Category Archives: friendship

Numbers

Are weird things. Mine keeps changing and I keep changing with it. I just had my 40th and I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means. To me, and to people around me, and how we all have such different ideas on life, and who we are and what impact we want to have on the world.

I’ve really and truly reached and accepted the fact that I am now middle aged. The reality is that most of us live until we’re in our 80’s. 90’s if we’re lucky..some of us may even see a hundred, and hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to still be inside our own brains when that happens.

Growing older has always been a challenging concept for me. There have been many points in my life where I truly thought I wouldn’t make it past certain ages. I have struggled with depression for most of my life, and every year that I survived it for awhile felt like a victory. It still does, but…now it’s just easier. Now instead of wondering if I’ll make it, I’m able to realise that I have, and I like my days, I like my life, I like where I live. I like living.

I’ve lived a life, and it’s one I’m mostly proud of. There are definitely things that I’m super not proud of, but I know I’m not alone in that, so I’ve learned to let them go.

So what have I learned in my 40 years on this planet? Shit, so much. And I know that there’s still so much left to learn.

I’ve learned that people are just people. They’re all messed up and scared and fighting their own battles. Some are more successful than others, some understand things better and are built for things others find really hard to deal with. But everyone has a history, a past that makes them who they are, and a life that’s filled with love, and loss, successes and failures. Because all of us? We all have hopes and dreams.

I’ve learned that having friends in all age brackets is really important. Everyone has something to teach you. Even the people who waste your time. It’s definitely easier to pick these people out as you get older.

I’ve learned that trying new things and proving people wrong is still pretty much the best feeling in the world. Every time someone said I couldn’t, I did. And maybe I didn’t do it amazingly, or stick with it, but I still did it. Trying is really important. Failure happens.

 

You know what, I could go on and write a fucking novel and bore you all to tears, or I could just tell you that getting older is a blessing. I love myself more now than I ever have. I am so proud of who I am, as a 40 year old woman.  And in the words of the magnificent Roald Dahl “Never grow up, always down!”

Because this shit? It goes really fast. And don’t believe what anyone tells you you should be. At ANY age. All you ever have to be, is yourself. People can like you, or they can not. And exa fuckin’ exa to those guys. You don’t need them anyway. Here’s a picture of me being a responsible 40 year old woman.

40bday

40 is amazing you guys. Roll on the next 10 years. And the next, and the next… 🙂

Special thanks to these two amazing human beings for making all my dreams come true. hehe <3

 

too long

I feel like people might have expected a 3 year quake memorial post. I didn’t write one, not because I haven’t been thinking about this day, or remembering what happened, I just sort of didn’t.

Ollie spent the day with Siobhan, and I spent the day, and the evening at the Fringe Festival with wonderful friends, who filled the night with amazing food, circus acts, friendship and hilariousness. It was lovely and eventful.

I shared my story with them over hot chocolate and dessert, and I guess that’s why I didn’t really think to share it here.

It was so wonderful to have so much support and love from friends and family the world over, and we definitely appreciate it. It’s also so wonderful to be here, amongst friends and family in a city that offers us so much. Including dreadful heat and horrible bugs. But you know, that is really nothing in the scheme of things.

This is a great city and we love this country. It feels like home – until I open my mouth and the Australians look at me puzzled because they don’t understand a world I’m saying.

Such is life. It’s hardly their fault they don’t know how to speak proper English. 😉

To This Day

phillip

 

When I was little, we moved into a house in a newly developed neighbourhood. It was just an average neighbourhood with some state built houses and some private built houses. I guess you would say that it was the lower side of the middle class range. Every house on our street was occupied by young families. It was just one street really. Built into the side of a hill which at the time was full of empty lots and provided ample space for all of us to explore and make huts and set up boundaries where only our groups were allowed. We ran wild in the streets until well after dark, Lord of the Flies style.

There were no shortages of kids to play with. I was one of the younger kids – my siblings both 6 and 9 years older than me were in a different stage of childhood than me – not that that stopped them from letting me tag along and be part of their groups.

There is a strong hierarchy in built into childhood. A ranking of how cool people are, of who is worth playing with, and who isn’t. A solid foundation of bullying that no one really takes any real notice of at the time it’s happening, because being mean is so fun for those who are the ones being mean. They don’t really stop to think about what their meanness does to their victims, not at that age. It’s all just a game.

I had a friend growing up called Phillip. He was one of the kids who wasn’t considered cool. In fact, he and his brother were probably the two kids most picked on in our neighbourhood. We’d have ‘wars’ against neighbouring kids. It was always really serious, and I never understood it. I remember being told off by my fellow allies when I’d cross enemy lines to play with someone new. “You can’t DO that Kelly!” “You’re on OUR side, you can’t just SWAP SIDES!”

“Why not?” I’d ask and always be greeted with “because that’s not how it works.”

But I always wanted to know WHY. Why wasn’t it the way it worked? Why couldn’t we all get along? Why were people so mean to others? I never really suffered anything other than exasperation at my constant defying of the rules. My siblings protected me.

Phillip was the oldest of two boys in his family. He was a year or two younger than I was. Every one called him Shit Lip – it rhymes with Phillip, see? The things they said about him were awful. They accused him of having dropped his little brother on his head, causing his little brother’s “slowness”. I never knew if that was true or not, but I liked Phillip.

When everyone else was gone, I would go to Phillip’s house and I remember knocking on his door and being scared of his father’s reaction. I never really understood why his father would storm to the door looking as if he was going to beat the shit out of whoever was knocking on it – until quite recently. Whenever he saw me, his face would soften and he would smile and ask me if I wanted to come inside.

Phillip’s mum made the yummiest cakes. They gave me juice and fed me sweets and Phillip and I played happily together for hours.

