A couple of weeks ago, my mum sent me a whole bag of her jewellery. It was stuff I’d coveted since I was in nappies – gorgeous old brooches that belonged to her mum, necklaces and earrings. Many of the earrings were ones I’d given her myself, so, you know, impeccably tasteful stuff.
I called her the following day (she lives in QLD) and asked if everything was OK. I joked that it felt like the final acts of a woman who was about to shuffle off this mortal coil (our conversations are peppered with Shakespeare references). She assured me that, no, everything was fine but that I’d probably appreciate the bling more than her.
I hung up the phone feeling incredibly sad. She’s just turned 77, is still sharp as a blade, but it hit me that she’s 77. She probably doesn’t have all that much time left. She’s beaten breast cancer in the past couple of years and I suspect her body just feels. tired. We are close, but haven’t lived in the same town since 1989, so I don’t see her all that often.
My mum is not a particularly demonstrative person, it’s not her thing. Some people call her standoffish, aloof, but she’s not really. She’s introspective and kind and strong and sometimes I don’t understand her motivations, but she’s always there if I need to talk about anything. When I was in my mid 20s, I felt like she couldn’t be bothered with me – she became very close to my brother when I was overseas and gave him a lot of intense support during that time. It pissed me off and I mentioned it to her (I may have had a couple of whiskeys by this stage), and she turned to me and said, “Kimberley, I’ve never had to worry about you. You were always the strong one, the independent one. Your brother needs me more right now” (aka: get over yourself and go climb K2 or something.)
She’s right, of course, I’m a bit of a life warrior and I’ll wear the hell out of her marvellous bling as that is why she sent it to me, but I can’t help feeling that she’s starting to tie up all her loose ends. When she goes, the world will lose a wonderful, vital, exceptional woman who never made me and my brother feel anything but loved even though her “I love yous” are few and far between.
Our relationship isn’t perfect, but then nothing ever is.
As you can tell from my About page (if you haven’t read it, go forth, it’s excellent), I am proudly nerdy, geeky, wordy (poem?), a “nerdsmith” if you will. I’m not entirely certain there’s a difference between being a nerd and being just a bit skewiff in the OCD department, but I think we all have a little bit of the Nerd knocking about inside our cerebral cortexes. Join me, won’t you?
- When I am at the supermarket checkout, I go a little bit human calculator and add up the cost of all the groceries in my head as I’m piling them onto the belt to see how close I can get to the actual total. Yesterday I was only $1.40 off, but I have been only a few cents off.
- When I lived in Canada in the mid 90s I collected X-Files Topps Swap Cards.
- Every night before I go to sleep, my mind trawls through the alphabet, coming up with a word for each letter in a certain category. A bit like nocturnal Scattegories. I’ve been through countries, cities, TV Shows, musicians, rivers of the world and a dozen others. Right now I’m working through movies with 3 or more words in the title starting with each letter. It’s the only way my brain can shut off, to work through this shit.
Do you have a nerd confession? ‘Fess up now, my darlings!
This weekend I’m off to Bright Delight – a wonderfully conceived blogger outreach event organised by 365 Things to do in Bright. I am passionate about supporting local business and unique experiences, so it’s a good fit for me.
9 fellow bloggers and little ol’ me will spend a night and 2 days sampling the gourmet and adventure wonders of Bright. I’ve always wanted to visit Bright but have previously baulked at making the trip, given I would have to navigate a 3 hour car ride with 2 grumpy kids, an impatient me and the stink of McDonalds cheeseburgers in the back seat. This weekend. No children. Delightful.
I am dead-set excited about Bright Delight. Some of us will be dabbling in Simone’s kitchen with award-winning chef, Patrizia Simone (other guests are taking a helicopter ride/winery tour and yTravel are paragliding for the Do It in a Dress campaign), lunch at Snow Road produce in Milawa, dinner at Ginger Baker, and getting to know my fellow travellers on the yellow brick road of bloggery.
But when I received the itinerary and saw who was going, my mind did a massive brainfart and immediately seized up in an unseemly crisis of confidence:
Pip from Bub Sweat and Tears, Caroline from Present Imperfection, Megan from Writing Out Loud, Renee from About a Bugg, Laney from Crash Test Mummy, Katrina Higham, Caz and Craig from yTravel, Carli from Tiny Savages and Trevor Young. I mean, come on, these are brilliant bloggers, with remarkable social media presences. And I’m just little. me (cue strains from the world’s tiniest violin).
