Sorry, Ms Robyn. Only just discovered that you have tagged me. Health hasn't been too good since half-way through March and the immune system got run down. The last week it was the 'flu. But enough of the excuses. Time to meditate - and tell of my 10 Simple Pleasures.
No. 1: A Life Enlarged
Miss Eagle has been a widow for sixteen years and there is one thing she misses more than sex. That one thing is the end of the day when two people get together in the evening light before it's dark. There will be a drink in their hands - tea, coffee, a beer or a wine. It is a time of sharing, a time of one life interacting with another and enlarging it. When this time is subtracted from one's life, existence becomes one-dimensional.
No. 2: The Memory of Moonlight
The full moon high enough in a clear sky to brightly illuminate the land or the water. Miss Eagle thinks of her early childhood when she lived at Bay Terrace, Wynnum Central in Brisbane and her home looked out over Moreton Bay. She has never forgotten the moon on the water. Her second favourite memory of moonlight is the opposite. It is the view of moonlight from the hill behind the Overlander Hotel in Mount Isa, North West Queensland looking east towards Cloncurry over the flat expanse, transforming an arid landscape.
No. 3: Domesticity with Love
Miss Eagle was never a brilliant sewer like so many women in the blogosphere are. She is a plodder. Take away the McCall's paper pattern and she is likely to collapse in a heap. Her knitting was done with patterns from the Australian Women's Weekly. But if Miss Eagle sewed or knitted with little skill, she certainly did so with lots of love. Miss Eagle has kept a select collection of these items. Baby clothes; a little white dress with a blue sash lovingly constructed for Herself; teeny weeny suits for two boys who grew into two metre tall men, Mr Brick Outhouse and Mr Pump Water. Lastly there is an olive green gabardine safari suit constructed for Big Red, Miss Eagle's Dearly Beloved, when such things were in vogue.
No. 4: Saturday lunch
Miss Eagle's favourite form of entertainment is Saturday lunch. The preferred place is outdoors under a shady tree. There is something about a Saturday lunch. The weekend stretches ahead and there seems to be lots of time: lots of time for conversation and sharing the company of family and friends. Saturday lunch is a great success if it extends into early evening and the left overs come around again.
No. 5: A Garden Room
Miss Eagle loves a home that integrates house and garden. In her current home, there is a sun room that opens on to a courtyard with lots of flowery pots. From this room, Miss Eagle can look across to the hills of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Miss Eagle's home before this was at Bluewater north of Townsville in North Queensland - between the World Heritage listed rainforest of the Bluewater Ranges and Halifax Bay looking across to the Palm Group of islands. It was a sprawling home of western red cedar with a garden room, walled only on three sides, opening out into the garden. The Garden Room and the Terrace it opened onto were paved with stone laid by Big Red just prior to his death. It was a gathering place - for parties and afternoon teas - with living and dining areas opening on to it.
No. 6: A Night of Crime
Friday night is not the same if there is no decent crime on the ABC. The particular pleasure that Miss Eagle recalls is when she was a corporate PA in a Kerry Packer company working in North Sydney. Now Miss Eagle has never been a beer drinker - except that, when living in Sydney, she took a liking to Toohey's New. So the pleasurable memory is of leaving work on a Friday afternoon, heading through Greenwood Plaza to North Sydney station and, en route, picking up two bottles of Toohey's New at the supermarket. Jonathan Creek would commence at 8.30pm and Miss Eagle would curl up on the couch and take the top off the first TN. Pleasure, indulgence, relaxation, a week's end!
No. 7: State of Origin
The three great football games of the year are Rugby League games: Queensland -v- New South Wales (Cane Toads -v- Cockroaches) in the State of Origin series. Miss Eagle is not a pretty sight at this time. She is known to be very loud in barracking for Queensland. In Sydney, the TV viewing was accompanied, as before, by a Toohey's New. In the Northern Territory and Victoria it is accompanied by Rum and Coke (Bundaberg Rum - from Queensland - and Diet Coke). Miss Eagle has never seen a State of Origin in person - but she notes that the third Origin Game will be held in Melbourne this year and Herself has said that she will shout the ticket. Miss Eagle will almost certainly freeze - but, oh, the pleasure of seeing Billy Slater run!
No. 8: The Official Family Dinner
There is an official family dinner in Miss Eagle's family. It is in its third generation. It is a roast dinner - a corner piece of topside, approximately 3kg, especially ordered at the butcher shop because the selvedge of fat must be left on top; vegetables and gravy; and a Yorkshire Pudding. So when there is a family re-union, we don't kill the fatted calf - we order the topside roast.
No. 9: Celebrating the Seasons
As readers of The Trad Pad know, Miss Eagle likes to mark the seasons: the changing patterns of the planet; the spiritual calendar. Particular favourites are those that incorporate food.
No. 10: Making Memories
This is the most important of the simple pleasures and bookends nicely with No. 1. In a marriage, in a family, it is important to have shared memories. This is the story, the biography of a marriage, a family. It helps to forge the bonds that keep people together. While memories come in all sorts, shapes and sizes and a range of price tags, the best ones are simple and pleasurable. They can be funny, adventurous, inspirational, or just drawing together in the mundane minutes of daily life. There are two things, two very short sermons, Miss Eagle preaches following the experience of her Dearly Beloved's death. The first is that relationships are the most important thing in the world. Whatever looms large in your life at the moment - unpaid bills, job loss, difficult children, insecurity - none of these holds a candle to personal relationships and the bonds of marriage and family. The second is: make memories. Don't sit in front of the television like couch potatoes with little conversation. Go make a memory.
PEOPLE MISS EAGLE WANTS TO TAG
Miss Eagle wants to tag the following people: