Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Australian celebrities sing for Oprah

The Oprah Show

She has her detractors, the people who don't buy the hype, those who think it's all fake, that she's a megalomaniac, insincere or just annoying. I have met them, I have defended her for decades and I will continue to do so ad nauseum. Today, I got overwhelming, conclusive and extraordinary confirmation that my Oprah is a phenomenon. I have never seen anything quite like it. I literally have never seen anyone do what they do for a living better than how this woman does what she does for a living.

There is no pretence, there is no 'show', there is no faking or acting. There is no hesitation, no cue cards or teleprompters - there is just an all pervasive warmth, boundless curiosity and the propensity for exuberant, childlike joy like I've not seen in other fully grown humans.

Many people have the gift of the gab, most coherent humans could conduct an interview and get reasonable answers. What Oprah does is t0 make you feel like you are part of the conversation. She allows you to know both her and her subject on a uniquely intimate level. Oprah appears to have no issue with being seen as a real person, an emotional and flawed individual with empathy and compassion second to none. We see her without make up, in unflattering clothing and in deeply personal situations. We see her as the glamorous, poised and magnanimous uber-celebrity. In both guises, she is the same girl. There is simply no artifice.

I truly never believed I'd have to opportunity to experience her magic first hand and I cannot tell you how privileged I feel to have been there today. To say it was a dream come true seems twee to me. It was so much more than that. We all have our 'person' who motivates us, moves us to tears, makes us laugh out loud and inspires us. Oprah is mine. I've watched her show for my entire adult life - from the time she debuted on SABC 3 in South Africa when I was a Uni student, through life as a young girl in London, a married girl in Sydney, a mommy in Dublin and beyond. She's been there through it all, propelling me forward with her crystal insight, her unwavering belief in our power as human beings and her innate spirituality and gratitude. She's my constant in a life that has been highly changeable. To be in the same place as her at the same time as her and to get her ringing endorsement of Sydney and Australia feels like a sign.

What can I say other than Thank You, Oprah. And to those who don't 'get it', I hope you find your person. It sure does help.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Unintentional Housewife

I'm a housewife. I didn't choose to be one, but it has happened... unintentionally. This is what you need to be aware of: when/if you decide to stay at home to raise your children, you also inadvertently get saddled with the HOUSE.

The house has needs which rival those of a toddler. The house requires endless, undivided attention. There is never a moment when everything is done and remains so. You may think you've finally done ALL the washing, but that only lasts a maximum of 12 hours. You are never done with the washing - never ever. It's enough to make one move to a nudist colony if only to free oneself from the sickening burden of dirty laundry. The same applies to the dishes - I feel like my dishwasher is on all day long. If only I could apply the nudist colony principle to this and simply not eat... but that would merely reduce the dishes by a third and the other two-thirds would still have to be done... by ME. When the laundry and the dishes are done, there's the general MESS of toys and bits of fruit and endless stickers and magnets and tiny cars which seem to inhabit every spare nook and cranny of my house. I now live in a small regional branch of Toys 'R Us only without the staff to stack and arrange the shelves.

While I do all of this, I'm overwhelmed with guilt that I SHOULD be going to the gym, I SHOULD be getting to that writing that I promised myself I would commit to, I SHOULD be doing the work I'm neglecting from my part-time job... So, even when I do manage to do all the house stuff, I'm still not done... because I'm failing at the rest of my life. Invariable the things I'm neglecting to do are the things which actually fulfil me... the things I do for myself.

I marvel at the women who make it seem possible. I don't know how they do it. Is it practice or is it something one is born to do? See for me, this is unintentional. I don't want to be a housewife.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I feel like I've spent the whole year spinning around and around and now I'm standing here, dizzy and confused. Not the most poetic or articulate way of putting it - but it's been 'that' kind of year. I guess 2010 will be stored in the memory banks as the year that sanity forgot. We've had 4 months in South Africa, 3 months in Dublin and 3 months in Sydney so far and I really am just starting to focus. You know when you wake up in the morning and everything is fuzzy but you can make out a few outlines and colours? It's like that.

