My father died ten years ago. Christmas has been a poignant time of year for me ever since. As distance means I can't put flowers on his grave, this story is my memorial to him. It's creative non-fiction, which means it's true, but I have been creative in places. He was a great teller of … Continue reading A Triptych in Memory of my Father
My fiancé turned to me last night and asked if I was having an existential experience. I realise what I must’ve looked like. People around me were dancing, cheering, singing and generally rocking-out, whereas I was completely still in my seat at The Opera House. Tears were running down my face and my hands covered … Continue reading When Prince Charming took me to see Prince Charming
I’ve been writing rest home profiles over the last couple of weeks. It’s part of my job as Pen-for-Hire. I’m lucky to have the work, but it’s been a little depressing. I’ve been making God’s waiting room seem attractive, and it’s got me thinking… Don’t get me wrong, these rest homes really do sound like … Continue reading This too will pass
Yesterday was International Suicide Prevention Day. I’d never heard of it before, until a friend liked a link on Facebook. It resonated because two teens have recently committed suicide in the town where I live and, like many people who work closely with teenagers, I found myself deeply distressed by it. I was helping a small group of Year … Continue reading Live for Tomorrow
If you should find yourself stuck for ages in a queue to buy food, it’s probably because I’m at the counter trying to decide what to eat. When I do eventually order, I shall change my mind the moment it’s written down because an unbearable panic will have kicked in. It’s a typical Libra trait … Continue reading The Great New Zealand Flag Debate
I remember my last week in England before emigrating to New Zealand. We spent it at a friend’s flat in London. On the day we were leaving, I went for a walk alone in random London streets and tried to soak in the feel of the air and the smells of an English morning. I … Continue reading New Zealand
When you are taller than everyone else and can’t quite coordinate your long limbs, when you have teeth too big for your face, and when you have out-of-control long blonde frizzy hair, you get called names at school. One of those names, for me, was Yeti. It only lasted a year or two, this name-calling, … Continue reading Yeti
Xmas represents my ‘X’ post as part of the A to Z Challenge, and why reinvent the wheel? This is a very early post on that very subject and reading it again brings back many memories. Also, I look back on xmases in England within this post, so it fits in with my theme of ‘Memory’ beautifully.
This coming xmas, I won’t have my children with me for the second time. I’m hoping for less of an emotional roller-coaster this year…
This Christmas, I made my first ever cheesecake. This was also my first Christmas without my children since they were born.
In the days leading to Christmas, I planned ahead so it wouldn’t be shit without my girls. Being on the other side of the world from my family, I was invited by a South African friend to share Christmas Day with her, her husband and some of their friends who were also far away from home. I gratefully accepted, and she asked me to contribute dessert: cheesecake.
I baked it on Christmas Eve, after dropping the girls off to their father. I’d found the recipe on the internet: “Eric’s best ever cheesecake”. It was a baked New York Cheesecake, gluten-free with no base. I have no idea who Eric is, but his gluten-free cheesecake recipe is excellent. Here it is: allrecipes.com/recipe/erics–best-new-york-style-
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On a hot afternoon after college, with another hour before I had to pick up the kids, I drove directly to the beach from Wellington, and slipped on my swimsuit in the parked car. I walked barefoot along the hot sand path through reeds and grasses down to the shore, dropped my towel as I … Continue reading Waves
We honeymooned in Rome. Just four days. We visited the Colosseum, the fountains and steps, and explored ornate basilicas. We ate mountains of pasta and pizza in gorgeous cafes and restaurants. We caught a good long look at Brad Pitt filming Oceans Twelve. And, of course, we visited the Vatican. The Vatican was a highlight … Continue reading The Vatican