Little Bits – Last Days of Summer

  • The kittens are out of the bathroom almost full time now – we only put them away at bedtime or if we’re going to be out for hours. Everybody has acclimatized and it’s feeling very harmonious right now. I’m still not there with adoring them, but I’m getting there. At least 50% of the time, I’m glad we got them and feel happy that they are a part of our little family. The other 50% of the time, they are snacking on my maidenhead fern. We’re working on it.
  • I’m realizing, in my old age, that self-care is actually pretty important. This doesn’t necessarily mean things like long bubble baths or shopping sprees, but little things. I am currently typing this blog post with an eye mask on, and it feels luxurious. Later I’m going to cook Mongolian beef for dinner so I can eat something delicious without feeling gross afterwards. Tonight I will put moisturizer and socks on my feet before I go to bed and wake up feeling like a newborn baby angel from the ankles down. Next week, I’m going to go to yoga and stretch myself out. All self-care, all important stuff.
  • Olivia Colman won Best Actress at the Oscars and I’m so happy for her. She said something like “I hope my kids are watching because this will never happen again”.. and it’s kind of true, and it makes it more magical that it could have happened to Hollywood elite or the more ‘usual’ choices, and instead it happened to her (and well deservedly, too).
  • I had the best appointment with my eye surgeon yesterday and a really positive plan is in place. I will be having botox injections in the muscles of my eye – probably in a few months when I have a better schedule for recovery time. I may have to wear an eye patch for a few weeks. Surgery is still a possibility for the future, but not right now. I might talk some more about this later.
  • We are finally planning on Taiwan trip, and oh boy, there is pressure. It’s essential that Nathan falls in love with it as much as I have, and there’s so much to show him. We are deliberately going in autumn so that the heat and humidity won’t be so oppressive. I hope he loves it, I think he will. I mean, there is food, of course he’ll love it.
  • I can’t believe summer is almost over. It has gone so fast, I’m not ready. I’m trying to pump myself up by reminding myself of all the perks of autumn (not getting sunburned! soup weather! time to plant bulbs! not too hot to exercise! cardigans, scarves and layering!) but it’s hard – I haven’t even made it to a surf beach this summer, which kills me. Hopefully this weather will last a few more weeks, at least.

Little Bits – October Edition

Countdown is on for Bali, we’re almost single digits. I’m so ready for this. I never feel so powerful and in control of my own life as when I’m overseas. But aside from that, I’ve been listening to the song “Fascinating Rhythm” and thinking about the line – ‘Oh how I long to be the girl I used to be’. I was in Bali just over a year ago for our honeymoon, and that girl is worlds away from how I am now. This year has done a number on me, as I’ve talked about over and over. It would be so nice to be spontaneous and fun and optimistic again, maybe this is the ticket.

I love October. This morning alone has been thundery, stormy, dark and now bright and sunny. It’s kind of humid too, which I am loving. I also love how green and fresh everything is in October, how the weather is up and down, but summer beckons. It’s also a little respite from having to be places and see people every weekend, which is very welcome after the eight birthdays/anniversaries/Father’s Days that we have to get through in September.

I just realized that I haven’t posted about our birthday yet – I will get onto that very soon! This week or next. I promise it was exciting.

Also exciting is this: we have a solution to the shower issue. All year (since I fell through the floor) we’ve been going to Mum’s every day for showers. Not ideal and a huge chunk out of our days. For a bunch of reasons, including potentially knocking the house down next year and wanting just a shower rather than a whole bathroom, my dad is putting in an ugly but functional, practical but safe solution. I can’t wait to just, without thought or planning, get up in the morning and have a shower and get dressed. I can’t wait to be able to exercise and have a shower afterwards, instead of waiting around until I get to go to Mum’s. I can’t wait to be able do things like gardening or deep cleaning without having to sit around all sweaty and dirty afterwards. It’s going to be glorious. I’ll have ten showers in a row, just because I can.

So we went to a wedding last week, and I would have had full length photos but we were in such a screaming rush to get there, it just didn’t end up happening. And possibly for good reason. Not to rat anybody out, but somebody wasn’t listening when I said that I (a regular girl, not high maintenance at all) would need extra time to do my hair and makeup. Somebody didn’t listen to my constant comments that “we need to go now” and “we don’t have enough time for that, let’s go”. As a result, another somebody ended up with a total of 30 minutes total to have a shower, shave my legs, get dressed and do hair and makeup. As a further result, I ended up with scruffy hair that was still wet when we got in the car and the quickest makeup job of all time. I looked like this:

Yep. It was bad.

