La Dolce Vita II (Q2 2014)

Sydney
And in the blink of an eye, another quarter (and season) has passed us by – it’s hard to believe that we are now more than halfway through the year. Christmas will be here before we know it!

Q2 2014:

Roosters games attended: 2 (ANZAC Day match vs Dragons [we won!], vs Raiders [we won!])
Swans games attended 1 (vs Geelong [we won!!])
Mornings/days spent at the beach: 4
Beaches visited: 3 (North Bondi, Manly, Palm Beach)
Movies watched: 4 (The Lego Movie, Philomena, The Other Woman, Veronica Mars)
Books downloaded on Kindle: 3
Books actually read on Kindle: 2
Concerts purchased tickets for: 0
Concerts attended: 1 (Kate Miller-Heidke)
Road trips: 1 (Canberra)
Visits from family: 2 (Mum, Joey)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored : 18 (Rushcutters, Grounds of Alexandria (technically a re-visit), Catalina, Alpha (re-visit x2), Lady J Café and Wine Bar, Zigolini’s, Bondi Picnic, Sahara Parramatta, Ruby’s Diner, The Boathouse Palm Beach, Nelson Road Tuckshop, Hinky Dinks, Le Cafeier, Coco Noir, Good Brother [Canberra], Bar Indigo, Public Dining Room, Gertrude & Alice)
Celebrations: 3x birthdays (Molly, Gems, Niece Posy [via Skype, ha!]), 1x baptism
Festivals/events attended: 4 (Easter Show, Wills and Kate do Manly, Vivid, Supanova)
Flex days taken from work: 0.5 (Before Easter)
Work adventures: 2 (Speaker on 1x conference panel, 1x office move)
Public Transport adventures: 1 (Stuck on train for two hours, for a trip that takes 15 minutes)

Q2 2014

While this quarter has been quieter on paper (or rather, on screen), I am absolutely exhausted. We temporarily moved offices back in February, and the longer commute was really wearing me down (two trains and a 45 minute commute each way, instead of the 15 minutes on one train that I’m used to), and I was putting in long hours as work was quite hectic at the time. Throw in the cooler weather and the earlier sunset, and I was ready for bed as soon as I walked in the door each evening! Thankfully, we moved back into our city office at the end of June, work has calmed down somewhat, and I am getting used to fewer daylight hours.

Mr Posy and I have made long weekend walks with PosyDog a bit of a habit – we usually grab a coffee to go somewhere along the way, and seem to find ourselves somehow walking for a good two or three hours. Mr Posy made the comment the other day that I am “definitely solar-powered” – that I seem to have so much more energy and am much happier after a good stroll in the sun. It seems so obvious, but living in PosyTown I spent a lot of hours indoors in the air-conditioning for a good nine months of the year – seriously, I’d go from home to the car to work to the car to gym to home, with a weekly game of touch football and an occasional walk thrown in; I spent so little time outside – and it’s only since we’ve moved down here that I’ve noticed how much happier I am after a little exposure to some sun. It’s a little surprising that somebody living in PosyTown could end up deficient in Vitamin D, but I managed it; I’d definitely be interested to hear my results at my next health check!

This quarter marked both six months in Sydney, and six months of marriage for us. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we haven’t even been here a year, because it feels like we’ve been here forever, and some days it’s hard to believe that we’ve been here as long as we have, because it feels like we only left PosyTown last weekend! I still miss my old work family regularly, and I still look occasionally look for them when I’m walking around my office – I guess when you work with the same crew for five years, it takes a little while to adjust!

Mr Posy has had a few trips away for work – they usually seem to clash with with sporting events that we’ve had booked in for months… i.e. the Roosters vs Tigers game (my team vs Mr Posy’s team), and the Swans vs Geelong game (again, my team vs Mr Posy’s team). Thankfully, we had friends who were able to use our tickets to the Swans game, though I’m still a little gutted to have missed it… especially considering the Swannies won!

I have been madly ‘planning’ our trip to Bora Bora – which mostly just involves spending hours and hours reading about places to eat and cocktails that are available, looking up blog posts from people who have been there recently, and counting down the days until our own holiday.

Those that follow me on Twitter will know that I had a bit of an adventure on public transport last week – my usual fifteen minute commute ended up taking two hours (mostly spent in underground tunnels) – at first I had to have a bit of a laugh, then I started to go a little stir-crazy, but then I was able to have a laugh about it again. I caught the bus the rest of the week – and discovered that I actually prefer the bus! It takes me about five minutes longer (however drops me off closer to work), but if the bus breaks down, at least I’m not stuck underground, and I can get off and walk…

Looking back, perhaps this quarter was a little busier than I first thought…

Sad for Summer

Beachin'

I was quite enjoying our seemingly eternal summer, but like all good things, it had to come to an end. The mercury dropped over recent weeks, freakishly climbed again to summer-like temperatures around Easter, before seriously dropping once more this past week. After packing away our beach towels and bathing suits and pulling out jackets, boots and warm knits, I have finally come to accept that I will not be hitting the beach any time soon.

