My Miracle

My son visited tonight after work to help me with a computer 'thing". I hear white noise and brick walls slam down if I have a tech issue. Which usually turns out to be not an issue at all. Merely hysterical overreaction by me. I need to change my relationship with technology.

When I see my son, my heart leaps and the blood changes from doddling through my veins to surging through them. I lighten up a trillion-fold. Even the stomping, stamping heffalumps in the apartment upstairs cease to make my scalp tighten and deepen the frown line in my brow.

This evening he levelled his extraordinary blue eyes, framed by jet black eyebrows, upon me and delivered advice. How the tables have turned! He reminded me who I am, what I have to offer and that he is here to help me with what ever endeavour I decide to tackle. And "Mum, stop with the no confidence thing. Move through it like we all do. Don't let anyone rob you of it".

He left, with a brief for a new business card he will design for me, all my love and a kiss on his bearded face. He left me with a long hug, some hope and a heart full of love and thankfulness for such a wonderful son. And a feeling of excitement. A belief in myself. 

He always was my miracle – from conception to birth to now.

Thankyou Tom.


Tonight, bruised violet clouds spreadeagled across a diminishing blue sky. An almost full moon hung heart-achingly above. Friday night.

How different Friday nights become throughout life's changes. Once I would have slipped on high heels, eyeliner,  a pair of vintage earrings and headed out for come what may.

This evening I sit in my apartment taking in the disappearing  day and emerging magical night. And instead of the excitement of "going out" I delight in vases of flowers.

Three vases of flowers: One, blue glass, vintage,  filled with peonies, dappled pink, from Jude. They bloom, honestly, hearts on their sleeves, like her.

One filled with lillies bought by me. Yellow.

The third, crammed with blooms given to me by my son and with roses from a friend's garden. They reminded me of my mother. Roses from a garden. Always Mum had roses and I can smell them still and see them lining the concrete driveway Dad laid in his white singlet, faded shorts and blue cap.  

A vase full of my mother and my son. What a perfect Friday night. 



Yesterday turned out to be a special day. A friend handed me an unexpected gift. She introduced me to her husband.

He left this world, far too young, far too early, just over a year ago now.

We walked from her house along a coastal path beside the sparkling silver-blue Waitemata. Yachts boasting snow white sails awaiting a puff of wind to propel them forward, idled out from the beach. Chubby children and ecstatic dogs hurled themselves into turquoise water, shrieking and yapping as the sea lapped their bodies. A first summer swim. Joggers panted past us as we ambled around bay after bay. Scorching sun burnt our noses and I wondered why I never remember to wear a hat.

"Here. Right here," my friend pointed. "Shane, meet Deirdre. Deirdre, Shane."

Standing on crunchy, golden sand, I placed my hand on smooth, black rock where his ashes had been taken by wind and tide, his spirit set free and then we sat with him.

Suddenly an eddy of sunbaked, sand-spotted leaves lifted in the still air and whirled in front of us as we chatted about our new lives, love and loss.

"Hi, Shane. Nice to meet you. And, don't worry, she's doing fine."

The leaves fell back down onto the sand.

A treasured moment. A heartwarming stitch in the fabric of my life.


Friends Forever

I met a dog named Marmite last evening.

She hurtled out, barking, on hearing the click of the green wooden gate, front teeth bared, looking fierce but with her tail wagging hard and fast enough to knock a welter-weight on to his satin-shorted bottom.

Marmite, named by the dog rescue angels because of her black – no, it's darkest brown – coat had a hard start to life. If by chance she catches a paper deliverer rolling up  the morning rag to shove through a tight letterbox slot, she skedaddles, tail between her legs, into the nearest, small, dark space, whimpering. 

Five years on, she has landed on her sturdy, yet elegant, paws. A second chance. Everyone deserves one. Marmite is kind of needy, kind of nervy, kind of cheeky, kind of demanding and with Princess written all over her. Yet she owns a vulnerability that closes my throat over.

Marmite is innocence itself. Except when Billy the Bruiser cat sashays into the room looking for a tickle behind his ears. Then Marmite crosses the line and nudges Billy out of the limelight and far, far away from the dips and "her people". Princess.

