Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Brotherly Love

Felix: When was Oscar born? Me: 1998 Felix: That was a long time ago. Pause Felix: Shouldn't he be dead by now?


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

While Bec was smiling inanely wearing overalls and a daffodil yellow tee...

I was living another over-committed weekend. ***** UPDATE: I've felt weird about this post ever since writing it. Let it be known it's not like I'm trying to claim rights to the shittiest weekend ever. That this is really just a standard weekend day for any of us. I'm just whinging. Really. Indulge me. ***** Can I just say (again) how much I absolutely, purely h.a.t.e. Saturday mornings. I believe this pathological hatred stems from the fact that my albeit short life as a university student and then part of a dual-income-no-kids existence where Saturdays were the day you slept in until at least 11 but sometimes 1, then spent a couple of hours reading the papers often with friends at some gorgeous little cafe that did the best eggs and coffee, before either heading home to prepare dinner for friends or to go out for dinner with friends. Kim's life circa 1996 Friday night - binge drink with workmates, maybe smoke, get home sometime after midnight but usually before 3am Saturday 11am - rise and drink litre of water, take a couple of panadeine, go back to bed 1pm - get up, go and buy papers, maybe some croissants from this awesome French patisserie in Mosman a.l.l. afternoon - read papers 3pm - gin and tonic o'clock evening - friends over for dinner - eat massive amounts of sumptious food, drink copious amounts of red wine have a glorious time 1am (ish) - bed Kim' s life circa 2006 5am - woken by baby or eldest child. If woken by oscar it is to a refrain of "no school?" then a "yay!" then denying requests to play computer, Star Wars Lego. Drag self out of bed to put Star Wars DVD on to stop the whinging. 5.15 - re-woken to wipe eldest's bottom. (the writing is so on the wall isn't it, as to how a day will transpire if it starts wiping someone elses arse) By 7am - onto second load of washing. Kids dressed for chiropractic adventures. 8am - attempt to leave house for soccer. Stand on edge of field cheering. Pretend to care. 10ish - home. Feed Jasper morning tea. 10.15 - leave for tennis. after tennis this week we went to Warriewood Squank (its a square but skanky) and I bought the boys bribe presents for later in the day. 12.30 ish - Home for a bit. Jasper gets about 15 minutes in his cot. Torrential rain. 12.45 - Leave for eye appt. With three children. (hence earlier Star Wars Lego bribe presents) Eye appt. Jasper crawls around floor. Boys play (beautifully) in main shop. Bought bread, papers. Went home. 1.30 - Remembered b'day party. 1.45 - Left for b'day party. Hung out with people I don't know at b'day party. Oscar cried a few times. Felix looked sooo bored. 5.30pm - home. Cooked dinner. Fell asleep in Felix's bed- around 8.30. SUCKVILLE, people. That's not a Saturday, that's a week-in-one-day. The highlight of which was that I managed not to yell at anyone (much) and instigated minimal psychological damage on my children to add to their already vault-laden years-of-therapy quota.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Sometimes the best way to end a manic weekend of over-commitment is a bout of gastro.

5.00am - the baby wakes. 5.04am - feeding. Sitting in dark in living room doing so. Hear Oscar stirring. 5.08am - Oscar cries. He takes his night splints off. 5.12am - Felix comes out (he has to be first) but on seeing how dark it is outside says, "it's too early" and promptly returns to bed. That's my boy. 5.13am - Oscar relocates to our bed then cries for me. 5.15am - Jasper does the most massive vomit of entire feed, mid-suck, and then some, all over himself, me, the lounge and the floor. Question that can render you motionless at 5.15am: Do I clean up me, the baby, the lounge or the floor first? 5.16am - Strip off dressing grown, mop up floor with it as I head for bathroom. 5.16.22 - Second vomit all over me and him 5.16.35 - Run bath for baby 5.18 - Tell husband to get up and help 5.20 - The whole family is up. (I got a shower at about 5.45 - after mopping the floor, cleaning the lounge, putting washing on, getting baby settled) End of the day: Jasper - five outfit changes, three baths Washing - two sets of sheets, four other loads Me - eating whatever I feel like as I figure the amount of vomit and poo that I've dealt with today, it's only a matter of hours until I am having that affair with the cold bathroom tiles. And somehow, I actually did work from home.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it - Steven Wright.

Time for me to make the abstract take form: sadly it will be with an extenda-roller rather than oils on canvas. I may be absent for a bit - painting, filling, sanding, painting, nailing, cussing... Have to make our place presentable for the valuation that makes this possible. Have to make it presentable in what's left of the weekend while working around three kids, one dog, two cats and assorted fish. Oh joy. Wish me luck. mtc Bec



Rice - the arch enemy of the dishwasher.


Thursday, May 25, 2006


Chef and I went to the shops for late night shopping. Alone. Granted, it was 8pm and the boys were all in bed. Granted, we were home by 8.50pm and sure, the only thing we actually bought were some pencils for the boys. But At the rock climbing joy last weekend I snapped my glasses. Granted, I'd been whinging about how I needed new frames blah blah blah for oh, about 18 months, so I should have been pretty darn pleased, but when you are as blind as I am and only own one pair of glasses (something I have now learnt I need to rectify) it was actually a monumental pain in the arse. Combined with the fact it happened on Day 1 of Return To The Happy Pill and the gagillion things we had on that day, I was pretty pissed about it. So all this week, I've walked around with glasses that have a big wad of superglue holding them together, clearly visible due to the snap being on the bridge section that sits on my nose. Yup, I am one classy lady. But Tonight, we went to the optometrist, and I got me a new pair of frames. I have to get my eyes checked on Saturday because they haven't been checked in about oh, 3.5 years, and then I have to wait another whole week but then, I'll have sexy new glasses that made me all bouncy and happy. I will even model them for you all. After that is a haircut. And colour. It's the big issues discussed here folks.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

As the drugs start to work the large red flags that had been flapping in the wind become quite apparent.

