Body Shaming and grace in action with cake.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I am inspired to share a wee story about one inspirational mum, Carrie Strongman a  woman who embodies in her attitude and way of life, an unapologetic confidence in being a beautiful plus size woman.

She also happens to be my mum.

My mum is plus size and has always shown me how beautiful her curves are.

If as a child, I teased her by raising my eyebrows as she sashayed past she would tackle me with kisses until I surrendered out loud just how beautiful she was.

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My mum pictured above with my two daughters Saskia and Scarlett

I love these memories of my mum, from them my mum taught me how to love boldly, with strength and out loud.

My mum is incredibly independent, fearless, creative and intelligent. My mum with all her strength is also one of the funniest and wittiest people I know.

But I remember one moment wishing I could be her strength when two Parnell Village fashion-retail sales-women tried to shame my mother because of her plus size.

Parnell Village in one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs with all its historic cobblestone paved street charm, remains one of my favourite areas in Auckland.

My mother grew up on her father’s sprawling Waitakaruru dairy farm before moving by herself at the age of 13 to the city of Auckland to study and board at New Zealand’s prestigious all girl’s Queen Victoria School. Situated in the equally affluent suburb of Remuera, a 30-minute walk from Parnell Village.

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My mum in her Queen Victoria day uniform

In my teenage years, my mum and I would travel from the Coromandel Peninsula for special mum and daughter days out in Auckland city. Together we would shop, lunch, visit family and visit sites from her teenage years like the Auckland Art Gallery, a favourite.

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The beautiful Coromandel Coast where my mum and I grew up X

My mum would then take me to one of her favourite cafes in Parnell Village for hot chocolate and cake.

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The nostalgic charm of Parnell Village, Parnell, Auckland.

The first and last time I saw my mother experience body shaming we were about to get hot chocolates in Parnell Village. I remember this detail because I didn’t want a hot chocolate after our encounter with two-fashion retail sales woman. I wanted to leave and hold my mum.

The doorway into their store was abnormally narrow, I glided in and then mum confronted by the fact that she could not fit easily through the door turned herself sideways and shimmied inside.

My mum smiled and looked up at the two women, I smiled too.

Then mum said, ‘gosh that was a tight squeeze, I almost couldn’t get inside’.

The sales woman from behind her counter said, ‘well perhaps people like you shouldn’t squeeze themselves in here. There is nothing for your size in here.’

They turned and grinned at one another and smiled without any warmth in their eyes

I still have feelings of sadness in my heart recounting this. I remember being so unprepared for their raw and unmasked meanness, I couldn’t believe that well perfumed and well-dressed people would say such mean things out loud.

For a moment, I saw a vulnerability in my mother that made me want to come back one day and buy that shop and fire those women. I was 14 years old and I just wanted to protect my mum.

I don’t remember what my mum said but I remember the proud carriage of her posture as we left.

I wanted to leave Parnell Village but mum hushed me and sat me down in the café directly in front of their store and ordered my hot chocolate, her coffee and two French pastries.

We sat and my mother told me to enjoy our lovely waiter, our lovely steaming drinks, our pastries and the beautiful day.

A powerful lesson I learned that day from my mum.

Their meanness did not define us or how we enjoyed our day.

The meanness of the two fashion sales women was their problem and not ours.

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My mum and step dad pictured here together in their hometown of Coromandel

I love my mum out loud.

I am blessed and grateful to be the daughter of a woman who has taught me how to remember to love myself fearlessly and out loud.

And to remember most importantly that with all the energy and strength I give to others to remember to love myself first.

I love my mum.

Our loneliness kills

In this carriage between platforms, how far will you travel not to return?

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Nobody looks on a subway train. Each day our loneliness lies and kills the room where truth sits in our hearts.

Nobody looks on a subway train  – they look up and then look down.

On a subway train I find my perfect concealment for nobody looks on a subway train.

Nobody looks for the beaded cling film above my lips, or the subway-sulphur-stench, the acrid miasma of a predator in waiting.

