Tuesday, December 23, 2008

going AWOL on the AWACS
Christmas, eh? Different things to different people and, of course, much different depending on where you are in the world. However, no matter how far you run you cannot run away from yourself and, despite saying that we wouldn’t do anything at all this year, TA and I suddenly and simultaneously got the festive bug. It is going to be scaled back, mind, from previous Isle of Wight affairs, but still. We’re having the traditional smoked salmon and eggs breakfast, Baileys coffee mid-morning (me) and then Hugh F-W beef, roast veggies and Yorkshire puddings, followed by trifle (me) and baked custard (TA) for lunch. Nothing much*! Next year is going to be huge so we felt fine about scaling back. Actually, we’re both ‘stoked’ about having quiet - Sprout permitting - family time.
This morning TA got a call at work from one of the AWACs. Apparently, all the English are heading off to a park for a bring-a-course-each barbie. The plan was outlined in detail via email - what course did I want? Together with instructions to keep my receipts so we can split the cost. My heart sank like a stone.
Very tentatively I emailed TA - ‘thoughts?’
Luckily (I love my husband), his thoughts matched mine and as I wrote back, feeling more confident, ‘it sounds like hell on a plate.’ I made our excuses - possibly far too many - and returned to the kitchen to take a ginger sponge cake out of the oven. Project trifle was a go.

*I have made brandy butter ready for a shop-bought pudding (boo-hiss) that I will pick up reduced, with any luck, on Saturday. Also, planning to score a ham and a turkey crown if I can - since Thursday is TA’s first day of a week of holiday we’ll have plenty of opportunities for gluttony after the big day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

where did you get that hair?
Recessive genes can surprise anyone, I guess. However, somehow being adopted and having no idea what my blood holds makes this even more of a puzzle. I do wish people would stop asking though.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

diet of worms
My master class in how to alienate and horrify the few people I am friendly with in Sydney continues apace. I am in the post office queuing to pick up a parcel (something I do frequently as 1. the postman refuses to ring the bell but would rather leave a ‘sorry I missed you’ card and 2. the postal service here does not allow one to organise a redelivery - honestly, the list of things that are quite unbelievably rubbish here could fill a small exercise book) and I bump into another AWAC (Animal Wife and Child - TA’s company employs an awful lot of ex-pats and in theory I have a ready-made social network). This - bumping into AWACs in the post office - happens to me a lot (see points 1 and 2) and I’m not very good at the unprepared for social interaction with people I hardly know but am desperate to be friends with, despite feeling like we have nothing in common. So, I put on a friendly face and make small talk - ‘hello other AWAC’s baby, hello other AWAC. Collecting a parcel?’ - and it was at this point that I made a fatal error of judgement, letting my excitement blind me to the lunacy of what I was about to admit.
‘Me?’ I said with a big, thrilled grin. ‘I’m here collecting my worms.’
The AWAC visibly flinched and stepped back a pace. ‘Live worms?’ She said, looking with horror at the innocent-looking parcel in my arms.
In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought. ‘Yes, for my composting bin.’
‘You have a garden?’
‘No. The bin is on the balcony.’ I could see her make a quick mental note - never, ever visit these people’s apartment.
We made our separate ways out of the shopping centre and I followed her up the road at a discrete distance until she entered her building and then I raced home to soak my peat block and examine my worms.

Monday, December 15, 2008

hello
It's been a while, hasn't it? It did take a long time to get internet, it took a long time to get a flat and then our stuff was in shipping...
Anyway, we're here now. Sprout is walking these days. The sun is shining and, well, I'm brain dead. Suffering from housewifeitis. The lights are, sporadically, on but mrs brain is still in London. This country is lovely, but just all wrong. Woolies and Safeways are one company and that company is the most successful supermarket in the country. The bath/shower has four taps (all of which leak)...
I'm still breastfeeding Sprout, who is now 11 months old, and he still wakes three-five times a night. I doubt we'll have another one - I'm knackered and mildly resent my loss of autonomy. Also, I enormously resent having lost my identity as a nonmother - now all anyone says to me is 'you'll make friends with other mothers', but actually that's the stuff of nightmares...I want to make friends with other radical women. Strong women. Writers. Poets. Rebel gardeners. Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?
This flat is only a stop gap while we save for land, yes, land for our earthship! But is still needs a nom de blog. It's an Art Deco building in a nappy valley inner suburb, how about Base Unit?