Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Day 7, fruit
It was a struggle today. I am feeling off, and decided to call in sick from work, a decision that was reinforced when I came home from dropping the various children off at care and vomited followed by sleeping for 2 hours. I feel rundown, and when I dropped off the Possum, one of the carers sucked in her breath between her teeth and asked where the rest of me was. To be fair, in my skinny jeans and hoodie with my hair scraped back, I look about 12 and it's obvious I haven't been looking after myself. But I'm not depressed, just tired and overworked, and in need of a brilliant holiday.
I didn't feel inspired by any of the fruit we had in the house today. I didn't want to eat anything, and photographing it felt wrong as well. Like posing the kids and asking them to "smile". Except, well of course kiwi fruit suck at smiling. So instead, between reading La Vie Parisienne (light, funny) and surfing blogs and adding up the cost of metro tickets, I decided to find a picture I'd already taken. Except, apparently fruit doesn't register high on my "to photograph" agenda.
I had to go all the way back to December last year to find it; Christmas Day to be exact. Beautiful swirls of summer fruits in my yearly pavlova concoction. I'm not sure how or when the task fell to me at Christmas time to decorate the pavlova, but annually there will be a giant Coles boxed pav and a bowl of fruit waiting for me when we trek up to Mum and Dad's house. Mango and cherries and kiwi and whatever else looked good and was in season. It's a highlight for me, the meditative task of arranging slices in patterns, trying to keep some semblance of order and smacking away hands that seek my pitted cherries. The kids will be racing around with new toys and watching Mum and Dad's light display (they have secret Griswold fantasies) and Dad and Bingley will probably be playing competitive Wii, while Mum fusses over the roast potatoes and I dot tiny blueberries into the last visible dollops of cream.
When I have days when the girls are driving me nuts and I wonder why I try so hard at this family thing, it is always Christmas that pulls me through and the idea that one day it will be my children standing in the kitchen, trying their hand at yet another failed plum pudding or decorating puffs of pavlova. Shooing their children out from underfoot as they shriek joyously, high on the sap of life. I want to get to the place where I have forgotten all the mundane and the boring and the upsetting tasks. Where only the memories of Christmas morning, and the holidays at the beach and the school concerts and the ballet recitals remain.
Technically it's not a brilliant photo. There is no artistry in it, no special angle. No special filter. No editing or playing with contrast or hue. Just a family pavlova, that was eaten with the people I love most. With joy.