December – Taking Stock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I finally got the tree up today – it’s not completely done, and I could have done with an extra couple hundred lights, but it has seriously taken seven hours so far and a break is well overdue.

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

Making : a huge mess of boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper, that all has to be cleared away before it can really feel like Christmas
Cooking : nothing at all this week – living on delivered meals, frosty fruits and actual fruits
Drinking : small batch gin that was filtered through Christmas puddings – oh! it’s sold out… maybe get some next year!
Reading : about to start the Belle Gibson exposé by Beau Donelly
Trawling : the internet and catalogues for a couple of last minute gifts
Wanting : my hair colorist to believe me that when I say red, I mean red
Looking : longingly at inflatable pools, seeing as Nathan said we are not getting one this summer… boo
Deciding : how we should be charitable this Christmas… all the animals in Bali affected by the volcano have been on my mind a lot lately
Wishing : for a few things – some for Christmas, some for later
Enjoying : did you know they make Redskins ice cream? It’s a bizarre texture – kind of crumbly like Dippin’ Dots
Waiting : for this multi-day head-and-neck-ache to finally subside
Liking : a dress that I bought last week – a high-low dress covered in pale blue iridescent sequins, exactly like Ariel’s coming-out-of-the-water dress in The Little Mermaid
Wondering : whether a really good massage could sort out this headache…
Loving : our new rug and how it blocks out so much noise from the street – the dogs are not barking at all, they are just laying around asleep on the rug and it’s blissful
Pondering : how people could ever have babies and think “yep, this baby looks like a Trevor/Gavin/Dwayne”
Listening : to my ever-evolving Christmas playlist, pruning and adding to it as I go
Considering : a ski trip next year, maybe
Buying : we just spent a stupid amount of money on swanky new memory foam pillows, and I thought… not flashy cars, not concert tickets, not designer clothes – this is what we will spend money on in our old age?
WatchingMiracle on 34th Street – not watching A Christmas Prince, because the half that I saw was awful
Hoping : that all goes well with the sides of smoked salmon I ordered to be delivered from Tasmania this week – never ordered fish from interstate before!
Marvelling : at how I can get jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks to be delivered to my house in less than half an hour, and recognizing what a dangerous idea this is
Cringing : at the fact that I accidentally left a container full of petrol (for the mower) sitting on the front verandah on the weekend – anybody could have very easily walked by and opportunistically set my house on fire
Needing : to figure out whether we should rent a storage unit after Christmas – we don’t have a garage, and between bikes, Christmas stuff, extra furniture, ski clothes, camping gear… I don’t think we can go much longer trying to store all this stuff in the house
Questioning : what happened to the Sodder children (if you feel like going down a conspiracy theory wormhole)
Wearing : short shorts and flip flops
Noticing : the way that people routinely behave, with clarity, and I’m not about to forget it
Knowing : that I picked a good dress to wear for Christmas Day – loads of room for all the eating we’ll be doing
Thinking : a bit ahead of myself to NYE and what I’m going to pick as resolutions
Admiring : one of my favourite blogger’s (Faux Fuchsia) Christmas tree photos
Getting : philosophical about the year we’ve had, what we’ve achieved, what we could do better, and what we have to look forward to
Bookmarking : Martha Stewart’s recipe for porchetta and salsa verde
Disliking : receiving Christmas cards addressed to Mr and Mrs N Gili – my surname has not changed, but even worse, I hate it that he is afforded a first initial and I am not, it’s beyond aggravating
Opening : half a billion individually wrapped glass ornaments today, bubble wrap everywhere!
Closing : shop this week – I have rejigged my writing schedule so I get a few days off, so that I can devote some serious time to getting this house in order
Feeling : like all the tendons and muscles in my neck are taut rubber bands
Hearing : practically no peeps at all from these dogs – peace and quiet for once!
Celebrating : Christmas as a whole holiday season, not just a day
Pretending : I’m not crying at every Christmas movie right now, that I didn’t cry at the Myer Christmas windows, that the real reason I didn’t want to go to the Christmas display at Crown was because I would cry…
Embracing : all things Christmas (can’t you tell?)

November – Taking Stock

It’s our two month anniversary! (Not that such a thing actually exists, but it’s fun.. 🙂 )
Life has been a little bit quiet lately, full of all sorts of boring grown-up responsibilities and obligations. But it’s about to start getting fun again – it’s almost summer, so many exciting things happening over the next few months.