Little Bits – Almost Winter

We went to see Belle and Sebastian on Friday night, and it was everything I’ve been dreaming of since the last time I saw them – when I was sixteen! I think they definitely qualify as my favourite band. There is nobody else that I have such a hard time deciding which is my favourite song because there are so many wonderful ones to choose from. The best part of the whole concert was the setlist – it was everything I could have hoped for, except Lazy Line Painter Jane. But I got that one last time, and I did get Jonathan David.

On the weekend, we had dinner with my family and I decided to make vanilla custard cannoli. Not quite from scratch – I made the custard to pipe into pre-made shells. I should have taken a photo because they looked quite enticing dusted with powdered sugar and surrounded by strawberries. Dad was impressed and declared that I will be making them again.

My embroidery progress stalled this week (I’ll write more about why later, when I’m feeling a bit more ready), so nothing to report there. Every creative thing I do always seems to come along in fits and starts. Hopefully I’ll have another burst of energy this week… in a few areas, could be nice. It’s almost time to start knitting again too. I have a gigantic blanket that I began years ago as a gift for somebody who I later realized doesn’t exactly appreciate handmade things, so it’s probably best to just keep it for myself. It’s huge and only about four or five balls of yarn away from being finished… the nicest thing about working on it is that I can drape it over myself and be all cozy while I work on it, so definitely a winter activity.

I saw my dream house for sale tonight – the auction is tomorrow. The most frustrating part is knowing that we could technically afford it, but there is a big difference between what you can afford in dollar terms and what you can afford as a responsible adult with a million other obligations and no crystal ball to see what the future holds. I know there will be other dream houses, and I know that this house could be pretty lovely once we fix it up, but it’s still sad to know that this particular one is just a daydream.

You know how sometimes in publishing, there will be a little rush of similarly themed books being released in a particular time period… most probably by chance? Well… that has happened, and it seems that the novel that I have been working on will most likely be very same-old-same-old  (or worse – “that’s so 2017”) once it’s finished and ready to submit. I don’t know what to do. I don’t really have any other big ideas ready for jumping into right now. Actually I have a million ideas, but letting them steep and marinate before plotting takes time, and I just wish the whole process would happen a bit faster.

I have been neglecting this blog, a lot. I think part of the issue is that I’m not taking any photos, and I’m not taking photos because my surroundings are so ugly right now. I don’t want to be in photos because I am ugly too right now. And then it feels like… I suppose I’ve been sort of guarding myself from feeling any big feelings or thinking any big thoughts over the last few months, because it feels like there is no physical space for them right now. It’s hard to explain. I know what the cure is, but it’s going to be a long road full of persistence and hard work, which is never immediately fun. I won’t let this blog die, but I don’t think it’s going to be particularly bright or shiny this year. Unfortunately.



So on the weekend, I went to Brisbane for a writer’s conference that I had been waiting all year for. I managed the flight like a total pro and was feeling pretty pleased with myself, and then… disaster. I woke up on Friday morning feeling like utter death and it did not get better for the whole weekend. It was even severe enough that I had three nosebleeds, which is big considering I’d never had even one before. Judging by the big fevers involved, the severity and the length so far, it is almost definitely the flu… which is kind of ironic, because I managed to get the flu last year on my way home from the same conference. Maybe I’m just not meant to frequent airports in winter.

I came home on Monday. Nathan was a total prince and drove all the way to the airport to collect me, bearing pillows, blankets and a mask so I wouldn’t pass the germs along. I’ve spent the days since living in pajamas and making all sorts of lovely honking and snarfling noises. Best part: I read some articles about how this is apparently Australia’s worst flu season ever, and rushed to call my parents to tell them to get the vaccine. Except they both already had it. I had not. Which is why I am now sick. After last year, you think I would have learned.