As she sat at my feet, chin resting on my knee, showcasing the most kissably soft muzzle in the world, I met her jet black eyes and recognised the pain of sadness and betrayal etched into her sweet heart by others she had once trusted. Which made Marmite the sweet being she has become. Full of hopeful love and an exquisite, deep fragility.

Caressing her pretty head, I wondered if I had fallen head over heels for Marmite because her personality echoed one of my beloved dogs – Minnie – no longer

 with me. Or, could it be because I loved actual Marmite and happily licked the black/brown gold off teaspoons, toast, knives. Anything.

Maybe all the above but more than that – Marmite and I understood each other. Her heart mirrored mine.

Friends forever.



I Don't Particularly Care For Sushi...

Today, I sat around a table with a friend, her son and my son sharing lunch. Sushi – which I don't particularly care for. Delicious, fresh sushi. I could have been eating air or snow or honey sandwiches. It didn't matter. The magic was not the food but the company. The comfy synergy between the four people at that stark white table in a stark white room. Cold, and yet warming my heart in a myriad of ways. 

My friend is a caring, sensitive, thinking, intelligent woman. She appears conservative, though her signature touch of red hints at passion and cheek. Fit, trim, attractive, she encompasses health and I always think she is a mere instant away from anarchy in some form. The thing I love most about her is her inclusiveness and caring for humanity. She probably has no idea how her words have boosted me in dark times. 

You hear the saying: "He/she doesn't have a bad bone in their body." If ever it applied to anyone, it applies to my friend. 

Thankyou, friend, for arranging lunch together today. The experience of sitting eating rice and seaweed with you and our amazing sons – once little boys together at primary school when we, as mothers, waited for them to dash out of class after 3pm – lifted my spirits. How proud we were of our boys then and how proud we are now they are six foot and sport beards and continue to love their mums. 

In life we meet people we connect with and often those people are very different from us and yet there is something that works. Each and every friend gives us, and we give them, something. 

I am truly grateful for what I experienced today from my lovely friend. What's needed is for me to let her know that. We often forget to express gratitude. It beats seaweed and rice hands down.


How do I decide whether to take a trip to Paris, or not?

Go? Stay?

Economy – or splurge and lay blissfully flat in business class?

Should I spend the money?

Does it matter an iota I barely know my three travelling companions?

Will a trip fill the void?

Would I have fun and be set free or would I reminisce on every cobbled corner and whisper with ghosts?

Why am I even asking these questions? It's Paris for heaven's sakes. When did it become this difficult for me, Miss Definite, to make a decision? 

When he left you.

Grab the chance.

But what if...

What if what!? Go. Make some new memories.

What if those memories turn out to be bad, sad, disastrous?

Circles and circles within circles of questions, doubt and that ever-present, irritating, invasive little voice jabbing at my confidence – too old, too poor, too empty, broken. Nothing to offer. Remember? He left you. On the scrapheap. Unwanted.

Just go and bathe in the pale yellow light as it lingers over the Seine.

Warm your heart.

Stay and sit in your apartment safe, alone, lonely.

Go and discover a new you.

Who am I?

Reinvent yourself. He did.

It's been a year. Yesterday.


Paris – a demain.





Last Friday night I had fun for the first time in the ten months, one week and one day since my marriage ended. There have been moments with dear friends in that time when I have laughed but the hollow sound of it only reminded me how deeply unhappy I was. Friday night, the laughter filled me up – right down to my toes and lapping around my heart. I felt it rather than heard it.

I asked myself, as I lay catatonic on the sofa next day with a banging red wine headache if, in fact, the fun had been because of the delicious cherry/berry/peppery red and the divine food. It wasn't. No matter how heady the mixture of good wine and food shared with intelligent people equipped with excellent dry wit – there had been a shift in me. A subtle yet significant shift. I could feel new life taking root at the edges of my empty shell. Deep inside my heart and soul the siren's wail waned and a silvery angel chorus – barely audible but definitely tuning up – trilled.

Human beings need company, contact, and when lives have been turned upside down and inside out then trampled on just to ensure they're completely devastated, finding happy again is unimaginable.

There are those that say happiness is a choice. (My absent husband for one.) Decide to be happy and you will be. For them perhaps that's true. After the last ten months I wouldn't even begin to judge that belief or anything ever again. I've experienced an excess of judgement towards me since I found myself having to create a new life, teaching me it has no place in a kind, loving world. For which, among many other things, I am grateful. And in most, if not all, cases when we judge others, there is a finger pointing right back at ourselves.

