continuing the conversation

It’s a suburb of the big city but this beachy side has a small town feel. Or there’s magic here…and I do want to stay. I took an extra day this trip which means the morning will be hectic. An early, long drive to the office from here.

The pace here is holiday the look super casual and reminds me of the 70’s, teen years. Thongs (flipflops!) or bare feet, board shorts, bleached unbrushed hair. Everyone just stepped off the sand, their boards leaning nearby. No hurry, no stress.

Yesterday I went to check my car tyres. Been on my mind for some time but just haven’t had the time to hunt down a petrol station with a working air pump. I found one, I committed to using it and of course it was old school. The newest, automatic ones are tricky – this was a daunting dinosaur. In keeping with locals being chatty the guy from the tank in front of me asked ‘do you want to use this? I only have two more tyres to go’…’I’m going to try’ I smiled. ‘I’ll do it for you’.

Say what?

Not I’ll show you, or I’ll do one…he checked the four tyres and brushed off my thanks before smiling and waving on his way. Infinite gratitude, seriously.

Today’s joy was an encounter with a lost dog on my way to a hair cut. A Tibetan monk told me long ago – there’s no such thing as coincidence. Tank man and lost dog? I could have missed either experience by minutes… This old dog was weaving across the narrow road. No ID tag. We walked together til he turned up the third drive, and I watched til he was out of sight.  I couldn’t find anyone to hand him over to but he walked up that steep driveway so slowly, home. Paused a few times and looked deep into my eyes – do I know you? come on, come with me? come and meet the folks? or, thanks for bringing me home.

I’m going home tomorrow too. Until I can make this my home. And when I’m back I’ll keep my eye out for both of them.

man at petrol station – black tank, great blue shoes

surfer man at supermarket

a smile per aisle

late night abortive fish run

lost dog



wind, laziness, peace

noble silence

I didn’t speak to anyone today. That wasn’t in my plan. I did go out but I just didn’t engage.

I heard people speak – at the lookout, at the beach.


I can see people on the neighbours’ balcony – first time since the old man died and his son renovated. And they’re all talking to each other, drinking tea, looking relaxed.

And I have heard so many different birds. Some singing such beautiful songs. Others squawking and screeching – no other way to describe it!  The prettiest little birds, rainbow coloured, have the shrillest voices! Just as suddenly as the symphony began, it ended. Now absolute silence outside. Inside the overhead fans are both spinning. Same make, same model, both on high – yet each with a sound of its own.

This morning’s early drizzle scared off by summer’s last fling. And because of the heat – the town area full of day trippers so, I didn’t hang around. Took some photos and stared out to sea from my spot in a line of local surfers. All gazing and deciding whether to get the board out.


talking to locals

You might know her? She’s young and gorgeous. Goes to the supermarket in her gym gear. I’d be intimidated, would expect her to be super confident and superior. I didn’t have time though – and isn’t that the wonder of it. A good kick in the judgemental gene.

I was all caught up in my head while I transferred from trolley to belt and hadn’t looked at her, didn’t have time to make that silent call, when she spoke to me.

We bonded over raspberry yoghurt.

It was only a brief chat but I appreciated that more than she probably knows. Including me in her community with grace.  What a lovely young woman – my hope is that, like her goodbye to me, she has a great weekend.

I am having a great weekend thank you. Birdsong from the front of the house, waves from the rear. A large family of Noisy Miners doing what they do best – being noisy!! Ha ha. Their play session turns aggressive. They even swoop the much larger Magpie and I know she has at least one baby to feed so I try to give her some space while she eats… Her baby sings while waiting and what a beautiful voice! And a mass of sailboats glide on by…I guess they’ll be back later.

Did you talk to someone new today?

boarding pass

That boy on the couch emailed one day and then ended up all over the second bedroom for a week. Clothes from doorway to balcony. Shoes where he stepped out of them downstairs. Glasses of water in random locations. Front door left wide open not once but twice. Luck kept us safe.

Yesterday he left. And then today he left. It’s a long story but tonight he’s eating nasi goreng and listening to gamelan. I don’t expect him back but never say never right.

I went from mothering to distress. Too many reminders. Similarities. Are many young men like that? Must be. Too too much worry.

And then, one of the nights, I heard my own son’s voice in the street.

Thought bubbles swirl in my head with no escape. Why is it so, and how do I get us back from here to long ago there. The last few days in particular strange.  The pain so sharp.

So, the second bedroom is empty again. Heart not singing and head fogged. I will wake up in the morning and go to work with a different face on. All energies focused.

I’ve got this.

the boy on the couch

In response to the daily prompt – a moment in time

In the interest of anonymity I can’t show you the photo.

Tonight the boy from Back Bay came around.

His father lived here a million years ago. I can’t remember how that came about but it was back in the day before I’d even left school I think. He wasn’t exactly a model flatmate but he charmed the others, and so his lack of cleaning skills went overlooked. Tales of the notes he left around are on annual rotation, and yes, I shared them with his son. A dead mouse in the hallway had a note next to it ‘a present from puss’; the exploded coke can in the freezer – ‘wow’.

So now the next generation is criss crossing the globe in search of…what?
Charming? yes
A bit aimless? yes
Innocent? seemingly
Tonight well fed, and with four new people he can rely on in this country, this city, but no idea of where to next or when…

Maternal instinct kicked in, and with my own son estranged I henned this one in the first 15 minutes ;-) Think I miss having a teenager to fuss about? And there’s my youngest…living in his city over there in the big U S A. Wonder if he’ll finish world exploration and get back before she bids Boston farewell.

The last photo I took is of him – a lovely, smiling boy on the couch under the big front window. I sent it to his parents to show them he’s alive and well, on this side of the great ocean. The light is streaming in behind him and even though he’s sitting you can tell he’s tall…and he has mighty big feet.

balls in the air

The first day the tickets go on sale I book them. Months ago. This time next week my Australian Open session will be done.
balls in the air
stars in their eyes
I’ll have had dinner – chinese. I’ll probably be reading your blog…in my fancy hotel room.
I’m a little bit excited :-)
hotel or art gallery
old flame, old friend
Three nights away but only one day not claimed. Travelling companions all have an agenda. Spreadsheet it out and find the common square. Scissors paper rock it, a full day of exploring something new, any option wins.


The modern disease


can we all do this please? really ask how is your heart this very moment – not just throw a ‘how are you’ at each other without even listening for the reply…

Originally posted on Mindfulbalance :


In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, “Kayf haal-ik?” or, in Persian, “Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?” How is your haal? What is this “haal” that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a…

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