Category Archives: love

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I first heard about Amanda Palmer through Neil Gaiman. It was just before the Christchurch earthquake hit that I got my first album of hers. One was certainly not enough and my love for her music just grew.

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Not long after this, Ollie was crushed in his building, and during his long recovery, Amanda Palmer became my solace. I nursed him back to health while listening to her music. I received visitors and well wishers, cards, flowers and meals and I helped him shower, helped him dress, fed him and reminded him to take his medicine with her words in my ear. Ollie did not want a nurse, even though he was entitled to one. So I gave up work and spent 3 months at home with him while he relearned how to walk and how to take care of himself. It was long, and sometimes really difficult, but ultimately it was what I wanted and needed to do for him, and what he needed me to do too.

I listened to her music while EQC came to assess the minor damage to our house. I remember the two men who came vividly. The older of the two, in his late 50’s was enthralled by her voice. He kept stopping to listen and asked me who she was. He wrote down her name and said he planned to go buy the album when he finished up that day. By this stage, I was following all her social media sites and had fallen in love with not just her voice, but who she was and what she stood for. It felt good to share someone that had helped me so much, with someone else.

Music has always been the most driving force in my life. I am a lyrics person and I listen to music that speaks to me and my beliefs, and who I am. I look for connection, and understanding because I quite often feel like I’m alone. I know I’m not of course, but I bond very deeply with music because of this. It’s my religion in a sense. Songs are my sermons. They give me hope when I need it most.

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In the two years following the earthquake, Ollie and I decided it was time to leave Christchurch behind and move to Australia. To leave behind all that we’d been through together in that city, now buried along with people we loved. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was the right one – for both of us. Watching your husband startle awake in the dark, crying out when another quake brings back those memories is heartbreaking. We chose Adelaide, because a lot of his family are here, and it felt like the right place.

I am always up for a challenge, and I love to travel. I also love his family, so it was not a big deal for me to do this, but the more we thought and planned, the more I ached to leave the place that had been my home for the past 15 years. A place that had fallen down around us and changed our lives irrevocably. I spent a lot of time soul searching in the 6 months previous to our leaving. A lot of time walking through places I’d come to love, all changed now, broken if not gone completely, alone with my headphones on listening to Theatre Is Evil.

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I remember hearing about how Amanda had come to Christchurch after the quakes and put on a free concert. I had not been able to go – for obvious reasons.

No one really ever came to Christchurch, and no one EVER went to my hometown, so I am not particularly concert savvy at all. When we moved to Adelaide though, all these concerts opened up right here in our city and Amanda was one of them! I bought my tickets as soon as they went on sale and counted down the weeks until she’d be here.

It has been at least 15 years since I have been in a mosh pit. I wasn’t exactly sure that’s where I wanted to be until the concert started. The opening acts were so fantastic and funny and the crowd was gentle. No one pushed or shoved and very few people tried to sneak in in front of you. At least, until Amanda got on the stage. She came down into the crowd immediately, and they all surged towards her like a human wave. At one point, I had her back pressed against me, and then she was gone, lifted high overhead and passed from hand to hand through the crowd and back on stage.

I had gone from five people from the stage to the third row. By the end of the concert I was at the front. The ebb and flow of people around me had pushed me up there. I’d forgotten how intense the feeling of being so close to people was. How deeply their feelings reflect your own and how you all become one part of something huge and warm and amazing. How suddenly, you’re not alone anymore, because the people with you are all there for the same reason you are. Because this musician has also touched a place in their hearts.

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For me though, the most intense experience, was watching how much Amanda gave of herself. Without reserve. She held nothing back and put her full trust in the people who’d come to see her. She didn’t just give us her voice, she gave us her body, her soul and she trusted us to hold her and touch her and give her back again. I cannot imagine that kind of giving. Or that level of trust. Her faith in her fans inspired me so deeply. The entire concert was just one big party. It was inclusive and passionate and amazing. When we left, I couldn’t really find the words to describe how I felt. It was like being part of a surrealist dream. It’s taken me three days to figure out how to put this into words.

Seeing the woman who had helped keep you sane through her music during the toughest time of your life was incredible on it’s own. But seeing her give herself up, watching her climb into the crowd and trust us, watching her give her fans herself fully, watching her kiss them and be part of them was an experience that I needed so badly right then, that I just don’t really know how to describe it. She humanised herself in a way that so few artists do.