Red Flag #1: "Gee I wish I could stay at home and undertake craft projects" Red Flag #2: "Sure, Chef has worked all day, standing up in front of a hot stove, then got home and made dinner, bathed children, done homework with them and cleaned up the kitchen, but I just wish he'd help me a bit more. Like, he could have at least hung out the washing." Red Flag #3: "My hair isn't that dirty" Red Flag #4: "I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore the same pants to work two days in a row?" Red Flag #5: "I don't care if it's 1am, I have to get this washing done/ironing done/lounge room cleaned up/eyebrows plucked" Red Flag #6: (after keeping a food diary all day indicating the complete opposite) "Well I fucked it by eating that chocolate this morning so I might as well eat a jumbo packet of chips on the way home. And maybe I'll wash it down with a Fanta." Red Flag #7: "I really want to learn how to sew." Red Flag #8: "I'm really upset I can't knit." Red Flag #9: "I want to make a quilt." Red Flag #10 through #eleventy hundred: Crying all the time. Being angry all.the.time. When not angry, being so quick to anger it was impressive if not highly frightening. Feeling on edge all.the.time. Finding it very very difficult to see anything positive, ever. An impending sense of doom. Realising perhaps not everyone has a constant swirling internal monologue going on and on and on and on. A bit like this really. We're only on Day 4 of the new drug regime, so I'm still feeling the love of lock jaw, the occasional shakes from the tension/anxiety, heightened anxiety and upset guts, but that fog - it's cleared so markedly already I am shocked at how bad I was (and how boring it must have been to you all to listen/read it). I feel a vague sensation to do a blog equivalent of a Cruise lounge jump in the euphoria of feeling so much better in my head, but realise that may only relegate me heightened nutbag status for many of you. But coupled with a bizarre and sad resignation to the fact my brain just doesn't really like working properly on its own is a child like "weeeeeeeee" at just feeling normal.


Monday, May 22, 2006

A late Sunday confession

I have 20 posts in draft form at Eat Me. I have no idea of when I will get to them to fill them in. But they are there, and span everything from jelly cakes to spaghetti and meatballs.


I know

that posting pictures of your kids freaks some of you guys out. But this little person, is currently warming my soul so much I feel like my heart might just explode. Some images of Jasper at 7 months...



Felix is now 6. That's him climbing a wall. How ironic. Jasper was 7 months on Friday. He decided it was as good a time as any to master stairs. All of them.


Random musings

You know, when you know the drugs you have to take to make you a little less nutbag make you a LOT more of a nutbag at first, mainly in the locked-jaw, incredibly tense, oh-dear-GOD-what-was -that-noise anxiety addled way. That, and a good dose of nausea and impressively sudden bowel urges, it's probably best not to start taking them the night before a Saturday. Particularly in our house. Particularly when the Saturday involves: - soccer - tennis - a facial - the FIRST in E.I.G.H.T. years. (My beautiful friend the beautician looked at my skin and said, "yes, your skin is very (bIG pause) stressed") - and an indoor rock climbing party for eight 6-year olds If my skin was stressed, I reckon you could have drawn electricity from the tension I was holding through my jaw. It hasn't abated, it won't for about another oh, eight days, but underneath is a quiet stream of THANK GOD - just in terms of the energy I was pouring into trying to stay even keeled for those around me, now has a bit of ballast in the form of a little white pill. ***** As briefly mentioned above, in case you missed it, I had a facial on the weekend. The first in eight years. The first once since the last one I had a week before we got married. My goodness it was enjoyable. Even with lockjaw. ***** I bought two pairs of jeans on Friday. I bought them when I had three kids in tow. The woman in the store had two kids at Felix's school. Sometimes living on the insular peninsula is excellent. I tried on a pair, they were hideous. She was all "no no no, they won't do" and came back with two other pairs. Yes there is muffin top, but my arse looks fabulous. ***** We bumped into a friend and her kids at the Mall. Did I mention how sometimes living on the insular peninsula is excellent? The kids went beserk and we just did one of those 10 minute power catch-ups. I reckon it's like crack for mothers. It was so wonderful to see her, hear her news, share mine and go our separate ways. ***** We had friends over for dinner on Friday night. Chicken pie and apple crumble. It seems to be my winter dinner specialty as I made it for another friend the week before last. The pie was sensational. ***** Oscar's language is going through a burst - it's just lovely to hear. He is also eating me out of house and home, with breakfast being a bowl of cereal, some toast, probably some of Jasper's fruit puree, a glass of milo and maybe some fruit. I'm not kidding. ***** I'm in a complete dinner slump. It's tragic. But nothing is inspiring me at all. ***** The thought of cereal with milk on it makes me gag. ***** I am feeling the urge to write slowly returning. ***** I haven't expressed breast milk since last Tuesday. I think I'm currently about a GGG cup. But MY GOODNESS it's nice not to be doing it. I didn't realise how oppressive it had become. Jasper is at 3 b/feeds a day and hasn't even noticed a change in the routine. ***** I find it bizarre that two days after I broke the breastpump I inherited from a friend and spent $100 bucks on a new one, I used it for two days before stopping expressing. ***** Let's all take a moment to bask in the glow of the property mogul I now write with...


Goodbye grungy inner city, hello Wisteria Lane

We bought this today: Its name is Waltham (on an original brass plate, can you hear me squeal like a girl?). It means, in Ye Olde English: Forest Homestead. Take a close look at the greenery. Don't you just love irony? It is a 1920s not-quite-bungalow in a suburb only two galaxies away from this one. A suburb with Many Trees, and Parks, and Safe Footpaths upon which children may ride their bicycles. Unlike this suburb, that one has a wide range of high schools from which Pea Princess, Gorgeous Boy and Sparkle Twin may choose. The house has ducted air conditioning, a new and very beautiful renovation of Everything, including a new bathroom new kitchen and big living area. Two of the three bedrooms have built-in wardrobes (can you tell I have been in the land of real estate copywriting for WAY too long?) and the third has a working fireplace and beautiful window seat. The new house is on a very large block (room for a pool!) and has ample space for extending into the roof for the fourth bedroom/2nd bathroom. I make myself feel ever so slightly ill with how pleased we are to get this place. Mind, I think we are more happy with the new place because of the tiny quarters in which we are currently living with our THREE children, ONE dog, TWO cats, FOUR fish and assorted bikes, books and laptops. People who've always lived in the 'burbs probably don't like the slightly narrow nature of this place. They probably don't like that there are neighbours quite so close on each side. They might not like that more than four (but less than 20) cars per hour go by that house. They should spend a week or two in my house next door to the junkie drummer. Things I am not looking forward to:
  • finding out how much junk we have managed to hide (and therefore have to scrap, sell or move) even in this tiny house
  • leaving my truly enormous magical Tardis pantry
  • finishing off all the jobs we couldn't do for us, but we have to do now so we can have this house clear for a tenant (yes, we're about to become property moguls; freaky, hmmm?)
  • leaving the Greek adopted-grandmamas down our street who have looked after us and our children here for nearly four years
  • facing up to the shocking proximity of a seven figure mortgage over both properties: it's for the children, I keep telling myself, it's for the long, long term...

Things I am looking forward to:

  • the Prof's joy at being back on his home turf (he grew up a few blocks from here)
  • A big block with virtually no plants: heritage gardening, here I come
  • WINDOWS (as opposed to skylights)
  • the smell of mown grass
  • Installing a truly enormous, magical Tardis pantry
  • Having a humungous house warming party, just because we can.




