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Delight and Things

a little peek at what delights me

So the year is coming to an end. Again.

It always does, but when I was a kid I remember getting sad on New Years Eve because I was a bit of a kainotophobe (the fear of change). And I would always remember how great the year had been and didn’t want it to end. Throughout my travels I’ve learned to appreciate change, though, and I’m not so much of a kainotophobe anymore. But I do still feel it’s still nice to look back on the year we’ve just gone through and take a few moments to appreciate all that happened. Here’s my top ten memories from the past year.

1. My surprise visit home after 21 months of being away! Thanks to my father’s careful lies, I managed to pull off the giant surprise of flying from Australia to Canada with my boyfriend for my first visit home since leaving a year and nine months before. Although I was attempting to make it a total secret, with my family’s unorthodox schedule due to dad’s recent retirement, part time jobs at cabins in the woods, and awkward shiftwork, I ended up having to spill the beans to my dad to ensure everyone was going to be in the same place at the same time. (I could just see Jamie and I keeping quiet about it, spending 30 hours on a plane, then rocking up to the house when everyone was away – total bummer). My dad heroically made up a giant work disaster that required attending to despite my mom’s total annoyance that he was going to leave when my sister and her boyfriend were up for the weekend. (Kudos go to my sister’s man for ensuring my sister was there, too, or else she would have been working two hours away). My dad then drove 5 hours to pick us up at the airport and another 5 to get us to where my family was. A massive effort. My dad has all the photos of the moment I walked in the door, though, not me. Regardless, it is by far my favourite memory of 2012. It makes my heart sing.

2. Bringing home a puppy. My boyfriend’s parents breed sheep dogs, and both Jamie and I fell in love with one out of a litter last year, and we ended up bringing him home. We named him the totally unoriginal name ‘Spot’ and welcomed him home. Jamie’s other dog, Nikki, was not as pleased with the newcomer as we were, but Spot became part of the family and is one of the goofiest dogs I know who inevitably makes me laugh every day.

Spot out for a drive when he was a puppy

Spot out for a drive when he was a puppy

3. Bottle feeding orphaned lambs. I never expected this to ever make any top ten list in my life, unless bottle feeding orphaned lambs suddenly became a necessity to survival in a Canadian ski resort… but it just goes to show how much your life can change in a year. And that’s why this made the list. It reminds me not to be afraid of change, but to embrace it. Because how flipping cute are baby lambs!?

Baby lamb getting warm in the sun

Baby lamb getting warm in the sun

4. New Years at the beach. Okay, I don’t usually make a big deal about ringing in the new year. And I didn’t last year. It just happens that my then quite new boyfriend invited me down to the beach and it happened to be New Years. It wasn’t hugely special, we just went fishing, and played cards, and went swimming, but I just remember feeling totally happy and relaxed. And I outfished the boys – I caught 15, they caught 4 and 5 each – and that’s something to crow about. (And that photo shows quite a small fish but it was the first one for the day that I caught – they got bigger).

Fishing at Arno Bay, New Years Day 2012

Fishing at Arno Bay, New Years Day 2012

5. Visiting my best friend in Sydney. I got to spend Easter with one of my best friends from Canada in Sydney, where she’s originally from. It was so great to see her on her soil, to check out all of her old haunts, and to meet her mom (who I felt like I knew but had never met).

6. Cruising around Tasmania in a camper van. Another part of my travels this year involved renting a camper van and driving around Tasmania for a week. Awesome! Saw some beautiful sights, visited many national parks, and ate some delish seafood.

walking around the lake at Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

walking around the lake at Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

7. Finishing painting the bathroom. This sounds silly but it was the one thing about the house I’m living in right now that I couldn’t handle. It just felt dark and old and farmhouse dirty. (So like, actual dirt due to unsealing windows vs the gross dirt that sometimes comes with old bathrooms, if that makes sense…) The sense of accomplishment from entirely repainting the bathroom (ceiling, trim, walls, everrrrything) was amazing. It took a lot of work, but it looks so much lighter and brighter and cleaner than it did before. I wish I had a before and after photo, but I don’t.

8. Going to Melbourne with Jamie. Yes, it was a work function that we went for (I know – you’re all thinking, what work functions do you go to when you’re a farmer???) but that grain tipper truck launch was an awesome excuse for Jamie to take me on a whirlwind trip to Melbourne. Not only did we have a drink at the excellent pop-up pallet bar in a back alley, check out the MCG (if only from a distance), and visit with penguins at the Aquarium, I got to get dressed up and chat to people in marketing (hello, something I know about!!) for a while. It was like a combination between my life in Canada and my life here (yes, we were talking about marketing the new grain tipping trucks to young farmers).

St Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne

St Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne

9. Going to the Beirut concert with Brooke and Brian. My sister’s boyfriend bought Jamie and I tickets to a concert while we were in Canada. We didn’t know the band but went anyway, trusting their taste in music implicitly. That concert was excellent. Trumpets, trombones, electric bass, drums… their sound is amazing. And I couldn’t have picked better people to see it with. And it was in the beautiful Orpheum theatre. Three wins.

10. Planting my veggie garden. Scratch that. The actual planting of my veggie garden was a kind of tedious process with no immediate result. Harvesting my veggie garden for the first time (okay, okay, maybe the term ‘harvest’ is a bit too grand for pulling one carrot out of the ground) was definitely exciting. And although it’s been a bit of a time and water suck, I still love going out every morning and checking to see what’s grown since the day before. Definitely worth all the effort – and the battles first with frost then with drought and sunburn.

The first carrot picked.

The first carrot picked.

Anyway, hope you all have a happy new year and have a few amazing things to think back on from the past twelve months. Here’s wishing you all the best for the next twelve!

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