March – Taking Stock

What a drag. I have no photos, because I’m barely leaving the house right now except for physio and swimming. This is not the most enjoyable season of life, I can tell you. There are gaps this month, as there is truly not much happening in my life. April will be better! Or, it better be better.

Here is March, inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists:

Making :
Cooking : not a lot – surviving on takeout and sandwiches a lot these days, because I just can’t stay on my feet long enough to cook properly
Drinking : gallons of diet ice tea – having to take a million painkillers over the last few weeks has had the unfortunate side effect of making me gag on water a lot of the time, but I’m trying to reintroduce myself slowly
Reading : waiting for a copy of Call Me By Your Name to arrive in the mail, and cannot wait to be transported to gorgeous Italy
Trawling :
Wanting : something that doesn’t exist – I want flowers delivered, but not arrangements – just plain old cut flowers so I can put them in a vase, and it doesn’t seem like anybody does that
Looking : pretty bloody awful right now, especially since I hacked myself a new fringe last night
Deciding :
Wishing : that I could magically melt half my body weight off and not feel like such a whale
Enjoying : the slightly colder mornings, and the fact that the dogs like to snuggle now before they get out of bed
Waiting : and waiting and waiting and waiting… until this leg of mine is better
Wondering :
Loving : that Nathan saw my struggles with trying to trace an embroidery pattern by taping things to the window and waiting for a bright but overcast day, so he bought me a fancy lightbox thing that works really, really well
Pondering :
Listening : to the birds chirping outside the window, distant lawnmowers, Rupert snoring, the click-click-click of my keyboard
Considering : rearranging some of our personal timelines and five year plans, everything takes so much longer than anticipated
Buying : a ticket to Bali for the end of the year – I know, I should go somewhere else, but after how much of a nightmare this year has been so far, I’m really just looking forward to familiarity and relaxation rather than something more challenging
Watching : well, we just finished Big Love, and now I don’t know what to do with my life
Hoping :
Marvelling :
Cringing : at the way my leg looks scooped out where the muscle has wasted
Needing : to figure out a way of working out despite my current limitations, because this is ridiculous
Questioning :
Wearing : shorts only – I can’t tolerate fabric on my leg right now, so I’m really glad this is happening at this time of year
Noticing : that people are always all “it takes a village!” about their kids, but when you actually try to be that village, they can’t be bothered to even respond to you
Knowing : that I need to do something about the fuchsias running rampant outside my front door, even though there are native birds that feast on the flowers every day
Thinking :
Admiring : my finished cat embroidery piece that is sitting on the mantelpiece right now, I will post about it soon
Getting :
Bookmarking :
Disliking :
Feeling : pretty miserable about not being able to do anything, honestly
Hearing :
Celebrating :
Embracing :

Review : Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’m always playing catch up when it comes to Oscar nominees. This is the only Best Picture nominee that I have actually seen yet, despite all my best intentions. The kind of anticipation I had for this movie was more like wariness – I knew it was going to be depressing, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it. But I’m so glad I went.

This movie has weathered a lot of criticism, despite a 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating. I’m going to talk about some of that below, so warning – there will be spoilers, so maybe only read this if you’ve already seen the movie.

A lot of people said that the film felt more like a play. This is true, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing – in fact, it was kind of intriguing. It made good use of the kind of super-close, intimate acting that suits movies, and the setting and characters reveled in their own gritty realism. But the structure was very play-like, which was intriguing. It kind of gave me vibes of one of Sam Shepard’s plays.

About Sam Rockwell’s character – the criticism that was leveled here was completely unwarranted, and I’m about to explain why, at length, so stay tuned.

Jason Dixon is a racist. This is undeniable. It serves to place his character in an uncomfortable place where you revile him for his views and actions, feel sorry for him for his limited prospects, feel pity for his pathetic predicament, and also feel glad for his actions towards the end. I think he is a very well written character because he makes you so uncomfortable – he contains multitudes, he is a walking contradiction, he can’t be categorized as strictly good or bad – and all of that makes him so much more real than a character that is a hundred percent evil at all times.

