Alaska

To my niece Alaska

I wondered how to capture what I felt when I heard of your arrival into the world and it came to me through song.

Last week I found myself at Waterloo Library, for no particular reason, perusing CD titles to borrow. I chanced upon Triple J’s Hottest 100 2017, skimming the contents there it was, your song ‘ Alaska ‘ by Maggie Rogers.

Fast forward, and I get round to researching this tune on youtube. As I listened it sounded vaguely familiar so I dug a little deeper.

I had heard it before.

A masterclass at New York University in early 2016, Pharrell Williams critiquing the work of aspiring musicians. Maggie’s piece for the workshop is her song’ Alaska’.

The song is played, it is perfection.

Mr William’s critique ‘ I have zero, zero, zero notes for that ‘ ‘Your doing your own thing’ ‘ It’s singular, you could not compare it to anything else. And that is such a special quality’

Alaska, just like this melody, you are a sight to behold. You are perfection. Nothing needs to change. I would never have guessed your name, but now you are here, you could not be anyone else.

Like Maggie’s tune and Pharrell’s reaction to it, you have captured wide and loving audience.

I look forward to watching you grow, learn, play, laugh and love.

You journey will be unique, you will dance to your own beat and there will be countless loving eyes watching on as you do.

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Baby of Mine : Round Two

Any day now I will become an Aunty for the second time. My brother and his wife, parents of not one, but two precious people.

My niece’s excitement puts it perfectly ‘ I’m going to be big sister!’

It was just over two years ago that I was honoured with the title of Aunty. In that time I have grown into my role. I love hanging out with my mini best friend. Time stand still in her company.

A look back at a post from 2015, the most family friendly of tales…….

 

 

The most beautiful of gifts came my families way recently.

My brother and his wife became parents to a precious little girl, ever so tiny and perfect– Ms Ravyn.

Ravyn and I

Ravyn and I

And in an instant our worlds were turned upside down, changed for the better in every single way … I became an Aunt, my parents Grandparents, my brother a Father , my sister-in-law, a Mother.

Ravyn you are so loved, so precious and arrived just when we our family was looking for a new addition. Did you read our advertisement in the classifieds? You must have for you fit each and every criteria…it is truly uncanny!!

Boyle Family eagerly seeks new member

  • Desire to be loved unconditionally by a Mother and Father, Grandparents x 2, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Neighbours, Pets and the general public
  • Fond of cuddles, kisses and general affection
  • Able to cope with hours of attention ( due to your captivating nature and beautiful spirit)
  • A curious mind, creative streak and endearing sense of humour
  • A commitment to a lifelong love of cats
  • Eager to embrace fashion and latest trends
  • Ability to carry the burden placed on those who are deemed ‘ As cute as a button’

Applications to be received in person Thursday, April 16th

You simply blew all the candidates out of the water Ravyn….And in doing so, you secured your place in our family, in our hearts completely.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Boyle.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Last night I attended a Middle East Food Festival in Waterloo, complete with camels, hookah pipes and hip hop music. It was out of this world, well, Waterloo anyway.

I returned home to indulge in an hour long Whitney Houston tribute evening on youtube. Self curated because the Middle East and Whitney go so well together,

I have declared August 2017 the month of the recycled post. I have written over 400 since  I started Catch Up with A Mate in 2011. Whitney is one of my favourite topics to right about, she is my childhood. I will always love her….

A post from 2013

One year ago, my childhood idol, Whitney Houston passed away.

In the year since her death, much has happened…from the big (a family wedding) to the small (I mastered the wheel pose in yoga). And while I got one with another year of life, one constant during those 365 days was Whitney’s music.

I confess that I did not listen her music every day… but for a good 6 weeks after her passing on Feb 11th, 2012, it was on high rotation…I indulged this guilty pleasure again in late September for my birthday and by pure chance, whilst preparing for my god daughter Mae’s birthday yesterday, she appeared on Video Hits in all her ‘ I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ glory!!

Mae, who was busy helping her Dad blow up balloons for her party stood still from the moment Whitney graced the screen. She was transfixed by her natural beauty, bubbly personality , 80’s hair-do, million dollar smile…and THAT voice.

The VOICE that commands attention: Ms Whitney Houston

The VOICE that commands attention: Ms Whitney Houston

We shared a special moment there and then, when a little girl all of 2 years of age and grown women (who will remain ageless) danced around a suburban lounge room to a timeless classic.

Ms Houston we did you proud, you gained a pint sized fan whilst transporting me back to a time when happiness depended upon one thing: a cassette tape titled ‘Whitney’

Related Posts: Death of My Childhood Idol 2012

Ms Rainbow

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There is no one in the month of May that has made me smile more than Ms Leah Kate.