For me, the daub of happiness brush-stroking my heart and stoking the cold ashes of grief into a tiny, smouldering flame of hope just happened. I didn't choose it.

Some have said that because I have largely come from a place throughout this ordeal of love and compassion, along with the oceans of tears I've cried, rather than bitterness and anger, happiness couldn't help but find me again. That I did choose it. Maybe that's true too. I haven't a clue about much anymore. Except that I loved feeling my shell being newly repainted in easy conversation and genuine laughter. And I want more of it.


Last Sunday morning a friend and I headed out for a walk in the sunshine under an azure sky. Her dog, Molly,  joined us. How "right" it felt to be walking a dog again. I miss my two every day.

Molly is ever so slightly on the round side and extremely well-behaved. Much like me really – except for the extremely well-behaved part.

As my friend and I walked, we talked about life, love, men, women, relationships. That age-old question: What's it all about? And, of course, ourselves. We formed a strong Mutual Admiration Society that morning to the comforting peal of church bells and Molly's toe nails (in need of a trim) clickity clacking on the pavement.

If only we could be as kind, compassionate and loving to ourselves as we are towards others, I voiced to my friend. She agreed unequivocally.

Why do we beat ourselves up so often? Mantra's are formed, stories crafted, out of nothing concrete and become our reality, what we believe. There are enough others out there being less than positive about us without adding our negative self-talk into the mix.

A pact was sealed right there and then as we briskly turned the corner on the homeward run. We decided to change our mantras and our stories and adopt the great ones we had lovingly offered each other. 

On that blue and yellow day, walking along with Molly, it seemed so simple. Easy as flicking a switch. But someone, we wailed, has taped our switches down! Probably us. We shook away our inner naysayers and determined to take a leaf out of Molly's book – happy in the moment, on the end of her blue lead, thinking about nothing past the end of her cute nose. No complications, angst or fears – simply placing one little foot in front of the other and enjoying the sun.

Anyone got a couple of spare leads?


On my side of the harbour bridge, this morning, fat dew drops dance in bright sunshine. Birds are throaty with glee as they perch on a wonky weathervane at the petanque clubhouse next door. Others swoop and glide in sun-drenched, drunken abandonment. Nests forgotten in moments of bliss.

In contrast, the northern side across the harbour is shrouded in fine mist and echoes a forgotten world. The outlines of three skyscrapers stand sentinel, mimicking three wise men from long ago. All is still over there. A steady stream of cars and vans and trucks crawls over the bridge and disappears into the mist. I wonder what becomes of them? An easterly breeze points the two flags on top of the bridge's highest arc out to sea as serious white clouds converge overhead.

I have a desire to run from this sunny side over and into the mists of the soundless, still world that northern shore promises. And hide away for a while or become someone else. My heart beats – slow, slow and I feel the breath through my body – slow, slow. The clouds turn ashen, scowling, determined as they snuff out the sun. Suddenly, gleeful birds silence and their aerobatics cease as they gather themselves and fly sedately to their nests.

The white mist over there acquires an uninviting, dirty pallor. I think I'll brew some tea and go back to bed.


Early, dense fog folds itself back this morning to reveal a mirror-glass sea. Every boat sits in respectful stillness on this Anzac Day. A day that is embedded in our New Zealand culture.

Cars hum to and fro across the Harbour Bridge. Many coming and going from Dawn Services where our soldiers are honoured and remembered. Just about everyone in New Zealand and Australia knows someone with a father or grandfather who served or lost their lives on the shores of Gallipoli on this day, April 25.

A friend's father served during the Gallipoli Campaign. He used to receive parcels from home which included magazines. I remember my friend's Dad chuckling, telling me that all the women's underwear ads were cut out of the mags as he was deemed too young to see such things. But not deemed too young to lay in blood-soaked trenches or watch his fellow soldiers, mates, die.

Such a paradox and, as delightful as the personal stories like my friend's Dad's are, nothing makes war palatable.

Today we pin red poppies to our chests (actually I have mine in my hair as I lace up my walking shoes to go out, breathe the fresh air and be grateful for being alive) in remembrance of those brave young men.

