Rustic Herpes.

[Two women enter a kitchen. The first slides her hand along the bench, sweeping away non-existent crumbs. The second mimics her, but instead appreciates, not without a sense of jealousy, the quality and gloss of the timber benches].

“So the vibe we’ve really gone for, as you can see, is sort of a wholesome, rustic look.”

“Oh yes, it’s very nice, isn’t it?”

[Sound of two pairs of high-heels, slowly pacing the kitchen as though it’s a museum].

Wholesome

“It’s nice to be able to look out onto the garden while we eat breakfast, I must say.”

[The first woman stops and frowns at the rug, before crouching to straighten the fringe. While her back is turned, the second woman, though she is not quite sure why, has the sudden urge to see what her sister keeps in the fridge. She gently tugs the door open and finds a single plastic bottle of water, two thirds empty. Nothing else.]

“What did you do with Mum’s gramophone?”

“Hmm?”

“Mum’s gramophone. You said you wanted it because you had the perfect place to put it?”

“Oh! It’s in the formal dining room! It honestly ties the whole room together, and I think it’s just much nicer than it being stuffed in some cupboard somewhere … what are you mumbling? Come on, i’ll show you, follow me, please.”

[The women exit the room, hand-in-hand. Well … not exactly hand-in-hand, the first woman grabs the wrist of her younger sister and tugs her down the hallway like a toy on a string].

“See! Isn’t it glamorous!”

Disease

“Uh.”

“Hmm?”

“You know it’s May, right?”

“May? Yes?”

“It’s just …”

“Just what? Is there something you have a problem with?”

“Well, the room is lovely, but the Christmas decorations…”

“Which Christmas decorations? Where?”

“… the ones hanging from the ceiling?”

“I don’t see any Christmas decorations and I really don’t like your attitude.”

“The baubles! Up there! There must be fifty of them! It looks like the room caught a venereal disease!”

“There is honestly no accounting for your taste, Kate. It’s called frou-frou. It’s French. Perhaps if you owned your own home, you’d understand a little more about decorating.”

[Sound of one pair of high heels leaving the room].

The Wedding: Part 2 – Slowly Getting Better

When we got engaged, it was a whirlwind of amazing things.

A ring! A Queensland engagement party! Wedding ideas!

And then I decided I wanted a second dog and to buy a house and for the last couple of months we’ve been adjusting to having two dogs (Snoopy is a fraud. He does not act like any 12-year-old dog I’ve ever met. He is way more work than Delilah) and B has been trying to talk me out of buying every house I declare that week’s dream house.

Suddenly two months have gone by and all I have to show for it is a really long Etsy wish list of decorations.

Well, that and a date and a venue and, in my case, about half my body weight to lose.

It has been pointed out to me that I probably have more than enough things to occupy my time in the coming year without also buying a house.

(But honestly, I really did find our dream house the other day. Like, The One).

It’s not quite Mum and Dad’s farm, but it’s going to be just as beautiful.

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Blood Roses

This year is still proving … testing.

I don’t really know what’s up, which is probably part of the problem, I’m used to being able to pinpoint what buoys me or what weighs me down. This year I feel like I’m caught in a bit of a rip, which is fine, because anywhere I might land seems lovely!

Maybe it’s just being in the rip. It’s exhausting paddling away.

Luckily I have B on the support boat, yelling encouragement and keeping an eye out for sharks. I wonder how far I can take the ocean analogy? B offers to pee on my leg when the bluebottle stings of life get too much? Something definitely just got too much.

Anyway, I’ve been making an effort to make home as stress-free as possible, somewhere I like being.

Woolworth’s had bunches of roses for $10 the other day and I couldn’t help myself. I’ve really fallen in love with roses, after having three thriving bushes of my own in our front yard last summer.

