Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ok so another exciting day at the office. Well, I thought, as it was mother's day I'd tell you about Inge who who is a most redoubtable great grandmother, and probably my favourite islander, whose mixture of broad Australian with the accents of her native Germany always make me grin. She pops in probably once a week for a coffee and a chat and to give my feeble gardening efforts the benefit of her bright eye and sense of humour. She's two bricks and a tickey high but walks with her little dog, and is, as I said a new and very proud great grandmother, but has her garden in terrifyingly pristine order. We had that storm the other night and as the little screen on the top of her gutter blocked, so water was fountaining out her gutter and "Ruining me garden!" So out she runs in the pouring rain and fetches her ladder and climbs up and fixes it, all the time 'thinking the lightning gonna hit me roof, and me mit me nightdress on.' And knowing that it's a metal ladder... She's not one to let anything stop her, and seems in a way representative of the attitude and way of life here. A lot of the islanders are elderly. But they seem as sharp at 90 as a fair number of 50 year-olds I've met. I put it down to muttonbirds, the diet, the excercise. We hope for windless days. "You never escape the wind on Flinders." Which is not strictly true - but Glady (sp?)one of the other redoubtable great grandmothers was explaining that when they were little and living on one of the offshore islands windless days were a problem. They got everywhere by sail. All of them - girls boys -the lot HAD to know how to sail from very young. A different world.

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