Please disregard the feature damp patch on the ceiling. We'll deal with it one day. Probably when the bath falls onto the dining-room table.

Please disregard the feature damp patch on the ceiling. We’ll deal with it one day. Probably when the bath falls onto the dining-room table.


It’s day three of catastrophic wet weather and storm conditions here. Or maybe it’s only day two. Hard to remember. It feels like it has been raining forever. New South Wales has been deluged this week with a once in a decade/generation/century/millennium/aeon (depending on which media outlet you listen to) weather ‘event’. It’s been very rainy and windy around my neck of the woods, which is a good deal better than the tree-fally, power-outagy, houses washing away, floody business that’s been going on not too far away.

H was called away on urgent business to a nice dry city so the kids and I battled through the storm alone last night. Apart from a brief flickering of the lights around dinnertime, when for a dreadful moment I thought I was going to be left Netflixless and have to read a book by candlelight and eat all the ice-cream before it melted, we have made it through unscathed. Continue Reading »

IngredientsWhat follows is less a recipe and more a warning. Today I made some cookies for the kids out of really healthy ingredients. They loved them, and also all hell broke loose.

I made the cookies using an amalgamation of recipes on the internet, which I found by googling ‘cacao almond cookies’. They all contained the following ingredients, in seemingly arbitrary quantities: Continue Reading »

IMG_5212Every day at half past four in the afternoon, Garnet takes off his trousers. ‘I want to be all nudie-dudie!’ he announces. He’d take off his shirt too, if he could manage it, and keeping his nappy on requires a long negotiation that in the best case scenario ends with the nappy remaining on and me reading him fifty books. The weather has only just started to cool down here for the autumn, so I’m permitting this, largely because the part where he drops his daks around his ankles is my favourite part of the day. Because that’s when he shouts ‘I’m Benny Hill!’ and cracks up laughing. Continue Reading »


  1. When Garnet says he wants to wear a dress, he means it. Unless he is talking about a T-shirt, which I have taken to calling dresses in an attempt to encourage him to sometimes wear one instead of an actual dress.
  2. Colours: Garnet knows his colours, sort of. But sometimes he calls things by the colour he wants them to be. His pale blue Bonds wondersuit pyjamas he calls silver. When he asks for his orange giraffe dress he means the grey shirt with a variety of African animals on it. Magical thinking.
  3. He calls knives yu-yus
  4. He calls passionfruit wu-wus
  5. He calls elephants do-dahs.
  6. Apart from that he speaks English.
  7. Yuyus, wuwus and do-dahs are his top three favourite things. Number four is tongs.
  8. He likes to say he hates things and they are horrible. He usually doesn’t mean it. He just likes the drama.
  9. He is saying fox, not fuck. Unless he is saying fuck.
  10. He is saying Cottontail when you think he is saying crocodile or cockatoo.
  11. About 18 hours a day the pair of them will be in character as Lily Rabbit and Cottontail from the accursed works of Beatrix Potter. The rest of the time Garnet likes to be addressed as Baby Spot (the dog) or Baby Panda. Occasionally Baby Zebra or Baby Rhino. Try to keep up.
  12. Under no circumstances allow May Blossom to tie Garnet’s shoes. No one on earth can undo that kid’s knots.
  13. The nappies, hats, shoes and craft supplies are in the boxes so marked in the giant Ikea white shelves that everyone thinks will make their life more organised. I don’t know where anything else is in the whole house. I am but one person.
  14. Sorry about the state of the fridge.
  15. You can’t run more than one electrical appliance in the kitchen or laundry at the same time. We live in the olden days.
  16. There is no jumping allowed on the furniture. Even if the culprit claims he or she is doing yoga.
  17. When Garnet is hurt or upset, his default position is to cry that he wants to go to the zoo or that he misses his friend Charlie. Wait it out. Four times out of ten you won’t have to go to the zoo or Facetime Charlie.
  18. If May Blossom narrows her eyes at you and scowls, shit is about to get real. Seek shelter.
  19. If you take the kids to the movies, please be aware Garnet is not yet heavy enough to hold down a flip up seat. You’ll look back to find him folded in half like origami, with his feet beside his ears. A muffled voice will be chirping ‘I’m dead!’. He is not dead.
  20. If in doubt about anything, ask May Blossom. She runs this joint.

Continue Reading »

DSCN1671Ten years ago today, the day before I turned twenty-six, I went to a thirtieth birthday party for two people I knew. It was a circus/carnival-themed party. I thought long and hard about what my costume would be, because I knew there was a very good chance that my most recent ex-boyfriend would be there and thus I needed to not go dressed as a clown or a strong man or anything that didn’t lend itself to looking really hot and showing desperate and vengeful amounts of cleavage.

Continue Reading »

DSC00102In an uncharacteristic moment of spontaneous joy and excitement last week, we booked a last-minute trip to Fiji. We leave tomorrow at 6.30 am. So in an entirely characteristic display of Murphy’s Bloody Buggery Law, we awoke this morning at 4 o’clock to the sound of a cat horking up a furball in kids’ room. Only it wasn’t a cat, and it wasn’t a furball. It was Garnet, and it was his dinner. Continue Reading »

Shut Up, If You Please

Last week H was overseas for work. He’s had to do that a fair amount in the past year, so the kids and I have become much better at coping without him when he’s gone, but for some reason this time it caused May Blossom a lot of anxiety and sadness. This manifested in two ways: extreme difficulty falling asleep at night, and behaving like an eye-rolling, sarky teenager to me. As soon as I would remark on that behaviour and use my best firm, kind, in-control parenting voice to tell her how it makes me sad when she speaks to me in that tone of voice, and that it is now time to go to bed and please could she stop kicking the wall, and no I will not go get more food because I reminded her at dinner time that dinner is the last meal of the day and thus there will not be another served until breakfast, as soon as I did that she would lose it completely and spend an hour sobbing about how much she missed her daddy and how very, very mean I was.

One night I let things escalate horribly. I was so tired of being shouted at and told I was very, very mean, when really I am only a bit mean. I shouldn’t have let it get to me but I did. I told her that it was not acceptable to speak to me like that. I said that I too missed Daddy, and he would not agree I was mean, and he would not like her speaking to me like that either.

She disputed this again, so we rang him. Because there’s nothing like being in the wilds of Africa and having your wife and four year old daughter ring and put you on speakerphone so you can hear them shouting at each other exactly as if you were right there in the room with them. Isn’t technology marvelous? I suspect her was staring out at zebras in the mist as he held the phone as far from his ear as he could. Continue Reading »


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