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I stole this from Mum’s hallway last time I was there. And I’m glad I did.

I’ve got to start by noting how cute I was when I was two, I’m sorry. I can’t possibly avoid it. I’ve no recollection of where I am, or who took the photo, although I can safely assume it was Dad. And perhaps I’m wearing Mum’s hat? I’m guessing I was about 2 and a half, and to this day I still like to sport a good cap. I’d never seen this picture before summer 2018, when I spotted it at Mum’s house in England on my last visit. She must have dug it out of somewhere, during her constant, chaotic, unnecessary ‘organising and sorting’. It was propped on the little table in the narrow hallway, next to those ceramic hedgehogs I made as a surly teenager at my part-time summer job; it made us both smile when I picked it up and commented on it. After those 3 weeks down in Devon, doing my best to take care of Mum’s needs, filling her full of good healthy food/going to the dentist/doctor/hairdresser/theatre etc etc, the …

Why I sailed my choir into the therapist’s office

It had been nearly 6 months since I’d seen her, my ‘therapist’. I actually regard her as more of a ‘wise Aunty’, even though she’s younger than me. Living in Australia, far from older relatives as I am, and with Mum safely tucked up in her Residential Home for people with Dementia, sometimes I simply need to check in with someone objective, smart, and kind, who has my wellbeing paramount. Yes, #firstworldproblems I know. But I’m doing my best to live gently on the earth, and make conscious choices about my daily behaviour as much as I can; sometimes, I get a little overwhelmed, and need a soothing conversation to re-centre me. I’ve suffered twice in the past from episodes of depression (one was post-natal, and the other when my father died suddenly), so I know I need to manage a slight tendency towards anxiety learnt long ago at the feet of my mother. And this time, as I stepped into the light-filled office, with wooden bookshelves and curling leafy plants in every corner, I …

Australia Day. Invasion Day. Change the date: Reconciliation Day?

  Today it’s a Public Holiday, and over 30 degrees C (more than 86 degrees F). It’s too hot for me, but many folks will head to the beach, while 4 days ago in Adelaide, my friends survived 47 degrees (more than 116 F!) How do Australians deal with this heat? Lounge in backyard pools, run their aircons day and night, plus drink beer of course. Everything slows down, while the popular phrase “she’ll be right mate” is applied to the cancelling of as much activity as possible. Such is the Australian way. Yesterday was a significant day for our country, with free breakfasts and protests offered in equal amounts. For Jan 26 is officially Australia Day, when supposedly we come together as a nation to celebrate our British heritage, and the ‘discovery’ of this land. Except, sadly and terribly, it was never ‘unoccupied’ in the first place, and therefore not available to be ‘claimed’. On April 29, 1770, Captain James Cook first set foot in New South Wales at Botany Bay (now part of Sydney). …

Nepal 2: From one jeep to another, via 3 Buddhas

Did you miss previous post Nepal 1? Anyway, 2 Mums, 2 sons, 4 backpacks, 8 boots and 8 walking poles got into a jeep, leaving smoggy Kathmandu, intent on fresh hilly adventures. For a whole 15 minutes. Until there was a loud noise from under the car, and the clutch stopped clutching. So we all got out, and were sent up the road to a conveniently-placed shiny Buddhist temple, with 3 huge Buddhas. “If they can’t fix the jeep within 45 minutes, we get another jeep,” promised our guide. Fair enough. ‘Go with the flow’ is an essential mantra for travel in a developing country, and I’m happy to say I’m generally pretty good at it. Plus how could we not be grateful and inspired by these spiritual creations? There were no tourist faces around either, just locals doing their daily prayer practices. I wouldn’t have described myself as particularly religious, but I was moved to tears at the sight of young and old family members walking clockwise round the figures, whispering affirmations or blessings. Then …

Saying yes to a surprising adventure with my teenage son after final exams

By the time you’re reading this, we’ll be at the airport. By ‘we’, I mean teenage son and I; he towering above me, and thus carrying 2 extra kilos for me in his backpack. Where are we going you wonder? Well I can’t quite believe my surf-addicted ’18’ has agreed to this, but he did, so we’re off to trek in Nepal! Remember the stressful exams and dessert-eating he’s we’ve just been through? All the weeks days hours of study he we sat through to get this burden of his our school life finished  forever? Somehow we clawed our way across the challenge, and now a new chapter awaits. But first, a little thing called ‘Schoolies’ here in Australia has to happen. We live near the Gold Coast/Surfer’s Paradise, where approximately 22,000 teenagers descend for a week of festivities and alcohol-fuelled celebrations, renting out every hotel, motel, Airbnb, and dodgy villa they can find, determined to party relentlessly along the 3-kilometre beach strip. *Shudders Some parents send their young adults to Bali, or Thailand as …

