Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sons Are Lovely.

This conversation between a mother and her son with Aspergers is so very sweet. Gosh I look forward to these conversations with my thoughtful and curious Ted. Thanks to Mamamia for the link.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mint-Crusted Lamp Chops

They are nay fancy. But they be delicious. And when you find organic lamb chops on special, you should go for it, because those babies will eat a chunk out for your food budget unless they are half-price. Also, you should feed them only to the adults in the family, and act like you are doing the kids a big favour by serving them baked beans that night.

You can fill in your Mother Of The Year application later.

Find a little jar of mint jelly lurking at the back of the fridge. Mix a couple of big spoonfuls up with about half a cup of breadcrumbs or panko, and lots of salt and pepper. Bake them for half an hour at 180.

Oh yes.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Ambulatory Glory

One for my mother-in-law Liz - Georgie walking (and already musical!). This baby is so adorable. I must capture her more. She changes every day, and grows more and more herself: noisy, independent, affectionate and full of fun. We could not love her more, this little courgette. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hints Of Mortality

You know you are getting old when you run into a friend in the supermarket health food section. She is carting six boxes of gluten-free flour and your child is eating organic dried apples. You used to be wild, and so did this friend. As in, proper wild. As in, she can tell you a story featuring skis, a European black run and hallucinogens.

So far, so middle-aged.  But then you try and read the fine print on a packet of carob buttons and you both fish your reading glasses off the top of your heads.

Autumn years, I feel your gentle beckoning. But how will it all play out, I wonder?

Like this?

 Or like this?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Delicious Absurdity

Teddy has left me his 'sleeping feather', which requires sticky-tape repairs. He likes to stick this feather out of the side of the little desk next to his bed and says that if he needs to, he can rub his head on it in the night. Something about crocodiles?  He also saw that I had the sewing machine out and asked me to make him a pink sarong.

Last week, he had his pre-school orientation.  He has taken to wearing all his clothes backwards, and so he trotted into preschool with a backwards t-shirt and jeans on. There is some logic to his sartorial craziness. He likes the back pockets at the front. But they don't stay up well, so at group-time, one by one, when the four-years old got up and popped bubbles in front of the group, Teddy basically did a strip tease. George was having a moment, so I couldn't get to him in time to yank up his trousers.

Never mind. He was perfectly happy, cavorting about popping bubbles joyfully while his entire bum winked at the crowd. Later, changing for day-care in the afternoon, he insisted on wearing a sandal on one foot and a boot on the other.

Four is such a creative age. 'My brain hurts, Daddy,' Teddy said the other day. 'I think either a leech is in there eating on my brain or my stomach has sent a vacuum cleaner up there to suck it out.'

Teddy is our nut-case.   But I don't think he's nuttier than any other four-year olds. I think they are all delightfully cracked, and their madness is biology's way of throwing parents a bone to make up for all the naughtiness and mess.

In the meantime,  I will repair his feather, and I will make him a pink sarong.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just a Stroller. (Without The Stroller).

Keith has taken both the little kids off shopping for hardware, so I'm just home from the most leisurely, pleasing wander around the shops. Not a real shop, just a hunt for offbeat items like coconut oil and sketch pads and baby bottles. The kind of slow, thoughtful larking about that is very hard to do when a small baby keeps fighting to stand up in the trolley baby-seat and shout 'Ta-da!'

I've been chatting to checkout chicks and shopkeepers, jumping in and out of the car without wrestling with straps and small people, just living the glorious life of the flaneur.  Now I'm home, in the quiet, about to tackle the washing up and listen to the Slate Culture Gabfest.



I'm into my second week of quitting sugar (and gripped with sinus detox issues) so I hunted down some raw cacao nibs, which the Internetz say are the bomb. The packet cost me twelve thousand dollars and I ripped it open with unseemly haste. They are bitter! Bitter! I honestly thought they were going to be some yummy get-out clause.

I shake my fist at you, bitter raw cacao nibs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Long Term Love, And Hanging Tits Around Your Neck (Unrelated Points.)

The Mamabakers posted this picture today on their Facebook page. Who are these two? I don't know. But they thrilled me. 

Are you guys down with Mamabake? They are domestic crusaders, warrior women,  the keepers of the pot on the stove. Go here to check out the Manifesto. Also, if anybody knows where I can one of these scarves, email me. It's nearly Christmas and I'm getting my list together.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two Days In Bed Saved By 7 Minutes In The Closet

Holed up in bed with the bad back, again. Some anatomical bit that should be nicely tucked away is sticking out of my spine and walking around is causing me to yelp like a castrato. (I'm two out of three so far, in terms of bailing out early on 40th celebrations on medical grounds.) So boring and stupid.

However, in unexpected bodily malfunctions,  as in many parts of life,  there are little hidden blessings.

