Rupert’s 2018 Hospital Adventure

Here we are again! Rupert has aspiration pneumonia.

Being transported in his oxygen tent.

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

So impressed that Nathan came to pick him up.

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

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

New Year, Good and Bad

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

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

Burrito bowl of dreams.

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

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

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

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

(Angry) Thoughts on The House of Mirth

For science, read this article first.

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

Anyway. I wanted to watch The House of Mirth.

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

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

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

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

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

2017 – What a Year!

January

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

February

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

March

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

April

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

May

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

June

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

July

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

August

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

September

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

October

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

November

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

December

 

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

All in All

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

Christmas Day

Santa came! We didn’t go too crazy this year, but there were a few special things under the tree. The pups got cozy new beds, a toy and a bucket of treats each, and an agility tunnel that we’re going to work on with them. Very spoiled.

After a breakfast of cookies and compulsory viewing of AD/BC (a Christmas morning tradition), we headed over to Mum’s house. This year we were doing something different – I basically hosted Christmas by proxy. I planned the menu, delegated different things to people and organized everything, but we had it at Mum’s and she did the decorating (which worked for us, because our house needs renovations before we can do any sort of hosting here). It worked really well. Everybody was so relaxed and the whole day went off without a single disaster, argument or anything. Oh, except for one thing: when we arrived, Dad wasn’t there, because my Grandma was in emergency. I was pretty upset and we were all very tense until we got an update. Long story short, Grandma is much better, and we’re all so relieved.

Anyway, Dad and I had a special project this year and I seriously have not stopped with the self-congratulation. We decided that plain roast pork wasn’t fancy enough – we made a Martha Stewart porchetta, complete with imported fennel pollen. It was seriously amazing. Crackling all the way around, perfectly cooked and so ‘extra’ in every way. We even went over for Boxing Day porchetta and salsa verde sandwiches tonight, it was that good. Such a triumph, and it absolutely bloody should have been… it was very expensive to make!

Dad got back in time to eat a very late lunch and we opened presents and ate ice cream Christmas pudding. As much as it would be nice to eat a traditional meal, I really prefer eating lighter food at Christmas. It’s summer, first of all, and secondly, it’s just too hard to eat really heavy food when most of us have two Christmases to go to.

Christmas naps were enjoyed by all.

We went to Nathan’s brother’s house for yet more food, then swung back by Mum’s house to pick up the dogs and finally tumbled into bed with the biggest food hangovers ever. I gingerly sipped on a slurpee and moaned about how sick I felt, telling Nathan I had The Fear. If you’re not familiar with the term, look it up. I fully believe it’s applicable to many more situations than just drinking – as in, on Christmas night, I truly did have The Fear that I would die from having consumed so much food (see, it works).

My Favourite Christmas Movies

I am mad about Christmas. Everything takes on special meaning – “we’re eating Christmas cookies and drinking Christmas eggnog from our Christmas mugs, while looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve!” I also like to watch Christmas movies non-stop from the first of December (and that’s if I can control myself enough to not start earlier).

Strangely enough, I couldn’t have picked a more polar opposite husband, though he’s coming around. Every year when we buy yet more decorations, he always says that it’s because I love it so much… but with all the little comments here and there about how magical everything looks, I think he secretly loves it too. Maybe not the racing around the countryside to visit 1231872139 family members though, but I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

He does put up with my endless Christmas movie marathon though, so I think I picked a winner. Sometimes it almost feels like he enjoys them too! Here are my favourites that I love to watch at this time of year, in no particular order:

The Muppets Christmas Carol

The best! I have loved this movie since we had it on VHS as kids and would watch it non-stop for the whole month of December. Michael Caine is perfectly Scrooge-y (“if he became a flavour you could bet he would be sour!”) and the songs are extremely catchy. I think it’s a huge missed opportunity though to not have an aged-up Belle at the family Christmas at the end so that Scrooge has another chance with her. Even though it’s highly unlikely that she would have stayed unmarried in those days.

Love Actually

It seems that everybody has a problem with this movie, but if you can get past all that and enjoy it for the silly, daggy, sometimes sexist, very British movie that it is, it’s good! The director actually hates that people think of it as a Christmas movie, because it’s meant to be about love instead. Then why have the whole plot revolve around Christmas then? Definitely a Christmas movie.

The Santa Clause

Quintessentially 90s – psychiatry is a big point in this, which is kind of telling as it was a huge preoccupation in that era. I was watching this the other day with Nathan, and it kind of shocked me that despite little niggling arguments, Scott and his ex-wife actually have a pretty good, respectful co-parenting relationship, which is nice to see. I have an issue with this though – if Santa puts presents under the trees, why do none of the parents believe in Santa? How do they rationalize these presents that they didn’t buy magically appearing under the tree? Or do they just assume every year that the other parent bought the gifts? Or we could be massively overthinking this. Just watch it.

Miracle on 34th Street

But which one? The old Natalie Wood one, or the new Mara Wilson one? They both have their charms. I think the modern one is more entertaining, but Natalie Wood is such a star. The newer one always makes me cry when everybody is cheering in the streets, and when Santa talks to the little deaf girl. I would also gladly sell Nathan and the dogs for a chance to live in the catalogue house.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Again – a movie that everybody thinks is a Christmas movie, but the director said it’s actually for Halloween! Which may be reasonable, because there are very, very few Halloween movies. But you can’t have a scene like ‘What’s This?’ and then say it has nothing to do with Christmas.

