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the next stage

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2017 has been a challenging year in some unexpected ways, although we’ve attended fewer funerals, and all the overseas cousins are still with us. They are both good things. 2018 will include YoungB’s graduation and Middle Niece’s wedding, so we’ll have much to celebrate in the coming year.

It’s exciting that YoungB has finished his degrees; and remarkably odd to be giving him tips for his first serious job application! I don’t mean that his previous job applications weren’t serious; simply, they were all for part-time positions where a snappy LinkedIn profile wasn’t necessary. This is a full-time position with a government department, albeit for a fixed-length contract. Sadly, the fixed-length-contract paradigm is likely to persist throughout his working career, but you have to start somewhere. Naturally, we have our fnigres corsesd that it’s at least an interview-winning effort.

I completed the crocheted rug, finishing off with five rows of double crochet (US single crochet): four in the teal, and one in a flecked blue that worked with everything but which I hadn’t used earlier. I admit that, because I was still wrapping presents on the way to Christmas lunch, I ended up darning in the last of the ends late on Christmas Day. No harm done: I gave it to Youngest Aunt when we saw her on Boxing Day. Of course, and it really is of course, there was an accompanying lavender bag. The rug won’t match Youngest Aunt’s lounge suite, but we agreed that it would contrast beautifully. Or she could use it to keep her warm when she sits on one of the old lounge chairs on her front verandah. You see? There’s always someone who’ll love your handmade output. In the same spirit, this year Youngest Aunt gifted everyone a jar of her home-pickled olives, beautifully labelled and wrapped. Dr B is thoroughly enjoying those!

We spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with family and friends; there are few things better. I hope that you had a similarly enjoyable celebration, and that 2018 is a happy and fulfilling year for you.

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the backward glance

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve again. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours was happy. If you go all out for the New Year’s party, may it be wonderful and you not have too sore a head tomorrow.

2015 has been a messy year and not one I’d consider particularly productive. Having said that, my Ravelry page reminds me that I knitted fingerless mitts and crocheted (mostly Moebius) cowls, some begun long ago but all finished this year. There were 13 in total. I also failed to complete mitts that I began around the time we were moving offices, although I might well complete those in 2016, and another pair where I ran out of yarn and couldn’t find anything matching. That will require fancier footwork than I had time for when I was making them, but they have not been frogged.

With regard to sewing, apart from rescuing various bits of this and that – YoungB’s jeans, mostly – I made four cooling neck bandannas for the Bloody Long Walk. I also produced 270 metres of bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding and some lavender bags for a raffle prize, as well as some pockets for YoungB’s motorcycling armour (additional protection for a couple of long road trips). Perhaps I didn’t need to do a lot else.

My other mighty commitment and achievement for the year was training for and completing the Bloody Long Walk, with splendid support from workmates, everyone in the family and my HiTec boots. Even though I said I wouldn’t do the BLW again, Youngest Aunt and I agreed only the other day that we need to start training soon 🙂

YoungB returned from Italy and has managed to reach the end of his academic year with reasonable results. I think that’s as much as we could have expected from him, considering how much he struggled to regain momentum and motivation.

Also, Eldest Niece is now a married lady and her wedding to Mr Eldest Niece was one of the happiest such occasions I have ever attended. The bunting looked good, too 🙂

Christmas? Yes, it happened. I managed to get our Advent Calendar hanging a few days before it was required and the tree up before Christmas Day. Winner! We spent time with family and friends and if things were more chaotic than usual because of unexpected equipment failures – vacuum cleaner, gearbox in family car – and some equally unexpected medical issues, then it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the occasion.

I’ve managed to read a few books – too few; but I generally don’t have a lot of opportunity to read except on public transport and, although I’m on that for hours of every working day, I’m sometimes too tired to make the effort – and feel particularly chuffed to have finished the latest title in the Inspector Ricciardi series by Maurizio De Giovanni, one that YoungB brought back from Italy for me.

I’ve successfully reached the halfway point in an online family history unit I’m undertaking through the University of Tasmania. In real terms, my genealogical research is often shelved for months at a stretch because life happens and it’s not the most important thing. In this instance, I’ve renewed subscriptions to this, that and the next genealogical website and/or organisation and started delving into written records because there’s nobody left to ask. Like most of us, I don’t have to look far to find mysteries. I’m toying with which mystery to investigate further for the long, final assignment.

And in something utterly unrelated to anything, we’ve wound up the year splendidly with a trip to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens to see a rare event: the flowering of an Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as Titan Arum or corpse flower. The day was stinking, even if the flower wasn’t (at least when we were there). There were koalas watching us from some nearby tall gums. It was a fitting finale for 2015.

 

 

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