Category Archives: photography

We’re Looking For The Whales!

Several months ago, one of the girls from Ollie’s work who was also hurt in the quakes started a charity event where she ran a silent auction to raise money for the kids here whose families have been badly effected by the quakes. She helped send them to Auckland for a weekend where they got to go to Rainbow’s End and just enjoy themselves, which is something a lot of kids here haven’t really had the opportunity to do much of. Stress of losing loved ones, of losing their homes, their schools, their favourite places hasn’t been easy on anyone. She did an amazing job, especially because of the fact she had been in hospital for around six months and to learn how to walk again herself. One of the things on offer was a family trip to go whale watching in Kaikoura!

We won!

Ever since then, we’d been trying to get out there to actually GO whale watching, but the weather was just never right. It was always too rough on the seas, which was a little depressing. I have always wanted to see whales but was slowly giving up hope that we would ever get to see them. We called them up last Sunday morning to see if it might be possible, and they told us the weather looked promising, so we bundled into the car and off we went.

I love Kaikoura. It’s one of my favourite places in the South Island. It’s always slate grey and cold – even in summer, but the sea is turquoise and rough and almost everywhere you look there are seals sunning themselves on the rocks. It’s rugged and beautiful and the township is just far too cute for its own good. I love stopping there. I love that it smells like the sea and that nowhere in Kaikoura are you without a sea view.

Every time we pull in, I imagine having built a house with floor to ceiling windows against the side of the hills. Nestled in there, surrounded on three sides by trees and facing out to that amazing blue sea. It’s a writer’s paradise. Although to be fair, I’d probably get far less written there than I do right now, facing a blank wall. My degree used to be on it, but the earthquakes have made us take down most of our pictures. It’s just easier that way.

It was FREEZING! But not even that could dampen my mood. I don’t think Siobhan was ready for my exuberance. When we got there and the weather was still perfect, I was far too excited for my own good! We had spent two other days waiting in Kaikoura all day while they continued to tell us that the weather might be better later that day, then later again, then apologising when it just wasn’t going to happen, so to actually have fine weather and good seas? Bet your arse I was excited!

Seriously. I’m on a boat! My kids are cool as, man. Me? I’m on a boat. You all know the song.

Look at how ridiculously beautiful that child of mine is! No matter what we do, the both of them just continue to get more and more adult and stunning. Let’s not even talk about how tall they are. Yeah, EVERYONE is tall next to me, but I was sort of hoping that my girls wouldn’t betray me with their Amazonian willowy status and remain little girls forever. It’s not happening though, those beasts plan to tower over me by the time they finally stop growing.

Anyway, we went out on the sea in a super fast boat which took us over the shallows which dropped off into sea that went deeper than the Grand Canyon in a very short time. It’s a little strange to think of that much water underneath you when you can still see the shoreline. He said that the Grand Canyon would fit into the shelf below us twice. I haven’t seen the Grand Canyon yet, but I am assuming that’s an impressive amount of sea.

This is how you find whales. You insert a rod into the water and listen through your iPod headphones for them to start talking to one another. They do this as they’re coming back up to the surface. Did you know that whales can stay under the surface for up to 2 and a half hours before they need to come up for air? Did you also know that the sound they make when they stun their prey can turn your insides to liquids? Yeah…I did not know this.

Anyway, it didn’t take as long as I’d imagined before he heard a whale. We saw three in total, but the one below is the first one we saw. They’re all boys. Apparently the girls don’t come here often, it’s a boys only club. I don’t blame them. It’s COLD.

There he is! Look! The boat was full of tourists, and I swear I was still the most excited person onboard. Every time he blew water I celebrated his cleverness. I am lucky that I’m blessed with such an understanding family. I am sure I’m terribly embarrassing with my “OMG! LOOK! IT’S A WHALE! LOOK HE’S BREATHING!!!!! LOOK! HE’S SO CLEVER!”

The guys who run the trip know when a whale is getting ready to go back down again. It’s amazing, he talked us through it beautifully. It was a little like giving birth but without the pain. You sort of just hold your breath and blam! Awe inspiring beauty. Perfection. He was my very own creation and I was the only person on board who got to experience it. Shut up, the two of us were having a serious moment together right before he said goodbye to me forever. As soon as his tail came up like that? I cried.

