Monday, December 31, 2012

Some thoughts before another new year.

It's been years since I've gone out on New Year's Eve. I like to spend the night at home, thinking about things that have happened, should have happened, will happen or might happen.

This year, in sunny Queensland for the first time in over 10 years, I'm thinking about how much things have changed here since we left more than 20 years ago with Farouk and Jehan, in an old Ford towing a trailer with a few bags and boxes, and a lot of trepidation and uncertainty.
There was some talk about visiting our old neighbourhood. We wonder how our neighbours are. They were old when we were young. A few were sickly. We kept in touch for a while after we left, but not in the last 15 years or so. I have a feeling they might be dead. I don't want to know really because it would cause me some regret. 

I'm not sure I want to see the old house with its giant jacaranda, taking up the whole front yard. Or the 2 poincianas by the kerb. Mostly because it would make me think of Jehan and Farouk lying in dappled sunlight, on a carpet of purple and red flowers.
One of the best surprises we've had since arriving, is how friendly the people are here. They still say "G'day!" when they pass by on the wide and quiet streets in my brother's neighbourhood. 
G'day! Seriously? They smile. They nod. It's almost unsettling to be looking at someone's eyes as they walk by, rather than above their heads and into the distance.

Last week, I was taking pictures of a particularly gorgeous poinciana tree  a few roads away,
when 4 little girls walking by stopped and came up to me. "Why are you taking pictures of the tree?" they demanded loudly and without a hint of shyness or decorum. And then "Why don't you climb up to take the pictures?" When I showed them the strap around my stinky knee, one of them offered, "I can climb up and take them for you if you like!" 

Children who talk to strangers? Not so common where we live. My brother thinks they would just have run off with the camera. But I am choosing to think otherwise.

So thank you little girls. It's nice to know that somewhere, kiddies are still kiddies, and parents still feel okay to let them walk around unaccompanied. 

One morning, we took a train to Chinatown in the Valley. (Total waste of time if anyone reading this is considering a visit.) On the ride back, as the train pulled into our station, a young man pushed the button to open the doors for us. I guess he saw our shopping bags in both hands. 

Trivial? Perhaps. But it's been a long while since I've experienced a simple courtesy like this in Sydney where school children often take up seats on a bus while adults with stinky knees and grey haired nanas stand. (They're not supposed to do that by the way, but the drivers don't admonish them often enough.) 

So thank you, young man, whoever you are. You might look a little scary, but you're more than okay.

Could it just be the holidays that's making people nice? I don't know. Were they like this 20 years ago? I don't remember. I didn't think so. The years in Sydney have made me forgetful. 

But frankly, I don't care. Whatever it is, I'm going to soak it all up while I can. We leave on January 1.

That's pretty much what I'm thinking about, 1 day before another new year. What about you? 

Thank you for dropping by in 2012, and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Another year gone! I can hardly believe it.
With LoVe as always, 
The Typist X


Jean said...

I swear it is only two or three months since I last did a New Year's Day post. Did time always pass this quickly? Thankfully our New Year's Eve is still a day away.
As for friendly people and chatty children - that's what it is like here. It's one of the things I love about where I live.
And thanks for letting us enjoy the flowers of summer while I look at the dreary short days of winter here - beautiful trees!
Happy New Year, and safe trip home.

booahboo said...

Can i just say that i really love the pics... they are really pretty. I think i've missed a whole lot of postings of yours... maybe when i am home.. on the 2nd... i'll catch up and read them then.

A Happy New Year to our dear Georgia.. to yourself Missy and Cushion too. May the new year bring you all lots of goodness and.. thank you for being a great friend!

catch up soon.


What Remains Now said...

I am fortunate to live in an area that is kind and friendly. Not that there aren't problems, but as a region we tend to be friendly folk. I am grateful for that. I've been thinking a lot about the new year, but mainly about activities and goals. I do admit, with every passing year, I have my periods of being seized by melancholy as I remember times past. It astonishes me sometimes what sets these off...the slant of sunlight, the glimpse of a color combination, a song on the radio. I'm tempted sometimes to try to capture them in writing. That is something I bet you could do beautifully.

rottrover said...