We have had much to keep our minds off the beach, however –  festivals and fun events (we attended the Royal Easter Show for the first time), amazing meals in some lovely restaurants, and many many coffees out and about.

As well as a visit from Wills and Kate (sorry- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) over Easter (ha!), we were also very fortunate to have a few fleeting visits from family, and friends (who we consider family).

It wasn’t until I caught up with my station girl J and her fiancé over dinner (on their stopover in Harbour City before jetting off to the US for three months) that I really realised just how much I have been missing my people. I knew I was missing our family and friends, but I think, for the most part, I’d been able to quash those feelings – until we met up at Alpha for dinner, where I found myself fighting back tears because I was so happy to see my beautiful friend. After a good catch up over a few glasses of wine, an amazing Greek feast, and a walk around this gorgeous city, by my beloved bridge and the sails of the House, I said farewell, while my heart was both bursting with happiness and aching with sadness. As much the visit from my lovely friend just made me miss her more, it was also just the recharge that I needed.

It’s hard to be sad for too long in such a beautiful city, especially considering Vivid Sydney kicked off only a few days after J’s visit! Mr Posy and I always tried to time our visits to Sydney to coincide with Vivid – it is one of our favourite events on the calendar, and this year’s festival was more amazing than ever. As part of Vivid Live, we saw Kate Miller-Heidke at the Opera House – I have never been so mesmerised at a concert, ever. Her performance was nourishment for my soul that I didn’t even know I needed.

Vivid

Last weekend we took a roadtrip down to Canberra for the day to visit my mum, and we also dropped in to see my great aunt. It was an exhausting trip (an 8 hour round trip, for a 4 hour visit), but it was good to see Mum’s new abode and also spend time with my dad’s aunt and uncle. I am still recovering after driving both legs of the trip!

I want to drive up to Newcastle to visit my aunt and little cousins again soon, and we also want to take another trip down to Melbourne to see Niece and Nephew Posy (and BIL and SIL) – but our calendar is fairly packed for the next couple of months, so I will have to contend with Skype catch-ups for a little while yet.

It’s probably a good thing that the weather has cooled and we no longer spend our weekends lazing by the beach – with birthdays, baptisms, NRL games, concerts, comic book festivals (don’t ask), dinners and drinks, roadtrips, and, oh, work, we just don’t have enough hours in the week to squeeze everything in. I won’t lie though – I am definitely counting down the days until I can get back in the water… and shortly after fly out to Bora Bora!

La Dolce Vita (Q1 2014)

When I lived up in PosyTown, I had all the time in the world (well, I did once I’d finished studying, anyway), but rarely felt that I had anything interesting to blog about. Now, I live in this amazing city and have plenty to write about, but I have been too busy exploring Sydney that I have had little time to cobble a post together.

As we’re now fast approaching the month of May, I thought an update on our first quarter of 2014 would be prudent.

Q1 2014:

Roosters games attended: 4 (World Club Championship: vs Wigan Warriors [we won!]; Telstra Premiership games: vs  Rabbitohs [we lost], vs Eels [we won!], vs Manly [we lost]).
Mornings/days spent at the beach: 16
Beaches visited: 4 (Bronte, North Bondi, Avalon, Freshwater)
Movies watched: 14 (Saving Mr Banks, August: Osage County, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Book Thief, Wolf of Wall Street, About Time, The Heat, I Give it a Year, Frozen, Her, Ruby Sparks, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Moonlight Cinema session), The Hunger Games – Catching Fire, Anchorman II (Moonlight Cinema session)).
Books downloaded on Kindle: 17
Books actually read on Kindle: 6
Concerts purchased tickets for: 4 (Katy Perry, Tina Arena, Lady Gaga, Kate Miller-Heidke)
Concerts attended: 0
Road trips: 1 (Newcastle to visit my aunt and little cousins)
Trips taken: 1 (Melbourne to see BIL, SIL, and Niece and Nephew Posy)
Trips booked: 1 (Bora Bora!)
Visits from family: 3 (Mum + brother, Dad, Mum)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored: 11 that I can remember off the top of my head (The Wine Library, The Boathouse Balmoral, Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel, Opera Bar (okay, a re-visit, have been once before), Flat White, The Chalkboard Café, Café Salina, Swell Restaurant, Chiswick (okay, another re-visit, went once before in the lead up to the wedding), The Tea Salon, Panania Hotel…)
Birthdays celebrated: 3 (Me, PosyKitty, my friend’s little boy – cowboy themed party!)
Festivals/events attended: 5 (Taste of Sydney, Four Thought at the Opera House, Alain de Botton at the Opera House, book launch, Yoko Ono’s ‘War is Over’ at the MCA)
Flex days taken from work: 3

Q1 2014

Our weekends the past few months have largely revolved around the beach, and most surprisingly, Mr Posy has been the driving force behind this. I am so glad that he rediscovered his love for the beach, to the point that I had to drag him home, because it really is my happy place. If I’m being completely honest, I suspect that he would have dragged me along to the beach even if he didn’t enjoy it himself, because of how much happier and more relaxed (less anxious/stressed) I am after a dip in the ocean … but aren’t we all?

