All posts filed under: personal

The 2nd heavy rock in my heart: no more long distance relationship

Yesterday, after exactly 15 months of loving romance, and 18 months since we first met online, I posted a parcel back to ‘H’. It held a few things, but most importantly our ‘connection ring’. I had to get it out of the house. Because a month ago, after ‘H’s last visit for Valentine’s Day (which was wonderful), things went pear-shaped, and despite our love and care for each other, we simply couldn’t get ourselves back to a place of unity. I’m so sad. We both are of course.  But I have to keep writing here as part of my process, thus ‘H’ has unfollowed the blog. I’ve been dreading articulating this, as it makes it all the more real. I’ve definitely just had the most wonderfully unique relationship of my life; being met on a creative level was profoundly satisfying, and ‘H’ was the sweetest, kindest person to spend intimate time with. I regret not one second. Despite the painful disagreements, and the challenges of distance, I am utterly grateful for every lesson, every joy, …

Mum update No.1

Following up on my last concerned post about Mum HERE, her younger sister ‘W’ emailed me this morning, saying she’d found Mum obviously a bit muddled last Friday, but definitely cheery. They all went out for a pub lunch overlooking the sea (which Mum would have relished), and laughed a lot. I LOVED hearing this, as you can imagine. ‘W’ confirmed that the twice-daily community care visits help Mum with eating regularly, and social interaction; I also pay for a weekly cleaner, who arrived while they were leaving for lunch, so that’s running smoothly as well. We’re all doing the best we can aren’t we? Tomorrow morning I’m Skypeing with my cousin, W’s daughter, who lives 1.5hrs from Mum, with a degree in Social Work, so is a good communicator, plus knows her way round difficult situations, and dealing with various community services: I’m so lucky! And YOU are all wonderful, with your loving, helpful, positive comments, your sharing of similar situations, and your well wishes and candle-lighting. Thank you so much; I hope my …

Two rocks lie heavy in my heart; the first is Mum

Why was I getting an email from a policewoman in England; is this the latest scam? But I recognised her station’s address, so clicked it open with dread. It was about Mum. “We’ve had a couple of calls from members of the public concerned about her welfare as she appeared very confused. I attended her home address & agree that her dementia is getting worse.” I wrote last year about Mum’s diagnosis in the post ‘She’s slipping through my fingers and there’s nothing I can do’; it’s been a waiting game since then. You see, as a child, Mum spent two years in a sanatorium, recovering from Tuberculosis, and has had a dread of hospitals and ‘group homes’ ever since. Dark things happened there, and she is forever scarred. So for the last ten years, when it would have been a smart, forward-thinking plan to move to a retirement village, and enjoy all the facilities and interactions available, she refused. Wouldn’t have a bar of it. Last year when I was in England visiting her, she …

“Why would you try to scam Grace Jones?”

Last Friday evening, two girlfriends and I went to see the new documentary release about singer Grace Jones, which was followed by a live Q & A from Norway with the Director. Called Bloodlight and Bami, filmed and edited over 5 years by Sophie Fiennes, it was certainly different. Non-linear, following Grace on a visit home to confront family skeletons in Jamaica, interspersed with incredible live concert footage, and viewed from a ‘fly on the wall’ perspective, it was fascinating. Plus a bit annoying. Sometimes the sound was too muffled, or I just wanted someone to sit down facing the camera directly, keep still, and tell me exactly what was going on. But that’s not Grace is it? Nor the way she lived/lives her life; this 1-minute film trailer gives you a taste of the docos style. I absolutely loved Grace Jones as I grew up in England, with her background of reggae and punk combining with in-yer-face attitude and androgynous daring: such a contrast to my quiet, small, skinny, serious white girl reality. I knew …

