What Has Really Been Going On

I’ve talked at length about what a horrible year this has been, but I’ve been sketchy on the details the whole time. I usually don’t talk about hard stuff on the internet, but it seems fair for anybody reading to have the full picture, rather than the little breadcrumbs I’ve been dropping. So here they are:

I fell through my bathroom floor and injured my leg so badly that I needed 7+ months so far of rehabilitation and it is permanently disfigured (I call it the Zombie Leg because it’s usually grey, sometimes blackish purple). It’s still not 100% in terms of functionality and perhaps never will be again. I’ve been feeling incredibly down about it, and how it’s just another thing to add to the list of my scars and battle wounds and ways that my body is disfigured forever and ever.

In this time, we discovered that Nathan’s standards in housework and meal planning/prepping are not the same as mine (not that he didn’t try – thank you Nathan!), so our house became an overwhelming junk pile of insurmountable trash and we both got really unhealthy from eating takeout all the time. This was going to be the year of getting our health and fitness levels under control, and for the first six months, we went so far backwards – incredibly disheartening.

Something I’m still sore about is how revealing it ended up being about the lack of community around us. Very few people helped out during this time. I get that ‘severe haematoma, sprained knee, lacerations and massive soft tissue damage’ doesn’t sound as dramatic as ‘broken leg’ or whatever, but I was really shocked at the number of people we were supposedly close to who didn’t even care to ask how it was going or if we needed any help. A positive from that is that I have a much clearer idea now of who our real friends are.

Just before Christmas, my grandma went into the emergency department with pneumonia. She never came home and died in April. This was awful, but worse still because there was so much up and down, so much hope and grief drawn out over such a long time… so many months spent dreading every phone call just in case it was the worst. I still miss being able to just call her and ask her questions about gardening or tell her stories about how spoiled my dogs are so she could pretend to disapprove. There are so many stories I’ve never heard or I’m only just learning now, and I know it’s going to be hard in the future when wonderful things happen and I won’t be able to share these things with her. But she was very religious, so if there is a heaven, I know she’d be there, and she’ll just know without me having to say anything.

A few weeks ago, my sisters were in the Lombok earthquake. It was horrendous and there was a full hour where our family thought that we were exchanging the last messages we would ever send to my sisters before they died in a tsunami (tsunamis, or specfically Posie and Rupert being ripped from my arms in a tsunami, is one of my recurring nightmares so it rattled me a lot). They saw so much death and destruction, and I will never forget my sister’s description of the violence of the shaking knocking her to the floor, and running as fast as she could while buildings collapsed all around her. I would never want to say that “my trauma” was anything on the same scale as what they experienced, but it was such a terrifying thing that rippled out from them and really affected me too. My sisters were watching Dante’s Peak this afternoon and making jokes about how unrealistic the earthquake depictions were, but I could barely look at the screen as this huge swell of anxiety surged through me. It’s making me a bit anxious about my Bali trip in nine weeks too.

So there it is. I’m not writing this for pity, mainly so I can stop vague-posting. Life isn’t meant to be wonderful all the time, but it has been a shocking run. I never expected my first year of marriage, especially, to look like this – being a newlywed is supposed to be blissful and fun, not watching your depressed wife lay on the sofa chowing down painkillers for months while your house turns into a hovel. But things are finally turning a corner, and there are exciting things coming up. I have a feeling this next year is going to be the honeymoon year that we didn’t really get to have.

We are going to Bali in October. I’m so excited about this, because originally I was going by myself and was a bit down about it… but Nathan surprised me by taking a few days so we can be together for the first part of the trip. The rest of it will be my writerly retreat of solitude – I am fully planning to eat banana pancakes every day, swim in the pool, nap, read, dodge geckos and get a ton of writing done. I am currently in the planning stages of my novel – I want it all plotted before we go so I can dive straight into it.

Another good thing is that we got a treadmill (I’m calling it the dreadmill). Magpie season is especially bad around here because we live right near a nature reserve, so it will be great to exercise indoors for the next few months and not risk losing an eyeball every time I leave the house. I’m making a plan to be able to run the 5km in the Melbourne Marathon with my sisters in a few months, wish me luck!

It’s our birthday in a few weeks (yes, it’s the same day) and I haven’t got any concrete plans yet, but I think it should be a full treat yo’ self kind of day. I sorta kinda want to go to the Pancake Parlour, even though I always regret it when the food coma hits after drinking those giant soda floats. We’ll see. But I also kinda sorta want to go on safari at the open range zoo. And I sorta kinda also just want to have an at home spa day with Lush bath bombs and expensive body butter, lay around all day in a robe, eat sushi, drink Veuve Clicquot and watch Bridesmaids and How to Make an American Quilt and The Joy Luck Club and Twister (ha). Again, we’ll see. It is Nathan’s birthday too, so I have to balance what I want with what he wants (he’d probably love any of those options, to be honest).

