Friday, January 25, 2013

The end.

<p>&lt;p&gt;I started this blog when i started running. &lt;br&gt;<br>
It became my most loyal friend through injury and boredom, the blunt thud of loneliness and the colourful muddle of finding my feet again. &lt;br&gt;<br>
It witnessed my resolve as I ran away from the grief of losing my mother in law and consequently, my husband. I lost them. I ran. I lost myself and i ran even more. &lt;br&gt;<br>
Then i started writing. I wrote about the devastation i felt as a result of someone i love taking their own life. Of the guilt. The all encompassing horror. Then the sucker punch of watching the man i loved simply dissapear. <br>
I wrote about love letters, paper cranes, aeroplanes and traction (and tractors!) I wrote until i'd uncovered the next chapter, an alternative storyline, a new happily ever after. </p>
<p>And last night, I ran 5km in under 30 minutes. My original goal from all those years ago. Finally. 30 minutes, 3 years, half way around the world and back again and finally a finish line.</p>
<p>And so my dear blog, thank you for joining me on this journey so far. It's time to say goodbye to you though as I live the life you so kindly led me to. </p>
<p>To everyone who follows this blog: margy, Maria, neets, li'l soph, Amy, bee, mum, sometimes even dad, manda, fellow bloggers and joggers, you can still stay up to date at my new blog:

Farewell fair friend. Farewell.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Sorry about a long pause. Somehow the Christmas madness started a little bit early for me and I found myself stealing minutes from things like brushing my hair just to catch up on sleep.
But post boxing day, 6 days until a work day, baby napping, i am suddenly time rich again.
The currency of time has changed a lot for me this year.
It costs a roll of toilet tissue unravelled onto the bedroom floor, to print out a 5 page document. Jewelry tipped down the toilet is the price for a shower. Nailpolish too if i want to wash my hair. It costs a squeezy pack of yoghurt and a pack of sultanas for a ten minute post  office line and a pulled neck muscle from carrying a sleepy toddler for a coffee in a cafe.
This is the new time management.
On that note, must dash to return phone calls while she's asleep. Doing them when she's awake usually costs me a few apps deleated from my phone as she mimics me afterwards with her chubby hands bashing the screen.

Ahhh, the joys.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The farmer wants a wife.

When I first met my husband, he was not a farmer. Oh no, he was quite the urban dwelling, Welsh backpacker in fact. He ate in cafes and caught public transport and had to drink at least 2 lattes before making any sense of the mornings. He went to gigs and rented a flat and there was no mention of sheep until at least the third date. He was a farmer in disguise. As I sat watching the season finale of Farmer Wants a Wife, I really did wonder if the “winners” knew what they were getting themselves in to. As Welshie so eloquently put it: “What do they win? They get to marry a farmer? That’s rubbish!” Meeting and marrying my farmer, was actually even more complex than living with two other girls vying for my boyfriends attention, as per the Farmer Wants a Wife formula. We met in Melbourne. On the beach. He was handsome and hilarious; a dangerous combination for someone who loves alliteration almost as much as handsome and hilarious men. On that first night, he told me about his homeland, about the green grass in the valleys and the enthusiastic attempts to maintain the Welsh language. “Cariad” he called me, sweetheart, beloved, and by the end of the evening, I wondered what the welsh words were for “I want to quit my job and move to Wales.” We courted. At least that’s how I put it on his Spousal Visa application a year later. We courted and most certainly did not spend 4 months in bars and bed until a whoops-a-daisy pregnancy turned the romantic fantasy of moving half way across the world into a three week long panic attack as I resigned, moved out of my apartment and followed him home. Oh no, what I wrote on that application was that I fell in love with him and the Google Street View images of his village. That once over there, he started farming again with his father and uncle and brother and when he proposed one day, in the kitchen, I just had to say yes. I didn’t write about the fact that when I called him from hospital two days after our daughter was born, he did not answer his phone. That he was feeding sheep. Correct. I was in a strange country with a two day old baby that was not into sleeping much, in a hospital recovering from a c-section with my family and friends half a world away and he was feeding some sheep. Baaaaa-stard. It was lambing season apparently. How silly of me not to consider that when I accidently got pregnant 9 months before in St bloody Kilda. I didn’t write about his uncle having a motor bike accident on the hill of the farm when I was 8 months pregnant and watching the helicopter ambulance arrive, privately wondering if that’s how I would be getting to hospital if the baby came early (his uncle recovered by the way.) I didn’t write about sheep having some sort of weird enzyme or something that makes them dangerous to be around if you are pregnant which is AWESOME when staying on a sheep farm. I didn’t write about the fact that visiting Collingwood Children’s farm in no way prepares a Melbourne born and bred woman for participating in debates about fox hunting and the general stench that is produced by hound dogs gathering en mass around the corner from her house. I certainly didn’t write about the amount of cow poo I hoovered off the carpet over the year that I was living there. Or that cows are massive and a bit scary up close. And that sometimes they chase you. I didn’t write that I wore beautiful leather boots that I had recently purchased in Paris on my way over to Wales, into a stinking shed filled with cows and their poop and that they, and myself, were never the same again. There were the amazing parts to it too though. Hearing him talk about birthing lambies and actually getting to cuddle them once our daughter was born and out of harms way. And his practical hands knocking up a shoe rack, a chair, a garden wall at a moments notice. The incredible landscape, my goodness, the hills and the sunshine and the salmon filled river that ran next to our house. The knowledge that should we ever need to reverse a tractor through a small village, that I have just the man for the job. Oh and his nieces; three little girls living across the field from us who stole my heart almost as quickly as their uncle did. And his parents, the sweetest, kindest, most generous people I have ever met. Then there’s the village community that embraced me and our baby and who could tell me stories about my husband as a child as they sat on bar stools with their green gum boots covered in muck. The village pub where we’d spend every date night as frankly, there was nowhere else to go and no where else we would rather be. The puppies, the country walks, the teeny village school, the smiles from strangers, the snowflakes, the patchwork of light playing across the mountains as the sun went down.... Now however, we have settled back into city life in Melbourne. I do have to occasionally remind Welshie that our daughter is a human kid and not a sheep, as he wrangles her on her change mat, trying to pin all four limbs at once. And also, you need to stop at red lights. And don’t talk to strangers. Annoyingly, he won’t let me get Little Cwtch a pet rabbit for her first birthday-as they say, you can take the boy out of the farm.... I wonder what my daughter absorbed of her time in Wales. Weather she will take her dual citizenship back there one day and meet a man with impossibly green eyes and a sing song accent that will show her how to feed a horse without getting bitten and one day bring home a box full of tiny puppies and sit by the fire using a hair dryer to revive them. A farmer’s son. I secretly hope so. She should be so lucky.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughts on obsession.

