Friday, 26 May 2017

Sadness for Manchester

I have a heavy heart this week. 

Yesterday I was driving along with a list of jobs to fill my day and I just became sad. Every song on the radio, every image seemed to make me think of the horrible and tragic act committed in Manchester. I just couldn't shift it.

On the way home from school on Monday afternoon I had a talk with my fourteen year old about it all. We have had similar talks before, which is heartbreaking in itself. I tried again to put an element of perspective on the situation and she listened to me explain about radical behaviour, chance, fear and all sorts of reasons why we can't let the worst kind of human beings scare us into changing the way we live. 
We stopped at some traffic lights and she was quiet so I checked she was OK. 

Her response tore me up....

The gist of what she said was that she understood that I was trying to reassure her but she was still scared. She was scared because in her short life she has known of too many of these horrific terrorist acts. She has been to Paris; she has had lunch at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney; she has travelled on the underground in London and walked across Westminster Bridge and had we still been living in Yorkshire in the UK it's very likely that she would have been at the concert in Manchester on Monday. 
These acts are not just some stories that happen to other people, she can relate....and she's only fourteen.

So for all my reassurances about the notion of probability there's still a real fear. 

We talked again on the way to school this morning. We flippantly joked about buying a mountain hideaway and becoming recluses! 
She knows that she'll be growing up into a world where she needs to be vigilant. She may make choices based on fear and I can't necessarily take that away. Her freedom is constantly being compromised and that saddens me. My job is to protect her as much as possible (and give her the skills to protect herself) whilst still letting her experience all the wonderful things that life can offer. 

So for now, we'll be cautious and we'll consider some life choices but we won't hide away. 

Today, I'm just trying to be grateful and not worry the big stuff. 

Thinking of everyone involved in the tragedy of Manchester, May 22nd 2017

Saturday, 13 May 2017


If my life was a soap opera it would be taken off air for being too dramatic, unrealistic and unbelievable!

There's so much 'stuff' whirling in my head that I need to push to the side to get on with the actions of day to day living. Personally and professionally it's all happening. Oh the irony when a work colleague recently asked me what my secret was for seeming to manage all the uncertainty that is currently at my workplace.
I think I floored her when I explained that it was nothing compared to what else was going on in my life!

I'm quite a private person and it's a help and a hindrance. It's a coping mechanism as a lot of rubbish can be forgotten about for periods of time. The flip side is that it can also be a bit lonely so there needs to be some release. I find my release in writing. I have been pouring my heart into writing. Raw, emotional, outrageously honest writing that's locked and double locked away for my eyes only. 

This blog has therefore been neglected and I feel a real mix of emotions about that. There's a part of me that feels safe that my private life is just that but there's also a bit that's quite sad that some happy events haven't been recorded like I used to do. 

So I guess this intro is a little nod in the direction of the crappola and it's me acknowledging it in some way so that I can give myself permission to write about good moments. I would still like to capture those nice memories here without feeling like a fraud and that I'm creating an illusion of "an ideal life". 
It's a tiny admission that whilst I don't want to share everything I want to at least put some context around my lack of social interaction. 
Blogging is different for everyone and for me as this blog is not wholly anonymous I choose to mainly share just the positive. 

(It's not about me trying to be cryptic and definitely not about fishing for sympathy.  Like I said, my privacy is important to me and I'm actually fine. I'm surprising myself just how fine I am. Everyone has something going on at any one time and maybe I'm just getting more than my share at the moment but I'm holding on. )

So......moving on.

Brisbane is a glorious place to be in May. It's also full of public holidays and now that my working week includes a Monday I've been able to take advantage of that.

Sibs and I took off on one public holiday and packed a picnic and headed to Bribie Island for the day. 

We walked in the opposite direction to the crowd and wandered the sea shore. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons I can remember for a long time. 

It was good to get away for the day. 

I've also been plodding away with some craft things and trying out some different patterns and yarns. I recently subscribed to a monthly crochet box. I wanted to support a business in the UK called 'Little Box of Crochet' and I now get a gorgeous little box left on my doorstep every month. It's a happy day when the box arrives and it's like opening a present. 

Each box includes a very detailed pattern booklet (with photos), the yarn, a crochet hook, a stitch marker and anything else you need like buttons and there's a treat as a surprise. It's certainly got me trying out things I would not normally do and if anyone is interested here's the website link. LITTLE BOX OF CROCHET

Possibly a little pointless, but I do love these rainbow mug cardigans. It certainly brightens up my morning cup of coffee. 

Anyhow, it's time to spell check and press publish - taxi duty calls. 
I need to put away my ice cream bowl (the best kind of dinner choice when I'm not cooking for anyone else!) I need to turn off Radio 2 on my Internet radio and leave the conversation with Graham Norton about the Eurovision Song Contest and head to the other side of town to pick up a teenager who's dancing away at a 70's party. 

Happy weekend all.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

It's been a while....

I have been away from blogging for such a long time.

The truth is I forgot my password. For some strange reason I changed it after my last post and then I just forgot it!

When I first created a blogger profile and account I used a false phone number (paranoid I would get umpteen scammer calls a day) but of course that meant that the retrieval code to set me back up on my blog was being sent to a made up telephone number! 

They then asked me to identify when I originally set up my account....I'm not sure how I'm supposed to remember the exact date about 7 years ago that I decided to set up a blog!! So that was another dead end.

And then one morning ta-da, it came to me and here I am.

So I've been away in another sense of the word too. Six long glorious week travelling in the UK - in the cold. Absolute bliss.

My cardigans, my girl and I had the best time catching up with wonderful family and friends. I clocked up 3,000 miles in the little hire car and can map out the best and worst coffees up and down the motorways from the Highlands of Scotland to the Devon coastline!

Sadly there was no white Christmas but there were a few white days in January. One white day incorporated a rather scary drive from Leeds to Manchester along the M62 just before midnight. There is a point on this motorway called Windy Hill near Saddleworth Moor and it's the highest point of any motorway in the UK. The swirling snow was quite disorientating and I remember being very pleased to see my destination that night.

It was a truly joyous holiday and I loved being part of everyday life with my family and my friends. I lost count of the cups of tea that I drank accompanied by long connecting conversations. I've said it before and I will continue to repeat it but I feel so incredibly fortunate to have these lovely supportive people in my life. It really doesn't matter where we live in the world.

The holiday was tinged with some sadness too as some friends experienced the grief of lost ones and the cruel kick of illness. Life is a horror sometimes...

So now it's back to soaring temperatures in another hemisphere. Back to work and school and homework and activities and everything that goes with being mother to a fourteen year old with a way better social life than I have!

My routine is changing. My work days have changed and my life feels a little topsy-turvy! That's OK, I'm practicing a little self care along the way.