It’s been a while since I’ve written an update here, hence this post covers a month rather than a week. Thank goodness for Midweek Moments, which have kept this blog ticking over whilst I’ve been otherwise occupied.
I have a reason for my absence: Over the past six weeks, we’ve lived amongst sawdust and debris, and the searing noise of drills and banging of hammers, while half of our house was stripped and gutted and replaced. The worst is over, only the painting of walls and sanding of floors to go. We no longer have to cook, eat, and sleep in our bedroom, wash up in the bathroom, and wash our clothes outside in a machine hooked up to a garden tap. I have a kitchen with a sink, bench, and oven, and a laundry with hot water, and even though I’m not a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination, I can’t tell you how nice that is.
I can now cross ‘Renovation’ off my list of life experiences. At this stage, it’s ‘Been there, done that’, and I doubt that I’ll ever be tempted to do it again,.
Apart from a new kitchen, bathroom and laundry, another good thing that’s come from all of this is that we’ve tossed so much ‘stuff’, or ‘shit’ as this booklet calls it. It was about time I went through everything, deciding what should go and what could stay. It had been over five years since the last time I’d done it—at the end of 2010, when we house-swapped with an English family. Knowing someone was coming to live in our home for a month made me give away anything that made it look uglier!
This time, I was even more ruthless, having learnt from past experience that I don’t miss something once it’s gone. I kept things that I use, or that mean something to me, or that look nice, but everything else went …
My essay, Am I A Writer?, has been accepted into the anthology, ‘Writing the Dream’, for Serenity Press, which will be released in November this year. I’m chuffed to be included alongside accomplished writers such as Natasha Lester, Tess Woods, Jenn J McLeod, Felicity Young, Melinda Tognini, Sara Foster, Guy Salvidge, Monique Mulligan, Karen McDermott, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Deborah Disney, Kylie Kaden, and more.
I’ve barely written a word for the past six weeks, but I hope to rectify that, starting with this blog post! I was lucky in that a week before the renovation started, I finished rewriting my novel. It took me nine gruelling months to rewrite, and I felt every moment of it!
I sent my manuscript off to a few beta readers, who gave me more feedback—a few tweaks here and there—and then it went back to the agent. Stay tuned for an update on that front soon …
A couple of weeks’ ago, my husband and I returned to Tassie for a family wedding. As we left Perth, the clouds looked like this:
By the time we arrived in Melbourne, they looked like this:
And it was raining:
We stayed in Melbourne overnight to see our daughter. We were only there long enough to spend time with her and sleep, before taking off the next morning, so we booked a hotel at the airport. Who’d have thought an airport would provide so many photo opportunities?
I know where I’m going for my next holiday—bring on Tullamarine!
We arrived in Tasmania on the morning of the wedding, with barely enough time to get ready and take photos beforehand:
The wedding was held in the grounds of a beautiful old estate, Brickendon, at Longford, a rural town in the north of state. Again, Autumn was abundant:
The next morning, my husband and I went walking. Because Tasmania is cooler and wetter than Perth, the English trees don’t look out of place, and walking around the city, you can’t fail to notice the season:
Or the decorative architecture:
Sometimes when looking up, I caught the rain:
It’s also a city of spires:
Sometimes, I can’t believe I grew up in this city and didn’t notice, let alone appreciate, the beauty of these old buildings, and the work that went into designing and building them. They’re not just functional—they’re works of art.
Walking around Launceston’s city centre is like stepping back in time—yes, there are chain stores and modern shops, but the architecture has been preserved, and I hope it stays that way.
We flew home again that night. (Note, the planes across Bass Strait are little and have propellers.)
So, I’m back to blogging again. I must admit, I’ve missed writing here (and elsewhere), and hope to be catching up with you all more often again.
Nice blog. Renovations are gruelling, for sure. Nice to see those familiar landmarks of Launceston elevated to picturesque.
Yes, renovating is a bit like childbirth—it’s messy and stressful at the time, but the rewards are worth it. I’m hoping I’ll remember how hard it’s been, though, and not keep returning for more like I did with childbirth! I’m glad you liked the photos of Launceston—it’s a picturesque city begging to be photographed.
Your photos are so clear, crisp and beautiful. I hope to go to Tassie next year. Glad your reno is at an end. Your family can now settle back into a family rythym xxx
You’ll enjoy Tassie, Rae—you don’t have too many problems with heat and humidity! It’s similar in climate and landscape to your birthplace, New Zealand. And I’m looking forward to our family finding its rhythm again—renos tend to interrupt that somewhat.
