A crashing tidal wave that rippled for months.

Beating both medicine and biology to join, so loyal to our family from day one.

Nine months of endless surges of sea-sickness, endless tears, endless pain.

Disbelief. Just months after your sister’s birth.

You arrived under a glowing moon, no easy swell or waves to ride.

Big dumping waves. Bold full stops of pain, under a glowing moon.

Over before the sun rose, quick and terrifying.

A bundle of energy, never still, never quiet.

Long sweeps of your downy temple calming you, as our breath became one.

Days, endless, never-ending days, spent rocking, shushing and swaying.

You and me. A constant blur of movement, undulating like the sea.

My pāua baby.


(Inspiration: Daily Post prompt: survive. Allllll we did in the first two years of Lily)



“Māmā I touched the sky,” you trilled. Toes pointed towards the clouds, head tossed back, grin reaching for the heavens.

The swings squeaked with every arch and we watched as the bird wheeled above us, mimicking the cry of the steel. Within seconds, the moment snatched away on the wind and we’re off to the next attraction.

“It’s stopped wind-ing now,” you yelled at me as you scaled the rickety, rusted slide. Up, up, up, each step taking you further away from me. “Oh no, it is blowing my hair,” you called. “It’s wind-ing again.” Early morning car rides listening to audiobooks came to light as you recalled The Wild Wet Wellington Wind by “Joy Crowlrey!”

“Count in mow-dee Māmā,” you shouted. Tahi through to tekau, I heard whispers of you reciting the numbers along with me. “Rua, turtle, wha, rima…” Tekau becomes ‘go!’ and you pushed yourself off, gravity pulling you back down to me, safe in my arms once again.

“I did it Māmā,” you proudly announced, your growing independence both breaking and swelling my heart at once. And then you’re off again, hair flying behind you, cheeks rosy red from wind and excitement, off to test that confidence again.




The Wild Wet Wellington Wind, is by Joy Cowley. It is a poem that evokes the, funnily enough, wild Wellington wind, and was published in 1986 by the Department of Education.


‘wind-ing’ = windy. But as a three year old we’re still learning about which suffixes you add to words to change their meaning. Pronounced like wind (the wind is blowing) with ‘ing’ at the end, not like winding the bobbin.

‘mow-dee’ = Māori.

‘turtle’ = the Māori word for three, aka toru.

To count to ten in Māori = tahi, rua, toru, whā, rima, ono, whitu, waru, iwa, tekau.


via Daily Prompt: Radiate


A beginning

Welcome to Cacti & Coffee.

I plan to fill this tiny little corner of the internet with my flash fiction as part of my 100 Day Project. 100 Days is a creative movement where you take one thing and do it every day. For 100 days.

Before my days were filled with nappy changes, nap schedules, and picking up a billion toys, I was a writer. I miss those creative days where I would sit down and just type. I was a journalist and would spend all day churning through facts and informing people, and then at night I’d enter a world of make believe and spill my ideas out on to paper.

Since having children those moments, and that life, has gone on the back burner. This is my attempt to re-capture a tiny part of that life. An attempt to be creative again (aside from pulling silly faces and making up lullabies).

100 Days starts on May 22. From that day onwards I will aim to post a short story (up to 300 words). Deep breaths……stay tuned.