The rest of my life

Sydney adventure – the book launch – part one

Read this first. Here is my ever cavet on a blog post. This post is massively self-indulgent; don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, if you are on twitter and I fail to mention you, and I did in fact see you – I cannot apologise enough. I should have kept notes, but I didn’t. Sorry in advance. Please don’t be mad. Note also that I have referred to peeps by the Twitter ‘handle’ so you can look them up.) It will be in two parts – because it is so long and is taking a long time to write due to ‘fact checking.’

When you have a very intense experience, and you pack a lot into 53 hours, it can be hard to write about. Where to start? Favourite bits? Chronological order? Funniest bits? Best alone in a big bed bits? Best I’m away by myself and I couldn’t be more pleased bits?

I have recently returned from Sydney, the town that I know and love. I went by myself. I left my lovely man and my love child to fend for themselves. I left NO notes. They will figure it out, I reckoned. After all here’s what the Commentator General had to say about it:

Preparations well under way for three days looking after baby with no @ . Surely 16 months is old enough for pizza and DVD night
Robert Gotts

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Motherhood … it is relentless

A while ago, in February, I wrote some very black words about motherhood. Black in a way that made it painful to read. I didn’t publish them. I was writing about a black time, from a positive position, but about the very blackest time in my career as a mother. Or what I thought was the blackest time. It seems that I was wrong about that. The black periods come and then recede and then they come again. This is how I experience motherhood. Occasionally, dark storm clouds roll in.

Benedict 6 days old

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Friday – this week I am grateful for … simple pleasures

Gin & Tonic



Sometimes, it is the really simple little pleasures that make life great.

A cuddle from a child who adores you.

A splendid late blooming autumn rose.

A kiss from your beloved.

A cup of tea in bed.

A good book.

The little things. Sometimes they make me come unstuck. Sometimes they make life worth living.

This week I am grateful for the little things. Like a perfect gin & tonic. Plenty of ice. Plenty of fizz in the tonic. Lemon slice. A nice fine rimmed glass with a heavy base. Served with warm company and a broad smile.

No more eleventh floor

You walk across windswept and perilously stark polished granite to an intercom box. Dial the number. Bells ring somewhere high above you.


Hi, it’s us.

Come on up, eleventh floor.

High above ordinary suburban Canberra there is an apartment. It is all boxes and suitcases. There are only four toys now. The last minute details of a life are being finalised, completed and packed. This apartment has been home to some very special people. Read More

Friday – this week I am grateful for Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He wrote a series of Meditations, or thoughts addressed to himself, for his own self improvement.

Wisdom comes in many forms

One of the aphorisms contained within these writings is translated as:
‘if you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment’.

What I am grateful for this week is having imposed upon myself the mental discipline to remain silent. I have revoked the permission I had given to certain situations and recent injustices to cause me pain. I refused them access to me and to my family. In short, I controlled how I responded by not rising to met these challenges with anger or upset or distress. I met them with a cold, dignified silence. I did not respond.

What interests me is the reaction of others to this. When expecting a certain response from another, to not get it is far more unsettling than getting it. Consider how you feel when someone doesn’t laugh at one of your jokes. In a scenario involving heightened emotion, controlling your response tightly so that it is calm and non-reactive is immensely powerful.

In the face of some potentially uncomfortable and infuriating situations this week, I was cool. I was calm. I was courageously silent. It was powerful.

This week I am grateful to the Stoics. You can only control how you respond. Be calm.

Friday – this week I am grateful for … season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Japanese maple

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


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My heart is heavy

Tomorrow I return to work.

I haven’t been to work since Friday 13 November 2009. Boy was I ready to not go to work anymore that week. I was quite pregnant. I’d had last minute projects heaped on me. My staff were mournfully staring at me and occasionally breaking into not helpful little speeches about how they would miss me. Colleagues came and wrote suggestions on my whiteboard for my weeks post work, but before baby – massages, haircuts, eyebrow waxes, movies. People came past making jokes about seeing my toes – like I couldn’t! Well, I could, if I sat down.  Read More

Friday – this week I am grateful for … excellent service

You may have read about my return to work. You may also have read my Massive Rant about Consumer Goods. Today I am grateful that my return to the workplace will be *ah hem* a well supported one. I have just returned from one of Canberra’s finest retail establishments, laden down with new underwear. Read More

I’m the bloody .5

In discussions about ‘working families’ as we are now all calling them, the key assumptions are that the male person in the family works full time and the female person works part-time. Usually half time. This is not the way it is in a large number of households, but when describing ‘working families’ it is usually what is implied Read More

Friday – this week I am grateful … I am not seventeen … right on time

Last night was date-night! We went to see an average film, but afterward went for a drink at a close by restaurant that has a bar. It might be a bar with a restaurant. Maybe it doesn’t know what it is. We ordered a glass of fizz and some food and were sitting talking about how to manage my return to work and our lives. The more things change, the more they change at present.

Then while we were making ourselves heard over the very loud music (yes I am not sure why we chose this place either but moving on) a song came on. Well not a song actually; a remixed sample of an old song – Ride on Time – remember? Black Box.

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Friday – this week I am grateful for …

It has been a big week. A huge week. A bigger than Ben Hur week.

It was my birthday. I had my lovely amazing surprise dinner and then my lovely three course extravaganza birthday dinner. I had coffee dates, play dates, bookclub and more socialising than I knew what to do with. And I am grateful for all of it. For the delicious food, for the sparkling company, for my little boy. For the French champagne. Are you still with me or have you drifted off into the land of trite??? Because that what it felt like when I tried to write (more) about it. Trite pappy gratitude. Read More

It’s my birthday

Today is my birthday. I do love a good birthday and I am especially pleased with this one so far, and it is only 07:45.

On Sunday, I received a text from one of my dear friends asking me if I would babysit for her on Monday night. The thoughts I had, in order, were: of course ~ out to dinner on a Monday? ~ is it a special occasion? ~ her birthday is in July ~ wonder what is going on? Read More