Today, I’m a month into 38 and two months from D-for-delivery-Day (although I am convinced Baby J will opt for a late checkout, and I’ll be getting a plastic hospital tray Christmas Day. This is something I imagine so clearly I can smell the lumpy custard). The first half of that equation feels mighty swift – was my birthday really a month ago? – but the latter is an eternity. The idea that Baby J has two more months of growing to do makes me feel a bit breathless – although that’s probably due to the amount of growth already under his or her belt (not to mention my own…). Nine more weeks? How about I cash in a few sleep stamps, and you can just wake me up when it’s over?
I feel like everything, not just the Guest Breasts, has inflated overnight. I’ll be interested to see if Dr F thinks I’ve puffed up at our next appointment, because the past few days, I think I have. Things really do tend to change overnight in pregnancy, which is something I hadn’t expected, and bang, overnight, I feel like a big bloated bovine butterball. It’s my sad duty to confirm that I’ve definitely exhausted the run of happy hormones (Llew’s noticed it too), and right on cue I now feel like nothing so much as a really sleepy sack of fat. So when my friend L said to me yesterday, back in Sydney after a month away, “Wow, look at you, it’s really huge now, huh?” I wanted to jab her in the eye with my pie fork (and not, you understand, forego the pie).
The continuing elevation of my feet at every available opportunity remains a top priority; I went to a play with my sister-in-law last Thursday night (more about that in a moment), and I kept being distracted by the sight of my legs swelling right before my eyes, an especially uncomfortable, ill-timed party trick. Were we not in a darkened theatre, it might have been something to see. During intermission I thought I was going to burst out of my jeans like the Incredible Hulk. I thought Llew was going to have to cut me out of them by the time I got home. The good news is, as long as I keep them UP, the Tree Trunk Effect appears to be largely under control, so let’s just say I won’t be signing up for an economy seat on a budget airline any time soon.
The play was Rhinestone Rex & Miss Monica, the latest offering by David Williamson, Australia’s best-known playwright. Llew’s mum gave us the tickets, so when Llew couldn’t make it, asking my sister-in-law seemed like the next best thing, and she kindly agreed to be my date. The play was at the Ensemble in Kirribilli, which as you may recall I really like (the theatre and the suburb both, the latter of which lies at the northern base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is a lovely little village). Llew and I generally meet at Circular Quay or the Rocks on the southern side and walk over the bridge to find a pre-theatre meal; it wasn’t the same without him, but it was a glorious early evening nonetheless, the harbour twinkling below, alive with commuter ferries chugging people home; the Opera House glinting in the last of the light; the sun setting to the west, briefly recasting the clouds as a flock of flamingos… Sydney at its very finest, enough to make my heart beat a little faster, as my eyes greedily drank it in. Gorgeous.
My sis-in-law and I headed to a place I’d spied down the side of the Milsons Point train station the last time I was in Kirribilli, Ricky’s (it’s a tiny cute little place that feels like a secret, but lo and behold, Ricky’s has a website). It was delightful, from the stunning Italian waitress’s apologetic smile as she gamely stumbled through our language barrier, to the short but enticing menu, not to mention the food itself, and the gentleman waiter who also couldn’t do enough for us, we were both pretty smitten when we rolled out of there.
The play was also a success – Georgie Parker is perfectly cast as a brittle but glamorous musician, and Glenn Hazeldine is instantly likable in the tradesman role. Monica’s unable to continue playing violin for the Sydney Symphony due to injury; Gary’s putting in her new kitchen and loves country & western music. To say they’re an unlikely pair is the understatement on which the success of the whole play relies.
Once you accept the rather tired stereotyping of the two characters – as a blue-collar worker, he’s the salt of the earth, and as an artist, she’s an insufferable snob – it’s a very entertaining performance, and both Parker and Hazeldine are pitch perfect in their handling of the play’s frequent comedic moments. There are a lot of laughs. My sis-in-law summed it up perfectly when she said afterwards, “It’s a good chick flick” – that’s precisely what it is. If that’s what you’re in the mood for – and we two girls certainly were – you’ll go home smiling.