And in April, I’m doing the single biggest thing to date for my writing career by attending Fiona McIntosh’s masterclass in South Australia. I am thrilled that she has such a stellar record of getting attendees on the track to publication, but into really good contracts too. It seems like she has such a knack for knowing how to give people the tools to turn themselves from hopefuls into professionals, so I can’t wait. Next year is going to be the year I sell a novel, I can feel it. When it happens, I’m honestly going to throw myself a party. An excuse to buy some more expensive shoes and wear one of my completely over the top cupcake dresses, if nothing else. I never had an 18th or a 21st, but it seems like such a bigger milestone to celebrate my first novel, so why not?

And of course, we’re building the dream house in about twelve months. I am beyond excited for that. I’m calling it Barbie’s dream house, Nathan is calling it Chateau von Doggeaux. Either way. I will be sad to leave this little house behind, especially because of all the memories, like bringing Posie home for the first time or when we got engaged. But the memories won’t go away just because the house will.

Apart from that, the summer beckons. I love summer, every second of the year that is not summer, I am yearning for it to come back. But this year, I have something that will make it especially fun. This is the one thing I’m not going to be completely upfront about in this post – it wouldn’t make quite the splash if I gave it away before I have photos for the full effect (yes, that is a very big hint!).

This post has made me feel better already. The negatives were horrendous, but the future is bright!

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!

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.

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!

Much Ado About Nothing

The roses are out and they are bloomin’ marvelous (I had to, I’m sorry) – I’m not sure what we did right, but it’s a good year for them. I’m calling our house Rose Cottage, I’m even going to have a little plaque made up and everything. Every house deserves a name.

I’m writing a novel about a house and a garden right now. I’ve only just started – I’m at that point where you stand at the foot of the mountain and look up, trying to figure out how many steps you’ll have to take, how many hours you’ll have to endure above the death zone, how many fingers and toes you’ll lose to frostbite. But you start, you climb, you keep going, and little by little, it happens. I want this manuscript done and polished by the end of July next year. Wish me luck! Or better, wish me persistence!

I’m also counting down the days until our new living room rug arrives, after the shipment was delayed by months, twice. These darling dogs of mine are going to be the death of me. Every car in the street, every pedestrian, every jangling cat bell, sometimes even the snapping of a twig or the shock of me getting up from the sofa too quickly… all these things send P+R into hysterics roughly 3-4 times per hour, sometimes much more. They leap all over the pappasan chair and bark their little brains out. With floorboards and no rug, the sound bounces around the room and transforms into something piercing and horrific. We are extremely lucky to have neighbours who are either very tolerant or very deaf, as both sides have told me that they barely hear a peep from us.

Aside from that:

I went to see MTC’s The Father with the father (mine) last week, and it was devastatingly good. Emphasis on the devastating bit. John Bell gave the best stage acting I have ever seen, and I cried. Some of the audience reactions were a bit off though – the play was about dementia, and Dad’s theory is that a lot of the audience are in an age category where all this stuff is frighteningly relevant for them, and their laughter might have been a function of their discomfort. Maybe.

I wore new shoes that night and ended up with horrendous blisters on my little toes. Still sore, still glowing red like little old fashioned Christmas lights. I did get to eat xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung before the theatre though – soup-filled dumplings that pop when pierced with your chopstick, which is a very icky thought when juxtaposed with my tales of toe blisters.

I’ve spent the best part of this week convinced that we had a mouse in the house, but now I’m having doubts. I saw a shadow move quickly across the hearth of the fireplace, but apart from that, there has been absolutely no evidence of anything. Now I’m wondering whether it was a mouse at all, or maybe a moth, or maybe it really was just a shadow cast along the floor from the sun shining in the window. We set traps and they haven’t been touched. I still won’t walk barefoot at nighttime or leave my slippers on the floor though.

My tomato plants are going splendidly, my cucumbers have shriveled and returned to the soil from whence they came. I’m not sure whether to try again, but the idea of making jars of my own dill pickles is calling to me. What else should I grow in my summer garden, once I rip all the broad beans out? I could just do an entire garden bed of basil, but how much pesto can one girl humanly eat*?

