Mother would have been 84 today, if she hadn't died at the age of 59. It's such a long time ago. I marked the occasion with a swim in the ocean at a most beautiful bay on the South Coast of NSW. I shall not tell you its name as one of the locals was mightily peeved that there were five other people in the water. Nobody normally comes here, she told us.
We had a beautiful swim until we saw two bluebottles and then Miss B and I hightailed it out of the water.
Way back in time I was stung by a bluebottle when we lived at Byron Bay. Those were the days when the lifesavers would "treat" the sting with wet sand. Years later I was stung at Newcastle and the "treatment" had advanced to vinegar.
The NSW Ambulance Service now has some sensible advice and putting sand or vinegar on the site of the sting are forbidden. Probably because thousands of Aussie kids proved that neither treatment worked.
Back to Mother. She hated that the Granville Train Disaster happened at all and especially on her birthday, but she was quite OK with sharing her day with Paul Keating.
Oh and on this day in 2003 the children and I were in Canberra when the bushfires struck. Being new to town I had no idea what I was supposed to do to be safe, the local ABC radio took hours to broadcast emergency information and the other half was out of town to cover a different bushfire.