Quick Update, really just reminders for my future self.

Hello, future self! Thailand was perfect. We were aiming to ease the kids into travel, and I give us a big gold star.

From there, a long trip to Albury- 20 hours, via the rooftop pool at my beloved Changi airport in Singapore, and an almost-running flight change in Sydney, where my brother John was not, despite my best eye-keeping-out.

My folks treated us to a first few settling-in nights in a fab hotel in Albury, with I’m sure the coldest swimming pool the kids have ever been in. They’re made of sterner stuff than I gave them credit for, and loved it!

Then we all squeezed into their little 3-bedroom cottage/tardis and had more laughs per square foot than anywhere, ever. Easter, water gun fights, the amazing Oddies Creek Park across the road, kids falling in the Murray River, deafening flocks of wild cockatoos and galahs at dusk. After a week of that, they got their crazy new house. It has a cinema room, and a pool table room with a funky bar, and the most beautiful back garden, sloping down to public land with bike paths and playgrounds and a stream. The sweet old widower they bought it from left a heap of furniture, cupboards full of linens, a wall-mounted motion-activated singing moose head, specific instructions about the best way to break down the lawn-mowing if getting it all done in one day is too much for you, and over 4 dozen bottles of red wine. I seem to be the only red wine drinker in the family, <hic>!

Why would we leave? What could possibly drag us away? Well, we’ve come up to the coast, just south of Sydney, for a little house swap- my darling Auntie is at ours, and we’re having a couple of weeks of the beach, with maybe a few day trips to Sydney, a few old friends to catch up with, and the little science museum/planetarium I worked at, as a uni student. But mostly the beach.

Here’s a thing- we walked out of my folks’ house 25 hours ago, without Henry’s iPad. And so far, no biggie. Huh.

Also not to forget- Lauren turned 7 at the new house, chose her own cake, and we all nearly died laughing over a game of Duck, Duck, Goose with Lauren, Henry, Dave, me, Gran, Auntie Cang, and Uncles Josh, Mike and Bones. Grandpa was very amused.

Uncle John will be here next month, too- we might have to have a do-over.



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I have this idea, for a website that lists good books by location, so that you don’t end up on holiday in Thailand reading something wonderful, but set in India. I said to Dave, “What a great idea! I’m going to email Lonely Planet! Or goodreads!”

He was not impressed. Granted, 5 minutes earlier I’d been trying to think of a project for myself, for this year. I’d thought briefly of bringing crochet, which I’m a keen beginner at, but yarn and 32 degree days don’t dance.

I love ideas. Following through, not so much. I make things happen, sometimes, but with people and love, not with wikis and spreadsheets. <shudder> Somebody make that website happen, please?


We’re in Phuket, and it’s lush. 32 is killing us, (which confirms the wisdom of not arriving at my parents’ place in Albury, NSW in the summer, when 45 is not unheard-of, (see you guys next week!)) so we’re swimming in the mornings, while the pool is in the shade, then hiding indoors til 5ish. Thank goodness for good WiFi! Then we meet up with our very dear friends who set off travelling indefinitely last October, for beach/dinner/play dates. (They have been to Bali and Sri Lanka, and lots of Thailand, with kids of 7, 5 and 2! See them at adventuretravelfamily.co.uk)

We have a tour booked for tomorrow, and I’m taking Dave for a fancy dinner on Thursday. We have kinda-sorta-maybe plans to try snorkelling one day with the kids, and there may be massages, but the lazy days feel perfect at the moment and we won’t be disappointed if we just carry on like this.

Now, catch you later- I’ll be in India til lunchtime.

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My Brain is in NSW

A couple of days ago I called London Sydney, and tonight I called Scotland Queensland- whoopsie!

Here’s Henry:


My head is ready to go. My suitcases not so much. 5 days from now we’ll be at the hotel at Heathrow, and you know, the mess in the house is pretty superficial- stacks of boxes waiting to be put in the loft, a strew of Lego across the dining room floor that all goes in one box. We might actually pull this off.

Henry says he’s not ready to go. It’s all a bit big and scary, but our first stop is ten days with one of his dearest friends. And a swimming pool. And from there we go on to Gran’s. He’s going to love it.

Henry asks me to type that he says (cutest baby voice): I’m sleepy. Dere we doe.

Blogging with a bored 9yo on your arm.