I think we have reached a point as a society where people are having serious issues seeing anything other than black and white. There are so many shades of grey. A racist is a racist, and they should never be applauded or admired for that, but it doesn’t mean that they are like an evil cartoon character who isn’t also capable of doing something good once in a while. There was so much criticism of how a racist character isn’t “deserving” of a redemption arc, but isn’t that the character that needs it most of all? If we wrote off every racist as irredeemable, we might as well just bomb the whole world and call it a day on the human race. It seems like it would be much more useful to think of racists with a growth mindset – maybe they just don’t know any better, maybe they are scared, maybe they can change, maybe they can learn, maybe they can do better… and they are probably more likely to do these things if they are presented with positive leadership by example.

I felt similar feelings when there was the furor about The Handmaid’s Tale including black women, and completely erasing the fact that Gilead was meant to be white supremacist as well as deeply misogynistic. The director of the show said something like that he didn’t see the difference between making a show about racism and a racist show. Except that things like racism need to be depicted on screen, otherwise it is being erased and swept under the rug. People need to see depictions of terrible things so that we can make our judgments about how terrible they are – ignoring them or shying away from these representations is basically saying “racism doesn’t exist”, when it surely does, it needs to be seen so that we can make a judgment about it being a bad thing. Some of the criticism of Three Billboards felt like… people would have rathered that Jason Dixon was either politically correct in every way, or that he didn’t exist. But of course he exists – he is probably like hundreds or thousands of small town cops in America. People need to see that. There is no use acting like every person on screen needs to be a hundred percent likeable or politically correct in order to be a valuable part of the plot.

Anyway, all of that aside, Sam Rockwell’s acting was so good. Even though Best Actor/Actress is considered more prestigious than Supporting Actor/Actress, I actually thought he was better than Frances McDormand – even though she was amazing too. I just loved the way that you felt so much for Jason Dixon, even when those feelings violently opposed each other. His character was such a tragedy.

I would recommend this movie – I’ve already told Nathan and Mum that they have to see it – but I don’t think I will be wanting to watch it again in a hurry. It was depressing. I went to see it during the daytime, so there were a bunch of (rude) seniors there who seemed to think that they were there for a comedy… and were quite disappointed when they walked out. Their loss. What we did see was something bleak, uncomfortable and unrelentingly bitter, but I’m glad I saw it.

Calamity – Update

I really didn’t think this would be stretching on for this long – it was only a graze, it was only a bad bruise. But it hasn’t exactly turned out that way. My leg is still limiting me and making me really cranky because I either can’t do or can only sort of do all the things that I need or want to do. It’s unbearably frustrating, and at this stage, it’s looking like 6-12 weeks until it’s fully healed. It has already been almost 3 weeks. Totally over it.

So, here’s the update: my GP and the ER doctors agreed that I had likely torn a vein in my leg to have caused so much bleeding. I had an ultrasound to determine a few things. The good news was that I didn’t have deep vein thrombosis or muscle damage, but the bad news was that the bruise was a solid mass (i.e. non-drainable) that was about 14cm by 9cm, and about 3cm thick. I was referred to a plastic surgeon to potentially have the whole thing cut open and scraped out, but he decided there was a better option – physiotherapy and ultrasound therapy.

That’s where we are now. I am doing treatments with ultrasound and massage twice a week, stretches and exercises to help with how my calf muscles on that side have wasted a bit, elevation and heat packs, and lots of swimming and wading to help with mobility. And lots of rest. It will be a long road and I hope that there won’t be any permanent damage, but we’ll have to try our best.

The most annoying part of all of this is that since the shower collapsed, we’ve realized the extent of the renovations will require us to move out for a little while. Because a 3-6 month rental apartment that allows two dogs is a total fantasy in this real estate climate, that means staying at my mum’s for a bit. But it also means having to pack up the entire house until it’s just boxes and large furniture – something that I can’t do right now while my leg is like this. Which means that *I* am the reason that renovation plans have stalled, which isn’t a nice feeling.

