Old love is sexy

I know your last thought about being older is that it’s sexy. If you read my title and thought, “Sophie’s coming a bit out of left field today, where is her head at?”, then bear with me.

Newspapers appear occasionally with good news stories of those happily married for 30 or more years, whose hearts, lives and hands have belong to each other as long as they can almost remember.

These older couples are a hopeful contrast to the Australian divorce rates of around 50, 000 per year. A few couples that make it to this point give us all hope that perhaps we won’t be another statistic, a person alone when it comes to our twilight years.

But why sexy, I hear you asking? Sure, it’s not so sexy if it’s your grandparents or parents, or anyone you know really. But tell me, does your heart not lift a little when you see an older couple cuddle or hold hands? Thinking, that could be me one day.

But do you want to know the most attractive part of all? That there is still love when you’re grey and wrinkly as an elephant; when you wear pants well above what used to be your waist; when nothing works or looks as well as it once did. Loving someone’s wrinkles around their eyes (when you know the events that carved those lines), the changing curves of their body (those well travelled paths that are being mapped anew), the loss of colour in their hair (from those events that shaped your very lives together)… That is what real love is.

And damn, don’t you think that’s sexy?

LoveThis love will never, this old love will never die

Adam Elliot: A tribute to talented professional Australians

Every now and again in life, you get one of those opportunities of a life time you will never forget. As an intern today, I got to interview Adam Elliot.

For those of you not in the know, Adam Elliot is the brains and the brawn behind the Academy Award winning stop-motion animation Harvie Krumpet. You might be more familiar with Mary and Max, half of which is set in Mount Waverley, and which screened in the opening night of the Sundance International Film Festival.

I won’t talk too much about the interview, because I don’t know if anyone of my acquaintance will ever see it. It was over the phone and although I’d written the questions in advance (I won’t pretend they were Pulitzer Prize level questions), my palms were sweating and stomach was churning.

I couldn’t get an answer, so I was going to wait. But he called me back from his mobile. Not only is this man exceptionally talented but then he is the most down to earth person. He still sounds like an Australian, and was positively delightful to listen to.

That he gave his time to an unimportant girl doing an internship impressed me. When I originally looked at the list of locations he’s given speeches (international conferences, local schools or libraries), I was humbled. Here is a man who is internationally recognised, whose films are seen in the far corners of the globe. Yet, he holds on to his family and friends, and actively gives back to his community.

No wonder this man won Young Australian of the Year some years ago. I wish I had half the talent and all the humility. All I can say is this: Interviewing Mr Elliot has to be one of the highlights of my life. And to him, thank you for the chance.

What about all of you? What do you think makes someone worthy of respect?


Mr Adam Elliot

No place like home

As an antithesis to my story, A Life of Ordinary, I wrote this story after some nagging from my cousin who wanted me to. This, I suppose, is more how I picture my perfect life to be. So please, enjoy my little snapshot.

As it always did, the gate creaked as it opened inwards into the little but well maintained garden. Her little patch of jungle was coming along nicely in the corner, while the daisies lining the garden path thrived. The whole garden itself was full of the sweet perfume of frangipanis from the tree by the front of the shady front veranda. With a smile, she looked up into the warm sun, closing the gate with a clatter behind her. Even as she climbed the front stairs, she heard the trample of little feet, hurtling to greet her.

At the door, she dropped to the floor, where she was almost bowled over in a flurry of little arms and legs. Her three children were wrapped around her in a tangle of legs and arms.

“Mummy!” they squealed as one.

“Hello my darling ones,” she said fondly, cuddling them each in turn.

With a smile, she straightened the hat on her son’s head. Her eldest, he was the only one who inherited her brown eyes and had the look of her dad. He grinned back with a gap toothed smile, his cheekiness sparkling in his eyes as he went in for the tickle. Though she was not at all ticklish, she obliged, giggling with him as his fingers stroked underneath her armpit.

“That’s enough, cheeky monkey!” she said, wrapping him under one arm and messing up his dark hair.

Turning her attention to her twins wrapped around her legs, she cuddled them together. Her sweet little angels, with their father’s light coloured curls and big blue eyes, were still becoming their own little people. They were named for her grandmother and her twin sister, a concession her husband gave to her knowing how much she cared for both of them. Her great-aunt hadn’t lived to see them, but her mother and dearest Grammie had cried when they had been told. Certainly, they weren’t identical twins, but they looked pretty close and only the slightest changes gave them away.

“Pwetty,” Lola said, stroking her mum’s hair, straightened for the interview she’d had today.

“Thanks poss,” she replied with a big smile, hugging her close.

“And what has my little Marie been doing?” she asked, planting a big kiss on her other daughter’s cheek.

The sweet reward for her affection was a beaming smile and a return slightly slobbery kiss on the other cheek. 10 years ago, that sort of thing might have made her cringe, but now she took it as mark of honour, motherhood’s highest accolade. Love of a child was almost better than, and certainly incomparable to, any other feeling in the world.

With a big groan, she picked up the girls, and said to them all, “Where’s your Dad?”

Her little man Ben, ever eager to please, said “I’ll show you.”

With a comical little jump, he hurtled off down the hallway, as fast as his little legs could carry him. Past the photos of the whole Yorkston clan, past the photos of Aunty Lauren, and Unca Dunca (as they called her brother Duncan). Past the photos of their parents on the Seine, in Egypt. A wedding photo in honeyed light, their parents gazing forever into each other’s eyes. His absence left her looking at her lean body, a product of years of healthy eating and hard work, even after 3 kids.

Laughing loudly, she followed. “Wait honey, Mummy’s not fast enough with the girls!”