Beads of sweat stream from my ears to my tongue, an inherited trait not unlike that of your desert lizards. Theirs built to compensate against searing heat and lack of moisture, mine the same, but with you shivering blue lipped and drenched before me, I rejoice.

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For all your awkward shivering, your smile cleaves a path towards me, its glimmer armed from a lifetime of exceeding the parochial aspirations of others. Tears undress the beat up pretty from your face, but your smile, your smile hurts people.

     ”Ten thousand and hes’s dead”, you say.

In your eyes, to survive you expect my retreat, but I stay.

In my eyes, to survive you must retreat, but you stay.

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 ‘I smell weird’ you say.

My tongue worms from side to side, then smothers my lips thickening in my throat.

I am these things and more” I say. 

There’s weird and there’s smell weird and there are many freaks in here, and I am all these things and more, I say.

 

 

Thanks for reading X

All images with many thanks to Pinterest.

How do you find love, passion and yes, more sex, now that you are single?

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High noon blazed across the barren landscape of my bedroom. My opponent and I stood stiffened spine to stiffened spine. Now that I was single, the bedroom showdown had begun.

Like a cattleman’s whip loneliness stings my curiosity and I turn to the brutal crack of reality.

My opponent turns low, palms sweating, hands drawn and twitching, matching my speed, my centre-part and right-cheek mole.

Yep I’m playing Cowboys and Indians, in my bedroom mirror, alone.

Single and no chance of any Cowboys or Indians on this horizon. Not anytime soon. Damn!

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What was my first thought when I found myself ‘single’?

I would like to say my first thought was gracious and altruistic.

It was not.

It was, ‘Oh no. No more sex for me’.

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Then I remembered the ‘super secret’ tucked in my bedside cabinet. 

Sunlight probed the tortoiseshell cabinet and with one long fingered nudge the drawer shuddered open.

To reveal one bar of chocolate and one gaping space. My vibrator was gone.

Between moving house, tossing the – ‘things that no longer spark joy’, down-sizing my relationship status and child -proofing mummy’s side of the bed-I had rubbished my vibrating friend.

I tore open the chocolate bar and popped it sideways into my mouth.

On my tongue the sweet slide was … wanting.

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I know vibrators have limitations … they come without Ryan Gosling six-packs and their midday shadows will never loom tall, with Clint Eastwood smiles, swaggering ‘do you feel lucky, well do you?’

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I needed a replacement. But how? I was enroute to Uni and my morning class with hot lecturer.

A little bit of History: Today more than 70% of women own at least one vibrator. 

Just think, we owe our favourite buzzing companion’s invention, to the over worked hands of 19th century Doctors. 

Medical hand jobs were the only cure for 19th century ladies suffering from Hysteria. 

Unable to keep up with the demand and with chronic hand fatigue – Doctors required assistance.

Ask and it will be given – a gift from the gods.

Squished on a peak hour train, fast-track to Uni, between Miss Unfriendly and Mr Too Friendly a sign from the gods’ flutters on my nike airs.

The newspaper’s red letters leap – SALE/BUNNINGSsavings on bulk purchases of AA batteries.

A grinch like grin stretches the slick of my Chanel lacquered lips and sneers off all leery lurking commuters.

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My eyelashes batter off the armpit tendrils of  Mr No-Deodorant-Wearing, Hairy Armpit.

I whip out my phone and tap purchase.

I raise my phone triumphant above my head to screen save my checkout basket.

Lit from above, an unearthly fluorescent-pink-sheen illuminates myself and all my fellow commuters.

We stand, bathed pink, by the formidable full screen selfie, of my new vibrator.

I wish I were Spock calling Scotty, ‘Beam me up Scotty, to a galaxy far, far away’.

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The number one reason I found myself single: I forgot to love myself first. She loved life and it loved her right back.

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Once I remembered who I was,  I forgot about looking outside of myself for love. 