Lest we forget.


"I've just moved into a shoebox apartment," I texted a friend.

"No," she replied, " A jewell box."

Brilliant. I will take that to my grave and, while I live here, a jewell box it is.

Helping transform it into a jewell box from a chaotic mess has been my dear friend John.

He has unpacked and hung all my clothes while I drifted in and out of sleep feeling safe and secure listening to his chatter and the soundtrack he'd chosen to aid him in such a dull task. There were comments I chose to ignore: "How many pairs of black leggings does one woman 


"Why do you have a hundred pairs of shoes?"

"I'm chucking this bra out. Way past its use by date."

"Have you actually worn this?"

As if the clothes weren't enough to kill any desire to help further, he soldiered on.

Next day he arrived with pink oriental lilies I placed in a blue glass vase. Perfect. He vacuumed, planted salad greens in terracotta pots on my sunny deck, lugged umpteen boxes to my garage for storage, rearranged my furniture, vacuumed again, made ice, bought champagne, chardonnay, Thai food, Japanese food and rubbed eucalyptus oil on my leather couch to remove spilt glue.

I am truly grateful for his help, including a short lecture on "stop the lonely talk".

 His gifts to me of help, love and friendship will nestle in my jewel box forever.


A koala perched high in a gum tree remains elusive on my daily lookout, though I'm noticing other things. Sunsets here are grey and apricot. Not soft and fluffy, more steely and electric. Neon sunsets.

The way the last rays encase the tall, slender gum trees in white-gold armour stops me in my tracks. I have to touch them with my fingertips. And when a breeze insinuates itself through the ashen green leaves, they whisper tales of long, long ago. I swear I can hear the rhythmic fall of soft footsteps in scorching desert sand as the ancient people go walkabout.

There's a part of me that is understanding this harsh country like I never have before. Everything, everyone, everywhere has its own beauty.

Tonight, as the sun disappears behind the outer island, the dogs flop panting on the grass and watch me become part of the past as my breath weaves itself into the glowing bark. The trees bow their limbs in in understanding. I turn around as darkness descends and see my furry friends and I are alone with old stories sighing through the park and out over the water.

We head for the car and come back into the bright light of now having shared moments of pure magic.

Time for a wine.



At 6am this morning I watched five ibis and two black crows perch on a dilapidated, chain-link fence shaded by a massive poinciana tree. Among the flamboyant, flaming-orange flower clusters bejewelling the tree, sat seventeen pairs of cockatiels loudly voicing their opinions whilst grooming one another.

My two walking companions – an exquisitely beautiful apricot and white border collie and a wee scruffy ball of fluff – tugged on their leads, bored to the back teeth with the birds, in the direction of Koala Park where they could shed their tethers and run like the wind. Or, in scruffy's case, in circles. Every blade of grass a mystery.

Cleveland, Brisbane. Hot already. Whistling a goodbye to the birds, I followed the dogs into the park. Melancholy snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder as I unclipped leads and looked around: two dogs – but not my dogs. Glittering sea – but not my sea. Sand – red and coarse-grained, not fine and yellow. A touching morning with nuances reminiscent of my life once, not so long ago. But not my life.

After nearly dislocating my shoulder repeatedly hurling a blue ball for the collie and unable to repress a grin at scruffy's absolute glee in anything at all, we walked back to my friend's house in the now scorching heat. The collie walks ten steps then jogs six. Always herding. Scruff's movements are entirely random. My new walking shoes hurt my feet and my eyes. I alternately crane my neck up at the tall gum trees lining the streets in the hope of seeing a koala the park didn't produce, and peer down to scan the paths and verges for snakes. A koala I want to see. A snake not at all.

Eventually, we three turn into our street and open our gate. We gulp cold water. Collie and scruff flop panting on to the tiled floor while I thank technology for air conditioning and shuck off my shoes.

I chop up vegetables for my green juice. Another morning, another day. Juicing the greens I hear a pair of kookaburras laughing raucously outside the kitchen window. With me, I hope, not at me.

"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree.

Merry, merry little bird is he.

Sing, Kookaburra. Sing, Kookaburra.

Sing your song for me."

Because it's a lonely feeling standing at someone else's kitchen bench trying to stumble upon a new life for myself.