Sunday, May 21, 2006

Felix wanted me to let you all know

that when he gets really really angry and mad, it's because he has the power of the Underworld. He also has the power of the world we live in. It's easy to put his power back, because he just lets it go back to the Underworld. People who can see the future have the power of the Underworld. The Underworld is way ahead of Australia and every other country. He wants to go back to the Underworld but he's stuck and that, is the problem.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In other news...

I saw my shrink today. I cried. I kinda just let the last 4-6 weeks tumble out. In all its ugliness. The bad sleeping. The crying all.the.time. The over-reacting. The feeling of being completely overwhelmed, no matter how small the task. The prevalence of the mean-bitch-mummy. The feeling of I am nothing. The weight and body-image issues. The if-I-wasn't-here daydreams. The complete loss of perspective. The why-the-fuck-do-I-bother mentality. The negativity. And so it came to pass: that would be a script for some little white pills. There is so much I could say about depression and living with it. Wondering when, not if, it will return. I tearily asked Dr J today, "but why now? why when I have been tracking so well did I fall so hard and fast back into the pit?" "Because," he said, "it is a dark insidious disease." That I need to recognise how remarkable it was I got through the entire pregnancy and seven months of the post partum phase in good, solid, mental health. Eugh. It means I should wean Jasper. My precious little ray of sunshine who looks on me with complete joy and adoration. I feel like a complete abject failure. That the one thing this body of mine can do I now have to stop because the main part of me is fucked. I was on them when I was b/feeding Felix and they didn't alter his state of screaming awakeness one jot. So I'm hoping if I keep the morning, lunch and evening feed (dropping the lunch feed at around 9 months) but ditch the expressing palaver, my child of freakish mobility but remarkable contentedness will remain. Dr J pointed out that most women back at work full time at this stage would have weaned at 3 months, that just look on the 7 months this child has had that so many in the world miss out on. That the negative impact of my depression on me and him is far greater than the benefits of breastfeeding him to my psychological cut-off point of 12 months. That what's with that? It's not like I'm up for an Order of Australia for hitting the 12 month mark. That's why Dr J rocks. He just calls it how it is. So here I sit. Completely and utterly knackered and bracing myself for the side-effects of going back on drugs that I know make me a much better me. I just love that happy pills upset your tummy and heighten your anxiety before making you feel far more even-keeled - like lets knock you down to build you up. And I can hear the collective sigh of Internet relief that all my wallowing, narky, bitter wailing will at least ease off a little.


And now we are 6

Happy birthday beautiful boy. Classic Felixisms made on the day he turned 6: "I'm just so excited I don't have anything to say." (on receiving these: "When the family arrive, will they bring me presents?" "I'm too excited to eat anything." "I command you to serve me first because it's my birthday." "I can't wait until Friday night because then it's just one sleep to my other party." and "I've got a really bad itchy bite, right here. It looks like one of your nipples." There were chocolate cupcakes w/ chocolate icing for the class. There was party food for afternoon tea - which he declined (see comments above). Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs (the current favourite), a green salad and bread. Dessert was the chocolate cake in the picture above. He had And that, at any age, is what it's all about.



Your Stress Level is: 85%
Wow! Not only are you extremely prone to stress, you're a total ball of stress these days. And while times are certainly tough right now, being stressed out is not making it easier. Your stress is effecting your relationships, career, and most importantly, you health.
Yet another reason why Bec and I blog together. Unlike Bec, I'm in my normal modus operandi at the moment. I'm sure the reason it wasn't higher was because I ticked 'sometimes' for drinking five or more alcoholic beverages a week rather than 'always'which is basically solely due to breastfeeding and the fact I'm eating like a horse and figure I'd sooner chew the calories than drink them.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bec is a Duck. Let's look under the water, shall we?

Your Stress Level is: 84%
Wow! Not only are you extremely prone to stress, you're a total ball of stress these days. And while times are certainly tough right now, being stressed out is not making it easier.Your stress is effecting your relationships, career, and most importantly, you health.
"How Stressed Are You?"
Chirpy little message that comes with the result, isn't it? I was feeling pretty bad until I got to the second last word and saw the typo, which made me feel much better because the rest of the message instantly lost its authority. That's what typos do to pedants like me. Inflate our already inflated sense of lingual superiority.
The really funny thing is, I'm only normally stressed at present. Remind me NOT to take this test at Christmas time, ok?
With love to all those who have even more reason to be stressed than me but who probably show more restraint when answering the quiz questions on blogthings.
mtc Bec


Monday, May 15, 2006

mutter, mutter, mutter...

Okey doke, time to follow the synapses and see where they take us in the Word Association Meme.

First mine, in trademark plum, then I quizzed the Prof and his are in black below...

  1. Immune :: system
  2. Together :: Alone (wasn't that a Crowded House album? or a song?)
  3. Blank :: page
  4. Professional :: dilemma
  5. Thousand :: island dressing (yuck)
  6. Penetration :: marketing
  7. Shutter :: broken (my SLR)
  8. Upside down :: cake
  9. Neck :: tie
  10. Unlisted :: number

  1. Immune :: disease
  2. Together :: couple
  3. Blank :: prose
  4. Professional :: doctor
  5. Thousand :: million
  6. Penetration :: digital
  7. Shutter :: camera
  8. Upside down :: inside out
  9. Neck :: brace
  10. Unlisted :: telephone

Not so far apart, really. Please remember to use when linking to Unconscious Mutterings. Thanks!




Sunday, May 14, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

BEC - click here first
  1. Immune ::system
  2. Together ::forever
  3. Blank ::cheque
  4. Professional ::courtesy
  5. Thousand ::island dressing
  6. Penetration ::nail
  7. Shutter ::s are down
  8. Upside down ::inside out
  9. Neck ::lace
  10. Unlisted ::number