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I love you Amanda, you’re amazing. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. Thank you for your music, for your humanity, your humour and your humility. Thank you for helping me when I needed you most. Thank you for your understanding and your trust and for the selfless love you give back to your fans. You give me hope and because of you, I am writing again.

with love,
Kelly xo

Ironman

The conversations your kids have with you when they get home from school are the best. I always thought once they became teenagers, they stopped talking. This is not true however. There are days when we barely see them, and then there are other days when they talk so much that you’re tired by the time they’re through.

My kids have a very strange relationship with their father. Well, let’s be fair now, they have a strange relationship with both of us. But sometimes it’s really fun to sit in another room quietly and listen to what they talk about with him.

The other day, Siobhan came home and Ollie was ironing. He bought a new iron recently and he’s very proud of it. I don’t do this weird and obscene chore. It seems like the most ridiculous thing in the world to me, and since all the things that need to be ironed are his shirts – ironing became his chore.  Anyway, he’s taken a real shine to his new iron, and irons everything. And I really mean everything. Siobhan had been out there having a really good detailed discussion with him when she went quiet for a minute and then said with a very perplexed and amused tone: “what are you doing?”

“Ironing.” he says.

“Why are you ironing the tea towels?”

“Because…”

“Are you ironing our UNDIES?!”

Yes, internet. My husband has started to iron underpants.  Only his own actually, which is rude. We are very amused by this and when I asked him why, he replied with “do you know how nice it is to put on a pair of freshly ironed underpants?”

Well no. No actually I don’t – because HE DOESN’T IRON MINE!

Django Unchained: a vignette.

I need to get better at writing here. So I’m trying something new. I read a quote by John Berendt the other day which struck a chord with me. He said: “Keep a diary, but don’t just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel.”

It sounds like fun, so I figured I’d give it a try.

Sometimes I read the time as I imagine it to be. I thought the film started at 1.30, it actually started at 1.10. It was too late to make it by the time Ollie checked up on me to see if I was wrong, again. We both know I usually am. So we decide we’ll see something else instead.

Driving half way across the city in 35 degree heat, our conversation inspired by the judgemental stares that heavily tattooed women receive and Amina’s bare chested protest against the continuously misread patriarchal view of Islamic sharia. Topics as heated as the weather outside. I watch the train tracks stretching in each direction, dry lawns, browning trees and the bright contrast of rainbow coloured birds in an otherwise stark landscape. People run around in the sweltering mid-March heat and I consider how lucky I am to be married to a man whose views match mine.

We arrive with minutes to spare. He asked for tickets to Django Unchained, pronouncing the D. I look on in pretend horror as the guy serving us hands over our tickets and pronounces it correctly without missing a beat. “It’s Django!” I say as we walk away, “the D is silent.” He realises the joke a little into the film, as Jamie Foxx repeats the line.

The theatre has five other patrons. It’s my favourite kind of theatre experience. I haven’t seen a Tarantino film in years. I know what to expect. I think back to the first one I ever saw. Heavily pregnant with my first daughter, my father and I made a weekly date to see a film together. This night, I chose Pulp Fiction.

I was hooked. Tarantino is a genius. We laughed and were shocked and talked about it for a long time afterwards. The lights dim, the theatre is ours, we’re at the back and the armrests can be lifted. I lift mine and curl up beside my husband.

We’re not let down. The film is pure genius from start to finish. It ticks all my boxes. It’s funny, it’s dark, the losing side wins. I have to shield my eyes from the screen a handful of times and the music is perfect. Tarantino’s cameo is possibly the best one yet.

When we leave the theatre, the mall is cool. The doors open and hot air floods in. It’s a backwards experience for me. For a moment I’m confused, and then I remember I live in a new country now.

Fourteen

I’m writing this now because in two days time we will be on our way to Australia and I wanted to make sure I wrote this down before then. We’re moving into a motel today and I doubt I’ll have access to wifi.

My baby is about to turn 14 years old. I honestly don’t know where the time went. I still remember the first time I held her in my arms, after a whole four hour labour. Aleeya was born in a birthing house here in Christchurch on the 19th of December. I went into labour at 4am and we had to race across the city. Luckily there was very little traffic around at that time of the morning.

