On the road between Melbourne and Adelaide
March 2012

James leans heavily against me as we leave the hospital. He’s a big bloke and he puts all his weight on me. I feel like a complete bitch, but I say it anyway:

I’m leaving in the morning, no matter whatI have too.

The car is packed with an assortment of items; a plant stand, suitcases, Astro turf and some toys.

Ruby gets in the car and immediately tucks into a bag of lollies.

Jess hesitates before she gets in and says: Mum my back’s itchy.

I lift up her t-shirt, expecting to see a scratch maybe, or at worst a flea bite.

My heart sinks. Her back is a mess of familiar looking welts.

You’ve got chicken pox. I say. Get in the car.

Let’s all go it will be fun, we haven’t been back for years. I’d said all those months ago, when I’d registered to be part of Adelaide Fringe.

 We wave goodbye to James who still looks quite ill.

Then we hit the road.

I press play on the album Baby Caught The Bus by Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes. I lose count of how many times I replay Love Letter.

Don’t move from the house I tell the kids and don’t answer the door to anyone, I’ll be back in two hours, I say, as I head off to do the first show of the season, a cry baby session at a library. I’m so PC about my comedy that I try and make my shows as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible.

I can’t take my kids to the cry baby session as planned because of the pox, but I figure that Ruby is ‘just’ old enough to ‘baby sit’ in the holiday rental at Glenelg.

I set up the Astro turf, the plant-stand and toys to create a quirky looking set.

Excited librarians set up chairs and say, We’re so happy to have you here. Can we get you a water? Or a cup of tea, even?

Kelly Menhennett, a local musician, has agreed to play music to placate the baby’s during the