Over the Rainbow

I’m sad; plain and simple. Today was the first time I’ve ever been to Rainbow and not gone to Grans house. It was surreal, not having her there in real life, supporting us like she has always done. It was strange not seeing ‘dog turds’ and her biscuits on the Church Hall tables after the committal.

I’m also grateful, for so many things. She knew I loved her. I had 42 years with her, that’s longer than I had with mum. My boys knew her well and loved her dearly, their little Granny Mart. My love of cooking is because of her. Christmas Day will always have the “men do the dishes” rule, because Granny Mart said. So many things I love about her.

Driving into Rainbow today, the clear sky was the color of the G Marts eyes and a random hawk, slowly glided across the road in front of us, as we came into town.

As we drove back into Melbourne, dark clouds billowed as three rainbows ribboned the sky. Coincidence? Perhaps. I like to think not.

Her final breath was on my birthday and I was annoyed at first. But not now.

We buried the G Mart today.

Her Eulogy was one of the toughest things I’ve ever written, and then spoken. I cried through the entire thing, and missed so much in it like her beloved Hawthorn, and love of roses, pansies and the garden.


Madge Martion was born on the 11th of November 1927. She was the third daughter born to James Illawarra (Sham) and Lylia Ethyl Abbott. A treasured sister and sister-in-law to Aileen (Infant dec), Valerie (dec) & Kevin, Jack & Elayne, Jimmy & Roma, William – Friz, Tom (Infant dec), Joy (Infant dec), Robert – Bob (dec) & Elaine.

Madge was raised with her siblings at 1 Darts Avenue. The current not so ‘new’ building now occupies the space where the family home of Sham and Lylia once stood. It was an old house, with many stories, and more troubled times than good through wars and depression. Madge attended the Nypo and Yaapeet Schools until the tender age of 15 years when she earned her ‘certificate of merit’. Leaving school to help alongside her mother, she cooked at the local Middle and Top pubs, before beginning helping in the kitchen at the Rainbow Hospital. After Lylia’s passing in 1962 it opened the opportunity for Madge to fill her mother’s position at the hospital, and she took on the role in 1963. Madge worked in the Rainbow Hospital kitchen for 37 years.

Madge also dabbled in catering with the Websters, she cleaned Strauss’s and Farrell’s, and ironed for many in the town.

Madge worked hard all of her life. She knew the value of calluses on hands and a Pound note.

In 1947 a young Madge married Edmond Andrew Martion (dec). They had five children together. Aileen (dec), William, Robert (Infant dec), Faye (dec), and John. They lived out of town on the farm North of Rainbow for the earlier years with their five children, until tragedy struck and the death of young Robert eventually forced Madge to move back into the family home on Darts Ave. Madge continued to raise her four surviving children at Darts Ave, essentially as a working, single mother after eventually separating from Eddy.

Her babies flew the nest one by one over the years and Madge gained her son and daughter in-laws, Arthur, Rodney and Fay. Years passing she became the Little Granny Mart to eleven grandchildren; Susan, Catherine, Dale, Naomi, Maaike, Lana, Shaula, Shasta, Criena, Ellisha and Lylia.  And the last two decades have celebrated her as our white-haired-Great-Granny Mart to nineteen great-grandchildren.

Her beloved Rainbow knew her well, and loved her more. Madge was a ritualistic and practiced woman, who regardless of the weather would set on walking up Federal Street every day for the paper, and never missed her Friday ‘set’ at Vals, or staying up until late on a Wednesday night playing ‘500’. She always completed the weekly puzzle books leaning over the table, and she built countless jigsaws and completed millions crosswords over the years.

Madge was a witty, articulate and measured woman who executed everything she did with tenacity and purpose.

Undoubtedly a fine cook in her own right, she whacked together the dog turds fresh off the lawn, (for the uninitiated), and a batch of her biscuits; both staples in her home and anticipated by every guest. Anything shared to her was repaid in whatever she made from it; tomato relish, fruit jams, pickles and soups.

Madge was social and generous, and loved being involved. She was community bound and community driven. Finding her elbows deep in the sink at a funeral or out in the street sweeping the neighbour’s front gutter; pulling bindy-eyes out of the dirt in the alley and so too on her way up the street using a stay-sharp knife was not unusual.

She had dresses for every occasion, and an occasion for every dress; the wedding frock, the gardening dress, the cooking dress, she sweeping the street dress, and they all had a string of pearls or beads, a brooch to match and don’t forget the lippy. A sweet tooth like no other, her favs were the humbugs and peppermints and she loved anything chewy, even giving a red skin a go, to which she had met her match, resigning to removing her teeth to peel it off her plate, all while smirking from the other side of the table.

