Monthly Archives: April 2013

Welcome to Tuesday, I had a coffee

Well that kind of sums it up. My brain is pitching a fit in a million directions thanks to the coffee. From story ideas, to planning a Gangster/Masquerade ball-party-thingy in my head, to plotting which cathedrals in Europe I’d like to visit first. All in all my head is a strange place to be. The only consistent thing in there is that most of these things require money and money is not something I have oodles of at my disposal. It’s an issue I know a lot of us have, dreams that require money and the economy and lotteries not doing their part to allow us to be the next Scrooge McDuck. (Not that I want to swim in my money, knowing me I’d have an allergic reaction and get covered in paper cuts.)

It seems annoying and just a little unfair that so many of our dreams and desires are dependent on cash flow. Obviously there are ways around it, but sometimes there just isn’t. Living in New Zealand I’m not really going to be able to find a cheaper way to get to Europe and the UK to see the places I’ve dreamed about since I was a child. And with my hours being less again now, saving becomes much harder. Of course I am still one of the lucky ones, I have a home and many of the creature comforts I’ve come to expect. Some of which I do not need but very much enjoy. I am not bad off and I know this, however, this doesn’t mean I can’t be just a little sad that there is a lot standing between me and some of my dreams. It doesn’t mean I will never have them, it doesn’t mean I don’t plan to work hard to get them. (Double negative in there, my bad.)

It does mean that I know what the obstacles are, it means I empathise with others in the same boat, it means my mind, coffee addled or not, is working hard to come up with a solution that will mean I can achieve my dreams and hopefully help other’s with theirs.

It means also I should finish getting ready for work…

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Stand for something or fall for anything

I posted up on twitter a link via Neil Gaiman to the essay by Salmon Rushdie Whither Moral Courage. It was an interesting read having just finished The Hunger Games movie for the first time. (No I haven’t read the books….yet.)
What do I stand for in the world. Sometimes I have a strong voice on a topic but I admit, I don’t always share it. I admit at time I act like I was born a Libra and try to balance every side, not rock the boat, not make anyone angry or hateful. It’s not really a position I’m proud of sometimes and I don’t know why I do it, well maybe I do. At primary school I was bullied and even to this day when I think about putting my opinion out there I hark back to certain memories and feelings that come from doing that and then suffering the consequences. A bit stupid at 32 to worry about what some stuck up little blonde bitch and her mindless minions thought back then, but it has left a bit of a lasting impression. It shouldn’t.
I’ve been quiet on here lately, not sure what to say, not sure what parts of me to share, not rocking the boat or getting to out there, but you know what? Fuck that. I am who I am and while I’m still a work in progress I like who I am, who I am becoming and where I am going. Yes thousands will not like me, yes perhaps millions would argue with me had they the chance but that means that millions would stand beside me, thousands will like me and that is just the way of it. So why should I not just be myself, speak my voice and live.
It is late on Sunday night so forgive me my blatant typos and errors, but I had to get this out of my head, I had to say my piece, because you’ll be hearing more from me and you don’t have to stick around to read my opinions, read my writing, read my mind and soul as they spill forth but here I am….and to quote from RENT

Take me for what I am
Who I was meant to be
And if you give a damn
Take me baby or leave me

ANZAC Day and an emotional princess

Today is April 25th here in New Zealand, a public holiday to honour ANZAC Day. It is a day of remembrance, it marks the day that ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli, but it has come to honour so much more.
It’s always an emotional day for me. Majority of my years I have been to ANZAC services in Auckland, Hamilton and Tokoroa. I have marched as a Girl Guide, I have marched as an ATC cadet, I’ve stood on cenotaph duty and laid poppies and wreaths. I’ve also nearly passed out on parade and caught another cadet who did. I’ve walked the donkeys to honour the story of Simpson and his donkey and the concept that no man gets left behind. I’ve shed a lot of tears over the years. But it took me being old enough to understand what it is to have those you love serving to have the emotional reaction and understanding I do now. My sister is a nurse in the army and currently in New Caledonia with a group of Veterans, a much safer activity than the deployments I know she could have.