As we grew older, the taunting still happened. I don’t know what school he ended up going to, but it wasn’t mine. I don’t know if Phillip was a victim of bullying at school as well as when he got home, but I do know that we just sort of drifted away from each other and I never really thought much about him.

I remember those days I spent with him pretty fondly though. I remember the feeling of pleasure I would get whenever I defied the rules of our war games and played with the kids we weren’t supposed to play with. I remember how hard my mum worked to make sure I didn’t join in any teasing. I don’t actually remember this photo being taken. I don’t remember Phillip coming to our house much. I know he was pretty scared to leave his property at all because of the way the hoards of kids would taunt him. Calling him Shit Lip, telling him he was the reason for his brother’s slowness. They made up cruel poems about how it happened, and I listened to it all and wondered why.

About 10 years ago, Phillip committed suicide. He’d climbed high up into a tree and hung himself. High enough that the search team never saw him. His father had been going out with them every day to try to find him – this day he happened to look up.

Every time I think of Phillip, I think of how hard things were on his parents. His mother was such a sweet and quiet woman, I never saw much of her aside from when she came to give us cakes. His father always seemed like such an angry man, but I have absolutely no doubts that he was the way he was because of how the neighbourhood kids treated his boys. I remember being told of the arguments his parents had, and now I think I understand why that was. Of course they were fighting, how could they not be?

Those stories turned to his father too. How he was such a bastard, how badly he treated his family, about the yelling people would hear coming from their house. I think about how kind he was when I came to play, and how welcoming he was. How much he loved to see my face at his door and to see me playing with his son. I think about how he must have looked when he found his son hanging from a tree at the age of about 24. Of how helpless Phillip’s parents must have felt because of a bunch of mean kids who saw weakness in their son and exploited it. Of how much pain and humiliation Phillip went through in his short life.

I wonder what sort of man he’d be now, because he was a fucking sweet boy who never complained about how the other kids treated him. He never said a word to me about it. He was always willing to play my imaginary games and keep me company. We mostly did the things I wanted to do, and he played my games without ever complaining if they were too girly or boring. He let me into his life and became an important part of mine.

I always regretted the fact that we drifted apart. Going to different schools and having different things in your life will do that I guess. It hurt so bad when I found out he had died. To have gone through such callous and horrible bullying and to only find one way out is intolerably cruel.

This one is for you Phillip. For you, and for all the other countless people out there who were and are being bullied. There are always people who love you. People who want to be your friend. People who will look past the cruel things that other people are saying and see the real you. I’m sorry it wasn’t enough.

Thank you Shane Koyczan for being such an incredible voice for those kids who don’t have one of their own. x

Weight For Me…

So I got talking tonight, like I do most nights…when I’m tired of trying to plant cyber vegetables in my facebook farm town farm, with Lori. I probably shouldn’t tell people that Lori sneaks around farm town in the middle of the night and that, perhaps, I’ve started to FARMTOWN STALKZ her. But I have! Me and my ever changing little avatar whom I change almost as often as I change my farm, run through everyone’s farms until we eventually come to Lori’s.  You see, you get points for raking, or watering or..whatever else you do that I don’t actually pay any attention to, because all I’m truly interested in is levelling up so that I can BUY MOAR STUF! Incidentally, I can totally plant pumpkins now, and I’m so close to my first mansion that I can almost taste it!  I know. You’re pondering our friendship and squirming uncomfortably in your seats and going “Kelly who? No..ah hahaha ha haaa…I don’t know a Kelly…”

We got talking, anyway, which is what we do, and we stand there, for hours talking to each other in a strange little cartoon setting, and sometimes gaining the ire of my husband, like last night, when Lori was actually pretending to be Matt.  “WHO IS THAT?!?!”  Oliver boomed over my shoulder, pointing at the little brown haired cartoon boy standing much too close to my little redhaired one. You should know, Lori planted him right behind me and it looked wonderfully naughty – if you’re into cartoons. And we laughed and laughed at my possessive husband who was appalled that I might have just spent the last hour talking to A CARTOON MAN!  It was brilliant!  No really.

So tonight we’re talking about weight and things and I’m trying to explain that I’ve lost all this weight, and that it’s really not a clever way to loose weight, and she’s telling me, that I should write a weightloss book.  I think, people wouldn’t really like my weightloss program, but I figured, I’d write a blog post about it.  I like to call it – iDiet.  And basically, this is what you do.  I’ll do it step by step.  It’s really quite simple.