Sydney is starting to feel 'normal'. I am starting to want to be here. I don't want to swap with anyone, I am not wishing I was somewhere else. I am taking ownership of the decision to move here. Yes, it was me. I wanted this. I asked to move back here. Now we're here and I need to do something to make it feel anchored and permanent. I need to grasp the concept of 'forever' and also process the fact that 'forever' does not translate as 'happily ever after'. This isn't a fairytale - it's real life. No-one said it was supposed to be easy. I just had it easy for a long time and assumed that was how it would always be.

Here's the 'rub'. I need to commit to what I want to be when I grow up. It would appear I'm THERE. I am grown up. If I don't do what I want to do NOW, then when exactly? And what is it that I want to do? Well, it's this. I want to write. It is the only thing I do without hesitation, with no excuses or procrastination, I am never resentful of it, I do it with ease and certainty. Writing does not intrude on my day, it doesn't demand my time when I want to be doing something else. It doesn't chain me to some clinical desk in a depressing cubicle amongst people who don't want to be there. It makes me feel like I'm being honest. It feels like what I am supposed to be doing and it always has. I knew it at 17 and I've done it for 16 years, but now I need to do it properly. I need to be a writer.

I've postponed the inevitable I guess - always knowing this was in me, being told repeatedly and encouraged relentlessly. I've been living the subject matter for 33 years now. It's time to write it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be careful what you wish for - or at least be very specific. I know they say that 'God is in the details' - turns out God is a very detail-oriented guy. One might say a tad OCD. The chap wants MORE info. All of it even.

I have truly screwed this one up. See, I spent 3 years in Dublin asking God to let me go back to Sydney. I asked a lot. I asked often. I'd look outside at the gloomy, greyness and the persistent sideways drizzle (that rarely matured into 'rain' but still meant my GHD was useless) and I'd say 'Please God let me go back to Sydney'. Sometime around January God listened. James resigned and we started making plans to get back to Sydney. I was happy. I was, if you'll excuse the twee-ness, Singin' in the Rain.

So I arrived in Sydney in mid-July with this song in my heart, a skip in my step and an overwhelming sense of relief. We were here. The hard part was over and now the happily ever after part would just take hold. It's a little like my whole 'Please God just let me be thin for my wedding photos' scenario ... My question was a bit short-sighted. I was thin for my wedding photos - but that was 1 day ... the day after I started eating carbs. I asked God to take me to Sydney, but I didn't really explain what I wanted when I GOT HERE.

I want the whole story ok? I want us to be healthy, employed and settled. I didn't want us to all be sick one after the other and often all at the same time for weeks on end. I didn't want the stress of financial woe and joblessness. I thought that was a given, but it turns out I should have mentioned that in my little chats with the big Guy. I didn't think it would all be this hard. I had no idea. No matter how much I wanted out of Dublin, I didn't want Sydney like THIS.

So I'm asking now. Please God, let me be in Sydney and be happy. I know I'm asking for a lot, but can you at least think about it? I have time. I'll work with you. Just give me a sign there's a possibility it will happen? Thanks. Oh and thank you for MacKenzie. You did really good there.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jeremy Clarkson narrates my life

It's very odd having 2 boys in my house 24/7. My life is narrated largely by Jeremy Clarkson and Buzz Lightyear. It's a little bit like our own private edition of Celebrity Rehab or Big Brother, but I guess we're detoxing from 3 years in Dublin where I played the part of dutiful corporate wife (AKA Single Mother). We're "regrouping" (see, bits of my 3 years in Dublin were narrated by Doctor Phil) and reestablishing our priorities - our collective priorities as a family. For the most part, it's positive and good. As with all learning curves, it is also hard work.

In the lead-up to our move back to Sydney, people kept asking me if I was excited to get back to Sydney. As I've said before, I find nostalgia to be quite a dangerous thing. I said, repeatedly, that I was looking forward to September when the jet-lag had dissipated, the boxes had been unpacked, Spring would be upon us and we'd be settled and in the 'swing' of things.

Today is the 1st of September.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

G'Day Hoe Gaan Dit Wie Gehts Hello

So here we are in Oz - Down Under- in Sydney... starting again (sort of) and relishing the beauty, ease and positivity that infuses daily life here. I struggled to leave South Africa. I truly fell in love with my Home and would have been quite happy to stay there. I've never felt such patriotism, such a sense of belonging and an appreciation of the simple things in life... It was in stark contrast to our time in Dublin where I felt that everything was about money. We went there for money. We stayed there for more money. We left because, in the end, money is NOT enough of a reason to be somewhere. Three months in South Africa provided the antidote to the 3 years in Dublin. In South Africa, the vast majority of people have no money and no material possessions whatsoever. Yet, somehow, these people have the most tremendous capacity for joy and celebration. I will be eternally grateful for the time I had in my magical country as I feel I recaptured my essence. I like stuff, sure, but I don't need it.

