To market to market to buy a fat pig

So this morning started early.
Which meant it was feasible for us to get from Narrabeen to Pyrmont to the monthly SMH Growers Markets at an hour when hopefully the crowds would be tolerable and the produce plentiful.
So I did it.
I bundled three kids into the car at 7.10am on a Saturday and off we went.
The sun was only just rising over this glorious city I simultaneously love and hate.
Pyrmont is an inner city suburb on Sydney that recently underwent a major urban renewal program. I know this because the organisation I work for was responsible for it. It was before my time. These apartments are in an area on the harbour referred to as Darling Island.
I can imagine me living here when I’m an outrageously rich empty-nester, which is hilarious because hello four children as if I’m a)ever going to be outrageously rich or b) an empty-nester. That’s Jasper in the front right corner of the photo. He was very very taken with the water. Even moreso when the over-achieving-fisherman-with-six-rods caught a fish.
The catch in progress. Jasper was so excited he had to hold on to his bits.
No really, he did.
Don’t you love what I let my kids wear out of the house? This delightful ensemble featured his new Thomas the Effing Engine pjs, Thomas the Effing Engine socks, sandals, and a jumper knitted by his Nanna desperately trying to redeem the whole tragic blamange.
This fish is a Taylor. It had scary looking teeth but the shiniest eyes. I sort of started to get angsty standing there watching it slowly die. You’re not meant to a) fish in Sydney Harbour or b) (I know,I have no idea why I’m doing the a) b) thing, just work with me) eat fish you’ve caught in Sydney Harbour because of brain-meltingly high levels of toxins and lead they found in fish that lived in Sydney Harbour. I’m all repetitive because it’s now late and I’m tired and a little bit pissy. Sorry. The over-achieving-fisherman-with-six-rods clearly didn’t care about becoming stupid from eating fish he’d caught from Sydney Harbour. Can I just say, this fish looked mighty healthy and nothing like the three eyed number Bart caught in Springfield Dam.
I finally dragged Jasper away and as we walked along the harbour’s edge a little boat slowly passed by with some people clearly going to the markets. It seemed so civilised.
I meanwhile braced myself for this with two children unleashed and one cracking it in a stroller.
As the anxiety level grew I just told myself to slow down. Enjoy it. Get some breakfast, decide on what was necessary and get out. Breakfast was amazing bacon and egg rolls and a bratwurst sausage on a roll with caramelised onions, rocket and the most delicious bbq sauce.
I have never seen Jasper eat bacon or eggs, so you know, it was worth photographing.
And I was all come on Jasper, smile.
Until I realised he was choking on a big lump of deliciously smoky bacon.
SMH Growers Markets = Bring Your Dog To Town Day.
Yes, that woman was a dog for walking in front of me taking the shot, but you can see in her armpit my little fella with a very massive puppy – a Newfoundland horse puppy. His jumper had to come off after this meeting because it was covered in drool.

So Jasper is in dog heaven. Chasing dogs, patting dogs, ‘look woof woofs!’ing, and in particularly chasing around some white little shitsyou number who was both thrilled and terrified all at the same time. But I got pretty jack of my very brief shopping list (saltbush lamb, highland pork, rhubarb) being sabotaged as I lurched from here to there trying to keep track of Jasper chasing a shitsyou.
I collect him up and he duly has a meltdown (yesterday there were twenty mellenty of them) so I just dumped him on the grass as I chose which cuts of lamb to buy. So there he was lolling around on the grass in the midst of megacrowdom and I’m choosing lamb and where the hell is Oscar and what, someone’s talking to me? What do they want? OH GOD they’re going to say something about how Jasper should have a jumper on or that I should pick him up because someone’s going to tread on him or the baby needs a jacket on or they just need to ask me some questions for market research purposes but no! Wait! It’s Eleanor! Eleanor from my comments box! Look! FOR REAL!
She was just so lovely I wanted to spread her on toast and gobble her up. AND she has great hair. She’s going to start blogging which will bring no end of joy to Blackbird because she has TWO teenage children (look at her! It’s a crime to look that good as the parent of teenagers) so there will be someone other than her to talk about the smelly, moody years of offspring. Speaking of Blackbird, she would love these markets for the awesome array of cheeses on offer.
But we were done. I’d lost Jasper twice, Oscar once and was pretty much over it. I had lamb, pork and rhubarb. We’d had an ice-cream and it was time to cut our losses before Jasper fell into the harbour. It was turning into the most glorious of days that Sydney can put on.
See that tiny speck off in the distance near the last light post? That’s Jasper. Taking off his pants to do a wee into the water.
No seriously. This child has no concept of the right or wrong place to do a wee except for the fact he hates it splashing onto him. So this is perfectly acceptable.
You thought I was kidding didn’t you. And what’s better than doing a wee into the water than doing a wee into the water. With company.
I bet the empty-nesters/dual-income-no-kids-people-who-airtravel-have-great-shoes who live in these apartments didn’t bet on seeing that kind of activity early on a Saturday morning. But this child? Adores the water.
You know that boat that passed as as we were arriving? It did the same as we were leaving.
It seemed like such a romantic notion.
Isn’t this harbour and this day just glorious?
Despite the fact we can’t afford to buy a house in this city. Despite the fact we have the most inept government in office it’s enough for me to switch teams. Despite the fact I spend in excess of two hours in traffic each and every day I go to work. I do love this city.
This shot is looking across to Barangaroo, a site that has been a stevedoring site for a very long time and has just been cleared. It is going to be the site of one of the biggest urban renewal projects ever undertaken in Sydney. It’s the size of 22 football fields. Or something like that. It is really very exciting and I hope to be working on it over the next decade that it comes to fruition. If our tree-change plans do not eventuate. But first it must survive the Pope’s visit for the impending World Youth Day when some thousands and thousands of young true believers will all do whatever it is they do when faced with the holiest of holies on a massive concrete slab on the side of the most beautiful harbour in the world. God help them all.


Tonight featured a dinner of delicious lamb backstrap and mashed Dutch Cream potatoes, carrots and broccoli.
I then took off to the talent quest at Felix’s band camp. He was so tickled to see me and show me his cabin.
You know something?
Camp still smells exactly the same as it did 20 years ago.


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