Wednesday, February 8, 2012


It is hard to imagine
That parenting is pain
Scary and worrisome
Like the stormiest rain

Your kids are so precious
Innocent yet know it all
You love them and save them
From mistakes and bad calls

You can't bloody tell them
Without accusations of mean
You just want to shake them
Show them how to see

The softest of words
The most supportive of terms
The love in you heart
Like acid it burns

Please grow up on one
Stay innocent on t'other
Which hand do you call
When you're trying to be mother

I wanted to help
But I wanted him to stand
I gave him advice
Now 'bitch' is my brand

Depression can kill
And sure don't I know
Need to draw back sure n safe
Because I can't tell how he will go

He is my husband's son
But it's his mother's nature he bears
I would love him as my own
Surely he knows how i care

I said what was right
But i did not temper my words
So he didn't hear good advice
Criticism all he heard

Ben you're a good one
So you can make it for real
This time tense but not bad
just tell Dad how you feel

Don't hide it inside
Never fear what may come
Don't put yourself down
There's no way you're dumb

Stand up, straight and tall
Chin up, eyes to me
I love you, my Ben
Be all you can be!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Aussie day

Today, we had some great friends and family over for a BBQ, spa and drinks.

I eventually made the salads in preparation, but only just!

The sun was shining, (a little too bright on some that forgot their suncreen), and the best part was, that we just hunkered down, went with the flow.

Kids ranged from 15 months to 16. Georgia, approx 12(?) is a mumma in the making! Amz took the responsibility in the end of going to work. (hope she got penalty rate!) Josie started out dramatic but settled in. The babies were all mellow today ... Baxter cruised, Tex was talking and smiling, Saxon luuurrves being nakie! Rose just stayed in the spa all day ... And Gus was alternately into the play and then hugging his mumma .... So cute. We anticipate a great future for rose and Joel .... She loves him! Molly moo is too cute, and Aston is the smiliest!

The loveliest moment was when Josh Doyle told us that when he was 18 he would get a tattoo, with Ben's and Rose's names. Could a big brother be any more sweet? No. Much love to you, Josh. Xoxo

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunshine birds

I am sitting in my back yard while Rose brings me the river stones from the little garden bed. She asks me which ones are my favorite? It is a hard question to answer as they all have a smoothness, or a roughness, or a pattern.

We can hear the birds singing, chirruping, yes, tweeting. The air is cool and clear as is the sky.

Five swift birds, shoot across towards the west(ish) and the sun glints, once, then twice from their wings, with an inspired light. Oh, I don't know how to describe it! They moved so fast and the light was just a glint, but felt so magical!

There they go again! Four of them, shooting like stars in the pre-dusk light. What do they seek? Or, is it just fun, racing across the sky and singing to their friends?

I do note, that Seraphina, the beautiful puss, stares with flinty-blue eyes as the pretty birdies rush past. I think she wishes she can fly. Her ears prick forward as I too listen to the loveliness.

I am waiting for the full moon to appear. Rose will probably howl at it. I like that!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Love and light

On this magical day, we left the heart-warming, sweat-inducing (great chili and curry, Miss Libby .... Check out to discover the talents of Libby Riches) comfort of our dear friends' home in Apollo Bay and wended our way back down the Great Ocean Road, towards the Queenscliff ferry.

Rose and I were barefoot, wet-bottomed, sea-salty hairstyled. Craig had meticulously brushed the sand off his feet, had declined the plunge in the icy estuary and, has no hair. So, it was pretty much styled the best way possible!

We chatted and laughed and looked at the immaculate blue sea on our right, loving the sound of crashing waves and the smell of salt.

When we stopped at Airey's Inlet, Rose and I held hands and ran for the waves! We jumped and cavorted and Craig took photos as I practiced my Baywatch run along the beach.

In the rock pools, we discovered some magnificent sea-shell specimens. Collecting them is a passion, along with rocks washed by the ocean. They now adorn my home, and will remind me of one of the happiest, light filled, relaxed and free days!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Werribee Zoo

The bus tour today at Werribee's open range zoo was joyous. Camouflaged Kudu antelope, white rhinos, stripey zebra and best of all, the noble giraffe! The youngest of them, stood with splayed legs and head down, nibbling the grass, and the tallest of them literally stopped traffic! He wandered across the path of the stopped buses, with ponderous grace, to the awed, 'oohs' and 'ahhs' of the spectators.