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

Making : progress with deep cleaning the house
Cooking : spaghetti cacio y pepe (it was awful, do not recommend – there is just something about Australian cheese that means that European or American recipes containing it rarely work out, or I’m just a bad cook)
Drinking : milk
Reading : still stuck on the book that I’m not really into – it’s blocking me, it needs to be abandoned
Trawling : still looking for furniture, but it has to be the right furniture
Wanting : the neighbourhood possums to leave my magnolia alone
Looking : at dream houses and big semi-rural blocks of land
Deciding : to wear my glasses more often
Wishing : I hadn’t let things like speaking Chinese and playing the piano fall out of practice
Enjoying : playing Stardew Valley on my laptop, propped up in bed, while eating zooper doopers
Waiting : for all my roses to bloom
Liking : hail and thunderstorms
Wondering : what the next year will hold, now that everything is up in the air
Loving : Magda Szubanski in that new show Sisters – it’s really cool to see her play somebody so unlike herself, yet it’s so believable
Pondering : why so many companies have to send tiny products in such huge boxes with so much packaging
Listening : to Puccini and Swan Lake, extremely loudly
Considering : going for a walk, but the sky has been pretty black most of the week so far
Buying : flat rate postage satchels, so we can (via ebay) find new homes for some of our stuff
Watching : bad documentaries about the British royals, though it’s kind of disappointing these days because everything is so tightly controlled, so there is no real gossip, not like the Diana/Fergie days
Hoping : that certain things work out exactly as I’ve been told they will
Marvelling : at the most brilliant wedding present ever that Nathan commissioned for me – it’s so wonderful, when it is printed and framed, I’ll share what it is
Cringing : at the fact that I uploaded a ton of wedding photos to facebook, and they all compressed horribly and look bad – now I have to decide whether to resize them all and upload again, or just leave them
Needing : less carbs in my life
Questioning : why a certain duchess is being lauded as “a hit in the fashion stakes” for seriously wearing a completely unremarkable tracksuit
Wearing : ugg boots, strangely enough – we’re in a cold snap
Noticing : that Rupert’s having some appetite issues lately, and being really afraid of what it might mean
Knowing : that I want my hair to grow even longer, but worrying that it might have hit terminal length, because it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere right now
Thinking : I need a new curling iron, and it’s so hard wading through product reviews and then finding out that the product isn’t available in Australia
Admiring : people who are conscientious enough to have real indoor plants in their houses rather than just pretending with plastic ones
Getting : nervous about a flight I have to take in a few weeks – it’s from Avalon, so it’s a smaller plane, which I hate
Bookmarking : a lot of articles about raising backyard chickens – I am determined to be the proud mother of three silkies by this time next year
Disliking : the constant noise of neighbourhood cats jumping around on the tin roof
Opening : literal wardrobe doors and actually going through things, rather than just shutting the door on an avalanche of stuff
Closing : figurative doors on relationships that are just a big ol’ drain
Feeling : a bit shaky right now, a bit stressed
Hearing : from old friends and looking forward to catching up soon
Celebrating : two months!
Pretending : that the shower floor tiles aren’t so cracked that I feel like I’m going to fall through the floor every time I get in
Embracing : the time of year, and that it’s almost time to decorate for Christmas

October – Taking Stock

Just realized I haven’t done this since July! The last few months feel like I’ve fallen into the Bermuda triangle or something – I have absolutely no idea where all that time went. Back to life, back to reality…

Here is my October, inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists:

