The home stretch

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Well I for one was feeling rested and relaxed following our lovely three day sojourn down south to Quindalup over the long weekend … that is, until around 6:30 am this morning, when I checked in at work, processed the weekend’s emails and wrote out a list of the day’s tasks.  At work, I make sub-lists of my ‘master’ to do list, sometimes on a daily, weekly or several-hourly basis.  The busier I become, the more lists I make, and the more neurotically neat and tidy my desk becomes.  I make piles of papers, paperclip them together, and then arrange them in neat rows.  I set myself colour-coded calendar reminders to think of things, to complete tasks, to follow up, to prepare, to telephone, to meet, to collect.  I check, recheck and then check again every email recipient, sentence, calculation and piece of advice. It seems the more that my brain is working through, the less it can process outside of those urgent tasks and the more my organisational skills kick into gear to see me through to a calmer period.  Not long now, until the end of the month, the end of a series of back-to-back major tasks, the beginning of a new professional year and a time to reflect, learn and plan again for the future.

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Images taken down south, by me and my love.

Time for a break

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It’s nearly the end of the week, and it could not have come any sooner for us here at this Little House.  We’ve both had big, tiring weeks at work and various appointments and obligations out of work hours, but luckily we’re just in time for a long weekend and a trip down south with friends.  I for one am looking forward to lazing by the pool, reading copious amounts of non-legal literature, eating fresh local produce and enjoying our friends’ company (with hopefully a few games of Trivial Pursuit and Euchre thrown in!).

Above are a few snaps of what life around these parts has been like over the past week or so: Sunday breakfast at our new local cafe, The Hardware Store; fresh pasta sheets that we turned into crab, prawn and ricotta ravioli; Mike using my grandmother’s pasta machine, on loan to help us decide whether to buy one of our own.

I’ll be back on the other side of this long-wished-for break.  Bon weekend.

Weekend bits

Happy Valentine’s weekend!  Here at our little house we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple in the best way – firstly, I received a lovely bouquet of rose and lily blooms at work, and then Mike picked me up after work and we shared burgers in the park (where I gifted husband with a frisbee), followed by  a post dinner game of frisbee and a quiet night at home.  Later in the weekend, we also went along to our second Fringe Festival performance, where we both had our first bubble tea experiences (it was yum!), and then saw our friend Fozzy sing amazing and fun (and sometimes sad) indie pop songs with his community choir.  I also fit in some aunty/ niece time with my favourite little girls, a hair appointment, morning tea with Mike’s family and a Sunday screening of Wolf of Wall Street.  I kind of hated it (and all of the failures to comply with subpoenas really got on my last lawyer nerve), but I also kind of think that was the point.  I have tried to look past the debauchery and chauvinism and focus on the story telling and integrity of the film production, but I still just feel like I’ve spent three hours watching porn.  Pretty sure I just need a nice period drama to set me straight again.

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Just a minute in … February

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Working … like, a lot.  March review month, I can’t wait until I have kicked you to the curb, along with your KPIs and silly deadline friends.

Looking … at our professional wedding photos over and over again, seeing new details and expressions each time I do.  I don’t think enough time has passed for me to look at the images objectively, without remembering the surge of emotion that goes with them still. Michelle Kiddie, you were a beautiful, calm presence on the day, for which we will be always grateful.

Prettying … up our spare room (now finally cleared of wedding paraphernalia) with a dotty doona cover and some pom pom cushions from Castle.  I would add pom poms (and dots for that matter) to everything right now if I could.

Eating … black cod miso and wagyu tacos at Nobu.  One of my bridesmaids, Rebecca, very thoughtfully gifted us with a voucher for our wedding, which we decided to put toward a first month anniversary dinner.  I didn’t love the decor but we both dug the food and the service was exceptional.

Browsing … a couple of lovely new blogs I have got my mitts on, Miss Moss and Amber Interiors.  At least they are (generally) non-wedding-specific, which is progress for this nuptial-addled brain of mine.  Anyone I (even vaguely) know to be getting wed in the next year is probably sick of my creepy fascination with all of their wedding stories.  Must learn to compose myself.

