Archive for the ‘H’ Category


This seems lovely, doesn’t it? Until you realise that is not the ocean Garnet is wallowing in but actually self-pity. See the ripples of misery he is causing? See how they threaten to knock H off his stand-up paddle board? 

The school holidays are over. May Blossom went back to class this morning, creeping like snail unwillingly to school, after we’d located her lunch bag and drink bottle, and wiped the slug trails off her hat.

The family Gusto spent a good part of these holidays on a tropical island in Vanuatu, which was, as always when you travel with a three- and a five-year-old, roughly equal parts so good we never wanted to leave and so bad we wished none of us had ever been born. (more…)

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treeclimbingAnother long weekend, another virus or two lay waste to the House of Gusto. The past four days are best described as ‘not at all in any way resembling how I made it look on social media’. The illness struck the extended family this time, with nine of us coming down with some or all of nausea, vomiting, fevers, coughs and body aches. The kids added a common or garden variety cold to the mix, to keep things fresh, and so on Easter Sunday night May Blossom ended up screaming in pain from an infected ear, and barking the house down with croup. Because we were at my parents’ place in the country, we set the bush telegraph to work and located a vintage 1980s humifier from some local friends, which got her through the night, along with regular doses of Panadol and Nurofen. First thing Monday morning we hightailed it back to civilisation and steroids and antibiotics. Today we have applied a heavy dose of sofa and Netflix, which seems to be helping.


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Obviously this is not the beach we went to in this story. This is Waikiki beach, where I have also been grumpy in the recent past. 

I’m very grumpy these days. My wonderful mother suggested she could babysit while H and I went out last week, so we took her up on it, because I have this idea that maybe if I leave the house more I won’t be so crabby.

The first thing I do after leaving the house for the evening is tell H I’m in a grumpy mood. Because what if he can’t tell? What’s the point of being in a foul mood if no one knows? There’s no point sulking in the passenger seat if your spouse just thinks you’re happily enjoying the drive. So just in case my bad vibes aren’t strong enough any my sighs are mistaken for bliss, I generally announce how I’m feeling. ‘I’m in a terrible mood,’ I tell him.

‘Yes, I though you might be,’ he says.

He questions me about why and I get even crosser and attempt to fob him off by saying I do not want to talk about it. I clearly want to talk about it. (more…)

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This morning, as I prepared the third course of May Blossom and Garnet’s breakfast, I began to think they were a bit spoiled. After they had eaten cereal, followed by fried eggs and Vegemite on toast, May Blossom asked for some leek and potato soup. My desire to be finished with the short order cooking was quashed by my rule that if a kid ever asks for vegetables you give them vegetables very quickly before they have chance to change their mind, so I warmed up the soup. Then May Blossom asked if they could please have the soup in some tiny vintage cups and saucers she has recently discovered in the sideboad, where I hoard such hand-wash-only trinkets from our carefree days pre-children. And so I came to be serving vichyssoise in demitasse cups, like some fancy amuse-bouche from the degustation menu of a Michelin-starred restaurant (with more Vegemite smears on the table, obviously).
As I traipsed back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room, I consoled myself by thinking of all the ways we don’t spoil them. Because H and I can be quite hardarsed parents when we put our minds to it.


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filinfLater this morning I am going to a one-hour organisation workshop. I made the booking on a whim when I was in a fancy stationary shop a few weeks ago considering all their overpriced but prettily designed notepads and books, which promise to make your life free from chaos and clutter.

Of course when I made the booking I didn’t write down the time or date anywhere, so a few days ago I remembered about it, in a panic, and had to call the shop to ask when it was and whether I had missed it. They laughed at me.

Such incidents of domestic hopelessness have been on the rise lately. In January I forgot to register the car. That wouldn’t have been half as bad had my parents not been driving the car, with my kids in it, when the police pulled them over for driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle. They were on their way out of town for the weekend – our kids’ first weekend away from us – and so H and I were two margaritas deep when we got the call that they had been ordered to sit in the car by the side of the road until we went home, found our paperwork, registered and insured the car. It was with great shame and much swearing that we did so, but they got back on the road eventually and have been remarkably kind to us about it. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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.


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