All grown up

growing up

Look how much my son has grown!

(knew I kept his baby tag for a reason)

For those interested he has recovered well from last week’s operation.

Don’t believe me? Proof.

Meantime I’ve been rowing:

Sunday – social row
Monday – ergs at the gym
Tuesday – training
Wednesday – training
Thursday – day off
Friday – training
Saturday – social row – OMG the water was so nice!

A strange week

Sunset drinks in Broome

My son went in for a pretty serious operation on Friday.

It was scary.

After three hours on the table he was weak and groggy.

This is of course not unexpected, just horrible to see when it’s your baby, your son, your brother.

He is recovering quickly. Resting a lot.

And. Finally. Home.

To distract myself this week (coincidentally) I travelled to Karratha and Broome (Monday-Thursday). That’s what I mean by a strange week.

I love travelling north.

I like the people I catch up with. I like the environment. I like the red dirt and the dreaming.

I didn’t wear my brand new sandshoes*.

The photo is me and Madelaine having a sunset St Clair Sav Blanc at Cable Beach.

Needless to say my exercise regime has been compromised…

Sunday: Social Rowing
Wednesday: Erg session at hotel
Friday: Just a lot of nervous energy

*the Pindan dirt would stain them in seconds flat

Podcast Confirmed


You know when famous people say “my mum is my greatest fan”?

Well there’s a chance they’re right.

My son now creates a podcast every week.

On gaming.

And religiously I listen every week.

Yes. Because I am his mother.

What? You think I am interested in DOTA2??!


But I am interested in him. He’s my son.

And here’s something I didn’t realise after nearly 25 years in radio.

(Well I kind of did but it’s only as I write this that it’s really crystallised it for me.)

You reveal A LOT of yourself on radio.

Sure you think you’re just talking gardening/politics/cars/economics/surfing/fishing/gaming… no.

I listen to Podcast Confirmed and I hear about my son’s life.

I hear his relationship with his friends.

I hear his growing independence and confidence.

His sense of humour and his kindness.

I hear another side to this person that I’ve spent the last 18 years with.

And I’m glad to know this person.

Okay, I’m also learning a bit about gaming.

Of course the poor boy does have a mother who works in radio so he gets some feedback…


I think he knows I’m proud of him.

Probably his greatest fan.

Christmas in April

It’s PROSH tomorrow.

Remember PROSH?  Uni students create a newspaper full of vulgarity and fun and raise money for a bunch of charities.

Tomorrow my son is participating in his first PROSH.

As a Christmas present.

My son is a gift
The Back


So cute.

Ah those university days

I went back to my old college – St George’s – today.

Partly to beg, plead and plunder for my son who would dearly love to follow the family tradition (I think)  and go to the college himself this year as he studies his science degree at UWA, but also just to walk the halls and remember those “good old days”.

I don’t think I’m alone in this.

I’m pretty sure my dad, who also went to St George’s and indeed was Senior Student, also pops by to feel that red brick memory soak right in.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s no coincidence that the house I grew up in and the house I have now lived in for 13 years is also red brick…

Just sayin’.

“It’s hard to tell how much the student actually wants to come here… and how much of it is the parent wanting the student to live here.” says the acting warden – a charming man – when I visited today.

I’m sure, I murmur politely as my eyes tear up looking out his window to the old sub-warden’s cottage.

The cottage where I and a young Groover sat listening to our priest deliver pre-marriage lessons.

“I hate weddings”, was the line I remember best.


“In-laws and children.  You need to agree on what you want to do about those and you’ll be alright.”

Well I want my children to go to residential college.  And if at UWA that means St George’s.

But does my son?

I’m so excited for him, accepting his offer of a place today, the prospect of studying at UWA with his friends is brilliant.

In fact he has many more friends going to uni than I did back in the day, it must be like going on a giant road trip.

I confess I am jealous.

And yes, living somewhat vicariously.

Maybe that’s why I’m so keen on this idea of doing a post-grad degree in Archeaology….

So I had a tour of the college, and noted the changes.

Not sure I like the modern tables in that lovely old library but maybe I need to get over that…

I’m sure I didn’t help my son’s chances of getting in one iota.

But I hope.

I REALLY hope.

They offer him a place.

