I used to have a son, Archie.
No, I still have a son, Archie, it’s just that I don’t see him and I can’t find him.
He’s never here.
Sometimes there’s evidence that he’s been home and it’s usually in the bathroom. The floor will be flooded with water, the bath mat is saturated, there’s shaving mess stuck to the sides of the basin, he’s shed hair all over the white surfaces and there’s been an attempt to hang up a bath towel but not a good one.
I did have a sighting of Archie a few days ago. He’d been to Uni and was meant to be home for dinner but detoured. The rugby was on and so I got a text message advising he was off to the pub to watch the match with a few mates. And ‘not to worry’ about having cooked him dinner because it won’t be wasted – he’ll eat it when he’s home.
Then later there was another text message advising he was bringing a mate home to stay the night and ‘not to worry’ because ‘we’ll be really quiet’. But I heard them come in. It was after midnight. The boy he brought home is Phil, otherwise known as ‘The Big Unit’ because he stands at six feet seven. He makes Archie look like he was ‘failure to thrive’ because Archie is only six feet one.
They took their boots off at the front door (The Big Unit’s boots are Size 16 and such an uncommon size that all his footwear is imported from the US), and left them there. They then headed to the kitchen and banged and crashed about heating up the evening meal’s leftovers.
I didn’t see Archie in the morning because he was sleeping in. I couldn’t get into my lounge room because The Big Unit was in there sleeping on the couch.
The sighting occurred at lunch time when Archie emerged from his room and advised he was just going to cook bacon and eggs for himself and The Big Unit and ‘not to worry’ because he would clean up the mess. The sighting was very brief because I then had to go out and when I arrived home, Archie and The Big Unit were gone. There had been an attempt to clean up the mess in the kitchen but like the bath towel, not a good one.
And as for the state of the bathroom…I have no words.
Later, Archie sent me a text message letting me know it was his mate’s birthday (not sure which mate) and they (not sure who ‘they’ are) were going out (not sure where) to celebrate and ‘not to worry’ because he would be staying at either Webb’s or Roy’s.
‘But what about a change of clothes, Archie?’ I asked in a text message, ‘And what are doing for food?’
‘Not to worry, mum, it’s all good. She’s right, I’ll see you after Uni, love you’, was what came back.
But I didn’t see him after Uni. There was another text message after Uni last night that said, ‘Not sure when I will be home but will be home at some point. I will message you when I know but might end up staying at Roy’s but not sure yet’. And then like a peace offering he added, ‘And I have work tomorrow night by the way. X’ And I know that was a peace offering because we are always at Archie about how he has so much time to socialise yet so little time to work.
And late last night there was another message, ‘Staying at Roy’s. Will be back tomorrow. Sorry mum xx’.
So Archie is expected home any minute. And he’ll probably be here for about a minute too. Giving him just enough time to change his clothes and head to work.
I’m scheduling a Sunday night family roast and The Big Unit and Roy and Webb can do without him for an evening – It’s Mummy-time.
Tomorrow is Alfie’s school’s major fundraising. We’ve all been asked to make something for the cake stall. As it was raining today and freezing cold (freezing by Sydney standards) I made three of these double layer sour cream chocolate cakes. They’re not vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free or sugar-free. But they are really yummy.
- 1½ cups plain flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ tspns baking powder
- ¾ tspn baking soda
- ½ tspn salt
- 250g (1 cup) sour cream
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tspns vanilla essence
- 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1⅓ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup (250g) cream cheese, whipped
- 115g (4oz) dark chocolate, melted and cooled (melt over hot water)
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 2½ cups icing sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/375F.
- Grease and flour two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans, knocking out excess flour.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, water and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add some flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix well. Add some sour cream mixture. Mix well. Continue this process, ending with the flour mixture. Beat until the batter is smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake layers in middle of oven 25 -30 minutes until cooked.
- Cool cakes in their pans on racks for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks to cool completely.
- To Make Frosting:
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined. Place one cake on a large plate and spread with about ¾ cup frosting. Put the second cake on top, then spread remaining frosting over the top and sides.
So, tomorrow I’ll be at the school’s fundraiser. All day. As in all day. Can’t wait for that roast Sunday night!