Monday, December 22, 2014


The past few weeks have certainly dampened the Collective Christmas Spirit. Such sadness and tragedy, children losing parents, parents losing their children. I found myself slumped on the couch last week, having sheilded the younger ones from the news but knowing Ailee and Lucinda had sat glued to the rolling coverage of the Sydney seige while I was out shopping. We were all feeling the effects of something so frightening and so close to home but unable to articulate it so instead at 9 pm we all sat on the couch watching a re run of Modern Family but I know my mind was elsewhere. Finally I mustered the energy to send everyone to bed, but no reading, no lovely rituals, just a tired mother not in the mood.

An hour later I walked past Hazel's bedroom and noticed she was busy with paper and scizzors, working away in the dark. I flew into her room "It's bloody 10 o'clock Hazel go to sleep!!! And I bundled the mass of craft into my arms and threw it onto the table. " Don't break it" she bawled.

The next morning I opened the curtain in her room. I glanced at the pile of paper I had thrown on the table the night before, hoping secretly I hadn't damaged it, oh the regrets a mother faces in the light of a new day. I picked it up by a corner and could not believe what she had made in the darkness of her little bunk bed, she was like Edward Scizzor Hands! I was a tiny bit freaked out and a little scared of her for a split second. How did she do this? "Oh Haze, this is so beautiful, you are amazing". And all of a sudden all was forgiven and I knew it was time to just be grateful. And so I am more than ever.

The house is so quiet right now. Daryl has taken Ailee, Lucinda and Hazel to Lorne to set up for the summer ahead, Tobes is snuggled upstairs with Russell and a hot chocolate. Phemie is somewhere in the Amazon jungle (no seriously she really is), and I am sitting here listening to the coo of the doves outside, and feeling particularly happy that it's almost Christmas. The past few days have truly been filled with good cheer, family, friends and a little Christmas miracle in the form of a  bird who hit our window yesterday and after a few moments of convulsing on the lawn was held by Tobie and Ailee and soothed and petted and whispered to in gentle voices then finally it flew up to the tree and back to it's family.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


On another blog I love to follow from day to day, and often whine that whilst I am quite addicted to and inspired by this blog, it does makes me feel a little pale and useless, I happened upon a word I rather fancied. Fullness. It's not a word I would naturally use to describe this time of year, other words come to mind, um, chaotic, stressful, stupidly stressful ( two words), but I have decided to focus on the word " Fullness", because despite the mountain of stress induced coldsores that are making small children scream in horror AND the fact that my GP would like me to wear a 24 hour heart monitor ( don't worry Mum, he's just humouring me, I'm as healthy as a ox), I think the word fullness reflects gratitude for all we have going on at this time of year.  New take I know but I'm giving it a shot.

This time of year is full of birthday celebrations. I plonk one vanilla cake after another on the table, decorated half heartedly with never the right amount of candles. But this year I stirred and smiled and thought about the gathering of our neighbourhood family and more about the birth that the day celebrated, and although the dog ate half of Daryl's cake, Phemie cut it into the shape of a "D" and it was funny and Hazel and her dear friend Ambrose did a beautiful job of decorating it.

And then there are the concerts. Who ever would have thought I would have so many performers? But here we are with a line up of evenings of song, dance and amazing feats on parallel bars, my head is about to explode.......with the fullness of watching my children being braver than I could ever be.

But the coldsores and heart pulpatations this year I suspect are for a completely different fullness. This time next week Phemie will on her way to Ecuador.The child who wouldn't stand up in assembly to receive and award, or walk into a party if there were already other kids there, or dance alone at Mangala, always forcing me to leap around with her holding that tiny little hand. She has worked for most of the year to save, and now the time is here and she is excited and calm. I can't quite pinpoint my feelings but the thought of waiting for her at Arrivals on January 11th really does make my heart swell a little. Fullness.

Monday, October 13, 2014


On birthdays I love to remember the day my girls were born. Funny little details come flooding back to me, I indulge myself in those wonderful memories, not in a sad way but in a reflective and grateful way. Phemie was such a happy baby, surrounded by a family that love her, especially my parents who for them she was their first grandchild.

She is growing up to be such a beautiful person, so at peace with herself, riding the waves of adolecence with grace, maturity and a wisdom beyond her years. She is her father's daughter when it comes to calmness and kindness.

She will never let me give a speech so I guess this is where I can say how remarkable I think you are Pheme, and how wonderful it is to watch you grow into your life. Initially you were cautious making soft little impressions with every footstep, to now being someone who takes on life's opportuniies with courage and joy. But most of all you never like to waste a sunny day and that my love is a wonderful thing. Happy Birthday.xx

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to Blogging

As I drove home from school pick up this morning I realised I was grinding my jaw as I thought about the list of things I had to do today. Nothing major, just the sort of things I personally feel the need to do before I go on holidays. Let me think of some examples...ah yes, clean out my 15 year old daughter's cupboard (sort of urgent and necessary because she is away and this gives me the perfect opportunity to chuck ugly clothes out without her knowledge), wash the dog, fold the giant mountain of washing and put it all away which probably also requires a clean out of everyone elses cupboards, get the dinner on, compost my veggie patch and get the beetroot seedlings in, oh, tomatoe seeds, probably left that too late? It goes on and on, full of weird little tasks that my personality requires me to do before I can allow myself to enjoy the 10 days in Bali we have coming up.

So I made a coffee and decided it was time to blog. It's been a while and I miss it as writing and reflecting always gives me such a sense of accomplishment, far more than any pedantic little chore that in the end just gets undone and then I get cross and blame my family for actually having the nerve to exist in this home and maybe muss it up just a bit. So I'm going to sit and write and think about the self imposed deadlines that I met, and the phone calls to publishers I was too scared to make but did (and now my book submission sits somewhere out there and I may never know if someone else thinks it was lovely but just not quite good enough. I think it's lovely, I'm actually really proud of it but we'll see). I think about those two families who brought babies into the world with a little extra support form the Knitting Doula, and blankets that Lee and I have made for two very special babies born in Mexico. I think about my daughters who are for most of the time pretty happy and kind, and my Daryl who works like a dog but rarely complains, in fact never really and is always the person I just want to be with forever.

And so this contemplation puts the guilt I feel about skirting around the outside of family life, wiping and folding, of not needle felting or reading enough Little House On the Priairie with Hazel ( who let's be honest would probably rather be drawing with nasty gell pens in front of Good Luck Charlie!) But it's OK to stop and reassess every now and then. Life does feel too busy and the family so disconnected at times but then we will spend and sunny day at the farm all of us out in the field checking irrigation jets, the blue sky above us, and that's what I need to breath in and remember and write about. Feels good to be back.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad

Looking at this cheeky little toothless grin, I see so many other faces wash over, my Hazel this morning, smiling as she sang in assembly, or my nephew Jordan, his sweet gentle little face, a mad Carlton supporter like his Buppa. But most of all I still see my Dad, a bit older certainly, but still with that joy for life he had as a wee lad back then. Those eyes look toward the future, of migration and new beginnings, of hard work and lots of soccer, of a young woman he would fall in love with, of a family he would raise and success in business he would have, of more travel and adventures, of goals set and reached. A man more tolerant and compassionate of the struggles of others than many, a supportive Dad to his two daughters no matter where he really thought our dreams would lead.

But most of all I look at that cheeky little face and think of the boy who grew up to become the man who every night of the 18 years I lived at home, came to my bedroom door and told me that he loved me.

Happy Birthday Dad.
I love you too.