Gloriously Geeky Guy

So many stories have I collected in the past few days. I HAVE NO IDEA where to start…

So I guess I will start at the beginning.

We arrived in LA after a flight with a teething baby.

Not fun. We did get sympathetic smiles and a few people saying, “He wasn’t as bad as you think.” Or “I hardly noticed him.” Or my personal favourite: “It is nice to be reminded of what’s behind me now that mine are all grown up!”

Anyway. Not a great flight. Also, not the absolute worst we have ever had.


We land, we call our very dear friend D, tell him about our plight and offer to check into a hotel, he suggests that would be daft, so we turn up at his (and his amazing, intelligent and wonderful wife C’s) house. I shall change their names into their real names if/when they have had a chance to read this and approve of me doing so.

We LOVE this house. We possibly love it more than our own home, because it is safe, always clean, they take out-of-this-world-level care of us, it means great conversation, peace, and always either heralds the beginning or the end of an adventure for us as LA is the gateway to the entire rest of the planet when you live in New Zealand.

So we arrive, we’re relaxed and happy; we try to nap but want to catch up with our friends so do that instead.

I had to head down to the chemist (pharmacy) to pick a couple of things up for James, so I googled something and headed off while Phteven and C drank very nice Riesling and waited for some amazing Mexican take out food.

THIS is where today’s story begins.

The chemist (pharmacy) I chose was a little independent one with a couple of off-street parking spaces. Not a huge and faceless Walgreens, but a little family owned spot.

A tall and attractive black man held the door for me and I thanked him as I rumbled the grizzly, snotty, red-cheeked fruit of my loins through into the pharmacy.

The young man at the counter had beautiful full sleeve tattoos on both arms, and was obviously of Latin American descent (going to take a wild stab in the dark and say Mexican?)

He was helping a gentleman in front of me who was filling some prescription.

Friendly, professional, knowledgeable tatted up guy made eye contact, smiled a big smile and said he’d be right with me, without interrupting or being rude to his current customer.

Current customer was a gloriously geeky guy in his early 30’s I’d guess. (For those of you new to my blog, I have a massive soft spot for geeky. Geeky makes me swoon.)

Current customer ahead of me also had a very thick stutter and perhaps a slight tick? He took a little while to get through his consultation.

When he did and it was my turn I strolled up to the counter, beamed a huge hobbit smile at the young man at the counter and said:

“I just flew in from New Zealand, and man are my arms tired! KIDDING! Now, I totally understand it isn’t his fault, but this moderately disgusting ball of snot has just kept me up all night on the flight over, and I am out of panadol and can only give him ibuprofen every 8 hours, and we’d also benefit greatly from something to calm him the **** down.”

Now, this could have gone either way. Lucky for me, in this almost empty little family run pharmacy (chemist) everyone in ear shot thought I was HILARIOUS.

Smiley tatted up guy got the pharmacist to come talk to me, gloriously geeky guy in front of me giggled a bit, and much ice was broken and much rapport was enjoyed by all.

Long discussion on chemical names for drugs and dosages takes place (and is overheard by gloriously geeky guy) and I settle on some Tylenol (which is the closest thing to Panadol) and also some Benadryl for his snot issues and to help him get some much needed rest.

Proceed to checkout. Have long and laughter studded chat with check out lady whose sister has four kids (just like I do!).

I then head back to rental car, struggle in a jet-lagged daze for a few minutes with the pram and car seat. Smiley tatted up guy comes out and has a good long chat with me about a park up the road. He said it isn’t far and they do lots of shooting for various films and TV there, so maybe I’d run into someone famous. I told him we have the teeny tiniest taste of fame back home in New Zealand, and it is wonderful and difficult, so would rather keep as far out of the California limelight as possible for today anyway.

We chat a little bit longer, and he apologises for having to take his leave, but he is working.


Then Gloriously Geeky Guy pops over and tells me all about the etymology of paracetamol and acetominophen. He also tells me a bunch of other super awesome sciency stuff.

This dude has eyes the colour of a tropical lagoon. Deep blue with a hint of green.

His stutter is thick and quite distracting, but it was a wonderful opportunity to exercise some self-control, as I always ALWAYS interrupt people without a stutter, and I did pretty good not to interrupt Gloriously Geeky Guy.

We exchanged names, laughed about how I sometimes feel like I have to abandon all logic before entering the US, he laughed and agreed and we shared commiserations on the state of the planet and climate change deniers.  I shook his hand and told him he made my week.