So joy filled is this little person, she exudes happiness and everyone she comes in contact with is immediately affected.

I love spending time with her, no more so than on her day of days – her birthday.

Painfully aware that her request from Santa had recently gone answered, remote control fairies were out of stock the entire Christmas period, I commissioned a very talented lady to make a crochet fairy doll. Though not remote control operated, I thought it to be the next best thing.

As I handed over my gift to my pint size mini best friend, I was unaware that I was to receive the most wonderful of presents that day. Leah Kate was to share her career aspirations, hopes and dreams. At just four years of age she had set herself a very clear path.

Her Mother prompted Leah Kate to share what she had announced to her pre-school teacher earlier that week.

‘When the teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, what did you say Leah? ‘

‘That I want to be a rainbow’

I am speechless.

I beam in the direction of my pint size mini best friend. I am caught up in the magic of this career aspiration. It is priceless.

Leah Kate is laughing. Everyone in the lounge room that afternoon is too.

I do not have the heart to break it to my pint size mini best friend that to those who love and adore her, she is already that rainbow. And as she grows, she will be that rainbow to countless others.

Red and yellow and pink and green

Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow

Sing a rainbow too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lest We Forget

Four years ago, I heard for the first time the story below, as told by my Grandfather, one of his experiences of World War 2. It was a story he would often revert to until his death in February 2015. In his final years he became very teary, almost childlike and he became stuck on certain themes…the war was one of them.

Both my Nan and Grandfather have now passed on but one of my proudest Anzac Day memories was accompanying my Nan along George Street in the March in 2007. I held back tears – Nan was legally blind and managing crippling pain for a bone disease with endone, yet one foot in front of the other – we marched in time, hand in hand, bag pipe music serenading us down the street. So proud.

And my Grandfather, the private man, who held so much in, told me the story below on the 25th April, 2013.

 

Catch Up With A Mate

 

My Grandparents- Bruce and Joan Gibson- True Anzacs xx

My Grandparents- True Anzacs

Anzac Day, 25th of April, 2013

My Grandfather told me a story about his war-time experience that I hazard a guess he had never told anyone. It made for a very special day, I felt honoured and privileged that he opened up to me and told me a tale that for 68 years had never had an audience….

‘ His name was Alton Neil Robinson….but we all called him Bill. He was a few years older than me at school and very intelligent. He completed his leaving certificate at Mudgee High School ( 5 years of High School). I only did three years of secondary school’

‘ In Bills civilian life, he was a very talented cyclist. He also had a passion for languages’

‘ How many languages did he know?’ I asked but I did not…

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Baby, Baby, Baby – NO!

It was the phone call you hope never to receive.

That voice down the line, words that are incomprehensible.

A question is going to be asked and your mind races- who, where, when, what, why?

You brace yourself for what is about to come, body tense, belly full of the air.

‘ Do you want to go to the Justin Bieber concert with Mae & I?’

Exhale. Shrieks of laughter & all over body shakes.

‘ Well, do you?’

You come too and your best friend has failed to interpret your snorts of nervous energy & high pitched squealing as a valid response.

‘ No’ I announce down the line ‘ And I think Mae is a bit young at 5 to see Bieber- he is a bit R rated of late’

‘What to you mean?’

My bestie had no idea and I don’t hold it against her. I am silent.

‘So not a good idea?’

‘ No’ I say & for the first time ever I feel I have acted as a fairy godmother should – responsibly!! I have prevented beautiful Mae childhoods from being high-jacked, propelled forward at the speed of light to adulthood.

Take it from me lovely Mae, stay 5 forever!!

Or in the words of our modern day maestro Bieber ‘ Baby, baby, baby, no!’

Aftermath – follow up call to bestie & Ms Mae. I am a kill joy & Mae is sad & disappointed. Bestie had told her daughter ‘ Kate does not want you to go to concert’ – can you imagine!!
Bestie did look up recommended age for said concert – 15 +

Proudest Fairy Godmother moment to date

Coming home to celebrate…..

Another year passes by, another number clicks over and I find myself older in the numerical sense.

But I don’t feel it in my bones, my skin might not look as youthful, but my spirit feels lighter. My outlook brighter.

If this is what getting older feels like, I’m a happy camper.

I am trying to imagine the perfect way to celebrate the universal phenomena of ageing but the past celebrations gets in the way….

Midnight ferry crossing from Greece to Italy, complete with birthday cake
Blind date birthday combo in NYC
Flamenco guitar serenade in Madrid
Solo celebrations at the Ubud, Bali Writers & Readers Festival

My younger self prided herself on being overseas for birthdays – in one way it was escapism, in another sense I thought that was the appropriate way to celebrate.