  1. Get up at some ridiculous hour, depending on whether it’s school holidays or not and ensure your children are both warm and fed.
  2. Boil jug and finish making the coffee your husband has left for you. – He does! Every morning. I’m spoiled. I know.
  3. Make toast. – Okay, this step is really important. Because what you have on your toast can really  make or break you.  Actually, I’m lying.  I have two pieces of toast, and I go through stages of what I like. Usually, it’s peanut butter and sometimes, peanut butter and banana. I’m having a moment.  Sometimes it’s tomato with salt and pepper…I’m totally having another moment. Sometimes it’s jam, sometimes it’s nutella, sometimes it’s Kaya. Do you know what Kaya is? Ollie introduced me to it a number of years ago.  It is internet, heaven in an earthly form. It’s some sort of egg and coconut spready thing that Malaysians eat and I seriously could live on it.  It’s not overly sweet either…just really quite possibly, the most perfect spread in the world. I also quite like marmalade. That’s very British of me isn’t it? Hurrah!
  4. Adhere yourself to your computer…and music. Hence the dietary name of iDiet.
  5. This is where it gets a little tricky. You see, I’m not and have never been a particularly lunchy sort of person. Oh, I should mention that sometimes I eat cereal. That’s important. I think. In particular, since I’ve had braces, I’ve had this huge love for hot weetbix with all bran. I totally douse it in boiling water, mix it up and add milk and sugar and it’s like fast porridge but without the oats. I love it. Shut up. We’re supposed to be talking about lunch. I need a new point now.
  6. Right, so – I have never been a particularly lunchy sort of person. And while you’re running around the house, tidying up, doing laundry, showering,  and bringing in wood for the fire and that’s really -all- you’re doing, you’re not using up a whole lot of energy.  So, I’m not hungry. And then, when I am hungry, my body, which is a bad evil thing and is totally against me goes “uh, food now. Hungry! NEED SWEET! NOW!!!!”  And so I may eat chocolate.  It’s true. I eat between 6 and 12 squares of chocolate, and sometimes one of those tiny little lunchbox chip things. And maybe a mandarin or three.
  7. Then, you play on your computer, you laugh a whole lot because man, you totally have some reeeeally amusing friends and you drink tea like it’s going out of fashion.  I’d like to mention, my tea has sugar, but sometimes not milk. I have found that no milk in tea is actually reeeeally nice. Like REALLY! It’s delicious! But I haven’t completely trained myself out of the no milk entirely, so I drink less tea without milk than with it. And I’m drinking it with milk, wishing it didn’t have milk in it. I’d also like to state that, laughter isn’t just great medicine, it’s also a fantastic way to loose weight. It’s true! If you laugh long and hard enough, your tummy aches, have you noticed? My tummy is looking hot right now. It’s the laughter. I’m positive.
  8. So your day passes, and your house is tidy, and your kids are fed and entertained.  By this stage, you’re doing whatever you’re doing, going to the movies, wandering through the mall, I don’t know. I had plans this holidays, and the kids both got sick, so we stayed home more than went out, which kind of sucked..but what can you do? I didn’t get sick, by the way. I KNOW! And then, eventually, your husband gets home.
  9. And your body is going “HEY! That sugar high we were having?  Yeah well it’s over…crashing now.  FEED ME!” So you cook dinner, and you eat it, and then you drink huge amounts of water, because your body is all “thirsty now. Thirsty now.  Thirsty now.” Even though you’ve been drinking bucket loads of tea.
  10. Then you have a milo before bed, or I don’t know, whatever hot chocolatey milky drink you like. I like milo.
  11. Finally, sex.  I’m private enough not to tell you how often – besides, I don’t want to scar family members with details…and that’s really it!  That’s it! Do you want to know how much I’ve lost?

About 7kgs.  That’s uh..15lbs.

Of course, I realise that this is a very short term sort of diet (with the exception of step number 11) – I have 3kgs (6lbs) to go before I’m at the weight I’ve been trying to get to for the last..oh, 10 years?  Next week, once they’re back at school? I’m going for weekly walks again with my mother in law, and partaking in both a dance class, and some form of aerobic weight sort of training, because I’m lacking a lot of muscle tone. And this of course, will increase my appetite again, and I’ll be eating good things. I promise.

Don’t Let The Man Get You Down

Internet! I am a bad, horrible blogger, it’s true. I actually have some very interesting things to say, but I’m always a little on the nervous side when it comes to posting them up for all the world to see. But maybe I’ll rework that post I wrote and put it up for you to read, maybe it will spark some interest and people might comment again. How I miss your comments. They are the spice of my life, you know. They make me most happy. They keep me writing!  When you stop commenting, I stop being interested!  So there, it’s YOUR OWN FAULT I am neglectful of my blog.

So, I never did get my thirty heroes done, and it’s almost the end of June already. Can you believe there’s only one week and four days until it’s July? That’s..7 months into 2009 all ready!  NUTS!

I thought, instead of burning out trying to blog huge and inspiring posts about all my heroes, I’d give you one post, with twenty five people who have influenced my life in some way.  I’ve already done five posts, so I only have 25 people to go. I’m going to do it all right now, and get it over with.  Are you excited?  You should be.  I haven’t even thought about who these 25 people are, and they will be put in no particular order. I’m not very orderly you see, it’s best to just write I feel.  Okay, here goes nothing. *L*

Literary Heroes
Janet Frame.
I wrote a post about her once before, but I can’t find it now. She is one of the most amazing NZ writers ever. She came through so many things that are so very similiar to things I have faced, and she made it. Her writing is deeply personal and maudlin, and represents the NZ way of life beautifully. She focussed on the lower classes, on hardship and family and her work is a huge inspiration to me.

J K Baxter.
What can you say about J K Baxter? He’s possibly one of the most brilliant poets of all time. He wrote intensely profound poems as a child, and an adult. His life is fascinatingly bizarre and he is one poet, that I can always read and love.

Leonard Cohen.
Whatever people say about Leonard Cohen’s music, the man is and always will be, a literary genius. His poems are some of the most influential poems I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.  He wrote an amazing book too. I love him. I love his deep voice, I love the way he’s changed over the decades, I love his philosophy and his mind. He’s amazing.

Salman Rushdie.
This man changed my life. His writing is so beautiful, so full of depth and intricacies and Indian political failures…he is so incredibly inspiring and possibly, one of the most intelligent men on earth. I love him.

Stephen King.
I started reading him when I was about 12, and continued to read and collect his books until I was about 20. He knows his genre inside out, and is a remarkably influential writer because he -always- sells. It doesn’t matter how many books he writes, or what you might think of them, they still sell thousands.  Stephen King has mastered the art of writing a bestseller, and while I don’t read his books anymore, he’s my hero for that reason.