Weekend roundup

Saturday started at 5.32 with Jasper waking. He had a feed and went straight back to bed like the sane child that he is. Oscar woke up during his feed. Oscar is nutty for an early morning wake-up. The day begins. Oscar is dressed and fed for his regular Saturday morning chiropractic adventure with Grandmama. This was one of the areas she obsessed about, asked me relentlessly about and basically wore me down until one day I screamed "enough! If you are so concerned about his spine you can take him to Chatswood e.v.e.r.y. w.e.e.k. on a Saturday morning and pay for it." Actually, she offered to pay. They leave every.single. Saturday at 7.30am. Gotta get there early. Before the rush. Seriously, it's like senior citizen central this mentality. Felix gets up. 7.30ish Jasper is back awake and so I get him dressed and nappy changed. Soccer is on at 8.30 this weekend. We get him into soccer gear. In some infinite moment of organisation I - who am on fruit duty this week (not last week, like I thought, when I turned up with fruit - NO ORANGES! too acidic, makes kids sick*) - have already cut up the fruit. But I need to express as well as Jasper's early morning feed isn't being followed anymore with another good morning feed and my bazoombas were presenting a very real threat of exploding on the side of a soccer field if my friend Avent Isis hadn't been called upon. We go to soccer. NO FUCKING PARKING even though we're on time (ON TIME!) and the first game of the morning. Good match, we start losing so Felix gets interested then and actually runs around a little. He wants to be goalie because they get to wear the cool shirt and are actually allowed to stand around. Team photos follow-up the game. We get to the car, Felix is having a breakdown of some sort which I'd kind of ignored but also missed because I don't own a stroller and hadn't bothered with the BabyBjorn, so my back and upper arms were spasming from holding Jasper for over an hour. F wants a bacon and egg roll from the family bbq. So do I. We go back and purchase. Why do bacon and egg rolls taste soooo good off one of those catering bbq thingys? We're driving home, my mobile rings. It's on the back seat so I don't bother. It rings again. I know it's Mum. I reach around the back while driving, actually find it and actually answer it. Mum, panicking, "You'vegottogethome,Oscar'sputsomethinguphisnoseandIcan'tgetitout He'sverydistressedI'mtakinghimtothehospital." I tell her I'm almost there and to wait. I get there, they're not out the front. I'm wondering, "what the fuck? he's eight years old. MongoChromo or not he doesn't stick things up his nose." I yell down the side path - mum reappears, it's alright she got it out. I actually- in a Britney voice - say, "you couldn't have rung me back?" Mum breaks down"i was just about to", "I was just getting the phone" and so on and so forth until I snap back 'OK, FINE, SORRY". Oscar appears, I t.e.a.r. shreds off this child. In the vein of "you stupid stupid boy. I worry enough about your health every single day without you doing something as stupid as stick something up your nose. GO TO YOUR ROOM BEFORE I BELT YOU" and so on and so forth. But make sure you imagine it in that voice where you can hear as well as feel the damage you're doing to your vocal chords. We're in the driveway, out the front, about a metre from the footpath. It is very.very.quiet. It's about 9.47. We get inside. I feed Jasper. Felix takes his shoes off even though I ask him not to. Mum's hovering, apologising, not letting up. "I'm not angry at you, I AM UPSET. UPSET that he would do something so stupid" and so on and so forth. It's 10.15, time to go for tennis. I realise Felix has taken his shoes off. I get his shoes back on. I believe this is the third time for the day. We go to tennis. Felix's best friend - Liam's mum is there. We sit there for just on half an hour in a complete misery-loves-company-fest. She works full time too. They're trying to have another baby. It isn't happening. Work is manic. She's feeling depressed, something she's not used to. I think we both actually feel better as we head back to our cars. Liam comes with us. We go home for a little while. It's 11.30. Jasper sleeps for a few minutes. Maybe, I can't remember. 12.30, we're all back in the car. Felix's shoes are put back on again. I'm meeting some friends/workmates at the Flying Fox for lunch. The boys are great. Felix and I have a stand-off in the "Do NOT take your shoes off" realm. He takes his shoes off. Everyone arrives. Jasper is cranky and whingy because he didn't like the sleeping idea earlier. K and I start to feed him as she fills me in on the demise of a 10 year friendship that also means the end of a flatmate and having to find somewhere to live. Yes, a man is involved in the picture. Ugly. We feed Jasper some solids. Other people arrive, Felix comes back - he's cut the bottom of his foot. I find a first aid kit, make up a mini triage station with a tub of water, disinfectant, and bandaids. He is surprised when I make him put his shoes back on. He goes off. We order food. Jasper is cranky and whingy. I pull out my boobs in public for about the tenth time in a desperate bid for him to fall asleep while sucking on the dummy that gives. He almost does. Oscar appears and needs to do a poo. I walk, baby at the breast, through the cafe to the toilet. Because frankly, by now, I really.don' I breast feed while squatting, waiting as Oscar oblutes. It is quite tricky breastfeeding and wiping a kids bottom. But I do it. I get back to the table an there is food. I have the best salt and pepper squid. I try and catch up on the conversation and then my boss - my boss who I love because we work in a very similar way, she doesn't micromanage, she's younger than me but very sympathetic to the whole kids palaver of my life - tells me she's leaving. They're going travelling for 6 months through South America and then on to London to work for a year or so, and then maybe New York, depending on what comes up. I am absolutely thrilled for her and her squeeze. I mean, fuck, how amazing. But I am also gutted. More change. More new people etc. And also - her life vs my life - my choices, where we're at, vs her life and where they are at? I am suddenly very very bummed about my life. Even moreso than what has been laying over me like a blanket for the last month or so. I get quite teary. Am still so. Jasper finally falls asleep. We sit, talking. It's lovely. The boys come and go. They're filthy from playing in the creek. They've dug a deep hole in the sand. They've just been kids. They are happy. I notice that Felix's feet are bare. 4.15 we head home. Felix says, "that was the best day at the park ever." I get boys in the shower. A scrubing brush is required to get the dirt off their legs, feet, arms and hands. All three bigger boys showered and dressed. I get Jasper in the bath. I get him dressed, I get his dinner. Chef gets home. We negotiate dinner. He goes and purchases ingredients. I cook dinner after getting Jasper breastfed and into bed. We eat at about 7.30. Very late for the boys. Oscar falls asleep mid-mouthful. We're watching The Emporor's New Groove. I get him to bed. Clean up kitchen. Felix and I watch The Princess Diaries 2. I c.r.y. during the parade scene with the little girl at the orphanage. I'm glad I did that pregnancy test last week as this would have otherwise just confirmed to me that I was up the duff. Felix goes to bed. It's after 9. I read some blogs. I read the last entry at Cancer,Baby. I feel a despair, a hollowness, a bizarre grief for someone I didn't even know. Ugghh. I get to bed. It's late. Around 11. Sunday. Mother's Day. Jasper is up at 5.15. I feed him. Oscar is up. I go back to bed. Chef gets up. Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year. I doze. I wake to boys w/ a tray of a pancake, tea and pressies. Oscar gives me a hard travel make-up case. It's so cute, knowing he's chosen it. Thinking how funny it is my three/four bits of make-up look in there and how, well, we don't travel. Felix gives me two bead bracelets w/ green and silver beads. I love them. He's all "I really wanted them because I know you love green." His card makes me cry. It's about 7am. We make a pancake for grandma and a cup of tea and take it upstairs. I feed Jasper, do some washing, clean up from pancakes, chat with Grandmama. I go to the shops to get Felix's birthday presents and food for the antipasto platters I'm doing for lunch. It's 11.30ish. I get home, make bread toasts for platters, get stuff together, take bags of goodies out to the car, get kids out to the car and get on our way. I note about half way into our journey that Felix is barefoot. We get there around 12.15. I plate up platters, they are a sensation and truly appreciated. Have lovely time but full-on in terms of where are my three children- who's doing what, etc. Mum arrives. She's found Felix on the front step with a bloodied big toe. He's sliced about the top third. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in agony. I get cranky at him and actually say, "you are turning me into a 'I told you so' parent and I don't LIKE IT". I have a bandaid in my pocket from yesterday. I'm such a SuperMum. There's food, My BIL makes me a gin and tonic w/ Bombay Sapphire gin. I concentrate really hard not to scull it. I feed Jasper solids and breast. There's lots of banter, it is lovely. But I am feeling v.v. tired. Jasper finally falls asleep. It's time to go. We go back to the Fox to see my Dad and stepmother. It's 4pm. We're a bit late - my goal had been 3.30, so this was a good effort. Jasper is whingy and cranky. He's had about 45 minutes sleep all day and is again somewhere he can't really crawl around. It's getting cold. I am tired. We get home. Felix is playing with my new bracelets again. I notice him swinging them around a plant as I'm unloading stuff from the car, Jasper and all the rest. He says "I just can't stop playing with these, I love them". Just as I'm saying I do too, that I love them, that I'm going to wear them all the time so I can think of my boys, but be care... one falls apart and beads go everywhere. I'm devestated because I really loved them, they meant something. Felix is devestated and that makes it worse. He sits on the ground, crying, trying to rethread it. This breaks my heart. But I'm angry too. They were mine, they were special and yet again, something in that category of mine, of which there is very little, is broken. I tell him to get inside. He runs inside in tears as I try and find beads in the failing light. He goes to his room and actually falls asleep. Dinner is cheese toasted sandwiches, no one eats. Mum helps me w/ Jasper's bath and dinner. I cry a lot. She gives me a big hug, saying she knew I must be tired because she was after a lovely day at my SIL's. I muddle on. Oscar is bathed and put into pjs. He wants dinner - a cheese toasted sandwich, after he refused the first. He goes to bed. Felix gets up. I get him into the bath. I clean up their room - sort clothes, put summer stuff away, winter stuff comes out, uniforms sorted etc. I send him back to bed at 7.45. He hasn't had any dinner. He cries himself to sleep. I feel rotten. I have a broken bracelet, a bone weariness, a pile of clothes to iron, a week looming again like that long beach walk in soft sand and a melancholy that refuses to shift. Happy Mother's Day everyone. * have you ever heard anything so fucking stupid? I mean, do any of you other poor sods who endured Saturday morning sport for almost two decades recall ever spewing in the second half because you ate oranges at half time, due to their acidity???