The Family Stone

Another one that makes me cry. Sarah Jessica Parker gets on my nerves a lot, but she actually really suits her character here – it’s okay that she’s unlikable, because she eventually finds somebody who likes her regardless. The boyfriend swapping is a little odd, and the ‘normal’ argument at the dinner table is excruciating, but I guess this is how real families work.

Little Women

Not technically a Christmas movie at all, but Christmas happens! And anything with snow and tartan and evergreen trees is always going to feel like Christmas. Again, Laurie with the “I’ll take any one of the sisters, don’t mind which one” thing is a bit weird, and has felt stranger as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still heartwarming. You will cry over Beth though, even if Claire Danes is the queen of ugly crying.

Sleepless in Seattle

Again, not really a Christmas movie at all. It starts at Christmas though, so it kind of counts. This is another movie that has seemed stranger as I got older – so, Annie stalks a man she heard on the radio, emotionally cheats on her fiancé, turns up where a stranger lives just to stare at him, but it’s all okay because they are happy in the end. It is creepy, to be honest. But the movie itself is so comforting and romantic, definitely feels like Christmas.

And the absolute best… Gremlins

So a Christmas movie! Nathan and I have watched this several years in a row on Christmas Eve, because it’s always time for Gremlins. Bonus points if you watch Gremlins 2, which has nothing to do with Christmas.

A Mom for Christmas

This one doesn’t even have a gif, because even though it appears to be a cult favourite among people I know, it seems to be almost entirely absent on the internet. Olivia Newton John is a mannequin brought to life when a girl wishes she had a mother for Christmas… and she is a total nutcase. I don’t think I will ever be convinced that Olivia Newton John isn’t some kind of alien, along with John Farnham and Delta Goodrem.

Honourable mentions:

It’s a Wonderful Life
Jingle All the Way
Die Hard

Not on the list: 

The Christmas Prince. Sorry, not sorry!

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?)

The Mean Reds

You know those days when you get the mean reds?

The mean reds, you mean like the blues?

No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

— Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Anxiety is high right now. There are a few concrete reasons that I can pinpoint that are filling me with dread, but those few things seems to have grown tentacles that stretch into the most unlikely places. Places that don’t even exist or are so far out of my universe that you would think they would never affect me, but here I am. And suddenly I am crying over:

My great-great-great-grandmother who died in a workhouse when she was my age.
Rosemary Kennedy, who had the same birthday as me, and everybody in the world who ever suffered an ice-pick lobotomy.
Visions of Posie and Rupert being ripped out of my arms by a tsunami.
Being a ghost and perceiving my own mangled body on the ground after being in a plane crash, surrounded by artifacts of my existence.
Something terrible happening to Nathan and me suffocating to death because there’s no longer enough will in my body to even make my lungs work without him in the world.

I don’t have the best anxiety strategies, other than to pop a pill and try to focus on something else. But sometimes I can’t even do that, because anxiety can smother your concentration and enjoyment, leaving you frozen. I’m sure a little anxiety is probably good for you, but this is a giant waste. Of time, energy, tears, effort. Doesn’t it realize I have better things to do with my life?

I’m making little rituals of distraction. Drinking pots of different types of oolong tea. Listening to a lot of music that I’ve never heard before. Watering the garden every night and witnessing it come alive again after the heat. Taking one-on-one time with each of the dogs to stroke their velvet ears and tell them stories about what excellent dogs they are. I’m not sure if any of this helps, but it does help kill time, and one thing is certain – anxiety can’t last forever, I just have to wait it out.

Everyday Romance

Summer, 2008, at a house party. Both of us more than a little tipsy.

Drinking tea together that we collected during our travels.

Daydreaming about which room we should put a second AC unit in, but secretly enjoying nights of laying around in our underwear in front of the fan complaining about how hot it is.

Watching shows with me like Counting On or Call the Midwife, even though they are the last things he’d choose for himself. Likewise when he gets me to watch Paranormal Alien Investigation Cover-Up Conspiracy Cops, or whatever it is.

Calmly accepting that I refuse to use weedkiller in the garden, even though it means a lot more work for both of us.

Never getting mad when I let the dogs have a tiny taste of every food I eat, even if it’s expensive caviar or sashimi or something.

Adhering to his silly rules about sock pairing – they are all grey and exactly the same except for a tiny strip on the toe that can be red, blue or green, which nobody would ever see, but apparently it makes all the difference.

Scratching each other’s backs at the exact spot that we can’t reach ourselves.

Putting up with (and ultimately enjoying, even if he won’t admit it) the way I like to do Christmas.

Eating sour warheads because it amuses him so much to watch the faces I pull.

Kitchen hugs, couch hugs, car hugs, garden hugs, bed hugs, just got out of the shower and only wearing a towel hugs.

Watching him play with the darling dogs and always wanting them to live their best lives.

No judgment from either of us if it turns into a tortilla-chips-and-salsa-for-dinner kind of night. No judgment from him on my coke zero addiction either.

Reading through the cards and letters he’s given me over the years – he says he’s not a writer, but those are some of the sweetest things I’ve ever read.

Speculating on ridiculous hypotheticals, like what names we would pick if we had quadruplets, or how much money we could make if we started a truffle farm, or what airline a publisher would make me fly if I went on a book tour.

Patiently teaching him things to say in Chinese for our next big trip, knowing that he’ll probably forget them by tomorrow.

Hunting down my favourite milk-flavoured bun from BreadTop and bringing it home on a plane, all the way from Sydney.