My birthday this year was a very quiet affair – no morning tea at work or after-work drinks with friends, and no little people here to help me blow out my candles. Mr Posy did take me out for a dinner however, AND he made me my favourite cake – Nigella’s Chocolate Mousse Cake. He also treated me to breakfast at The Boathouse in Balmoral (and more time at the beach), so I had a pretty relaxing birthday weekend!

We managed to squeeze in a trip down to Melbourne to see my BIL, SIL and Niece and Nephew Posy (they moved south shortly after we left PosyTown – thankfully they’re now only one hour away by plane instead of four!) – I really miss being able to wave to them from my front patio. Niece and Nephew Posy are growing so quickly, and it was so hard to say “see you later” (always “see you later”, never “goodbye”). On our last night in Melbourne, Niece Posy’s teddy bear ‘said’ to me “I’m going to miss you Aunty Posy”. I can’t tell you how hard it was to fight back the tears. I knew it would be tough moving away from them, but I didn’t realise that I would feel like a huge chunk of my heart was missing. I am thankful for Skype and short plane trips!

Most excitingly this past quarter, Mr Posy and I booked a holiday for later in the year – a first anniversary/belated honeymoon trip… to Bora Bora! It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and I am over the moon that this dream will soon become a reality. I have been busy reading travel books and forums, scouring the interwebs for travel reviews and photographs, and counting down the days. Unlike other trips that we plan, there will be little structure to this holiday (aside from a dinner at Villa Mahana that I have already booked in) – and I can’t wait! I may already be planning a return visit, before we even get there…

All in all, we’ve had a pleasant start to 2014, and it’s hard to believe that we’ve been living here for nearly seven months already – and married for almost six! I don’t know why I thought time would slow down living here; instead it seems to fly by at double-speed.

Looking back on 2013: A belated Year in Review

Given we’re through the first month of the new year and fairly well into the second, television has resumed its regular programming, school is back in session (traffic, uggggh), annnnnd I just had a birthday, I can no longer deny that it is now well and truly in 2014.

I know I am a little LOT late with my ‘year in review’ post, but I wasn’t quite ready to let 2013 go – it was a huge year for me; my biggest year yet.

The First Quarter

Thinking

As has become the custom for us, we marked January with a trip to Sydney. Sidenote: I’m not sure what we’re going to do now that we actually live here?! We caught up with friends, ate too much, met with wedding vendors, and celebrated a friend’s gorgeous little boy’s second birthday.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t always the best company – I had discovered a lump a month earlier (Christmas! Best gift yet!), and being particularly stupid I had decided to bury my head in the sand (hoping it would go away), only to rediscover the lump on our trip away. Pretty stupid at the best of times, incredibly stupid when you have my family history. After crying hysterically to Mr Posy, I made an appointment with my GP (who was also Mum’s GP and had diagnosed her cancer) for when I returned to PosyTown. I cried even more when my GP referred me on for an ultrasound, saying “We need to get this looked at”… Thankfully, it was just a false alarm; however it did prompt me to quite seriously look at my lifestyle and how I was treating (or not treating) my body, and make necessary changes.

Community Service Announcement: Get your girls out (and the rest) – see your GP and get a health check. If something doesn’t feel quite right, have it looked at, don’t just hope it will go away.

The rest of the quarter involved drowning in huge changes at work (and all the additional work that these changes created) and supporting staff through said changes. Explaining to staff, who after many years working together had become like family, that there would not be a position for them in a new structure was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my career. Thinking about it now still makes me feel sad and uneasy. I can’t even rationalise it to myself as one of those “growing experiences” that “only makes you stronger” – it was an experience I could have done without.

PosyTown is such a transient place, and as with every year, I said goodbye to more dear friends who rode off on their way to greener pastures – always hoping that it would soon be my turn to leave.

Needless to say, my heart was pretty heavy and I shed many tears during the first quarter of 2013.

Quarter Two

Sydney

Fortunately, the second quarter balanced out the first.

After many years of balancing surviving work and study, I finally donned a cap and gown, and walked across the stage to collect my degrees. I don’t know who was more proud – me, Mr Posy, or my parents. I am missing study, but I’m not quite ready to throw myself back into another degree just yet. For now I am enjoying making travel plans, exploring Harbour City, and researching possible future courses.

We took another trip to Sydney, this time for a friend’s baby shower and to meet with our priest in the lead up to the wedding. I was far more relaxed and in a far better head-space than our previous trip, and we had a wonderful time catching up with friends. I went back to PosyTown feeling refreshed after our very quick trip away.

Niece Posy turned three, and she had a Minnie Mouse themed party. I tried my hand at cake pops for the first time, and will never ever forget my little niece’s reaction when she saw the finished product. I had so much fun helping my SIL with the party-prep, to the point of finding myself designated as face painter for the big event. Luckily the three year olds were quite impressed with my basic flower, love heart and a little glitter; the older children, on the other hand, were not quite as forgiving of my ‘skills’…

Quarter Three

Chaos

Chaos. Bedlam. Total pandemonium.

