Thursday, March 10, 2011
Happy Birthday Eglantine
I have been blogging for five years.
When I started, Fred was not quite three and Una was a babe in arms. We were undecided on a third baby.
I coudn't drive.
I had published two books and was writing Drift. Martin had recently quit his job and begun a Bachelor of Education.
We were living in a rental house in Emmaline St, Northcote after a brief failed foray into home ownership (wrong house, wrong suburb, wrong time). The Northcote house was both lovely and ugly, with pink walls and a wall of mirrors in the bedroom, and in the lounge room, walls painted with a streaky sponge effect the colour of nicotene stains. It had a fantastic grape vine covered outdoor area and for six months of the year, we kept our dining table outside. We ate sardines wrapped in grape leaves cooked on the barbecue that was hooked up to mains gas. There was an odd windowed bit in the lounge room that stuck out from the rest of the house where we set up our couches facing each other and it was a bit like being in the carriage of an old fashioned train. We had a dishwasher. Good times.
Since I've started this blog, I've written seven more novels. I've started and finished a Masters. Martin completed a degree and has commenced a new career. First Fred and then Una started school. My father-in-law and my half-sister passed away. My half-brother divorced and remarried. My sister married. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. A niece and two nephews have been born, one so early it seemed impossible that he would thrive and yet thrive he has. As an added bonus my best friend from childhood also met a man and had a baby, extending the intimate circle of people I love by two (then they went away to Tasmania to live - boo). We bought a house that also constituted a lifestyle change. We've been to Palm Cove twice. I've been to New Zealand and with Fred: Paris, Helsinki, England and Hong Kong. I've learned to drive (last week I removed my P-plates). I've had a son. A black man became president of the United States, we voted John Howard out. Five years after I started this blog, Australia has a female Prime Minister.
If five years ago I had made a plan, it may well have looked something like: have third baby, get Masters, write more books, travel overseas, buy a house in the country.
Cancer and bushfires and grief wouldn't have been on the list. I would not have predicted a black President, a female Prime Minister.
Keeping up this blog would have been. I haven't always been the most regular blogger. I have never monetised the blog, partly because there is no such word as monetise, or there shouldn't be. I haven't leveraged it as a marketing tool or any of those clever things other people do. But it has always been my quiet corner of the Internet to record the domesticities of my life and to make stories out of the ordinary things that happen to me. It is a valuable keepsake, a map of my children's lives and the closest thing to a photo album I have.
You have come here and shared the journey with me, the unbearable sorrows, the conversations, the joy of daily life, and sometimes the tedium.
Thank you for reading.
Here's to another five years. Who knows what they might bring.