I did. I admit it. It was so beautiful that I actually sobbed. “Did you…*sob* see that?” Apparently, everyone did, but no one else seemed moved to tears. No one who knows me will be surprised to hear this news though. After all, I cry at everything. It’s okay though, I wasn’t wearing mascara.

We also got to see an amazing array of seabirds, including Albatross! And, hundreds of amazing little dolphins, who were so precious and so thrilling. They zip under the boat and burst out of the water right in front of you. They threw themselves all around the place, and many of them did full 360’s! It was very impressive. Especially when they did it in pairs. Like synchronised swimmers but awesome.

Let It Slide…

I’m full of meloncholy right now. It’s more than that I think, miserable would be the word. It’s awful, I hate it, and so instead of boring you with words, I will spam you with pictures.  These are some of the most important things in my world. And also, some of the things that never cease to make me happy.

If you’ve had to put up with me in any way shape or form these past few days. I apologise. I’ll be back to normal soon.

love
Kelly
xx

True Love Way

It was the most beautiful day today! So we took advantage of it and wandered. Tomorrow is Ollie’s birthday. He’ll be 32, although I’ve been trying to tell him for the past few months, that he’s 33.  He’s figured it out now. It worked last year, this year the kids keep going “no you’re not dad! You’re oly 32!”  So unfair. The look of confusion on his face while he tries to recall how old he is just just hilarious!  Anyway, we went for a walk through the most gorgeous park today.  This swing bridge?  You could sway it beautifully!  I think we might have scared a few people. But they just would not hurry up and get off!

Also, I was having the best hair day ever! I really was! I know, totally vain, but those curls in person? They were to die for!  Also, look how long it is!  That’s curly, you should see it straight! I’m so proud of it!  I’m going to have to make sure my hairdresser doesn’t cut it at all this time around. I’m pretty sure it can go another eight weeks before I get it trimmed again.

Okay, so I’m going to be vain again and say, check out those teeth!  Are you seeing how straight they are?  Oh my god! It’s so weird and great. Sometimes I’m terrified of them, I’ve never seen so many of my teeth on display in a smile before, but then I’m like – you know what?  I kind of love them!

This place, was so gorgeous. There were beautiful little rivers and ponds everywhere.  Look at that stunning child. So willowy and beautiful.

Siobhan and I were comparing skin colour. I know right? That’s me with a tan.  Shutup.

Cute right?

Seriously, if I were any shorter, I’d be a midget. It’s not very fair. Tanned, blonde AND tall?  I’m going to stop feeding her VERY soon.

He’s leaning so I’ll look taller. I’m not sure it worked, but I love him for trying.

Oh my god! I’m pretty sure this was the fastest slide IN THE WORLD!  You don’t get to see the face of terror I pulled coming half way down.  Ollie said “it’s sheer pleasure!” Yes. Sheer pleasure that looks like I’ve just come face to face with a serial killer in a wind tunnel!

Do you remember how much fun seesaws are?  I could have played on it all day!  But dude, it’s really tiring, and then you get off it and it feels like you’ve been on a boat for a few hours. So weird. I think I need to seesaw a whole lot more often.

Brilliance! Look how high he is off the seat!  Hee!

Best.hair.day.ever.

See?  Ringlets!  I should never blowdry my hair.  Okay, okay, I’m stopping with the hair!

Australia Part 3

Our third day in Australia, we were left to our own devices again, and decided to spend the day at the beach.  It was Aleeya’s 10th birthday, so we thought we’d catch the tram out in the morning and spend the day hanging around on the beach and doing a bit of shopping.

She had a party before we left, which is when she got most of her presents, but still the excitement over the new version of tamagotchi had not quite warn off.  We left around 10.30am and got into the beach about 15 minutes later. It was a stunning day, and not too hot – due to the fact it was morning, so we’d all forgotten about the dangers of the sun, and had no sunscreen.  You know where I’m going with this, right?