Making : progress with decluttering and sorting through wedding stuff
Cooking : homemade hamburgers tonight, and barbecue lamb with rosemary and garlic tomorrow
Drinking : rosella tea from Bali
Reading : a book that I’m only sort of half into, but I feel like I should see it through before starting something else
Trawling : internet sales for new bookshelves for the bedroom, that I can paint and line with pretty paper
Wanting : these dogs to stop barking at every single little thing (how dare the neighbours walk in the street or get into their cars? the nerve!)
Looking : out the window at the wisteria that is starting to bloom
Deciding : that we are going to Halls Gap in autumn/winter for my first ever camping trip (which will actually be glamping, but baby steps!)
Wishing : that Aldi did home delivery or click and collect
Enjoying : how much Posie loves broccoli now that I’m mixing vegetables in with their food every night – the other night she asked for seconds and wolfed down half a bowl of plain broccoli
Waiting : nervously to hear what is going on with Nathan’s work situation
Liking : that it is shorts weather again!
Wondering : what I can do to make my indoor plants a bit happier than they are currently
Loving : still loving how great the wedding was – at least once every few days, one of us will bring it up and we’ll go over and over how much we loved it
Pondering : how Christmas is going to go down, with the current state of communications in various pockets of family
Listening : to my wedding reception playlist over and over
Considering : whether I should feed the baby magpies that hang out on my front lawn in the mornings, whether that will endear me to them so they won’t swoop me when they get older
Buying : azaleas, sweet peas, and lavender
Watching : Counting On right now, though Stranger Things is starting again soon (!)
Hoping : that this new rib pain is just a blip – I’m really not up for a repeat of what happened in December and January
Marvelling : at our new dishwasher and how much time and stress it saves us
Cringing : at something inconsequentially stupid that I said when I was a kid, as I lay in bed at night trying to sleep – always
Needing : my new living room rug to be delivered as soon as possible – right now, there is nothing to dampen sound in that room, so the dogs’ barking is like breaking glass or nails on a chalkboard, every time
Questioning : whether some people are just not worth helping or even caring about
Wearing : my new wedding ring, almost every day, and still getting surprised every time I see it on my finger
Noticing : that there is a particular ad on television, for chocolate, that absolutely does not make sense – it’s like it’s been workshopped to the point where it’s illogical, but everybody is in too deep to notice
Knowing : that I will have to get a proper pen-and-paper diary for next year, because I’m really not good with remembering everything I have to do without writing it down
Thinking : about how the menu at Supernormal has all changed recently – it’s exciting, but it’s also kind of sad, knowing that there were dishes we had at our wedding that I won’t be able to taste again
Admiring : a particular fancy Bundt cake tin that I’m thinking about putting on my Christmas wishlist
Getting : a mermaid top to match my tail
Bookmarking : everything I can about backyard chicken keeping
Disliking : the plebiscite yes campaign, and why on earth they think that they can influence what should be a vote of conscience by bullying, degrading and belittling people then hitting back with “well, gay people are bullied more” as if it excuses their actions (I voted yes, for the record, but I’m just pretty disgusted by the vile behaviour on both sides)
Opening : my eyes to the fact that there is no particular movement or political persuasion that has everything 100% right – and what’s scary is that the side who claims to be about free speech and higher level thinking lose their minds if you actually think critically for yourself on any issue
Closing : my mouth and my supply of sympathy, when it comes to supporting ridiculous melodrama that I really cannot be bothered with
Feeling : mostly content, and very settled (not in a bad way) – a bunch of people told us things like “the first year of marriage will be the hardest”, but I feel like we’ve already been through so much hard. So far, it’s been a breeze… it’s as nice as it always is, but without this big, looming, stressful deadline hanging over our heads – it’s probably actually easier than it’s ever been
Hearing : all the allegations about Harvey Weinstein and thinking that I’ve known about it for years, so it’s surprising that it’s only just coming out now
Celebrating : the fact that it’s spring, finally!
Pretending : that I’m not stressed about having done 0% of my Christmas shopping, and still not having a concrete list of who I actually need to buy for – I just really hate leaving shopping to the last minute
Embracing : messy hair and flip flops

July – Taking Stock

Photo is the brief moment when I had the whole cinema to myself last night. Where has this month gone?! It’s insane. The wedding is inching closer and closer, and I’m starting to panic a little about everything I might have forgotten. But here is my July, inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists:

Making : even more mess, all over the house, it’s just endless piles, everywhere
Cooking : teriyaki chicken with Asian greens and black rice (not great) – ham hock, vegetable and barley soup – garlic prawns with coconut rice and roasted cherry tomatoes
Drinking : all the coke zero before it disappears from the shelves forever!
Reading Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman and the two magazines that I accidentally subscribed to when in a post-wisdom teeth drug haze (oops!)
Trawling : through my emails, certain that I’ve missed something
Wanting : my whole wedding dress situation to magically fix itself – it’s a bit of a disaster, of my own making, of course (I’ll write about it after the wedding)
Looking : a little worse for wear – it has been a rough week
Deciding : that I need to do things, I can’t just let myself get overwhelmed and thus paralyzed
Wishing : that this week’s big TN flare would just get out of town
Enjoying : our new electric blanket – sorry, puppy magnet
Waiting : to find out if our honeymoon is actually going to happen or not, or whether I’ll have to go by myself (yep, this is a real thing that is happening)
Liking : that I totally accepted a delivery of French champagne by answering the front door in a fluffy pink dressing gown and ugg boots – so classy
Wondering : if everything will come together for the wedding, or whether I’ll be a mad, panicking, hysterical mess the night before
Loving : the lemon scent of the daphne that Grandma gave me for my 26th birthday, right outside the front door
Pondering : what on earth I’m going to write for my wedding vows and speech – I feel like there is extra pressure on me because everybody knows I studied writing at uni!
Listening : to the eternal soundtrack of Rupert snoring and Posie barking
Considering : backing down on our original rule of no televisions in the bedroom, because it would be so nice to snuggle in bed with the pups and watch a movie… or maybe this is a clue that we need a comfier couch
Buying : a tremendous amount of macarons
Watching : The Beguiled – I loved it, would totally see it again
Hoping : that the pain will ease off soon and let me get back into things
Marvelling : at how much I enjoy having ironed tea towels, instead of just folding them
Cringing : at the fact that all the rugs I’m interested in for the living room are $1000+ and I just cannot justify that with dogs and open fireplace that has a tendency to spit embers past the guard mesh
Needing : to take my Van Gogh print (that I bought at the exhibition) to the framers, then decide where to put it
Questioning : how some people can behave atrociously and then instead of blaming themselves for being disgusting, they blame other people for thinking they are disgusting
Wearing : all comfy clothes, all the time this week
Noticing : that there can be a huge gap between a person’s true character and the mask they show the world, and that it’s always smarter to trust their actions rather than the picture they paint of themselves
Knowing : that last time, I wrote about how it had been too long between Bunnings sausages, and I still haven’t had one!
Thinking : about ways that we can reduce plastic waste in this house and recycle our grey water
Admiring : Posie, who is on her way to learning a trick in Chinese (we say ‘pigu’ and she’s meant to look at her butt – she gets it about 20% of the time at this stage)
Getting : inspiration to start meal prepping more often, because it is so much easier
Bookmarking : photos of Moira Shearer’s hair in The Red Shoes
Disliking : selfishness, drama, toxic behaviour and fragile egos
Opening : envelopes containing RSVPs
Closing : down lines of communication that are draining and pointless
Feeling : well… upbeat and motivated, but also periodically in excruciating pain that strikes without warning, so that evens out to just okay, I guess?
Hearing : so much noise and hate parading as culture and analysis lately – I think the rise of the personal essay has a lot to answer for
Celebrating : every time I get a few pain-free hours
Pretending : that everything is under control
Embracing : winter, for once, because it’s flying by so fast – if it’s going to be awful, it might as well be quick!

