So last night I made a berry crumble for Beloved because he’s been doing lots of work around the house and in the yard.

It turned out very nice, and I wasn’t sparing when I dished it into our bowls. Usually we don’t have late night snacks, but the crumble had taken a while to cool, so what the heck? 

The heck was, we were buzzed all night long.

I could feel Beloved twitching next to me as he struggled to sleep. My legs were restless and my pillow didn’t feel right. We both got up and had water and came back to bed. My teeth were clenched, but that’s nothing new. Beloved got up three times to wander in the dark.

The moon was full, something else I’m adding into the equation.

This morning when we woke, we looked at each other and went,’Wow, what was in that dish?’ 

It reminded me of a few more things we’ve been gaffed by over the years. 

Once, when we were facing the prospect of a 36 hour flight from New Zealand to France, I went to the local pharmacist and asked if he would give us some benadryl to knock the edge off, and help us sleep. I asked for 25mg tablets, but he gave me 50mg, something I failed to notice.

Beloved and I boarded our flight, and just after dinner, we took TWO of the tablets thinking they were a lower dosage. An hour later, we were both twitching like someone with St. Vitus disease. Ten hours into the flight, Beloved pulled the blanket from his head,  and looked at me with tortured eyes. ‘What was in that medication,’ he whispered, desperate for sleep. 

Another time we were gaffed was when we were on the ship. Our friends came by our cabin with good German coffee, and I provided the brownies. The next morning when all four of us met up in the dining room, we looked like we were coming down from an ecstasy party. 

‘What the heck did you put in those brownies?’ our friend demanded.

‘I was about to ask you the same about the coffee,’ I moaned.

None of us had slept more than an hour. 

And then there was the time we came home from a party and went to bed and Beloved wriggled like a three year old.

‘What’s the matter with you,’ I hissed. ‘Stop wriggling.’

‘I can’t,’ he retorted. ‘I’m restless.’

‘Well get up and do something,’ I said. ‘You’re bugging me.’ 

The next morning, Beloved said, ‘I hardly slept at all last night. I don’t know why. I didn’t drink any coffee at the party. All I had was three glasses of cola.’ 

The perfect insomnia recipe. 

This blog doesn’t have a point, but to all those mothers out there that I secretly laughed at while their kids were spinning out on sugar and red food dye….my humblest apologies.




What can be said about what has happened in Haiti? Some of the words that come to mind are ‘tragic, awful, incomprehensible, too terrible to believe.’

Mostly, I find myself in a mute heaviness thinking about it, and viewing the news articles. I know that the pictures aren’t conveying the whole spectrum of devastation, and that what we see is minor compared to what has really happened.

I can’t think of what it might be like. Days of grief, rotting bodies, debilitating thirst and dehydration, starvation, sun baking, fear, desperation.

When we worked with Mercy Ships, we were in the Dominican Republic in Barahona and in Santa Domingo.  Barahona was impoverished. Not enough medical or dental care, not enough fresh water or sanitation systems, but affluent compared to Haiti.

I remember the orange haired, malnourished, cleft lip and palate children, and the people queing up at our medical clinics, desperate, scrapping for a place in line. We were able to provide something their government couldn’t. It took  iron gates and guards to control the crowds at our medical and dental clinics both.

 And this was during a time of calm.

I can only imagine what it might be like now, in Haiti.

I can remember the stench of the market place in Barahona, the strength of the heat baking my brain as I walked into town, and the hands reaching out to beg as I, a white woman from ‘the ship’,  rode the local transport, a motorcycle through town. I know the feel of humidity that drains a body and causes it to dehydrate in a short period of time, causing cramps in the legs, fuzziness in the brain, and the idea that I’d do anything to quench my thirst.

I can only imagine how it is in Haiti, now.