Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year-ish!





These are some of Tony's photos of The Wedding! The first is my two sisters - Seren and Rachel. The next is my beautiful Eowyn sprinkling rose petals for Rachel and Dad to step on,and the last is a very happy Rachel and Victor, with Jim and Annie behind them!!

Sam and Becca left for London this morning. It was wonderful for having Becca and Sam around to feel 'normal' and 'everyday-ish' - their absence leaves an ache in my heart, along with my ache for Bens. Wherever I am, the ache is there, for we are never all together at once, and even should we be, the goodbyes would be lingering just around the corner...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hello!!





The farm was beautiful, and filled with childhood memories. For me, it was moving to be in a place which I've known all my life. This richness and depth of topography is unusual for me, living as I do in a faraway land!

The last picture is a cousins' photo (minus Ben Mc) - I am very thankful for my marvellous cousins and siblings, and for this time with them! And with my parents, and friends.

Becca and I just went for a delightful, refreshing swim in the cool ocean. We both caught lots of waves!! I wish my dear Bens were here. It's hard for the girls being far from him, and for me, and for him. Yet I'm thankful to be here for this chapter in our lives!

And who knows what land our feet will next wend their way to - but with Bens' feet intermingled.

I've just read Elie Wiesel's speech to Clinton & co. on April 12 1999 - he said: "Of course, indifference can be tempting - more than that, seductive. It is so much easier to look away from victims. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes. It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person's pain and despair. Yet, for the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbours are of no consequence. And therefore, their lives are meaningless. Their hidden or even visible anguish is of no interest. Indifference reduces the other to abstraction."

May we ne'er be seduced by indifference...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

RACHEL AND VICTOR'S WEDDING!



It's so very wonderful being surrounded by family and friends, celebrating Rachel and Victor's love. They are SO in love! Victor's family from Northern Thailand are here, and absolutely delightful, particularly Ranee, his Mum, who is teaching me the Karen language. Their singing is heavenly, and their faces and smiles radiant. And RACHEL was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen in my life! Victor was SO proud of her, and overjoyed she's now his wife! And having the whole Jones family together, as well as our extended family and lots of old friends is fabulous. And the Pacific Ocean to dive into every day. Yet I miss my dear, lovely, wonderful, amazing Bens. Victor today gave me a beautiful shirt for Bens which his sister had made especially for the wedding, so that Bens could be part of the celebration even though he is such a very long way away...

The picture of Rachel giving Victor a kiss is a Thai kiss - it's a little like an Argentine glide landing kiss, except that you actually put your nose against the person's cheek, and sniff!!

That's my Coco leading the flower-girls up the aisle! I was so very proud! Eowyn was adorable, carefully ensuring each spot of floor was covered with rose petals upon which Rachel's sacred souls could wend their way!

Dad sang a song at the wedding. He has a voice like an opera singer - I had no idea!!

Seren was the most beautiful bridesmaid I have ever seen!!

Sam and Becca are the most relaxed, fun pair to be around!!

Mum looked like a society lady at the horse races, and her organising of The Day was incredible!

Tom is on a 'plane back to his Anita and Eddie in London - now their new baby is allowed to arrive!!!!

I am very proud of all my Jones family and all my Ady family, and I love them all very much.

Tomorrow we're arising at 5am, to drive 13 hours to 'Aberystwyth', our family farm - the girls' first time!!!

Much love,
Megs

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

From Bag End to Lothlorien!!




Hello! I'm in Australia!! That's Mount St. Helens just there!! Our bags are lost, which is highly irritating. In Portland, I sprinted across the enormous airport, Eowyn and Coco in the stroller, back-packs and cameras and purses and 'Coco's-own-blanket' bouncing around on my person, huffing and puffing like an aged dragon, seeing gate D10 in the far-off distance, feeling the race to be impossible, giving one last desperate burst of energy and making it onto our flight in the nick of time!! Phew!!!
Ahhhhh!!
My bags DIDN'T make that connection...
And I'm here in the sun, with my fam, and we swam in the Pacific today, and walked on the beach, with that lovely squeaky sand between my toes...
We're all awakening at5.30 every morning - I think without Dad's delicious cappucino at lunch time I'd be utterly exhausted by now.
Tomorrow is Rachel's Hen's/Bachelorette party - we're wine tasting - oh yum!!
And Victor and his Karen (Northern Thailand) family are here, and simply marvellous! The smilingest, happiest folk I've ever beheld, to be sure!
I'm missing my beloved Bens, though we've had mulifarous telephone conversations already. He is snuggled by the roaring fire, reading a book, in a house which he's cleaned utterly, and, much to his surprise, in our absence IT STAYS CLEAN!