 

Dance Heroes.
Jude.
Jude was my first belly dance teacher and still remains a very influential person in my life. I respect her greatly. She taught me for eight years and the grounding I have in folkoric dance and the understanding of classical Eygptian and North African belly dance comes from her. She gave me my first chances at performing for an audience, and paid performance, and while I no longer take her classes, her support and her deep knowledge of Middle Eastern dance still puts her right up there in my heroes list.

Rachel Brice.
Rachel Brice is amazing. She’s one of the strongest and muscular dancers I’ve ever seen. Watching her dance inspired me to learn Tribal bellydance, which I love. I love the lack of choreography, the sychronised movements, the costuming, the music.  It’s a very beautiful dance form. I don’t learn it anymore either, but I still do love to watch it performed. Rachel’s dance style blows my mind. She’s awesome.

Gendi.
Anyone in New Zealand who didn’t manage to take a few of Gendi’s classes really missed out. She started the school I’m currently dancing with, and was my first Tribal and Orientale teacher. I came in, just as she went out unfortunately, but I knew her for years before I took classes with her.  Watching her dance was awe inspiring. Being in her class was too. Love her.

Yurie.
I’ve danced in Yurie’s classes on and off for a few years now, and her choreographies are always incredible, beautiful, and challenging. Yurie’s a great teacher, she’s very supportive and encouraging and very, VERY precise.  Her dance style is absolutely stunning. She’s elegant and beautiful and if I could dance like her, and make it look as pretty and effortless as she does? I’d die a happy woman.

Randa Kamel.
She’s my new hero. I just love her! I love her dance style, her energy, her passion.  She’s just amazing to watch. She’s very influential at the moment, and a lot of people are learning and adopting her style, which is great, because it’s gorgeous, and being given the opportunity to learn it, is fantastic.

 

Family Heroes.
Mum.
I think everyone considers their mother a hero in some respect, don’t they? Mine certainly is. For many reasons, but mostly because no matter what happens, she always bounces back. She takes control of her life and she lives it. I think everyone can learn from that. Everytime she’s been stepped on, she comes back stronger. I love you.

Dad.
My dad is an amazing man. He’s one of the deepest thinkers I know. Having conversation with him, always leaves you thinking and analysing, and coming up with your own ideas. He’s my biggest supporter, we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but he’s always been there for me. He’s given me some of the best advice I could ever hope for, and he supports me, even when he thinks I’m wrong.

John.
My brother is an amazing man. He’s so terribly New Zealand blokish, just like my Grandfather was. John always seems like a hard ass, but if you sit down and talk to him, he always listens to what you have to say. He’s turned into an amazing father and husband, he does so much for his family. He’s been working since he was a kid, and his work ethic puts me to shame – which isn’t hard. John is one of those people you can always count on if you need help with something. He’s my hero, because he’s mastered the art of being an amazing provider, father and stable presence in everyone’s lives.

Aunty Lee.
Like my brother, Aunty Lee is one of those people you know you can count on. She’s been there for us, in whatever form she could be, since she came back from Australia when I was like, five years old? She’s the life and soul of the party and you are guaranteed a good time if you’re with her. She’s very non-judgemental and supportive. She’s my hero because, she opens up when I ask her things, she never judges me, and she was there when we needed her.

Mrs. Gear.
Okay, she wasn’t really family..at least, not related family, but she will always be family to me. Mrs. Gear was the heart and soul of our neighbourhood. She took in all the kids and her house was never empty.  She’d feed you if you were hungry, or just let you stay there and watch tv if that’s all you wanted to do. I never saw her out of the kitchen, I never saw her turn anyone away, and she used to change my pants when I was small. She’s my hero for certain. I don’t know how she ever put up with us, but she did.

Personal Heroes.

Anna & Erika.
Ha! Just as you find my blog.  I can’t believe you thought I’d forgotten about you. Impossible! I’m putting you both together, and still counting you as two heroes, since you are both individuals after all, but the reason you’re my heroes come down to the same thing really. You were both such influential friends in my life. Right when I truly needed friends like you, who understood me, and the things I was going through. You guys helped shape me into the person I am today. Without you in my life, I’m not sure I would have made it through those dark years. And then, with your own hardships, the both of you turned into wonderful women whom I’m still extremely proud to know, even if it’s at a distance.

Mary Dawn.
What can I tell you about Mary Dawn? Aside from the fact she was waiting for her hero post? Here it is damnit! *L* She’s really amazing. She’s one of the most interesting women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting online. I still remember the first debate we got into, about Memoirs of a Geisha, when I was disappointed by the use of a chinese actress and she was not.  It got pretty heated from what I remember, and after that, I was kind of hooked. Our friendship built pretty slowly, over time and hours of conversation and graphic making. She’s my hero because she’s one of those people who has faced serious hardship and won. Even though she doesn’t think so. She never sugarcoats anything, she’s always deadly honest, and you can’t ask for anything more than that in a friend.

Rachel.
Rachel already knows why she’s my hero. But the rest of you may not. Rachel is pretty young, and yet, I can never remember how old she is, because she’s more mature than I am most of the time. She’s serious and quiet and extremely clever. She is perhaps the best graphic designer I’ve ever seen. Her work astounds me. She was difficult to get to know, it took a long time before she began to open up, and then when she did? She blew my mind. She’s a very gifted writer and the kind of friend I know won’t ever turn her back on me. She’s proven that already. Rachel has a heart of gold, and is working her ass off right now.  She’s the girl you can tell anything to and know that she won’t judge you for it.

Kathryn.
One of my oldest online friends. She’s incredible. She’s the most honest, loyal woman you could ever hope to meet. She has stood by what she believes in, for longer than anyone else I know. She’s always there for me if I need her, she never expects my time, she’s grown and blossomed and I have to admit, she was one of the most influential people to have come into my life online. She taught me a lot about myself, and what I believe. She gave me friendship, love and companionship when I needed it.  She’s amazingly sweet and giving.  Totally my hero.

