Wednesday was Australia Day, the Australian national holiday celebrated every January 26. It commemorates the day that the first governor of New South Wales, Captain Arthur Phillip, landed at Sydney Cove. But it also importantly signifies the end of the long Australian summer holiday. As with Labor Day in the United States and the August Bank holiday in the UK, Australia Day heralds the end of the season of frivolous leisure and the start of serious employment and new school year.
I am concerned about how I am going to lift myself out of the holiday lethargy and laissez-faire attitude generated by a blissfully indulgent Sydney summer. The general torpor has been exacerbated by the fact both Husband and I have had in effect six weeks of holiday and the entire household has tossed routine out the window and slowed to the pace of a gentle crawl.
As I contemplate Monday, when we all go back to work or school, there are a number of questions that are preoccupying me:
- Will I ever be able to positively identify the contents of the mysterious Ziploc bags in the freezer containing a transparent liquid? The two obvious choices that come to mind, are white wine or egg whites that presumably I’ve stored during a rare, frugal housekeeping period. However they could equally be the result of one of the Drama Queens’ failed chemistry experiments or the remnants of a crystal growing kit. I’ve tried sniffing them, which didn’t help much, so in a rash moment I took a punt on white wine and added the contents to couscous yesterday. None of my dinner guests spat it out or rang to complain of food poisoning, which I suppose I could take as a good sign.
- I have now washed the Christmas ham bag, but come December 24, what are the chances of my being able to remember the cunning hiding place? (Note to self, look by cake tins.)
- Will Drama Queen No. 1 ever find the school books that Drama Queen No. 2 needs for this year? Or for the third year in a row, will I find myself doing the mercy dash to the bookseller to pick up extortionately expensive texts such as Psychology in Action, a dangerously, subversive text that enabled Drama Queen No.1 to point out the mental health issues displayed by her parents.
- Are the seven single black school shoes in various states of disrepair that have littered the hall way for the last two months capable of being sorted into three pairs that will pass for day one of the new school year? Or am I going to be required to do a loaves and fishes type miracle, requiring a child to either hop or wear two left shoes?
- Will I ever regain a level of partial fitness, or are the habits of holiday celebration and idleness too deeply ingrained?
- And in an issue not unrelated to the proceeding one, what are the chances of my fitting into black dress tomorrow night for the party that is the final blast of the holiday season?
Time to gird your loins—hand me the Spanx, and roll on Monday—it’s time to get serious again.