On Robin Williams

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A friend posted on Facebook recently:

 I wish there was a word for the melancholy you feel when someone you never actually met suddenly dies; that strange, vague sadness of remembering them without ever having known them.

The moment I read this I realised that I had been feeling the same way; wanting to know how to grieve for someone you’d never met. I’m sure this has been touched on by many people far better qualified to discuss it than I am, but still, I felt a crushing sadness to hear of his death.

It has subsequently been revealed by Williams’ wife that he had recently discovered he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. I cannot imagine how that diagnoses must have meant to him, but I imagine that the knowledge of having a degenerative disease could not have been easy to come to terms with. His vitality was such a part of his public persona.

Williams was a huge part of my childhood, bringing warmth, strength and what seemed like real vulnerability to his roles. I’ll never forget the scene in the film ‘Hook’ where the Lost Boy says “oh there you are Peter!” Heart. Break. Every. Single. Time. Finding out that his demons were so strong that taking his own life was the best way to deal with them, was for me like finding out my parents were fallible. That the good guy doesn’t always win in the end.

I think that’s why I care so much about his death. It was like losing a father, like losing a constant in my life. He will be missed. Rest in Peace.

What My Marriage Will Mean to Me

Very recently, I got engaged to a wonderful man. The proposal took place at home one evening, just the two of us and what I now believe to be some pretty special lemon cake. I’ve got mad baking skills, it appears! I couldn’t be happier with the way we decided to make a marriage.

Interestingly, I really don’t believe that marriage is a necessity anymore, and I know I’m not alone in that opinion. I am vehemently pro-gay marriage, however, because I believe that everyone should have the same civil rights. I did know, however, that marriage was a ride I wanted to take. Why did I feel so strongly that I wanted to get married? I’ve tried to answer this question over the last few weeks, and I’ve found there is no clear answer for me.

In part, it’s to do with the fact that my parents divorced. Their marriage, until now, has been the most important marriage in my life and as I’m sure you can imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with, despite being (technically) an adult when their separation occurred.

I’d like to place a happy full stop to that marriage and start a brand new chapter with my own.

As I’ve grown and developed my own adult identity I’ve clarified in my mind the qualities that I really value. Commitment is high up on my list. You can’t have a marriage without commitment, although conversely it’s possible to have commitment without marriage. I’m excited to wake up next to my future husband every day and know that what we have is still there. That the default position is that we love each other and we’re there for each other. That we’ve given permission to one other person to slightly take us for granted. Your spouse is the one person who should be able to take it for granted that you will be there for them. That if times get rough (and they will) that you will be there beside them. That you are partners.

I also want to be a wife. I really want to claim that label for myself! It’s not the only word I’d use to describe myself – I’m pretty sure enthusiastic, passionate, somewhat absent-minded and untidy would also make it onto that list – but being able to say I am someone’s wife will make me feel incredibly proud. I’ll take that responsibility bloody seriously. As much as marriage is a private bond made between a couple, these titles we bestow upon each other are a public declaration of the choice we made. I am in love, and I want to be an archetypal lovebird and sing it out to the world! I am in love! I am a wife!

Marriage is not sacred nor spiritual to me. It’s a precious man-made ritual that doesn’t even necessarily last our whole lives. I’m ok with that, but I’m going to try damn hard anyway. To me, marriage is a living promise, that calls upon me to be truly present in my relationship. My marriage will be a touchstone, a guiding force and loving filter through which I can view the choices I must make in my life.


What’s It All About Sammy?

I am a very different person to the one I was five years ago. The fundamental change has been a huge increase in confidence, brought about by a difficult, but ultimately successful move from Australia to the United Kingdom. I’m now back in Australia finishing my studies, but when I get married next year (woohoo!) I’ll be living permanently in Ol’ Blighty.

Let this blog be a conversation about what it’s like to be a woman, a lover, a migrant and a human. I’m going to share some of the things I’ve learnt about moving to the other side of the world. How to do it, and what mistakes I made, that hopefully, if you’re in the same position, you can avoid.

This here blog is my account of things that are important to me in my life. What’s going on, and when. My favourite blogs are those where I can read about other peoples’ lives, but in such a way that I feel a kind of universality with their life and my own. I’m going to try to strike a balance between putting the intimate details of my life online, and keeping some elements private. I don’t know if anyone apart from my family will read this, but if they do, I want them to recognise their own life in mine – that fundamentally, we all have the same shit to deal with.

My Weekend Has Been Spent #4

Photo on 4-04-2014 at 12.16 pm

  • Dearly hoping there is a hell of a lot more to the story of Baby Gammy than we’re hearing. Too horrid to think otherwise.
  • Spending a ridiculous amount of time on A Practical Wedding. Yup, I’m getting hitched next year, and APW is the wedding website I never knew I always wanted. It has spreadsheet templates for everything wedding related you could ever imagine needing a spreadsheet for. It talks about feminism, motherhood, reclaiming (or claiming) the word wife, and even better it has a gay-wedding photographer advertised, who is called Pretty Witty and Gay. LOVE THIS.
  • Working on a Squarespace wedding website. As a friend said the other day, I’m ‘bride-ing like a boss’ at the moment, but it’s not because I’m going all Bridezilla on you, it’s because we’ve got international flights to co-ordinate and I want to know how much booze I can afford. Christ this wedding shenanigan is going to cost me a fortune.
  • Celebrating an anniversary (yay!)
  • Wishing I hadn’t let jet lag get me into a sleep-at-2am habit. It’s ruining my non-routine, but at least it’s easy to keep…
  • Staying up late watching the Commonwealth Games. Never been so enthusiastic before, but it’s made me go a bit funny this time!
  • Starting a couch to 5k. Here we go then, right?
  • Thinking about the Colette Hawthorn top I want to make. I’ve got some navy blue poplin and some wood effect buttons raring to go! All I’ve got to do now is clean the whole house so I can find the pattern. I put it in a safe place, ok?
  • Enjoying spending time with my 91 year old Grandmother. She’s been through some tough times, but I have never met anyone who is so filled with joy at being alive. She truly delights me.
  • Reflecting on Once My Mother. Helen’s journey from Russian occupied Poland, through Kazakhstan, Persia, Africa to Australia almost exactly mimics that of my grandparents. I can barely comprehend how lucky I am to be a migrant by choice. I’ve got it bloody good. I found the voice over a little dramatic and sincere, which was a bit distracting, but it was fascinating to see the story I was raised on up there on the big screen. Cue sobbing.

Hope you had great weekends. Thanks as always to Love Audrey for the post inspiration.