Monday, 25 January 2010
Belated New Year's post and a round up of 2009!
BoyWonder has been working extremely hard, and coming home to renovate the house which is slowly coming together. He has done a spectacular job: replumbing downstairs, sanding and varnishing the Victorian floorboards, installing new plumbing for the soon-to-be completed ensuite upstairs, cutting a trench through cement for the new waste, putting up a stud wall, not to mention the lighter touches of painting etc... The electrics have now been rewired and the ensuite should be installed soon. The dark plywood panelling has been removed, and most of the rooms replastered. Installing a loft ladder in the master bedroom created some amusement when he almost got himself stuck in the loft and I had to cut through the ceiling plasterboard to rescue him!
I have continued my Bachelor of Counselling studies, and have been pleased with the marks I've been getting. It’s been difficult to fit in with the hours I was doing at work; but I've transferred departments and changed roles early in the New Year, which should result in a better work-life balance (so far, so good!). Mostly I'm looking forward to having lunch breaks again so I can get to the gym. Unfortunately last year, I put my back out, and after an MRI, spinal injections and regular physio, it is now getting much better. As well as this blog and BookCrossing, I am starting a book-club with a friend (the first meeting is on Wednesday this week, and we're discussing "The 19th Wife"), and hope to return to regular indoor rock-climbing after a number of years hiatus; all whilst continuing study of course. There’s no rest for the wicked after all.
The garden has come along in leaps and bounds. With annual bulbs of tulips and irises flowering in the spring, an abundance of herbs such as rosemary, mint, parsley and lavender; the veggie garden was prolific, supplying much of our fruit and vegetable needs with everything from tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, garlic, blueberries, strawberries, spring onions, red onions, chillies, capsicum, snow peas, rhubarb and asparagus. The garden created the perfect back-drop for a couple of get-togethers with friends: an early summer barbeque and a White Party for BoyWonder's birthday. This year the plan is to continue the White Party theme with a White Christmas-in-July.
We were lucky enough to see Tina Turner in concert at the beginning of the year; but were disappointed not to get the opportunity to use our Michael Jackson tickets. I was also lucky enough to see Take That and am now anticipating Bon Jovi in concert.
We have had some good news in the extended family with BoyWonder's youngest sister, (pictured!), winning many horse-jumping, dressage and cross-country competitions; and I became a Great-Aunt! BoyWonder's Uncle, Aunt and Cousins also visited from Australia, so I got to meet them for the first time. We were also lucky enough to have a visits from some of my best friends, thoughtfully spread throughout the year so I didn't miss anyone for too long!
Our cats, Lulu and Hermes continue to be spoilt rotten. They love exploring the garden, especially now they have more freedom with the cat-flaps BoyWonder installed. Though they are really not enjoying the snow this winter and would like us to do something about the temperature! Over the summer we put up our inflatable pool, and while Lulu didn’t mind doing a few laps, Hermes is most definitely a land-lubber!
Creation in the kitchen has also continued, though this is far more BoyWonder's forte. More unusual meats such as Guinea Fowl, Rabbit and Venison have been experimented with, to great success. And espumas (culinary foams) are likely to be the latest addition to the plates he will be serving up in 2010.
We discovered the secret supper movement in the middle of 2010. This is where people who enjoy cooking open up their homes (for a suggested “donation”) to complete strangers for a dining experience. It differs from a restaurant as you sit communally with the other diners, so we got to meet interesting people over good food whilst also having the voyeuristic pleasure of poking around someone’s home. While there were only a handful of the supper clubs at the beginning of 2009, loads have sprung up in the final months of the year; we’ve only tried three so far, so there are plenty more to explore, and perhaps when the house is finished…
We are looking forward to 2010 and wish you and your family a year filled with love, laughter, health and prosperity.