We met in August and discussion turned to one of my favourite books, Christina Hindhaugh’s For Better For Worse and For Lunch.
She said she’d like to read it, I said I had a spare copy I could send her and she wrote her address in my notebook.
When I got home I found the book and put it on the to-do pile on my desk.
That was in August.
Every now and then I’d come across the book but I kept forgetting to take it to town.
Finally, yesterday I noticed the book as I picked up my bag on the way out, took it with me and posted it.
Today I’m grateful for a clear conscience – at least in regards to that one less item on my to-do list.
. . . After the hymn the captain up on the dais asks us to bow our heads and in a low sonorous voice he reads out the roll of honour, the names of those from this district who paid the supreme sacrifice. ‘Adamson, Brown, Baker, Hammond . . .’
Listening intently, I catch my breath as I realise most of these names are familiar int he district still. ‘McInnes, Munro, Munro, Polaski, Rowe . . .’ And some lost sons in both world wars! After the roll of Honour the Shire President from Moreton gives a short address and lays a wreath of flowers at the base of the memorial. Some people from the crowd step up and do the same. Then all the old diggers file past the memorial, each halting for a moment to stand before it with head reverently bowed, hand across his heart. And as I watch them, suddenly in my mind’s ey a vision comes to me of these old men young again, and strong, marching off to war in the full flush of their youth. I glance at Edward beside me and a chill runs through me to the very bone.
When the old soldiers (and one of two younger ones – presumably Vietnam vets) have all filed past we are asked to turn and face the flag behind. Someone from the crowd clicks on a tape recorder set up on the tray of a battered ute parked nearby and as the wind gusts around our ankles the achingly evocative notes of The Last Post ring out in the morning air, and by the time another old differ standing beside the flagpole has slowly and reverently lowered the flag, then raised it once more, I am quite unable to stop the flow of tears from coursing down my cheeks.
Judge of the nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget, lest we forget!
From For Better, For Worse and For Lunch by Christina Hindhaugh.
For Better For Worse and For Lunch by Christina Hindahuagh is the book I wish I’d written.
It’s a novel, written as a diary of a city woman who marries a farmer and moves to Boolaroo – Aborigine for flies but, her husband assures her, that’s as in the speed of time not the insects.
Jessie finds that the skills which helped her in publishing aren’t a lot of help on the farm but her determination and sense of humour do as she adapts to country life and country people.
While she had to give up her career when she moved to the farm, she didn’t give up her independence:
“So what did you all leave your husbands for lunch today?” asks a third woman joining the group.
“I left mine a casserole,” says the aqua lady.
“I left mine a quich,” says the pink.
“Oh I left Edward a note,” I say smiling.
This is a book written with warmth and wit by a woman whose love of country life is obvious, if tempered by the knowledge that adjusting to it isn’t always easy.
The author’s appreciation of literature show in both content and style.
I have read this book at least once a year since it was first recommended to me at least a decade ago and enjoy it more each time.
While it has obvious appeal for women who take on farmers, it’s also been enjoyed by urban women and some blokes admit to liking it oo.
Monday’s questions were:
1. Which is New Zealand’s shortest river?
2. Who said “What is left for men to do? After they’ve taken the rubbish out, that is?”
3. Who wrote For Better, For Worse and For Lunch?
4. Who was the first woman to graduate from the University of Otago (which I think means NZ)?
5. What are the Maori and botanical names for cabbage tree?
Paul Tremewan did best with two right and 1 very close (it’s Christina not Christine for 3). No-one got the anser to 2.
Tuesday’s answers follow the break: Read the rest of this entry »