My Chinese Aunt

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You may recall my post about My Uncle from a little while back. Now, here is the story of how I got a Chinese Aunt as a surprise to myself.

First of all, there was a relationship misfire. My uncle brought out a lady from China and moved her in with my long suffering Aunt and Uncle, with whom he had ended up living before he left for China. They stayed for 3 months and it was quite the nightmare. She clearly could not handle many of his OCD tics, nor could she tolerate the amount he was drinking which at the time was quite a lot.

The fact that he was quite determined to learn zero Chinese, the fact that he dumbed down his English to things like “I no like” or “It is the Up Money”, the fact that he had little money and he wanted to hang onto as much of it as he could, even to the point of denying this poor woman a bag of peanuts while he bought a bottle of scotch a day and as much red wine as he felt like.. plus the fact that he made this woman do everything for him including emptying his ashtrays.. I am assuming none of this was awesome in her book.

So they went back to China, where she unceremoniously dumped him, and he went looking for a new wife to be. After a while he did find a lady and they moved in together, and thus began his three years of living in a country where he did not speak the language at all, and he resented the fact that she spoke Chinese with her family, plus he was irritated that he couldn’t read any of the menus at restaurants, nor did he like any of the food.

After three years they decided to return to Australia, even though it meant she had to leave her excellent long term Chinese job, plus now she was in a country where she did not speak the language. She does get English lessons with her visa but he is the one who has to organise it and he has not managed it thus far, even though I have given him all the information to do so. She could not easily get a job doing what she used to do, so now she works too many days a week at a local Chinese massage place.

My Chinese Aunt is fantastic and we all love her, even though some of us do have a concern that she’ll be out the door once she gets her permanent residency – and I would not blame her if she was, to be honest. She has a daughter to a previous husband and there is already talk of her daughter and her daughters husband coming out here to live. chtoes

My Chinese Cousins toes in the gorgeous white sand.

So I also have a Chinese cousin. They visited here a little while back and we took them touring about a bit, they loved it. Even though I do not speak Chinese and the daughter has only a little bit of English, we communicated very well. I took them for a day at the beach and it was amazingly gorgeous there – the water was crystal clear, the sun was shining, even *I* went in for a swim.

I’ve told my Uncle to his face that I would find it difficult to tolerate him, and I’ve told him he needs to seek some help for his depression and OCD which just a few months ago had his wife in tears during a family visit and writing “depression” and “anxiety” in Chinese on her phone and translating it to English for us.

I fear if he does not deal with his issues, she’ll be gone faster than he can blink – just as the previous ladies were. We’re not talking a little OCD, we’re talking things like turning a computer on and off for an hour, or checking many times that his cigarette has been extinguished.

I do believe that the spousal visa system needs tightening up. Just my opinion. There are way too many people from other countries married to our older Australians whose marriages last *exactly* the amount of time it takes to get permanent residency here and not a day more.

I think the easiest way to fix this would be for permanent residency to take a much longer time than it presently does, which is 2 years at the moment, or a requirement that if the partner leaves before a certain amount of time – 10 years, I think would be fair – their permanent residency is revoked as well.

family

Carter The Knit Model

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Leah over at Just Me, Leah, posted this post – Pattern Mixing – a little while back. It inspired me somewhat, and I left a comment accordingly, because Autumn has just begun here and I’m on the lookout for that *one* great knit.

Every year in autumn, I declare Knit Hunting season open. I only want one knit for each winter, and sometimes it takes me all of Autumn to find it.

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I thought perhaps Carter could model some of my past season knits and I could share the photos with you here on the blog. Carter is a little on the stick thin side whereas I most certainly am not.

I think the worst part of Carter is his bony shoulders. Sadly I do not have any 80’s shoulder pads handy in order to bulk them out a little. Also, it is super hard to put his arms into things. So we’ve gone for a cardigan draped over the shoulders look with these outfits.

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This particular knit was found one Autumn in Canberra, just when I had almost given up looking for that years knit. It has a gold thread that runs through it which is difficult to see in the photos. It has been one of my favourite knits of all time, even after it lost the buttons. It drapes and sits beautifully on me – and also on Carter, as you see in the above photo.

Carter, Fashion

Being That Person..

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Some of my stored cards.

Since my Aunt was diagnosed with cancer a while back, I’ve become that person.. you know, that person who suddenly realises that many things have been left unsaid, and now is the time to speak up and say them.

