Archive for January, 2011

ferdinand the rhinoceros

So we’re back in Sydney, I guess. It’s overcast.

We visited Ric in Lulworth. He was okay. Afterwards…

Claire: Why do we have to visit Ric?

Jeremy: Because he’s my Dad.

Me: If your Dad were sick would you visit him?

C: But I’m shy of Ric.

J: I’m shy of him too.

Me: I’m not shy of him but seeing him this way makes me really sad.

J: Yeah. It’s not shyness. It’s sadness. And you don’t want to cry in front of him because that would just make him sad.

Me: Right, so I do this horrible smiling-all-the-time thing. I’m hideous.

J: Don’t be silly. It’s obvious how much he likes to see you.

At this, I burst into tears.

Me: Oh, to get through a single day without blubbing.

Next we visited Thussy. Thussy and her Reg are two of my favourite people on earth. She is Austrian. He is a former RAF pilot. In their house, it is always World War Two. Reg has walked away from plane crashes and fought off cancer and is now a bouncy and bellicose 87. I suspect he will outlive me. We whisked Thussy away to Cottage Point Kiosk for awesome fish and chips.

Thussy! Has met! George! Morris! She says he is very nice. Thussy has also tickled a rhinoceros named Ferdinand and hiked in Nepal and ridden in Iran and Patagonia. Good luck having an awesomer godmother than mine.

Next we met Mary and Andrew and Vincent at a chocolate cafe in St Ives. The chocolate was delicious and the company was even better. We have been making an effort to meet new people lately and have had a 100% They Are Lovely, We Like Them Very Much result, which seems absurdly yet gratifyingly high.

bailey’s: enough to make me verklempt

Morrisa lost her father today. Jen is still fighting her way out of a bone marrow transplant. So it is inappropriate for me to be feeling as sad as I do. But my brother drove back to Brisbane this morning and we will fly back to Sydney tomorrow. We are disentangling my things from my sister’s. It hurts.

The time I spend with my family gets better and better as I get older and saner. We do nothing, essentially. The kids watch as much TV and play as many games as they like. The girls regard their older cousins as near-Gods. We old people play mahjongg and gossip and gorge on Christmas cake and swim rueful lengths of the pool. Barraba is beautiful, too; it is the shadows of clouds on wooded hills. I feel myself untwisting every moment I am here.

I am more grateful than I can say to have both parents and my brother and sister, and to be able to spend this time with them, and to realize how completely and crazily I love them all, how funny and wise and perfect they are.

This afternoon the thunderheads assembled like giant iron anvils in the sky, and rain came down in bucketfuls. There are still drumrolls of thunder and blue-LED washes of lightning as I lie here in the hotel, ready for sleep.

happy new et cetera

Oh yeah so I have a blog.

Julia got a splinter. Non-coercive efforts to get it out having failed, I held her down while Jeremy dug it out with a needle. Julia screamed and beat me on the back, yelling “You don’t like me any more! THIS IS THE WORST WORST WORST DAY EVER.”

Parenting can be fun! It came out. It was quite the little barb. Afterwards Julia and I held each other and sobbed.