beceh: (Default)
I spent today with my Grandma. She's my Mum's mother. Shirley. I had a really good day. I went over there this morning and we talked for about an hour over a cup of tea while she did show and tell with me, and gave me three new scarves, then we drove into Colac and had lunch at one of the pubs. Grandma had been talked into buying a book of vouchers, which if you were a young family and actually lived in Colac would be super good value, but I don't really think Grandma is going to get much use out of it. But anyway we got one free lunch and a free coffee later as well from it. Had a look around some of the shops there as well for awhile then went back to Corunnun and I relaxed in the conservatory for a little while, looking out over the paddocks and the lake, thinking that I will be very very sad when she sells the place.

Grandma lives at the Corunnun Homestead. It is one of the oldest houses in Victoria, and I think, the oldest still lived in house. But it is not a fancy mansion, so it doesn't get that much attention, just a bus load of historical society folks every so often. There were a lot of them in the Seventies (Grandma has a guest book that she makes most people sign - I've found entries from my very young aunts and uncles and relatives on my Dad's side which was a bit of a thrill!) but now they come out maybe once every year or two. Corunnun was first built in 1844... quite modern compared to many European buildings, but considering that Melbourne was only founded in 1835, it's rather ancient down here! The old part, the core 4 rooms, were built then, and it was the centre of a ginormous sheep station. Over the years the property went through a few transformations - the original estate was subdivided in the 1880's and 1890's and the land was turned to onion and potato farming (mainly onions) and then in the 1950's turned into a dairy farm after some sort of fungal rot made onion farming impossible. The Homestead was gradually made larger over the 1800's and the last major renovations were completed in the 1890's when the bedroom wing was added. Yeah... not a typo... the last major renovations were done 120 years ago!!! Since then it's just been maintaining the original building and rearranging the insides a bit. Currently there are 13 rooms - 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, 2 living/lounge rooms, a dining/billiard room, a 'piano' room (really another formal dining room), the 'old kitchen (Grandma uses it as her laundry now - would probably be the biggest laundry room in Australia haha), an attic (used to be the maid's quarters), an entry room (old breakfast room) and the conservatory. There is also the outbuildings - the original bathroom (1860's), the original laundry with the old copper in it that was still in use up until the 1960's (My Mum remembers having to go out to light the copper and getting distracted by books) and two offices. The two offices are wallpapered in ancient newspaper clippings. It's fascinating.

My family has owned Corunnun since 1919. My great-great-grandfather, Andrew Burns bought the Homestead and some surrounding land (60-80 acres) which they proceeded to farm. Andrew Burns died in 1936 and his son, my great-grandfather, Alexander Burns took over the property, raising his 5 daughters - Olive, Greta, Janet, Betty & Dulcie, and his son, Andy (William Andrew) my grandfather. Corunnun supported a large population of workers in those days and even had it's own cricket and football teams - apparently the footy team won 3 or 4 local grand finals over a few years in the 1920's!

Alexander Burns died in 1952, and my grandfather bought the farm off his sisters, and his mother and one of his sisters, Janet helped him run the farm. Andy married his high school sweetheart, my grandma, Shirley Glover, in 1954. The next year they had my mum, quickly followed by my Uncle Pete and a couple of years later by Uncle Jim. The three of them grew up together on the farm and were a bit surprised to be joined by Auntie Alison when Mum was 12.

For most of their childhood Grandma, Andy (for some reason I call both of my grandfather's by their names... The only men I ever called 'Pop' were Dad's grandfathers) and their kids lived in only half the house - the rooms were completely different to how I know them. What is now my Grandma's bedroom was their kitchen/living room, and what is now the kitchen was one of the bedrooms! Apparently the house got into a state of disrepair and the only reason it didn't get bulldozed in the late 1940's/early 1950's was because my great-grandad was too sick and died before he could go ahead with his plan of building a brand new house nearby. Grandma and Andy turned it into the lovely home that I've known for the past 25 years during the 1970's and 1980's after my great-grandmother Ethel died and Great-Auntie Janet got married to a Swede and moved out. 

