Category Archives: on being an adult

Dude!

Five days and no blogging! I’m really sucking lately.  I went out on Saturday night for drinks with a friend who turned a year older and still looks five years younger than me. Which isn’t entirely fair, but I forgive her, because she’s precious. I totally said mad things, as I do when I’ve just downed my fifth beer.  Who does that? FIVE beers. And five days! Maybe that’s a new magic number for me? I’m not proud of the five beers by the way, but it was so much fun!  No, it really was. I don’t think I was as ridiculous as I could have been, but I was certainly ridiculous.  Ollie was the star of the night, all quiet and trying not to be noticed in the corner.

“Who does he look like?” I kept being asked. “Keanu Reeves?” I offered to an astounding “YES! THAT’S IT! Although, there is also a resemblance to Scott Baio.” She said, and Oliver was suitably mortified. Come on though, Scott Baio was pretty hot back in the day. I remember being pretty fond of him myself.  I later heard that the quote of the night was “How did you get Neo to come to your birthday party?” Honestly, we need to get him a Matrix jacket.  He already has the glasses.  Sort of.  And he is forever asking me if I want the red pill, or the blue pill.  I’m not sure I’m ready for either actually. Just give me the white one with lots of water. Or coffee..or actually, I’m more partial to a good tea these days. Does that mean I’m getting old?

Anyway, it was so much fun. I danced and didn’t hurt my back, and I may have found the young guy who was celebrating his 21st a little too precious for his own good.  Honestly, what a honey. He needs a girlfriend. Unfortunately Miss 19 who could also be my daughter, is engaged to be married.  I know, I was as horrified as you are. “Hang on a minute” she said to me “how old were you when…YOU HAD BABIES!?!?!”  I’m completely aloof about it. “Oh, that doesn’t count.  That was back in 1996 when you were only what 12!!  Prehistoric years ago!  That’s what we did back in THE OLDEN DAYS!”  I don’t think she bought it.

I’m sure I was going somewhere with that. Oh! Right! Cute Mr Just Turned 21!  How engaging young people are! I felt hideously old and maybe slightly pervy. It was lucky I had my husband with me, because when you’re with your husband, you’re only slightly pervy right?  Anyway! We set up our husbands. Or, she did. So mean of us. It was -flawlessly- executed though I have to admit. I’d come around the table to tell her we were going to go, because Ollie was starting to look wilted and the loud live jazz music was making him age just listening to it – it was so good, by the way – and obviously, we got talking as girls do.  Then we’re realising, that our husbands – who are both Asian, and  half of that Asian was coincidentally Chinese, that they obviously must have LIFETIMES of talk in them.  So we squeezed out, and surreptiously looked at them both, like we were setting them up for a date, and they caught on, instantly. As they would…but still, we persisted, and then were squeezed down the table towards one another, where they both played into our game and talked.  And we sat there feeling mighty and wonderful, for having successfully hooked up our marvellously gorgeous Asian husbands.

Actually, they might have had more in common than their half Chineseness, but neither of us cared. We just wanted to look at them and go “aren’t they ADORABLE?! Look at them bonding!”  Did they bond?  Well, they gave it a very good go I think, and probably only so that we would leave them alone and stop trying to force instant attractions between them. It also meant that I got at least another half hour of being out with adult people, in an adult setting, which I was extremely pleased about.  But what I think I really wanted to mention was that we decided – that’s right darling, you’re not getting out of it now, because I REMEMBER EVERYTHING! Even when I’m drunk…to do NaNoWriMo together, this year. Right? Masters Degree aside, we’re going to do it!  Yes we are! I’m excited.  Course, I should be writing now. I really should be.  I will. I’m going to do it it, very soon. And then, that means, by November, I’ll have a good chunk done and can be mad and unseemly and rush through the entire month of November, by the skin of my teeth successfully writing 50,000 words in 12 days again!  That’s just how I roll, internet. You’ll get used to it.

You know, it’s been so very long since I’ve been out, not just in this city, but anywhere at night, that I was utterly struck dumb by – yes obviously the price of drinks – but also, the amount of people who go out and just co-exist outside, in the cold, wearing barely anything!  We followed out a girl who was so tall her ass was eye level with me, and I’m not sure if she was wearing a skirt, or if it was a belt and she forgot her skirt, but I was transfixed to her derriere right up until she finally lead us out of the huge mingling of people and onto the street. You know, young people wear the most amazing..and..okay I admit, sometimes downright frightening ensembles. I wonder if old people used to look at me and think the same thing. I expect they did, considering the lack of clothing I used to wear.

Also, I’m a little disturbed that I’m thinking this way.  Oh dear lord, I’m going to wake up deaf and geriatric. Wait…I think I already have.

Great Indoors

Do you know what? I’m having so much trouble starting blog posts lately. It’s like, I get on here and my brain just completely shuts down. It decides that I have nothing at all to tell you, and that I should just stop with the trying. But here I am! I’m doing it!

We had fun on Ollie’s birthday. We went up into the high country and wandered around the Lake Coleridge Fair which they put on ever few years or so, looking at crafty things, letting the kids ride horses, Aleeya sprayed a fireman with a firehose, they went through the power station and then we went up to Lake Coleridge itself.  We did this four years ago, and it was so stunning.  But last weekend?  Well, the wind was stunning that’s for sure.  We were walking almost horizontally the entire time.  The lake looked like the ocean when it’s really rough, which I suppose is pretty cool, if you can stand the autumn cold wind that is beating you down to a massive pulp.  Honestly, if I lasted 30 seconds out there before I declared that it was ridiculous and stomped back to the car, I’ll be amazed.

The trip was lovely though.  I love the high country in Canterbury.  It’s really amazing, I’m not sure anything in the world really compares.  The hills are slate grey and gold, scattered with heavy dark pine forests and the skies on Sunday were covered in rolling black clouds. The rivers at this time of year are almost black, and the grasses are waist high, deep gold.  It’s amazingly beautiful.  The farmlands are rocky and steep, it’s like being in some other time. There’s never anyone around, it’s just breathtaking.  Had the wind not been so furious, I’d have loved to have spent more time out there.  But wind is really exhausting, have you noticed?  It’s like, being awake 48 hours straight.  A couple of hours wandering around in the wind will just leave me completely zonked.  That was slightly disappointing, but we did get some gorgeous photos.  They’re coming.

