Family Travel

The pockets of others

26 February, 2014

I was remembering recently some of those days when Ramona was a baby and my husband would go off to work, how I would look despairingly at the long day ahead, how it seemed to yawn on and on. 6:30pm, that exhilarating moment when Tim would open the front door, was so completely in the distance that it wasn’t even a speck on the horizon. It had dropped off a far flung cliff, like a suicidal Woody Woodpecker, a mocking laugh, a wisp of smoke.

And I LOVED being a mum. But, sheesh, those days alone just. Stretched. On,

People with one baby quite often ask “How is it with two kids?” and I begin to say “Oh, AMAZING and SO EASY!!” and then I remember that the four of us have been on the road together, in each others pockets, since Juno was four months old and really I barely have a clue about juggling the needs of two little people at one time!

How fortunate are the girls, to have their dad around so very much? And how fortunate am I, that when I am feeling a bit clung to I can easily take a breather? And that the days are full, chockablock, bursting at the seems with stuff to do, too MUCH to do?

It couldn’t be more different, these days.

(We weren’t really made to do this parenting thing solo, eh? We need gaggles of friends and neighbours and sisters to thrive. One of my friends, Jenny blogged beautifully about this very thing this week.)


We have slowly etched our way around the coastline of the North Island (of New Zealand, that is, NEW ZEALAND, a whole other STRATOSPHERE! *googles stratosphere* Oh, actually, no, I mean, WHOLE OTHER HEMISPHERE) catching up with friends. And there are new family members, children and babies, oh, so many bonny babies. It has been amazing just bustling about with them, living in each other’s pockets, doing our days all together. Charity shopping together. Pretty much mostly just charity shopping together.

We’ve been hunting through possibilities of dining tables for the bus. We had our hearts set on a formica table but in this land awash with ancient woods they KNOW the value of a nice formica table. Pfft. We have looked high and low, we’ve had every friend on the hunt with us and finally, last week we found one, HURRAH! There was much back slapping and hooting, as if Tim and I had really succeeded at something. Yep, folks, our ambition has shriveled to this.

We’ve been so inspired by the stuff our friends are up to – our friends who have an organic bulk buying co-op thing casually going on, those friends who do a great bit of co-housing, the family with the beautiful home who Know The Way Of The Vintage Tapestry.

I made new friends in Wellington, bloggers I knew from the Internet who were actual Real Life People. Thalia from Sacraparental and Tasha from Maybe Diaries. Two awesome new feminist, attachment parenty, social justice loving friends.

We went to the New Zealand Unschooling Camp and met a crowd of people who stunned us with the simple ways they were fully living their dreams, growing food and having adventures. (A whole other post about unschooling coming soon!) A family who are travelling in a bus and unschooling their FOUR BOYS for OVER A YEAR, one woman who unschools with a little tribe, a kindred-spirit mother unschooling with her awesome lad.


We’ve been busy.

So busy that I sometimes forget this little ache in my heart that just wishes my sister, Jo, and her family were close by. Her taunting me by blogging amazing recipes involving cream cheese and salted caramel doesn’t help. I want to have a cup of tea with her and eat her baking.

We are coming to the end of our nomadic stage… we are thinking of heading back to Thames this weekend, a cool little town at the start of the mightily majestic Coromandel. We might nuzzle down for a bit. Perhaps learn about growing stuff properly, search for a bit of land to call our own. (Bit more serious than a retro table, eh?) We have not at all been swayed towards Thames because they have some of the best charity shops in New Zealand. (We have.) (What, dad?! That is perfectly reasonable criteria to base a new land ownership on!)

Life might start to look slightly more normal. But we are going to cling to our sense of adventure, seek a tribe to live life with, pockets to dwell in.

And we will try as hard as we can to avoid anything that might leave one of us staring at the clock willing the minutes to pass.

This is a featured post – please see my disclosure for more on that.

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  • Becky Brown 26 February, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Kids having their dad around is so great. One of the reasons we moved to France was so that our 2 boys could spend more time with their dad and we know it’s going to make such a difference to them growing up. Your travels so far have been so inspiring and I cant wait for us to do more travelling with the kids. We’re planning our first family camping trip in April and the idea slightly terrifies me but I’m sure it will be good fun! Where we are in France lacks the great charity shops we had on our doorstep in London but as Spring approaches the vide greniers (like car boot sales) will start up again and we’ll be there! Hope you have fun finding the right place to settle!

  • Coral 26 February, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Both my children are grown now, yet I remember all to well waiting for my husband to come home from work after being alone with a baby all day. Parenting is a tough job. I went to as many groups as possible to be with other moms and we had a weekly home group too which became a life line. It was so much easier when my husband lost his job, financially scary, yet we survived, and the children had the benefit of two parents at home. If I were doing it all again, I would, especially now, home school and downsize the home. As it was we rented out rooms to students, many of whom became lifelong friends. And my children had the benfefit of meeting new people and learning additional social skills.

    Absolutely love reading about what you are doing and hope you find the formica table.

    • Lucy 27 February, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Yes, downsize, downsize!!

  • Katy Beale 27 February, 2014 at 1:31 am

    So lovely! That is all.

  • Jo T 27 February, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Hey! I need a heads up if you’re going to post something that makes me cry! Miss you guys but LOVE the adventure you are on xxxxx

    • Lucy 27 February, 2014 at 7:27 am


  • Jenny Lambert 27 February, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Loving your travelling tales, and really love that photo of you 4. Glad to hear you’re having such a great time.

  • Al 27 February, 2014 at 4:00 am

    You’ve done it again…whenever I seem to have a dilemma up you pop with a post that answers a few questions.

    • Lucy 27 February, 2014 at 7:27 am


  • Emma 27 February, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Wonderful – I love that you’re just off there in New Zealand doing IT! What a lovely life you’re making for your wee family.

  • Roger Driver-Burgess 27 February, 2014 at 9:31 am

    So looking forward to your re-arrival! Where are you planning to park? Anything needed? See you soon.

    • ThaliaKR 27 February, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Love this!

  • Tasha Batsford 27 February, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    It was amazing to meet you all. You are the first other Blogger I’ve actually met and I was wondering whether if two of us in the same room might cause some kind of social justice, crunchy, quipping vortex.

    I’m glad it didn’t and the next time you’re on your travels, let me know: I’ll break out the family and maybe you can show us your surfing moves 🙂


  • ThaliaKR 27 February, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    SBJ is still talking about Ramona and the shaky shaky house 🙂 He also wants to see your bus again – as do I! Jody asked me if I’d admired the floor and I gasped and said no, I’d been so astonished to see you all in the flesh that I hadn’t asked half the stuff I meant to (but at least I got the hair stories straight 🙂 )

    Anyway, yay for you guys being in New Zild. Enjoy Thames!

    xox tkr

  • Hollie Adams-Hylands 27 February, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I’m glad this popped into my inbox today. Our house is full of debate of new ventures and travels with clock watching not fully yet a thing of the past. I cannot help but agree though that as parents we need a tribe. “It takes a village…” My worry is that in taking the plunge to foreign lands we will soon realise how much we lean on grandparents for the simplist of things. Adventure awaits, of that I’m sure, although when/where I can’t be sure. I thoroughly salute and admire your zest for a different life. One based on your own terms. I cannot help but think the further down the rabbit hole we go the more this becomes the only viable option.

    Enjoying your journey from afar

  • Cecelia 27 February, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hunk of a man you have there. Just saying. 🙂

  • Becky 4 March, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Both Jonny and I work form home so we have the children with us both before and after school so so precious they are soon grown and want to fly