Half a century

I remember a time
before I was scared of you
a time when I was
just your little girl
and you were my daddy
and that's what I choose
to remember today
I get to choose you see
now I'm almost a grown up

(Father's Day today)

Onto happier things ... 

My gentle man is 50 years old today. Half a century. All is prepared for a special day. I have made blueberries in maple syrup. Ha! I say made, all I've done is cooked the berries in the syrup until lovely and gloopy. Job done. I have made pancake batter, I have bought maple cure streaky bacon ....

For later on sis & I will prepare 3 curries, dahl, rice and naan. We will all sit down together tonight for a family celebration, a joint birthday meal for Trev and Father's Day meal for my brother-in-law.

Over our years together my favourite breakfast of all time (maple sweetened blueberries, thick american style pancakes and crispy streaky bacon) has become his too. How lucky does that make me? Sometimes I forget to appreciate my good fortune. I am lucky that Trev's birthday coincides with Fathers Day this year because it gives me a good reason to focus on the good things in my life without dwelling on the past like I usually do.

Because it's the big five-oh I have been scrimping wherever possible and putting aside some money each week for the last few years. Saving up for an extra special gift. A Nikon D7000 digital SLR. It was either that or a telecaster guitar but really ... we have more than enough guitars.

I am practising patience today. Normally on Trev's birthday I wake him up at the crack of dawn because I love the gift opening bit ... then the playing with what he's (we've) got bit.

I am still somewhat over-awed by the fact that we are "allowed" to do whatever we choose to.

I have decided to wait for him to wake up naturally ... even to the point of not making unnecessary noise (despite the fact Trev could sleep through a riot happening right next to his ear). Don't you think that's pretty mature of me?

Being an almost-grown-up totally rocks some days.


Surgeons are amazing aren't they? Like super-duper people mechanics they opened my father-in-law up, swapped some bits and bobs around to make space for his ICD (pacemaker defib thingameewhatsit) which they've placed with surgical precision before sewing him back up good as new ... well almost ... after all, he wasn't exactly new to start with! It all went well though. The next few days will be spent in the hospital and then home and on to the process of recuperation.

Lots to be thankful for today.

The not-so-secret formula

Every once in a while I hit the jackpot. Know what I mean?

I was thinking about Oliver the other day. No actually I was fretting about what to get him for his birthday. I have something of a reputation to live up to in the gift giving department. It's my secret formula that gives me the edge. I can't take credit for the formula itself ... only in my enthusiastic application of it.

I was absolutely thrilled a while ago when my eldest niece (now 23 y.o) told her littlest brother that he shouldn't worry about giving me his present wish-list because Auntie Jos always buys the coolest pressies anyhow. Now that is an accolade and a half.

Auntie-hood is an area of my life that provides many blessings. I need no other reason for my general non-grown-up-ness than it makes me an all right kind of auntie. I like worms ... and mud ... and tree climbing, kite flying, snot flicking, ice-cream licking, kicking balls around, jumping in puddles, lying on the ground, and running around for no good reason other than it feels good.

I am shockingly bad at playing Barbie though. Not too good at tea parties or playing fairy princesses either. And I hate playing house although it's OK if I can be the cat. The last Barbie-doll I played with was immediately seconded into a commando parachute regiment and promptly dropped from a 3rd storey window weighted down with plasticine boots for ballast. I'm not sure my youngest niece has fully forgiven me for the green marker pen camouflage which I honestly thought would wash off her Barbie's face .... no honestly I did!

Back to present buying ... and the not-so-secret formula.

  1. Go to any good toy shop on a day when you have plenty of time to spare. Ideally on a day when it will be filled with kids (you can take some of your own if need be but swear them to utmost-secrecy-on-pain-of-gruesome-horribleness first)
  2. Look around for ages and ages making notes of all the things that you think are cool along with location and price. Have a good look at stuff that is attracting a lot of interest amongst kids of a similar age to your young friend.
  3. Now for the fun bit.
  4.  Beyond budgetary considerations which are allowed don't think about practicalities! Don't don't don't!!!
  5.  Instead imagine you are the age of your young friend ... it helps if you pretend to have similar interests too. Hmmm .... actually this is pretty crucial to the formula's success.
  6. Buy the thing that you want to play with most of all.

OK, well I admit it. There have been times when I've been a more popular auntie than sister. I blame step 4 for this. I find it better to blame step 4 than myself. It works out better that way because who am I to argue with the secret formula?

So Oliver is eight years old tomorrow. He will be getting a Make You Own Dinosaur Movie kit from me. It's well cool. I say he is getting this present but the reality is that we are both getting it because that's the other thing about the secret formula ... I get to play with it too! Yay!!!! I can't wait.

We are away from home at the moment because my Father-in-law is not at all well and is in the ITU in hospital. As a way of passing the inevitable hours spent in the waiting room I have been learning how to write text docs onto a Kindle. Wonderful gadget it is, very kindly loaned to me by my sister-in-law who doesn't like the clunkiness of the page turns ... very odd woman. What's not to like? Kindles are well cool.

Not good internet access here as it's dial-up. So I'll press send and then leave the PC on whilst we go visiting. Might work ....

Sorry what was the question?

that i will end up alone
even more alone than now
and that i'll deserve to be
because after all this
it turns out that it's true
what i thought all along

and that is that i am

that's the answer
that wasn't so hard was it?

if i have to start with the answer
and work backwards from there
towards accepting it
do i get to re-define
the question
so i like the answer better
next time around

I mean ....
what sort of half-assed
question was that anyway?

in the unsaid lies the malady
valiantly defied by words
spoken into the void
in an attempt to avoid
the unsaid

shall we start again
and actually say this time
i am utterly fed up
with unsaying
with being always too afraid

between the pauses
of these empty words
lies heartache and tears
made all the worse
for lapping against this dam

i'd smash it down entirely
were it not for this fear
that what would emerge
might flow in directions
i cannot afford to go

instead i keep taking it down
one small brick at a time
as my courage allows
expending my remaining efforts
in dealing with the seepage

i would coral it still
building further fortifications
as does a child on the beach
digging fast and furiously in a bid
to contain the sea itself

for i want what i don't want
and in that contradiction lies a key
to the door of something
i can only guess at as i sit
looking at these empty words