Lunch and my guests have come and gone. We had a magical, fun, sometimes pensive, but alway interesting afternoon. As I said in my previous post, I prepare far too much food...but what's new? At least, I don't have to worry about where my next ten meals are coming from!
Fia, the distaff side of my friends, and I fell apart in a fit of giggles at one stage. I have no idea, really, what started our hysterics, but they lingered on for quite a while. Tears of laughter flowed down the cheeks of our faces, while Paul, Fia's husband, looked on in askance...which, I might add, is not a foreign expression for a man when two women who understand and like each other are together!
Today, 17th February was/is my mother's birthday. My mother passed away many years ago at a young age...far too young for someone who was once a very vibrant, beautiful woman. Tall of stature, with a proud bearing and perfect posture, my mother had deep auburn hair and blue eyes. As a child, when her teacher asked her from where she got her 'red' hair, her answer was, "My grandfather's moustache". He, I was told throughout my childhood, was a proud, somewhat precocious Irishman, with jet black hair and a ginger moustache. He married a wee lass from Scotland. On the maternal side, a staunch, brave Scots Highlander played his part in the gene pool.
My mother, Elma Flora Hay, typical of her flaming locks, was head-strong. She was an in-store mannequin...not one of those window dummies...but a walking, talking mannequin aka these days, model, who modeled, it is reported, the first two piece bathing suit in Queensland. This story I believe, as I have a photograph of her in such attire from that particular time, framed upon one of my walls. After she passed away, I had the original photograph 're-done' for posterity.
My mother was many things. Spoiled as a child, she learned dancing...ballet and tap, piano, horse-riding and was always dressed well. She was a very good dancer and in my tender years she taught others to dance...and tried valiantly with me. I succeeded to a degree. She was a brilliant pianist, either by ear or what she learned by her years under the guidance of a teacher. She could play anything from classical, to jazz, to blues, to modern..ballads to rock. She knew how to improvise and did it expertly. I don't say this because she was my mother. I say it because she could and did it very well. At one stage she was part of a dance band in Gympie, where I grew up. She was a huge fan of the style of Fats Waller. Even today, when I play his music...I have a couple of CDs of Fats Waller's marvellous ability at the keyboard...I hear my mother playing the piano whenever I play Waller. I must admit I don't do that very often. Something I might rectify this evening...just for old time's sake. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit my mother's excellence at the ebony and ivory. I'm a bit like a herd of elephants when it comes to the piano, even after five years of classes. I have to be honest here, though, while attending piano tuition, I did earn top marks in all my examinations, both theory and practical, I am absolutely hopeless now! I guess I don't have the 'saving' capacity...my fingers and mind are like sieves as far as retaining the ability of nimble fingers across the keyboard of a piano. I can pedal a pianola quite well, though...if that is any consolation! Please excuse my singing, though!
I did, however, inherit some of my mother's bad traits...impatience, for one! There are others, but I'm not going to divulge those. I'm going to keep you guessing! I would like to keep you thinking that I'm perfect in every way!!!!!!!!!
No matter what direction life took my mother...she always dressed well, sometimes...perhaps often, to the envy of others. She was a good woman, albeit complex. But then, who amongst us, isn't?
Today is a celebration of the life of Elma Flora Hay-Nicholson-Hill...my mother. The good and the bad...the human frailties of us all. Without her and Joe Nicholson, my father, I would not be here today. And...hey! That would be a sacrilege! What would I do without me? Here's lookin' at you kid!
PS....to everyone who trips through my door and whose door I poke my head around...sorry I've not visited you over the past couple of days. I promise you I will catch up with you all tomorrow!