I’m back!

I never intended on taking a hiatus from blogging, but it sort of happened anyway. I know it is blog suicide to go quiet for months at a time, so I suppose it’s a good job I come here for the enjoyment of it rather than with an intention of building a serious audience. To any of you who have stuck around long enough to read this – thank you! I’ll be back before you know it. :-)

Is the Kiwi dream really true?

Sometimes I get asked what is so different about New Zealand that it was really worth financially crippling ourselves for 2-3 years and waving goodbye to every friend and family member we had in order to move all the way out here. It’s not like it’s a really hot country after all. The language is the same and most of the cultural differences are fairly subtle on a day-to-day basis. We had absolutely no ties or links to New Zealand. We had never even been. It is in the ‘Western world’ (despite being about as far East as you can get) so it must be just another cog in the Big Rat Race, right? (Someone actually said that to me the other day). It’s extremely secluded (we actually like that) and people love to remind us how inconvenient it must be now we’re unable to just pop off to European cities at the drop of a hat (which we never did anyway).

So why make such a drastic choice? Continue reading

How is it possible to look that good just hours after pushing a watermelon out your va-jay-jay?

I try to avoid getting drawn into the commentary when some notable figure does something normal, like have a baby, because it seems to add weight to the perception that these people are something beyond what they really are: humans. In reality, of course, something like childbirth is one of life’s greatest equalisers (more so than guns!) and a truly humbling moment in nature. Whether you are a 14 year old girl or a 34 year old woman, whether you are doing it alone or happily married, whether you are a street urchin or a princess of the realm. In that one snapshot in time you are equals, and you are very much sailing the same boat. I think that fact is quite wonderful.

However, I’m about to make an exception with this post.

Continue reading

The beginning of a new chapter

Blogging has not been happening much lately. Soz. This is partly because the time I normally find to write blogs has instead been spent, unapologetically unproductively, gazing into the sweet, innocent eyes of my scrumptious little nursling. Secondly it is because any time I do get at the PC has been spent working on a separate writing project, and will be for some time. And lastly it is because each time I have recently been compelled to write anything here, it would have been more glum, self-pitying drivel, in a similar vein to some of my recent posts. I figured if I kept on bumming everyone out then nobody would ever come back, and I wouldn’t blame ’em.

No, I’m not depressed, despite on some shitty days feeling sure I must be. I have way too much hope for the future for that. But with a cocktail of those capricious post-partum hormones and with certain aspects to life being pretty full on right now (though when aren’t they?) I guess I’ve just found myself swingin’ a bit low at times lately. Continue reading

“Do as you’re told” – Are you screwing your kids up for life?

131596337_7dc663e9ab_zI read the following Guardian article – Since when did obedience become the epitome of good parenting? – so I could see what all the fuss was about after perhaps a 9th or 10th Facebook friend shared it and hailed its awesomeness. It is based on the work of Alfie Kohn, a renowned parenting guru and all time favourite author of many fellow ‘crunchy’ parents.

At first I found myself nodding along, as I often do when reading these evangelical parenting articles. A lot of it seemed to make good, solid sense. The piece focuses on the topic of obedience in children, and addresses it as a negative. It entirely correlates the “Do as you’re told” mentality with enforced ‘mindless compliance’, and suggests it is natural for securely attached children, who have their voices heard and valued, to push the boundaries and to be what many people would describe as ‘disobedient’. Continue reading

From heaven to hell and back again: an eventful couple of weeks

The 16 days since Moses’ birth have raced by at an alarming speed. My beautiful little boy is already over 1lb heavier than his birth weight, and changing fast. This babymoon has been a very different experience to my previous three, which were spent in midwinter England, surrounded by snow, festive celebrations and family. This time, the weather is warm, it’s not Christmas and I have no family within thousands of miles. It has been odd. Sad at times. I spent most of one day crying in the first week, when everything felt like shit and I was convinced I’d hit rock bottom. But of course it was the hormones, and I resumed my seat upon Cloud 9 a few hours later. Continue reading

Moses’ birth

Yes! I’ve had the baby. And at ‘only’ five (well, technically six as it happened shortly after midnight) days overdue, I’ve had the baby in quite a timely fashion for me, too. Before I launch into the birth, I am going to start the story with a brief update on the situation with immigration I talked about in my last post, because the two things are kind of linked. Continue reading