SHORT STORY: BRUNO & ALICE -- Alice wants a kennel for the puppy Bruno bought!

BRUNO SAID HE ALWAYS USES THE WORD ‘YOUNG’ WHEN SOMEBODY ASKS HIM HOW OLD HE IS.

ALICE REMEMBERS HE IS ALWAYS THE CORNERSTONE OF HER EXISTENCE.

FRANK MORRIS

Bruno was in deep throught.

Here I am, dead-set seventy years young. I never ‘age’. I remember when my old dad once broke into a conversation with me and a buddy.

He grumbled and replied: “Don’t use ‘age’ use ‘young’ when you’re telling someone your age?” Poor old dad. He’s been gone a fair while now.

I’ve the woman I really love since my first wife died about 20 years ago. I’ve got everything.

Since I got in toe with Alice, I know what your thinking. That I  was on top of the situation. There’s an old saying: I was ‘running to get behind’. Well, now to think about that I really was. Running. Anyway, that’s what it felt like!
It’s a habit of …

“Bruno, teas on and the pot is boiling …”

“I’m under the oak tree …”

… just the way you like it,” called Alice.

Minutes later, out bustles Alice, with not only the boiling tea, but several layers of the rainbow cake. Alice was talking to the Dalmatian puppy running beside her. It was farther than you think. “Nearly there, nearly there,” laughed Alice. “How big will the puppy grow?.”

No answer.

SHE HADN’T CHANGED

Bruno fell into his thoughts again. I’ve got a woman I fell in love with as soon as I met her. I was on my way to the local art gallery to see the etching expo and sat reading my newspaper in peace. Suddenly, I looked up and there was a woman sitting on the same bench. Reading. And do you know what …

“Here we are,” announced Alice. “You have to build a fence to keep puppy in, Bruno. He almost tripped me up.

Incidentally, when are you going to name the poor thing? He’s sitting around expecting some cake.”

Bruno never said a word. But he watched her. She hadn’t changed, you know. She was five years older. Alice had turned sixty-five years a few months ago. She’s young for that age. I pay homage to her. I truly do.

Meantime, Bruno was drinking that tea as fast as he could. Everything was ok.

Bruno said: “This is a good damn cuppa. And it is always piping hot, too. I’m thinking that puppy needs a castle. I’m going to build a castle …”

Alice chipped in. “What sort of castle. Not a large one I hope. Nothing too extravagant …” She was also the money handler.

Bruno held his both his fists high. “I going to design it and I’ll get Bob the carpener to build it. He built their home. All that will cost 200 to 300 buckaroos. Eh, not bad wouldn’t you say!

THE PUPPY

“As I was saying, nothing too extravagant,” Alice demanded. “I could buy a kennel for half of that amount. Not a castle like you have in mind. Just a simple kennel where you can lock him in day or night.”

Bruno looked defeated. “Ok. Ok. I’ll buy the kennel. Remember this Alice, he will be rounded up like a pack of greyhounds,” he’d said jokingly.

Alice began to become cross.

“Alright, alright. I do it.”

Alice was halfway to the French doors, pleading with the puppy “to get off my dress”. Bruno laughed out loud.
Bruno could understand why few cross words ever passed between them over time. She gave the impression that she was always glad to hear my voice.

I make sure that the well-flowered garden looked spotless every-day. Right through the month I never missed a day. Nor did she.

At the end of the month, I was thinking a whole lot more about Alice. I figured that I would ask her out … for a date.
Bruno awoke from his thoughts.

I could have married Alice after I spotted her, he finally told himself.

Alice was packing the dishwasher. Puppy was in the house chasing a toy mouse round the table. And me? I went up to Bob’s place to quiz him about building a castle for the puppy.

And those four bottles of beer didn’t go astray, either.

“Bruno. Bruno. What a flash name that is!” But what about Alice? Alice. Alice. “I tell her the Bob’s come up with the name. We name him Bronco,” said Bruno who was happy with the name.”

I wonder whether Alice will like it or hate it?

Below: Bruno and Bob go for a walk in the bush to disscuss the castle for ‘puppy’ Below: ‘Puppy’.

COMING: Meanwhile, more interesting things were about to happen!


FLINDERS: Final. What I now and must ever feel, says Ann

THE GRAVE OF MATTHEW FLINDERS WAS UNEARTHED NEAR A LONDON RAILWAY STATION.

MATTHEW FLINDERS AND HIS BODY WAS BURIED AT A GRAVE SITE AT ST JAMES CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD ROAD, LONDON. THE GRAVE-SITE AND ITS CONTENTS DISAPPEARED IN 1852, THE WHEREABOUTS OF HIS BODY FOREVERMORE UNKNOWN. BUT THE BODY WAS FOUND IN 2018. A TEAM OF ARCHEOLOGISTS, WHICH HAD BEEN ASSIGNED THE TASK, MADE THE DISCOVERY. 

