Letter to the present, from the past

29 years ago, when I was but a babe, I fell in love.

27 years ago, I broke your heart.

2 days ago, you found me via Facebook.

You were my first real love. Yours was the first family to embrace me, welcome me, call me a daughter long before it was made formal that yes, we would marry. One day.

I was young, I hadn’t lived.

In the 2 years we were together, my body had matured, but my head had yet to catch up.

And, as is the way of the young, my eyes were attracted to other shiny, pretty things. And when another handsome prince came galloping along, I was tempted.

Unlike other princes that had passed my way, he was new in town. He was fresh, he held a promise of the mysterious and new. And, ashamed as I am to tell you, I fell. Head over heels over 20 year old bubble brained nonsense, I fell.I am as ashamed of this now as I was when it happened.

But happen it did.

Telling you was awful. I begged, you pleaded. I cried, you swore. I ran, you drove away in a cloud of squealing tires laced with angry swerves.

You know those weddings, where the celebrant utters “Should anyone object” and everyone looks at the one person who should object? I had one of those. Like the gentleman, you didn’t object. You weren’t there. You were at the pub, drinking yourself a new memory.

I heard years later that you married an heiress and had moved to a sheep farm in New Zealand. I lived in a 2 bedroom duplex, trekking in and out of work and University. I made ends meet while you presided over acreage.

As years passed, I heard less about you. The rose tint on my glass faded and cracks appeared, frissons of discontent as I grew, finally, my head meeting my body in maturity and understanding that this, well, this was my life.

My marriage lasted 5 years. I found out today that yours did too. Does that fall into the category of irony? Probably not. It probably means that we simply took the same amount of time to grow up and realise what we really wanted was more than we thought we wanted, and that what we got was more than we had bargained for.

I have never apologised for the hurt I caused you, for breaking your heart. I never realised how I hurt you, until years had passed. By then, it was too late.

I can say it now.

I am sorry.

I wish you well. More than you will ever know.

Of Shamen and Magic

You know, to someone who managed to spend the first 40+ years of her life staying well, healthy and intact, hospitals are a mysterious place.

Artificially lit caves with tunnels leading to caverns where mysterious rituals are performed by revered Shamen. (Shamans?)

Chambers of beds, muggles gathered, whispering and looking at those waiting to be held, relief evident. Thank goodness it’s not me.

Pristine sheets, acrid air, shuffling paper slippers, hairnets –  the modern façade over ancient practices of healing bones, breaking skin, burning lesions.

I had day surgery, once, 16 years ago. I was in and out in 4 hours.

I did the childbirth thing. That did take more than 4 hours, to be sure, but it’s more a women’s ritual, that one.  A little more baying at the moon and cursing the husband, primal grunting for a pink bundle at the end.

In the last 3 years I have broken 3 bones and developed a heart arrhythmia, all of which have set me venture past the cave entrance a few times, but not actually into the sacred, sanctioned bowels of the healing practice, where magic gas can make the patient sleep and forget the days. Where holes are cut, blood is spilled. Rather, they kept me just the other side of the automatic doors, treated by (albeit fantastic) Shamans in training.

Not last weekend, however.

Last weekend, I became an offering to a ritual myself.

Suddenly admitted for severe abdominal pain is one thing. Even though I kept saying it was nothing, no one believed me. Bloody Shamans. (Shamen?) Whatever spike was stabbed into my effigy was well and truly inserted. After a few tests, some mumbo jumbo chanting, some shaking of heads, I was admitted into the great chamber of beds where indeed, muggles looked at me with sympathy and relief  -thank goodness it’s not me– and the Shaman of choice gave me medicinal herbs to empty out any remains of my last great feast, which was a rocket and bacon Panini around 3 hours earlier. The bowel and stomach cleansing ritual is not something I choose to share here. Let me just say, they are very effective berries.

Within 2 hours, I was finally given a full view of the  cavern of the mystic. Wheeled along in a carriage of linen and steel, I feel the gentle breeze of air conditioning as I am pushed – no – hurtled – through double doors that clang closed, shutting out muggles and all that remain.

The great cavern.

In awe, I see the great silver lights, the sterile whiteness of a room which should have been dark, given it’s place in the geographical bowels of the building. Shiny shiny. Silver, white, light. The Shamen, already prepared, their glee at performing another sacred ritual only partially disguised by thin white masks.

“Ooga booga”, they say, as a thin white tube is inserted into my hand and I am carried away to places unseen.

Such is the magic of the Shaman.

Hours later, spirits deliver me back to the cavern. The pain is intense, but as is the way of the Shaman, thin white tubes carry potions of peace.  My body rejects the peace potion. It objects to the violation. It objects to he berries and potions. It objects to the magic, mysterious ways ancient time tinged with modern practice and it shudders and shakes and spews forth the Shaman’s medications.  The Shaman, calm in his wisdom, waves his hands,  utters spells disguised seven syllable medication names, administers a newer life force into the thin white tube.

And days later, when  I wake, all is calm, and peaceful once again.

The Shaman has cast aside the evil. The offending, possessed tissue has been removed, plucked from the body,  healing, cleansing magic of the drug company creates calm where there was chaos.

Historical readings indicate that when  part of a villager was removed for holding evil seed, the removed body part is dried, hung until withered. It is then was used again in effigy, to ward off evil spirit or to case pain and suffering to another. I wonder what effigy is being made of my ovary and uterine tissue.

