Nutella and Pinot Noir

Dark MOFO bonfire Hobart Tasmania

I posted something daft on Twitter a few weeks ago that seemed to resonate with a lot of my fellow Taswegians.

“We’ve reached that bit of the Tasmanian winter where I’ve given up any pretence of healthy eating or exercise. Basically, I’m just standing by the fire mainlining Nutella and Pinot Noir.”

It was true, at the time. One of the things I like most about living here is how connected I feel to the seasons.

In summer, the availability of beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables encourages me to eat well. The warm days mean that I drink a lot of water without making a conscious effort, and the lovely light evenings allow me to go out running.

In contrast, winter is the time for connecting with my inner bear – I want to load up with carbs, retreat to a warm cave, and sleep for several months. I don’t reckon there’s any point fighting that feeling – it makes sense to pay attention to the cycles of the year and adjust my behaviour accordingly.

But now it is August. We are more than halfway through the year and moving towards the end of winter. It is unseasonably mild – 17 degrees over the weekend – and there are buds and blossoms appearing everywhere we look. There have even been a few sleepy bees thudding around the garden, probably casting a judgmental eye on how little weeding we have done.

It’s almost time to come out of the cave. Continue reading

Nine

IMG_4665

And so, he is nine.

What a big year it has been. New teeth, new teacher, new school. New rules and expectations. Sad goodbyes, happy hellos, and a whole lot of laughter. If I had to choose a word to sum up eight-year-old DorkySon, I think it would be resilient.

The boy whose legs used to shake with nerves before assembly stood proudly on stage for the final concert at his small school by the sea: baseball cap on, shirt untucked, singing and dancing with his arms around his classmates.

The boy who used to be scared of water now loves it so much that if I forget to bring a towel and bathers to the beach he still insists on wading up to his shoulders fully clothed.

The boy who used to cross the street to avoid walking past a dog now follows me around the house, regaling me with ‘fascinating facts’ about Dalmatians.

This boy crashes his bike, brushes the dirt off his knees, and gets right back on again. Continue reading

2017: Finding my Voice

The Edge of the World tasmania

2017, what a year.

A year when nuclear war suddenly became something imaginable; when it took video footage of a dying polar bear to get climate change back on the agenda; and when rickets returned to Tory-run Britain. It was the year when two days before Christmas I found DorkySon using his toy cars and Lego men to stage a reconstruction of a police SUV preventing a ‘terrorist vehicle’ from mowing down a crowd of pedestrians.

And, of course, it was the year of Trump. The year started with the self-confessed pussy grabber’s inauguration, and ended with his endorsement of Roy Moore. Between those two delightful bookends came an onslaught of revelations about public figures of every political stripe, along with a bundle of tone-deaf hot takes from Matt Damon that literally no-one needed to hear. Continue reading

150+ Boredom Box Ideas

150+ Boredom Box Suggestions

I don’t plan to duplicate content very often between my work website and this blog, but I’ve got a post up over on my writing site today that I think will hold equal appeal to the freelance folks who follow me over there, and the parenting folks who follow me over here.

In what is definitely my only Pinterest-worthy parenting moment ever, I’m making a boredom box to help us get through the summer holidays.

If you’d like to read about it, and get 150+ suggestions for things you can do with your kids during the holidays, head on over and have a read.

Boredom Box Ideas for Work at Home Parents.

November in Tasmania: Spring Turns into Summer

Spring in Hobart Tasmania: ladybird on a finger and young boy in water

It was a teasing start to spring in Tasmania, with several weeks that lurched between glorious sunshine one day and snow the next. I got a little over-excited when we finally had a few warm days in a row, and put all our winter clothes away in the cupboard. Goodbye to those puff jackets and Ugg boots for another year, I thought to myself with glee. The next week I was hauling them right back out again.

Now the warm weather has arrived for good though (crosses fingers tightly) we’re taking full advantage of it. Despite applying copious amounts of Factor 50 every time we leave the house, I’ve already had my first sunburn, and DorkySon is taking every opportunity to swim in the river. First time in, he was fully clothed. Second time round he was better prepared, with beach clothes and a bodyboard, but a rogue wave washed a pebble into his ear and the resulting pain cut his adventure short.

No worries: with the official start of summer this Friday, I’m confident there will be more swimming days ahead. Continue reading