The realization that most of the important adults in my family are now over 60 and the reality that there will come a time when they are no longer able to hear those things I have always wanted to say to them.. it is time to get it together and say those things now.

They are all positive things but writing them down in a card gives me happy tears every time. I just did one this week for her partner, my uncle, and it contained the line “Even if I were to say thank you in every language on the planet, there would still not be enough thank yous in the world to say to you for everything that you have done for our family”.

I’m not saying the things to my Aunt yet because she has a lot to deal with right now, though I do plan to say them once her treatment is done. Though, she might have got a look at the card I sent to my other Aunt, which said many of the things I do want to say to her.

Because I’m 1500kms away, I’ve been sending her packages with chatty, hopefully funny cards, and little treats and goodies. She’s been enjoying them and sending me sms’s in return.

I’m so lucky to have these people in my life, and I am really thankful to be letting them know how I feel now rather than leaving it too late to say these things to them.

The details of doing this are pretty simple. When I am out and about in the world, I always keep an eye out for blank cards with beautiful drawings or photos. They must be blank on the inside, because I want to write my own things inside, not some random person making up words that do not relate to me or my people.

You can find a lot of card stands in shops with $1 blank inside cards now. My chemist has one, and two shops away from the chemist is Loot, which has a couple of different stands.

When I see them and I like them, I buy them and put them in a safe place. There’s a photo of some at the top of the post, and here are a few more. I keep them stashed away in a drawer.

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I often buy more than one copy of the cards when I see them, because the same card might go to totally different states and households. Doubling up is not such a big deal, as long as I keep track of which cards I have sent to which person. These cards above are actually fifth copies of these cards. I really like the images.

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The red card in the top corner actually has gold cherry blossoms on it. That one is a Loot card. Here is a closer shot, even so I could not get the gold to fire everywhere on the card at the same time. :)

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Somewhere in this house, I have a ziploc bag with a multitude of cards in it, that I have stored in such a safe place that I can’t actually find it. Yay me, NOT!

So my challenge to you –

Drop by my place and find my missing ziploc bag Nope, not that! :)

get a blank but beautiful card or even make one of your own if you are so inclined – write some positive things you have always wanted to say to a family member or friend – post it this week.

challenges, family, life lessons

A Truly Great Day

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A Sparkly Cow

Last week I had the flu, and I spent a couple of nights staying up so the other half could get an uninterrupted sleep, so my body clock is all out of whack again. Even so, we planned a few things for Saturday. I wanted to go over to Berry to take some photos of the place I’m planning to go to in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, and I also wanted to drop into haven and space and Candleberries – two great shops you should not miss if you ever go to Berry.

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First we dropped into haven and space where we picked up a replacement coffee mug for one we had broken, and two new designs. These mugs are gorgeous and they last a very long time. Priced at $4.95 per mug, they are also great value. The candles pictured were $4.50 each.

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As it was past two, we decided to get a snack as well. We didn’t want too much as we were going out to dinner at 7. haven and space have opened up a cafe behind their new store called Sakana and I’d eaten there before when family was visiting, so we dropped in for a bowl of chips and a couple of iced coffees.

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The iced coffees arrived in these magnificent tall glasses with my favorite colour blue around the rim. If you are reading this post here on my blog, see how that blue matches my blue background colour? :) ——> over there?

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We dropped into Candleberries and picked up some wax melts and a new candle for The Other Half. Why yes, that melt set is scented salted caramel popcorn, and it does smell exactly like that. There’s also Home Sweet Home which will stay here and Black Cherry which will go off to my aunt in the next package along with the salted caramel popcorn. By the time she receives it, her cancer treatment will be nearly finished.

On the way back to the car we spotted these cows in a window. It is lucky the shop was not open, is all I can say.

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We went out to dinner at our usual Chinese restaurant with my parents, my Uncle and his wife, and two other friends my parents know from work. When we arrived at the bowling club there was quite an impressive band setup including a sound desk and a proper drum kit which said “The Villains” on it.. Little did we know at the time what an amazing performance would come to us as a surprise.

The club was absolutely packed with people – I think it is the last weekend of School Holidays here and it is always packed in school holidays but not usually to this extent. My uncle reported back to us after one of his smoke breaks that he was talking to someone outside and that they had said this particular band had people coming from places somewhat far away – they had groupies following them.

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Who knew Darth Vader was also a musician?

