A Food Baby? Well, It’s Something.

August 12, 2009 at 7:23 am (Uncategorized)

A wave of tiredness has hit DoctorDi HQ this afternoon, and I know the culprit: lunch. My mother-in-law dropped in for a chat and took me out for a bite to eat at our regular spot along the beachfront, and there was simply no need for me to eat everything put in front of me. I know from past experience (and C can now vouch for this too) Fresh’s lentil burger (extra satay sauce over here, thanks) is about twice the size I need it to be, but no matter. Clearly I like the challenge. Oink oink.

I’m so full. My food baby is the only baby in sight, and my, my, haven’t we been seeing a lot of each other lately?! Food baby makes my jeans cut into my belly, and I keep readjusting myself in my office chair hoping to redistribute some of that thick patty and lip-smacking satay sauce. So far what’s proving most effective is sliding off my chair… not all the way, mind, but enough that I am practically looking up at the screen. My arms are reaching up to the keys and are really making their own arrangements at this point because I can barely see what they’re doing. On the other hand, I have an excellent view beneath my desk, and right now food baby seems desperate to play on the floor.

As I work from home, it’s incredibly tempting to unzip my jeans and then just sit here like the sort of slob who walks around with their trousers open as some sort of lifestyle principle. The only reason I won’t be doing it is that I have a grim conviction that there’s a keen correlation between my work habits and my work. It’s the same reason I don’t loll about in flannelette pjs. I’m pretty sure that’s one rumoured freelance habit (does anyone actually do this, or is it part of that whirlpool of misinformation forever swirling around and drowning out the writers of this country?) that would have an immediate and negative impact on my productivity. I can only imagine, therefore, that sitting here rudely unzipped would make my MS collapse in a slovenly heap faster than I could summons a belch. Man, I am really uncomfortable and sleepy, though, and I blame dem lentils.

The redrafting continues, and maybe that’s making me sleepy too. God it’s hard going. I’ve also been sitting up nights scaring myself with Beyond Black, which I’ve now finished but shall never forget, so I think sleep deprivation has played a part too. I really am tempted to read BB again immediately, more as a student than a reader this time. I think I will. I’ve just sold myself on the idea, because I’ve got sooo much to learn and Mantel has sooo much she can teach me. I am also keen to lay my satay-soaked paws on Wolf Hall, so perhaps I’ll reread BB at a leisurely pace, looking for lessons, while throwing myself into her latest. Oh, joy, there’s really very few things that give me as much pleasure as finding a new author to love.

Before I head back into the bowels of my redraft, I will just add that the surf is up here in Man Town, it’s a beautiful, warm day, and I bet you there are a few surfers out the front who chucked sickies to get out there today. Who can blame them? Actually, sunset is near, so perhaps I’ll just take food baby for a little walk to enjoy the last of it. Who knows? Maybe then we’ll both sleep through the night.



  1. litlove said,

    Oh funny! and familiar in its way…. Actually, I’m a big fan of typing in slovenly clothes, although I don’t possess flannel pjs (I quite fancy the thought). I’m more with Somerset Maugham, who would get up and work in his dressing gown in the morning until he realised that he was heading off in the wrong direction and then give it up for the day. Perhaps I would do better if I got dressed? Hmmm. It’s a thought.

    • doctordi said,

      I definitely work in very comfortable clothes, LL, don’t get me wrong. I am currently wearing running gear and a woollen jumper; that happens quite a lot because I tend to work until I need a break and then dash around the beach to clear my head. After a shower there’ll be jeans and shirts, most of the time. I am a shirt person. I have a lot of shirts. I can’t wear my own dressing gown for longer than it takes to walk from my bathroom to my bedroom, but I think if I had a really incredible one, or a smoking jacket, I’d change my tune quick sticks.

  2. Pete said,

    Loved the descriptions of your food baby and the laziness that it brings on. I’m smiling away here in my freezing cold office thanks to your writing. But I have to add: resist the pjs as long as possible. It’s all downhill from there.

    • doctordi said,

      Pete, yuck, a freezing cold office?! No! But always happy to make you smile, although somehow I imagine that with teeth chattering involved. Oh yeah, no jammies for me. I put them on ONLY when I am planning to lie on the couch for the night reading or watching movies. They are my ultimate slob attire of choice.

  3. charlotteotter said,

    Glad you’re loving our Hilary. As for the food baby and post-lunch exhaustion, I can relate. I find the fewer carbs I eat at lunch, the less I require an afternoon nap. Which is why I am off to make salad …

    • doctordi said,

      I certainly am, Charlotte. I still can’t believe you lived in the asylum with her (I just love the way that sounds). But don’t you find with a carb-free lunch you have the opposite problem? I always feel like I’m STARVING if I just have a salad for lunch, and then instead of concentrating on working, I keep raiding the cupboard and refrigerator for second and third lunch options.

  4. Fugitive Pieces said,

    It’s a slippery slope: unbutton your jeans, next it’s tracky daks and Ugg boots, and from then on it’s food stains that double as snacks. (With the exception of Litlove, who rocks that dressing-gown.)
    Remember Kathleen Tynan via Bridget Jones? “I read in an article that Kathleen Tynan, late wife of the late Kenneth, had inner poise and, when writing, was to be found immaculately dressed, sitting at a small table in the center of the room sipping at a glass of chilled white wine.”
    Well, naturally, that’s how we all write…surely.

    • doctordi said,

      Funny you should say that, Fugitive – I thought this was going to be the year of the maiden Uggs, but it didn’t happen. I know this is basically un-Australian, but I have never owned a pair. Food stains and snacks, however, I’m down with that. I have to be. I constantly spill things down my front.

