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Archive for August 2012

Okay so I’m waaaay behind the 8-ball here, but I just wanted to say my bit about the Olympics, which obviously finished quite a while ago. The Paralympics are still on but you wouldn’t know that from the amount of news coverage it gets… but anyhoo that’s another topic altogether.

I really love watching the Olympics. There’s something very inspiring about seeing people compete for their country at the very highest level. When we were young, my sister and I used to pretend to be Olympic Gymnasts, judging each other for our hand stands and cartwheels and then awarding each other gold and silver medals. I always won because I was a mean older sister and always gave Kate a lower score than what she gave me. Aww.

But she’s the one winning all the gold medals these days, and they’re not even imaginary.

So, yes, Olympics. I love it. Some of my favourite moments from this year’s London Games were:

The Rowing.

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<p>		<h5>Olympics Day 8 - Rowing</h5><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>							<p>Kim Crow of Australia competes in the Women's Single Sculls Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 4, 2012 in Windsor, England.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>						&copy; Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In particular, Kim Crow (image from here).

Kim Crow (image from here) won bronze in the single scull and silver in a double scull with Brooke Pratley. Kim is the first Australian woman to contest both events in an Olympic Games and she did so brilliantly.

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<p>		<h5>Olympics Day 5 - Rowing</h5><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>							<p> Silver medallists Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey of Australia celebrate with their medals after competing in the Women's Pair Final A on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 1, 2012 in Windsor, England.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>						&copy; Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey (image from here).

Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey (image from here). They won silver in the women’s pair. I found Sarah Tait’s story particularly inspiring because she is one of the first mothers ever to row at the Olympics for Australia. During the Games coverage, I saw an interview with Sarah, who said she did her research before making the decision to return to elite rowing after having her first child: other countries had a strong history of mothers competing and she was able to use this information to help gain Rowing Australia’s support. Good on her! The Australian rowing team for the London 2012 Games also included mothers Dana Falatic and Hannah Every-Hall. Awesome.

Oscar Pistorius (image from here).

Oscar is a South African competitor in the 400m. He is also a double-amputee, the first to compete in an Olympic Games.

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Damien Hooper. Image from here.

Okay so I don’t watch boxing. I don’t enjoy watching people beat the crap out of each other. But I do acknowledge that it’s a sport that requires strength, fitness, agility and skill.

Boxing aside, I have to say I really admire Damien Hooper for proudly wearing his people’s flag as he walked out to the ring. Why shouldn’t he? I thought the discussions surrounding the event were quite interesting. On the one hand, the shirt was not the official Australian uniform, even though the Aboriginal flag is an official flag of Australia. Then there was the argument that the Olympics are supposed to be free from politics. I don’t know whether Damien was intentionally making a political statement by wearing the shirt but the fact remains that the official uniform does nothing to acknowledge or represent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander competitors at the Olympics, just as our current flag does nothing to acknowledge or represent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Will we ever get it together and change the flag?

I had other favourite moments watching the diving (so sad for Matthew Mitcham who narrowly missed the final), gymnastics, equestrian, swimming, triathlon, sprinting, pole vault, hurdles and cycling. The Olympics makes me a bit of an all-rounder. I like it all. Except the boxing.

But now it’s all over (bar the Paralympics). The next Games are in Rio and my sister is hoping to be there. So am I. As part of her entourage, of course, not competing (although that would be fun…!). I really hope the media actually shows some of the Paralympics in 2016. If they do, I will be waving from the stands, cheering Kate on.

If she gets there I promise I will award her full points.

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The Big Merino, Goulburn

 

Travelling in style

 

Telstra Tower, Black Mountain

 

View over Canberra from the tower

 

 

 

Not her best angle. One of the attractions at Questacon

 

Water play at Questacon

 

Giant Molly!

 

Neave enjoying a milkshake, oh so delicately

 

 

There’s a new baby on the way to join our family, hopefully some time today. This time a niece.

I desperately want to feel joyful and happy. I want to share the news with my children and excitedly speculate about who their newest cousin will look like, and how big she will be. I want to make plans to visit her and our three nephews, and welcome her to the family.

But I can’t. Because of the stupid, petty fighting that has been going on between her family and ours, I can’t do any of these things.

It hurts. Instead of excitement, I feel anxiety. Instead of bonding, I feel exclusion.

I haven’t told the kids yet. They will want to know why we can’t visit and give her presents, the way we did with her brothers. The best I will be able to do is show them a photo when their grandparents come back from visiting.

I am so tired of explaining why we can’t see their cousins. Almost daily, Tiernan talks about Harry and how much he misses him. It is just so unfair – the kids are the ones who are suffering the most, and they have done nothing wrong.

I feel it is time to step up and try to repair the damage. Even though we weren’t the ones who caused it. We didn’t create the rift. But we could try, one more time, to fix it.

A month ago we almost lost our 18 month old nephew. He almost drowned. Thankfully he is fine now, but he was just incredibly lucky, not only to survive, but to suffer no damage at all. At times like these, families tend to forget their differences and concentrate on what’s really important. Togetherness, love, support.

It certainly made me re-think the situation. If he had died, what would we have done? Despite what has happened, this is still our family and we want to be there for them.

We sent a text message offering our support. We recieved a reply. Baby steps.

However, with a new baby arriving any minute now, perhaps the time has come to go one step further. We are still hurting. We haven’t forgotten. We would like an apology.

But if one is forthcoming, we will accept and start anew.

Oh, and she arrived, at 12:57!