June – Taking Stock

It’s winter! But luckily, the shortest day of the year happened this week, which means one thing – we’re in the home stretch towards summer, thank god. There are a bunch of things at the moment that are pretty great, a bunch that aren’t so great, but it’s never boring. Inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists:

Making : headway into my wedding to do list
Cooking : beef and spinach curry, saffron rice and cucumber yoghurt + ‘diet’ scalloped potatoes (which aren’t diet at all), asparagus and scotch fillet + I’m thinking maybe salmon tonight
Drinking : endless cups of lemon, ginger and honey tea
Reading Awakenings by Dr Oliver Sacks – so fascinating, so sad, so humbling
Trawling : for vintage Christopher Pike books
Wanting : to seriously just lay in bed with the heater on and play Age of Empires by myself for three days
Looking : at speed cleaning vlogs for inspiration, even if they do sometimes make me feel kind of hopeless
Deciding : that I really don’t need certain kinds of noise in my life
Wishing : that all the late spring/early summer flowers that I want for the wedding would magically be available for me at the right time
Enjoying : the fact that we’re not dealing with dog attacks every night anymore, and how much happier Posie is lately because of it
Waiting : for a time when Nathan will finally decide that it’s not reasonable for us to live in this crumbling house and that we will finally get started on renovations
Liking : taking a partial holiday from the news over the last few weeks – the Grenfell tower fire was just too upsetting to watch and brought back all sorts of anxious feelings about September 11, and I just figured self-preservation is a better option for me if the news media is going to be such a bunch of trauma vultures
Wondering : if I’ll be able to get myself on a plane in a few weeks – every time I have a flight ahead of me, I’m scared that it’ll be the time that I get to the airport and just can’t bring myself to do it, and have to come home feeling like a coward
Loving : “ye finny tribes” was a line in the libretto of Haydn’s Creation, which we saw last week – it means “fish” and I will laugh about this forever
Pondering : whether I’m ever going to own a pair of pants or leggings that aren’t baggy around the ankles
Listening : to my wedding music playlists and trying to decide whether to go for stylish ambiance or whether to just mash together all my favourite songs, no matter how eclectic (or jarring)
Considering : whether I need to re-pot my phalaenopsis orchids to make them bloom again
Buying : French champagne and cookbooks, merino sweaters and oh god, I have to get started on Christmas presents…
Watching : (or will be watching) Macbeth, next week
Hoping : that my skin can magically get it together in the next two months
Marvelling : at how much of a miracle drug Vivitonin has been for Rupert with his dementia, he’s seriously a new dog
Cringing : at my lack of assertiveness in situations where I should speak up
Needing : to make some specialist appointments that I have been putting off (explaining myself over and over is exhausting)
Questioning : whyyyy the wedding invitation company had to put their logo on the corner of the envelope
Wearing : my fluffy pink dressing gown at every opportunity
Noticing : that I’m getting a pretty deep wrinkle under one of my eyes and wondering what to do about it
Knowing : that it has been too long between Bunnings trips and that should be rectified this weekend
Thinking : that this whole Pauline Hanson thing is a storm in a teacup (frankly, she’s not a good communicator and even if she occasionally says worthy things, she almost always couches them in offensive terms) and that people need to respond philosophically and thoughtfully rather than emotively and irrationally just because their children have autism
Admiring : people aren’t too stubborn to let their opinions change when they listen to sage advice or tales of experience
Getting : a new dishwasher, I hope, since we haven’t been able to use the old one for over a year and we are the worst at doing dishes in a timely fashion
Bookmarking : all sorts of stopover guides to Singapore
Disliking : pretension, but also unwarranted arrogance
Opening : the bedroom curtains and letting the natural light wake me up each morning instead of using my light box
Closing : myself off from things that are just going to make me upset, over and over again
Feeling : pretty down lately, but motivated about starting a new exercise regime next week
Hearing : Rupert’s squeaky little dream-barks while he’s asleep on the sofa
Celebrating : the emergence of spring and winter bulbs, pushing through the soil (and weeds)
Pretending : (I totally skipped this one when I first published) mmm… pretending that I feel like socializing lately, I suppose
Embracing : that the dogs have decided they love sleeping in their own beds if we turn the heater on for them – I miss snuggles, but it’s so nice to actually have some room in the bed!