Sadly my grandfather Andy passed away (somewhat ironically of a heart attack while on a walk raising money for the Heart Foundation...) back in 1991 so Grandma has been all alone at Corunnun for nearly 20 years. She feels like that is long enough and would like to move into a unit in Colac within the next few years. This prospect makes me very sad, but I know Grandma can't keep on living out there. She's almost 78, and while still very good for her age, it is rather remote and it's a very big house and garden for just one old lady. It is 6km to the nearest milkbar and 20km to the nearest town (Colac) and petrol station. 

While having lunch with her today and listening to her talk about people who were long dead before I was even thought about, I realised how much of the districts, and my personal history we stand to loose when Grandma either dies or looses her memory. She remembers so much. A lot of inconsequential, but it is local, oral history and I personally think it's important. I learnt today that my great-grandmother Rose, Grandma's mum, didn't like to wear jumpers with high necks, just like I don't. I learnt that Andy hated wearing a collar and tie. I learnt that Andy was not a romantic man, but that he was a good husband. I learnt about the woman who moved in with Grandma's dad after her mum died to look after the house and help a bit at the shop (Grandma's dad, George was a baker and he ran the bakery/general shop in Warrion)

It makes me sad that half the things she told me I've already forgotten, even though as I was listening to her  I was thinking how interesting it was and how I needed to remember it. Maybe I should tape her and scribe them...

Mum told me how Andy used to say the same thing about his mother. She apparently had a phenomenal memory. And she used to dance in front of the television to annoy her grandchildren. n

It brought back to me, as a history student, how much of our history is lost when each generation dies. We only get the skeletons passed down to us... Future generations may be different. In this age of technology and the internet, everything is recorded. But things might be lost still, in this glut of pointless information we had.

Grandma said something sad today. She said she feels a bit out-of-date or past her use-by date or something these days now that her family's so scattered. She said when you're a mother you're the most important person, then when you're a grandmother you are still really important. Now her grandchildren are forging ahead with their own lives and she's got 2 great-grandchildren and her youngest grandchild is almost a teenager. Most of us are in our 20's and 30's. She doesn't feel very important or necessary in our lives anymore.... it made me sad. I'm glad I spent the whole day with her today and I'll see her a few more times before I leave.

I'm tired now, I think I'll go to bed...
beceh: (Pan's Labrynth)
 Hello from Los Angeles :-)

Just a quick one. Obviously I got here alright! We got to Melbourne Airport super early - left home at 6am, got there about 8:30am.... check in didn't even open til 8:45.... so we had a fair bit of time to kill, but it was nice, we just got some hot drinks and sat in Hudson's watching the planes. Dad got excited because we were sitting next to some cricketer from the late sixties/seventies (Paul Sheehan?) and he had a bit of a chat to him. 

I think it gets easier to leave the more often you do it. I was bawling my eyes out when I went to Japan and they had to literally push me through the doors. Last year there were very few tears, but I was petrified and rather reluctant to actually walk through the doors. This time we were laughing and joking around and playing a waving game until I finally went through - the line up was MASSIVE - my family kept running up to different spots and waving like maniacs. It was funny. And I didn't have any reluctance to leave, and I wasn't scared or anything. Probably because I've been to America before and I kind of know what to expect, plus I'm staying with someone I already know for the first week... 

Caught up with Jimmy, Ian's cousin, at the gate. Had a bit of a chat to him, but we weren't sitting anywhere near each other on the plane. The flight wasn't full which was good, so I had an empty seat next to me, so I could spread out a little bit. 

Flight itself was very uneventful. I hardly slept - the seats were pretty uncomfortable, but the entertainment system was really good. Watched a heap of things, they kind of blur into each other. Time Travellers Wife, 500 Days of Summer, A year in the Life if JK Rowling, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Post Grad.... and I think some others that I honestly don't remember at the moment oh well. 

