Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

What was lost....

Our lovely friend G is visiting from Sydney this weekend and with her she brought this 'lost' treasure. Now to put this into context, I stayed with G and her husband many years ago just before the Baby Angel made her entrance. It was a wonderful time and they were great friends, helping me get myself organised to move to the UK. In the haste of the move, and because I didn't realise that I would be going for 8 years, a number of items got lost. A box of treasures from my office at school was left with someone to 'mind'; various books and pictures were 'stored' and when I decided to stay in the UK long term, I was not able, from a distance, to round everything up and put them into the shipping container. Consequently, I believed them lost.

Well, recently, G and her husband were in the loft. (Australian houses have roof 'space' known as 'lofts'. These are spider web infested places with no floors save for the layer of insulation between the rafters and years of dust and boxes...........)
"What's this box here?" calls Hubby from the loft.
"How do I know?" calls G from the safe environs of the kitchen floor 8 feet below. After a bit of investigation it became obvious that it was a box of my leftover 'things' which had put up for safekeeping 12 years ago.

Knowing she was visiting soon, G pulled one precious item from the box and carried it over with her in her suitcase. This is it!

Now this painting has history. About 20 years ago I had the great privilege of living in one of four flats in a 1920's building up on South Head in Sydney. In the picture here you can see an area of park graced by a lighthouse at far left.....well, my flat fronted onto that! There were two flats downstairs and two upstairs. Mine was downstairs and the two above were owned by a delightful couple who rented one out. About a year into my residency, the upstairs second flat was leased to a very young couple. They were also delightful. She was beautiful, graceful and slightly Bohemian. He was intelligent, witty and starting his own business in the infant industry of computers for print and design work. He was also often on crutches. When I enquired about his injury, he explained that he was a haemophiliac and that he sometimes bled into his joints causing swelling and pain. We expressed sympathy and were fascinated by actually meeting someone with this novel and rare disease (previously encountered only during stories of the Russian aristocracy).

One day the two of them sailed up our driveway in a Porsche convertible.
"It's Dad's," came the response from Damon (or it may have been his brother's, my memory is hazy). "We've been to the launch of my father's book."
Being a lover of books I sought more information. The book was a novel, set in South Africa, about a young boxer. It was called 'The Power of One'. How lovely I intoned naively.

Now, as it was about 19 years ago, my memory struggles with the sequence of events. I do remember that Damon worked hard to establish his frontier business, Celeste worked as a waitress to support them and in between times all residents of the building had chats, BBQs and dinners/drinks in each other's flats. It was a lovely, communal period.

In Dec 1988 I turned 28 and had a small party in my flat for all residents. Damon and Celeste came down with birthday offerings. They presented me with an unusual mexican silver photo frame and a hand painted birthday card. It was a 30cm x 20cm painting of our lighthouse
(it flashed into all our windows at night) albeit in a slightly imagined setting. Celeste had been experimenting with watercolour and although she was a little unhappy with the lighthouse itself, we were all enchanted by the curve of the horizon and the hustle and bustle of figures gathering to look over the cliff edge. It went into my box of treasures (see the real thing at right).

Life started to move fast then. I was transferred to a post in the country and, as was to become the pattern of my life, left some of my furniture with Damon and Celeste. Within the year I received the shocking news that Damon had contracted AIDS. Being a haemophiliac from birth meant he had been receiving blood products and blood transfusions for years and was of course exposed quickly to the contaminated donations of the 1980s. I heard that he had moved with Celeste and was being cared for by his family. I looked back on my final photos of him at my party in 1988 and saw the gaunt, tell-tale face. How had we not noticed then?

Whilst out in the country I also had a friend recommend a book to me. It was 'The Power of One' by Bryce Courtenay. "You must read it!" she enthused,"It's a marvellous story."
I remember feeling ill. This was the book Damon had been celebrating back in the days when he still had colour in his cheeks and no death sentence over his head. It was with an initially heavy heart that I read and loved the book.

And so I framed the lovely 'birthday card' Damon and Celeste had given me for my 28th birthday. I was eventually able to contact Celeste again when I moved back to Sydney in the 90s and heard of Damon's passing at home, where he wanted to be. His father told his story in 'April Fool's Day'.

Although I have lost touch with Celeste over the years, I have recently been reading yet another Bryce Courtenay epic, 'Four Fires'. His gift for story telling continues but I can't help thinking back to the two radiantly happy 'kids' piling out of the Porsche, full of the excitement of his first book launch.

