I See You!

‘If you could choose,’ I said to the Handsome Sidekick one day, a few months ago, ‘would you rather receive recognition from your peers, or from the general public? Bearing in mind that the recognition from your peers might mean that you earn less money, than if you were to become famous in a mainstream sense.’

He thought for a while.

‘I guess… my peers?’ he said. ‘I mean, sure, it would be great to have both. But I suppose I’d rather have people who I know really value this stuff, also think that my stuff is good.’

‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘Me too, I think.’

Of course, neither of us is in the position where we have to worry about choosing between the respect and admiration of our peers or our fans! But I have been thinking a lot about recognition lately, for a few reasons.

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Elders.

So as you probably know, both David Bowie and Alan Rickman died last week, and the news hit me harder than I expected. Perhaps it’s because in both cases, the news came to everyone, except those very close to them, as a shock. Perhaps it’s because several friends’ parents or parents-in-law have died recently. All I know is that after I’d put our Offpsring to bed, on the evening after I’d heard about Bowie’s death, I was clearing up the plates and setting the dishwasher going, and I found myself holding back tears. And then I realised why.

My elders are dying, and I’m not ready.

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No.

Before First Offspring was born, I read.  A lot. All about babies. Having sat many an exam, I guess I treated the pregnancy and impending child-rearing like a test, and studied accordingly. I learnt about all different parenting techniques, and weighed up the pros and cons of routines, attachment, co-sleeping, vaccinations… really, everything. And one of the philosophies was that the word ‘no’ was an unhelpful word, to be avoided, if possible.

Telling your children ‘no’ sends a message of negativity, and is irritating to both you and them. And it can ‘breed resentment and plant seeds for future rebellion’ in your youngsters.

‘That sounds fair,’ thought yet-to-be-a-parent I. ‘I like the idea of being a positive parent. I’ll make an effort to say ‘no’ less. All that negativity is unhealthy, anyway.’

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The Week Links: in which our blogger supervises children in a paddle pool.

We bought our Offspring a little backyard pool a few months ago, as a Christmas present, and yesterday was the first really warm day since Christmas when we could use it. So I spend most of the day watching them while worrying that someone would drown. It’s exhausting (although the good news is, nobody drowned). Today is going to be hot again, so I’ll be taking them to the beach, so I can watch them and worry that someone will drown, but with a different backdrop. Ah, summer with children who are yet too young to be able to swim properly! What joy.

While I worry, enjoy some links…

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Little White Lies.

It’s Boxing Day evening here, and I’m tired. This is obviously due in great part to the fact that it was Christmas Day yesterday, and Christmas Eve the day before that. Our Offspring have been so excited about The Big Day, counting down the days, with Fourth Offspring asking everyday, if we could go to Christmas.

This has been the first Christmas where they all ‘get’ it. Last year, Fourth Offspring was only two years old, but this year, having turned three a few months ago, he was very much aware of what was going to happen: Santa comes in the night, and leaves presents under the tree. First Offspring, aged eight, is still convinced of this, and so for the first and almost certainly the last time, all children were enthralled with the magic of Santa, and I’ll admit, that was a lovely thing to be a part of.

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The Week Links: in which our blogger eats fruit mince pies.

It’s almost Christmas! This is exciting because fruit mince pies are on special, and I’m making it my mission to sample as many as I can, so that I can recommend the very best. So far, the ones I had at the Vancouver Street Cafe come out on top, closely followed by those from Baker’s Delight. I shall see if I can find some at Dome next week. I know this information’s really only useful to about three people who read this blog, but I think that just highlights my incredible attention to detail, don’t you?

The links have been few and far between for the past few weeks, but now they’re back! Please enjoy:

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FOMO? Well, YOLO, you know.

I hadn’t heard about ‘FOMO’ until I read about it in an article. Apparently, it’s really a thing! Through social media, people can tailor their online presence to appear to have a certain kind of life, and others who view this presentation then fret about why they  don’t have that, too (Fear Of Missing Out).

That’s not news. That’s always happened. It’s always been the case that it’s easy to look at someone else’s life and believe that they have it better. We’ve always imagined that movie stars are all tremendously rich and confident and popular, when the reality is that they’re just people, and while they might have more money at their disposal which means they can afford more ‘stuff’, it doesn’t follow that they’re any more content than your average person.

Their internet persona just makes it seem as if they do.

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No Place for People Like You.

Recently, changes to our migration act here in Australia meant that any non-Australian citizen who served a prison sentence for more than 12 months would be at risk of deportation at the end of their prison sentence. No doubt this was an attempt to rid our otherwise unsullied paradise of unsavoury foreign types who go around committing crimes and generally bringing down the tone of the place.

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And… ACTION.

Australia is on fire.

I don’t mean in the Alicia Keys sense. We are literally burning here, with massive fires, such as one only hours from where we live, which killed 4 people, and others in South Australia where people have also died. To put that into context, we have a good warning system, and people in fire-prone areas are used to preparing for and defending their properties against fire. For people to die… it’s unusual. It’s terrifying and tragic. And it’s only the beginning of summer–the start of the bushfire season. Our summer is predicted to be horrendously hot, coming off the rest of 2015, the hottest year on record.

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A Conversation Between Us.

Step into my imagination, if you will. Our eyes meet across a crowded internet. I motion to the balcony, and we both edge through the crowd and find each other again at a dark green curtain. I draw it aside, and we walk out onto a small area with wrought iron railing and a table and two chairs. The city spreads out below us, spots of light here and there. In the distance, a crescent moon is reflected in the still summer ocean. On the table is a tea service, or a jug of coffee, or perhaps just some water. We smile at each other and sit.

So, I say, as I pour the tea/coffee/water. What brings you here?

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