That night we picked up Ollie’s mother and went out for dinner.  We had Indian, and it was glorious!  It really was. I ate until I almost burst and we had all this food left over. I was just about to call the waiter over when Ollie shunned me with his hand and he and Siobhan set about finishing every.last.mouthful.  Right down to Siobhan’s running her finger around the bowls to get the last of it. “What?” She challenged when I looked at her, “it’s yummy!” She did resist licking her plate, which I was quite pleased about. I thought for a moment she might.  When they start growling at each other over the last piece of Naan bread, I know it’s time to take them home.  I have no idea how the two of them do it. It’s amazing to watch, it really is!

Aside from that, we had car dramas because of the Grand Canyon that I so tragically inflicted some months back – you’ll remember I’m sure. Apparently we couldn’t get a warrant with it and were going to have to put off our trip over Easter to Nelson.  But then my brother bless him, obviously devastated by the fact he might not get to see me, rung not once, but twice – long distance!!!!  To tell us to ‘bog the hole’.  I need to get you a picture of Ollie’s extraordinary bogging abilities.  It really is something to see.  Of course, when he rung the next day to ask if that would be enough, the really awesome mechanic goes “we’d pass it with duct tape covering it.”  Oh THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  Would it have been so very hard to tell us that the day we took the car in??  So over three days, and quite a large sum of money, we got it fixed, and now have a warrant of fitness, declaring our precious baby car suitable for driving on the public roads.

Obviously then, we’re off to Nelson for the weekend!  Which should be really nice. I’m looking forward to seeing my son again.  I know, I really am very generous for letting my sister in law carry him, give birth to him and then raise him aren’t I?  He’s totally different already, which I think shouldn’t be allowed.  Had he been in my care? He’s still be a ten day old cuddly boy with the cutest little whimper cry and not the hefty looking 5 ton sumo wrestler she has turned him into!  What was she thinking?  You’re supposed to stop feeding them and force them to remain babies forever.  Speaking of which, mine need some limbs culled.

I saw a lady in the mall who was shorter than me today. I walked beside her for as long as I could without attracting her attention.  It’s become a game for me.  I like to see how long it takes before they either speed up or slow down. Usually, it’s not very long, which is totally disappointing.  I could walk next to them from one end of the mall to the next if they’d let me.  Of course, following her into the bathroom was probably a little unnecessary…I jest! How funny would that be though?

Speaking of children, we just spent the last hour looking up the two local high schools and talking about the offered subjects.  The Catholic one has a much more interesting and varied range than the co-ed one.  I’m feeling slightly more hopeful that they’ll be accepted into it now that all the paperwork is done and handed in.  I’d like to know when I’ll be likely to find out though, because the uniforms?  Yeah, they’re going to kill us financially.  Anyway, they have a much better range of languages and arts programs than the other school does and Siobhan is really excited.  What I loved the most was the disappointment at no drama.  “You’ll do it as part of your English class.” I promised. “Oh really?” She replied all excited. I love that, I do. I also loved that Aleeya was standing next to her going “When I go, I want to do a language, French or maybe Japanese, or both, and Adventure Management, and Classical Studies and maybe Photography that sounds cool”  I forget the others she mentioned, but their enthusiasm for higher learning makes me so excited.  I get excited with them and can’t help but point out all the subjects they’ll need to do if they want to go to University.  I have to admit, it’s really -really- nice to have an understanding of the high school system and to be able to answer their questions about subject choices and NCEA.  I don’t care that I’m not an actual teacher, I’m able to help my kids make the right choices, and that makes me really happy.

I really had nothing to say when I started this post.  Look at me go!  Ollie printed off my story today at work.  He rung me in terror asking if it was okay if he double sided it and maybe made the text smaller because it was 90 pages long! I had a moment of emmense pride at the fact that I’d written 90 pages. That’s pretty cool. You should see the pile of pages I have sitting on the table.  I decided, the only way I will really re-work it, is to be able to scrawl all over it like an essay and see exactly where and what needs to be re-written.  I’m really proud of some paragraphs, and already cringing at others. But for a 12 day attempt, it’s pretty okay.  I’m still not sure it’s something I want to have published any time soon.  It’s so very personal.  But at least I’m making a start on it again.  I do actually have an idea for a complete work of fiction which I plan on doing very soon.  No, really.  I will.

Anyway!  Have a fantastic Easter everyone!  I really hope the Easter Bunny is kind to you!  I know where his stash is, and I am so tempted to raid it.  Please stop me.  The sugar rush will kill me and when they find me glazed eyed and covered in their Easter chocolate it will most certainly be enough to send them to therapy for the rest of their lives!  Not to mention, the devastated looks on their faces!  I imagine it would be not too unlike a game of Monopoly with Ollie.  Look at her face.  Honestly. Take a good look at that photo internet!  That is Ollie’s side of the board after he has totally crushed his daughters.  Aleeya, as always is more interested in the fact that she has a hat for her imaginary finger friend…but Siobhan?  Well…do I even need to explain it?  Actually take a look at that whole album. They start out so full of hope.  He is a cruel, cruel man.  I told him that one day and he said “what? Life is all about failure. I’m just teaching them what it’s really like out there.”  One day, he’ll wake up dead because she has suffocated him in his sleep. Which will make it easier on me.  I’ve been telling him for years he’ll wake up dead every time he farts in the bed beside me and finds it completely hilarious.  It will happen.  One of us will get him. Oh yes we will.

WOO!

I think, maybe I’ve had a red wine too many.

But those are the best sort of days, right? We just watched Twilight – yes, again! Shut up. I think my children are equally as enamoured as I am. Which is good.  Except, I keep feeling the urge to tell them, at random moments, that boys are really not like that.  “NO!” I say.  “They’re not like that.  Not at all. Okay?”  And they sort of groan and go “we have the picture mum.”  To which I reply “Do you see Charlie with his gun? Ya…that’s your dad.  WITH KARATE!  He doesn’t need a gun. Mkay?” And they go…”okay mum.”  And I feel tragic, and old, because did you know, Siobhan is going to college next year?