It’s also the reason that I haven’t been posting and haven’t had anything exciting to talk about – I’ve said it before, but pain makes you tired and fuzzy. It’s hard to do anything worthwhile with your brain when it’s devoting all its resources to coping. And the pain, although it’s getting better now, has been pretty constant. It has meant I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep since it happened, because there is no comfortable way to lay my leg and I’m notorious for thrashing around when I sleep. I feel like I’m walking around in a mental fog all the time, not exactly conducive to great blog posts, unfortunately.

So, all I can say at this point is… I will be back. Life will get back to normal. But it’s amazing how an injury can knock your whole life around. Really looking forward to everything getting back to normal so we can get things moving!

February – Taking Stock

I missed last month, but to be fair, last month was extremely up in the air. The start to this month isn’t looking particularly auspicious either, but I’m still hopeful!

Here is February, inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists:

Making : plans for embroidery and quilting projects, I’m currently working on a Cinderberry pattern that I will talk about some more in another post
Cooking : almost nothing – surviving on cookies, smoked salmon bagels, and delivered takeout… again, I really need to make hay while the sun shines and get some lasagnas and enchiladas into the freezer for when unexpected things crop up
Drinking : frozen cokes, even though they are the last thing I need
Reading My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Trawling : the archives of my favourite blogs
Wanting : to do anything other than lay on the couch with my leg bound and elevated, resting is so boring, I want to go to the beach
Looking : out the window at the little grey mouse (we have called him ‘Tarzan’) who climbs the wisteria and runs back and forth along the carport a few times a day
Deciding : that all this sugar I have been eating is making me feel gross, so maybe it’s time to stop
Wishing : that Zara Home had an online store in Australia, it seems bizarre that they don’t, and I really don’t fancy going to Knifepoint… sorry, Highpoint!
Enjoying : our new pale pink silk pillowcases, feeling like Marie Antoinette
Waiting : and waiting and waiting… having an injury that keeps you fairly immobile is so boring
Liking : Nathan’s world famous smoked salmon bagels
Wondering : if I’ll be able to stand long enough to cook some macaroni for dinner, or whether I can handball that to Nathan
Loving : the Peter Alexander ET nightie that I got in the Boxing Day sales
Pondering : whether or not I should go to the Gold Coast for a weekend next month – I have tickets, I would just need to book somewhere to stay
Listening : to nothing at all – I always forget how calming noise-cancelling headphones are
Considering : what the best strategy is for getting this house to the point where we can get a new bathroom put in, because it’s pretty urgent now
Buying : books on embroidery, which seems to be my new thing
WatchingBig Love, for the millionth time, but also a whole slew of made-for-TV movies like The Betty Broderick Story and Small Sacrifices… such trash, but so good
Hoping : that the super hard swelling on my leg starts to go down in the next 24 hours and I don’t have to go back to the ER
Marvelling : at this little $2 apron-type thing that I bought for Nathan that catches his beard clippings, it’s miraculous (when he remembers to use it)
Cringing : at how Barnaby Joyce could honestly have anything to say about ‘the sanctity of marriage’ while he was doing what he did
Needing : to find a new foundation, now that my ol’ faithful indie mineral makeup company is going out of business
Questioning : whether a pump alone, and no chlorine, is enough to keep our little pool from turning into a petri dish… and whether it’s a good idea for me to get in there with an open wound on my leg
Wearing : a big tight bandage
Noticing : that Nathan turns into a problem-solving robot when faced with emotionally strenuous things, and that it can be pretty lonely
Knowing : that regardless, I am lucky to have him
Thinking : that I might be getting to the point where I don’t want to do these ‘taking stock’ posts anymore… they aren’t particularly organic, and I feel like they force me to talk about things even if there is nothing to say
Admiring : the thought that our bodies are full of little machines that automatically know what to do, and will go to the haematoma site and carry away all the dead blood and get rid of it
Getting : really sick of just laying here, I have so much to do
Bookmarking : embroidery patterns and designers, but also non-commercialized blogs with an emphasis on handmade things
Disliking : okay – here is a story – there used to be this amazing Indian restaurant in our town that was undeniably the best, Nathan went there for his 30th birthday, and it was wonderful. Now it’s so bad that it’s barely edible. It’s sad and annoying, because now it means that if we want really good Indian food, we have to make it ourselves
Feeling : unsettled, unsatisfied, restless but exhausted
Hearing : my dad dismissing my leg injury, saying it’s no big deal, that it’s barely a bruise, that I should be fine to walk kilometers on a beach to go snorkeling on the weekend (I’m pretty sure I can also hear him rolling his eyes when I limp or grimace)… it’s upsetting
Celebrating : the fact that I didn’t break my leg, because I think that would have made me even more unhappy
Embracing : I’m not really embracing anything right now… I am frustrated and raging against my leg being sore, I’m kind of over it

Oh Calamity!