After dinner we could not get a seat out in the club, every seat was taken. We ended up in their function room off to the back, and we could see the band members in costume. They took to the stage a little after 8:30 and we all headed out into the room to see the band kick off with a performance of an Icehouse song called Walls which sounded more like a Pink Floyd song, it was just amazing. The sound setup was brilliant, the music was incredible, and the band was engaging and captivating.

The singer was dressed as The Riddler and he had a microphone stand with a question mark in it. I believe we had The Penguin as the keyboard player, The Joker as the bass player, The Devil as the drummer, and the most notable mention goes to Darth Vader as the lead guitarist. His costume must have been a total sweatbox, but he never removed any part of it, and he played in it for over 2 hours – with a short break in the middle. Plus instead of heading directly outside on his break, he took off into the crowd to let them pose for photos with him – and his lightsaber.

I have for you a short video clip of the Darth Vader guitarist. :) This was taken during Down Under by Men At Work. You will notice he is marching, despite being wrapped in much quilted fabric. This is some serious costume dedication right here.

When they took a break, we talked about leaving because one or two had an early morning the next day, but we all decided this band was too good to leave. And in the latter half of their show, even The Other Half got up and danced which happens so rarely I cannot recall another such incident!

I completely understand why they have groupies following them, and I could see myself doing the same thing. They are due back at our club in August and we will definitely be there. None of the videos on their website do true justice to this band. You have to be there in person.

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When they left the stage we were among the very vocal crowd shouting for an encore, and they came back on with two band members in white coats and performed “She Blinded Me with Science” – a bizarre choice but we all loved it.

The final song they played was Underneath the Radar by Underworld, a song I have always disliked, but they made me love it. And that speaks many volumes. Most of the music was songs from the early 80’s and music I had on records, back in the days of records, music we played on Saturday mornings to clean the house, and music my friends and I used to create dances for.

They played music from bands like Depeche Mode, Madness, Split Enz, the ever wonderful and unforgettable “don’t you forget about me” by Simple Minds made famous by The Breakfast Club movie, and even a song from The Cure! It was one of my favourites too, Inbetween Days. There were a couple of newer songs, most notably Pretty Vegas which I knew from Rockstar: INXS and Mr Brightside by The Killers.

By the time we got home, I was so tired I went to bed at a reasonable hour for the first time this week. And can you believe, entry to the bowling club is free. We pay the tiny amount of $11 each year to be a member, and that allows the member many benefits, such as using the boat ramp, the courtesy bus, and various other awesomes.

Favourite Things, General Chit-chat, Happy Snoskred, music

Trapped Under the Sea

Snoskred was provided with a free copy of Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey from the website Blogging for Books which provides review copies of books to bloggers, retailers, librarians, and media outlets in exchange for an honest review.

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Image credit – Random House

Trapped Under the Sea is the harrowing story of five men who were sent into a dark, airless, miles-long tunnel, hundreds of feet below the ocean, to do a nearly impossible job – with deadly results.

At the respectable bedtime of 10:30 on a Friday night, I snuggled in to bed and began to read.. somehow I got sucked into that temporal vortex that happens with truly excellent writing. This was not helped by the fact that the Kindle reader app hides the time – my normal reading app Moonreader gives me the time in the bottom corner – and the fact that I did not have to get up by any particular time on Saturday.

The next thing I knew I had finished the book. A quick check of the time – 4am. And I knew there was no way on earth that anything I could write here in my review could do true justice to this book. It is a beautifully written masterpiece. So my deepest apologies to the author in advance. :)

As I lay there in the dark pondering what I had just read, a quote from my favourite Stephen King book The Dead Zone popped up in my mind.

“Ninety-five percent of people who walk the earth are simply inert. One percent are saints, and one percent are assholes. The other three percent are people who do what they say they can do.”

The divers who were chosen to undertake this very difficult task were all 3 percent people – they were people who did what they say they can do. They had long personal histories of doing difficult jobs in tricky situations. In this situation, they were not underwater but they were deep in a dead-end tunnel that had no air supply, so they had to bring their own air with them.

It is vastly unfortunate that the person tasked with putting together their air supply was not one of those people who *can* do what they say they can do.. if anything, in my personal opinion he was in the one percent that are *not* saints.

He claimed he could put a safe air supply together but it was cobbled together with plywood, duct tape, air from liquid nitrogen and oxygen bottles and being mixed using a mixer not intended for the purpose it was being used for. There was absolutely zero testing of the system he created. This ended up costing people their lives, while he sat safely above ground.