Calm down, Americans.  That’s high school for you. Although, I’m pretty sure they’re both smart enough for University already.  They should go.  I could go with them, it would be just like old times.  I never mentioned that before, did I?  That, during school holidays, I used to take my kids?  They’d take their own bags, filled with lunchie snack things and coloured pencils, and they would draw all through the classes, while we sat up the back, and I would raise my hand, tentatively…in the classes that were taught, by hot lecturers, and answer questions which made him smile, and in turn, made me smile…because you know, no one answers questions, right? And they stand there, panicking, waiting and waiting while no one dares to raise their hand.  I raised mine.  Just to see him smile.  I’d tell you his name, but I can’t.

Anyway! The point of that story was to tell you that, when we got home, the girls would be wonderfully inspired.  Even at the tender ages of things like, 4, 5, 6, 7 and possibly 8, younger than that Siobhan was a baby when I first had to take her, and they were older too because, yes, they came to one teachers college class. Only one. I never did that again. God, what an awful experience that was.  But University?  They’d come home with their pictures and they’d look up at me and they’d say, “When I grow up mummy? I want to go to University like you.”  And I felt extremely proud, and extremely grateful, for my life.  I have, one of the best lives imaginable.  Did you know that?  I really do. Sometimes I think I complain, because everyone complains don’t they? They think to themselves…”If only…” And I do that too. But the truth is, internet….I am blessed.

I have a husband who indulges my eccentricities.  Who allows me to be who and what I am, and never -really- judges me.  We have our moments, just like the rest of the world, of course, but I am currently 32 years old. I have two tweenie aged children – which really, no one of my age should have…and I have children, who constantly amaze me. Whose idea of fun, is to begin a story and then give it to me, so that I can write the next few lines, until the story is finished and we all sit around squeaking and laughing at how ridiculous we are.  Who have a white board, on the fridge, that is constantly used for “write the next word” stories.  And which, each member of my family diligently writes the next word, and continues the story.  I have children, who beg to bake, who offer to make desserts, who take out the rubbish, who love music, who sing and dance and enjoy theatre, and ballet, and Opera.

I am, internet, extremely blessed. I have the most beautiful family in the world.  And every single day, they make me proud.  Every single day, I look at them and I am amazed, and floored by the fact that, I helped create this.  That I am part of something wonderful and inspiring.  I can’t wait for them to go to college.  For them to become adults.  For this to be the house that they bring their friends back to. I can’t wait to watch them shut me out while I sit here, and be who I am, and they convene in our lounge, being who they are…talking about boys and movies, and music and just growing up.

There was a time, when I was totally afraid of this. When 9/11 happened on Siobhan’s birthday, I threw a party and it was wonderful…but the night before, or several nights…I forget now, we were riveted to the tv.  We were shocked and stunned and totally horrified by what was happening in the world.  I sat there and remembered when we went up those towers. I was 12 years old.  And now they’re not there.  And I worried, so desperately, about bringing my children into a world that so very possibly could be facing, another world war.  I was devastated. Horrified, totally and utterly terrified.  But we lived, and we grew and next year…my oldest daughter will be entering high school. I’m terrified, and totally ready for her to do it.  I’m so excited, and so horribly afraid…and do you know what?  She’s ready.  She knows, she may not get into the school she wants to go to.  Although I have done my fucking damnedest – besides forcing them into Christianity – to get her in.  I have letters from the Priest AND the Principal supporting her.

Anyway…I’ve had a wine too many, Ollie is out on conference, and has been since yesterday, and I’m thoughtful. I’m pleased. I’m grateful.  I’m happy.  I’m really content with where I am right now.  I wish I was earning money, and helping to financially support this growing family of mine.  But when it really comes down to it?  I’m happy.  And they’re happy.  And we may not be the best, or the richest, or the most fantastic family in the world, but we are fucking close to it.  I have my parents and Ollie’s parents to thank, for making us the people we are.  For being there when we needed them.  For everything.  Because, truly, without the trials, the successes and the sacrifices we have come through, we’d have never been the people we are.  I’m proud of us.

Thanks…to all of you who still read me.  Who are there for me, day after day, while I struggle to become the writer I know I am.  Each of you help to shape the person I’ve become.  Each of you make a difference in my life.  I appreciate you all, for everything you are, and everything you’re willing to share.

love
Kelly xxx

Has Anybody Seen My Girl?

I consider myself pretty qualified to talk about short people. I am one you see.  I’m a short person. I have been short all my life. I’ve been in the front row in every single class photo.  Wait, that’s not true, one year I was in the second row!  That was a good year. I was small for my age, and my mother, bless her..used to make me shoes because she couldn’t find any to fit my wee baby feet.

So yes. I am a short girl. Five foot two in fact, and I have never had a problem with this.  At least, not much of a problem.  There are some things about being a short girl that do not equal goodness, but those are few and far between, they really are.

It is very, very seldom that I meet anyone who is shorter than me, and when I do, I will surreptitiously stand next to them.  It doesn’t matter if I know them or not.  I hunt them down, I will hurry through the mall to be close to them, I will follow them down supermarket aisles bright eyed and excitedly pointing to myself and eyeing whatever poor unfortunate sod that happens to be with me whilst mouthing “Look!! I AM TALLER THAN HER!”  Because, seriously, there are too few men in the world who are shorter than me.  They’re out there though, oh yes, yes they are. I have seen them!

Anyway, what I want to talk about today, is the fact that I truly believe that there are two kinds of short people in the world.  There are the over compensators (short man syndrome) who must be rude and abrasive and extremely powerful and angry in order to be taken seriously, and there are the ones who never grow up, who are often not allowed to grow up because people will forever treat them like children – the Peter Pan’s of the real world, if you will.

