Janet recently posted ten things she likes that begin with B. And now it's my turn, at my request, Janet picked me a letter - D.
So without much ado about nothing, here it goes.
D is for Dogs. I love having animals around and consider myself a pet person, though at the moment we have only three outside goldfish. Dogs are the best pets for kids in my opinion because they're sociable and they get you out and about and they love to run. When the girls are older, when we've finished having babies then we'll probably get a dog. I had two when I was growing up. One was a biter who 'went to live on a farm' (yes, I believed it) and one was an airedale terrier called Dance who was a lovely tempered thing, though slightly daffy.
D is for Daydreaming. Before children, daydreaming was something I entirely took for granted and would probably never have appeared on this list. But now, daydreaming is something I fit fanatically into my life, on rare solo tramrides or rainy afternoons when the girls are employed in a task that keeps them occupied and lets me gaze out the window. I like night dreaming too, the arbitrariness of the images, the atmosphere of it, the way a dream can stay with you like a story. I like the lack of control in a dream, like appearing in your own tv show. I like the intensity of dreaming.
D is for Daughters.
I have nothing against sons, I just don't happen to have any. I love having two girls, and though if I had another baby I'd love the experience of having a boy, just for something new, I'd be just as thrilled (perhaps more so) if I had a third girl. I'm not a girly girl in the sense of being into make up and shoes and hair, but I have always enjoyed and sought out the company of women, most of my close friends are chicks. So in some ways I feel very suited to being a mother of daughters.
D is for Daylesford. About four times a year Martin and I have a reasonably serious conversation about moving to Daylesford. We love it there because it's the country with lattes, with an inner city, cafe culture. There's things about it we're less keen on (neither of us are chakra-crystal-incense people), but still, the idea of raising the kids somewhere less built up with a big backyard and bush around and still a reasonably short distance to family and friends in Melbourne and convenient to the airport to go back to Tassie or have my parents visit has endless appeal. I wonder if we'll ever do it.
D is for Dolls. I love dolls. Not so keen on the more grown up ones like Barbie (though I do have a little crush on Blythe). But I love big plasticky ones (kids or babies) and some ragdolls. Absolutely compulsory is for a doll to be fully dress- and undressable - I am not big on them being sewn into their clothes. I like them battered and worn too, and I think they ought to have a kid attached. Adult bedrooms filled with dolls are a bit creepy and there's something sad about a doll that is never played with.
D is for Dictionary. I love our big Macquarie Dictionary. I like just flicking through it, but I also like checking whether words should be hyphenated or not or finding precise definitions of things.
D is for Desert. I don't have much experience of the desert, but as I get older I find myself more and more enchanted by it as an image and as an Other, a space that is not me, not part of my history or identity. Of course an enormous percentage of Australia is desert but I've spent little time in it, just passed through the flat, drab Nullabor on the train between Melbourne and Adelaide. The desert seems such a confronting, exposed and exposing experience. On my father's side I am related to Gertrude Bell, a spy, a diplomat, an archaeologist and curator, advisor to Lawrence of Arabia, adventurer and an explorer of deserts. (I forget what the actual relationship is - distant I think, possibly even unverified.)
D is for Dessert, though it almost isn't, because in this house we all follow Fred's fine example and call it Bezerk. Usually I skip dessert, because it's mostly yoghurt and I feel like I shouldn't eat the girl's precious supply. I am also not overly a sweet tooth. But there are times when dessert is just the thing, and when such times arise I have a number of favourites, including chocolate mousse, tiramisu, brandy snaps (which really are simply a vessel for cream), apple and berry crumble, key lime pie, lemon meringue, raspberry and lemongrass trifle (well, I've only made it once but it was as if it came direcly from heaven), bread and butter pudding, sticky date pudding and some kind of smallish dark and decadent chocolate treat (I particularly love Eugenies).
D is for drinking. Not so much the hard stuff in this house, but I am an imbiber of many cups of tea and coffee every day. I like drinking cold (but not icy) water. Occasionally I crave milk. My secret pleasure is the very very occasional Coke (like four times a year) - it's trashy and juvenile and a completely artificially contrived and over marketed substance, but I just love it. And it tastes better if it comes out of a can.
D is for Death. It seems peculiar to add death to a list of things I like. And for the most part I have to say, death sucks. It sucks that people I love are going to die. It sucks that I am going to die. It sucks that people I know have already died. But death is kind of cool too. I'm kind of into the idea that death is an adventure. I don't really believe that death is a cold nothing nowhere state, though I have no religious beliefs to hang any notions to the contrary on. Just that it seems an awful waste of energy for us to exist only to then simply s.t.o.p. Also the good thing about knowing we're going to die is that it gives us energy to do stuff with our lives, an urgency to create - lives, art, meals, daughters, coffees, colourful afternoons...everything we do has a sweetness to it because it can't go on forever, because time happens and things demise, deteriorate, disintegrate, drift, decay, decline, disappear, decompose, depart, decease...things die. We die. And for all that it sucks, and it really does suck, it's kind of intensely interesting and inspiring too.
If anyone wants a letter let me know in the comments and I will benevolently distribute fragments of alphabet.