I had a water birth, and had to stop pushing after her head emerged because she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. She is lucky that they were able to remove it without hurting her, and I am lucky to have been able to hold my second daughter in my arms not long afterwards.

She was born facing the wrong way and my hip bones squashed her poor little face. She was bruised and swollen and had this adorable pink little face and the darkest blue eyes. She was silent for the whole 24 hours we were at the house. It wasn’t until we got her home that she really showed us what an amazing pair of lungs she had, and she never stopped!

Aleeya is one of those amazing people who observes the world first and acts later. She has always been far too intelligent for her own good, and was never happy unless she was active and awake and able to do things.

When I look back on my own childhood and remember myself at her age, I’m always really blown away. She reminds me of me in so many ways – stubborn, argumentative, cheeky and sarcastic but in other ways she’s totally different. She definitely has far more sense in her head than I did. She’s confident and beautiful and stylish and knows who she is. Aleeya always had amazing style. She started dressing herself when she was about two. And unlike most children, she didn’t just throw on anything and everything – she matched her clothing beautifully. I’m not sure even I could have picked the clothing that she did.

She’s sensitive and artistic and so funny! Her sense of humour is amazing and best of all, she’s not totally bored and annoyed with us yet. Hanging out with us isn’t a chore (most of the time).

I always remember my mum laughing and telling me that I was in for twice what I put her through. I’m still waiting! haha!

I’m very blessed to have these kids in my life. They have made me a better person, and their ability to be such incredibly tolerant, brave, beautiful individuals is an inspiration. She’s so forgiving and kind, I couldn’t have ever hoped to have spent my life with better people. I love the young woman she’s growing into. Even if she won’t let me bite her bum anymore!

Happy fourteenth birthday my wee baby girl. You’re an amazing girl and I love you more than you love me! Like, way! Don’t ever change, I’m so proud of you for always making the right decisions and for never letting us down. You always choose the brave route and I’m inspired by your strength every damn day.

Love you! OMNOMNOMZ! xoxoxo

no one can replace you

About ten years ago, we owned a rottweiler. She was the biggest, sweetest, kindest dog in the world, and I called her Mabel. She was a backyard bred dog, and I know you’re not supposed to buy them, but if we don’t, then who does? The dogs are born, someone needs to love them. And I truly did. When we went to get her, she was the last one left, and they told us, she had also been the biggest in the litter.

She was a real teddy bear. Round and soft with huge paws.

I had always wanted a big dog. I loved rotties. I loved everything about them, their size, their colouring, their loyalty and their beauty. Mabel changed a lot of people’s opinions on rottweilers. She loved the girls deeply, and we spent a lot of time teaching her and them to be gentle with each other.

Mabel outgrew the girls incredibly fast. She outgrew me! By the time she was fully grown, she weighed more than I did, and wanted desperately to be a lapdog. She settled for having her head in my lap, or if I was on the couch and would lay across my feet for the rest of the night.

There was not an agressive bone in her body. She loved to be close to us, and every night before bed, she would make her rounds from Siobhan’s room to Aleeya’s, making sure the girls were safe and tucked into bed before she’d stop and finish the cat food and then take herself off to the kitchen where she slept.

She loved everything and everyone and everyone loved her too. Her favourite place in the world though, was Nelson beach. Every time we went there, she was just in pure bliss. It was always so great to see her charging out of the sea towards us when we called her. She was probably a terrifying sight for some people. But this face still makes my heart ache with happiness.

Mabel had a lot of health problems, due to poor breeding, but the worst of them showed when she was two years old. She got hip dysplasia and severe arthritis. She was in agony, and so were we. We kept her for another few months, until we knew it was time.

I couldn’t even get out of bed that day. I remember hearing her feet on the floorboards as Ollie led her to the car, and I just couldn’t face it. It’s making me cry again just thinking about it. He was so brave. We just held each other and cried when he came home. We had her cremated and I have kept her ashes for the past ten years. Every so often, I’d open the box and touch them while I talked to her.

We’ve been talking about getting another dog. I haven’t been able to truly even consider this before now. It was time however, to let her go. I took her with us to Nelson a few months ago when we went up to visit and we drove down to the beach and I let her go in small handfuls as I walked down to the water. Her last walk. She loved that beach. We all took the remaining handfuls and scattered her into the waves. I cried.