Me Monday: celebrate Australia Day? No damn way. And here’s why

I emigrated to Australia in early January 1987, aged 20. Moved into a run-down three level terrace house in a dodgy inner suburb of Sydney, and began settling in to the new ways, sights and scents of my adopted home. The smell of sickly sweet mangoes rotting and fresh frangipani flowers still triggers memories of my first real Australian summer. A national day of celebration was quickly upon me: January 26 is nominated as ‘Australia Day’, celebrating the first arrival of Captain Cook, who claimed this land for the British Crown. It’s a public holiday 3-day weekend, involving beer, barbecues, and ridiculous waving of the ugly Australian flag with patriotic pride. That particular morning dawned hot, and outside our scruffy student home, on a wide street where the heat was already shimmering off the asphalt, folk began to gather in the park. There were banners, drums, didgeridoos, ochre body painting, and cardboard signs everywhere, plus lots of black. Black armbands, black T-shirts, black flags, and of course black, brown, white, and pink faces. It was a …

World Wednesday/Re-blog Thursday: ‘The Goddess’

Originally posted on Empty Nest, Full Life:
I grew up as a good Catholic girl. In my world, God was man. He was a tall white man with a light brown beard and a white robe. God was male. But I’m not a little girl anymore. Now I am a mother. I saw my own body grow and stretch and bend itself to give life to my three children. That made me wonder if perhaps the true deity was a woman. I have been lucky enough to watch my daughter become a mother.  I watched her body grow and stretch and bend itself to give life to my grandchildren.  That made me suspect that I was right is seeing the true deity as a woman. Today I helped my 87 year old mother as she took a shower, washed her hair, got dressed and settled herself into her favorite chair to rest after those efforts. It wasn’t easy for Mom. She was embarrassed to realize that she needed me to do something as simple as…

World Wednesday: Martin Luther King Jr Day, and losing a Cranberrie

I like Tuesdays, because A) you all go crazy for my ‘Teenage Tuesday’ posts, & B) I never know what the world is going to throw at me to react to and write about for ‘World Wednesdays’. So how could I go past Martin Luther King Jr Day? I’m adding a link to Buzzfeed’s 23 images of him, as they’re incredible, and his quiet, determined gaze speaks a thousand words I can’t possibly scribe. I think I was about 7 when a new classmate arrived at my junior school in London, with dark shiny skin and afro hair. A few days later, I saw him in the local park near our house, when I was playing on the swings with my younger brother. He had his younger sister with him, and we pretty much ignored each other, until a group of kids from a couple of years above us at school turned up, and began to pick on him because of his colour. I can still recall the rush of rage and injustice which burned …

Me Mondays: Blood Into Ink #MeToo Writing Contest Honorable Mention: bone&silver/#MeToo

Originally posted on Whisper and the Roar:
Why had my cousin rung me 5 times in thirty minutes? I returned my phone to airplane mode, and pushed open the classroom door. But during the lesson, my attention kept being pulled back to the call record, even while I taught; why was my stomach knotting? The one hour dragged like mud, then I pressed redial. ‘It’s your Dad. He had a heart attack in Hawaii and…’ And is in hospital. Is fine. Will be fine. Or confined to a wheelchair at worst. ‘… and he died. I’m so sorry.’ Who took my knees away and punched me in the gut? Can I just curl up here and die on the street too? A passing cyclist wobbles and stops. ‘Are you OK?’ No. Yes. No. I can’t share this pain with you, leave me alone! Lying in bed that night, alone at home, with a silent waterfall streaming out of my eyes, drowning all those childhood snaps of kids on bikes, throwing snowballs, cuddling dogs. A black…

In celebration in Australia: I passed 2 young girls leaving the beach…

… Perhaps they were sisters, cousins, or just neighbourhood friends? Both blonde, only 6 or 7, dripping wet from the warm summer sea, wrapped in large striped towels, with matching bangles and pink toe nail polish. They walked side by side, earnestly discussing the merits of using the cold water outdoor shower to wash sand off their feet, so I moved over to let them pass on the narrow track. They barely acknowledged me; too full of the adventure of a sunset swim, and being big enough to go to the beach by themselves. I wondered what I looked like to them? ‘Old’ for sure, with my silver hair. Perhaps trustworthy? People often say I have a kind face and eyes. I watched them giggle and gaggle off the sandy path, then turned up my music, so it blasted through my headphones. For just before 6pm on Thursday 7th December, the Australian Parliament finally passed our marriage equality laws, and I had to dance. Not for me; I’ve never wanted to get married, to man …