Windy Wellington with Number One Son Daniel

Daniel and I have had a lazy couple of days, and landed yesterday evening in Wonderful Wellington. 

My two eldest kids astound me with their earnest, kindness, honesty, integrity and seemingly limitless desire to just hang out with their mother.  This is no doubt a symptom of the incredibly busy life and travel schedule that keeps us apart so much.  They both regularly point out how much they prefer the comfort and chaos of my company to any social scenario or situation.  The feeling is quite mutual, as they make me laugh and hold me endlessly accountable and give me pause to explain and defend my opinions and views. Our conversations are fearless and confronting at times, but mostly incredibly intelligent and entertaining.


My son is a massive mensch.  He will sit cross legged on the floor if the cats are in his chair and beanbag, as he doesn’t want to disturb them.  He feels terrible if anyone buys him anything he didn’t specifically request or require, as his visceral hatred of rampant consumerism and the state it has left our planet in make receiving an unwanted gift too much for his incredibly awakened sensibilities to handle.


Today we are getting his hair cut.  This morning we hit the market and met his dad and his dad’s date.  She is great. The sun has peaked out through Wellington clouds, and it is a wonderful feeling to be in our nation’s capital on a crisp blue sky winter day.


Daniel and I were walking between the market and the Museum (Te Papa) and he brought up a discussion about how he always asks people what two superpowers we would like to have and why.


“Most people ask you what one superpower you’d like, but really, I think it is better to have two.”  He stated as we strode across the windy waterfront to the museum entrance.


It is his assertion that he’d like to stop time and be able to see ten seconds into the future, but at all times.  Like that was just normally how he rolled, and it wouldn’t affect his daily routines or senses.


“You know how you can see and smell and use all your senses at once, well, my combination of extra powers would meld in and just be, and I could like save people and improve things effortlessly without anyone knowing.  I think it is pretty selfish, but I have thought about it a lot.”  He explained.


“Well,” I responded when it was clearly my turn to talk. “Kindness of course, as that’s the most powerful thing I know of.  And I am not always kind, so yeah, that superpower is important to manage any others I think.”  He giggled in his way and allowed me silence to finish my thought.


“And teleportation, but I would like to have with me my passport, credit card, and be able to be wearing whatever I am wearing when I jump. OH, and if I am hanging onto someone they can jump with me.  We could hit the Cherry Blossoms in Japan regularly and be home for dinner.  It’d be so great!”  I bubbled.


He looked at me pensively and slowed his stride a bit, his 70’s footballer slick black locks blowing in the windy Wellington breeze.


“You already have Kindness as a superpower.”  He proclaimed with a smile.


He got a fairly massive hug and we carried on chatting for a while with an ease and earnest that flows between mother and child when the child is reaching independence.


So now, we will go off and get that haircut.



Leaving New York

Here’s a Spotify playlist I’ve been enjoying all morning as I make myself ready for the return to the UK.

I am a mess of sniffles and silent tears at the Newark airport.  Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning floods into my ears: “if only you will staaaaay!” And I’m a puddle. I have hugged easily 100 New Yorkers (a surprising number of whom told me my hair smells of happy, is this a thing now?) in the last five days, and I have been made to feel like maybe, we are all made up of  genuine magic.  I have been chatted up, calmed down, built up, and shared Love and laughter that left my sides hurting and my heart bursting.


One of the advantages of the brand of crazy I am packing, is that I am often devoid of risk aversion.  I will, and do, try just about anything.  So, on this trip, I have crammed in so many moments of magic, and created and strengthened connections from Jersey, to Brooklyn and all over the isle of Manhattan.  I am loath to leave, as I feel Loved and seen, and a part of this cosmically chaotic ecosystem.


My first trip to this city was when I was 23.  I had just gotten engaged to my soulmate and ex husband but eternal best friend Phteven. I remember waking up and walking out into the street the first morning after we had arrived.  The noise, the smell, the huge high rises, I was lost and found and absolutely astounded by how familiar it all felt.  Nearly 20 years and countless visits later, I have a healthy tribe in the tri-state area.  Strangely, I met almost everyone somewhere else, they live in New York, but we became friends in all sorts of places.  Marcus (and later I met his magical and beautiful partner Jo) in a waiting room in Las Vegas, easily a decade ago now.  David at the WWDC11 conference in San Fran.  The Feminine Edge Amazonian goddesses in the Dominican.  Mark at an EVS show in Germany.  Most of them are native New Yorkers, some are supplanted from other parts.


New Yorkers are tough nuts to crack.  They are busy, and perhaps a bit hardened by the sheer intensity of life in the city.  While my accent could be mistaken for a local’s non distinct New York twang, I am clearly a cheerful country girl compared to everyone I know who calls this place home. If you read my London Blog, you will know that I have more or less given the art of connecting with people a treatment of gamification. Eye contact, smiles, compliments, kindness all score points and I keep mental track of the day’s haul.  The strangest thing seems to have been happening since I started this in Soho (London) some days ago.  What seems to be happening, is people are instigating conversations with me now, giving me compliments, looking me in the eyes and saying thank you or complimenting my shoes or the purse that Eva printed for me.  It seems, I have unlocked some sort of magical force that perpetuates kindness and is following me around the globe. It’s perfection.


Among the tribe here is a mentor and friend who has given me a shoulder, advice, credit, kindness, and the occasional kick in the ass. New Yorkers are tough on the outside, I am often intimidated by their manner and their “suffer-no-fools” facial expressions as we chat.  I have noticed this trip, that this exterior of strength and severity is easily swept away and replaced with a kindness and connection that I cannot possibly describe. There is a softness and a gratitude that washes over the blank and busy New York stare when eyes lock and time is taken to truly talk, and see them and feel seen in return.


I will cut this blog short, as I am absolutely exhausted after such little sleep, as I tried to shoehorn a month’s worth of meetings and magic into five short days.  I did not get to see everyone I Love and miss here on this trip, but I was made to feel like a magical muse, an object of beauty, an electric and eccentric shock, and a valued and appreciated friend.

Thank you so much for the magic Manhattan.  I miss you already.