2017 seems to have gone past faster than 2016. Each year seems to be gathering speed, until I’m sure I’ll be living in a blur of a Christmas-Easter-Birthday-Christmas cycle. With that said, 2017 has had some fairly significant events and milestones. There’s a lot of memories that I can look back on and smile – and a few that I can look back on with a sense of achievement – and some that I can look back on and simply be thankful I was strong enough to endure.
2017 started on my back deck, with a great bunch of friends. We had some cold beers, and some pizzas, and a lot of laughs. I’m looking forward to tonight, because we all intend on welcoming 2018 in much the same way. I really do have a wonderful nerd family, so it’s always a lot of fun when we gather together for a meal and a laugh.
We also held our annual Nerd-Christmas this year for the third time. So much food! A few years ago, Barry and I introduced a game called Shitmas. Three gifts, under $5, with a mix of good, great and utter rubbish gifts being traded, schemed and stolen. This year surpassed all previous years, with the unveiling of “The Brodie” – the moment captured on film, and immortalised forever! I don’t know how we are going to top that, but we have almost 12mths to plot and plan!
It’s almost impossible to speak of family, and love, without gushing a little bit about Barry – and how lovely it is to have him in my life. In June, he proposed, with a scoop of sorbet and a declaration of love. I melted, the sorbet melted, and we’re now planning our future hand-in-hand. I really am a lucky girl, and I hope I can be a wonderful wife.
Speaking of Barry for a wee while longer, he sat the GAMSAT (medical entrance test) this year, after studying intensely for a number of months. Right before the exam, he had food poisoning – and we almost thought he was going to be too sick to sit the exam. Thankfully, he was just well enough – although not at his best – yet still managed to ace the exam with something silly like the top 0.2% of all entrants! Clever clogs! So, in 2019 I’ll be dating a med-student, while he works towards becoming a Doctor. Both of us know there’s going to be a lot of hard work involved, but excited to start.

Travel this year has been extensive, although, for the majority, the travel has been purely for work. I did manage to scrape through my Platinum Status for a second year running, which means I get lounge access and priority boarding. Most importantly, it gives me a free barista-made coffee when I walk into the terminal – which is an absolute godsend at 5:30am on any given morning. While travel for work is tedious and draining, at least these small perks go a little way to make it being bearable.

Barry and I did manage to get a bit of fun-travel in this year – spending two whole weeks driving a posh white Mercedes around Tasmania. Tasmania was the last state in Australia that I had travelled to, so it’s nice to say that I’ve travelled across Australia now! It was such an amazing time and I cannot recommend it highly enough. We spent time in Hobart, White’s Beach on the peninsular, Freycinet National Park, Launceston and all the way over to the Nut on the north-west. The food was amazing, the people were delightful – and the animals? I fell in love with a six-month old baby wombat named Maroon. She was, quite possibly, the most delightful creature I’ve ever had the pleasure of cuddling.

For the record, when baby wombats dream, they dream of digging holes.

Speaking of another cute and furry midget, Jamie is still proving Vets wrong. He was given 18mths to live almost two years ago now – and shows very few symptoms of his Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition. Other than his little grey nose, he’s ever the same. Perhaps a little slower than he was as a pup – but he certainly hasn’t missed any of that sharp intelligence. This year he got three new toys from Santa Paws – and within the day, he knew all of them by name. Porg, Moose and Hedgie are now part of his little stuffed menagerie, each one doted on in turn.

He has Barry and I well trained! If he wants to go outside, he gives us a nudge. If he wants to come inside, he has a special kind of woof – as if to say “I’m waiting!”. I don’t know how long he will be part of our family, but I treasure every day.

Work has been a challenge this year. I’m continuing to have fun learning my new role, and dealing with all of the challenging situations that come up. I’m also dealing with a few unpleasant situations, mostly from a HR perspective. The work year has ended with some resolutions and some formal paperwork, so I’m hopeful that 2018 will be a much smoother ride.

I also had to have another skin cancer cut out this year. This time, there was a little cancer in my scalp – so the most concerning thing was the 10cent sized bald divot I had in my head for a number of months. Thankfully, they got all the cancer, and my hair has entirely covered the area again. I think the most concerning thing was working out if I’d have to wear a hat for months to hide my bald scalp!

I also managed to slam my finger in the car door – so hard the door locked. Three stitches needed to hold it all back together, and eternal gratitude to Tach for pulling all the strings to get me through Accident and Emergency as fast as possible. The nailbed is still split, 6 months later, and I’m constantly getting a fake nail put on to hide the damage. It’s also then much easier to cover with pretty nail-polish.

I’ve discovered a new love of painting nails, as well. I love spending 10 minutes making the pretty eye-catching patterns, and having wonderful jazzy fingers!

Work with the 501st Legion has been a little slower than I’d prefer, mostly because of the exhausting amount of effort that I’ve put into work this year. I still got to run around like a twit at a handful of events – bringing nerd joy to a lot of kids, big and small. I still played an entire game of 20-20 cricket. We won, again! Some of my costumes are getting a bit weathered now, so it might be time to invest in a new Stormtrooper costume soon. I wonder if I can finally convince Barry to join the Legion!?

Speaking of Legion… there’s another legion that I belong to, and have done since I was a small kid. The legion of down-trodden, and stoic Richmand fans.

“Oh we’re from Tigerland… A fighting fury! We’re from Tigerland….”

Each year in my yearly review, I’ve given a small thought to my enduring love of the Richmond Football Club, usually indicating that we tried hard, fought well, lost anyway – and will try again next year. Ever the downtrodden team, this year, Richmond fans get to celebrate and shout and lose their minds. After 38 years, incredibly, we’ve finally got another trophy! It was such a huge win, the fun-loving crowds shut down one of the major thoroughfares in Richmond, to have an impromptu dance party in the middle of the street. It was such a huge win, that the next morning was spent nursing spectacular hangovers – myself included.


I did a few things for the first time this year: I climbed on a tank, I cuddled a wombat, I played Player Unknown: Battlegrounds, I finally built my 3D printer – and then bought a second one! I had somebody resign from my team at work, I painted Jamie’s toenails, I abseiled down the Kangaroo Point cliffs, swam with Turtles off Kingscliff, and we had our family portrait taken at Buddina beach.

I was lucky enough to attend the wedding celebrations of Tim and Bronte as well. Such an amazing day, with a stunning family celebrating the start of their new chapter together. It was a brilliant day!

Congrats also to Carl and One-L – Tom is such a handsome chap! Glad I got to meet him!

I’m looking forward to 2018 for a number of different reasons. I’m also heading to the US for another work trip in March – it will be hectic, busy and tiring, so I’m going to do all I can not to catch the flu like I did last time.

The most importantly, our upcoming wedding is in April and planning continues! I think we’re fairly organised, so I cant wait to have a fun day with my closest friends and family. My friends have a hens night planned for me as well, however I don’t have a great deal of intel on what the agenda is. I trust them all, so I’m sure whatever it is will be a bunch of fun! Barry and I are planning the honeymoon too, and I’m looking forward to having a lovely adventure with my new husband!!

After a big 2017, I’m having a few days off to put my feet up and relax for a little while. Perhaps I might get a chance to do some more 3D printing, or some online gaming – but perhaps I might get a chance to share a drink or two and catch up with as many people as possible over this festive season.
Wishing you all a very safe and successful 2018.
Jac xxPhoto Transfer

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