Saturday 9 March 2024


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart.  

Nothing new, then, when the grandchildren discuss a variety of subjects at the kitchen table.  

We started off learning about moths and caterpillars.  Insects in general.  And then we digressed.  

I was reading to them -  explaining how each caterpillar has some type of protection installed in their  bodies.  Some are camouflaged.  Some puff themselves up and look really strong and vicious.  Some are brutish looking.  Some are poisonous.  And some smell real bad.  

We were discussing the pus caterpillar.  

"Mama, does the pus caterpillar smell like pus?" 

"Do you know what pus is?" I asked, as I entered down the first rabbit warren...  

"No, Mama - what is pus?

"You know that yellow stuff you get sometimes when you hurt yourself and it gets infected?"

"What's infected?"

"When your sore gets hot and swollen and red and sometimes, yellow stuff comes out of it? Well that is called pus"

"Yes, I know what it is.  It stinks"

"What does it smell like?"   

"Well, if you take off your earrings and smell them, that smells like pus.  It's happened to me.  When I take my earrings off, I get it all over me". 

"What do you get all over you?" I asked

"The smell of pus".  

Earrings were then taken off by their wearers, sniffed and promptly put back on, followed by a chorus of "eeewww" and "yukkkk"


As not to lead these grandchildren down the garden path (or the wrong rabbit warren), I explained that the pus caterpillar is actually called the 'puss' caterpillar, because it's coat is soft and furry, - like a pussy cat.  

They liked that.  They noted the double consonant.  

And they preferred it to stinky pus.

Dead skin cells, bacteria, sebum and sweat are for another lesson.  

Another day.  

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Life Out of the Blue

 I knew it would be a while since my last confession.....

Er... post.  

I didn't realise time would pass so quickly, though.  Massive chunks of it, too.  And yet - grief is in no rush.  It appears when it wants to.  Wherever it wants to.  It constantly alternates.  It whispers and shouts.  

Not long before my beloved brother, Brian passed away, we were walking together in the mall.  

"you know what, Babe?  I think when we go, we'll all go quickly, close together..."

"What do you mean?", I clarified.

"When either mam, dad or I die, the others will follow very quickly.  You won't have to look after us and run around for us anymore..."  

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  Brian was like that.  He had the ability to "move" you.  Good or bad.  Happy or sad.  Sickness or in health...

His predictions came to pass.  He volunteered first.  Then my dad.  Then my other brother, Robin.  And finally - my mam.  All within three years.  

They were dark years.  Out of sorts years.  A Pituitary Macroadenoma appeared too.  Just to keep grief company.  

But so did three more grandchildren - bringing sheer joy and love and well - good measure: 

Arthur Henry

Dolly Mae

Millicent Ray.  

I am reminded of my Mam's favourite of all time movie - The Sound of Music - where mother Abbess declares "where God closes a door, He opens a window".  And my rendition of Maria's quote:  

"A grandmother with seven grandchildren?... oh what's so fearsome about that...."

And so -  I choose to delight in these treasured gifts.  

My focus is refreshed. 

My purpose is set.  


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....