I’ve been gone for a few days and now I just absolutely have to tell you why.
And it’s not that interesting.
And you won’t be the slightest bit jealous.
Because it wasn’t as if I was whisked away to a romantic destination in an incredibly remote part of the world where the internet hadn’t yet been connected. No, I’ve been absent because I was doing that thing that if most of us had a choice between ‘that’ and death, we would probably choose death.
And now you’ve guessed it.
That’s right – I was moving house.
And the horror of it all.
The truck with the two burly blokes was arriving on Monday so Carl thought it would be nice if on Saturday, I (note the singular use of ‘I’) took as much as I could over to the new house as I could manage. Carl wouldn’t be joining me on this activity because he had to work. So I toiled all day making trip after trip with my boxes all the time confused as to why not only my husband but my teenagers had deserted me. Arabella, in a very clever and timely way, had booked a weekend in Melbourne and left for the airport first thing Saturday morning. Archie performed on Friday night in ‘The Girl from Maxims’ and came home at 2am and woke with no voice. With one remaining performance and with me having tickets for that show Archie convinced me that the best thing for him and the audience would be if he just lay around and rested all day.
By a stroke of luck, a friend called and said his teenage son had to do two hours of community service for some project that was compulsory at his school. ‘Okay if I bring him around with his mate to give you a hand?’ So I had two helpers who made up for my teenagers and a substitute for Carl. We didn’t stop until 6.15pm and we had to leave for Archie’s play at 6.45pm.
We went to the play and Archie did his best but in the interval he did send me a text saying, ‘I’m dying back here. I have no voice left’, but somehow he rasped his way through Act II. After the show we met him in the foyer where he announced it would be poor form not to attend the cast party so he would go to that for a little while and then stay the night at a mate’s place and be home first thing in the morning to help with the business of moving.
I knew immediately to dismiss those words about being home first thing in the morning and helping.
Carl and I arrived home at about 12.30am. At around 1am I was hopping into our sleigh bed and I had been telling Carl for a while that I really think he ought to take a look at the bed because I was sure there was something wrong with the base on my side. Carl dismissed my cries saying he’d investigate the issue on the day of the move when he had to pull the bed apart.
I was lying in bed and just dozing off when there was a crash and my side of the bed dropped and now I was on the floor. Carl was fine, his side of the bed was unharmed. All Carl said was, ‘Unbelievable how it couldn’t have stayed together for just one more night.’
Then he went looking for his tool box but he couldn’t find it because I’d taken it to the new house. Well we weren’t going to be able to get any sleep with the bed on a 45 degree angle so Carl had to go to the new house, find his tool box and bring it back. He came back and he was uttering expletives that I won’t share with you here but he pulled the bed apart and we slept on the mattress that was now on the floor.
We moved all day Sunday, just the two of us because Arabella was still in Melbourne and we had no idea where Archie was especially as his phone was switched off. Some kind friends invited us around for dinner that night saying we would be too exhausted to cook ‘so come round for a Sunday roast’. At around 2pm they phoned me to let me know they had just put the Jamie Oliver slow-roasted shoulder of lamb in the oven when there was an explosion and their oven had blown up. ‘Mind if we bring it over to cook in your new oven?’ So they arrived with the shoulder and I gave the oven in my new kitchen a four-hour workout.
At about 6.30pm I pulled the shoulder out of the oven just as the heavens opened and we had the most terrific downpour. I carried the shoulder out to the car getting thoroughly drenched in the process and off we went to dinner. The shoulder of lamb was incredible. It was a great meal from Jamie at Home and I’ll cook it soon and put the recipe up so you can try it because it was just delicious. For dessert they caramelised some fresh figs in honey and that was equally as good so I’ll blog about that soon too.
I had almost finished my caramelised figs that I was enjoying with a glass of ‘sticky’ when my phone rang and it was Arabella sobbing uncontrollably saying she was back from Melbourne but was doubled over from pain in her back and could I come home. We made a hasty exit arriving to find Arabella in a very bad way so I took her up to Emergency where she was taken straight through and put on a morphine infusion for a queried kidney infection. She had a range of tests performed and a kidney infection was then diagnosed so she was given two courses of antibiotics through an IV and then we were told we could go home. We were there seven hours and left at 4.30am.
We came home and I had a couple of hours sleep before the removalists arrived and then it was, ‘Where do you want this table?’, ‘Does this go in here?’ and ‘Do you want this inside or outside?’ I was so tired I was almost wishing everything would just roll off the truck never to be seen again.
And tonight I’m off to Parent/Teacher interviews at Arabella’s school (where there had better be some good news), and then I’m having dinner at Jamie’s Italian and I hope to tell you all about it tomorrow.
Just before I started taking boxes over to the new house, I whipped up this Tahitian Banana Cake because I thought it would be good for morale. It was a bit under-cooked (which is why there isn’t a photo of a slice of cake) so I made it again, this time in a ring tin and that worked much better. But the ring tin cake was eaten by my lovely helpers before it was photographed so you’ll just have to trust me that this is a wonderful banana cake that is incredibly moist and good served with just a sprinkle of icing sugar or you could do a cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with some toasted walnuts.
TAHITIAN BANANA CAKE
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Very inexpensive and a great way to use up over-ripe bananas – much better than throwing them out!
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 4 tbspns milk
- dash of vanilla extract or half a vanilla pod scrapped
- 3 eggs, separated
- 4 or 5 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 tbspn baking soda
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until combined. Add milk and mix well. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture should be light and smooth. Add vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix well. Sift flour and baking soda and gently mix into the batter. Whip egg whites until firm peaks form. Gently fold into the cake mix until just combined. Pour mixture into a 20cm greased cake tin. Bake for 445-50 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin then turn out onto a wire rack.
This recipe is by Anita Lewis.
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