The moment I plan about kicking my butt with huge amounts of exercise – calamity strikes! I think I need to start from the beginning of this crazy story, because it is just too bizarre to sum up in a sentence or two.

So – when we bought the house, we loved the bathroom. It had a screened-off area with a shower over a claw foot bath, which we thought was so cool. And it was, for about five seconds until we realized that there was no possible way to clean underneath the bath and the whole thing was disgusting in no time. We ditched the bath and have been using the tiled cubicle as a shower ever since.

There was increasing evidence of water damage on the other side of the bathroom wall, in the hallway, so we knew that a new bathroom was on the radar for the very near future. The tiles on the floor of the shower also started to sag a bit. I was really worried about them and at one point, I put my foot down and told Nathan that it was too dangerous and that we needed to shower at a gym until we could get it renovated. He told me I was overreacting and that it would be fine, and he put some silicone sealant between the tiles so that no more water would fall down between them.

Fast forward a few months, and no, the house has still not been restumped which is the major obstacle between us and a new bathroom. I was in the shower at about 5:30pm. We were going to visit my parents to do a make-your-own-pizza night with them. I put conditioner in my hair and suddenly the floor gave out underneath me. I fell through all the way to the dirt underneath the house, maybe 2-3 feet down. Because water had been dripping on it for god knows how long, it was all mud under there. My right leg grazed the side of the hole as I fell. I hauled myself out of there in two seconds flat, because it was that gross and terrifying, and started screaming for Nathan.

And there I was – sitting on the floor of the bathroom, covered in blood, mud and conditioner, sobbing and hyperventilating, with a gigantic hole in the floor beside me. It was honestly one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. There is something about being in the shower, where you are relaxed and just thinking your thoughts, humming a song, thinking about the pizza you’re going to make… and then to be plunged into a slimy, wet, horrifying hole through a trapdoor… well, it was the worst. I was still crying about it the next day.

I ended up going to the doctor about my leg a couple of days later, who referred me to emergency. They took an x-ray – nothing is broken – but there may be soft tissue damage in my knee. What they were worried about was compartment syndrome, which I luckily avoided (VERY luckily, because the surgery for that is pretty scary) – I just have a massive, rigid, constantly draining-and-refilling haematoma with some superficial grazes. I can still not bend or straighten my leg, and can only walk short distances without crutches.

But it could have been so much worse.
It could have happened when Nathan was in the shower.
The tile gave way in one piece, but it could have snapped, and I could have had jagged shards tearing a huge gash in my leg.
I could have hit my head.
I could have cut myself really badly.
Nathan could have been at work, and if he was and my phone wasn’t in reach, I could have had paramedics breaking my door down to rescue me, naked, from my bathroom.
Or I could have bled to death before they got there.

It’s kind of scary thinking about all the ways that it could have very easily happened, and how close I was to an even worse calamity.

When we examined the damage to the shower, we realized that there was no proper beam running underneath the tiles. It seems like it was a shoddy renovation job from before we moved in. I’m not sure how this wasn’t something that was inspected before we bought it, and we’re investigating whether or not this will be something covered by home insurance – we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m just resting my leg, eating even more bad takeout food, and watching made-for-television movies from the eighties. This whole thing has been a bit of a nightmare, but it could have been so much worse, so in a weird way, I’m kind of grateful.

Synchronized Swimming and Sickness

All it takes is two people getting colds at the same time for everything around here to go to absolute pieces. Seriously. I have never eaten so much consecutive delivered food in my life. And I feel disgusting. Like the trans fats and sodium are eking out of my pores. I would be very happy to not look at pizza again for a long time.