Through the lounge room and toy obstacle course, she followed his funny little footsteps to the couch, where her husband sat on his laptop working. He looked up at her over his glasses, a golden curl flopping into his big blue eyes. Slowly, the roguish smile that melted her heart spread across his face. He stood wrapping his arms around his girls, his eyes looking into his wife’s eyes tenderly.

“Ciao bella,” he said softly, cupping his wife’s face before kissing her slowly.

Beneath his lips, her heart fluttered as it had for all the other times he had kissed her, before and since he made her his wife. They were right, she thought, to say that someone will come into your life to show you how all the others were wrong. Not to say their marriage was perfect, but it was pretty happy and that was the important part.

“Hi gorgeous,” came her breathless reply when he was done kissing her. She ached to get her hands on him, but the girls were firmly planted on either hip. Later. Looking at the clock on the wall, she saw it was 6. If they were quick, they could walk down to the beach for a little play before it got too late.

A quick flurry around the household resulted in the right shoes on the right feet and a touch of hats to heads and the 6 of them were out the door. 6 of course including their dog, a golden retriever cross they called Trip, short for Tripitaka. Yes, she and her husband were both nerds, weaned on the glory that is Monkey Magic.

The sun was setting on the world, casting that beautiful dusky hush across the seascape. Trip ran into the waves, glorious in her all her golden galloping. Between them, they swung Ben into the surf, a little girl’s hand held tightly in the other hand. They walked along the beach, pointing to the freighter’s on the horizon, at the seagulls whirling madly into the sky that had been hounded by Trip, to the tiny shell Marie pointed out. Half an hour later, and as soon as 3 little voices were getting cranky, they headed home.

In the soft lamplight a few hours later, the two of them were finally alone. In one of his old t-shirts, she was curled against him, his arm wrapped around her stomach.

“So how did the meeting go?” he asked quietly, his lips brushing the back of her neck.

Beneath his arm, he felt her stiffen. “Oh honey,” he whispered, nuzzling her neck, “it’ll be fine. We’ll find another publisher.”

She rolled over then and he could see the excitement written from her eyes to the beaming smile he fell in love with. “I don’t need one. They’re going to publish my book!”

“Why didn’t you say so earlier? We could have called everyone!”

“I’m waiting,” she replied coyly.

“For what?”

The cheeky grin was back. “For them to approve a contract on the second and third books.”

He was up on his knees on their bed, pulling her up into an enormous hug, grinning from ear to ear. “Look at you my beautiful, talented wife! My talented authoress!”

They bounced together on the bed in quiet glee, celebrating as only the parents of toddlers know how. Quietly.

He kissed her. Throwing her arms about his neck, she kissed him back fiercely as he pulled her body towards him.

With a wolfish grin, he said, “I think it’s celebration time. For my brilliant wife, I’m going to do that thing she likes.”

Her answering smile was flirtatious. “And what would that be?”

“Turn off that light, and I’ll show you.”

Turning away from him, she crawled across the bed as he prowled after her, before she reached over and plunged the room into darkness. In the dark, there were sounds of a pounce and much giggling…

Ode to a boy

Those eyebrows question me
Quoting back at me
The little truthes I’ve let slip
Punctuating my sentences
Staccato when he stares
With big eyes seeing through me
Clingfilm against the light
Seeing through to the
Very soul of what I am saying
And what I am not saying
I cannot hide
And I rather like it
Rumbling laughter
Stirs up my giggles
Which please most of all
I laugh not at him
Or even with him
But for the joy of him

I would give my poetry
Meager though it is
An ode to a boy
He would give his kingdom
For just a heat pack
I would give mine
For a repeat of the summer

The first man to steal my heart

I have been listening to the Hack broadcast on Triple J in this man week forum, and it has been quite thought provoking. Part of today’s discussion revolved around men who hadn’t known their fathers. It is a very relevant and distressing topic.

But what about the boys who never knew their mothers? Mothers generally help us to become tender, loving people. They guide us without words, offering their ears and their arms to relieve us of our troubles. They know when we’re happy or distraught or doing wrong. How do these motherless boys develop? Do they grow up without that rudder, that guide on how to love unconditionally?

This topic is particularly close to my heart. For those of you that don’t know me personally, my father lost his mother tragically at a young age. He was lucky, he came from a large family, with older siblings, and he was 15. My father is an exceptionally gentle, kind, caring and generous man. I know no tenderer man. I think this was always his nature, but I wonder how much of his family orientation was caused by the passing of his mother. I also know the loss still plagues him, as it does his brother and sisters.

Also, in my family, I believe my brother is closest to my mother. She is the only one he will open up to, discuss his troubles with. And believe me, this is important. My brother was a bit of a troubled child – tantrums, hyperactivity, a bit of misbehaviour and a whole lot of not understanding the dangers of the world. He doesn’t say alot (in fact, those friends of mine who know him, would verify he says very little). I attribute the work of both my parents in moulding him so he could become the quite lovely young man he is becoming today.

I know it doesn’t always happen, but I hope for all those boys without their mothers that they have role models who will help care for them, console them and guide them to their path. Maybe we should all think about our community impact and start volunteering for little brothers or sisters.. A worthwhile cause, and you help someone who might otherwise not get a good start in life. Please take a look at the Big Brothers Big Sisters website if you might be interested.

In the meantime, I might appreciate the men in my life this week, from my friends to my brother, my grandfather to the first man who stole my heart and will hold a piece of it always – my father.


Thanks Dad, for showing me what the meaning of “a good man” is,
and the sort of love I am capable and deserving of.
Love you always.