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scandilandphotoTwenty-three days from now, I am going on a trip, without H or May Blossom or Garnet, to the other side of the world. This makes me, according to my calculations, the worst mother in the world. To make matters worse, I am going on this trip with my friend Jess, and thus I am an accessory to depriving her children of their mother for two and a half weeks, which is an infinitely more serious crime since she is a significantly better mother than I am.

That aside, we are really very extremely excited. We are going to Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The trip has come about because Jess is a teacher and very interested in the schools in that part of the world, which are apparently better than ours for reasons that will be revealed to me as we go along. I believe it has to do with starting school a bit older and not having homework and maybe also herrings? To be confirmed. Anyway, Jess wants to visit some schools since that is her Area of Particular Interest and I thought I would go too since shirking my maternal responsibilities is my Area of Particular Interest, and what better way to do that than to bugger off up to the frozen north for several weeks, where the aquavit is cold and the living is easy.

Since we are going to Finland, I decided I ought to cultivate a more location-specific Area of Particular Interest. I’ve chosen saunas. Jess is being very accommodating and treating it like it’s my genuine hobby, so we are working our itinerary roughly equally around school visits and saunas. Because my other area of interest is not dying, we are skipping the sauna I discovered in my research that is in a ski lift. A smouldering wooden cabin, swinging hundreds of feet above an icy hill? What could possibly go wrong? We are restricting ourselves to ground-based saunas. The same goes for schools: strictly terra-firma educational institutions. Continue Reading »

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We are disgraceful: this was one of only two photos we have of anyone in this family doing anything even vaguely athletic, while also not being naked. The other choice was H carrying 9 pizzas, which I agree is pushing it as an illustration of a post about the Olympics.  

We’re all sick this week. I’m pretty sure it’s Olympic Fever. Being sick and living with your parents is basically exactly the same as being world-class athletes in the Olympic Village: we’re living away from home, trying to be on our best behaviour, and spend much of our time accusing each other of drug-taking. I don’t have proof that it was H who took the last of the proper Codrals, the ones with the real speed in them, but if I’m tempted to turn him over to the IOC nonetheless. As if they’d care.

 

This is the first Olympic Games of Garnet’s life. During the London Olympics I was pregnant with him, and I watched a lot of sport that fortnight, lying on the sofa, shoulder deep in a bag of salt and vinegar chips, so you’d think something would have seeped in by osmosis, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

I mentioned to him this morning that archery is in the Olympics and he said, ‘No, sport is balls.’

‘I generally agree with you there, Garnet,’ I replied. ‘In my opinion sport is complete balls, but nonetheless, archery is in the Olympics.’ Continue Reading »

RUN NOW!

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Baffling contraption

As we are wont to do from time to time, H and I have started a small health kick. It’s not a high kick. We’re not idiots; we don’t want to put our backs out. It’s more like the miniature kicks you use to move a school bag to another room when your arms are full of laundry and mail.

Our motivating forces are vanity and pain. We’re not getting any younger. One of us has just turned twenty-one for the second time. And while he doesn’t look much older than the uni student who used to drive a campervan to parties that he was the first time he was twenty-one, his sore back is telling a different story.

As for me, well, I recently read one of my stories live at a comedy club for the first time (you can listen to the podcast here, if you’re so inclined), and let’s just say the official photographs made me look further up the wrong end of the Bardot-Brando Continuum than I’m happy with, jowel and chinwise. And as Presidential Candidate Trump has shown us, bronzer is only going to trick people so far. So, it’s time for action. Continue Reading »

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Garnet searching for his socks.

We’ve been on a holiday. A driving holiday, and while I’ll try to write about that soon, and tell you all about the long car trip to Melbourne and the long car trip back and all the in-between parts that involved snow, alpacas, honey prawns and a new tyre, today I can only write about socks.

Because I have realised that it’s not the pram in the hall that is the enemy of creativity. It’s the fact that as designated Chief of Socks in this family, 98 per cent of my Random Access Memory is occupied with being a geolocater for hundreds of tiny fucking socks. Continue Reading »

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Sample bookshelf from my parents’ attic: Just one of the many collections of books that tells you probably more than you need to know about my family.

Our renovation is about to begin. We have packed everything from one half of our house and jammed it into the other half. The builders are going to knock out few of our walls, fiddle around with the layout a bit, and put in a new kitchen. The house is very overdue for some care and maintenance, but knowing the renovation was approaching we’ve treated it like a teacher treats their class in the last weeks of the academic year. Gradually everything has fallen apart, and we’ve stopped caring and worked around it. It’s been the domestic equivalent of the teacher putting on a video of ‘Behind The News’ every day for two weeks and reading a book while the class flicks spit balls around and braids each other’s hair.

Continue Reading »

 

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Portrait of Garnet by his sister or Smiths album cover?

In lieu of a proper post, today I have a fun game for you, dear readers. It’s called ‘Are These Songs By The Smiths or Things My Three Year Old Said Today?’. First neat and correct entry on a postcard wins a trip to my house. Second prize is two trips to my house. Continue Reading »

Sticker Shock

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Part of a Lego exhibition we saw on the weekend and in no way a freakishly accurate representation of our bedroom when it’s my morning to get up at dawn with Garnet.

The last few weeks have involved a lot of of autopilot mornings. The kind where everyone has played musical beds all night, and when you realise there is finally a crack of dawn in the sky and there is no point hoping for sleep any longer, you get up. In this house, H and I alternately get up with the earliest riser in the morning. This civilised turn taking is like a gently teetering see-saw upon which our happy marriages rests. Recently those mornings have begun around 4.55 am, a time known to normal people as ‘still night’.

That is too early to think, so the only way to manage when things get like this is to have a system. Order and repetition are your friends. Here follows my system, which is pretty much transferable to any household with children under six, I think. Feel free to borrow it. Continue Reading »

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