Somehow December is almost upon us and the end of the year (and what a year it’s been!) is nigh. This last week of November has been one of sickness, celebration, heatwaves and the start of the festive season.
This is the week that was…
Monday was a struggle. Adam and I were up with Paul for a few hours in the middle of Sunday night, the poor little mite still feeling the affects of our recent family gastro break. At 2am, Paul and I snuggled down on a makeshift bed on his floor and got a couple of hours of sleep. I headed off to work later that morning and by mid afternoon I was starting to struggle – the lack of sleep from the night before catching up with me. In a bid to revive myself, I popped outside the office to take in a thunderstorm passing overhead. It’s funny how exhaustion can both dull and heighten your senses. For the first time, after more than a decade of working in the same location, I noticed the patina on the satellite dish in the back carpark. The muted colours and patterns looked so striking against the dark sky and the fresh air and break from my computer gave me just enough steam to finish up the day, feeling like I’d accomplished something.
Tuesday was Adam and my wedding anniversary. He presented me with this beautiful bunch of flowers and they made me feel like a bride all over again. In the end it turned into quite an ordinary day – he worked and I stayed home from work to look after Paul, who was still poorly. The flowers made me smile each time I saw them though, and after some success in drying out my Billy Button flowers, I might try and dry a few stems from this posy when they’ve had their run. I love the way dried flowers can provide an everlasting reminder of a beautiful bouquet. A stunning way to keep afresh the memory of flowers from special occasions.
The evenings are long and light now, and on Wednesday after Paul had fallen asleep Adam and I went and sat in our back garden for half an hour or so. It feels like such a long time since we did that, and it was so nice to sit in the fresh air, out of the sting of the sun’s rays and just chat. We checked up on our garlic plants, inspected the new fruit that’s budding on our lemon and lime trees and started daydreaming about the kitchen garden we want to build in the new house. It’ll be modelled on the allotment style gardens Adam grew up with in England, with lots of raised beds, pots and trellises. Our block of land won’t be ready to build on until next year, but in the meantime we’re doing lots of planning!
On Thursday my Quandialla Candle Company ‘Bush Christmas’ candle arrived in the mail. This candle, which is lovingly hand made by the lovely Sarah at her farm in the New South Wales Central West has become part of my Christmas tradition. For quite a few years now I’ve either purchased this candle for myself, or given it as a gift. Sarah (who also included a hand written note in my parcel – don’t you love small businesses?!) describes the scent as “Notes of fir needle and leafy greens open out to clove and jasmine before settling on a warm base of patchouli and eucalyptus.” It’s absolutely gorgeous. Her candles retain their scent throughout the entirety of their burning life, and I tend to wait until December to start burning mine. For me it’s become the scent of Christmas in Wagga Wagga. I do believe the Bush Christmas candle is now out of stock, but if you’re in the market for something beautiful, her other candles as just as divine.
Friday was hot. Not quite 40°, but it still felt oppressive. We visited some of Adam’s distant, Wagga based family, sitting inside the air-conditioning to eat a ginger fluff sponge cake and drink tea. Paul gobbled down his portion of cake, was enthralled with the dog and loved looking at his reflection in the glass cabinets that contained Rose’s best china. As we left, we walked underneath this huge tree – not only did its shady limbs provide respite from the unrelenting dry heat, it also created the prettiest light show, the leaves moving ever so slightly, making shadows dance on the grass below.
Friday was hot, but Saturday was hellish. Temperatures in the low 40s and gusty winds – the perfect recipe for fires. I worked Saturday and spent most of my day in and around Marrar, a pretty little village about half an hour drive north of Wagga Wagga. There I visited a grain receival site, busy with trucks offloading freshly harvested grain and a I jumped aboard a header with a farmer in the middle of stripping his crop. Due to the severe fire danger, most farmers halted harvesting at lunchtime, but an early start ensured I was able to gather the information, pictures and interviews I needed while the action was still happening. After several tough years on account of drought, this year’s harvest is shaping up to be some landholders’ best ever. A lot of my job involves doom and gloom, but when there’s a good story to be told it’s so fulfilling.
Sunday was one of those beautifully slow days. A cup of tea to begin with, then coffee with breakfast. I went to yoga class, Paul had a lovely long nap in the middle of the day and both Adam and I managed a quick kip ourselves. There were a few jobs done, but likewise a little downtime too. For the first time in what feels like weeks, none of us were sick, so it was nice just hanging out. Once Paul was asleep I was able to have refreshing shower and in clean pyjamas with the evening light still streaming in the window, I flipped through a couple of gifted magazines. It was the perfect end to a Sunday.
That is the week that was.
Have a wonderful week.