Crisp and clear. Love the images
I too appreciate and often stand in awe and with gratitude for the architecture I failed to notice in my childhood. Launceston is a well preserved Victorian city – one of the most intact
I’m sure it will stay so
I have a collection of photos of the upper levels of buildings. Began as I loved spotting the dates constructed. Turned into many historic walking tours with my children.
The changing seasons and the history of both this town and that of my own family brings me joy and finally find joy in being here.
Well done on sending your novel on
I do wish you every success
Thanks, Renata! It’s amazing how we never noticed all the beautiful architecture as children, and I’m sure if I lived there, I’d still not notice it. It’s like you have to go away and return in order to see it. Sadly, Perth has pulled down many of its stately old buildings, so it’s more evident when I return to Tassie.
What a nice thing to do with your kids—take them on historic walking tours! I enjoy seeing the construction dates, too. It’s a shame I didn’t have more time—we were in Tassie for only 24 hours—as I wanted to keep walking and taking photos!
Thanks for the good wishes with the novel! 🙂
Loved hearing what you’ve been up to, Louise. What a long process it was finishing your novel. Applause, and I hope to see it on the shelves soon. Hopefully you’ll do a pre-release sale order of signed books? I’ll be putting myself on that list.
It’s been a very long process, but I’m glad I rewrite it—I have a much better novel! Now for the next step … By the way, your name is on the signed book list if ever it gets published! 🙂
What a beautiful window into your busy life. And still you found time for creativity, even though it wasn’t writing. The clarity of your photos is fantastic…I wished I was there with you crunching through those autumn leaves and gazing upwards to those historic buildings. Seeing buildings like that always restores my faith in humans that we can create such beauty, when oftentimes all we see and hear about is the ugly side of humanity. Thanks for giving me a moment!
For sure, taking photos kept me sane during this renovation process—I didn’t have the mental energy or space needed for writing, but at least I could still do something creative!
Whenever I see beautiful old buildings like this, I’m moved by the fact the architects and builders went the extra step to make it beautiful. They could have just made a functional building with walls, floor, roof, etc., but they added flourishes and made it art. You’re right, it’s a testament to our creativity and need for art and beauty. (Something our current government could do with heeding …)
Stunning photos, Louise, thank you for taking us on your trip to Launceston with you! It’s a beautiful city. And looking forward to the launch of your wonderful novel – Ida’s Children.
Thanks, Marlish! It was a whirlwind trip to Tassie, and I wish I’d had more time for walking and taking photos.
I fear you’re being rather presumptuous about the launch of my book. (Secretly, between you and me, I dream of that day, too!) Oh, and I’m hoping to finish Tilda today …
Oh that’s so cool that your house is nearly finished! I really need to declutter my life a little too.
Always love reading your updates. 🙂
Thanks for visiting, Em! Decluttering feels good, I must say, and you must come over for dinner one evening. I’m sure our new oven could make even my cooking taste good!
Great blog, lot’s of interesting news and beautiful photos. Enjoy your ‘new’ house. We finished ours a few months ago and it feels life-changing.
Thanks, Maureen! I’m glad you’re enjoying your ‘new’ home. I think these things are worth the trouble!
So happy to read your blog. Glad your renovation is nearly over. Enjoy your new spaces. Great pictures (as always) You inspire me to give away the books I no longer need to the Friends of Library so they can sell them..
Thanks for visiting, Penny! Do you know, the only books I could part with were some medical texts, and even then I kept ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ and a few special ones like that. I’m a bit of a book hoarder!
How could I forget… good luck with your agent search.
Thank you–I’ll keep you all posted …
What beautiful, beautiful photos. So happy for you that the renovations are over.
Thanks for visiting and also for the compliment about my photos, Kooky! I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to spread throughout our house again, and not have to cook, eat, and sleep in the master bedroom!
Phew, so glad to hear that the worst of the renovation is behind you! And what great news about the manuscript! Look forward to your news, Louise. Great photos, so strange to think it’s autumn over there…
I always find it hard to comprehend how you’re in Winter, when we’re in Summer—I don’t know why. I guess, when you’re roasting under summer skies, it’s hard to believe somewhere else is snowing!
I’m so relieved to have finished the rewrite. Fingers crossed for the next step and that I won’t have to rewrite it again!
As for the reno—it’s so nice to have it behind us, and lovely to be able to use it!
Thanks for your comments! xx