Why I will never get married.

They say never say never, but this is one never that will always be a never. I will never get married.

When I got married the first time, I had so much hope, dreams and expectations. It was so exciting. I was like a bird all ready to soar high in this journey with my partner.

First it was my name that went. The name I was born with, the name my parents gave. Just because I chose to live with a man, the society expected me to change my name..

It was as if I could never be me and still be married.

As a woman, you then start to give off a bit of yourself.. for the sake of peace, sanity and each day you find a few of your feathers have been plucked..eventually you lose your wings and your identity.. the wings you thought you would be using to soar high..

Finally, you lose yourself completely. You become someone’s wife, someone’s daughter-in law, someone’s sister in law and someone’s mother. But you as a person do not exist. Your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations take a backstage because as a woman, wife and a mother, you are expected to give all of yourself.. for your family. It is your duty. You are like a candle, burning to give light so needed and everyone is happy because you give the light.. yet no one sees you burning..

It took me years to find my wings again. I will never ever give that up.

I am me.. I will always be me. I have a name and I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. I will not sacrifice my dreams, hopes and ambitions to a marriage. Even if it meant that I will have to say goodbye to a guy who means the world to me.

Hmm

Ideally, I would like to not write about my breaking heart, because it is too painful. However, my fingers seem to have a mind of their own.. I don’t know how long you all will have to endure reading this saga..

Yesterday my son wanted to go to Byron Bay. Yaya too wanted to do it because she needs to complete 100 hours of driving to get her P plate. I didn’t want to go because the first trip he and I did was to Byron Bay. This was way before I fell in love with him. Because of my (lack of) sense of direction, I offered to meet him half way in the city and he took the train from his place. There was a perfectly functioning underground tunnel that lets him get to the car park safely without getting himself run over by cars. But he chose to cross/jaywalk  the most busiest road. I watched him zigzagging between cars travelling at 70 km/hr. He had a huge grin on his face when he got to my car alive.. like a little kid. It was the first time he met my kids who by this time were laughing so much after watching him run like a scared rabbit between cars. There was something about the way he talked to the kids.. he just knew how to capture their attention because my son who usually play games on his phone and my youngest who usually reads were talking to him the entire drive. I was completely sidelined. We were meant to go to Fishhead in Byron bay for dinner and when we got there, it was closed. There were plenty of other restaurants and each of the kids wanted something different and went their own way. he and I ended up in a Mexican place and he ordered a quesadilla. “What are you having?” He asked me and I told him, I am a vegetarian for which Yaya(who by then decided she too wanted Mexican food) replied, “Mom is a vegetarian who doesn’t eat vegetables” That has been a joke with the kids for the longest time because as I wrote before I don’t like any vegetable that ends in Ka/Ga in Malayalam. (vendekka, vazhuthanagga etc). Seriously though, the only picking the Mexican place had was a cheese Quesadilla and I didn’t feel like eating it. So after he and Yaya bought their food, we still went to look for something for me to eat and eventually found a Middle Eastern restaurant. I was finally happy. I ordered Falafel sandwich. 5 minutes after I ordered the food, I noticed the girl at the counter hitting on him. It was a pretty hilarious sight.. him eating his quesadilla and her asking him questions and him trying to swallow his food, so he could answer her questions.. Eventually my younger two found us and he immediately turned his attention to the kids and ignored the girl at the counter.

We then went to the beach, sat on the rocks and watched the waves.. It was really cold and then being the awesome person that I am, I went to the car to get the  blankets and the dessert. I had baked apple pie for dessert and actually had to keep it in a wooden box because I had taken it out of the oven just before leaving.. I didn’t count the number of spoons we needed and found that we were one spoon short. So I gave him the last spoon. The pie was still steaming hot and it was really a good pie.( and totally a cheats version, I added extra sugar and cinnamon to canned apple pie filling and the crust was made with readymade short crust pastry. I made it look professional by doing lattice work for the top crust) He noticed that I didn’t have a spoon and took a spoonful of pie using his spoon and gave me. I grew up practicing Ayitham and even to this day I find it really strange to share utensils with strangers. I didn’t want to offend him, so I ate the pie..rather reluctantly.

“You are an awesome cook” He said

“I know” I replied”

“Very modest, are we?” He replied and my kids almost chocked on the apple pie..(while laughing).

After that we walked a bit and then drove back home and I dropped him to his home. We hugged each other and wished goodnight like friends do. But I did notice him standing by the driveway and watching me drive off, which was a bit odd..

