All posts tagged: family

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 …

Watching her cry from across the world

In bed, snuggled with cat, computer, and early morning cuppa. Click link on generic Facebook newsfeed. Suddenly watching a grief-stricken Mum, mourning her lost daughter after the bomb blast in Manchester. See her blotched red face, and the grey roots of her dull brown hair. Notice her own mother sitting beside her, and perhaps that’s her son, sitting on the floor at her feet, holding her hand with his head bowed? See her swollen eyes and running nose, thickening her voice, wailing for her lost baby. And as my own tears fall softly, think: ‘This is the true good of social media; we can share our vulnerabilities and losses. Her life has just been fucking ruined, and she’s sharing a miniscule amount of her pain on this day with us. She’s held in this nightmare by her family who love her, and she’s not alone. Thank god she’s not alone.’ We are all in mourning, all across the world, all the time: for our lost family members or friends, our beloved dead pets, our forgotten dreams. …

Gift from teenage son…

I heard ‘Almost17’ in the shower at 6am (we had to leave for the airport at 7); he soon came into my room fully dressed, with still-damp hair, where I lay in bed reading before getting up. Him: Move over Mum. Me: [Really??] OK Sweetie. [Sliding over, slightly stunned, but pretending I’m cool…] Him: Happy Mother’s Day. Me: Thanks. You know I think it’s a load of Hallmark crap don’t you, but that’s still lovely, thank you. Are you bringing me peppermint tea in bed? Him: No, I’m too tired. I didn’t get home from the party till 1am. *Rolls on his side away from me*. Spoon me Mum. Me: [REALLY??] OK Sweetie. [Spooning behind him, completely stunned, gingerly resting my arm on top of him and the quilt because, you know, I’m Cool…] Him: No, properly Mum, under the covers. Please let me sleep for another 15 minutes. Me: Sure honey… *Lie there holding my baby boy as he begins to twitch and dream, breathing deeply. For how many nights did I hold him until …

Eating with teenage son…

We’re chatting & laughing as we share my yummy nachos, when suddenly: Him: Mum… Me: [Giggling, cheesey corn chips halfway to my mouth] Yes Sweetie… Him: Have you seen that meme online which says ‘If I can hear you chew your food, I’m fantasizing about killing you’?   *Disclaimer: my son ‘Almost17’ is fabulously kind, sensitive, smart and honest. We spent 2 months sitting in an old Barn in the Dordogne region of France a couple of years ago, cooking, reading, & talking. HERE’S one of my fav longer posts from those days, if you’re interested ❤