Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Now I'm not sure if this is the case for everyone. There are probably plenty of you out there who are doing just as you always imagined. Whatever that was. But I'm just as sure there are at least a few of you who, like me, every now and then, look around and go 'What the hell happened here then?'
And it is not to say that I would take back any of the things I have done; or choose to do anything differently. Well, maybe I would have been a bit more careful when I was following that brand new Audi in my 1984 Suzuki Alto, but that nasty woman deserved it in the end anyway. And perhaps I could have given a bit extra in my first year maths paper, but how much further would have a bit of algebra gotten me? (Rhetorical question thank you).
It has been an interesting journey revisiting my old life in New Zealand. Seeing my family again; properly meeting baby Beth; laying eyes on the shining faces of my wonderful friends who constantly amaze me with their strength and life, in every little way.
But for a while there I had a bit of a loser rain cloud hovering above my head.
I don't know if this was always the case, but my funny little country of birth seems to be obsessed with weddings, babies, buying houses, and DIY television programmes. And it kinda makes it hard when you're not doing ANY of these things. Don't get me wrong - I love a good bit of DIY as much as the next person. I had a great time installing the dishwasher at work. But it isn't the same.
Sometimes when you are different, you feel like you are somehow not doing things right. But the other day, as I was driving a country road which bordered a great big blue canvas of sky, with Kings of Leon screaming out of my half wound down window, I realised something.
Just because I don't have a mortgage.... Just because I can't e mail around the most recent baby photos..... Just because there isn't someone out there that thinks I'm the best thing since sliced soy and linseed.... Just because I'm not spending my weekends deciding whether eggshell or terracotta would go best in the en suite... None of this makes me anything less than the next person.
And maybe it will take me a little bit longer than that 'next person' to find my hermitage by the seaside; and a Ted Hughes to go inside. A DIY proficient one.
But whatever happens (and we all know it wont be what we imagine) I'm certainly planning on having some great adventures along the way.
And so I fought the doubt monsters and won. Again. Of course I'm the one that creates them, so they are smart, tactical and a wee bit devious, but they have a terribly short attention span. Bless 'em.
Monday, 26 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
And so Mum, Dad and Rosa go on trips. Like when they went to welcome migrating godwits back to NZ, from their summer holiday in Siberia.
Since I moved away, Dad has been very busy.
Then he bought another bus to go inside the shed.
Then he built three vegetable gardens from the leftover shed bits.
And now that he has ripped all the seats out of bus #2, he is turning it into a home for some other lucky person. So they can go and say hi to the godwits.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
For years and years we had a version which was circa 1980. Despite my protests of it not possibly being fair for me to have to try and answer questions all based on facts that occurred before I even existed, it wasn't until 2003 that the upgrade came about. Now there is a little bit less Frank Sinatra and a touch more Michael Jackson.
So when nine of the extended Bramwell clan converged on the ranch for a weekend, it was only fitting that in between general over-consumption and getting the occasional plastic farm animal stuck between your toes thanks to the recent introduction of babies, a Trivial war be staged.
Three teams of three were formed. 'The Oldies', 'The Parents', and 'The Child-Free'.
The game ended up going on for about two hours longer than it should have because 'The Oldies' would spend fifteen minutes deliberating every single answer before they got sidetracked and had to ask for the question to be repeated. In fact they took so long that 'The Parents' had to go to bed, despite being in the lead. 'The Child-Free' eventually took out the 2009 title thanks to sheer stamina, outstanding general knowledge (despite their youth), and not having to get up at 6am every morning to feed a mini-person weet-bix.
The next showdown will be held at sunset, on the kitchen table. Just me, Dad and a pack of cards. Everything around us will fade for a good hour and a half whilst we battle it out at Gin.
Monday, 12 January 2009
Today she is simply the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
And this morning I got to feel her little brother or sister wriggling about; slowly preparing to meet the world in a couple of months time.
It is all just a little bit like the film 'Alien' but truly amazing all the same.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Especially when it means spending time with one of the best people ever invented - my friend Kate.
All the while being in the knowledge that it is -8c and snowing at home.