Teenage Tuesday: ‘Exam revision eating’

Me: Honey, I’m going to cook all your favourite foods for these 2 last weeks of your exams OK? Any requests? 18: Great Mum, thanks! Veggie lasagna… nachos… tofu laksa… oh and your apple & rhubarb crumble for dessert, such a treat. Me: You got it babe. I’ll do anything if it helps you actually do some study. [Spends almost 2 weeks cooking (including exponentially improving fruit crumbles/washes up/wipes up/empties bins/feeds cat/does all remaining chores silently so as not to stress out revising son & various visiting ‘study mates’] Me (leaving for work): Can you save me some of today’s crumble please, it’s my best one yet? Me (returning from work a mere 3 hours later):

I met one of my un-lived lives at a party last night

She was tall, nearly 6 foot, and her long strong legs ended in tartan Doc Marten boots. Her outfit was various shades and textures of black: cotton cut-off shorts, ripped lace tights, fishnet top over a lycra bikini halter neck, and finished with a belt made from an old horse bridle, including the rusty snaffle bit. Her hair was shaved at the sides, but long and part-dreaded down her back; the delicate sequinned handbag was the perfect match to multiple silver earrings and nose hoop. A friend told me her name was Lizzie, and that she played keyboards in a local punk band. *sigh That could have been me. All right, 25 years ago, yes, but still- I could have lived that life. Just a slightly shorter-statued version perhaps. I was mesmerised, watching her stomp round the art opening in those big boots; suddenly my own 60’s outfit with 70’s leather boots seemed tame. I wanted to be in a band, sneering at normal dress conventions. I had complete ‘punk lifestyle envy’, and felt the …

“There’s life in the old girl yet”; unbelievable update about Mum

No one wants to be a downer blogger. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty cheery, positive person, while also being sensitive to the cruelty and grief of merely being alive. My 82-yr old Mum (who lives in England, while I’m here in Australia) has Dementia, as most of you know, and I had a challenging time on my visit to her in August. She was still living alone in her rented flat, albeit supported by 5 Carer visits a day, and categorically refusing to even entertain the possibility/probability of needing to move to a group Home… Except events came to a head, as they are wont to do, and the Police were called a few times while Mum was wandering the neighbourhood feeling completely disorientated. I chose to keep all that quiet here, partly out of respect for her privacy, and also because I didn’t want to be a downer blogger. So she was recently moved into a small temporary Home nearby, for her safety and wellbeing, much to the family’s relief. But for her, the …

So proud and grateful for my followers on WordPress

Well this is an exciting milestone number isn’t it?

I remember when I first started this blog, in September 2015, just about to head to an old Barn in France with my son ’15-then’. We were planning to sit around in the French countryside, reading and writing for a couple of months; the birth of bone&silver was a perfect way to keep in touch with family and friends, but also commit myself to more regular writing… And we did just that. We read so many books between us, and I wrote two of my favourite ever posts: Creatively- “France is a desperate party girl.” Humorous- How to never end up at Shit Creek I had maybe 20 Followers at first, then a few more once I shared it to social media a few times, or emailed friends directly. I got more serious [i.e regular postings] about this blog once I began dating ‘H’ in Melbourne, so February 2017 is when I feel I really hit my stride; we used to dream about when I had 200 Followers, or even 500. “One day you’ll have a thousand, …

Then together, we walked peacefully off into the sunset, my kidneys & I

I’m a pretty healthy chick for 52; most of my friends would agree with that. But I’ve just signed up for a 4-week ‘Adrenal Recovery Program’, that includes 2 consultations with a Naturopath, plus 2 sessions with a Kinesiologist, as well as a weekly support group meeting with the 6 other participants. Why? And this is where most of the fellas may wanna tune out: because the ‘warm/hot flushes’ of the menopause are driving me a little crazy at night, and I’m hoping a kidney/adrenals re-set will help. If I’ve had the magic  8.5 hours sleep I need, I feel like I can run the world (and let’s face it, I’d do a fabulous job compared to Trump). But waking up hot half a dozen times, throwing covers on and off, then wrestling with annoying pillows just because I’m a bit cranky does NOT make me a good world leader (still better than Trump though of course). Part of the benefits of this Recovery program is supposedly deep, restful sleep; that is the new Black …