December 31st, 2009


A day for it

I arrived in Scottsdale late yesterday afternoon and was promptly collected by flinthart and his 3 kids and whisked off home via very scenic roads. There were some moments of heart-in-the-mouth turns but all was good in the end. There was dog licks, kids, present opening, glitter glue (sorry about that one) and a delicious spicy chickpea dip with wraps and veggies and feta and all good things. After bedtime, flinthart and I stayed up talking and debating all sorts of things, again, against a stunning landscape backdrop. I can't really express how soothing and invigorating to the soul seeing exciting and unexpected landscape is to me. I feel like I have sorely missed it. (I must venture outside more often)

I slept in and missed the louse escapade (see his blog for more details). I was taken outside to the berry patch and insisted upon to try fresh blackberries. Huh. They taste nothing like the do from the supermarket. There were also the last of the raspberries so I picked and tried some of those (oh how glad I am to be antihistamined up!) delicious! Not at all sour and "puckering". Yum! Probably am ruined for life now. Anyway, flinthart took them inside and whipped these gluten free pancakes up:

Soooooo very good!! And accompanied by a coffee made from this very easy to clean and portable contraption:

Then we headed out - I changed clothes, after my skirt and socks were prickled infested, I figured this called for the only pair of pants I packed. (I must remember to properly eradicate the prickles, don't want to bring back weeds!). Some time ago at a con I had confessed to flinthart that on my list of 100 Things to Do Before I Die (the list is 108 items long), drinking a bottle of $100 champagne was on it. He scoffed at the time saying there were bottles equally as good round his way for about $65 and deciding that the list item was more about seeing if it was the cost of champagne that was the issue, we agreed that I would come one day and try this said bottle out. Today was that day.

Along the way, he found a plum tree and professing that probably my issue with fruit is that most of what I eat is cold stored and RUINED, he stopped by the side of the road and picked these for me to try:

The verdict was yes, the fruit is sweeter and less watery when eaten fresh off the tree but the skin is still too sour for my liking. He thinks its a type issue. When I headed up here on the bus, I thought I spied a field of poppies. Now I know that I definitely did. One spies these rather a lot round here. Note the random red hill, not the kind of soil that you tend to see about the place here:

Anyway, we tasted some wines at Pipers Brook and Jansz. I am still learning to appreciate less sweet wines. I did enjoy some of the sparkling wines at Jansz, I may still get them to send me a crate of them. I do think the more expensive "champagnes" are better than the you know, Yellow or Pink stuff. But I think too that really, appreciating the expensive sparking wines is actually about your ability to appreciate them, much in the way that reader response is always relative to the context of the individual reader. Which is to say, I have a palate still developing :)

Later in the afternoon there was fishing:

And there was eating of the fish and drinking of the wine and talking.

And now there is sleeping :)

A good day, in all!


the remains of 2009

I have been breakfasted. flinthart made gluten free tortillas to go with my spicy veggie filled omlette this morning. And coffee. It was good! I think I am slightly teasing dear flinthart because not only am I fussy, vegetarian and gluten free, but I seem to have minimised my appetite (I do that when I am happy). It's warm and summery and mostly I'm not a big meal eater. Such a shame because the food really is delicious and made with great thought and care.

I love Tasmanians. Seriously, they are complaining about a sweltering scorcher of a day today because it will be 30C. Yet they keep adding blankets to the beds I've been sleeping in! I did a good trade on the weather, I'll admit it.

Last night after I had gone to bed and was trying to sleep but was really watching the blue moon, I heard a noise, put on the light to check and found another fucking spider on the wall behind the bed. And as I watched it, it leapt off the wall and fell behind the thing. Well I leapt as well and was determined to wait it out, stay up the whole night and get flinthart to remove it in the morning. I was talked off the ledge by someone I was chatting to online and ended up sleeping with the light on til it was light outside.

Today is a workday for me. I have much work to do so that will keep me out of the way of things. Preparations are being made for visitors and new years celebrations tonight. And I am glad to see the end of 2009 and to do it with a dear friend. It's a good way to welcome in Grand 2010! I think.

My goals today are:

- locate spider and have it removed
- inspect my suitcase for another other spider, just in case, then keep the damn thing closed!
- think about my resolutions and what the fuck I did this decade
- read the final 3 Sprawl subs I have here and make some prep things to progress the project on Saturday
- read Cold Cases
- other stuff, if I have time!


