Last Tuesday was my sister Fiona’s 50th birthday – a real celebration that this incredible woman is coming into her own as a property owner and designer. And she’s been a good friend during my times of trials.

On Wednesday Mum and I had our usual lunch together, and as is becoming usual chatted about our forthcoming trip to Tasmania to see and stay in Fiona’s new house for a week. It will be good to spend some time as friends, because we spend a lot of our time together with me taking care of Mum (in tandem with the rest of our family!).

Last Friday I had lunch with Donna. We met when Elwyn and her son Keeley were at kindergarten, which makes our friendship about 26 years old! It was good to remember some of the fun and learning experiences we’ve shared. Donna is the most amazing person, the way she never, ever seeks victimhood, even when life is really, really tough for her.

That afternoon I called Aunty Judy for her birthday. Widowed twice now, these times can be lonely for her, and I wanted to let her know how important her friendship is to me and chat about my visit to her in September. She’s always the same, lovely person, through it all.

That evening we had Grant and Ann here for dinner, to celebrate Grant’s birthday the following Sunday. This is an extra special event because Sunday is also Tom’s (2nd) birthday!

Rob and I spent a quiet weekend together, going to see the movie “Miss Potter” and just being quiet, including seeing an exhibition on Antarctica with our bubbly Jeanette and thoughtful Christopher. It’s always good to spend time with my best friend, Rob, and what a joy to share time with our children as friends!

Elwyn called from London – she’s back from India. It’s so good to connect with her as a person rather than as a daughter, and what a person she is!

And this morning I had breakfast with Kerry. We met when we were studying a certificate in group leadership together in 2000, and have been friends ever since.

Friendship is the most special thing:-)


We are so blessed to live here, where our walks are so filled with wild gifts:-)

Last week, on Thursday morning in Kings Park, we heard a flock of rainbow bee-eaters. Somehow, during their annual gathering around Perth as they feed up before flying north to Asia for the winter, they call their bell-like calls as they fly and catch insects! Rob and I always respond to their calls, their shimmering little green bodies and bronze wings, with a joy, a happiness that rises from deep within.

On Sunday we were taking a rare cycle ride along the river and there was an even larger flock, ducking and diving in the air with the agility of dolphins in the water. And they were calling that same happy call that we’ve come to know so well. Soon they will be gone, and we won’t hear them again until next spring…

This morning, as we walked in Kings Park, I spied two large birds sitting on the top branches of a dead tree, gazing out across the river. They were too big to be crows or cockies – they were ospreys – Rob’s favourite birds (as well as sea eagles)! I touched him on the shoulder, gently so he wouldn’t make a noise, and pointed at the birds which we hadn’t seen for a couple of years in that spot. His response to them was the same as mine to albatrosses, especially wandering albatrosses – that intense happiness that eclipses all else.

What amazing wild gifts!

Family Time

Our family is away this week – Jeanette and Christopher are holidaying in our south west; Elwyn and her boss are in India checking out some technologies for their work in London; Tristan, Blaine, Tom and Alythea are in New Zealand for a long-planned holiday (including some snow for Tom to throw as snow balls, hopefully).

Last week we made the most of everyone being in town, sharing fish and chips for tea on the foreshore at Matilda Bay with them all and my mother, then Rob and I babysitting Tom and Thea while Tris and Blaine had some much-needed time together before coming back for the night to our place. After breakfast on Saturday morning at our favourite cafe in Kings Park, Tris and Blaine took their children home to prepare for the birthday party that night – Tris’s 27th and Tom’s 2nd.

The party began with Rob and I, Jeanette and Christopher, Penny and Jo (Blaine’s parents), Peggy (Blaine’s grandmother), Nick and Dale (Blaines uncle and aunt), Taree and Zac (Blaine’s cousins) joining Tris, Blaine, Tom and Thea at the local park for a game of cricket. The rules were made up as we went along, especially when Tris hit the ball into the lake! Mostly the fun was interacting – a great way to meld the families:-) Then it was back to Tris and Blaine’s place for tea and birthday cake. Although we tried to include Elwyn via Jeanette’s laptop and the internet, the connection was flaky. So Rob and I left and headed back to our place where we were able to have a good chat with Elly – she showed us the dress she’s bought for the wedding party the following weekend, and chatted about her plans for India (one of her very favourite places).