When we arrived, there were three people setting up camel rides.  We’ve done the elephant ride, so we have to do the camel rides too right?  The girls were slightly nervous, but once he’d stood up, they were fine.  Camels are so weird, they tuck their legs under them at the most bizarre angle.  Don’t you totally love the big bearded man?  He was so awesome.  I think he was possibly part Aboriginal, and his accent was so very strong.  He walked them around the park and then stood there with them so we could take a million and one photos, which must be done, you know.

So they rode their camel and then we headed down to the beach. The water was amazing, it was so beautiful and clear and relatively warm. Although, I forgot my swimming gear. I KNOW! No sunscreen, no swimming togs – in Australia.  I really am a bit stupid.  I did go looking, but all they had were string bikinis and you know, if I were still 18, I might have considered it, but I’m so not and it was totally not happening. Anyway, I sprawled my white little body out on the sand, and the kids buried my feet, then they buried Aleeya up to her neck before they went swimming.

And I, smart girl that I am, lay in the sun, determined that if I was going to have spent 10 days in Australia, I was going to have a tan to show for it.  What I forgot, was that I’ve been living in Christchurch for almost 13 years and that, while we do get the sun here, most days are overcast and cool.  Summer lasts a month and not a month in a row, but a month of sun interspersed with rain and hail and wind and cloud spanning the 3 months that is supposed to be our summer.

So, my poor white body was delighted by this sudden attack of sun and surprised me, greatly, but burninating to a crisp. A CRISP internet.  I woke up the next day and I was almost blistered.  THAT is how bad it was. I was scarlet and trying to put clothes on left me hyperventilating in pain. I had red lines everywhere, I hurt to the point that the slightest touch almost had me in tears.  I couldn’t lift my arms, or wear a bra.  I ended up a couple of days later buying a strapless one, just so that I didn’t have to feel the agony of straps on my shoulders.  It was – awful.

Look at me.  Without a care in the world. Having no idea at all just how terribly I was burninating.  We spent four hours there. We had lunch, we bought Aleeya some really cute emo girl clothes, we walked from one end of the beach to the other, and then we went back to our apartment, where we realised, just how burned I truly was.

With the wedding the very next day, you can, I’m sure, imagine my complete horror.

It’s such a hard life you know. All that sun and sea and lack of working really wears a man out.  Course, he -is- getting old.

Australia Part Two

Day two was filled with loads of walking and a little bit of shopping. We caught the free tram which stopped basically outside the door to our apartments and got off at Rundle? Rundel..the mall anyway.  It was extremely busy, as should be expected a mere 7 days before Christmas and much bigger than we were expecting. In fact, we didn’t make it the whole way down, but we did find some of the cutest shops ever.  Including a chocolate store called Haighs which truly was something to remember.  The chocolate at Haighs is better than anything I’ve ever tasted in my life. And as one of the biggest chocolate connoisseur’s in the world, that’s saying something.

They had some awesome stores, and malls within the mall which was incredibly disorientating but really fun to explore all the same.  It was, nicely hot, but not too hot, and we spent the morning exploring as much of the mall as we possibly could before the heat tired our feet and we had to stop for a break.

That’s us right there, posing in a line (uh huh with an audience) while Ollie captures us in the great balls of Rundle mall. Immortalising our reflections for all eternity.  He also found himself, embellished in bronze and turned into a swine.  Perfectly apt if you ask my opinion.  Yes, that’s right, the pig he’s standing with?  It’s name is Oliver.  Who could resist having their photo taken with it, while it’s searching for truffles and tragically, for a bronzed eternity, never being satisfied (yes that’s a rubbish bin, cute right?)  Still, if you can tell me which one is my husband, I’ll give you a dollar.  The resemblance is remarkable right?

Siobhan made friends with what I think is possibly the world’s biggest teddy bear ever, in another mall within the mall that was so beautifully decorated and full of interesting, but rather expensive everythings.

This, and I have dutifully forgotten the name of it, is one of the malls within a mall.  It just went on forever, both upstairs and down, and we didn’t get to see all of it I don’t think.  But riding the glass elevators is always fun for the kids, and waving from the very bottom floor is almost just as entertaining.

