I forgot to mention in the previous post of lament what I did (besides attempt to kick back) on the first two nights in Collingwood. On the first night? I found some decent scissors and hacked at my hair until I considered it an improvement. On the second night? I dyed it red. Ha.

Chopped

I had reached that don’t-care-what-I-do-as-long-as-it’s-SOMETHING point. And yes. I now appear like a cross between Molly Ringwald circa 1988 and Endora. And with any luck, a little bit Claire Skinner. My cutting must not be too bad, as I had trouble convincing M that I’d attacked it myself.

Saturday morning, I took Small Z to Ceres where we wandered the vegetable stalls, checked out the chickens and watched the band play. It was lovely. We hung out for an hour or so and then were joined by M. M! Hooray for co-parenting! Someone to carry the child when it wants to be carried, someone else to help with rushes to the toilet and come up with convincing explanations as to why playing in the washing up bucket of the cafe is not so good…

Someone who took us to Sugardough and didn’t pale at the amount of hot chocolate I put away!! Not only this, but he then went and shopped for dinner AND cooked it for guests who came over at 6pm. Oh god. There were SO many points that he gained. And I realised, belatedly, how much I have come to rely on him in my state of pregnant whaledom…

So I was more malleable than usual on Sunday when we went to the Convent, and the Collingwood Children’s Farm, and the Convent, and the closing of Hamer Hall, and Federation Square. As well as detouring to drive to Yarraville and back to the city to kill time while Small Z did car-slumbering. The children’s farm was a hoot for Small Z, who went on a hayride, held a rat, said “Hello Jemima Puddleduck!” to some of the many white ducks and marvelled at the Silky Bantams.

Collingwood Children's Farm
Collingwood Children's Farm
Collingwood Children's Farm
Collingwood Children's Farm
Collingwood Children's Farm

On our way back to the car from the farm we popped in again to the Convent, where we got M a coffee… And I scored a FANTASTIC pair of Ugg Boots. I don’t use that last phrase lightly. My old ones, which have done me for eight years, make my mother moan in physical pain whenever I wear them, because my toes stick out a hole at the end. These ones? These are seriously excellent. I will post a picture at a later point, but basically, I wasn’t going to get them because they look very un-Ugg and fairly un-slipperlike… But once I stuck my foot in and felt what seemed to be an entire sheep nestle in between me and the sole, I was throwing my $20 at the woman. They were secondhand, but unworn. Woo! (Ooh – I just googled them – they are here, the ‘oatmeal’ colour.)

Hamer Hall is shutting down for re-development for a couple of years and they had a big, kid-friendly send off with some great bands, including the Ottoman Turkish Mehter Band who marched around at the end. Small Z then climbed trees in Fed Square, looked horrified at being taken into the gallery, and seemed to have fun in the play centre on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Street – part of Fed Square you would never know existed.

Goodbye Hamer Hall

Our first tram ride had me shoving M and Small Z out at the first stop, with my ratlike dole-bludging sensibilities still very much intact – I spied ticket inspectors ready to board. We vacated. Rapidly. And found somewhere to buy tickets that didn’t require ‘coin only’ currency. I was interested to realise that Myki is still very much a figment of imagination and that MetCards are still common currency. What can I say? I’ve been out of the public transport loop for a considerable time.

By the time we got back to our temporary house we were all exhausted. That night, Small Z continued her semi-unsettled sleeping, which I put down to her being away from her everyday surrounds. The next morning, she and M met my mum at the Melbourne Aquarium for an adventure while I worked to the tune of the washing machine harmonising with the dishwasher… Small Z is fish obsessed and I would have LOVED to have seen her utter glee at all the sharks, stingrays, moray eels and Moon Wrasse. She had a blast.

They returned at around lunchtime and I took a break. My mum stayed over and froze her butt off in the spare room at the back of the house, M went back to BoatLand and I worked again. Mum then took Small Z and I out for soup and cake at Gluttony, somewhere M and I used to go TWELVE YEARS AGO when we first hooked up and he was living around the corner. It’s still good. Particularly the flourless chocolate and almond cake! Mum then helped us negotiate the cursed supermarket before we put her on a train at Victoria Park Station.

Argh! Back to single-parenthood!!