Adventure junkie expat Aussie setting out on a new life as full-time writer / domestic goddess.

Born and bred in Queensland Australia but now living in Ireland after a serial travel addiction. Met an amazing man here and ended up staying. Both of the boys were born here and have a weird accent with touches of Aussie, English, Irish and even Spanish from my mum.

To quote Jane Austen: If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.

So I finished my degree and like so many young Aussie's headed overseas on my Grand Tour and a little like one of my literary heroes Percy Bysshe Shelley never really made it home.

Started blogging a few years ago but after getting hijacked by a hacker and the pain of taking down the site, went back to my old school journal by the bed.

Now that I am writing full-time and the laptop is superglued to me, I thought I would take up where I left off.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The last hazy days of summer

Coming to the end of my first summer spent as full time writer and stay at home mum. I have to admit there was more mum than writer going on but despite this (or maybe because of this) it has been one of the most wonderful times of my life.

The weather has been good, well mostly - it is Ireland after all! We have spent loads of time on long walks, tending to our garden and teaching the boys some essential life skills - how to ride without stabilisers and how to swim. Even got the paddling pool out with its own touch of Aussie life, Crocovile (intentional misspelling) as named by Sam. We have read nearly all of the Percy Jackson books and all of us look healthy and flushed with colour from plenty of outdoor activity and whole weeks of glorious sunshine. We even managed to get a few jobs done around the house. You know the ones, the ones you keep putting off for a rainy day.

This week was the first week back to school for the boys, Ben into Second Class and Sam into Senior Infants. Last year both were the new boys. Ben because he transferred from another school in Dublin and Sam because he was starting school for the first time. Things were so much simpler this year. Everyone knew where to go, including me, and there was no stress at all. In fact, both of them were excited and looking forward to seeing their friends and their new teachers.

The weather was fantastic this week so we were able to ride to and from school everyday which made it all seem so much more fun. A shame it was not so gorgeous for their last week of holidays the week previous but that is Irish weather for you. It makes you feel like it is a personal affront to your plans - great during the week leading into storms and downpours on the weekend! This was like a big raspberry blown at all the kids back into the classroom, staring out the windows at the sunshine.

Not so bad for me though. I got to have my breakfast and morning coffee sitting out on the deck and looking out over the countryside. It has been so nice in fact that I have struggled to get back into any kind of writing routine. My writing was very random over the summer and consciously so. I wrote when the weather was poor or when the boys were glued to the TV and decided to just go with the flow and not beat myself up over it. Determined to enjoy my first summer and just be. Not something I find comes easily so quite proud of myself for the achievement or as the case may be, lack thereof!!

The last couple of months of unstructured joy has left me feeling relaxed and more like the earth mother within than I have for years. On top of this we all undertook a fresh challenge to eat sustainably. This was helped by great first harvests from our kitchen garden and having more time to cook from scratch and prepare beans and pulses the day before. It involved plenty of slow cooking and a noticeable increase in dietary fibre from chick peas, kidney beans and local farmers produce.

I have enjoyed it all so much that while most of the other mum's could not wait for the kids to go back to school to get back to normal, I was dreading it. Back to the alarm clock and a structured routine. I actually missed the two of them terribly all week and was counting down the hours before I could go and collect them. On Monday I actually wanted to go down to the school only an hour into the school day and tell Mrs Kelly that she could not have Sam because I missed him so much.

And while we are coming to the end of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are only 22 sleeps away from our first trip back to Oz in 5 years so should get an extra five weeks of sunshine on our yearly tally. If the opportunity comes your way to take a summer to spend with the ones you love, grab it with both hands. It has been two months filled with joy and one of the best things I have ever done. If I could have one wish, it would be that it would never end.

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