Weekend Coffee Share 16th July, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

There’s a chocolate cake in the oven at the moment, so if you’re patient you’ll be able to have a slice of luscious chocolate cake with your choice of coffee, tea or Bonox. Quite frankly, I don’t recommend the Bonox and to be honest, I don’t think we have any. It’s just an expression my mother’s always used. Have you heard it before?

What have you been up to?

The kids have been on school holidays for the last two weeks and go back on Tuesday. I’ve been running around like a maniac trying to get the house and the kids ready. So, making the chocolate cake wasn’t such a good idea. Cocoa spread all over the kitchen and is a beast to clean up and while the icing was scrumptious, the cake itself was very dry and has been deemed a fail. The fan isn’t working in the oven and it’s clearly time to wave the white flag and put baking on hold until it’s fixed.

The school holidays have flown past. Our daughter’s been doing dance workshops and preparing for her upcoming Grade IV RAD ballet exam. Meanwhile, our son spent the first week at my parents’ place and the second week he was rehearsing for Gang Show, an annual variety show put on by Guides and Scouts. We attended their performance last night and loved it and were so proud of him. He smiled throughout the entire performance and really must’ve been enjoying himself. If you have an opportunity to attend a Gang Show near you, I strongly encourage it. Society is so quick to judge our young people when they do something wrong, but they also need our support when they’re doing something right. You will probably see more polished performances elsewhere, and you might find some of it slow or geared towards another age group, but there’s also a magic in a good, inclusive amateur performance. Something which leaves you warm inside, simply because.

By the way,  I should mention that the theme for this year’s show was holidays and included classics like Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins. Hearing those classics again, is always good.

Alongside these activities, we have still been grieving the loss of our precious Border Collie, Bilbo three weeks ago. The grief is starting to lift now, and writing about him has helped. I’ve also been writing about our first tentative steps without him. This has included being sorely tempted to adopt Stella, a four year old Maltese x Tibetan Spaniel which a friend had in rescue. However, we have decided to wait awhile and get a Border Collie pup in the New Year. In the meantime, I spotted a pseudo Border Collie and brought him home. He’s been christened “FB”, or Fake Bilbo. Having him around, has been unexpectedly good. Perhaps, we could also call him “Clayton”…the dog you have when you don’t have a dog, although Lady just growled at me and reminded me that we still have a real dog.She was most upset.

As it turns out, I’ve been driving the kids around a fair bit over the last two weeks. For me this is a bit on a mixed bag. On the one hand, being in the car is ideal for catching up with them and I love driving them around with their friends in the car. I learn so much and feel part of their lives. On the other hand, it can be stressful driving to unfamiliar places, especially when they’re late. It can feel like you’re putting too much of yourself out there, and it can be quite draining.

It’s just not the driving, but lately I’ve been feeling quite lost. Like I’ve pouring myself out all the time and there isn’t much left. That I’m running close to empty and aside from having a nap, I’m not sure how to recharge myself. The usual sparks like trying to write my book or going out for coffee with friends, aren’t lighting the fire. I had thought of going away for a few days in the holidays by myself, but after losing Bilbo I didn’t want to leave Lady at home by herself. I know these thoughts are leading me in a new direction and I’m currently at that point where you can’t see the dots joining up and the overall picture is still obscured. That it will come. My daughter starts high school next year and won’t need so much taxiing which will be good. Yes, I can see myself finding my feet again in the new year, although there always seems to be something going on  and it’s my job to be the wind beneath their wings. Yet, I also need to fly and it’s a struggle to find that balance. Indeed, sometimes this song comes to mind:

“What about me? It isn’t fair
I’ve had enough, now I want my share
Can’t you see, I want to live
But you just take more than you give”

I have no doubt that kids forget their parents also need to be nurtured, recharged and get that all-important pat on the back. No one can keep giving and giving and keep living. If you’ve ever read Shel Silverstein’s: The Giving Tree, I find that illustrates this well.

Have you ever felt like this as a parent?

On the other hand, these trips often take me to places I wouldn’t go and while I’m waiting, I can go exploring.

Last week, I ended up in Gosford for a few hours while my daughter was at a birthday party. I ended up talking to a bloke I met in the lift for an hour. He turned out to be a musician and a writer, but then started to talk to me about aliens living amonst us and conspiracy theories and I decided to go for a walk.

Gosford is a funny place. It terms of location, it has so much going for it. It’s on the waterfront and has a train station and is 30 mins to Sydney and just over an hour to the heart of Sydney. Yet, it somehow became the old part of town and many parts of it are tired if not derelict. It’s clearly a place which could use and well deserves a good facelift, and this is slowly coming along.

So, after walking to check out some Autumn trees, I came across the skating rink, which had been set up for the holidays. My daughter had been keen to go, but has been too busy. That’s a bit of a shame, because skating outdoors like this isn’t something we’re used to in Australia and it’s rather special. So, it would be good to experience and support it. I want them to keep it up.

To fill you in on recent posts, there have been a few about dogs:

Resisting Temptation.

Our Surrogate Dog

There’s also been my usual contribution for Friday Fictioneers: A Shimmer of Moonlight and an account of my first go at cooking with fennel, which is quite an odd looking thing to me: Cooking An Alien Being

So how has your week been?