Tina.
I never call Tina, Tina!  It’s funny how online names will stick.  This woman, is another one of those extremely inflential people in my life. She and I have been friends for many years now, and she has always inspired me.  She’s truly amazing. I look up to her a lot. She has two beautiful sons now and is a high school teacher. Tina helped me rationalise things and was always there to listen when I needed to talk to someone about my teacher training. She inspired me in many ways. A lot of ways she probably has absolutely no idea were inspiring at all.  Tina makes the best of every situation, she never lets anything get the better of her.

Lori B.
I wrote a post about LoriB awhile ago, she’s right up there with all my other graphic design people. She’s such a fantastic friend. She’s always there for me when I need her, with advice and her shoulder, and anything I could ever want from her. She’s never turned me down for anything.  She has me totally hooked on silly facebook games and I love her for it.  Her graphics are astounding. She has an amazing talent. Her eye for detail is just so incredible, and I love her to death. She hasn’t had it easy, and she’s always totally honest with me. I appreciate and value honesty more than people will ever know. Lori’s definitely my hero. You should see the gorgeous kids she gave birth to.  Stunning.

Wow! That took me FOREVER!  Please don’t be offended if I missed you out. It’s not intentional, and it doesn’t mean you’re not important to me.  I just wanted to try and get a range of different kinds of heroes out there.  I love you all, and you all know it.

Dance Into The Light

I know, I know, I keep missing days. I suck, it’s true, but it’s very hard to think up 30 heroes. I’m making it a little easier on myself. And I’m still blogging, right? So this is a good thing.

I do have a lot of heroes, it’s just, I’m never entirely sure what to say about them.  Today I’m going to tell you about one of my dance heroes.  I’m not sure she’ll want me to tell you her name, although she has commented and used it. So maybe it’s okay, just incase it isn’t, I shall be stealthy and not!

Anywayyy, I met this woman 8 years ago, god, could it really be that long? I can’t believe how fast the years go by. It was my first dance teacher’s class and she was teaching an 8 week section on Milaya Leff – which is still one of my most favourite dance styles. I so love Miyala Leff, I love everything about it. It’s beautiful and cheeky and very delicious. So, there was me, and two other very new dancers, and then two tall and strikingly gorgeous dance teachers from another school.  I was about 4 months into my dancing, and absolutely intimidated as soon as they showed up. My original dance teacher is all about improvisation – which to this day, I still loathe. And we had to do so much improvisation that it just wasn’t funny. The worst thing was, these two could actually -dance- and the three of us, were totally floundering and out of our depth. I’m a very shy person – I know that’s hard to believe, but I really am – with certain things and people anyway, and having to try to dance when we had only learned the very first basic steps, was absolutely horrifying! I know I should love and embrace improv, because belly dance is supposed to be about improvising to music, but I do so love a good choreography, I just do. I like structure, it gives me hope.

So there we were, terrified newbies and wonderful teachers, and they were so very encouraging and lovely.  They really were.  I find it so hard not to talk about people without using their names, sorry Brigid.  Hee!  I’ve taken classes with Brigid for several years, on and off, because her class is Wednesday night, and when winter hits, I struggle to get out of bed, let alone out of the house.  Brigid is one of those people that lights up a room. I don’t even know if she realises she does it.  She’s really quite delicious. I’ve been getting to know her on a personal level via this internet thing for several years and I’m really touched that she lets me read her. We have had a few social occasions together, and I’ve really loved every one of them.

Why is she my hero? She’s an astounding dancer, she’s very beautiful to watch, and her smile is so engaging that you just can’t help but want to smile back. She’s an amazing teacher, extremely understanding, she pushes, but she doesn’t do it in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed. Her knowledge is out of this world, and she just gives off this amazing presence. Sometimes I’m a little intimidated still, but it’s only because I admire her.  I really do. You’re very awesome, and I promise, the intimidation is barely there anymore.

Brigid spent weeks giving me private lessons so that I could catch up with the rest of the class in a choreography they’d all learned and performed, but which I was brand new at. She was patient and encouraging, and I found it very easy to pick it up.   She is always willing to impart her knowledge, in anything.  Conversation with her is so delicious.  I admire her greatly. I’m very glad to be able to call her a friend, and I really hope that no matter where she ends up, I’ll still be able to call her one.  She has definitely enriched my life by being in it. She’s one of those people who dresses gorgeously, holds herself well and oozes confidence. She’s strong and independent, and I’m sure that sometimes she certainly doesn’t feel that way, but she definitely enters my hero list.

If I could be her when I grow up, I would.

Little Sister

that’s me! I missed yesterday, I know, I know. But I have a genuine reason. I had the most awful migraine I’ve had for a long time. It got so bad that when I went out to take the girls to dance class, I started to feel sick. “Do you want to practice our dance?” the other mother who is also my dance partner in this dance – please god don’t let her get the job she went for today or at least let it start after we’ve finished this dance!!! I know I’m awful. Anyway, “yes!” I stupidly said, because I really NEED the practice. All the spins were not clever. Leaving the studio in 5 o’clock traffic – with the bus station right opposite the studio was also not clever. By the time I got to the car, I was ashen and sweating. I had to drive to Ollie’s work and get him to take us home, where I proceeded to lock myself in the bedroom for the rest of the night. I did get up at 9.30pm to eat, and then went back.  It was horrible.  It’s hitting the opposite side of my head today, but it’s not too bad. So there!  Good enough reason? I think so.

It does mean I’m a day behind, but that’s okay. It’s only one day. Have you guessed by my title who my hero of today is?  Ya, that’s right. It’s YOU Michelle. And I’ll tell you why.

