Coming back to full-time work is super hard – especially when one frantic project runs into the next. Right now I’m craving a quiet week of lounging and sewing and cooking and not once having to say to my kid, ‘No, Mama’s working – go to Daddy.’

The country life is better than I thought it could be, but doing childcare drop-off and pick-up makes it hard to fit in an eight-hour day … or a ten- or twelve-hour day, which is about what I need to be doing at the moment. Once upon a time I did that without thinking but it’s much harder to manage with a small person about.

This weekend was meant to be spent building Fort Fox – we’re getting chickens! and ducks! – which is languishing at the star picket stage. I’m sure it won’t take too long to pull it all together (unintentional ‘pullet’ joke there, people; my subconscious loves dad jokes), at least I hope not. I keep longingly inspecting the roll of galvanised chicken wire and wondering if I can manage to put it up by myself.


Long time no write, I know – moving, working, toddler-wrangling, getting sick, working, getting lost in the back streets of our new town, unpacking and working a bit more have been keeping me busy.

But we’re here! In the Maine! And we love it.

Everyone has made us feel so welcome; there hasn’t been the backlash against ‘blow-ins’ that I was expecting (although maybe that will come?). We’ve bonded with our neighbours, who moved here one week before we did and have a son in Mr A’s room at childcare. Our new childcare centre is just lovely. I hadn’t realised how much I disliked our old one until we came here (to be honest, I don’t think I let myself). Mr A has settled in there so quickly and already trots off without a tear when I drop him off. We have a lovely time zooming there on my bike (new bike! with toddler seat!), saying hello to the horse and the birds and the diggers we see along the way (or the sheep and the goat, who we sometimes stop to pat, if we take a different route).

‘Farmer Christmas’ (Mr A’s malapropism of the month) came to the creche Christmas party in an SES truck last night. The carers had made each of the kids a big scrapbook of photos and paintings, plus they’d printed up a photo of each child and framed it as a Christmas present for their parents. We both got quite misty-eyed! And then filled up on sausages in bread while the kids ran wild, hepped up on food colouring from the icypoles Father Christmas was giving out.

I haven’t felt so sane in years. I’m happy. The kid seems pretty happy too. The Yak … well, he has a hell of a commute back to Melbourne-town, but he loves coming home here too.

Sad, sad, sad.

Immersing myself in work today to meet a deadline tomorrow, trying hard to focus on the page and take my mind off the hideous election result. Trying not to think about Christopher Pyne being the education minister when my child starts school. Trying not to think about the childcare policies that were released on Friday, which will see standards drop. Trying not to think of the tax-free threshold going back up, and my tiny income dropping down.

These are just the tiny little personal effects; the bigger picture – on refugees, on pollution, on sustainability, on social security – is so horrendous it’s beyond my capacity to think of it just yet.

A tiny part of me feels sad that we’ve just bought a house and so we can’t just flee the country. It’s not like the political situation in the States is vastly better, and who knows what it will be like after Obama’s final term is over. Still, the lure of California is strong today.

We got it, we got it, we got it!

Drinking tea in bed, watching Peppa Pig with a cuddly toddler while the house warms up.

Grafting the toe of a freshly knitted sock.

Happy tears looking through these gorgeous photos of Minnesota’s first gay weddings.


More tea.


More tea.

Making borscht.


Feeling remarkably happy with my lot. Wish I could go back to bed with the paper instead of catching up on work, though.

The daydream has become real – we are almost home-owners! North Northcote kept beckoning, and we found the right place. Now we’re just waiting to find out if a bank will lend us that much money.

Off on a six-week jaunt to the States and the Caribbean. I hope to return somewhat more voluble! Already cheerier since I learned today that knitting is now allowed on international flights.


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