Nathan and I were meant to have a romantic weekend away in Sydney, which didn’t end up happening (he went by himself on a duty mission to visit a family member who needed some heavy duty cheering up). He is bringing me back a cheesecake from Uncle Tetsu though! I knew there was a reason I married him. Other than his winning smile, devastatingly handsome looks, and worthiness as a Scrabble opponent.

* If we’re talking about this girl, the answer is: probably more than you could imagine. When I was in third grade, we did a science project where we had to list the main foods in our diet and where they fit on the food pyramid. I had an argument with the teacher who told me that pesto was a fat, when I assured him that it was made mostly out of basil, so it counted as a vegetable therefore you should be eating heaps of it. But really, we all know that homemade pesto transcends the food pyramid altogether and should better be considered something like mana of the gods.

The Tulip Festival

Before I start this post, I have to say this: the wedding/honeymoon posts are coming, I promise! I’m still trying to get all my photos together, and the posts themselves are being written and rewritten over and over. The day was so perfect, it’s hard to sum it up, but I will try – it is coming.

Anyway, onto last weekend. We went to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Silvan. I had wanted to go for years, but we’d always had one thing pop up after another and didn’t end up going. This year, I was determined to go, and I’m so glad we did. It was a two hour drive to Silvan through some of the most beautiful countryside and state forest. The Dandenong Ranges made me think of the piece of piano music (The Ascent) from Picnic at Hanging Rock – suddenly it made so much more sense. All the trees were so tall and majestic, but the endlessness of the forest was unsettling in how it reminded you of how easily you could get lost in there and never be found. We also saw a bunch of gorgeous houses in Belgrave and Silvan that were for sale, and the idea of spending winter in a cabin on the edge of the forest was suddenly very tempting. When I make my first million, perhaps!

The Tulip Festival itself was lovely. The tulips looked amazing, though I have a feeling that certain varieties would have looked slightly better the week before – it was the very last day. I think my favourite was a variety called ‘Asahi’ – warm sunshine orange-yellow with a deep blush. It was surprisingly hot, so after the tulips, we ended up sitting on the lawns in the shade, eating poffertjes with lemon, sugar and butter. I bought ten stems of pick-your-own tulips too.

We didn’t stay too long, but I was so glad we went. The tulips ran in vast lines of different colours, and the sight was pretty stunning. I would love to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands one day, but this was still good. Now I can’t wait to go to other festivals or special weekends – there is a strawberry and cherry festival in Bacchus Marsh next month, so that’s on my list. Any excuse to eat a spiral potato on a stick.

I definitely want to go to the tulip festival though next year. We’ve been talking about having some family photos taken with the dogs around the time of our first wedding anniversary, so maybe this would be the place. Dogs are allowed, and P+R would look so darling tiptoeing through the tulips. But for now, I’ve got some gorgeous tulips in a vase on my coffee table as a nice memento of a fun Sunday.

Just Throw the Whole Kitchen Away

It is a truth universally acknowledged that as soon as you feel like you are on top of something, something will go wrong. I think it’s the universe’s way of making sure you don’t rest on your laurels or get a big head. Anyway, since I got back from the honeymoon, I have been super on top of meal prepping. I’ve been throwing myself into it and trying really hard, and it has been working. We’ve had pre-prepared meals in the fridge, ready to go at all times. Vegetable heavy, low carb, perfectly portioned and definitely tasty. I’ve been feeling really virtuous about eating so many vegetables and so little junk food, too. And (probably mostly thanks to Bali Belly, but still) I’ve lost 3.5kg in the last week, so that’s nothing to sneeze at either.

Skip to last night. I decided to make breakfast frittatas that could also be eaten for lunch with salad. I was going to make them in California muffin tins; smoked salmon and leek for one lot, and chorizo, feta and spinach for the other lot.

First disaster: I forgot to grease the tins. So the first lot of frittatas stuck.
Second disaster: I was cubing chorizo and tossing it in a frying pan when I realized that it actually had a thin paper skin on it that I was meant to peel first. So I tried to fish out all the tiny cubes and peel their paper off (did not work).
Third disaster: the egg mixture had a small amount of flour in it and the recipe assured me that “small lumps were fine and to be expected”. Except once baked, my frittatas still had little white lumps on top of them. I flicked one and it exploded in a mini cloud of raw flour, which I’m sure would taste awful.

So basically, I wasted a whole packet of expensive smoked salmon, the kitchen was trashed for no good reason, and suddenly there was nothing for dinner. Between that and Posie having the biggest barking day of her life while I was trying to work, I was so over it when I went to bed. It’s so weird how going to bed is like wiping the slate clean sometimes, and most of the time I dread bedtime because all of my thoughts and feelings from the day are going to be smaller the next day. But last night, I couldn’t wait.