After the wedding

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Everyone talks about post-wedding emptiness, a feeling of loss and not feeling useful or excited anymore once the frenetic buzz of wedding planning is no longer required.  I was prepared for this feeling, but didn’t find myself experiencing any of it.  On the contrary, I’ve been basking in memories of the day and enjoying hearing about our guests’ experiences of our wedding, which differed from our own in that they saw and heard things we didn’t see or hear.  I’ve relished having the time to do what I had been putting off for the last couple of pre-wedding months – clearing out the back room of wedding paraphernalia, reorganising our wardrobes and reassessing what items we need and what we can afford to throw or give away (a frequent consideration when you live in a small house).  I’ve noticed the absence of that distant, nagging feeling – the “what if the worst happens” image – that has been in the back of my mind for a while now.  I know what happened now, and it was amazing, and I don’t need to worry about back-up plans or confirming details or disaster stories any more.

What I can’t seem to tear myself away from, however, no matter how irrelevant it might now seem, is looking at other people’s weddings.  Wedding blogs, photographers’ websites, friends’ weddings that are coming up, you name it and I just can’t seem to get enough of it – still.  I guess now I know what all those newlyweds and soon-to-be newlyweds in the photos are thinking and feeling and imagining, it gives me a renewed interest in the details of others’ special days.   Maybe it’s still just a phase I’m closing out of, who knows.

Image here.

The honey-est of moons

Skipping forward in time from our wedding in late December, the following morning my husband (!) and I travelled to Victoria for our honeymoon.  We flew into Melbourne on New Year’s Eve just in time for dinner (a degustation menu with matched wines) at Vue de Monde.  Let me just say that this was one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life.  Highlights of the evening included a single baby marron with a crunchy butter to hand-dip into, an enormous chocolate souffle with chocolate sauce poured over the top at our table, salted caramel shell chocolates and an amazing cheese course (pictured below), hand cut from the Vue de Monde cheese cart roaming the floor.  We finished dinner at 11:30 pm, just in time for our waitress to escort us through the kitchen to the restaurant’s Lui Bar, where we rang in the new year while watching the fireworks over the Yarra and drinking old fashioneds.  It was magic.

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On the first day of 2014, Mike and I hired a car and drove out to Victoria’s Yarra Valley where a revamped old farm dairy house was waiting for us.  Much to our excitement, the weather turned rainy and cold just in time for us to bunker down for our first evening in the country and light the fire in the dairy house.

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We spent three lovely days in the Valley, during which we checked out local wineries, drank a lot of pinot noir and shiraz, ate very well (including at the Healesville Hotel and the Innocent Bystander cafe) and managed a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula.  Doesn’t Mike look handsome with his wedding ring on (above).

Finally, to round out the trip, we checked back into our amazing Melbourne hotel, The Olsen, one of the city’s Art Series hotels, this one modelled around the work of Australian artist John Olsen.  The weather was still crazily cold for summer (I refer to my jumper below), but we ventured out to Mamababa around the corner from our hotel where I ordered a crayfish pasta below that changed. my. life., did a little shopping and drank some delicious Melbourne coffee.  As part of her wedding gift to us, Verity had orchestrated a romantic tour of Melbourne (complete with snack money and mini Nutellas to keep up our energies), which ended in us leaving a lock engraved with our names and wedding date somewhere in Melbourne (I’m not going to say where).  I really hope Melbourne’s street cleaners take pity on our little lock and don’t take to it with bolt-cutters any time soon.  We loved Verity’s idea and were so glad to be able to leave behind a little memento of our Victorian honeymoon.

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So far, married life rocks.

Slight delay

And now it is January!  I realise I have neglected to post anything on this little blog for a solid four months.  Hopefully this year brings a lot more diligence on my part in posting little snippets more regularly.  Not that it is an excuse, but the primary reason for my blog absence is that I was married late last month.  Accordingly, the last few months of 2013 were spent being very busy at work (planning for a three-week period of leave, more than I have ever taken) and very busy at home, making the final arrangements for the wedding.

I will post more pictures from the wedding shortly.  But for now, one of my favourites so far is below.  It was an amazing day, the best of our lives, and we have spent the past week and a half reliving all of our experiences from the day.

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