All posts tagged: family

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 …

When you decide on the perfect gift for your 18-year old son, but then…

What would you buy a teenager reaching such a milestone birthday? The challenge threw me for days, until inspiration suddenly struck at 3am (thanks menopause): Mum’s ring! Well, it’s my ring actually, which Mum passed on to me many years ago, that I treasure. My Dad gave it to her on their honeymoon in Mexico, and although it’s a simple design, I love it, loaded with sentiment and meaning as it is now. The stick figure is roughly carved, and apparently represents the legend of a Girl holding a Rainbow- perfect for me. My son ’17’ often picks it up when I’ve left it lying around on the shelf after washing dishes for example, and has made frequent comments about how well it fits him, and how good it looks on him (as teenagers are wont to do). But I always refuse to lend it to him, and have remained strict about that, despite his cute cajoling (as teenagers are wont to do). Imagine if he lost it? Then 3am inspiration arrived: why not get …

Teenage Tuesday: Ssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

’17’ has been at his Dad’s a lot lately, so I’ve had minimal fodder for our fabulous [still temporarily banned] Teenage Tuesdays… but negotiations are ongoing… all fingers are still crossed… this blog needs a cheery boost… and he’s coming back here tomorrow, so I’m feeling hopeful! Stay tuned… love Mama G xO And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, cos you’re new round here, or you missed it, you gotta read THIS still temporarily banned post : )    

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Living with teenage son No. 33

Him: I hate it when you wear your hair in bunches like that. Me: Deal with it dude [*rolling my eyes]. LATER Me [rushing in from verandah where I’ve been reading quietly]: Oh my god, did you see that? A bird nearly flew into my head!? Him [without looking up from his book]: I told you, it’s that hairstyle, it makes you a target.  

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Driving & talking with teenage son till I laugh/cry/laugh

So many times as a skinny teenager I used to ask ‘What’s for dinner Mum?’ She’d usually sigh, and dismiss me with ‘Oh I don’t know, I hate cooking.’ I made myself a lot of frozen pizza with instant mash potato. I learnt to love cooking though, especially after becoming a vegetarian in my early, idealistic twenties. When I had my son in my early thirties, I created different memories around food and eating with him; when he was 7 for example, I bought him his own small chopping knife to help me cook with, and ten years later, we still use it. We both enjoy good food a lot (he’s actually making dinner while I write this). His Dad’s a good cook too. We separated when ’17’ was only a toddler, and at first our son spent 2 days with each of us. It slowly stretched to 3 days, then 4; I think he was about 5 when it grew to Week On/Week Off. The day of ‘changeover’ became a mix of sadness and …

Living with teenage son No. 250

Him: ‘Mum look, I’ve created a Study Nook! I’m so going to get on top of my assignments.’ Me [Looking at my now un-useable spare room, complete with blocked access to my linen cupboard, and removal of my only bedside lamp plus the living room coffee table]: ‘That’s great Honey…’ ONE WEEK LATER Me [Having taken back my bedside light, and moved the coffee table so I can get sheets & towels out]: ‘How’s the study going?’ Him: ‘Well I can’t work now that my habitat’s been destroyed.’  

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Walking with son ’17’ when suddenly…

… he drapes his arm across my shoulder. He’s never done that before. I put my arm round his waist, but it feels awkward, so I let it drop. We move apart a little, and walk on. We sit in silence on the rocks watching a dolphin pod swim in lazy circles while the sky fades orange, pink, baby blue, dark blue. As we walk back towards the car, he does it again. This time, my arm round his waist feels comfortable. We walk and talk, arm in arm, 17 & 51, as night falls.   Best. Homecoming. Ever.  

How to cook Paella for 100 guests in one easy step: hire the local experts

We’re here in the Dordogne for a weekend of family, friends, fun, and the long-awaited 50th. Saturday evening was the big gathering, with long wooden tables and benches spread under the trees outside: We hung fairy lights, tiny candles in jam jars, and foraged greenery from the woods and fields around us: Someone even came up with a creative solution to that dangerous rusty farming implement right near where we’re sitting: The views completely sucked: It was a pleasant 22 degrees or so, and the sunset was as always stunning (such soft light here compared to Australia; I can’t describe it any other way than it looks like it’s been smudged or half rubbed out): There was a mojito bar set up in the ruined BBQ area, plus trestle table bar inside with kegs of wine and champagne bottles. And then of course, everyone had to be fed. So the triumphant organization of this celebration peaked with the Paella King & Queen. We cleared a space in the centre of the Barn, and they just …

Long haul air flights: an utter privilege which sucks

It started so well. Good house/petsitters; efficient packing (roll don’t fold); timely train transport to the airport. The cute gay boy at the check-in counter asks me if I’m staying in Paris? No I’m not. Since 1980, my favourite Aunt ‘M’ (who lives in Sydney) has owned a 300-yr old barn in the French countryside. For years, we have all travelled to and from The Barn (Australians are so good with names aren’t they?) in the Dordogne region; Dad first took me there when I was 15, and I took my son there a couple of years ago when he was 15 (we sat there for 2 months, reading/eating/playing badminton LINK HERE & HERE TO OLD STORIES). Now we’re all gathering again, for my cousin’s 50th celebration weekend July 14-16. She lives in Sydney too, but has been telling us about this party plan for 3 years, supremely organized being that she is; thus approximately 85 people are turning up- mostly from Australia! A HUGE EXCITING EVENT. But first, I have to get there. It …