A few of my favourite things.

A few of my favourite things are made from glass and are full of liquid. Here’s a photo.

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You thought I was going to show you my wine collection, didn’t you?
I love Little L’s diabetes equipment. I love her glass vials full of insulin. The magical juice that keeps her alive. I love her pump. Her blood glucose meter. Her pump inserter with its long sharp needle that makes her cry. Her canula that delivers the insulin to her body 24 hours per day. Her jellybeans.

I love these items that are solid and constant. We can wrap them like a bandage around this disease that shifts like sand beneath our feet, ever changing and keeping us wired and alert. We live in type 1 diabetes-land, where blood glucose numbers, emotions, insulin-dose requirements and health all change daily, or even hourly, or be interspersed by months of relative stability. Amidst the uncertainty, these items of ‘kit’ are my rock. They don’t change. When we have no idea what’s going on and she’s inexplicably climbing higher and higher, we replace everything, with fresh insulin, new canula, fresh line, different insertion site, check her blood sugar levels, and gain a tide-mark to measure how high the flood has risen. My favourite things bring us back our control.

Optimized-fingerprick

In the night, her equipment is my sleep salve. The ever-present threat of not waking up, for every person with type 1 diabetes, is the alarm that propels me out of bed at 3am to check her borderline low numbers. She’s not unique. She doesn’t have a ‘bad’ type of diabetes. Every person with the condition lives with this threat, and those you know with diabetes that don’t appear to treat themselves, or carb count, or inject or bolus, are either very discreet or not taking care of themselves.  I put on my miner’s head torth, and there is her fingerpricker and that drop of blood, delivering me real numbers in the dark, and with reassurance, I sleep soundly.

Being a small girl living with type 1 diabetes is an emotional ride. After the novelty of being ‘special’ at diagnosis 18 months ago has worn off, it’s just a hassle she can do without. Having very high or low blood sugar levels can make a person emotional. Being a 6-year old girl with feelings she can’t quite articulate, of frustration, confusion, difference, and being ‘over-it’ can make a kid Carrie-style emotional. She maybe can’t put it into words, but she does know how to release the pressure cooker vent through anger, just as we do when we’re tired and stressed after we’ve hit our limit. After a trying day looking after the kids at home, or a day at work being needed by too many different factions, we come home and snap at our loved ones. For a 6-year old? This will look like an impressive tantrum, while in fact there’s a sea of confusion and upset seething beneath the surface.

pump entry

When we’re at sea and I don’t know whether to punish the behaviour, or she’s reacting to a blood sugar level, or upset and expressing it through anger, we swim for the rocks. The equipment is our rock, and our stability. We check her blood sugar number, she calms, and we climb out of the sea to dry off.

Little L’s equipment, our rock, makes her feel safe. It keeps her alive. She can’t survive without insulin. And for this, though I hate it with all my heart, I love her equipment. These bits of kit are my favourite things.

Now. Would you like to see my wine collection? It’s quite extensive. Yoga can only go so far.

xx

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I used to be a round window girl, but now I’m not so sure.

Time changes all. As a girl, watching Playschool, I always chose the round window. Who would choose the square one? We had them at home. The round one had nice soft edges that appealed to my childish sentiments. The arch? Too many places for a bird (me) to get stuck on the way out. Looking back on the girl I was later, as a late teen embarking on her 20s, she seems like somebody I used to know. Gotye would have broken up with her too.

You can get this on a T-shirt. I think I want one.

You can get this on a T-shirt. I think I want one.

Who was this girl that thought those thinks? That wore those ways? That said those words?

I used to think that marriage was the end of the line, like death. I believed a relationship must become so snoozy once you were married, with nothing new once you’d been through the excitement of being young and engaged then travelling and working, that once you had kids you may as well just lie down and stop breathing, to mimic the excitement your life was likely to bestow. Hilarious! Slap that girl silly. I am knocked down with a fresh (albeit not always pleasant) surprise each and every week by That Man, and by my kids. The intricacies of a human relationship are ever unfolding. Try explaining that to an 18-year-old who is, like, so bored.

I used to think the Lotto girl on TV had an awesome job. There is still some merit to this theory. She turns up for a 5-minute stint on TV at 8:30pm, has a locked-in contract that likely pays quite nicely, and has no need to do her own hair, makeup or wardrobe. In the day she needs to focus on going to the gym or the hairdresser, or perhaps the beach. In the depths of winter on a rainy night as I type this after having just put kids to bed, this idea is now quite revolting. Having to get out of my yoga pants, smile, and say the SAME thing to the camera, night after night, when you may be missing out on a birthday, a wedding, or a family illness because LOTTO WILL WAIT FOR NOBODY would suck. Big hairy balls. (See what I did there? So subtle. Maybe I could do standup… in yoga pants).

I used to think my dream job was in a publishing house, editing fiction novels by big-name authors. Now, I am Amy Winehouse’s protegee, singing NO, NO, NO. Fiction editing in publishing houses is a tough gig. Long hours, small pay. And big-name authors? Must be treated with big-name kid gloves. Editing content where writers are less vested in the placement of their apostrophes and commas makes things calmer for me.

I used to think people over 35-40 were sad/washed-up/had stopped trying. Now, I understand they (OK FINE WE) are relaxed. Comfortable in our (snake) skins. Know there’s a time to live (summer), a time to die (winter, where we curl up in balls of ugg boots and wine). A time to turn, turn, turn, or something something something (I think there was a song my parents liked). It is the time, anyway, now, for drinking wine. That is all.

I used to freak out each year I discovered a celebrity or tennis player was younger than me. Say, when Britney hit the big time at 16 and I was 19. This is not strictly factual. I’m certain our age gap is wider… I am just too lazy to look her up right now, and also a little scared of what I might see of Britney on Dr Google. I’ve seen a dog use carpet as toilet paper today. My eyes can’t take much more. The source of this aging fear at NINETEEN (!!!!) was somehow that I was running out of time to be significant, make my mark and rule the world. Amazing, shocking fact coming … I grew up to NOT RULE THE WORLD. Horrendous. But not, actually.

Sadly not my place. This is Macedonia. One day.

Sadly not my place. This is Macedonia. One day.

Because I rule my world. My small, insignificant world. And now I choose the arched window, because it’s the most interesting of all. Who knew?

xx

[Image source: www.redbubble.com]

Linking up with The Lounge, hosted by the glorious RACHEL at The Very Inappropriate Blog the-lounge-logo

 

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?)