I, fall into the latter category. I am a little girl at heart.  I love to be taken care of, I love being the little one that people want to squeeze and help.  Because they do, internet.  People love short girls.  And you must learn to deal with this, or die of the shame.  I don’t see the point in over compensating for my shortness.  I am short.  “Hello!  Yes, I am down here and yes, I am an adult thank you, even though kids jeans fit me better in the leg than adult jeans do and yes, maybe I -do- sometimes buy kids shoes. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t think that because you’re taller than me, it gives you the right to walk straight into me.”  That, is the one thing that I truly hate about being short.  Why do people always assume it’s okay to walk into short people, like they don’t exist? I had Siobhan on my hip when she was a year old, and I had someone WALK INTO HER!  I mean…seriously??  I have grown to be one of those people who does not move.  You can walk around ME thank you very  much!  So rude.

But that, really is my only complaint.  That and concerts, or anywhere where there is a crowd, is not fun.  I always, always end up with tall people in front of me.  But, in saying that…tall people look out for me.  It’s like, the unspoken code between the exceptionally tall, and the tragically short.  We must love one another, because we understand things on a different level.  “I see you up there, and you know you see me down here!”  Tall people go “look at the cute minature person down there! OMG I want one as a pet!” and they look out for you. They just do.  And I love it.  I will never, ever grow tired of people being terribly excited by my ‘cute shortness’.

I have never been too embarrassed to ask tall people to reach something for me in the supermarkets either.  They light up – it’s true! You ask someone to reach you that can of beans on that shelf up there and they just melt. It totally makes their day.  Sometimes, I’ll climb the shelves…I will!  I kid you not.  I will climb those shelves just like I climbed the shelves of my sister’s dresser so I could touch her makeup! These ones don’t fall down on me, which is a bonus. But sometimes that’s not possible, and I must wait for a tall person to come into my aisle and I will go “um, excuse me but…could you please get me that bottle of shampoo up there?”  And they are all “awww, will you look at the wee lady!”  Do I find that exacerbating?  No. I don’t. I really don’t, and that is because, I’m a Peter Pan. I do not feel ashamed by my limitations…often.

There is a man who works in our office.  He’s about 7 foot tall, and I am not exaggerating. He really is.  He is not just tall, but big.  Like, built.  He’s like..a footballer who has stopped playing and hasn’t turned to fat, but isn’t quite the muscle house he probably was 5 years ago.  Everything about him is oversized…and I am fascinated by him.  He, much to my chargrin, never speaks to me.  He’s hilarious, and interesting and the head accountant.  He comes around to pick on Ollie sometimes – which I fully condone.  But he never speaks to me, in fact, he barely even LOOKS at me.  It is as if I don’t exist!  And I, like a ridiculous puppy cannot help but be drawn to him.  “Oh go on, just say hello, say hello!”  And he refuses.  He gives me pained smiles sometimes, and I sort of stand there dumbfounded and completely intimidated by the hugeness of him and reply with nothing but this sort of, retarded stare.  I can’t help myself internet.  I must stare at him because he does not seem real!

I asked Ollie why he wouldn’t talk to me, and Ollie’s response went a little like this: “He’s Christian.  I don’t think he really gets you.”  Is that not hilarious?  I laughed so much.  “What do you mean he’s Christian?” I said.  “Am I not Christian too?  Do Christian people look at me and go – ‘ooooh, no, that one is trouble. Satan himself wouldn’t touch her.'”  It was so wonderful.  I am tainted internet!  And Christians are wary of associating with such wickedness!

Today we had a retirement function.  And do you know what happened?  He came up and he talked to me! I’m straining my neck to look up at him and he is hunching down to talk to me and it was so hilarious and wonderful.  It was like meeting Santa Claus and sitting on his knee for the first time.  I felt like a kid again. Except, we had a normal adult conversation and he just ruined the whole unreality of himself for me.  He is now a real person and not Santa Claus at all. In fact, he is just some guy that the company paid to dress up like Santa for the Christmas Function and I have seen that his beard is not real.

Locked Out.

Even iTunes is mocking me.  That, internet, truly is the name of the song that plays just as I decide to sit down and explain to you my day.  Weep for me.

Today is Tuesday, I’m working a different week this week, because Ollie is taking Thursday and Friday off. So I thought, I’d take Monday and Friday off, and we can have a long weekend together.  This means, I’m working the three middle days this week.  Ollie goes to karate at the most disturbing hour of 5.30am on a Tuesday and a Thursday, so he was gone this morning, though I am always awake and then in and out of sleep until I have to get up.  Usually, I fall into a heavy sleep and wake up in a huge panic, and must shriek around the house getting the girls up and ready and showering and eating and all that morning stuff that I am so hopeless at being able to do on time.  This morning, I was up and ready – including having finished breakfast by 8.15am.  Oh.my.god.  Let’s have a collective gasp of disbelief right now.

Elsie arrived at 8.30am and I was virtually ready to go!  I did the last few things I needed to do, we talked a bit, I warned the girls about being on their best behaviour, because they are staying the night so she doesn’t have to come over two days in a row, kissed them, left at 8.45am with my iPod securely fastened to my head – okay in my pocket, it’s the earphones on my head, don’t be pedantic – and I’m like “god, I’m good!”  So I get to the bus stop, and it’s the closest one to home, and I’m texting Ollie going “OMG! I think I’m on time for the bus!  Feel awe for me now!”  And he, of course, felt the awe.  But no bus was coming, so I risked it, I did! I risked walking to the next stop, and..internet…I made it!  I pushed the little buttony thing and it dutifully told me that the bus I’d been waiting for, was going to arrive in 2 minutes!

Right now, I’m completely beside myself with the glee.  I mean, this hasn’t happened for months!  I’m freaking out just a little because my iPod is running extremely low on battery power and I’m not sure I will function if it dies, but..that’s okay, I’m ON TIME!  I can DEAL.  I can…

I got to work with 5 minutes to spare. I am all “are you people seeing this? Are you?  no, really..are you seeing this? I’m here! Hello??”  They weren’t all that excited, but I tell you, I was.  My day consisted of a half hour of filing, and then HOURS of folding letters into envelopes. OH MY GOD. I think I prefer the filing. At least, I did right up until I found one client whose had the unfortunate luck to marry a man with the most insanely hilarious name in the world.  The poor woman, her name was  Mrs Goldsack, and I, in my massive maturity, laughed right out loud. Goldsack? Really internet?  Tell me that’s not hilarious.

