Connected by cake and krupuk..

16 Mar

Sundays are good days. I love them. I love lazy Sundays when we just loll around the house and I love busy Sundays when we get out and about and do fun things. Yesterday was a busy Sunday.

We headed into the city by train.

longest-cakeThe main reason we went in was to attend Melbourne’s Longest Cake – an annual event to raise money for the Cerebral Palsy Support Network - that  involves a LOT of people volunteering time, expertise and a lot of flour and eggs to make a very, very chocolate big cake – it was 100 metres long last year. I haven’t heard how big this year’s was, yet. But it was big.

I think the idea of the event is very clever. Money is raised by people and organisations sponsoring a section of the cake and also by people who attend the event and buy a piece of cake. There is also live music, guest appearances by footballers and Australian idol finalists etc.

Last year they raised $60,000. Not a bad effort for a cake stall!

The last few years the event has been outdoors, but because the weather wasn’t looking very promising it was moved indoors to a very fancy room inside the Crown Casino. Even though it was a shame it wasn’t set up on the busy (and pretty) bank of the Yarra river where it was quite a spectacle and could attract the attention of passers by, I loved the indoor venue. It was much more accessible indoors and there was a real party atmosphere.

However, the music was played way too loud and it was barely possible to talk. Which was a shame as I’d arranged to meet some lovely friends there and we had to do an awful lot of shouting. And worse, BC couldn’t cope with the noise. He wanted to leave as soon as we arrived. He didn’t even want to eat cake. This, after him asking me every 15 minutes for the past week, ‘When’s Sunday? I want cake’.

A couple of friends told me their children  also found the noise a little overwhelming. I don’t know how widespread this sensitivity to sound is with kids with CP. I’d be curious to know. I’d be even more curious to knobc-longest-cake2w how we could overcome it. And don’t worry, there’s already a draft of a letter to the organisers to advise them about possibly reconsidering the volume control for next year ;-).

Despite wanting to leave, BC was a trooper. Ibc-eats-cake think he got a little more used to the noise (or resigned to it?) after a while and we ate cake – a couple of huge slabs of it.

We even had a little dance to Carl Riseley – a runner up on Australian Idol a few years back. He was fun. And we got my aunt the autograph of a well known Australian Rules footballer. Pathetic Melbournian (home of Australian rules) that I am, I had to ask a friend to point out to me which one he was (thanks Belinda!). My aunt will be thrilled.

When we left, the Longest Cake was considerably shorter but I am sure my thighs were already considerably chunkier.

From there, we headed across the river to the city Immigration Museum for an Indonesian festival, which was already in full swing.

tari-payungWe had some lovely sate and krupuk (similar to prawn crackers), watched some great traditional Indonesian dancing and even caught a little of a Wayang Kulit performance (shadow puppets).

I love taking the boys to Indonesian events. I value them feeling as Indonesian as they do Australian.

Whilst these two events had no apparent connection, it later occurred to me that they were actually very connected. Connected because they were both events that we attended with a real sense of belonging. And it occurred to me just how important that is to me. Belonging.

It’s great being in a place where I can have an animated conversation with a stranger about the benefits of fixed or swivel wheels on a kaye walker, where BC is one of many making continued and effective use of the  makaton sign for ‘more’ (as in more cake ;-)) or where I know everyone else is also wondering why on earth there wasn’t a ramp leading up the stage so it would be accessible to all prize winners and guests. OR where I can speak Indonesian, discuss whether sate is better eaten with lontong or  rice, drink es cendol and compare favourite traditional dances – mine is Tari Saman from Aceh.

In case you’re interested, here’s a youtube video of the dance (a performance on a much grander scale than we saw on Sunday!). It’s a little shaky, but was the best I could find. Hope you enjoy!

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5 Responses to “Connected by cake and krupuk..”

  1. Sarah March 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    What a great day out. I really wish Sydney would organise a Longest Cake for CP over here!

    Indonesian Festival looks great!

  2. Heike Fabig March 17, 2009 at 5:38 am #

    What you need to do is go to the hardware store and buy some good headphone-style earplugs. We take them to all events we fear might be noisy, including the theatre and movies. Looks silly, works a treat…

  3. Ellen March 19, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    Hi! What a great event. I’m sorry BC had a hard time with the noise. Max has the exact same reaction to crowds/busy scenes; I do think it’s pretty common for kids with CP to have sensory issues like that. But, it’s interesting, once Max is familiar with a place (say, a restaurant), if we go in and it’s noisy he doesn’t seem to notice. For him, it’s often about familiarity.

  4. karamelissa March 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    My son also is pretty sensitive to loud noises and voices sometimes, mostly when he’s tired. Other times, it doesn’t phase him. It’s interesting for me to hear that other kids with CP have that sensitivity too, I had no idea. Right now he’s so little that sometimes he not only gets startled, he gets scared, so I’ve been trying to warn him and talk him through loud things like the mixer or the vaccuum…


  1. A star! « N0thingbuteverything’s Weblog - April 26, 2009

    [...] 25, 2009 · 3 Comments Remember how we attended the ‘Longest Cake’ event in [...]

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