That’s her. The lighter trail of sand you can see. I really didn’t think I’d cry when I let her go. It’s been ten years after all, but I did. It was hard walking back up beside that trail. She’d have wanted to be there though. There was no better resting place for her, than the beach she loved the best. She would have been twelve years old now and I had always expected her to have been with us for at least that long. I felt good too though, to let go finally. Sweet Mabel. She was my big beautiful nursey girl.

Free now Mabes. I’ll never forget you.

Butterflies and Hurricanes

Or rather, spiders.

You see internet, I am one of those girls who hyperventilates at the sight of spiders. I try very hard not to do this, because honestly? Have you seen spiders? They are TINY! Unless you’re in a crazy country like Australia, which by the way, I saw no spiders in thank god! But I can’t shake it. I forced myself to hold them for awhile, when I was pregnant with Siobhan, and I didn’t seem to mind them at all, but I think that’s because holding a spider seemed so much less daunting than holding a newborn baby. I was nineteen, trust me, it was daunting!

Anyway, last night we’re in bed, and Ollie is stubbornly reading and grunting at me every time I dare to strike up a conversation with him, I lay there and sigh and glance up at the roof, and helloooo nurse! Spider.  It’s lurking in the corner where ceiling meets wall, with its little hard black body and its filthy eight leggedness and I’m hissing, and nudging my husband “Nobby! nobby look!” You have to say it quietly, just in case they hear. Spiders have an amazing sense of hearing you know. It heard me. Ollie grunted, and I’m almost whimpering as it turns around, very slowly and deliberately, and loses its footing.  I KID YOU NOT! How can something with EIGHT legs lose its footing?!?! I’m shrieking and diving under the covers and he’s shouting at me about how I’m ruining his book!

I know right? I’m ruining his book? There’s a massive spider up there, as big as my thumbnail, sliding down the wall where it’s going to lay in wait so that it can leap into my mouth while I’m asleep and he’s telling me I’m ruining his book!!! So I stay very still, with just my eyes showing, making sure that creature stays exactly where it is, and he finally claps his book shut and with a sigh of annoyance gets out of the bed. He picks up his bookmark and a baseball cap and I’m comptely confused. “What are you doing? You’re just as scared of it as I am!”  “No I’m not, it’s to catch it incase it falls.” He replies, standing up on the bed, fully nude, all stretched up there trying to catch a spider.

Eventually he gets rid of the cap and just uses his hands. I’m admiring his butt, which from that angle was worthy of the comparison to Michelangelo’s David, and he finally catches it. Drops it, internet….and flails all around the place recatching it and doing his best not to let it scramble right up his arm into his hair. But the most fun, was watching him toss it out the window. You see, the latch at the top, really is at the top and our bedroom faces straight out onto the road. He was torn between stretching up and being caught by passersby or ducking down and not being able to open the window. In the end stretching up to open the window won out and he finally managed to flick the demon out the window, however, the wind last night was massive! I’m surprised the spider made it out the window, without being blown straight back in again.  It was, great.

Remind me to tell you about the time he ran outside in my pink bathrobe.

Stop Press!

It’s September already, and apparently I still have nothing to say.  I’m going to take a blog break. A good long blog break, of maybe a month, maybe two months. Maybe then I’ll come back feeling energised and fresh and have lots of things to tell you.

Thanks for sticking with me, I will be back, and I’ll let you know when that is too.  But right now, all I have is whining and moaning, and I just don’t feel right whining and moaning here. I’m supposed to be amusing you and fun and sharing hilarious stories.  It’s not that they’re not happening, it’s just that I can’t seem to be bothered to sit here and write.  It’s funny, I’m very slowly losing interest in everything online.

Maybe it’s the gorgeous sun out there. Maybe I’ve just seen enough in the almost 13 years I’ve had exploring the workings of online socialising. Maybe I’ve learned all there is to learn? Maybe, I’ve found out what I truly need. Maybe I’ve been let down one too many times.  I could give you endless maybe’s.  Instead, I’ll give you emails, or maybe I’ll actually start to call people again.  I miss hearing some people’s voices.