Ollie took me out for lunch, we went to a Thai restaurant and it was so delicious.  Of course, it took them my entire lunch break to cook the meal, so I had an hour instead of half an hour, and that meant I had to work half an hour longer. But I tell you what, my day? It was ace, it was so great…I didn’t even care. I went back to work and folded more letters into envelopes for another hour and a half and then I went home.  I’m on the bus, and there are the most disturbing people ever..and their children home from school, and they’re really loud and I’m starting to panic because my iPod is all “LOW BATTERY ALERT, ALERT!”  but it lasts. It so does. All the way home.

And I get off the bus, and I have this thought. It hits me…I’m all..”hang on…where are my keys?”

………………………………..

You know what’s coming, don’t you.

Elsie was at my house you see.  I didn’t -need- to lock the door, and, well. I forgot my keys, all right? I did. I left them, in the door, at home.  And I’m like “nooo, I wouldn’t do that!”  I mean, I’m almost 32 years old internet.  Surely I wouldn’t forget my keys. MY KEYS.  The keys to my house.

Apparently, I did. It’s 4pm. Ollie doesn’t get home until 6pm most days, and I am locked out. Yes. It’s true. Locked out.  So I’m texting him and going “oh noes! No keys!” And he rings me back going “what? What do you mean?” and we have this lengthy conversation about how I should go to the library and wait for him, and I realise that this would be the intelligent thing to do, because I was desperate to go to the bathroom before I left work and didn’t..but, internet…I must explain something to you.  I do not like public toilets.  It is hard enough to make myself go to the work toilets, public toilets are so -nasty-. I do not like them. And I am whining and he’s getting angry and I tell him that maybe his mother is still there, having realised, I left my keys in the door.

No such luck. I round the corner and her car is not on the side of the road.  So, maybe she left them in a pot right? No. No of course not.  I can see them, when I get home though, ON THE TABLE!  Who does that?  That’s so mean. “I saw you forgot your keys, so I thought I’d put them on the table where you can see them through the sliding doors, but can’t reach them, you silly moo!” I mean, it’s like taunting me.  They’re staring at me and I am outside, looking in, pining for the bathroom while my keys go “that’s what you get when you don’t use your adult brain!”  So I text him back and explain that there are no keys, and please, please can he come home?

He did. It took him about half an hour.  So I sat outside, feeling totally shamed and ridiculous, while my knight in sweaty armour rides up on his mountain bike with that look on his face that says “how old are you again?”

I am five. Alright? I’m five years old and I locked myself out of my own house!  Are you happy now? Are you done mocking me?  Are you?

Honestly, what is wrong with me?  Am I truly this incapable of being an adult?

Don’t be answering the rhetorical questions!

Girls, Girls, Girls.

You know, back when I was barely out of my teens and spawning the next generation of both mine and Ollie’s genes, I wanted girls. I really did.  We had an on again off again love affair with the idea of getting married. I said “no” one too many times, it just didn’t seem right, or fair to get married. Neither of us are practicing Christians, Ollie wanted a better student allowance – married couples get more than singles obviously, that was a big fat no.  Then I went to University and became raging feminist from hell, and who needs a piece of paper to tell the world you love someone?!  We certainly didn’t!  Why? What’s the point, it’s just one more way for this suffocating patriarchal society to downgrade us women and force us to be housewives, cooks, slaves! No, no, no marriage no!

Of course, that tirade was not at all what I was intending to talk about.  What I -really- meant to discuss with you all is this: I wanted girls.  I begged and pleaded and eventually yelled and cursed and cried, until Oliver agreed that at the age of..21 internet..TWENTY ONE, we should have another child.

I am you see, six and nine years younger than my siblings. Effectively, I was an only child. They grew up and I was still a baby, no one wants to hang out with the baby, although John did a really good job of keeping me entertained, when I wasn’t biting lumps out of him, or you know, screaming just to get him in trouble.  And I didn’t want my kids to be like that. I wanted two close in age, and I wanted girls.  So that one day, when maybe we might just take the plunge and get married, I’d have my own flower girls and not have to plunder someone else’s spawn to do the job.

I got them, obviously.  Although it was touch and go with Aleeya.  They were almost positive they saw a penis..but no, turns out..umbilical cord. I got my girls, and they really are girls too. Siobhan in particular. Aleeya is a girl when she wants to be, so long as being a girl means she’s allowed to burp and do armpit farts and be loud and obnoxious. Still, she will wear a dress and be cute, she loves lip gloss and perfume she is still a girl.

Siobhan turned 12 midweek, you can’t really do much with that, she had Shepherd’s Pie for dinner..bet your arse that’s what she asked for! I know!!  Adorable!  And it was all nice and quiet and lovely. A month or so ago, Aleeya’s BFF’s mother had asked me if we’d have her daughter for the night. She’s had Aleeya twice now, so you know, I can’t say no.  And then I figure, it’s Siobhan’s birthday, she should have a friend too.  So, both BFF’s are here for the night. Siobhan’s is a sweet thing with the most delicious manners you’ve ever seen. Aleeya’s is a horror. I can see why they like each other so much.  The noise has been deafening, the conversation hilarious.  Siobhan’s BFF has silly ditties, one of them goes like this “If I were a dog and you were a flower, I’d lift my leg and give you a shower.”  It’s been giggle-worthy all evening.

Aleeya’s BFF decides Aleeya is telling it to me all.wrong.  She gets up and says “No, it’s: I’d cock my leg and give you a shower”  Siobhan’s BFF is mortified! She squealed in horror and the look on her face had me in stitches. I couldn’t stop.  I was rolling on the floor laughing, oh my god.  They’re so vile.  Girls, are vile.  Siobhan goes “Mummy’s amused.”  And this makes me laugh even more. Of course I’m amused! Of course!  It was so innocent and so perfectly used, and older friend totally -gets- the double meaning and the hilarity is too good to pass up. I think I was supposed to be mortified too. I need to work on my mortification techniques.

