Medias de seda.

Pinky drinks.The weather warnings are already in effect, and I’m kicking us for not buying that goddamned air conditioner when we saw it on sale last December. It’s going to be a hot one they say, a scorcher! It’s already hot.

Summer struck the west coast before it struck a lot of places – we’re running out of berries during what would otherwise be the beginning of berry season. Cats everywhere have been wilting for weeks. Last week a pigeon flew into our apartment through one of the wide-open windows and I thought we’d have to leave everything behind and move. And the air outside is all flowers and barbecue smoke and cigarettes and wet concrete, and my neighbours on this busy apartment block are stripping down, nude or nearly nude flesh visible in every uncovered window. It would all be very sexy if I was younger, or if I had that air conditioner.

The feeling of my skin on my skin is, at times, unbearable. Now is not the time to talk about berry smoothies or fresh-pressed juice. Oh, it’s blender-drink time, to be sure, but I’m not longing for some ascetic mix of ice and fibre that’s not going to take me anywhere.

Gin me, is what I’m saying. And I don’t even really like gin.

(There was a summer, and there were four friends from high school and boys from somewhere else and Cultus Lake and gin and the feeling that I was going to live forever followed very quickly by the feeling that I was going to die of gin poisoning and my parents would have to come pick me up from an unmarked spot off a logging road where a boy named Monty who had nipple rings would have had to explain everything. In summary, gin and I have some history.)

These are sticky, sweaty times and times like these call for cold, sweet drinks. I’ve told you about my lazy go-to, my shameful sangria, but this new thing is even better. It’s called medias de seda, and it tastes like some vague memory I can’t place, a little like vanilla and malted milk and something else. It’s sweet and creamy and just the right shade of pink.

My parents brought this cocktail back from Mexico, from Puerto Vallarta maybe, and it’s as decadent as a milkshake and just as pink. I guess it kind of is a milkshake, but a very adult kind of milkshake and if you are lucky someone else will make it for you while you dip your feet into a pool of cold water. It could be a pool like you might find in Puerto Vallarta, or it could be a turtle-shaped kiddie pool filled with hose water and your naked toddler and several dozen bath toys in your parents’ back yard; the important thing is that you make this drink your excuse to sit and cool off. My dad tinkered with the recipe so that it serves two, probably to sedate my mom and me at the same time.

Here’s to your hot, sticky summer. Gin you.

Medias de seda

Serves 2.

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. grenadine
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 oz. light cream or half-and-half

Combine gin, creme de cacao, grenadine and ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. Add cream or half-and-half, and blend until combined. Divide evenly between two glasses. Marvel that this is kind of like an Orange Julius. But like, with gin. A Gin Julius! Repeat yourself in case no one heard you. Find yourself hilarious while you cool your overheated body in a patch of shade with your feet in some cold water.

Drink selfie because drinks.

There is no baby left.


These kids, they are like people.

Nick is away for the weekend pretending to make sacrifices for our family by procuring a few months’ worth of rainbow trout. Hunting is work – there is no beer-drinking during the day because of all the guns and wolves and potential death/dismemberment – but fishing is primarily beer drinking in boats on quiet lakes and it will be at least 30 degrees Celsius this weekend and he packed the strongest sunblock I have because he will really suffer under all that sunlight, his dry, paper-white skin just searing in the heat while he gives his all for future fish dinners I will have to cook.

To say that I begrudge him his leisure time would be … well, I begrudge him his leisure time. But he did clean the apartment before he left. But he didn’t wash the floors. Marriage is like this, always weighing but trying not to, always wanting the best for the other person but not really.

So the little one and I are together all weekend, for four days and four bedtimes, and he has already cried for Daddy three times since Nick left at 4:00, twice after falling down at the park and once more at bedtime, when I told him he would not get away with lying about things Daddy would never have promised and he broke down. “Daddy wouldn’t be mean to me,” he whimpered into his pillow. “Yes he would,” I said, because I don’t know. I forgot to brush his teeth.

But in the moments when we find ourselves in harmony, this kid and I, we are a team. “I will help you cook dinner,” he said as I pushed him in a shopping cart past the packaged meats at Buy Low. “You like hot dogs, mum?”

“We should get the chocolate chip ice cream,” he said as we passed the frozen treats. “I have been pretty good today I think.”

Sometimes having a preschool aged child is like being buckled into a windowless cargo van that’s hurtling over a cliff while a rabid chimpanzee screams in your ear about all the times you have ever been wrong, but sometimes there are flickers of humanity in these little primates. Sometimes, you see in him an ally. And you know you have to do better with him – you have to remember to brush his teeth, even when he’s being a bit of a shit – but sometimes, you let him do what he needs to do, and you see yourself in him, and it is kind of fun.

I do like hot dogs. He helped me make dinner tonight, standing on a chair in front of the stove and offering to stir noodles and then dropping stuff all over the floor but meaning so well. And we had Kraft Dinner and hot dogs and ketchup and chocolate chip mint ice cream and it was filled with sodium and we all probably have heart disease now or at least hypertension but he picked a meal and he helped put it together and it didn’t involve toast or Nutella or crying.

This is a level of progress that was unimaginable even three months ago. There’s no baby left in him.

We ate dinner together while he told me about his day, chattering on about all the ways he was very helpful and very good. He asked me about my day, and if I had been good and if the scientists had been helpful and if I was tired.

“We work very hard, mum.”

“Yes we do, monkey.”

“I like making dinner with you,” he said, and for a moment I forgot about the screeching chimp and everything I did wrong and hoped that maybe we’re onto something.

We’re off to a good start, at least.