Afterwards, we virtually had to run to meet Nick, and Sharlene – a brother sister team of cousins at the food market where we had an extremely good lunch with them.  These two are so fun, I really enjoyed their company. Although, in traditional Ting style, they were later than we were, so the running was just a big waste of precious energy, of which, us poor unaccustomed to warm weather Cantabrians, had very little.  They both were on their lunch breaks, and kindly showed us to the Central Markets, where we spent another hour or so perusing the amazing variety of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, nuts..ohmygod just everything edible you can imagine, and where I could not go past any more stalls having found the cheapest – of course – without buying way too many bunches of grapes and cherries.

That guy? How pleased does he look that I’m buying his cherries? And then we went back to the chocolate shop, because you cannot be virtuous with fruit without indulging in chocolate too.  I tell you, the food was glorious, and the hour or so rest we had when we got home was full of decadant eating and deciding that, Adelaide was very much a city that I could most certainly see myself living in. Of course, any time we go anywhere that isn’t Christchurch – I love you Christchurch, I do, but please, your weather? So not cutie cutie – I say exactly the same thing.

The last thing we did, was took the tram to the end of it’s free line, where we sat trying to decide where and what we’d see if we just rode right to the end of the free section, and were overheard by this really helpful lady.  You know what? So many people say that Australians aren’t polite, and I totally beg to differ.  They were SO nice, and so willing to help and converse with complete strangers.  It was really, really lovely. Of course, we looked like overwhelmed tourists, which probably helped – or rather, made them feel sorry for us. One or the other.  We had intended to find our way to the river, much like Christchurch – did I mention that the same guy designed both Adelaide and Christchurch? I know! So interesting. I’d tell you his name, but Ryan is too busy killing aliens with Oliver, and I’d hate to disturb his concentration.  Anyway, we didn’t find the bridge, but we did find the coolest Aborignal Art Gallery.  It was so cool, and so beautifully decorated and like all art, so incredibly expensive, but we were impressed with our find.

That’s my serious photo face and my bag full of really cheap clothing finds! OMG! The things I got for like, less than $50 total? Bargains! Two tops and the coolest dress which rocks when worn over jeans. You’d think that would bring a smile to my face, but sometimes art deems it necessary for a moment of seriousness. You’ll see my dress later on in my tales. Yeah, I know, you’re dying to see it too, right? It’s coming!

Later that evening, we showered, and yes, had our photos taken.

That totally, is Aleeya getting her freak on, out on our balcony.  Yeah, she’s got it going on right?  Shh though, she will tell me off if she knows I’ve posted it. But honestly, you cannot have a post without an obligatory shot of Aleeya being Aleeya.  How awesome is she?  I know.

And then, you must also have proof you see, that Siobhan is as high maintanance as her mother;

I know, my face?  Priceless.  It’s because the mirror gave her another two inches. No, it’s true. *crickets chirp* Also, that’s one of the tops I bought.  It was like $15! I KNOW! Then, we were picked up by another cousin and his girlfriend and taken out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner.  This place, was to die for.  The food was utterly delicious. I’m sure they ordered every single thing on the menu. “What would you like?” Ken asks, and we stare blankly and go “um.  Aleeya likes sushi rolls, and we all eat anything.”  So, anything apparently means, everything and I had my first very pleasant experience with an assortment of raw fish.  I mean, raw salmon is quite delicious, but I’ve never been able to stomach the thought of raw other fish. But, I wasn’t going to sit around and not try things, so I did, and I have to admit, it was glorious. Unlike the rest of his family, Ollie refrains from taking photos of the food, which is unfortunate, because this meal was definitely photo worthy.

Later, they took us to an icecreamery called “Cold Rock”.  Ohmygod internet!  Firstly, the kid serving was so adorable, I wanted to take him home and raise him as my own.  I was so indecisive and he was so sweet.  What they do, is this – you choose from one of the biggest ranges of icecreams I’ve ever seen in my life, and then an even vaster range of sweet things that go in it, and they smash your icecream with anything you like until it’s all icecreamy biscuity M&My goodness and internet…it is so good that I almost wept with pleasure.  I don’t know where the photos are, I’m sure we had some, but wherever they are, I just couldn’t find them.

We got in at a rather respectable 12am I believe, and fell into bed full of sushi and icecream and wishing that we could keep Ken and E forever.

