Monday 26 September 2022

I have been a wanderer among distant fields. - Percy Bysshe Shelley

On the weekend we went to Merimbula for the Wanderer Festival - mainly to see Curtis Harding. We were meant to go for two nights but we had to change to one night only last minute - a very costly enterprise but so worth it.

We'd not been to Merimbula or Pambula, and the 'foreignness' of it all made it feel like we'd gone somewhere far away (maybe a hang over from Lockdown - anything different is exciting?).

We went to beaches, ate plenty of local oysters and then hit the festival. It's a great addition to the calendar. Small and compact but big names and a full schedule. Great offerings for kids and a huge food range. We had a really wonderful time. I will definitely be back!

And like the Laozi quote "A good wanderer leaves no trace" reusable cups and bottles were welcomed, and the 'rubbish' was all recyclable or compostable. There were people monitoring the bins, and helping you find the right receptacle.

So the #OneSmallThing is nor just the fun of a festival, and not just a weekend away but the joy of stepping outside my life momentarily - with my husband and kiddo in tow. We were gone for 24 hours but it felt like we'd been away for a week. By Sunday morning I was thoroughly relaxed and at peace.

Linking with #TravelTuesday as the Wanderer Festival tickets have gone on sale for this year.

Rainbow Lorikeet


A bird appeared in a very odd place in our garden. It was hiding in a very low bush - less than knee height. I wondered if it was injured but didn't really know what to do.

I got it some food and water, and while initially it was distressed when I tried to place the dish near it, it became used to me and allowed me to leave the seed and water near it. 

It stayed there for a few hours, but when I returned late afternoon, it had gone. 

So I'm hoping it's recovered and joined it's flock....

Linking with #WordlessWednesday #WWOT #BlueMondayandRubyTuesdayToo #AwwMondays #NaturesNotes #SaturdaysCritters #GardenAffair #DND #WildbirdWednesday #WordlessWednesday and #PicturePerfectlinky 

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Don't throw out my lego

I was at the post office and in the queue I saw this. I was struck with a sadness that I had no little people to give them to. I spent a good decade watching Blue's Clues on video. And yes, I mean on video. My eldest got them when they came out but we didn't move on with Joe and the other presenters. When Steve went to college, we just stayed with the videos & DVDs that we had. We had the toys and all sorts of learning games. Each new baby would grow into them. As a result, I have a lot of fondness and nostalgia wrapped up in them as one kiddo has moved out and one is on the way. As a parent, you realise you have these precious moments that weren't precious at all at the time, but become so special in hindsight. I pointed the toys out to the adult child with me who just sort of shrugged and looked at me as if humoring my  'having a moment'. Evidently the memories weren't as special to him as they've become for me.

The high schooler in our house is very much an only child now.  While I'm very happy for the one that's moved out, I work to make time for the five of us to get together. It makes me so happy. The travel holidays are now just the three of us as the two adult kids are busy, but I'm thrilled to have a 2 night local getaway booked at Christmas with the whole family. I'm more excited about that than the overseas trip I'm booking in January!

My eldest had mentioned after a year of living out, she might come home when her lease is up so they could save some money before moving to a different place. I was so excited but tried to contain it, calmly saying 'whatever you need to do, there's always a room for you here'. However, that still seems to be a plan in motion. I think her partner is struggling with the rent but my child is not.  I'm not sure it's going to occur, as they are now 'figuring it out'. I'd love to have my house full again - in lockdown we were 6 (her partner moved in) so we had 2 extra years of their childhood so to speak. I shouldn't be greedy. At AJR, they sang this song, which I'd not heard before and it really tapped into my feelings. I said to my friend 'I know it's not their point, but this song means something totally different to me as the parent of a kid who has moved out'. What's anxiety and failure to one person, is a joyful gift to the mother now watching in the distance.

I was with a friend whose adult kids haven't moved out yet, and their family is going to Canada for a skiing holiday and then going their separate ways to different parts of the States with friends while she visits a cousin in Canada. Her eldest changed their plan and said "I might come with you' and my friend said no. She told me she wanted a break and some time to herself. I think that's the difference. Once they move out, you'd do anything to be with them. It's a luxury. I would have relished the opportunity!

Motherhood is weird. I am watching friends discover it's just them and their husband left in the house, even if the adult kids are living at home, they're rarely there. One said "We have to be friends now and do stuff together". Another said to me "So is this it now? What am I meant to do?" and another, who never really asked me to do stuff is now inviting me to plays and we are going to the theatre with an unprecedented frequency. I think this empty nest stuff is tough on women. We invest time and energy into our family life, but then to be a good mother, we also have to stand back and let them flourish on their own. I wrote about the strange emptiness in the house (in the family?) when she moved out. We've adjusted but the excitement and happiness I get when we're all together is indescribable. 

I left for college at 18 and never really moved back. It was such a formative and fun time for me, and I have to wish that for my kids. The child of a friend from College was going interstate to live on campus and she rang me saying "I've been telling everyone for months how great it will be for him and now I don't want him to go".  I pointed out it will be great for him, he'll love it but it won't be great for her & to remember she's the only one in the scenario feeling a loss, so be mindful not to taint his enjoyment. I reminded her it probably wasn't great for her parents when she did exactly the same thing. But that's the gift we give them, these loves of our lives. We give our life and soul until they don't need it, only there for when they want it. Erma Bombeck described mothers perfectly when she said "they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. " My friend has booked some grand prix OS holidays because she knows, just as she did, you start to find reasons you can't come home in the holidays when you're having too much fun on's all part of growing up. It's the part we don't discuss. We parents also continue to grow up, into a different sort of parenting....but we can be a bit sneaky too, in order to lure our families into being whole again, even if just briefly. 

