Month: September 2017

“Roses are red/Violets are blue/Online romance update:/I’m so glad that I met you”

Dearest H- I know you love these ‘Cinnamon Sweetie’ buns, dontcha? If I’d met you at a party somewhere, I’d have seen that you too wore a thin but effective layer of protection, like a brown paper bag. I’d have noticed it was fragile, yet also strong. I’d have wondered what hid inside. But now I know. Or rather, I’ve begun to discover. And thus we continue to unravel each other, past the thin edges, sometimes a bit burnt, or a little brittle. Circling round, through the spices and sugar, with the odd grain of salt. Spiralling closer, moving deeper in. Slowly but surely, just like a Snail likes. 1 more sleep; see you at the airport xx [The story so far: Met online. Emailed and sent comics & stories back and forth for 3 months Texted, but no phone calls (although we did send various selfies) Met outside Flinders St train station in Melbourne, Dec 21 Have been flying to see each other approx once a month ever since, for 5-6 days The longest gap …

I just spent 30 mins fighting with my smartphone, & met an Elf

The Scene: Palm trees swaying, blue sky shining, ridiculous rainbow-coloured birds squawking, plus me, dozing in bed in Australia, in that moment before being fully conscious. Me: Mmmmmmmm, I think I’m awake. Evil Elf Who Lives In My Brain And Synced To My Smartphone (now known as EVIE): What time is it? Better check your phone. Me: Nah, today’s Sunday, and I’m having a tech-free morning. EVIE: What!? When did you decide that?? Dumb idea. Just check your phone. Me: No. I’m simply going to lie here, listening to the birds. PAUSE EVIE: How hot d’you reckon it is? Maybe you should check the weather app? Me: NO. PAUSE EVIE: Maybe you got a late text from ’17’, and he needs picking up soon? Or what if ‘H’ sent something romantic/sexy first thing? Me: True. But they’ll still be there after I’ve had a pot of peppermint tea and meditated. I just want a peaceful tech-free hour. EVIE: An hour! But… but… don’t you need to check your WordPress stats? Me: Nah. It’s Sunday, and …

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Living with teenage son No. 33

Him: I hate it when you wear your hair in bunches like that. Me: Deal with it dude [*rolling my eyes]. LATER Me [rushing in from verandah where I’ve been reading quietly]: Oh my god, did you see that? A bird nearly flew into my head!? Him [without looking up from his book]: I told you, it’s that hairstyle, it makes you a target.  

How I climbed a small mountain, did something slightly ‘illegal’, & created the sacred

I chewed my quinoa and baked veg salad looking up at her; in 2 hours from now, it would start. After 16 years of no access, 500 locals had registered for ‘The Chinny Charge’, a 7km run/walk up our tiny but omnipresent Mount Chincogan, near Byron Bay. The queue to collect our numbers was long, and you could feel the buzz of excitement; even Colin, who won the first ever Chinny Charge in 1967 with a time of 38 minutes and a $20 bar tab prize, was enthusiastic (in that utterly laid-back, short-phrased Australian country way) “Stick to the rules, so we can hopefully do it again next year: wear shoes, don’t litter, stick to the path, and no fighting.” [Fighting? I’m going to be struggling just to breathe aren’t I? What exactly went on in the olde days round here??] Yup, I’m happy to agree to all that. The tiny mountain is on private property, so unless the landowners give specific permission (which they do a few times a year to local  school groups), …

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Planning with teenage son

Him: One more week of school then I’m on holidays for a month. Me: [In hopeful tone] But we’re still doing fortnight on/fortnight off aren’t we? Him: Not a chance Mum! At Dad’s I have to live on cereal all day; being here is like staying at some kind of foodie resort… I ain’t going anywhere…  