It’s so ridiculous though. I am an adult, I should be prepared for these things. If one of us gets sick, the other one can manage. But both of us – nothing happens, nobody cooks, no laundry gets done, and it’s pure luck if one of us manages to put the dishwasher on. Luckily we seem to be getting over it, finally… but what a way to waste the long weekend!

It wasn’t entirely wasted though. We got a pool. Nothing to brag about (although $50 from Kmart was pretty exciting), and probably not recommended for somebody with a shocking cold (and asthma, and allergies, etc). But it was pretty glorious to lounge around in it on these extremely hot days. There is something so bogan about laying in my backyard in my blow-up pool, but I felt like Marie Antoinette when I was snacking on chocolate profiteroles, listening to French music and floating coolly in the dappled sunshine. Posie sort of likes it… as in, she would race around the backyard and threaten to jump in, but would cling to me as soon as she was in. Her fur dried in adorable little ringlets though.

This has been a challenging month, for a few reasons. I was going to be on my way to Beijing in February for one hot minute, but that opportunity had to be put aside. Somebody I care about is not well, and I don’t know how things will turn out… but that’s not really my story to tell right now. January has been such a mixed up month. Even the weather has been strange.

For once, I’m looking forward to autumn.

Rupert’s 2018 Hospital Adventure

Here we are again! Rupert has aspiration pneumonia.

Being transported in his oxygen tent.

The story of why: in 2012, Rupert had a mysterious muscle wasting disease take hold in his jaw, head, throat and shoulders. He lost the ability to swallow properly almost overnight, and aspirated his food. It was a rough time in intensive care and we thought we would lose him, but the wasting suddenly stopped and hasn’t returned. That doesn’t mean that he regained those muscles, it just means that it hasn’t gotten worse. As a result of all of this, he still can’t swallow properly and is thus always at risk of aspirating when he eats or drinks, and he has scar tissue in his lungs that makes him sound like he permanently has a cold. So he gets aspiration pneumonia sometimes. It’s always scary, but usually easily fixed with some oxygen, IV fluids and antibiotics.

So impressed that Nathan came to pick him up.

That’s where we are right now. Rupert spent a day and a half chilling on oxygen at the vet hospital, but he’s home now. Extremely sleepy though. Last night, he was so tired that he collapsed to the ground after having a drink. But this morning he heard the mailman’s bike and leapt off the couch and went running to the door. So, it’s up and down.

Right now, he’s asleep. Probably dreaming about the smoked chicken that he got to eat yesterday. Hopefully doing some heavy duty healing!

New Year, Good and Bad

Rupert, getting a NYE nail trim. He cries and yelps if I ever do it, but was all smiles at the grooming salon.

So far, I’m giving 2018 a big thumbs down. It didn’t take long at all before something awful happened. One of my resolutions was to give distance, silence and no attention whatsoever to poisonous people, so I’m trying to stick to that even if I feel like dying and going to bed for the rest of the year. On the upside, I made the best lunch/dinner today. The most amazing chili con carne of my life, served as a burrito bowl with some brilliant guacamole (thanks, Nathan) and some really good pico de gallo (thanks, me). And on the downside, I was trimming Posie’s moustache and managed to snip a little v-shaped wedge into the fleshiest part of my palm. On the other upside, we ordered a new rug for the dining room this time, and I happened to have a coupon that saved me $109. So – good and bad.

Burrito bowl of dreams.

I have so much to do this year. I had a momentary freak out today that I’m already 2/365 days down, and I haven’t even begun on the big things that I need to get done. But at the same time, I felt kind of blank. Like the whole year stretched out ahead of me and the vastness of it was kind of overwhelming. I know it will feel short though, when I get to the end of it.