I really love girls. They’re such intensely interesting beings. They’re deliciously naughty and they don’t smell like feet – often.  Although, it’s 10pm, they’ve been in bed for half an hour and I can still hear them tittering. I can only imagine the vulgarity.  “Siobhan likes Joe!” her BFF admits, “I DO NOT!” Siobhan retorts in horror, “anyway you love someone..” (I forget his name) and much arguing ensues.  “Well last term you did!” God, do you remember when a term of school felt like a lifetime?  All I can think is, please God don’t let Joe be the picture gifting, noting sharing hooligan Angus was.

Roll on those teenage years.  *Weeps*

Don’t You Look To Daddy’s Little Angel!

It’s Father’s Day today, time to remember everything that makes your father better than everyone else’s.  To celebrate the fact he is half the reason you’re alive today and half the reason you are who you are.

When you’re growing up, you take your parents for granted. At least, I did.  They were there and they stopped me from doing things I wanted to do, they punished me when I did things I wasn’t supposed to do, and they always seemed so completely against me, like they didn’t understand, they’d never been teenagers, they didn’t know what it was like. And then I had children of my own, and I realised what sort of thankless, incredibly selfless, HARD job it is.  It is so hard to be a parent. You are teacher, parent, disciplinarian, doctor, comforter..you are, in effect a child’s everything.

I am the apple of my father’s eye, and I am not afraid to admit it.  I was, and still am Daddy’s little angel. I was so used to hearing myself called this, it is what I called myself.  “Don’t you look to Daddy’s little angel!” I would exclaim whenever anybody did anything I did not like. I cannot remember a time where I was not on his knee, listening to his voice, falling asleep while he rubbed my head.  In fact, that is still my biggest weakness.  It is the one thing that, no matter how tired or angry I am, will calm me down.

Anyway, let me introduce you to my father. My father, as I know him. This is for you my daddy, on Father’s Day, because I am a hopeless daughter and I know I promised it for your birthday, but that came and went, and you know, I realise that my presence was present enough. The late night drinking and Indian food was better than any posting, because you got to be with me!  Joy of Joys, Tinsel of Your Universe, Daddy’s Precious Little Angel.

My father is Irish, he has a sense of humour that scares people. No one is ever sure if he’s making a joke, or making fun of them.  Not so long ago, he began a writing course, and has continued to blow me away with his amazing stories and poems.  He has a real gift for it, and I never really realised this before.  Dad isn’t the sort of man who will talk openly about himself.  At least, he never did with us.  I don’t recall hearing very  much about his childhood at all, nor what it was like for him growing up.  He was always, a very closed book. Lately, he and I have become friends.  We have reached that age where you stop being father/daughter and become friends. You understand one another, you share things with each other, and you enjoy the time you get to talk and share and drink with each other.

I have learned a lot about him in the last few years, things I’d never have imagined.  We went to Ireland together when Grandma was sick.  I got to see him amongst the people he grew up with. I got to watch a small piece of the interactions he had with his mother, and his siblings.  I got to see Ireland through his eyes, we spent time together and did not judge one another, but were just there together, existing and understanding, and relating.  We listened to one another and I grew to realise that our similiarities are the reason we found it so difficult to understand each other while I was growing up.

Being a parent, an adult, and being responsible for the life of someone else, is not an easy job, in fact, it’s incredibly difficult. You bring a piece of yourself, and someone else into the world and you love this person with all your heart, and then they begin to become their own little people, they take on parts of you, parts of their other parent, and they fuse into something that is both them, and themselves, they argue with you, they know more than you do, they are willful and disobedient and they never turn out the way you’d imagined they would, but in the end, you’re still there for them, you still tell them it’s going to be okay, and that the choices they have made, are the right ones. Even if you know they’re not.

So, my daddyboy, here’s to you, on Father’s Day, the year you wilfully turned 60 without asking my permission.  Thanks for the advice, for giving me sound options, for making me believe in myself, for grounding me when I loose my way, for believing in me, even though sometimes I’m sure you still don’t.  Thank you for the head rubs and standing in my doorway while I pretended to sleep waiting for me to dissolve into a fit of giggles before you said goodnight one last time. Thanks for putting up with me when I became rancid and completely unbearable to live with.  No matter how old I get, I will always be Daddy’s Little Angel, and I will alway seem to never be listening, but I take everything you say to heart, and I remember every word, when I need to hear it the most.

I love you.
Your most beautiful, wondrously talented and amazing child ever
Kelly
xxx

How To Make Your Husband Angry Just By Waking Up.

Go to bed at 2am in the morning.

Geez, you’d think I’d cut the guys throat or something!  Do you have any idea what it’s like to have someone stand over you when you’re in bed and talk to you like you’re 5 years old?  I could tell you, but it wouldn’t be very friendly at all.

Suffice to say, I’m a grown woman aren’t I?  Surely I can go to bed whenever I bloody well want. So EXA EXA and you better have a smile on your face when you walk in the door or you can cook your own bloody dinner!!!

Unlucky For Some.

I met Ollie when I was sixteen years old. He was in my class at school. We did a Business Studies class together. He was the accountant, I was the secretary – a match made in heaven right from the start don’t you think? Unfortunately, I was going out with a right dork at the time, a big, scary dork at that. Ollie was lithe, Asian and beautiful. He was growing his hair long at the time, and he was so deliciously shy. I used to sit on his desk and tease him, and he would hide under his hair and giggle. It was so adorable. I knew I wanted him from that very moment.

