Monday, February 13, 2017


It's four years since I logged into blogger. Google panicked... there's something strange going on with your account, it warned. Yes, strange indeed.

Five years ago I wrote every other day. There was a long pause tonight as I gazed at the flashing cursor, fingers hovering over the keys.

I spent some time scrolling down through old posts and thinking about what's changed.

We still holiday at the same beach each summer. After years of moving we wanted to anchor our holidays to build family memories and share our love of home with the boys. Tick.

I finally really garden. In our now not so new house we tore out two thirds of our very old front beds - the enormous agapanthus, the violets for which I have an irrational dislike and even a couple of trees severely damaged by years of drought.  There were tears and sheer blind panic when I realised what we'd done. It was desolate. But I replanted, made lots of mistakes and now love standing among the roses with a hose in hand. I think that qualifies as really gardening.

An adventure helping to run the school fete's preserves stall means I can now churn out jam and lemon curd and chutney. I certainly don't do it every week but am about to tackle a strawberry and watermelon hopefully before the melon goes to mush in the fridge.

Despite my luddite tendencies I bought an overly expensive appliance to cook my risotto and thrash veggies into green smoothies. I also gave in and bought a kindle and love it.   

I declared 2014, then 2015, and again 2016 the 'year of entertaining' and failed miserably each time. 2017 is un-named.

I still eat chocolate, so unfashionable. I don't drink kefir water or shop enough for clothes, I still find leafing through clothes racks so dull.

Antique shops are much more interesting. I'm spending 2017 scouring auction rooms and warehouses - without much success yet. I'm still trying to buy a rug for my sitting room and our pictures are stacked against the wall in that room. Who are those people in magazines with finished homes and pillows that match their paintings?

One son is in now in high school and starting to look almost into my eyes - the other is old enough to take skin off my toes off when he bowls at me on the beach. Yes 'at', not 'to' and he does it with focused aggression. It's very disconcerting.

I can't quite remember what toddlers are like. Occasionally my kids throw a ratty heat or hunger prompted tantrum to remind me. We had a belter this morning. Sometimes my almost teen talks to me like an adult or an equal. I try not to show him how surprised I feel when he does. Of course there are long periods of silence or stroppiness too. The hormones are descending. I need a new 'how to parent' book. Or ten.

I don't do playgrounds anymore. I don't kill time until 5pm when I can feed babies and rush them to bed. Instead I circle Melbourne in increasingly heavy traffic with Siri directing me to various football and cricket grounds, feeding kids on the go and swapping lifts and favours with other jugglers. I'm thinking about buying a caravan with a hob to make tea and a cupboard to hang the kids' travelling wardrobes. It would be very popular with the cricket crowd. 

I have struggled on and off with the work life balance. Mostly it's been out of whack but I comfort myself with the fact that I've yet to meet a mother who's got her chi sorted whether she works full time, part time or not at all. We're all in that together.

It alarms me that my friends' lives are littered with complex issues - divorce, sickness, work, money and life. Was it like this four years ago? Or were we all too busy surviving to notice? 

We've had scads of Prime Ministers since I last wrote. My real job is rather too focused on that so I won't say much here except that we live in exciting times -  'exciting' is admittedly not the best way to describe waking each day to a Trump tweet. 

It's odd sitting down to reflect on four years. It's odd to write again.
Hopefully not too odd to read.

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Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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