Rooftop Bars and Hire Cars

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On the long plane journey back from the US a few weeks ago, while DorkyDad watched Muriel’s Wedding for the first time, and DorkySon watched the Peanuts movie for the fourth time, I chose to watch a documentary about Nora Ephron, called Everything is Copy.

It felt appropriate. I’m not half the writer that Nora was but our three weeks in the US – landing in South Carolina twelve hours before it was evacuated for Hurricane Matthew – certainly provided plenty of copy.

We’d been talking about this holiday for so long. Through the cold Tasmanian winter, during every sleepless night or stressful early morning, we reassured ourselves.

Hold on,” we’d say. “The holiday is coming! We have sunshine and music and shrimp in our future.

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What do you do when he travels?

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People say it all the time.

“It must be hard when your husband travels… What do you DO?”

Oh no, it’s fine,” I reply, “we’re used to it.”

Then I laugh lightly. “I enjoy the peace and quiet.

It’s true.

It is fine. We are used to it. And I do enjoy the peace and quiet.

He travels much less than he used to. And much faster. Singapore and back in four days. Hong Kong in three. Last year he did a full circuit of the globe in less than a fortnight.

He packs well. A black bag, with the right sized pocket for everything; wash kit, tie case, shoes. I sit on the bed watching. In the early days he and I would write each other notes on yellow legal paper to find later. I would find a way to slip one into his briefcase while he read through the itinerary one last time. He would leave one on the pillow for me to find that night. We don’t do that anymore. We trust our love, and besides, we text. Continue reading

A Very British Identity Crisis

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I haven’t written much about the European Referendum, but I’m very happy to have a guest post about it on the blog today. This is from my brother Ewan Cameron. He doesn’t mind a wee bit of debate, so please feel free to leave a comment below. Image credit: Chris Lawton at Unsplash.

I am not a writer, and as a journalist once told me (so it must be true) I am not a ‘political animal.’ I most definitely felt until recently that I had no national identity whatsoever. However, when my head is positively spinning with thought I do sometimes write things down in an attempt to find order. As I live in Scotland many of these thoughts currently whizzing around are a result of politics and involve matters of national identity so here goes.

I have a Scottish father and an English mother, which at least means I must be British. Until the age of ten this made absolutely no difference to me at all, I knew my mother was from a town called Leek in Staffordshire, I had grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins there who we saw twice a year or so and they were/are nice people and I enjoyed seeing them and that was as far as it went. Continue reading

Seven

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It was DorkySon’s birthday at the end of March. Seven. Goodness.

As with every year previous, we asked if he wanted a party, and as with every year previous he said no. He is nothing if not predictable – still a boy of simple pleasures. On the day itself he took in some sweets to share with classmates, and asked to have dinner at a local brewpub. (Pulled pork sandwiches for the win!) His present requests also remained modest – books, Lego, and a big shiny balloon. The weekend after his birthday we took a boat trip down the river – an opportunity to see penguins bobbing in the water and sea eagles soar above our heads – then went for fish and chips, and ice cream. He is a boy after my own heart for sure. Continue reading

South

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Even after more than two years here there are times when my internal compass spins automatically north – times when I try and do things the way they’ve always been done.

I had imagined that January would be productive. New month, new year, new start – the perfect opportunity to get my head together and work on some priorities for 2016. I was going to declutter the house. I was going to detox – alcohol, carbs, social media. I was going to set up my new computer so I could email editors and write something brilliant.

But of course January is still the middle of school summer holidays here, and none of that happened. Instead it was a month of ice cream and beach time, lazy Bruny days, boat trips and books. We had visitors from Scotland, cuddles with kangaroos, and soft, warm evenings in the Adirondack chairs. There were all sorts of loveliness. Continue reading