I just read a book on writing. Well, it was about writing but was fiction but was actually the authors journey to finishing a novel. So it was writing about writing, while writing. Anyway. It had a part in it about obsession. About what your obsessions are. And if I look not very closely at my obsessions when it comes to writing, it pretty much goes like this: 1. Love (falling in, falling out, being in, dealing with etc etc) 2. The past. 3. Grief 4. Being a mother to Little Cwtchy (although I hold back on this as right now, it is my default topic and frankly, it bores me a bit. Only because I talk about her all day long and think about her all day long and then when it comes to writing, I need to escape that a bit.) 5. Normal stuff in unusual interpretations. (paper cranes, autumn leaves, welshmen) I suppose my main, all encompassing obsession though is writing. Like when you learn another language and start thinking in it, I often think in paragraphs, in verses. I love words. I read about a novel a week. Even when the small one was tiny and I was getting zero sleep, I would read. My house is full of books. I try to give them away to anyone that will take them because when they sit on a shelf like a neglected puppy, it makes me sad. I feel like now is a good time to start pushing some boundaries and challenging myself with my writing. I want new material. I don't want to keep rehashing the same old my-mother-in-law-committed-suicide-my-husband-left-I-met-a-new-husband-then-we-had-a-baby story for the rest of my life. I guess I am ready to reframe the experience of moving to the other side of the world so it does not sit in the context of my divorce, so that it stands on its own as a truely cool thing that i got to do. So I am going to join a group, a class, and be accountable and stretch my self and my experiences.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sometimes I feel so lucky to be living my life the way I am able to that I get a feeling that is hard to describe. It's louder than gratitude, shinier than contentment. It comes over me when I get home with Cwtch and Welshy rushes in the back door and the baby almost hyperventilates with excitement as he scoops her up and my husband grits his teeth so as not to squeeze her too hard and she is squealing and he is grinning and I just stand back and laugh because of this feeling I get. It's joy! That's what it is. It's joy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I've had a few friends email me about that last blog post and it's reminded me again how powerful words are. It's what makes us human. Not just the ability to communicate but the capacity to feel complex emotions and name them with sounds that other people recognise. That empathy, that resonance...that's what makes us human. So this week I got exciting news that a piece I wrote about living in the village is going to be published in an online magazine. I have not had anything published since my angstey poetry appeared in In Press Magazine approximately half my lifetime ago. This is different for me, than say blogging shamelessly about my failed marriage, because this time it will be published under my actual name. This means when I google myself, it will have something more interesting than stuff about my old job and the youtube videos my brother in law posted from my wedding. Wow. My ego desperately wants to link the piece back to this very blog but my common sense and fear of everyone in the whole wide world knowing that this blog belongs to me, overshadows that. i'd have to do an enormous edit and pretend like I am not some crazy lady who uses her running blog to vent about everything except running. By the way, I am so unfit right now, it is not even funny. I've been thinking about entering some short story competitions too. What I write is not really for magazines or newspapers. It's a strange little niche actually...observational, bit offbeat, emotionally reflective. Non fiction. Hmmm. I do like being read though. I like how that connects us and the feeling that people can relate to my own experiences. It's nice.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1000 cranes