Another strange post script to this story concerns the church where I was married. St Peter's Anglican Church, Vaucluse is a tiny but beautiful church up on the South Head with extraordinary views from many directions. It has a sensational Garden of Remembrance tucked away behind it, near the infamous Sydney Gap, with even more sensational views in all directions. It was in this garden, whilst visiting the church to make arrangements for my 1992 wedding, that I came upon the plaque commemorating Damon. I'm not sure if his ashes are there, if so, what a glorious place to finally rest and how amazing to accidentally find them there....

So, as G handed me the painting that was lost and now was found, I was filled with delight and renewed sadness. Even though the years have passed and people have moved on, Damon and Celeste were an integral part of my life at a time when all of us were at a crossroads. I thank God for the brief privilege of their friendship and the lasting joy this painting brings.

(from my previous blogsite Dec 2006)

Last night I was privileged to be involved in the Annual Candlelight Vigil in memory of the SA victims of HIV/AIDS.

Best Friend invited me to attend and I was so pleased I did. When she was describing the proceedings to me, the night before, she mentioned that we would be writing down the names of those people we knew who'd died of AIDS. "But I don't know anyone" I protested..."Of course you do" she replied..."What about Damon?"

How could I forget???? Damon was my upstairs neighbour in Vaucluse, Sydney 1987-9 (approx). He and his lovely girlfriend Celeste moved in to one of the units in my block and we knew him well. He had mentioned that his father had written a book, something called 'The Power of One' and that his name was Bryce Courtenay. (I actually met him at Celeste's 21st birthday which we attended at The Courtenay's home in Double Bay (I think)....)

Damon was a haemophiliac.

After I had moved to the country teaching I heard that Damon had contracted AIDS either through transfusions or through his coagulation agent, administered regularly and derived from donated blood. He died on April 1st 1990 while I was in Booligal.

The Candlelight Vigil was lovely. Simple, solemn and full of emotion. There were a handful of, I don't know what to call us.....people affected by HIV/AIDS? Mourners? Rememberers? Anyway, only a handful compared to the vast numbers of people taken by and affected by the disease Australia wide let alone world wide. But everyone was profoundly affected by the revisiting of memories.

After the reading of names, a panel of the Quilt was unfolded. Most people are aware of the AIDS Quilt where family and friends created and donated panels in memory of lost friends and loved ones. This was the thing which really got to me. To see the appliqued photos of real people along with scraps of their lives, items of clothing, favourite props, poems and symbols displayed on these panels, encapsulating their characters, their lives and the love and pain felt by those left behind was incredibly powerful.

I wrote Damon's name and my relationship to him on a piece of paper. I remembered accidentally coming upon his memorial plaque in Sydney at the church where I was about to be married. I remembered the two photos I have of him, taken 6 months apart and showing shocking decline........

and I remembered I hadn't been able to say goodbye.

We tied the names onto balloons and let them go. Again.

Monday, 21 May 2007

If I had a hammer!!

Now here's something to be proud of! This is Baby Angel's first project in Design Technology. I suspect the teacher had a hand in taking it home and finishing it but she is pleased as punch and it seems a reasonably utilitarian device! As long as you're under 100kg hahaha

Doesn't she look beautiful and so grown up too? This is her new jumper from her Nanny in Sydney. I think she looks a little like Diana Rigg in "The Avengers"! Expect a stiletto in the forehead any day now!!

Mean Mums

This is one that's been around on the internet for a while but as it goes to the subject of my blog.........here it is again!

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent,

I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:

I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes.

Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was.

We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.

And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times.

You'd think we were convicts in a prison.

She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them.

She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work.

We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.

I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head.

Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up.

They had to come up to the door so she could meet them.

While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced.

None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime.

It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.

We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.

It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Over The Top

This is what's left of the party bag Small Boy brought back from yesterday's orgy.

The bag measures 240mmx160mm (9x6inches).

It currently contains (I didn't see the full bag), 4 lollipops, 2 party poppers, 2 pirate balloons, chocolate money, assorted soft sweets, 6 mini chocolate 'Celebrations' and a packet of Whizz Fizz. As I said, this is only what's left.

What are people thinking? What message does this give? What's wrong with 1 lollipop, 1 balloon and 1 party popper?
I am incensed! I am currently so appalled I cannot even begin to describe philosophically the objections I have to this excess. Never mind what implications it has for Small Boy's teeth and temperament during the day (he is highly sensitive to sugar...triggers tantrums and inexplicable rage ending with a big sleep)....it just sends a Gordon Gecko like message..."Greed is Good".

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Parties From Hell

My mother recently filled me in on this news item relating to an out of control teenage party and a follow up story from a Melbourne mother who tried to throw a 'controlled teenage party'.