And tonight they’ve all flown the coup!

Happy Birthday Tristan!

Today is the 27th anniversary of Tristan surviving his birth. With me in danger of dying from pre-eclampsia and so finishing off the threat of death that Tristan was already under, 13th February 1980 was a very worrying day for Rob. But all’s well that ends well, and the emergency caesarean saved both our lives as well as delivering a very small (less than 2kg) but delightful little boy into Rob’s waiting arms!

Tristan soon learned to smile, and his signature laugh which we all love emerged loud and clear soon afterwards

So Happy Birthday Tristan!!!

Wendy (aka proud Mum)

Sailing Days

To help us recover from a busy few weeks Rob and I moved onto Dusky Dolphin on Saturday and sailed to Rottnest, to one of our favourite bays, Porpoise Bay. The nice forecast was replaced with strong winds and seas from the northwest, giving us a grey, bumpy, difficult ride. But as we entered the bay all was peaceful and calm.

The first thing was a rest – me on the couch for a sleep and Rob in the cockpit for a quiet read. This included browsing through his log book. With the aid of a calculator he worked out:

    He has sailed 10,200 miles in Dusky Dolphin and our charter boat Blade Runner in Tassie;

    We have owned Dusky Dolphin for 2,400 days;

    In that time he has spent 530 days on board.

We were treated to one of most magic nights, sitting in the cockpit under the brilliant arc of the Milky Way. No swell so a beautiful sleep.

Friends (fellow sailors also moored in the bay) over for morning tea the next morning, lazy lunch, then a quiet motor sail back to the club over flat, sparkly seas.

Just what the doctor ordered (so to speak!).

Jeanette the Web Wonder Woman

This morning Jeanette and I sat with her drawing pad, talking about the work she’s doing on the Glastonbury website. True to her professional yet creative style, she’d drawn a flow chart of the way the site would work for the new section we are adding.

As she guided me through it, referring to her list of items we needed to discuss, I remembered the little girl she used to be. She’d always had such a clear idea of how things should be, a great sense of fairness underpinning all that she did. And she would always go to great lengths to make sure that things were done the right way by and for all those around her. So people have always trusted her.

She’s hasn’t changed, not one bit.

Thank heavens:-)

Wendy (aka Proud Mum)

Precious Cargo

I drove with precious cargo tonight. With Tristan away, working in the Abrolhos (using his geophysical gear to search for mass graves from the mutiny there), Blaine has been left in total care of Tom and Alythea. She had to work tonight so I drove my car over to their place, waited until the kids had woken from their sleeps, and drove them back to our place in Blaine’s car (because that had their car seats all set up).

Tom thought that it was most out of order that I came to pick him up and he wasn’t allowed to get in my car. However he finally worked out what I meant when I said “Mummy’s going to drive Grandma’s car and Grandma’s going to drive Mummy’s car.” So, with Blaine sitting in my car waving to her two lovely little ones, I gingerly drove off…They were very good. Tom pointing out cars, trucks, trains and lights, Alythea chewing her toys. It took an hour to get through rush hour traffic back to our place, so I was glad they were good!

It was a strange experience, sitting in that space that Tristan holds with such love and care. I got a strong sense of his world during that drive – the love and care we have all always showered on him is very much here. It’s very much like the love and care my father showered on me and my sisters…

Remembering Grandpa

At the gym today my trainer Sandie finished my session with a posture exercise – we’ve realised that I have work to do here. She stood me up against the wall, tummy tucked, shoulders back and head upright.

“Stay like that the rest of the day,” she instructed with a smile.

Suddenly I was 12 years old again. Standing against a wall with a book on my head that Grandpa was holding.

“Pull your tummy in, hold your shoulders back and your head high. Don’t let that book fall,” my grandfather was saying as he let go the book.

Had I always hidden from the world by keeping my head down and shoulders rounded? Did he see that? It dawned on me then that he had seen a lot about me even in my tender years that I was only just seeing now…

“Thanks Grandpa.” Sandie wondered at my grin of understanding.