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Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary…

– Oscar Wilde

  As I write this New Year’s eve post, (on my new Mac laptop like a bonafide writer – a gift from the Producer)  I am inclined, like everyone else writing today, to look back on the year that was, and what a bloody year 2015 has been. I’m looking back at photos I have taken on my trusty iPhone6 over the last year, a gadget I am rarely without that seems to be a photo journal of all things that pass in my life.

I’m a busy chick. Busy in the sense that as much as I don’t always acknowledge it, I have a thirst for adventure. Not big mind blowing adventures like constant travel to unexplored places, but adventures that involve interesting discoveries, be it in my own city, or elsewhere. I seem to do a lot of stuff. I adore conversation with awesome people, that often involve glasses filled with bubbles, white wine or the occasional cider in the Melbourne summer.

 I love good food and interesting new eateries, even though I seem this year to have eaten more crap than I ever have before. I have recently realised that I have grown a sugar addiction. I would like to say I did it as some sort of social experiment, but the truth is I just started eating crap I hadn’t before like lollies, salted caramel ice cream (damn you Aldi and your ridiculously priced siren like treats) and cake. This sudden prediliction for sugar was born from two places. A partner who thinks sugar is a primary food group sitting on the “eat most” section of the food pyramid, and a work place that is steeped in what I know call ‘cake-culture’.

I happen to work with a couple of women who are extraordinary professional cake makers who weave their magic as a part time occupation away from work. One in particular made my daughter’s magnificent 18th birthday cake, a two-tiered gothic inspired creation, draped in full black icing with lace decoupage and filled with salted caramel and lemon deliciousness. She brings her amazing creations to work often, and morsels of wickedness she calls ‘cake pops’.  

 The innocent name completely belies the gazillion kilojoules they each pack, and their irrisitableness. It’s like a sugar black magic. Yes, yes, I take full responsibility. 2015 was a year of sweet decadence. My hips (and my thighs, stomach, tuck shop arms and arse) are all screaming now for me to stop.

They yearn for the days of boring salads for lunch and dark rye bread filled with tuna fillings. The scales which I have avoided for years (I’ve always gone by how my clothes fit), screamed out to me. “Get on, get on,” I heard them whisper in agonising taunts from the bathroom. Eventually I did.

Holy Shit!! WTF?! Yes, I’ve gained a shit load of weight. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen. Of course such things don’t happen in isolation either. If I’m honest, I have built armour. I have surrounded myself with own weight to keep things at bay. I have hibernated quite a bit this year in my own skin. I know it. It’s just difficult to admit these things.

So, what I have I seen and done this year – 2015? So many things!

I had Proud Mummy Moments

My daughter attended her Debutante Ball, and I have to say as a proud parent, she was stunning. (Yep, total gushiness). She wore a full white ball gown. As a feminist, I was quite surprised deb balls still existed but more surprised that my little self-confessed converse wearing geek-girl would want to be involved. She did, head first and with gusto and I found myself in a sea of ball gowns, satin gloves and white heels. She emerged like a Disney princess for her night of nights and was swept off with her friends in a limousine.

Later in the year she turned 18. Fuck me. I have to say my gorgeous one seems to me to still be so young, and yet here she was embarking on adulthood. The little Sagittarian has always shied away from fuss and standing in the lime light. This year she boldy decided to have a party, with both friends and family. In the end we threw a shin dig with 100 odd people, and I found the cash to give her one of the few parties she has ever wanted. The tiny dancer looked amazing in a strapless black jumpsuit and bright pink sky scraper heels, drinking sticky red alcoholic drinks. Suddenly standing before me she was sincerely 18. 

Mr 15 year old played his 50th game of AFL footy and the Producer and I had a banner made which he ran through as his team mates formed a guard of honour. The producer and my eldest son held the banner up. Goosebumps and tears might have been felt that day. The gorgeous ones are growing up. 

I saw cool things 

The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – brilliant day shared with friend and fellow blogger, Carly Findlay.   