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The leather-bound copy of the completed book arrived from the publishers …as Matthew was dying. Ann laid the volumes in his bony grasp. He did not regain consciousness, but she believed he knew his life’s work to be complete.

Perhaps the words she was to write in her memoir of him dwelt somewhere in her mind:

“Indeed, so strong was his inclination for this dangerous service that amongst his friends, he has been frequently heard to declare his belief that if the plan of a Discovery Expedition were to be read over his grave, he would rise up awarked from the dead.”

On the morning of 19 July, Isabella was woken by the sound of Ann crying:

ROOM OF DEATH

“She was going to the sick room,” said Isabella.I begged her to let me go first. The sun shone brightly on me as I went down stairs, all seemed still. I entered the drawing room, his bedroom room opened  into it, the door was open, I went in.

“There laid the corpse, the spirit flown, his countenance placid … Dear Matthew! I stood at the foot  of the bed contemplating the scene for a few moments, then rushed up stairs to my sister. She was soon in the room of death & pressed his cold lips to hers It was a heartbreaking effort …

“Her dear babe … the poor child felt that something very dreadful had happened, but did not know what, & putting her little fingers to wipe the tears from her Mother’s eyes, she said, “Don’t cry Mamma’.”

Matthew Flinders died, aged forty years and four months and three days. He was buried in the graveyard of St James Chapel, in Hampstead Road.

TOMBSTONES MISSING

His daughter, on visiting the grave many years later, found the site greatly altered, the tombstones removed, as had been the graves and their contents. His whereabouts was forevermore unknown.

After Matthew’s death, Ann wrote to his closest friend, Thomas Pitot, who had befriend him on Ile de France or Mauritius, as it’s known today.

He was someone with whom she continued to correspond; and who continued to act as an adviser to her in matters of business for many years.

Frank Morris comment: Flinders left the family over 3498 pounds; his publishing venture with A Voyage to Terra Australis has been widely acclaimed. He wife, Ann, died at 79 years, according to family records. Her grandson, William Matthew Flinders Petrie, noted “her early life was happy, her married life very sad … she suffered much”. She was buried at St Thomas Rectory in London. Her death inscribed in a tablet in the south wall of the churchyard, shows her passing nine months earlier than family records indicate.

Below: Flinders’ Terra Australis. Below: Ann looked down on her gallant husband and there were tears in her eyes.


MIND SET: Are you worried about your memory?

TRYING AT 50 AND 60 TO OBVIATE MEMORY LOSS.

Have you became concerned about increasing lapses in memory? Changes in memory can cause stress, depression, medication and pain. Sometimes, it could be a sign of early dementia. Consult your doctor. Either your doctor or a specialist can property diagnose whether it is yes or no regarding dementia.

FRANK MORRIS

“Every week,” Australian Alzheimers said in a radio commercial, “1500 Australians are diagnosed with dementia.”
Think about your neighbours, your relatives, your friends or your own family who might be in the grip of dementia. I lost a neighbour through dementia, I heard him complain several times about his car keys. “Why can’t I drive,” he would ask.

There has been no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There’s a new drug being trialled to treat the disease and give hope to  people living with dementia.

One of these trials involves Anavex 2-73. “The theory behind this drug is that it targets a receptor that, when activated, leads to the removal of the abnormal proteins from  brain cells,” said Associate Professor Macfarlane, Head of Clinical Services at the Dememtia Centre, Malvern.

Malvern centre is “leading this important global study of 450 patients from across Australia and the United States.”

STAGES, PROGRESS

Anyone who is concerned about the disease in their family should find out about early diagnosis, the risk factors and the different stages as well as the progression of the disease.

Facing, dealing and treating – these are the factors in coping with the malady.

“Learning as much about Dememtia or Alzhemer’s as possible could mean the difference between fearing the future and facing it if and when it strikes in the family,” says a leading gerontologist.

When a member of the family starts to become ‘very’ forgetful, or turns on the gas and forgets it, then these are possibly the early warning signs of dementia.

Below: Memory loss and it’s effect on the brain.


The Queen: Getting together with the twelve Presidents

First president the Queen met soon after she was crowned Queen Elizabeth 11, was President Harry S. Truman, 1945 to 1953.

SOURCES: Short Story -- Bruno and Alice; Frank Morris … Flinders – Letters to Ann: The love story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chappelle, published by Angus & Roberston … Are you worried about your memory; Frank Morris … The Queen of England with President Harry Truman, Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 22 March 19

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