Booty Call - Mothers Day 2006

Okay, not THAT kind of booty call (although, doing nicely, thanks for asking) but good old fashioned booty of the Mother's Day kind. Exhibit A: from the Gorgeous Boy What can I say? they make me feel young(-ish). I think I'm loving Mars more than Jupiter at present, especially track 7, If, but on the Jupiter disk Dani California and Snow ((Hey Oh)) are doing it for me, too. Exhibit B: from the Sparkle Twin

Featuring Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and Romeo+ Juliet. Love it.

Exhibit C: from the Pea Princess

It's my favourite, but this time in a "skin softening dry oil" - you put it on when you're still damp from the shower and it soaks in, moisturises and exudes the world's best fragrance all day - what a winner!

Vexingly, Blogger is refusing to load the best - a hand painted flower pot with an as yet undetermined buld planted in it, and I have to run to get to lunch - but happy mother's day to all of us.




Friday, May 12, 2006

It's weird

that PeaSoup is taking some time out, Bec mentioned her bloggers block and I have felt all a bit over it/nothing to say/bored with it all too. Is this called the pre-mid-year funk? Because it's boring and I don't really like it that much.


Ying / Yang

the Pea Princess, she is bright. On many levels. I was thinking about this today, about what having a child with that kind of intelligence in your orbit must do to your parenting. I was mulling over it as I endured the hens clucking around the henhouse (also known as pick-up at the school gate) and as I thin-lipped steering-wheel gripped my way through the sea of HOPELESS drivers that women-who-pick-up-their-kids-from-school are. When Felix piped up: "There's Secret Fart!" That's what they - the govt public school kids - call that Catholic school across the road. I'm guessing most of you can work out its real name. Yeah, that intelligence thing. Comes in so many forms.......


Youth is Like a Bird: the Pea Princess, age 8, she writes.

Pea Princess had a substitute teacher this week who taught a unit called Forever Young. They had to write a poem about the topic. Here's hers. Youth is like a bird, It's free I've heard. It's not stuck in a cage, Or (like a book) stuck in a page. But adult-hood is coming near, So goodbye friends And goodbye fear. At breakfast this morning she produced this (with instructions to us all that we must not laugh) and explained to her little brother that the goodbye fear part meant: "You know how we're scared of cockroaches and Mum and Dad aren't scared of cockroaches? That's because we're kids and they're grown ups." I am so glad she sees us as fearless. There's plenty of time for the reality. Mtc Bec


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Star Date: Glamorouse anniversary -26 days and counting

CaptainGlamorouseBec's Log: Post#638; Visit#20839. The ship's crew are quiet after another double shift. The damage from last week's alien arrival is slowly being repaired and it's all hands on deck until we manage to fully restore order. The Tiny Alien herself is very little trouble; small, even for her race; attractive in a quirky, furry kind of way, and a relatively neat eater (although voracious at meal times, her stomach remains small and we should have enough supplies to last her through this growing phase). Best of all, she seems to be naturally drawn to the waste disposal facilities onboard ship so there has been very little mess to further distract the crew. It has been a huge chore to get the crew to stop petting the little alien for long enough to perform their normal functions, and I admit she sometimes draws my own attention with her playful nature, her pretty silver stripes and inquisitive green eyes. No, the new beast itself is manageable, and even quite endearing when she snuggles under the chin and purrs. It's the effect on the Aliens In Residence that's been most troubling. Large Alien has commenced weeping in the very early mornings as a way of seeking the attention she obviously feels she misses during the rest of the day and evening. If it weren't bad enough that we are currently orbiting a winter planet with short days and cold mornings, now my Captain's duties including placating the Large Alien with extra long space walks so she can fetch even more asteroid fragments and (hopefully) defecate on someone else's trajectory. Medium Alien has undoubtedly had the worst reaction, possibly because he has the closest genetic links to Tiny Alien. First he disappeared to the ship in a neighbouring orbit for several days, then returned having gained about an extra third on his original body weight. He hisses and howls at Tiny Alien and - astonishingly - will turn tail and run if the wee beast comes too close to him. Maybe some strange power is alotted to the little one that our sensors cannot detect? He has returned tonight and appears to wish to make amends in his strange alien way. His by now enormous bulk has been hoisted up to my desk and he is attempting tofind a comfortable position draped over my arms as I type. StarNote: speak to Scotty about converting excess escape pods into Alien Containment Vessels. The ship tells me it is time for bed, and I must go if I am to direct this hodge podge through another day tomorrow; when I will return, with holograms. Space: The Final Frontier. The New Kitten: The Final Straw. We're now officially looking for a bigger house. mtc bec


and I just realised that wasn't really a confession, but it felt like it.


