The long Monday after the hard weekend

Today was my first day without booze since Thursday. I felt dreadful. Bloated, nauseous, foul smells emanating from my body as I walked La Serpiente to school. (Well, I walked, she hooned off on her scooter and waited for me at various points on the footpath, I assume calculated to be the most derisory.) After I had dropped her off and failed to unlock three different obikes, I went to the station and very carefully chosen the train going in the wrong direction, only realising after three stops that the reason the carriage was so spacious and I had a seat to sit on was because every single person was travelling in the other direction, and worse, that was the way I’d be having to go too. So, a good case for buying a coffee machine and installing it at home. Continue reading “The long Monday after the hard weekend”

An endless day of surprises

Again, I woke today to the sound of my children gambolled around our bedroom, and then studiously ignored them and slept some more. All the gin I necked last night formed some sort of insulation against the racket of girls squeaking at me.

This could never go on forever, so by 9:30 I was accompanying them downstairs, to my current favourite cafe, where I drank coffee and they ate biscuits. I’ve been contemplating what it means to be a good father, and my conclusion is that it’s just slightly more than taking your children somewhere where you with glassy-eyed, pontificating on civilisation while your progreny run riot. That’s right, other parents, you need to remember to take a colouring-in book with you.
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Coffee doesn’t always work

This morning we woke about 7:30 and watched yesterday’s Dutch MotoGP race, and after screaming at the screen (the last fifteen minutes were full of nailbiting action, even if we were watching a recording from yesterday) we ate the remaining food in the house (some yogurt and two cupcakes) and then went out for our second breakfast. You should always line your stomach, even in preparation for breakfast.
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Fremantle to Margaret River

This morning we packed up and left the apartment in Fremantle. I liked it: it had a nice view of the harbour from the balcony, the kitchen was nicely outfitted, the underfloor heating was awesome and the bed was enormous. But it wasn’t suitable for children – whether that was the steps everywhere for small children to trip over, or the hard tiled floors that made the underfloor heating possible, or just my two little goons’ obsession with doing things as dangerously as possible. You don’t need to eat breakfast while jumping up and down on a chair that you’re simultaneously trying to lean back so you can be thrown over the railing and down a flight of stairs. It’s just that apparently that’s the fun way to do it, when you’re somewhere approaching four years old. Continue reading “Fremantle to Margaret River”

Easy Tuesday

Yesterday was a real palaver; La Serpiente gave us the real runaround and ended up being rushed off to school late, badly fed, teeth unbrushed, everyone cross at everyone else. Today she had a good sleep and woke about 7:15, and we were all copacetic. So much so that even though we had one of the most kamikaze drivers of the 75 bus in recent memory, I was still in a good enough mood to buy her a pain au chocolat and a babycinno at the Tiong Bahru Bakery.

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Double bedtime

Tonight I put both children to bed; I tried to avoid it by going out to the track for a run first, but my wife had cunningly kept Destroyer and La Serpiente awake so when I got in at 8:20, they were still ready and raring to go. La Serpiente got four books before bedtime, then flopped around for twenty five minutes. It was only fair that she’d struggle to find her way to sleep though, because her sister was blaring like a fire alarm next door. On the other hand, her taste in literature tonight left a lot to be desired. I’ll start her on Tolstoy tomorrow, I suppose.

I went into Destroyer’s room, allowing my wife to escape, and had a relaxing ten minutes where Destroyer screamed at me before her battery went flat. At least tonight she wasn’t angrily lashing out and headbutting the chest of drawers, and I think that made it easier for her to sleep.

That done, and a late dinner stuffed down my craw, I went back to the office to pick up the laptop and clothes that I hadn’t gone running with, and then came home, fairly exhausted and ready for bed.
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Pacific Brim

This morning I was meant to go running again, but although I woke at 5:30 to clear skies, I then went back to sleep and went straight through my alarm, surfacing at 8. So instead, I had breakfast at Pacific Brim, a cafe in town. It was a shame that we had a barista who was dressed normally, rather than the establishment being a coffee -themed homage to Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim film: you know, coffee cups in the shape of kaiju, your breakfast brought to you by a giant battlemecha, etc.

After breakfast we went to a secondhand bookshop where La Serpiente and Destroyer kept bringing me increasingly unsuitable books, before walking past a series of head shops and new age souvenir joints and then giving up and driving out to the Cathedral, a clump of very big trees surrounded by some other big trees, about fifteen miles from town.

Then naptime. I’m trying to remember if family holidays were like this when I was growing up: short journeys punctuated by exhausted parents trying to snatch some sleep.

In the afternoon, we had promised La Serpiente ice cream, and rather than buy it from the gas station at the end of the road, we drove out to Coombs, where there’s a Mexican taqueria and ice cream shop. I had a couple of tacos and discovered that even with a blocked up nose, spicy tacos may be too spicy. Then we bought ice creams. I’m sure I asked for a baby-sized cone for La Serpiente but our server was either inattentive, trying to be generous or vindictive, as our three year old ended up with a cone of mint chocolate chip slightly bigger than her head, with predictable sugary results.

The sugar high was followed by the sugar crash, and at home she put herself in her pyjamas at 6 and asked to go to bed. And then took three hours to actually go to sleep, like she was a punishment for bad parenting decisions. Ah, happy holidays.