As I sat and pondered what significant people and events shaped me in 2004 I faced a blank canvas and scattered thoughts….
Dianne was big into Art and Photography and under the guidance of My sister Anne-Louise undertook several Photography assignments. In 2004 this included the Yoda Project where an object was photographed in many locations. The big thing for me was not in the execution of the project – although that was a fun day out with Ben also taking up the challenge – but was more in the “letting go” of having to do everything myself, of having to be totally capable of teaching Dianne everything she needed to learn. It was a relief to have an accomplished photographer in my sister who was able to teach Dianne the art of Photography – via distance learning – in ways that I never could have.
Alisha was becoming a young lady attending formals and making music while successfully attempting complex pattiserie projects such as the gateau McMahon with support and encouragement from my peers in culinary circles particularly Stuart and Thomas.
Rob and I were planning the addition of an ensuite / second bathroom to the house to cope with the ever expanding number of guests that came and went. Luckily in his job he had access to some amazing bargains that ensured the project budget was not exceeded by too much and he also had access to some technical experts who advised on plans. Of course we also had Dad on distance advise – which was essential as he was going to be “the Builder”. Sadly we struggled for space to store the “bargains” until the big build and we had to live around them.
I was invited to recruit a group of students to assist in the bar-work at the the jambalaya festival. We threw ourselves into this with gay abandon and made thousands of cocktails over the three day event with lots of help from Rob. As a family we dressed up and attended the carnival Street parade.
Samantha settled into our home and her school making huge adjustments from being an only child to becoming the youngest of 7. She handled this with all the grace and maturity that a six year old could muster on the one hand loving the older siblings and on the other resenting their presence.
Towards the end of the year Riki turned 21 – I didn’t feel old enough, or wise enough, to be the parent of a 21 year old…but it was happening anyway.
We celebrated with a Hangi and Haggis feast that celebrated Riki and his mixed heritage. While I had orchestrated the menu – Rob and I were blessed to have a community of helpers including all the kids, my Mum & Dad, the neighbors, Robs parents and my Buddy Ally…but really the Hero was Andy with his awesome Hangi and all the bits for making the Haggis.
We had a great night to celebrate Riki’s 21st and sat around the embers well into the next day drinking scotch and talking absolute rubbish about vacuum cleaners.For me…. This was a year of letting other people walk alongside me as my journey continued…it was a year of letting other people help without feeling like a failure….it was the year 2004 and I appreciate all the people who gently aided me as I became less of a control freak.