Getting My Wisdom Teeth Out As An Almost 30 Year Old

Wisdom teeth are outta here! I got them out last week (which feels like a million years ago by now) and it has simultaneously been better and worse than I expected. The actual surgery was a breeze. Nathan waited with me at the hospital until they took me away. I met the anaesthetist and told him that I had an extremely long recovery time from anaesthetic last time, so he said he’d go fairly light on things. Which ended up being a bit scary – he put the cannula in my hand in the waiting bay and I was out like a light, only to wake up for a few seconds in theatre. Luckily they hadn’t started yet, and as soon as it happened, I was out again.

When I woke up, I felt fine. I thought, why is everybody such a baby about wisdom teeth – this is a breeze! Nathan came to get me with a box of beautiful flowers, and I dribbled blood everywhere and said some hilarious things in a video interview that I cannot bring myself to post. I had a local anaesthetic after the general, so I could not feel anything from my eye level to my mid-neck.

When we finally got to come home, things started getting harder. I developed a lovely yellow bruise all over one side of my face. I ate my body weight in custard, fruche and apple puree in the first day. But the next day, the local wore off and the painkillers were making me extremely tired and sick. Every time it got within an hour of being due for those painkillers, I was not a happy camper. Nathan set me up in the lounge room with a mountain of pillows and blankets, and I slept there for maybe four nights, with my little guardian-nurse pups of course.

There was a breakthrough on the Saturday night, because it was Dad’s birthday and he was making a feast of white wine steamed giant prawns, Kylie Kwong’s fried rice, garlic spinach, pork belly and trifle. I was not going to sit there with my baby food and miss out on that – so I managed some of everything, very carefully! It was so nice to eat real food again.

Today, it’s a week and a half later. The pain in the incisions is completely gone, and the stitches are starting to come out, which is utterly revolting. The only bad result of the whole thing was that I still have some numbness in my chin, and I sort of always knew that there was going to be ongoing nerve pain in my face as my teeth spread out and rearrange themselves. It’s bad, and I’m not sure how long this will last, but hopefully it’s over soon.

So, good and bad. But for anybody who’s staring down the barrel at this kind of thing, do not be scared! My complications made it bad, but the whole thing was a lot easier than I had imagined. I’m still grateful I never have to do it again though!

Best Dogs

Posie and Rupert are the best little dogs. We took them to the rehabilitation hospital to visit Patrick and we all sat on the shady lawns together – P+R were so well behaved and everybody adored them. I always thought that Rupert would make a good therapy dog if he could just grasp basic commands and learn to not pee on anything resembling a pole. Posie loved jumping all over Patrick’s bed. How great is it that dogs are allowed in the hospital? I wish they were allowed in every hospital.

Aside from that, it’s back to the grindstone. I’ve switched my thesis from a creative piece + exegesis to a straight critical thesis, which feels like a cop out, but it’s kind of a relief. I just couldn’t find a bridge between the two parts I was working on, and neither of them was willing to compromise. The new thesis is basically an extension of the exegesis I was working on, but now I have to figure out ways to make it have finesse and be fleshy. It can be lonely devoting so much brain power to something that you can never talk about in any great depth with anybody else. Like when you are planning a wedding or having a baby or starting a new job, nobody cares about your wedding/baby/job/thesis as much as you do. That doesn’t mean they don’t care at all, but nobody is going to be as intimate with and invested in the details as you, and it can be isolating. Which is why it’s so important to stay interested in other things. I need to get my skates on and read more this year. I want to cook my way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cookinga la Julie Powell. I want to take a painting class. I want to teach myself how to use my big camera, once and for all, and I want to get some special lenses for it. I want to start running again and be one of those annoying people that brags about times. Lots of things to do. If only I had a few more lifetimes to do everything.

There is some bad news too – it looks like we will be postponing our super exciting European adventure for twelve months. I’ve mentioned it before, but this year is an absolute killer. In the next six months, I have to plan a wedding, finish my thesis, figure out my PhD application, do major renovations on the house, and a number of other things. I just don’t have the time or energy to devote to planning something amazing right now. If I’m only going to have one honeymoon, I don’t want to end up regretting not having worked harder on it. It’s a big trip, it costs so much just to fly there from Australia, so I really want to make the trip worthwhile once we actually get there. So the new plan is that next year on our 1+11 year anniversary, we’ll do it. And having had an entire year to plan it properly, it will be everything it deserves to be. And we might skulk around Bali for a little bit at the end of the year to console ourselves in the meantime! 🙂