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Teenage Tuesday: The last one ever with ’17’

This son of mine is funny, strong-minded, sensitive, and kind. He can also be messy, selfish, a bit lazy, and quite stubborn; a fairly normal teenager. We’ve had a good time with him here, haven’t we, laughing at his contributions to bone&silver? But it’s all going to change on the weekend. For this was me, a lifetime ago, standing on the edge of changes I had zero idea about, despite the weekly pregnancy group meetings, and various well-thumbed books. I went past my due date by more than two weeks, which stressed out both my midwives, but then I had my baby at home on the back verandah as planned, with no interventions or pain relief. As long as I was up and walking, labour wasn’t too painful… just long. Very long. Long as in “Started-On-Wednesday-Morning-Came-Out-Friday-Morning-Long”. Anyway, I made it. We made it. Born at 5am, on a clear frosty Winter’s morning, after his Mum had walked round and round the garden wrapped in a quilt for hours. And now this weekend, he’s passing from …

Two comets dancing

I’m sitting here smiling with the cat at that post title. The attraction dance continues, slowly turning as we tangle in each other’s tails, sparks flying off the edges. [Not me and the cat; me and her.] Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment with advice on my last post, it was super helpful. A couple of real life friends kinda told me off for being too personal, and asked me if I was being a self-indulgent narcissist? *gulp. I don’t think so. I was reaching out for support and wisdoms which I didn’t feel I had to give myself, and the call was answered by my awesome blogging buddies. It was a personal post, but that’s the point round here. I’m trying to respond honestly to whatever’s going on, and use it as a stimulus for writing/creativity/art/connection- sometimes it’s ’17’, sometimes it’s politics, and sometimes it’s sex/love. So be it. And as I pointed out to my [wonderfully loving] yet challenging friends: if my post helped ONE person with …

When a comet shoots by, but it’s probably just your Attachment system getting rattled

Time for a dating update folks: I met someone in real life. Well, I noticed her at a dance party about a year ago, but being a loyal partner to my ex, I just ignored her… Then 6 months ago, a very good mutual friend actually introduced us properly, and I couldn’t stop myself from thinking ‘Oh you are so cute’, but being a loyal partner to my ex, I just ignored me… Until 2 weeks ago, when on another funky dance floor in my killer blue jumpsuit over my freshly-healed heart, I found myself facing her, and just couldn’t ignore her for one more second. We danced. We smiled. We yelled in each others’ ears. We flirted, then drifted away and back together a few times (I got on that dance floor at 5pm when I arrived, and barely left till the party closed at 11.30pm) before I finally asked her if she had a girlfriend (my middle name is clearly ‘Direct’). When she said no, I may or may not have seen a small firework …

Time to get a little serious, and possibly hungry

So we’ve been having a nice time here lately haven’t we? New fun hair dos, online dating adventures, and even occasional Teenage Tuesday posts [still in negotiations for full time returns of this activity by the way]. I haven’t told you how devastated and outraged I was by the increased conflicts in Syria, and now the latest school shooting in the US; I know you’re all with me in this distress and disbelief of course. Remember the friend I went walking in Tasmania with for her 50th? She is a tireless advocate for those less well-off than us, and has easily encouraged me to join her in the Act for Peace ‘Ration Challenge’ Australia’. Basically, we’re going to gain sponsorship to eat only refugee rations for a week, which I’m going to find REALLY HARD. Here’s how it started: “Four years ago, Act for Peace staff members Ben Littlejohn and Karen McGrath visited a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Cramped together in tiny bamboo shelters, people were going hungry because there wasn’t enough …

For the second half of our date, we met visual artist Patricia Piccinini at Brisbane’s GOMA

OK, that statement may not be strictly true… After our great night together, my date and I decided to treat ourselves to a café breakfast in the morning, then go to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Siri was back on board being deceptive, so after yet another convoluted journey via a random overpass network (those things sure are hard to get off once you’re on), we lashed out on underground parking just to get rid of the city-car-driving responsibility ASAP (no traffic lights or roundabouts in my home town y’see). Then in the Gallery foyer, the descent into Patricia Piccinini’s darkly vivid and futuristic imagination began: Flowers? Brains? Sacrums? Aliens? Who knows. But it’s just the start… A few years ago, ’17’ and I went to the Adelaide Art Gallery during his school holidays, and rounded a corner to see this sculpture ‘Mother’ displayed in a huge archway of her own; we’ve never forgotten the shocking image. Here she is again, no less disturbing to me: Using silicone, fibreglass, human hair, and wax, Piccinini’s …

