A week in progress

So far this week has been quite a trip. Highlights, lowlights, paranoia, productivity have all had their time in the limelight.

1. A day trip to the Mountains to see Mary. Eleanor and Duyvken were going and I tagged along, the proverbial third wheel. Getting there was a showcase in my absolute lack of geographical capabilities. My mum, being a teacher and all, used to make me read the map book when we were going somewhere new and oh my LORD was I a sweaty basket case by the time we got there. The first sign of me going to turn the map book on its side and she’d start getting those teacher tones that simultaneously scared the crap out of me and made my neck itch.

So you see, I live on the East coast of Australia on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and Mary resides in the Mountains directly to the West of Sydney. So, just go West is pretty straight forward. In fact, if I had gone the way I was meant to the following would have been the number of turns I would have had to make – six. In a two hour journey. And four of those are just getting from my place to the main road. Further assurances that this was straight forward exercise was the fact I spent three years of my life living on the other side of these mountains going to university. So, you know, I kind of know the road like the back of my hand.

Which explains perfectly why I turned off the motorway that would have almost taken me to Mary’s delightful front door. And headed north. Ish.

I knew as soon as I did it but did not take the nearest turn off, turn around and go back. Oh no, I just kept on going. The scenic way.

Bizarrely it took me no longer than if I’d gone the motorway way but man was it depressing driving through areas that were hobby farms and horse studs and open fields in the early 90s which are now McMansions packed up beside each other like some homage to Edward Scissorhands.

The upside was I then had to take this back road to get to the other side of the mountain (the other side of the mountain, the other side of the moouuunnn-tain to see what she could see) and it was all hairpin bends and glorious forest. My kinda drive.

Anyway, a lovely time with the ladies was had, the boys were not too feral … until nearing our departure … and it was an unexpected addition to the week.

2. I am doing Jiiiiillliaaan Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I know I’ve told you this already but I just wanted to remind you because you know, Kim = virtuous. This week I stepped it up a gear and did Level 2. I think I’ve broken my knees and maybe my lower back. Holy CRAP this woman was making me do things in the name of exercise which were just not right. I mean, there were things happening and I was like ‘I don’t think my legs bend that way’.

3. We forgot football training yesterday for the second week in a row.

4. At the trial match on Sunday we lost Grover – who wandered off to play in the bush. Yeah. We found him again – playing under some overhanging branches with a metal pipe he’d found. Awesome.

5. On Tuesday Chef had to skoot down to the shops and when Grover got whiff of this and the fact he wasn’t going with him, the Screamy McTanty Pants let loose. I had 20 loads of washing to bring in so I left him up the side path wailing, screaming, crying for Daaaaaaddddddaaaaaaa in the comforting knowledge he was safely secured and enclosed and couldn’t do anything to harm himself. After a while I asked Felix to go and check on him as I could still hear him protesting and I thought he’d moved into the newly cleaned out garage.

Then someone – a man – called out hello. He was a fit guy, the type you’d expect to see at The Ivy or in the Eastern Suburbs more than the Northern Beaches. He had his son with him and in his arms my son, the Screamy McTanty and Crappy pants one who I believed was safely within the boundaries of our property. Clearly the gate had not latched properly when Chef had exited and Grover had worked this out and set out to catch-up with him. This guy was driving along and saw this small child – this baby – lying.on.the.edge.of.the.footpath.and.the.road., pulled over, scooped him up and started looking for where he belonged. Yeah. Sweet.

6. Yesteray, at around 7pm I decided to completely change the orientation of our kitchen to try and gain more benchspace in a kitchen that doesn’t have enough for such a pathological baker. Such a good time to start a reorganisation. Grover was – naturally – helping me by dragging his stool around to various places and playing with things he shouldn’t have. Then I walked the five steps out of the kitchen to the dining table, which was when he saw fit to fall off the stool and as he went, to grab hold of the microwave door he had opened to try and save himself, instead, pulling it down on top of him as he crashed to the floor. Strike 3!

He was absolutely fine – seriously, not even a red mark on him. I, meanwhile, needed a flagon of something alcoholic but instead just sent everyone to bed. His brothers were very worried about it which kind of made it better.

7. I’ve had a stupid level of paranoia this week. The bog standard stuff of not being good enough, being the third wheel, being the pour cousin to the rich or not-as-poor friends, the feeling others must think I’ve let myself go with the shitty clothes, the cheap haircut and the cold hard reality there are now too many grey hairs for me to be able to pull them out.

8. Felix got moved up a group at swimming so is now in the squad pool. The boy who was whinging bitterly about having lessons at all is now all, ‘that was cool, it was really challenging and fun’. It’s all about the accolades with our Felix.

9. Jasper, tonight at dinner, out of the blue, for no apparent reason, told everyone, ‘I love Oscar’. It did much to mend my somewhat forlorn heart. In fact, it did actually lift me out of the slump. Then tonight, he woke up screaming because he’d had a bad dream about Grover. I have no idea if the bad dream was that Grover was stalking him, as Grover is want to do, or if something bad was happening to Grover (Jasper was very anxious last night when the whole microwave smashing incident occurred) but it’s pretty endearing all the same.

10. Oscar has a sore throat/cold. Tonight he is coughing a lot. In fact, he got up a minute ago and came down to me. I’ve dosed him on kids panadeine equivalent and gave him a few puffs of ventolin. Oscar + coughing very quickly can = hospital so I’m a bit anxty over that one.

11. Tonight I had to duck out to the shops (carefully closing the gate behind me) to get some stuff and while I was there I picked up the magazine I wrote a piece for. It even has my mugshot with the article. It’s only a one-pager and it has been massively changed from my submission, but you know, when Oscar and Felix were little all I wanted was to freelance write for magazines, and for magazines in a particular stable. And standing there in Woollies tonight it had come to fruition. I even did another quick 100-worder for them today.

Because I basically live at Woollies and I have four boys and we’ve lived in the area for almost nine years, we know some of the staff on a first name basis. So I was showing J (who adores Oscar and chats with him whenever he’s with me) and she was all excited and then C came over and she was all excited and well, it was really quite lovely. When I brought it home the boys were all over it – Jasper was incredulous that my face was in this magazine. Too cute.

12. Chef has a couple of days off following the Easter long weekend. WOOHOO. We are going to go camping – but WHERE??? Basically we don’t want it to be too far from Sydney (no point wasting half the trip getting to and from the place) and possess the remote chance of us being able to get in – being Easter and all … you know, people being far more organised and planning ahead. We’re thinking Barrington Tops, but if anyone else can recommend a place, send suggestions my way.