Confessions - late

after my mental and emotional malaise, after Jasper rockin' on at 3am for over a week after Oscar spewing in his sleep then rolling in it after Felix seeming to have emotional breakdowns every 10 seconds after me getting bored of being with me I gave oscar mega headache drugs last night Felix complained of a headache, which may have been the case because he had eaten an apple all day, but more than likely was solely because in his competitive little brain Oscar was getting something he wasn't, so I gave him some standard drugs Then Jasper had the biggest unexplained screaming fit of his entire life. Followed by wind even I'd be proud of. And we all went to bed and slept all night. Which is probably why I spent all day feeling hungover, tired and emotional, on the verge of tears, for no reason at all.


but then again, maybe not

Today I wore pants that haven't done all the way to the top for over 12 months. It was only in the bathroom at work at around 4pm I realised I must have done them higher and tighter than usual as they were giving me a delightful camel toe as well. With the unwashed hair pulled back by a hair comb, I was truly a piece of public sector eye candy let me tell you. ***** Felix refused to eat dinner. I told him I refused to have fights about eating dinner as that would essentially confirm my morphology into my mother. So he could either a) eat dinner (a delicious chicken and asparagus risotto made by Chef) or b) go to bed. Two hours later he is all "my tummy's empty" and going to sleep crying. Eugh. ***** Last night Jasper woke at 3 for the 5th night in a row. All you "just you wait" sayers can stop laughing now. When I got up to him I was hit by a smell of vomit. Yes. The smell of vomit was filling our house. Oscar, from a migraine, had vomited. In his sleep. All in his bed. And down the wall. And rolled in it. Yeah. I wrote this yesterday and then got bored. I'm basically bored. Bored of my whinging, griping, pitiful existence. Blah blah blah. I mean, when I'm excited that I BROKE my breastpump, so actually got something new for this child - and that the new pump came with these really cute little 125ml bottles, and that I even thought a little bottle was 'cute', you know the situation is dire. I'm bored that Amalah is going through what I went through - but getting paid for writing groovy stuff rather than shitty public sector crapology. (not my public sector stuff now, I love that.) You know, when someone embarks on a journey and you're so jaded, cynical and over it that you can't even feel happy for them, even though you are, but there's just a part of you smarting that they're doing what the rest of us did before but go no recognition for. This probably all comes down to just been miffed she hasn't mentioned our blog and increased our traffic a hundredfold. But I'm hating that I'm feeling like one of those jaded narky OLD women rather than just enjoying the ride... Someone got something today that I didn't and it made me feel all rejected, overlooked and small. How pathetic am I. The fact I've reacted like this makes me not like myself very much. EUGH. I wrote a comment on the SMH blog about the budget today (that's me talking - called 'despairing') and then a few comments appeared in the vein of "why should the govt pay for childcare, women should be staying home to look after their kids" blah blah blah. And yes, I know these people are MORONS, but it has really got under my skin - and is such a hot button for me I can't even think straight to formulate a decent reply. I wish I was a tenth as clever as the girls on GFY. See lame-O.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bloggers' Block

Had it. Over it. Moving on. So there was a man at a bus stop today who caught my eye. He was wearing very black sunglasses, which was slightly odd considering he had to be 60. But, since he was also wearing a black leather jacket I decided he was just that kinda guy. The kind who has trouble moving on. Or who never did enough of whatever it was he needed to do when he was 25, so does it sooooooo much later. Before anyone can flame me for uncharitable thoughts about the newly maturely-aged, please remember my husband is 19 years older than me and that my insights into the newly maturely-aged mind might just possibly outstrip your own. (And no, he does not wear an inappropriate leather jacket but he has been known to make some very random judgements in sunglasses) ANY hoo...

The real thing was that my bus was sitting at the stop for quite some time and the more I looked at sunglass guy the more I realised there was something else wrong.

Really wrong.

I don't know if I can describe this properly but his sunglasses didn't touch his ears.

Not by a country mile. And at first I thought: "Hey, he's wearing his sunglasses abnormally high on his head." (which, by the way, was bald except for a snowy white comb-over that spoke of glossy blond hair in years gone by).

Then I looked closer and thought: "Oh. My. God. He has abnormally low-set ears!"

(Who knew there was a real live medical condition for this?)

And then, in case anyone thinks the point of this post is that I ride the bus in order to mock deformed strangers, I thought: "Thank god, something really sensible to blog about."

Block gone. Over it. Moving On.




Sunday, May 07, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings and other stuff

And again I say to Bec - DON'T LOOK DOWN! Go here first.
  1. Represent :: the minority
  2. Mumbling ::in my sleep
  3. Meetup ::one day with blogging buddies
  4. Tantalizing ::food
  5. Fake ::boobs
  6. Dale ::Ford
  7. Deny ::all knowledge
  8. Calories ::the bane of my life
  9. Roll ::in the hay
  10. 44 ::bottles of beer on the wall
And if it's your first time, visit LunaNina to play. ***** Tonight, when Felix went to bed, he was itching his head more than usual. The head itching thing has only started since he insisted on partaking in a Nitbuster day at school (I am a firm believer our schools have taken on enough parental responsibility and this is just another program to detract from actual teaching and do something parents are just basically too lazy to do themselves.) and I olive-oiled his head and FINALLY removed the cradle cap he's had there probably since he was a baby - and yes, it is cradle cap - not dandruff as Chef reckons we should be calling it once he was over 5. Anyway, he actually got teary over how itchy it was. His hair has been looking atrocious - as in surfer grommet atrocious and he doesn't surf nor is he a grommet, so there was really no excuse except for my own lazy parenting I was batting on about in the paragraph above. SO I just had one of my moments of spontaneity and said, "do you want to shave it all off?" and - NATURALLY - he replied "yes". So we did. It looks cool. Until I looked at his head to check the cradle cap was not returning and the nitbusters had not actually introduced lice to our family. When... I SEE BUGS OF SOME DESCRIPTION CRAWLING ON HIS HEAD. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH THIS HOUSEHOLD AND BUG INFESTATIONS. NOW THEY ARE ON MY CHILDREN. We are not hillbilly hicks. We all shower or bath (Sorry Warragamba.) The house may resemble a bomb site, but it is actually - underneath all the toys, clothes, bags (what is going on with the bag proliferation???) - clean. I even have a cleaner come in every fortnight for fucks sake. Anyway, I get his head over the sink, manage to pull them off and into the sink or shake them out into the sink and then call in the big guns. Mum. Some time, several internet searches (are they nits? tics? OH DEAR GOD. . . BED BUGS???) and about a litre of conditioner and fine-tooth-combing later we decide they are the nymph stage of tics. It's a Northern Beaches thing. There were about 6 bigger ones and 4 teeny weeny onesWe were at the park today, there was much foraging around in the bush parts and I believe some rolling around on the grass. But people, it is really REALLY freaky having your kid complain of an itchy head, essentially shaving it and then SEEING FREAKING BUGS CRAWLING ON HIS SCALP. ***** So now, after getting the washing pile completely iradicated, there is now a massive pile of sheets, pillows, clothing and anything else Felix has been in touch with in the last day. ***** Even the cat got some long overdue attention as I figure she sleeps on his bed and maybe either a) they came from her or b) I'm too cheap to pay vet bills if she gets sick with a tic. ***** After the fug I've been living in (and I mean fug, not fog, because it's been fuggly as opposed to foggy) I made the conscious decision I was not going to carry it in to the weekend as bloody hell, if I did that then suddenly it would be Monday morning and I'd be back doing it all over again, in some sick non-funny rendition of Groundhog Day. So it's actually been a LOVELY weekend, thank you for asking. ***** I have now watched the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in parts about five times this weekend. And I am addicted. My lust list has been well documented here and doesn't need revisiting, but Johnny had been left off it for some bizarre blaming-it-on-the-pregnancy reason. The man is pure genius and his Willy Wonka is completely and utterly compelling.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Trivial Pursuit - the kid way

