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2003-12-31 - 10:23 a.m.

It's New Year's Eve and I'm fully aware of how slack I've been updating. I don't think I ever even wrote about Melbourne- just that Jane and I had bad head colds on the way home. That was in October!

I've been rushing all over the place this last month. My grandfather on my dad's side died a couple of weeks ago which in itself is not that sad for an 88 year old man whose quality of life has been pretty average for the last 8 or so years, but all the family stuff was still difficult. The funeral was very intense- a Hindu ceremony, and although he is not religious himself my Dad has been taking part in all of the associated events out of respect for his father and for his mother I guess. Part of that is a 16 day mourning period of no meat, alcohol or entertainment- which meant no Christmas. As selfish as it might sound that was probably the hardest part for me- that we couldn't have a proper family christmas. The rest of my family went up to Newcastle to hang out with a fraction of the Usual Christmas Suspects, but my Uncle was not himself without my Dad there and ended up leaving early. The rest of my immediate family chose to observe the vegetarian/ no alcohol thing which made me feel guilty, especially as the eldest grandson- but I made the decision by trying to find a balance between what was important for everyone else and what was important for me.

I'm having a New Year's Eve party tonight which I'm cautious about- I always seem to have underwhelming NYEs- we decided on this party only half a week ago because our original plan to be at Jane's friend's place on the Harbour fell through and we knew a handful of people with no plans, but I'm worried that there will be hardly anyone there and they'll all leave early to do other things. We shall see.

I usually make some comments on the year that was at the end of every year. 2003 began with Jane and I having a drunk state of the union talk at a party in Vaucluse at 4am in which I got the distinct impression that we weren't going to be progressing to anything "official" for a while, if ever, but nine days later in a drunk state of the union conversation over the phone at 4am we decided we were.

The year has really charted our relationship (as opposed to our "um friendship"), from acknowledging there was something more than that, to being able to say "I love you", to moving in together, to some pretty scary drunken state of the union talks in which we both admit that somewhere inside we have the same idea about where we'll probably be in 5-10 years time.

The year has also been a bit of a self exploration journey for me. It's lead to some pretty dark corners of my mind floating around ad nauseum, as I try to come to terms with the fact that over a quarter of my life has (most likely) past and I feel like I haven't lived and yet I'm quite clearly settling down, but I never really had a lot to settle down from- while for Jane "settling down" has virtually been about becoming a completely different person (for the better I might add but it still makes it difficult). My journey has seen me try speed, ecstasy and pot for more or less the first time, and I still don't know where I stand with repeat performances.

It's also been a bit of a journey work-wise, which I've covered pretty well but I might write more about it in the New Year- I have to go and prepare for our party now.

See you all in 2004!


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