by Lori Dwyer on February 17, 2014 · 0 comments

My children and I grow closer and closer, and that’s lovely.

The simple fact is that we spend more time together now than we did before, without grandparents and friends to pick up my slack. But it’s hardly just hours logged, minutes spent together. You can spend all your time with someone and barely know them.

It’s relying on each other more, too. Happies and sads, disappointments and hopes– they’re shared and divided amongst the four of us now, rather than dispersed amongst an entire extended family. I’m acutely aware that there is no filter beneath us now. If things slip through the cracks, they are gone. Needs and concerns not met by myself or The Amazing Man slip off into the ether and become part of the karma of the world. There is no second line of defence, no other attentive able adults to catch what we do not.

We are closer. I am the lucky recipient of more cuddles, more chatter. We sift through the verbal wreckage of childhood language and cues and attempt to smooth out the bumpy bits, to remove debris that may catch and snag the kidlets long into their adulthood.

It’s a comforting burden, a pleasant pressure akin to a heavy blanket on a warm winters night. It’s always there. Sometimes you are benignly aware of the weight of it, sometimes not. It gets difficult- you stick out feet and hands, pieces of yourself exposed to regulate the heat.

Other times, you wrap yourself in it. Snuggle deep inside it and feel nothing but gratitude for what it provides.


The News.

by Lori Dwyer on February 12, 2014 · 10 comments

I don’t watch the news anymore.

I quit years ago. I don’t read newspapers. I don’t watch the five o’clock news bulletins. I scroll past anything on Twitter or Reddit or FaceBook that might force me to face up to the real world outside of my own little bubble.

And I think I like it this way.

I’ve heard before that it’s recommended that people suffering from depression don’t watch the news. And I can’t imagine it being a productive activity in terms of anxiety.

There is so much to worry about in life. It all seems significantly worse when it’s presented in full colour, high definition, complete with the concerned tones of news anchors or the irritating comments section of news websites. 

It feels selfish sometimes- as though I don’t care about the world. As though I have some kind of moral obligation to know what’s happening around me, all the time. As though being aware of the injustices of the world would be enough to fix them.

In reality, even if I was faced with the biggest of injustices and the most obvious of degradation… I probably wouldn’t have the energy to change anything. Activism is outside the realms of my own possibilities right now. 

People existed for thousands of years without knowing what was happening globally. Without TV, without the Internet. And everything was fine. 

They say things are the best they’ve ever been. We have technology and insight. We’re globally connected in a way the worlds never been before. Wars and murders are at an all-time low. It’s just that every day we’re presented with a blackboard of disheartening images and overwhelming information… stuff we don’t really need to know.

If ignorance is bliss… then not watching the news is a simple matter of happiness.



by Lori Dwyer on February 11, 2014 · 2 comments

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Some days it feels as though the city sucks at my soul.

I love people… but there are so many of them here, so close together. There is humanity next to us, in front of us, behind us. We live in a small, relatively quiet block between two busy roads. I find myself wondering how long it’s been since I’ve been more than a few hundred metres away from another person. It’s as though I can feel other people’s consciousness intruding on me. Sucking the vitality from here.

I miss my TinyTrainHouse, where it was almost always quiet. Where the silence was so complete I could hear every bird call from the dense bush behind me. Where dusk brought in the high pitched hum of cicadas and the echoey galump of frogs. The laughter of kookaburras. The squawks of cockatoos.

Here dusk brings people noises. Voices and dishes clanging against each other, with spikes of laughter railing through them. It brings a more intense hum to the constant background din of traffic. On still nights, sitting in my backyard waiting for the cool change to come through, I can hear the occasional deep frequency of  a train on the tracks a few hundred metres away, and the dinging warming signal that the traffic gates are closing.

I don’t notice how much I miss the bush and the wide open spaces until I see them again. Until I spot a rolling hill dotted with trees, or sit on the back porch of The Farm and listen to the night sounds. It’s then that the muscles in my back relax and I feel myself expanding from the inside out. It’s then that I relaise how much I need it.


With the Most Amazing Man so into his bushwalking, getting out of the city and into the bush is a semi-regular activity. I love the Dandenongs. It’s lush and green and dense. Some of the eucalypts are five feet wide and must have been there for hundreds of years. I love the fernery and the leaf litter, the tiny creeks and the waterfalls.

It’s hot and sweltering the day we visit Olinda Falls. While Melbourne is colder than Sydney, it’s also hotter. The sun has a bite to it that makes it feel as though you’re a few hundred metres too close to the sun. It’s a dry, stark heat. Some afternoons it feels as though the world will implode from the pressure of all that hot air. 

It’s only 450 metres to the Falls. The Bump falls over every fifty metres or so. The sweat is running of us and we seem to move from patch of shade to patch of shade. The quality of the sun on your skin is more a searing fry than a baking slow roast.

Olinda Falls is a gentle, bubbling rock slope with falls that are shallow and graded enough that you can get right up close to them. If you stay up creek of the small foot bridge, you don’t have to worry about being swept away. The water is no more than a few inches deep.

We sit in the shade provided by the canopy above us. The kids and I remove our shoes and sit, our feet in the freezing water, feeling our body temperature drop by rapid degrees.

The kidlets giggle and splash. The Most Amazing Man snaps photos. And I feel my soul recharge, sipping the lush vitality from the bush around me.





This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.

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