The book also tells the history of the tunnel project, examines the people in charge of the project and the relationships with companies and personalities involved. It describes the investigation and tells the story of exactly what went wrong, also making clear what could have been done to prevent these deaths. It then leaves the reader to judge what level of responsibility those involved in the project have in the deaths of these workers.

I’m not going to tell you any more of the story, because I think you should read it for yourself. I will say that Neil Swidey seems to be some kind of writing magician. In this book, things that appear to be mundane details are somehow not mundane, rather they are gripping and mesmerizing. Complex concepts are communicated simply and clearly. Contract struggles, which would be boring in the hands of most people, are somehow transformed into fascinating essays.

The only tiny negative I could find – there were some great drawings in the book which explained concepts which had been described in writing before the drawing appeared. I felt that I would have understood the written explanation better if I had seen the drawing first, when I saw the drawing it was like “Oh, now I get it!” and I did actually go back to read the explanation a second time once I did see the drawing. But this is a tiny nitpick, it might be me rather than any fault of the book or the writing and it is also possible that the drawings appear in a different place in the actual book than they do in the e-book.

I was extremely lucky to pick such a captivating and beautifully written book as my first read from Blogging for Books. I do hope I will have that kind of luck again on a regular basis. With that said, this book was so excellent that *any* book I read for a while is going to seem mediocre.

You can grab a copy of the book on Kindle via Amazon here – the website for the book is here. There is also this great page – Behind the Book – which you can read with a little more info, some photos, and some links to interviews. Plus, there is this video.

The first thing I did when I woke up the next day was to seek out what other books had been written by Neil Swidey – and despite the fact that I am not a sports fan, I am quite determined to get my hands on The Assist via my Kindle account.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. I think this is an important story that workers and employers should read, if only to make people stop and think of the possible implications of the things they do at work, whether those things are safe, and whether the people above you truly have your back when it comes to occupational health and safety in the workplace. In Australia, over 180 people die at work every year.

If you want to read it yourself, here are my suggestions – It is unlikely that you will want to stop reading once you start reading this book, so I suggest pick a time when you do not have any fixed commitments for the next 6-24 hours, depending on how fast you read.. People have told me all my life that I am a fast reader and that is probably true, so if you are not a fast reader give yourself more of a buffer zone.

Don’t forget, you can view my disclosure policy here. All opinions and thoughts are my own and will always reflect my own experience – positive, negative, or in-between.

You too can sign up to review books via Blogging for Books. I’d really love it if you did. Book reviews are something I never get tired of reading and some of the best gems I have found have been thanks to fellow bloggers who took the time to read the book and then write about it.

I hope you enjoyed my review, you can feel free to give me feedback in the comments. :)

book reviews, books

Vale Mary

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Mary was found dead in a corner of the chook pen this morning. She was in a place the girls hang out in the morning, where the early rays of the sun meets one of their favourite dust bathing patches.

We could not find anything wrong with her visible to the naked eye, but back when Twiggy was euthanased and sent off to be necropsied, we discovered that Twiggy had some serious nutritional deficiencies which I wrote about here – Chicken Merge & Vale Twiggy – and seeing as all 4 chooks came from the same breeder, the vet suspected that the other 3 girls would have the same problem.

Lizzy and Kitty seem like they have thrived in their new conditions, but Mary was always that little bit smaller than they were. She has always had a bit of a sneeze though the vet could not find any specific reason for it and was sure it was nothing to be concerned about, especially as it did not come with any other symptoms.

She has now been buried under the lemon tree in the garden the chooks love to free range in whenever they get a chance. She will be missed, especially by Lizzy and Kitty with whom she was most close.

Kitty, Lizzy and Mary

Good nutrition for chooks is quite an involved process. Just yesterday Terry from Henblog wrote a post about how laying hen pellets are made. Our scratch mix includes hen pellets and I never see any pellets left behind, but we are now considering changing it up with more pellets and giving the grain as a less often treat. Especially as there is a seed in the scratch mix which the girls do not seem to eat.

As I posted when Ancona was euthanased in Vale Ancona – there are 7 other chickens in the yard for whom life continues. They live minute by minute, sucking the most joy out of each and every moment, whether it is a dirt bath, finding a bug, eating a treat from the humans.. all we can do is love them while they’re here, protect them the best we can from predators, know when it is time to let them go, and remember them when they are gone.