Guy Fawkes!

I remember it being so much bigger and better and larger than life than it is now.  Even sparklers don’t go on forever like they used to.  What’s with that?  Does everything just seem bigger in real life when you’re little? We did get spoiled though. The displays we saw were done by a guy who was a huge fanatic, and did he make his own?  I don’t know. I do know, at the end, he would always let off a flare.  HOMGZ! So bad.  You know?  Can you just imagine all the police boats chasing that light and finding..in distress..no one?  Terrible.

It makes me want to say something else, something tragic and awful, but I won’t.  I’ve been tragic and awful enough today and god was it fantastic.  Truly. It was remarkable – by the way, Rabbit? If you haven’t already noticed, only half the script posted, that’s how fantastic we were! We broke the word limit!  And I almost cried a little when I couldn’t finish reading it all again before bed.  Are we awesome?  We are awesome.  Let’s pat ourselves on the back just a little longer.  I am super proud of the people I have in that room right now. Super proud. They are…amazing.  Truly.

Anyway, that’s my little off the topic warbling for this evening. I haven’t written anything tonight for that story.  I am struggling right now, with it’s maudlinness.  I am not sure that anyone would want to read it to be honest.  It is…too much. I think I need to work a little more on the idea and come back at it with a slightly different approach. It is one thing to be tragic and maudlin, but to write something terribly shocking? I’m not sure.  Although, I keep seeing Keri Hulme in my head. And I -love- her.  I do.  I would love to be her.  She is the most amazingly maudlin writer ever.  If you ever get a chance to read The Bone People, (complete plot spoilers btw – don’t read it if you hate spoilers!) I truly suggest you do.  It is…harrowing.

God, I’ve completely gone right off the topic! How does that happen?  I was going to tell you about our Guy Fawkes night!  The kids ran around with sparklers yelling Harry Potter curses at each other and you know, come to think of it, I am pretty sure that Aleeya cast the evil death curse on.her.own.sister!  But you know, considering Siobhan did mutter “f***king b**ch” at her the other day, I think she warranted the curse of death brought down upon her.  Honestly, 12 is the new 14 I think.  It is shocking!  You should see her throw herself around and weep and flail when she loses her playstation game.  She says to me “can I play on the playstation?” And I say “are you going to flail and kick and weep like a two year old?”  And she gives me this half smile look and I relent.  It is so cute.  How can I resist her?  She will drag my arm up and drape it around herself and give me ‘the eye’.  “I love you mummy” she says, looking slightly down at me, because, she -is- taller than me you know.  And here I go again internet…what has this to do with Guy Fawkes you ask?

Nothing!  Okay?  It has nothing at all to do with it!

It was totally freezing here today.  Some insane cold snap swept up the South Island and tortured us with it’s freezingness.  It finally stopped raining and howling with the wind and they trapsed out there and threw curses at each other like Harry Potter wizards and I watched from the warmth.  “Come out you wuss!”  I am barraged with, by Ollie mostly, but the girls are thinking it. I can see it in their death cursing eyes.  So I get a blanket, because, I am a cold blooded creature, and I must have heat..and I brace myself, and weep as soon as my foot touches the deck.  It takes me four goes before I make it out.  Then, I realise, we have sleeping bags!  And so, Siobhan fetches it, because she is an angel..and I sink into it and quiver.  Every firework he lights, shoots over the roof and we see…the shoot..and not the firework.  Brilliance I tell you.  Brilliance.  We are smoked out of our pleasure and we see..well, a few sparks and a shitload of smoke!

No, it wasn’t too bad. Actually, some of them were very cool.  There are these ridiculous little spinny things, you light them, toss them, and they whizz and change colours and the girls can do them themselves, which is WAY more fun, don’t you think?  So we brave the cold and we’re subjected to endless photos.  Oh, honestly, the photos get better every year!  He tells me.  And…I don’t know, do they?  You tell me.

Some Mothers Do Have ’em

My mother hates to have her photo taken, it’s incredibly hard to get her to sit there and let you photograph her. She hates it, she’s never happy with them, and I totally get it. Photo’s always come out making you look absolutely ridiculous, unless you have the body of a supermodel and a face to match. Anyway, I have some, and she has no say over whether I put them up or not, they are, in essence, what she is for me though.

