Friday, September 20, 2013

A summery treat


Relaxation comes in the form of a European holiday in Spain, staying in the premier suite at my brother in laws boutique B&B in Alicante – Finca del Otero – look it up on the net – its gorgeous here – our suite is on the top floor with a terrace and views looking over the olive groves and out to the Mediterranean sea. Julia has her own room and we are sleeping on luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets!  Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Little Crocodiles


I was having an afternoon rest and Julia comes up to me and says there is a little crocodile in the house . Lillian, our Malawian maid was downstairs and ironing so I told her I was resting and that of course there isn’t Julia – the next thing she comes again “…but mummy, come down, there really is a little crocodile downstairs – you know? the ones you like, Lillian swept it outside and now Canvas is playing with it” That got me up – now I knew what she was talking about – …went downstairs and there is Canvas our cat staring under the chair licking her lips at my favourite – a Cape Dwarf Chameleon,  I picked it up much to Lillian's wonder and Julia's….  It’s sticky hands clung to mine seemingly grateful for saving its precious little endangered life, from the mouth of my hungry cat….. (actually she isn’t ever hungry, she eats non-stop!)  Its tail curled around my finger gripping it.  We put it in a container and placed it in the next door neighbours garden to happily live its threatened existence.

hairdos clay and chameleons 041

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A clay day with Julia


We had a beautiful day on Saturday afternoon, I had come home from painting after a week off feeling all inspired and really needing to create more…Nev and I had a deal that if he had Julia for the morning and went to the school craft day to make wizard sticks and I painted at Spencer Street Studios, then after art I would have Julia at home while he watched the rugby.

So I wanted to get creative with Jubes and asked her what she wanted – clay!  So we bought a bag of clay and set about it.  I set us up and said I would take us through a meditational inspiration where we would start with the ball of clay in our hands and with our eyes closed we would explore it with our fingers and thumbs, noticing everything about it and that we should let go of any ideas of what we wanted to make and let the clay speak to us….. Julia had wanted to make a mermaid but in the end her first thing was a sunflower, angel, fountain, dish, person in chair, tortoise and still she wanted more! – I stuck with the one piece for the full 2 hours or so and loved every moment of it (jubes couldn’t understand why I was only doing 1 piece!)– we whispered together as i’d explained it is best to work in silence to let our creative inner voices speak to us but there was lovely soft unintrusive music playing in the back ground – everything was quite until everything totally opposite came through the door in the form of a human boxer puppy – leaping with joy over a historical rugby win to Aussie  - the phone calls followed, the doors left open and crash  went my silent retreat and space and focus – It made me realise how so important it is to have a quiet time and space, a sacred retreat within your own home, away from noise, chaos and potential sudden intrusions into the personal space (not so much of your house or room)  but of your mind.

My clay process was amazing and I am going to post it on Sarahs Brainchild – it was amazing how as she developed i just had more and more ideas as to where she could go – i haven’t been deep in process like that for ages, if ever!..maybe it was because it was in my own space and time and it was my own process.

hairdos clay and chameleons 003mother earth and clay work 050 mother earth and clay work 005mother earth and clay work 041mother earth and clay work 069mother earth and clay work 014



It is one of the most simple and divine pleasures in the world and we all need it to survive – touch!  We are sensual beings and without it babies literally fail to thrive if not die, marriages fall apart….and mothers and children alike would never get the pleasures they do from simple twirling of hair and up-styles made of all the clips in Jubees bag – my oh my… my very own little hairdresser – maybe not!

And…it is so very cute when I am washing her back sometimes and she asks for her back to be scratched all over – “no there mum – and there – and a bit down …. a bit across”.  I can just feel her back in those moments – definitely know how she feels – There is nothing like a good histamine rush.

hairdos clay and chameleons 002

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Big Week at Big School

Gabrielle started 'big" school on Sunday and I am so extremely thankful that we had a good start. I expected tears when I picked her up at the end of the first day but instead she greeted me with a big smile on her face and said she wanted to stay at the school. It's day three today, and so far, we both managed pretty well. My goodness, if I think how stressed I have been about the start of school, and for how long. The up side is that it we were very well prepared.

Thursday, September 5, 2013



I am totally bewildered by Julia and need to get this down before I forget....she was a bit scared when I tucked her in tonight and as Nev wasn’t here I was happy to stay with her longer and said I would lie with her until she slept.....we’d heard a couple of noises in the house that i think triggered her feeling a bit scared.... anyway  - what proceeded was the most beautiful thing. She asked if she could sing me to sleep and herself I guess!...I’ve sung to her before but not for ages....anyway – I was listening to her for about 10 minutes I would say  with my eyes closed and hers were too and just wish I had it on tape – it was the same tune/melody over and over and repeated with different but also the same sequence every now and then of words. When she was singing, she would get to points where as she was making things up she would stumble on words and then start again – but all while her eyes were we go (i can’t remember exactly but will give you an idea!).......

