Liz and I arrived in Canberra at close to 6pm on Monday the 11th, after possibly the shortest trip I’ve had coming back from Singapore. It’s been a long time since I’ve slept through most of the flight and coach ride – having a bright-eyed and inquisitive toddler makes that an impossibility lately, but I also think the year’s dramas have finally caught up with me.

In amongst the waiting in queues and the teasing out of technical details relating to my mother’s passing, Liz and I managed to eat and drink very well in Singapore. We even got to do a tiny bit of sightseeing – had another gander at the SEA Aquarium (the world’s biggest, apparently), and a lovely morning at the Art Science Museum. We even took a water taxi through the Singapore river at night, and I got to soak in the ever-changing cityscape with all its gorgeous lights.

It was a fitting close to a chapter in my life that I wish with all my heart didn’t end so soon.

But then I came home to a husband who visibly relaxed as soon as I walked in the door (shoulders easing, anxiety expelled with a sigh and a smile). And I came home to a happy, taller, chattier toddler who now eats more than I do for breakfast. More on her later.

I haven’t had the time to tell you about the dramas we’ve been having with our shoddy plumbing. Our bathrooms have now become places of anxiety and foreboding rather than temporary retreats from the day’s worries. It all started during the packing for Singapore when I realised the carpet in the walk-in robe was damp. About 6 tradies later, the litany of woes read as follows:

  • leaking shower tap
  • leaking shower recesses (BOTH bathrooms)
  • no condensation tray for ducted gas heating unit in roof cavity
  • window treatment in skylight unfinished
  • hole in wall adjoining roof, letting rain in

The first two are especially painful, because now we have a fight on our hands with our insurance company. It’s also going to cost us a pretty penny to fix up two bathrooms. But the biggest lesson in all this, is how you can NEVER rely on just one or two tradesmen to give you a comprehensive idea of what’s going on in your walls… and that God gave you instincts for a reason. The first plumber didn’t even pick up the biggest cause of the leak, which was the leaking shower tap.

Long story short, we now have a gigantic hole in our wall.

Big hole in wall
After all this leaving and cleaving (good-bye Singapore house, good-bye big part of my former life), methinks this gigantic hole is rather metaphorical.

Arddun has been great. She has not fiddled with the hole once, nor felt anyway inclined to hide her toys and treats there. Instead, she tells anyone who will listen that, “It’s a BIG HOLE! Very Very Don’t Touch.”

Actually, Arddun’s been the one constant to lighten the mood around here. It’s hard to feel very sorry for ourselves for too long, when she’s bounding up to you bright and chirpy for a cuddle. She is definitely going through a growth spurt of some sort – polishes off a meal size that I’ve seen other 8-year-olds struggle with, and then asks for fruit. She is still singing all the time, but her latest party trick is to quiz, “WHO’S GOT THE POOS?” before coming up behind me or Tony to yank down our pants for a check.