May – Taking Stock

I don’t have a lot of exciting things to share right now. Life is a bit of a slog at this time of year, these first few months have been plagued by some unlucky health. And there’s a lot of running around and chores involved in planning a wedding, even a small one. So our weekends aren’t exactly brimming with adventure either. For now, there’s this (inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists).

Making : lots of lists, about all sorts of things – pre-surgery house cleaning plans, shopping lists, wedding to-do lists, timelines, lots of things
Cooking : this spicy rice dish that is sort of a cross between nasi goreng and paella – it’s really good, I’ll write up the recipe some time
Drinking : a lot of milk lately, which Nathan is pleased about (he’s always strangely concerned about me getting enough calcium)
Reading : not a great deal at the moment, unfortunately, but I have The Girl on the Train lined up for my recovery period next week
Trawling : through criticism and analysis about The Handmaid’s Tale
Wanting : to skip the next few weeks
Looking : around this utter trash-pile of a house and trying to figure out where to start
Deciding : what to wear for the wedding
Wishing : that I didn’t have TN and it wasn’t even a consideration for this whole wisdom teeth thing
Enjoying : Mother’s Day chocolates (thanks P+R)
Waiting : fitfully, nervously, miserably, anxiously… this awful anticipation is not fun at all
Liking : the fact that I made beef and spinach curry for Mother’s Day for Nathan’s family, and his grandmother (who never eats red meat) not only ate it and enjoyed it, but had seconds – such a win
Wondering : whether Tim and Eric are exploiting some of the people on their show, and feeling a bit weird about it
Loving : the way the light filters through the batik quilt that I am using as a makeshift curtain in the bedroom at the moment, until I get new proper curtains
Pondering : all the things I have to get organized and ready for surgery
Listening : to Carmen
Considering : whether my new Fitbit needs a firmware update or whether it’s just faulty 🙁
Buying : mermaid makeup brushes, because of course
Watching : The Handmaid’s TaleTim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Hoping : that everything goes well next week; that I don’t vomit after general anaesthetic; that I don’t end up with nerve damage; that I don’t end up with holes in my sinuses; that I don’t end up just bursting into tears like a wimp
Marvelling : at what a total blessing it is to have a heater that actually works on these cold days
Cringing : at how much sugar I have consumed lately, and how it equals instant bad skin
Needing : to do a lot of work on the garden this week
Questioning : how many beds these dogs can possibly own (we’re at eight right now, but it’s more common for them to just lay on the floor instead)
Wearing : the warmest, coziest merino cardigan
Noticing : how you get a much clearer sense of people when you see the way they act when they think nobody is watching
Knowing : that the most likely scenario is that everything will be okay
Thinking : about Bali in September, and hoping we’ll get to see a mola mola
Admiring : Nathan’s handsome face (he shaved his beard off recently on a whim, like he always does) + Joanna Lumley for just being her brilliant self
Getting : new socks, new nighties, new pajama pants, seeing as I’ll be spending a little while on the couch
Bookmarking : fancy restaurants to go to for our birthday (a big one for me!)
Disliking : this new phase of Rupert’s age-related decline – he might have to go on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds, big sigh
Opening : important emails + boxes of nurofen
Closing : my eyes every night but barely sleeping
Feeling : scared, sad, lonely, freaked out, agitated, anxious, raw, jittery and in need of constant distraction
Hearing : again, finally – the jaw infection made my ears so blocked up
Celebrating : Mother’s Day + Jennifer and Dad’s birthdays
Pretending : that all things are within my control
Embracing : being the queen of getting cheap airfares (between now and March, it’ll be Brisbane, Bali, Singapore, Sydney and the Gold Coast  – yay but bring on the valium)

April – Taking Stock


Inspired by Pip Lincolne‘s lists, here’s mine for April. It’s hard this month because I would have answers for things like fearing, dreading, worrying or ignoring – these more positive things are a bit of a challenge right now. Photo describes my Wednesday. I knew there was a reason that I take so many silly face selfies!