I originally wrote out a big list of goals, intentions and resolutions to share for the new year, but it feels too personal now. A lot of the things were boring but necessary obligations that will feel ultra boring in the process, but good at the final destination. A lot of the list was more a to-do list than anything really inspiring. So here is a heavily edited list of my resolutions for 2018, good vibes only:

I want to finally get everything framed so I can set up the gallery wall in my living room.
I will make a lot of smoothies.
I would like to read at least three books a month.
I am going to make better use of my vegetable garden.
I will be mindful about how much time I spend playing games/watching television/dicking around on the internet.
I want to listen to more music, preferrably on vinyl.
I would like to sing more often.
I am going to put fairy lights on every surface in the house, all year round.
I am going to make some quilts with all the fabric I bought in Bali, Taiwan and Japan.
I will get to my goal weight and do some serious culling of my wardrobe.
I want to actually decorate this house, make it feel like a home.
I want to practice the piano and learn the ukulele.
I plan to actually figure out how to use dropbox and google drive and stuff, so I can stop having to email myself files every time I want to transfer between phone and laptop.
I am going to be fluent in French at least by the end of the year. 

There’s so much more, but it’s kind of hard to be put on the spot. All this is a start though!

(Angry) Thoughts on The House of Mirth

For science, read this article first.

We had the most uninspiring NYE. Nathan played video games, I read a book, we ate okayish takeout burritos and not a drop of alcohol touched our lips. We were both tired and I was feeling sick. There was a minor adventure when a baby bird fell down the chimney, and Nathan got to have a Cinderella moment when he caught it and it flew from his hands out the window, singing a merry tune as it went.

Anyway. I wanted to watch The House of Mirth.

I hadn’t seen the movie since I was about 15, half a lifetime ago (literally). I had fuzzy but fond memories about how tragic everything was for Lily, but mostly about what a dreamboat Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz) was. I had a ridiculous crush on Eric Stoltz after this movie. I remember reading the book around that time as well, which just further furnished all my daydreams about how wonderful Selden was.

So, we watched the movie last night. I have never, ever, not in my entire life, had such a dramatic – violent – change of heart on my feelings about a book or a movie. I can’t even explain it. I’ll try my best, splitting my reaction and interpretation into two halves:

Fifteen year old me: Lawrence Selden is such a babe, and look – he’s so above all of that high society rubbish. All of those people chew you up, spit you out and abuse you, Lily – be like Selden, reject it and be free. It’s all your fault – you cared too much about money and luxury, you could have lived a more humble life as Selden’s girlfriend if you’d been brave enough to shrug off societal expectations. He was just waiting for you to make that leap, you could have been happy but you were too stupid!

Thirty year old me: Lawrence Selden is the worst. He could not have been more of a jerk. Yes, the social circles that Lily move in are unwaveringly cruel, and yes, she made one terrible decision after another, but this was almost always a result of her naivety and trusting nature. But Selden planted the seeds of everything – it was him who kept her at arm’s length and was happy to derail her chances at security and maybe even happiness because it was more fun for him toy with her, confuse her and tempt her for his own amusement, but never offer any sort of commitment or even emotional availability. He swindled her – he took advantage of her love for him by not guiding her towards what was right or responsible for a woman of her position, but instead acting like “if you act according to my principles – even if they ruin your whole life – then maybe you’ll live up to my expectations and maybe I’ll give you the time of day”. He promised to love her, but withdrew it the moment that she had a get a job and couldn’t be the decorative nymph of his lust-dreams. He is a user, he is selfish, he thinks he is so much more special than anybody else, he thinks that society’s rules don’t apply to him, but really, he’s just the worst.

There! If I had a punching bag, I’d be taping Stoltz as Selden’s smarmy face to it right now – it is 24 hours later and I’m still mad. I guess that as you get older, you meet so many Seldens in real life. They are everywhere, and that’s why the film still feels so raw and relevant even now. You will also meet a Bertha Dorset or two. I suppose I should be proud that I have a better sense for these kind of toxic mind games these days, but it frightens me how naive I was when first watching the film – with age comes experience, I guess!

2017 – What a Year!

January

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

I started the year trying to muddle through a TN/nerve pain fog the best I could. We celebrated our ‘engage-iversary’, and the Portarlington Mussel Festival, as always. Nathan had 5 (!) wisdom teeth taken out. We did some wine tasting, which I paid for later (tannins seem to be a trigger for me). Rupert was a total champion and had eyelid surgery for what turned out to be a slow growing cancer.