I don’t have a lot to tell yet, anyway.  Just making the house less absurd for the lovely folks who are coming to stay while we’re away- shoving some things out of sight and other things in suitcases. And making it so I’ll be all happy to get back, when it’s time. What’s not to love, right?


I feel kinda weird about putting photos on Facebook, of all the best bits to come. I’m being quiet about it all because I’m afraid of looking like I want to gloat about my fabulous life. So, if you want to see lots of the good stuff, (and you trust that I’m not going, “Haha, suckers, look what I’ve got!”) please pop back here, starting in 5 days!


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The Death of Slenderman

By Henry Miller, February 2018. Dictated to Mummy. Disclaimer- I don’t know how original this is.

Now the story begins.

It was 1937.

Slenderman is a fictional creature. He was walking down a ghost hallway when all of a sudden, a portal appeared right in front of him. It had the word Creepy Pasta on it and Slenderman was immediately sucked into that portal by a giant tenticle.

Then he was teleported into a house. He didn’t know where he was. He looked around and soon saw a person. He was running along an inspiration for a photoshopping contest he had entered.

The person saw Slenderman and without noticing that Slenderman was being watched, the person immediately drew Slenderman onto a piece of paper. Then Slenderman noticed he was being drawn and he was teleported into the woods.

Then he was confronted by a person who immediately called the police, the FBI and the government. Then he was shot by a massive laserbeam that came down from the sky. Then his corpse was thrown into a black hole.

Then Slenderman invented the time machine, went back to kill his grandfather and having invented a time paradox the time machine exploded and he was immediately sent back to 1937. Then he started abducting children and growing larger and larger until his final catch was a little girl that turned him into a supersize slenderman.

Then he began to destroy artefacts all over the world.

Then the government of each nation aligned together. Their final battle with him was in China. Then with the help of two helicopters they transformed into a giant mech and began to destroy him. And then the mech kicked the butt off him and the butt was transformed into a great spider and then it was immediately took out by a giant laser beam from a helicopter. Then the mech and the two helicopters immediately transformed into a great tank that immediately shot the biggest laser beam ever created in humanity.

Then Slenderman died. He exploded into a giant pile of babies and captured children. The babies were sent to an orphanage and the children returned to their homes.

The End.

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Jolly Old…

03E08FD0-115F-4742-B21E-D5FDEFFED3EA.pngFor pity’s sake!

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Not Meta Cross

So, I’ve always had this idea that if you’re really happy about something, you stop being bothered by the normal little irritants. You know the ones? They make you cross and then you get cross at yourself for being cross about something so trivial. In my world they usually involve children. Or paperwork.

I *ought to* (troublesome phrase!) be floating through these days, with rainbows coming out my bum, or something. In 21 days we’ll be on the way to Phuket, and from there to Australia, and then who knows? Bali and New Zealand for sure. Maybe some more of Thailand, perhaps home via the Galapagos Islands and the USA, or maybe Italy- suggestions gratefully received!

I should be… well, you get it. And I’m not. And here’s the thing, I’m okay with not! So where I’m normally cross, and then meta-cross, now I’m cross and then not meta-cross. For the win!

Plus, there’s this. Last week, I wore my swimming costume back to front, at our local pool. It was half-term, and I counted about 80 people in the water. I pretty much expect nobody even looked at me, but I kind of wonder about embarrassment, and whether I ought to have felt some, and also whether I ought to think twice about putting these photos here. But you know, it’s just too funny. I kept thinking “Hello, boobs, what’s going on?” and trying to decide if I’d accidentally tumble-dried the costume, or something.

Good job I’m not in charge of much.


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Things I Want To Talk About…


Playing with furniture. Work in progress.

And women’s big hats. Henry told me a story recently about an early cinema, having trouble convincing women to remove their big hats, which blocked the view of people behind them. They solved it by putting up signs saying, “Would young ladies please remove large hats. Elderly ladies may keep theirs on.”

People are so darn clever.

What if we did something similar with cigarettes- made them belong to old ladies? Instead of a leather jacket, advertising could pair them with a twin set and pearls, or a really sexy Zimmer frame.

Wouldn’t it be fun if the long term consequences didn’t matter?

Also, we have big, big plans! We’re taking a gap year. Dave had major heart surgery a few years ago, and I have now lived around Croydon longer than I’ve ever lived on one continent before. And I guess there will be puberty soon, God help us. Henry’s 9, Lauren’s nearing 7, my folks have finally retired, and it sure is time.

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