Friday, December 01, 2006

We're going to AUSTRALIA!! Goody goody gumdrops!!


Bedtime story with Daddy!

...& our last playdate, with Tidi, before we play with our family and friends in AUSTRALIA!! (Coco is peeping in the middle there!)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Snow on! Ice stomp! School's out! In Australia, growing up, school was cancelled when on super HOT days! Not here!
Lovely Bens is reading Eowyn and Coco stories. We three, his girls, are going to miss him terribly - in fact, right now, getting through saying goodbye and the twenty hours from getting on the first plane at Seatac airport until getting off the last at Mascot airport seems such a huge obstacle I can hardly imagine being in Australia, with my dear Australian, English and Thai family, and the summer sun. Your prayers and well wishes are very much appreciated in these last days with Bens for a seemingly eternally long while, and as we travel on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks!!!
To track our progress crossing the Pacific Ocean (!) go to http://tracker.flightview.com/hthawaiian/ff.html and enter the flight numbers HA 25 and HA451. (And coming home on January 19th, HA 452 and HA22!) We begin with a tiny flight from Seattle to Portland - AS2297. And we have to get up at 3.30am. Eowyn and Coco are MOST excited to be leaving in the middle of the night! Sounds like an adventure to me!
I've just begun George Eliot's 'Silas Marner' - she is incredibly insightful. It'll be my 'plane reading, if opportunity for such luxury arises!
It's just possible I won't be blogging for a while! I wish you sunshine, delight, surprises and fulfillment. If I can get a turn on the computer (there'll be nine of us at Lothlorien, including the bride!!) I'll keep you posted, but if you don't hear from me, fret not - it's likely I'll be having a rather good time!!!!
I feel just awful about leaving Bens behind. He's so lovely. I adore him, and love being his wife, and surrounding him with love. I love talking with him, hugging him, sitting by the fire together, singing, laughing, crying, imagining growing old together. I kind of feel as if he needs me in order to feel happy and be ok. I don't mean in a co-dependent way - more in an us-ish, we're one way. It's just dreadful we'll be apart for seven weeks. It wasn't our plan - what we'd planned was for Bens to spend his university break in Australia, however by the time we found out which uni he'd been accepted at, and when their Christmas vacation was, we hadn't a spare dime to spend on his ticket. I'm disappointed he isn't coming, and kind of mad at myself. I have this strange magical thinking which has me as the causative agent for all the awful things which happen, because I am so afraid of not being in control.
I'm an awfully slow learner. When Coco was being born, precious little girl, our usually very reliable camera jammed, much to my frustration. In conversation with my excellent midwife Karen, who has perfected the art of peace and Tibetan meditation, we decided the purpose of the camera jam was to teach me that I'm not in control ... and that's OK! Yet I'm still not at a point where I feel OK not to be in control. Being snowed in the last few days has been really difficult for me, mostly because it represents how little control I really have. And I'm terrified something will go wrong with our flight arrangements. I keep imagining the most ridiculous scenarios.
Love,
Megs
PS Dear little Eowyn just called out: "Tomorrow Mummy we'll have to help Daddy get ready for Christmas. We'll have to invite some friends over for him. He can't open presents all by himself!"
Please do drop our darling Bens a line every so often whilst his girls are away! That would be lovely! You can do so via 'Bens' Blog'! (There's a link to the right.) THANKS!!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's Snowing!