My sister has faced some very serious shit in her life. There are nine years between us, and I grew up without her. Which I am sure she’s probably quite pleased about, considering what a precocious child I was when I was little. Actually, I still am.  I’m not kidding anyone, I’m still difficult and whiny. She was 15 when circumstances saw her leave home, and I was six. I remember that day vividly. I think I always will.  Sisters are amazing creatures, even when there’s a big age difference.  I spent a lot of my preteenage summers at her place. She was a 5 hour bus ride over winding hills and then there was the country, and the beach, and her dogs and her love. She took care of me over the school holidays and I loved every single minute I got to spend with her. I learned some very important life lessions on those visits.  I’ve already talked a little about those, you might remember this post.  By the time I was 18, she’d moved back to Nelson with her oldest son, and she and I got to know each other as adults. Not that we were particularly adult back then. We definitely made up for lost time.

Michelle is probably one of the most honest people you’d ever be likely to meet. She is often extremely blunt, and she has a fuckin’ temper let me tell you.  Although, she’s gone from being the one you certainly don’t want to wake up in the morning to the one who rings me at ungodly hours of the morning like 9am…I KNOW!  And demands Ollie take the phone in to me where I am forced to blearily answer and be useful. It’s shameful!  It really is.  You can always count on my sister to tell you how it is. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and I love her for it.

When I was pregnant, she was there for me the whole way. I knew I could talk to her about absolutely anything.  And I truly mean anything, and that she’d tell me, honestly what it had been like for her. She was there when I gave birth to Siobhan. I had one foot on her, and the other on my midwife.  It’s their faces I remember seeing. Her support, her encouragement, her love was extremely obvious and I still get a little misty when I think about it.  I know I’m supposed to only be giving one reason why my heroes are my heroes, but it’s hard to stop at just one. She has been there, for the major turning points in my life. Even though we live on separate islands, I know I can count on her. She came to my wedding three years ago and I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was to have her there.

Anyway, the real reason that she’s my hero is simple. Michelle has never been anything but herself. She doesn’t bow down to anyone. She knows who she is, and she’s not afraid to be that person. Michelle follows her dreams, she doesn’t let fear hold her back – like her little sister does – she’s brave and confident, even when sometimes, I think she’s not quite as confident as she appears.  I know how rough some parts of her life have been. I have seen and listened to the things that she’s gone through, and I have seen and listened to the person she is now.  She has never doubted who she is, what she’s good at, or her beliefs. Even though sometimes her own family has.  And that, really is why I admire her so very much. She has the strength of character that I wish I could have. She’s amazing. Truly. Also, her eyes are true green. I know, I’m jealous too.

You should all know her. I love you Mimi, even though I shy away from telephones…thank GOD you’re back on MSN! I’ve missed you. You are my hero. <3

Girlfriend In A Coma

This woman, is my best friend in the entire world. I met her 12 years ago, when Ollie and I moved to Christchurch together, and I went looking for alternative, in home care for Siobhan, while I went to University.  Her sister, was the woman who ended up taking care of Siobhan until she went to school, and Aleeya until she was around four. This family, became my family away from my family. They took us in and made us their own. These girls – there are four of them, and two boys, though I really only knew and was good friends with three of the girls – invited us to bbq’s, they shared our lives, we spent a lot of time together while all our kids were young, having picnics, going to the beach, having coffee dates, looking after each other.

All three of them, at one time or another were very good friends of mine. But this one, remained close. I first met her at her sisters house, she was sitting on the couch and she said something that was so insanely honest and rude that my mouth fell open. I can’t remember what it was anymore, but it caught my attention totally.  I spent a long time changing my hair colour, turning it to dreadlocks, cutting it off..doing everything possible to it, and she was there with me all the way. She loved everything I did. She started to have a huge impact on me, every time I went to pick Siobhan up from her sister’s. Every time I was there, she made the effort to talk to me, to get -me- to talk back, and I couldn’t resist her – I am insanely careful about who I share myself with, but eventually, she became my very best friend.

Lou is the kind of woman that you can tell anything to, and even though she’ll cover her face and go “TMI TMI!” she will give you a reply, an honest, quirky and helpful reply. She’s amazing. I can’t talk about her enough. She has six children and has raised them, pretty much single handedly. She came to University with me for awhile and did amazingly. She eventually trained to be a midwife, with six children, no husband and she passed with flying colours. She has been places you wouldn’t ever want to think about. She’s seen things that most people will never even know about. And she is, the most generous, selfless woman I have ever met.

Lou would give you the shirt off her back if you asked for it, and then she’d ask you if you wanted her dress too. She is amazingly giving. She has taught me so much about myself. She stood beside me through everything that I did. Every time I fall, I know she’s there to catch me. If I need to talk, she listens, if I need to cry, she doesn’t like it at all, but she totally lets me. She was there when I was at my lowest, and she’s been there when I succeeded. She’s encouraged, and supported every decision I’ve made, no matter how ridiculous or wrong it was. Lou will never tell you that you’re wrong. She will tell you if she thinks you’re making a mistake, she will offer you the sagest advice you’re ever likely to hear from anyone, and she won’t ever tell you “I told you so” when you realise for yourself how wrong you were.

Her life has been full of hardship. There are so many things that have stood in her way, so many things that still do. And she comes out on top, every single time. Having her in my life has been a godsend. I would not give up the twelve years I’ve had with her, for anything. She’s totally my hero. Anyone who can raise six beautiful children, pass a grueling three year midwifery degree and deal with the family issues she has had over the past few months and still be strong, dependable and always there for anyone, is a true hero in my books. I look up to her, and not just because she’s way taller than I am. She’s been the rock for me during the times when the only person you really and truly need in your life, is another woman.