It took me two years to finally get rid of the boyfriend I was already seeing at the time. By this time, I had almost forgotten about that beautiful shy boy. He’d changed schools (we both went to single sex schools) and I didn’t see him at all during our final year of high school. I quit school halfway through the year and did an outdoors course run by the local council. It was so much fun, we sea kayaked, tramped, went white water rafting, we spent about 4 months together, every day from 9am – 5pm and we really grew close. During this time, I met Justin. One day, on a ride home from some place we’d been doing something crazy at, I put on a mix tape I’d made, “Ship of Fools” by Erasure came on and Justin’s face just lit up. “I know this song!” He announced excitedly – Erasure weren’t popular OR known that well at the time, and he said “I only know one other person who would listen to this music.”

And that was it. Some months later, I had found work in a law firm. I went straight from the course into the job, and everyone was so proud that I got a job – that was after all, the whole point of the course. I was running around town and bumped into Justin and..interestingly enough Ollie. We looked at each other and I couldn’t stop, because I was working so I said hi to Justin and continued on my way. I heard Justin laughing as I left and a few days later he told me that Ollie had asked him if I was me, and he just knew. He eventually hooked us up together, we were 18 years old.

Ollie’s hair had grown out by this stage, it was long and beautiful and always smelled delicious. He was so gorgeous that I could not resist him. Left to right – Brent, Ollie, Justin and Brent’s friend whose name escapes me. This is at Brent’s parents house, we partied all the time. I was generally the only girl, and I cannot tell you how much fun I had with these boys. They were always so willing to pose and be stupid for me. This is a typical night for us. What I love the most about this photo is Ollie’s look at Brent, who obviously was not playing the game by showing his abs. These guys were so adorable.

Ollie was at University this year. He had just had his 18th birthday and we used to go out all the time. We’d go to a bar in the city (the drinking age was 20, by the way..I had a fake ID, I’m not sure how Ollie ever got in..sometimes we’d go in in a big loud group so that the bouncers did not notice the younger looking ones). We’d go to this bar for the covers band Joe 90, who were so freaking cool, they placed the best music.

Ollie and alcohol have always been a really bad mix. He gets drunk on the smell of it and turns bright red. But look at him. Look at the complete adoration on his face. I love this photo simply because of the way he has crushed me to him and looks like he might just die from the pleasure of being so close. He held me like this, all the time.

During this year, he had a University Ball which he invited me to. I couldn’t miss work, and was working about 3 jobs at the time, so I had to go down for just the weekend. It was the first time I’d travelled anywhere alone. I took a bus and when I arrived he took me back to the dorm he was staying in. He had a room by himself which was rare, particularly because it was a double room. I remember going to the toilet and coming back to find two guys sitting on his bed with the most expectant and hilarious looks on their faces. It was so funny and so embarrassing I wasn’t sure what to do. Getting dressed for the ball with a bunch of girls I didn’t know was frightening. When I went back to his room he said to his friend “Isn’t she gorgeous?” and his friend, Stephen – whom I miss terribly said “Yes she is mate. She’s beautiful.” I have never been so flattered in all my life. Although I don’t look particularly beautiful in this photo at all! This was the beginning of Ollie’s addiction with taking my photo, by the end of the weekend, I was so sick to death of photos that I wanted to smack him.

There are so many photos that I want to share with you all, it’s really hard to sit and choose which ones will work and which ones won’t. At the end of this year, he came home for the Christmas break. We partied loads, my sister went away and I looked after her house. I lost my grandfather…we created life. I remember being in Ollie’s shed (that’s where he lived when he came home) and listening to “Lightening Crashes” by Live for the first time. I cried, because I realised in that moment, that I wouldn’t see my Grandad alive again. I was right. Also, I knew I was pregnant. But I pushed it to the back of my mind, because…I had only just turned 19 years old. These things don’t happen when you are 19, they just don’t. You’re invincible and completely safe from all those real life things. Apparently I wasn’t.

I moved to Dunedin that year, I was going to do my final year of high school in preparation for University. Ollie came with me to help me settle in. I became incredibly sick, we finally bit the bullet and bought a pregnancy test. It took us ages hovering around in the chemist to get the nerve to do it. I did it soon after in a public toilet. As soon as I peed on it, it changed. I was so nervous, and so afraid that all I could do was laugh. He didn’t know what that meant..we talked about what to do, I couldn’t abort..I just couldn’t, and told him so. We sat in a park, stunned and completely unsure what to do. Ollie was still only 18 years old. He had never had a girlfriend other than me. He chose to stay.

They put me in hospital for severe dehydration. My veins had collapsed and they couldn’t find one to put the needle in to help rehydrate my body. I lost a lot of weight and spent 3 days letting them put fluids into my body again and get me eating again. I had the most wonderful nurse. She asked me if my parents knew and I cried. I told her no, and that I didn’t want to tell them. She told me I had to, and when I was ready, she would bring me a phone. The conversation was awful. I still remember you dad, and your sarcasm. I also remember the both of you telling me to come home. I had been expecting to be disowned, it was so nice to hear them want me back. Ollie came with me. He faced up to my parents after impregnating their youngest daughter. He was 18, don’t forget. My father still talks about how proud of him he was. It was a very brave thing to do, if you know my father, you’ll know why.

Ollie came up to see me every chance he got. I spent my pregnancy depressed and in tears. I was terrified of what was going to happen. I had no idea how to look after myself and now I was going to be the mother of a child. It was frightening. He soothed me with very few words. He would just hold me, or spend hours with me on the phone, just listening to me talk..he’d tell me he loved me and that would be enough. I missed him so much during this time. But he came up as often as he possibly could and always made sure that we did stuff together.

You can’t tell, but I am heavily pregnant here.

And here.

And here. Ollie spent his life loving me…he did everything to ensure I knew how much he loved me. He touched me all the time, he held me and kissed my tears away. He was everything anyone could ever want, and so incredibly beautiful on top of it. His hair became a problem for him however, and he began to be mistaken for a girl. He was delicate and slender and we would walk into shops together and the sales assistants would ask if they could help us girls. My sister in laws wedding celebrant asked my sister at her wedding, how I had a child when I was a lesbian. I loved it, it was hilarious, but it started to wear Ollie down.

He lived in a flat this year with some of his male friends from University. It was a real boys flat, they were all Engineering students bar Ollie. This was my first visit. I was still pregnant I believe. I went down after Siobhan was born too. This is around the time that Ollie decided it was time to cut his hair. The hairdresser, like all hairdressers refused to cut it all off, she said it would be too much of a shock for him and cut it shoulder length instead.