Given this experience with Twiggy and Mary, the chicken auctions will be unlikely to be a place we source chickens from again. We would be more likely to try and find a reliable breeder in future..

Chickens, Vale

The Broody

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All three of our new girls have taken a turn at being broody now. Above you see Lizzy, who was named after..

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Miss Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Yes, the resemblance is uncanny, is it not? Perhaps you have to see her personality in action to see how truly alike they are.

Lizzy was fiesty when broody, and any attempt to move her would be met with a stern peck and some squawking. She was very successful at collecting up the eggs, because this is what we found when we kicked her out!

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10 eggs. IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a broody hen in possession of a good nest must be in want of eggs to sit on.

Chickens, Pride and Prejudice

Bits and Bobbles

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I got sucked in by the Facebook games. Seriously, who the hell am I, and where did Snoskred go? :)

It isn’t that bad – I really love Farm Heroes Saga but I flat out refuse to pay for anything. If I can’t get through the level with my own talent and skill and the occasional extra they give me just for visiting every day, then I’ll keep trying until I can get through. Sometimes it takes me several days to pass a level. I don’t usually play it during the day – I like to play is around 9:30pm during my mind wind down time.

Bunnings Bits

Today we went to the local Bunnings store to pick up some plasterboard. The Other Half is going to make a ceiling in his man cave shed this weekend. We picked up the ute from my parents place and I saw rain off in the distance but it looked like it was going in another direction.

So we drove over, parked in the trade bay next to the plasterboard, locked the car and went off to find assorted sundries like Liquid Nails and gap filler. Having got those, we paid for everything we wanted at the trade desk, and wandered over to load 15 sheets of plasterboard into the ute, while a staff member stood there watching us instead of helping.

This loading job seemed to take a very long time and by the time we’d loaded all the sheets in, suddenly it was raining outside. So I was tasked with finding a tarp. Several more unhelpful staff members sent me off to incorrect places. The very worst was the bloke I asked who sent me right down to the other end of the store – only to discover that we were standing in the aisle where the tarps lived when I asked him! I did find an excellent tarp in the end.

When looking for rope in the ute, I discovered two octopus straps. I thought these had been outlawed and banned years ago. But today they were perfect for our purpose – it wasn’t until we undid them that we nearly killed ourselves.

Book Bobs

My e-reader ran out of battery the other day. It has been a long time since I have picked up a physical book. I picked up one of the heavier books that I own – Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports by James Walters and Robert Sumwalt – and almost right away I remembered why I love my tablet book reader so much now. It is light. I just tap it to turn the page. It can stand up by itself due to the case I own, and I can read in the dark.

Blogging for Books

One of the bloggers I read linked to Blogging for Books. I headed over to check it out and discovered that Aussies can participate via ebooks, so I signed up. I also joined up over at Netgalley.

You might see the occasional – or even regular – book review(s) here on the blog. My first book from Blogging for Books is Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey. I am really looking forward to reading this. As the weather for the weekend looks not optimal, I might spend some serious time reading.

I am not a diver myself but I have read several books about diving now and find them to be oddly fascinating. There are two I would strongly recommend if you want to give a new kind of book a try. The first is Diving into Darkness which is also known as Raising the Dead in some places..

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I picked this book up at the $5 book store purely because the cover grabbed me, then I turned it over and the blurb made me want to read the book right then and there. I took it home and read it from cover to cover, only stopping for necessary bodily functions when they could no longer be ignored. That is the kind of reader I am. This is also why I limit the books I read at bedtime if I have to be somewhere the next day. :)

Australian Story did a show “To Boldly Go” about this diving story back in 2005 but truly, the book is amazing, and I would recommend reading that first if you can source it. I especially loved how the author explained diving so I – a non diver – could understand it.

The second diving book I would recommend is Shadow Divers – which in researching for this post, I discovered Peter Weir is involved with making a movie about it, though it is still in development.

While I was creating my profile at Netgalley, I wrote something which I thought I would share here with you as well. Here it is :)

The story of Snoskred and books –

I have been reading books for over 35 years now. Favourite books when I was a child included

Enid Blyton – in particular the Faraway Tree books
Elinor Brent-Dyer – the Chalet School books
E.L Konigsberg – From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler started me dreaming about running away to the local Museum.

