Sunday morning

Brewtown in Newtown. Hipster apocalypse. 

2017

This is me:

Kim Palmer Berry, January 2017

I have rockstar hair

I have developed a penchant for a red lip and a strong brow.

I am a single parent, officially divorced, raising four boys including one with not insignificant disabilities.

I have a full-time job as an editor of two weekly publications on topics that are hugely relevant and important – the environment, climate change and carbon risk.

I have brilliant and incredibly supportive family and friends.

I am in love and loved.

There was an awfully long time, more than a decade even, that my life was incredibly stressful, immensely taxing on my mental health, so very debilitating to my self-esteem and sense of self and well, just a bloody hard slog.

In two years my life has turned on its head in only positive, happy and fun ways.

Who knew, huh?

So here’s to a brand new shiny year, let’s jump in together.

Onward!

 

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.

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.

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.

Postcard from the bunker

Dear all,

 

These last few weeks have been consumed with lots of time in the car and being responsible for all living things in this house not just those in the category of people and animals. I know, that can only mean one thing – the Matriarch has just had her fourth joint replacement surgery in as many years but her first knee done. Yep, she’s one joint and a pacemaker off being the Bionic Woman. Well that and a crazy in-arm electronic control panel.

 

All is well – the procedure was a hit, the hospital suitably dropped the ball on pain relief for her because what is a PRIVATE hospital stay (where you’ve been for three other procedures in recent years) without a distinct lack of pain relief. Idiots.

 

There was the incident of mum being in so much pain while having a sponge bath and bedding change which saw me discreetly dry-retching in her toilet with all the hot,sweaty, compulsive yawning, room spinning, yes I am hopeless when someone I love is in pain, and I can see the drain bag coming from the wound site FULL.OF.BLOOD, what can I say.

 

She came home for a few hours on Sunday – a visit I affectionately refer to as the rental inspection where it was noted I hadn’t killed any plants and had even planted a pot-bound bougainvillea (because it’s been giving me the absolute shits for years and I figure it can grow over the plastic netting on the fence that was for the passionfruit which the possums decimated but was met with a bit of a grimace, cue why I generally take a monumental disinterest in the garden) but also noted we had not fixed the pavers (ie raised them 1/2 cm). It was lovely having her home and it was the precursor to her return this Saturday – somewhere between cricket and three, that’s right, THREE birthday parties three of my children have invitations to.

 

Chef is settling in to his new job. There were other offerings which were distracting but nothing came of them and now he’s a bit low which reallly, all things considered, is perfectly normal because we all know had it been me there would have been a LOT of wailing and gnashing of teeth and general voice-of-doomness while Chef just quietly got on with life. I think it only fair for him to have a little wallow.

 

Felix has five weeks left of primary school. Amazing. I look at him and his friends in this weird in-between land of child and teenager and am SO.FREAKIN’.EXCITED.

 

Jasper’s dance concert is next weekend. It occurred to me at (just ONE of) the dress rehearsal on Sunday that the routine seems remarkably like the routine last year just to new music… oh and a new $70 costume.

 

I’ve been spending some time going way back into the vault to update tags and SEO shite and quite frankly – what a waste of fucking time. If you find me you find me and YAY to that. If you don’t well, look at that, the world is still turning.

 

I have pulled back from sponsored posts in quite a big way – they just feel so pedestrian. But that said, I had a PR pitch today asking if I was interested in doing one about MY LAWN – and SO NOT A EUPHEMISM for my lady parts, our ACTUAL lawn.

 

DO you want to know what I’d been doing for the THREE HOURS prior to receiving that email? I’d been digging up chunks of lawn in our back yard (all part of the paver remediation works AND also putting in some extra ones where I like to stand when hanging the washing…) and relocating to the front Nature Strip of Death, also known as the Hallowed Lawn of Weeds.

 

So you’ll be hearing all about THAT PR pitch in the ensuing weeks. I know, I can feel the excitement building too.

 

Last week I got all my hair cut off so I am now a MFP – mother-fuckin’ pixie. I didn’t know it was possible to love a haircut more with each passing day but here I am, doing exactly that. GO ME.

 

I’ve been running again – been at it for about the last four weeks. I’m back at being able to run for 5kms non-stop and today did it in just under 40 minutes. Writing that makes me realise that is actually really good so I should quit with the ‘you’re so fat and slow’ mantra and maybe focus more on the ‘at least you’re off the lounge’ one. I’m two kilos down but that is very prone to fluctuation. I’m just trying to take the panic out of it and take each day as it comes.

 

So yesterday was a two bowls of penne with four cheeses and a 4.5 hour nap. Today was a 5km run and 3 hours of gardening. Yeah, all or nothing seems to be my go-to.

 

And that, quite frankly, brings you mostly up to date. There’s LOADS of other exciting things to share, like how I changed the boys over from flannel to cotton sheets and have the doonas ready to either wash or get dry-cleaned to then be put away until the Months of Hades (also know as summer. Apparently.) or how one of my best and dearest friends (and her family) are relocating to New Zealand in the new year (SOB) or that every Saturday I now spend about six hours at some sort of cricket game and am ACTUALLY quite enjoying it. GO FIGURE.

 

 

Onward!