Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for family



A tribute to my Dawny…

I love this piece of art, I love what it means to me. I love that it brings her memory closer to me. Thanks to @SheKnowsInk for her beautiful ink.


…for something to break… after last weeks vitamin infusion I gave myself and a few nights of good sleep and good running, and feeling like I was ticking things off my to-do list, I have been blindsided. No, actually not blindsided, because what i have been predicting for the longest time has begun. Pops got himself lost the other day, he had gone to the shops and couldn’t remember how to get home. In the midst of the crisis, he agreed that something was wrong, and said he would go for a check up; but, when the appointment rolled around, he refused. So I went to the psychiatrist instead of him. And it seems like all our worst fears are slowly being confirmed… dementia, alzheimers, isolation, vulnerability… fuck. The writing is on the wall and I don’t want to read it, I’m not sure I have the capacity to read it.


…and honoring them. My Dawny loved urchins, more commonly known as pumpkin shells. I’ve mentioned before that on my beach trails, I often have a path almost illuminated by them – a bit of a Hansel and Gretel pathway with shells instead of crumbs. I’ve taken many photos of them, they keep me happy en route.

Last night I finished my painting of them.

Every day, Dawny, every day…

Big brothers

…are meant to be just that, big; so that they can help shoulder a little sister’s burdens. I am so glad my brother came down this weekend to just see and acknowledge and care. I know the boys get that it’s tough with Pops at the moment, but they need to see it every now and again to really grasp it. And I think he got it.

But besides that, it was really nice to run together, to eat together, to just be; as siblings. We have a 13 and a half year gap, so our ‘relationship’ has been a long time in the development. But I feel like we are finally friends, as well as siblings.

Thanks for the visit Chesty!


…so for the longest time I have had concerns regarding my dad and his health. Since before my mom died there were signs of some short term memory loss. Nothing terrible, but starting to get annoying. At the time he wrote off my concerns and dismissed me. Then we dealt with my mom’s death and all the fall out from that. Seeing him as a frail confused old man was kind of ok. He’d lost the love of his life, his companion for 60 years, I guess I would also be overwhelmed and a bit confused. However the deterioration now is obvious, I can’t write it off anymore, other people, when he very rarely interacts with them, are noticing his lapses too. And sadly, I am unable to convince him to seek a medical opinion.

My heart is broken. My big strong, larger than life dad has evaporated in front of my eyes. And I see now an angry, terrified overwhelmed man who I hardly recognize anymore.

But then yesterday, he sends me a spray of orchids from one of my mom’s plants – with zero care, it has produced a spray. Charlie has popped in to help him with something and he picked it and sent it to me. So I know he’s in there somewhere. God, I miss him too.

Thanks Pops. Love you so!

One of those days

…when I just want to pick up the phone and chat to my mom. I want to tell her about my day, and the costumes I’ve been sewing for our dress up run tomorrow (Alice in Wonderland, since you’re asking). I want to tell her how it’s been hot and windy and how that makes everyone grumpy. I am desperate for her advice on some stuff going on in my life. I want to tell her all about her beautiful granddaughter, and how I finally get how she felt about us when we did well. I want to ask how she is, and hear her beautiful voice again. I need to commiserate and  have a moan about my dad, and how he’s driving me as mad as her drives her. And I want to tell her how much I miss her…

Grumpy old men

…grrr! I have a grumpy old dad, and I am really struggling to get him to listen to reason.

Since Dawny passed away, the old man is lost and lonely. Depressed, but that generation that adopts stiff upper lips, and pulls themselves together, (unsuccessfully) and refuses help. He’s conceded that he is lonely, and wouldn’t mind some company, but now that the option of an apartment at the local retirement village has come up (he’s only been on the waiting list for 8 years!) he says he doesn’t want to go! It’s awful, and full of old buggers (bearing in mind he’s older than many of them) and he’d die there (well, he’s got to die somewhere?).

But for my brothers and I – it’s the answer to so many of our prayers – a meal a day, delivered to his door, if he’d like it, company, if he’d like it. The most beautiful gardens to take a walk in and sit in. Amazing views across the city. A frail care if he ever needs it.

I’m trying to arrange a chat with some old friends of his who are moving in to an apartment there next week,  I’m hoping that it may allow him to see reason. Because that’s the thing – outside of the offer, he promised me he’d have a look, he said he’d make the move; but now that the offer is there, he’s forgetting everything he told me.

I really don’t know how Dawny got him to do things, the stubborn old man, who we adore;  I wish she was here to help me now…