My mother isn’t like yours. I can bet you that. She may have similiarities, in that she too is a mother, but I am pretty much willing to bet you that’s as far as the similarities stretch.

She has the most ridiculous sense of humour in the world. And it has completely transferred onto her children. We are, ridiculous. There is no other way to put it. We just are.

I grew up in a household where farting was not just appreciated, but encouraged. For years and years, I was the black sheep of the family. I did not fart, even if I had. It got so bad, my sister apparently, would run around sniffing everyones bums to see who the culprit was. Unless you are a fart person, I advise you not to start a conversation about them with my mother, she will talk to you for days about them. She has, the best fart analogies in the world, and she can, fart you under the table, make no mistakes about it. She is, the Queen of the Fart.

When I was growing up, I have memories of being read to. In particular, read “The Magic Treehouse” where there was a girl called Fanny (here, dear American’s, a Fanny is the girl’s privates, not a bum like you all think!). Try as she might, mum could never keep a straight face, and neither could I. We would laugh until we cried every time she said the name. I’m not sure how long it took us to finish the book, but it was a riot.

When I was five, my best friend in the whole world, whose name just happened to be Aleeya, was a Christian. I decided, I wanted to be a Christian too. Mum was all for it, and I ended up in a catholic school, and we would go to church together. Church, was fantastic. I really loved it, because, like me, she has a case of the inappropriate giggles. We cannot be serious, anywhere. Church was particularly difficult. Everything would set us off, people sliding across the pews making fart noises, people giving readings with a lisp “Abwaham, Abwaham, get off your ass!” Everything. We would shake the entire pew, for an entire hour and leave feeling like we had been kicked in the ribs. Tears staining our faces. Church, didn’t last long for us..maybe a year? I can’t remember. But it was great fun.

I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t something ridiculous going on in our house. I, was always much too serious and brooding for such hilarity, and the games they played where often played while I stood and screamed in terror that it might, eventually be my turn to have my head flushed down the toilet. I was little, let’s not forget. And they were all almost fully grown. It was scary times! I had a cupboard in the lounge which was for my toys. I used to move them around until I could fit myself inside it and I would spend hours in it, writing all over the walls. I was never much of an artist with pictures, it was always words. I don’t recall ever being told off for this either. I spent most of my days in that cupboard.

Mum I think, has always wanted to be a grandparent. She got her wish, but she was much too young to be a grandmother, and became instead a Poppy. She knitted up a storm for her grandkids, mine probably in particular, little girls, you know. They never went without anything. They had the cutest clothes in the whole baby kingdom and we barely had to buy them anything. She can knit and sew anything she puts her mind too. She made a lot of our jumpers and clothing even when I was in my teens. You’re never grateful at that age, and then, when you really desperately want something, she’s given up, because you were such an ungrateful creature that she cannot be bothered anymore. Honestly, I don’t know how she put up with me, so I gave her granddaughters. Granddaughters who are, incredibly grateful for everything she makes them. They cherish their gifts like nothing else. And it is a fight to get them out of them, even when they are worn out and full of holes.

The older I got, the more I value her and what she did for me while I was growing up. We definitely had our differences, and there were times I daresay neither of us really liked one another, but she did her best, and she stood by me through everything. She has been my biggest supporter, she reads everything I write and pimps me out to everyone who will click that link and read me. She’s kept the stories and pictures I drew when I first started school at five and began to write. She listens when I need to talk about how difficult it is to have daughters, and while I know she’s completely amused at the fact that I am getting back, what I gave her, she has sage advice that always helps.

Mum kept a perfect house, she spent her life working hard and making sure we have everything we needed. I don’t remember ever wanting for anything. She always listened to what I wanted, and she did her best to provide for me. She has the amazing ability to spring back from everything life throws at her, including a heart attack (she drove herself to the hospital while having it), and then baffled doctors by healing with no scar tissue on her heart at all. She was there, when I gave birth to Siobhan, and she flew down the day I rang her to let her know I’d given birth to Aleeya.

