Friday, October 09, 2015

And then you are back

My month back in Madison has come and gone. I have been up since 5am, which isn't as bad as jet-lagged induced 3:30am yesterday morning. Those not quite morning, not quite night times give space to come up with such brilliant thoughts that coming back is strange because you have traveled so far, waited so long for your trip and then just like that - you are back in your bed with the same sheets, the same plates out in the kitchen cupboard, the same old hedge out front needing a trim again. But that other place is so, so recent. I took this photo on my morning run the day we left for Sydney. 

The sidewalk is a little path between two houses on the middle of quiet Ravenswood Drive that takes you into Pilgrim Park. Everything is still pretty green there but splotches of yellow, purple and red are creeping in. And Pilgrim Park is so quiet. I ran through there maybe 5 or 6 times in three and a half weeks and never saw another person there. I used to play there a lot when I was little but it seems on weekdays in Madison there just aren't many kids around.

I did notice how it used to be that you could see McKenna Blvd from the park - a busy residential street. But now the trees are so tall they make a lovely , lush leafy wall...for a little while longer until the leaves fall.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It will pass in time

The evening ritual.

After dinner are the three Bs: bath, books, bed. It is a meaningful ritual for me and not in that way of let's-hurry-up-and-get-the-day-done-so-I-can-watch-crap TV but in more of a return to comfort and coziness and just a really quiet end to it all. Security, I suppose. It's not about the excitement of what the night holds anymore but how to end the day with a soft landing.

Although with a little 4 month old, sometimes the evening wind down is just a chance to relax before it starts again in a few short hours.

We always put some nighttime music on in Georgie's room for her to fall asleep to - everything from Passenger, Disney Classics, Asgeir, Playschool, Sesame Street, and for about 3 months after Christmas we were still listening to A Very She & Him Christmas.

But as Georgie and Phoebe fell asleep together tonight, I was thinking of my own nighttime music. And this one came to me straight away - all of Beth Orton's 'Central Reservation', the album I listened to so much in my very first apartment on my own on W. Main Street in Madison, circa 1999. The very worn, very varnished floor boards, the big old basin sink in the kitchen, the spacious closet you walked through to get to the bathroom with the 1920s pentagon tile floor. I listened to this album so much on quiet nights alone, after finishing a not overly challenging but fun job, after going to the all-women's gym for step aerobics or yoga and then to home for dinner to something like a packet of rice with a can of green beans.

And there is part of me right now that thinks getting back to work wouldn't be so terrible, having an income would be a relief, but then why rush it for a few months? The lean times will pass in time but so will these months as 'just a mom' with Phoebe as a baby and with Georgie before she goes to kindergarten. For better or for worse, it will pass in time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Look to the cup

Yes, because what the world needs is another picture of an expensive coffee. But it is delicious and even though I am a dreadfully slow coffee drinker - so as to drink just one cup for a very long time rather than multiple coffees - and will have to get Georgie from gym class soon, I wanted the coffee because of the quality of crockery (vs paper takeaway cup).

The only way I can explain it is like how you might have a preference for a kind of pen to write with on a certain kind of paper. In college I was more engaged in class if I had a cheap little blue bic ballpoint on somewhat nicer University logo'd spiral notebook paper with a nice padding. I enjoyed the act of writing and my penmanship more. Strange? Whatever gets your through a classes like 'The Quest for Human Destiny' or 'Medieval Autobiography.'

The Toby's mug is some kind of earthenware pottery I suppose and not a design I would pick for my house but it is heavy, not smooth, and adds a bit of gravitas to the whole affair.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Pool envy

There must be some kind of fitness FOMO term for when you are sitting at the pool drinking a large flat white and watching people swimming from the cafe above. It is what I am feeling now as I sit with Phoebe and a very nice, very expensive ($4.30!) coffee while Georgie does a gym class.

Despite the temperature 11C / 52F there are a number of hardy souls going up and down the bright blue lanes. Plus the sun is out and it warm on my back. I am a terrible swimmer in terms of technique or speed but in the last year as G learns to swim and while I was pregnant, I just decided to get in and paddle for a bit the best I could. It's not easy but I feel good and it is different from anything else I do. Finishing and wanting to wrap a towel around, dash to the locker room, shower and THEN get the expensive coffee. And when there are all types - old, large, creaky, disabled, super fit way over in the fast lane - also in the pool it is easier to not care if you make it all the way up the lane or turn around and do some 'Mom' strokes to get back to the shallow end.

Next week, I'll bring my swimmers.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Still Running

I don't go far and I don't go long but I run fast. That is the new strategy because just getting out of the house for a quick run is half the accomplishment. Haydn is back from 11 days away but in major sleep deprivation mode so when I woke up early with Phoebe I tried to plan my exit. Phoebe foiled it by not going fully back to sleep. She was convinced though when she fell asleep next to big sis who was watching various YouTube videos (they usually entail grown-ups from the deep South "unboxing" Disney Play doh toys) and looked cosy. Haydn was cognisant that I was leaving so I made my hasty retreat.

Went along my usual route. So quiet and peaceful in the morning to run along a bike path past the dog run, past the lonely basketball court, past the tennis courts that get high use during any Grand Slam.

And this Young Fathers song came on, aptly titled "Still Running". The lyric that gets me:

What happened to the girl who broke the rules // what happened to the man who paid his dues

It was only a 22 minute run, but I ran fast. And everyone is ok.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Here we are

Back to the blog. With this lil assistant in tow.

There is something oddly entertaining about sitting in a cafe next to people having a casual business meeting - emails, sales numbers, talking sport,taking a call. People are so...polite to each other.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

A return to form

Well, I've been telling myself for about the last two years that I'd blog again. It's been nearly 3 since I've bothered to post anything. I guess I've been a bit life, work, a toddler, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, BBC costume dramas, sleep, etc etc.

But I had lunch with my friend Danny the other week, he encourages me to write and he inspires me to write because he always has a 100 things going on but finds time for creative output. Good on ya, Danny! Top level stuff, as they say. Where do you find the limitless energy?!

 I need to jot down when a blog post idea strikes. Because they do quite often. It's usually just a line or a thought and I post it on Facebook instead. 'Likes' as affirmations of being witty or whatever.

A couple of Saturdays ago I was in the kitchen making dinner -- something I don't do often, as that is my husband's domain -- and was like, "When I finish this, I'm going to post on Facebook that I made some awesome enchiladas," (because that's what people do). I was attempting a new recipe I had found on one of my evenings of cruising Pinterest. 



And there was middle-age staring me down the face: you made a recipe you found on Pinterest. 

Well, it was a pretty good recipe, I might add. I impressed Haydn with the 'avocado cream sauce," which was a bit of a wild card but in a lovely flavourful, yet mild way. 

So, the aforementioned recipe is this: Chicken Vegetable Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce.

It took me awhile to make, because while enchilada recipes are usually quite approachable, there is hidden work in the "cooked shredded chicken" part or in the "add mixture to a food processor" item. I got there in the end but Haydn was nearly gnawing off a coaster and G was in a near-bleary cartoon haze. 

I'm so out of practice in being a blogger that I didn't even take a pic of my handiwork. So I'll use the photo from Pinterest that got me hooked into the whole undertaking...and back into blogging.

My enchiladas looked pretty much like these

yours truly, 
middle-aged 'pinner'