Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


This is a bit topical for me, but, what the heck ....

I don't know about you, but I strongly believe that adults who love each other should have the right to formalize that love by getting hitched if they fancy it.

Anyone who enters marriage lightly is a fool. It's hard graft. Its constant negotiation, regular compromise, obligation and a little less freedom.

It can also be a heart and home and a commitment. A safe place, even your favourite place, if you have chosen a partner wisely.

I love being married. The formal commitment does make a difference to me. To any adults willing to make that solemn commitment I send nothing but support.

I am sure that there were those who looked askance at the luthier and me choosing each other 13 and a half years ago. In fact, when I told my Dad I was getting married he said "Who to?" and I'm sure he was not the only sceptic, but who were they to judge?

Who are any of us to say that we are more worthy of marriage than any other willing couple?

For any grown up who is prepared to take it on, against the odds, to commit and do the hard yards, I have nothing but love, support and admiration.

And that's my two cents worth.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Spring draws me out of doors and into the garden. The promise of blooms and growth lure me outside to stand, arms crossed, in deep meditation, staring, staring at the flora.

My gaze, having rested intent on a yellow-centered daisy, self-sown, now shifts to scan the fairy magnolia's lilac blossoms, searching, as if all the answers to life's questions are certain to flit past.

We stand, me and my folded arms. We are alert and poised - ready to pounce when enlightenment inevitably alights on the pretty petals.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Idle parenting

I just read this and am now converted.


When I became a parent I became so bloody uptight and anxious and earnest and so, so boring. I know that it wasn't compulsory but nice and earnest and martyr-y just seemed to go with the territory, with the role of 'the good mother'.

It hasn't done me or the kids many favours, I'm generally irritable and my kids are not confident and secure and living their own lives, but spend half the time stuck to me like 'shit on a blanket' as my potty-mouthed aunt would say.

It's time to chill the fuck out and have a good time. Leave the kids alone to become themselves. Who's with me?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spring Break

Finally the lurgies are lifting.
Its the first day of school holidays and I am at work,
which is bad news.
The good news is that tomorrow I will not be at work.
I will be on a week's Spring Break.

Number two son has already kicked off the holiday festivities by departing for the beach with a buddy. You have to be happy with, not only having lovely friends who will play chess with you on your brand new Super Mario chess set, but lovely friends who will take you to their beach house is pure gold.

He turned 7 last week, my number 2, and his request was to celebrate with an outing for potsticker dumplings for dinner and a grape slushy from the dreaded Maccas on the way home. For such is the way his mind works. He is a young man of contradictions.  The dumplings were delish but the slushy ... Eeeyuew! He loves anything sugary does this boy. "Sweet, sweet crap" he calls it and it is his regular dinner request. Fanta spiders are usually his favourite thing.

I am missing him while he is away. His birthday always reminds me of how sick he was when a baby. What a crazy time that was for us! I tell you, there is nothing quite like hearing the words "Your baby has cancer" to shock you right out of your shoes. He kicked it though and never looked back. It changed our lives for the better in a million different ways, as difficult thngs with a happy ending can sometimes do. Our priorites crystallised in that instant.  His birthday always makes me hold him tighter.

Sacha away from home is making me a little sadder than I expected.  Sophie isn't too happy about it either. She was asking me if we had given him away last night.

However, I am pretty sure that his beach adventure is making my wonderboy nothing but ecstatic.

For the rest of us their are beach and movie trips planned and maybe even a fairy penguins adventure.
The sun is out. Fun times and adventures are there for the taking.

Happy Spring Break!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Despite some nasty coughs continuing to play havoc chez Smith and a very ordinary Father's day that saw the luthier and I take it in turns to retreat our sorry sick selves to the bed all day, this week has been full of rewards.

The sun came out.

The magnolia in our front yard is in full bloom.

The fairy magnolias we planted last year have finally blossomed.

Sacha made this awesome Father's day card complete with Dali-esque mo for the luthier.

And on Sunday morning I watched my 11 year old son gently and patiently brush his truculent 4 year old sister's wild mop of hair.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Same, same but different

Two similar-but-different six year old boys sitting side by side, playing computer games which they similarly love. Both have long fringes hanging in their eyes and both are partial to a wee game of chess.

Six year old number one decides to enact a random face pull and whacky dance move.

The second 6 year old rolls his eyes and sighs,
'Oh Sacha, you'll never get a girlfriend.'

To which Sacha accusingly scoffs
'YOU will'.

And therein lies the difference.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


This week the lurgy was rife chez Smith. A nasty, chesty cough laid the luthier and I very low. But good things come from everything and my ills gave me a day in bed alone, so I took the opportunity to read a book.

I caught sight of this particular book last Sunday in our local bookstore. The cover photographs of shoes, vegies and a weatherboard house looked somehow familiar. Then the author's name drew my attention and I cried out in delight 'Look Soph, it's a book by the lady who delivers our vegies.' Sophie was fairly non-plussed, but I was well-chuffed to be leaving the store with a copy of 'A Story of Seven Summers' by Hilary Burden.

On my sick day the book was a welcome distraction. It drew me in like a warm hug and snuggled under my new doona cover, I devoured Hilary's memoir so voraciously that I didn't notice the morning slip away until I turned, sadly the final page, left wanting more.

I could describe Hilary's tale here, her move from being a single woman living a glamorous life creating new magazines in London, to building a beautiful life on the island. And I could tell you how she moved to a Nuns' house in Karoola (one of the most beautiful places on Earth) and, with her gorgeous island-discovered love, Barn, created a business sourcing and delivering incredible local produce to lucky people like me. I could also mention all the local island producers who benefit so much from their work. But I will leave the details for you to discover in the book, because you must read it. You must.

You know how some books change you? You read them and the message they give you stays with you and becomes a filter for your way of thinking. This book was not like that. This story did not change me, but did something much more profound that will certainly stay with me for a long time. This book made me more certain of who I truly am.

You see, what I took from this book is that bravery, the courage to follow your heart and instincts, even when they fly in the face of convention or of your own past desires and behavior is essential to making a great life for yourself. As is the courage to open up to possibilities and to back yourself all the way that you know what you need to do and that you can make your dreams a reality.

Hilary and her partner,Barn, have created an enviable life. They have created a stunning simple life where work, family, love, passions and life-at-large are intertwined. They are not separate states, one having to be put on hold, in order to attend to the others.

That is what I hope for. The connection of passions and work that don't detract from family but are just an extension of it, of me . 'A Story of Seven Summers' reminded me that this way of being may take some hard work, but that it is totally possible.

Hilary's words reminded me of all the things I love about this small island - its beauty and it's possibilities. and that there are many people who have lived huge lives around the globe and have returned, with all their stories and experiences, for the love of the lifestyle Tasmania can provide.

Hilary Burden's 'A Story of Seven Summers' brought me to tears, in a good way. It certainly made me feel better. I hope you love it as much as I do.