Making : silly plans for Easter baskets for Nathan and the dogs.
Cooking : Italian meatballs, that turned out rubbish… sigh.
Drinking : a lot of hot tea.
Reading : everything about second wave feminism for the thesis.
Trawling : Pinterest for wedding dresses.
Wanting : a mansion, a lifetime of free plane tickets, immortality potions for the dogs and a couple million dollars – you know, the usual stuff.
Looking : forward, not back.
Deciding : that sometimes I need to be accommodating of other people’s feelings, but sometimes they need to be accommodating of mine.
Wishing : that I had a personal butler.
Enjoying : pineapple cakes that Dad brought back from Taipei.
Waiting : always waiting.
Liking : that I received a cardigan in the mail today that was vacuum packed so it was completely flat and fit into a envelope rather than a packet.
Wondering : whether Lipsense is as good as everybody says.
Loving : that Nathan slipped a punnet of strawberries into the shopping basket as a little surprise for me, even though he hates them.
Pondering : whether there is a way to store (freezing?) the overripe bananas in the kitchen that are only really good for muffin making.
Listening : to our exceptionally loud heater.
Considering : the pros and cons of Dad potentially moving to Taipei.
Buying : a special secret present for Nathan that he is not allowed to know about.
Watching : (or wishing I was watching) The Handmaid’s Tale.
Hoping : that the Easter bunny will skip the chocolate this year, but will leave something extra special in the backyard instead (unlikely).
Marvelling : at how some things turn out exactly as they are supposed to.
Cringing : (at 3am when I can’t sleep) at all the stupid things I’ve ever done.
Needing : to do some serious yard work so I’m not embarrassed anytime people come to the door.
Questioning : why I like disaster movies so much, even though they are mostly awful.
Smelling : my freshly washed hair.
Wearing : a weird haphazard assortment of summer and winter clothes because the weather can’t make up its mind.
Noticing : and noting the people who only contact you when they want something.
Knowing : that next time we buy a house, lack of linen closet is a dealbreaker.
Thinking : about a new (old) hair colour.
Admiring : a particular wedding dress that is simply far too beautiful and probably way too expensive to even think about.
Getting : some weird allergic symptoms lately, that we think is from some plant in the neighbourhood that must be unusually vigorous in this strange weather.
Bookmarking : news articles that make me mad, so I can show Nathan and we can get mad about them together.
Disliking : how many trips to the vet we’re making these days.
Opening : my closet and wondering whether dresses multiply in the dark.
Closing : cans of worms that are better left unopened.
Feeling : very scattered right now, there are so many things competing for my attention.
Hearing : my senior next door neighbours playing extremely loud dance music for some reason.
Celebrating : that it’s Friday. Not that this weekend is particularly exciting.
Pretending : I didn’t post a #throwbackthursday photo a day early by mistake. 🙂
Embracing : socks and ugg boots.

And a few more:

Biting : the hell out of my chapped lips right now in this in-between-y weather.
Craving : some intangible food that probably doesn’t exist, but it’s frustrating because everything else tastes like sawdust and wallpaper paste in the meantime.
Rejoicing : that I seem to be TN free right now!
Realizing : how my biggest doses of unluckiness seem to be balanced out by some supremely awesome luckiness.

March – Taking Stock

Inspired by Pip Lincolne’s list, here’s mine for March (even though we’ve just begun) –