I focused so much on the anxiety I felt about leaving South Africa that I hadn't even thought about arriving in Sydney. Our arrival here was quite bizarre. I can only equate it with those movies where the lead character dies and then returns to his/her life to see what life would be like without them. We returned after over 3 years away to find, of course, that everything had continued quite nicely without us. There are many many babies, some relationships have ended and new ones have begun... The first week was awful - jet lag and confusion, boxes and suitcases, multiple 3am screenings of Toy Story (1 and 2)... and then profound normality... We're back.

In my 20s I always broke my life down into 3 categories: House, Job, Relationship. There were very few instances in my 20s where I had all 3. Each time I did manage to secure all 3 at the same time, something cataclysmic would happen. Memorably, at about 24, I had the guy, the house and the job... then the guy upped and left for Sydney. When this girl upped and left for Sydney, I had the guy and the house, but no job. Finally, as I hit 30, I had the guy, the house, the job... and the guy took me to Dublin... where I had the guy and the house...and then a little guy, so no job. Now, we're here in Sydney... and I have the guy, the little guy, the house...and no job. It's a vicious and challenging circle, but I'm sure very soon we'll get it sorted.

It's never simple. Even when you get exactly what you've always wanted. Sometimes I'm envious of the friends I have who have opted to stay put, grow roots and pursue their path with the least possible obstacles. Mostly, I'm not. I am curious though about the 'alternative' - what would have happened had we stayed in London or in Dublin or in South Africa? Right now I'm aiming to find out what happens if we stay in Sydney. Watch this space.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


It's been a while since I last wrote and I think my lack of correspondence actually speaks more than any writing I would have done had I made it to a laptop. I've spent the last few months feeling desperately incoherent. It's not familiar territory for me - I usually have something to say. I guess what has happened is that I have entered this transient place and, while this would normally invigorate me and challenge me, it's rendered me silent and quite immobilised... which is strange as I'm currently activelly making my way around the world.

We left Dublin on 8 May - several days late due to the dreaded ash cloud. The goodbyes in Dublin were exponentially worse than I had anticipated but the delay did allow a few extra precious days with our closest Dublin pals. When the airport goodbye came eventually, I was numb. Saying goodbye to someone who has shared every moment of 3 life changing years was beyond anything I've experienced before. The ash cloud also meant that we missed out on traveling to Edinburgh to say goodbye to James' parents prior to our departure for South Africa and, ultimately, Australia. All in all, a traumatic few days and quite a dark hole to climb out of when we reached South Africa.

Every time I leave a place I feel like it takes a few weeks, months even to shed it. Like a skin, Dublin had grown on me and despite all my problems with the place, it was our home. I became a mother there. I made lifelong best friends there. I will always cherish it but it was definitely time to move on. And move on we did, to South Africa to the town I grew up in and the town I previously longed to escape. Now I dread the prospect of packing our bags and leaving yet again. Our MacKenzie has absolutely blossomed here, he's speaking in sentences, has befriended everyone in town and has his grandparents wrapped neatly around his pudgy fingers. I've had wonderful quality time with all my old school friends, my oldest best girlfriend in particular. She's got 3 daughters now and my son is deeply in love with all 3 - as well as having dubbed their father 'Uncle Daddy' for some reason known only to him. MacKenzie turned 2 here and has developed in leaps and bounds which astound us all on a daily basis. Children are phenomenal. I think much more highly of myself knowing that I used to be one of these wondrous beings.

