(Jan 22 – Jan 28)

Moving forward from life-changing events is an interesting process. I’m sure it’s a very different experience depending on the person and the event, but for me it seems to be series of shifts and realignments. It’s like a puzzle, where you successfully get a nice swathe of pieces to lay flat, only to find that a whole other section is now rucked up. In short, I’m pretty much settled into my new life, but every so often I feel like I need a bit of time to catch up with myself–whether emotionally, or mentally.
Given the triple punch of: Christmas; extended school holidays (with the Kinderbesten’s return to school looming over me); and family visiting from the UK, it’s been a busy time. I don’t get particularly stressed at times like this; indeed, I enjoy the change of routine for the most part.
However, the result is that I find that I’m relying far more on my ‘quiet time’ lately, in particular my #childfree weekends which provide an essential opportunity to stop and reset. Last week ended with my #childfree weekend being somewhat curtailed, but this week ended with me dreaming up plans for repainting the house, reorganising furniture and installing a cat enclosure outside. All of which are good signs that something is moving in the right direction.


My daycare plans for the Kinderbesten fall through, which is ok because I wake up with a headache anyway. We have a lazy morning, watch the first episode of The Toys That Made Us (all about Star Wars toys), and then decide to head out to the shops—ostensibly to buy toys, but mostly for the sake of getting out of the house for a bit.


The Kinderbesten get taken to Point Walter by the UK folks and have a terrific time, the only downside being that the Elderbeast manages to get himself slightly sunburnt due to rushing back into the water immediately after putting on his sunblock. We have dinner over at the UK folks’ holiday home, but I have to drag the Kinderbesten away shortly afterwards when their fatigue begins to morph into hyperactivity.


I find out that JB Hifi have one of their 20% Off All Bluray deals happening, and decide that I really need to go and but the new Doctor Who bluray (Shada) while I have the chance to save some money in doing so. It’s logical, trust me.
Also, after watching a documentary last night about Orson Welles’ notorious War Of The Worlds broadcast, and realising that I’ve somehow never seen Citizen Kane, I add that to my shopping list. Then it turns out that Citizen Kane is in a 3 for $20 deal so, after some extensive research, I also add Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Grosse Pointe Blank (the 3 for $20 becomes a 3 for $16 with the $20 off, which is awesome).
I head to JB Hifi after work to pick up my haul. Then I leave the shopping centre and see a big line of cars waiting to get out. I decide to go back inside for a while, at least until the traffic dies down. I come out again about 10 minutes later and there’s still a huge line of cars. I decide it’s time to leave anyway, and join the line. It takes at least another 15 minutes to get back on my way home.
All in all it feels like the money I saved on those blurays was taken back in actual time..


Oddly tired today. I get my first couple of diary posts for 2018 published, then pass some time watching the prequel shorts for Blade Runner 2049. I also watch a behind the scenes video about the miniatures they built for the film, which blows my mind a little (I’d assumed all the city shots were pure CG).
I then decide it’s time for an early night.


It’s Australia Day.
I’ve decided to do two things: get my shopping out of the way nice and early; then do nothing to otherwise mark the day. The Elderbeast wakes up and immediately greets me with “Happy near genocide of an entire race of people day”, which makes me proud of him (both for his awareness and his dry sense of humour), and helpfully crystallises why we’re not doing anything.
I drop Beryl home around lunchtime, which gives the Kinderbesten an excuse to hang around with their other grandparents for a bit. We return home for a lazy afternoon.
Well … lazyish. I take some measurements out in the garden so I can get quotes on potential cat enclosures. I have to hop onto a wall at one point, to measure the height of a fence. My back quickly decides I have done A Very Bad Thing and complains vociferously for the rest of the day (and the day after). Despite the ensuing tiredness and achiness I somehow end up scrubbing the shower too.
I also sign up the Elderbeast for acting lessons. His primary school teacher from last year suggested it as an after-school activity on multiple occasions, but I wasn’t quite able to get it organised. This time I was able to find a number of classes that had vacancies. And now he starts his first class on Monday!
For Fridate Horror we attempt to watch The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978 version) but technology betrays us. We turn to our backup movie: The Open House, courtesy of Netflix. I really enjoy it: it’s a simple, effective, almost old-fashioned horror movie. I don’t get the harsh reviews on IMDB.


