m i a o w


Mother’s Day : Eight

Feeling a little wrung out from the day before and not had a lot of sleep. The Smalls showered me with homemade cards and together with M they gave me a FUNCTIONAL PRESENT. A care package – of blue cheese, dukkah, GF bread and a bottle of Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc. M and Small DB cooked up some egg-in-a-hole and I was plied with tea.

116/365 • cooking up Mother's Day egg-in-a-hole • #116_2016 #mothersday #5yo #breakfast #liveaboard #Autumn2016 #love #biglove

Basically I sat on my arse at the table and did nothing but update my blog and poke around on my iPad, in between reading chunks of True Spirit, which I am really enjoying. By about 2pm the natives were restless (and somewhat annoying) so I took them to the McClelland Sculpture Park – we had intended to meet E & Co. for a wander, but she felt about as flaked out as I did, and decided on attempting to recuperate.

Of course, I could have asked M to take the Smalls out, but I WANT HIM TO FINISH THE BOAT (have I mentioned that before?) so I left him doing wiring and the Smalls and I took a damp walk – I was glad we did. This photo is from before I shrieked:

“Next year for Mother’s Day, you know what I’m doing? I’m going on HOLIDAY.”

…and they both cried…
117/365 • a bit of sunshine amongst the sculpture from today's moody 8yo • #117_2016 #mothersday #8yo #rainy #Autumn2016

Their bickering was unbearable. Of course, what I would prefer to happen next year is for M to take THEM on holiday, leaving me with cheese, wine and the Internet for two days. (Got that, M?)

Although it goes against all the requirements of nutritious movement I did very much enjoy my time of being a couch-vegetable, reading and quaffing tea… I should probably do a bit more of that…

One year = Five months

This day last year. This day last year. It was like walking through grey treacle. We had been back from Hobart for a few days. I had said goodbye to my dad for the last time the day before we departed. Hobart had given my brain some relief, but back at the boat, doing the kindergarten drop-offs – I was an automaton. Desperate. Worried. And unknowing. I had dreamt about my dad the night before. The oddest dream – a transitory one in shades of charcoal. Not really a sad dream, but one I won’t forget.

The wait that happens when you’re going to lose someone, lose someone soon – it’s unbearable and yet it must be borne. The knowing didn’t make it easier when I got the telephone call from my uncle. I had not been able to look at the night sky without being engulfed by sadness for two and a half years – and that evening, after that phone call I had been dreading, dreading, I stumbled down the long driveway in the dark, sobbing and disbelieving, even though I knew.

I laid on the ground under some bushes and cried at the sky, blurred with despair. I stayed there for a long time. I didn’t want to go back to the boat, I wanted to walk and walk until I fell off the edge of the earth, down through the stars past the moon. That was the desperate and poetic self. The actual real version of me eventually dragged herself back up the driveway to the boat, to three of the most important people in my life, who cared for me.

I couldn’t talk. Couldn’t eat. Had nothing to say. It was one of the longest nights of my life. In the morning I didn’t get up. I started to knit. Because I needed to something, because I know it’s therapeutic. I knitted and did not stop. I made a chain of multi-coloured hearts, and when it was finished, I could talk a little bit again.


I have carried that chain of hearts around on the backpack that goes with me everywhere for a year – people have complimented me on them – but I never explained them, never said; “These are part of my process. These hearts hold love and despair in equal measure. I can’t let them go.”

Today I went with my mum to Loch to have lunch and cups of tea in memory of my dad – it was a place we had been with him a few times. It’s very lovely.

A cup of tea in recognition of my Dad

I tried to explain to my mum that I still don’t feel as if he is gone, I feel that he is here – lodged in my heart, woven around my brain. The times when the loss grips me is when I have to attend to my Humber – he looked after my car so beautifully that I can hardly bear to sit in it, while I love it as well.

I was lucky to be able to go with my mum today and amble around together where we used to live for a few years when I was about eight-years-old. And where M and I lived for a year when we first got together. Back then the only cafe served cappuccinos in a teapot.