Beautiful summer photos! And yes, it is the pensive time of the year!

-Bart and Ruby's mom

Anonymous said...

What a lovely, thoughtful post. And such gorgeous pics! I lived in Queensland once, a long, long time ago... This new years eve I'll be looking forward to the year ahead, wondering how we'll fix the fast spreading damp in the kitchen that sprung up with last months massive rain, but mostly wondering how long it'll take to concieve, just started trying! xxxx

Kolchak Puggle said...

Just dropping by to wish you, Little Pea and your typist and your cushion a very Happy New Year~from all of us at Casa de Kolchak

georgia little pea said...

Dear JEAN, nice people on top of beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, great walks and piggies. You're a lucky lady, except maybe for the sleet and snow bit? Thank you for being my friend, and for being so generous with your thoughts and advice. Happy new year to you, Eddie and Allie, and Riley too! X

Dear ANNY, I miss your funny spam yeah isn't that crazy? But I know you have important things to do and a friend to take care of. Have a lovely holiday! I hope you'll let us know what's happening in your life soon. I miss Dom's silly stories but yours even more. Until then, a big hug, a big hug,a big HUg hahaha! Happy new year to you, Dommy and Piper, and your father too! X

Dear LORI, another lucky lady! Melancholy is the word I was looking for. Could it have something to do with getting *gulp* older? I have this suspicion you've already got a long list of To Dos, cupboards you want to sort, and online art courses you've signed up (or are thinking of signing up) for. You are easily the most industrious of anyone I know LOL! Happy new year to you and to Casper, Nikki and Freedom! X

Dear PUBLICIST, hmmm do I know your real name? ??! Thank you for another good word ;) All the best for the new year! I hope Bart won't give you any more health scares. We can only take so much of stuff like that before going grey ;) Happy 2013 to you, Bart and Ruby! X

Dear LULU, how about that? We might have crossed each other in the street! Rising damp? Not good. We have a wall like that too which will require Cushion's attention very soon. Happy new year to you and Stevie Nicks! And good luck with bubba. Exciting times :) X

Jan said...

New Year is a time when we always think about the way things used to be. Sometimes we may romanticize the past. Maybe it wasn't the great way we remember, but we want to believe it was.

Thanks for visions of your beautiful weather. Wish we were there.

chandra said...

I think it's best if you skip a visit to your old house. I only feel that way about one of my past houses; the one we rented in Los Angeles during the last year of Daley's life. I drive by the nabe from time to time and I'll pass the street, I'll even crane my neck to get a peek but I won't turn the car. Even though we're friendly with the next door neighbors and I'd love to see how their kids have grown. A few months ago the neighbor let us know that the renters who took the place after us were moving out. He suggested we move back in. I got excited for a minute. But just for a minute. Because you really can't go back.

The poinciana tree is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing it and for all you've shared this year. I truly enjoy following the life and times of GLP and her Typist!
Happy New Year!
-c and mason and wawa at ddy.
p.s. mason's grandma's wish ribbons already fell off - all three of them. we're feeling like that means she's really lucky!

Jen said...

What a beautiful trip you seem to be having! (both based on your stories and your picture!)

georgia little pea said...

Dear KOL, thank you! And thank you for all your advice during The Bone Dilemma! Here's some insider continues to be one of the most read posts today :) Happy new year Kol mama, Kol and Fe! X

Dear JAN, very rose coloured. Yes. It is glorious here. Almost all the flowers except the yellow bromeliad were taken in my brother's yard. The trees from just a couple of corners away. What you don't see is the buckets of SWEAT ;) Happy new year to you, Misty, Timmy, Chamois, Taki and Tudee! X

Dearest CHANDRA, no we can't go back. That's making me a bit weepy now. Thank you for following our "life and times" haha and for your commentathons! I can't believe Mason's gran's fitas have already dropped off. How lucky is she? Mine are still looking strong (and hideous) after more than a year. Put it on in Brazil! ARGH. You must let me know if her wishes come true. Big hugs and happy new year to you, the other half (does he have a name?), Mason and WaWa! X

Dear JEN, it ain't half bad! I'm enjoying this trip down memory lane much more than I thought I would. Happy 2013 to you and Elka! X

Cowspotdog said...