“’…its time to go to bed now, its time to go to bed.....crystals rocks and stones its time to go to bed, fairies flowers every where they go to bed too, over mountains over rivers, over bridges too, daffodils are opening and lie in the ground,  mummy’s lying here, keeping me safe and warm, its time to go to sleep , over mountains rock and stocks over rivers too, crystals rocks . stones and mountains and fairies everywhere, silkworms go to sleep in their box, go to sleep...

.Oh i could go on and on and made mental notes not to forget certain phrases but I've captured parts in this – it was so special and for me the most amazing thing was that I used to hum myself to sleep and rock my head – she was also humming in between – all to the same melody like I used to!   If it wasn’t for Joe banging on the separation wood with his paw i think she would have sung herself to sleep and there were times she stopped then started again..but she woke as I was getting up to get Joe and I said that was so beautiful my darling and she said  ‘you stayed here for ages mummy’ and I said i loved it – you were singing me to sleep and kissed her – she said – I’m tired now, I’ll go to sleep – then I let Joe outside and came back in and she was humming to herself – the NZ national anthem which she hums quite often (from the rugby ) she does the SA one too – but she was just humming it – so gorgeous – talk about seeing yourself in your daughter – how delightful – all these years I thought I was weird for humming myself to sleep and now I think it is the most beautiful thing ever – well – she hasn’t done the head rocking part yet  - but even that I would love – a greater lesson in loving yourself which for me echoes the entry I made on self love  2 days ago – funny that, its just dawned on me – I met myself in my daughter tonight!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fairy Miracles


Well the magical fairy's have “resuscitated” the “sleeping” silk worms (i.e.; raised them from the dead) -  though in Julia’s world we shall continue to say that they were sleeping (despite being dead for a week now!) Just too sad to convince her –she was adamant they were just sleeping. So hero Nev to the rescue, he picked up the school leaflet and saw a mother advertising silk worms for free – i gathered more than 70 I would say – way too many to sustain with mulberry leaves once older but shall hatch a plan.  

Took them to school in Julia's silkworm box so that when she came out she could see that she was right all along, the worms had just been sleeping and the silkworm fairies had also waved their magic wand and created quite a few more!!!!  The joy on her face was worth it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dumping the Noisy Mind Monkeys

I started a practice of writing regularly recently, whatever is going on in my mind, I just write it all down (similar to the practice that Julia Cameron describes in The Artist's Way). I just ramble and I quite quickly get to around 1800 words ( I do it in Microsoft Word and I like to see how many words it is). I don't look at it again and I don't edit it. I literally just dump whatever is going through my mind. It is great, I feel lighter at the end of it and I know I could go back to it if I want to, not that I have wanted to.

Interestingly enough I just found this quote by Julia Cameron: “Procrastination is not Laziness", I tell him. "It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.” 

My first dumping sentence today was about my worst habit - PROCRASTINATION. I labelled it as fear when I wrote about it. It might be true that we have all the answers already, we just haven't taken the time to discover it.

Hooray to dumping - think it's a self care practice keeper!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Self Love


Imagine a time when we meet ourselves at the door, with elation, and invite ourselves in, to become reacquainted with this ‘stranger’ who has loved you all of your life. Derek Walcott, Poet

I loved reading this on the net when i was browsing – isn’t it so lovely, the idea of meeting yourself in the street or wherever and to find that this person (you) has loved you all your life regardless of what it is you do or say or know or don’t know.  To have such self acceptance where you can be exactly who you are without worrying about what other people may think but simply just be and take any reactions that may result (or not) as an opportunity for self learning or growth.

The same goes for my health and sense of wellbeing – it just does not make sense to put my self last, on the back burner, fizzing away to nothing.

It is from this day forward that I am focusing on the intention to love myself fully for who I am and to nurture and protect myself when need be.  I took action today by spending the whole day in bed  instead of getting up and forcing myself to do what I should do (art and physio – cancelled both for my wellbeing as well as being honest about my inability to take on more hoods to sew as I have just not got the energy right now)

Here is to loving ourselves and just giving ourselves a damned break!

Becoming an Early Bird

I got up this morning at five, did my favourite twenty minute yoga dvd by Rodney Yee and was dressed by six when my little monkey woke up. We spent a few minutes in bed reading stories and playing with Bella. That was a good start to the day.

I have been struggling to get up in the morning because I go to bed so late. I just love being up late at night with no one around me and it is a difficult habit to break. I avoided the computer last night, instead I did the Body Scan by John Kabat Zinn before going to sleep and I must say, I was in a very relaxed state before I went to sleep and felt quite refreshed when I woke up.

This night owl is going to change into an early bird, one day at a time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Delicious Spring

Well that is not true in the UAE (autumn here) but it is a lovely morning here in the desert, with a welcome cool breeze. Would be great if this marks the end of summer.

Spring has always been my favourite time of the year as a kid,  the anticipation of the beauty that is on its way; fruit tree blossoms, green grass, rain. I used to sing this Afrikaans song "Dit is heerlike lente, die winter is verby!" which directly translates to " It is delicious spring, the winter is over".

I love spring even if I am not in the southern hemisphere to enjoy it.