All the changes at work that had been brewing for months with the restructure hit boiling point. It was an incredibly challenging time – but I can honestly say that it was made somewhat easier working with and for such amazing people. I have many decades in my career ahead of me, and I am sure it won’t be the last major restructure that I have to stomach, but I’m thankful that my first experience with such significant organisational change was with such an incredible bunch of people.

I said farewell to more friends leaving PosyTown, but I also said hello to my very dear friend who was back visiting after two years living in the UK, so it wasn’t all bad.

I found out that I had won a job in Sydney! I received two job offers within days of each other (and came *this* close to a third), but with one permanent and one on a temporary contract, it was an easy(ish) choice with such a huge interstate move to make. Telling work and our family and friends that we were leaving was much harder than I had anticipated, but the opportunity really came at the right time for Mr Posy and me.

I took Niece Posy to the Royal PosyTown Show for an Aunty & Niece Day Out, and we had so much fun checking out the cows, goats, chickens, horses and fire trucks. Gosh I miss that kid. She and Nephew Posy are so sweet, and I miss them every single day. Fortunately they moved down to Melbourne with BIL and SIL, so they’re now only an hour flight away (instead of four!), but I do wish they were still only across the road.

Mr Posy and I took another trip to Sydney – this time for wedding prep (nothing like leaving dress shopping and the menu tasting to only a few months before the big day!), to meet a friend’s new baby, and to meet my new employer. It was a quick trip, but the weather was amazing, I got to spend time with some of my closest girlfriends, and it was exciting knowing that we would soon be calling Sydney “home”.

A few weeks later we took one last trip from PosyTown to Sydney, this time to find a place to live! We returned to PosyTown just in time to pack up our little life (which surprisingly filled a huge truck) and send it on its way to Harbour City.

The Final Quarter

Dream then do.

I think we managed to cram maybe a year’s worth of activity into the last few months of 2013.

I finished up in my position in a team where I had worked for the past four and a half years (with the same employer for six years), said our goodbyes to family and friends, and caught a one-way flight to Sydney. Moving to Sydney was a dream around ten years in the making, and it felt (and still feels) so surreal finally making it happen.

Our new life in Sydney kicked off on the right foot, when my beloved Roosters WON THE GRAND FINAL – and we were actually there to witness it. It was a nail-biting game, and I will never forget the moment when Jennings basically put his body on the line for an amazing try that turned the game back in our favour. A fellow female Roosters supporter in the seat in front of us turned to me – we stared at each other incredulously for a minute, before giving each other the biggest high-five. It still makes me tear up just thinking about it. I have been trying to brainwash telling my little Manly-supporting cousins (now 8 and 10) that they have been barracking for the wrong team for years – I may have rubbed in our victory when we finally caught up with them a couple of weeks ago…

We had a little under a week to unpack our home, before I started work – it was an adjustment going from a three-bedroom house with ample storage, to a two-bedroom terrace with only one built-in cupboard and a much smaller living space. While we had purged our lives of things we no longer needed when packing in PosyTown, we used the opportunity to further simplify our lives and rid ourselves of junk. It was incredibly cathartic.

After working for the same employer for the past six years, it was a little strange starting a new job. I’d managed to develop a nasty chest infection in the week between arriving in Sydney and starting work, so the first few weeks completely knocked me about. I am still adjusting to a less frenetic pace than I was used to in PosyTown (a pace which I secretly enjoyed), but the people are nice, so I can’t complain.

One of the highlights of 2013 for me was of course getting married, and also having all our family and friends in Sydney to celebrate in the lead-up to our wedding. Niece and Nephew Posy completely lost their minds when we picked them up from the airport, however I still can’t decide who was more excited over our little reunion – them or me. While the weather wasn’t amazing (torrential downpours, anyone?), we did manage to get in a daytrip to Taronga Zoo, and the rest of the time was spent at the Aquarium in Darling Harbour, eating out for breakfasts and dinners, walking around shopping centres like mall-rats, and of course gearing up for our wedding celebration. We had an amazing dinner with our bridal party and immediate family a couple of nights before the wedding – it was so nice to have everybody together before the madness started.

I will save the wedding post for another day, but we had a truly beautiful day that exceeded all our expectations and was more amazing than we could have ever imagined. Mr Posy and I felt so incredibly humbled to be surrounded by all our family and friends, many of whom travelled such a long way to be there. I don’t think  I will ever tire of looking at our photos and watching our wedding highlights video…

After not managing to catch a single one of the concerts that we’d planned during the first three quarters of the year, we finally squeezed a few in – Ricky Martin and Taylor Swift for me (both of which Mr Posy also surprisingly enjoyed; they put on a great show), and Muse for Mr Posy (and okay, partly for me also).

The time came to say farewell to my gorgeous friend (and beautiful bridesmaid) who returned to the UK for what sounds like another two years minimum. I’m just grateful for all the mix-ups with her visa paperwork which meant she was home for longer, and meant that she didn’t have to do a crazy flight back to Australia for the wedding, only to have to get on the plane back across the pond the very next day.

