Sitting our kitchen bench is this tin:


Although it’s the festive season, this not a Christmas decoration. It actually sits on the bench all year, with its manky bit of peeling of sticky tape on the side and rust around the top. It’s filled with plastic bags, bank deposit receipts, $5 notes and assorted coinage.

Dave had the tin when we met, and it’s been a part of my life ever since. It’s ugly, it gets in the way, and it annoys me greatly that there’s a Christmas-themed item on our bench all year round. A couple of times I’ve tried relocating it, but it always ends up back on the bench.

As much as the tin gives me the irrits, it’s also really handy. Every time I realise I don’t have any money in my purse for Hugh’s tuckshop/excursion/gold coin donation I raid the tin. Every time I forget that the cleaners are coming and I’m $10 short to pay them, I raid the tin. Every time I’m going into town and know I’ll need money for parking, I raid the tin. The tin always has money in it because at the end of each day, Dave puts all his $5 notes and change into it. Every so often every he bags the cash up and banks it, but he always leaves something in the tin.

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary, for which the traditional symbol is tin. And it occurred to me this morning that, for all its ordinary-ness, this tin that sits on our kitchen bench is the perfect symbol of what Dave means to me. Like the tin, Dave’s always within easy reach and always has just what I need, just when I need it. He is practical, unassuming, but incredibly important. I  may take him for granted, but I am eternally grateful that Dave (and his tin) are central to my life. On a daily basis, without Dave (and his tin), I would be lost.

Happy Tin Anniversary, honey. I love you more than words can say.



On the 16 December 2006, I married a man I loved deeply, and I still love him just as much, although the realities and enormities and trivialities of life sometimes make it seem like hard work, for both of us. There are ups and downs and lots of in-betweens, but the vows I said on that day still remain true. Life is not picture perfect, not even fucking close, but we stick at it and sometimes that is all you can do until those joyful moments come again. Last night I slept upright on the couch as I have done for the past week, because the anastrazole that I take to prevent breast cancer recurrence has given me the side effect severe gastrointestinal reflux and oesophageal spasms. If I lie down the acid contents of my stomach flow back into my throat and choke me. And they say romance is dead.

On 16 December 2013, my beautiful friend Deb was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This will very likely be Deb’s last Christmas, so in between massive doses of chemotherapy which will hopefully lengthen her life, she is busy hand-making cards for her family and friends, and she made this amazing croquembouche for her workmates for Christmas. Anyone who knows anything about baking will know what a bloody amazing feat it is to produce one of these, and anyone who’s ever had chemotherapy will bow down to the intestinal fortitude required to do it whilst being poisoned.

deb croquembouche

Deb is also taking painting classes and learning to play the violin – the playing is going well, but she already has the Yehudi Menuhin face down pat.

I smell something, and it's not good, but I'm a professional, so will continue on. Also, note to self, buy hair gel.

I smell something, and it’s not good, but I’m a professional, so will continue on. Also, note to self, buy hair gel.

On 16 December, 2014,  I woke, as did all Australians, to the dreadful news coming out of Sydney. I feel such deep sadness for the dreadful loss of those two people and the terrible suffering of the survivors. I also fear for those Australians who may become the target of ignorance and bigotry in the aftermath of this.

It may not always seem like it, but I usually know where I’m going with these posts. Today, I have not a clue. Life is unpredictable, life is hard, life is good, life is for living. There is always perspective to be had, no matter how bogged down we get in our own personal quagmire. Take a chance, marry someone you’ve only known for a year, make a fancy French cake, laugh at yourself. Love.