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A lot of people ask me about the Ronald Reagan bust. It’s by a guy called Frank Kozik. You may know him from such things as Labbits (another thing that never fails to make me happy) or any of a bunch of other Kid Robot things. The Gipper busts ran in limited editions of 50 in a bunch of colours a few years ago now. I spent more on it than I’d care to remember, but I paid for it with a work bonus, so it seemed like an apt capitalist indulgence.

The record is by a group called Divorcee.

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I also tried to do something with the outside of the house.

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The table is from Ikea, as are the cacti.

The angry yellow rhino is from Kmart, as is the candle,

The swizzle sticks come from old casinos in Vegas and the lime comes from our very own lime tree!

We tried to enjoy a late G&T on the front porch the other night, but basically living on the M5 doesn’t make for relaxing at the time of day, but late summer evenings will be much better, I’m sure.

Mindy and the Truck Stop.

“G’day Mindy, this is Tom I was telling you about. He’s going to take some photos for the website so we can pop the house up this arvo. We might just go from room to room and you can tell us a little bit about it so we can write a good description for it too.”

“Well, I think the real selling point is that it’s a family home, you know? There’s lots of space.”

“Nice, nice. It is big, isn’t it? How many bedrooms is it?”

“There’s four.”

“Okay, nice, that’ll look good on the website. So, how many kids did you have?”

“Sixty four.”

“Sorry, four did you say?”

“No. Sixty four.”

“…”

“They’re all here, come through.”

dolls

“Oookay. Um. Okay. Well just … um, Tom if you could just take a quick snap here, maybe just try and crop … okay, I think you know what I mean. Maybe just focus on just the cupboard and window if you can. Try not to … you know, just we don’t want too much wide angle maybe in this room”.

“Some of them are a little camera shy, especially Baby here, so if we could make this quick…”

“Let’s make this very quick! Ok, maybe let’s head outside, it’s starting to feel a bit warm in here. Is anyone else feeling warm?”

“Oh yes! The backyard! Now, the backyard is special. The girls needed somewhere to play, so we’ve done something very nice out here.”

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“This is … this is just concrete pebbles. And sheds. And dead wood.”

“The sheds are for privacy. Nosy neighbours.”

“And what’s that green thing over there? It kind of looks like … a truck stop or something.”

“Oh yes, we love truck stops! We wanted it to look just like one of those! Maybe you could put that in the ad? Private backyard replica truck stop?”

Katoomba, August 2015

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It’s no great secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Sydney and sometimes I just need some space from it, so I can tolerate it on my return.

We’ve been breaking up and making up for almost 10 years and I’ve started plotting ways to leave, for good. I’m sorry Sydney, it’s you, not me.

On Sunday and Monday, B and I both had time off work, which almost never happens two days in a row anymore, so we decided to go to the Blue Mountains for the night.

The Blue Mountains is one of the many places we’re considering moving at some point. It has the advantage of being within a commutable distance from Sydney, as well as being somewhere you can see the stars (which is actually on our “must have ” list for future moves).

We stayed in an amazing Airbnb place B found. I love that Airbnb is competitive price-wise with motels, but allows the luxury of a much more informed choice and far nicer accommodation. Gone are the days of hideous matching art works over twin beds, which are clad in doonas patterned to hide all manner of stains.

We stayed at a place in Katoomba called Little Burrendong, which was a studio built over a garage in a lovely backyard. The space was so well thought out and furnished perfectly. Were I not a collector of books and the owner of a small fur family, I could easily live somewhere like this.

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I really like Katoomba. It’s a little far to commute from to Sydney every day, but I would move us here in a split second if we worked from home, or only part-time in Sydney. It’s big enough that it has everything you could want, but there’s so much space, and it’s so quiet at night and the bush is stunning.

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The next day we stopped in on some of the other villages on our way home, so we could get a bit of an idea about what they’re like.

Breakfast was at Wentworth Falls.

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Then we spent an hour or so in Springwood, just wandering.

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I was sad to get home, luckily there were three furry faces waiting there, happy to see us and have cuddles.