Mr Posy and I finally took our first real road trip, down the coast to spend Christmas with my grandparents. While it took us around six hours each way, it was such a nice drive – so nice that Mr Posy who has always been Mr Anti-Road Trips is now keen to take more of them – and it was the perfect trip away to recharge after such a crazy few months.

As it was our first “married” New Year’s Eve (and our first in Sydney), I soon found myself manically scouring the web for ideas of where we might go on the night to ensure we started 2014 with a bang. In the end, Mr Posy talked me down off the proverbial ledge, and we spent the evening eating dinner at home and watching movies. I managed to stay awake for the “family fireworks” (which I could just see from where I had positioned myself on the couch), but fell asleep barely ten minutes before the main event. It was the perfect way to start our first year of marriage, and our first year in Sydney – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Epilogue

While this post is long overdue, I figure better late than never. I needed to write it – it’s important to me to look back and reflect on the year that was; to celebrate the good times and mourn the bad, to step back from it all and gain a little perspective, and to stop and really appreciate the people in my life and the moments I have with them.

I am still finding it a little difficult to really embrace 2014 (maybe I should have stayed awake for those midnight fireworks after all, ha!). I can’t decide if it’s because so much happened last year and I’m still processing it all, or if I simply don’t want to believe 2013 is over. It certainly was not always an easy year, but 2013 will forever be a special year for me, and one that I will treasure always.

I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes me.

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

North Bondi

Aren’t summer holidays just the best? All these years, I’ve had no idea just how much I was missing out.

Three occasions aside (three – 2005: I spent a few days down with my Nan and Pop and the rest of the family as we hadn’t had a Christmas away since 1995; 2007: Mr Posy and I went to the US for Christmas; 2009: Mr Posy and I went to Sydney for a few days where it rained the whole time), I’ve always worked the period between Christmas and the New Year, instead choosing to go away in late January (closer to my birthday!). Back in PosyTown, it was usually a slower (and quite lonely) time in the office which meant that I was able to catch up on work (and filing, ugh) while the phones were quiet and there were fewer interruptions, so Mr Posy and I always chose to work through. I always felt a little jealous when my colleagues would come back to work in the new year looking and sounding refreshed and happy, while I was completely exhausted, but I had our trip away to look forward to.

Having recently started a new job down here in Harbour City and having just had two weeks off for our wedding in November, taking time off over Christmas hadn’t even crossed my mind – so I was very pleasantly surprised when I found out that our office shuts down for nearly a fortnight! I worked until just after midday on Christmas Eve, when Mr Posy drove into the city to pick me up, so that we could drive down the coast to spend Christmas with my grandparents. My colleagues had all warned me about horror traffic, so I was bracing myself for a very very long and tedious drive; however Mr Posy and I had the highway largely to ourselves. The drive is fairly spectacular; I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times – it really is God’s country down that way. 

God's country

It was so lovely to spend Christmas with my Nan and Pop, and spend a few days just recharging our batteries. Nan has the most amazing garden and it was so nice to just potter around checking out all the flowers in the morning or afternoon sun (however my Pop’s tomatoes have seen better days!) while chatting with the cows over the back fence. We would drive down to the beach in the mornings after breakfast, before heading back in time for lunch, after which we’d spend time reading or napping or driving around Tathra/Pambula/Merimbula/Eden with my grandies. We took a trip to the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre for milkshakes – I had been talking these up to Mr Posy for weeks and weeks. My shake wasn’t quite as good as I remember, but doesn’t everything taste better when you’re ten? Nan served dessert after every meal (we had fruit after breakfast), and I didn’t feel even a little bit guilty over the extra calories. Not once. Living so far away in PosyTown, I didn’t get to see my grandparents nearly as much as I would have liked over the years – I am so happy that we can spend time with them now. 

Summer holidays

The drive back up the coast was a little slower – I could have walked faster between Ulladulla and Milton – and we stopped in to visit my brother in Wollongong for lunch on our way past, as he wasn’t able to make it down to Nan and Pop’s. I really have to give Mr Posy kudos for listening to around 13 hours of Taylor Swift and Tina Arena (more Taylor than Tina), with me singing along, on our drive down and back.

Mr Posy and I had a quiet night for New Year’s Eve back in Sydney – I saw the family fireworks from our couch (I could just see them from where I was sitting, if we’d gone for a walk around the block we would have had a slightly better view), but I missed midnight by about ten minutes. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open a second longer.

We spent the last few days of my summer break just as we’d started – mornings at the beach, afternoons reading and napping. I did sneak in a High Tea date at The Langham with a girlfriend, as well as a lovely lunchdate with another friend.

The worst part of my summer holiday? Having to go back to work. I am not-so-secretly a little glad that the weather has turned – it is a little less depressing having to go into the office each day when it is rainy and miserable outside. I just hope it clears up in time for the weekend!

Bright Lights, Big City

Sydney

I still have to pinch myself daily.