Making : a year long to-do list with lots of mini-deadlines along the way
Cooking : pork chops and asparagus and roasted tomatoes for a very late lunch that is also kind of dinner too
Drinking : I had a pickleback (a shot of whisky then a shot of pickle juice) the other night, and it was WOAH
Reading : not very much, unfortunately – my book list is a wasteland right now
Trawling : through my wardrobe to find clothes to donate to thrift stores – everything takes up too much space
Wanting : to skip all this hard weight loss stuff and just magically arrive at the maintenance phase – that would be so much easier to live with
Looking : at recipes to make for Easter, like gingerbread cheesecake
Deciding : finally that I am going to lay bricks on my driveway and paths, by hand, because I didn’t need anything else on my plate…
Wishing : that I had the funds to hire an assistant who would oversee and direct all house-related renovations and landscaping so I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed by it all
Enjoying : the beach, as much as I can before it gets cold
Waiting : for my brother to get out of hospital
Liking : the new floral boots I got this week, even if the whole buying process was a gigantic drag
Wondering : what I should cook to use up the half a bottle of white wine in the fridge
Loving : white peaches right now – they are seriously perfect
Pondering : whether this blog should be private, since nobody but me ever reads it
Listening : to Radiohead
Considering : how best to help somebody without making things worse for them
Buying : new underwear for Nathan so he will finally let go of his worst, raggiest, baggiest underwear
WatchingMoana (okay but a bit disappointing) and Pearl Harbor (pretty rubbish)
Hoping : that I can somehow find the perfect wedding dress in time for September
Marvelling : at all the crazy baby names on the Bonds Baby Search (it’s my annual sport)
Cringing : at how invested I am in the lives of horrible strangers on television
Needing : to weed the garden bed around my struggling camellia
Questioning : whether my thesis topic is strong enough this time
Smelling : the faint scent of wine, butter and leeks still in the kitchen from this week’s French cooking adventures
Wearing : all my Bali clothes while the weather is still warm enough – shorts every day!
Noticing : that my skin goes to hell when I eat bad food
Knowing : that unfortunately my body is too lumpy and untoned to wear the new tank dresses I thought were going to be indispensible basics
Thinking : about my thesis, forever and ever
Admiring : my little counter top mushroom box and how all those mushrooms double in size in the space of a single day
Getting : riled up on behalf of poor people getting ripped apart in internet comments, despite not even participating myself
Bookmarking : about one or two chapters in – all the books that I have started and not finished in the last few months
Disliking : sore hamstrings from doing high kicks while I was dancing around the house yesterday
Opening : all the letter that have been piling up on the television cabinet for weeks
Closing : browser tabs that contain articles or debates that just make me angry about the world
Feeling : a little all over the place right now – yesterday was pretty rubbish
Hearing : all the zooming, rumbling and roaring of the nearby Avalon Airshow
Celebrating : the fact that I successfully browned mushrooms in butter instead of having them collapse into a flaccid, sweaty, pale mess (Julia Child would be proud)
Pretending : that Rupert’s unfortunate nighttime biting habit is a result of him being a shellshocked WWI veteran and having war flashbacks (this is the story we tell him)
Embracing : going back to uni next week, even if I don’t feel (and will never feel) completely ready

February – Taking Stock

Inspired by Pip Lincolne’s list, here’s mine for February (even though we’re not even halfway through) –

Making : tentative honeymoon plans
Cooking : everything from scratch and with limited ingredients, which is sometimes great and other times it’s a gigantic expensive pain
Drinking : only water, unfortunately (we saw chocolate milk in the supermarket the other day and nearly cried)
Reading : a Jackie Kennedy biography that I started years ago, and abandoned as soon as it got to the funeral bit
Trawling : through the neverending chaos on our dining table, so many things still not unpacked from Japan
Wanting : to just go to the beach every day
Looking : at the tendril of wisteria that has worked its way into our living room through a gap in the window
Deciding : what barely edible low carb food to spend hours cooking tomorrow
Wishing : that I could eat all the bread and soft cheese I wanted and still lose weight
Enjoying : the last few weeks of freedom before it’s back into honours coursework
Waiting : until I get a bonus point on this awful diet so I can eat some cheese, but…
Liking : that I have actually lost some weight so far and I have a single chin again
Wondering : whether the minor TN that is bothering me today is going to explode into another week of horrible attacks
Loving : all the roses in bloom in my garden right now
Pondering : some big decisions regarding the wedding
Listening : to Swan Lake, over and over
Considering : whether the risk of terrorism in France is enough to put me off traveling there
Buying : (or planning to buy) bulk bulbs to plant in Autumn
Watching : Martha Stewart (good) and Married at First Sight (bad)
Hoping : that the camellia that Dad gave me can just hang on through the rest of summer and lay down some good roots in autumn
Marvelling : at the sheer volume of Christmas stuff we own, now that it’s all in giant tubs that have nowhere to live (we need a garage)
Cringing : at the general state of affairs in the US right now, not that our government is much better
Needing : somebody to come and repair my television aerial
Questioning : whether the living room should stay charcoal, or whether all-white-scandi-everything is just a fad
Smelling : the heady perfume of the rose bush that Grandma got me, every time I open the front door
Wearing : a peachy pink ombre swing dress from Bali that Nathan said “really brings out your eyes”
Noticing : that the more effort I put into my skin, the better it looks
Knowing : that I need to get my skates on with this novel and with my thesis – even one alone is a huge undertaking, but doing both at the same time is scarily big for anybody, but especially for me and my long history of collapsing in a heap whenever I have too much weight on my shoulders
Thinking : about planting an apricot tree in Posie’s Forest (aka Rupert’s Wood)
Admiring : NASA and the EPA and the Parks Service for their committment to science and truth in the face of dangerous fascism
Getting : over not being able to eat any cheese (they actually did studies that proved that cheese is as addictive as cocaine, so this is serious, okay?)
Bookmarking : articles about how to force tulip bulbs in an indoor glass vase
Disliking : that my finger is still bruised from mis-catching a falling Vegemite jar
Opening : packages, containing French and Italian phrasebooks
Closing : the door to my incredible messy office – out of sight, out of mind
Feeling : thinner than a couple of weeks ago, but still at least a third fatter than I should be
Hearing : Posie barking endlessly at some tradesmen working on next door’s chimney
Celebrating : little everyday victories – last week, it was a major triumph to even have a shower… the fact that I could even do that was worth celebrating
Pretending : that I’m not a little sad that if everything had gone to plan in 2016, that I would have another graduation ceremony coming up in a couple of months
Embracing : the fact that I’m turning into a bit of a plant lady (no such thing as too many plants)

