2011 is swiftly rolling to a close, and for the first time in many years I’m sorry to see the year end. This year I acquired a divine new car, a new laptop and my first smartphone. I attended Supafest and a comically abysmal performance by Flo Rida. My favourite book series ever came to life on HBO, leaving me alternately squealing in fits of delight and sobbing like it was my own father about to be beheaded on the steps of Baelor. I planted herbs, discovered the 1000 Steps and completed the Arthur’s Seat Challenge. I found Ballarat. One of my best friends moved to Melbourne after several years abroad. I drank a lot, ate a lot, danced a lot and laughed a lot. I got a couple of numbers, gave a couple of numbers, almost fell in love and was fallen in love with. I successfully gave up buying new clothes and accessories (since June, at least), sponsored a shelter cat, joined the bone marrow registry and gained a Little Sister.
To top it all off, I managed to spend Christmas Day in my beloved Ballarat. Let me tell you, it’s no mean feat eluding all your loved ones at this time of year to bugger off into the countryside. People tend to think you’re a bit balmy, which I concede I may be. But I learned the history of the buildings on Lydiard Street, mooned over the posh mansions in the lake district and sunned myself in the botanical gardens, and generally wallowed in my own ‘speshyal’ version of self-indulgence. I’m particularly chuffed that with a little research, much erratic country driving and a large portion of dumb luck, I stumbled upon the final resting place of my great-great uncle Edward. He’s in a cemetery quite literally in a paddock in the middle of nowhere, in a sad abandoned plot with several other members of the family, including my great-great-great grandparents. There’s nothing of note nearby but a dilapidated weatherboard farmhouse, some sheep and a tiny chapel.
So no matter how good the year has been, no matter what fabulous deeds you accomplish and wrongdoings you commit, no matter who you love and laugh and dance with – 130 years after your death it will all amount to nothing more than a cracked and faded tombstone, weathering the lonely years somewhere in a place like Coghills Creek.
And that’s fine by me.
A safe, loving and joyous 2012 to you all!