Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Where is home?

I am back from little old New Zealand where I hung with Clueless Wonder Two, which basically means I got to feed him, play ATM and try and decipher his grunty teen language. If anyone has a handbook, I'll pay. With a kidney or a vineyard.

Sydney where friendship never ends
I haven't been home for a while, and sometimes I don't know where home is. I've lived in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, London and Redondo Beach, and each place has a special place in my heart.

Then there's London. We were in a tiny flat with the washing machine in the kitchen, no heat and had the best friends ever.
This gorgeous woman and I found each other after twenty years! 
USA friends

There are so many people who are precious to me and who are scattered around the globe. Helen, Sarah, Alexis, Noorah, Kate, Kirsten - the list goes on and on. So, as I sit here, I don't know that I have a single home. Home is where my friends are, so I have homes all around the world.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Those three little words

Yesterday I looked down as my cell rang and noted the number. I answered and started walking to my computer to log ioto internet banking.
We’d had many conversations along the lines of:
Clueless: “The diff on The Beast is wonky.”
Me: “How much,” I sighed.
When he told me the cost, I slid off the chair. “Wait? Are diffs made from pure gold?”
As an aside, I don’t know what a diff is, what it does or if it even exists.
What it looks like and what is the dream.

A background on The Beast which is one of the first Holden Commodore’s that rolled off the production line. It was owned by my sister in law’s father from mile zero, then my brother who treated it like a third child with its throaty V8 engine. When my brother died tragically a few years ago, I couldn’t bear the thought of Beastie leaving the family, and my sister in law couldn’t take hearing it come down her driveway, so The Beast is still in the Manning family and shall remain so.

Clueless is deep into his degree and shares a house with five others. There have been calls for books, food (I was horrified, I couldn’t bear the thought of him starving), so three delivery trucks turned up the next day. 
To give Clueless his due, he works three jobs and pays his tuition. (I won’t tell you what we pay in New Zealand for education, but divide your nation's debt by the amount of sheep we have – sixty-six million, then halve it because it’s in New Zealand dollars. No complaints here from the cheap seats people.

Back to Clueless and the phone call.

“Hey, what’s up?” I said, walking toward the computer.
“What do you mean nothing.”
Was he in a police cell?
“Just wanted to say I love you.”
I grip the phone. “Have you been kidnapped? We’ve only got about a buck fifty. I don’t think that will cover it.” Wait. “Have you been abducted by a cult? Are you playing the tambourine in public and working for your body weight in kale?”

Clueless: “No, I thought about all you’d done for me over the years and I wanted to say how much I appreciated what you’ve done, and I love you.”

I am rendered mute as tears fall down my face. I’m glad he didn’t mention the shoe throwing incident. I’m not proud people, I’m not proud, but said shoe didn’t connect.
Those three puffy little words skidded over me and dropped neatly into my soul where they were bundled up in soft cotton and cherished. 

I shall take out the package when I’m shelving out for a thingo that makes the doovie go around.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Oh the places you'll go

 I love to travel. Being from New Zealand, there’s not much down our part of the world, except Antarctica and Australia. I won’t go to the frozen continent, not because I don’t want to hang out with penguins because I do.
How freaking awesome are penguins? 

 I don’t handle the cold well. When we lived in London, the Fake Gordon Ramsay insisted he would suffocate if he didn’t sleep with the window open. In Winter when it was minus four hundred degrees. Sleeping in a balaclava isn’t sexy. Believe me. I digress, one of my favorite trips was to Tonga. 

Beautiful Tonga
It's exquisitely beautiful. The people were the friendliest ever, and you could see the stars for miles. There's something about a place that doesn't have the internet, newspapers or a radio. Hanging with the kids who didn't want to hang with us was refreshing. And normal. I remember trying to ditch my mum and hang with the cool kids at the beach and pretend she didn't exist. Ah, karma. How I wish I could take that back and have a do-over. 
And how can forget the Tongan flag bearer at the Olympics? 

I know right? 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Road Trip Baby! What I learned about New York

What I learned about my recent weekend getaway with the fake Gordon Ramsay.

New York is amazing. It doesn’t stop. Twenty-four seven there are people and apparently rats, but I didn’t see any or you would have heard me from your part of the world.

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a few countries, and guess what? All places have people who argue with themselves in their heads and would like you to know about it.

People are kind. They will stop when a fool (me) asks them where the ticket machine is at Penn Station when I’m standing beside it.  

You can have amazing conversations with complete strangers in elevators. Thanks to this conversation with an English couple we headed to a deli for a sandwich which was out of this world.

In New York, a pie is a pizza. I was a little confused. I think of pies are like this. FYI: The pizza was excellent. I crammed an indecent amount of it into by gob.
A Kiwi standard

Central Park is an oasis. There was a Japanese choir singing gospel, (I teared up they were so good). A dance crew throwing in the moves, people in boats, about twelve good citizens who thought I need exercise (they are not wrong), as I needed to hustle by butt onto one of their bikes and ride around the park, pronto.

The twin towers pools. I can’t put into words. More tissues.

New York, I love you and can’t wait to get back and love you some more.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Road Trip Baby! Part one

The Fake Gordo Ramsay and I  took a roadtrip with the grunty teen who is here on holiday and would rather be mining uranium with his hands than hanging out with his uncool parents. After much whispered discussions we decided to commune with nature for a few days, and as we hadn’t visited Yesomite off we went.