And I’m adding a couple of my own…

Fearing : sharks, especially because Dad and I are going snorkelling on the weekend (which will be the first chance to try out my new awesome pink gear)
Accepting : that there will be times when I will fail or stumble, and that’s okay so long as it’s a comma and not a full stop
Worrying : about people being angry or upset by some of our wedding plans, but also recognizing that I really shouldn’t care what anybody else thinks apart from Nathan
Enjoying : the fact that even the smallest amount of the right exercise can have a marked impact in a short time
Daydreaming : about how nice it would be to fly first class, just once
Plotting : what sort of traveling I want to do and the places I want to see in the next five years, and wondering how that will fit in with everything else I’ve got planned

January – Taking Stock


Only one more Japan post to go, but I need to break things up a bit. Inspired by Pip Lincolne’s list, here’s mine for January (I started one in December last year and never got around to posting it, but new year, fresh start, etc – not sure if I’ll do them every month though, we’ll see!) –

Making : plans for Nigel (ha)
Cooking : roast beef, roast pumpkin and ratatouille
Drinking : too much lemonade
Reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Trawling : through our Japan photos and trying to get them organized
Wanting : to just go to the beach every day
Looking : at the Christmas tree and dreading packing it away, and how bare the house will look without it
Deciding : how to reapproach my honours thesis in a way that won’t drag me back into the depths of despair of 2016
Wishing : that summer would last forever
Enjoying : the way my garden smells when I water it and it can finally relax after a seriously hot day
Waiting : for all this wisdom teeth business to be behind us, so we can get on with making this a year of change
Liking : my jaunty new fiddle leaf fig, and all the tiny pockets of beauty amongst the weeds in my garden
Wondering : whether I can inspire Nathan into shaking off his own bad habits in this new year
Loving : Gwen Stefani’s dip dyed wedding dress (no matter how the actual marriage turned out)
Pondering : what these next 12 months will actually look like, despite all my best laid plans
Listening : to the wisteria’s new shoots whipping around in the wind and tapping on the window
Considering : whether or not a bride can justify wearing a legit crown to a city hall wedding
Buying : not a lot (with vet bills, teeth bills and more upcoming vet bills, we’re on a financial diet)
Watching : the documentary Man on Wire – very good, very worthwhile
Hoping : I can figure out a way of braiding my harvested garlic, so I can store it properly
Marvelling : at how much freedom I have now that I can take the dogs (in stroller) for walks
Cringing : at the NYE coverage that we witnessed on The Loop, it was awful
Needing : to feel sand between my toes, salt in my hair, surging water up to my neck and over my head
Questioning : Nathan’s need to have the air conditioner on constantly when it’s the only time of the year I can feel my feet properly
Smelling : David Austin roses embarking on their second bloom in my front garden
Wearing : shorts, surprisingly, almost every day
Noticing : a sprinkling of new freckles over my shoulders and chest
Knowing : that with certain people, I have finally reached my threshold and will be tolerating no more, ever again
Thinking : about how much higher the stakes will be at this year’s RWA conference in Brisbane – pitching this time!
Admiring : Carrie Fisher, for being braver and more honest than I ever could be
Getting : nervous about the state of my own teeth, given what Nathan’s just been through
Bookmarking : patterns and ideas for the wedding quilt that Mum is making for us
Disliking : that I broke my favourite little garden shovel right in the midst of a big planting session
Opening : myself up to new ideas, people, habits, adventures, etc
Closing : down sources of toxicity in my life – ain’t nobody got time for that, especially not this year
Feeling : wary AND weary, but hopeful and focused
Hearing : The Who’s Tommy and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, in their entirety
Celebrating : the mussel festival next weekend with my family
Pretending : that this rib pain thing is getting better, when it’s really not, and I’m afraid of what that likely means
Embracing : rituals, routines and the work ahead – it’s going to be a hell of a year