I hope it brings goodness and peace, not pain to some poor, suffering muggle.

Now, I have seen the inside of the cavern. Like thousands before me, I have beared witness to the magic of the Shamen (Shamans?) and offered myself as a token in the ritual of medicinal magic. And, like the thousands before me, my mind has no recollection of the process  which took away part of my insides, protected by skin and tissue for so many years. I sit at home and I heal, bruises turn from black to pink to yellow. Bandages become smaller, pain decreases, the body realigns itself to put muscles and tissues back in rightful places, with a little more room since some internal organs have been removed for more effigial purposes.

I think I will wait another 40+ years before I do it again, thank you.

Testing Your Limits

So, my son along with 11 others, set off today at sparrow’s fart, to join 13,000  scouts from all over the globe at the AJ2010 Jamboree.

We were to be up and off at 5.30 AM ready to meet the bus, which transported them off to the airport to meet their flight to Sydney. Onto another bus to Cataract Park, where they spent the remainder of day setting up tents and getting ready to test their limits for the Summer of their Lives.

So you can imagine our dismay when on Thursday, said son awoke with a temp, high fever and cough. By Friday, his voice was going. This morning, gleeful green snot joined his daily headache. What can we do? Keep him home?  Hardly.

Daily doses of  extra F&V, early nights, honey and lemon and all things healthy. Nothing helped.

With a heaviness in my heart I put that sick kid on the bus this morning and joined 11 other local yours-in-scouting families in waving goodbye. A bit hard to have the ‘Summer of your Life’ if you are as sick as a dog.


A Jamboree is a big deal in the scouting world. It takes three years to prepare for a Jamboree.  It’s taken our troop 2 years of fund-raising topped off with personal savings to get these guys on the road and to the Jamboree. The lead up to the event has been huge.  The theme of the Jamboree is to challenge all attendees to “Test Your Limits”. It seeks to motivate everyone to test themselves to see just how capable and resilient they are. It makes for good fun, good growing up, good team-manship and good sports.  They sleep in (unpowered site) tents in sleeping bags. They cook, clean, wash and housekeep for themselves, their troop and their visitors. They are self sufficient and well supervised. They are expected to each pull their own weight and develop their role in a strong, community minded fashion, and form a village.

Which is really hard to do when you are as sick as a dog, have a headache and head full of jolly green snot.

Like a hundred (at least) other mothers, I have spent most of today glued to the Jamboree Facebook page waiting for news. Yes’m; Scouts are on Facebook – and twitter.  The general vibe is that the children are so busy learning leadership skills, working in teams, and really – having fun – that they are far too busy to think about home.

Except mine.  He has already rung home – twice – once with a suspiciously quavering sounding voice to ask me if  I would possibly  know where his torch is?*

Sorry sweetie, you are on your own now.   It’s awfully quiet here without you.

*Yes, I wanted to jump through the phone and bring him home.

Santa Baby – Bloggers Edition

Buh-bum.. buh-bum… 

Santa baby, just slip a rainstorm under the tree, for BB
She’s been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
so hurry down her chimney tonight.

Santa baby – a lovely little baby jacket too – pink not blue,
Jeanie will wait up for you dear Santa baby,
So hurry down her chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’d miss without the friends on my blogroll list
Next year I could be just as good at spelling as Idle Persiflage says I should.

Buh-bum.. buh-bum… 

Santa baby, some peace and comfort for Al and her mob; that’s not a lot
She’s been an angel all year, Santa baby, so hurry down her chimney tonight

Santa honey, one little thing I really need, a degree  
forGemisht’s  exam stressed out mind,
Santa babyFe and Frogdancer could use some peace of mind down their chimneys tonight.

 Santa cutie, some yarn and textiles for PP and Kristy,
and some for Laura and silfert divine,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim the waistlines three, of hippomanic jen and femina and me
I really do believe in you – let’s see if you believe in me too

Buh-bum.. buh-bum… 

Santa baby, forgot to mention may no more things go wrong
Mary, or  meggie and gom,
Santa baby, so hurry down their chimneys tonight  

Santa baby, just slip some good books under the tree for Kerrie
and KarenMLeslie and Fairlie
Santa baby so hurry down their chimneys tonight

Santa baby – a lovely little Antique shop find will do
Alicia will wait up for you dear, Santa baby,
So hurry down her chimney tonight 

Think of all the fun I’d miss, like reading of the fellows that widget has kissed
Next year promises to be just as blissed
imagine missing daily readings of
Jayne’s funny lists

Buh-bum.. buh-bum… 

Santa, baby,  finished renos for Lani and SRM is not a lot
They been painting all year, Santa baby, so hurry down their chimneys tonight

Santa honey, one little thing I really need, the deed
To a lovely house on the South NZ Isle
For Le who’se been in whoop whoop a while,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight 

Santa cutie, fill deb’s stocking with more gorgeous hair, while you’re there
Sign your X on the line
That’s fine
–  Tracey gets a new bike tonight.

Help Melinda  decorate her Christmas tree,
With a
quilt and a calendar by talented Suse and Mary
I really do believe in you – let’s see if you believe in me too 

Buh-bum.. buh-bum… 

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a wish, for a fish
and Melody a safe flight home Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight.