it all started with a cramp

So this weekend was all about the inaugural Australian Bloggers Conference. I’ll get to that later. Julie Andrews may be all about starting at the very beginning but tonight, I feel it best to start from the end. Because the end is further evidence that I pay dearly for having fun. If I am to cut up the dancefloor to Footloose there is a price to pay.

The plan was to drive into the city, attend the conference, partay at the dinner and then be collected by Chef on his way home from work.

This plan worked beautifully. After several false starts heading to the conference (having to return home for jam to give to certain legends and guardian angels and then once more with feeling to gather up my ‘business’ cards) I found a kickarse park near Hyde Park. I noted the following day it had a special event clearway from 8am but that was cool because Chef had to be at work by then so would have dropped me off to pick it up well before then.

However, about  3/4 of the way home I realised while I had a collection of goody bags with enough leather furniture repair kits to last me through my next life and the one after I had indeed left my handbag sitting under my chair in the ballroom. I know. Gifted.

I ring the hotel and they locate the bag and pop it in the safe for me, something I find hilarious because all that it contained was a keycard to a bank balance of $9.82, a therefore useless debit Visa card and a maxed out Amex.

I get home and the bed shark is getting some attention until Chef is felled by a viscous leg cramp. As he’s limping around the room trying to recover Grover appears, putting end to any concern about watching the dismount.

Fast forward to this morning with torrential rain. the big boys were up and so they decided to come along for the ride.

Tangent: Felix asked why I’d left the car in the city and I’d explained that I had wanted to have a few champagnes and so didn’t want to drive home but on learning I had left my bag behind he was all, ‘I think you had more than a few champagnes’. Bastard.

So off we go.

We get to the bottom of Long Reef heading into Dee Why, come around the corner and hit a massive puddle. Well, we actually hit a flooded roadway thanks to Dee Why Lagoon. WHOOOAH we all go. As the car goes nigh nigh. There we were. In the middle of a massive downpour on a flooded road and the time was reading 7:32.

Oscar’s loosing it by now, Chef is a bit incredulous and I am all, we have to find a Plan B, my car can NOT get towed from a special event clearway.

I call mum.

She’s all, we’ll have to get the other kids in the car. I’m all, there’s no time, leave them, get down here and get my brother down here so he can take you home and we can take your car to get my car (and my handbag) and to get Chef to work.

Then we realise we have to move the car. We’re only just around the corner and almost at a bus stop.

There’s only one thing for it.

I ditch my thongs, Chef takes off his sneakers and socks. Felix clambers over into the driver’s seat as Chef and I get out. To push.

Fast flowing water is racing past me about half way up my leg. The rain is so heavy we are instantly soaked to the core. Every time another car goes past Chef yells above the rain, “HERE WE GO” as a massive wave of water washes over us and the car.

And we’re laughing.

I mean COME ON.

We get the car further up the road. Mum arrives. My brother arrives. We do the handover and we’re back on the road. Chef and I are beyond wet. It’s as if we’ve sat in a bath fully clothed, then got out and just gone about our business.

We can not stop laughing. I am driving and as we get to the other side of Brookvale we see flashing police lights and I panic. Why the fuck am I driving when I don’t have my licence on me (in the bag in the safe in the hotel). I pull over and swap sides with Chef all the while him commenting about how this doesn’t look suspicious at all.

But it doesn’t matter. The policeman is just blocking.the.road. because – IT’S FLOODED (no shit sherlock, maybe that roadblock should have been about 5kms back).


Then another detour.

It’s 7:56.

I’m tweeting it all as fellow conference goes tweet about how there’d better be bacon for breakfast. Bacon shmacon, I was ready for a hair of the dog.

I do, however, start getting anxious about what if they do tow the car – I mean we’ve got no money to get it back and hello, FOUR kids to ferry around and now a broken down car and mum’s car needing repairs because of me and ZOMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Until Chef points out to me they’ll just tow it to a side street and put a ticket on it. Then, he explains to me that we don’t live in Springfield and the car won’t get towed to a holding yard in Shelbyville and we wont’ have to take Flander’s SUV to get it out. PHEW.

We get into the city. It’s after 8. I get my bag and hug a few people in the lobby who then recoil on realising just how wet I am. I squelch out the door and we drive up the hill, with me muttering pleasebetherepleasebetherepleasebethere AND …

it is!


Chef drops me and the two boys and goes on to work where his undies finally start to dry out sometime around 3pm.

I check the cash situation and the boys and I recover with a bacon and egg McMuffin and a hashbrown. Fuck those Maccas hashbrowns are good. We then stop at the next Maccas for another hashbrown each. WHAT? Tell me you would have done differently.

SO – fast forward to the END of today. Because clearly it can only keep going.

Our next door neighbour, R, is a towie – ie drives a tow truck. He goes down and collects it for us. But by now he’s told us that if the engine has got salty water in it’s completely fucked. And yes, they were the words he used. He gets it home and then Chef (who’s home by now) pretends to know something about car engines by standing there looking at it. Bless him.

I make pizzas.

Ritchie – who does know what he’s looking at – says it’s totally screwed – water in the somethingorothers, sloshing  around in the whastamethings and god knows what else.

Again, we’re laughing. I mean. The washing machine is (still) in pieces, I smashed my mum’s car by trying to clean the garage and now this? Get the fuck out.

Chef can’t borrow Mum’s car as she’s in the midst of this physio (yes Miami Vice is back in our lives) lovefest rebuilding completely lost muscle tone in her legs to avoid needing knee replacement surgery and then next week it’s at the repairers because I tried to clean something.

Then Mum had the brilliant idea of us borrowing Chef’s Mum’s car as they’re away. Perfect! Put in the phone call – no problem.

So tonight once all the children were in bed Chef and I head up to their place. The garage roller-door goes up and my my my what could this be?

A three piece leather sofa sitting in front of the car.

So… laughing all the way, we move the fucking lounge SUITE out, drive the car out and move the fucking lounge SUITE back in.

As we’re doing this Chef comments, ‘you know it started when I got that cramp last night’.

Of course it did.




From the mouths of babes

Scene: As I’m standing at the dining room table contemplating my latest arrangement of squares for my very first quilt.

Felix: Is this going to be like you and baking bread?

Me: What do you mean?

Felix: Like, you know, how you get really into it and do it every day and then just stop?