Playing Trivial Pursuit with kids can be pretty funny. Playing it with a kid who has a profound speech disorder is downright hilarious. Q: What colour on traffic lights means GO? A: Greee Excellent! Q: What is the Aboriginal name for Ayres Rock? A: WaaWaa (Funny. This is what he calls Felix, he's saying 'brother'.) Q: What is the name of Walt Disney's famous cartoon duck? A: Quack


Serves me right

I have kept all the boys teeth that have fallen out. The tooth fairy isn't such a big deal in this house, infact, Oscar seems genuinely disappointed the morning after her appearance to discover that his tooth is gone for a lousy 50c or $1. Me, indulging in my need to hang on to weird bits of my kids (I have the plastic peg that they attached to Felix's umbilical cord - and not tucked away somewhere, just floating around in my makeup draw...), have kept all of Oscar's teeth. Stupidly, they're just in a jar on the windowsill in our bathroom. Felix discovered them. The other day he said, "who's teeth are those?" I acted dumb, like, really dumb, "what teeth?" "those teeth, in your bathroom." "Oh those teeth." "Yeah, those ones. Whose are they?" "Oh, just someone's." Thinking to self: IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT "Someone dead?" "What? NO! Not someone dead." "Well, why do you have them and not the tooth fairy?" "Um, oh I don't know." Silence. A bird chirped somewhere. "So how was school?" Idiot.


It really is that simple

Felix's soccer team is awesome. No seroiusly. How many 6 year olds do you know who, when lumped together, can actually function with any form of team concept or mentality and pull it off? Sure, at half time today the coach had to say: And Bandicoots, which goal will we be trying to score to in this half? And bless them all - it was about half half pointing to opposite ends of the field. But apart from small and important details such as this, they are really good at passing the ball to each other and well, scoring. They've won every match. Sure, the match before the school holidays was close and us mothers on the sideline were beside ourselves, but they keep winning. When we were leaving this morning Mum said to him, "have fun," and Felix replied instantly, "we always win". Scary. There is, however a downside to all this. Particularly with a child like, well, mine to whom winning is everything. It is not worth playing if you don't win. It doesn't matter how much grown-ups reiterate it's all about having fun, if you don't win you might as well sit at home and contribute to the growing rates of childhood obesity. Seriously. So today they had a draw. 2-all. And tonight, when Chef got home, Felix said, "we won." I pointed out it was a draw, to which he relied, "Yeah, it was a draw, two all, but we won." This post was originally another tirade about the idiocy of organised sport that moves around different fields in the middle of suburbia, with no designated parking areas and no lee-way between the different games allowing one lot of cars to leave before the next arrive so you either end up being hideously late or parking so far away you might as well have parked at home and walked the ten miles that sure, might not involve snow, or barefeet but damn there would probably be broken glass and Sydney is pretty hilly. And so on and so forth. It was my attempt at writing a non-my-life-is-shit post.


I've been feeling pretty down. Pretty angry, fed up, worried, anxiety-laden, exhausted, hopeless and well, as a result not very nice to be around. The kids are quiet when they're around me. I posted a narky post here late yesterday afternoon, basically bitching and whinging about nothing. Then I heard this. Literally as I was hitting "Publish Post". And you know what, it hasn't pulled me from my abyss, it hasn't made me pull my head in, suck it up and just get on with it. But it made me pull that post because of how shallow, whingy and pathetic my current mindset is and how I know I should be doing all of the above. Then this morning, I asked Chef to get up and get boys dressed and fed as I'd been up at 3 with Oscar coughing and then he tagged with Jasper who I was up with until 5. Then I got up, collected all the washing that has been accumulating because GOD FORBID anyone else could do a load, agknowledged that Oscar doesn't have his splints on, realised Felix wasn't in his soccer gear, quietly tried to find the resolve that when they get back from a regular Saturday morning apt my Mum takes them to, I will have to redress them anyway. Someone didn't eat breakfast either. Anyway, then I flicked on Rage and Pete Murray was on singing this: Opportunity So it goes another lonely day You're saving time but you're miles away Your flowers drowning in some bitter tea Forseeing lost opportunity Find your mirror Go and look inside See the talent you always hide Don't go kid yourself, well not today Satisfaction's not far away Hold on now, your exit's here It's waiting just for you Don't pause too long It's fading now It's ending all too soon you'll see Soon you'll see Your coffee's warm but your milk is sour Life is short but you're here to flower Dream yourself along another day Never miss opportunity Don't be scared of what you cannot see Your only fear is possibility Never wonder what the hell went wrong Your second chance may never come along Hold on now, your exit's here It's waiting just for you Don't pause too long It's fading now It's ending all too soon you'll see Soon you'll see Soon you'll see Soon you'll see Soon you'll see Soon you'll see and I felt just a little bit better.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Some poetry

Ode to Iku Oh Iku, food bastion of vegans and other herbal types divine rice balls, tofu pockets of goodness salad dressing I wish to bathe in but WHY did I ever think a brown lentil casserole would do anything else but wreak havoc on my bowels and create my own personal ozone hole quietly proud of volume and smell as cramping pains slowly subside over 24 hours later.