I've got a new car. She's white and her name is Binky. I've never named a car before. I've only ever seen them as big, black, shiny things to chuck stuff into, along with myself, and drive fast, top down (the car's that is) to wherever the mood takes me. And the wine shop.

This car is different. For a start she's white. Secondly, she's small and not European. Quelle horreur! I didn't want her but decided to sell my other car and bank some much-needed, left-over dollars to help keep the local wine shop in business. I'm brimming with community spirit.

I named the new car Binky after a deaf, white cat I had when I was seven years old. Dad finally capitulated on his "no more cats" stance after weeks of me refusing to speak to him, and brought her home as a tiny kitten in his jacket pocket. We adored each other instantly. Unlike the car and I. Hopefully Binky 2 is as deaf as her namesake was because I feel bad now about the less than kind comparisons I made made between cat and car to the salesman. Poor man's probably going to turn his sales badge in after having to smile and feign interest in my childhood stories.

After three days of zipping around in Binky, I have become very protective of her and even though she may be slower up hills and not have the pizazz of my last few cars, she is sweet and fits in a park the size of a napkin. 

So even though I'm unused to having "ordinary" in my motoring life, perhaps a bit of it will be a good thing. My accountant can now drop his permanently raised eyebrow as he flips through my speeding tickets. An old friend suggested painting Binky's pristine white doors with bright yellow daisies. A hippie Binky. I'm quite taken with the idea but think I'll just leave her be her cute self and merge into mediocrity along with all the other Binky's on the road. At least she won't get cat flu and die when I spray her with the hose.


My house is emptying out day by day. Today a big truck backed down the drive and loaded up my French Salon Suite – Paris, circa 1890. It's headed for the lower North Island and a new home. I remember the day we bought it. A rainy Friday afternoon. That suite is imbued with memories – good and bad. All precious. I wipe away a tear and wave goodbye to them.

Daily, strangers traipse to my door to pick up a printer, a garden bench, a painting, tables and chairs. Still there are piles of boxes and mess in every room. The cat chooses to sit high up on the empty bookshelves and watch the disintegration of our home and life as we knew it. From time to time he jumps down and trips me up on the stairs as I heft boxes up and down. It's a "Don't Forget Me" ploy on his part.

"Of course I won't forget you," I murmur to him as I sit on a step and partake in some gentle head butting, "but we have to talk."

Like almost everything else I own, he's going to a new home. He will be extremely indulged and have four cosy beds to sleep in. Four adoring humans to cuddle, talk to and love. And, as they are good friends of mine, I get to visit him once I return from where I'm heading off to.

His scratching post, bags of treats, favourite biscuits and an old t-shirt of mine (unwashed) are packed and ready. It's just how to choose a day. The Goodbye Day. Maybe tomorrow. If not, then Saturday. Or Sunday....


This morning I drove to a dear friend's house. She is also my web designer-and-anything-creative extraordinaire.

One of life's most gentle souls, she sits lightly in the world surrounded by her three sons, her parents and their crazy terrier that I want to steal. Not really. Just a whimsical dream for a brief second as he jumps up to greet me.

Today my friend, once again, took control of my laptop to jiggle and juggle with my website and other techno things I do not comprehend. I made her boys, happy as elves drinking morning dew playing with their WII, scrambled eggs. I'm always interested how others make scrambled eggs. I make them in a pan. Kimmy makes them in a pot with a wooden spoon, so a pot it was. 

Boys fed, dishes rinsed, I really let the boat out and had a tiny cup of coffee. Mainly I wanted the coffee because of the wee cup I was given. A teensy white porcelain Chinese cup painted with grass-green design. I love cups. Coffee not so much. 

As I sat half listening to my friend explain to me what she was doing to my settings and asking me the odd question, I looked around me and took in the eclectic mix of colour and form she surrounds herself with. Greens, reds, purples, aquas, yellow. Cubbyholes filled with teas and the promise of treasure and intrigue. Bowls and jars full of coloured pencils.  Among it all, a snow white orchid. Out of the floor to ceiling window we sat by, I watched a thrush baby, beyond the pool, standing on a concrete statue. Drunk on sunshine it waited, rain-slicker yellow beak half open, for its Mother to fly back and pop a juicy berry or a fat worm or a sun-dried crumb of bread into it.

