Category Archives: parents

sixty five

seamus2I will probably get told off for telling you all this, but that handsome young man right there turns 65 tomorrow. And despite the fact that I shall most likely get a good telling off for announcing such a thing to the entire world – I am doing it anyway! Because 65 is one of those ages that needs to be announced.

That’s my dad, just in case you didn’t know.

So happy birthday my daddyboy. I hope you have a wonderful time at the Andy Warhol exhibition, and that you get to eat lots of cake and that it’s not too windy in the capital city, because being blown off your feet at your ripe old age might see you break a hip and that would be an embarrassing entry into old age now wouldn’t it?

I know I’ve often teased you about your geriatric stage of life, but now I can actually do it legitimately because it’s true! You’ve outlasted the dinosaurs! You’ve lived past an ice age and a reformation of lands! You crawled from the seas with the fish with legs and lost your tail and learned to walk on two legs! You surpassed the intelligence of our neanderthal cousins and expanded your brain to become homosapien! You climbed the pyramids and hailed Ra. You toiled through the slums of India and rose through bodhisattva status to become a Buddha. You developed your own religion and converted the masses and long shall they worship in our glorious name.

What’s left for you now but to take your rightful place alongside the other old folks and collect your pension? Not much I’m afraid.  Your present is in the mail. I’ve bought you a walking frame carved from the very first yew tree. Blessed by Danu herself. You’re welcome.

Much love to you my daddyboy!
The tinsel of your Universe. xoxoxo



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kelly xxx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Short post..for those of you who like short posts – faerie dawn

  • I’m graduating tomorrow!
  • 10 people are coming to watch me
  • I was given a phone call today and invited to take part in a special ceremony tomorrow which involves me being taken up the front and given a proper Maori greeting ceremony before everyone else. It means I go in first, I go up to the stage, I’m greeted, and then seated while the rest of the plebs just sit their butts down in their damn seats and celebrate my wonderfulness!!!
  • I’m so excited that I tried to keep this a secret, and you can see. Although, asides from the whole internet, only my father and husband know!! Yay!
  • I’mreally, really drunk.
  • That’s a good thing, I think.
  • Itwon’t be a good thing when I wake up.
  • It took me four goes to spell good, rather than god.
  • My arm is covered in scratches due to the fact my cats – except mighty King Greebo – are afraid of my mothers dog.
  • I had good drunkconversation with my dad.
  • We watched Harry Potter 5 for the third time.
  • My spelling isn’t horrendous because I’m drunk, but because I have a huge ginga cat in my lap.
  • I like beer.
  • Ialso like red wine, lots.
  • Tomorrow is going torock my socks. Literally.
  • I’m not going to wear socks what will be left to rock?
  • Your guess is as good as mine.
  • I love you internet. You make me happy. Even when skies are grey and I can’t roleplay anymore because my parents have arrived to check out my awesome house, which they agree is “teh awesome!”

Sweet dreams internet…may you all have great glorious ginga pussies on your lap to keep you warm..who are so sweet and purrily affecitonate, they sling their heads and arms over your typing wrists which makes it virtually impossible to type and want to just squeeze them insteady because they are so sweet and purry that it makes you squee almost as much as being invited to be a part of a special ceremony dedicated to a small contingent of your entire graduating group. OMG! I’m special! Did you know? I didn’t. Dear god…please let me be beautiful and not too hung over in the morning to remember to tell the people that I really am part of the Karanga Group. *squees all over again*

Why can’t I keep a secret? Because I’m as hopeless as my child who will be 9 years old tomorrow and who just couldn’t help but open her presents and search her parents room, and who thinks that we don’t know it was her that did it. Am I disappointed? Lets talk about it when I’m sober. I’m having trouble focusing right now.

I love you me o b 1 internet, you’re my only hope. <2 omg..I mean that’s like..a heart that’s missing its extra know what I mean..substitute the 2 for a 3 and you get my true meaning.


Everything good in life is unconditional isn’t it? Giving your love to someone unconditionally..accepting their unconditional love for you too even if they tell you that you look like a mad old cat lady with missing teeth and bedhair.

I love the word unconditional. It should be used so much more often. We should all celebrate unconditional things. And if we don’t, well internet, you may share in mine.

Our house purchase went unconditional today. That means, today, it is officially ours. We own it. Unconditionally. Without any restraint – except the 25 year mortgage repayments, of course, but you know what? That money is going towards our own house, and not some one else’s.

Today I feel unconditional love for our family, who have made this possible for us, years before we ever thought it would happen.

BBQ at our house to celebrate. Come round in December, it will be a late birthday, graduation and housewarming pre-christmas BBQ. Bring food, because I hate to cater. I’ll supply the drinks, the music, the good company and the venue!

See you there!

memory trigger.