“He is so much fun” said my youngest and I nodded my head.

The trip to Byron bay yesterday was really painful.. because I relived all that I wrote above..

Glass of water…

The first time I saw him, he was wearing a hot pink pants. (technically it wasn’t pink, he insists it is dark magenta and I disagreed. It could have been magenta at the time he bought it, but the QLD sun has done its magic to make it looks pink) James Brown was singing hot pants in my head and I really had to bite my tongue, so I won’t laugh. I do come across as a lunatic who smiles for no reason (often because I have songs playing in my head that are apt for the situation that makes me laugh, which unfortunately no one else can hear) and it is really embarrassing.

I do remember noticing his mesmerising azure blue eyes.

It was always easy to spot him in the crowd. He is really handsome and always well dressed and we met each other often at the coffee shop.

One thing led to another and we found we have so much in common. We both like Cappuccino with extra chocolate, we both prefer our drinks to be very hot  We both switch off the phone when we don’t want to talk to anyone and then claim there was no cell phone reception. I think the only difference I could think of is..when I come back home, I usually wash my legs and hands and jump in to my bed, so I can read. He can’t stand that. He only gets in to bed after a shower.

I had no intention of falling in love ever. I have a good life and I am happy with my life.

We got along well as friends and I was happy with that.

It was a very hot day and we were out all day. I don’t do well in heat and I was coming down with a migraine. I went to take a quick shower, so I could take my medicine and go to bed before my migraine got worst. I had not told him that I was going to get the mother of all migraine. ..yet when I came out of the shower, on the bedside table was a glass of cold water and my migraine medicine.

It was the glass of cold water that made me fall in love with him.

They say love takes your breath away, often not in a good way.. love makes you uncertain.. and nervous.. it takes away what you thought you know until all you know is you love someone..

I never ever wanted to fall in love because when you allow someone in to your life, then you are also allowing the possibility of that someone leaving you..  Yet I did.. because I would have to be made of stone not to have fallen in love with a guy who could do something so simple.. yet so caring.

 

A year that would be

Usually at this time of the year, I do a post on the year that was..

But today, I thought I would do the year that would be.. I contemplated a lot writing this post and perhaps writing this would take some of the pain away.

End of Jan, my partner will go back to Spain. His project here in Brissie is over along with his visa. I could make it possible for him to stay on if we marry. But that is one step I am not willing to take. I have no intention of ever getting married. We have one last holiday together in the second week of Jan. We are not breaking up, that being said, I don’t do long distance relationship and there is no way I can go to Spain in the next four years. I hate to do the whole goodbye scene and so I am going to do the one thing I am really good at. I am going to run away when we get back after our last holiday together. He doesn’t think I would do it, I don’t think I could do it either, but I don’t see any other options.

I told the old lady that tomorrow can only be dealt with tomorrow and I wasn’t lying when I told her that. Everyday that I spent with him, I knew there would be a day, I will have to say goodbye. Goodbye was to happen in the tomorrow.. and I thought I will deal with it when it happens..Initially that tomorrow was distant and I conveniently ignored the narrowing of the chasm between my happiness and devastation..

So these are things I would miss the most.

Greasy fries.. He is the only one who figured out my need for greasy fries when I am sad. (Whenever I am sad, I make myself a giant serve of greasy fries and I have been doing this since 1994 and it never occurred to me that I use fries as an emotional companion) I don’t really know how he figured it out. But every time I was upset, he took me to Maccas and bought me fries and cappuccino with extra chocolate.

Songs.. He knows every single one of my fav songs and play them when we are driving long distance. He also knows the lyrics and will sing them according to the situation, which always made me laugh.

Laughter.. He would do silly things to make me laugh..I remember driving to Gold Coast and I was in a really crabby mood. He would ask me a random question and when I answered reluctantly for the sake of politeness , he would then ask me ” so, how does that make you feel?” That question had absolutely no connection to the answer I gave.. 15 mints to the journey, I was laughing so much that I even forgot why I was crabby in the first place.

Walks.. he knew how much I love long walks and would make it a point to take me for long walks at least once a week. He also knew my love for wildlife and would take me to places where we could spot wildlife.

History.. When I read novels, If I find historical events, I never had to google to find out more. I just had to ask him. My historical knowledge is good, his is better. He is the only person I have ever met who knew the historical dates..