Everything stopped. Everything  stilled. 

It felt like home.



I've sold my house. It has been weeks of constant vacuuming, dusting, polishing, gardening and scrubbing previously ignored nooks with a toothbrush. It is all excellent exercise. That's my excuse for throwing myself down, exhausted, on the floor beside my bed of an afternoon for a catnap. I cannot use the bed: It's MADE.

Of course the second you put your house on the market you fall head over heels in giddy love with it again. What has become a comforting, long-time love affair with your home reverts back into heady, new-relationship fever. You wring your hands and lovingly tease fingers over bannisters wondering how and when you had slipped into taking the exquisite place for granted. And how you can even think of selling it. You want to keep it.

Then you square your shoulders, pull yourself together over a last flick of the duster for the day and, eyes ever vigilant for a stray dog hair you may have missed, go out for takeaways. No cooking allowed. Not in my kitchen: It's CLEAN.

What with the cost of a myriad of cleaning products and the takeaways, the accountant reckons I'll have to tack an extra few thousand on the asking price. Yeah right. Murphy's Law says that everyone always has to finally accept much (much) less than your chosen real estate agents have assured you  is easily within your grasp. The house being "so special" and all. Being human, and therefore gullible, we want to believe them and forget they (some would disagree) are human, therefore can be wrong, too. 

Now the house is sold, signatures scrawled hurriedly on the distasteful agreement, the bottle of celebratory Champagne in the fridge seems inappropriate. What's appropriate about selling your beloved home, especially at far below those early, heady expectations?

I don't believe the endorsements you see in the real estate section of the daily paper are for real. You know the ones:

Estella/Derek or June/Bob worked tirelessly on the sale of our home. She/he/they communicated with us regularly to keep us in the loop at all times and never once tried to influence our decisions during the enjoyable process. She/he/they achieved a price far, far beyond our highest expectations after a professionally run, short three-week auction. We had ten thousand people through the property and nine thousand bidders. We would highly recommend Estella/Derek/June/Bob to anyone wanting to sell their home hassle-free."  Signed  ...............

What really happens, I think, is that  there is a windowless, soundproofed basement in every real estate office through the land. Vendors are lured into the room with promises of a wine and a glance over of the new photos for the next week's adverts. Then they are tied to a chair in the basement, forced to drink datura-laced tea and tortured by being made to read House for Sale ads for at least 5 minutes before they crack and plead for mercy: "I cannot take one more line of 'Live The Dream'. Where's the pen? I'll sign. I'll sign." They sob as one hand is released and the already written endorsement is thrust under there nose. Weakly they skitter their name on the page after a few seconds of searching wildly around their memory banks for who they were before "going to market"

My agents, a male and female double act, team up to sell properties. I liked them and, I'm happy to say, still do now the nightmare is over. There have been a couple of times voices were raised (mine), a tot of colourful language tossed about (yes, mine) but all in all we came through it. I can't speak for them. They may have a voodoo doll likeness of me in their desk drawer alongside a cache of extra long, sharp pins. I do have a new  piercing pain in my right knee and my left eyelid twitches at random these days.

It's over. The gigantic lime green and white sold sticker has been artfully slapped on the For Sale sign. I remain on speaking terms with the agents and would recommend them – even if only for a jolly good laugh. They both possess good senses of humour. He is a truly nice family man full of optimism which perhaps verges on magical thinking. Better to be that way than a nay sayer. She has a mind like a steel trap and a spot-on sense of un PC-comment timing and tone that had me laughing out loud. Also the dogs  liked them so they must be good sorts.

Time to finish this – the rope burns on my wrists are hurting.







I'm Excited.....

You can now preorder Caught from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  

It feels  surreal to see my book and a taster from the title story up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for preorder. But there it is, the cover in bright red and blue with my name on it so it must be real. Gosh! 

April – Spring in New York – is publishing time. I cannot wait. A dream come true. 

I so need Social Media help. Any SM gurus out there? 


There's a new craze sweeping through town. Cronuts. People all over are talking about them. Everywhere I go – supermarket, post office, gym, on the bus – I hear cronut whispers: "I'm going to get a cronut." "I've just eaten a cronut." "Sebastian surprised me this morning in bed with cronuts." "Justin's not going to Boot Camp on Saturday morning.  He's minding the kids while I queue early for cronuts. We can't bear to disappoint the kids again."  "Have you tried a cronut yet? No! You haven't lived."