Twelve weeks ago, a removalist van pulled up in our driveway back up in PosyTown and took away (almost) all our belongings. Two weeks later, we hopped on a one-way flight to Sydney.

Yes, this little Posy family finally moved to Harbour City.

It will come as no surprise that I love Sydney – I have always been quite vocal about my affection for this beautiful city. It is my happy place, a place that has always felt like home, and for the longest time I hoped that one day it would be.

We had been saying that we were moving for more years than I care to admit – it was always “next year, in six months time, at the end of the year, middle of next year, we’ve had to push it back again, we’ll get there soon, yes we are still moving” – but we are finally here. When an ex-colleague back at my work in PosyTown asked earlier in 2013 if I really thought we’d move this year, and whether I thought it would be before the wedding (which at the time was fast-approaching), I could barely contain my very defensive “YES!!!!” – however, at the time I wasn’t sure I really believed it any more than she did.

When I received the phone call letting me know that I was the successful applicant at the end of July for a job I had interviewed over the phone for, I was shocked. Mr Posy was far less surprised than I (love him and his unwavering support of/confidence in me and all that I do), but anxious. Telling our families was hard, there were tears. Telling work was harder, there were more tears. And there was support – so much support. Our family, friends, colleagues and bosses were all so wonderful and so supportive. Every time I would get nervous or scared or sad, my (then) boss would tell me I deserved this, that it was a new and exciting chapter of our lives, and to embrace it with open arms. She would tell me to give it my best shot, and that if I didn’t like it or it didn’t work out, I could always come back, that there would always be a place for me in PosyTown. I love her for that – for helping me keep things in perspective, for reminding me that moving to Sydney was what we wanted, for letting me know that it was okay to do something for us, that nobody would hold it against us, that our family and friends loved us.

Packing up your whole life and shifting interstate is no easy feat. We flew down two weekends before our moving date to inspect and apply for rentals, and we were very fortunate to secure a little terrace the day after we applied in a great location that would allow PosyDog and PosyKitty. This meant that we could take the remaining couple of days of our whirlwind trip a little easier, instead of sticking to the gruelling schedule of open-inspections that I had planned for us. We arrived back in PosyTown at 1.00am on the Monday morning, and our removalists arrived out 6.30am (we thought that one through well – we were still throwing things in and taping up boxes right before our flight to Sydney, as well as the morning that the removalists arrived). The house was packed up and we were back at work mid-morning.

We both worked right up until the day before our one-way flight. This is the one thing that I would have changed if I had my time again. We were working all day, then coming home and cleaning our place at night, leaving little time to spend with our family and friends before we left. We were still throwing clothes and shoes and other various belongings into our SIX suitcases the day of our flight (we’d had a late night at a Farewell BBQ our SIL threw for us the night prior), before and after brunch with our family. Somehow, we managed to make it to the airport that day, and with time to spare.

The farewells at the airport were hard. Mr Posy’s Ma cried. A lot. Saying goodbye to Niece and Nephew Posy was especially hard, and I cried a little right before boarding, but managed to pull myself together for a final wave, before crying a lot more on the plane. I was so happy to be catching our one-way flight down to Sydney, but I was sad to be leaving our loved ones behind.

Our arrival to Sydney was eventful. Our flight arrived at about 8.30pm on the night of a fireworks and pyrotechnics display as part of this little thing called the International Fleet Review. There were masses of people everywhere, streets were closed off, and our taxi driver decided he would leave us, our six large suitcases, three laptops, and two carry-on bags a little under a kilometre away from our hotel. I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and I had no idea how we were going to get all our gear to our hotel. I rang the concierge, nearly in tears explaining that we had just moved to Sydney, that we had so many bags, that our taxi driver had deserted us, and two amazing attendants came down to our rescue. I will be forever grateful. While it wasn’t so funny at the time, I can look back on it now and laugh – what a way to start our new adventure!

We’ve been here for a little over two months now (nearly three months!), and I am still completely exhausted. But happy. Oh so happy. We’ve been all unpacked for a little while, the furkids are all settled in, and our place feels like home, but we’ve only just managed to do a proper grocery shop, instead of just popping up to our local to buy what we needed day-to-day. I think I felt like we were just on this extended holiday, like we lived in a serviced apartment or something, that we’d have to go back to our old life in PosyTown any day, so we didn’t really bother buying groceries.

I still can’t believe we live here, but at the same time, I feel like we have lived here forever.

Furkids

Sad for Sydney

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The post-holiday buzz never lasts long enough. We’ve been back in PosyTown for a little over a week now, however I noticed my buzz quickly dissipating at work last Thursday (two days after our return) – by Friday it was well and truly out the door, and I found myself looking up flights back to Sydney for the long weekend. Common sense prevailed ($700-800 and a 15 hour flight just to get to Sydney is a little excessive, especially given the direct flight only takes four hours and usually costs around $200…), and I spent my long weekend sulking on the couch.