Favourites now include –

Jane Austen – these are my relaxing books, I read them when I have to get up on time the next day.
John Grisham – The early works, not such a fan of the newer stuff. I have good (but lengthy so won’t bore you with that here) reasons.
Stephen King – The favourite would be The Dead Zone, followed by The Stand, and then a multitude of books fight it out for 3rd place.
John J Nance – His aviation thrillers are amazing, can’t put down rollercoaster rides, I *highly* recommend this author if you have not read anything by him.

Other names that appear often on my bookshelves and in my e-reader include – Michael Crichton – Robin Cook – Anne Rice – Michael Connelly – Jeff Lindsay – Agatha Christie – Jodi Picoult – Thomas Harris – and many, many more.

Non fiction my interests are biographies, aviation – in particular crash investigation books – true crime as long as there are no scary photos – books about science or going to the moon, and other books which have come to me as a surprise eg- books about diving, submarines, interesting history books..

My book tastes are wide and varied. I’ll read anything once but if I like it, I’ll read it again and again, and seek out other books by the same author.

What are your bits and bobbles?

:)

about snoskred, books, General Chit-chat

My Uncle

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I’ve sat down to write this post so many times, and I have deleted it without posting it. But this time I am going to push through, complete it, and post it.

When I was a kid, family gatherings were my happy place. Most other kids would have done almost anything to get out of them but I have such a huge respect for the people in my family that I would always go, even if it meant missing out on time with my friends.

My Uncle has always been a bit of an odd duck, but I’ve always adored him anyway. He has a lot of quirks, quite a bit of OCD, and he loves his alcohol – possibly a little too much.

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He has always been an argumentative type of person. I recall many family gatherings where he started an argument with someone over something so trivial and mundane and the type of argument that cannot actually be won because there is no right and wrong.. sometimes these arguments lasted for hours.

While I never landed on his side of the argument, I had to deeply appreciate his willingness to stubbornly stick to his side of things despite many excellent arguments to the contrary. He rarely won these arguments and some of them could be raised again simply by mentioning them.

I do remember one very long family gathering where one of the cousins had $5,000 to spend, and there was a huge argument – should he buy a block of land, or a car? My Uncle was for the block of land. My cousin chose the car, which he later wrote off in an accident, and this is always mentioned when they see each other.

He split from his first wife fairly early on, and then was single for quite a long time until he found someone new, lets call her Amazing, because she had to be to put up with the things she did.

My Uncle ended up working with myself and my Dad in an electrical store for about 2 years, when I was young and just starting out in the working world. This was a time when I had many arguments with my Uncle. We are a family of salespeople, but some of us in the family refused to sell products we knew to be shoddily built. My Uncle would sell whatever got him the most commission.

One day we had a huge argument about his brand of washing machines – 99% of people would get less than 2 years out of his favoured brand, due to a built in electronics panel which always failed – in fact many of us in the industry believed it was deliberately designed to fail. He owned one himself, and the company routinely paid $20-50 per machine sold to the salesperson – they call it a “Spiv” or a “Spiff”.

My brand was built to last, had an old school mechanical dial which never failed, plus had a 10 year warranty. They did not pay spivs.

One day he arrived at work looking downcast – his washing machine electronics panel had failed. His machine was less than 18 months old and yet, out of warranty, at least for the electronics panel. The replacement panel would cost him around $300, and I said – don’t replace it, because it will just fail again! Buy my machine instead!

I could not tell you whether I finally won the argument – whether he did replace the part or not, or whether he spoke to the supplier and told them to replace it for free otherwise he would stop selling their machines. I’d guess it was the latter option if pushed, but I honestly cannot remember.

What I do remember was this electronic panel failure meant I finally won the argument with him. Though I’d always won that argument with myself all along – I knew the right thing to do was to sell the customer the most reliable product, even if it might not be the one they walked in the door asking for.

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I can also tell you that at any opportunity, my Uncle does not fail to remind me of this argument we once had. Neither of us even owns those washing machines anymore! He just loves to argue the old arguments, even if he lost them a long time ago.

Things were going well with my Uncle and Amazing, they bought a house together, moved in, and my Uncle was working in real estate sales and doing really well in general. Then he had a health complication and things began to fall apart. He split up with Amazing and eventually..

..he decided to leave the country and go to China to find a new wife.

*boggle*

Yes, this was quite a shocking development to the entire family, this decision seemed to arrive out of nowhere and many of us were concerned as there is a tendency for Australian men in their older years to marry Women from Asia and then the ladies take off once they get Permanent Residency here.

Coming soon – the story of my Chinese Aunt.

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