My mother has been visiting us since Wednesday. She is still in school holidays and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind coming down to give me a bit of a hand as I’ve got to get some proper work in before the deadline of a pretty big writing program I’m applying for closes on Friday.

(Do I have a chance? I honestly have no idea. The closer I get to the end of a project, the more jittery I get about it. That’s just how I roll.)

To keep the children amused – and her own mothering urges satisfied, I suspect – mum has been in the kitchen cooking up a storm. We have chocolate brownies made with beetroot (I am undecided whether I like these yet), cookies, cupcakes, a lamb shank stew, sliced up roast beef with gravy and yesterday she and Keira made sushi.

Yes, pretty nice. I know it. I love my mum.

On Saturday morning we went for a little adventure into the city to show mum the Queen Victorian Markets and we walked the halls, buying what we could when the crowds allowed (it was very busy). What interested me most was all the Masterchef Australia talk. I heard other families as they paced the aisle occasionally throw up the line, “Look, that’s what ‘x’ cooked with”. We ourselves took longest in the meat pavilion, where Keira stood for several minutes staring at the carcass of a whole pig (missing the head), studying the great cavity where its insides used to be and now was peeled open for investigation. I watched her face; there was no disgust, no fear. Just interest. Same when we looked at the sweetbreads and other organs: when it was my turn to exclaim, “Look, lamb brains! George and Gary cooked those the other night, didn’t they?”

Last night Masterchef had it’s finale, and part of me is glad, so now I can concentrate on other things (LIKE THIS NOVEL I’M SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING) but the other part is sad. The other morning Keira woke up and the first thing she said to me was, “I was just remembering something funny that happened on Masterchef!” She doesn’t talk like that about many other things.

I suppose for me it was nice to see a show based around love and love of food; that there were compassionate, wise and engaged presenters.

Now after all this food talk, I don’t suppose it will come as any surprise that I de-suspended my gym membership on Saturday afternoon. Because, boy, I need it now.

karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity