Back to my bullshit, as they say. Finally a slow Sunday, a walk with the girls and then baking from this new Swedish cookbook Paddy and Melody got me as a housewarming gift. I loved how it came together, a nice dense slice, creme fraiche for softness with both ground and fresh ginger in the mix, so the flavour was warm, and with some bite. I ended up grating half the pears, so they sunk a bit and melted in with the batter under the crumbly top. Will certainly be making it again.
A picture that is a moment, that is a song, that is a feeling, that is a whole history of emotions. I mean, my love for Kate Bush is no news to anyone, but this song is the one that really gets me. Like a punch in the guts, so raw and heavy with sentiment. Last year I came across this startling cover while waiting for a train at London’s Euston station and just cried openly on the platform. I wasn’t even sad, I was feeling happy and lively. But really all of that can be undone in a minute with a good song.
I had a pretty blissful and lazy morning, as it was, thinking about so many maybes. This song came on shuffle a bit later, and finished exactly as I pulled up and one minute before I was due to meet my sister, and just as the rain cleared, so I took it all as a sign. I’ve been thinking a lot about how relationships work, what we give of ourselves, and what we don’t. What it’s all worth. The rest of the day was good, house stuff and family stuff, but mostly those three and a half minutes of emotions and car-singing felt the best.
So much new house content, but guys, I love it here (and anyway, I’m broke).
I had grand plans to spend the day in bed reading or watching Fleabag, but since it was my first day off in an age, I wanted to hit things hard. I was at yoga at seven, Sibling for a latte and sugary biscuit at nine, and breakfast and a too-long shower at my folks place by ten. They have a new and absurdly cute dog who we have named Gilbert, so it’s a distracting time for us all.
Friends came by to see my house in the afternoon with oranges from their tree, homemade quince paste and soft cheese. I made the best strawberry cake there is and we warmed the place with talking and laughing and singing. Henry and Rupert managed to sit still for a good twenty minutes, then ate the lilly-pillys off my tree and ran to the park down the road, which I am claiming as victory.
Back-to-back solid gold this last one. Having my faves in town from Sydney and not even minding that I’m dusty from all the wine we had the night before. I got to show them the organic cafe where I spent half my teenage years, then took them for a drink at the Aristologist, bubbly orange wine on a rainy afternoon, local white wine and late pastries for lunch at my folks’ and then more wine at my new little house so they could see where and how I’m setting up this new life of mine.
In the evening my sisters and I saw Nancy and Beth at the Dunstan Playhouse. I haven’t laughed or been so completely impressed or delighted by something this much in years. Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt are so wildly smart and talented, I could not love them more.
New morning view from THE HOUSE THAT I BOUGHT. That is mine. That I own.
Well, between the bank and my pretty solid mortgage arrangement for the next 30-odd years, anyway.
It’s been hectic and stressful, at times overwhelming and very emotional. Going into these things by yourself is scary, I’ve felt alone and anxious near-constantly for a good month but I’m over the line now. And with a few boxes of things away and some lovely morning light streaming in, this moment felt pretty good.
Today was supposed to be a lot of things. Moving day was delayed till next week, then I thought I’d go into work for a few hours to get ahead of things, and maybe some yoga. But after working six days, and with another six ahead, tired after a lovely but late night out drinking with friends, and a cold and pouring-rain day closing in, I did none of it. I made potato and egg on toast, had a big milky coffee, watched some Harry Potter with the girls while Daisy practiced her finger-knitting (see above), and thanks to my friend Rach’s advice, watched three back-to-back episodes of season one of ER. It’s such a 90s comfort, I had a nap and listened to it rain heavily all day, and feel like this is a sign of what’s to come all winter long.
I’m not mad about it.
It was never going to be easy, but I prepared as best I could - French toast, two coffees, and a queue of excellent podcasts (thanks to Forever 35, The High Low and Highly Enthused). Having to brave Ikea, Target, Bunnings and Coles all in one day is some kind of headache in my book. But I move into my own place in a week, and I need a bunch of things - I got rid of so much before I put my life into storage a year ago, no use holding onto old pillows and grubby mops and brooms and draw liners and all the rest. It’s nice to start fresh, and having bought my very first home, I’m looking forward to having everything just so. All as I like it.
It was rainy but productive, and afterwards I went by Laura and Will’s house for coffee and some muddy garden stomping with their boys.
In Sydney for a few days and found time, come Sunday, for a few pints with my cousins at the Imperial. Honestly, these folks are some of, if not the, best people I know. I don’t miss living in Sydney at the moment, but I miss them. Running into Gracie in Redfern and Phoebs in Bondi, cups of tea and doing the Saturday quiz with Tessa, having front-step wines with Lucy and going to gigs with Flynn (not long after I took this picture of his excellent self (on my new favourite chair) we sang our hearts out to Kacey Musgraves at the Enmore, which was the best gig in forever).
It was one of those gloriously sunny Sydney afternoons, where autumn doesn’t feel like a thing and that first beer tastes like gold. We laughed a lot and I felt so glad to have that time with them, to have them as friends. It was our first Mother’s Day since our Gam passed away, and so good to all be there together thinking of her.
A lovely one, but then I always say that. I did an early morning walk with my sister and my dad, a solid hour about the Hills. Lovely winding streets, the leaves turning and falling and the sun making it’s way through boldly, everything English and deciduous, elegant and gold. And then rough dirt paths in the bush where it feels like nothing changes but everything’s in motion, nature’s other cycle.
Victoria and I had lunch in the early afternoon and talked about the hard stuff. I mean, life isn’t all lattes and fancy toast (though it’s that too). Things are difficult and sad and scary, there’s beauty and excitement and still layers and layers of grief and worry - the great joy and weight of all this change I suppose. Thank goodness for hearts and minds like hers, I wonder sometimes how people get through without friends this good.
I got home to this mountain house and spent an hour or two letting the light change. Reading and tidying and pottering - I love waiting till the very last to close the blinds and turn the lamps on. These autumn nights are getting closer.