(And that’s if he wants to go.  Not that I’ll love him any less if he doesn’t. )

Update:  They did and he did!  Now ensconced at St Georges.

Summer jobs

He's graduated
Finished school

School is finished.

And wow.  I am now the parent of a nearly at university student.

But before that happy day – hopefully – of a decent ATAR result and an offer to the preferred course – Science at UWA – the pocket money has been cut off.

Now you might scream “Fair crack of the sauce bottle!  Give the guy a break, he’s just finished 12 grueling years of school…”

Stop it.

A summer job is good for him.


A bit of money, certainly more than I’m prepared to give him.


Something to do.

And he’s not alone.

Joining him in the workforce is Miss 14, who has been busy handing out resumes to local businesses and prospective babysitting clients.

My daughter
Babysitter and Waitress

Since being on holidays she’s continued her Saturday morning waitressing job and done some work for a friend assisting at a holiday program for 4-7 year olds.

She’s good with kids.

(must get it from her paternal grandmother… sorry mum)

And how much does she like spending the money she’s earning?!!!

The only downside?

I don’t get a say in how she spends it.

A small price to pay.

So summer jobs.

They can be crap.

I spent a couple of summers photocopying in an engineering library…

But the pay packet is delicious.

And anyone who stays at home… well.

I have chores that need doing.

On not inviting girls

Bloody hell - can I go now?

This is my boy, pre-ball.

My creation.

Well mostly mine.

Okay okay he had a bit to do with it.

Oh and Groover.

But for tonight?

That’s mostly me.

With my boy’s agreement.

Y’know a lot has been said about how expensive girls can be when it comes to the Year 12 ball but I found myself forking over huge wads of cash.

Suit, shirt, shoes, tie… haircut.

Okay admittedly the haircut was a bargain.

I don’t know.

I didn’t think I’d care so much.

How hard is it being a boy – turn up in any old suit and you’ll look good right?

Probably right.

But I wanted him to feel good and look good.

I wanted him to feel special, coz you know… he is.

And besides…

The lads

How gorgeous do they look?

And he’ll wear that suit again.


Travelling in style

Interestingly lots of the boys didn’t invite girls to the ball.

They go to a co-ed school and I guess they figured girls would be there anyway.

Still I was a bit disappointed.

I think a lot of the girls would have liked to have been asked.

And I bet there were a few who wished one of these lads had asked them.

But maybe not.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

Or maybe…

Maybe these boys are lucky they don’t go to an all-boys school.


Then they’d have had to ask someone!

A cool tattoo?

I don’t normally take photos of hunky blokes down the beach.

Surfee dude types

Especially not ones who – lets face it – could be my sons.

I’m not the cougar type.

But when I spied that tattoo on his back… well!

Smiley face tattoo

My first thought was… are you kidding me?!

Who gets a smiley face tattoo.

My next thought was… have I missed a “cool” lesson somewhere?

So tell me internets – cool or uncool?

And then we went for a walk.

It had been a hot day.  Bushfires.  Windy.

So I thought an evening stoll en famile would be nice.

Cottesloe Beach
Fishing from the groin

When we got to the beach it was COLD!

Really windy.

A little… unpleasant.

So rather than a longer walk towards Swanborne – we headed for the groin.

A bit pathetic really.

The pylon with the smog of the fires on the horizon

Of course you can’t keep a teenage boy out of the water no matter how much you talk about shark weather…

Fun in the surf keeping an eye out for sharks

I’ve been thinking about that spider

Check out the eyes!

When my son was a little tacker – about 2 – we asked him what he was thinking about.

He answered:

“I’m thinking about that spider.”

I don’t remember what spider – or even if there was a spider or if he was thinking about another spider somewhere else but it was such a sweet response that we have used it ever since.

You know, when you are staring off into the distance with your mind in limbo.

Or when asked what you’re thinking, you suddenly forget.

It’s a handy response to have in your back pocket.

This spider, the one in today’s photo was hiding behind a piece of loose bark on the tree my son was climbing.

It dropped to the ground and I think the spider was a bit stunned because not even the very close lens of my camera startled it.

Even prodding it gently with a twig only caused him to lethargically wave a front leg.

On the way home my son – now 15 – asked me what kind of spider it was.

A huntsman, I guessed.

What do they eat?



No, not really.


Even at 15 he’s still thinking about spiders.

Up close and personal