Monthly Archives: July 2009


Last week marked the 2 years since our little girl was critically ill.  Let me say up front that nowadays she is remarkably un-affected.  There are still ongoing concerns with her respiratory and immune system, but overall, she is amazing and well. 

It is interesting to me that I am so aware of this particular date. I am notorious for not remembering anniversaries.  I honestly can’t tell you the date we got married (bad hey?).  But I have noticed that leading up to this date I get edgy and teary.   And when the day is over, I am fine.  It has been an interesting journey away from that time in our lives and the further away we get, the better.


A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.  Mark Twain

I didn’t choose to pick up this particular cat (metaphorically speaking), but it happened and we have had to deal with the consequences.  Physically (for our girl) the scars have faded quickly and successfully.  For those issues that remain we have hope that they will diminish entirely in the future.  For me the issue of her being ill is still raw and painful and I don’t like thinking about it too much.  However I know that I have learnt much about the person our girl is.  She is sassy and courageous, cheeky and strong.  I am in awe at her ability to fight and giggle. 

But I think that there is still much for me to learn about myself and my faith in light of her being ill.  The ongoing, constant search for the truth about who I am, who God is and how this whole thing fits together is exhausting.  But I know it is necessary.  I don’t want my understanding of God to be compromised because I got tired.         

Family life is full of major and minor crises — the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce — and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul. Thomas Moore



I am not crafty. I don’t care what people say and I don’t care how apparently easy something may be, I don’t really get it and I don’t really enjoy it.  However, when necessity calls – I must answer. 

We recently needed new bedside lamps and I couldn’t find anything I liked.  But I stumbled upon these great glass base’s really cheap and grabbed those.  Now to find shades I like…whole other story.  There is a definite style of lamps and shades out there at the moment, and it’s a style I don’t particularly warm too.  So I bought myself some plain shades and decided to cover them myself.  Not very crafty, more just a necessity. 

But I am quite proud of my efforts and like them a lot.  And very easy to do (which is not only important when I  am involved, but crucial to success).


tour de france II

I have to admit that I think that I am way to involved in the Tour de France.  I have started referring to the riders by their first names (ie. Andy, Frank, Fabian), the SBS website is my current homepage and I am exhausted due to the late night telecast of the stages. 

There is only 4 stages to go and on Saturday night (our time) the Tour rides to Ventoux, the highest point in Provence at 1, 912 metres.  Popular opinion is that the winner will be decided at Mt Ventoux.  And even more specifically, that Alberto Contador (Astana) will be that rider. 

Saxo Bank (my adopted team) have done an extraordinary job, the Schleck brothers (Andy and Frank) have ridden superbly.  They are currently 2nd and 3rd in the GC (General Classification) and are fighting hard to dislodge Contador.  I am impressed by their determination and perseverance.  These men are elite athletes and clever strategist’s.

What am I going to do when it’s all over? 

(Vuelta a Espana (the Tour of Spain) starts at the end of August – phew.)

book club

I love the idea of a book club. I love reading and books and words and I love a chance for a good discussion about any of the above.  So a friend, who is as equally enamoured with books, and I thought, ‘Let’s do it’.  So finally – a book club! I am very excited! And even more exciting is the book list we are using – the amazing Popular Penguin’s.  So many good books to choose from!  My current ‘must read’ list of Popular Penguins is as follows (it gets longer by the day!)

The Age of Reason, Jean-Paul Satre
And the Ass Saw the Angel,  Nick Cave
Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Eva Luna, Isabel Allende
Everything is Illuminated, Johnathon Safran Foer
For the Term of His Natural Life, Marcus Clarke
The Getting of Wisdom, Henry Handel Richardson,
Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
One Day in the Life of Ivan, Aleksandr Denisovich Solzhenitsyn
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Regeneration, Pat Barker
A Room of Ones Own, Virginia Woolf
The Shadow of the Sun, Ryszard Kapuscinskui

I have also just finished reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  I am glad I read it, mostly because it has a reputation of being a bit of a classic.  Honestly, it was a tad boring in parts and a little tedious. But in other moments you could visiualise and almost smell the red azalea’s growing outside the morning room that du Maurier describes (for example!).  I can see why it has such a cult following, du Maurier must have been an impressive lady and certainly must have pushed the literary boundaries of her time.  I don’t think I will be reading any more of her books but I am glad to finally be able to tick Rebecca of my list.  

Now it’s on to The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinskui.  I’m not waiting for the book club for this one!


Nancy's Jewelry Jar

I don’t often do this, but this is one I am happy to make an exception for. 

One of my most favourite people in the world has recently opened an Etsy store.  If you are not familiar with Etsy, check it out.  Great for supporting small business while finding unique pieces of handmade art, jewelry, and pretty much anything you can think of. 

I have known Jamie (aka Ladyjamie) for a long time and she is a dear friend and among the most honest people I know.  She has a great eye for detail and beauty.  Her Etsy store is a lovely collection of vintage, unique pieces she has found or vamped up or made herself. Just gorgeous.

Check out her store at.


The ridiculous tooth has gone and that’s really all I wish to say about that, but I did have an interesting moment while waiting for the dentist to pull the thing out. 

The dentist put the injection’s in to deaden my gum and he had to use quite a bit.    In fact so much that I actually felt the anesthetic moving through my face and into my eye which resulted in loosing the sight in my right eye.  

I had a little panic.   

The dentist sat me up in the chair and explained that the injections deaden the nerves and can sometimes reach the eye – but not to worry, my eye sight would return in 20 minutes or so (!).  He said he would be back in a minute when the anesthetic had worked, and he left me alone for a while. 

So while I was sitting there, by myself, waiting for my eyesight to return and for the dentist to return to pull out my tooth, having a little panic, I started to pray.  And the prayer sounded something like this…’Please give me peace, please let the tooth come out easily, please let this be quick….’ and repeat. 

…And then I thought, ‘why does this get to be easier for me than anyone else?  God doesn’t love me more than anyone else.’   

My assumption was that because I am a Christian that I should have it a bit easier and that Jesus would come and make the process less painful.  …because I am a Christian… 

I may acknowledge the Lordship of Christ and choose to align myself with him, but that doesn’t mean he loves me more than someone who doesn’t.  And if in the process of aligning myself with Christ means that I give a degree of authority to the Gospels than I am left with no doubts that Christ’s face is forever facing those who don’t know him.  As is his love. 

There seems to be a very fine balance in Scripture between God’s blessing for those who acknowledge him and the responsibility that comes with that relationship.  And there is an inordinate number of Scriptures which proclaims God’s focus on the lost, the broken, those who don’t know him.  I don’t want my faith to be about pressing a button (ie. saying the right words) and expecting a big old bucket of blessing (or peace, or grace, or painlessness) to come down from on high.  It has to be more than that. 

The prayer that followed, while still waiting for the dentist, was something like this, ‘This sucks, lets get it over with, I know You’re here’.


I went to a fantastic second-hand book shop this morning and found some great books. A couple of classics for me, Dubliners by James Joyce, A Portrait of the Young Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce and The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck.









I also bought a couple of lovely books for the girls, The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll and The Don’t Be Scared Book by Ilse-Margaret Voight.  The Don’t Be Scared Book has some words of wisdom for all of us, ‘If you are bothered in your slumber by a fierce and long cucumber – don’t be scared’.  The message is clear and the illustrations are delightfully quirky and detailed.