Pantry Survivors

Ever since the youngest started grade one, the first day of school has been a day to skake things up.

Today, after the Ballerina and I breakfasted at a nearby cafe, I dropped her at the gate to start year eleven.

Her older sister berated me for this. She used to catch the bus. What can I say? I’m a weak and indulgent parent. Also, I like the coffee at the cafe down the road and I learn a lot while my companion chats over gluten-free banana bread and freshly squeezed orange juice.

The Ballerina feigned a cool disinterest this morning but actually was desperate to get to school, if for no other reason than to secure her peer group’s lunch table for the year. It seems recess real estate is as crucial as it’s always been.


Once home I turned my attention to the pantry.

It was time.

The pantry moths and their progenitors, weevils – squiggly, squirmy mini-worms – had laid siege to my dry goods. In warm climates like mine they thrive and  I like to think my haphazard housekeeping is irrelevant. I’m told they arrive courtesy of the weekly grocery shop, their eggs lying dormant in self-raising flour or coconut or rice, just waiting for the right environment to colonise.

Channelling The Ballerina’s enthusiasm for the new year, I attacked the problem with gusto, dumping old muesli bars and popcorn packets, pasta remnants and ancient cup-cake sprinkles.

I inspected packets for signs of life and often found them writhing; gauze-like cobwebs in their corners a tell-tale sign.

I marvelled at cashew nuts reduced to crumbs by the feasting infestation.

And underneath it all I found a leaking jar of anchovies, its smelly oil slick proving the breaking point to this cleaning frenzy.

There are half a dozen drawers in the pantry and just as many shelves, but after emptying and cleaning only two I’d had enough.

Instead, I decided to tackle more pressing cobwebs. I went to yoga.


Yoga is magic.

A 90 minute class passes in a blink. It consumes my mind, forcing it to focus on my big toe or my left groin or my floating ribs. For 90 glorious minutes my head is too busy to worry and fret, crave or regret.

Yoga keeps me a perpetual student. Every class teaches me something new, some tweak or extension or containment, helping me make the most of my aging frame. It stretches every fibre and massages creaky joints.

Yoga is my elixir.

For the record

The Socialite is home from a weekend in The Emerald City where she cavorted with friends, all as achingly young and beautiful and vigorous as her. Today she interviewed for a reception job at a gym, something she can fit in around her studies. They’d be lucky to have her.

The Ballerina walked in after school today very cheery. Most other students had arrived before 5am to stake their lunch digs, so she and her friends missed out. Undeterred, the six skinny girls found an unwanted table and lugged it upstairs to the blue-ribbon turf. I only hope the school janitors don’t undo her initiative.

Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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