Uncle Paddy

Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:57 pm
lishesquex: (Default)

I went to the beach today with my mum and my aunt because it was a beautiful spring day. On the drive home, I found out that Uncle Paddy had passed away in 2013. It came as a shock to me because nobody had told me. I'm a little upset that nobody told me because I'd been close to him when I was little. 

Uncle Paddy was my Irish-Australian uncle-in-law who was the closest thing to a regular dad figure I had when I was growing up. (My actual father doesn't count as a dad figure because he never did anything except put food on the table). Uncle Paddy took me camping, took the time to explain things to me, and helped me with school projects.  I remember sitting on his shoulders during the street carnival that would happen in Mornington every year around Christmas. He took me on the giant slide and even went up with me.

I remember finding a toffee recipe in a library book, once, when I was staying at their place.  I wanted to make toffee but we didn't have all the ingredients and was ready to give up on the whole idea. But he was like "we can still make it... let's just pop down to the shops to pick up the ingredients." And I remember being totally astonished because my parents would never have ever made a deliberate trip to the shops just so I could make something.

I remember when I was in Grade 1 or 2 and I mentioned at the dinner table that the kids at school would call me "ching chong". And he was all fired up and ready to go kick some butts.

I also remember being upset and wanting to cry because he was a really tough teacher and would yell at me when I couldn't spell "Sydney" right. (After that I never forgot that a consonant could stand in for a vowel sound.)

He defended me when my parents said I read too much useless stuff like Greek mythology, because he knew it had cultural capital.

He used to call Xin "long tall Sally" or something, hah.

Uncle Paddy wasn't perfect either. He hated everything Japanese because his father had been killed in WWII as a pilot fighting the Japanese.  He even objected when I bought a Toyota car, and he never particularly liked that Kitteh was half Japanese Bobtail. In fact, he didn't much like cats at all and thought the best way to dispose of extra kittens was to put them in a sack with rocks and drown them in the dam on his farm. 

I remember saying once, when I was 9 or 10 and probably just beginning to deal with my own queerness, that I didn't like Elton John (we were on a long car trip and Elton John was playing) and my aunt kept asking me why, to which I would shrug and say "just because". And Uncle Paddy was like "is it because he's a fag? I don't like him either".

We lost touch after my aunt moved to Singapore for her job, and then they eventually divorced. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to go to his funeral though.

lishesquex: (star trek - same thing we do every night)
It's that time in the school holidays when I can't help but start counting down the days before work starts again. :/ So let me tell you about what I've been doing.

Recently, I spent two days reading through thirteen years of paper journal entries (oh god the emo, so much emo) in an attempt to figure out my brain and patterns of behaviour. I like to think I've come away from it wiser, and maybe I have. Time will tell.

Last night I tried to watch the USA vs. France semifinal but only lasted until 3:30am at which point I started falling asleep intermittently. Even close ups of Hope Solo could not keep me awake. Clearly, I fail at lesbianism.

This afternoon has been spent reading The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, which is a 13th century compilation of Scandinavian literature from which we get most of our information on Norse mythology. I'm only up to the bit about the Primeval Cow because I'm a nerd and spent too long underlining bits of the 35 page long introduction. Also, I bet you didn't know that, according to the Vikings, the clouds are made up of a giant's BRAINS. So typical. I love it. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] quew who technically gave me the book since I bought it with her gift card.

I've been trying to get back into WoW. But I honestly think my WoW playing days are behind me. I can't even muster up the enthusiasm to level Lish to 85 even though I'm ALMOST THERE. Guess I'll try again tomorrow. One effect of reading through thirteen years of my life has been that I've been thinking a lot about what makes up the value of a life: what makes one year better than another, and what makes life worthwhile. There are years like 2003 during which so many things happened - I grabbed life by both hands, or life grabbed me (lots of grabbing, either way) - and I met people who I'd count as some of the most important people in my life. And then there are years like 2009 which... well, the only redeeming feature of 2009 is that I read some great books. I remember the Prince in the final chapters of The Leopard where he's tallying up his life, counting all the moments that were actually worth something and finding that the pile is actually rather small. I want to find/create as many of those moments as possible, so that I don't look back on my life and find big swathes of pointlessness. Anyway, my point in all of this is that all this introspection and "I want to grab life by the tittehs" sentiment isn't conducive to playing WoW.

Did you know there's a tumblr for ridiculous pictures of Celine Dion? Me neither.
lishesquex: (Default)
My memories of Norway are of two types. My first impression was of rock and water. Driving along sheer rock faces on one side, and lakes and fjords on the other. The afternoon we arrived, it was raining and the clouds hung so low I didn't know if they were clouds or mist. It rained for the rest of that night and all of the next morning.

My second impression of Norway was of an idyllic and pictureque landscape of green hills, painted houses, apple orchards, friendly blondes and berry juice. We stayed in a little town called Solvorn, which I'm convinced is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

I'm at work posting (instead of lesson planning), and it seems unreal that I was ever at such a place. So what made me think of Norway?

I stopped at a petrol station for the first time since coming back, and reached down to flick the little petrol door release thingy and I suddenly remembered the time in Norway we tried to fill our tank and totally couldn't find it. We even pulled out the manual to see if it would tell us but the manual was all in Norwegian. We did eventually find it so there was no major drama, but it was kind of funny. So that's what I remembered this morning, when I was filling up petrol.

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