We lost radio coverage rather quickly, so I finally figured out how to Bluetooth my phone and  my tunes filled the car.

Grunty Teen. “What’s that sound,” he asked in a horror filled voice.
Moves, baby, Moves!
Me: “Disco, baby, where’s your glittering ball.” Some impressive moves were being made in the passenger seat.
Grunty Teen: “Can I walk to Yeosimite?”

A little while later. 

Grunty Teen: “You’ve got Kaleo, The Black Keys and Rihanna’s Love on the Brain?” Eyes wide in the back seat.
Me: ‘Yep, along with Dusty Springfiled’s ‘You don’t have to say you love me. (What a heartbreaker.) Midnight Train to Georgia (nothing else to be said), and a lot of The Boss, Pink Floyd, and The Stones.”
Grunty Teen: “I didn’t think you’d  know who Pink Floyd was.”
Ah, youth. 

As we approached Yosemite, I was alarmed at the temperature doovie in the car that was dropping at a rapid rate, so I lowered the window, stuck my head out and sniffed – dog style, whereby everything on my face froze.
“Holy hell, it really is freezing,” I said to anyone vaguely interested.
The Fake Gordon Ramsay looked at me sideways. “The snow didn’t give it away?”
Me: “I was kinda hoping it was fake snow because you know with all the supposed fake stuff out there…”

Courtesy of LA Times
Fake Gordo: “Yeah, because making snow and throwing it on the ground in random places seems like a fun thing to do.

Sometimes I want the bad language that is in my head to make an entrance, but there is a grunty teen in the back, who I am sure knows a lot more language than I do. 

More to come. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Practical vs. Sentimental

Last night I was going through one of the many boxes that have moved with us around the world. You know the ones that you’re not sure what’s in them, but it must be important because, hey, they’re here. Anyway, I was looking for a recipe for a cake I’ll probably never make. I was heavily into box number seven, affectionally labeled ‘Documents’ by the removalist, but which the fake Gordon Ramsay had labeled ‘crap we haul around the world with us.’

Hub’s sighed and said in a slightly exasperated voice “You kept all of that?”
Me: “Yes.” I stared at him dumbfounded. “Of course.”
Hubs: “Why do you keep every single picture?”

Because as women and mums are we more sentimental? I’d never get rid of their first school report, my first love letter (carefully printed in seven-year-old writing), a crumpled flower that was clutched in a tiny hand for hours because he wanted me to have something pretty. I’ve kept the newspapers published on the day they were born and every Mother’s Day card. The flower soap I’d had for years sadly didn’t make it. It hit humidity, and well let’s say box number four smells nice.
Is this just a Venus and Mars situation or is it just me being terribly sentimental?

Are you sentimental? Do you keep ‘stuff’ like me or are you like the Fake Gordon Ramsay. Is there something that you’ve saved?

You can't get rid of footprints!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Holding onto resentment - that big ugly word

We have pretty money
Clueless Wonder Two is in between school terms. It’s summer down under so he’s here. It’s been a while. Quite a while. He’s a teenage boy who speaks in grunts, a language I am slow to understand. If anyone has a manual, I will pay in liquid gold, tequila, the Yen or any currency you want. Name your price.

So, we were having that conversation. Again. The one that goes. Holy crap, it’s three a.m, and someone is breaking into the house. Wait. They’ve already broken in. I can hear footsteps. But, how would they know the alarm code? Armed with a flat-iron, I ventured into the living room. Clueless was eating a mandarin in the kitchen.

Me. In a state of heightened panic: “It’s three a.m. I thought you were staying at Kevin’s?”
Clueless: “Got bored.”
Me: “How did you get home?
Clueless: Another mandarin down. “Walked.”
Me: Trying not to blow a vein. “You walked! Why didn’t you call me, or Uber?”
Clueless: Shrugs shoulders.
He went to bed to sleep hopefully (that’s another blog post), and I went to bed to fret over all the things that could have happened. So, the next morning, after a calming herbal tea. I wanted a quadruple shot of coffee, but I needed to have this chat in a calm and composed manner. Well, out came the camel spitting attitude. He’s okay, nothing would happen, it was only five miles (I nearly faint), I’m too over protective, and this is exactly like the time I wouldn’t let him go trick or treating by himself when he was seven. Even with me hiding behind lampposts and pretending we weren’t related.

Me. Doing a quick match calculation: “That was nine years ago!”
Clueless: With a look of evil triumph: “I walked home last night, and nothing happened. It would have been the same then.”

It wouldn’t, but debating with the equivalent of a hissing camel was getting us nowhere. But, holy hell. He’s held onto this for nine years!

Admittedly, I have held onto stuff, but I don’t think for nine years. I do remember hanging onto resentment at my mother not letting me go to a party when I was sixteen, and all the cool kids were going – to a beach without any adults there but probably bucket loads of cheap alcohol. In hindsight, I can see her reasoning, but I don’t think I’ve held a grudge for nine years. I’m not Freud, but I think that’s unhealthy.

It should be noted that The Fake Gordon Ramsay was in Chicago or off with his new and improved family.
 I guess that means Clueless and I will sit down and examine if there’s anything else festering in there that needs to come out.

 Is there anything you’ve held onto for too long?