Taking on the world!

During my time on earth I have come to appreciate hard work. Not just in my chosen sport of running, but in all* sports. And arts. And all areas in which humans aspire to be the best.

This morning I wandered down the drive, negotiating mud and puddles to retrieve my newspaper. Unwrapping the plastic I saw a vaguely familiar face on the front page. It was my nephew, Oliver. My husband’s brother’s son. (My nephews have all taken to bushy facial hair and consequently look all the same, and a lot like their uncles on their mother’s side whom I knew as teenagers, and through whom I met my husband! Long convoluted story, a little incestuous, and more proof that I live in a village.)

I met Ollie 25 years ago next month, as a squawling newborn, the youngest of three boys. When I saw him being dragged around the house by his older brother who had him by the ankles I learned that babies survive, a lot! I babysat his two older brothers while Ollie went to his cello lessons. All three boys, and their parents are accomplished musicians. I took fish off hooks and re-baited them when Ollie came on holiday with us, aged 11. I steered clear of him while he was learning to drive. Ollie was a “gentleman” of the Christchurch Cathedral choir whilst our son, Jonny, was a treble.

I witnessed both boys, Jonny and Ollie, leave family functions or arrive late to fulfil their choir obligations. Singing hard and often all year but especially in the advent season leading up to Christmas. A recital on Christmas Eve. Midnight service. 10am Christmas Day service. Although the boys had evensong off, the gentleman returned for a fourth service in 24 hours. Jonny did as he was told. Ollie had to decide for himself. And as a teenager and university student, he chose to work hard.

He must have sacrificed a lot of what is considered normal for his peer group.

I admire that. It takes guts to say to your friends, “no, I cannot do (insert crazy plan, drinking, smoking, drugs, holidays, etc) because I have a bigger plan.” It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, “

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”

And now that dedication and hard work (and a good helping of natural talent) has paid off. Ollie is off to study in New York. Wow, Ollie. I am impressed. But what impresses me more, is that two weeks ago when you were home from Wellington and the extended family got together for Nanna’s birthday (my mother in law), was when you walked in the back door. I was in the dining room. You said, “Hi, Robyn” with such warmth in your voice. That makes me smile still today. You’re a nice kid. With a great future. And a stunning voice. Go and wow them on the world opera stage!

Oliver Sewell

Cover photo

* Allow me to modify this to mainstream sports. Some “sports”, and even other activities which we start to see on our tv screens at night really do warrant a great big wtf. I am not talking about synchronised swimming, for example, because even that demands huge control and discipline, but some of the ones listed in this list of weird sports and games.


I had a dream …

My brain hurts.

I woke with a jolt this morning just before 6am. I had been having a dream, a version of the perennial dream I have when my “to do” seems “too much”.

This time I was going on a trip, I think on a ferry. I was lined up to board when I realised I didn’t have my wallet. I had to return to my hotel room and check. But I had already handed in my key. And I would lose my place in the line for boarding. Possibly even miss the ferry. I actually remember, in my dream, contemplating the need for a wallet, money, cards, on my trip. I decided they were essential.

I went back to my room, a convoluted side trip in my dream which involved escalators and a ballroom. I still didn’t have my room key but somehow had the master key to all the rooms. I stealthily entered. There was my wallet, still on the bed. And my phone. Oh, I hadn’t realised that I didn’t have my phone too.

Lucky I had gone back. But then I remembered that ages ago I had booked a trip to Fiji. For next week. I had no accommodation. And I needed to lose some weight. A feeling of panic overwhelmed me. Such a lot to do, and I still have this trip to complete as well.

I woke up.

I don’t have a trip to Fiji next week – but I do have my daughter’s 21st birthday party. Which is still being organised because the little Princess is pulling all the strings and being a major Drama Queen. If it was just any ordinary birthday I would say, sorry, sweetie, you have pushed your luck. But 21sts are big. A rite of passage.

I am now receiving all info re the party from her dad, who better tolerates and negotiates these dramatic episodes.

Unfortunately for me, he also lives in a make believe world, one where fairies produce birthday cakes and clean houses and dinners for 30 at the swish of a glittery wand.

Meanwhile I am just taking my list one item at a time, wishing I did have a trip to Fiji next week for recovery, and counting to 10, to myself, a lot.

I can also tick update blog off today’s list.

BTW I do have highly complex dreams and usually can remember them in great detail. Poor Andrew usually has to suffer through my retelling of them.