15 Nov 2010

The Really-Very-Good-Weekend

All weekends are good, don't you think? Some are really-very-good. This past weekend was a really-very-good-excellently-nice weekend. One of the bestest for a long time.

To begin with, it was long - one of those Thursday night to Monday affairs. That's an essential criterion in the very-good-weekend rankings for me. Secondly, it was in Geelong. With my mum. And my sister. If my brother had been there it would have been pretty near perfect. (My dad would have had to be there for a totally-perfect weekend. Dad and Audrey. But I digress.)

Anyhow, we had four whole days of really-very-good-excellently-nice fun. Mmmmmm.

We started out on Thursday night fraternising with the Beautiful People of Geelong. The Social Set, as it were. The 'In Crowd'. Now before you look at me with horror and delete me from your blogroll, I am not part of this group. At all. I am the hoi polloi. The many. The common folk. I do, however, gain a great deal of pleasure watching the privileged ones at play, and in seeing how 'the other half' spend their time.

I am rarely part of high society. Except once a year, on or around Remembrance Day on the 11th November when my beloved mother hosts her annual Hamlin Fistula Fund Fund Raising Dinner. That's where we were on Thursday night. Here. Eating the most sublime food. And hobnobbing with important folk.


Three years ago my mum and her friend Marie set out to raise $100,000.00 for this deserving charity. We thought they were mad. And they're proving us wrong. More than $7,000 was raised on Thursday night. That's enough for operations to cure another six girls, to allow them to live normal fulfilling lives. To have children. To return to their families with their heads held high. That's what my mum thinks is so worthwhile. So do I. It was a really-very-goodly-excellent night, and my sister and I were incredibly proud of our fabulous mother.

The rest of the weekend we recovered.

I huggled under a Grannie that belonged to my grandmother and read Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader.

This slender book will only take you an hour or two of your next really-very-good-weekend to read, and I thoroughly recommend that you do. It is a delightful little fairy tale of a story about what would happen if one day the Queen was lead by her obstreperous corgis into the mobile library van at Buckingham Palace. The Queen of course doesn't read, but once there she borrows a book because, well, one does need to be polite, doesn't one? One should at least feign an interest. As Queen one has a certain sense of duty, doesn't one?

The Queen doesn't think much of her choice - a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett, but when she returns the book she is directed to The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. She is hooked. One book leads to another, and with the aid of Norman, her gay amanuensis, (you'll need to read the book to discover why he is called that), she embarks on a quest to read her way through English literature. And French. And Russian. The Queen had become a Reader. With a capital R.

If you, too, are a Reader, you'll love this book. I did. Get it.

Just so you know, there is one instance of x-rated language. Totally unnecessary, but there. Beware.

My really-very-good-excellently-nice weekend also had plenty of time for hooking. The crafty type of course...

I spent several incredibly enjoyable hours sitting with my precious mother working on her gorgeous knitted blanket. While she mattress stitched blocks together I outlined them in rows of chocolaty brown triple crochet. And we talked and talked. It was nice. Very-goodly-excellently-preciously-nice.

Wonderful, isn't it? See how wabi sabi her colours are...

I did lots of other excellently-very-good-things too, but if I tell you in too much detail you'll still be reading next weekend, and that would not be goodly-nice of me at all.

I started rereading P G Wodehouse's Blandings Castle Saga. Told you earlier that I like seeing how the other half lives, didn't I, and Something Fresh is just perfect for that. Love P G Wodehouse. Do you? Thank You, Jeeves is my favourite.

We ate out at a restaurant on the Geelong waterfront. We went to church. We discovered a new-to-me second hand bookshop in Castlemaine and bought a whole bagful of delicious titles including the highly regarded The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead and Man-Shy by Frank Dalby Davison. You know how excited I get about new second-hand bookshops, don't you. We celebrated the very-goodly-deliciously-exciting discovery that my much loved nephew, Prince Oh, had finally learned to read. Hurrah!! We had coffee with Jeana and her delightful girls. We picnicked on sushi. We shopped for Christmas pressies. We slept.

It really was a really-very-goodly-nice weekend.

Just one other thing before I go - and I am going, I promise you that...

We're on holidays!!!!! Eight blissful weeks of summer. Mmmm. This helped make the weekend pretty nice as well.


  1. Oh, Jeanne! If you haven't read Stead's The Man Who Loved Children you are in for a treat! I have read it several times & will no doubt read it again. Glad you too are on holidays. Isn't homeschooling wonderful!

  2. No way! UNCOMMON READER is waiting for me to pick it up at the library....Great minds, it seems, DO think alike!

  3. Oh wow, sounds like a fantabulous weekend! Your mum must be a wonderful person to take on such a cause. Dressing up is always fun! Hope you had fun hobnobbing it for the night!
    The Uncommon Reader sounds wonderful too...off to get a copy some time soon :) And I love the colours in your mum's knitted blanket - divine! Finally, happy holidays!x

  4. Funny, Lisa. I thought of you when I read it.

    Books and the Queen - a perfect Hopewell book, I thought to myself!

  5. So pleased you had such a lovely weekend with your precious Mother and sister. What an wonderful result of the fundraiser.xxx

  6. Oh, yay! Book suggestions! I loved reading about your weekend, Jeanne. You have such a lovely way of writing that seems like we are having a real conversation. Over tea, perhaps? Or a nice glass of bubbly.

    And I agree: your mom is fabulous. I was amazed when I read over the website.

    Enjoy your holidays!

  7. I'm so glad we ran into each other! The odds were slim - really I rarely go out to do shopping at wf. Love your mum's blanket. That time making it together will be such a beautiful memory for you and she must really be enjoying its warmth and beauty.

  8. sounds like a great weekend. I remember reading about your mothers fund raising last year. So glad she is doing this.

    We have two and a half weeks of school books and then a week of Christmas activities for the year. Not long till we will be on holidays.


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