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.