Author Archives: Kim Berry

Darkness

A dreadful thing happened today. Dreadful? Unimaginable? What word comes even close to encompassing what happened.

298 innocent people were killed by men fighting over borders. Oh sure they’ll argue it’s about so much more than that but I can’t shake my immediate reaction of “fucking men and their fucking weapons”.

They say it was a Russian separatist surface-to-air missile that brought down flight MH17 because Ukraine doesn’t have that military capability. I wonder how Russia talk its way out of this one.

They say there could be up to 100 people on that flight who were coming to Australia for the world’s largest AIDS conference. Scientists, doctors, activists working on life-changing, world-changing projects.

They say flights were banned over the region to 32,000 feet. MH17 was flying at 33,000. Who do you think makes that call when they’re aiming their missiles?

They say in the 28 Australians was a Grandpa bringing his three grand children home so they could go back to school while their mum and dad had a few extra days holiday.

I can’t stop thinking about that mother and that all she must want is to get to her babies.

Then I see pictures of people just walking over the crash site.

Sacred ground.

298 people dead but thousands of lives changed forever.


Little

Do you remember being little?

I remember a yellow terry-towelling shorts jumpsuit.

Joy, my next door neighbour who I’d go and visit almost daily.

My walking Wendy doll I tied a ruler to so she’d stand up straight.

Mum gardening.

Tang.

The trailer of sand permanently parked on our front lawn that me and my brother would play in with matchbox cars.

I remember my Berenstain Bears treehouse.

The wooden two story dolls house.

I remember family gatherings being loud and always with the same food (roast lamb, veggies, fruit cake).

Lime cordial.

Tennis lessons where I was one of the select few taken into a separate room to practice our right and left.

Salads only ever consisting of iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Cubed cheese made it fancy. Those weird dressings where fake herbs were suspended in the bottle.

A hidey-hole in the garden behind the camellias.

My very own play area under our house where I’d play schools with Wendy Walker (standing up straight).

The wallpaper in my room of teeny tiny purple flowers.

My womble night-light.

 

Isn’t it funny we have these memories with vast blackness between them. Why can’t I remember losing teeth and my permanent teeth coming in. I mean, that’s a pretty big deal. But nup. Not a memory to jog.

I remember a lot of stuff through the prism of adulthood, layering meaning where perhaps it doesn’t belong so I like these snippets, just remembering them for what they were.

What do you recall?

Onward.

 


An itch

You know that itch you get where you need to be doing something but you don’t know what that something is or even where to begin to find the something?

I work a couple of days a week at the moment and spend the other days running around doing things like going to the chemist, filling in forms or pretending to clean the house. I do attempt to once a week meet up with friends or go out to have some lunch that does not consist of toast, cereal or yoghurt.

It’s school holidays at the moment so a LOT of energy is going in to pretending to care my boys are spending double digit hours on the computer or playing age-inappropriate games on the xbox.

But when they’re back at school the itch will become even more pronounced.

I don’t like the itch, it tends to make me feel like I’m floundering or worse, wasting time.

But here I itch. Do you?

 

 

 


Stuff ‘n nonsense

What can I tell you.

Felix was fourteen today. We celebrated with yum cha for lunch and pizzas “from the good place” for dinner. I am so in love with my boy at the moment. Did I tell you he came equal first in his year in an English assignment. I was so proud I thought my heart would burst through my chest. He was suitably nonchalant and embarrassed when I flashed the assignment in front of his English tutor’s face and gushed with maternal pride. He plays it cool my boy. I know he’s a worrier but he assures me that while he worries he doesn’t let it stop him from doing things. He’s in that strange intoxicating land of being part child, part teen and part adult. He’s thoughtful – every night without fail he thanks me for making dinner. He apologises when he’s sick and can be an absolute terror to his brothers. As it should be.

I’ve lost my dinner cooking mojo and we’ve been eating a lot of substandard fare because of it. Hit me with recipes for your dinner favourites.

I had a wonderful lunch during the week with real life and blogging friends. I realise I need to have a session like that ideally once a week to get me out of the house and out of my head. There are so many awesome women in my life.

Chef and I have been in a weird place of late. Nothing dreadful but not our normal comfortable fit. Disconnected is how I would describe it. But we’ve talked about it and we seem back on track. My world is unsteady without him by my side and nagging me for sex.

I had my regulary check-in with my psychiatrist this week. We’d done some bloodwork to see how my lithium levels were tracking and if my liver was OK (one of my meds can affect it). He also tested my thyroid – which,  for the first time since I was diagnosed two years ago my thyroid levels are in the normal range. Lithium levels were still low so we’re not quite there but I have to say, I’m feeling OK.

We are in the midst of applying for the disability pension for Oscar. I thought we were done but then a large envelope arrived this week requesting five other bits of information. One of those was the medical forms which took me and the GP about a day to pull together. Have I ever told you how much I love our GP? In pulling doctor’s reports from the wahzoo we realised he’s been our doctor for 15 years. Quite something. Anyway, I’ve got it all together now and must fortify myself for yet another trip to Centrelink to complete his application.

You know the work project that was going to kill me? It hasn’t killed me but gee, sometimes when you ask for feedback be prepared for people to be brutal. I’m not sure they knew I was the actual writer writing the material, part of me hopes not for their own reputation of being tactless and generally unhelpful. Anyway, I’m on the home stretch with it now and have grown very used to the extra income very quickly and hope other work will come from them.

I need to start walking or doing some form of exercise. It’s getting to be a desperate state of affairs.

Onward!


Welcome back

I bought myself some clothes and accessories on line these last couple of weeks. Just some swingy-hide-the-gunt long tops, some leggings, which I fully intend to wear as pants, a pair of ankle boots and a couple of rings and necklaces. Such events are very rare indeed and these new purchases will likely go the way of old, worn steadfastly day in and day out as a uniform until desperation requires another round of purchases. I do not buy clothes or accessories “just because”, ever.

The rings were cheap and cheerful, even the delicious black resin disc from Elk. They feel heavy on my fingers, making we want to swing my hands around when I talk even more than usual. In a few short days I’ve developed a new ritual of putting them on, flicking my fingers here and there, then trying to type with them on, only to fail, removing them, then starting the process all over again. See also: not sane.

The weather has turned here with the days abruptly shorter and a biting wind. I’ve wondered why my allergies have been off the charts until it dawned on me that the scarves and jacket I’ve pulled from the cupboard are merely dust strung together with a few threads. Still, I’m typing this wearing one of my new tops, my chunky yellow ring (on and off it goes) and the most outrageously warm possum wool scarf gifted to me by M. Gas prices are set to increase by up to 25% this winter so there shall be a lot of scarf wearing and doona shawls.

We had two rounds of rugby this weekend, Grover insisted on wearing his mouthguard even though he lost his two front teeth the night before and the morning of his game. It feels like the end of early childhood here with those baby teeth gone. We’re well and truly in the subsector of society called “getting the kids through school” now. He still wants me to lie with him when he’s going to sleep and while many a night it shits me to tears I force myself to remember this time will soon be over.

Last week featured a gathering of some of us from the blogging old days. There was so much laughter but also confiding and confessions. Since we got together we’ve shared some photos from years ago which have simultaneously made us wistful and horrified at the swiftness with which time passes. Those ladies know me inside and out. Their love and concern for me through periods of hardship and heartache has meant so so much to me and our stupidly infrequent get togethers fuels my soul.

Last night I admitted defeat and made dinner using a store-bought jar of a curry sauce. Every single child ate it. All of them. Ate all parts of it. The cursor is blinking at me as I try to find something to say about that.

 

Onward.

 

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