A few years ago to commemorate the day I wrote a piece that will feature in one of the Children of the Immortal books, so I thought I’d share it today. Some of you might recognise the story from a previous piece shared…

**

Charlie and Els sat together watching the parade on the television, soldiers past and present marching together to honour the service and sacrifice of those gone, those still serving and those yet to. Charlie put his arm around Els and tucked her in against his side. He’d lived through many of the wars they talked of, and died in one as strange as that sounded. He had lost friends and those he considered family in the Great wars. But he knew Els was going further back than he was, she had seen more battles than she had ever wished and lost too many people to war. He didn’t like it when she was this quiet, sitting with tears falling down her cheeks. He didn’t know what to say, he’d always been at a loss to help Els at the best of times, but he was always there for her and always loved her. The coverage came to an end and Elspeth sang, as she did every time she remembered the fallen and those lost in battle.
“If I should fall
Carry me home
Carry me on
Carry me still in your heart
I do not die
I just move on
My time here
My time gone
Until I come again
Carry me on
Carry me home
Carry my name on your lips
My deeds in your mind
My love in your heart
I do not go
I do not die
I live here within you still
Carry me on
Carry me high on my shield
Carry me home
Live for me
Love me still
Carry me on
Carry me home
Carry me always
Carry me in your heart
Carry me…”

Charlie tilted her head up and softly wiped her cheeks with a clean hanky. “Come on love, let’s go find the others and cheer you up.”

Natalia’s Rose

I met a lovely old 80 year old man yesterday on my walk, and I met him again today. He has so many stories to share, so many things he wanted to talk about, I guess at that age you get lonely. He had me in tears today as he spoke about his late wife. How he came to NZ and knew she was the one, how they were married for fifty years and at their anniversary party she asked him to spend the next fifty years with her, ovarian cancer took her seven months later as they lay together in their bed, him holding her hand so she knew he was there right up to the end. (Excuse me while the screen goes blurry again). There is nothing more powerful and emotive than a good love story, even the ones which have a tear jerker ending. Yesterday he spoke of other things, of love and loss but not his own and he inspired me to write. The character of Natalia jumped into my head and I just had to share her story… I hope you enjoy it.

***

The years have passed slowly but surely since we were wide eyed kids hitchhiking our way across the continent. Things were different back then, but they were still dangerous, especially the further east we got. There was civil unrest, some of it continues through to today. It’s sad to know that with all the death back then, nothing has truly changed for some people.

I was twenty three, and we had been married for two years. This was our big adventure before we embarked on a bigger adventure, being parents.

The soldiers entered our hotel our first night there, it was revolution, and we were hostages for change. To give the story would break my heart all over again. It still haunts me, I loved that man more than I loved anyone else, I would have died for him and he felt the same because he did. I still bear the scars where the bullets came through him and lodged in me. I woke from my coma after the rescue to find my world was shattered, my husband was dead and a single red rose sitting on the bedside table beside me. The first time we had met he had given me a rose, when he had proposed it had been with a rose pendant not a ring. To see that rose when my world had been ripped from me was more painful than anyone could know. It happened the next day, and beneath the rose were the test results, I was pregnant.

As the roses came each morning I was in the hospital I asked, no one knew, no one ever saw anyone come into my room with them, no one ever saw anyone enter my room, the rose simply appeared as I slept.

After a month I was discharged and returned home to my parents and a baby I would love with every fibre of my being.

The roses continued, each morning I would wake to a single red rose. The day our daughter was born there was a box, within it lay two pendants, a rose with wings of diamond and a smaller heart with the same wings, like those of an angel. I called our daughter Michaela, after the arch angel.

Our daughter is grown and married now, she has a child of her own. Still the roses continue, every morning. A guardian angel watching over me, never letting me forget that once I knew true love.

**

So many years have passed, so many roses and I could never bring myself to watch them die, even if they would be replaced. But what was I to do with each rose? I became creative, some of the early ones I dried and I pressed, then I experimented. Perfume became my main use for my roses, to wear their scent against the same skin that he once touched and kissed. No one else has touched this skin and many have wondered why that is, but how could I let another touch me when I know he watches over me and no one else could compare to the love I had with him. He is dead but he is not gone and there is nothing in me that could ever betray love.

One rose each year I do not turn to perfume. When I was still within the grips of my grief I sought out ways to restore him to me and that was when I met Elena. She was a travelling gypsy and we were in the south of France when our paths crossed. Everyone said she was the one to go to if I wanted to commune with souls taken from their earthly bodies. She said she could not, that he was not a ghost who was tied to this world, but when I asked her to know more she simply smiled and patted my hand. I was angry with her but she forced me to sit and drink her bitter tea, it calmed me. She took the rose that I had worn in my hair that day to celebrate our wedding anniversary and she touched it with her finger, before my eyes it changed, it turned to glass. She kissed my cheek and gave me the rose. “A perfect rose, still bright, this rose shall not die but it might still shatter. Just as you are.” We parted ways and yet each year, no matter where I might be she finds me and each year I get another crystal rose to add to my collection.

She will find me again soon.