The new year is still young (and yet, the first month is already half over somehow), so I figured it’s the perfect time to take stock on the year that was 2018. Ideally, I’d do a re-cap of my blog posts and share some of the highlights I recorded… except I only wrote eight blog posts for the entire year.
So, with thoughts of calendars still in my head, I thought I’d do a sort of blog calendar and share a photo from each month of 2018 with a little wordiness, because you can’t ask me to choose between words or photos. That’s like asking me to choose which is my favourite cat.
Read on for a snapshot of my 2018!
January – Sparklers in the Hunter Valley
My friends, the Failboats, love to pick up traditions. We always go away for the New Year. Aimee always pours the wine. Jen cooks all of the things. And as of 2017, we create sparkler photos after the clock strikes midnight. It’s a super fun way to bring in the new year and this time, we didn’t have to battle surprise spiders. Winning all round!
(I’ll tell you the story about the surprise spiders soon. It also involves highly explosive champagne bottles and a trip along an incredibly dodgy and bouncy road that was second cousin to a sheep track.)
February – Pickle
There were some sad points to 2018 and the first one was our older cat, Pickle, becoming ill. Her kidneys stopped working and she became a shadow of her former self, but she still loved a good purry nap on my lap and never gave up her curiosity. In this picture, she decided to add a feline touch to photos I was taking of a dress I’d just finished making. She died in May and I still miss her.
March – Have you met Lydia?
In March, I played the ‘typewriter or sewing machine?’ game in an op shop in Boronia. Basically, you come across an interesting case in an op shop and take bets with yourself on what it contains: a typewriter or a sewing machine? In this case (huzzah for accidental puns), I won: there was a Necchi sewing machine inside! I took it up to my parents’ place and gave it a clean while enjoying its late sixties stylings.
April – Hard Hat Fashions
The Chef says that one of his favourite things about me is that I take him to places he would never have thought have visiting. Such as a coal mine. It took several weeks of cajoling before he agreed to my plans to visit the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine and who ended up having a fabulous time and pestering the tour guide with countless questions? Oh yeah, that’d be the Chef. The one who didn’t even want to go. I’ll talk more about the trip in a future episode of the Roadtrip Diaries but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed me rocking the hard hat look.
May – Hidden Towns
My parents live quite close to one of the silo art trails, so I took them to visit a couple of silos a bit North of Benalla. “But where are the actual silos?” you may be asking, and with good cause. The silos were fabulous but I actually enjoyed visiting the little towns in which they were located more than the silos themselves. These tiny towns are not far off the main road, but you’d never even know they were there if it weren’t for the silos. This pic features the main street of Devenish and it’s just gorgeous. It’s packed full of classic old shops with gorgeous original storefronts and I hope the influx of visitors to the silos will inspire some businesses to open up again.
June – Polly
With Pickle gone, our other cat, Missy, was miserable being the only cat in the house. So we adopted Polly. This photo is from when she was eight weeks old and we were visiting her at the breeder’s house. It was an hour and a half trip through gorgeous countryside but there were cats and good friends (a usually a great coffee, too) at the end of it. We eventually brought Polly home in August and she is an absolute lump of a kitten who cannot get enough belly rubs. I still miss Pickle and her constant judgement of everything I did, but I do love Polly and her eager purrs.
July – Failboats by the Sea
Another Failboats tradition: going to the sea in Winter. We love it. This year, three of us headed to Queenscliff to see three lighthouses and spend much of our time playing games and drinking gin in a cosy house. You can read all about the trip here: Roadtrip Diaries: Queenscliff.
August – Snow!
We live at the foothills on Mt Donna Buang and while we’ve driven up a couple of times in warm weather, we’ve never visited the snow. So when Winter came back with a vengeance in August and dumped massive amounts of snow on the mountain, I decided the time had come. I drove us up there and we enjoyed a wander through the white stuff, handily giving me an opportunity to test out a hat I’d just knitted from my own pattern. The Chef climbed the observation tower (I can only ever make it half way before my head refuses to deal with being able to see the ground clearly through the wire steps) and he took this photo of me far below, stepping in drifts of snow that reached over the top of my boots.
September – Cliff Edges Everywhere
I took the Chef to Gooram Falls because I’d visited a few weeks earlier and discovered afterwards that what I thought were the falls were, in fact, not. Clearly, I needed to fix this mistake. We trekked over the scant path until we found the actual falls (they’re currently the January image on my calendar). There might be a complete lack of directional signage, but there are plenty of these fabulous warning signs and I can never resist taking photos them – they’re so dramatic yet improbable. Don’t do star jumps near cliff edges, people. It’s dangerous.
October – Searching for Blowholes
In October, three Failboats headed in search of lighthouses again. Well, one lighthouse. We went to Cape Schanck and enjoyed a private tour of the lighthouse, thanks to the rainy weather keeping everyone away until later that morning. After lunch, we went in search of the Flinders blowholes and enjoyed a ramble along the rocky beach. You can read all about these adventures here: Roadtrip Diaries: Cape Schanck Lighthouse.
November – The Most Clichéd Photo of All
As the weather improved, I decided I wanted my own version of one of the most common photos from the Dandenong Ranges. I’m sure you’ve seen dozens of versions before. It’s probably Instagram famous. You can barely get married in the Dandenong Ranges without having a photo at this location. So I dragged the Chef to the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens to get my own photo of the famous boat shed. It was incredibly hilly and the Chef ruined one of my photos by throwing a rock in the lake and disturbing the flat surface, but we finished off with lunch at the Piggery Café, so all was well in the end.
December – In a Bauble
We finish the year in a bauble on one of my mum’s fifty Christmas trees. I am not even exaggerating there: ask my friends. When we were kids, we weren’t allowed to as much as think about Christmas decorations until the 1st of December; now, my mum is unpacking trees and nut crackers like a festive whirlwind before November is even in sight. As much as I tease my mum about her Christmas obsession, I love to visit this explosion of Christmas, especially given that my decorations are limited to icicle lights on the deck.
So that was 2018 – what’s in store for 2019? I am hoping for many more adventures, including a new job starting at the end of this month and a literal adventure in the form of yet another beachside holiday in Winter. And I’ll be spending a lot more time on this blog because I’ve missed it and I’m sick of putting barriers between me and my desire to share stories with you all.
No more waiting for the right moment.
No more holding off writing posts until I’ve changed the layout.
No more worrying about finding the right words.
Happy new year to you all! What was your favourite moment of 2018? What are your plans for 2019? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. I actually thought this was going to be a short post. 1,400 words later, I think I might have been wrong about that.