A Quick Update

Marc and Philip

Last week was one of those that I would quite like to forget about, to be honest. I got my speeding penalty letter on Tuesday. It turns out that even when you get a nice policeman and it’s just a caution you still get a $110 fine. On Wednesday I dropped my phone and smashed the screen. “Great,” I said to DorkyDad, “That’s two things… I wonder what the third will be?” I didn’t have to wait long to find out. On Thursday when I was in the shop getting a new phone sorted out it took so long that I came back to the car and found a parking ticket.

Then on Friday came the news that put all of my little grumbles into perspective. Two friends – two of the people I went to Greenland with, nine years ago exactly – had gone missing in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the rescue mission soon turned into a recovery mission. As I write this they have still not been found – I hope for their families’ sake that they are soon. I have had a very sad few days thinking about them, but I’ve also been smiling as I remember some of the incredible experiences we had together. It was a privilege to write a piece about Marc and Philip for the Guardian Environment blog, which you can read here.

The one piece of good news last week was that I have been shortlisted for Best Writer in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards. I’m not really doing much to deserve that at the moment, but thank you so much – I very much appreciate the support of all my readers. If you’d like to cast your vote to see me in the finals – or any of your other favourite bloggers who are shortlisted – it’ll take you two minutes to do here.

Normal blogging service will hopefully be resumed soon.

No Excuses

Red road sign STOP

The police are a very visible presence in Tasmania. It is rare that you can make a trip across town without seeing a good few police cars and at least one roadside alcohol test or speed trap going on. They are particularly present around schools at drop-off and pick-up, catching people who aren’t paying attention to the reduced speed limit at those times.

That’s a good thing. It has given us the opportunity to have a lot of discussions with DorkySon in the car about what the police do to support communities, how important it is to drive safely and responsibly, and what the negative effects of alcohol can be on people. When I was pulled over a few months ago as part of a large-scale breath testing initiative DorkySon was in the back of the car and thought it was very exciting indeed. It was over in less than a minute and with a reading of zero I was free to drive on, but he talked about it for weeks afterwards. Continue reading

A Bruny Island Break

dusk on Bruny Island

“We are living on an island, under an island, under an island, at the edge of the world.”

Sometimes you find a holiday spot that’s just so beautiful that you feel torn between telling everyone about it and keeping it a secret so it doesn’t get overrun.

That’s how I feel about our time away on Bruny Island last week. Given that my blog audience is a small one though, and that most of you live many thousands of miles away, I feel safe in spilling the beans. Continue reading

Park Life


We are in the middle of the Easter holidays here.

I thought it was going to be a quiet break, but it hasn’t turned out that way. DorkySon spent last weekend recovering from the excitement of his birthday – he lay on the sofa and worked his way steadily through all the new DVDs he’d been given – but this week he has had a swimming lesson every day and we have been fitting in all the things like dentist appointments and haircuts that can no longer happen during the term.

Last night DorkyDad and I went to the launch of Dark MOFO. Tomorrow our supply of winter firewood arrives, so we’ll be spending a good few hours stacking that and – *shudders* – hopefully avoiding the spiders. Next week we head to Bruny Island for a few nights, before having some friends to stay for the final weekend of the holiday. Continue reading

Now you are six


So now you are six.

You are not a wee soft thing anymore. There is still a slight curve to your belly, and enough for a squeeze under your chin, but otherwise you are all angles and lines, long skinny legs pink with the sun.

What a year we’ve had together. This time twelve months ago you were still settling into kindergarten, sometimes nervous around other children, struggling to hold a pen the right way. But you are in the perfect school. It is a community that has nurtured all your strengths and found the right way to help with your weaknesses.

Like us, they have realised that you like to do things in your own time, unhurried. They know that gentle nudges towards independence work far better for you than rough shoves. So now, one term into prep, it is all falling into place. The building blocks of reading and writing are coming together so fast we can hardly keep up with you. All the life skills – cycling, swimming, socialising – are getting better each week. And at home you are proud to help and get involved – dressing yourself, carrying plates, pouring drinks – you become more confident and less clumsy with every day that passes. Continue reading