Took forever to get through immigration and customs but that was because of all the people, not because they asked many questions. I was actually surprised at how easy it was - the last two times I came to America I got grilled. He just asked me a few questions, didn't want to see anything. I actually had everything prepared especially but he wasn't interested!! 

Deb picked me up from the airport which was lovely of her. Came back to her house which has AWESOME views and is really nice and I just crashed for a few hours - I had about 6 hours sleep the past 2 days combined, so yeah I was pretty  zombielike! 

So after I emerged slightly more refreshed, we went out for lunch with her Dad and his girlfriend, really yum food.  Her Dad made me feel really welcome. Then Deb and I went for a drive around and got some DELICIOUS yoghurt from some place called PinkBerry (I think) and now we are back home and Deb's in the shower and we are going to go to Hollywood when she's ready! 

Ok that wasn't so quick after all.... 
beceh: (Angus)
 Had a really really nice last two days. 

My friend Kyle is home for holidays this week so he came over yesterday and we hung out all day and had a great time, just like old days, then today I was sitting at home doing nothing so messaged him and he invited me over so I went over there after lunch and just got home now at 10:30pm...

Great day, just hanging out - made him watch The Princess Bride - he'd never seen it before. His dad is so sweet. He went to Canada a couple of years ago and wanted to show me his videos lol.

The was lots of cushion fights and mucking around that made me feel young again in a good way.

I was about to head home when his mum invited me to stay for dinner, so I called home and told my mum I was staying for dinner. Got off the phone and Jenny tells me to invite Mum and Nick as well, haha, so I rang back and we had a spontaneous dinner party. So funny, Jenny got all excited.  Anyway it was a really good night. Kyle said I will end up married to either him or Venny as they are the only ones who get my lame jokes. And I'm the only girl who gets/laughs at/likes Kyle's stupid Harry Potter jokes. 


Love that boy. 

Always have since I first met him when he was a fat little kid with a shock of blond curls in Year 7 and I was in Year 8 and we played badminton in Round Robin. 

 Something I really like about some of my friends - well really the high school friends that I am still friends with - Kyle, Venny & Katie - I can go ages without seeing, and in the boys' case, without talking to them and when we see each other again it's just like normal not awkward at all we just slip straight back into our old relationship. I really appreciate and love that about them. 

Anyway might go down and visit Kyle in Geelong next weekend. We keep saying I should do that, but I haven't visited them in Geelong since first year.... which is coming up 5 years ago!!!


I'm going to the Yarra Valley tomorrow with Franco and Pat and hopefully Lochy. Should be good. I have never been up there before. 

I'm addicted to Mumford & sons. 
beceh: (Default)
Long time no update! 


Camped down at Port Fairy for a week with Mum, Nick and Nick's mate Adam who has been coming with us for about 5 years now so is like my little brother now. Good relaxing week, but the weather sucked most of the time. Too much wind and rain and cold weather and not enough sunshine and warmth!!! 

Was designated driver when we (the boys and I) went out in Warrnambool one night. Now I know how to pick up in Warrnambool. Look really bored and scowl at everyone while sitting in the corner. By this time it was about 2am and Nick had promised we would go home at 1am (we'd been out since 6:30pm) but he'd met a girl and was mauling her on the dance floor and not in any hurry to leave. (It's a bit disturbing seeing your baby brother pick up) so yeah I was tired, sober, bored and kept getting approached by guys!! Wasn't interested at all, but note to self when I am... 

Was kind of weird in the nightclub there.... seemed like everyone was either 18/19 or 30. 

But I have decided once and forall that I hate nightclubs and that they really aren't my thing and I never want to go to one ever again. Although I seem to decide that every time I go to one.... yet still somehow get dragged back into one. 


