We all know it, from the t.v. soap: Neighbours! Everybody needs good neighbours!
If I’d joined Redbubble 10 years ago, I’d be writing about beaches, school, my trip to Europe, etc..
At the moment, my focus is on care for my father, who, again, is in hospital.
Yesterday he told me: “A clarevoyant told me I’d live to 92. I don’t want to. I want to go upstairs or downstairs.”
Whenever I drive home, from the hospital, I see Ron, looking intensely at me in my car. He’s concerned.
It was 1972. That’s 35 years ago that my parents moved here and what Ron would have seen in those days, is a constant flow of Dutch-Australian visitors or Dutch relatives, visiting for 6 weeks or so, from the Netherlands. A lot of coming and going.
Ron, an absolutely dinky-di Aussie, roots in the country, has spent these last 35 years plus, in his back-yard, where he grows veggies. Particularly in the past, he’d so often lean on his fence and chat to all the neighbourhood and passers-by. Including those many lost souls who were looking for the Padstow end of our street, blocked from here, by the creek.
If you want(ed) to know what’s going on. Just ask Ron. He knows everybody.
When my father is home and not in hospital, he sits by the window and all is well with the world because, across the road, just above the fence-line a cap is going back and foreward, until Daphne calls: “Ron” and he goes in to eat.
In the 90s the visitors to my parents place grew less. And my father spent more and more time sitting on the bench, in Ron’s backyard, discussing ‘Little Johnny’, and that _girls’ game (according to Ron), soccer and this great country.
In recent years, now that my father cannot move easily, Ron often drops in, in the afternoon. I know he’s there when I see the walking stick, leaning against the front door.
Ron will listen to the stories that he’s heard thousands of times. Sometimes he falls asleep.
Then, he’ll say: “Well. I can’t sit here all day! There’s work to be done. I think I’ll go and have a beer”
My father’s stock reply: “O.K.. If you’re looking for me. I’ll be here. At number shree.”
The kitchen light in Ron and Daphne’s house is always on. It gives me the impression that from there they keep an eye on the world (Not based on fact at all.)
They love sitting in the sun, at the front of their house, and chat to passers-by.
The relatives no longer come for holidays from Holland. The Dutch-Australian friends are too old, have moved away, have passed on.
Ron is still there and concerned.