In April, Andy graduated. The most ridiculously coloured robes are saved for the highest honours, of course, and are only donned by those becoming Doctors.
Three days later, we settled on our house. Actually, we were meant to, but some shonky paperwork from the other side meant that we moved in and settled a week later. But regardless, we moved in, which is the biggest thing.
Having a house means we have the power to make choices like... painting the living room orange! Or the bathroom bright blue!
And it also gives us space for furniture, which we buy second hand and then I have excuses to do fun things to, like paint and cover with fabric.
And more meaningful things, like putting a big pile of solar panels on the roof.
In May, we adopted our beautiful Tika dog. Nacho and Tika have reached a relatively peaceable equilibrium. Tika still runs in fear from time to time when Nacho chases her, but she also manages to sneak in big kitty kisses when she comes in from outside.
In July, my job upped from a half-time to a full-time position. That was something I had been hoping for. Now I think staying part-time might have been nice -- full-time work is a lot of, well, work! I love love love my job, it's flexible and I get to have interesting intellectual conversations, and I get to hang out with students as they learn stuff and open their eyes and expand their worlds. But it is also really tiring to work all the time and still feel like you don't get everything done.
This year I read 51 books, just over my goal of 50 for the year. Three of these, at the end of the year, were children's books, but I think they still count. My favourite book of the year is hard to choose, but I think I'll go with Jasper Jones, which I read back in February. I loved the characters, I thought it dealt with a bunch of different political issues in a non-preachy way, and the novel was also suspenseful and interesting to read, which is of course the most important thing.
Andy and I have planted 13 trees, 3 bananas, 3 coffee bushes, 2 grevilleas, and piles of smaller plants. The only thing we have spectularly failed with has been a tea plant, which didn't make it through the first few weeks of summer in its very sunny position. Clockwise around the garden, the trees we've put in are: avocado, mulberry, Australian blood lime, ice cream bean, star apple, guava, West Indian lime (key lime), pomegranate, three papayas, mandarin, and lemon. Yesterday Andy ordered three more which we'll plant in the new year: a Peanut Butter tree, a jackfruit, and a grumichama. We've also got some seedlings of the Queensland Peanut tree to go on the verge.
|This pomegranate is the newest addition to our orchard.|
I travelled to Cairns twice, to Melbourne once, to Sydney once, and to Brisbane twice. Amongst those travels, I hung out with 5 other vegan bloggers - Susan, Mel, Amy, K and Toby, two of whom I met for the first time. Andy and I also took a purely enjoyable - not work related - trip to Jervis Bay for a wedding.
I took up running, and finished off the Couch to 5k training program (finishing just at the start of summer, which was not wise timing). Regular walking and then running lead me to discover the joy of podcasts. The two that I subscribe to are Team Earthling, an Australian vegan podcast, and Progressive Podcast Australia, a generally leftist political discussion. I also get my nerd on with iTunesU and listen to lectures and open courses in between episodes of these two.
And in November, I worked with some vegan friends in Townsville (including Stevie and Luc from Team Earthling, whose blog post about the event I will direct you to) for a vegan outreach stall at the uni. Stevie (and sometimes Luc) have been rocking the ongoing outreach stall on Magnetic Island, and I'm hoping we can organise more on campus in 2013 - O Week would be a good place to start!
It's been a big year, an interesting year, and I can only hope that 2013 is as fruitful for us!