Welcome back

I bought myself some clothes and accessories on line these last couple of weeks. Just some swingy-hide-the-gunt long tops, some leggings, which I fully intend to wear as pants, a pair of ankle boots and a couple of rings and necklaces. Such events are very rare indeed and these new purchases will likely go the way of old, worn steadfastly day in and day out as a uniform until desperation requires another round of purchases. I do not buy clothes or accessories “just because”, ever.

The rings were cheap and cheerful, even the delicious black resin disc from Elk. They feel heavy on my fingers, making we want to swing my hands around when I talk even more than usual. In a few short days I’ve developed a new ritual of putting them on, flicking my fingers here and there, then trying to type with them on, only to fail, removing them, then starting the process all over again. See also: not sane.

The weather has turned here with the days abruptly shorter and a biting wind. I’ve wondered why my allergies have been off the charts until it dawned on me that the scarves and jacket I’ve pulled from the cupboard are merely dust strung together with a few threads. Still, I’m typing this wearing one of my new tops, my chunky yellow ring (on and off it goes) and the most outrageously warm possum wool scarf gifted to me by M. Gas prices are set to increase by up to 25% this winter so there shall be a lot of scarf wearing and doona shawls.

We had two rounds of rugby this weekend, Grover insisted on wearing his mouthguard even though he lost his two front teeth the night before and the morning of his game. It feels like the end of early childhood here with those baby teeth gone. We’re well and truly in the subsector of society called “getting the kids through school” now. He still wants me to lie with him when he’s going to sleep and while many a night it shits me to tears I force myself to remember this time will soon be over.

Last week featured a gathering of some of us from the blogging old days. There was so much laughter but also confiding and confessions. Since we got together we’ve shared some photos from years ago which have simultaneously made us wistful and horrified at the swiftness with which time passes. Those ladies know me inside and out. Their love and concern for me through periods of hardship and heartache has meant so so much to me and our stupidly infrequent get togethers fuels my soul.

Last night I admitted defeat and made dinner using a store-bought jar of a curry sauce. Every single child ate it. All of them. Ate all parts of it. The cursor is blinking at me as I try to find something to say about that.





I am so stuck. I teach a course about blogging for God’s sake, I’ve been blogging for 11 years or some such nonsense but here I sit.

My brain is not playing fair at the moment. To be fair to it I haven’t been taking one of my meds for about a week because of a lack of funds to get meds and time to go and get them. But I’m really feeling it, the manic busyness of my brain all within a tightening vice and spiralling bad thoughts. Just 5mg of one little drug between me and sheer insanity.

The weekend brought the most beautiful surprises with my most beautiful and oldest friend K coming to stay with her husband and their son who’s just started at boarding school. Dinner was lasagne and caesar salad with pavlova for dessert, breakfast bacon and eggs. In between long conversations to catch up on everyone’s news. So the blackness has not consumed all. The weekend shone bright for a moment there and I sucked it into my lungs, buoying my soul.




Last week my friend K called and asked if I could get away for two days and meet her in Orange. Each year her brother and sister-in-law hold a lunch at their property, Bell Hill, with Giovanni Pilu as part of Orange Food Week.

Lunch was sublime:


The location enviable:




But this is what was the best thing about it all. What 26 years of friendship looks like:



Onward my dear friends, onward.



Passing. Goodbye. Going home. Reconnecting


Today was the funeral of a dear friend of mine’s father. He was two days shy of 62 when he finally succumbed to a long and bitter battle with kidney disease.

He was one of those men – kind, gentle, softly spoken, tough, clever and creative. The passion with which you could see he loved his beautiful wife, now bereft of her soul mate who had been by her side for the last 40 years, and their two children could honestly take your breath away.

A large part of my formative years did not feature a traditional mum, dad senario and there were friends whose families filled out that picture for me. I remember dinner’s with K’s family of Amazonian giants (seriously they’re all 6ft or taller) and being both scared, intimidated, in awe and in love with the volume and energy a dad at the dinner table brought. J’s dad was a farmer and that was another whole realm but one I just soaked up. I marvelled at how he’d yell at J and her sister in the paddock not doing whatever they were meant to be doing but then that was that, done with, forgotten. What happened in the paddock stayed in the paddock I guess. And then there was L’s dad. Beautiful man.

My faith has taken a great deal of interrogation over the last 14 years and I am in a weird twilight zone where I see the role faith can have in your life but no longer believe. Today’s service showed me, reminded me of the comfort a faith can bring in times of intense emotion.

Driving down to the service (just the other side of Wollongong) brought other memories flooding back. All the container ships sitting there off the coast. We used to stand on Nan’s verandah and count them and every Boxing Day watch the boats sail by in the Sydney to Hobart. Funny the things that stay with you.

A very dear person was at the funeral today. I had hoped she’d be there. Years ago – as in a DECADE ago – we had a dust-up on email. Stupid stupid email. It came off the back of a couple of incidents where I had behaved badly, lying to her rather than being honest and then both of us being at different place in our lives. For me I was jealous, intimidated by her and some of her friends and their confidence and comfort in their own skin. I felt like a very ugly duckling. Funny, I was always told how mature I was and yet I look back on how I let our relationship down and realise what a child I was. I found it so hard to move on from the ‘fight’, feeling self-conscious and clunky but now, I realise, I was embarrassed. GOD. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. Not one day. I think it’s about time I pay that forward yeah?


Felix came with me today – Chef couldn’t get away from work as his boss was interstate and it was a long way to go (2+ hours each way) on my own. Can I just say, my boy? He does me proud every single day. It was the first funeral he’s ever been to and he handled it with grace and care, offering me a squeeze and a hand around my shoulders every so often. We came home on the coast road, stopping for an ice cream at Stanwell Tops and marvelling at the view back down the South Coast. He went to say it was a good day but stopped himself for obvious reasons. But you know what, with immense sadness there was peace, reconnection and time to stop and say goodbye. I think he was right.




New life!

two very dear friends I don’t see or talk to nearly enough had identical twin girls today.


I can NOT express how happy this makes me – for them, for the world, for everyone!

Because I am a useless sap when it comes to the arrival of a new wee person into the world.

They knew they were having identical twins – obviously – but not the sex. Well they could have known the sex but they didn’t let on to me!

There was some medical ‘issues’ which had my friend in hospital from last week and a caesar booked in for today – the girls were born at 34 weeks. They are, by all accounts, doing well.

I haven’t called because, well, I’ve been there with just ONE baby as a prem and you’re often (if not constantly) in the NICU and the last thing I felt like doing was calling people back with all the updates a hundred times over.

But I am a woman possessed, constantly checking Facebook to see if names have been given.

Because clearly, it is ALL ABOUT ME and my need for names. NAMES!

Oh the humanity.

You see, I have PLENTY of girl names I never got to use.

What names were on your list you never got to use?

UPDATE: The girls are out of high dependency and into special care section of NICU! Apparently the staff call them the little fatties! I’ve seen pics and they are just gorgeous little moppets – not skinned rabbit prems like Oscar was at all!

And we have names!!! Twin 1 is Suki (as in Polly put the kettle on and Suki takes it off again) and Twin 2 is Harper.

A very nifty decision was to name the first twin out with the name that started with the letter furthest down the alphabet, so while twin #2 was born second, they’d be first on roll call at school! How cool is that!