No, I didn't fall into a blogging abyss. I've been away with the family for the entire month of April, returning last Friday.
I had all sorts of plans to write posts for automatic upload while we were away, but hey, in the general craziness of preparing to go away for a month, I didn't get there.
Where have we been? Action Man, the kids and I spent a month in the United States. This was a trip AM and I had been planning for a long time. At our tenth anniversary, preoccupied with career changes, house purchases and preschoolers, we decided that for our twentieth anniversary we would travel. I nominated New York City in particular. Our plans expanded to include the US more generally.
Our 20th anniversary was last year - we are closer to our 21st anniversary than our 20th. But finally, the planets aligned and we had a month that made sense to go. Amazingly, too, the exchange rate with the US $ smiled on us.
We had a great trip. By that I mean every place we went met or exceeded expectations. I've travelled in the US before. I find it an amazing, and at times, an appalling place. Always fascinating, though.. I am not sure how to put this. Coming from Australia, so much is familiar in the US, and yet, we have very different countries.
The highlight for me was the week we spent in New York City. Sitting here in my study, in my house on a hillside on the South Coast of NSW, there is not a place that could be more different than NYC. What can I say - I loved it all, the museums, the food, pounding the streets, Central Park, shopping the Garment District for fabric, the people, the energy. One week just scratched the surface. I hope to return.
Four days after our return, and the trip seems a while ago. It seemed the house went into a sulk while we were away, and decided to teach us a lesson. Of course, our grass needs a mow badly - BOTH mowers broke. The dishwasher played up. The hot water tank broke too.
Then, I went back to work on Monday, to find that I no longer had a job. This was not a big surprise - bookings had been very quiet before I went away, and I thought that if things did not improve while I was away, things would have to change. They did. I am no longer employed outside the home.
This is the first time this has happened to me. Normally, I've left jobs at a time at a time of my choosing. But Australia's two-speed economy put paid to that.
I'm surprisingly sanguine about it. We've managed on one income before, and we'll do it again. The house and garden badly need some attention and maintenance, so I'll get stuck in to that, then see where I am.
It's nice to be away, but it's nice to be back.