We had such a fabulous trip. In the cab on the way to the airport, I found myself fighting back tears. It was only once I finally stopped that I realised how completely exhausted I was. I knew I was tired, I knew that I was stressed, but I didn’t realise how completely wrecked I was; I didn’t realise the past six or so months had taken such a toll on me. I was excited to be heading down to Sydney (my happy place), but I think I needed a good cry. I watched a sad movie and sad TV shows on the flight down, and sobbed nearly the entire way. When we arrived in Sydney, we headed to our hotel in Circular Quay, checked in, and went out for a walk/in search of ice cream (at about 11 o’clock at night, as you do). There is something cathartic about crying, a good walk and ice cream – I felt a lot better for it! I suppose it also helped that I was in Sydney…

Late night walk

When we’ve taken trips away in the past, I’ve always found it really difficult to switch off from work, and will find myself answering emails while I’m on leave. This trip, I really stepped back – I checked emails for a couple of hours the first morning we were there, before I rolled my eyes at myself – everything was under control (my staff are fantastic), and I reminded myself that I was only away for four work days. While I was a little distracted with something else on my mind, relaxing was definitely much easier after this realisation.

It was such a lovely few days. There was a lot of eating – we dined at Firefly in Walsh Bay, The Woods (the newish restaurant in our hotel), and Wildfire in Circular Quay (when our movie in Centennial Park was rained out). We drank a lot of coffee and quite a few cocktails, we ate a lot of frozen yogurt, and we Mr Posy did a lot of shopping.

The birthday party that we flew down for was fantastic. My friend really outdid herself (as she always does!) – I know her little boy had a truly fantastic day. They had a petting zoo, which kept the little ones (and the not-so-little ones) amused – there were rabbits and ducklings and chickens and goats and lambs!

Teddy Bear Picnic

We spent some time by the beach, by the pool, with friends (though not as much time as I would have liked, and I didn’t get to catch up with everybody I had planned to see, unfortunately), I squeezed in afternoon naps, and we met with a few wedding vendors. We made a visit to the giant duck in Darling Harbour…

Relaxing

Mr Posy didn’t have to drag me on to the plane back to PosyTown (to his amazement, I’m sure), but to say I was a little sad about having to leave would be an understatement. I really needed the time away, and I do feel better for it, but now that we’re back to the daily grind, it’s pretty depressing. I am missing Sydney dreadfully. Pretty sad and pathetic, I know, I know.

Duck

The Year the World Didn’t End: My 2012 Recap

If I could describe 2012 in one word, it would be … hectic.

Given I’m not one for stopping at just one word when describing something, I’d say it was also tiring. And demanding.

2012 may have been busy, but it was always pretty darn remarkable. I grew more than I realised possible in a very short timeframe – it was a year of pushing my boundaries and venturing outside my comfort zone.

Celebrations in Sydney

Sydney

We started 2012 with a trip to Sydney – to celebrate my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and also for the baptism and 1st birthday of a dear friend’s very special little boy. We spent two weeks in Sydney in January, and had a glorious time. I wish I could bottle the love, laughter, warmth, excitement, and happiness that filled the rooms for each of the celebrations – it’s the stuff that makes your heart feel so full it might burst.

I wrote a 30 by 30 list

When I first started thinking about what I wanted to achieve over the next few years, I thought my list would be short – get married, move to Sydney, finish a half marathon. It wasn’t until I really started to think about it, and put pen to paper that I realised that my list was long. Very long. Much longer than what made the final cut, but I figure I can only achieve so much in the next few years. What comes after that, time will tell.

I chopped off my hair

It might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was averybigdeal. I felt such an overwhelming sense of relief, and like I had just shed years and years of unwanted thoughts and emotion. It wasn’t just a hair cut, it was somewhat of a spiritual cleansing. Or an exorcism.

I took up a new sport

When a work colleague asked if I would join her beach volleyball team (indoor), with people that I didn’t know, my internal reaction was a resounding “hell no”.  The words that came out of my mouth were another story, however – “Sure! I’d love to!”. Funnily enough, I’ve had a lot of fun, and I’ve made new friends. I am not the most skillful player, but I am getting there. I can hit the ball, so I figure that’s a good start. It has also been strangely cathartic, belting that ball back over the net, particularly after a bad day in the office.

Another Sydney trip

From Nan's kitchen

June saw us take another trip to Sydney, and then down to the Sapphire Coast (it truly is God’s country), for another special occasion – my grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was so nice spending time with all my family, and for Mr Posy to visit my Nan and Pop’s house for the first time. It is the place that has always felt most like home. I could stare out Nan’s kitchen window all day.

Mr Posy

We also managed to squeeze in a brief stopover in Canberra – Mr Posy’s first trip to our nation’s capital.

More family festivities

Melbourne

This time, the celebrations were for Mr Posy’s family – we flew to Melbourne to celebrate Nephew Posy’s baptism (in the same church Niece Posy was baptised, and my brother-in-law was married).

I never really understood people who went on holidays with their family, but after all the family holidays we’ve had over the past couple of years, I finally get it.

We celebrated our ten year anniversary

Mr Posy and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this year – a decade together. Ten years! It really doesn’t feel like ten years. Gosh we’ve had some seriously amazing adventures together – I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.

