January 2004

As a number of people have expressed surprise and concern that I should get married so soon after losing Doris, please allow me to explain. Firstly it appears that where Doris is, there is no such thing as “time”. Secondly, if the universe is going to present me an opportunity to start a relationship with someone as wonderful as Julie, then I am not going to ignore it. If I have learned one thing from the last 6 months, it’s the ability to go with the flow. Thirdly, the timing for 2003 was bloody awful anyway, so what the heck. It’s the sort of thing Doris would have set up from the other side.

Thanks (again) to those wonderful people who have said, “As long as it makes you happy and it’s what you really want, mate, go for it!”

Finally online again and able to update this site.

Just back from the Jamboree. What a blast – just the sheer pleasure of watching some very special young people grow in confidence in front of my eyes. It was also exhausting. I took the opportunity of spending a lot of time on my own, reflecting on what would have Doris’s 50th birthday on the 12th, and replaying the events of 6 months ago. At least her birthday was toasted by the Troop at dinner the night before, as they were off-site for all of the next day.

Photos of the Jamboree (and the number 2 haircut) to follow when they are available …

And it looks like I’ll be job hunting next week. I’ve been told that if I miss on the interview tomorrow morning, there are no other vacancies in the foreseeable future, so I’ll be made redundant and paid out.

One week down the track and life just marches inexorably on. I seem to have been flat out just running errands, trying to get my resume printed, taking even more stuff up to the Scout Hall, sorting through yet more “stuff” as yet another box comes out of the woodwork. At least I have managed to make contact with an antique dealer and a collectibles dealer, both of whom are coming to have a look this week.

My emotions continue to run the roller coaster, especially as I find some of Doris’s “up close & personal” things, that were the last things to be packed as we were leaving, so they were stored elsewhere. It’s pretty hard to stay focused on the positives while dealing with this amount of shit and trying to find a job as well. At least I have her 45 bottles of wine to get through! Stewart has finally crashed after running himself ragged with drinking and partying until the small hours of the morning. He and I seem to have come to an arrangement whereby I work while he sleeps and then he goes out in the evenings.

I feel a bit happier now that I have pulled even more tables out of the shed at the Hall and got things more or less lined up, so that (hopefully) my army of volunteers tomorrow can concentrate on sorting things into categories and putting everything out onto the tables. I have also offered to the Church community and the St John’s Care people, the opportunity to come and take away a memento of Doris if they wish to.

Monday’s unpacking went well with just a handful of helpers. I had invited a collectibles dealer to come in and have a fossick and I made a substantial profit on the day. Still no word on work, although at this stage, I’m rather hoping that the contract job that pays $700 a day will come through! Things still continue to bite me in the bum – tonight I pulled out a box from the cupboard in my bathroom (which had been put there because it was too hard to handle) and discovered a whole box of French perfumes – I thought I’d already given away all that I could find.

Meanwhile, Julie has had a rough 2 weeks at work in Seattle, working nearly 40 hours of OVERTIME each week. She got a bit tired and grumpy there for a while, but we managed to talk it through. I have to remember to talk to her in the mornings, which is early afternoon over there and then to NOT ring her after about 4 in the afternoon here. She sent over a stack of wedding photos, so I’ll pick out the best ones and post them as soon as I can get hold of a scanner. I’ve discovered my US tax return for the calendar year 2003 could get a bit tricky – am I married, single or married?

The garage sale is now over, with quite a healthy profit. I estimate that we have moved well over 70% of the stuff, which is about as good as I could have expected. Now I just have to get the remainder packed up and take it somewhere …

Meanwhile, it looks like I may have my old job in Deakin back. Just waiting on some final approvals. Yay! Some stability in this turbulent ocean.