Mum and I went into a shop full of Nepalese handicrafts. Beautiful felty things. I bought a ball of silk spun from the offcuts from saris. It looks very similar to this…

Recycle silk from safi offcuts

I am going to make a new string of hearts, ones that will be infused with more love, loss, longing and sunshine, rather than soaking despair. To think it has been a year. Incomprehensible. It feels more like four or five months. Grief and loss seem to be like dog years – but different for each person. For me, one year actually equals five months.

I have made some blue hearts to replace the ones on my bag. They are smaller. They are lighter. They represent five months in loss-time, and one year flicking by in the world of calendars. There are nine hearts – my birth number and his birth number. They will travel with me while I begin on the new silk ones.

Dad. I miss you.

It’s a funny situation at my work at the moment. I am friends with my work-people on Facebook (and in real life as well!) and they know that our departure day is looming ever closer. Really. But while it looms, it remains intangible… Meanwhile, the Boss is away for the month of May and so I am doing a different kind of work in his absence. Today was my first day, and it is genuinely excellent to be doing a different kind of work for a change!! I’m writing a manual and have been given free rein on design 🙂

Matilda the Musical!

Small Z awoke anew. No fever. Back to her normal self. I was so relieved! We all dressed a little bit swishy and took the train into the city. M, I suspect, would rather have driven in, but I think the train is much more zen – the Smalls can move around and do their thing without being confined by seatbelts. None of them had any idea where we were going 🙂 The mystery was compounded by me being disoriented after getting off at Parliament Station and walking for a block in the wrong direction….

We met my mum outside Frederici – a cafe/restaurant I had booked that is adjacent to the Princess Theatre. I’d got mum a ticket to the show as an early Mother’s Day gift – Mum and I both looked a bit glam 🙂

114/365 • about to go and see a show - happy (early) Mother's Day to my mum 💗💗💗 • #114_2016 #love #family #mothersday #Autumn2016 #city

Frederici, oh Frederici. When I had called up to book I questioned them about the gluten free situation – but I obviously didn’t question them properly. Why do I question like a fad-dieter instead of like a coeliac? The first thing Small Z said after glancing at the menu –
“Can I get the fries? They’re gluten free!”
I question the waitstaff. “Are the fries cooked in with other battered/floury stuff?”
“Yes – we only have one deep fryer.”
“Then your fries aren’t gluten free…”
So I order the burger without a bun for myself, again mentioning that the three of us are coeliac. And the burger? It comes decorated with fries. 🙄

Small Z orders the poached chicken salad, no chilli. It arrives with red slivers distributed through it, and a waitress tries to convince us that it’s red capsicum. (To Small Z, chilli and red capsicum are both SATAN so this attempt is not quite a success.) I take Small Z’s lunch because I like a bit of chilli – after a while they bring back a burger with no fries, and she has that.

The room where we were was lovely. The wine was good. Aside from the dicking around, the food was not bad either – excepting M’s banana fritter, which was brown in the middle. Small DB was thrilled to find a side dish of Brussel sprouts with pancetta (“What’s pancetta?” “Same as bacon.”) – and ordered it herself in her little voice:
“I would like to order the Russel sprouts and bacon, please.”

Despite the fact that we had to walk through the foyer of the Princess Theatre to use the bathrooms, none of them suspected we were going to see ‘Matilda’. Small Z had a few moments of spasm when she thought that the lunch was it – the entirety of our ‘outing’ and had to be comforted that there was another part to the whole thing, aside from lunching fancy in the city with the Nana.

Then we exited – again into the theatre foyer – and M said; “Are we going to see ‘Matilda’?”
“Yes.” I said. “Yes we are.”
The Smalls were not exactly suffused with excitement, but they had no idea what to expect. I was a bit worried about the tickets – I bought the super-cheap ones that were ‘behind a pole’ in the stalls. But it was fine. The Smalls both had booster cushions, and Small Z in particular was thrilled by the show. It was fantastic! 🙂 I could feel mum flinching on behalf of the Smalls at some of the bits that were particularly nasty, but I wasn’t bothered – both of them are very familiar with the story.

It was a wonderful show. A little long for Small DB. And I knew before it ever started that Small Z would have some internal conflict, relating to her desperation to perform in something similar. Were we a different kind of family in different circumstances she might very well be a some sort of drama/performing arts school…however…. Being only eight, she does have a few years up her sleeve…

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