Tackling the mountain, 200 steps at a time

We love our small mountain ‘Mount Chinny’. My son and I can see her from our verandah, keeping guard over our cute country town near Byron Bay, and she figures in many local photos: Supposedly, she’s the cap of the volcano ‘Mount Warning’, which blew her off millennia ago; you can see that parent mountain in the far distance: The base of Mt Chinny is on private land though, so access for the general public is restricted. But this Saturday, all that is going to change: 500 lucky entrants are going to compete in ‘The Chinny Charge’, which was last run 16 years ago, and won by a sugar cane cutter in his bare feet! I bought son ’17’ his entry ticket in the race, then realized I could just walk up it like other sane old people, and bought myself one too. I’ve launched into a heavy training regime. Not. I drive to the steepest hill around here, which leads to a disused water tower, and walk up it, listening to loud Australian hip hop. …

Mother and daughter out for a walk

A hand strokes her back as they walk down the hill on this warm morning, heading away from me. Giving reassurance, or seeking it? The road is steep, and the frailer figure is definitely an old woman. Her back is stroked again, and I assume that’s her daughter, with the cherry red sunhat and white runners. Similar body shapes, similar height. I’m walking into a mall in England with Mum, July 2017, and we realize the shop she wants is up on the second floor. I know her anxiety and claustrophobia won’t let her get in a lift, and she hates escalators too. “Shall we walk up the stairs Mum? It’s not far. I can hold your arm, or you can hold the railing?” “Ooh, I don’t know, I hate heights. Will you help me?” “Yes of course. Just don’t look down. Let’s talk about something to keep your mind off the height, and definitely don’t look down OK?”  The red hat leans in to whisper something, and the older woman laughs; I hear it …

The ‘rainbow bar’ comes from an Australian engineer; here’s a screenshot

In this crazy time of hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, I just want to celebrate a little human caring. This is for all you fabulous Americans/Canadians/UKs/Kiwis etc etc who (after my previous post HERE) commented “I wish I had one of those!”: I’d sent that post in to ‘Discover’ on WordPress, not to get ‘Discovered’, but just to try and let WordPress know how impressed I was. I fast got this email back from the Editorial Team: “Hello GG, Thanks so much for sharing your kind words about the rainbow bar with us. One of our Australian engineers conceived this idea and put it together to be able to show WordPress.com and Automattic’s support for marriage equality. I posted your note and I know he’ll appreciate your support. As a Canadian, (where we’ve had marriage equality since 2005) I wholeheartedly hope Australia votes YES. Let love win! All the best…” And I’ve only had 2 negative comments, which I trashed, and removed as Followers of my blog. Love and let Love indeed ❤  

When a rainbow appeared in my blue WordPress sky…

It was a few days ago; did you get one? I suddenly registered that there was a rainbow band across the top of my blog, on every page, incl the Stats and Reader. It’s not on my actual blog site, but firmly everywhere else. I couldn’t see it on other blogs though, so last night I Googled it: ‘Why rainbow on WordPress blog?’ Google offered me 2 other people who’d asked the same question of WordPress, both of whom were cranky, saying ‘get this rainbow off my site!’ Here’s the WordPress reply: Australia will be holding a national survey on marriage equality over the next two months. To show our support for marriage equality, we’re showing the rainbow bar to all our Australian visitors. You can read more about the marriage equality campaign here: http://www.equalitycampaign.org.au/ We cannot remove this banner for individual sites. We understand it looks a bit different to what you’re used to, but it’s here for everyone. We absolutely respect your right to publish the content you choose to your site, but the …

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Driving & talking with teenage son till I laugh/cry/laugh

So many times as a skinny teenager I used to ask ‘What’s for dinner Mum?’ She’d usually sigh, and dismiss me with ‘Oh I don’t know, I hate cooking.’ I made myself a lot of frozen pizza with instant mash potato. I learnt to love cooking though, especially after becoming a vegetarian in my early, idealistic twenties. When I had my son in my early thirties, I created different memories around food and eating with him; when he was 7 for example, I bought him his own small chopping knife to help me cook with, and ten years later, we still use it. We both enjoy good food a lot (he’s actually making dinner while I write this). His Dad’s a good cook too. We separated when ’17’ was only a toddler, and at first our son spent 2 days with each of us. It slowly stretched to 3 days, then 4; I think he was about 5 when it grew to Week On/Week Off. The day of ‘changeover’ became a mix of sadness and …