Monday, September 30, 2013

The Book Club

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I used to be a part of book club a long time ago. It was in my 'pre-kids' days when there was a lot more time for reading (even though I worked in a very busy, demanding corporate bank during the week). Every month we met at someone's house, talked about the book and, most importantly, drank wine.

This time around, my book club is made up of a group of mums from my youngest sons' school. Just like me, they're all far busier than I was during my working days. Motherhood does that to you. It's exhausting - and some of them hold down a job too (of the paying kind, that is). Whatever our circumstances, I'm sure we wish we had more time to read.

So, our club meets bi-monthly, giving us, in theory, plenty of time to read the chosen book. Having said that, by the first book club meeting I hadn't actually, er ... finished the book. *cough* Not a great start, I admit, but I'm planning on making up for that.

We all get a turn choosing a book and I was excited to choose this time because I'd been dying to read Kylie Ladd's latest work of fiction Into My Arms. As you may be aware, I'm very keen on Australian authors and Kylie is one of my faves. I even interviewed her for Mummy Mayhem back in the day.


I had meant to give you a little more warning of this, but then life took an unexpected turn. However, it's not too late - if you'd like to join me (in the virtual way) in reading Kylie's book, there's still just under a couple of weeks left before my book club meets on Friday 11 October. Then it'll probably take me another few days, perhaps even a week, to share what we thought of Kylie's book with you - and then you can join in here if you like! Into My Arms is a great read, and if you're like me you won't be able to put it down and it'll be finished in an instant! Or, if you just want some ideas about what to read next, keep an eye out for these posts.

Next time I post, I'll also let you know what we're reading next and you'll have a full two months to read it.

Are you a member of a book club, or two? What are you reading at the moment?

J
xox

Friday, September 27, 2013

For Dad


On the 15 September - my parent's 65th wedding anniversary - my dear Dad died peacefully in his sleep. On the morning of his funeral - one week ago today - I sat in my parent's lounge room feeling anxious and sad. I was looking around at all the photographs that surrounded me at the time; and I mean really surrounded me - Mum has always been a huge fan of framed photos and she has quite the collection. Many of them feature my father.

Although I felt overwhelmed at that point seeing my father's face everywhere (a shooting pain reached my heart each time my eyes met his), when I spotted a photo album sitting on a shelf underneath the coffee table, I couldn't stop myself from picking it up and looking through it.

The photos inside were fairly recent - meaning taken within the last fifteen to twenty years. They included happy snaps of my parents holidaying with family members and friends or of Mum and Dad  together. There were also some pictures of me, my kids, my sister, Mrs C, my niece, nephew etc. Quite a menagerie of photos in all.

As I flicked over to a new page, I suddenly noticed the corner of a black and white photo sticking out from behind one of the photos encased in its plastic sleeve. Curious - it seemed so out of place - I pulled it out and straight away recognised it as a photo I'd seen before many years ago, although I couldn't tell you who the people were in it. But that photo doesn't really matter. Pulling it out caused yet another photo to come out along with it. I gently prised it from the album and when I finally saw it, my heart skipped a beat. The photo was the one you see above in this post: a picture of me and my father, taken outside our family home when I was just a baby.

I smiled, probably for the first time that day. I instantly knew that Dad was with me. It was as if he'd sent the photo to tell me it was okay; he was there for me, just like he'd always been throughout my life.

Seeing the photo didn't just comfort me at that point, it also made me believe a little bit more what I had felt had happened just a couple of days before that - on my forty-third birthday. It was just three days after my father's death, and also the day I would fly home for his funeral. As I woke that morning, with my eyes barely open, I had clearly heard my father's voice in my head saying, 'Happy Birthday, honeeey,' - saying it just like he had every other birthday before that. Had I imagined it? Willed myself to hear his voice just one more time? Finding that photo made me think that perhaps anything was possible.

Today would have been my father's 88th birthday. I know I speak not only for myself but for all of my family when I say my Dad is already missed more than words can express. However, it feels comforting to know that even when, like today, the pain of missing him feels almost unbearable, that he will always be with us. The above photo will always remind me of that.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Love and miss you.

J
xox

Monday, September 2, 2013

About this writing thing ...

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How the heck are you?

Although I've always said on this site that I would only write when I felt the need to and/or had something to say, I didn't plan on taking this site quite so casually. It has been over seven months - seven, people - since my last post.

Not long after I wrote that post, we moved to a rental property. Saying goodbye to our home of twelve years was both emotionally and physically exhausting. The boys were probably more upset about the move than Mr A and I were, but my heart still felt heavy when I closed our front door for the last time and, admittedly, I shed a tear (or ten). But as I anticipated, we all got through it.

We then holidayed for four weeks as a family (a much needed break after the whole house sale thing), then two weeks after our return, we moved again.

The second move was far more enjoyable because we moved to our new house - in a whole new area - and we LOVE it here. We're now commuting to school (we've gone from a two minute walk to a thirty minute drive), but it has been so worth it. Life is good.

Add to all that another (fairly recent) trip back to Perth with my boys - to visit my family - and it's fair to say that not only have I been a busy little lass as of late, I also don't want to see another suitcase for a Very. Long. Time.

Writing, therefore, has taken a backseat to packing, unpacking, buying and selling furniture and everything else that comes with moving house. I've missed it. Time to get back in to it, eh?

Another thing about this site whilst I think of it ... when I was on the above mentioned holiday I think my .com's expired or something, so I've reverted back to the blogspot addresses (for both here and my old blog Mummy Mayhem). If you have this site linked anywhere, then it won't work. Neither will any links on this site - until I fix them (at some stage).

But this is just to let you know that I'm still here - albeit sparingly - and hope to be here a little more often than every seven months.

J
xox