Then I headed back up the hill to tell our friends about my adventures. I particularly couldn’t wait to tell Phteven about Gloriously Geeky Guy and how attractive I thought he was.

And that… is where today’s installment ends.

Tune in next time for my blog on having an open marriage! (Not like open, open… but like, we don’t have any secrets and it TOTALLY works for us)

Thank you for reading… I know this was a long one.


Healthy Dose of Weird Paying Off in Dividends!

Last night, after talking to my friend Ange, I offered to attend the senior school dance as a chaperone so I could hang out with her and my two oldest children.

I was so impressed with the kids, their friends, and the few parents who didn’t roll their eyes at me but actually stopped and chatted, that I just had to share my experience with you.

Steph and Daniel both won prizes for their costumes. That was pretty cool, but the thing that REALLY knocked my socks off was how unafraid they were to have fun and hang out with their weirdo mum.

I manned the door with some mums I had previously never met, then I took up residence at the water table with my friend Ange.

And. Then. I. Danced.

I danced the Macarena, I danced to hip hop and AC/DC, and my children were out on that floor or hanging out with me during EVERY SINGLE SONG.

Daniel is at an age where most of his friends were too cool to boogie. One of his besties hurt his ankle so sat the entire dance out on the sidelines. He checked in to make sure his friend was all good, and then he got his teeny, tiny bootie out there on the floor and he carved it up.

Now we have raised our children on a healthy diet of strange behavior, generous smiles, big belly laughs, huge hugs, heartfelt honesty, and ferocious attachment to having fun wherever we are. We get looks of fear and dismay at supermarkets as we dance and sing through the isles on a Saturday shopping trip.

We try not to offend or upset anyone, but being so very different and sticking out can and does earn us haters.

The kids have witnessed this as we get told off by old ladies, grumpy strangers, and people who are uncomfortable with our laughter or behaviour.

Daniel also confided in me at dinner last night, just before the dance, that he remembers sitting and playing his DS quietly places when he was young and we were just out of earshot, and overhearing people talk about how terrible I am. How loud I am. How sorry they feel for our kids. A big old mixed bag of hate and vitriol that his young ears are only now starting to process after years and years of being subject to it.

I sort of want to fit into society. But I also sort of want to push my little people out of their comfort zone and into a place where they can live out interesting, kind, connected, impactful lives without worrying about what other people will think.  Also, always doing the best they can to not hurt anyone or be too offensive (I fail at this rather a lot, as I am sweary and abrupt).

I really feel the kids have struck a nice balance. They pride themselves on being weird or geeky. They are not afraid to try things and fail, and they are not afraid to stand up taller than the crowd to defend someone, question something, or have some fun.

And oh my goodness they are kind.  They are kind to people who are not always kind to them, and they feel empathy toward people who are often cruel to them.  They stop and question even their friends if they are feeling as though someone is being cruel or nasty.

I Love that.

And I hope as they grow older they can continue to embrace the open arms and joy we share every single day in our home and out in public, because while the haters are gonna hate, I am quite certain that we are spreading some serious smiles and sunshine around as we go about our daily business and laugh and smile and shake our bodies to the music.

Here is a collection of pictures of the kids being dragged from pillar to post around the globe, and finding joy in most of these situations.


My filthy but happy kids (sans Daniel who stayed in the city that weekend) up at our off-grid house in Matakana.


Waiting to disembark after an epic family cruise.


James is full of Joy.

Have a great weekend.

Thank you for reading.

An Open Letter To My Daughter on Her 9th Birthday


Last night, somewhere between your tsunami of tears, and the loud thunderous claps of laughter we shared; I realized something:

You are poised on the precipice of puberty.

God help us both my baby girl.

You are strong, kind, resilient, brave, bold, gentle, elegant, funny, enthusiastic to please and at the tender age of 9 someone who daily gives me pause to think about how I can be a better person.

Ahead of you lies a vast ocean of stormy seas and calm sailing. I will be your compass, and your father will be your sail, but there will be times that you will choose to weather your storms without any guidance, and we’re hoping we are prepared for this.

I’ll try and lay off the metaphors for a moment and fill you in on some things I wish someone told me when I was 9.

Your friends will break your heart, and you will hurt them in your turn. Learn to forgive, and learn to forget. Learn to be angry at the action and not the person, and learn when to walk away, even if you really don’t want to. More importantly, dig your heels in and stick with the few good friends you have had for a very long time, as when you are old like your father and me, having people to anchor you and remind you of where you came from is a treasure that only childhood friends can bestow on you.

