The Year That Was

Unlike the previous three years, two of which we’d been travelling around Australia on our trip of a lifetime, 2017 was different in its own ‘special’ way, with other (different) adventures and challenges both new and exciting.

It’s almost incomprehensible that it’s over and tomorrow is the first day of another new year.

(You can click any image to review my posts from that month.)


House sitting blues

As we celebrated the new year, I had a very bad case of “The House Sitting Blues”.

We’d been house sitting around the Sunshine Coast for six months and were on our second last job, (almost) patiently waiting to get the keys to our new home.

(Can you believe I didn’t get a cutting of that lovely frangipani?)


Our living space

Finally, our new home was finished and our possessions come out of storage.  Setting up our furniture and emptying every box was a blast.

Treasured items I’d thought we’d either given away or sold, had been carefully packed, stacked and racked, and miraculously reappeared unbroken.  Strange isn’t it how we attach ourselves to that kettle from Grandma, or that vase that was a wedding gift from someone special.


Our lovely lawn

After setting up the inside of the house, we then moved on to landscaping our dream.

What a blast that was laying the grass by hand ourselves and discovering it really is greener when you do so just before record rainfall.

All that nitrogen did both the grass and our fledgeling plants wonders.


Finished front garden

Of course, we had to have a letterbox out the font for all those bills we need to pay.

(Actually, I receive all our accounts electronically, but we still receive the odd item of ‘snail mail’.)

I’m proud to say our ‘Taj Ma Mail’ is the envy of the neighbourhood and I got a thrill out of painting it with leftover house paint, though I was a little extravagant with the numbers.  Our friends might have trouble finding our street in this new estate, but once they do, they have no trouble finding No 21.


Raindrops on my Grevillea

After all the blogging I did during our trip and the building of our home, suddenly I struggled.

What could I write about now?  What did I have to say?

Luckily I discovered I could take photos of the flowers in my new garden and enjoyed sharing them as well as writing about the progress of our garden as the plants became established turning what was nothing more than barren dirt into our own little green oasis.


White Chocolate macadamia nut cookies

My recipe book became my next target for sharing on my blog.

Recipes I’ve had for over thirty years were – and still are – disappearing off the pages where they’d once been lovingly handwritten.  It’s amazing how little spills and splashes have eaten the words off the paper, and not the paper itself.

I’ve typed up a few recipes now and look forward to sharing more next year.  The trouble is, I have to make the recipe to be able to photograph the end result, then eat the product of that labour – not a terribly hard task all in all.


A little brown honey eater

Our birthdays came and went, and our hunt for work continued.  We’d started looking as soon as we got the keys to our new home back in February and never thought it would have been so difficult to get back to work.

Applying for work became a full-time task, and yes, blogging took a back seat.  I’m amazed at the time and effort it takes to submit an application to then be disappointed to receive that “Thank you, but no thank you” email in reply.

Experience, apparently, does count for something, but on the other hand, it seems that age is best applied to red wine and not employees.



Even though it was cold – ok, winter here is barely cool – those newly potted flowering plants started to establish and the garden took on a whole new look.

I was pleased I dragged myself out of bed early on August 8 to catch the partial penumbral eclipse.

The world was still and quiet, there was no traffic and no other noise for that matter, and for one fleeting moment I thought it was ‘Just me and the Moon‘.


Waiting for the train

After struggling to find work for more than six months, I took a short-term assignment in Brisbane for four months with my previous employer.

Through the kindness of a few friends, I had a bed to sleep in through the week which allowed me to stay in town and travel home to the coast on weekends.

It was tough at times being apart from Dean through the week, but all in all, easier than spending four hours each day travelling to and from.  It’s amazing how much time slipped through my fingers working full-time hours.  I posted only once all month.  How sad was that?


The Iris ‘stepping out’

Work took a priority and blogging took a back seat – becoming something I barely had time to do.  Twice I found time to say something – a 100% improvement on the previous month.

Firstly I took time to provide a quick catch up, then to share some photographs of my plants.

With the weather warming up, it was a delight to see so many blooms appearing and growth sprouting on my ferns and succulents.



Finally took my camera to work with me one week and had a lot of fun experimenting with black and white photos for the seven-day challenge I accepted from my blogging friend Nancy over at Two Trails One Road.

I tried to show the contrast between work life and home life and hope I succeeded.

I also had a lovely time touring the Sunshine Coast Frangipani farm with my friend Lisa.  I never realised how many colours and varieties exist and I am pleased to report that my cuttings are blooming well – at least they are full of new leaves.  I’ll have to wait a year to see their flowers.


My Baubles

Suddenly it’s December and the year is almost over.

I put up our tree for the first time since 2013 and patiently waited and worked towards the end of that job assignment.  Now the work has finished, I must admit I’m not merely tired, I’m weary to my bones and glad it’s finished.

I honestly don’t know how people travel to and from Brisbane for work.  For me, it was two hours door to door from our home to the office.  I could not do that on a permanent basis.

Celebrating Christmas this year was ‘quiet’ a family affair, surrounded by our girls.  We were all surprised to realise the last time that had happened was Christmas 2008.

We talked, and laughed and sang Garth Brookes at the top of our lungs – yes I apologised to the neighbours about the noise.

Our three girls – Shelley, Kate, and Melissa.

They’ve each gone home now and we cherished every moment with them.   As the year draws to a close this evening, I think of all we did and accomplished over the last 12 months and hope that 2018 brings more good fortune and cherished moments with loved ones.  

I look forward to blogging more, sharing my (amateur) photography, the progress my garden makes, and writing the odd Haiku or two, perhaps even a regular poem or short story as well.

In response to the WordPress Daily Prompts – Almost and Cherish

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

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