OCD… I have a lot of OCD’s and so does he. It meant a lot that I didn’t have to hang his towel properly because he has the same obsession and would do it himself. (edges have to be straight and must meet) I think the only thing he ever struggled was eating mallu food. He could handle Appam with maple syrup. But not Appam and stew. Sweetness of the appam along with pungence of curry was  not ok for his OCD.

Scrabble. However tired he was, if I wanted to play scrabble, he stayed awake. He didn’t mind that I won most of the time either or that I was a sore loser when he won.

Chocolates. Apart from him, the only other person I know who is addicted to chocolate is my youngest. I will miss buying chocolate for him every time I went to buy groceries. I will miss baking brownies for him.

Movies. Mondays were our movie nights.. and I don’t really know how I will cope each Monday that is waiting for me.. actually I don’t know how I will cope any of the days after he leaves….

Now that this is out of my chest..from today till I get back from our holidays, I am going to pretend that all is well like I have been doing the past few weeks..

 

hmm

It is hot and almost Christmas. I have been wanting to write a post on the year that was..

But today is a lazy kind of day.

Yaya’s SAT subject results are out. She got 760/800 for Biology and 730/800 for Spanish. Pretty good score I must say, considering the fact that she never had any tuition and partied the night before her exam!

This morning she showed me her essay for college application. She called the former PM Australia a buffoon because she was unhappy with his environmental policy. I thought of telling her to tone it down. But then again, it is her essay.. her feelings.. if she thinks Tony Abbot is a buffoon then so be it.

Ideally I would love to be somewhere cold during Christmas. Somehow Christmas in Australia never really has that magic one would expect. We hung the star, decorated the tree and I can see piles of gifts under the tree that the kids have bought for each other.

This morning I baked Pavlova and Goan Bibinka. (Bibinka requires egg yolk only and pavlova requires egg white only, so I do both). I already made old fashioned sago Christmas pudding few days ago. I still have fruitcake from few Christmas ago in the freezer, None of my kids like to eat fruitcake. So I stopped baking fruitcake.

Champagne is already in the fridge. Tomorrow evening I will make Stuffed Chicken breast with pancetta and sun dried tomato, Lobster in lemon butter, garlic prawns, saddle back potato, cauliflower au gratin and a nice Italian salad.

This is the last Christmas I have all three of my children home.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Live Laugh Love

Sarah

 

Questions

We were having high tea few days ago and there was live classical music.

He asked me

“If you have to pick one Baroque work as your favourite, which one would it be?”

“Vivaldi’s four seasons” I replied without hesitation.

“If you have to pick one season of the 4 which one would it be?”

That took me a few minutes to figure out

“Spring” I replied

“Why is the Spring your favourite?” He asked

Spring (Concerto No. 1 in E Major)
Allegro
Spring has arrived with joy
Welcomed by the birds with happy songs,
And the brooks, amidst gentle breezes,
Murmur sweetly as they flow.

The sky is caped in black, and
Thunder and lightning herald a storm
When they fall silent, the birds
Take up again their delightful songs.

Largo e pianissimo sempre
And in the pleasant, blossom-filled meadow,
To the gentle murmur of leaves and plants,
The goatherd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.

Allegro
To the merry sounds of a rustic bagpipe,
Nymphs and shepherds dance in their beloved spot
When Spring appears in splendour.

I explained to him how much happy the whole thing makes me feel.. for me Vivaldi makes the spring come alive..I can see the black ominous clouds and then when the sky clears, the birds singing. .I love the goatherd sleeping with his dog beside him..

The thing is, no one until now ever asked me what I really like and why? All these while it is me who asked everyone what they like..

It also means a lot that he knows something about classical music..

Btw, his favourite is the summer..because growing up in the Mediterranean, he felt he could feel the summer storms..

 

This is the painting I received. I hate taking photos, the painting is really beautiful, but my photography skills sucks

Sian

 

Beautiful people

One of the biggest problems I face while backpacking is having clean clothes. There is only so much clothes I can carry in my backpack. We were in St Helens and it was day 4 of our trip and neither of us had any clean clothes. So we had to do the laundry. It was a beautiful morning and the choice was to put our clothes in the dryer and waste few precious hours of the beautiful sunny day or hang the clothes on the line and let nature do the work. We opted for the latter and then I realized we didn’t have any cloth pegs. Much to my partner’s amusement (he would never ever do things like this) I walked to one of the cabin and knocked at the door.