I went to a poetry reading tonight with my dad. He was wonderful, as I’d have expected, his poetry is beautiful..I know it all, but it was nice to hear him read it aloud.

There was a Hungarian woman there, she read about 6 poems. Every single one of them blew me away, they were so beautiful, so full of imagery and sadness. She was amazing..she had me close to tears with every poem. She read beautifully, her accent was so strong, and she read with this sense of pride, power and passion. I went up to her afterwards and thanked her for reading her poetry to us. I told her that it was so beautiful and I was glad I got to hear it. She gave me one of her poems. The one that moved me the most..she gave my dad one too. His, is equally as beautiful. I feel blessed to have been able to hear her recite.

She had lived through the war, she wrote about Budapest, and dead soldiers buried under snow. She wrote about it so beautifully that you saw it with her, I almost felt the cold snow. She told me that, once the snow started to melt, the smell of those bodies was atrocious. She had been a child at time. She moved to California and taught English before moving to NZ. She has had her poetry published in Hungary, New Zealand and I think they said the US as well. I will treasure the poem she gave me forever. She signed it: To Kelly, the Irish Lass. Panni Palasti.

Memory Trigger

Honeysuckle vines
smother the endless fence
in the head of Vagany Street
turning the air sticky
with the perfume of flowers
as I pass by after school
to visit Vera, my classmate
of blonde braids
tied with blue ribbon bows.

A lifespan later in another
hemisphere of kiwi and kumara
honeysuckle thrives over
my rainwater cistern
sending wafts of Vagany Street
to blend with the scent
of wind-whipped manuka.

The subtropics freeze into
the hard-packed rubble of 1945
when I went to see
if Vera was still alive.

After the winter’s storm
shell-shocked Budapest
was touched by a February sun.
Rinsed by rivulets of water
corpses emerged from under
dirt-streaked mounds of snow.

I came to a halt at a crater
along the empty street
where the threadbare twigs
of honeysuckle still clung
to the shattered fence
above a pair of Russian boots
emerging from the ice.

I saw the knees outward turned,
trusting like a lover’s,
open to the sky
under shreds of uniform,
the rest still embedded
in winter’s crystals,
a pair of slender knees
half risen towards the sun
soon to dissolve like the snow
like the drum roll
of fading artillery fire.
–Panni Palasti (2007)

on shopping and head smells…

My mother is a baaaad influence. I’ve been shopping twice since I’ve been here! I bought a dress.. (I KNOW! I can hardly believe it myself) and..a really cute orange top and an even cuter purple one on my first venture out, and then today I bought new black sexy track pants (track pants can so be sexy) a cute little..kinda baby doll dress top and the most adorable yellow top for Siobhan. It’s her birthday a week after I get home and I have NO idea what to get her. This top is so cute, it’s all the fashion here now..they’re like, baby doll style, and you wear them with long sleeves underneath and tights..I wear mine with not tights, because my thighs are lumpy..they look great with jeans and dress pants too though..anyway, this one on her will be just above knee length..she’s gonna look SO ADORABLE!!! I just need to find a suitable black top, she has a teeshirt that would’s gotta start getting warmer here soon, and some black’s hard to buy clothes that fit her at the moment. She’s at that awkward stage where she’s too old for kids clothes but too young for adult clothes..she’s tall and skinny and nothing fits her…it’s the same with Aleeya..the skinny anyway..they don’t make clothes to fit tall skinny kids these days..

I love won’t take any of the money I’ve been trying to give him for food etc…so, I’m spending some of it instead…course, Ollie’s all “you don’t have to spend it you know..” *rmes* what does HE know anyway?

I’m sleepy and they went to a friends house for dinner. it’s midnight! Old bastards…if I go to sleep you can be sure they’ll wake me up. Man, when I was young, they NEVER went they’re out past midnight, with not a care in the world, even if I had no dinner!! I had peanut butter toast. *snervels all unloved* I was gonna have McDiddles, but I hate going out at night, I know, tragic! Me and the dog sat in the lounge with the fire roaring and watched a movie..I cried..I enjoyed being was a nice girly alone type of movie..

I’m missing my family again though…miss ’em…I miss the way Ollie’s head smells..and the way he’s all hard and man like, and yet can be so tender and precious, when he sits still for a minute or two..or stands in the kitchen with his arms tight around me kissing my forehead because I’m crying over something ridiculous…again.

And I’m missing the way Siobhan will comfort me when I complain..(who’s the parent in this family again??) and how she sits curled up on a chair with her head in a book, silent as a mouse, and how she’ll tell me silly jokes, and stories from school which go on for so long that I tune out and say absent “mm..oh! uh huhh..” at for ages, and then feel guilty over, because I wasn’t really listening, and she kinda knows it. I miss how tall and skinny she is and how she smells like raspberry shampoo and pre teen girl.

