new shores

I grew up land-locked. 

We came from the middle of Southern Africa to an island in the South Pacific half my life ago.

Now there is ocean all around me, miles of exquisite glistening shoreline have

replaced my bleached and beloved Savannah. 

And yet now we are leaving this adopted country that has become my home,

with its clean cold breath, its bright jewel colours and gentle life,

my children’s birthplace and home.

June 2010 082

Corporate assignment will see us heading off to Singapore, leaving next month.

Singapore is familiar to us, we spent 6 months there four years ago

and it is a place that has much to delight the senses.

June 2010 115

But there is a space immediately more intoxicating to the soul -

the rollercoaster seat that wrenches and rolls in the light of purpose.

It is on the rattling, flinging and speeding Giant of Change

as we are buckled in and the gears have turned in preparation.

It is the horrifying sense of loss of balance,

the ear-splitting machine of traction

as we hurtle on a new track towards an unknown experience.

It is leaving behind feet on fields that are safe, level and calm.

It is being transported by enormous processes beyond our control

to other vistas that are not our own.

It is an exhilaration that battles against a grief

and yet the huge machine won’t stop for me to get my bearings,

it keeps grinding and swinging us further up and away.

We have had grainy passport photos snapped and filled in stacks of immigration paperwork,

we have been subjected to literally hours of medicals,

vaccinations and tests.

And I see the house around me in new eyes,

take this, leave that,

there are boxes beginning to cluster in corners,

and yet, it is still unreal.

I wonder at moments if I am really on this rollercoaster

or if I will wake up and it all be a psychedelic dream.

June 2010 192

The sleepy part of me is reluctant to rush, it is savouring last experiences,

enjoying thinking slowly and finding peace and inspiration in little things.

But the other part,

the increasing part that registers I have a responsibility to connect, to engage, to think

is taking over, with squiggles growing all over my diary pages.

How to keep level, uncomplicated and sane is important to me,

not to fluster and fight,

but to give in to the immensity of the ride and although I will remember to hold on tight,

I also know the ride will eventually come to an end,

and I will disembark at the other side with shaky legs,

discombobulated for a moment,

slightly winded, ruffled and messy

but glad to be back on terra-firma

and ready to settle myself into a steady place again.


And I realise what a blessing this pocket of virtual space is,

and your friendship as we journey this next phase will bring perspective

to the new oceans I will look out upon.

June 2010 091

Here’s to New Shores.

Buckle up.

The old is not the Old,

nor is it the Forgotten.

Memory of the heart will grow and tucked in with my Africa,

will be my Aotearoa.

June 2010 066


family time

I have been a million miles away.


Rugging up under winter gray woollen clouds,

June 2010 006 and tripping down rain-spangled garden paths,

June 2010 011crunching over frosty mornings,

 June 2010 049 June 2010 048

and playing on mirror shores,

June 2010 125

breaking bread for elegant snow-feathered friends, June 2010 156 June 2010 173

and re-uniting with our best guy after his fortnight away,

June 2010 218

  watching my favourite team play beach games at twilight,

June 2010 221admiring much my own personal gentle Sea Sprite,

June 2010 223and my very own pint sized, rainbow legged Strawberry Shortcake,

June 2010 220and my own wee, wild Nim meets Pippi Longstocking.

June 2010 294

We frolicked, ate and were merry.

 June 2010 257 June 2010 259

Winter howled around us,

or shone its soft light

June 2010 336

and we spun memories like lace,

6 blonde grandbabies were cuddled, cards games were played

and songs from our teen years were screeched while dishes were washed.

 June 2010 297 June 2010 304 June 2010 314

Brothers, sisters, in-laws, grandparents, and babies

away from the world,

but all together for a few days.

June 2010 282


And now, I am home,

where Mt Laundry looms large.


Looking forward to catching up with all your posts :)


limbo dancing

May 2010 386We are a global family.

We don’t just have one national anthem,

we carry the heart of many songs.

Our children identify with home and abroad,

we have roots that span the continents.

My husband works for a global oil company,

which means my career as an oil wife

has a great deal to do with refining the process

of shifting and re-settling.

Yet it still catches me by surprise, the uncertainty, the wondering. 

The knowing that there is a meeting room in Asia

where people I don’t know, shuffle our future,

moving my husband’s name around like a jigsaw piece,

unaware of the domino effect that tumbles down the line.

Leaving schools, packing toys into storage. Finding home in the new.

