Another successful downward dog day

I’ve mentioned before how much I love going to my happy place - the gym, for some alone time and the chance to score cheap childcare. The days at home seem to pass so much more quickly with a brief respite from the limpet needing a ‘high huggle’. And, amazingly, after an hour away, they turn cuter! Magic. I really should tell them to stop photoshopping my kids while I’m gone.

As usual, we had five minutes left to make it from our place onto the yoga mat, and amazingly the planets and green lights and children aligned. I made it. There was some chi ball dancing, some butt torture (‘Ryan Gosling is seeing you naked for the first time’ I started saying in my head for motivation, but it was more like ‘fuck fuck fuck I’m going to die’ by the end), and some lying down. I liked the lying down most.

Some highlights:

1) The uncanny resemblance my neighbour’s chi ball bore to a mango. At one point I very nearly crawled over and sunk my teeth in. Thank God I have subhuman restraint.

This is a chi ball . Deflated, when you’re hungry, it’s mango-esque.

2) The spectacular and very loud fart that NOBODY heard. Poor woman – I wanted to laugh it off with her but I suspect she hoped/imagined/dreamt it was unheard. Sometimes etiquette is stupid. And, to my eternal credit, I didn’t laugh. Like a teenaged boy, in a quiet space, I find farting hilarious.

3) My ineptitude with a theraband. These are the stretchy things that physios give you in rehab. I’d pulled it behind my foot in an ‘all-fours’ position, then tipped right off to the left, until SPLAT – I’d rolled over like a dog for a belly scratch. Being at the very back of the room, the gorgeous lady in front kindly drew it to everyone’s attention with ‘MAN DOWN!’

This is almost exactly how awesome I look with a theraband before I do the sideways roll over dog

In a nutshell – my kids get cuter, I get to swear unimpeded, work on being Ryan Gosling’s girlfriend (cos we all know THAT’S going to happen), make childish fart jokes inside my head and roll around like a sleepy itchy dog. Is exercise supposed to be this fun?

Gonna be all right

Today is feeling a little bit Bob Marley. Not worried, about a thing. I’m sitting in the sunshine outside Little L’s future school while she does a ‘practice’ morning for kindy next year. She’s settled right in, gone off enthusiastically, and is having fun. I’m lurking outside the classroom on the grass ‘just in case’, until somebody here is trained in diabetes management, but so far, so great.

I’m reading a book I love so much I’m reading like mud, as slowly as I can so it doesn’t run out. I’ll review it here later. The diabetes is FINE, I can hear kids laughing, singing, everything is sunny and I’m warm and relaxed. I really like this place.

Loving this book.

Isn’t sending our kids off to ‘big’ school something we’re supposed to dread? I expect I’ll feel wistful for my baby on day one next year, but right now I can’t wait for Little L to start school. It’s a wonderful place to be.

 

 

Winery finery – Marvis and Songkat run for the hills

Happy toes!

Last weekend I had the unexpected luxury of being handed a leave-pass, and with my partner in wine and crime Marvis, we grabbed it and ran.

Marvis, my gorgeous friend, lover of books, whisky connoisseur and serious smart-arse, had suggested we stay at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, because she is a genius and that place does a SERIOUS breakfast buffet. OH yes. Eggs benedict WITH smoked salmon please. I became Songkat because we played a round of Songpop and I kept getting the name confused with an app called ‘Songcat‘ invented by a clever IT friend of mine. I may not be a genius.

We ran away from our daughters (numbering 3) on Friday, ready to soak in the warmth of the Hunter Valley sun, and soak in the juice of the Hunter Valley grape. We could have been ‘Kimla and Jacquise’ for this adventure, but it seemed a bit derivative, and I didn’t fancy driving off a cliff at the end with a bootful of wine to consider.

 So: A rundown and roundup of Marvis and Songkat’s winery runaround:

1. Briar Ridge. It was a good warm-up for the palate. A fair drive out of ‘town’, it had a very pretty outlook.  And that’s about all I have to say about that. I do have a really lovely Chardonnay from Briar Ridge in my stack at home from 2011, but nothing this day blew me away.

