Presented without comment

Scene: rooftop carpark of major shopping centre. A not elderly gentleman sitting on a mobility scooter, shirt off, sunbaking.

Scene: outside school gates at pick-up time. Father, holding a young baby, drinking from a VB longneck.

Watching: another episode of The Biggest Loser. This year the criteria is fat AND (more) stupid. (I think that’s a comment)

Watching: the finale of The Bachelorette. I would be ashamed we watched this were it not for the fact it was largely hate-watching. That said I thought Sam was a top bird and Sascha seemed like a daggy dad type of guy so I wish them well. (which technically is a comment)

Watching: Gogglebox – basically the best show on television. I’m quite certain what this says about my mental capacity and I simply do not care.

Desire: a new set of saucepans. I’ve had mine since mum gave them to me for my 21st (and she’d had them in storage for me for a few years before that) and they’ve served their purpose well. But I want heavy-based ones like these. I saw them in the shops the other day, liked their weight then lost my breath at their price. There’s some super cheap on eBay at the moment but I can’t quite hit the buy button.

Reality: I have a thousand mugs but most of them are for my holiday house. When I buy one (never going to happen). Every time I go to the shops (rare) I am on the look-out for nice mugs. I’m yet to find ones I like. I’ve decided it is a lost cause and finding a mug with a thin lip* is impossible.

Action: In searching for mugs I ended up in at T2 where I spent a housing deposit on its Irish breakfast blend (because the Twining variety is not strong enough for my discerning palate), a fancy (plastic) jug and two herbal tisanes** to trick the boys into thinking it is iced tea just like the sugar poison! -laden ones. This outlay seems only to have worked on Oscar and considering he’d probably eat cardboard doesn’t count.

Targets for irrational hatred: mobility scooters, elderly drivers, people who do not pull to the left or right side of the lane when turning.

Winning: signed up for Presto after ongoing disappointment with Netflix and irritation with Stan. Result? 30 Rock and far better movie offerings.

Highlight: Being there for a friend earlier this week when she needed a sounding board and a subsequent walk amble around the lake (8km) with her later in the week.

Realisation: I can not be friends with gluten. This makes me sad but (largely) removing it from my diet transforms me into a better version of me.

Anticipation: It’s Friday and I’m staring at a weekend of cooking bacon cancer! and cheese pinwheels, cinnamon scrolls and something else I can’t recall as per the specific request of Felix. So weight loss plans and gluten-free existence working well then.



*If there’s one thing my mother taught me, it’s that a tea cup must have a thin lip.


Changing seasons

My period is now sufficiently late I am growing weary of all of the feelings all of the time. This is actually a bit of a turn for the books after the unintended over-medicating I had been subjecting myself to for oh, months? I use that question mark wisely because I have no idea when I virtually doubled one of my meds. So that inability to cry, the complete lack of energy, the constant need for sleep and the eyebrow-raising coping with the Family Realignment could all be explained away. But back to the period (are you still with me) I use this period tracker on my phone, it lets me know when it’s coming with an exclamation mark, like an impending celebration. Your period is due in two days! The irony of course is that reality combined with the exclamation mark makes me want to smash my phone to pieces. PIECES.

I’ve picked up so more work for March/April so that is a relief good. I am fairly constantly wringing my hands about me and employment. Should I get a permanent job somewhere, but how would I manage a commute and four kids and getting Oscar on and off his bus each day and oh my God watch me fall down this hole of angst. Pitch more stories, PITCH. But I’m not really a pitcher, I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing or an inability to think up new ideas but the idea of pitching a story to a magazine leaves me cold. Of course this is ridiculous because I’ve worked in jobs before where I had to come up with story ideas. Maybe I’m better to write something then pitch it but then I pick up more work and the idea gets left by the wayside. I think we can file this under: own worst enemy.

It’s still snowing in the US and all this has done is heighten my need to live somewhere where it does, indeed, snow. I know I know, if I DID live somewhere were it snowed I would be shaking my fists at it by now (but I really wouldn’t). Last night when I was putting the little boys to bed (almost 8 and almost 10, not so little but always so) I said if I won a lot of money I would pack us all up and ship off to somewhere where it snowed. They thought this was a grand plan until I informed them they’d probably miss their friends but would make new ones AND be able to skype old ones. SCHOOL they wailed. The innocence of it all. We’ll move to more snowy climes and never have to go to school again!