      I love the image of Kathleen, forever poised, eternally cool, but it does make me wonder about her writing… You would think someone so caught up in her own appearance might struggle to drop the veneer. Perhaps not. I’m probably just jealous as there’s no wine at this table during office hours… that’s REAL talent, boozing and writing!

  5. Grad said,

    You know, I’ve actually sat behind my desk unbuttoned (if not fully unzipped), forgot, and headed out into the hallway. Another trick after a capacious lunch is to pull a rubber band half-way through the button hole of your waistband (now, stop lauging, this really works) then take the two ends of the rubberband, and slide the ends over the button. The size of the rubberband will determine the “spreadage” (is that a word?) of the waistband. The danger with this system is that the rubberband COULD break and put someone’s eye out. But, it’s never happened to me. You could also use a coated rubberband-type pony-tail “thingy”. I should get my idea patented and try to sell it on QVC or something.

    • doctordi said,

      Grad, that is HYSTERICAL. Ingenious, and hysterical. You should definitely patent that. We need a name for this thing.

      And there I was thinking the solution was to stop, you know, stuffing my face… this is a much better idea!

  6. Lilian Nattel said,

    i work in clothes that are falling apart. i find that it’s the bum to the chair factor (not what’s covering the bum) that has the most impact on me. i’m glad to hear you’re keeping on.

    • doctordi said,

      Lilian, I am all for the comfort factor and definitely wear clothes that are on their way out. It’s both for me, though. Bum in the chair is most important, but what’s covering the bum definitely has an impact on my state of mind, which in turn has an impact on my writing. It’s interesting – it’s purely psychological, but it’s definitely there. Also Llew would have a fit if I worked in pyjamas or even tried working from bed. A bridge too far for his patience and faith, I think.

  7. Grad said,

    Oh, I guess not stuffing your face would work too, but it misses the “lightbulb” effect of my idea. I mean, where would we be if Marconi said, “Oh, hell, I’ll just send ’em a postcard.”

  8. doctordi said,

    Too true, Grad, too true. I say we go with the lightbulb. Band-Eze? Lunch-Pal?

  9. Fugitive Pieces said,

    I really don’t know how to break it to you two, but…
    (Please don’t ask how I knew about them.)
    Sorry. As one hoiking at a pair of jeggings – jeans meet leggings, and no, it’s not happily ever after – I feel your pain.
    But I’m enchanted with the idea of Marconi’s postcard. There’s got to be a cartoon series in that; great inventions and their narrow escapes from the void. Think of the syndication rights. Can anyone draw?

    • doctordi said,

      That is a great idea for a postcard series, Fugitive.

  10. Grad said,

    Some other suggestions: “Waisted” or “The Loopy” or “Rubber Gut.”

  11. Grad said,

    Oh NO! Fugitive Pieces, say it ain’t so!! You know, this is the second time I’ve had an invention stolen from me. When I was 8, I was walking to my ballet class and passed by a Niesner’s Five and Dime that had those fake legs in the window wearing different shades of nylon stockings for sale – this was back in the day when you had to wear a garter belt to hold up stockings. I was in my pink tights, and I thought, “Why doesn’t someone just make tights out of nylons! (Thus eliminating the need for garter belts or girdles – the latter of which my sister nicknamed “hinder-binders”)” So, in essence, I am the true creator of Panty Hose but the world will never know. Foiled again.

    • Fugitive Pieces said,

      It’s like a second death…I’m so sorry. How I wish your sister had patented the name “Hinder-Binders”. Apart from anything else, you could knocked her off with a well-aimed Rubber Gut and become the Tragic Hinder-Binder Heiress. Girdles would have been superseded by YOUR fabulous idea of Panty Hose, but your daughter could have wafted around as a new-money debutante, secure in the family product under her white dress, wooed by pimply society scions and eyed disapprovingly by ancient Daughters of the American Revolution. Dammit. Foiled indeed.
      (Perhaps St Peter will have a note of your 8-year-old’s prescience on his clipboard, and usher you to a better class of cloud?)

      • Grad said,

        Not only did my sister coin the phrase, “hinder binders” she came up with one for bras, “flopper-stoppers.” We still refer to these items of intimate apparel as such.

  12. Grad said,

    P.S. Fugitive Pieces, I love love love your cartoon idea. It is actually ingenious and rife with possibilities.

    • Fugitive Pieces said,

      Sadly I draw about as well as your average giraffe, but please, take the idea and run with it…

    • doctordi said,

      I love ‘flopper-stoppers’!!

  13. Simonne said,

    He he, very amusing! And you’ve thoroughly convinced me to read Beyond Black 🙂

    • doctordi said,

      I loved it, Simonne. I hope I haven’t built it up too much now… but I thought it was a real treat.

  14. David said,

    I sometimes get up in the middle of the night and work completely naked for a while. I do this right after getting out of the shower occasionally as well. I like to think that this type of delinquency actually makes me more productive, though it’s anyone’s guess as to why I think this.

    • Fugitive Pieces said,

      Fetching (and stubborn) as this image of your deliquency is, David – everything you’ve said about your cats points to it not ending well.

      • Fugitive Pieces said,

        DELINQUENCY. Or maybe deliquescence? One of them, anyhow.

      • doctordi said,

        That’s cracking me up!! Both of you. All of it. Laughing out loud here.

  15. Grad said,

    David, doesn’t your butt stick to your chair that way?

    • David said,

      My chair is upholstered, thank you very much.

      • David said,

        (But wjhen I drive naked in my leather-interior car, well, that’s another issue.)

  16. doctordi said,

    Oh dear god.

  17. Fugitive Pieces said,

    Well, I think we can safely declare this thread…stretches all the way to hell. It is going to take a lot of hypnosis and/or vigorous soaping before my brain empties itself of the images.

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