All posts tagged: personal

When telling a lie is the best option, to clamber ancient rocks in Wales

“Come and stay in the holiday cottage with us; take a break from your Mum,” says my Aunty over the phone. I don’t need to be invited twice. Any excuse to hop on a train cross country- my favourite way to travel. My Aunt and her partner live in North Wales, but a family gathering is happening in South Wales, and it’s the perfect time to catch up with my cousin, her husband, and their 3 kids, as they celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They’re staying near where Mum and her 3 siblings grew up, around Gowerton. I’ve never been there before: I’ll get to see the house they grew up in, the school they went to, and most importantly, the bays and beaches over which they gazed as they matured, following their dreams. But I’ll have to ignore the stab of guilt at not taking Mum with me. I know full well that she actually needs the stability of her routines in a familiar place, rather than the stress of travel and an unknown …

Nostalgia looks like a hedge, sounds like a seagull, & tastes like crumpets

I’ve been in England for 3 days now, and waking up starving at 4.00am is not a habit I want to keep. I always find jetlag is infinitely worse going home though, thus I’ll stop complaining immediately… Mum and our cousin met me unexpectedly at the train station, so there were hugs all round, then straight home for a cuppa. I can tell she’s very happy to see me of course, but Mum also asks several times where we’re going, as though she hasn’t just heard the answer a minute ago. Which is the world she lives in now. Dementia often takes away short-term memory first, and that was one of the initial symptoms we began to notice a few years ago. ‘Shall we have a treat with our tea? How about a crumpet?’ Nostalgia coats my taste buds like raspberry jam and warm runny butter. I’m drawn backwards through the years, remembering blustery walks on the beach with various dogs, coming home to food treats like hot crumpets. Crackers with sharp vintage cheddar. Fruit …

Musings on Mum

I’m on the train down to the quaint English seaside town where I grew up, watching the countryside flash by. Neatly hedged fields, thick-walled farmhouses, and glimpses of bigger human settlements marked by the identical carparks and superstores. I’m trying to work out how I feel. It’s a mixture of jetlagged tiredness, slight anxiety, a little excitement, and my hopeful practice of being an open, blank slate. It suddenly occurred to me that Mum hasn’t seen me with blonde hair. Well, not since the ill-fated ‘Highlights Experiment of 1985’ anyway; maybe I should pop my blue cap on? This is a new experience: wondering how Mum is going to greet me. For as long as I can remember of course, she has hugged me hello with a squeal of excitement, and teary eyes, especially once I moved to Australia in 1987, and there were long gaps between my flights home. At my financially poorest, and most rebellious, I admit I didn’t see her for 8 years; I would HATE it if ‘18’ did that to …

‘But I don’t need a ceremony Mum’: giving the perfect 18th birthday present

Remember how I worked out what to give him in a flash of early morning inspiration, and then he guessed it HERE? Well of course I went ahead anyway, despite my disappointment delight at his intuition. It took 2 weeks to organise, during which time his actual birthday came and went, but I could rest in the quiet glory of knowing I’d nailed the present. Family and friends got together on 2 separate occasions to wish him well, and I could see he was very pleased at all the love and attention he so rightly received, bless him. As we entered the 2nd week, a little nagging began- ‘How long till my ring is here Mum?’ – ‘I can’t wait for my ring, I wish it would hurry up’ etc (spread out over 5 or 6 texts sent at random hours). Finally I cycled down to the jewellers to collect it, and even she was excited at how well it had turned out, and what an excellent idea it was. But would it fit? She urged …

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: 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 …

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 …

No beanie? No problem!

Got up super early. Went for a walk. Powered up and down then back up the hill. Felt hot and sweaty apart from my cute little ears. Came back home, realized I’d lost my beanie (woolen hat), and those precious ears were aching… so got creative with my sleep mask: Am I an idiot? Possibly. But one with warm ears, that’s for sure 😊 Do you think this could catch on? Have I got a viral chance?? And what have you ever adapted to meet an urgent need? Have a fab weekend everyone, G xO