Sunday, 25 December 2016


It's 5.00am on Boxing Day morning, sleep is eluding me so time for some reflections.
29 years ago today my son Rory was born. Such a long time ago yet it has passed quickly.
What a joy he is, and I hope he has a happy day relaxing with his friends and Rose. We had a lovely day yesterday and kept it small and simple here at home. The smallest and the last Christmas we will ever have in this home. It was easy and happy and we all ate far too much, as we'd had a brunch earlier in the day with Georgia's man Dane's family.

Today I'm going over to Takamatua to spend it with my big sister and her tribe and my younger brother and his wife. We were all hoping our other sister would be there too, but she is sadly very unwell and in hospital. I am excited because today is the day I'm going to give them a special book I have been working on for quite some time. I've had 5 copies of it made, one for each of us, and I've had them for a couple of weeks now, published and sent from America, and I can't wait to give it to them. It was all too busy and hectic in the week before Christmas. I will just have to wait a little longer to give it to my other brother and sister. It is a book of "Our Mother's Prayers" made up of hundreds of prayers written on a variety of cut up wheetbix and cruskit and bell tea boxes and similar, over several decades of Mum's lifetime. I found these prayers when we were going through Mum's things after she died on the tenth of the tenth in 2010. They are beautiful and real and raw and a living testament of her love for us all, and of what an amazing woman and Mother she was.

I am strangely a little nervous now it is finally time to reveal this big project. 
There is stuff in there that will make each of us cringe on occasion, but it's all part of the rich tappestry of the life of our Mother, of her strength and courage, her grace, and her love and acceptance of us all, just as we are.

I have had much professional help and support from fellow blogger and journalist, Soberman365. He photographed every single prayer beautifully and laid them all out in the book, while I typed them all to be shown on the page opposite the photographs. It looks so cool seeing the hand written version of them all, next to the typed, which is in a handwriting font. Then I've tried to sort them as well as I can into date order, which has been the hardest and most time consuming part of it all, even more so than the typing, as they span close to thirty years. The cover is made of a mix of all the cut up packets and looks colourful and interesting, and  if it wasn't for the title on the cover one would never guess the depth of the content inside.

So off I go for a day in the sun, and it will also be fabulous to see the progress on my house again now that the gib is nearly completed, and the big oak door I've had made has been installed last week.

It's early evening now and I've had such a nice day catching up with family, my niece with her husband and four gorgeous children. My other niece and her Mum too whom I haven't seen in ages. My sister and brother love their books, and I know they will treasure them, and will read it thoughtfully in quieter moments than today gave us. I know that Mum would be happy today.

Sent from Samsung tablet


  1. I have followed your blog for ages, though you don't post quite so much these days. We shared similar experiences growing up or at least in our young adulthood. The book of your mothers prayers sounds beautiful, thoughtful and so very special. Please let me know how it was received by your siblings, I can only imagine the time and effort that went into this amazing gift and tribute to your mum. I am sure they appreciated it.
    I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments. I don't write so often now as it is not so much about my sobriety as just about my life now, and about the new home I'm buiding. I think once I get over there my writing will become more prolific, I hope so anyway. I still have two sibings to give the book to so I will report in again once I've done that. There are many prayers in it so it is not a quick read, and I know in typing them and producing the book it was hugely emotional for me, so I expect it will be for my sisters and brothers too. It is like having our Mother's presence with us again while we read it I feel. I have not seen them again yet since I gave it to them.
    Are you in New Zealand, or which part of the world do you reside in?

  3. I grew up in Sydney, though live in Canberra now. My current partner is from Chch so I am familiar with some of the areas that you write about.

    I stopped drinking and smoking in Oct 2014 after a lifetime of wine and cigarettes maybe enough for two lifetimes!

    I too have got to a stage where my sobriety is not the dominating feature of my life any more. I hit 50 and am struggling with the what next question. I think seeing so many of the people I grew up with dying this year, coupled with a cancer diagnosis and a myriad of other life events has made me think about realising some of my " I will do it one day " dreams.

    Not sure why I blurted that all out.......

    Anyway thankyou for all the writing you did in the beginning. You were most definitely part of my sobriety journey

  4. Heck! Cancer diagnosis! That's very big and seriously scary stuff. I'm sorry you are going through that and hope you have an excellent result. The fact that you've got the booze well out of your system will help immensely.
    I spent 7 years in Sydney and adore the place, then a couple of years up in Fingal on the Tweed river mouth. Many happy memories.
    It has been a very challenging year this one, with doing the build as well as managing my business. It was quiet in winter which was why I was finally able to tackle the big project of the prayers. I needed a lot of hours in a stretch to feel like any progress at all was being made, and many long meetings with journalist/photographer, which is what has turned it into something special that I hope will last through generations. And a beautiful thing is he and his family have turned into valued friends in the process.
    I am very happy to know you have enjoyed my eary posts. Thank you. Keep in touch as we go forward so I know how you're doing with your cancer. xo

  5. Such an exciting project to be doing, and so much thoughtfulness as you progress. I just re read your Winter blog about the contemplation of being alone, or surrounded by the community of 30. Quiet. Peace or loneliness? Probably a combination of the two, but I think it will be more peace as you are so prepared.
    I love hearing about the book and your mother. She truly would be happy with your honouring of her, and living her values.