Sunday, 7 October 2012

Swings and roundabouts

It's been a month of change.

My mum has moved from her home of 35 years and this weekend, my eldest moves out to share a house with a girlfriend.

She sort of left home once before but not really. At 18, she went to live with my mum and stepdad for two or three days a week during her first year of uni before transferring her course back to Melbourne.

This is different. But I'm okay. Living at home has meant she's had the opportunity to travel but now she, and we, are ready for her to go.

It will be weird, no doubt. Of my three kids, she is the messiest and can be pretty feisty when the mood strikes her. She is loud, sensitive and the least confident despite being the eldest.

She is her 16 year old's sister's biggest supporter but also her staunchest critic. Of late, there's been a bit of clashing between them as the 16 year old, in typical teenager fashion, is asserting her own personality. The bickering annoys the crap out of me.

We'll see her a few nights a week, I expect she'll need a good feed - don't thinking gourmet cooking is on the agenda!

It will be strange but it's true life goes in swings and roundabouts. I will finally be getting a Room of My Own, to quote Virgina. For writing and my craft, finally not having to pack up the kitchen table and put things away.

My fingers are crossed it is all going to work out okay.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


 I am celebrating a milestone birthday this weekend. I had hoped to be here * sigh * but not to be. So I am bringing a little bit of Paris to my celebrations.
  • There will be a daiquri machine...or two..
  • Eiffel Tower...gotcha
  • Chanel themed cupcakes....stat.
  • Moreish finger food...oh yeah. Some created by my little hands, others purchased from lovely gourmet shop.
  • A croquemboche...let me at it.
  • Fancy LBD (Little Black Dress).....locked in.
It's not a big bash, I have always been a less-is-more kinda girl when it comes to friendships. Two of my oldest and dearest mates will be there...the girls who were my bridesmaids all those years ago and who were my co-conspirators in my teenage years. Can't wait.

But before my party there is a funeral. Today. Of an old friend of my mum's, a man small in stature but with the biggest heart.

This man was an important person in my younger years, when my brother and I would stay with his family as our own was crumbling. He had a wicked sense of humour, loved a drink and a laugh, was an enormously generous soul.

His three children have, in the past month, buried their stepfather of many years and now their dad. It's heartbreaking. As can happen in circumstances where two families have come together following a divorce, there was some angst with the new wife and despite it being many years ago, old problems have resurfaced in the grief of his passing.

They'll get through it, but the loss of's a hole that will never be filled.

Life goes so fast. Today I will say goodbye to this lovely man and hug his children. And tomorrow I will celebrate another day.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Moving on

It's been the busiest time I can remember.

A large chunk has been taken up moving my ma out of her home of 35 plus years. She was mad keen for it but then had a bit of a meltdown about it all.

I found it really hard to deal with. Sometimes we butt heads - we are very different people - but I've found in the last few years that I tend to be more the calming voice whereas before I would get upset and be offended by some of the thoughtless things she'd say. I'd arc up about something she'd say, she'd get defensive and shut down and all the old wounds would be lacerated open to bleed out again.

This time I didn't bite. It was plain that she was struggling, seeing her house in chaos and frightened a little by the prospect of change. Her husband  - my second stepdad - had never moved house before and was out of his depth.

The thing was, she'd been at me to come and help (we live an hour and a half away) so in the midst of a crazy month with work and other stuff my husband, son, his girlfriend and I had headed off to pack, clean, move. When we got there, she wouldn't have a bar of it. Didn't want us to do anything, didn't want any of us taking over. Aaaghh!

After a bit of negotiating, we were able to help out - my strong 6ft 4in hubby and even stronger but equally tall son did some heavy lifting and things were accomplished.

It was a bit sad, my capable ma so flustered. When I went back again a few days ago with my youngest Blossom on moving day, to unpack at the new place and then clean the old, she'd turned the corner and was looking ahead, not back.

I took a last walk through the house, where I'd spent some of the best and worst times of my life, where I'd learnt about love and fear, heartbreak and honour, betrayal and beauty. The house was quiet and waiting for its new life. My mother had already begun hers.