We leave next Saturday for Sydney. Although we've lived there previously for 5 years, we left as a young couple and are returning as a family. I'm excited but also concerned that it won't be the place my memory has created. Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. I have no conclusion to this - just to say that I'm scared of this precarious place I'm standing on now and nervous to take the next step. I hope it goes well. I know it all 'looks' exciting and glamorous - this globe-trotting existence we've chosen - but there are pitfalls and vats of tears along the way.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Plastic Joy Award

I've been tagged a couple of times by other bloggers - which means I'm supposed to pick up on a theme and write about it - but this is the first time I've managed to actually get as far as writing something! Thank you Icklebabe http://www.icklebabe.com/blog/ (Helen White) for your confidence in me and thank you Tattooed Mummy http://tattooedmummy.blogspot.com/ for coming up with the Theme!

So the deal is I'm supposed to list 5 fictional characters who I 'would' - you know what I mean. This made me laugh because it's kind of a favourite and recurring topic of conversation amongst my friends. It started with the famous episode of Friends where the gang discuss a 'freebie' list of celebrities who they would be allowed to hook up with should they have the opportunity without it signalling the end of their relationship (you can click here for the actual dialogue http://www.friends-tv.org/zz305.html). Chandler settles on a top 5, dithers over Isabella Rosselini and then decides to scrap her from his list... only to meet her and have the opportunity... Eek!

So, here goes - my to 5 FICTIONAL characters who I would, you know, ahem *blush* ... :

- John Malkovich's Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons
- Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
- George Cloony as Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air
- Brad Pitt as JD in Thelma and Louise
- James Spader as Max Baron in White Palace

Honourable mentions go to:

Ralph Fiennes as Count Lazsly de Almazy in The English Patient (1st half of the movie...)
Nick Nick Nolte as Tom Wingo in Prince of Tides
Richard Gere as Zack Mayo in Officer and a Gentleman AND as Tony in Looking for Mr Goodbar

I guess I'm a tart... (surprise!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RIP Layla Grace

I felt such a need to write that previous post a few days ago but couldn't post it until today - it wasn't 'ready' yet. It was with intense sadness that I realised that I posted the blog around the same time that sweet Layla Grace met her angels. I hope her heaven is the most perfect, pain free, beautiful place imaginable. Rest In Peace sweet girl. You are safe. You are loved.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Layla Grace

There's a darling little girl in Texas who won't be with us much longer. She's 2 years old and suffering from stage 4 neuroblastoma. This brave little soul has lived much of her life in pain, been through more than anyone of any age should have to deal with and will shortly fly back to heaven. I don't know Layla Grace and I don't know her family. I only found out about her a week ago but I have been so affected by her and her family that I feel like she has completely changed how I respond to things. I think of her, see her little face in my mind and I am heartbroken.

The outpouring of love and support for Layla and her family on Twitter, Facebook and their blog (www.laylagrace.org) has been intense. She has highlighted the most positive aspect of social media and shown that people the world over have tremendously big hearts.

Something I read in the blog really struck a chord. Any mother will know that having a toddler means that one inevitably takes twice the normal amount of time to do anything because small kids want to be involved in everything. It can be frustrating and I know that I have sometimes begged the universe to let MacKenzie nap for 5 minutes longer or to sit still just long enough for me to do stuff. Layla Grace's mommy speaks about this - how Layla would disrupt her from unloading the dishwasher or be under her feet while she was trying to do housework in general... and how she'd be noisy and willful and want attention... Now Layla's mom longs for that, wishes she'd try to climb into the dishwasher or be petulant and distracting... They long for her noise. They ache for her to be messy and refuse to nap.

My eyes filled with tears when I read that and I had moment of such clarity and gratitude. My son is messy and noisy and willful and petulant and he climbs into the dishwasher and he draws on the walls and he tramples banana into the carpet and sprays juice all over the place... and he's PERFECT. He's healthy and beautiful and he's here and he's mine and I will never wish him to do anything differently. I want him exactly like this. I am so lucky.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just Do It

I am very limited in my abilities. It's true, I am creative - to a point. I am good with words, but I am not 'crafty'. I don't have that 'flair' to make stuff. I can cook, but I'm not competent enough to host a fancy dinner party. I mean, we won't starve, but I won't be publishing any cook books any time soon. I am OK at tennis, but I am seriously erratic and I am more bad than good, so that leads me to 'OK'. I am fairly musical, meaning I learnt the piano and cello for years but never got really good (in part because of a senile music teacher who taught me Christmas carols throughout the year). I can sing, but not well enough to do anything with it. It's true that I was a pretty competent actress through school and University, but I don't know where that girl went.

