the new homeowner battle

In March, we bought our dream house in the hills just south of Adelaide (I say the hills, and it is, but it’s technically suburban Adelaide and is about 12km from the CBD… This is the beauty of our fair city). Being homeowners is a big new thing for us; we have a (hefty) mortgage and with that comes a new set of Grown Up responsibilities!

No matter how many times you walk through a place during open inspections or who you pay to get building inspections done before you sign on the dotted line, it would seem unlikely you will ever know exactly what you’re in for until you move in. This is definitely the case for us. The past couple of weeks have been big for us in that, at the same time we received our first ever council rates and emergency services levy in the mail, we also received an electricity bill for $1800! I nearly died. How in earth does that even happen. Well, this is how:

A) a pool:

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As you can see, the pool looks a bit on the sad side. The pump is shot and so is the salt water chlorinator (something I just learnt existed).

And B) this old electricity meter:

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Which apparently does not measure off-peak electricity usage (which we use for the pool). Hubby says this is completely common but I had no idea!

So now we need to add the cost of the pump, salt water thingy, and new meter to the ever-growing list of improvements… Unfortunately these ones are on the more urgent end of the list because I don’t think we can afford an $1800 bill every quarter, eeek!

So there you have it, Amelia has just learnt a few valuable lessons in what it’s like to own a home, how electricity works and how to give herself a heart attack. I hope baby doesn;t mind sleeping in a box on the floor because his nursery is on the backburner (don’t worry we’ll get him sorted).

on losing a friend

For the past couple of weeks I have put off writing, adding fun pictures, even reading. I’ve been in a bit of a tailspin really, not sure of what to do with myself. This morning I find myself here, asking for a clean slate.

Two weeks ago, I lost a friend.

The kind of friend who, even though catchups were rare, made me so comforted by her very existence in this world. The kind of friend who made me feel like the world was a special place just because she was here in it. The kind of friend who inspired so many to be better, better, better.

The thing is, she didn’t know this. She didn’t know (or maybe she knew but chose not to see) just how much she meant to me and to many others and how she deeply affected everyone around her. How she raised people up with her love, encouragement and support. How in bad times she made people believe life was worth fighting for.

For her though, it wasn’t.

I don’t think she gave up, I think she knew it was the end of her journey. No matter how awful that is for us to accept, I need to believe that now. She was determined to complete her journey, and on her own terms, and no matter what anyone said or did I don’t think it could ever have made a difference. After a couple of weeks of searching desperately for answers I now choose to believe what she said all along: it was her time. I respect her decision because that’s what friends do. I submit to her wishes and her plans for herself because I have no choice, but also because my love and support for her was and will always be unconditional (and that’s something she always gave others).

This all being said, I also need to add this: please, please, please make an effort with the beautiful friends you seldom see. This modern world has many of us flung far from our roots but the effort will always be worth it. You never know the impact you have on someone and failing that, you never know how much time you have left with them.

Amelia xx

P.S I would also like to make a special mention of beyondblue. In Australia, these guys work tirelessly to increase mental health awareness, suicide prevention and help to families affected by these issues.

Fiji in December: Just Go!

I often hear people (including travel agents) say “don’t go to Fiji in December – it’s cyclone season!” But if you’re considering Fiji for this year’s Christmas/School Holiday break, just go for it.
Yes, it does rain sometimes. As it does pretty much everywhere else in the world. Fiji is in the tropics should be expected to be higher than here in Mediterranean climes. The bottom line is, it’s always warm and if it rains, it’s usually in the afternoon. I’m yet to experience a day of torrential downpours; they certainly happen, but they’re rarer than people think.
I got married on 7th December in Fiji, on a day where there was some scattered rain and I had to be driven through the garden to the chapel on a golf cart, but it was beautiful. They say it’s good luck to have raindrops on your wedding dress – so yay for me!
The thing is, in my job I see so many people hesitate to take a holiday, whether it’s the trip of a lifetime or a short getaway, because of weather concerns. In the end, if they don’t go they miss out on all the amazing experiences they would have had by travelling to a new place. We can never control the weather and these days it’s getting harder and harder to predict, so rather than stressing about something we can’t control, just go! It’ll be worth it.
And if you’re heading somewhere tropical like the beautiful fijian islands, remember this: if it’s raining, you can still go for a swim. You’re going to get wet either way!
These photos were taken by Kama Catch Me, our incredible wedding photographers. I thought I’d add them here to show you how beautiful an overcast day is in Fiji.