She is the most honest and the most real person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I always know that I’m going to get the complete truth from her if I ask a question. I know that every time we meet and have coffee together, I’m getting her, warts and all, that she will give me everything she has to give and more. I know that she will offer me advice that will change my mind. I know that she will never, ever judge me for anything I might say or do. I know I am safe, when I’m with her. I really miss her today, and she will totally kill me, if she ever finds out I posted about her!

I love you Wahna. You’re my VBFF. You truly are my hero. And thanks for The Smiths.

I’ll Write You A New Life…

Guess how much I’ve written?

I’m not telling you. I should start doing it though.  Oh, that just gave away the fact that I’ve written nothing, didn’t it!? Whoops!  Okay, so I haven’t started yet. I really need a better idea. I keep over analysing the one I have in my head right now, which is probably the wrong thing to do, because if I just started writing, it would be good, or if not good, it would at least be a start. Right?  Right.

Anyway, I’ve been doing lots of on the sidelines writing, you know, otherwise called “roleplay”. Which is terrible of me, but I can’t say no.  Even though, one of my tag lines is “Just Say No”. You’d think I’d take my own advice and say no, don’t you? But I DON’T! And do you know why?  A lot of reasons actually, most of them revolve around the fact that I seriously love creating stories with other people, and that, I have some really amazing storytellers amongst my small group of players.  It’s really nice. The last couple of weeks in particular, have been extremely fun.  I’m very lucky to be surrounded by people who care and who want to write with me.

It’s difficult to explain the concept of online roleplay to people who don’t do it. It seems like an odd thing to do, and more than that, kind of nerdy. I’m quite proud of my nerdiness though, so I will admit, roleplaying online is all kinds of nerdy. Depending on what sort of roleplay you do. Mine isn’t nerdy at all. No, really…I don’t have any nerdy characters, although, I do have a spot open…perhaps that’s what he could be! I like that idea. Wait, I guess a couple of them are slightly nerdy on the side.  I’m sidetracking myself. Do you know, I find it really difficult to talk about roleplay without feeling like a complete computer nerd?  Finethen! I give in to my inner dork.  Hello internet, my name is Kelly and I am an online roleplay nerd! My skin is white and pasty and while I don’t wear glasses, I do have braces.  OHMYGOD! i’m totally a computer nerd!

Actually, years and years ago, something happened to our computer, and Ollie was taking it to the shop we bought it from to get them to look at it, and some guy yelled out “COMPUTER NERD!” at him.  I have to point out, the guy who yelled it?  Yeah, he was in the computer store’s parking lot.  I still love that!  Can’t you see my husband with a computer under his arm, trudging towards the store and being assaulted by some huge rugby head – in the carpark going “computer nerd!”  Maybe it’s a private joke. The truth is, we’re both fairly bad, but I apparently am worse, because I sit and write out entire character lives on this thing.

And do you know what? I totally love it. I find it utterly interesting, and I love to see other people’s characters develop, be broken and slowly piece themselves back together again.  I love to see how people shift their storylines when someone else’s characters disappear, and how they spring back and find new plot twists, new drama’s, new loves and losses and triumphs and failures.  We’ve got some really great storylines going right now.  And even more in the works. I wish solo writing was this easy…but solo writing requires discipline and time away from the rest of the world, which I am finding incredibly difficult to turn away from right now.  I totally enjoy the interactions, and the friendships I’ve made with people.

I’m thoroughly intrigued by how things manifest.  By group dynamics and shifts in friendships.  It’s very intense and sometimes overwhelming. I think that’s really my favourite part of online roleplay.  People sharing themselves. Your writing is so very personal, your style, your ideas and your creativity.  It’s all so very individual and interesting. I’ve watched people grow and change and find their creative voices and I can’t help feeling really good about what they’re creating, and what they’re helping me create too.  Roleplayers are a strange and interesting group of people.  Once they’ve found a group they fit with, they stay, and they’re very loyal, for the most part.  They’re also very serious.  But more than that, they’re totally amazing. They make me laugh every day.  They are some of my very best friends in the whole world. And funnily enough, they’re all over the world…so, when I say that, it’s actually true.

Most of them, I have never even heard speak. Some of them, I’ve seen photos of. Some of them, I’ve seen via webcamera, some of them, I really wish lived closer – yes you.  You! That’s right. Come over and drink tea with me!  Not sleepy tea, I’ve decided, sleepy tea is the bane of my timezone existance! No more sleepy tea, no more missing afternoon naps so you can’t stay up all night with me.  None of that!  You must be on call for me, 24/7 because that’s how it rolls yo’. I can’t live without my daily 12 hour fix of stalkerism and harrassment.  I can’t live a vile and hateful existance, without your constant praise and support.  But anyway, despite that fact, I still feel like we know each other, in a way that you sometimes don’t even know the friends you do regularly have coffee with, well, apart from the ones who are willing to give you their everything.  And to be fair, I do expect that of my friends.  Their everything. I’m selfish and expectant that way, but in return, I’ll give you that too.

x

Woo!

I might perhaps have had a wine too many!  Where is my Aunty Lee? It’s Friday night and you are not online!!!! AGAIN! Anyway, internet, I had all this really interesting stuff to tell you, but it’s being swept away by the need for sleep.  I know, that’s a miserable excuse, it really is. Also, I have the urge to say words like “poppety” and “cheerio” and “toodle pip” and “arse” which isn’t quite as cute as the other words I admit, but still delightfully – do you see that? Delightfully?  British.  Yes, I may have been listening to Stephen Fry’s boos.  He really is very cute.  And perhaps, just maybe, I watched the Twilight commentary from start to finish and laughed way too much at Robert Pattinson.  How cute is he?  Honestly. It’s disgusting.  He has the most adorable laugh, and I swear, he’s a geek.  He is the biggest GEEK.  I cannot get over how often he talked about his eyebrows.  He’s right, they really should leave them alone…but then, I’m not sure Edward had a big burly monobrow.  I say that affectionately, Ollie has one too.  Don’t tell him I told you that.  He also likes me to pluck it for him.  Oh my god, he’s going to totally kill me when he gets off the xbox!