But March has arrived and it appears we have endured a Sydney summer without any 40+ heat waves. The first for as many years as I can remember. Yes, it will now arrive and last for 10 days just to punish me. But as it stands the air is cooler in the mornings and evenings, the humidity has dropped and my resting state of cranky has shifted.


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.


Stuff and Nonsense

I’m working on a new project that has my stress levels in the category of stratospheric but the phrase “just think of the money” is keeping me going. When I first landed the gig, which I got after cold calling a guy I went to uni with, I totally freaked the fuck out. Of course my FTFO is so stellar I jump straight from “why, I’m feeling a tad stressed about this new project, which is a completely normal emotion” in about 1 millionth of a second to “I’m just going to kill myself because everyone would be better off that way”. Incredibly I’m five weeks into the 12 week project and am a) still alive and b)not as suicidal. Good times. Also, just think of the money.

We’ve just wrapped up the first term of our school year. First term is hard. For starters it features the hottest and most humid of months along with the brutal re-entry from 6 weeks of holidays. There’s new teachers to adjust to, new routines and the whole begrudging trudge back into the land of school lunches, 5,000 notes and late night washing for a clean uniform the following day.

Oscar’s still on his long term (3 month) antibiotic regime to ward off the not-but-maybe-osteomylitis-always-cellulitis but has tonight come down with a wicked temperature and head-ache. In a normal child this is called a virus. In Oscar it’s called CODE RED HIGH ALERT. I will look anxiously at his left ankle, the offender, in the morning as tonight it was not hot, red, or swollen. While I am wishing this to be some bog standard ailment or flu, my friend J just had a flu so violent it was named the black death vomit. I’m not wishing for that either.

Felix had his first Duke of Edinburgh camp last weekend. It rained on them for about 12 hours the first day and at that stage they all hated it with a passion. The next day gave them a weather reprieve and firmly planted the adventure back into the category of awesome. I am so so stoked Felix is doing DofE and thrilled he got as much from it as he did. This was a test hike with a staff member hiking with them. The real deal later in the year will be groups of them going out on their own. I think as a parent I’m meant to feel apprehensive about that but curiously, no. Just lots of excitement for him.

Jasper. Well Jasper spent the entire duration of Grover’s rugby game in the car colouring in. The kid has smarts, it rained on us three times. He’s learning guitar and a teacher change mid-term saw his attitude towards it change markedly. He doesn’t want to play rugby or any other sport (he did an 8-week cricket thing with Grover but I think that was more on the fact they got a shirt, hat and bat than any great love of the game) but was gutted last week when his best-rusted-on-friend-for-life was picked for a school team and he wasn’t.

Grover’s obsession has moved on from cricket to rugby with the change of season. He won man of the match in their first game last week and my concerns he might have peaked early abated with his performance on the field this morning. He’s such a cracker of a kid. I refused to lie down with him at bedtime a few nights back because, well I just didn’t want to, and he wailed and carried on like I’d amputated the wrong leg. By the time I went back up there he was a hot steaming mess of tears and snot. He clung to me and said, “I just needed a friend to help me go to sleep.” “Am I your friend?” “Yes”. Kid has me wrapped around his little finger.


Stuff and nonsense

Chef tried to load more memory onto my computer and broke it. That was a month ago. It’s strangely liberating and terribly debilitating all at once. (I’m using his to write this.)

All the boys are back at school with great teachers and an exciting year ahead.

My head is currently “ok” but I’m worried about Chef and his head which is making my head a bit precarious. Work and money, nothing out of the usual.

Mum has been taking little weekends away to catch up with friends and see new places. I’m so thrilled for her. She’s had news of a possible trip which would be thrilling for her. Great to see.

Something’s wrong with my right hip.

There was a pile of crappe in the hallway that had been gathering friends for the better part of a year. I cleaned it all up, threw most of it out the week before last. I may still walk up the hallway making a conscious effort to walk in the space that had previously been occupied.

This week I was brave and approached someone I went to uni with looking for some more freelance work. It’s all looking very promising which is good for my head and calming my breathing. Again, work and money.

It’s raining here, slightly cooler but outrageously humid (my kryponite) so dinner tonight is roast chook and veggies followed by an apple and rhubarb tart I whipped up.

How are you?