She’s one of those women that you’re thankful for, because she’s never too serious, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and when you do catch her in a photograph, she’s always much more attractive than she thinks she is.

There are four generations of us now. Four generations of girls. We are still going strong, and we still have the most juvenile sense of humour in the world. I can’t begin to tell you the hours we spent rolling around the house screaming and laughing and making up filthy alliteration sentences. These are the things that I am passing down to my children…word games which seemed like they were just for the silly fun of them, and which helped shape me into a woman whose passion is steeped deeply, in the written word. Thank you mum, for being my early inspiration, for indulging my desire to be read to, and to read, and for (maybe) unknowingly, helping me learn how to write so that people want to read what I have to say.

I love you more than chocolate – and you know what a big thing that is for us right? Happy birthday you dirty old woman. Here’s to growing old disgracefully, with red hats and purple clothes and exa exa’s to the whole damn world who think otherwise!

Well, At Least You Stopped Before The End..

Friday, was my mother’s birthday, and Mary Dawn’s too by the way, I’m going to be writing your post mum, are you watching?  Today however, I need to explain something terrible. Something awful, something so bad and wrong that I really, really thought I might just die.

It had been a good day, it really had, I had a good day at work, it’s the start of a long weekend, and I had asked my boss if I needed to work on Wednesday since Monday is a holiday.  “Oh no..” she says, “you’re entitled to your public holidays!”  And I am all “are you -sure-?” And she is all “yes, of course! See you next Thursday!” And so I am going home with way too much excitement than I should ever have.  I drove that day, because, I was late.  I am sleeping like the dead these days, and I cannot tell you how wonderful that is. I don’t wake up! I don’t wake Ollie up, in fact, poor abused Oliver, who is used to me for years and years making hideous whiny noises and elbowing him every time he dared.to.breathe, wakes himself up now. I am positive, he is terrified I’m dead next to him.  He has programmed himself to wake up in a fit of terror because all the uninterrupted sleep seems completely unnatural to him.

Anyway, I am sleeping like the dead you see, so I wake up late, which makes me late for everything.  Yes, I know, you’re surprised and amazed.  Me? Late for everything?  That’s totally unheard of right? Shutup.  I’m later now, because I wake up slowly and I’m all fuzzy with all this sleep and I really don’t know what to do with myself, I’m all sleeped out and groggy and it’s INSANE!  So, I drove to work.

I plug in my iPod and I’m rocking out on the way home, and everything is sweet.  It’s sunny, I’m driving which means, no idiots on the bus to bring me down, and life is good. I am off for FIVE days.  Sure, I only work three, but you know, any day you don’t have to file is a good day, and five in a row? God, that’s seriously “I just died and went to heaven” material.

I made it all the way home, and I’m pulling into the driveway, which I have done for, oh, almost a whole year now, and I’m looking down the street and there are my darling angels.  So I stop there, and wait for them to see me, and we are frantically waving at each other and I drive on in….

At least…that’s what I attempt to do.

Instead, what actually happens is, this godawful noise that tears me out of my reverie of “I’m sleeping like the dead and it makes me feel so alive that I am joyous” and suddenly, I am terrified and going “WTF IS THAT? I BETTER KEEP DRIVING AND IT WILL STOP HAPPENING!!! OHMYGOD DID I RUN OVER A CAT?”  What?!  A cat?  Internet, seriously, do dying cats sound anything like the graunching of metal sliding down a gatepost?

Okay, so -maybe- they do, just a little.  But the fact is, the car slowed down, and I sped up to compensate and the noise was HORRIFIC!  And then it was over.  And I am thinking…”I win! You’ve lost! I win!”  And I am driving down the driveway going “ohmygod, ohmygod, that can’t be good.”  Yes, outloud. Because, yes, in times of dire stress, and occassionally just boredom, I talk to myself.

I’m stressing now you realise.  Really stressing.  And I pull into the garage and I’m sitting there thinking that, I’m really going to have to get out and, you know…survey the damage…and..I just cannot bring myself to do it…but I get out, and I am wringing my hands and panicking, and my poor hands are all shaking with the terror, but you know, it can’t be -that- bad right? I mean, it’s just a dent.

