To my intermittent bursts of blogging, I am going to add a recipe! I made a new variation on this soup last night – it’s a recipe I love to play with and adapt – and somehow felt like sharing
The fairly subtle curry powder, apple and orange rind add a wonderful, warming depth to the flavour of this soup. It’s one of my favourite comfort foods! Continue reading
The friendship between my boys – and accepting that small fights are a natural part of that.
The lush green beauty just outside my window.
Dancing the night away.
Coffee. Continue reading
Sitting at the kitchen table working on my laptop after the children’s bedtime routines had been completed and the dinner plates cleared away, I put music on to play as I always do in the evenings, whether to help me concentrate on the task at hand, or provide a soothing backdrop to more relaxing pursuits. One of the first songs to play on my ‘Favourites’ playlist was Suzanne Vega’s ‘Gypsy’, which made me pause and lift my head from my work to listen to the lyrics. When it had finished I played it again, and then a third time, simply letting the emotions it evokes wash over me. The chorus stirs feelings and memories deep within – a craving to be held, cradled, and comforted when I feel the sorrow of those I’ve lost or will lose to death or distance. Continue reading
I mentioned previously that I had found my journal from 1998 when we finished unpacking our storage boxes recently. On sifting through some of the boxes when we first moved back to South Africa from London just over six months ago, I also found my travel journal from 2000, the year I turned 18, started University, and travelled to England for a few weeks during the European summer. It was my first experience of international travel, and makes for some interesting reading for me. For no reason other than how interesting it is looking back to the similarities and differences in my mental processes 13 years ago, here are some extracts from my final entry into the journal: Continue reading
(I wrote this yesterday but I ran out of time to post it)
Today dawned with blue skies and sunshine, and proved to be full of smiles, joy, and only a few tears. Instead of being a day of mourning my mother’s death, it felt like a day full of celebrating life, and feeling extremely grateful for what I have – especially the support of wonderful friends and family – and what she gave me.
I was very blessed today to hear from and spend time with three people who lost a parent they loved very much many years ago, all of whom were able to provide me with genuine support and empathy, whilst assuring me that it really does get easier with time. Continue reading
We finally finished unpacking the last of our storage boxes two nights ago, after my clever husband completed the epic process of laminating, trimming, notching, sanding, joining, mounting and varnishing some beautiful Meranti bookshelves for our living room. One of the books I rediscovered is a diary of mine from 1998, when I was 15, that has been in storage for 8 years. It is mostly about the dying six months of my two-and-a-bit-year relationship with my boyfriend at the time, as well as emotions around my parent’s divorce, but there are some snippets about life and my family that were fascinating to read over. Here are two of my entries about my mother:
“I can’t believe how much Mom understands. Not each individual problem, just how hard it is and… so much. I wish my boyfriend could hear her understanding; hear what she says to me, and how true it all is. She gives me hope, but she doesn’t lie to me and tell me everything’s going to work out. He would understand why I talk to her if he could hear how she understands. She knows she can’t do anything – it’s my journey and my pain, and I have to deal with it. She doesn’t try to interfere. She doesn’t ever even ask, she just listens if I want to tell.”
A month later: “It’s SO good to have Mom home from her work trip. It’s strange how reassuring it is, even if it physically makes no difference to my routine. Our mothers really do play such an important role in our lives. I can always only hope to be as good a mother as mine is. I wonder how few children even think that. Most of them talk about how they’ll never do what their parents did! Although of course they usually either do, or they realise that their parents did it for their own good.”
Tomorrow will mark two years since her death. A time for reflection, and for honouring the amazing woman she was.
As I wrote over a year ago, I have a wonderful friend (who I met through blogging, met in person not long thereafter, and has become one of the people I treasure the most in the world) who taught me the joy of writing lists of things I feel grateful for.
I began this post on Friday night, continued it yesterday, but only managed to finish it up today! This weekend I am grateful for…
Dinner-time conversation and laughs around the kitchen table with my family in the evenings.
Having the privilege to work in an environment that is challenging, rewarding, and stimulating.
Stiff muscles, which have worked hard and are growing stronger.
Geographically distant friends who keep in touch regularly via email, facebook and Skype.
Knowing that my actions made a positive difference in more than one person’s life this week.
Delicious, wholesome food. Continue reading