“Some of Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good golly Miss Molly and boats
Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley add nanny goats”
My grandmother always said you should count your blessings, and start off with that you can count your blessings. So here goes and in no particular order:
1. I can count my blessings, I can also read them when I have written them down
2. I am healthy, I could do with losing a few pounds, but I know when I start going to the gym they will fall off, as I have a sedentary job.
3. Yes, I have a job, it isn’t great, but it is a job and there is money coming into the house.
4. I have, and am secure in, the love of a good man who treats me well, tells me he loves me daily and shows me he loves me in many more ways.
5. My parents are happy, well and I talk to them weekly, they are also still looking after my cat on her indefinite sabbatical.
6. My brother is well, happy, slightly stressed at work, and judging by the length of his hair in a recent photo, is healthy.
7. My best friend and I talked last week; I am secure in her love as she is in mine.
8. My surrogate sister is off to visit her proper family in Canada for Christmas with her lovely husband for the first time in ages, she will spend Christmas day with her family. We won’t see each other until next year, but we can talk online for hours and when I buy my webcam hope we will do more regularly. Again, I am secure in their love as they are in mine.
9. I have six close friends that email me, poke me, send photos and make me laugh when I am feeling down.
10. To be fair, I can’t really separate how close I feel to the eight superwomen listed above. Time and distance does not seem to dim our friendships, if anything we are more conscientious than before, and I am grateful.
11. Because I live in Australia, the land of plenty, the land of being bloody miles away from the UK too.
12. It is nearly my first Australian Christmas, so while I will miss the cold, candles frosty mornings, bonfire smells, the cat crash-landing into the tree and cinnamon in the air, I will be having a big family BBQ instead.
13. I have known and been talking to Dan for three years, neither of us can believe it either.
14. I am allowed to buy stationery and books and new shoes.
15. However, I choose to buy them when I have the money.
16. I had my first pang of homesickness last week, but it was a small one and passed when I realized that this is where I am meant to be, I had grown too much to stay in the UK.
17. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
18. I now don’t have an alcohol problem, whereas a few years ago, I wasn’t sure.
19. My brother and I are both getting married next year, although not to each other.
20. Our little flat is odd, badly built and could do with some more furniture, but it is our first home in Melbourne.
21. I brought myself a Mulberry handbag on my way through Heathrow airport. Every time I use it, I remind myself that I have worked hard for it, deserve it and treat it with respect.
22. Likewise my iPod which has ‘I worked hard for this’ engraved on the back of it. If I could, I would tattoo that across my heart, after it was so badly broken I didn’t think I could feel joy again, let alone love.
23. I carried a little notebook around with me for nearly a year to remind me of happy times when I felt low. Some were simple; a bath, candles, a good book, others were specific times like sitting in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral with Liz, eating breakfast and listening to the bells echo round Paternoster Square; seeing the Spinnaker Tower on my drive down to Portsmouth at weekends; roast dinner with Dan, Erika, Ian and Niall arriving in time to make the gravy.
24. I have mostly stopped biting my nails.