I used to live in a block of four flats in a wide, tree lined street just a stones throw from the park where I got married; not too far from the city, quiet enough to be called the suburbs, a network of speed humps and canals and art deco buildings bleached white with salt and sun. My neighbours were great. Over the fence there was a turtle and two round faced little kids with earnest eyes and creative parents. In the front flat, down the bottom, sharing a wall with us, were a couple about my age. They made music and art and a teeny little baby boy who would sit in the washing basket while his mum pegged impossibly small singlets on the communal line. Upstairs was a single guy who wore a lot of black and worked from home. Above us, another couple with a child. One night we heard banging and then the police came and one half of the couple was not seen again. Then there was us. My husband and I. Filling our home with furniture from our former share house, the whir of the juicer signaling morning, our little cat-child sleeping on the end of the bed. When my mother in law died, I spent a lot of time walking those tree lined streets. I'd walk past the park even though it hurt sometimes to be reminded of the other side of the coin; the joy of our wedding day, so bright and gorgeous made the darkness of our first wedding anniversary, the day she had died, so horribly devastating by comparison. I'd walk up and down the roads, around the block. Sometimes I'd collect Autumn leaves or notice FOR SALE signs attached to fences and imagine the lives of other people, creating dramas around the reasons they had to move, a marriage breakdown? Financial ruin? Moving to France? I guess it made me feel connected to imagine that it was not just my own life that was imploding. Often, upon my return from these walks, I would find an origami folded crane sitting on the letterbox or fence post or halfway up the driveway. The paper was embossed and colourful and expensive. The cranes were perfect, tiny, beautiful. I'd pick them up, secreting them into my pocket, then on to my shelf, on the coffee table or window sill. They seemed so precious, surely someone was missing them, was I really allowed to keep them for myself? I wondered where they were coming from. If it was a message, a sign that things were getting better. I'd always loved birds, we'd had tiny model finches clipped in to the flower arrangements on the day we got married. They were ominous. I had chosen to forget that I had hit and killed a magpie with my car on the day we got engaged. Those cranes were a silent, fragile reminder that the world was still wonderful. On the weekend that we went away to spread my mother in law's ashes in the Blue Mountains, we asked one of the neighbours to feed our cat. It was the single guy, the one who wore black and spoke to our kitty in a soft voice as he scratched her head. The weekend was fairly strange. I came down with a head cold that made the flights excruciating. We stood in a cemetery, silent except for the guttural sobbing of my sister in law. No one spoke but the voices in my head were so loud and my concept of time so warped that I wondered if I had spoken out loud and if so, when? And why didn't anyone respond? Why wouldn't he hug his sister? I could feel my shoulders burning in the midday sun and I truly wished to be anywhere, anyone, other than here with the broken fragments of my family. That's where we were at during that stage. Standing together by some gravestones, the most disconnected people you could imagine. When we got home, my head cold cleared up and one morning in the kitchen, while making juice, I found a crane in a tea cup. It was the same as the others; perfect, blue this time, fitting on the palm of my hand. Laughter caught in my chest. It was him! It was my neighbour all along, planting little birds about the place when no one was looking. He must have popped it in the tea cup when searching for a spoon for the cat food. They say that if you fold a thousand cranes, you get a wish. I had collected about 10 thousandths of a wish then. I later found out that our neighbour, the cat lover, the guy who wore a lot of black and kept mostly to himself, had had a girlfriend, maybe a wife, who had gotten very, very sick. One day, despite the cranes, despite it not being fair, despite Karma and will and the force of love, she had died. I wondered if he had planted the cranes because he recognised the grief in our eyes. If he saw something that was broken and thought we could do with a wish. I wondered if once she has died, the cranes reminded him of too many broken promises and he wanted to be rid of them. I think maybe though, he thought the cranes were like tears, that he had a limited number to shed and that once he had gotten rid of the last one, he could start moving on. That last crane, the blue one from the tea cup, came with me when my marriage broke up. It sat in my new bedroom, in my new flat, with my new housemate and my old, old story about the last day of February, when my mother in law had buried so much pain beneath those tiny pills, that it had killed her. On my final day of studying art therapy, I pasted that crane in between two pages of a book. When you opened it to that section, the wings would spread like it was balancing on the wind, mid flight. I wrote a story on the other pages, a story of the last two years and then the very next day, I met Welsh. He read what was written in that book, I told him about the cranes and before I knew it we had fallen in love. Him because I was a girl who wrote stories about folded birds in driveways and me because he had listened when I told them. And now it's a few miles from those tree lined streets, years away from those ashes in the blue mountains, mere footsteps from that crane, stuck in a book on my shelf upstairs and I am lucky enough to be siting here with my baby, my darling, my own tiny wish-come-true.