Tag Archives: Parenting

Mr. Confidence

15 Aug

Z, grinning, coming off slide with rubber ring. Poring Hot Springs, Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia.

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]Sometimes, something happens which makes you look at your child with new eyes.

This morning, Z and I were at Poring Hot Springs, the sulphurous waters which seethe out of the jungly lowlands in the shadow of Mount Kinabalu. They function, if not as a panacea, at least as a salve for muscles recovering from ascending 800-plus metres of said mountain then descending more than 2 kilometres of it.

In a single day.

After a 2am start. Continue reading

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Climbing Mount Kinabalu

14 Aug

Low's Peak casts a shadow and refracts the sunrise, Mount Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia.[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]Dali would have loved the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea.

Granite towers, horns and cowslicks protrude improbably from a landscape of fractured moraines and curvaceous drops, polished clean by Pleistocene glaciers and decked with gleaming waterfalls.

And watching the rising sun refract around these surrealist sculptures and illuminate Low’s Gully, which falls dark and sheer for over a kilometre, is a memory that will last forever.

Unlike the thigh and calf pain, which I am told should be gone within the week. Continue reading

The 7 Link Challenge

31 Jul

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]The 7 Link Challenge is a piece of interweb genius that originates with Problogger. And, my lord, is it challenging.

The aim? To find six posts from your back catalogue, and one from someone else’s, in seven different categories, and expose to the light of day some of the good stuff that otherwise just lurks in your archives. Here goes…

Your first post? Continue reading

Madam, Your Husband…

4 Jun motorbike cylinder with frangipani flower.

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]motorbike cylinder with frangipani flower.“Madam,” said the chap on the scooter, eyeing the motorbike erratically parked some distance from the wrong hire shop (and, indeed, the pavement) with a sort of bemused, yet ineffably polite contempt, “Your husband has asked me to come and find you…”

Now, I guess this sort of “women drivers, pshaw!” shtick happens all the time to married women. And, much though it offends my feminist sensibilities to admit it, I am, sadly, pretty much your stereotypical woman driver, with absolutely zero sense of direction to boot.

However… Continue reading

Creative Writing

8 Mar

Lakeside pavilion, Forbidden Purple City, Hue, Vietnam

Perhaps a Safer Creative Writing Topic than the Vietnam War?

As part of our homeschooling topic on the Vietnam War, Z has been reading Chickenhawk. While not as “adult” as the current meaning of the title suggests, Bob Mason’s account of flying helicopters during the Vietnam War is, I suspect, a very accurate description of how soldiers lived and, more relevantly, spoke.

So I’m not sure what part of my brain was engaged when I suggested to Z that, when crafting his creative writing piece on the Vietnam War, he should be sure to include some dialogue to bring his characters out a little more. Continue reading

You are Nine, Going on Nineteen

3 Mar

So Z got dumped by his girlfriend. Or did he? It came up the first time in a moment of anxiety atop a sand dune in Mui Ne.

“I think A doesn’t want to go out with me anymore. Or then again, maybe she’s joking. I don’t think she meant it,” he says.

“Meant what?” I say.

“Meant what she said in her email. She said, ‘You mustn’t swear. We’re splitting up.’”

We discuss the email. I make soothing noises. We move on.

Late this evening, after Z has dined, drawn and made an insane YouTube video starring the beachball and my lipstick, I hear the unmistakably old-school ring of Skype.

“What are you doing?” I say. “Didn’t I say it’s bedtime?”

“I’m Skyping A,” he says. “She’s online now!”

A muffled, crackling conversation ensues, after which he seems much happier, although he is eagerly awaiting an email.

“So is everything alright between you and A now?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says. “We didn’t talk about it. But she seemed totally fine on the phone. So I don’t think we can be splitting up.”

“You know you’ll always be friends?” I say. (They have known each other since she was born and he was six months old.)

“I know,” he says. “That makes me feel much better.”

They grow up fast. My lord, they really do.

Why Do Flies Have Eyes?

15 Feb

I’ve been wondering why we spent so much time in Kampot. It’s a lovely provincial capital, set around a river, with the beginnings of a promenade, easy to navigate, beautifully chilled, lots of countryside, plus gorgeous caves, but it isn’t somewhere I’d have pulled off a map as a destination, and I’d never have thought we’d spend the big end of a week there.

I think it’s something about the pace. On our last night, we went down to the river to watch the fishing boats racing down to the sea, an extended spectacle given the average longtail engine is held together with string and hope.

Continue reading