You will feel and be the object of unrequited Love at some, but more likely, several points in your life. This sucks, but oh it is just so necessary for you to feel the sting of rejection so you can fully embrace true and lasting Love when it comes to you.

I would NOT be capable of the huge and honest Love I have for your father, nor would he be able to put up with my vast and varying quirks and craziness if we had not both been through many, many, MANY heartaches and trials before we found each other.

Be gentle with the hearts that melt when they see you. Whether you know it or not you have great power. You are confident and you breeze into a room like an angel, filling the space with an energy, freshness and fullness because of your extroverted and bubbly personality.

Please, please encourage other people to shine, I know you can, I have watched you, and this only serves to make your brave and beautiful brightness more powerful.

Somewhere, somehow, in the not too distant future, you will break a heart or two.

Never be a mean girl. Treat anyone who crushes on you with kindness and sincerity and do not lead them into false hope or use their affection for your own gain. Never be a mean girl. Never. Ever.

You will feel and think things that scare you. Please talk to me about them, and if you don’t feel like I am listening, make me. I think we should establish a code word for situations when you need me and I am missing the point. Only to be used in earnest, kind of like the bat phone.

Learn from your mother’s self-destructive behaviours, and know that I am better without my digressions and my regressions. You are born into a generation that finds far more fun and wonder outside of the traditional drinking and smoking and experimenting with stupidity, than was the standard when I was your age.

Know that you can be strong without wine and cool without compromise.

Stuff does not matter as much as you think it does, but please remind me not to discount or belittle the things that you are going through.

The world ended “completely” for me a thousand times while I was growing up.

Good decisions will keep you in good stead. Bad decisions will teach you to make better decisions.

You are Loved.

You are Loved by so many people who want you to shine.

Some people will be jealous, some people will simply not like you, and that is ACTUALLY okay. Leave them enough space that they do not bring you down, and say a quiet prayer that they are okay and wish them well from a safe distance.

I could go on for pages and pages about the trials that lie ahead.

But let me tell you this:

You are going to see, do, learn and feel AMAZING things.

And I will be there. Wherever I am I will be there.

And I Love you. I Love you to the moon my only daughter. And we are going to face the next few years together and we are going to win.

Happy Birthday Stephanie-Jane.

Givers Gain – Kindess is Never Wasted

A few weeks ago, we received a letter from a stranger.

Her husband was about to have a rather large milestone Birthday, and she was wondering if perhaps he could pop in and have a quick look at the Tesla as it is his dream car.

He has a mechanical engineering background, and him and his adult son are very clever tinkering types who understand electricity and are very passionate about Tesla mechanically, philosophically, and generally.

I have been given ample opportunities to bestow trust on geeks and engineers over the years, and the vast majority of the time, that trust is well placed.

So, I arranged to allow this very kind family to surprise dad with the Tesla for a day.  He was visibly moved and that made me feel like I was walking on a cloud for the whole rest of the day!

Athol and his son topping up LOLGAS before babysitting it for us overnight

Athol and his son topping up LOLGAS before babysitting it for us overnight

We had a chance to chat (I of course did the majority if the chatting as usual, I must work on that!) and I popped in to the office to give LOLGAS (that is the name of the car and the personalised plate for those who aren’t aware) a quick top up of current while we had a cup of tea.

They returned the car to us in great condition and even topped it up with an opportunity charge in their own garage.

They snuck in and out to deliver the car and left us the most beautiful thank you gift.

A very kind and clever family, and they left us a very generous and beautiful Thank You gift!

A very kind and clever family, and they left us a very generous and beautiful Thank You gift!

Grumpy not looking at all Grumpy after lending the Wilson family LOLGAS for a very special birthday treat.

Grumpy not looking at all Grumpy after lending the Wilson family LOLGAS for a very special birthday treat.

More than that, they are now fans of, planning on owning an EV soon and they got a chance to show the car off to several people while they had it.

While this will be one of the last times we lend the car out as we are going to be sharing it through our good friends Carl’s company blue cars to monetise the vehicle in order to pay our staff and overheads during the roll-out, we are so glad that we had a chance to do it, and so glad to have met this very kind family.

Wishing Athol a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I won’t divulge how old he is) and wishing everyone reading this a great week, and encouraging you all to continue #LeadingTheCharge with kindness, enthusiasm and passion.  You are all superstars.  Yes, YOU, I am talking to YOU!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.