I miss how Aleeya will sigh loudly and roll around the floor telling me how bored she is. How she runs in from school and goes “Hiiieeee!!” at the top of her lungs and then when you ask her what she did at school she can’t remember. “The usual!” she’ll shrug before whipping out her homework and doing it in 2 minutes flat. I miss how she clucks at me and makes me a cup of tea (because I have a voucher from her that gives me free tea and coffee until 2008!) and she’s so busy letting it brew that she forgets it’s there and disappears for an hour outside playing, so that when you finally remember and ask her where it is, you get a really ultra strong and stone cold tea. I miss her toothy grin and her silliness, and I miss the smell of her head we see a trend?

My family have the best smelling heads in the world…I think there is something so completely homely about the smell of your family’s heads…you smell them when they’re born…you smell them when you comfort them..when you feed them, when you burp them…when you kiss their foreheads…and then, they grow up and are almost as tall as you, and you smell them because they’re level with your nose.

See? I can talk about head smell without once reverting into lewdness. 😉

On being sick…

It’s just not right. Being sick and knowing that this is your busiest week, and that if you take days off you might get better faster, but you risk not having enough teaching hours..well, it sucks.

I haven’t done particularly well this week. Some because I like the kids too much and I don’t like being a hard ass, but some too, because I’m sick as a dog, AND have a really vicious period…and I just feel SO exhausted and tired, it’s hard enough trying to teach without also trying to make them be quiet on top of know? seems that Thursdays are my crap days. Luckily, this week thursday is a teacher only day, and the following thursday (my last one) is an exam you know…the worst is over..aside from the reports which are still to come.

I don’t know what my reports will be like to be management still sucks..I hope I scrape through and they say “you know, we all struggle with management, but your passion is of luck to you!” because…I want to pass…but, seriously, its SO hard to be strict on kids when your entire 5 weeks is spent building a relationship with them, and gaining their trust. THAT is when I feel that using management techniques becomes most effective. However, I will do my best next week with my year 10’s..hopefully I can get them quiet and learning…please, god.

It was still an awful week…so tonight I drank beers with dad…I had three..which is really one too many for me. Especially considering I am mentally exhausted…I’m half cut and sooooo sleepy, but you know, the bed is cold, and I refuse to get in it just yet. I just watched a really hilarious show on tv1. It was called…stress and looked like rubbish, but dad and I sat there and laughed the whole way through. So funny. Of course, it made me go “fuck, I’m so middle aged it’s just not funny…” and in all honesty, I’m still too young to feel middle aged. The jokes were brilliant though, I guess after 12 years in a relationship, you’ve been together as long as a lot of middle aged couples, which is why I get them.



My mother bought herself a laptop yesterday, and sat at it all day figuring out how to use it, swearing like a sailor and whooping with success when she figured something out..she’s really quite pleased with herself, and I do believe that the fact she can sit at the dining table and use it makes her extremely happy.

Today, I got up to a dark silent house, I’m fine with that, it’s insanely early and I don’t expect people to be up with me having breakfast. I think it’s quite novel for her though, to have someone to have breakfast with. She gets up and wakes me up if I’m not up before 7am (most mornings) and we have breakfast together. This morning, she got up about 8am, just as I was making my lunch and trying to figure out where everything I needed was. I’m glad she got up, because I’m useless in the mornings and totally impatient. So she helped me find the DVD I needed for class and found me a safety pin for my pants which keep falling down all the time, and then it was time for me to go. So, off I went, figuring that it wasn’t cold enough this morning for my car to be frozen, and of course, I was wrong.

Frozen it was..the poor thing, it’s not used to all this cold, outside, neglected abuse. So, I stuck the key in and went to start it, and…nothing. It tried, and then died. So, I tried it again, and got nothing..just an awful “I’m so not going to start for you” noise. I tried it once more before giving up and by this stage it was 8.15. I have to be at school at 8.25…she was all “what are you going to do? I can’t take you..I’m in my nightgown!” And I’m like “ugh! Quick! Get dressed!” And you know what? She did. She drove me to work and I made it in perfect time..just!

Dad picked me up at the end of the day. I was going to walk, but it rained..I feel like a teenager again, I even have a huge zit on my chin. It’s tragic, but nice all at once. I sit in my downstairs room curled up in the bed with my laptop and my mp3’s and I write resources and think about lessons, and feel great about the world. I’m enjoying myself so much here..I miss my family of course..but I don’t miss Christchurch.

There’s a lot about my mother that gets up my nose, it’s just a mother/daughter thing really, I can tell there are things about me that get up Siobhan and Aleeya’s noses too, but I have such a love for her right now. She is being amazingly supportive, she cooks my meals, she washes and irons my clothes, she takes me to work when my car is frozen…all the anguish I had over this trip has been in vain.

I get to go home next weekend, congigal visit. I’m not sure that’s how you spell congigal but you get the idea.