About this blog

My only daughter's name is Clea. Clea was six years and nine months old and she was enjoying a family holiday in Samoa when the ocean surged as a wall, ten metres high, and drowned her. Many other people died that morning of 29 September 2009.
The other four members of her family survived the tsunami.
Life has never been the same since. It will never be the same. This blog features memories, reflections, poetry, etc...
Just let me stay with her under this moon,
hold her in my arms, spin her in the air,
with my dear daughter in some timeless swoon.

Monday, 22 July 2013


Snow has again covered the Brindabellas. Overnight, a white blanket had fallen on the hills and created a marvellous sight for Sunday morning. It will not stay there long. When snow makes its rare appearance on the smallish hills that surround Canberra, it is never a lengthy stay. It hasn't been a cold winter at all, and before we know it, it will be over. The chill in the wind will soon be the only reminder of the presence of the snow to the south-west.

I vividly remember the few times my parents would drive us outside the city of Valencia to see the snow. It was a rare phenomenon, too. But as a child I was mesmerised by it: there was something magical about so much whiteness. By the road, however, snow would become slushy and dirty; you had to walk away from the car park to see big stretches of the cleanest white stuff. We never had proper snow gear, and invariably would get cold and feel miserable. These days I think I actually dislike the snow: I can’t ski, I don’t see myself trying to learn now, and I much prefer the company of a book by a warm radiator, with a hot cuppa nearby.

This photo is the first time Clea saw the snow. It was September 2008. After the solitary wintry blast of the year – for that’s what it has become, winter: one very cold weekend per year! – we drove to the Brindabellas and parked the car near the Corin Forest Mountain Retreat. There would be another trip to the Selwyn Snowfields for a one-day snow ‘treat’. Quite uneventful, really.

There wasn't much snow on the ground, but it was enough to make a few snowballs and throw them at each other. Clea enjoyed the battles with her brothers and took aim at her parents. Laughing. Giggling. Shrieking with joy. Shocked when a snowball hit her near too close to her face. Feeling the cold in her hands. She looked beautiful, pure, as beautiful and pure as snow. My beautiful babita. I miss you, mi amor.

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