Been getting a lot out of early mornings, music and going through the “How to Think Sideways” course. Lots of mind-mapping, lateral thinking, and even the early starts feel good for my brain.

Feels like a breakthrough of some kind. Carving out time and space. Listening to what I need for myself and trying to follow through with that.

Loving my commitments but also realising I need to be happy, challenged and stimulated.

Feeling happy!

You are in a motel room…

(From 11 Jan 2015)

You are in a motel room and it’s the middle of the night. You’re lying on a huge hard bed, sheets smelling faintly of industrial cleaner. They are both luxurious and industrial, and you’re not quite sure how that works. You lie there, thinking about the rows and rows of other rooms, other people lying straight in other beds. Other rooms – are they all identical? – stretching out in all directions from the elevator hub.

Out of all the people lying in those beds, in those rooms, how many are awake as you are? Are their curtains open or closed? Do their rooms smell of the room-service dinner they had delivered, or did they go out to eat? What do their sheets smell like?

Why are they there? Are they in town for work, or to visit someone? Or did they just need a good break by themselves for a while? Are they there for a tryst, or even to hire a prostitute? Is the prostitute still there, right now? Are they doing it, right now?

It’s hard to imagine something like that happening while you are lying there on your hard bed with your indurious sheets, looking out the window at the building across the street. There is a light on in one of the floors. You think it might be an office building over there, and you can’t help but think of all those rows and rows of unoccupied desks, with computers and phones and stacks of papers on them, and photos of loved ones thumbtacked to the cubicle walls. Is someone working late? Did they just forget to turn the lights off when they were the last to leave the floor? Is a cleaner up there, at two in the morning? Vacuuming and looking at the papers and photos and wondering similar thoughts to you, right now? Or are they just tired and wanting to get it over with so they can go home to their husbands and wives and children, tucked up in bed?
There is something about how children sleep, you think. You wish you slept like a child: taking over the bed, using every inch of it, surrounded with stuffed animals. They should make cribs for adults, you think. White wooden slats to keep you in place. Then you could roam around the bed while you sleep, in complete safety. We’ve all fallen out of bed a few too many times as adults to really let ourselves go in sleep now. But imagine it! To really let yourself go.

You’d really like it if someone would come round and check on you while you sleep, just like your parents no doubt did. That’s the other thing about how children sleep. They know, somehow, that no matter what happens, what trouble they get into in their cots, with their blankets and stuffed animals, that someone will be coming soon to look in on them. To make sure their heads aren’t jammed too hard into the corner of the cot, or worse still, shoved through the bars. Someone will come to see if you are unwell, or if you just need a cuddle or some help to fall back asleep if you’ve had a nightmare.

That would be a good hotel service, you think. Of course you’d need to make sure that these nighttime guardians would be well vetted. No criminal records, that sort of thing. No, what you’d really want is a troupe of grandmothers, the ones that wake up really early and turn on the radio. The ones who knit afghans and doll clothes even though their eyes are failing. The ones who think about their now-grown children and wish they had someone who they could stroke hair from their brow while they slept. Those sorts of people. If a hotel hired an army of brow-stroking grandmothers to come and check in on you as you slept, well, imagine how you could really let yourself go!


I’ve been writing a lot lately – just not here in this blog. For a few weeks lately I’ve been waking up at 5:30 in the morning and coming down to the study to write. I start most days with a prompt from Judy Reeves’ book A Writer’s Book of Days. It’s been great.  I might post a couple of them here, unedited. At least just as a little ‘hi’.

Big, long weekend

It was a long weekend that turned into a week after a trip up to Taupo became a trip to the hospital in Taupo. Then I was rushed to Rotorua hospital in the ambulance. It was a freezing night and the Super Moon chased us through the cold countryside, dancing behind the bare trees. The nurse fiddled with tangled IVs leading to the blood and saline bags, and they swung together as the ambulance bumped and jolted along.

The trip back home was so much better. Snow closed the Desert Road, and we took the road to National Park from Turangi instead. Played in the snow at the Ohakune playground and drank hot coffee while watching people in ski suits walk up and down the street.

My little love was amazing throughout. She has become such a big girl now.













Morning of Beethoven

I’m listening to this as I write. Isn’t the driving left hand wonderful? I love Beethoven. Can play some of his Sonatas on the piano but this is truly inspiring. Plus it looks like a lot of fun to play!

Autumn has really set in now, with rain and chilly nights. Times like this I am so happy we have moved to be near to the sea. I love driving round the Eastbourne bays and seeing all the debris washed up on the road. When we drove Steve to the ferry this morning there was sand and rocks thick on the road in some places. Other times there are shells and bits of stuff left by the seagulls, foraging for food.

We have a new dining table – well, sort of. It’s a 100 kg beast of a thing, that once I’d assembled I found had been dropped somewhere on transit and now has a dented corner:

dented table


We’ve been on the phone to “customer care” to try and get it sorted – hopefully they will just take this one away and bring us an un-dented, un-splintered table top. I was pretty stressed out about it on the day (I think it was the prospect of taking the table apart again) but the issue has sort of passed on in my mind now.

Apart from this, er, small dent in things life in the new house and new neighbourhood has been going really well. I think I’ve found a babysitter (haven’t met yet, but spoke on the phone and she sounds really nice; she babysits / nannies a lot around the area), maybe a piano teacher (still need to ring him; I’ve been contemplating taking lessons again), and even a Wednesday mothers & babies yoga class that sounds really cool!

Overall, it just has a wonderful feeling. This is a photo I took on one of our walks last week:

on our walk

On our walk

Nice, no? I do dearly love rugged beaches when the weather is stormy. Sunny white-beach vistas don’t do it for me at all.

Rain. Hopefully this rain will clear up a little before lunchtime – we are going into town to meet my friend Katherine for lunch.

And – just to finish off this very rambling, non-post sort of post (hey, I’m out of practice), here are some of Moo’s latest photos:

Photo 19-04-14 11 41 03 am

Photo 23-04-14 1 49 11 pm

Photo 28-04-14 2 00 23 pm


Foggy day in town

We’ve been in the new house for about a week now. In the mornings, we’ve entertained ourselves looking across the harbour towards the city. Usually the hills above town are banked in fog (poor old Karori), but today we can’t even see across the bay! Wellington, where have you gone?