It is a week since I had 70 people in my house to celebrate Oscar’s 18th and I am still amazed and somewhat smug I pulled it off.
For starters it is the finest example of me saying something ridiculous and then being so far into it there is no option but to plow on. There was once the announcement I was going to go in a round-the-world yacht race in boats made of steel sailing the wrong way (as opposed to backwards which is just ridiculous) but I feel pregnant with Oscar instead.
There was basically a solid week of organised mayhem leading up to it and this week I have been so tired there was a morning I waved the boys off to school and went back to bed for a satisfying 2.5hr nap.
It meant a lot went by the wayside, primarily the children eating *proper* (as in nutritionally orientated) meals and my weekly menu planning. Once one of your kids has had a kebab twice in a week you know it’s time to get the notepad back out and get yourself into line.
So the party? I had a running schedule for the three days leading up to it with it down to 15 minute allotments before people arrived. Of course people arrived and it went out the window.
Chocolate and lollies – which I forgot to put out and which Oscar found and ate for breakfast every morning this week before I realised
Chips and cheezles – compulsory
A selection of cheeses, dips and pate with crackers – almost forgot to put these out until I went to the fridge to get the sausage rolls out
Pork and fennel sausage rolls (I made about 100 of these)
Chicken and bacon sausage rolls (and 100 of these)
Honey and soy chicken wings – I bought already marinated ones which annoyed me but it was just for the fussy people and I didn’t have time for fussy people
Pulled pork – three pork shoulders, each slathered in spices then slow-roasted for 6 hours, shredded then reheated on the night and served with rolls and tortillas
Corn – charred on the bbq then taken off the cob and tossed with lime juice and crumbled fetta
Salsa – tomatoes, spanish onions, corn, cucumbers, mint, coriander, lime juice
It all disappeared faster than I could get it out and was indebted to my BIL for taking charge of the pork on the bbq and basically telling me EVERYONE’S HUNGRY! to stop me talking, drinking champagne and put the sausage rolls in the oven already.
I wrote a speech which I promptly forgot on the night. I cobbled together some thoughts basically along the lines of what a goddamn legend this boy is and how he makes us all better people for knowing him. What more could a parent hope for?
Still on a high.
A UK study has found people aged 40-59 have the lowest levels of happiness and highest levels of anxiety. Not to put too finer point on it but derr. You’ve got huge debts with no disposable income, immense responsibilities of work and family, things are starting to go wrong with your health, and you live with the nagging worry about your aging parents. Good times!
Let’s look at health. From a woman’s perspective you’d think, you would think that some easy years were ahead. You’ve had your period for a good 20+ years, probably given your uterus a work-out a couple of times and had a bit of sex. Instead, you turn 40 and itâ€™s like youâ€™re going through puberty all over again. Back comes the acne, the crippling period pain and periods heavy enough to rival scenes from Dexter. I have friends who have to change their tampon every TWO hours AND have to wear a pad at the same time. My GP nodded with resignation when I was telling him this. He said, “welcome to your 40s”.
Iâ€™m not even talking about menopause, thatâ€™s a warzone deserving of its whole own article. A group of my friends got onto talking about the lady garden and it turns out the lining of the bladder thins, that’s why you need to go to the toilet all the time, as do parts of your vagina, so much so they.can.rip. when you’re having sex. Youâ€™re welcome.
Then there was the pain that developed in my thumb joints. I thought it was too much texting. No, that would be early signs of arthritis.
Then there was the gallbladder, the thyroid, the massive weight gain then the weird gut issues which have you eyeing gluten with suspicion while armed with the knowledge of where every public toilet is wherever you go.
THEN there is the whole realm of your finances. You *might* be reaching a point in your career when you’re flying and being handsomely recompensed – jog it in sunshine. For the rest of us there is often a slow dawning that you don’t really like what you do anymore but there are too many strings – mortgage, rent, school fees, bills, – being pulled for this puppet to try any new tricks.
And how’s your marriage or relationship panning out? If you’re anything like mine we had one rough patch too many and my husband walked out. Surprise! If you talk to each other and have each otherâ€™s back you may get through the next 20 years alive. Meanwhile the rest of us are skulking around on online dating sites watching our will to live evaporate.
And then there’s your kids. If you’ve had them more recently you are still in the grip of childcare or primary school both of which carry their own forms of torture – toddlerdom, h.o.m.e.w.o.r.k., more notes than drafted in parliament. Or you have teenagers. I think teens are pretty awesome but I have two good ones. Ask me when the younger two hit their stride. A friend of mine is as sleep deprived as a new parent at the moment because she and her husband are doing night watch to stop their daughter sneaking out.
And your parents. Sometimes a cancer scare, often a joint replacement or four and realising they walk more carefully and are very consciously trying not to fall. The worry of ailing parents is unparalleled.
Look, there are some fantastic things about being in this bracket – your friends and alcohol. You don’t care about what’s in this season as you wore it when you were 10 and don’t care for it a second time around. You look at stilettos then choose the orthotic option to accommodate the bunions you got from wearing stilettos. You get less het up about what the government is doing because you know there’ll be a new one soon and you have no time for people who make you feel bad about yourself.
But otherwise, you’ll excuse us if we’re not as cheery as all get-up.
I’ve been thinking about this new years resolution malarkey. Last year it was to only press the lock button once when leaving the car, not the standard fifty. I achieved that by March so all in all a good year.
Naturally this year there is the compulsory 20kg I’ve been resolute to lose every year for the better part of the last decade but that was making me feel moribund and resulting in the consumption of even more cream (this season’s go-to apparently).
So I thought, what would I really like to do. The answer? I want to start quilting again.
So that’s my resolution for 2016, to start quilting again. Just clearing off the table where I do so will be no mean feat, having been consumed by boxes of lego and now largely inaccessible due to a keyboard rarely played.
But I’m excited. I need a new decent sewing machine of course so this really is going to be a year long resolution but the idea of doing something creative has put a kick in my step.
In other news I am getting old.
For the better part of a year I’ve had this, increasingly unbearable, pain in my left heel and mildly in my right. Self diagnosis and the experience of friends tells me its plantar fasciitis, apparently common in “middle age”. Also common in young people on their feet alot like athletes and soldiers but let’s not kid ourselves.
I put it down to a number of factors a) old, b) fat, c) live in thongs (flip-flops) in summer, and d) live in work boots in winter.
That’s right. It’s time for the orthotic, supportive shoes. My first foray into this realm has been a pair of fancy (read expensive) thongs that have improved the situation markedly. My SIL (not old or fat but also not a soldier so, anomaly) has already been down this road and assures me these will help cure my crippling pain in as little as three months.
I figure this is some sort of karmic arse-slap for all those times I mocked Blackbird on shoes she liked that I thought were ugly.
I bought the pair on the far left but immediately regretted it and wished I had gone for the ones on the far right. The bling ones in the middle never stood a chance.
Another indication of my ageing is the athritic pain in my thumb joints but I’ll save that scintillating story for another day.
What’s news peeps. Christmas is done, new years is done, January is underway. How’s the world in your neck of the woods?