The post holiday funky

Hectic holidays

Exploded suitcases, mountains of washing, trails of sand and seashells in the sink and a great big bottomless bucket of demotivation. Something tells me we’re not on holiday anymore.

Two weeks camping in the dappled shade of melaleuca trees, less than a minute’s stroll across warm sand to one of the most magical beaches in Australia. Sun. Surf. Epic empire building and excavation. Cold beers and champagne at sunset. Brushing teeth by torchlight. Lazy games of Uno in the afternoon. Wiped out happy kids who didn’t complain once of being bored. Constant rotation of families and kids and cousins, of instant BFFs and shouts of ‘see you next year!’. Feeling wonderfully reconnected and rebonded with my main man. It was good.

Coming home from such an awesome best-holiday-ever kind of holiday was never going to be easy. There’s initial relief as everyone is joyfully released from the car after the long drive south, the kids leaping out like frazzled cats and flinging aside half-eaten pies and jelly snakes to marvel at modern amenities. Look a bath! A fridge! A real bed!

The rediscovery of how amazingly cool home is, is however short-lived – at least for the grown-ups in this situation. The stern pile of bills on the dining table. The back to school checklist pinned to the fridge. The sand at the bottom of the bathtub, which is just a cruel reminder. Then suddenly Monday rolls around and you’re actually expected to go back to work for god’s sake. It’s outrageous.

Hank has shaved off his sexy, roguish holiday beard much to my dismay, put a collared shirt back on and abandoned us gone back to work. The three kids promptly started squabbling over his laptop and I tried to do a quick mental calculation as to how long I had before the school year officially started. An hour later I gave up and laid myself down with a cool compress. “Who wants to learn how to make fresh lime margaritas?” I yelled from the couch. Sadly there were no takers. The kids went outside to jump off their disgust on the trampoline. I may have wept. And then slept a little. Yeah it’s been tough.

It didn’t help that we returned to find my beloved frangipani, which I bought as a wee seedling when I first arrived in Sydney 12 years ago, had a severe case of stem rot due to the freakish drenching Sydney had while we were away, and was in fact mostly dead. It’s hard to explain how I feel about that little tree, suffice to say I feel a lot. I exhumed it and lovingly tended to its mud-packed roots. I spread out the wet soil on a tarp in the backyard and Hank and I sat and literally watched dirt dry (no wonder this landing has been rough).

Post Holiday

Good times.

My frangipani, now reduced to a bare stump, has been re-homed in dry loose soil in a big terracotta pot in the sun. I’ve promised I’ll call it Lazarus if it comes back to me, in honour of Bowie and his recent heartbreaking departure from this earth (I’m still in shock, don’t get me started).

But if there’s anything this transition delivers, it’s a saltwater-washed fresh clean slate and a tingling reawakening of something. Here’s hoping it’s my dormant new year mojo stirring from its sun-bronzed stupor (come in, Lazarus).

There are other benefits to being home after all. I barely looked at a book while we were away despite my best intentions. I also didn’t write a single solitary word – and tellingly I didn’t miss it. A complete unplug was well in order.

So yeah it’s taken a few days. But I am now absorbed in a book again, with another two jostling in the queue. Ideas are sparking. Hank and I have started work on a couple of exciting new co-writing projects and other submissions are lining up. Hey, there’s even a new header on the blog! It’s happening. 2016 is underway, it’s a thing. Even if I am still dreaming of white sand and blue water, even if I can hear the rusted gears (gawd has it really only been two weeks?), I can feel my head space rebooting, from blissed out beach bum to back in the saddle mode.

Tallows Beach

Still miss this beach though. Just sayin’.



How is your 2016 kicking off? Are you launching into awesomeness or, like me, still have one foot on the beach and one hand on the margaritas? I’d love to hear what you’re up to, let me know in the comments below.


Emma x



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  • Reply Kris January 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Beautifully written as always! I’m looking forward to camping with the kids one day, especially after reading your post. This summer was tragically quiet and still too many sleeps to count until school begins. But at least I can say I’ve never felt so relaxed… x

    • Reply Emma January 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you Kris! It’s taken us a while to work up to this trip, we’ve done a few days camping before but this was much bigger. It’s a bit of work but seeing the kids so damn happy was worth it. And ducking off for early morning solo swims – oh my lordy. Our youngest is 2.5 now which I think makes a difference too, I’m not sure we could have done it when she was younger. Now we can’t wait to do it again! Quiet summer holidays are sometimes just what the doctor ordered though 😉 xx

  • Reply Jennifer Fletcher February 7, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Oh Em! Love this post, I am back there with you ?
    What a delicious time out. We too have hit the new year on the run. I love that your mojo is kicking back in and fresh ideas are sparking. Always a good thing. I can see them sparking like bubbles of exuberant prosecco.

    • Reply Emma February 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      ‘like bubbles of exuberant prosecco’, love it!!

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