this old love. [myra and frank tie the knot].

I went to uni with Myra maybe a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago and although we haven't been in close touch, we've been in facebook-touch since we graduated. I've watched from a screen's distance while she and Frank have travelled the world. I keenly read their blog when they were travelling. They might not know that I did, but I did.

Myra and Frank returned from an enormous adventure and it was their time to start a new one and be married. And they needed someone to document it. I sheepishly raised my hand, all uuuh, I could do that, and they believed me, and I believed me, and here we are.

Really, truly: thank you Myra and Frank. I have such a heart for travellers and I hope that you can see everywhere you've been and everywhere you're going when you see what I saw on the day you tied the knot.


you got big and you went home.

Dear Olivia, (Livvy. Liv. Wibby. Wibby Wobble. Squibby.)

You got big, pretty girl. You got big and you went home. You're not even seven pounds but you're enormous! 

I'm no less bewitched by you. You haven't worn off. 

What a dramatic arrival! But you've really had your own little way about you from the very first day. You're brave. You've been poked and prodded more in 11 weeks than I have in nearly 26 years. It was so exciting when you started wearing clothes, even though you swam in the tiniest suits. You have the best face; so expressive and cute and peaceful. You throw your arms around and vogue like Madonna and from the day you were born it was all TALK TO THE HAND but I think you just like being cheeky. 

Uncle Gezzy and I argue about Who Has The Best Niece. We're both wrong and both 100% right. We're very proud of you, beautiful girl.

Sometimes when I'm textin' you, I forget that it's your mummy texting back, so when I asked you to be my Valentine today and you texted back and said "yes", I took that as a Real Yes.

I love you a bazillion.

xoxo Aunty Al


tender is the hope of coming home

Happy Birthday, little (little little) girl. Olivia.

Can I start off by sayin' that your mama is the cat's pyjamas. She's allergic to cats but not their pyjamas. (I hate to burst your bubble wrap, beautiful, but that kitten you may want for Christmas one day is just not gonna happen). Your mama is my sister and I've known her since she was born too, so that's something you two will have in common. You're also both inordinately tough and impossibly pretty, both of which will serve you well. You're the most recent in a line of strong and clever women and we love you, tiny girl.

You're nine hours old and I haven't seen you yet. Only pictures. Is it weird that I already feel like I've known you forever and I've never even laid eyes on you? You've got furrowed eyebrows and fair hair like your great grandfather and I know he would just think that you hung the moon all by yourself and maybe you did. 

I'm not gonna rabbit on but I want it in print, here today, this 26th day of November, 2013, the day you joined us two months early: I love you a zillion and there's nothing I won't do for you or your mama or your daddy. You will be surrounded by so much love. Your grandma and your great aunty Kath have been knitting the prettiest things anyone's ever seen. I am really good at planning treasure hunts and going for icecream so grow, grow, grow and we'll do it all! Get bigger and tougher and kick some ass, little lady. 

From one moon-hangin' ranga to another. I love ya. GET BIG.

Aunty Alison  


the sunflower grows by my cottage door

I've come to trust work and light and stillness in ways that I don't think I have before. 

I don't quite have words for much at the moment. I've spent the last few months watching and listening instead of talking. Moments keep telling me pay attention to this, threading themselves together with everything else. Isolated, maybe these moments are not so significant, but I sense a greater picture. Somehow, watching a rambunctious [but unusually still] five-year-old mix leaves with various diltutions of hot (then tepid) chocolate and table water sits quite well next to the days I've spent with grade sevens and eights and nines and tens. Everything is oddly familiar and mine, but it's all so well-lit and new and I don't have to say much at all to be learning what I could have never even predicted. 

Soundtracks drive me, too. Though I'm hardly pioneering this concept (LIKE OMG, THIS SONG IS MY JAM, IT IS THE SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE OMG), I feel so grounded and story-told by good music, for better or worse. Old Man Luedecke (who I met yesterday after three years of being periodically driven by him, and I said hey! I've been to Chester!) is perhaps the only person who has used the words "vehicular conveyance" during a concert, which is precisely why I like him (that and the banjo).

I don't mean for this to be such a pizza (that is, much like my university transcript: kind of all over the place). Though none of these snippets are particularly telling of any spiritual overhaul or awakening or even much at all, they all sit comfortably together. I am finding as much stillness in sitting with Kobe while he mixes, as I am in a classroom of 14 year olds, as I am in Canadian folk music, as I am in riding my new bike in the evening with the sun. 

Ah, to be more like Kobe, who is brave and sometimes cranky (of course he is) but he is such a joy, and finds such simple pleasures in MIXING and TASTING and MIXING AGAIN. To be more like Old Man Luedecke who tells such good stories with a banjo and clever words and a rad coat. And: to be perhaps a tiny bit like the grade nines I've had this past month who just don't give a damn.

(the video with Kobe is nearly ten minutes long but he's adorable and there is always something to learn from someone who is inquisitve and/or five.)


sugar and dirt and puppy dog flowers. [on how my niece can be the Prime Minister or a ballerina or a machinery operator in the Pilbara, just so long as she's awesome and nice]

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Slugs and snails,
And puppy dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

-Robert Southey  

My sister called me in May right as I was walking out the door from work and she said I'm pregnant and I said oh you are not. really? and she said yes. Other than shocked, I was immediately stoked to be an aunty. I've been hooraying ever since. Fortunate as I am to be an honourary aunty-of-sorts to many little people, I am so thrilled that I am to be a 100% AUTHENTIC AUNTY (I'm assuming it comes with a certificate of some kind) (I don't have a lot on my walls) (I also don't have many certificates). 

I know a lot of little boys and a lot of little girls. The poem is as lovely and accurate as it is asinine and typecast-y.

I know a little girl who says that when she grows up she wants to be either an artist or a fairy or a shopkeeper or a teacher and I said you don't need to just choose one. You can be anything you want. Be all of 'em. 

As far as ultrasound technology can tell at this point, my sister will bring a little girl into the world in January. A daughter! A granddaughter! A niece! My niece. Who knows what will unfold for us; how many sisters and brothers she'll have, how many cousins, how many anythings. But I hope that there is no limit on what she dreams of or who she thinks she might be. I hope that I'm not the only one saying well of course you can be a teacher/dancer/electrician/CEO/Prime Minister/author/miner/makeup-y whatever, just so long as you try hard and you're kind and you're happy. Because I'm more-than-a-little-bit concerned that even though the poem says "girls are lovely", it also says "boys get dirty and they're meant (and allowed) to be gross and girls are sweet and pretty with tidy hair". 

(Many thanks to my friends A and M who constantly prove that Pretty Dresses and Being Dirty can coexist and to their beautiful mama for letting them) (and for letting me share their pictures here). 

I hope that I'm not the only one telling her that it's okay to be exactly as she is. I hope that the world is saying it, one loud voice, all at once. Of course you can have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a collection of weird hippy housemates or a cat home or a cottage in the bush with half a dozen chickens and a goat or a husband and two kids and a labrador and a picket fence, just so long as you try hard and you're kind and you're happy.

One thing is for sure, she'll always have her (favourite) aunty in her corner. I'm a little bit excited to meet you, little girl.

(and if the ultrasound technology is inaccurate and I end up with a nephew, every sentiment still applies).