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


Everyone warned us that this bit of the process sucks.

Guess what? They were right.

DorkyDad is five weeks out from the end of treatment, and he’s making incredible progress, but it is so much slower and more gradual than we had hoped and imagined.

I imagine this is how the second lockdown felt to everyone in Melbourne. Your reserves – of patience, of positivity, of bright ideas – are already exhausted, but there’s no option except to keep doing it, day after day after day. 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


Half moon

Today marked a huge milestone for DorkyDad.

It was treatment day number 18 of 35. He is more than halfway through.

The radiation therapy he is currently undergoing is cumulative, and the side effects will continue for several weeks after the treatment stops. So this is not the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning, and it is definitely something worth celebrating. Continue reading


A man alone with his hood up looking out at a valley

I reckon it’s fair to say that 2020 has not been the year that any of us dreamed of.

One day into learning from home, when DorkySon and I were both in tears at our complete inability to communicate, I thought that would be the hardest thing we’d have to deal with this year.

A month or two later, sitting at my desk and reflecting on all the lost documents on my crashed hard drive, I thought that would be the hardest thing we’d have to deal with this year.

But then… then. Then came July 29th, when DorkyDad was diagnosed with cancer. And every other hassle and stress of the year faded into insignificance. This was not just hard by 2020 standards; this was hard full stop. Continue reading