56.25 %
My weblog owns 56.25 % of me. Does your weblog own you?


My Little Police Mystery - plus a pictorial tribute to my childhood home.

At last, here's my explanation for some of those earlier cryptic comments about why I was away and why I was so grumpy about notions of pastoral idyll. Be warned, this is quite long. Feel free to skip ahead to pictorial tribute at the end. *********************************** Don't you just love surprises? Surprises like birthday presents, like the sixpence in the Christmas pudding, like a new rose. Like taking the kids to the Royal Easter Show and having a great days and then getting a phone call at lunchtime from my sister-in-law letting us know there'd been a robbery of Dad's home (that's Dad who is still in Sydney with us in his fourth month of serious illness including three weeks on life support) in the sweet little country town of only 1000 people where we all grew up. Where everybody knows everybody. Where our parents contributed tens of thousands of volunteer hours to improve services and facilities. You know. The one with the fruit trees and the morning sun and the dew drops all glistening... Here's a reminder And now wait, there's more! They stole his car, maybe used it to transport some of his tools and tv, then brought it back covered in mud and crashed it in the side paddock. Just near the fruit trees in the pic in that link above. But hold on. I've been keeping the best 'til last. They stole my mother's ashes. Let me just repeat that for the hard of hearing. They STOLE my mother's ashes. Admittedly, they probably didn't do that bit on purpose. But - assuming they could read, which may be way too big an assumption - the box is topped with a large silver plaque with her name on it, and two sticky labels, also with her name, and the address of Rookwood Crematorium. And she was a pretty well-known person up there. So well known that, a week after the robbery, with the support of police, we released the information to the media and appealed to the community for the return of her ashes. Her Order of Australia medal and engagement ring would have been nice too. But still. It was the ashes that were important - and completely worthless to anyone else. We didn't really expect a result. But it was great that I got the front page of the regional daily, and the best rating tv news, and another local weekly paper, and three radio stations. She'd been their Mayor for eight years, after all. And getting media interest has been my job for a lot longer than that. ***************************** So in the meantime, I've been dealing with Dad's insurers. Same company for building, contents and motor vehicle. Their motto: "We can't help but help". So how come I have to deal with three separate claims assessors? ****************************** And then we go away to Dubbo for the second week of the school holidays with the kids and we're having a great time and we're driving back on the Thursday and my brother calls. He's heading up north to Dad's place to start cleaning up. The phone cuts out. Country reception is pretty bad. While we're driving along and waiting to get back into range, I look at the Prof and the Prof looks at me. I don't have to be back at work until Monday and my usual reasons for not travelling are sitting in the back seats, fully sated on Mummy time over the past six days. I leave for our home town with my brother at 6am the next day. ****************************** You know how I said I love surprises? The surprising thing is that I really don't. To whit: I badgered radiologists with both pregnancies to make sure I knew what all three kids' genders would be. Who has time to wonder about that shit? ****************************** So we get to Dorrigo after a fabulously easy seven-hour drive. We check out the wreck that the thieves left, and we have a laugh about the rooms where we can't tell the difference between ransacked and normal. I go to the bathroom. I'm walking out and a glint catches my eye on the top of the washing machine. Time stops. I call my brother. The one who found the place first when it had been robbed. I call him into the laundry and ask him if that was there before. It wasn't. They'd brought back the ashes. ************************************** Now Mum would have found most of this pretty funny. But she was such a lousy housekeeper that I'm pretty sure she'd have been a bit miffed to be left in the laundry. ************************************** We called the police. Because? Shouldn't we just have gratefully stashed them away once more? While the box wasn't damaged, there were two long strips of sticky tape holding the lid down. They weren't there before. There might be fingerprints, or DNA. Or there might not. All kinds of morons watch CSI now, and they know to wear gloves. But also the box, which I picked up only after it was in a proper evidence bag, felt only about half as heavy as I remembered when I collected it from Rookwood. It's been opened, it's lighter, you do the maths. ********************************** Wednesday update: the police couldn't find fingerprints, bad; but they're pretty sure the box wasn't opened, good. I'm choosing to believe the sticky tape was some weird thief precaution. Same kind of weird that has someone steal a car, damage it, and bring it back to crash into the paddock from whence they stole it. ********************************** So I'm now back talking to the media. And what to say? I can't bring myself to thank whoever let themselves back into my family home to return what MAY be all or part of my mother's ashes. If they think their conscience has been served, they are wrong. They didn't bring back her Order of Australia medals, or my grandad's war medals, and they didn't return all the loot and then eat shit and die on the doorstep so as far as I am concerned? This. Is. Not. Over. The restraint I had to show in the first interviews so I didn't offend the idiots and make them do something bad with her ashes? It's gone. And if I'm not imagining it; and they've done something to that box and its contents? Watch out, fuckers. Did I mention this media work I've been doing for a long time? I'm really good at it. Stay tuned. **************************************** And now, for the Pictorial Tribute to this little gem of a town. You may be picturing shanties and seedy streets, pawnbrokers and junkies on the streets. You'd be wrong. I'm not taking the chance of naming it again, although if you look back through comments you'll find it. But it's relatively popular with tourists and people who have visited always tell me how lucky I was to grow up there. So, as a public service, here are some identifying features to ensure that if you ever have the misfortune to pull over in this town, you will recognise the need to keep your purse close and your children closer... Historic war memorial and the popular Top Pub. I once shared a bar with Jack Thompson here. But no one would talk to him, because movie stars must be snobs, and they hate snobs in this town. Part of the World Heritage Listed Rainforest and National Park. I suggest you go no further into town than this. Oh and by the way, locals don't visit here, except on school excursions. Because if you visit here you must be a Greenie. And they hate Greenies. One of many stunning waterfalls. Local people are inordinately proud of them. As if they could somehow take personal credit for having inaccesibly high cliffs and lots of rain. Too much rain gives you toe rot. The alleged Steam Railway Museum. Some people travel all the way up there just to see it. They don't realise that it's not open yet. Because even after 25 years of working on it, it's not perfect. This is what happens when you put steam geeks in charge of a tourist attraction and surround them with locals who have two left thumbs and one set of grandparents. The town library. It used to be in the middle of the main street but they've moved it to the edge of town. I can only guess that too many people were getting access to books. And finally, I stumbled on this in Google images and thought I should try to end on a kinder note. This was where the Prof and I had our wedding dinner. I'm trying to think happy thoughts about it now. It's sort of working. Mostly because it was the only time I ever saw Mum and Dad dance together. Thanks for bearing with me. I'd have given you more pics but Blogger seems to have decided enough is enough and, for once, it's probably right. mtc (when I've caught my breath) Bec