Tag Archives: Travel

Kids – sorry the grown-ups broke your EU

Dear kids

Yesterday some grown-ups broke your European Union. Sorry about that. They didn’t really mean to. I hope that you can fix it when you’re older. Remember to vote 🙂

Love, mum

Post-Brexit, I’ve been doing some metaphorical soul-searching. Rummaging around in my drawer of tidy private political opinions. Well, I’ve tipped that drawer on the kitchen table and this is what’s come out. (Some swear-y bits follow below. )

Kids' guide to the EU

This kids’ guide to the EU recently appeared in our kitchen. Great timing.

 

Age-appropriate socio-economic context

I explain the world to my kids with a pinch of age-appropriate socio-economic context. Mentioning background, life opportunities, education, bad luck. I follow up with: “In our house, dad and I think [*insert appropriate liberal metropolitan educated employed opinion*], but there are people who don’t agree. That’s OK.”

Today, a day after Britain voted to leave the EU, bollocks to that nuanced ‘two-sides’ approach. I think that 51.9% of the voters made the wrong decision about the EU referendum. I’m telling my kids that I voted Remain because I wanted them to have the same opportunities that British kids had before them.

Unfortunately, more scared, confused, mean (sorry), arrogant (apologies), wrong (not sorry) people voted Leave. They probably damaged the economy for a lot of us, and they definitely stuffed up the European future for my kids.

More immigrants? No thanks, I’m full.

I’m telling my kids that a lot of nasty people supported a Brexit because they don’t like immigrants. (Of course, not ALL people who voted to leave were bad. Aaaaah – can’t help myself … Sorry.)

Our family is stuffed-full of immigrants. We like to get around, so I’m horrified and disappointed that this debate was so racist and fearful.

The Leave campaign was supported by famous arse-hats. Farage, Trump and a dirty pile of right-wing European leaders talking up the anti-immigration bullshit. These are not my people.

My reactions on Facebook yesterday

1. First thing in the morning – unfiltered emotion.

Went to bed in the United Kingdom and woke up in land of hate and glory. I slept badly, hopefully dreamed that the Remain side would ‘edge’ ahead… Instead I’m now living in Little Middle England.

This morning I had an unexpected cry over politics and unexpected need to share my sadness on social media. I’m not angry. There are apparently enough angry haters out there already and more of them voted. Just sad that being moderate and reasonable and compassionate isn’t good enough anymore.

I’m still glad I supported and voted for Remain. I can tell my kids that.

2. A bit later – after too much information, emotion and social media

My knee-jerk metropolitan liberal elite post-Brexit strategy: combination of stay within safe bubble of left-y urban multicultural suburbs + make sure our kids give a fuck.

European Union 2

Smiling daughter within the European Union. 

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Keep the water in your mouth   Yesterday I found a Post-It note in the kitchen with these words of wisdom: Keep the water in your mouth.

Where do you go when you press Home?  Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me.

Hello Hong Kong

A selection of Hong Kong holiday snaps, with side trips off to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom theme park and Macau.

Photos by me and husband. #nofilter, as they say on Instagram. I’m @alifelessdigital if you enjoy that sort of thing.

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With thanks to mum and the magnificent Moks for their help and hospitality.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Alien fruit On holiday, I like to relax. And take pictures of fruit.

The sound of one glove clapping Lost gloves.

Tiny tablets and toys It was a quiet morning at home. I was pondering the largeness of my multivitamin tablet.

Gluten-induced homesickness

Fresh sourdough toast with jam and ricotta has made me ponder moving back to Sydney. A fig Danish pastry has triggered layers of crispy homesickness. A pork and fennel sausage roll has almost brought me to tears.

Fig danish

Love is a fig danish

I have been overloading on gluten and memories at Bourke Street Bakery. I am remembering the loss of these sights and smells and sounds, at the very same time that I am soaking them up. Equal parts happiness (I’m back!) and sadness (I have to leave.)

Daily London life is so solidly full and interesting that I rarely pine for Australia. So after nearly 3 years away, this visit has been surprisingly  interrupted by ‘in situ’ homesickness.

I am missing the thing as I experience it. That doesn’t make sense. But a dark chocolate and sour cherry cookie as big as my hand does. In gluten we trust.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Where do you go when you press Home? Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me.

Lego is blog superfood

I’ve been suffering from an extreme case of blog procrastination. If this blog was a small child, well-meaning strangers would frown at its unsuitable footwear and thin arms.

But hooray! All the planets are aligned, the Interweb is working, and my hands are warm enough to type.

Quite a few people stumble here by searching for Lego.  So to feed up my poor malnourished blog, here are some amusing Lego pictures. Does anyone ever get tired of cute Lego? Not me.

Lego minifig crocodile man

Grrrr. No idea what this Lego minifig is. Some poor man trapped in a crocodile suit?

Lego minifig hippy

We had a hard time trying to describe what ‘a hippy’ was to the kids.

