Hot Cross Buns In January – Not Such A Good Idea

Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated the worst time of year for homesickness that bitch ups and hijacks you! And it was something so small, so insignificant that I didn’t see it coming…
One of my Dad’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun. He positively delights in putting those little beauties in the toaster until they’re lightly browned, then spreading some butter on them and sitting down and enjoying them with a cup of piping hot tea.
One of my son’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun… He needs it lightly toasted with plenty of butter on top and he will enjoy it with a glass of chocolate milk. Yesterday he lit up with excitement in the local supermarket when he spotted a packet of hot cross buns. Of course I bought them for him and smiled smugly to myself thinking – “breakfast is going to be easy tomorrow.” I had no idea what was going to be served along with it.

A Simple Hot Cross Bun – Seems There’s More To These Delicacies Than Meets The Eye!

This morning I watched as my boy smiled in delight as I presented him with his perfectly prepared hot cross bun. I listened as he “yummed” his way through it.  I grinned at him finding such happiness in something so simple and then I clutched my tummy as a bolt of homesickness shot through me so intense that it took my breath away.
I turned and fled to the kitchen before my son could see the change in my demeanour and dragged in a deep breath as a longing and yearning for home washed over me like a wave and, in that instant, threatened to drown me.
I held onto the counter top for strength as I wondered where the hell this had all come from.  I waited for it to pass but it didn’t.  Images of home assailed my senses instead.  The soft sand between my toes on Keel Beach, the smell of a turf fire, laughing with old friends and my Dad’s smile.  And that was it – I realised what had set me off – the inextricable link between generations epitomised by a simple smile.
My boy has his grandfather’s smile and this morning I’m sad that he hasn’t seen enough of that smile in his short life.
Don’t get me wrong  – I’m not belly-aching (even though I literally was!) I’m not complaining about my life – I’m incredibly blessed to have these opportunities to live in other countries and I’d be a miserable old bitch if I couldn’t explore this incredible world of ours.  However, there are times when you need home.  I need to go home.  I need my kids to spend time with their grandparents.  I need to see my father’s smile.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to make that happen

Will You Always Love Me?

The blog tour for my novella, Over Your Dead  Body, is kicking off today and I was doing up some promotional material over the weekend.  This involved me trawling through a number of stock image sites looking for appropriate photos.

Over Your Dead Body - the story of one man's need to resolve the past so he can have a future

Over Your Dead Body – the story of one man’s need to resolve the past so he can have a future.

Over Your Dead Body is the story of Ryan Kennedy and how he came to realise he was gay and the challenges he faced and the choices he made in relation to that realisation.  So, naturally enough I was searching for images that involved some male on male action. It was the weekend so of course the kids were in and out of the office, wondering what I was doing and when I was going to be available to play with them. My seven year old son had wandered in a few times, not particularly paying attention to what I was doing but then he came right up beside me and looked at the images on the screen.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

I explained about the blog tour and that I needed to make up a few promotional images in relation to the story.

“But why do you have photos of a man kissing a man?” he asked.

I explained how the story is about a man who is attracted to men.  (He understands the concept. When homosexuality is referred to in our house it is in the same context as heterosexuality, it’s just a matter of who you want to be with – whether that’s a man who wants to be with a woman or man who wants to be with a man or  woman who wants to be with a woman.  It doesn’t matter. However, he hasn’t yet seen a man kissing a man.)

“What happens to the man in the story?” he asked.

I explained how some people don’t accept homosexuality and that this man’s mum and dad didn’t love him any more after they found out he was gay and this had a huge effect on his life.

Photo of man in emotional pain with quote from a book

One Of The Promotional Teasers Depicting Ryan’s Anguish

My son’s face fell and his eyes became sad.

“They didn’t love him any more? he whispered, like that was the worst thing that could ever possibly happen.

“No,” I replied.

My son turned to me, his little face blighted with confusion and sadness for this man in the story.

“And what happens if I love a man when I grow up” he asked, “will you and Daddy still love me?”

I pulled him to me and kissed his little cheek.

“My beautiful boy,” I said, “whether you love a man or you love a woman, me and Daddy will always love you.”

He smiled, threw his arms around me in a monster hug and walked happily out the door.

Over Your Dead Body encompasses all the pain and suffering I have witnessed over the years of friends and acquaintances who have had to face rejection and even abuse by those closest to them, just because they were gay.  Ryan eventually comes through it all and finds his happy ending, sadly this is not the case for all.

Quote in yellow writing over black and white photo of forest with a path splitting in two