This poor woman wonders where she went wrong having hired security guards, issued numbered identity bracelets and filled in party registers etc etc etc.

The answer is half way down the article.

They had invited 100 guests.

What 15 year old teenager needs a party involving 100 guests? I mean it wasn't even her birthday! Most of the world struggles to pull that many people together for a wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This rash of mass media communication, MySpace, MSN etc leads children to believe they have that many friends but as is blatantly obvious from this article, few of these selfish, irresponsible oafs could truly be considered friends.

The manner of communication, on MSN and the like, is so shallow, brainless and mind numbingly repetitive (just how many times can you say f**** in one post?) that it can barely qualify as communication. This is NOT how you make friends.

At 17, my delightful and sensible parents allowed me to invite about 10 people over for a birthday party. Yes, a few of the lads smuggled alcohol in (note it was not PROVIDED!) and had to be spoken to, but on the whole we had a great time, had plenty to talk about on Monday and only had one or two spills to mop up off the carpet tiles.

Only allowed 100 guests indeed. WHAT is the woman thinking???????????????

Friday, 18 May 2007

Backyard Fauna Revisited

In response to a delightful post by Daring Young Mom, I dug up this old piece from Spring last year.

BackYard Fauna (circa Oct 06)

In the week that we lost Steve Irwin and Peter Brock, not to mention Colin (Sun on the Stubble, Stormboy) Thiele, we have discovered more indigenous wildlife in our back garden.

Some of the existing residents include the occasional kookaburra, two ducks who have taken to swimming in our pool, a sleepy lizard who lives somewhere around the pool and comes out to sun him/herself on the rocks regularly, Pippin our cat, the occasional neighbourhood dog and lots of spiders.

On Thursday afternoon however, Baby Angel spotted our latest inhabitant, a very lively baby brown snake. When Himself waved at it, it slithered off and disappeared down a hole behind the retaining wall. OOOOOOOOoooeeeeeeer.

He claims we will ring the Snake Doctor, but nothing has happened so far.

Of course being a baby there's bound to be at least a mum about. I am not quite sure how parental your average brown snake is...........hopefully not very !!!!!

Stay tuned for developments!


Yesterday Himself called to me from the garden at about 9.30am and was able to point out the little snake head sticking out from under the rock it had taken refuge in the day before. What to do? The Snake Helpline had recommended buying bird netting and stretching it loosely over the area, weighing the corners down with bricks and waiting until the snake came out and got tangled up in the netting. Too late. Here was the snake and we had no netting.

I might point out here that the snake which Themselves had described to me as about a metre long and 'big enough', was the smallest, sweetest looking little thing I have ever seen, well, for a poisonous reptile anyway. I had to use binoculars to see him from the back verandah and he was only hiding near the spa. (Near my newly weeded rockery actually...very discerning).

So we called the Snake Catcher and I settled down with binoculars to 'keep an eye on him' until she arrived. I sat on a deck chair for half an hour with my eyes fixed on the one spot! Do you know how uncomfortable that is? Especially with binoculars! Anyway, on a number of occasions 'he' tried to come out of his hole a bit more and I leapt to my feet causing him to withdraw again. The idea was to keep him where he was til she arrived. Interesting that I refer to him as a male eh?

Anyway, Debbie the Snake Catcher duly arrived, took one look and said 'Bugger, I'm not going to get him out of there'. Of course, because of the fenced in nature of pools here in Aus she had no other way to 'sneak up on him' and he was poised staring directly at us and the entrance to the pool enclosure. Thus followed a very frustrating 30 min where we willed him to emerge from his hole as Debbie sneaked ever closer in the blazing sun.

Of course, being male, he refused to co-operate. He would come out a bit, then go back a bit. He was under an overhang too which meant she couldn't pin him down with her pinny downer thing, from above. At one point he gave a bi-i-i-ig yawn which was really sweet actually and his little tongue was flicking in and out 'sniffing' us. Debbie got right up to the rock and it was looking good for a brief moment....then she moved and he was gone.

Next step, try flushing him out with water. I'm not sure how this lies with the current water restrictions but we filled his hole with water hoping to send him out the front. He did not emerge. Finally she jammed the hole's entrance with bird netting and left with instructions that we were to check the netting regularly and dispose of him 'as we liked' (off the record as brown snakes are protected) as there are millions of the buggers about!

I checked a number of times during the day and there was no sign of him although there were a large number of ants going into the hole. This morning there are no ants and no sign of him so I suspect he was either drowned or trapped and the ants got him. Apparently they do that!

