I’ve been thinking the past week I really should get back into my blog. I realize it’s been awhile now and I would like to thank all of you who have written to tell me how much I am missed.
It’s good to know I might fill some kind of space – no matter how small – in the world of others.
What I’ve been doing in my blogging break is writing fiction, tending to family and friends, going on holidays and overseeing house extensions. It’s been a busy time and I can’t actually believe 3 months have passed since my last blog post!
The house extension has been the most exciting project as it involved the construction of a NEW WRITING STUDIO for me. One that has a large window out to my garden and french doors that open up to my back patio. It’s bright and relaxing, and has the added bonus that if I’m feeling particularly lazy I can walk outside and slip right into the hammock, where I can swing above the agapanthus and daydream to my hearts content.
After years of working at the kitchen table and having no space to call my own in our house, it is exhilarating to finally have a room where I can go, shut the door and create, read or just sleep if I want to.
No more moving notes around to make way for meals, or wrenching papers and books out of the way of messy 5 year old fingers. Now I can decorate a room in whatever style I choose, put up some of my travel prints, pictures of loved ones, and even favourite quotes, anything that will keep me inspired to sustain my writing momentum.
The other event worth discussing that happened in the past 3 months was I went to Melbourne with Musicman and Bunny for a little winter vacation.
If you know anything about Australia, you know it’s a bloody large country. Melbourne is in Victoria, another state and an 11 hour drive from where I live near Sydney, New South Wales. Definitely not a hop, skip or a jump. However, we did split the trip up by staying with friends in Albury, a lovely country town near the Victorian border.
Melbourne is a lot colder than Sydney so I had quite a rude shock when we arrived. In Sydney you can get by without a coat in Winter – a jacket will suffice. In Melbourne, a good coat is essential, and as I discovered on our leisurely drive out to the Mornington Peninsula, a beanie and gloves too. When those icy winds rolled in from Antarctica I thought my ears were going to freeze and fall off.
Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise and MusicMan and I indulged our grumbling stomachs at every opportunity – rich, saucy desserts and thick soups that were more like casseroles were highlights. And a bonus of visiting Melbourne in winter was that there were no crowds at all the most beautiful parts of the city and the peninsula. We had a table near the window at Brighton Baths with an uninterrupted view out over the pier and Port Phillip Bay.
We cruised St Kilda and Southbank without falling over people and there were more seagulls than tourists on our day in Sorrento. We also spent some quality time with family and considering my visits to Melbourne are usually a two day rush, this was something special for me.
Melbourne also had a certain attraction to me as a blogger because this is where Robin from Lets Live Forever is based with her partner, Frank. Robin has written about our visit here, and like her, I found it amazing how much it felt like we already knew each other.
Blogging really does allow you access to the authentic person within, and meeting Robin in person was no different than our online exchanges, except way better. It makes me wonder if I would get on so fabulously with all my international blogging friends. One day I would like the opportunity to find out.
I also really enjoyed Robin showing me the energetic and rather groovy suburb she lives in. It reminds me a lot of some of the places I’ve called home over the years and if I was to move to Melbourne I think she could well find herself with us as a neighbour.
Frank and MusicMan also hit it off talking about music and were soon closeted in the recording studio like old friends. Robin even gave Riley a few of her books – she’s an accomplished author you know – and we’ve had a lot of fun reading them since we got home.
All in all, our trip to Melbourne was a wonderful holiday; maybe not as thrilling as Europe last year, but far easier and less expensive. I had a ball and can’t wait to go back.
Though maybe next time I’ll go when I can leave the ear muffs at home.
NB: Jasper the dog in the first photo is not mine, but I sure wish he was. This was taken in Albury at our friend’s house. I will also post a photo of my writing studio when I’ve finished decorating and when I get a new camera – my old one died.