I'm curled up on the orange couch, watching gentle snowflakes waft down to ensconce our world. Bens is reading stories to Eowyn and Coco by the fire -'Dr Dog'! Bens and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary at the downtown apartment of our lovely friend Susan, who stayed at Bag End and cared for our girls. 'Twas fun! The girls went sledding on our hill (as did I! 'Twas fun!) Now, it's REALLY snowing! I'm going to go out in it, in my wellington boots and my great big galoshes. (I don't actually know what galoshes ARE, and whether I have any!!)(I just like the sound of John's great big galoshes in AA Milne's poem). It's amazing to believe that this time in a week, we'll be arriving at Lothlorien, my parents' home, to join in celebrating the marriage of Rachel and Victor! I am very excited about being reunited with my wonderful family, though feel particularly sad that my Bens won't be there, nor Anita, Eddie and Bump. I had an experience of spiritual renewal last night, where ... I kind of had an icecream binge, and on contemplation realised I'd been seeking to fulfill a longing, embalm a pain, console a loneliness. I let God near me as I felt the depths of the pain, the dance with aloneness which is at the heart of being human, however close and wonderful our relationships with others and with God. There was such beauty in feeling the pain, which usually I ignore or anaethetise, with God. God was very gentle and it seemed God's love and comfort and presence with me were tangible.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Meg's Magical Stuffing!

stale hard Italian breads, chopped (enough to fill your turkey belly!)
red wine (generous splosh)
lemon juice (dash)
parsley
sage (lots!)
thyme
fresh ground tellicherry pepper
fresh ground sea salt
garlic

mix and pack it in!
yum! our thanksgiving was most festive, thanks to my stuffing! (OK, i'm taking just a LITTLE too much credit...)


Eowyn JUST fitted into her winter party dress for Thanksgiving today! As we're going to Australia in nine sleeps time, this could be the last time she ever wears it! Coco's still has lots of party-time left in it! They LOVE dressing up. Our dress-up box is rather exotic, with items from all around the world.

I'm listening to U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - one of my favourite albums - It's on Miracle Drug - one of my very favourite songs. I've been feeling a disparity between my ideals around social justice, and my actions. Sure, we're into World Vision child sponsorship, and volunteering at a homeless youth drop in centre, but these things seem SO token - I'll sit here basking in luxury and unjustly cosy surroundings, while you suffer and die in the Third World, and I'll send my token monthly cheque to appease my guilt, and think of you no further. I feel angry with myself regarding this disparity. Bens and I both have a sense of calling into social justice work of some sort.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

hello! happy thanksgiving! i have just put a little slide show on my myspace (there's a link to the right there...)

so what am i thankful for?
this year, i am particularly thankful for opportunities to travel, which i love, and connect with people (YOU!), striking nature, etc. - our roadtrip around the states, australia in ten sleeps, and australia at the start of this year are all big THANK YOUs!

i'm ever so thankful for my bens, my eowyn and my coco. and that we all get to spend lots of time together.

i'm thankful for laughter.

i'm thankful for my body and its strength and beauty

i'm thankful for my friend susan, who is caring for eowyn and coco overnight this weekend for our SIXTH wedding anniversary! (happy birthday Mum!)

i'm thankful for books, for brian mclaren, whom i'm reading now, for new paradigms and freedom of thought

i'm thankful for the grace and acceptance and love of god. ((i never know whether to put god or jesus, as i was brought up with an emphasis on mentioning jesus whenever one can, and now i've deconstructed that i tend to say god, but don't want my deconstructing to be devaluing or even dismissing an important friendship, namely mine with jesus, for which i am thankful!!))

ahhh, back on track! i'm thankful that i get to see my whole family of origin in two weeks time! seren, sam, becca, rachel, victor, tom, mum, dad
i'm thankful for stephen
i'm thankful for all the newer people in mylittle family - anita, eddie, bump, becca and now victor
i'm thankful for rachel and victor's wedding, and all the people from different parts of my life i'll get to see (i feel a little worried, because there'll be SO many people i want to connect with, and i still haven't got any where near perfecting the social skill of conversation termination. in fact, i either am so caught up in the conversation i'm in i forget about all the other people i want to talk to as well, or i'm so self conscious about the fact that i want to terminate the conversation but can't think of how to, politely, that i stay in the conversation much too long)

HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS ON CONVERSATION TERMINATION? THEY COULD COME IN VERY HANDY!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006



Seattle is gray, gloomy and dull today, so I wanted to brighten my blog with some colour! ... sentence interrupted by eager children running out of their room laughing when i put them to bed an hour ago...is this the common plight of parents, or just us? are other children, as i sometimes suppose, acquiescently and obediently lying peacefully in their beds, whilst mine run riot? They are being cats now. (actually, they're not - i just pasted this from an hour-old email, to convey the bedtime battle ... but needn't have - Eowyn's calling 'MAMA! Coco wants you! Coco needs you! Coco's crying!' Coco is doing her fake baby cry ... They really do have a delightful relationship, but ... they exhaust me ... or I am exhausted by them! What is your favourite colour on this spectrum wheel? Mine are the carker orange and the lighter green, because they're such jolly colours. Hope my little pic brings some brightness into your e-day!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Little House on the Prairie!

We're reading 'Little House on the Prairie' at bedtime, which was the very first chapter book Mum read me! Eowyn loves it, and it's especially fun, as we crossed the endless prairie last summer! And NEXT summer is only two weeks away! We are so excited!! We talked to Rachel-the-bride today, as it is her birthday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR RACHEL!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ptolemy's Last Waltz in Seattle...Take II !!

Guess I forgot the pic for the last (next?) comment. Our wood stove, usually warm and cosy and toasty, won't light tonight. I am very angry with it! What ho! Just as I wrote, my friend Lisa arrived with a HEATER! I'm back, having turned it on, and oh it is good to be warm! To think, there are people out on the streets in this cold, cold weather. Oh that I could encompass them all with warmth!! Next week, we're having Thanksgiving for the homeless youth at New Horizons - a very jolly affair!!

Ptolemy's Last Waltz in Seattle...




Poor Ptolemy! Made it all the way around this country and now... Coco took this picture of Ptolemy's last stand. My dear old friend Kerstin, whom Ptolemy carried us all the way to South Carolina to visit, was, significantly, on the phone during Ptolemy's final foray into the world of ... roads?


Eowyn got some soap and made a mohawk for Coco, and drew curious and unique purple designs upon her visage. I love her creativity! Many days she goes to school with interesting designs on her face ... I sometimes wonder what her teachers might think...

This is Eowyn's lovely friend Lulu, with whom she rides the yellow school bus!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

WOW!

I am in awe of the kindness of people in my life, which I am discovering in a new way, now that I don't have a car. THANK YOU!!!

This pic is of Coco, during our weekend excursion (back when we had a car!) to REI to buy warm socks.

I am so chuffed, Round Table Women, that you enjoyed the pavlova so very much!! In my family growing up, pavlova was a regular treat. My Mum gave me the recipe when Bens and I got married!

Here 'tis!!

PAVLOVA

Ingredients:
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use kahlua in its stead when I'm out of vanilla)
1 teaspoon vinegar

Methodology:
Beat 3 egg whites until stiff. Add sugar, beat for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and vinegar. Beat to mix in. Shape into a mound onto silver foil paper, and bake in a very slow oven (250*F) for one hour.

When its cool, pour on lashings of whipped cream, or lemon cream (recipe below!) garnish that with sliced fruit (kiwi fruit and passion fruit both work really nicely!) or (as I did today!) grated dark chocolate (OH YUM!)

LEMON CREAM
3 heaped tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
juice of a large lemon
half the rind, grated
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
300 mls cream

Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Sprinkle gelatine over water and dissolve by heating for 30 seconds in the microwave and stirring well. Add lemon juice, rind, gelatine and water to egg mixture. Whip egg whites and add. Whip cream and fold into the mixture.

Pavlova is unique to Australia, so by eating it, you are celebrating the diversity and unity of the world!!!!!! Enjoy!!

Eliza!