Re-visited William Ricketts Sanctuary – Dandenongs, Victoria – a beautiful way to spend a day among the ferns and carvings

Arthurs Seat State Park – Day trippin’ 

 David Bowie is Yours – Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at ACMI – Dream come true! 

 Masterpieces from the Hermitage: Catherine the Great Exhibition – NGV 

 

I finally made it to Tasmania

Tassie has always been on my bucket list and it seems absurd that I had travelled overseas but not been to Tasmania. The Producer and I flew into Launceston, hired a car and went road trippin’ to Hobart. We did lots of touristy things, stopping in small picturesque towns along the way.

Amongst the beauty of Tasmania was MONA – what an extraordinary place, where we got to see the Marina Abramovic ‘Private Archeology’ exhibition (swoon). This may be my favourite gallery ever. 

 We ate amazing seafood, discovered scollop pies (yum!) and visited Port Arthur, where I was able to pay homage to a friend’s brother, lost there.

I saw great films 

Mad Max: Fury Road – holy hell on wheels! This film blew my mind, even after seeing it twice. A powder keg of feminist strength against a backdrop of an apocolytic world, my heart was racing from beginning to end. George Miller returned triumphant and let us forget that Beyond Thunderdome ever happened.

Putuparri and the Rainmakers – brilliant Australian documentary that had me in tears. This was magical realism (only so real) at it’s best and so worth a watch. This follows the life of Aboriginal artists and people fighting for native title rights. 

The Martian – I was a little surprised by the humour in this one. Matt Damon is brilliant in his portrayal of an astronaut left on a desolate planet. Ridley Scott at his best.

Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens.  Okay, I am not a huge Star Wars fan but it had to be seen, and it knocked my socks off. JJ Abrams is genius in erasing all memory of the the last three films and bringing space adventure back to the big screen. My favourite Wookie returned.

Other stuff

I drank bubbles and espresso martinis at High Tea at the Sofitel with close friends on a girly day for my birthday. Nice! 

 I ate great food  at No. 8, Gazi, Hellenic Republic, Robbie Burns Hotel and Mo Vida (followed by kisses in an iconic graffitied laneways) this year. Some brilliant food was shared! 

 I attended two baby showers, two engagements (one with rainbow cake) and a stunning winery wedding this year. Another friend accepted a marriage proposal. Love was most definitely in the air. Ah, L’amore. 

I attended protest rallies in Melbourne. Two of them were anti racism rallies, as I just can’t abide bigotry and I saw first hand neo-nazi supporters standing arm in arm with Reclaim Australia fanatics. I want an inclusive Australia and I took a stand against racism. 

 

I also marched for Marriage Equality – something I feel passionate about. It’s a no brainer really. A peaceful rally through the streets of Melbourne with people from all walks of life. And lots of glitter! 

I just spent three nights in hospital for a horrid infection and haven’t been so sore or sick for a long time. I’m so happy to back at home. Being sick sucks. Big time. I started in one hospital and was transferred in an ambulance to another. Nurses rock. They really do. 

The New year ahead

I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year, about who I am and what is important to me. I’ve learnt what I need and want and that it’s okay to admit such things. I’ve learnt that I am strong, but I am also vulnerable. I have learnt a lot about love and loss. I’ve learnt that I value open affection. I value intimacy and sex as an expression of love in a relationship. I have learnt to value my dreams and to not make myself smaller or invisible to suit the dreams of others.

I’m walking into 2016 I hope with new perspective and renewed optimism. I am surrounded by a lot of love and support for which I am incredibly grateful. I’m hoping to stop eating so much damn cake and get fitter and healthier. I’m hoping to learn how to make more interesting salads.

I’m hoping to rediscover my passion for life and interesting discoveries. I’m hoping to walk to the beat of my own drum and listen to awesome music and walk along the beach. I’m looking at moving to a new location and I’m going to try and do so with as much strength as I can muster. With every new year there is opportunity for change, growth and of course, shared memories with those we value and love. 

 Here’s to the next instalments of my busy life…minus the cake. Happy New Year! May 2016 be brilliant for us all!