Going home to Australia after living in the USA for the last ten years was a real eye opener for me earlier this year. Where my sister lives in south Australia was pretty much the same although ten times more expensive than I remember. Sydney was still Sydney in terms of looks but trying to find Aussie food there was near impossible! We went to a food court and all three floors of it was entirely Asian foods. Sadly our memories never grow along with the changes. Cities go through.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

I love your ponderings and contemplations, the photos are totally gorgeous. Is the last two a very pretty crepe myrtle? Ha! darn poinciana trees, had one all the years I was growing up and I am (big time) allergic to the leaves, even if they fall and just graze by my skin.
Gosh, sounds like Brissy and Tsv aren't so very different, moved on, grown, expanded and modernised but essentially just big regional country cities where people are not afraid to look at each other and, speak! Was crisp and gorgeous in the Hunter yesterday and now its a hottie.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! (sayin' it now 'cause I won't make midnight)

georgia little pea said...

Dear COWSPOTDOGS. Lots of changes in 10 years. As far as I know, our national dishes are now laksa and sushi ;) I believe Sydney is now one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Happy new year and thanks for dropping by! X

Dearest ROSE, I miss you lady! Did The Team slobber over you? That is some serious allergy! Must make living in the tropics a bit dangerous. Don't know if you'll find time to post today. If not, happy new year to you, Larry, Fred and Jack. For 2013, I just want to wish you health and peace. Hell! Buckets of it! Take care my friend x

Oops. I believe the tree is some Himalayan variant of the tibouchina (hope I spelt that right).

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sweetest Pea Ever

A whole post without a pic of you? Sack that Typist.

Well, at least she posts I suppose which is more than mine does.

Best wishes for 2013

Always yours
Pippa xx

Tootsie said...

Dearest The Typist:

I've been thinking a lot about things. We went on a road trip between Christmas and New Year's... we went to Isola del Giglio. People there say "hello" -- well, "ciao" -- when you pass them by. There are serpents on the island but don't seem to be serpenty people. It was a way to renew. In a new place. I generally don't like going back to previous places I've lived; it makes me sad.

I love your post and your thoughts.

Have a wonderful new year.

Tootsie's Mom
P.s. Tootsie says HI to Ms. Georgia.

Peggy Frezon said...

I love the pictures accompanying your post. They are filled with hope. It's wonderful that you take time to notice the small acts of kindness, the goodness in people that is around. The other day we were leaving the movie theater and as we passed, my son in law thanked the young guys who were cleaning up after the movie. They looked surprised, and pleased. A nice comment or deed is always welcome.

georgia little pea said...

Dear PIPPA, what a wonderful surprise! What has it been? A year? ;) Happy 2013 to you, and to your Very Slack Human too! X

Dear TOOTSIE'S MUM, isn't it grand that there are still places like that in the world? And why does going back to places where we lived make us sad? I can get downright weepy LOL. Thank you for all your help LAST YEAR (!) over the leash free dog parks. You might like to know Mr Callaghan kept his word :) All the best for 2013 and happy safe travels to you, DD and Tootsie X

Dear PEGGY, you're right. It doesn't take much to make someone's day. I get cross when I see people being standoffish with cleaners, waiters, check out staff, etc. It says nothing good about them. Happy new year to you, Kelly and Brooks! X

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful post, especially all those gorgeous photos. We live in an area where everyone waves, says hi, helps out, etc. It would be strange to be in an area that was the opposite of that.
Have an awesome New Year!!

Sage said...

I find it so refreshing when I see an act of kindness and hear about somewhere there's still innocence. I tend to hope it's a trend...

Love your pictures, especially the poinciana tree. Not something that'S native to the Pacific NW.

Life Student said...

What lovely post, and what lovely pictures. Someone famous (Thomas Wolfe?) said we can never go home again, but we all try.

The people who bought my childhood home cut down my apple tree. I don't go look either.