During this fiasco I was amazed by the beauty of the little snake as he raised up and lay down, swayed, yawned and sniffed. As Debbie was blocking the hole I stood on the edge of the spa watching, casually picking up leaves from the surface. OMIGOD!!! Under one leaf was a huge wolf spider!!! It struggled upside down on the surface of the spa and I shrieked, stepped backwards and..........fell into the pool. The Snake Catcher killed the spider.
Amazing what freaks us out isn't it? The SC nearly wet herself as she walked past our Paper Wasp's nest on the way out!


Awwwwww. Look at them. Don't they look happy? Baby Angel (left) was asking me to 'turn down' the wood fired stove (first one for the winter) and the brothers were tolerating each other long enough to sit on the same couch!!!
I wonder how long it will last.

Subject: ChildDiscipline1960~v~ 200

This from a like minded flaming friend.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1960 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end
up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark.
Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1960 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal.
Sits still in class.

2006 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School
gets extra money because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from Halloween,
puts them in a bottle, blows up a red ant hill.

1960- Ants die. *

2006 - Fire Department and police called. Johnny charged with
domestic terrorism, Government investigates parents, siblings removed
from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list.

*(Johnny having sensibly stood well back from the ant hill and worn protective goggles)

Happy Families

Well, what a difference 24 hours makes.

On Wednesday night I participated in a parenting course entitled "Drug Proof Your Kids" whilst at home, World War 2.5 was raging.

During the evening, we were asked to create a group collage which expressed 'what we had realised about parenting' so far in our lives. Initially, we had to jot down bullet points and then we were given magazines, textas (felt tipped pens for international readers), glitter etc and asked to creatively record our bullet points. Now this in itself is an interesting exercise. Much of what you cut and stick is triggered by the words and titles you see in the magazine you pick up. My bullet points had included
  • you get back what you put in but sometimes even a little investment will reap great rewards
  • it's ok to say "no"
  • they only hate you for a little while
  • follow your instincts, they're usually right
  • you're never too old to say you're sorry

Of course, my heart and mind were full of the events raging prior to leaving home that evening, and do you think I could see any relevant words and images to support my bullet points as I perused that magazine? No.

Now, from a distance I could have looked for pictures of watches to convey 'time'; dollar signs, or symbols of financial institutions to convey 'investment'; pictures of age, happy couples with kids etc..........but instead I found words and titles such as 'earn your stripes', 'dinner in 10 mins', 'family at war'-there were others but I can't remember them and suspect I will be horrified when I see them next week- and edged all my quotes in a hard, jagged outline. It really was telling. Spot the family in crisis!

In contrast, one of the other lovely ladies on my table had noted down "parenting: I love it, I'm tired, they're all different". Anyway, no point berating myself, we are what we are and that was where I was on that night.

On my return home I was confronted by a devastated Father swinging between "I'm a bad dad" and "I'm writing him off". With some encouragement he went for a drive to see if he could find No2 Son, but to no avail. When he goes he makes sure he can't be found.

That evening I did as much reassuring and supporting as I could. One of my key points was that conflict like this did not make you a Bad Parent. The telling thing is how you handle the conflict. I went to bed very prayerfully, praying for tolerance, resilience, healing, understanding and acceptance for our family members.

All this occurred to the backdrop of an unexpected visit to town by Other Half's sister who lives in Perth and is rarely seen. The following evening was marked down for a family roast with everyone present to catch up with Auntie M. Baby Angel was quick to tearfully point out that this was not likely to happen now. Other Half was keen to write off No1 son as well (rather unfairly as he has been doing v well of late) and everyone was at loggerheads over the situation.

Well, prayer is a powerful thing. The following afternoon I heard from Other Half that he had; phoned No2 son and told him that of course we love him and come home, all is forgiven; arranged for Small Boy to spend the evening with us and contacted No1 Son with a dinner invitation.

By the time Auntie M arrived, the house was surface sparkling (that's where everything has been pushed under something else to leave a tidy surface; come now, surely you know of this method) and younger two boys were out in the backyard demonstrating skateboard tricks to each other. The roast lamb sizzled and aromas of rosemary and mint wafted from under the deft hands of Other Half as Baby Angel, tears dried, peacefully read a novel on the couch.

As we sat to eat, No 1 Son arrived, apologising profusely as he had worked late, with clean hands: he's a mechanic.

We had a wonderful meal. There was excited talk all round. News of progress at work, exploits of Year 3 Spelling Quizzes, netball reports and older to younger brother constructive advice. :-D Auntie M filled us in on her family and experienced ours first hand. At its best!

After she had left , children had meandered off to their respective beds and rooms and Other Half was back at work (well, he had had half a day off to do the roast :-D), I reflected on the miracle that had occurred. You see, the flaming sword is hot. It does hurt. It wreaks havoc!BUT it cauterises wounds. It welds things together. It ignites the crucible of family through which things are purified and made good. The flame is love.

