Independence days

These school holidays have been a bit of a revelation to me – its the first time both kids have been quite independent while I’ve been working.

In the past it’s always been a stressful juggle of parenting responsibilities with office ones.

But on Monday, I only saw the youngest briefly when she asked if she could sleep at a friend’s house that night. I agreed and said I’d see her the following night. She replied “maybe” because she was considering making it a two-night sleepover.

I texted her yesterday to see how things were going and she announced she was on a bus to Bondi Junction Westfield to twirl through Brandy Melville (a questionable American chain that appears to feature exclusively size zero clothes), then was heading to the gym, followed by a beach visit to Balmoral.


It’s much the same when it comes to the eldest’s social life, without the Brandy Melville and gym bits.

I’d been feeling guilty about going out at night during the school holidays when I was working by day, so I cancelled a few social commitments, then reinstated them when I realised I was either unneeded or child-free.

Well, I took the eldest to try Betty’s Burgers on Monday night – which we both quite enjoyed, pity about the health kick – but then he wanted to walk home, so I spent an hour on the treadmill at the gym with my friend Mel.

Last night, DD and I headed to dinner on my friends’ lovely old boat, which they’d moored near Manly Wharf for the night.

They requested we bring dessert, so I asked if DD could make brownies. DD makes excellent brownies. He’s a versatile fella and whipped them up before driving to a business meeting in the city.

I took care of the double cream and raspberries. Easy peasy.

Nic picked us up from the beach in their dinghy …. here’s a squinty pic of me that DD took …

It was lovely to sit on the deck and watch the sun set, even if it was that damn unnatural shade of orange. So peaceful.

Nic is an Englishman, while Orsola is originally from Bologna. She made us the most incredible gnocchi bolognese for dinner … I think the bol mastery is totally coincidental.

Like DD, Orsola is also very versatile – her day job is astrophysics.

I met Nic and Orsola when our kids attended the same pre-school in New York. A fellow parent introduced us when they were about to move to Sydney so we could give them a few tips. And we’ve stayed in touch ever since, catching up a few times a year for drinks or dinner at our (mutually) favourite Thai restaurant. We’re heading there next month for Nic’s 50th birthday celebration.

They’re always wonderful company – warm, whip smart, energetic, passionate feminists and water lovers.

After darkness fell and the brownies were scoffed, Orsola started the engine on their little dinghy and motored us back to shore.

They’re hoping to catch a southerly this morning to a place called America Bay – happy sailing and thanks for a great evening!

Song of the day: Rod Stewart “Sailing”



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