Author Archives: Kim Berry

Weekend roundup

I  love Friday nights. There’s something so reckless about them – drink! stay up late! watch another Scooby Doo movie (do they ever end? Is one churned out every week in some animation gulag?)! eat crap food for dinner!

This week it was chicken fingers which is basically a nugget but in strips rather than rounds. I know. Fancy like. And spring rolls. The spring roll addiction is a relatively new one, embarked upon following a family gathering where they were part of the offering. I have to buy the catering size packs because six of us can knock over 40 of them in one go. And when I say 6 I really mean 4 because the little boys don’t care for them. Weirdos.

Such is our love of the spring roll I made some from scratch last weekend. This was initially done under duress because it falls into a category of messy, time consuming, fiddly foods that are then vacuumed up in 10 seconds flat leaving me with not enough for myself and a kitchen resembling something from the Dresden bombings.

spring rolls pre-cooked

Spring rolls - cooked

I made vegetarian ones and ones with pork. The recipe was here. You must make the cucumber dipping sauce, it elevated them exponentially. For the vego ones I omitted the pork (obviously). I also doubled the recipe.

 

Cricket season started for us this weekend. Now some would wail and gnash teeth at an 8:30 start on a Saturday morning but I look on it as dripping with so much virtue you can come home and nap for as long as you like. Grover is playing this year and it appears our team has a group of wonderful parents I can gossip with to see that 1.5hrs whizz by.

I also had my very own play date under the guise of it being one for Grover. I met K at another kid’s party when I walked into the room to collect Grover and everyone else was in groups who clearly knew each other and were laughing gayly. I thought she looked normal and it turns out my radar was bang on. We then saw each other at another kid’s party and had more of a chat, confirming my initial reading that she was normal and one of us. So finally we got together on Saturday afternoon in a soiree that involved cheese, pate and wine.

We were standing in the backyard when she marvelled at our cucumber plants. Except she called them zucchinis. I corrected her gently until she said they looked like zucchini flowers and I simultaneously looked and saw zucchinis happily growing on my cucumber plants. There’s not much I don’t eat (stop laughing) but zucchinis is one of them. Frittatas and omelettes are others but back to the cuczuchs I’m growing. So now I’ve got three plants full of them. Hit me with your best zucchini recipes please.

Yesterday was pretty low-key apart from doing the grocery shopping. Stop it. Grocery shopping is a highlight in my week. I shopped at the competitor and my bill was a good $50 less. I hate this competitor but if it’s leaving 50 bucks in my wallet we may have to be friends.

Oscar’s School of Awesome do an annual concert with Years 10-12 and a nearby private girls school. It’s on this coming Friday night and is all Oscar can talk about. We had to go and buy some new black shoes and a green t-shirt for him yesterday. He only asked about when we were going shopping 3,000 times from Friday night so, winning. School of Awesome concerts differ from normal school concerts where you sit through an interminable number of very average children to listen to your musically gifted child. Every song, every item has you laughing or crying or both and the entire event is joyous. Oscar informs me (many times) this week is practice practice practice. I can’t wait.

 

Onward.


So

Our family has undergone the greatest of upheavals and yet still the wheels turn.

There’s an added labouring to getting the boys to school now though, they want to stay close, bunker down. But that is also part and parcel to this time of year as we hurtle towards Christmas and the end of the school year.

I’d say the boys are kinder to each other but that would be a lie. They are, however, more together. There’s battles here and wrestling there and tears thrown in for good measure, along with hurls of abuse and indignation at rules not followed.

I am still making dinner every.fucking.night. although yesterday was an afternoon of cooking the most delightful comfort foods – homemade spring rolls (a first and a triumph) and then cheese and bacon pinwheels for dinner. Have you ever made cheese and bacon pinwheels? Take a few square sheets of puff pastry, mix equal parts of grated cheese to finely diced bacon (so I made 5 sheets last night with 500g bacon and 600g cheese) then spread on the puff. Roll up, smear some water or egg along the final edge to seal. Cut into 6 even rolls then bake at 180C for about 15 minutes, maybe 20 – I’m unsure of time, I just go off how they look.

I tell you, if you’re feeling glum about your husband leaving you and abandoning your kids, they go someway to cheering you up.

The weekend also brought joy in a whole other form:

Zelda 1

Meet Zelda. Isn’t she delicious! Her tiny presence has transformed the house, taking the focus off things we have no control over.

 

Onward.


A family realignment

A month ago Chef told me he didn’t think he loved me anymore. Subsequent events show he lied, he actually doesn’t love me anymore.

Within a month he has completely extricated himself from our lives. In a whole month he’s seen – or been in their presence would be a better description – the boys for about 2.5hrs.

He packed up his life in 10 green garbage bags.

He took the PlayStation and the xBox1.

We have been together for 23 years. He packed up all his belongings four days before our 17 year wedding anniversary.

And me? I’m fine. No really, I am fine. I’m shocked at how fine I am.

The boys’ world has been obliterated and we are navigating the new terrain together. It’s rocky and unknown but we shall be fine.

 

Onward.

 


Everything’s the same, everything’s different

The world is a place where everything can feel so nebulous and yet our feet are so firmly on the ground, somedays so heavy they feel gripped by roots, dragging us deep into the earth. How can two extremes play out at exactly the same time? How can it feel like everything can disappear in an instant and yet onward we tread, as if there is no choice.

Discovering that there is comes from a dark loneliness deep in the woods of our minds, where there are voices and terrifying sounds and not a glimpse of sunlight to guide the way out. I’ve been there, too many times as if once was not enough. The pain of that place is excruciating, like there is a vice around your head and nowhere to run. The news about Robin Williams has rocked so many of us. If someone so talented, so successful, so revered can’t find his way out of that forest what hope is there for the rest of us battling those demons every day? One of the oldest friends of a friend of mine took her own life two weeks ago. A month ago a plane of innocent people was shot out of the sky. At the moment there are innocent people of a religious minority trapped by religious extremists on a mountainside in Iraq.

It goes on and on. What on earth are we to do? Somehow we get up and live another day. We love our kids, we speak with loud voice when things are not just and fair, we make dinner, we eat all the feelings and despite the most of unlikely of odds we keep going. Sometimes doing that is so very hard. But we make that choice.

Onward.


New Favourite

It seems gauche to call this a favourite but Katie Noonan’s haunting version of I am Australian for the MH17 memorial service is just beautiful.

 

 

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