Happy New Year! Are you excited? Renewed? Planning new adventures? I sure am, but it was rather therapeutic today to think through the year that was. (Hint: as you read this, you might even discover a special little surprise I’ve been keeping up my sleeve for a while now.)
Harvested a veritable vegetable bounty from our tiny back yard in Enmore, Sydney. An impressive feat given that only a couple of months earlier this was a black-plastic-and-gravel-covered parking space, and that even now it could boast only about half a foot of soil before the dense clay began.
Suffered through a heat-wave in our wonderful old Hogwarts house (twisting corridors, staircases that turn corners and go up and then down again for no reason, PLUS a genuine cupboard under the stairs). Though we loved this house, it was hot hot hot, about 10 degrees worse inside than out. (The picture is of the house as I had it made into a snowglobe. Oh, for snow!)
Married the funniest, smartest, kindest, most generous, most surprising man I have ever met, in the vegetable patch of the Hogwarts house (complete with a back door painted “Notting Hill blue” by my mother and father), in the presence of a small but wonderfully-loved group of family and friends.
Airmail came out. Suddenly had to discover social media: Facebook pages, Twitter, Goodreads, all kinds of groups and forums, and started a blog. Got excited about this new online world. Got annoyed that said new online world was taking over my life. Began to learn (still trying to learn) balance.
Packed house contents into storage. Bundled up dog, cat, office and a suitcase of clothes, and moved up to the Gold Coast. Stayed in a soulless one-bedroom apartment that overlooked the garbage bins. Em taught Oliver to swim. Airmail won “Rising Star” award and was featured on bn.com boutique.
Mr B went to America for work and, as well as missing him, it made me miss all my USA friends even more than I already did every day. Learned how to make really good cupcakes by using and adapting the Magnolia Bakery recipe. Got fat. Reconnected with a wonderful friend, who made the GC bearable.
New job for Mr B, in Adelaide = Packing. Organising removalists. Organising cleaners. House hunting. Thinking, “How did we accrue so much STUFF in Queensland after only 10 weeks?” Meanwhile editing a magazine on a very tight deadline. Joined Kristen Lamb’s brilliant #WANA711 blogging group.
Flew to the Blue Mountains to visit parents for Dad’s birthday. Flew alone to Adelaide to greet removalists at a house I’d never seen. Big relief! The house was lovely. Set up very own “dream study.” Damaged back. Flew back to Qld. Joined Mr B, dog and cat for final two-day road-trip to our new home.
First royalty cheque arrived for Airmail! Not huge (not even slightly), but still special. Couldn’t bring self to cash it. To Paris for a glorious week with two friends I’d known and loved for 25 years. Cheese, wine, mussels, street art, galleries, parks, cobblestoned laneways, churches, love.
Took train to London to meet Mr B, Em, her cousin Maggie and Nanna. Unforgettable picnic in St James Park with dearly loved and greatly missed friends. Three weeks of explorations through London, Paris, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Nice, Venice. In Rome, the girls threw me a birthday party.
Back home in Australia, discovered a little stowaway who had been secretly riding with us since France. Baby Bulger is on the way! Spent the month embracing the questionable glories of utter exhaustion, morning sickness (all day and all night) and a body that was rapidly becoming not my own.
Learned how to cook vegetarian, egg-phobia and pregnant woman -related Christmas feasts. Baby Bulger passed the 12-week scan officially “low risk.” Christmas Day in Melbourne with friends, little cousins at Nanna’s house, storms and floods. Nephew saved an old lady from her flooded car.
To be continued in 2012.
And a Happy New Year to you!