Proof that I was in New York

I did make an ambitious claim several weeks ago that I would put up some pictures from my NY mini-break. Here they are:

New York Chinatown signs

The ancient Chinese culture and traditions on display in Chinatown.

New York September 11 memorial

The 9/11 memorial at sunset.

New York croissant cat

It’s a croissant cat!!

New York Central park

Central Park. It looks fake, doesn’t it? But it really was this pretty…

New York Met elephant vase

At The Met I found out that mid-18th century French porcelain could be terrifying.

So, the blog child-beast has been fed. And I can happily procrastinate away for another short while.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Lego love for all the family. It really really hurts when I step on hard, sharp, pointy bits of Lego. I suffer through strange foot indentations because  Lego is wonderful.

Too lazy for words. Greetings from New York. I’ve just popped over for a high-end mini-break with husband.

Too lazy for words

Greetings from New York. I’ve just popped over for a high-end mini-break with husband.

If I was a proper blogger, I would be photographing my food and posting pictures up with tasting notes. Or reviewing the toenail art of the woman lounging at the bar.

But the good camera is broken and we forgot to unlock our mobile phones, so we are without Wandering Web. We are officially free to just go about tourist-ing without sending out a real-life feed of NY delights.

Use the power of your mind to imagine that the following were posted over the last couple of days:

  • The air is so dry, I think my eyeballs are shrinking.
  • Seared octopus with Umbrian chickpeas, red onion, pickled currants. (Il Buco).
  • Uptown is not necessarily uphill.
  • Gold brocade skinny jeans. (Admired, but did not buy).
  • Gorging ourselves on back-to-back episodes of The Newsroom.
  • 9/11 Memorial was perfect. Black pools of textured water – corrugated, smooth and flowing.
  • If I say “Can I eat that here, please?” he will look at me blankly and reply “To go?”
  • Oooooh, my bunions are aching.
  • $400 is too much for a toy baby standing reindeer. (ABC carpet and home).

This post was the blog equivalent of ‘freshening up’ a stale bread roll in a microwave. A more nutritionally-balanced post will appear when I’m back.

Byeeee, Lorraine

Top tips for enjoyable flying with babies and kids

I am not part of the flying sisterhood. As the exhausted, grim-faced mother unbuckled herself and struggled to her feet yet again, I just felt sooooo pleased I wasn’t flying with a baby.

From back here, between my two TV-sedated kids, I saw her reach in to the bassinet. It looked like she was trying to stuff a boiling, seething mass of tiny arms and legs and teddies and dummies and blankets in to a shoe box. A small part of me felt sorry for her. A larger, more smug, part of me was just glad it wasn’t me…

Top tips for enjoyable flying with babies and kids:

– Leave kids behind at airport staring dumbstruck at 1 kg blocks of duty free chocolate.
– Ensure husband’s inflight TV doesn’t work so he has to hold the baby.
– Find all the sick sacks or vomit bags you can as soon as you sit down. Sometimes one is not enough.
– For several years before you fly, strictly control the amount of TV your kids are allowed to watch. Then let them loose on the plane. Yes, you can watch that film 3 times in a row!
– Replace your real baby with a life-like educational doll. Much, much more placid.
– Remember to charge the iPad fully. And stop lecturing your toddler on why they should be gentle with it. If you hand it over, it is possible that they want to bash Dora the Explorer’s head with a fork.
– For girls, try to guess which ridiculous diamond-encrusted watch mummy likes in the airline magazine.
– For boys, try to assess the relative probability of different flying-related risks on each route eg ash clouds, engine failure, computer malfunctions, pilot narcolepsy.
– Have lots of “skin to skin” time with your baby. People won’t make eye contact with you if you’re naked.
– Drop a bag of small sweets on the floor and let the kids eat as many as they can find. Sweets that roll well are more fun.

Where do you go when you press Home?

Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me. I’ve never been very attached to a particular location.  Home is wherever I am with my own little family.

Technology is helping to create a homesickness prevention barrier. I’ve made heartfelt promises to email, Skype, tweet and update many many people. And when I have time, I will even put pen to paper.

I am a busy body

The busier I am, the less time I have to tell people how busy I am. Twitter and Facebook are not part of my core communications strategy matrix. (Can you tell I used to work in an agency?)

Some of the things I might have mentioned if I’d been social online in the last weeks:

• Black cabs only take cash? WTF?
• I may have missed the wedding, but I do have a Catherine & William commemorative Oyster card.
• The estate agent looks young enough to be my son. His suit has too many nifty seams to be professional.
• Camden Market is horrible. Too many giant horse-themed sculptures.
• Kids would rather smash gravel with hammers than talk to me on phone.
• Want to take video of the local streets, but worried that I look creepy.
• I got little pile of crisps/ chips with my sandwich! One of the major reasons for moving to the UK…
• Have never asked to move seats on a plane because of another passenger’s smell. Until now. I was very discreet.
• First words from son upon my return: “My snot is the same colour as your top.” I did get a hug after that though.