg and golden hair,
Who likes to play some little air,
Upon her Ukulele
Tra la le and tra la lo – and then a pling
Shall I compare her to a summer’s day?
Rough chilly winds did shake the darling buds of May,
When she was born.
And for those, who become objects of her scorn,
Watch out! There’s Julie!
Nuns at school tried to save her soul
At least I heard that was their goal
They had as much chance as a wax cat in hell
She fought for her freedom, like William Tell
She must have been a “bomb” back then,
Alas, alak, all those poor men,
But one she captured – quite a prize
I think that he was anaesthetised
Life is full of roads not wandered
But she followed many – pondered.
Migrating with her little family
She went through tough times – behaved quite grandly,
In spite of being Julie.
And years from now – when she’s gone
And you hear a Ukulele strumming on,
The sound wafted upwards by summer breezes
And by rough hot winds that dare to tease us.
Stop awhile, have a smile – and say, “There’s Julie”.