So I will continue to celebrate the 'party of 5' when I get the chance, but keep working on celebrating their moving on as well. I don't want to be the parent that guilts their child into coming home for a visit. So I bite my tongue more often than not because I know my eldest would feel bad if she knew how much I'd love her back home.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” —Ann Landers

Linking with #GenericLinkUp

"The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size." — Gertrude S. Wister

 I was walking to the car park and the city flower boxes have been planted but not yet in bloom.  I found they filled me with an anticipatory excitement of what was to come. It's funny how such a small promise of future beauty can be uplifting. Is it a post lockdown need to celebrate every little thing or is it just age, and suddenly anything positive seems uplifting?

I hope to get back in to that end of town to see the end results, but not entirely sure when.

Linking with #TheRandom


Tuesday 20 September 2022

Share Four Somethings September

 I honestly feel I just did this. I've no idea where the month went. Lost in a frantic chasing lost passport applications and subsequent break down, trying to book a holiday at Xmas with insane travel prices and no appropriate accommodation left and the overwhelming work not being done so I have to squeeze it in on weekends.

Something Loved: We had planned a weekend down at the Wanderer festival, with most of the bands I wanted to see on the Friday night. Unfortunately we have some family circumstances that meant I had to change the flights (at increased expense. of course) to Saturday morning) and none oof the Friday expenses are refundable so effectively we are now spending $80 a minute for Curtis Harding's 50 minute set and a fleeting 24 hour visit (including flying time). However, I am happy to still get to see him at all and trying not to think about what a bad fiscal decision this turned out to be...If you haven't checked him out, Curtis Harding is definitely a musician you will love. He also does a song with Rufus who I'm seeing in November...but I'm guessing he won't be making a sneak appearance there. In short, I love that we are still going, I love the idea of a festival again and I love Curtis Harding's music! 

Something Gleaned: I had a learning moment on the weekend. I went to FODI, Precious White Lives b Sisonke Msimang (which was brilliant and if it goes digital, check it out).  At one point she reads out some appalling racist rhetoric from a science journal written in 1910. I was shocked but in my head, it was 'ye olde' history etc. At the end of the talk, Stan Grant said to her 'I'm sorry you had to read out and hear some of that damaging material. I'm sorry you had to put yourself in a distressing position to educate these white people'. And that for me was when the penny dropped. It hadn't occurred to me that it was still insulting or damaging to anyone of colour (because I feel we have improved since then - which I realise might also be naive). It didn't occur to me that looking back at history would still be upsetting for people, just because the words are so insulting to you now. Most importantly, it made me realise how much I think I get it, I'm not even close to understanding it. It was such a powerful learning moment for me.

Something Braved or Saved: At Fodi, I had tickets to Alok Vaid-Menon's speech, Beyond the Gender Binary but I also had a dinner with friends I had to go to, so had to leave early. Because it started 20 mins late, I only managed to hear 20 mins of the the talk. It was so powerful I was very disappointed to have to miss it. They emailed that it is available on line (for a price) so I will pay that and listen to the rest of it today. It's top of my bookmarked listening list. I can't recommend this in full, as I only heard the beginning, but for that alone, it's worth checking out.

Something Achieved: I won another StoryBox award and the story will be shown in Campsie at the end of the month and later in Canberra, so I'm very excited as the last time they displayed my work, we went into lockdown so I never got to see it. I also had to do an author interview and I feel a bit daft about that. I'm keen to see what the other writers said so I will find some time to head down there and stake it out for a bit.

You can follow StoryBox on Instagram

I also entered YeahWrites competition, and came in the top 3 of my group. While shortlisted, I didn't eventually win one of the prizes. I do have to be happy though as it was my first ever 'retelling' and the word count was so tight, I found it quite restrictive and difficult. So great outcome for something that was quite a stretch for me.

Taking a break come Thursday until the 10th of October. My Insta should have some cool pics (hopefully) over the next few weeks so check in there if you miss me....or just to follow along.

Linking with #ShareFourSomethings and #KeithsRamblings  #ThruMylens #WildbirdWednesday

My Random Musings

Saturday 17 September 2022


I've had a jammed packed week with so much fun and energising activity, it was hard to choose one thing that made me happy this week. However, the Wednesday Club went to the Hijinx hotel and it was simply the most unadulterted fun that it gave me quite a high. Exuberant endorphins that buoyed me well into the next day. Even thinking about it is giving me an emotional shift. I'm keen to lure my teens there these holidays.

Get a group of fun loving friends and find a night to go. You won't regret it.

What I liked most, was at the start we were playing against each other but as the night progressed, we began to work as a team, and there's this sort of connection between you as a result. It's simple but clever. And most of all, fun.

(The short version of what it is, is basically 5 old fashioned games - from finding things in ball pits to word puzzles. On the ball pit, don't have your phone in your pocket. One poor guy in another group lost his phone in it!!)

“It’s more fun when you’re not the only one having it.” – the Oaqui

 (I did try to google what the Oaqui is and I can't work out if it's a game or a religion. So if it's something bad, I'm not endorsing it, but it appears from this quote to be something good....I also couldn't find any quotes about hijinx so there's a mission for you there. Find me some hijinx quotes because clearly it is an important but uncelebrated life goal)

Oh, you can be sure we will get into all kinds of mischief." He winked. "And there is a strong possibility that shenanigans and hijinks of various sorts will also occur, with regularity. - Author: Sylvain Reynard

What's the #OneSmallThing that made you happy this week? 

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