Today one of my younger cousins told me, with some hesitation, that she was 50. My immediate response was “No way! You’re catching up girl.” We laughed. We talked about the changes. And she admitted that turning 50 and more so admitting it, was not easy. Afterwards, I marvelled at the idea of 50. What does 50 look like. What does 50 do and think. Where does 50 go. There she was, as young as I’ve always remembered her, same laugh, same sense of humour, same joie de vivre – only she was now 50.

I distinctly remember the day I learned that my mother was 40 years old. I remember staring at her for a while and then crying secretly in my bed later that night. For at the tender age of 10 or so, I thought my mother was going to die. In my mind, forty was old. So you can imagine what fifty must be like.

Today, having spent some years being both forty and fifty myself, I can attest that growing old is really not so bad. In fact, apart from the reality that your body changes, whether you like it or not, and no matter how much you exercise. That your mind is not as agile as it used to be – you can only store so much data in one brain at any one time. And that you are going to need much more sleep than when you were a teenager,

Turning 50 is like getting a new life.

You become you. You are confident. You know what you want, and you make sure you get it. You have experience to share, and you do so willingly, yet carefully. You are more empathetic as you’ve seen what life can offer. You’ve built strong friendships that have stood the test of time. You’ve learnt how not to sweat the small stuff. You know that worrying is a waste of time (although you still worry some for good measure). Your children (yours and those you’ve adopted) can take care of themselves. You know how to pray. You truly understand the meaning of family.

I look at my children and my nieces and nephews growing up and I smile a broad smile. They are full of energy with high expectations for the future. And, at fifty-something, so am I. For I still have a lot to look forward to and I will do it, with the same fervour and with every ounce of energy left in my body.

I can’t wait for the big SIX ZERO.


Being surrounded by water…

Living on an island has its many advantages. As I step into my garden each morning I am greeted by an amazing view of the ocean reminding me always, of eternity. It’s a comforting sight, peaceful and calming. Giving you the energy to face another day. And as I return home on an evening, the sunset both relaxes and excites me as you may have noticed from one of my previous blogs “Listen to the Sun set“.

As much as I suffer from motion sickness, being on the water is one of my greatest pleasures. I love the feeling of movement, the wind against my face. The feeling that you can just keep going. The sense of adventure – and if you let your imagination run wild you can almost imagine that you’re on a quest of discovery – discovery of new lands, treasures, the magic of the sea. And most times you simply discover your longing for freedom. Freedom from the past, the present. Freedom from your everyday thoughts and worries. And sometimes freedom from yourself as you get lost in the moment and just let yourself be.

I visit the beach almost weekly and find it very difficult not to have a quick swim on each occasion. I love the water’s refreshing feeling against my skin – its silkiness always makes me feel as if I’m swimming in velvet. Its rolling waves remind me of its strength and depth. That it’s a force not to be taken lightly, that I’m just a visitor enjoying the moment.

I can’t imagine living without the water around me, without the daily visual glimpse of the sea. As one of my sons once said to me after spending just a few years in the depths of North America, “I’m suffering from continental sickness, mum – I feel land locked and need to be by the sea”.

Long Circular Road…

When you think of a street or road, what’s the first name that comes to your mind? Is it that place with your favourite shops / bars / connection points? Is it that place where you met your first love, or had the most interesting encounter in your lifetime? Or is it that place which conjures up your fondest memories?

For me it’s the place where I grew up. Long Circular Road is that place for me. It’s where I played with friends, got teased by my older brothers and sister, climbed trees picking fruit or just to get away from my pesty older siblings. It’s where I played game after game of cricket with my older brother. It’s where I had my 16th birthday party and kissed a boy for the first time. It’s where I courted my husband.

It’s where I learned the true meaning of family and friends, winning and losing. It’s where I learned about life and love.

When you think of a street or road, where do you go?


Where is Home…

Home is where the heart is….

I asked a couple of friends to give me their ‘one word’ synonymous with home and I was able to build the following simple list :-

  • Security
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Relaxation
  • Comfort
  • Love

For me home is all of the above and more. Whenever I’m with family, I’m home. Whenever I’m in my garden, I’m home. Whenever I’m with friends, I’m home. Sometimes when I’m by myself, I’m home. When I watch the sun set, I’m home. It doesn’t have to be a place and it’s certainly not a thing. It’s that feeling you get when you heart is quiet, full and at peace when you know you are home.

Where is home for you…

Dealing with ‘Stubborn’…

If stubborn means fighting for what you believe is right. Then I’m stubborn.
If stubborn means not wavering until your point of view is heard. Then I’m stubborn.
If stubborn means doing what you need to do to get your own way. Then I’m definitely stubborn.

But is being stubborn good or bad. If I had a penny for every time someone referred to me as stubborn, or even commented on my stubbornness, I would be a millionaire. And quite frankly I’ve never minded being called stubborn because most times I’ve gotten my way, and I was happy. So there. As long as no one was hurt in the process it didn’t really matter.

