AUNTS UP THE CROSS…And in the Chapel on the Hill.


“Beamish-White me a family of nasty pretenders.”

Those who know the subject along with others who think my head should adorn a stake whatever the reason, won’t disagree with the writer’s self-acknowledgement of his failures and especially that of his slow wit. The reluctance to let go of the crystal set era gets the loudest sneer. If I’ve used a simile and a mild double negative earlier, then 90% of the readership has disappeared, as confused as the author. My oldie p.c. monitor plugged away faithfully and the fitted tray on its top held a lot of garbage, but we had to split and viewing the stuff-ups courtesy a LCD screen, the editing errors would have gob-smacked and split a proofreader’s ticker. I will atone.

Accomplished pen-people are loath to trawl over their old material presumably because of the age-old mixed adage/metaphor of if it isn’t rooted why bugger around with the crumbs of yesterday’s cup-cake. My reluctance to do so is founded on the failure to adequately express myself. I went in to post-edit a wrongly tensed verb, became appalled at the misuse of commas, repetition and a dearth of apostrophes and et al, and ran in fright from the abomination without addressing a single issue and made a cup of bag tea.

The tea was insipid and might have been cat’s piss. My old friends (who, what and where)? would testify at my delight and need for frequent gulps of strong black tea, the fuller-bodied the better. The private lives of tea-baggers. The micro-oven had slowed and by adding 20 seconds to the procedure, a worthy cup of cha was regained. The relating of such a little incident is explanatory to some degree of the difficulty a person like me suffers after a fifteen minute shopping excursion delivers two or three burning issues.

The tepid, undrinkable tea recalled an obligated visit to an unutterably slow relative and her equally dim partner who carefully followed my kitchen movements after I expressed a wish to make my own follow-up cup of tea having compromised my taste-buds with her disgraceful effort. There is a place for tea-bagging and it is not in the kitchen. There, tea leaves and tea pot dominate, but the use of bags requires an expertise unknown to my hosts. The micro oven was of identical power to mine and I hit two minutes 10 for a mug and went to power on. I was stopped by two panicky Sister Ratched’s chiding an errant mental patient.

“You don’t do it like that,” declared the aged thick-head who appears not to have gleaned much nous in his 75 years.“What you do is… etc.” This know-it-all dummkopf Val, and his friend act in the style of Queensland Housing Commission marauding harpies and are representative of why Australia’s future can sink only into an Orwellian pit, or raise the spectre of Ann Rand’s “Who is John Galt”? Earlier, in a fruitless attempt to converse on contemporary events, I lamented the 30 year embargo on Cabinet documents. “It’s not thirty years, it’s twenty-five years,” he insisted. My tears once wept!

Attempting to explain a newly obtained micro-oven is to ascertain the time to make an agreeable mug of tea and having established a number, allow 10 seconds either way for variations like air and water temperature and the reading of the Coral Sea synoptic chart and Bob’s your uncle. Nonsense, they declared. So if a bit of water boils over? “Oh, Bless me Lord, all is lost. Unholy of unholies.” One walks away from wankers and forever avoids fuck-wits like these and I did and I do. The female of these unthinking creatures who sought to enlighten me on the ways of the world is she who accepted an original 1965 paper-back, Aunts Up The Cross, to keep occupied on her four hour home trip after a brief sojourn at my home.

Being once a frequent book buyer, I developed a habit of clipping from the publication the review of the book that induced me to purchase it. Subsequent mentions were added and left between pages, rarely looked at again. But they were there. Some time after her visit a City rendezvous was arranged, a nightmare Hicksville event, but that story must wait. Casually flipping the returned book’s pages, I noted the absence of the cut-outs. With the blank innocence of a cretin she told me, “Why you needed all those bookmarks I’ll never know, anyway I threw them out for you.”

As a long admitted computer illiterate, but with an understanding of the style of these self-promoting blowhards, I tentatively tested a computer whiz-kid whose knowledge on the subject is comprised mainly of half a dozen IT buzz-words, replied that low order stuff like that is answered only by low order staff while his vulgar spouse reiterated his importance, insisting that his vast knowledge is not disclosed to wasters and that he needs to be elsewhere at this very minute adding dollars to their assets. Such is lurve, but such is his haste, I like to think, that a scam is called for to replenish his adoring wife’s coffers after its depletion by the IT con-man.

Kiss me Hardy, I want to be ill. Les.“Beamish-White me a family of nasty pretenders.”

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