In being alone I remembered I loved being me.

 Yes I found love again but if we want more love, passion, pleasure and sex in our lives, we must learn to love ourselves first.

 

  All images from Pinterest. You can find me on Pinterest here.X

Yikes! I have just arrived at my first school-parent’s party. What do I do now, when I discover I’m on the menu?

 

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Somewhere in Bondi, on a street leading to the ocean, a black lacquered door throbs with music and a golden doorknob beckons.

Navy silk fringing falls from my hips, skimming my thighs and falling to my knees. A band of navy Italian lace covers my hips exposing my midriff. I suck my belly button back to my spine, check my boobies are still bound inside the navy lace bandage top, shoulder roll my men’s pinstripe blazer and reach for the curve of the golden orb.

The golden knob slips from my grasp, as the door swings wide. My eyelashes tremble under the welcoming wink of an oiled navel and golden G-string.

The greeting is unexpected and magnificent.

I offer up my invitation in the sobering event that I am definitely not expected at this party. I have been invited by parents of a five-year-old friend of my daughters, our daughters new friends at a private co-ed school in Sydney. I don’t think golden knobs and G-strings are part of the mixing and mingling at that party.

PARTY INVITATION

On a smooth high gloss 9 by 20cm photographic card dance three naked woman, texture and movement supplied by their 70’s styled pubic hair fullness.

Dress code: Sexy cool

Theme: 007 meets Barry White

Champagne pops on a tray offered by the almost naked, black doorman.

I’m in.

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As the bubbles prick my nose the unexpected magnificence just keeps giving.

My eyes widen at a Melbourne train carriage (life-size) embedded flush in the cavernous rooms right wall. The hosts parked dining room.

I pad over the candle-lit, wide beam Japanese black-oak floor, aware I really don’t want to puncture the floorboards with my heels. I am excited and nervous all at once and I shiver like Christmas Eve with silent promise for the night.

The World is Not Enough

Bond: “I was wrong about you.”
Christmas Jones: “Yeah, how so?”
Bond: “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”

Beyond the room a sail clothed canopy hangs above an outdoor DJ, circling a tinkling bar with a throb of clustered bodies.

A dancing lunatic pulls me on to the dance floor.

I am completely ill at ease.

A handsome stranger rescues me.

I am completely at ease.

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This shot of me at a North Bondi Beach photo shoot,taken a few days before ‘this’ party.

In fact the party is full of throbs of people really at ease. As I get up for breathing space from a group of strangers who are now intimate with the size of my facial pores, under the bench of my brow I watch the room. The room is full of clusters of people, really into getting to know people they have just met.

There are no leery eyed stares, just people enjoying a luxurious party with all the trimmings, fresh delectable canapés, chilled golden flutes of erupting French champagne and two-legged predators with smiles of inarticulate longing.

I look at the wad of business cards that have been pressed into my hand by all of my new friends and contacts at this party.

For some strange reason I feel like the main course.

 

As I walk upstairs to find a bathroom, bedroom doors open to scenes from Arabian nights, without bodies yet. Candle lit water bowls with floating frangipani dot paths to the King size beds.

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A strange little man jumps from the shadows and pulls me towards a bed.

I break free and jig to the stairs – there has to be/there must be a toilet downstairs.

This party is for a select group of people who are aware the rules of the game are about swinging. Swapping loved ones and partners and sharing sexual pleasures with strangers with consent from your other half.

I’ve decided I am not playing and if I had a loved one, I wouldn’t be sharing. I watch the fringe of the dance floor and know I am not the only one feeling this way.

One woman I know is standing in the shadows watching her husband dirty dance with another. She does not look angry or excited, she looks sad.

007 house rules, to kiss without telling and like 007, I leave early.

Sex, is a game best played by choice.

Remember to choose what game you are playing, before the game you are playing chooses you.

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Although I don’t think love was the game being played at this Swingers Party, I cant help but agree with this quote from Johnny Depp.