I have lots to reflect on. So long, and thanks for all the fish!  Have a good spring/autumn, and we’ll stay in touch, I promise.

love
Kelly
x

It’s Like, So High School.

Today was the day we had to go and meet a senior member of staff at the high school Siobhan and Aleeya want to go to. I’ve been a little dubious of this. We already know that I trained as a high school teacher and then, just like me, decided I didn’t want to be one. I actually know some really lovely teachers, but ever since I went to high school, I’ve had an issue with them. I was not the child my children are – far from it! And I did not particularly like school.  I vaguely recall having a meeting actually, with my mum, and I guess that must have been what this meeting was.

Ollie wasn’t going to come, since it was at 5pm, but then he decided he would, which was really awesome, considering at 4pm today the power just died!  I was sitting here, just about to start to reply to a post and BAM! Everything went black. It was scary. Then our alarm, which isn’t an alarm, because it was the previous owners alarm, and we never had it reinstalled or whatever it is you do with alarms started beeping at me. I’m like WTF? How does it have power? So I pushed a button and dear lord, internet…the noise was horrendous! I could NOT shut it up. I have no idea what the code is, or why it was even making noise at all and it was screaming and I totally panicked and called Ollie. On my cellphone, because the power was out…and the phone is a cordless thing which, you guessed it, runs on power.  “OH MY GOD!” I wailed at him. “What do I doooo?”  He tried to calmly explain it to me, and that didn’t work, and then I finally just mashed a whole lot of keys and it shut up.

Anyway, there was still no power for ages. He rung the power company and they said there were no outages in our area, so we figured, it must have been a fuse.  Don’t look at me when it comes to fuses.  I don’t even know what a fuse is. I did dutifully look at the fuse box, with perplexion and annoyance, but that didn’t work. So I lit a fire and mourned the loss of internet, and hoped to hell that my computer didn’t die in the power failage.  And then, just like magic, the power turned back on!  I knew this, because my computer flashed, bless him…and then the fridge made noise and I may have done a dance of rejoice when I tried the power button and my computer burst forth into life again.

That was utterly beside the point. I was going to tell you about this meeting!  How did I get so far off topic? Oh right, Ollie coming home early.  So he got home and I didn’t need his help anyway. I did consider for a moment telling him I replaced the fuse myself, because wouldn’t THAT have shocked him.  Instead, I told him the truth, and we were perplexed together.

Anyway!!! We ended up with the assistant principal, who was about 8 foot tall and had the coolest top on. Seriously, I wanted it so bad. It had thumb holes.  I’m easily satisfied, alright? She was really lovely and spent her time making Siobhan feel comfortable.  Which she did. She was great internet.  Really wonderful.  She talked about herself, and why she wanted to go to that school and not the other, and said amazing things that teachers want to hear like “English is my favourite subject!” To which Miss AP said “you said that because you know I’m an English teacher!”  And we knew we were given to the right woman.  “Why do you want to come to this school?” She asked, to which Siobhan replied “Well, one reason is you have more languages than the other school does, and I really, really REALLY want to learn German.” Oh.my.god internet.  You’d have thought this woman just hit the jackpot.

She was totally impressed and excited.  We left with her telling us that she was -definitely- going to give her recommendation that Siobhan be accepted and that we should get an acceptance letter in August. She did say that it wasn’t up to her, but that we should feel very positive about her acceptance.  I was so thrilled I may have almost cried. I know how important it is for Siobhan to go to this school.  I mentioned things like her extension classes and her reading ability and that she is the child that the teachers sit with the Korean and difficult students because they know she’ll help them. I also mentioned that she tended to be shy and often slipped under the radar.  She assured me that they nurture students like Siobhan rather than letting them be the positive people in other people’s lives and that she would be encouraged to shine as herself. I liked her a lot actually. I felt very good about the entire interview, and I so hope that she will be accepted, because I have a feeling this school is going to be the place that sees both my kids turn into amazing adults.

Daughters

Do I think my kids are heroes? Absolutely. I most definitely do. Shall I tell you why internet? Oh, you’re curious? Okay I will.  I shall start in birth order, because it’s always fair to do that, don’t you think? Also, I might be a little in love with my new theme.  It’s so perfectly me. Except the Gods are classical and not Indian, but I forgive them, because my interest in Classics is almost just as deep as my interest in India.