Yeah right.  I’m walking around to the passengers side of the car, and it’s all slow motion like it is in the movies, and I’m holding my breath and then, I kind of stand there, dumbfounded for a moment, holding my breath and turning purple.  Because, you know what?  It wasn’t just a dent..oh no, no.  I was most certainly not that lucky at all.  No, this, internet…is THE DENT FROM HELL!  It runs down the entire door of the car, and finishes, just in front of the back wheel, in a..ohgod….I am having chest pains!  HOLE!

I TORE A HOLE IN THE CAR! A HOLE!  A GREAT GAPING WOUND!!!!  It was almost bleeding, I swear. Car blood and tears.  Somehow, I manage to find the will to exhale, and it is in many, many oh.my.gods.  I am terrified. TERRIFIED!  I mean, I accidently did this tiny little dent in the car once before, and most of it was like, the rubber stuff from bumper bars that like, rubbed off…and Ollie almost dropped to the ground wailing and thrashing like I’d stolen his lollypop.  How, -how- am I going to tell him about this?  Well, I must soften the blow, right?  So, I send him an email that goes something like this:

Oh my god, you’re going to be so mad at me!!!!!!!!!

I misjudged our driveway entrance and that gate thing hit the side of the car..it’s pretty bad.  No, it’s bad.  Like..horribly bad.

That’s right. IT hit ME. I mean, how could -I- hit it? Right? Lay the blame on the stationary gate thing. That’s me. Nothing is ever my fault you see. His response, however, isn’t quite what I’d hoped for.  He just says: GRRRRRR!!!!!

Which is when, I almost do a bit of wee in my knickers and weep, tragically to anyone and everyone who will listen to me online.  – Thanks, by the way, your advice?  Killer.

Anyway, he comes home.  He is riding his bike, I see him and thrust myself at the sliding doors, shrieking and whimpering and the girls are going “What did you do!!  What’s wrong!!  What happened?”  And I am staring at him and he is shaking his head, solemnly, and I know, I just -know- that I’m dead.  Dead.  I’ve already left my goodbyes on Facebook, and I’m bemoaning the tragedy of not having blogged to tell you all of my impending murder and he…disappears into the garage.

He’s gone for ages internet.  AGES. Although, I think, time may have just gone movie theatre slowmotion again, and I am waiting, waiting, hands pressed against the glass doors..reading myself the last rights in my head, when he finally comes out and…

He is laughing.

My husband, who shrieked and moaned and fell about at one tiny dent, is laughing.  And this, shocks and frightens me even more.  Because, laughing?  Really? He’s obviously in shock right?  He’s going to do that awful serial killer laughing as he chokes me to death with my own pantyhose thing.  I just -know- it. I’m not even going to get a chance to plead my case and offer sexual favours.

He comes inside and I’m wringing my hands together and he goes “well, at least you stopped before the end.” And I am sort of stunned.  He’s laughing and I’m all cautiously saying “aren’t you mad at me?” And in that awful resigned voice of his, the one he saves for when I’m a complete tragedy, he says “what’s the point? Will it fix it?”  And he…he….he hugs me.

Of course, afterwards, after the knowing looks and the fathering tut tutting, and the HUGE relief I have because, my husband is so much better than any of yours, I’m sorry, but it’s so true!!  Every time I look like I might be about to disagree with him, I get the “Oh, you don’t even GET to do that with me now..” and I am meek and placating and he is all “I am so the man.” He did say “well, how are you going to pay for that?”  And also…”No point fixing it..because, you’ll only DO IT AGAIN!”

I really wish I could say he was wrong. *weeps*  Behold…

Oh, look.  That’s the colour of our gate.  I mean, even if I had whiteout?  How could I have hidden that? Here is my sage advice to you.  As much as going forward sounds like a good plan?  Apparently, when the car starts making deafening metallic screaming noises at you and resists your efforts to put your foot down on the accelerator, it’s time to listen to the car, and say no to your desire to flee from the scene of the terrifying noise and the crime.  Just stop. It’s apparently quite easy.  In fact, in an automatic car like this one?  The brake pedal is twice the size of the accelerator pedal.  Oh, the shame.