I finished studying

It was about bloody time. I’d had a semester off here and there (for Mum’s cancer etc), but it was still such a bloody long slog. Two degrees later, and I’m done. Only, I’m not – I’ve been browsing course catalogues, and it’s taking every ounce of rational thought that I have not to enrol in another course. At least, not just now. I’ll give myself a study break in 2013, but I can’t promise the same for 2014.

Work was crazy

No, really. It was C-R-A-Z-Y. Sometimes good-crazy and sometimes bad-crazy, but always one hell of a ride. I have grown and learnt a lot this year, and I’m very fortunate to work with such amazing people.

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Looking back, it is pretty clear that family and festivities were the overall themes for me in 2012. I am surrounded by such wonderful family and friends, both near and far, and I feel so blessed to be so lucky.

I was sad to see the end of 2012. There were days of pain and sadness, and days where tears were shed, but I wasn’t ready for this year to end – on the whole it was a good year. It was a huge year.

2013 will be another big year for Mr Posy and I, starting with a trip to Sydney later this month – for a special little boy’s 2nd birthday!

2012, it’s been grand. 2013, please be kind.

A whirlwind vacation

And, we’re back. Well, we’ve been back for about a fortnight, but I’ve been waist-deep in university assessments and haven’t had the time or the brain-space to even think about writing for enjoyment. I also can’t remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t “required reading”… I have at least one essay due every week between now and the end of August, so my life is all kinds of exciting right now. Work, study, sleep – rinse and repeat. The good news is that after this hard slog, I will be done. The crazy news is that I’ve been looking at Masters courses – why stop at two degrees? I am a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Our trip away was everything that I needed – time off from work, time away from PosyTown, time with family and friends that  I miss so much. Before we flew out, I was constantly feeling like this awful angry person – someone that I am not, and I certainly did not enjoy feeling so on edge all the time. Spending time with my dad and grandparents and extended family in Bega was exactly what I needed. The landscape down in that part of the country is magical, and it was so lovely to be able to escape from the world. I hope my Pop enjoyed his 80th birthday party as we all did!

On our way back up to Sydney, Mr Posy and I spent the night in Canberra – it was his first trip to our nation’s capital, so we took the day to explore what is a very pretty locality. Say what you will about Canberra, there is no denying that it is a beautiful city. Unfortunately our flight to Sydney was delayed the next morning due to heavy fog, and when we did eventually make it to Sydney, our bags did not. I had watched them, from my seat on the plane before take-off, unload all the luggage, so it came as no huge surprise when we arrived in Sydney and the baggage carousel was empty. An apology certainly wouldn’t have gone astray, however…

Our time in Sydney was a bit of a whirlwind – we caught up with as many people as we could, but our trip was over before we knew it. My dear friend Neek remarked to me over a drink that she loved that I was always excited about visiting Sydney, because she knew so many people who don’t share that same excitement. Who are these people that visit or live in such an amazing city, and don’t even know it?! These people need to pay a visit to PosyTown… In the middle of the build-up, when the heat and humidity is so bad that you start to think that you are literally in Hell.

Can you believe that we are now at the END OF JUNE? Niece Posy is going to be TWO YEARS OLD next week. TWO!

Days go by

It feels like just yesterday that a friend and I were lamenting over coffee that we were in the middle of March, and now here I find myself at the end of May. We’re almost halfway through this year, which is a scary thought – Mr Posy and I have still have so much to do over the coming months, and not really a whole lot of time. I can’t believe that Christmas is “only” 7 months away!

When I was a little girl, it felt like time would pass by so slowly – I was always in a hurry for the next event, and I would will the days to speed up. Adults would tell me to stop wishing my life away, that time speeds up as you get older and that one day I’d yearn for my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the mahogany tree across the street from my house with a friend, discussing how adults were crazy, that it just wasn’t possible for time to “speed up”, and that life would be so much better when we were grown up and we could do as we pleased. Now, there are never enough hours in the day, and I wish time would just slow down.

Tomorrow, Mr Posy and I are jetting off down to Sydney for a little break. We’ll be heading about five hours out of Sydney first up for my Pop’s 80th birthday – I’m looking forward to spending time with all my extended family. I saw them all in January for my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and the feeling of being in a room full of people that look like you and love you unconditionally… I can’t explain it. Living in PosyTown, so far away from my extended family, means that I’ve only spent a little time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and little cousins over the years, so when I do get to spend time with them, I cherish every second.

After a weekend with my family, we’re heading back to Sydney for a few days, where I am looking forward to catching up with good friends, shopping, and checking out this year’s Vivid Sydney light festival. We were down at the same time last year, so it will be interesting to see what’s in store for us this year.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast, and I am looking forward to pulling out my coats and scarves and boots and stockings. What I’m not looking forward to is the niggling worry in the back of my mind about work – I know that my staff are well able to handle any issues that might arise, but it doesn’t make me any less anxious about leaving them. I am also slightly rattled that when I return, it will be June. JUNE!