Monday, 30 August 2010

Holding back the years

Having children and the concept of time are linked in the most extraordinary way. I have talked before about time and how it is awarded to you and taken away as your newborn baby morphs into something with legs and the ability to scurry round creating mischief.

This morning I was watching my three eat their breakfast. They scooped cereal into their little mouths, legs swinging under the table whilst giggling at each other. The lad was teaching twin1 how to say something appalling and they all looked happily crumpled and twinkly eyed after their night's sleep. I wanted the little scene to stretch on forever. The joy derived from observing your children living their lives cannot be overstated. At the same time as wanting time to stand still and keep my littlies as nearly two and nearly four year olds, I can't help but be excited about the future when they bring friends home, have hobbies, make choices and create the noise and laughter of a big family Christmas. I spent much of the twins' first year looking forward to them being able to walk and talk. You shouldn't wish any time away but it was hard to relish some of the endless arse and floor wiping.

At each stage there are wonderful moments. Hold these in the palm of your hand, whispy and ethereal. Whenever you wake in the night and worry or feel lonely, open your palm and let the golden memory warm you and chase away the demons.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The witching hour

Although frenetic, tea time and bath time are some of the most enjoyable moments of the day. Whilst the 3 littlies sit round the table and eat their tea I often cook, watching and listening to their conversations. The lad dominates the conversation with his two year advantage but the twins have enough words in their armoury to communicate. Their target practice has improved no end so cleaning up is becoming a more manageable task. The twins rarely eat solely what is put in front of them but rather pass their food back and forth to each other. The lad loves to spoon feed twin1 and maintain his management role. Whilst still at the table I strip the girls off to their nappies and they toddle off to watch the water make frothy bubbles in the bath.

Perching on a stool next to the bath I love to watch my children transform from grubby little street urchins to lavender scented, clear eyed angels. They delight in the watery games and hold their arms up to be lifted out and gently dried. All fractious exhaustion from a busy day has dissipated into a compliant haze. Cuddles and stories send them into a soporific trance. Each day I thank the universe for our happy, healthy children. Nothing could make you happier.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The furthest point on the planet

I miss my parents. In quite a consuming way. I think about them most of the time. It isn't just because I love them, it's because I enjoy their company so much. I love chatting to them, we like doing the same sorts of things, they make me feel great about myself, they make me laugh, they are positive and generous and they love life. I never feel like I need space from them and however much time I spend with them, it feels like it's not enough.

When we decided to move to New Zealand in 2007 I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get on the plane and fly to the furthest point on the planet away from them. In my 'the world revolves around me' fantasy (which the husband assures me it doesn't) my parents live next door. We live in a chocolate box cottage with wild flowers climbing all over the walls and apple trees dotted through the garden offering dappled shade. We are continuously planning adventures and there is a constant stream of people of all ages through our house, drinking tea, eating cake and quaffing wine whilst doubled over with exquisite laughter. All my mates live within spitting distance and our children run wild with each other. All this takes place in Devon, the Isle of Wight or Stamford in Lincolnshire where I went to school.

I also miss English things like people saying "ooh, I'll put the kettle on" as a reaction to any drama ranging from missing out on a parking space to a death in the family. I miss the kind of dry humour found particularly in the north where my parents live. My Dad recounted a conversation he overheard between two elderly gentlemen yesterday. "Hello Frank, it's been a while hasn't it? How have you been?" Frank replied "Well I woke up this morning so I can't complain."

Since returning from Auckland last weekend I have felt rather unsettled and raw. That always excacerbates my homesickness. My parents rang today and told me they have booked their tickets to come and visit in January. I'm so lucky they are happy to travel here as often as possible.
The photo was taken by the lad as I stood on a chair to talk to my neighbour over the fence. It tickles me to see the world from his height.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


There are pieces of music which do something to me. I was driving back from Auckland today and listened to 'Unintended' by Muse. As the opening bars unfurled the song's rich, sweet melody I could feel a welling up inside my body. A nostalgic yearning for both the past and the future bubbled in my chest and tears filled my eyes at the intensity. My heart opened as a gaping maw and spewed emotion. My voice box couldn't produce enough decibels to convert the energy into noise. It often takes a day or so for these feelings to slowly muddle back and allow my brain to resume its position as the boss.

Some of the songs which have this effect on me are:

(I did warn you of my questionable taste in music)

Roam, B-52s

Saturday, 7 August 2010

City glitz

I am writing this in Auckland. As the husband is in Sydney for a few days, I dropped the ankle biters off at my generous Aunt's house and settled in the car to indulge my fairly dire taste in music. Expelling vast lung fulls of air, I murdered Madonna's Ray Of Light and pointed the car towards the bright lights of Auckland. One of my dearest friends moved to Auckland a few months ago and I was so excited about catching up.

A Friday night out with girlfriends in the big smoke. What a delight. We giggled, drank champagne and poured ourselves into skinny jeans. We had so much glitter on our eyes that blinking sent silvery clouds shimmering onto our shoulders and decolletage. Teetering into Racket Bar we laughed and danced our way through the evening. It was obvious who I had befriended in the bar as they were coated in a sprinkling of glitter. The clever, open minded traits of city folk blended with the Kiwi warmth makes Aucklanders a convivial, fun bunch. My friend attracted the attention of the most smoulderingly sexy bloke in the bar who was also charming and polite. I woke up to silence and have spent the day chatting. Tomorrow I'll go home very happy.


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