I Write This From the Pool

Seriously.

I’m in Bali. Nathan was here for the first weekend, now I’m on my own. I’ll write more when I get home, but it’s all about sleeping*, eating**, swimming***, writing**** and reading***** right now.

* Luxuriously for as long as I want.

** Lobster rolls and dragonfruit and mahi curry.

*** Every single day, sometimes twice (part mermaid, after all).

**** Trying, mostly.

***** Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman at the moment.

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.

Sleeping Puppies and Spring Gardens

We had precisely one warm day yesterday, now it’s drizzling and miserable outside. I’m glad though – I forgot to water the garden last night, but the rain has more than made up for it today. There are so many things in the garden that are brimming with expectation, slowly and quietly working towards something wonderful. I’m also engineering some wonderful of my own – in the garden, we’re going with tomatoes, cucumbers*, radishes, basil and something else that I haven’t quite decided yet. I’m also thinking of growing some lettuce in a tub under the shade of the porch, and some of the herbs that I will need at Christmas time. But the big project is… we have a garden bed at the front of our house that is usually just a weed patch, but I thought – we’ve never had sunflowers before, and nowhere gets more sun than this patch. Fingers crossed that it works.

The little dogs of mine have been sulking for the last two days though – they must think that I’m doing it on purpose, making it hot and cold. They have little beds that get placed around the house and constantly moved around, but I think they are finally in perfect positions right now. Rupert can bask in the morning sun, Posie can hide in a little nook where she can sleep, knowing that nobody is going to step on her. They swap all the time though, and play musical chairs with the furniture as well.

It’s almost time to go to Bali. I booked it so long ago, and now that we’re almost there, I’m so glad I did – I need this trip like crazy. This year has been unabashedly horrible. Between my leg and the shower and the TN and my grandma, I am beyond ready to get away for a little while. But aside from the physical rest, I’m looking for a particular kind of restoration. I want to feel excited about things again, and not exhausted before we’ve even started. I want to feel hopeful and content and optimistic again, and not this miserable lump of meh all the time. I think this is just the ticket.

*This is the exact part where I had to pause because Rupert threw an adorable little tantrum on the rug and demanded that I stop and drop everything to pat his little belly.

The Latest Flare

Sometimes things don’t really go to plan. I had planned on having the house cleaned and the bathroom fixed; I had planned on posting all about my amazing birthday; I had planned to lose a bunch of weight before our Bali trip and be all Ultimate Butterfly Princess for social media photos (it’s the dream), but… life happens. The particular brand of life that happened in the last eight weeks was not my favourite, but I can finally say that things seem to be getting better. Let me go back to the beginning.

In mid-August, I started getting fairly regular trigeminal neuralgia attacks. It didn’t bother me too much – when it happens all the time, you kind of build up a tolerance to it, and it becomes normal to function with a certain cloud of pain over you most of the time. Not ideal. But it was bearable until the first week of September, when it started getting much worse. I started taking medication and tried to just grin and bear it. Until late-September when suddenly all hell broke loose.

I don’t want to go through all the gory details. But the pain was unbelievable. I ended up going to hospital and being drugged out of my mind for over a week. I still can’t remember the exact sequence of events because the whole week felt like I was in a coma. I barely got out of bed, barely ate or drank, could not do anything at all except look at my phone for 5 minute intervals here and there.

But let’s focus on what’s important: I am so much better now. I am still feeling weak and tired with a lot of clumsiness and cognitive confusion (that is likely from medication), but almost zero pain. I am so grateful for this, but also freaking out a bit. I like to plan things, a lot, and suddenly I’m realizing that I don’t have the degree of control that I previously thought. A lot of my future plans are up in the air because I just can’t count on the future looking how I imagine. My brain is full of ideas (buy the nice plates! go to Taiwan! stop worrying so much!) that are clashing with a bunch of other ideas (now that you’re good again, you should work out, take your vitamins and do mindfulness every day so you’ll never take ‘being well’ for granted again)… I’m sure I’ll find balance somehow, but it’s such a strange time.

Saturday

On Saturday, we turned 11 – or, 10+1. Which is… 11 years together, 1 year married. It should have been momentous, it could have been stupendous, but we’re both going through this unfortunately tired and stressed phased right now, so we dropped a lot of balls. I didn’t even get him a card, which I’m still sad about. But we did something special together that totally made up for it.

I’ve got a secret love, you see. My love for Asian food is out and proud, but French food is something that has always been a distant, inscrutable, mysterious thing. Perhaps because we never cooked it at home until recently, but mostly because I had never been to a French restaurant. Until Saturday.

We went to Bistrot Plume in Belmont. I had been begging to go there for at least a year, but Nathan (being Nathan) was dragging his feet. He never wants to go anywhere, and is always astonished when my recommendations are great. Anyway, we finally went.

We had:

Oysters mignonette. Steak tartare with a gorgeous glossy egg yolk and some shoestring potatoes. Garlic escargot floating in little pools of butter. Crispy skinned barramundi served on bouillabaisse with whipped cod roe croutons. Cassoulet with pork belly and confit duck leg. Green salad with radish and pickled shallot. Pear frangipane tart with salted caramel sauce. Creme brûlée with pistachio biscotti.

It was so indulgent and gorgeous, we had a great night. I loved everything except the snails, but to my credit, I tried one and could tell they were objectively delicious, but just not for me. The dining room was so intimate and quaint, and I felt far too self-conscious to take out my phone and take some photos, so you’ll just have to go see for yourself. Their lunch and breakfast menus look really good too – we’ll be back as soon as I can muster up some excuse.

As for the actual anniversary part, it was nice. It was especially nice holding hands across the table with the man who is my husband, the man who I’ve weathered and rejoiced over more than a decade with, the man who I will be old and grey with one day.