All posts tagged: Australia

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,ย Captain James Cook first set foot in New South Wales at Botany Bay (now part of Sydney). …

Happy New Year, & what am I gonna do about Social Media since going to Nepal?

Hi darling Readers- it’s been so long I know… I hope you all survived/thrived during the silly season, and have come out the other side ready for a delightful 2019? I gotta confess: I hate Xmas. I can feel the collective stress rising in the air; I know lots of people love getting together, but an equal number of folk find it a very depressing, lonely, combative, irritating, or just all-round emotionally triggering time, not to mention the intense social pressure to spend money we don’t have on crap we don’t need. Having said that, this year I had a fab time! Mainly because it was low key, with almost no gifts (see photo), and a mainly vegetarian feast for Xmas Eve & Xmas Day- don’t forget it’s hot down here in Oz, so we go for outdoor garden settings & lots of salads. How cute does our Xmas table look, in my Aunt’s courtyard? And underneath that mound of pomegranate seeds and parsley front centre of photo is a layer of yoghurt and tahini …

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 …

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 magicย  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 …

In my next life, I’m coming back as a sculptor, & here’s why

The little seaside town 10 minutes down the road from me just hosted its 3rd ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ event. It was simply wonderful, and began with sandy shoes scattered in the grass- hands up who hates sand in the house or bed after a walk on the beach? There were dozens of pairs, of all different types of shoes, re-purposed from the local op shops. The Spring weather was glorious, and it was lovely to just stroll around the parks and break wall, marvelling at the local creativity and talent. I was in such a relaxed daze though that I barely registered any artists’ names, so can’t give credit where it’s due; my apologies. That big old kangaroo had a good story though: a social worker told the artist she advised angry young boys in her care to take up a kangaroo stance, and send their fury down their tails into the ground behind them (an Indigenous strategy). My favourite aspect was the emphasis on recycled and found materials being re-purposed; the weaving with …

Treat me like a pin cushion if that will help

Jetlag recovery? Tick. 100% gratitude to be back home in Australia? Tick. Delighted cat and reasonably delighted-but-still-cool teenage son? Tick. Bullshit lung infection which had me sleeping almost sitting up for three nights then coughing my chest inside out for almost a week? Goddam tick. I AM SUCH A BAD PATIENT. As in, totally IM-patient. Don’t come near me; don’t sympathise with me; don’t tell me I’ll be better soon; don’t tell me about your neighbour who had it too, and how long it lasted, or the worst cough you ever had… Just leave meย alone to wallow in my pathetic, grumpy, spoilt-brat sick bed, and give me a wide berth until further notice. Unless you’re my acupuncturist of course. In which case, I want you to come back early from your much-deserved holiday, and stick every single needle you have into every possible meridian point, all over my body, even if they grab or make me wince, and please just help make me better. Thanks. [The illness has actually shifted now, but this petulant rant …

I’ve been gagged by a comet- more delights of dating over 50

Remember the Cometย I wrote about 3 months ago, as a romantic prospect? And all your great comments to just relax, stop thinking too much, jump in and have a good time? Well, basically I relaxed, stopped thinking, jumped in, and have been having a GREAT time! However, I’ve been officially gagged: ‘So what do you blog about at bone&silver?’ ‘Oh you know, being over 50, having a teenager, online dating etc…’ ‘Ok. Interesting. Well here’s my rule: if you’re going to date me, you can’t write anything about it. And no images either, anywhere.’ ‘Right. Well, that’s clear. My ex loved it… but I hear you. I’ll miss writing about it, but yes, I can agree to that.’ So there you have it. This person has zero social media presence (trust me, I looked really hard in the beginning), and you know when you Google yourself and find a few images? Another big fat zero. So there’s no way I’m going to mess with that. Which means I need to stop writing this post very …

Three more great moments from Mum, thanks to my smartphone ‘Notes’ feature

I’m two weeks back in Oz now, jetlag gone, and trying to make more space on my phone by deleting notes & photos. I’m so glad I was inspired to write down stuff Mum was saying, as no matter how fabulous it was, I just wouldn’t have remembered it all without prompts. Here’s my Top Three (& you need to know Mum is proudly Celtic in heritage, a little unconventional, and sometimes incredibly philosophical). On watching the Carnival Parade in our small seaside town, clapping along to the Marching Band- “Mum, I think you’re out of time.” “No, I’m doing Welsh time.” The next morning, a Sunday, while the church bells are ringing- “Mum, you’re still covered in glitter from hugging that random person off their float…” “Oh well, it’s a good thing I’m not married to the vicar then isn’t it?” At our last dinner together before my return to Australia- “Shall we have a toast Mum?” “Yes: to all the people who love us, all the people who’ve loved us, and everyone who’s …