merry christmas

2017 In Review

2017 went a little something like this:

Hugh broken arm.

Cat bitten by brown snake.

Julie broken arm.

Julie arm surgery.

Mum almost dies.

Hugh second broken arm.

Dog tears ACL.


In between all of the shit and disaster, were moments of absolute delight and phenomenally good news, specifically:

Mum recovered.

I was declared five-years cancer free, taken off my hideous medication and discharged by my oncologist.

Those two things go a very long way towards redeeming 2017. I will probably still kick it in the goolies, but maybe not quite as hard.

Actually, now that I think about it, there were many other highlights. I was interviewed for the Her Words Series and I won a Queensland Writers Centre competition and had my 8 word story published on electronic billboards across Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Dave turned 50 and was surprised with the gift of a trip to Nepal to climb to Everest Base Camp in April next year. Hugh thrived at school and achieved in the top 10% in Australia in a spelling exam, and developed an interest in soccer (despite it being the cause of his second broken arm). The cat didn’t die (much to Dave’s disappointment) and my beautiful old dog Roy has almost fully recovered from his ACL repair surgery. He and Mum have struck up the most beautiful friendship since he’s been staying with her, and he has gone from being my cancer dog to her heart dog. I got to meet a couple of my lovely readers (including the fabulous Kay – hi Kay!), and spent face-to-face time with several of my online friends, as well as my fabulous real life friends. Speaking of whom, we finally achieved marriage equality in this country. Of course none of my bloody gay friends actually want to get married which sucks because to paraphrase Muriel, I wanna be a bridesmaid!

And now, here we are, just a few days before Christmas, with the end of the year looming. This is my favourite time of the year; everything that was and wasn’t is behind us, and everything that is possible is still to come. We have boy who, really, truly and quite magically, still believes in Santa, so the sense of anticipation is palpable, despite this being his 9th Christmas.

Baby Hugh Christmas

To all of you who have read my posts this year, chatted with me on Facebook and email and Instagram and Twitter, thank you. You’ve given me both an ear and a voice, and I continue to be amazed by the power of all my imaginary Internet friends.

Merry Christmas, and here’s to a 2018 where bones, hearts and pets remain intact, and family and friends remain.




Short and Sweet, with a Side of Flies

In the last eleven days I have been in, through and around three states of Australia. Goondiwndi, Narrabri, Dubbo, Parkes, West Wyalong, Wagga Wagga, Gerogery, Glenrowan, San Remo, Cowes, Rhyll, Winchelsea, Colac, Camperdown, Warrnambool, Cressy, Melbourne and Geelong have all played host to our little white car with the luggage pod in top, stopping at servos and cafes and parks and beaches and giant statues. We’ve seen fabulous things, had fun, laughed, bickered, played I Spy and thanked the gods of the internets for our mobile wifi.  We’ve caught up with brothers, in-laws, nephews, great nephews, cousins, grandparents and friends. We’ve slept like babies, all of us, in a different bed almost every night, tired out by so much seeing and doing. We’ve marvelled at how long the days last down here, sweated and whinged through 43 degree days and then hastily purchased warm clothes when we reached Phillip Island, where the beautiful little penguins like it cold and blustery.

And tomorrow it’s Christmas Day, which we’ll spend with extended family in tiny Beeac, population 500 people, a lot of cows, a lot of sheep, and a fucking plethora of flies. We’ll recount funny stories of our trip so far, and speculate on what might lay ahead in our trip back home, which will take a different route. 

The rhythm of this trip has lulled me into a blissful state of relaxation. I’m not someone who normally dozes off anywhere except my bed, but yesterday I fell deeply asleep in a movie theatre, and right now, as I sit here warching absolutely nothing happen in the main street of this part of the world, my limbs are loose, my breathing is slow and I feel pretty much perfectly at peace. Peace on Earth. 

Merry Christmas.