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Friday, October 24, 2008

Fair Dinkum!

If there was one gift I could give my children it would be freedom of movement. Well, freedom of speech and all the other freedoms, would be of course on the list, but. At least with freedom of movement, if you happen to be somewhere, well, a little less free let’s say - well, you can go find yourself someplace new!

So was with great pride the other day we learned of Oliver and Lola’s addition to the club of “Australian Citizen by Descent”! Woo hoo! This joins their American and British citizenships - although they don’t issue certificates for those, just passports. Mingy bast&*ds.

So good onya, yer little ankle biters! Bout time to avago and bone up on the ole Aussie Slang I’d say!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Welcome Visit

I’ve spent the last few days in Maine. It wasn’t a trip I was planning to make. Dad is ill having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a week ago. After hearing the news, I had to come up here, to see for myself how he was doing. To take advantage of a few days together as and when I can.

It’s been a wonderful couple of days. Surreal really. He hasn’t had the first appointment with the oncologist so I don’t think it’s really sunk in. He is a lot thinner, thinner than he’s ever been in his life really and it looks good on him. The jaundice has subsided since they put the stent in his pancreas so it is draining properly. He looks well, he’s in good spirits and he’s eating well.

I’ve been cooking up a storm. My way of coping, of caring I suppose.

Esther was away for a few days in Quebec which is why I chose now to come up. Gave her a few days break and me some precious time with Dad. We’ve been getting his wireless all set up properly, going for drives, out for lunch. No beers this time, for once.

If this was a movie, now would be the time for some big confrontation or revelation. Time running short and things must be said. But I feel a strange lack of urgency. Perhaps that’s just me being delusional, but everything just feels all very normal. I know it can’t last. But I’ll take these few precious days for what they are. Good times. Times to remember.

Fact: there is little research or government grants for pancreatic cancer. No-one sticks around long enough to advocate for it. They simply die too soon. Randy Pausch was one of the first.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Orleans - My Top 5


Steven and I just got back from a wonderful time in New Orleans. We were fortunate enough to have heaps of advice from great friends, with great taste to boot - so we really got to use our time well.

Catching up with Anna and Steve was great! Sometimes I look at Anna and can’t believe we’ve known each other since our first weeks at University in Manchester - many many years ago!

So here’s my top ten things to do when in Nola - with huge thanks to Haze and Lara, Larry and Char for their invaluable advice.

Best old school dinner: Bayona in the French Quarter - some things on the menu haven’t changed in 18 years - if you’ve got it - work it right?!

Best way to spend a morning hung over: steam boat ride up the river. Can’t say there was a lot to see, but it’s another perspective on the city and a nice way to ease into the day after a big night.

Best evening out: everyone said to avoid Bourbon Street - so of course on our first night that’s where we ended up. I’m glad we did though, because once we walked through the tackiness we got to Maison Bourbon which had the best vibe and great Jazz courtesy of the trumpeter Jamil.

Best jazz: The scene at The Spotted Cat on Frenchman St was without a doubt my favorite moment. We arrived in between bands and were so exhausted we nearly threw in the towel. I’m so glad we didn’t though as a very cool band came on, complete with cigarette-drooping guitar players and broody clarinetist. I don’t think anyone in that band cracked a smile all night. Perfect.

Best daytime stroll: Yes walking through the French Quarter is very cool, loved the feel of the place, the restaurants, the easy-laid back pace of the place. But the Garden District was other-worldly. The architecture takes you back to another time, magnificently ornate homes, most still single-family residences. The streets are a little care-worn and there is a shabbiness to the decadence that was irresistible.

I fell in love this weekend. Not only with my husband (all over again) but with a city that reminded me so much of Europe, but with its own very unique patois. Truly another America.

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