All posts filed under: family

Down the long lane

Originally posted on bone&silver:
My mother, who lives in England, turned 80 on July 4. From Australia, I had organised a 3-day weekend get together in an old farmhouse on Dartmoor for our closest relatives, meaning 13 of us met up to celebrate. I hauled myself over to the UK, begrudging all those people who sleep easily on planes. Still, four good films in a row aren’t bad going. A couple of weeks before I left, I treated myself to a massage. As usual, I wondered why I don’t do it more often? It was such a lush experience, with hot white towels softly lowered over me, and warm wheat-bags resting along each limb, feeding the air with that fresh bread scent. No tinny dolphin music, just silence. It was in a private home, so no exterior noise, or impatient clients waiting outside the door for us to finish. The masseur created a wonderful sense of nurturing, with her deliberate, knowledgeable movements, and I sank into the experience. I’d had a horrible cough…

Gift from teenage son…

I heard ‘Almost17’ in the shower at 6am (we had to leave for the airport at 7); he soon came into my room fully dressed, with still-damp hair, where I lay in bed reading before getting up. Him: Move over Mum. Me: [Really??] OK Sweetie. [Sliding over, slightly stunned, but pretending I’m cool…] Him: Happy Mother’s Day. Me: Thanks. You know I think it’s a load of Hallmark crap don’t you, but that’s still lovely, thank you. Are you bringing me peppermint tea in bed? Him: No, I’m too tired. I didn’t get home from the party till 1am. *Rolls on his side away from me*. Spoon me Mum. Me: [REALLY??] OK Sweetie. [Spooning behind him, completely stunned, gingerly resting my arm on top of him and the quilt because, you know, I’m Cool…] Him: No, properly Mum, under the covers. Please let me sleep for another 15 minutes. Me: Sure honey… *Lie there holding my baby boy as he begins to twitch and dream, breathing deeply. For how many nights did I hold him until …

Prepare to lie. Prepare to buy. Prepare to die. Part One

Following on from my last post about childhood and Mum Down the long lane, I woke up this morning and thought about the lies I learnt to tell from a very young age. ‘Yes, I’m fine’. ‘Yes, this dress is nice’. ‘Yes, I’m enjoying this birthday party, thank you for coming.’ I was taught so easily; coached at daycare, by my parents, by books about good little princesses. As a sensitive child, learning to tune in to others around me, I quickly figured out that it could hurt people if I told the absolute truth, so I didn’t. Perhaps your experience is similar? One of my earliest memories is crystal clear, and can only be mine (no prompting with an old photo, or someone else’s version of what happened). I’m almost 3 & a half, being taken to visit my new little brother in hospital, as he’s just been born; I’m assuming Dad took me. I remember walking into the room, and approaching the single bed. Mum was lying there, cuddling him as he lay …

Down the long lane

My mother, who lives in England, turned 80 on July 4. From Australia, I had organised a 3-day weekend get together in an old farmhouse on Dartmoor for our closest relatives, meaning 13 of us met up to celebrate. I hauled myself over to the UK, begrudging all those people who sleep easily on planes. Still, four good films in a row aren’t bad going. A couple of weeks before I left, I treated myself to a massage. As usual, I wondered why I don’t do it more often? It was such a lush experience, with hot white towels softly lowered over me, and warm wheat-bags resting along each limb, feeding the air with that fresh bread scent. No tinny dolphin music, just silence. It was in a private home, so no exterior noise, or impatient clients waiting outside the door for us to finish. The masseur created a wonderful sense of nurturing, with her deliberate, knowledgeable movements, and I sank into the experience. I’d had a horrible cough for a few days, so I …

Poetry and knives

I saw this poetry on Facebook today, and it made me sweat. It happened live last night in Australia, and thank goodness my friend Kelly shared it early, so it exploded into my morning. Now it’s Trending all over the place, and rightly so. Kate Tempest ‘Progress’ poem Someone in the Comments called her a mediaeval prophet, and I think that’s perfect. She is completely embodying her passion, her skill, her need to communicate. I love her. So young, and so smart. Did you notice the tweet ‘Kate Tempest reminds us old farts that we stopped maintaining the rage’? Brilliant, and true. So I’m nearly 50, and just missed being a dreaded Baby Boomer, slipping quietly into Gen-X instead. I don’t think I’m particularly materialistic, although I enjoy my I-phone, and laptop, but I don’t think they rule my life…and sometimes I do indeed take Dylan Thomas’s advice: “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light…” If …

Home for two weeks today, and had a visit from my [dead] Grandma

The jetlag has gone. The season of European winter, chilling my bone marrow, has gone. The tangled history of my childhood and youth has slipped more than 10,000 miles away again. My quiet heart yearning for France has been replaced by the delight of my dear friends, cute home, happy cat, and humid, tropical lifestyle in Australia. Son ‘15’ and I are having a little break from each other’s company (till approx. January 2016 he reckons), which gives me back the freedom I’d missed to just be Me: read, write, garden, walk on the beach at sunset, all without speaking, or providing for/tidying up after a teenager. Bliss. Can you tell there’s a ‘But’ coming? I remember learning years ago, on some college communication course, that anything positive you’ve said is then negated by the use of the word ‘But’ afterwards… So everything I’ve said above is actually true, AND YET I’ve also felt misplaced. Rebellious and resentful even. Coming home here is like coming back to your Mum’s house when you’re 23: you’ve been …

Cutting muslin

Remember when ‘hybrid, multi-arts exhibitions’ were all the rage? Live theatre or sculpture in front of projections, scrolling across tulle or muslin? My life’s been feeling like that lately. So removed am I from the reality of my true work/home balance that I’m starting to feel like a performer in someone else’s show. Never more so is that true than when I go back to the small seaside town I grew up in (see previous joyful post about it HERE). Last weekend I popped down on the coach for a couple of days, which is a 4-hr trip. We used to call it ‘Little D by the Sea’ in the old days when CB Radio was a brief, furious fad (remember that?) [I can’t believe how old I just sounded] I left ‘15’ to groove his way round London with his cool cousin and Uncle, our first break since we left home Sept 14. ‘D’ remains the same slightly worn out tourist destination it always was (you really DO need to read about it in …