So let me tell you about Siobhan. She’s going to be 13 this year. You guys have been right there with me, on all her milestones. Well, on a lot of them.  Particularly during the last few years.  Siobhan is an amazing child. She’s one of those people who is tall and willowy and delicious, she has blondey hair and dark eyes. She has olivey complexion and those tiny little adorable freckles that just dust across her nose. She is, without a doubt, incredibly beautiful, and I truly don’t think she gets it – much like her father. She’s quiet and studious and really loves people and animals. She’s incredibly kind. I don’t know where she gets it from! But she is one of the most generous and giving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I am so mad in love with her. She does anything I ask her to, and generally without a fuss. There are times when there is stomping and whining, but the majority of the time, she does it without questioning me. Siobhan takes care of me.  If I need anything, she’s right there to give it to me. Her goal in life, is to make sure that everyone around her – with the exception of Ollie and Aleeya – is happy.

She picks up languages without a second thought. She is the child that the teachers always put next to difficult kids, or the Korean students, because they know that she will look after them.  It worries me sometimes, that they put this upon her, because the most important thing for me, is that SHE gets a good education. Other people’s children are not my, or her responsiblity. But Siobhan does it without complaining. She makes friends with them, and she does her work beautifully.  She never says a bad word about anyone – except Ollie and Aleeya – and will sit for hours playing with my hair, braiding it and unbraiding it and just pulling her fingers through it or brushing it.  She rubs your feet if you ask her. In fact, you don’t always have to ask, she does it anyway.  She cooks dinner almost once a week and bakes when ever she can.

She’s my hero alright.  She’s just an amazing individual, and she’s mine.

And then, there’s Aleeya. Who is Siobhan’s antithesis, but in the most wonderful way.  Where Siobhan is quiet and understated, Aleeya is vibrant and in your face.  She has a sense of humour that blows my mind. She’s very dry and sarcastic and sometimes it’s a little overwhelming, but she does it with this amazing maturity that is far beyond her 10 years.  Aleeya is  creative and extremely intelligent. She gets bored very easily, and can spell better than anyone I know – including the majority of adults.  Her teachers struggle to keep her busy because she excels at almost everything. She’s very sure about who she is, and what her style is.  I remember when she was two years old, she’d get up and dress herself, beautifully.  Her clothing always matched, she knew what she liked and she wore it.  Siobhan on the other hand, is only now just starting to co-ordinate her clothing without looking like a homeless girl. Aleeya has a very strong sense of self. She doesn’t care what other people think, but she is popular and setting trends already. She refuses to be outdone by Siobhan and is my resident tea maker. She’ll play with the hair and do the feet too, briefly, but the tea making duty is hers. She will race Siobhan to be the first there.

She wants to be an emo/goth. And I cannot deny her this desire.  If I had loads of money, I’d completely revamp her entire wardrobe.  The only thing I am denying her right now, is the pink and black hair.  She loves music and creating stuff and learning. She’s one of those people who just lights up the room with her smile and her laugh.  She also has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.  They’re greenblue, crystal clear and heavily framed with long dark lashes. She is milk and honey, freckles and perfect lips. She’s my hero for several reasons.  She is passionate and emotional, she loves fiercely and she is not afraid to be who she wants to be. Aleeya, will be a force to be reckoned with when she’s an adult.  She will excel at anything because she has the drive and the determination to do it.

My girls are amazing creatures. When things got tough for me recently, I thought about keeping it from them, and realised that if I did that, I wasn’t trusting them to be able to rationalise it.  So I told them. We went for a drive together, and I explained things, and they sat there and asked me questions and listened and once they felt like they fully understood what I was telling them, Siobhan changed the subject back to high school and we continued on as if everything was the same as ever.  They are so completely non-judgemental – although I have had to talk very seriously to Aleeya about certain things in the past.  They are, both of them, extremely accepting girls.  I am truly blessed, and truly amazed that I gave birth to them.  That Ollie and I managed to create children who are as well rounded, well adjusted, intelligent and caring as they are.  Things have not always been easy for them, nor perfect. I do not claim to be a perfect parent at all.  But through everything, they have shone.  And they will always be my heroes, no matter where they end up in life.

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