A very old lady opened the door and she was wearing a beautiful blue skirt and matching top.

“Hot date Nana?” I asked her. (I am known to speak without really thinking and this was one such moment).

The old lady looked at me for few seconds and smiled and said

“As a matter of fact, Yes”

“Good on Ya, Nana, Have a good time” I said and then asked her ” Can I please borrow some cloth pegs”

She gave me the cloth pegs and I went to hang the clothes.

The day was long and we had an awesome time. We got back to the camp at 9.30 pm and only then I remembered the clothes. I quickly went to the washing area to find our clothes were missing.

There were only two possible reasons. Someone stole our clothes (not likely, I am petite and not many people can get in to my size) or the Nana took them in for us.

I was a bit worried about knocking at her door that late. But neither of us had any clothes/towel etc.

The old lady opened the door and asked me in.

She had taken in our clothes and along with it she gave me a painting and told me

“This is for you. This morning, I was so worried, I was going to meet this wonderful man for breakfast, but you see, I am 78 years old and I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing and  you walk in and tell me go have a good time Nana”

“Did you have a good time Nana?” I asked her

“Yes” she said. “He is an incredibly wonderful man, but I worry about the future”

I gave her hug and told her “Tomorrows can only be dealt with tomorrow.. you have your todays Nana.. Live it”

Only when I got back to my tent and opened the painting I realized who she was. Sian Butler, famous Aussie outback painter. I have seen her paintings for sale at Royal flying doctor Galas. And today I own one of her original paintings.. all because I needed some cloth pegs.

 

 

Hmm

Finally, I got around to visiting Tasmania. Initially we both thought this would be a place we would like to buy a house and settle down (We even found a perfect house), but at the end of the holidays neither of us were sure if we wanted to stay there. The place is incredibly beautiful, we saw more wild life in Tassie than all of mainland), but there was something missing..it wasn’t my Shangri-La

tassie 1Of all the photos we took, this is one of my favourite. We couldn’t set up our tent the night before because it was raining very heavy and had to stay in a motel. It was cold, wet and a miserable kind of night and to top it all there was no internet, so I couldn’t talk to my children or play scrabble. Shops were all closed and we only had two packets of instant noodles, a packet of salad greens and three eggs and two slices of bread and an avo.. So I boiled two eggs for breakfast next day and made mee goreng with the rest of the ingredients. As I mentioned before, he had lived a very entitled childhood and one of biggest problem for him is food. I waited for complaints, none came. Next morning, neither of us were hungry, so I packed the boiled eggs to take along.

From where we were to the next destination, we had to cross a mountain pass and the drive was long. By  mid afternoon both of us were hungry and there were no shops around. I saw this spot that said “truckers rest area” and told him to pull over. There was no one around and he parked our car in front of the fence. The temp outside was 2 degrees and the wind was very strong. I took two plates. placed a slice of bread on each, sliced the boiled egg and the avo and placed it on the bread and gave one plate to him and I took the other plate. Again, I waited to hear some sort of complaints..( Ok, may be it is a  Malayalee trait, may be it is just me, every man I have known always had something to complain about food and this guy should be the one complaining the most because he really really had a very entitled life as a Spanish Nobility. He ate without a word of complaints and when I told him how pretty the moss on the fence looked, he went out in the howling wind and took the photo for me.

tassie 2The best part of Tassie is in the eastern side, especially the Bay of fire( named due to the red lichen growing on the rocks) We climbed  plenty of rocks and walked nearly three kilometres to find this spot. We were the only people around and we both desperately wanted to go for a swim. But it was very cold..

 

Photo below is another one of my favourite. This was taken in a small bay called Little Musselroe bay. We didn’t really have any plans that day and when I saw the signboard for little mussleroe bay, I decided to drive to there because the name was funny.. There was no one around and he wanted to walk on the rocks on the right..As it was late evening and with my last experience of finding a snake beneath the rocks, I felt I shouldn’t take any chances. So I suggested, we walk to the left. We must have walked about half an hour on the isolated beach when he stopped walking and took the binoculars out.

“I think there is a wombat” He said and pointed it out to me. It was the first time I saw a wombat. A big, brown wobbly wombat wadding along behind the scrub. Few minutes later, we saw fairy penguins coming out of the water, few puffins and terns. It felt like the nature was organizing a feast for our eyes. I took this photo before all these events..but I think you can imagine the joy we both felt after watching all the wildlife..

tassie 4