Sunday, 2 March 2008


Well, the sifting of junk, disgorged from wheelie bags, has begun. So far I have three mountains of paper and a lump of Dig's socks. I would pile the children's clothes but they are already strewn about the bedroom floors, mixed up with mechanical fish toys and unicorns. Cannily, however, I have taken the opportunity to disappear Squirrel's trousers - the ones that pogo about her bum because the elastic has gone - and I will claim they are lost in transit and may have flown to Beirut.

Anyway, for those dear, regular readers of this blog of downfall and misery, from now, it will go like this. To keep up the pointless goal of publishing something every day, even those days when we are not here, I will sift a huge amount of day-by-day travel material, and sort it chronologically. (The day-by-day nature of the thing is purely so I do not forget what we do, and also have something to show the authorities, should they ask.) Most of these words I will hold in draft, and at some point on this retrospective path, I press publish. Probably several days at once.

Then these overloaded diary entries may fall heavily upon you, dear reader, like an avalanche. Some less hardy than yourselves may think 'I'm not walking this way again' and depart. But one or two of you may stay and find something to divert you from a Monday morning meeting, or a dental appointment, or last night's washing up, which just needs finishing off.

Most of these retrospective entries will probably be the rough cut of everyday life, like Dig cracking a rib and Shark having a big scream. But in amongst this massive gush of stuff there will be some moments that, I hope, will fall clearly and suddenly like new made snow and tell me what travel is made from, and why I would keep going back for more, if only I could. And, despite all, probably with Dig, Tiger, Shark and Squirrel too.

Then, to clear up my thinking, I'll start redrafting. Throughout this rewriting process, I'll set about patting down some of those rough diary entries, hewing them into smoother shapes. Some words I'll abandon along the way. Others I may come back to, add, or hack around, cut bits off, rewriting the history perhaps, to one that reads more shapely, more daring, more glamorous, more intricate. Perhaps simpler too.

I'm not apologising. This is a family diary, after all. And families are messy things. I even have a special place for this mess to happen. It's called travels with triplets, and some of the reworking will be done there. In fact, some of the diary entries on Grit's Day may disappear altogether and reappear there, quietly ironed, or ruffled up a bit. This might be disconcerting. Apologies for that.

But even though today I feel I have a lot to say, fired up by travel, liking writing, and feeling the need to put things in proper places, and with labels attached, I know my life experiences are yet meagre. Indeed, whatever life experience Grit can portray, it is unlikely to be in the same league as this:

I kissed mouse goodbye

New Zealand Herald
5:00AM Sunday March 02, 2008
By Alice Hudson

The man charged with biting a pet mouse has been revealed as Lindsay Rowles, whose two children drowned when his boat sank near Waiheke Island last year.

Rowles yesterday told the Herald on Sunday he did not kill Nibbles the mouse on February 8 and was actually "kissing" it goodbye. The 54-year-old also denied taking the rodent from a woman's cleavage as alleged by police.

Rowles, who is also facing charges over the death of his children Erina, 8, and Travis 5, said he knew Nibbles' owner. He said she came to him with tears pouring down her cheeks, worried about her dying pet."She held it out by its tail. I took it from her, kissed it, and said 'goodbye little mousie, see you in heaven'," said Rowles.

His wife Tania added: "He did not go near that woman's top. He's got no teeth to bite with anyway."

Rowles appeared in the North Shore District Court last week facing charges of indecent assault, offensive behaviour and cruelty to an animal over the incident, which occurred as the couple was moving out of their Devonport home. Nibbles' owner told police she was walking her young son to school with the mouse nestled in her top when a group of drunk men confronted her in a "barbaric" attack.

Rowles is also charged with operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk after the family launch sank off Waiheke last Anzac Day. Yesterday, he said he was a "loving father"."I was a loving father who had loving children and a loving wife until my children drowned." He said he and Tania were still grieving. "This misreporting is making me sound like a predator, a mouse-eating man."


Tim said...

Now there is a man who needs to go get himself a Darwin Award.

dragon boy said...

so glad you are back...xx

Michelle said...

Oh bollocks you're back - and we'd intended to get Bday cards to your house for the girls to find on your return. Can you go away again?

Belated birthday returns to the threesome. xxx

grit said...

i think it is the moment for a rofl. pause michelle, to consider how the late grit is a model for the little gritlets. they haven't a clue what date or day it is, so no worries there. anyway, we lied about the dates and days and said we would celebrate birthdays on return, sometime in june.

Casdok said...

Yes arnt families messy!!