Australia Day was very pleasant. Nick and I got up ridiculously early on Monday morning to get him to Monash Clayton at 9am to enroll (which these days is just getting your photo taken for your ID card - everything else you do online) so it feels like a total waste of a 6 hour drive... but yeah did that, then we went and saw Avatar 3D.... for some reason I'd seen it twice in 2D, and Nick hadn't seen it at all. Pretty cool in 3D but I don't want to watch it again for a long time. 3 times in less than a month is quite enough!! After that I handed Nick over to Kieren (haha like he's some kid... well atm in Melb he kind of is, can't really leave him alone he'd get lost!) and they went off and did man stuff and I drove down to Seaford to meet Elisa and we proceeded to have an Australia Day Eve party that was lots of fun! 

Australia Day itself we got up early and drove with Ian down to Warrigal for Ian's Australian citizenship ceremony, which was pretty cool to see and now he is officially an Aussie! Still got his awesome Welsh accent though haha. Although he kept trying to speak 'Strayan' but was pretty terrible at it. The citizenship part of the ceremony was pretty quick - but then we had to sit through all the Australia Day awards and honours and stuff which was pretty boring for the people not getting awards, but then they had a really good guest speaker - Tim Cope - he rode a horse from Mongolia to Hungary over 3 years and yeah, was really interesting to listen to! 

Spent the afternoon at Ian's parents place near Trafalgar and had a lovely bbq ... Ian's parents are lovely. They are just really nice friendly people, and I felt totally comfortable around them even though I've only met them a couple of times - usually I take a bit longer to warm up to people to be totally comfortable around... 

Anyway after we got back to Seaford I jumped in my car and drove up to Glen Waverley to another bbq at Lochy's place. I hadn't seen him for nealry a year due to first me being overseas, then he was in Hong Kong for 6 months when I got back, so very nice to see him! Various other Dan Murphys people were there and associated cousins and what not, which made for another very pleasant evening/night!! :-) 

Lochy is mean, there were two Canadians there and he made them have a 'vege shot' which he told them was a teaspoon of vegemite followed by a shot of vodka! Gross! No wonder no one likes vegemite, we always make them eat way too much of it! 

This time in 3 weeks I'll be on a plane on my way to LAX!!!!!!!!!!!

God time flies. 
beceh: (fatso the fat-arsed wombat)
Mum and I drove over to Grandma's this morning for lunch - my cousin David, his wife Shannon and baby Joshua were down, and I hadn't seen Joshua yet (he's 9 months old) so thought we should go over! 

He's such a cute baby!!! So happy and cuuuute. Such a cheeky smile. David and Shannon are the same age as me, so it slightly freaks me out seeing them so responsible and grown up with their own family... but it's right for them, they are sooooo happy. David was such a feral kid, and growing up he had a lot of temper problems, but he's really sorted himself out the last 5-6 years. I have never seen anyone as happy as he was when he was watching Shannon walk up the aisle.

If I ever get married I hope my husband looks like that when I'm walking towards him.

Seeing them so happy together gives me fuzzy feelings... but also made me realise that I am soooooo not ready for that. Husband maybe, but definitely not ready for kids any time soon. But one day. Well I think I will be waiting quite awhile for both of those anyway! There's no rush, I'm only 23.
24 in a month and a half! Haha. I was talking to Ivan the other day and he was saying that I am getting old and had better figure out what I want to do "because time is running out" I had to laugh at that. Then a couple of days ago I was chatting to Scott and he said that I'm "sooooo young", which kind of irritated me.

Just goes to show that it's just all a matter of perspective. To Ivan's 21 year old self, 24 seems old. To Scott's 28, 23/24 is young. To me... well I think you only ever feel as old a you want to. Getting older in years has never scared me, it's getting older in spirit and attitude that worries me. Age has it's benefits, but I don't want to get stuck in my ways or FEEL old, or to think that I should or should not do something because of my age. If I want a chocolate milkshake instead of a coffee, I'll have one. I don't care if they think it's a kids drink. If I want to go and do a Science Degree or bungee jumping when I'm 65, I will.


beceh: (Default)

December 2011

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