I have a relatively generous lie-in: 8:30am. I wake up with a sore back and headache, but am looking forward to a visit from a couple of awesome friends that we don’t get to see nearly often enough. The Kinderbeast is also made up that he gets to play with one of his favourite little people. We find out that they have plans to move back over to QLD next month, which is good for them but means we’re now likely to see them virtually never. It’s a shame, but we’ll always have twitter.
We have a good long chat, while the kids have a good long play. I talk about some of my vague plans for the house, and later that day find myself suddenly (and finally) inspired with some clear ideas about how to decorate a few of the rooms. It just comes down to whether I can muster the required time, effort and money to get some painting done before the inspiration dries up.
For the afternoon, the UK folks come over for an early dinner (arriving not long after our friends leave). The Elderbeast requested burgers for dinner last week, and today is the day for me to grant that wish. I ask him to help, and he takes great delight in mixing up the raw burger meat with his (washed and scrubbed) hands. The burgers end up being pretty damn tasty, even if I say so myself.
The evening is put aside for Awesome Movie Night for myself and the Elderbeast. We have our Margaret River Brie, which we’ve been saving for the weekend. I decide that our movie should be Grosse Pointe Blank. The Brie is absolutely delicious and gets a thumbs up from both myself and the Elderbeast. The movie, perhaps equally unsurprisingly, is just as good as I remember it, and gets the nod of approval from the Elderbeast (confirmed, when I see him looking up articles about it the next day).


I indulge in an extended morning shift, purely to finish up the second draft of a new story that I wrote over four mornings earlier this week. I’ve enjoyed writing this one so much that I really wanted to get the second draft wrapped up while I was had a bit of a buzz going on.
I spend the next part of the day debating whether I have time to make a cameo appearance at a friend’s birthday. The Elderbeast swings the balance by asking if we can go. I then have the, honestly, genius idea of cooking dinner at lunchtime (so I don’t need to rush back afterwards to cook dinner). It still ends up being a short visit, but sweet.
The Elderbeast, clearly having enjoyed the documentaries we watched on Monday and Tuesday, asks to watch another documentary for the evening. We eventually pick Man On Wire, which proves an excellent choice (even if it does trigger my latent vertigo on several occasions).

Things I did buy this week:

Okay, so the no-spending isn’t going great. My main offense this week was the $37 of blurays, but they would have cost me at least $57 at full price, so I figure I’ve got a bit of an excuse. Okay???


Monday The Cult of … The Tripods
The Toys That Made Us (Star Wars)
Tuesday War Of The Worlds doco
Wednesday Day Of The Daleks extras
Thursday Blade Runner 2049 extras
Friday The Open House
Saturday Grosse Point Blank
Sunday Secret Life Of Pets
Man On Wire


Meh, reading time this week has predictably been spent enjoying the Doctor Who comics I so painstakingly extracted last week. Sounds kinda lame, but I’ve realised that this easy nostalgia has a purpose: these old comic strips (and, indeed, the Doctor Who novelisations) were among the first stories that I read, and absorbed, and got inspired by as child who was growing up and moving away from kids books. I literally read these comics in my primary school playground and, looking back now, it was one of those times where you feel like you’re lifting the curtain on a whole new world.
So, reading these comics (and reading about the Doctor Who novelisations that I spent the next several years of my life devouring) makes perfect sense at a time when I’m looking for a bit of a fresh start with my writing–and perhaps, subconsciously, trying to reconnect with the stories that perhaps inspired me to want to become a storyteller in the first place.


Monday Homemade Boston Beans
Tuesday Pasta and mushrooms
Wednesday Chicken satay
Thursday Freezer dinner
Friday Salmon things
Saturday Burgers (home made)
Sunday JFC (Justin’s Fried, but actually baked, Chicken)