So, you see, I haven't truly challenged myself to do anything new in a long time... Unless you count motherhood, but I think of that as something that was brewing deep within me from the time I was a zygote and it isn't a challenge so much as a need, a want - a dream fulfilled. Sure, being a mommy raises challenges every day, but I know I can cope with them. I have no option really.

I think 'athletic' is about as far down the list of adjectives to describe me as possible. Maybe somewhere near 'tanned'. I am not athletic. I have never had any desire to do anything which requires flat shoes. In truth, I haven't ever even given it a chance. As a kid, my tennis teacher told my mother that I as 'uncoordinated' - and that was that. In my head, sports of all kind went out the window. Nice, hey? Teachers wield enormous power.

I have always marveled at people who can run. There is something incredible about the power and the determination to move at such speed purely for enjoyment. I have tried to run many times with personal trainers, outdoors, indoors, with James, with friends. It never felt good. I hated it. I always felt like my heart was about to explode out of my mouth and I would die - just die - in all sorts of miserable agony. In the latter part of 2009, I made an attempt at running. I had worked with a trainer for several months at that stage. Still, the running felt HARD and unnatural.

My goal for 2010 was to learn to run 5 kilometres. I set it as a personal goal and challenge. I even tweeted it so that it became a public goal. I always try harder at things when there are people who might potentially deride me or be disappointed if I fail.

I did it yesterday. I ran 5 kilometers in 32 minutes and 30 seconds. It hurt. I struggled. I felt close to cardiac arrest for about 5 minutes afterwards, but I did it. Now I want to do it in 30 minutes and feel good. I think I can.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Little Bigger Than a Venti Latte


I thought I would just give you a visual: this is MacKenzie at less than a week old at Starbucks with his very proud and tired mommy.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little Dude - Big Personality


I had to share this picture. Mackie's godmother, Melani, sent him a Sesame Street camera for Christmas. Ever since the camera arrived, Macs has been very excited about taking pictures and having his picture taken. This is his 'say cheese' face. It makes me smile!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Posted by Picasa

Things I'll Miss About Dublin

I have been pretty hard on Dublin. I realise the general perception that you must all have is that I hate it here. I don't. In fact, I like the place. It has a charm, warmth (not in climate) and a gorgeous old-fashionedness about it. I have had 3 years of long walks, cappuccinos and play dates. I've had multiple trips to fabulous European destinations. We had lots of mishaps and disappointments (you'll remember the 4 months we waited for cable TV to be installed and now we've had 4 months with out a dryer)... But let me stay on track. I'm talking about the things I love about this town. So here they are, in no particular order:

1) Long walks on crisp, Sunny days - It rains a lot here and the rain goes sideways. I didn't know that was possible, but it is. These gorgeous dry days when the city is surrounded with a halo of restorative sunshine are what we LIVE for here. Bright days in Dublin make me want to walk for hours. I love the fresh air, the smiles on every one's faces, the buzz of excitement that comes with unexpected good weather... It's good enough to make me forget about sideways rain and endless days indoors.

2) Starbucks - Yes, Starbucks. Judge me if you must, but I love the place. I have had more coffees in the last 3 years than I thought was possible. I have been to Starbucks at least once a day every day that I have been in Dublin - aside from the 5 days I was in hospital having MacKenzie - but we did go there on Day 6. He was about the same size as a Venti Latte at that stage. Starbucks is where I have received fantastic news (of long-awaited pregnancies) and awful news (of passport delays which almost caused us to cancel a holiday). Starbucks is where I write, where I read, where I "regroup". It's my office, my lounge, my study. I will miss it enormously.

3) Herbert Park - Anyone with a child or a pet will know that a park is kind of essential. Basically, you'd settle for any square foot of grass nearby, but we lucked out. Herbert Park is 10 minutes from our front door and it is GORGEOUS. On top of being large, green, beautiful and close by, it has a playground AND it's near Starbucks (see number 2). My perfect day combines 1, 2 and 3.

4) The Brown Thomas Shoe Sale - This is a SERIOUS sale. None of this namby pamby 10% off rubbish. These are proper bargains on shoes ranging from Pied a Terre to Manolo Blahnik. Serious sale on SERIOUS shoes. I am just about superficial enough to forget about sideways rain when I can have a pair of Gucci pumps for under a 100 bucks. Juuuust about.

