I feel like I have finally arrived. My citizenship is now full and complete. I can proudly call myself Australian.
On the weekend we bought a ute.
While I have long held romantic notions of sheep farming somewhere, the ute will be used for loftier purposes. Namely, getting your dinner to you. It's an exciting problem when you have grown out of your delivery van and need to upgrade. I'm rather excited about it.
The ute was not located near to us, so we had to go on a reasonable drive to retrieve it. The senior recipe tester is even more excited than I am, given that he also test drove and selected it. For those who remember, this whole process was rather different to the trial he endured eighteen months ago when we first embarked on refrigerated transport.
We rallied the junior recipe testers, promising an exciting adventure to collect the new purchase. I think it was then that it became more difficult to maintain the enthusiasm.
We managed the ninety minute drive to claim the prize. One junior took one look at it and started to cry. "I hate it," she pontificated. She then proceeded to profess hitherto unexpressed devotion to the current Dinner on the Table vehicle, and why did we have to sell the current van? We could only assure her we were not going to sell it that day.
Another junior, seemingly pleased with the purchase, observed, "The dinners will blow out of that one."
Which is why the senior and I had planned adventure part two: getting the ute to the fridge specialists who would put a box on the back to stop the dinners blowing out. This leg of the adventure was met with far less enthusiasm. Being a junior can be a difficult job: you don't often get to choose. We loaded back up, now with two vehicles, and headed off.
Parenting is full of difficult decisions. On this particular trip, on a freeway, I encountered one such decision. Glancing at the face of one junior recipe tester, it became apparent that I needed to make a choice: allow an extreme event to occur in the back seat, or risk a mac truck up the clacker and pull over. On this particular occasion, I chose the truck.
After stopping on the side of the road, I did what all caring parents in those anything-I-do-isn't-going-to-help-much moments. I clutched junior-sized shoulders and spoke soothingly. And tried to keep my shoes out of the way.
Somewhat recovered, we continued. Not 200 metres down the road we observed another car also risking the mac truck, hazard lights flashing. A woman held the shoulders of a junior who was clutching the guardrail... Seems there was a bit of it about.
We did eventually make it to the refrigeration specialists. Without further incident. They're going to keep the ute for a week or two and fit a special box to the back. We're going to start delivering your dinners in a smart new vehicle.
And your dinners won't blow out.