Hello dear friends

Yesterday, Shakespeare got a bit much for me when Shirley our teacher, wanted to continue when I was ready to leave! Romeo and Juliet was getting a bit too heavy for me and 2-1/2 hours was all I could cope with without a break.

Perhaps my mind was on other things that are happening in the family, not least of all Geoff’s sick sister who has twice cheated death in the last six weeks. Her latest bout of pneumonia is well behind her and she has gone home to Hervey Bay now to spend some quality time with family during her last days.

I went to have a coffee after Shakespeare classes with one of the ladies, but the coffee machine at the cafe had broken down and so we opted to go home and meet again next time! Surely, it wasn’t going to be one of those days? After lunch and a rest, I opened my Poppy Journal and found this entry from last week which begged to be written up on my blog.

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

In-depth housework had been forgotten as I had given myself some time out and I had done whatever pleased me, which is always a luxury. Enjoy my excerpt about travelling on the buses at the end of the day. I have written before about The Remains of the Day in various other formats but I couldn’t resist that title for my piece today. (Read one post with a poem about end of day on this link: https://tessross.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/tuesday/)

Of course the title  comes from the award-winning book which was then made into a delightful movie “The Remains of the Day” …  have you ever seen it? The movie stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It tells the story of how, as Butler and Housekeeper, they become close as they spend each evening together sharing a drink and discussing the ‘remains of the day’ after keeping a busy country house all day. This was England during the 1930s and it is such a lovely gentle movie … a romance of sorts and very poignant.

Watch it if you can. In the meantime, here is my little version of The Remains of the Day:

Thursday 3rd April 2014

The sun is sinking lower and lower in the sky as my bus takes me up the highway to my daughter’s house for the night. If it wasn’t for the traffic noise, it would be a peaceful time. There’s a certain glow on the horizon as the sun prepares for its ascent.

The people on the bus are subdued. They’re work people returning home after a busy day. I hear no talking, no laughter; they are tired and all is quiet as I sit here and write. They mostly sit and stare as if they are shell-shocked after a busy day.

Packed securely in my overnight bag in a container, is pineapple spare ribs for our dinner, which I made before lunch. It’s a good feeling helping out and always a time of enjoyment with my granddaughters. I wonder as I write what I might expect this evening. Geoff has been left at home with a plate of the food I cooked. He’s far too impatient after working all day, to come with me; a Sargent-Major of sorts and I find it easier to go on my own during the week.

He’s already planning a list of rules for when our girls stay in the van with us at Easter. The sentiment is good and there needs to be rules, but sometimes the manner in which it is delivered is not so great! However, with a bit of prodding from me, he is open to be guided and I have warned him about his brusque manner. “Okay … okay I get the picture” he says after much discussion.

We are travelling to Hervey Bay – four hours north of Brisbane – at that time. In fact the whole family will be joining us so it promises to be a lot of fun. Dan, Bel, their children and Grandma Pat and Grandad have rented a large house not far from our caravan park so we have high expectations for loads of family time.

Meanwhile, not far away from us in Hervey Bay, Geoff’s 78-year-old sister has gone home to die with the help of palliative care and so we will be visiting often. At this stage, she is not near the end so we hope to have some nice time with her also.


h park busway

Underneath the Bus Station where I sit. This must have been taken at a very quiet hour! I sit on a seat at the left of the picture.

I’m now sitting on my favourite bench under the Busway waiting for Maria to pick me up. I’ve sat here a lot in the past year … throughout every season … so it’s quite familiar to me. A cool breeze blows on my face. It’s autumn now but I am quite prepared with a scarf and a light jacket.

Activity is all around me as people alight the Bus Station above and walk down to street level to go home. Cars picking up commuters , honking of horns to gain attention; birds twittering amidst the noise as they get ready for end of day. Traffic lights: red … green … and amber flash. It’s all happening here. Within another hour, it will be much quieter and it will certainly be dark by then.

The footsteps of those walking home are determined yet there is a certain swagger as if it is an effort. They are tired it seems. Not long now before they are home where they’ll open the front door and flop onto a comfy chair as they throw their handbag down and say “Thank God I’ve survived another day … now to get tea!”

For me, it’s only the beginning of my ‘day.’ I’m on the night shift with Maria and my two granddaughters. It will be “Grandma! Grandma!” pretty soon and then all the fun begins. Between the two of  us it will be getting dinner on the table, baths, bedtime stores for the little one and all manner of other things before bedtime. It will start again tomorrow and I won’t stop until 8.30am when Maria will drop me at this stop again, this time to catch the bus home.

Then, it will be ME opening the front door and flopping into that comfy chair as I say to myself, “I have survived another visit … now for a cup of tea!” As much as I love going, the visit is full-on as I try to help as much as I can. Perhaps this is why I recognise that look in the commuters eyes as they do that last trudge home at night.

Ah yes, the Remains of the Day … no matter what time of night or day, it comes to us all after a lot of hard work has been put in … and how wonderful it feels to come home!