Tools of the trade

As I found myself zesting the other day... isn't that a brilliant word, ZzzzesTING! Anyway, zesting away at my caesar stone benchtop I was, and I thought, my goodness me, how I have changed being a mother. BC (before children) I would have thought a zester was something done under a disco ball on the dance floor by a boy whose idol was John Travolta.
My tool of choice in my teens was a crimper. Solely about me and my luscious Smiths Crisps-cut locks. Accompanied by my green or electric blue mascara, of course. I've always been one for Big Hair, so boy-o was this the tool for me.  By the end of it's life my crimper was covered in hair spray, shimmery lipgloss, hair gel and luminous nail varnish. It was a sad day when it had to go to 80s heaven.
In my 20's my tool of choice was my backpack. It held my life - which was no longer about my hair, and all about everything else BUT me - the world, no less!  It took me, my two t-shirts, commando pants and bucket hat through Africa on safari, Europe on a shoe string, America, Scandinavia, and was my cupboard as I lived in a crammed flat in the UK. Even now I look at the mouldy, filthy dirty, torn crumpled pile of straps and clips fondly as the memories and experiences which changed my life come flooding back.
Then arrived my 30's. Things got serious: The tool which stands for forever entered my life; a wedding ring. Followed closely by the equally stylish... Breastpump.
The breastpump has to be the epitomy of being a new mother, and the epitome of shock for those who are not. Two of my friends, one a new mother and one not even close to conception, woke up one day with a hangover.  Not Yet A Mother heard a whirring in the kitchen, and crawled out of bed thinking, 'ohh, she's cooking me hangover pancakes, brilliant!'.... only to find New Mother pumping the night before's cocktails out via her nipples.
Motherhood is the era of the tools. There are so many mothers' tools that one could be excused for missing the tiny, helpless, baby amidst it all, which has been the cause of the procurement of so many devices. Large bags for storing three week-old sucked-on rusks in the bottom corner, where you often dig around looking for your other tool - a spare breastpad, now covered in rusky moosh. We buy snuggle beds to put inside the cot which turns into a bed, plastic bath's to put into the bigger bath, three different styles of prams for baby's various moods, and infinite amounts of nipple shaped items.   
Zester is not one I would have put on that very long Pre-baby Essentials shopping list, but a zester I own.  And use - to the surprise of those who know my cooking skills, or lack thereof. I feel like a proper mother when I'm baking with my zester. I think I need an apron and shower cap to complete the look.  But will the zester be a stayer?  Will it enter the new era of the 40's with me?
It could take me another decade to perfect a cake which people can eat, so perhaps, it's likely.         


My house has morphed into a circus. I cannot recollect when it happened that our space went from chaos with sometimes-listeners, to complete and utter loss of all control. Perhaps I was hoping it was just a phase.

But, like all “phases”, the kids get you in the end. It begins with what you surmise is teething, at the ripe old age of somewhere around 4 months. Lots of sudden whingeing and crying from your little poppet, who was previously very happy about life, can only be the nasty business of teething. However, 6 months on and still no teeth, you start thinking that perhaps it was something else…like a mini temper or frustration developing, or separation anxiety, or any of those other delights no one really tells you about.

But the big guns are pulled out somewhere around the age of 18 months, when your little baby discovers his yelling voice and stomping feet. From here it is a never ending upward surge (by the kids) and catch up (by the parents) as the formerly placid child pushes into new territory. What you thought, at age 2 ½, was a sudden onset of exhaustion due to a growth spurt – displayed as the extreme sports of whingeing and throwing themselves at the kitchen cupboards – has become the norm while you were giving them some slack. What you thought, at age 4, was frustration at not being able to keep up with big brother, shown as sibling bickering, has turned into a major way to get your attention, CONSTANTLY. Suddenly, you realise: The little …. they’ve got one up on me again! The behaviour you were excusing is now the norm.

Anyway, I think our circus started about 6 months ago. At least that’s how long I believe they’ve been subversively introducing their new scheme into our house. The show begins at 6.30am: We have trapeze, from Master 4, who likes to swing from staircase to bed, to brother to sister. Riding the backs of dangerous animals we also have – as Master 4 lurches from here to never never on the back of Master 6, who roars in complaint. Speaking of roaring – well, that’s me of course. All the time it seems. All three children, meanwhile, provide the background music, at 500 decibels.

Little Miss 2 takes part in all of this. In fact, she is the most fearless circus performer in the house. And the LOUDEST (sorry to shout.) She is the cheeky monkey who silently steals the library books from her brother’s school bag, making the audience (her other brother) giggle. She is good with twirling crockery plates and half full cups of tea, and brilliant at walking the high rope, masquerading as the dining room table. She also rides the wild animals, two at a time, and provides many a slippery surface for the clowns (me) to trip up in. In fact, now that I think about it, somewhere along their plan, Little Miss 2 has subversively taken over my role as ringleader, and I have become the poor old clown!

All this before 8.30am. My head explodes, what to do with them all?

Might as well sell tickets - Roll up Roll up, to the greatest show on the Northern Beaches....

Great (Yet Frivolous) News For Mums

I've just read some brilliant news for us 'Slightly Glamorous But Never Mutton-esque Women With Kids Old Enough To Be At School'...  I think I need to shorten this; let's call us GNM's (Glamorous, Never Mutton-esque), because I think it's become trendy to write in daggy old engineer-favoured acronyms. 
Anyway, fellow GNM's, natural hair and make up is IN at the NewYork and Milan runway shows, which are running away as we speak.  Hallelujah! 
As we know, this NEVER means we just bump on out of bed, throw together a sandwich and step onto the school bitumen a la birdsnest bedhead and sleep encrusted eyeballs. Nooooo.
The hallelujah part of this news, is that natural is what suits our GNM style of face (with perhaps a few of those personality lines and other distinguishing bits and bobs about it).  Heavy eye colour just exaggerates our black rings due to all night partying of children, and dark lipstick unfortunately finds it's way down the estuaries of our upper lip.  So, light on, all the way.  
What we must take particular care with, and on which we can err on the side of darkness, is eyebrows. Very important. In fact, THE MOST important.

Me, turning up at school.  On time.

My beautiful friend recently told me that my face disappeared into nothing because of my paltry eyebrows.  (She'd had champagne). So I popped into her beauty palouuurrrr to remedy my lack of face.  The reaction when I stepped out knocked me off my flat-soled sandshoes. "You look like you've got a full face of makeup on!"... "Wow, look at you, so glamorous!" etc etc.  
Even - now listen up to this one - MY HUSBAND NOTICED!  This is the man who didn't realise til a friends husband (yes, a man, and a heterosexual one at that) said, "Nice new hair Felicity", after I'd had it cut short and dyed dark.  From long and nearly white blond. This man, my husband, noticed my new eyebrows.  
So, you get the picture - impact impact impact.  If you want my eyebrows you need the magic of Christina at Little Luxuries 0414 990 317,
The other thing that was important on those running along the runway - not planes - was skin.  Flawless, a little bit shiney sheeny, a pop of blush on the cheeks, and smatter of translucent powder to stitch it all up.  Now this takes time to achieve properly, and I know I get it wrong all the time, primarily because my other friend is always 'blending' for me in the playground.  (She's not had champagne, she's just bold like that).
I also reinvested in an eyelash curler because I think it might help to open up eyes that look a little droopy some days, thanks to all night partying of children.
So here we are:  GNM's - we're in!  We're fashionable, we are the HOT things of the moment. Lap it up ladies. 
Don't think I'll grace a runway though, I'm likely to fall clean off the end in anything higher than my flat soled sandshoes.