5) Herb Street - This is a little cafe near James' work which we've kind of commandeered as our personal property. They do really good coffee, sinfully good pancakes, great eggs, sublime French Toast... and they are over-the-top baby-friendly... it's like a little piece of mommy-heaven. Oh, and they do ridiculously good cupcakes. It's pretty perfect. If I time my day right, I could manage breakfast at Herb Street, a walk (1), coffee at Starbucks (2) on route to Herbert Park (3) and then pop into BTs for a wee look at the shoes (4). Awesome.

6) Ex-Pat Wives - My accomplices on these missions (1 - 5) are crucial to my enjoyment thereof. I have a few bloody amazing pals in Dublin. We're all cut from similar stuff, we all married men on missions to rule the world and none of us have jobs outside the home (I mean, we dabble, but nothing which distracts too much from 1-5)... which means we have time to hang out. I can't imagine that I will ever have this kind of set up again. I have found some GEMS in Dublin and even if 1-5 didn't exist, they would probably make it all worth it.

7) Travel - Dublin is ideally located to see the world. You can get to New York in 6 hours, London in 55 minutes... It's been a dream scenario for me. We've been to Paris, Hamburg, Charmonix, New York, Boston, Sydney, Cape Town, East London, Lincolnshire, London, Ludlow, Cheshire, Edinburgh, Kilkenny, Wales, Wexford, Belfast, Stranraer, Blackpool, Liverpool ... and more in the last 3 years. Not too shabby.

8) Full-Time Mommyhood - I have had the pleasure of spending every day and night with my son since he was born with the exception of my 48 hour jaunt in London. I am SO lucky to have witnessed every milestone, every knock and bruise, every word uttered - all of it. It has been intense, tiring and amazing - and I wouldn't change a second.

Other notable highlights of my life in Dublin include: sushi and cocktails at Ice Bar at the Four Seasons, High Tea at the Shelbourne, Salads at Milanos, Dundrum Town Centre, Waterstones Book Shop on Dawson Street, Mink Hand and Foot Spa, Donnybrook Fair and last, but certainly not least, Marks and Spencers...

So you see, I have had it pretty damn good. Is this the part where you all stop reading my blog and start to hate me? I hope not.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Yellow Brick Road Beckons

We are heading back to Oz. Have you heard already? It's hard to keep up, I know. The Gray family is a moving target. This is a move I really want to make. I like change - but this is a new kind of change. This time we're changing to something familiar and it feels so RIGHT. For the first time since I moved to London in 1999, I'm moving somewhere because it's where I want to be. The first time I moved to Sydney (in February 2002), I moved because I wanted to be with James. I had no idea about Sydney at all. I had seen pictures of the bridge and the Opera House, but I truly had no concept of what the rest of the place would look like. I knew 1 person there - ONE. Can you imagine? It was very lonely in the beginning because, to tell you the truth, James has always worked 12+ hour days. The schedule in Dublin is not new.

After 8 months apart (with me in London and James in Sydney), I didn't care that I would only see him a few hours a day - those few hours were so much better than tearful telephone conversations and eagerly awaited text messages. It took 2 or 3 years to fully immerse myself in Sydney and by the time it came to leave, I was actually close to a breakdown. I was devastated to leave the friends who had become our family and a job I not only enjoyed, but excelled at. We made a really full life there - a life anyone would be envious of. It had nothing to do with money or things, it had to do with a sense of being genuinely accepted and loved by people who we were proud to have in our lives. Nothing beats that.

Our stay in Dublin has been difficult. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. We never intended to be here forever and when one moves somewhere temporarily one just never really settles in. Everything has a transient quality, nothing seems worth huge amounts of time and effort. It's all pretty superficial and fleeting. And I am not. I don't enjoy the feeling of inauthentic relationships and pithy banter. I like to connect. I like to really listen and really be heard.

The strange thing is that we have connected within a like-minded group of fellow transients and we have formed relationships which will outlast this jaunt upon the Emerald Isle. Many of us had our babies here and I think that is the kind of major life event which forms a forever friendship. I will miss these people and I will be forever grateful for this experience because of the 2 gifts that I have received from Dublin: my son and the certainty that Sydney is where we want to be.