Saturday, 7 February 2009

Blowing my trumpet.

Well everybody. I say pat me on the back. 

Thank you, yes thank you. I agree. I think I'm awesome too.

(afterall, it's my blog and I can brag if I want to)

Now let me tell you why.

Important things first. My sister's baby is OK but small. They had to help it along in a rather sudden way with the suction cap as it was getting distressed during the birth. My sister is OK now but had the thing where the placenta only half comes away and you loose blood at a very very rapid rate. I think she lost 3 lt which is rather alarming but thanks to some transfusions  and emergency surgery to remove the placenta she was OK. Her poor husband sat there with a little baby in his hands watching her get whisked away. she was fine when I saw her.

Yesterday... I went to a counseling session which was good but tiring. Then I cam home and did stuff. And then I went to see my sister in hospital with her new baby girl. That in itself is quite an achievement but the things is, she was in THE SAME hospital that I gave birth to Maya in. So I just walked right on in (little panic attack) to the maternity ward (bigger panic attack) past the fancy double room they gave us to be with Maya in after she had died..... and stopped a few doors up. I could see my sisters shoes below the curtain, and her husbands, and someone elses. Bugger. What is it with visitors to maternity wards who think it is fine to just drop in unannounced? HELLO PEOPLE. THIS WOMAN GAVE BIRTH YESTERDAY. IT WAS VERY TRAUMATIC. SHE LOST ALOT OF BLOOD. You don't just wander in when you're not even in the top 20! So, I found a chair in the corridor to wait for her to leave. I waited 20 min. Apparantly unannounced visitors are also stayers and treat the place like a public lounge room. After 20 min I went in anyway and she made no sign of leaving. Eventually bro in law asked her to go so we could spend some time together. I held their little girl. I wept and wept. (She stopped crying when I started). I kept thinking about the story my brother in law's father told at the wedding. He spoke of the day they adopted Matt. A cold winter day, they'd flown into Sydney and had gotten a call to go and collect the child. They caught the train out to Penrith and just picked up this baby - no sling or pram - and carried this baby back. On the way home the trains had broken down so they had to walk for an hour in the cold with this baby in their arms, back to the hotel they were staying in. It was a beautiful image.

I couldn't let myself hold their girl close to me. I knew if I did, I would just want to walk out. Walk out of that hospital with a baby girl in my arms.... walk out and just keep on walking. The way it should have been. So instead, I just held her out in front of me, and cried and cried, and then gave her back. Next guest unannounced guest arrived and I took my leave. (So - that's the first pat on the back). 

Being a clever girl, I knew I would probably be pretty wobbly at this point and had planned ahead. Yes, very unlike me, but I had. My reward/remedy to myself for such bravery was to go to the beach. The rest of Sydney, experiencing the same heat wave as me (meant to top 44 today which is 112) was also there. So, excellent waves again but I could feel a lot of arms/legs and heads as we got tossed in the same wash. Still it was very fun and very cooling and no wardrobe malfunction this time. (Pat on back 2 for being very strategic).

And now........ for the stuff I did in between the counseling session and the hospital visit and the beach. Some people sing, some play, some knit, me...... my true spiritual gift is cooking. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending hours and hours on a ridiculously fiddly little dish and then watching it get eaten in 2 min of enjoyment. I love that all that thinking and work just vanishes into a moment of pleasure. I guess it's like a recital, or a play. Vanished and nothing but a big pile of dishes to show for it. 

Let me tell you about last nights dinner. This was my response to Mrs Spits Challenge to host a dinner party. The guests was a group of 6 friends collectively known as FAG (Food Appreciation Guild). Frankly, in search of "authentic" cuisine we have ended up at possibly some of the worst restaurants in sydney. Eat with courage and gusto - that's our motto. 

Knowing I would need some cooking therapy to get me through this week I decided on a five course meal that was ridiculously fancy. I have to say, I'm really getting quite good. Take a look at this.

Course 1.   Stuffed Lemongrass.

Course 2. Tom Yum Goong - Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

Course 3. Som Tam (green papaya) salad and sticky rice with sweet pork

Course 4. Red Curry of Duck and Lychees with Jasmin rice

Course 5. Cut dragon fruit - which I don't have a picture of because it was well past midnight and we were all quite merry. But here is one i stole from the net.

In between all this is lovely photos of the six FAGsters sipping wine bought on our cellar door weekend, laughing and making rude jokes a bit too loudly (we were sitting outside and the neighbours are quite close in this suburb). I was so unstressed it was ridiculous - it seemed magical, even to me, that these amazing dishes kept appearing without any fuss or bother, There they were out on the table being enjoyed. And i had done everything from scratch - the stock, the curry pastes - all of it with the assistance of a very good cook book and my local asian grocery stores.

The only down side of hosting a meal like this is that it pretty much garuntees that no-one will ever ask you to dinner again. Which means you have to become good at saying "You should ask me for dinner" in which case they have to. That is my third pat on the back for the day, and frankly, I think the day deserves a standing ovation for me being great. Thank you thank you. I'll go eat some humble pie now.


luna said...

oh my, B, you are quite awesome! too bad I don't live nearby or I'd be so over for dinner. wow. very impressive! love the food club name and motto too!

of course I give you a ton of credit for going to the hospital and holding that baby girl. I'm sure your heart was breaking a little. you are a wonderful sister and auntie, and a fabulous human being. kudos!

Mrs. Spit said...

Your email showed up while I was reading this. My eyebrows kept getting higher.

All hail the hostess with the mostess!

B said...

Luna - you'd be so welcome! When I win the lotto I'll pay for you and your family to fly over for dinner.

And Thank you Mrs. Spit.

Me said...

OK I'm totally and completely in awe of your magicalness. Truly.

tonya said...

I'd SO be having you over for dinner! Finding someone else who loves to cook and makes such lovely dishes would be divine company!

Kudos to you for your journey at the hospital. I know that can't have been at all easy. You are an awesome woman!

JuliaS said...

Wow - you did awesome, double pats on both sides of the back.

And, double wow - I think you earned the title "Iron Chef" with that spread!

Kristin said...

I am completely and thoroughly impressed with all you pulled off! Wow. Tell you what,if you are ever in North Carolina, I'll cook for you!

Lori said...

I'm mad that you didn't invite me :-(.

Kidding, of course.

Very proud of you for the hospital visit. Patting you on the back, B.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

Wow, what a dinner party! Sounds like my kind of thing!

I can't imagine how hard it must have been to go to the hospital and hold her. So in addition to a pat on the back, I'll also give you a (((HUG))).

Coffeegrl said...

You get pats on the back from me too! And that cooking looks divine! Any chance you'd share the name of the cookbook?

Michele said...

You are totally awesome. I cry with babies too. I know it was hard, but your sister appreciated it so much, I am sure.

And the food looks yummy!

Cara said...

Wow! What a meal! And how very brave you are to go back. I'm sure your sister is really glad for your support. I know that feeling though - when the memories are too real.

Glad you brought your suit.


Megan said...

That's some serious cooking. I love dragon fruit.

Beautiful Mess said...

You totally deserve ALL the pats on the back. You did an amazing job this week. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your cooking and your friends.

Michelle said...

Wow, you are quite talented in the kitchen thats for sure!

Kami said...

Can I invite myself to dinner? Every dish looks lovely. As I looked at the soup, I thought, "I wonder if she made the stock from scratch too?" And you did! Amazing! You should be very proud of yourself.

I am also VERY impressed with your visit to see your sister (glad baby is ok too). I give you 100 pats on the back for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you. You are such a wonderful person.
That dinner looks amazing, I am totally impressed!