Putting up with it

You’re a bit behind on all the excitement and drama of last week. A lot happened, so buckle up, it’s going to be a long one.

Among the major WTF moments occurred when I was eating a piece of bread and cheese two Sundays ago and felt an ominous crunch. It was my dental brace breaking and the metal taking a chip out of my bottom tooth.

I tend to put up with bad situations for much longer than I should. DD knows this is one of my flaws, so he put his foot down when I said I’d be fine to continue the holiday with a broken brace. He insisted we hunt down a dentist on the Monday morning.

After four phone calls, a dental surgery in Newcastle CBD agreed to squeeze me in. She examined my mouth and said the brace was so worn down that it would be impossible to fix. So, $450 later, I had a new one.

I felt a bit bereft about the demise of the brace. It had been with me since my mid-teens. My orthodontist – Dr Cerny – glued it in place after attending an overseas conference and seeing the new technique for keeping teeth permanently anchored. I don’t love having a piece of metal and plastic in my mouth all the time, but when the brace broke I could immediately feel my teeth shifting.

And then we hit the road to North Haven on the NSW north coast. Sadly, not long after we arrived – just as I’d delighted in seeing hundreds of fish swarming at Dunbogan Boatshed – I got an unmentionable phone call that cast a pall over the holiday.

But we had adventures booked, so we took a deep breath and soldiered on.

We probably need to have those adventures all over again at a later date so we can properly appreciate them without the distress that clung to us.

We also probably need to be a bit more realistic about how much we can fit into a week. Here’s a brief recap:

I headed to Newcastle on the Saturday to show two of my Sydney friends around town. We arrived at Christchurch Cathedral at 11am to be given an amazing tour by my childhood friend Katherine, who is now the Dean. Fancy! She adores her wonderful church and gave us the most fascinating rundown on it. We were blitzed by the artefacts, including a World War 1 flag, a gold book made from melted down jewellery donated by the widows of the fallen soldiers, and the views from the top of the spire were stunning. Then we took Katherine to lunch at the Honeysuckle Hotel. Here are a few happy snaps:

On Sunday I took my friends for a 14km walk around town, then DD arrived and we had birthday drinks with another friend.

On Monday, we got my teeth fixed and drove to Dunbogan to marvel at the fishies and kangaroos, deal with my unhappy phone call and eat yummy meatball pizza at Delizioso Restaurant in Laurieton.

On Tuesday, I was feeling so shattered by the unmentionable thing that I forgot to wear suncream and got horrifically sunburnt while we were out admiring the dolphins that frolic in the river at North Haven.

On Wednesday we drove to South West Rocks, which was stunningly beautiful. I’m going to write a blog on The Thirsty Travellers about it soon, plus DD has created an awesome video to accompany it. Stay tuned.

We had two nights in South West Rocks, where we felt a bit like we were sleepwalking in paradise. One morning we wandered down to the deserted beach to have a swim. It was divine – 24C in the water and stunningly beautiful. Swim of the year!

We spent Thursday driving and driving and driving back to Sydney. Oh, and my husband texted to say our divorce finally had a court date: February 2. That’s almost seven years to the day since he left. Oddly, it was the straw that broke the wobbly camel’s back and caused me to start proper blubbing. Not because I wanted to still be married to him, but I felt terribly sad that we’d let our love wither and die all those years ago. And also because if feels like there is too much to deal with in my life right now. I am craving peace and a steady income.

I applied for a job last week that asked what the three most important things were to me in a workplace and I wanted to reply: just be nice, even nice-ish will do. But instead I said that what I valued most was an inclusive, dynamic, creative workplace, which is also true.

On Friday night, DD and I went to a pop-up restaurant called the Milan Cricket Club in the Strand Arcade with one of his old university friends.

The British menu – think lots of yorkshire pudding and chops and Scotch eggs – was cooked by an Italian chef and all the waiters were wearing tartan face masks, which was a bit surreal. Oh, and there was a gin trolley,.

On Saturday, we drove back up to Newcastle for a gorgeous 50th birthday celebration. It was so lovely to be surrounded by good friends.

On Sunday, we popped in to see my parents, then drove back to Sydney. We were very tired. We have both agreed that we need to stop over-scheduling ourselves so much.

OK, now you’re up to speed … moving right along … another busy few days ahead … the ceasefire on over-scheduling might have to wait until next week.

Song of the day: Cary Brothers “If you were here”

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