But apart from that…

Game of Thrones is getting really good. I am bursting with theories.
Jamie’s Italian was not as good as I thought it would be.
Good god, weddings are expensive.
My ongoing oyster craving enters week three.
Writing plans for the next quarter finally feel on track.
My roses are pruned, fed and covered in baby leaves – exciting.
We joined a farm CSA to be more mindful and ethical about our meat consumption.
I have a serious love for things that come in little blue boxes.
Far out, I’m almost thirty.
Nathan installed The Sims 3 on my laptop and I’m having the best time micromanaging the adventures of Johanna, Posie and Rupert. I mean, Juniper, Pancake and Rootbeer.
… and I am now the proud owner of a sparkly gold mermaid tail that will be gracing the esplanade at Eastern Beach this summer.

But more on that when it happens!

Little Bits – After the Rain

  • I saw a huge rainbow this week. So intense, and you could make out every distinct colour. I wish that there was a camera capable of capturing how bright it was. Pity it was over a horrid patch of industrial land near the highway. A rainbow this beautiful deserved to be over a verdant rainforest or some friendly cows grazing on buttercups, or something.
  • It’s almost spring! I hate this time of year so much, so it’s especially welcome to know that we’re so close to the finish line. Bring on shorts weather!
  • Speaking of finish lines, it’s also nice to think that there will be a time – very soon – when I will never have to plan a wedding again (fingers crossed). Lots of people have said that a small wedding must be easier to plan, and I definitely thought that was the case before I started, but it’s not at all. For everything that needs to be organized, it’s still exactly the same amount of emails, phone calls, researching, agonizing, stressing. Just a smaller number of people.
  • I bought a gigantic rug yesterday. It’s cream. I am not sure yet whether this is a brilliant idea or a terrible one. My rationale is that Rupert’s incredible shedding will blend in with the rug and I won’t constantly see the hair five minutes after vacuuming, like I did with our old black and white rug. But I am wondering how much time I’m going to spend on my hands and knees wiping away dirty paw prints. We’ll see when it arrives!
  • I’m off to my second ever writing conference tomorrow, which means getting on a plane. I don’t think there will ever again be a time that I don’t hate flying.
  • I’m growing garlic again this year – three types. It’s frustrating because it takes such a long time (9-ish months), but it’s so worth it. The bulbs I harvested last year were small, but full of flavour and quite hot. I roasted half and turned the rest into garlic butter, and froze it all in ice cube trays. This time, I think I’ll just turn it all into garlic butter, or maybe garlic and herb butters. It has been so amazing for garlic bread, on baked potatoes, for sauteing prawns… it’s just really good.
  • So, I hoped my little heart out that the Easter bunny would bring a chicken coop for the backyard and that didn’t happen, so now I’m pining all my hopes on Santa. I would love some pet chickens, and I’m sure the pups would love to eat omelettes for breakfast every morning. To be completely honest though, I’m kind of afraid of chickens though. They are kind of like baby dinosaurs, but they also seem so fragile.
  • Our honeymoon disaster has been averted and Nathan can come after all! I was completely prepared to suck it up and either go alone or not at all, but his boss insisted that a honeymoon was something unmissable and that his work projects could pause for a bit. He still has to come home earlier than me, but it will be very nice to have some time to relax together. Though we still have totally mismatched ideas about what constitutes a holiday, so I’ll be going off on some little solo adventures while Nathan drinks cocktails by the pool.
  • Something very special is coming in the mail today. I’ve been stalking the tracking information for weeks, and it looks like today is that day (or it better be – otherwise I’ll have to wait until I get home next week). It’s technically my birthday present and I won’t be able to use it for a while, but it’s like the pinnacle of my childhood fantasies. I think I’ll be keeping it to myself until I can actually show it in action though.
  • I love my suitcase. It’s sitting in the lounge room right now and I can’t help but admire it. You know in the old days how people would have those leather trunks covered in stickers from all the places they had been? Well, mine doesn’t have stickers, but it’s already full of memories. Despite my fear of flying, I just really love travelling. I’m really hoping there will be an opportunity next year to bring Nathan to Taiwan. It came up in conversation on the weekend how there can be places that you barely lived in, have spent such a short period of your life in, but when you get off the plane, you’re home. I feel that way about Taiwan.

And that’s about all right now. Endless lists of little bits seem to be the thing for me these days. It’s been a long time since I didn’t feel totally scattered. Getting past the wedding will be such a load off my shoulders. This honeymoon can’t come fast enough.