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It can be a little frustrating, when you are a person who enjoys multiple creative pursuits, when you feel that some areas are lapsing but you don’t have any creative juice left to pour into those areas. I’m feeling that about writing at the moment. I wrote a couple of paragraphs of this post and bored myself silly so deleted them, but in the interests of exercising my writing muscles I’m trying again. So I can’t guarantee this will be worth reading, but here goes anyway.

I’ve just gone back to work today after two weeks’ holiday. I didn’t go anywhere or have anything planned, and it was bliss. I spent the days waking when I wanted to, going back to sleep when I needed to, reading, staring at the garden, generally just blobbing around. I hadn’t realised how much I needed it.

The end of last year got a bit intense and crazy with all the stuff I was doing. I hadn’t really stopped from July onwards, with starting a new job, starting rehearsals and doing a three week run of The Sound of Music, then going straight into rehearsals for Strictly Ballroom. Add to that a seemingly neverending stream of end-of-year events at work, then all the Christmas events at church and it felt like a marathon to get to Christmas Day and the empty calendar days following it.

It was only me and mum for lunch on Christmas Day because Nick couldn’t afford to join us until after new year’s. But I think we both actually appreciated not having to entertain or rush from place to place. Occasionally I’d feel a pang when I’d see the photos on social media of other families’ big celebrations, but then remind myself that a) there’s no point comparing yourself to anyone else; b) it’s been a long time since we had a big family Christmas; and c) actually it’s much nicer to be able to fall asleep after lunch without it appearing rude.

Our tasty Christmas feast

It’s also been really nice to be at home after weeks of rushing hither and thither. I did start to feel a bit lonely after a while, but for New Year’s Eve we had a delicious steak dinner with some friends from church overlooking the Tamar Valley. That wrapped up earlyish, so I headed across town (and saw the 9pm fireworks in the sky ahead of me over the river as I drove) to play cards with band friends and see in the new year. Given new year’s is one of my least favourite events (mainly because of that feeling you should be doing something, but not really being arsed to organise anything) it was enjoyable in its low-keyness and fun-peopleness.

Me and Nay in the golden hour on New Year’s Eve – perfect light!

On New Year’s Day we had the unexpected pleasure of meeting new friends in the guise of two of my brother’s French workmates, Alyzée and Eyub, who were coming to Tasmania for a week. They had planned to arrive the same day as Nick, but got the dates mixed up and arrived a day early, with no accommodation or hire car booked and in the middle of the busiest tourist season. And of course there were no cars available in the whole state, it seemed. I don’t think they’d quite realised how essential a car is if you want to explore…or even if you want to get to our place – they caught a taxi to us from the airport and it was around $70. Mum generously loaned them her car the next day so they could go to Liffey Falls and Duck Reach, then Nick arrived and they took us out to dinner at Me Wah to say thank you. As they are used to high end hospitality (and Sydney prices) they seemed to think nothing of it, but we were quite floored when they insisted we all have the most expensive banquet/tasting menu. I enjoyed every bite of the amazing food but we were all so full by the end we could barely speak.

We were all pretty full by the time we got to the Peking duck but we bravely soldiered on through to the peanut parfait, which was amazing – it was served in a glass which they topped with a chocolate disc and then poured hot salted caramel sauce on it until the chocolate melted and it all went through the dessert…man that was worth having an extra dessert stomach for.

The next day we went to a tiny vineyard in Piper’s Brook called Sinapius, because Alyzée is the sommelier at their restaurant and was keen to visit this particular vineyard. Absolutely gorgeous spot, amazing wine, and so great to meet the winemakers who are unpretentious and passionate about what they do. Visiting some of the other vineyards around, especially those owned by the big wine companies, can feel a bit slick or touristy, but this was like chatting with friends.

Me and Nick

And then the visitors all headed down to Hobart and I resumed trying to get in as many naps as possible before going back to work. I don’t mind working but I do love my afternoon naps! That was the best part of freelancing. But a regular income does trump afternoon naps somewhat.

The first thing I did when I got to work today was fall up the stairs (tripped on the hem of my skirt while carrying too many things) and smashed my foot. Now I’m hobbling around like a crone. So my plan (not resolution) of walking around the block each lunchtime failed before it even began.

I’m also looking forward to getting my contract and having a bit more certainty around my hours, pay, position description, etc, now that I have gotten the permanent role of graphic designer/photographer/videographer (as I learned from the headmaster the day before going on holidays!).

I’m looking forward to clarity and having my own area of responsibility that I can grow in (instead of just doing whatever was thrown my way in an emergency). Also looking forward to honing my photography and videography skills, and hopefully doing some proper professional development in those areas.

I’m also looking forward to getting back into Strictly Ballroom rehearsals after a three week break. I recorded the piano part of my two songs so I can practise singing on the way to and from work. I’m gradually getting stronger – there are a couple of notes that I need to belt that are just on my passaggio (where the voice goes between chest and head voice and is weakest). Our vocal director Denise gave me some exercises that really work but sound dreadful, so the car is the best place to do them!

And…that’s me up to date! Thanks for reading if you got all the way to the end. It felt good to write, after all that.