When my youngest son, at the tender age of 2 years, exhibited this characteristic, I paused before taking action. We stared at each other and I attempted to talk through the point calmly. I thought I had won as he succumbed to my wishes, but little did I know that he was playing my game, and playing it very well. He too paused before taking action and figured out that, due to my authority and size, he would probably not win right away. So he conceded in principle, but once my back was turned, he continued on his quest, quickly and with such agility that I didn’t even know I had been duped.

I have always tried to nurture this trait in him hoping that it would lead to a sense of determination and self confidence, of course lathered with honesty and integrity. Praying all the while though, please oh please, ease up on me as your mother. For this is not the easiest trait to guide and develop. As parents we are faced with so many decisions on a daily basis. Dealing with a determined toddler can be quite a challenge, so you can well imagine dealing with a stubborn teenager.

As our children mature however, we can only hope and pray that our decisions were the right ones.

We all want to be Connected…


This blogging thing is quite crazy actually. I write arbitrary thoughts about things that cross my mind from one day to the next and I take great care in selecting some of my better photographs to share. I read and re-read every post, several times, and most times I share with my husband – my biggest fan – for his critique. Then, I press ‘Publish’.

I wait. Patiently at first. Then not at all. Wait for what you may ask? I wait for the ‘likes’, the comments and the new followers.

It’s just crazy and my husband laughs at me every day. How many likes did you get today? Any comments on that topic? Read them to me. I laugh too, for it has become such a game for the both of us. But deep down, for me anyway, it really isn’t a game at all.

Being  connected is an important part of being human.

I feel as if there’s a virtual world out there that I’ve connected with. A world where there are people just like me who want to express themselves. People who have arbitrary thoughts about arbitrary topics. Thoughts that resonate with me. People I have made a connection with. It’s almost as if it were my secret world.

And don’t we all want to connect and feel a part of something, something bigger than ourselves. Don’t we all have that special friend, sister, brother with whom we share our deepest feelings and with whom we can happily sit in silence, finish each other’s sentences, or understand very well their every facial expression. With whom we can laugh about nothing, cry about everything. With whom we have a special bond, a special connection.

The very essence of life is about connection.

Travelling, wherever you are…

Thanks to a fellow blogger, who read my recent post ‘Maps’ (see post on right), I’ve taken a different view to my desire to travel the world.  The advice was quite simple :

You don’t have to travel far in order to travel more”

And they further explained that “…a common misconception is that the traveling that counts is the kind that takes you far away. Nope. Think again. What is it that is the essence of travel? For me, the main reason to even go outside in the morning is the promise that there will be new adventures to explore and new worlds to discover.”

And so today I explored my surroundings with my camera in tow, like I would normally when travelling outside of my country, and, guess what, I discovered a beautiful place.  (See pics below)

Thank you “Biveros Effect” for your sound advice.


Life is a *itch, and then you die…

How often have I heard my mother-in-law utter these words. And each time I chuckle, thinking that it could be true, but not quite understanding the depth of it from her point of view.

The first time I met my mother-in-law, she was crouched on the floor with her butt in the air, ‘releasing gas’ as she later explained. She was not aware that I was coming to visit. But as the years have passed, I realise that that would not have made any difference. She needed to ‘release gas’ and that was the best way she knew how. She would have crouched on the floor even if I were there, for the first time.

You hear many stories of ‘in-laws’ and I have made it my life-long commitment not to be the nightmare mother-in-law, as described by so many. But quite frankly how could I be when my personal experience has been filled with great examples from both sides. Little or no interference, always there to support when needed. Everything has always been just easy.

Actually it’s also been quite entertaining when we consider the character that is my mother-in-law. Strong-willed (although not always so as a teenager), frank (and you better be able to take it), loud (a trait the entire family has inherited), kind (always thinking of others – she would feed the world if she could), generous (to a fault), grateful (more and more so as she gets older).

I was once asked about my ‘parents in-law’ – you know to give my experience. And I found it very difficult to find something wrong. I could think of not one moment when I felt unaccepted, frustrated or even annoyed. Today, 32 years later, I have the privilege of sharing a few days with my mother-in-law, and I am beginning to understand why life could be a ‘*itch’, from her point of view.

Imagine a busy life filled with its ups and downs. Imagine being able to manoeuvre this life with strength which comes from within, the support of family and friends that makes it all worthwhile, the love of a spouse which is beyond description. Imagine bringing up 5 children – the physical and mental agility that is needed to stay one step ahead of them, so that you can ensure that in turn they will be capable of taking care of themselves in the future, and, secretly, you as well. Imagine achieving your goals, in one way or another. Imagine that stage of your life when you feel accomplished, that it was all worth it.

Then it all starts to crumble, slowly at first, then with increasing speed. You become slower, less agile. The aches and pains of your deteriorating body. The loss of your companion of over 40 years. The feeling that you have become a bother to your family as opposed to the guiding force. You loose your independence and now need to rely on those you took such care of years ago.

You become tired, you become confused at the slightest change in your daily routine, your memory fails you and what you remember most and long for most are those days when you were at your peak. Or do you? What do you really long for at this stage of life?

And I guess, that’s when you realise that life can be a *itch, and then you die…