The Lions were at first hiding behind their bushes, panting in the sun, but patience won out. The first male sauntered past the windows, stepping out with big, padded paws. He gave us a good solo performance, before his friend the lioness, came to join, giving us an impressive snarl. The first's brother joined them, and they all walked slowly in circles, until they found a new vantage point, from which to gaze with disdain upon us.

Later we walked through the wetlands track with delightful white butterflies fluttering around us, and the cool river, silent and brown. I read how the Wurundjeri would cross the river to trade and intermarry with the language group across and felt transported to a peaceful time.

As we explored for kangaroos and bandicoots, seeing none, a great emu walked across our path and led us for a few minutes at a slow stroll.

Truly a place of wonder and (relative) freedom.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kaleidoscopic Kate

The word ‘kaleidoscope’ comes from three Greek words that mean ‘an instrument with which we can see things of beautiful form’....But this definition is me: "A complex pattern of constantly changing colours and shapes"

What's in a name?

The symbols of a family can be many, but the most overt is the family name. I’ve always been a bit torn over my family name, having held four over my life. Now, I am not some multiple passport-holding Interpol Agent, carefully razoring away others’ photos and inserting my own so I can slip through borders, but I do have a minor identity crisis to reveal.

My dad’s surname and therefore that on my original birth certificate is ‘Higginbottom’. It alternatively means, depending on the source, those who dwell down the bottom from where the Higginses live or down the bottom from the region known as Higgins, or it is a derivative of the German ‘Ickenbaum’ meaning oak tree. The latter is my preference. It matters not, as I discovered at age five and endured my first round of teasing. It has the proper word for ‘bum’ in it. Hard to love it. Even its Latin motto, translated as ‘everywhere the rain fertilises’, is confusing and uninspiring.

So, when I was seven and my parents’ unfortunate divorce eventuated, Mum asked me if I might prefer to be known by her maiden name of ‘Kemp’. I bounced on my bed in joy and eagerly accepted. Dad was disappointed at the loss of continuation of the family name, but my brother and I disregarded his emotion. We were kids. Kemp is such a lovely short name. It goes well with Kate. As it turns out, it too has a variety of meanings and origins, ranging somewhere between common foot soldier and champion. This is me preferring the latter, again! The coat of arms, bearing three garbs (wheat-sheafs) and proclaiming the Latin for 'I hope for light' and another motto, 'he who sows in sadness shall reap in joy' makes the name seem a bit more loveable, than fertiliser and bums.

I’ll skip my first husband’s surname as the reason for taking it is the same reason I took my best husband’s name. I wanted a legitimate name. Not one I was embarrassed about, and not one that I just ran with, but one that I could stamp on an official document and not have to sign 42 stat decs to prove who I was when I went for a licence. And so, I became a ‘Doyle’; the anglicised version of the Gaelic for ‘dark stranger’, referencing the dark haired Vikings who invaded the Emerald Isle. Oooohh, shivers of romantic delight! "He conquers through fortitude,” proclaims the herald as he claps his fist to the shield emblazoned with three noble stags. Ooooohhh!

I am still torn. I feel guilty for my father because I finally understand the connectedness a family name gives you. I associate most strongly with Kemp, because I wore it for so long; I’ve forgotten being a Hall (and can’t even be bothered looking up its secrets); and I love being a Doyle, because I love my husband and our children and we all look at our name as a bonding symbol of our unity.

Yet, I find I want to reflect all of this family love from all the Higginbottoms, Kemps and Doyles and last week, I drew my own coat of arms with each of the families represented. And I sighed in happiness. Complete.

I am Kate Elizabeth Higginbottom Kemp Doyle, someone who loves the life-giving rain, hopes for light, reaps in joy and conquers through fortitude. I am me. I love all of mine.

What’s in a name, indeed?