She loved a hug and a smooch and would b-line for the young men of the family with her red lippy. Madge was a loyal friend to many but Val Dickson, her side kick will be excited to welcome her home on the other side of the Rainbow with a weak cup of tea and a slice of lemon in it… and undoubtedly a ciggy!

Many of you will have stories of Madge. They’ll be funny. They’ll be admirable. They’ll even be sad. Madge’s story is one of solid fortitude and perseverance. She was dealt really some tough times but she weathered them all. Every wrinkle on her face was earned and she wore them with pride, for she knew how far she had come.

Almost 90 years of a changing world and changing people, saying hello and saying good bye to many that she loved. She was an inspirational human. People were drawn to Madge, the little old lady with white hair, the savvy, opinionated woman, who dealt a mean hand of cards on Card Night, and was never short of a snippet of gossip while meandering the streets of Rainbow.

She welcomed her family and guests with a warm heart, and her heart is what Rainbow gained forever on Friday, 18th of August. Little towns are made up of little icons, and Madge is undeniably one of them.

Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!




Gosh, it’s been so long since I blogged. The 18th of October to be exact. Sorry to those who read and then wait for the next one… it’s been too long and perhaps a reason why this blog is about reflections?

Most of us reflect in the New Year. I know I do. Mostly while I am sitting beside the river in the ‘quiet’, on my chair with the loud whistling songs of the cicaders around me. It’s the only time I truly stop and recharge. I’m grateful for that time. I also reflect after a few too many drinks, because as they say, alcohol speaks the truth, yeah? It allows the mind to relax and stop processing, and it inhibits the thoughts that hold you back, or that mask the true scenario… particularly a few scenarios and situations that I should never have allowed myself to endure of late.

The end of 2016 was feral. It was such a whirlwind of activity, and deadlines, over spending, over eating and drinking, working stupid hours and attending social events that filled each and every day in the lead up to the ever oppressive Christmas and New Year stampede of emotion. I found myself asking… “why do we do it, why do I do it, and how can I make it easier?” So this is what I found.

Over the build up to Christmas and my time up the river, I’ve accepted that where I have been focusing some of my attention regarding my worries and my cares or my duties, may not necessarily be where I should be focusing. My expectations of others, more often than I want to admit, doesn’t align with what is actually manifested by some people in my life. That’s okay though. We aren’t all meant to align completely I guess, are we? Accepting that you no longer have the trump card in your hand, and it’s now just another card in the deck, so to speak, is humbling. While for me this has been a long time coming, it has been a relatively easy shift of energy and it is so fucking refreshing knowing that I have owned it now. It’s a release welcomed. There will be people in my life who will continue to expect the same reactions and results from me, but sadly for them, it’s wasted.

I’ve agreed with myself to focus on those who show an interest in me, in my husband, in my children and anyone else in my inner circle, and that circle is becoming smaller by the month. I will no longer chase, or make the effort if it’s not going to be reciprocated. I think this is fair. More than fair. I’ve wasted so many brain and heart cells trying to figure out where I stand with people, and I’m done with wasting my valuable energy and being. I’m 41 now, and you would think by now I would have worked out my place in this world, and I thought I had, but it’s forever shifting and morphing, and people keep changing and their values and morals change, and their agendas become more obvious and disgusting, and I just can’t keep that crap in my life. It’s toxic. So toodles to you with the wiggle of my fingers. My self worth outweighs any toxic energies that think deserve to be in my life. It was reaffirmed with the direct actions of late and I’m sure that distancing myself a while back was the right thing to do.

This is a little off subject now, but it directly affects my mind state: 2017 is the year of Helping Each Other in our home. I created a list of suggestions to assist our home in being efficient and warm. Not stressed, and certainly not unwelcoming. The lists are stuck to the kids bedrooms walls. Our family dynamic has changed in the last six months. The kids are now teens with their own personalities and they have drives and dreams or perhaps just ideas for their futures. One has a job and now school is ramping up, where grades will matter more and the stress will amplify. So in preparation for this, I kind of thought that we need to fine tune our home life to make it more livable, and calm and that we all have some responsibility to adhere to. I want our home to be a place that oozes comfort. That’s not to say that our home isn’t already this, but I have to admit, things got out of control in the latter half of the year. It’s not a good vibe when things are rushed, and cluttered. Your surrounding always reflect your minds state. This is exactly where my mind was… cluttered and rushed and full of people and things that shouldn’t be there. So I’m calling on my home to help me to help them. It’s working, for now.