Coco and I met Eliza today, which was really exciting! Until now, Eliza has existed in our life merely (yet wonderfully) as an e-persona on one of my favourite blogs, http://conversationattheedge.com Now, she's a real-life, flesh and blood person!! Funny ... think of all the real-life, flesh and blood people we've not had the honour yet to meet, or engage ... people who right now in our lives are background strangers we pass on the street, or e-personas we've not met in the flesh, or irritating drivers who got their licences in a cereal packet ... who'll some day be very important people in our lives ... and we don't even know which ones they are!! This element of life delights me!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Abraham Lincoln


I've just read Abe's second inaugral address, given just one month before his death, after the civil war ended, and was utterly struck by his excellent concluding words: "Let us strive...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." I wonder what Abe would say to George W. about what he treats as valuable, should the two of them happen to meet?

R.I.P. Ptolemy...

Our faithful car, Ptolemy, who faithfully transported us eleven thousand miles, all the way around the USA, 33 states in all, AND Mexico, has finally stopped going today. Thank you Ptolemy, for being such a trooper!!! We'll miss you!! Bumping over mountain roads to remote hikes, zipping along the freeway, rushing our girls to school...

The Ady family's form of transport for the next chapter of our lives shall be our bikes, and bike chariot, which the girls ride in, snug and dry! Seattle is hilly (and rainy), so we shall be fit (and wet!!) Her public transport system is nothing like that of Sydney, or London, or New York City, but there are buses handy, and the girls LOVE riding the bus!!!! It's often a bigger treat than the supposedly exciting destination!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006


What beautiful girls! Eowyn is wearing the purple cape Seren made her, and Coco the cat hat Sam gave her! Our lovely morning entailed numerous stories, read snuggled together on hte couch, stimulating conversation with wonderful Bens and really high swinging at the park. Autumn is fun!!!
Wanna know what happened just after this pic? We'd nearly made it up the hill from the park, in the rain, when Eowyn and Coco decided to run back down the hill, despite their mother's urging not to. Mother lost her temper and stormed off up the hill, scared Eowyn followed her, and delighted Coco began her exploration of the hill...
At Mother's continued urgings to climb the hill, Coco beseeched Mother to carry her up, and had a tantrum on the muddy wet grass when Mother said no. Mother decided she might as well lie down next to Coco, seeing she didn't know how long this tantrum might go on for. Initially, feeling the soft, cold rain upon her face was lovely. Then, a foul odour. Mother and Coco had inadvertantly rolled in dog shit. Mother said a number of words which Nana would find offensive, and stormed off up the hill, where she plonked down again in the mud, as it now didn't matter what she sat in, and cheered Coco on up the hill. HOORAY! Coco made it! Yay!! We picked some rosemary to pop in our lunch, threw our shitty clothes in the washing machine and ... what ho! The washing maching broke! Mother had a tantrum (wonderful example for her wee ones, this Mother!) Father began endeavouring to fix it, and Mother avoided further interaction by escaping to the computer...
You never know what stories belie an autumal smily photo!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ever up and ever in! (CSL, The Last Battle)






A Jones-ish ad, and a very scared me trying to climb a wall. I had NO IDEA how terrifying it is to have to trust a rope and a stranger below me holding onto it! Blindly confident, I set off on my ascent, to find inordinate amounts of adrenaline surging through my veins about half way up. (Would Arch Hart disapprove, Father?)
PS Got new socks today. Now I can face winter head on, armed and dangerous! Winter, beware!!
PPS I've been having a horrid struggle with seasonal affective disorder since the weather turned gray, cold and rainy. Basically, this means I feel sluggish, depressed, hopeless and pathetic. Some days I don't fight it and just try to trudge through the day - other days I endorphin-up with exercise, and stand a little chance. It's horrible, because I want to be present and able to enjoy being with my beautiful Eowyn and Coco and Bens. Going to Australia in 3 weeks shall be a wonderful reprise, but returning in January after summertime scares me. Last time I came back to Seattle winter after Aussie summer, I had a major depressive episode and it was dreadful.

Playdate!!






I am very thankful for our friends here, little-ish and big-gish! Here are our girls, Keean &Mary, and Keean, Coco & Jack! (Our budding photographer Eowyn took that last one!!)