I was going to make vanilla biscuits today, but it was so much better than that.

First, remember this?
It’s the Dualit toaster I bought on Ebay that didn’t work etc, that Chef spray painted and got fixed for my birthday. I’ve been trawling through Glamorouse archives to find reference to it, but with no luck, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Anyway, one of the elements blew quite early on and it has just sat on the kitchen bench as decoration every since while the griller in the oven has been our stand-in irritating-the-crap-out-of-me toaster.

Last week we schlepped across Sydney to the place that can fix it and picked it up today. I am very excited about not having to use our crap-arse oven as a toaster anymore.

While I was waiting in the car for Chef, I spied this great monument of what looked like meringues in this funky little cafe next door. On his return, I made him go on and investigate. There were plain and chocolate ones. Naturally, as the baby has eaten my ankles and wrists, I had to have one of each.

Here’s the chocolate one:
and it’s internal gooey goodness
But really, the plain one was my favourite and Chef won (most of) the chocolate version.

Then, we (finally) went to Sopra, which is the cafe of Fratelli Fresh, home of the most divine fresh produce and purveyor of cheeses, meat and bread.

It is all located through these quite impressive doors
Then you, in what feels quite a strange move, walk through the loading dock, carparking area
But it all just kind of adds to its appeal.
The dining room is bathed in glorious sunlight and the sound of people enjoying stunning produce cooked simply echoes around the space.
We started with a very simple antipasto plate, that featured a delicate fennel salad, a robust roast pumpkin salad, some glorious mushrooms and the most delicate crostini topped with this broad bean concoction which I would happily have had a bath in.
I then had the most divine lemon linguine, with chilli and parsley and topped with fried breadcrumbs.
While Chef had a tagliatelle w/ gorgonzola piccante, which had the most delicate, non-oily flavour I’ve ever tasted in a cheese based pasta sauce. We also had a side of rocket and parmesan, which was finely grated rather than shaved pieces, so it almost formed a paste with the balsamic and oil.

So while I am feeling like I’m in a very strange place, trapped in some bizarre purgatory full of contradiction, it was an absolutely lovely outing.

I am feeling both deeply attached and completely separate from my body at the moment.
I have these moments where I almost lose my breath at the realisation this will be the last time I feel one of my children moving inside of me.
Such moments are only to be outshone by those when I can feel my whole body stiffen at the thought of another labour. As every muscle tightens I tell myself to relax, to breath, to let the baby come.
Chef took photos of me today which I find both horrifying and deeply empowering.
I know the strength of me as a woman. I know my capacity to create life and bring it into this world. It’s funny isn’t it, that you can look at your child who is now nine and still feel that connection from when they were deep and settled in your belly. I do wear my deep, massive, ugly stretch marks with a badge of fierce maternal pride.
But at the same time I am all “Dear GOD that is HUGE”.
I am amazed and repelled by the trotters I know have for feet, the creases where my ankles once were, the fat little sausages that apparently are my fingers, the double chin that has returned do to a stunning daily calorie commitment. My feet and calves are fat and shiny and it is really quite gross.
The numbness/pins and needles/increasing lack of strength in my hands and the fat wrists also fall into this category.
The calmness I’ve felt with this baby in the last few weeks is something I treasure deeply, as some sort of twelth hour apology to him/her for the previous eight months of stress, depression, more stress and basically having a mumma acting like a caged wild animal.
I look at the cot, the tiny clothes, the new wraps that Mum has edged with ribbon for me and am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation at having another new little person in this house, in our lives and in our care.
But then I look at the road ahead and have moments of panic as to my ability to give this child, in fact all of our children, the best of me.
So another day has passed and all is quiet.