Given that I have made that conscious decision to redirect my valuable attention and worth, I’m probably not going to notice some people fall of the edge of my Earth. My energy this year is to be the cleanest and clearest it can be, and I want to surround myself with the best energy I know and love… From here, it should be simple with some road humps I suspect, but for the most part I hope that if you’re reading this blog, that you’re part of that, so make the effort, please? For me, for you and for us.

So we come back to the question “why do we do it, and how can I make it easier?” Well my evaluation and maybe solution is to prioritize, redirect, take control and reassess where you’re at on every form of your life including health, family, work and social. Stop saying yes because you think you should. Start being accountable for your own mental health and well being. Say no if it’s detrimental to your mental state. Say no if you just don’t want to. Do make the effort to love those who love you, tell them, show them, make them feel it because they don’t fucking know if you don’t show them!

Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!


365 Days of Us: Day 196

Wednesday. 5th October 2016.

I had no car today because it was getting serviced and I still had things to get done, so Uber it was to get me around. After having my microderm-abrasion done I checked out the new coffee haunt that all Altona Meadowians are raving about… Favor & Grace on Railway Ave, before app’ing the next Uber home. I am in love with Uber – seriously, how good is it?

I ordered the Porridge with Poached Pear and a Macchiato; times two in the end. It was bloody delicious! Their coffee was tasty, and I’m reasonably fussy when it comes to coffee so it got my thumbs up.  Might be my new favorite place, except for the kid bashing their toy on the table for 10 minutes while mum smiled and laughed at her doing it. My tolerance for kids and noise in that environment is zero to none. But that’s a topic for another day.

Man I love food… good food. Get into Favor & Grace if you can.


365 Days of Us: Day 193

Sunday. 2nd October 2016.

Home time BOOOO! The sun finally came out today and we are leaving. I got to sit backseat with Colby and the hounds for the trip home. It was a nice change to the front seat I must say. Plenty of hot dogs breath and fur. Our babies are never too old to lay on their mums lap, are they? Making memories.



365 Days of Us: Day 188

Tuesday. 27th September 2016.

Coco and Alberts – Babies! Six of them. They’re so hideous but oh so cute all at the same time.

Operation Breeding Finch is certainly a success.


365 Days of Us: Day 186

Sunday. 25th September 2016.

Where do I start?

What an amazing day today. Breakfast over-looking the Yarra and Flinders Street Station, Yarra Valley wine tour and then dinner at Melba’s. That’s just the main parts. Laughs, wine, sparkling wine, new friends and a beautiful new memory.

Caroline and I have been best friends all of our lives. Grade 2 to be precise. We were 7 years old, or there about and it seems like an eternity, I guess it is when you think about it in terms of how many people aren’t lucky enough to have a lifelong friend at all.

Sure we have had our times where we didn’t see each other for years, and I am not exaggerating. Carol went to Tassie to study – for over 10 years! I went north with Ben to work so we only caught up when both of us were home in Clunes at the same time. It was difficult at times, well, most of the time to continue to relate and appreciate one another. We went to different secondary schools earlier on, making new friends, and boyfriends came along, jobs and study. Just life in general sent us on different paths but those paths always wound back to meet where we would catch up, just like it was yesterday. Lots of bottles of wine or shots in the earlier days. Weddings, birthdays, births and fucking funerals. The normal reasons families reunite. By family, I mean she is my family. A single constant in my life that I could always rely on, no matter what.

This weekend was a first though. In all of the 33 + years we have been friends, we have never had a weekend away, or even a night away together, just to hang out. There has always been kids, our families or other girlfriends, it just never happened to be the two of us.

I am so glad and SO fucking grateful we made the effort this year. The past 24 hours has been so special to me. I keep kicking myself to remind myself just how lucky I am to have this one person in my life. I know I am already so lucky to have a beautiful group of girlfriends here in Melbourne, who I love wholeheartedly, but Caroline is my blood. Nothing will change that. Not ever.

So, thank again, my beautiful sister, for taking the time away from your kids and your hubby, who you don’t see as much as you should of late. I am so happy we are still ‘us’ and that we can just ‘be’ us when around each other. It’s easy to be happy around you. You bring out the very best in me and I am so thankful for you. (and the gazillion selfies we took!)

Love you always!

365 Days of Us: Day 183

Thursday. 22nd September 2016.

Two of my most favorite things in the world, enjoying some sunshine.

Sage and Mack.

She LOVES to hate him. He annoys the crap out of her but they do love each other when he’s not being a pest. They both sat still for long enough to allow me to snap this pic through the kitchen window.

(and all I am thinking right now is “wow my window is actually quite clean” lol)