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Part-Time Monster Blog.

xx Rowena




14 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 16th July, 2017.

  1. Corina

    I like the way you put that…pouring yourself out and not much left…I can identify with that. I often feel that way and with the current health situation I feel even more that way. I have one daughter that still expects me to give and give to her kids and to her but can’t seem to understand that I am not only physically exhausted but mentally as well. Mom is fried. Mom is scared. Mom is nervous. Yet she doesn’t understand and seems to only see things that she needs from me. So yes, I can understand how you feel. I hope it gets better for both of us, and soon!

  2. TanGental

    Being a taxi driver sure helped keep up with the kids lives as they grew. Still today, in their 20s when they have been out for drinks I’ll collect them or drop them because it squeezes out more contact. It can be a chore not that I’ll ever say.
    I really understand the disconnect when you lose a pet. It took us 18 months to feel ready to start again. Oh, and on behalf of the Vet I really must ask you don’t encourage selective breeding by getting a pedigree border collie. Please at least get a cross to minimise health issues. The Vet is quite a zealot on this as you can imagine, hence our line of lovely rescue mutts.
    Look after yourself Ro.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Smile… 17th July, 2017. | beyondtheflow

  4. New Journey

    Yes a smile is universal for sure….and does the heart wonders….love your smiling kids…and the dog looks mighty happy…..even though we are without a best 4 legged friend at the moment, I think back often to how much love they brought to our lives….love the quotes and sayings….xxkat.

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Kat. I was rather pathetic last night. I’d had a rough time with my daughter yesterday, so I ended up perusing puppies and dogs online. Not with a view of buying one now, but I just needed dogs all around me. I ended up finding a girl who is having trouble finding pet friendly accommodation and put an ad looking for a dog minder on Gumtree. I thought we could give it a try and I sent her a text. I wasn’t sure how it would go with Lady. Anyway, she doesn’t need us at this stage as she’s had other offers, but I thought she must be in a bad spot not having somewhere to live and desperately trying to keep hold of her dog and how I would simply appreciate a stranger caring. Not that I’m putting tickets on myself, especially as I haven’t had to follow up on my offer as yet. It’s ust that I usually think you have to move mountains to help people, when it doesn’t need to be. I am feeling a lot better today. Hope you’re having a great day xx Ro

  6. Rowena Post author

    That’s interesting that you’re still playing taxi and I totally get that and hadn’t thought of that as a way of connecting with your kids as they get older. I’ve made a mental note of that. I had thought of doing that for their safety.
    I was nup late last night reading about dogs and trawling through online puppy ads just to be with dogs and came across a few articles about abusive selective breeding practices, especially in relation to the bulldog. As you could well be aware, they need to give birth by c-section these days. Definitely warped.
    I’m not sure what we’ll do for the next dog. Bilbo was a pure bred Border Collie but not a pedigree as such. Lady is a border collie x cavalier but she’s really more cavalier than border collie, which is great if you don’t want a dog obsessed with chasing tennis balls or sticks, but it has highlighted to us that you need to factor in both breeds. Her fur is also fairly high maintenance where Bilbo only needed regular brushing in Spring when he moulted heavily.
    I offered to mind someone’s dog today who is inbetween homes and they’re dog was at risk of ending up at the pound. She’s found someone but it reminded me of all we stood for with our posts about compassion and making a difference. It doesn’t take much.
    The kids went back to school today and so I can start to take a bit of a breather. That said, it’s hard switching gears again and thinking about uniforms, lunches, homework. I keep thinking about sleep, tropical islands and missing Bilbo.
    Obviously, I’ve failed mindfulness 101 and living in the now.
    Thanks for your friendship as always.
    Best wishes,

  7. Rowena Post author

    I will be thinking of you Corina. There’s so much pressure on grandparents these days. I have done a course on boundaries through Church and that has helped me. I have been wondering how to put more value on my time so the kids respect it more. I am thinking about working part-time next year once my daughter starts high school and wonder if reducing my available time, will wake them up a bit. I think I am going to have to take more of a stand both in terms of my time and buying things for my daughter. I obviously need to toughen up.
    I echo your wishes for improvement for us both and others in our situation.
    xx Rowena

  8. TanGental

    I have this image of your head, swinging like in some cartoon between a small sandy island with a cocktail bar, a nice shady seat and heap of books on one side and a tangle of children, dogs, clothes and daily detritus on the other and the good you and the bad you sitting on a shoulder, trying to persuade the real you to go their way

  9. New Journey

    I am having a fantastic day….just got home from the muggy coast….I couldn’t take the mugginess….my arthritis was flared up….just ate some pizza, the ibuprofen is working and I am feeling soooo much better…..no need to move mountain’s most the time, just a smile, a hello or a “howdy do” can do wonders for people…xx

  10. Rowena Post author

    Sorry to hear your arthritis flared up. I look some voltarin for my back this morning. We make a great pair. I thought I’d pop over and visit you on Google maps today. What fun.

  11. Rowena Post author

    Great image Geoff. JUst throw in some sunshine, a cocktail and a good chair and I’ll be in there and won’t budge!

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