Vale Two Oh One One

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.

Wolf Creek...

Coghills Creek Cemetery

I hope this isn't hereditary.

Edward - died 1884, aged 28 years.

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!

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13 thoughts on “Vale Two Oh One One

  1. Well said, Inga. I’m beginning to understand where GOF inherited his writing skills and wit from.

    I’ve got a nephew in Clunes which isn’t far from Ballarat I understand. Closest I got to Ballarat was Benalla and Shepparton. Always meant to go have a look but never did. Typical…

    And a Happy New Year to you also.

    • Thanks Uncle Snowy. GOF really should count himself lucky.

      I came very close to Clunes that day, and GOF and I drove through it the last time he came to visit. There’s not very much out there at all! Ballarat’s a fairly miserable place for a Queenslander anyway, apparently.

  2. Very nice retrospective.

    I’ll be lucky to get a headstone … and, knowing my wife as I do, my name will be misspelled.

    Looking forward to the “Well, I went ahead and moved to Ballarat … and now I spend all my vacation time back in Melbourne” post …

    • You could always organise the headstone yourself, engrave something classy like “I told you I was sick.” I’ve often told GOF I’m going to tie his body to a tree on a hiking trail to terrify tourists. 🙂

      Yes, I can see that post coming too. Not for many years yet though, so in the interim you’ll all have to deal with several more OMGAH BALLARAT RULZ stories.

  3. I’m really proud to have you as a role model for my writing and it gives me great pleasure to note that “your universe is unfolding as it should.”
    It’s also touching to know that you intend to sob a little when I am beheaded.
    Just make it short, then get on with your life again. 🙂

  4. I must be a bit Goth Inga because I think that is a fine resting place for your great great Uncle. Private, quiet and with a nice headstone. Maybe he would have liked Ballrat as well on the holidays!

    Here’s hoping your life in 2012 is just as vibrant as this past year.

    • I sure as hell wouldn’t mind spending eternity there – it’s peaceful, and sheep are cute. I hope your 2012 is fantasmorific as well!

      (PS. What are we calling you now? Amelemmy?)

      • LOL!! I like that – any variation on Emma is just fine. That was my Grandma’s name (Amelia is a version of that and it’s my middle name).

        Cute sheep? I love cute sheep!

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