But a yearning to connect is what I crave most, with family, friends, as birthdays approach. I want to look around a table at faces of those who have shared life’s journey with me. To continue to create new memories with those nearest and dearest.

But I think I would have only arrived at this conclusion had I not been privileged to spend so many birthdays abroad. To date my Greece/ Italy & NYC Blind Date birthday remain firm favourites.

So Coledale, Austinmer and Thirroul – South Coast towns that have beckoned me home for the grand occasion, this birthday girl is here to celebrate.

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Ms Mae turned the big five fingers on the weekend. A whole hand, four fingers and a thumb- five years old.

Where has the time gone?

I still remember getting ‘the call’ from her Father, clearly in shock of the happiest variety in 2011- ‘ Kate, we have a little girl!!’ followed by a lengthy pause ‘ A little girl!!’

Oh the places you will go Ms Mae. I gifted you on you whole hand, four fingers and thumb birthday the book written by Dr Suess with that very title – Oh the places you will go.

I too was gifted that book however I did turn the pages till many months later.

It was a dark time for me when the book came to be mine….but I remember that when I was ready to read the words, absorb the pictures…it firmly positioned itself as one of my all time favourite books.

Not only because of who gave me the book, a person I liken to my second Mother, Anna Lee, but because of the message it reiterated- that life is full of challenges, bumps and bruises. But it is only rewarding when you acknowledge this fact and embrace the beauty & heartache present in each & every moment. Dr Suess was ever so insightful – he knew that along life’s journey, those who love you most will celebrate your wins, shield you from storms and provide comfort in times of sadness.

And so Ms Mae, for your whole hand, four fingers and thumb birthday I want you to know that I am one of those people who love you, who have watched on in awe of your life to date, and look forward to the journey ahead.

I may have forgotten the exact date of your whole hand, four fingers plus thumb birthday but I am keenly interested & fully supportive of all life events from this day forward.

Oh the places you will go Ms Mae…. Oh the places you will go!!

Baby of Mine

The most beautiful of gifts came my families way recently.

My brother and his wife became parents to a precious little girl, ever so tiny and perfect– Ms Ravyn.

Ravyn and I

Ravyn and I

And in an instant our worlds were turned upside down, changed for the better in every single way … I became an Aunt, my parents Grandparents, my brother a Father , my sister-in-law, a Mother.

Ravyn you are so loved, so precious and arrived just when we our family was looking for a new addition. Did you read our advertisement in the classifieds? You must have for you fit each and every criteria…it is truly uncanny!!

Boyle Family eagerly seeks new member

  • Desire to be loved unconditionally by a Mother and Father, Grandparents x 2, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Neighbours, Pets and the general public
  • Fond of cuddles, kisses and general affection
  • Able to cope with hours of attention ( due to your captivating nature and beautiful spirit)
  • A curious mind, creative streak and endearing sense of humour
  • A commitment to a lifelong love of cats
  • Eager to embrace fashion and latest trends
  • Ability to carry the burden placed on those who are deemed ‘ As cute as a button’

Applications to be received in person Thursday, April 16th

You simply blew all the candidates out of the water Ravyn….And in doing so, you secured your place in our family, in our hearts completely.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Boyle.

Let it Go….

Ms Mae is four. Ms Mae is four and ever so grown up!

Ms Mae

Birthday Girl –  Mae

What can her family and friends learn from the passing of another 365 days.

As clichéd as it sounds, the Frozen themed cake chosen by the angelic birthday girl was ever so fitting.

In the year it took for Mae to add assume the proud title of ‘ Ms Four’ their have been many a challenge bestowed upon her nearest and dearest.

Health scares, illness, fatigue and mental exhaustion, babies born and new additions on the horizon, friends acquired and departures from this life to the next, house sales and house acquisitions, job changes, challenges and upsets. Many a life lesson learnt, and all of them acquired the hard way, the only way…..

Through the toil and tears, heart ache and heart-break, joy, tears, laughter and sorrow, there has been one constant….Ms Mae and her smile,  a daily reminder for us to ‘let it go’, the stress , the worry, and as best as one can, endeavour to live in the here and now.

Not as easy task when faced with the blizzards and snowstorms of 2014.

But so often the rainbows, sunshine and clear skies of the past year were due to Ms Mae.

So Happy Happy Birthday and thank you…..For your smile, your laughter and the love you give to family and friends…Gifts which you give willingly and freely, making it easier for us all to’ Let it Go’ when the going gets tough.

Let it Go - Frozen Birthday Cake

Let it Go – Frozen Birthday Cake

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