I went on a great date in the big city with a truly fabulous human being

I live a cruisey 1.5 hours drive from Brisbane, and there was a Queer Arts and Culture festival on called Melt that I wanted to check out this weekend. So I’d already arranged to stay with a dear friend of mine, which helped the rest of the plans for my date fall easily into place. I was excited. I brought my fav blue jumpsuit to wear, and my cute-but-super-comfy platform shoes. I took my time getting ready (my friend had already gone out to a different engagement), and I must admit, I scrubbed up quite well. I even put a tiny bit of mascara and lippy on! Dumb Siri got me a bit lost on the way to the rendezvous, so I went the long way round through a tunnel I’d never even heard of before, but I’d allowed plenty of time, so it wasn’t a drama; I even found a park right outside the massive venue, a pre-war industrial power station turned iconic arts centre called Brisbane Powerhouse. I snapped that photo above which led …

It’s a Hallmark construction yes, but has layers to it still

My son ’17’ and I don’t do Mother’s Day; he did give me a hug, and we acknowledged that lots of other people around the world were celebrating it together. But this is the image I shared on my Facebook page that morning (no source credit sorry). “Motherhood” is such a loaded concept, with so many differing expectations, and I was grateful to be able to offer my tiny input into considering some of the non-dominant paradigms as illustrated. Then I went and got sweaty on a bush walk with the Tasmanian tiger who recently turned 50 and made us all do that bloody 4-day hike! It was so good to be in the forest, and commune with Mama Earth. We started by looking at the waterfall we were walking to the base of: The track was clear but narrow, and obviously heading down, but everything is easy among the trees when you’re NOT carrying a 15kg back pack: We got to the base after scrabbling up rocks like ninjas middle-aged ninjas, where recent rains …

Swim underwater with Australia’s Tim Winton in movie ‘Breath’

Two nights ago I submerged myself in a 2-hour film called ‘Breath.’ Based on the novel of the same name by Tim Winton, with his contributions to the screenplay, and voice-over narration, it washed through me so deeply that I didn’t even want to keep talking over coffee afterwards, but went home to float through the ongoing swell of watery images and sensations. My movie buddy asked me to articulate what I got from it, and I tried to sum it up in 3 main ways: An immersion in the uniquely-Australian, beachside surf culture of the 1970s (which I didn’t live), but which ’17’s’ Dad did, and to an extent ’17’ still does A reflection in the capacity to ‘lose oneself’ in one’s passion, as I feel when I dance, and yet also being more at one with yourself than at any other time. Also, seeing the  stunning natural landscape- it’s set in Western Australia- and hearing the torrential downpours of a typical summer The crafting of the characters, where a simple sentence showed so …

The best boundary for casual online dating over 50? Listening to yourself

So I’m back out there in the dating world, and quickly connected with someone local. Plus someone in Brisbane. And someone else fairly nearby. Go G! My profile is clear though: with my bruised heart, all I want is casual fun, a bit of exploring and play, and definitely non-monogamy for now. One person usually rises up above the rest, in terms of attention or connection; messages sometimes fly (or crawl) back and forth, and I totally go with the flow, without too much expectation if possible (the key to online dating in my experience). I like to be spontaneous, so if someone is free on the day (or evening) I am, I’m up for meeting- this is definitely easier when dating women rather than men, when I had to be more safety-conscious. Now, I’m only 3 months out of a serious, loving and important relationship, thus I need to protect my heart; I don’t want to sit at home grieving any longer, but nor do I want to fall in love or get too involved …

“Women are going to run the world within 5 years,” she said. Who am I to argue? Amplify Her.

  Remember the 5Rhythms dance weekend I went to at the start of May? Two of the other participants were women just turning 30; during a pairs’ exercise with one of them, I expressed my fury at the state of our world, and the dumb old white men who were still in charge and ruining it for all of us, especially the children (obviously I’m not always a light-hearted workshop participant with cold ears). She just fixed me with a look of complete clarity and certainty, then gave me the title for this blog post. I stared back at her, faced with the pure strength of her vision, and the commitment to back it up: she was just offered a PhD scholarship on international health issues for women, and recently returned from a year in Cambodia, working with child sex trafficking agencies. I saw myself in her mirror: an over-50s proud Feminist yes, but a jaded idealist, getting tired and cynical now as the world totters closer to environmental disaster… with Trump pushing the Doomsday …