Decade in review

Let's see if I can play this game. It's only my third decade so I'd say a heck of a lot happened in it.

2000 - I was in my second year of postgrad, pretty sure this was the year that planterry and I went to the USA for a conference. My presentation was horrifyingly scary but worth it because it also gave me my first skiing experience in Santa Fe, a trip to New York City (T wouldn't come with me to see the World Trade Centre) with a show on Broadway, the Village, China Town, meeting my mother's cousin, also Seattle, Miami, San Francisco.

2001 - Somewhere in the early noughties I became glutenfree, lactose free, caffeine free and alcohol free. I became a vegetarian later on. This I think was the year I was quite sick with Crohn's after initial diagnosis in 99. I was getting pretty depressed in the slog of postgrad with no end in sight.

2002 - I met and hooked up with the ex. I learned about boats, state basketball, golf. We broke up. I decided to move to Melbourne. I finished my first paper before going. I spent a month in Melbourne, came home to rehook up with the ex. I think there was much drama with the ex's father's mistress. This kinda filtered through our lives and was much of an issue throughout our relationship. I submitted my paper and it was accepted in record time even though one of my supervisors dropped off the paper cred and my thesis due to disagreeing with the work. This might have been the year I became a slush reader for ASIM.

2003 - Somewhere in 2002 and 2003 I moved out of home into a shared house. And I started Toastmasters to deal with the whole fear of public speaking. I won some awards and trophies for speaking - turns out I'm ok at impromptu and comic delivery. I learned to cook. I went part time on postgrad in order to work to pay my way through.

2004 - I think I put my postgrad on hold this year. I also might have joined the ASIM crew (could have been the year before that ...) I worked sort of. I tried to finish my thesis. My heart wasn't overly in it. I moved house. Maybe a couple of times. I dropped 20kg as my OCD kicked in.

2005 - My supervisor got me a job at the EPA and I moved out into the grown up world of earning a salary and 9-5-ness. I moved out of shared housing into my own place. I started work on ASif! and we launched it in Nov. We began building a house in Morley. The block of flats next to ours blew up and we came home to find the place a police crime scene the night after the ex's father was taken to hospital with a brain tumour (his secondary cancer showing itself). We moved into our own place after living for months in a hovel because repairs on the rental took forever. The ex's dad died. Things started to change. My sister got engaged.

2006 - My OCD had been building since about 2004 but it became serious in 2005 and unignorable by 2006. It caused conflict. I became more and more unhappy and the ex more distant. We started therapy. I was deeply depressed and unhappy. I knitted a crazily huge amount and discovered hand dyed yarn and sock knitting. My sister got married. We started the New Ceres ezine. I went to Natcon.

2007 - I went to my first Swancon. I went to World Fantasy Con - a big deal considering that the OCD had been so strong I thought i would never travel anywhere ever again. The ex bought a stupidly expensive boat. I knew that when I went to the con, I'd be single by the time I came home. I was. But I also had convinced Deb to do what eventually became A Book of Endings. I went up the Empire State Building, saw Grand Central Station, met Jonathan Strahan, and visited Saratoga. My uncle got remarried. I'd spent much time on the internet, meeting all of you, which gradually and increasingly brought sunshine back into my world. I started TPP through the projects of 2012 and Shiny and New Ceres. I had gotten shat off by my job and came home after WFC to start my new job in Wetlands, and had to move house at the same time. I moved into my current abode - the very first time I have ever lived alone. I discovered how loved I am by having so many people who rallied around and helped pick up the pieces.

2008 - The pieces were still being picked up and sometimes they were messy. But they got picked up. I launched 2012, won awards for the work I'd been doing, met more people who now form my close set of friends and confidantes. Went to Conflux and launched Angel Rising. Had a rebound affair - it went how those go. I found happiness again, or the road to it.

2009 - A year of happiness. Busy but happy. It had its share of disappointments and job stress and hard work and sad points. But it brought me many new friends, one in particular who opened my eyes to a lot of things I had been missing. It brought me new projects - Swancon 2011, four books for the year, and the beginnings of new projects for 2010 and beyond. It brought me love and kindness, forgiveness and wisdom. Giving and taking. Sharing. Laughter. Thought, struggle, victories, losses. Satisfaction.

An interesting decade in which I learned and became maybe a bit more of an adult. I leave this decade far richer, wiser, more loved and loving and far far happier than I entered it. For all the low points and losses and sad and bad times, it was a great decade.