Wednesday, 2 September 2009

...trouble in paradise (or where has all the frangipani gone?)

Just spent two nights near Nooooooooooosa with my second cousin inlaw's ex-parents inlaw's sister and husband, Trish and Jeff.

I haven't stopped at Noosa before. Tracts of kick arse bushland and gorgeous scenery broken up by large playgrounds for extremely rich old bogans. So that's how the other half holiday. I did like the green tree frogs though... and the seafood platter, and the flowers, and as I pushed through the Antartctic gale that swept the tarmac at Avalon Airport, the weather.

It was a nice but brief distraction, albeit under gloomy circumstances. Aunty June sure made waves up on the Sunshine Coast, the 2000 people at the memorial service being testament of that. Sports stars, olympic coaches, doctors and nearly every lesbian north of Byron Bay were there to pay their respects. Kevin Rudd even sent an extremely large floral arrangement, so I'd like to thank each and every one of the tax-payers of the land for that. I didn't really know Aunty June that well, but I've learned a lot about her life, which was adventurous and full, and devoted to the wellbeing of others. She would skip meals to see sick patients. She would not sleep until she had done all she could for the people in her care. And I heard some funny stories too, which I'd like to share.

Aunty June loved Christmas, and took tremendous pleasure in setting up a magnificent Christmas tree at her home every year. And one year she found the most beautiful 7 foot pine that would make the best Christmas tree ever. The only catch was it that it was in the front yard of the local police station. But June had a personality that tended to get her what she wanted. So she made her brother in law make a distraction while pulled over cut down the tree, tied it to the top of her white MG and zoomed off into the night.

But my favourite story was of June's cat, who died age 21. One year June had to come to Melbourne for a very important event, but the night before her cat was hit by a car and suffered terrible injuries. The vet advised euthanisia but June was having none of it, so the cat had all its badly broken bones and cracked skull wired up and stitched back together, like some sort of Frankencat. But June couldn't bear to leave her beloved cat to recover with strangers while she was away, so she heavily sedated it, put it in her handbag and took it on the plane as her carry-on baggage, hoping it would keep still and refusing to stow her handbag in the overhead locker. She didn't get busted either. Q remembers June arriving to stay with a groggy, half shaved cat stitched up like a baseball poking it's lumpy head out of her Aunty's handbag and presumably thinking though a cloud of blurry pussycat thoughts, 'Where the crap am I?' A great visual, and a great woman, I'm sure you'll agree.


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At 2 September 2009 at 13:49 , Blogger Baino said...

Sounds like a fitting send off for a courageous woman. Such a shame you didn't know her better during her life. And Noosa's lubly a little pretentious but gorgeous all the same.

At 2 September 2009 at 14:07 , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

June's cat was probably stared at by other passengers, who thought, "Bloody hell, is that what THIS bargain airline does to business class passengers?"

At 2 September 2009 at 18:51 , Blogger Lorna Lilo said...

I hope your Auntie and her cat are reunited up there somewhere to swap some great stories. Particularly the one about the flight, I love it.


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