‘If you love two people at the same time, choose the second.

Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second’.

 

The Friend. Fiction/Thriller/love story

Ta da’  said Connie as she smacked the bouquet the size of a mini haystack into Elvi’s nose. Monkish heads bound in black tissue jostled, their fragrance bruised, brutal, raw like the choice to leave a lover  too-hard-to-let-go.

 Oriental lilies, Elvi’s favourites -Elvi hated them on sight

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‘Thank you’, Elvi said ‘they’re gorgeous.’

How the hell did Connie find her.

Elvi’s lips jutted forward and kissed Connie, twice – a life skill over developed.

Twice, one kiss on each side of her face, keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer flickered beneath Elvi’s lashes.

‘ You shouldn’t have,’ said Elvi.

Connie drew a shallow breath, then another.

‘To be honest, I didn’t,’ she said.

When you opened the door  you looked like a Christmas puppy all eager and fluffy waiting to be loved. ‘They were here on your doorstep.

 I had to give them to you,’ she said.

‘They were on your doorstep’, the flowers quivered fresh.
Elvi pushed past Connie and squinted into the blazing sun,down the ocean road and back into town … ‘Fluffy and eager,’ she and Connie were never going to be friends.

The road was littered with the ant-trail pageantry of gleaming black 4WD’s. Expensive 4WD’s, driven by the dishevelled Nike branded army of kids who surfed every day and ate with double jointed credit cards.

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Who am I kidding, I’m looking for one 4WD, I’m looking for him.

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Elvi dragged her glazed eyes from the sunset – looking for him hurt.

Connie stood before her with narrowing eyes shutting the light retaining every detail of Elvi’s pain and escape.

Connie’s grin widened to the footsteps Elvi heard approaching behind her.

‘Jeff, long time no see stranger’,  said Connie. And she brushed past Elvi into Jeff’s arms.

‘I saw these flowers’ said Connie as her fingers danced across Elvi’s wrist and down towards the quivering stems. ‘I saw these flowers’ said Connie – the monk headed bouquet froze ‘well I told your wife here they were for her but you know I bought them for you.’ she said as she reached up and kissed him.

Jeff laughed, “Come in Connie, we’ve missed you.’ he said  Elvi felt the tenderness of his hand and turned from the shame of his love.

“Come ladies, let me fix us something sparkling’ he said.

Images from Pinterest and my picture gallery

Not one thing more captivating than involving your ‘whole-heart’ in the pursuit of your dreams.

There is not one thing more captivating than involving your ‘wholeheart’ in the pursuit of your dreams.

Its easier to live wholeheartedly when you have a tribe who support you.

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Find your tribe X

How do I find my tribe?  How will I know they are my tribe? What is my tribe?

The top five ways to find your tribe

  1. Be 100% yourself, know that you are more than enough just by being you!
  2. Step in the direction of your passions, your projects, your inspirations.
  3. Meditate, meditate, meditate. It works! In the stillness doors open for you. All you have to do is step through. And dont panic if you think you may have missed your door – doors keep opening!
  4. Fear might jump up and laugh at your tribe of one – when you begin, but just wave at fear, even smile. As you fall into the wholeness of yourself you will begin to shine. Those who are like you will have no choice but to flock and pursue you. I believe it’s true – like attracts like.
  5. Remember the things you want, want you too X

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I am grateful and astounded each day by the beautiful women I hold close and surround myself with. The women that open themselves beyond curiosity about me: the ones that crack open their vulnerabilities with passion and share.

The women of a tribe that share and live wholeheartedly. Authentic women – my kind of tribe X   Simmon Wagner – theloveauthentic

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As much as I believe in a tribe of authentic and powerful women at my back and in my arms, I love and am grateful for the beautiful men and children who rest in my arms too.

Each day hold close the members of your tribe – remembering not to hold too tight – leave space for growth and the unexpected X

Simmon Wagner – theloveauthentic

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All images with many thanks from Pinterest X