We should never be afraid of the 'messiness' that wielding our parenthood produces. Sometimes the end result takes longer than 24 hours to materialise.....but if our complex and needy group can manage such a transformation and smile at each other across the table with such undisguised joy in each other's company....anything is possible.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


With flaming swords in full battle formation we are now minus number 2 son again. This time we also have a newly acquired hole in his bedroom door. As I was not there for the whole performance I am unsure as to how this eventuated. Ironically, I was on a parenting course.

I do know that the initial argument began when Father asked Son how applications for jobs were going.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Dare Not to Care

We've just got back from a Dare Hair experience which left me feeling............old maybe?............out of it? definitely! The night was a networking fest, bring a non-client friend etc etc. Romance meets Futuristic. Fashion by Xile. Food by Melts. Sponsored by Platinum Travel: Villas in Tuscany. I/we soooooooooo did not belong there :-D

Firstly there was the noise. I can't do networking to noise anymore. Maybe I never could? Maybe I just thought I did and that's why I had so many superficial relationships and unhappy affairs in my youth.

Then there was the clientèle. Immaculately dressed, hair coiffed to within a inch of their lives, champagne glasses poised, pointy toed boots and heavy gold chains in abundance. Oh, and a lot of leggings under short baby doll T shirt dresses (what is THAT about???).

Then there was the parade. Firstly I have never seen more bedraggled, dull, dry looking hair! And I suspect it took hours to get it to look like that. The men looked like they were wearing plastic wigs (oh, spiky hair gel is out now btw) and the girls looked as if they had had a great "up-do" and then slept in it. And don't even start me on the clothes. Now, Baby Angel would say that is just jealousy because I can't wear clothes like that anymore (I am rivalling my Other Half for belly nowadays) but I protest. Not even skinny people can make gold foil cloth bomber jackets look anything other than tacky. I thought I was back at Jules nightclub in 1977.

But the thing I said to my Baby Angel was how superficial it all seemed. I mean, here I am stressing about how to get kids to understand lowest common denominator and these people are working themselves into a lather over vol au vents and 'who's who'. I am afraid I am no good to Other Half as a networking tool. I can no more talk to people with whom I have nothing in common than I could in 1980 when, at 19, I was told to go out and 'talk to people that matter if you want to be an actress'.

Baby Angel, with typical perception, was keen to leave as soon as possible after the parade even though in her baby doll T shirt dress over a Tshirt with gold thongs on, she looked far more at home in the joint than I did!!!!

Ciao from a distinctly unfashionable Arizaphale!!

PS: Other Half was left to network and is STILL not home!!!!!
Hope he gets some business out of it!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Stage Two: Getting it Together

Well, I'm still not sure about this. There is a lot to discover about how to put all this together. I am unsure about the facility for displaying videos; I have no idea what 'tagging' is all about and, perhaps most importantly, I am meant to be preparing lessons for tomorrow. I know, I know, it's always strange when you start something new.......especially when you discover you have been mispelling it for years, but I do rather wonder whether it is worth the effort! Just to check, here is a little photo of Mother's Day to give you a taste of the sort of morning we had here.

The lovely red 'tree' card was made by Small Boy and Other Half to give to Small Boy's Mum later in the day. I'm not sure why I had the privilege of having it on my table :-D

Meanwhile, back in the 'real' world of school I have been developing a new 'behaviour management' system for my Year 9 SOSE class. This is to save both them and me from an unpleasant 'incident' like me throwing one of them out the window. >:-( As of today it was working ok....I can't count my chickens.

There is a fantastic thunderstorm here tonight and when I look out over the balcony it is like someone has scribbled on the sky with light. Pity neither my camera nor I are up to the task of 'capturing' it.
Anyway, bear with me folks. I will persevere.

Sunday, 13 May 2007


Welcome everyone to my new and hopefully improved blogsite. To access this you do not need to be a member or have your own 'page'. You will not be bothered with passwords. You will be able to see pictures alongside text rather than having to click back and forward between 'tabs'. I am as yet unsure of all the ins and outs offered by the blogger service so hopefully I will develop the site as I go. In the first development of the day I have discovered that the name of the Angel which guarded the east Gate of Eden was not Arizaphale as I have been under the impression it was for 16 years! It was Aziraphale. Stiff biccies. I like my version better!!!
And now, it is Mother's Day and I need to go and find my flaming sword as there are 3 little boys playing X Box in my lounge room!!!!!!!!

Mothering with a flaming sunset........