Last night, I was idly surfing my computer for something to distract me, when I came across this show Seven Minutes In Heaven. Have you seen it? It is so, so funny. Comedian Mike O'Brien  interviews actors and comics in his closet, and each episode is only a few minutes long (but not seven, notably.) Tina Fey and Jeff Goldblum made me cry with laughter. It was so good for my mood.

Good husband Keith took over all duties last night, and will again today, so he had to be given a leave pass for soccer training this morning. I hung out gingerly with the little ones. I was OK to sit and play carefully but unable to multi-talk like usual; with one eye on the Uno game and one hand in the washing up.

I ignored the debris everywhere and played with the kids. It had many charms. Georgette staggered around, stiff-legged and proud of herself like all newly ambulatory humans. Ivy read to me in her expressive, hilarious way, and wrote me a letter. (I Like You Mum. Do You Like Me? Love Ivy. ) Teddy played my doctor, and treated my broken arm by telling me he would have to send me on to the 'party hospital'. Considering my current doctor was wearing smeared red lipstick and had recently wet his pants, I I was afraid of how much wilder the party hospital would get. We sang 'I know a song that will get on your nerves' in a lengthy loop of silly voices and then the big kids showed me how to play the swinging game 'Ready, Spaghetti', the rules of which are Dadaesque.

Now, they are off over the road pretending to fish with Dad off the big rock while Georgie sleeps. Fingers crossed my bony bits will be back in place tomorrow. I have too many projects on the boil for my unruly spine to interrupt my plans. Writing to write! Painting to paint! Cooking to cook!

Come on old bones. Do what Mummy says.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Activated Almonds Bring Out The Best And The Worst In Us

Chef Pete Evans may be regretting sharing his diet in the Sunday Life Magazine feature 'Day On A Plate' last weekend. His complex and fascinating diet - he refers to it as 'nutrient-dense' - included emu meatballs, alkalised water and (notoriously  now) activated almonds.

Me, I am basically nosy. I love that 'Day On A Plate' thing. I could read a whole book outlining the details of what people eat. So the diet of a hipster celebrity chef was like a fabulous anthropological journey into the mind of a high flying, money-no-object, health fanatic on the cutting edge of food fashion.

Sugar-free? Paleo? GAPS diet? Bah, so five minutes ago. Alkalising water, activating nuts and culturing veges is where its at, folks. Who knew? I laughed, I marvelled and I Googled once or twice. Interesting stuff.

In the unpredictable manner of the online hive-mind, however, the whole thing struck a massive nerve.   The Twitter hashtag #activated almonds went nuts (apologies), with Twitter comics cracking wise for hours. This, I love about Australians. We are expert at skewering and satirising pretension and treat earnestness like a juicy target. No question, Pete's diet was ripe for comedy.

But it wasn't all funny. Pete's diet got people hopping mad too. Many took his wacky menu as a personal attack. Sorry Pete but I feed my family fresh fruit and veges and they do fine, thanks.  Pete, you pretentious wanker, I feel sorry for your kids. Pete, you are a complete dickhead. This, and more, when all the guy did was eat some funny food.


To me, the whole thing summed up the best and the worst of Australians. We have a great sense of humour and a keen satirical instinct. But we can be really small-minded,  mean and suspicious of difference. Why is it so threatening when somebody takes different, even eccentric, life choices? Why must we take it as a comment on our own choices? Perhaps we have always been like this, over the back fence and at the school gate, but now we have a  medium that easily allows for a group all-in insultathon.

It's as though 'Pete Evans' is not a real, live person but a cipher, a symbol for people to play out their own psyches against. Flex Your Fingertips and Test Your Wits In The Emu-Meatball Quip Contest! Not Feeling Funny? That's OK! Why Not Wallow In The Stagnant Pool of GroupThink? (It's Stinks! But You'll Have Company!)

In the end, I hope Pete's fame, fortune, happy family life and and smoking-hot bod helps to soothe some of his pain. God knows, he in unlikely to comfort himself with a family-sized Violet Crumble.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thinking and Foiling

Feeling a little tired and sore at the end of another busy week of cooking and washing and sorting and  negotiating. Tired and sore but happy.

Feeling jazzed about the  holiday Keith is taking from work for the next fortnight. He's been working into the night most days, establishing his business and building his website. He's been so busy. It's been a big year. We have so many projects and plans for the next two weeks. All home-based and all excellent. 

Plus lots of this. 

Feeling excited about heading into the city for a darling mates 40th at a swanky bar. Date night with the K Dog and some of my favourite old buddies! Canny wait. 

Thinking about my plans to get up early every morning and write. 

Thinking about giving up sugar.  

Thinking about what to do with this blog...  

Happy weekending my friends!