We’re not supposed to talk about things like that, are we?  It’s like, if he told the world about the fact that I may go to the bathroom with the door open, and have perfectly normal conversations with my family members, before I realise, that actually…people should not talk to each other, while one of them is…you know…on the toilet.  There see? I shared something terrible with you which totally makes up for the fact that I might pluck my husbands eyebrow.  Actually, I don’t any more, because I find it awfully disturbing, I make him pluck his own. I have enough trouble with mine!  It’s very unfair actually, considering I still talk to him while I’m in the bathroom. With the door open and he is okay with this while I am very unokay with plucking his eyebrow.

That sounds so much worse than it really is.  You see internet, for those of you without children, I’m sure the idea of going to the bathroom with an open door is absolutely hideous. But for those of us -with- children, we actually understand how hard that is.  Also, I have cats, and they have this thing about being there, while I’m…in the bathroom. Anyway, it starts harmlessly enough. You need to go to the bathroom, and your children are wailing because they can’t see you anymore, so you naturally, leave the door open, so they can climb all over you and wail in your ear, like they do, for the majority of their lives until they’re 12 and walk into the bathroom because the door is open and go “OH MY GOD MUM!”  Actually, she doesn’t.  She still talks to me.  I’m sure that when she’s 16, she really will go “OH MY GOD MUM CLOSE THE DOOR!” And by that stage, I’ll have been using the bathroom for 16 years with the door open and won’t have any concept on why anyone would close the door at all!

I close it, when people come to visit, you’ll be pleased to know and I feel extremely claustraphobic too, remember that, when you visit…the sacrifices that I am making for you.

Actually, this blog, wasn’t supposed to be about my bathroom habits at all.  It was supposed to be about the fact that the girls and I went to the beach today. It’s the last day of the school holidays, aside from the weekend, of which, Ollie is working 5 hours of tomorrow, and then on Sunday we have to go and teach people how to work on their own websites.  So, really..it’s the last day of the school holidays.  All week, we have been blessed with the most gorgeous weather!  It’s been sunny and glorious and I said last night while in bed, not in the bathroom – “I bet it RAINS tomorrow!”  And it didn’t, thankfully, but it was overcast and slatey and cold.  I didn’t care. I’d totally made up my mind to go to the beach, and that’s what we were going to do.  So I’m drumming my fingers on the table, restlessly waiting for Siobhan to get out of the shower – good god!  Seriously, I can’t complain, I take just as long…but really?  It’s terrible!  And then I cannot find my cellphone anywhere.

Where could it be? It’s awful! I hate losing anything. I get crotchity and annoyed and I refuse to look anywhere, but where it should be.  So the girls are running around in a fluster and I’m ringing it from our home phone and shrieking like a banshee because I cannot even hear it, and Aleeya goes “I bet daddy took it!”  And I’m thinking, why would Ollie take my phone?  That would be ridiculous!  I call it twice, and cannot hear it. Even when I turn off the music. Which, you know, I don’t always do.  So I email him, to inform him I’ve lost my phone and if he wants to get hold of me for the next few hours, he can’t.

“Oh.” He replies. “I found it.  IN MY BAG! Sorry.”  WTF internet?!  I do not care that our phones are identical.  I don’t care at all.  That’s just…so annoying!  Really.  Anyway.  I got to the beach, and the girls are all “where are we going?” and I am very nonchalent, because the questions “what’s for dinner?” and “where are we going?” for some reason, annoy me to no end and demand answers like “poo on a stick!”  or “I have no idea, I’m just driving!”  and they are not impressed let me tell you.  Except for the driving, because that’s quite exciting.  They have no idea where they might end up, until we get close.  “Where are we going?” I ask, when it’s very obvious where we’re going “The BEACH!”  Siobhan squeals, because Aleeya is too mature, and definitely way too engrossed in whatever she’s reading to actually care anymore where we’re going.  And we get there, after half an hour, because, the beach is not nearly as close as it should be, and I tell you what, it’s COLD.

I’m a wuss. I’m the sort of person who gets cold just looking at grey sky.  But we’re there, and it took half an hour, so I’m like “let’s go!”  And we do.  It was low tide and we walked out to the sea, which was so frigid that I might have not been able to breathe for a second or five when I first let it touch my toes, and then, it rushed up our legs and we died a little more with much shrieking and hollaring and it was really nice.  Everything was grey, there were barely any people down there at all, and we walked in the sea from one end of the beach to the very other.  Then we explored over some rocks, and Aleeya tried to see how deep the water was at the end of some rundown jetty which freaked Siobhan out to no end, and we walked all the way back up.  Collecting shells and talking about things and finally getting an icecream. Do you know, it’s $3 for one scoop of icecream?  That’s ridiculous. $9 later we’re all shivering like crazy things – because, it’s neither beach weather OR icecream weather, and totally blissing out to the max.

Eventually we went and sat in the car and teased seagulls. Which is always fun, right?  And then we came home, and Siobhan cooked dinner – I KNOW!  I drank a little too much wine and we squeaked like fangirls listening to Robert Pattinson talk about how unappealing garden burgers were and how it’s hard to look scary in a little baseball outfit with manicured eyebrows and a bouffant.  I may love him a little.  Really.  He’s just too adorable.