The one where DorkyDad publishes a book…

The cover of the poetry book 'Slow Walk Home' by Young Dawkins

This isn’t so much a blog post as it is a wee boast…

With everything else DorkyDad had going on last year, he could have been forgiven for not putting pen to paper even once.

But somehow in among it all he found time and energy to pull together a full-length poetry manuscript and – joy of joys – it was accepted for publication.

Slow Walk Home is now available from Red Squirrel Press – a fabulous Scottish publisher. Continue reading

Summer/We Did It

A man standing overlooking the Neck at Bruny Island

We are nearing the end of January, well past the midpoint of summer. It has been a subdued one, really. Cool and damp and much quieter than usual. There have been a couple of days when the temperature has tipped into the thirties; on those afternoons we have sat out in the Adirondack chairs, letting the warmth penetrate deep into our bones. But not once have we hit the switch that turns winter’s heat pump into summer’s aircon. Nor have we removed the woollen blanket from our bed, or had a day when we have braved the water at Long Beach. Continue reading

On

Alright. There is frailness

in all our music.

Sometimes we’re broken

and it’s lost.

Sometimes we forget

for years it’s even in us, heads

filled with burdens and smoke.

And sometimes we’ve held

to it and it’s there,

waiting to break out,

walking back from the end.

 

“In Memory of George Lewis” – Lou Lipsitz

 

*

We were living our best lives, and we knew it.

We have always communicated well, DorkyMum and me. There was so much talk between us in the earliest days and nights, sounding out every reason our relationship couldn’t possibly last and, then, deciding that nothing else we could ever imagine mattered as much as the two of us and how we felt next to each other.

All in.

It has not always been easy. Real life never is. But now we found ourselves living on a windswept island far away at the edge of the world, a place almost too beautiful for words. Our son was continuing to astound us with his inherent kindness, his infectious laugh, his keenness for learning, words and books.

All the food we ate and the wine we drank was produced locally. We were living in a tall, rambling house with room for everything. Our closest friends from Scotland – and DorkySon’s Godfather – had miraculously moved to the same island and now lived just a half day’s drive to the north. We were both working from home, setting our own hours and making enough money to keep it all sweet.

This is our life, we said to each other. This is who we are and what we will be.

We were deeply, deeply happy. Continue reading

31 Days of Gratitude

Flatlay image of daily gratitude journal

I think we’ve all had to look a bit harder to see the good stuff this year, so at the start of December I decided to take a moment each day to think of something from 2020 that I’m grateful for.

I originally shared these on Twitter, one tweet each day. It was especially nice to have a few other people joining in – old friends and new – and to see the similarities and differences in the things we are each grateful for this year. In general, it feels like the big overwhelming events of 2020 have made us all reflect on the simple things close to home that we sometimes take for granted.

As a way of recording my own moments of gratitude all in one place I’ve turned them into this quick blog post.

I’d love to read your own thoughts on what you’ve been grateful for during this hugely challenging year. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. Continue reading

The Finish Line

bench with a view

Well, we’ve made it. Sort of.

We’ve reached the first finish line. There will be other finish lines, for sure. But this is the first, and it was an emotional one to cross.

Today was DorkyDad’s final radiation treatment.

Session 35 of 35, every single one hard earned, every coloured box on the countdown chart crossed off.

We have been warned that the next fortnight can be the trickiest part of the whole thing.

DorkyDad’s body will continue to respond as though it is being treated for another couple of weeks, and the side effects will continue to worsen during that time, but the structure of daily appointments will be gone. No nurses to keep an eye on him, no GP on site, no regular weigh-ins. (We don’t even own a set of scales at home.)

Now more than ever we have to be vigilant about hydration, about pain management, about skincare.

But with all those caveats, for now, he is done. Continue reading