The Zombie apocalypse is spreading across the Coast. I do not recall being surrounded by so much sickness ranging from horrid stomach bugs to influenza A. Name a bad bug and it is doing the rounds across the region at the moment. Friends, teachers and family members have been dropping like flies. The entire state is officially experiencing one of its worst flu seasons, with the average number of Queenslanders diagnosed with the flu this season almost three times higher than average.
I do not like anything about being sick except the food. Comfort food is the best thing in the world. When I had my first baby after a long and rough labour, my sister bought me a slice of white toast with Vegemite on it and a cup of tea. To this day it is the best meal of my life.
When I was a child I had quite a few big operations to get rid of some tumours and Mum would stop on the way home from hospital and buy me waffles covered in caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream. I remember the hot sticky goodness more than the trauma and to this day, when I see waffles, I am instantly six years old again in my mind.
Now as a big girl, when I have a cold or just feel a bit sad, I buy a bowl of chicken pho noodle soup from the little Vietnamese shop downstairs from work and it is like a hug in a bowl. If I get extra chilli it is a double hug. I also abused my Instagram account this week to ask my friends what they turn to for their comfort sick food: veggie soup, two-minute noodles, toasted sandwiches and Milk Arrowroots. Betty turns to Saladas and flat lemonade when she is not well. Jacquie wants mashed potato or pasta with pesto on it and my dear friend Kellie makes Vegemite soup when her kids need extra nourishment. This is a tablespoon of Vegemite in a cup of hot water.
When my kids are sick I feel a whole new level of mum guilt if I can’t be with them. But at the very least I want to cook for them and I turn into a hybrid of Florence Nightingale and Nigella Lawson. I always stop and appreciate how little and fragile my babies really are – even my most spirited child needs his mum when he is sick.
And in return I get all the kisses and cuddles I could possibly need. We all have our little traditions when we are sick that centre us and fuel our broken bodies and souls. May you avoid the winter lurgies and recover with speed.