Truth be told, I haven't boarded a bus for about twenty-five years and the gym, well that's a sad tale for another time. However, it is true that folk are queueing for this new food phenomenon. There's talk of mutiny, or at least unfairness, at the new sign in the cafe window: 5 Cronuts Per Customer Only.

Which, if there are six of you in a cronut frenzy then the Justins will have to beg  neighbours to arise at the crack of dawn to watch sleeping children in order to accompany the wives in the queue. 

Barely blinking an eye at scenes of Guantanamo Bay detention camp on the telly news, the queuers morph into a line of braying malcontents when the CRONUTS SOLD OUT sign is held aloft by a nervous-looking cafe worker.  Instead of cronut flakes on their tongues, they taste vitriole and defeat.

"I told you to hurry, Justin. This is all your fault. You didn't need shoes." 

A cronut for those of you who have had their ears shut is, as it sounds, a mixture of a croissant and a donut. Never being fond of croissants, liking donuts but despising queues, I hadn't the slightest inclination to join the chomping masses. Lucky me, though, because my niece and her cronut-crazed boyfriend dropped in to my house early last Saturday morning with a bag of saturated fat, sugar and dough. Cronuts. We shared a lemon curd, a chocolate and a splodge-of-berry-something-on-the-top ones.

The Verdict: flaky, crunchy-ish, dripping with fat on the outside and sugary on the inside, topped with one or other of the flavours. Lemon curd won the day. They were a sinful breakfast and left me full and sludgy all day no matter how much water I drank. I could feel my teeth disintegrating and my fat cells filling. 

Do I understand the cronut madness? Absolutely not. Are people so bored that a new pastry can gain proportions so monumental as to make queueing seem dignified? Would I have another one? No, I wouldn't bother but then I'm more a Marmite or cheese on toast girl.

There's an idea. Perhaps for us savoury tooths they could make a Marmite and cheese cronut sans sugar. Of course that would still leave the problem of the queueing (or not). I'll remain loyal to my green juices for breakfast and the occasional afghan. I doubt cronut fever will last and I'm certain they won't get a mention in the history books. A new food fad will appear any minute. I just hope it's savoury. 


Silver Linings

My ex-husband and dear friend, John, is visiting NZ from his Sydney home for his mother's 86th birthday. During a phone call the other day he suggested I book an appointment at my hair salon. How kind of him. Obviously he has seen recent pics of me and decided I was in desperate need of being sat down in a swively chair in front of a large mirror and be tended to by someone expert with scissors and hiding grey.

I couldn't agree more.  When he enquired about cost I mumbled and staring around wildly for a distraction subject I practically yelled into the phone: "Holy hell, I have so much washing to fold!"

Unimpressed by my washing dilemma he pressed on: "It will make you feel better, Doll, having a bit of a 'Do". Cheer you up and put a spring in your step. Considering the price, I'm assuming they offer you a wine?" 

"Yes, but I always opt for water." 

"Really? Goodness. Well I'll sit and chat with you while they snip and drink your glass and mine." 

Of course he will and so he should. I'm looking forward to seeing him and feeling less like Cruella de Vil's great granny.

Lately, even more than usual, friends are being very loving. Ruthie dropped by with giant, stuffed, cheesey baked potatoes. My idea of heaven. I love potatoes. Must be the Irish in my veins. As I'd already slurped down a bowl of murky brown lentil soup for lunch I settled myself in to sniff wistfully at the spud and watch her eat. Nearly as good as the real thing if you really concentrate. Su then arrived and declared "movie time". Half an hour later we were lounging in a dark theatre with a box of popcorn each fantasizing about living in Greece in a stone house with faded blue shutters by a pebbly beach. Bliss. All in all not a bad day.

Now, it's Friday and freezing. But as my hair salon is a bit groovy and flash one needs to dress up to visit (or look like the cleaner getting a freebie) I get to wear my new blue velvet tartan coat. 

"Everything has a silver lining," a friend of my son's tells me. Certainly my hair does.  

I think he's right. We must always believe in that.