Saturday, June 09, 2007

Australia (Part Five): of carnivores and barbarians

All I'm going to say about last Shabbat (June 2nd) is that we learned that the Toddles likes meat.

We figured this out when he grabbed a hunk of roasted lamb off my plate, shrieking, meat! meat! After some experimentation, we realized that, while the child was willing to extend his affections to poultry, he was quite serious about the high cholesterol, Mary's little sweetmeat thing, and we just fed him until he stopped shrieking.

He looked greasy and happy. My kind of kid.

Sunday, June 3rd:

This morning was a leisurely one, to the Man’s delight. I spent a good chunk of it sleeping, recovering from a night with a stuff-nosed Toddles. Gathering ourselves up, we meandered over to the home of my aged grandmother, where we collected her and my mum. Mum swooped up the Eldest, and they went off for a Tram Adventure, which he described as follows:

The tram was a fun tram ride. Once we’re on the tram, I sit down and Savta takes our tickets. She got them on the tram. The tram went zoom.

We went to Allumen Park (Luna Park), there was almost everything was electric. And we went on the Elephant Zoom – it was an elephant ride, you’d go up, down, up, down, up, down, and the white one [rollercoaster] went up the hill slowly and down very fast. And one ride you get flipped upside down. And another ride but we didn’t go on it – it was a very scary ride, it was a dragon. You swing up and down, up and down, up and down – but very high – and you almost get tipped over and you fall out of your seat. And there was some things that went sideways up and down, it was a merry go round but it was skinny and flat and people went on it and went round and around very fast (zooming noises). And the dragon thing (zooming noises and gestures) and soon it came to a stop and there were people in the dragon zoomer, and once it stopped everybody got out.

The golden statue man was sitting in the corner. At lunch time, he wanted to look like a statue, so he didn’t say anything. He gave me his sword and I holded it up. And while I was holding it up, he gave me a balloon. I gave the sword back, and I kept the balloon. It is light blue!

When we went on the tram, yeah yeah yeah, it was really fun, boom boom boom badoom
(singing and beating time on the balloon) boom badoom. (Dances around the room)

Clearly, a successful adventure.

St Kilda Beach hosts a craft fair on the Esplenade every Sunday, from 10 am onwards. I remember this craft fair from trips past – the trip I made with the Man, when we were engaged. We bought a huge, striped cutting board made of strips of different Australian woods. It’s still as lovely as ever, with a shallow curve worn into it from years of my chopping knives. The trip we made after getting married, when we bought a huge redgum salad bowl, now almost maroon in colour from years of oily dressings and careful cleanings. The camphor wood cutting boards, mine now split along a weak point in the grain, thanks to a couple of years of careless hot water washes. Whoops. And the puppet lady, the odd plastic mod chotchke guy, the Aboriginal stall (now under new and slightly fashionable management), the potters and a Mr. Jackson who makes clocks out of abandoned, battered bits of red gum, which look worn and aged until you open them, and the deep red wood shines out at you.

It’s a treasure trove of crafts, and I’ve happily cherrypicked there, over the years. I far prefer the Esplenade crafts to the slightly chintzy chaos of offering at Victoria Market. It’s more craft and less (okay, none) cheap plastic toy – precisely to my taste. And it was lovely today, the sun shone, the Toddles babbled happily around a sunbutter sandwich, my grandmother helped me choose a gift for Mary Jr (a nice handbag? that pretty necklace? Um.), and the Eldest tried to climb the enormous, ancient palm trees lining the sidewalk. No new treasures, but much quiet pleasure.

We swooped by the book launch event where my uncle was reading and signing books (magid, I have yours!). My uncle, the published author. What a thought. He sat calmly behind a little table, books piled around him, signing and chatting with people who came by. My uncle, the author.

He’s pretty good, too.

Quick kid story: tonight, the Eldest comes to me and says, Mummy, do you want to see my school? I have a school for barbarians.
, I say. Really?
He takes me to the living room, and shows me: this chair is the library corner, where you can read. Over there is the paper airplane area, where you can throw airplanes. The airplanes go here, in this box, when you’re done. There you can rest and take naps, and here [the couch], well, we have to decide what that’s for.
I looked around. It’s a wonderful school, I told him. If I were a barbarian, I think I would enjoy it a lot.
He nodded, satisfied and unsurprised.


Anonymous said...

I wanna go to the barbarian school!

dykewife said...

when i was a baby and mom made rib roasts she'd clean off one of the ribs of most of anything that could choke me. then she'd give it to me to gum up. this was especially good when i was teething.

i'm with lois, i want to go to barbarian school to :)

mama o' the matrices said...


it works for adults, too. A few nights ago, we were over at my aunt and uncle's house, and my aunt (who is mostly vegetarian) made a lamb roast - with ribs. She carved it nicely, served it up on platters, and watched it disappear. Then, she wisely, quietly, went back into the kitchen and came out with the bones for us to gnaw.

And we did! There's good eatin' on one of them things.

Auntie A said...

mmm...meat. i could happily munch some ribs while curled up in the library corner of barbarian school.