Look, I am very small at the moment (my boobs might disagree) and I suddenly feel like a giant fraud. I love the term “emerging” blogger – it implies that one will suddenly break out of an ugly, but functional cocoon and transform into a popular, oft-followed butterblogger. This makes me feel like a fraud as well as I’ve been blogging for 12 years but only recently as Melbourne Mum and my presence on social media is fledgling at best. Then I started to smack myself in the head a little bit but stopped when I realised how ridiculous I looked and that the neighbours could probably see me.
I found my “blog voice” years ago, but have yet to cultivate the community I set out to and I want to do Kim and #365InBrightVic justice. Husband keeps reminding me that it will take time – “It’s a marathon, not a race”, “If you build it, they will come” and reciting whole bits of “The Merchant of Venice” to me, but you know what it’s like with husbands – lalalalalanotlisteningnotlisteninglalala but he’s right of course and I’m just being an arsehole.
I’ll be live tweeting the experience with the #brightdelight hashtag from Sunday and taking a stack of photos (my penchant for shutterbuggery will come in handy no doubt). Watch this space. And go check out the smashing bloggers that will be attending – it’s ALL quality, people.
Just don’t mind this little blogging fraudster doing time for her white collar crime.
Snap back to Reality.
Oh, there goes Gravity.
The Kids are so rabbity.
The Mum, she’s gone mad as she…
…reminisces over the weekend with her bitche… ahem, lovely ladies. Probably not rap battling, but my f-bomb dropping was a bit out of control during the weekend. No kid’s ears to corrupt? Hell yes, that f-bomb is going down. Was it a flipping free-for-all? Why yes, I think it was. Are you kidding? There were no. kids. Rinse and repeat.
Have you ever noticed how many hours there are in a day when you don’t have to entertain your kids, mediate their bickering or manage their constant requests for TV/food/cubbles/no cubbles/playdates?
This was my dilemma early Saturday morning on waking up after an entire night’s uninterrupted sleep (I know, first-world problem). I sat on the lounge of the seaside holiday house with a cup of coffee, a magazine and the easy conversation of 4 of the lovely ladies and thought, “[insert f-bomb]. what do i do? all day? in Inverloch? with no children. no husband. nowhere to be. will i go insane by the evening? and do i care?”
Happily, an early glass of bubbly cured that concern. It was game on from there.
Mid-Saturday afternoon, the 3 other chicks arrived bearing more sparkling wine that we were simply compelled to drink. That’s right, we held each other down, and forced frothing glasses full of bubbly and other concoctions against our unwilling lips. It was more like a Lad’s than a Mum’s weekend (if we ignore the 2 hours spent in a local boutique, playing “stylists” for each other, but then we don’t actually know what goes on at Lad’s weekends, do we?)
In the afternoon, we walked a few (hundred) miles in flipflops along the beach, and I nearly wet my weak pelvic floor more than once with laughter along the way (yep, feeling more and more like a mum every [insert f-bomb] second). The banter was brilliant. Fluid. I was a bit concerned before the trip that 8 school mums in one house with one bathroom may be stretching a friendship. They are all dear friends of mine (some closer than others I guess) but I’ve only known most of them for 2 years and I just hoped we’d all still be friends by the end of the weekend and would be able to look at each other in the eyes at school drop-off. Truly. I had nothing to worry about.
After the beach trek we were ready to party at the local Japanese restaurant Tomo (hot-diggetty DAMN, the mums, they go hard). Everything was looking good until I was informed that there were NO TAXIS IN INVERLOCH. WTF? I pleaded heel spurs but had no choice but to walk back into town. I silently chided my children (and mistimed slices of mudcake) for sinking my arches.
Happily, a glass of bubbly cured that concern (with a cup of tea chaser).
As for sleep. Well, we got plenty, once Ren settled down after a round with a One Direction poster (which we didn’t put there, I swear to you).
This was only my third time getting away for a night on my “own” since Scout was born (2006). Once for my High School reunion in Newie, and a night in a winery with a girlfriend when I was 6 months pregnant with Inky (note to self: do not go to wineries when you are 6 months pregnant).