February

We celebrated a bunch of family birthdays in Ballarat with the Stapletons. Valentine’s Day was a bit of a washout, but still very sweet. We saw B*witched, which was simultaneously great and awful. And then Patrick broke his leg and fractured his spine, which was fun for nobody.

March

We squeezed in as many last chance beach days as we could this month, and I tried out my monofin at Eastern Beach. Decima came for a playdate and P+R were adorable little visitors for my brother in hospital. I had a specialist appointment that gave me some bad news, some good news, but generally a lot to think about. And wedding planning started to get real.

April

Less than a month since we’d been at the beach, it was suddenly sweater weather for the pups. Life was quiet in April, but I was grateful to be TN-free for the first time in months. We went to Supernormal on a scouting mission for wedding plans, and we did our traditional roast pork for Good Friday with my family. We also found out that Rupert has doggy dementia.

May

Little Miss Munch turned 8! It was also Dad’s birthday, even though I was too dopey and sore to really celebrate because I’d just had my wisdom teeth out. N+P+R were excellent nurses and I consumed my body weight in custard and soup. Jen had a birthday too. It was a big opera month – I saw John Bell’s Carmen with both my parents, and Mum and I saw Król Roger.

June

I started to freak out about the wedding as it drew closer, while Nathan got some good napping done. I also wrote a big post about TN. Mum and I went on a cake tasting / ramen eating / wedding reconnaissance mission in Melbourne, and I saw MTC’s Macbeth with my sisters – so good. I planted three types of heirloom garlic this month, too.

July

Things started to slow down again this month – another round of TN began. But I still managed to go to the Van Gogh exhibition with Dad and Jen, and see The Beguiled, which I loved. This month was all about soup, blanket, ugg boots and watching Netflix. Nathan spent some time with his favourite son, of course!

August

It was crunch time on wedding planning. I went to the Brisbane RWA conference and came down with a particularly nasty strain of the flu which knocked me off my feet for almost a fortnight and made me sicker than I’d been in a year… since the last time I got the flu. But then something wonderful happened – my sister Jen planned a totally magical hen’s afternoon for me, that I was completely not expecting, and suddenly I felt like a bride. Also, Mum turned 60!

September

I feel like in 2017, we crammed an entire year’s worth of excitement into a single month. We celebrated our ten year anniversary and… got married! It was amazing and was definitely the highlight of the year. Afterwards we honeymooned in Bali, staying in my favourite hotel in Ubud and then a super plush resort in Legian – both were lovely. While we were away, we had our birthday and I hit my thirties (eek). Patrick had a birthday too when we got home.

October

I feel like we did nothing but try to clean up this month, after the avalanche of wedding related stuff took up residence in our living room. We did go to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival though, and it was gorgeous. We barely celebrated Halloween either – all that wedding business was tiring!

November

Our little sugar Prince Rupert turned 13 and I was such a bad dogmother that I didn’t even post about it. It was rose time, and my garden put on a gorgeous show – it was probably the best my roses have ever looked. I almost won a trifecta on the Melbourne Cup which would have netted me $350, but was still very happy to have won more than I bet. Dad and I went to see John Bell in MTC’s The Father, which was heartbreakingly good. I also went to see Opera Australia’s The Merry Widow twice with two of our grandmothers, and it was amazing.

December

 

The year flew by and December crept up on us. We went back to Supernormal to reminisce – it felt like a lifetime ago, even though it was only three months. Caitlin turned 27! We drank eggnog and watched The Muppets Christmas Carol, and all was well.

All in All

Apart from one big thing, not a lot happened this year. But that’s okay. It’s amazing how much headspace can be devoted to a single day, both before and after. I loved our wedding so much, but I’m infinitely glad that we only have to do it once, and that 2018 is stretched out ahead of us with no more weddings left to plan. TN jerked me around this year, but it was wonderful to have a mostly incident-free year in terms of the dogs’ health. 2017 was mostly about persistence, hard work, patience, organization and playing the long game, even when things were hard. I can’t wait to see what sort of year 2018 is going to be.