Sunday, September 23, 2007


Back in the day, when I was young and pretty, my friend KJ and her boyfriend Daz would call me Margot; they styled themselves as Barbara and Tom. For those of you who did not grow up in rural Victoria in the early 80s with only the ABC, this is a reference to The Good Life. The show was about an executive and his wife who turned their back on a consumption society to become self-sufficient and cash free on their suburban block. They are watched, disapprovingly, by their good friends, the uptight, upright Jerry and Margot.

(from nostalgia central : tv/comedy/goodlife.htm)

I wasn't unhappy with this reference - I was, perhpas, a little prim and snooty, and was dating a guy with a (in hindsight, surely fake) British accent. Margot did garden but it was a pruning roses type of gardening, in big hats and gloves, with drinks after on the terrace.

This morning, I spent a couple of hours shovelling horse manure, utterly happy because it was free and I was out in the garden. Margot no more. Oh, how things change.


Even in my new Barbara life, I cling to the belief that I'm not competely scruffy. I make no pretensions to beauty but hope I may have a quirky elegance, an understated style that may not be apparent on first sight but reveals itself over time. One must have one's fantasies, after all.

Talking it over, Al and I realised Lu is happiest and most relaxed when she is with me by herself. We're not sure if this is because she misses me when I'm at work or if she's having problems adjusting to Nell. So we're going to make time for special mother-Lulu outings. Yesterday morning we went to the cafe for baby latte and brownie and some book reading, walked into town for the ceremonial buying of Big Girl Pants, and went on to get our hair cut together (I know, she's two and it sounds like I'm spending time with a teenager). In between picking up some Dorothy Dinosaur and Thomas the Tank Engine underwear and the stylist, I popped in to the sushi bar and then dropped by the poshest shop in town, where handbags cost hundreds of dollars and I don't dare touch a thing. I had given Lu one of those little platic fish full of soy to suck and turned around to see her spread eagled on the floor, face down. She was spitting out the soy on to the floor and then licking it up again. All my fantasies of funky Mummy-hood vanished like smoke in the air (or spit on a highly polished, industrial chic floor).

Out on the street Lu dropped the rest of her brownie and then picked it up and ate it. I was going to stop her but figured the dirt on the soles of the hoi polloi is no more nasty than that on the soles of the rich, and so really, the damage had been done.


Janet said...

And now I'm laughing reading this... life with two and a half year olds is funny sometimes. Hope you had a good weekend!

Tamsin said...

This is so funny. It also makes me laugh because before I had a kid, on hearing this story, I'm quite sure that I would have been mildly disapproving. Heh.

Kez said...

I loved "The Good Life" :) I think we even have it on DVD here somewhere - will have to re-watch it.

Your day with Lu sounds very relaxing! It's amazing the things we just let go when we have kids :)

blue milk said...

I laughed and laughed. Great post.

Judy said...

So funny to see this photo from one of my husband and I's favorite shows of the past. Margot was a riot and we so loved the entire cast.

Marjorie said...

What a fantastically funny and cool day.

Your "funky Mummy-hood" fantasy didn't need to disappear--only the funkiest of Mummies would have that super-cool attitude about the whole licking the floor and brownie thing!

Christine said...

Wow...there wasn't one thing about this post that didn't make me think all of the following and more:
1.) Oh, me too!
2.) I can relate to that!
3.) Yes!
4.) I'm so glad it isn't just me!!!

Adding you to my blogroll right now because I need to come back and read more.