I’d forgotten how revitalising and kickstarting weekends with your girlfriends are. I was inspired by their conversation. I laughed til I cried. My wine glass was never empty. There was no subject that was taboo. My roommates and I giggled like schoolgirls at lights-out (a depressingly early midnight crash, but [insert f-bomb], we don’t have the stamina for booze like we used to). I didn’t miss my kids as I knew they were having a perfect time with their hands-on dad.
I love the mums at Scout’s school. Dead set. I never lose sight of how fortunate I am to have stumbled upon such a wonderful, accepting and supportive community as I know a lot of mums and dads struggle with schoolyard politics. These 8 chicks were the absolute bomb, but all the parents at the school are brilliant. I would love to have a school mum camping trip en masse sans infants (cough, pardon, channelling Pepe Le Pew there) but it’s just not manageable.
After the 2 hour drive back to Melbourne, I was desperate for a wee and as I sat on the loo, my kids came home and insisted on consuming me with cuddles while I sat there, bum on porcelain. Nothing had changed. It was wonderful. And a bit sad. I wouldn’t trade my time with them for the world. Just maybe for a couple of weekends a year, I’ll hang with ma bitches, thanks.
I’m embarking on the photographic journey that is November Photo a Day. For those not aware of Photo a Day, Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim posts a monthly list of photographic prompts and challenges us to take a photo every single bloody day for a month. Which is really, REALLY hard for a shutterbug like me.
Chantelle is so gorgeous, you’ll want to do this challenge even if you’re canonophobic. Which I’m not. But I rather like her anyway.
I was very proud to have my photo for the “TV” prompt chosen for her top 4. NOT THAT IT’S A COMPETITION peeps, it’s not AT ALL, but I remember Darren Rowse banging on about the need to “create anticipation” on your blog and Chantelle has done exactly that with her Top 4. Kudos, girlfriend.
Here are the first 8 prompts (oh a COLLAGE, you say!)…
Today’s Cocktail Hour is dedicated to Gin-appreciator extraordinaire, Mrs C of PresentImperfection. I never knew anyone could love Gin so much until I met Mrs C. Mrs C really REALLY loves gin (“yeah, we get the point”). This cocktail comes from the Pegu Club in Burma. It’s very simple, and if you’re not much of a fan of gin (I’m not, although that may have something to do with a broken tooth and a concussion I sustained after drinking aforementioned spirit and falling down a flight of stairs) there’s always the Cointreau in there for good measure.
3 dashes Bitters
20ml Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve in a martini glass!
Doll-e is Inky’s favourite toy. She will not be parted from Doll-e.
Make no mistake. This is the freakiest f*cking dolly I have ever seen*.
We attended a kid’s birthday party on the weekend, and I was fervently looking for Doll-e, who had been unceremoniously “lost” by a 2 year old who was having a meltdown based purely on the fact she couldn’t pay mind to her belongings (hey, she’s advanced). As I walked into the kitchen, I heard the tail end of a conversation between two (naughty) ladies who didn’t know I was in the room:
Lady 1: That is the freakiest doll I have ever seen.
Lady 2: Geez, I wouldn’t be left alone at night with that thing. It would give me NIGHTMARES.
Now, these two ladies are friends of mine, so I didn’t mind waltzing up, plucking Doll-e from their hands and announcing, “That’s Inky’s favourite doll. She will NOT BE PARTED FROM THIS DOLL” (clearly this is why I was looking for it).
They looked at me, their eyes brimming with sympathy and said, “Have you actually SEEN that doll? It’s the freakiest thing EVER.”
I looked at this plastic freakshow, and I have to say, I’d never really noticed before. I’ve never loved it – we once “lost” it at creche and I was pissed when it showed up the next day. “NOOOOO”, I wanted to shout, “Can’t it just DISAPPEAR?”. Surely Chucky could put a hit out on it?
But in that moment I saw it all – the bung eye, the body that looks like it had gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson, another few at a Pie Eating competition, then been put through a grinder (this is not actually far from the truth). And there was the epiphany (minus the angel bells). This was one creepy m*therflipper.
But Inky bloody well LOVES THIS BLIGHT ON DOLLKIND! What is it about kids that attracts them to these things?
*Not strictly true. It’s not as f*cked up as this thing.