2. Brokenwood Wines. Always awesome. Always very high quality wines, and consistent quality. They could see us baby – shaking that ass. Somehow it’s always more tempting to buy wine with a little  encouragement from Groove Armada. My favourites: 2010 Pinot Gris – really rich and honey-fruity, but crisp and dry. And the Forest Edge Chardonnay – YUM. That is all. Yep – I can SO talk wine.

Marvis managed to trade in her $12 chain-store ring for a $50 bottle of wine that caught the eye of the wine-taster person.* “It’s made of glass”. Unfazed. “Maybe plastic”. Unfazed. “It only cost me $12″. Unfazed. “It’s tarnished”. Unfazed. So – with full disclosure the deal went ahead.  BARTERING IS ALIVE AND WELL!!!

I don’t really remember what happened next. OH yeah – we ate some lunch.

No planking on the pig. Please.

3. Pig’s Peake. Funneeeee guys here. Awesome wines. Puns like these: Boartrytis, Sowvignon Blanc, Rind Riesling and so on. But they have really unusual stuff, which I like, like Zinfandel, Chambourcin (Pig’s blood – yes, really, and the colour is amazing). My pigs (sorry!) picks were the Pig’s Blood and the Pork Barrel Viognier 2011.

4. Scarborough. Scarborough, Scarborough. I love Chardonnay – big fat old-fashioned oaky chardonnay, and I LOVE that you do EIGHT glasses in a tasting at Scarborough – the place to go for Chardonnay-lovers. I also was surprised to find I liked their 2012 semillon very very much indeed. I was liking most things very very much indeed by then.

I get to taste HOW many?

5. Ballabourneen. This is my favourite winery ever. They make great wine. And that’s not just me saying so (cos I know exactly almost precisely nothing), but James Halliday reckons so too, giving them five stars, calling them one of ten dark horses to watch in 2012. I will continue buying up as much of their Viognier as I can afford until it runs out. I also really enjoyed their 2012 Bucket of Hunter Semillon this visit. It helps that their cellar-door peeps are a hoot.

Buckets of YUM

We did some other stuff too, like watch the rugby, sleep, swim, eat cheese, but that was all the boring stuff. We drank ALL OF THE WINE and IT WAS GOOD.

*(What are they called? Taster-person? Vineyardier? Winererier? I am always half-tanked by the second winery and such details escape me. Are they still sommeliers outside a restaurant?)

10 things that make me happy

1. The beach. Any day, in any weather, it’s either a reflective place or a pick-me-up. It’s always humbling whatever its mood, and gives me a good dose of ‘get over yourself’.

2. My kids eating roti Indian-style to scoop up their Palak Paneer and Dhal. I’m stoked about their gourmet palates. Fussy eating is not a problem in my house. Brussels sprouts? Bring ‘em on!

My kids LAUGH in the face of danger.

 

3. Purple shampoo. I love purple. How awesome that you can put something SO bright purple in your hair and not get bright purple hair!

I almost want to eat this stuff it smells so good.

 

 

4. Books. All of them. For taking me somewhere else when I can’t afford a holiday.

If you recognise this is a tardis bookshelf you should be embarrassed, obviously.

5. Teeth. Smiles look so nice with teeth in them.

Cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Bubbles. In any form really. They are just the happiest thing. The ones kids pop, the ones in champagne, the ones in the bath. I love them all.

Mmmmm bubbles

 

7. Mangoes. The taste like summer and sunshine, and they’re healthy!? How is that even possible? Two interesting facts you may NOT know: not only does the mango have anti-inflammatory properties, but the mango tree is a symbol of love in India. So THERE chocolate. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Actually don’t – that’s bad for you.

 

 

 

 

8. Working. I am mental. Entirely mental. But I really love editing, crafting the words just so. And you know, sometimes when your kids are small, going to work is just like a holiday.

I am one of the few people in the world who find this hysterical. The rest can’t find the mistake. The others are bored.

 

9. Fish. Because they blow bubbles. AND you can eat them.

 

 

 

10. My girls. They’re not things, but how could I leave them out? They make me smile so many times, every day.

 

Scooter girls