The Chocolate Cake on the Treadmill of Life

So, after a stupidly busy second term and a term three that's looking like being only slightly less more stupid, we've decided to blow our Qantas Frequent Flyer points and have a little marriage retreat. We've had so many stressful times over the years, but nothing - NOTHING - has challenged me like having my sixth baby.

We're finding it difficult to fit in Date Nights, which is pretty sad. My dearest and I have often admitted over the past 3 1/2 months that we miss one other. I lamented recently that I felt like we were great roommates! Life is just crazy-full-on-busy. I often feel like I'm trying to thread a needle with a tea towel - there's just too much to fit into my tiny gap each day around stuff that needs to happen.

Somewhere along the line, we worked out that we had enough points to fly a place we hear so much about, but haven't been since he was 14 and I was 5. Melbourne. It's a bit daunting for a tried-and-true conservative like me, considering that Victoria has the most liberal abortion laws in the country, has a history of being a arty city with loads of culture and Adam Bandt.

The plan is to spend two nights down there, checking out cafes, parks, jazz clubs, shops and cocktail bars. That's about it. We're staying with Air BnB in Carlton, right near the CBD which is very exciting. I'm hanging out for my very first tram ride!

While we were investigating what was around in Melbourne, we realised that there were four main ways unwashed northern miscreants like us could really annoy the left-leaning population:

1. Wear an Emily's Voice shirt
2. Run down Batman Avenue - people, this amazingly cultured artsy city has a street called BATMAN! - singing the theme to the old Batman TV series.
3. Read The Courier Mail in a swanky cafe
4. Ask why they have trains and trams everywhere, except from the airport. I mean, our fair Brisbane has one!

Having a trip away (and at very little cost, thank you Qantas!) is the chocolate cake in front of my nose as I grind away on the treadmill of life lately. It hasn't all been hard, but it's been tough with six children under 10.

The two biggest things I've learned are that when things are tough, having something exciting to look forward to is astoundingly helpful and that even just a couple of hours together, uninterrupted, is like fuel on a fire. I feel so much better today after spending a lazy couple of hours planning our marriage retreat last night.

Until late September - I'll see you around; I'm the one plodding after the chocolate cake in front of my face! xx


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