And I sit in the middle, helpless to influence the outcome.

But feeling calm.  Because it is part of what I do, and embracing each uncertain moment is like absorbing the impact of natural extension.

And if we find out that nothing changes, then begins The Grounding.

That deliberate journey of choosing belonging; to a community, a village.

In the meantime, I do the limbo, asking for grace to bring flexibility.

Saying to the One who upholds, shelters and shields us;

plant us where you want us.  i choose to trust you.


Little Joys

My little people have been poorly.

For over a week,

high fevers, croup, coughs and general misery.

This has coincided with a 2 week trip away to stay with extended family

while the Big Guy has been away on business in Singapore.

Flights, suitcases, panadol, menthol chest rub, broken nights and tears.


May 2010 376


But it is not even remotely tempting to feel pitiful.

And after I have poured medicine, wiped faces and re-settled their fiery, shivery limbs,

I crawl back into my makeshift single bed in my mom’s second lounge

and send a rousing mental chorus of gratitude.


May 2010 375 

Because of this.

Because I am not a parent of a child who fights for life,

week after month after year.

My waking hours in the dark are spent wrestling a prayer

for yet another family

who are walking the hospital corridors of the desperate journey

of waiting for a miracle.

And in the light of my babies’ eyes,

I see theirs.

And I am gripped by both sorrow and celebration.



Tuesday’s Monday

I used to dread waking up after Sundays, knowing that creepy Monday-monster had wiped filthy feet all over my floors.  Dirty washing usually lies tossed in corners, the windows are smeary, stovetop crusty, rubbish bins overflowing and ash from the fireplace has often found it’s way all over the lounge rug.  The bleakness of it all was enough to make me churn with resentment, watching my family depart in their uniformed smartness clutching their packed lunches, to hang out with their friends or colleagues, leaving me standing alone (unless you count the help of a toddler) in my fuzzy green dressing gown to survey the damage.

But something changed in me last year.  I suddenly realised the level of privilege I was mistaking for drudgery.  I imagined in one striking lightbulb moment, how it would feel to be clattering off with the rest of them in my lip gloss and heels, clutching my wrapped lunch, leaving the mess behind.  I then closed my eyes and pretended I was arriving back home at the end of that kind of day, three fractious children in tow. With tired feet, to a cold house, the staleness of waiting chaos, mountains of homework, dinner to be made and not having even had enough time to eat my wilted sandwich for lunch. 

Perpetually wishing I had time to prune the deadheads, defrost the chicken, visit that person, or buy milk and bread from the shop.

Or what if I was lying in a hospital bed, wishing I was at home scrubbing the oven or attacking my windows with vinegar and crunched up newspaper?  Wishing I could pop on the kettle, and sing along with the radio while I swish the vacuum around.  Wishing there was a knock at the door and some lovely pal stood there with a handful of baking.

 May 2010 225

Wishing I could bath my baby-girl and read to her, inhaling the shampoo sweetness, or find my big girls’ missing socks; wishing I could whip up a batch of muffins or catch up with a faraway friend on the phone.  Wishing I could polish the toothpaste splatters off the mirror, or change the bedsheets.

Oh, yeah.  That’s right.

I have been there.  I’ve wished those wishes.

I’ve run out of the door in a uniform, starched and glossed, later saying goodnight to my littles on the phone, staggering in at 10.30pm when my shift ended.

And I’ve also lain in a narrow hospital bed for days, staring at the ceiling while imagining the chaotic family frenzy that our lives frequently display.  And wished I was there.

And I’ve grimaced at the mucky floors knowing I am still not allowed to wield a mop or a broom.  And I’ve stared hard at baskets of wet washing that cannot be hung because they are still too heavy to lift.  And I’ve sat confined to my bed, while my husband juggles mealtimes and the dynamics of three daughters singlehandedly, while trying to keep working from home.

But today?  Today I am content.  Monday wrapped its cosy arms around me, washing and floors not-with-standing.

May 2010 248

Rain drums on the roof and makes the garden a sheet of water behind those sticky windows, but today I have hands, legs and enough strength to show love.

May 2010 251

And over the weekend, I was able to enjoy church, walk around a farm, a mall and have friends for dinner.  It felt nearly normal.

May 2010 264

And the Bliss of the Ordinary wrapped up in my Monday was divine.

       May 2010 246May 2010 245 May 2010 220

It is nice to see you Mucky Monday, welcome in. 




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