I didn’t meet any zombies on this path yesterday, but I felt like one. Since arriving in Melbourne – on our spare-room-surfing tour of Australia – I’ve risen twice for frosty walks at dawn. While the scenery looks pretty – you’d swear you were in the countryside, not suburbia – it’s been brutal. And I have the walking-dead shuffle to prove it.
The first morning, Sprog 2 joined me for a frigid march. I heard her coughing in the bedroom – her “cute” way of letting you know she’s awake – and quickly extracted her to avoid waking her cousin and sister who were also sharing the room. I felt around in the darkness for some shoes she could wear and grabbed her ugg boots. Ah, well, they’d have to do. And they did, for the first few kilometres – I’d settled on the local shopping centre as my destination and was following vague instructions from my brother-in-law to go straight past the playground then turn right and walk up hill and down dale – when Sprog 2 started complaining about a blister. Eventually, after much pathetic moaning, Mummy piggybacked Sprog 2 the last few hundred metres. That was fun. I had $10 emergency money and no mobile phone, so we trailed into the 24-hour Kmart – Sprog 2 barefoot – in search of thongs. Sprog 2 rejected the only two pairs in the store as being uncomfortable, so I fretted up and down the footwear aisles searching for alternatives. That’s when I spotted the $4 black sandshoes.
It was love at first sight for Sprog 2. She has a major shopping/show-off fetish and was most excited about lording over her sister with a new purchase. But I felt deep shame about buying something that must involve slave labour in its production (how else do you make a pair of sandshoes, transport them to Australia and still make a profit with a $4 price tag?). The alternative, however, was piggybacking Sprog 2 all the way home, so I paid the $4, plus $5 for a three-pack of socks, and Sprog 2 skipped merrily off. Me? I was limping slightly by that stage, due to hip damage from carrying a 20kg+ six-year-old on my back.
Yesterday, Sprog 2 slumbered late and I walked solo. My destination, again, was the shopping centre. This time I had a shopping list for dinner. I’d convinced my sister-in-law it would be fun to spend the day labouring over a Southern American feast – oven-fried chicken, ribs, corn, mashed potato, cornbread. An early trip to Coles was essential to allow time for chicken and rib marinating. I checked the shopping list as I stepped outside, then stared longingly at the car – the list, upon reflection, was potentially quite heavy with its 1.5kg of ribs, 1kg of chicken chops, corn, vinegar, soy sauce etc. But I’ve been gutsing like a sow this holiday, so I told myself the walk would do me good.
Two hours later – no joke – I finally stumbled home with my load. The Walking Dead.
I wish I could say I was sleeping in this morning and not taking that dreaded, pretty path again, but I’m off in search of a newsagent – my brother-in-law tells me I must turn left at the playground for one of those – because I have a Magazine I Bought This Week award to judge. The things we do for blogs.