Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bitter Sweet

It's been a horrible last week; my cousin died very suddenly and his death has hit our family hard. I'm hours away from my family and have had to deal with grief over the phone, by text and Facebook. It's a lonely thing, grief. It's like a huge well. On the way down you feel all sorts of emotions and your senses are on alert. Then you hit the cold water of the well and you're numb. You bob up and down through numbness and feeling, coming to a state that is neither here nor there, yet is everywhere. You soldier on, sorting through feelings, old and new, past and present.

I went through the motions getting ready for today's Sunday Sweet Fest! I made sure no tears fell into the divine desserts I was creating. I don't want the whole lot of us to start blubbing! Today was all about sugar; the wonderful world of sweet treats! And, with sugar comes kids - big ones and the little ones of course. A plethora of brightly coloured delights were placed before a hungry table of children. We'd actually had to lock them out of the house earlier to stop them eating!  
The kids all dressed up - pink flowing skirts, face paints and attitudes to match. We set before them all the decorating accoutrements available to child-kind ...brightly coloured icing, pop rock candy, choc bits, mini m&m's, marshmallows ....and anything and everything pink, red and orange. It was a madhouse. All sorts of fantastical creations were erupting. Lamingtons like you've never seen before, with popping candy and marshmallows, soaked in jelly. Cupcakes with rainbows of icing dripping and meringues with caramel and berries. Decadence at its best. They were like tornadoes, as quickly as they'd devoured it all, they raced off to the next exciting thing. Face painting was set up in the garage, with the 6 year old in charge! The lovely Zoe came out with an interesting look.... I asked my son why he didn't get his face painted. 
His reply "I don't trust 'em Mum". 
Ha! Now I understand why. I still think Zoe looked pretty with her 'outer space like face'. She posed for this photo then raced to the bathroom to wash it off.

Amy and I sat back, watching the complete chaos around us. Another bourbon she asked? Absolutely. We sat in her outside spa sipping our drinks, the bubbles of the spa drowning out all the craziness around us. I thought about my family, so far away, and the kids who have just lost their dad, forever changed. That feeling of being in the well sat beside me and I counted my many blessings. For blessings there are plenty.

Sunday, 12 June 2011



Bruce was grumpy this morning. I woke to groaning, grumbling and rumbling. He wasn’t happy. And when Bruce isn’t happy, well neither am I. He can be so fickle, and greedy; man can he get greedy. He just wants to consume, fill himself up to the brim until he’s expanded so much that I feel exhausted just watching it, and need to lie down. He becomes so fickle, demanding certain things, that have to be just right, not too this and not too that.
Bruce. Sometimes we’re friends, but lately Bruce has been misbehaving. He’s become the hot topic of conversation amongst my friends. I think they’re getting tired of Bruce too, but I’m stuck with him, and have been for a long, long time. He’s not sociable these days, he’s old and cantankerous. I might have to bully him into seeing someone about his bad habits, he needs help. Maybe it’s just mind over matter? Possible. A therapist would do Bruce good, sort him out once and for all. He can be so delicate and touchy though, so I might just make the appointment and insist he acquiesce.

This week Bruce is going to be forced to be good, to do what’s best – not just for himself but for me. So, it’s gluten free – all of our favourite goodies are out – bread, biscuits, pizza, damper, pasta and even sausages! Apparently gluten is in bluddy everything.

Day 1 today: cup of tea and a mandarin for breakfast. We looked longingly in the pantry at cup-of-soups, crackers, Bruce we cannot! Lunch was kangaroo fillets on the bbq with a chickpea salad and gluten-free wraps (that fell apart when wrapped!). Followed by chocolate cake (gluten free) with Tamar Valley yoghurt and steaming hot cups of tea. My dear friend Mal decided he is ONLY eating gluten free chocolate cake. That’s it, no more of that other crap, EVER! Wow! “Going downhill one piece of cake at a time...” At this point the dozy koala that had been snoozing in the tree above us climbed down, fed up it seemed with these humans who eat such complicated foods. He waddled off to another tree full of eucalyptus leaves. Ahhh...the simplicity of some things.

So why is it that when food is minus an ingredient that it is SO expensive? Eating healthy hurts; the bank account. When Bruce and I got home, he started up his whingeing again – groaning and grumbling about food, yet again. I rested him in a hot bath for awhile. No, not content. We sat in front of the heater folding the washing. No, still not. We cleaned out the pantry – free from temptation! Seems like I’m just going to have to be tough on Bruce. School of hard knocks this time. Water for dinner. No bread. Worse than prison.

Maybe in giving my tummy a name I have given Bruce life. We have to live together forever, so lets just sort out right now who’s boss. ME!