Monday was a wasted day as the forecast said it was going to be 17 and raining and instead it was about 22 and glorious sunshine. But I was still stressing about Chef’s work outlook and rallying against Mum suggesting we go outside and do stuff so we stayed inside and did little.
Tuesday we all got dressed before midday. Some of us even showered. We then piled into the bus and headed north to Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach. What followed was a steep and boggy walk up to the lighthouse.
So many steps.
Then there was some following little trails around the headland, hypothesising about whether if we all had those awesome bat-wing type outfit caper that was going on in Transformers 3 would there be enough of a run-off from the particular rock platform we were standing on to fly off and down to the beach or would you just bounce and plummet to an untimely and painful death down the cliff face.
It’s how we roll.
It’s not an allconsuming outing if there isn’t a moment of terror or pain or abject fear and we managed to tick off all of those with Jasper and Grover running off ahead, Grover then running back to us but taking the wrong turn (I know, my life is a movie script) and then screaming screaming screaming he was lost and couldn’t find me. This would have been so much more dramatic if a) I couldn’t have heard him b) he couldn’t have heard me and c) he was more than 10 metres away from me.
The highlight of this outing was not the fingernail size tick I extracted from Jasper’s head at the cafe afterwards* nor the one I pulled off Felix that night nor the ticks that had been on me and Chef that we’d unknowingly scratched off. Surprising I know. No, the highlight was this:
Yes, they would be my 11 and 13 year old sons. Please note the SIZE 10 MENS sneaker on Felix. (brain.fart.) But see the pose. Not forced, not anythinged, just done.
Something has happened – all that despairing about how crap they treat each other has evaporated. Mostly. Felix was at a Christian youth camp last week with his best mate from school (an awesome time and the bible ‘stuff’ was OK because they sung cool songs as opposed to hymns) and he has definitely come home older.
While Chef raced up the hill after Grover and Jasper, Oscar and I worked our way steadily skyward, with Felix in front guiding Oscar over the tricky bits or muddy parts.
Not wanting to come over too hyper-emotional because wouldn’t that be unheard of, but it kinda made my heart was to burst out of my chest.
From there we went to our favourite cafe – The Cooks Larder – for a restorative lunch and tick eradication session. Again, all of us lobbing in, staff greeting us as if we were long lost family (so nice) and all these people just looking at us in a state of
awe bewilderment fear curiosity. On occasion I feel like pronouncing ‘we made ALL OF THEM’ in a nice loud voice but I figure I’m already giving them all a good few years of therapy just through my general parenting, the public humiliations I need to save up for really special times.
* well, not in the cafe, once I saw the size of the motherfucking brain sucker I went across the road and purchased the world’s most expensive tick removing tweasers (this is the Northern Beaches and this was in Avalon, the tick capital of Australia). I then summoned him outside of the cafe to do the extraction. What. Even I have some standards.
Wednesday alarmingly also involved us heading outdoors to test out the new pedestrian walkway running alongside the Wakehurst Parkway. For those not in my locale or even this country, the Wakehurst Parkway is one of the three roads in (and I guess out) of the Northern Beaches and takes you alongside Narrabeen Lake and through some national park then past a rather large God-bothering happy clapper establishment before ejecting you back into almost civilisation.
For months now we’ve watched them building a more scenic (ie not along the guard rail of the road) pathway for
weirdos joggers and cyclists and the like. The boys were so excited seeing the bridge bits arrive and be installed that it was a holiday activity not to be missed!
So off we went.
Our neighbour and her grandson tagged along and a great time was had. We even bumped into a mum and son who went to school with Oscar and who I’ve been meaning to get in touch with all year. I tell you, it’s going to be a social HUB. (I know, I don’t know me anymore either, suicidal one minute, high on life the next – I can’t keep up with myself.)
We then – wait for it – had.a.picnic.in.the.park. I know. I hadn’t even been drinking to volunteer such an idea but we did it and everyone seemed to have a good time. GO FIGURE.
What is it with Instagram and my somewhat pathological need to turn all my photos into something resembling my photo album from circa 1978?
Thursday saw us hit Chatswood where my eyebrows were treated to the Benefit Brow Bar. I am ashamed to say it, but how can getting your eyebrows waxed and shaped by someone make you feel so much better about yourself? HOW? WHY?
We then frequented our den of denim – Jeans West (seriously, their jeans are teh awesome, last forever, look great and are totally financially reasonable) for Chef – two pairs for him and because we were there and the children weren’t dismantling the shop-fittings I tried on a pair. And well, the 15s were … TOO BIG. Yep, size 14 jeans. OUTRAGEOUS. Even moreso considering I haven’t lost a gram of weight and am faithfully going the OTHER direction on the scales of doom. But I DON’T CARE about dubious size labelling, I’m taking those size 14 babies and wearing the shiz out of them.
We also got Oscar his first pair of jeans (long story short – the kid struggles with buttons and buckles, it’s always pull-up elasticised pants) – he looks so cool and is so very chuffed. Until he needs to go to the toilet.
I also secured a liberty-rip-off blouse type number – in a LARGE not an XL version (I know I’m like the incredible non-shrinking woman) which is alarming on all levels – the floral, the blouse, the size.
After that haemorrhage of money it was off to do the same at sushi and then to pick up Oscar’s iPod and my iPhone from the screen repairer. And then new covers to protect them from the same fate ever happening again.
Then there was some shenanigans finding the most bizarre item in the Asian grocery store and general misbehaving in a public place.
Today saw us capitalise on a free family pass to Masterchef Live. I had mixed feelings about accepting the passes considering our derision of the program (all about the personality, totally unrealistic and pointless scenarios to cook in, not about the best chef but who fits their agenda that season, more commercial less authentic and so on and so forth) but hey, it’s school holidays and it involved food.
But if anyone doubted the phenomenon that is the MasterChef brand? Behold:
Basically it’s a trade show for punters. The equivalent to craft and quilt fairs for those so inclined. We were booked in for two classes later in the afternoon but we bailed as the boys started going a little postal. There were a couple of highlights.
For all of us, watching the guys from Sticky hand make rock candy – mesmerising:
Meeting the GOD of Macarons and fancy patisserie, Adriano Zumbo:
Felix, who would love to be a pastry chef, was kinda a bit awe struck. Bless him.
Then I discovered Maggie Beer (my own personal hero and national treasure) has created a non-alcoholic cabernet grape sparkling wine. If my not-drinking-often pledge needed any reinforcing, she just did it. LEGEND.
Then it was pizza (and a wee beverage for a treat) and home.
An awesome day. And awesome week. Funny, was really when we least expected it. Last week I was a black pit of envy and poison at the world and viewed everyone showing any form of happiness and exuberance with derision and vicious malice. This week, not so much.
Chef is doing a trial at a highly regarded restaurant tonight with a chef I have long admired. Please cross everything and pray/chant/sacrifice as you may like to do.