This is Ollie’s “I got your daughter pregnant!” look as he so affectionately calls it. I don’t have a lot of photos of him with his hair this length. It lasted maybe 6 months before he got the whole lot taken completely short. It was a huge shock for me at first, I loved his hair. He used to play bass guitar and hide behind it, it was beautiful.

And it has been varying ranges of short ever since. People don’t confuse him for a girl anymore, but they do confuse him for much much younger than her really is. Just the other night he was carded when he went to the supermarket for some wine. He said the lady gasped when she saw how old he was. The drinking age here is now 18, Ollie just turned 31. He is very lucky damnit!

The years have gone so fast since these days…that baby there, she’s turning 12 this year. On Tuesday, Ollie and I will be celebrating our 13th year together, and our second wedding anniversary. I hate to be a sappy romantic, but the truth is, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this man means to me. He is my very life. The person who grounds me, who picks me up when I fall, and I fall a lot. He has always been there, always loved me, and never ever judged me for anything I have, or have not done. I could not ask for a life partner better or more gorgeous than he is. Just look at him. He really is one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. And do you know what makes it even better? He really, doesn’t see it.

This is the male part of the family I married into.

Thirteen years on the 15th of this month, an unlucky number for some. For me, it’s just another year that I can look back on and know just how incredibly blessed I have been to have had him share with me. Here’s to so many more to come.

Thank you for believing in me Oliver. I love you more than I ever really let on..homo. <3

Hear this!

I have so much to say, and not enough time to say it, for I’m going to bed shortly, to watch Lost, and read my book, while the husband snores beside me, as only the husband can.

Today, I had two phone calls. Actually, I had more than this, it was a busy phone day here, apparently after Easter, I am as popular as I was during Easter, and let me tell you, I was popular – more on this later, I’d tell you now, but I am already getting side-tracked with possible side-stories! The phone calls were from my dance teacher who has a restaurant gig that she has asked me to do along with two other dancers. The gig is for Monday and Tuesday nights, starting in about 3 weeks, we will roster on so each of us gets to dance every third time, apparently it is for 15-20 minutes and we get paid a decent slab of cash I must say. Oh, joy! This one I like the thought of much more. We are all meeting to check out the restaurant on Thursday afternoon.

The second phone call was from the man who runs the one to one tutoring program. He is coming around here on Friday afternoon to have me sign a contract. So, apparently, I have just secured myself two part time jobs, which pay pretty good money I have to say.

Ollie bought himself a new phone, it arrived this morning at 8am. Of course, today is a holiday for the girls, and I was blissfully asleep, and rudely awoken. Then I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not. Apparently, I wasn’t. But I got up and there was no one there, so I was almost sure I had been dreaming after all. Anyway, the girls checked the mail and I had a letter. The letter was from the prison school. It wasn’t really a letter, but a job description. Isn’t that weird? No letter, just a description of what sort of things the teacher they are looking for needs to have. I will ring them tomorrow and see if I can figure out why exactly they have sent me a job description, but no letter explaining why.

Easter weekend was great, Friday, you’ve seen the photos of. Saturday I spent in my pjs, embarrassingly caught out by my in laws at 1pm when I’m running around the front yard looking like a manky old cat lady in pink pawprinted pj bottoms and an oversized teeshirt..my brother in law winds down the window and he says “nice pyjamas!” And I die a little on the inside.

That night, I showered and dressed nicely and went to The Court Theatre with the girl I used to work with, who is going to Thailand for a month and then England – as she so delightedly tells me..forever! She got free tickets, and we went to see a play call “Milkwood”. It was so awesome, very lyrical and delicious. David McPhail was in it and this man who I could have sworn was Colin Firth – yes, you remember Mr Darcy. I was staring at him going “that is so Mr Darcy! Isn’t that Mr Darcy?” And she was all.. “is it? no. Surely not..” It turns out, it wasn’t Mr Darcy at all, but OMG internet, it was his doppelgänger, that’s for sure. It sounded and looked just like him. Okay, him if he was bald…but, I promise, it did.

On Sunday not much happened at all. I played on the computer, Ollie did some gardening – I know, he is ‘teh’ precious. And then we went to my best friends for dinner, where we were as always, over fed and over amused. I haven’t seen some of her kids for a few months, and I swear, they’re completely different. One of them is almost a man. Yes in only a few months! Disgusting!! He was beautiful and his voice has dropped, and he was so tall that it scared me. I said to her “he is beautiful!” and she said “yes, people say he looks like Prince William” He did a bit, but much prettier. Really. On the way home I said “Did you see how pretty he is?” And Ollie said “I know! And such good skin!” I love that man.

The other was looking way more grown up than he should be as well, and they fell around on each other, bashing and hurting and fighting and amusing me to no end. I have missed those joyously noisy dinners at her house. I forget how much I love her crazy kids. I really do. I told her that when she stopped by on Monday to get a book to read because the library was closed – I know right? I am the library when the library is closed. And she said “yes, they’re okay so long as they’re not at your house right?” I don’t mind them at my house, they scare me with their roughness with my cats, and they cling tenaciously to her which annoys me to death (they are, 12, 12, 13 and 14 respectively) but aside from that, they’re hilarious.

On Monday we went for another walk with the inlaws, had chicken for lunch, played playstation games and then I died on the bed with a book. Ollie cooked dinner and it was most delicious. We went to bed early, I was exhausted. I think it’s the heat and the walking. My blisters are bursted and unhappy…and I just could not deal with any more anything. I slept really well though, and thus today, when all the phone calls and missed courier pick ups ensued. And we had dinner out at a Chinese restaurant where I ate too much and Ollie complained that there wasn’t enough, and my 16 year old niece amused me with her 16 year oldness. Sometimes she seems so young, and then other times she seems so much older than she is, I <3 her, even though she was wicked and bad at the school I was teaching at.

Hey, I did alright eh? For someone who did not think they had much time for talking?