Well, that went as well as might be expected. I didn't get any leads on friends, but I don't think my blog is a hub of national activity, so I'm happy in the knowledge that if anyone googles a combination of Jamie Florance, Cranbrook School and suicide,* they'll find me here.
Many thanks for all your warm comments and suggestions.
One very happy outcome of all this was the discovery that Lord Sedgwick and I share a non-blood kinship that made the universe fall into place in a number of ways. One of my favorite family friends is one of his favorite friends, and thus this small beautiful world gets smaller and more beautiful. I wish we'd made this connection when I visited Melbourne earlier this year, but I'm sure it won't be too long before we can all get together over some wine and have a giggle.
I rang my parents and told them about this discovery and was startled to know that my dad has a lot of admiration and respect for LS and his activities, at least for the ones he was doing a few decades ago. I felt a bit young and out of the loop. It's nice to know there are still fun things to learn about your family!
When I got him back on Sunday he was puking and coughing simultaneously, with a high fever. I know he would have picked up the bug a few days before, but his illnesses always manifest themselves on his dad's weekend, and his dad always dismisses them as less than they are. 'It's just a cold', he said. At 10.20pm (the earliest we could get in), I was at the after-hours doctor at the hospital, getting antibiotics and being warned to keep a close eye on him.
This being the night before the 20th anniversary of my bro's death, and almost exactly 10 years after Bumblebee almost died on the operating table with open heart surgery, I got a bit stressed. My life is full of neat little patterns, and I was terrified that this might be one of them.
Don't get me wrong, Bumblebee was nowhere near Death's door, I was just exercising my right as a novel reader, film watcher and paranoid mother to imagine the worst. So I had a fretful night's sleep, going out occasionally and feeling his forehead, checking to see him breathe. And in the morning, there he was, pale but alive. Of course.
He's fine now, and the upside is that we don't have to go to that horrid performance. He was going to be singing and waiting and singing and waiting for two solid days. And we were going to have to be there the whole time. He's NEVER going to have a chance to be a child star because I don't have the patience to allow him to be. Bleck.
To add to the 'fun', the cats caught a bird on friday and dragged it inside, where it proceeded to flap up and down the house, beating itself against windows and trying to escape the claws. When I got home from school pickup, there were feathers EVERYWHERE, especially in the bathroom where they seem to have plucked out most of its poor tail.
The loungeroom was covered in feathers, and there were scenes of disarray, like on the dining table where BB had just lined up a batch of freshly-filled jam jars, ready to be wiped and labelled.
The cats were sitting on the lounge, not looking terribly excited, so I thought all the action was over, but I couldn't see a body. Then Padge got up leisurely, sauntered over to the kitchen, and jumped up on the bench. It was then I noticed the bird wedged up behind my dishrack, trying to make itself invisible, panting and terrified.
Bumblebee freaked out, so I asked him to lock the cats outside while I caught the bird. Unfortunately, while he was herding them, the bird flapped away and landed on the floor, and they pounced again, which freaked him out even more. Lordy, it was chaos. Eventually I got the cats out, caught the bird, put the cats in, and took the bird outside. I didn't know what to do! My mother would have killed it; she possesses a calm practicality for these things that I can only take so far. I tried to make it comfortable and get it some water; it had only 3 tail feathers left, a bite in its side and a bite near its neck. But the wind buffeted it and it took the opportunity to use the last bit of its energy to flap up into the nearest tree, where I couldn't reach it. The next morning I went out to look and it was dead, cradled in the branches. I hope it didn't suffer too much.
Our cats are well belled, and they aren't allowed out at night; I can only think that Friday's freak winds (very hard, very fast, very loud) gave them an unfair advantage. We praise their mouse catching, but they know they have been bad when they catch a bird, and they've only done it twice in three years. They now have a new name: bird butcherers.
But I don't think it bothers them too much.
* welcome, if you have done that. The full story is the next post down.