So my second hot Christmas – enjoying it, and everything else, much more this year than last. Realise it takes a long time for the shock of relocation to subside and I was staggering from place to place last year trying to understand what I’d just done in moving to Oz. Then it was only on a temporary contract, though I think I suspected the stay would be longer than 2 years –  the upheaval felt much more cataclysmic than a brief trip. A year later, I’m starting the permanent residency process – lots and lots and lots of forms required, which may stumble on health issues but which feels comfortable now  – I do want a continuing relationship with Australia (though I am definitely not selling my Leeds house, so that will still be a place to retire if I ever decide to stop working). Yet, this conclusion comes at the end of a period where there have been two major operations in my immediate family and a death in my extended kinship (hence the long silence from me on this site). I would normally have been at those hospital beds and the funeral and probably part of at least one recuperation programme – so it’s been hard to be so far away. Thanks to Skype, regular phone calls have enabled me to feel involved, but I know it’s not the same. And it’s not just the trouble or sadness that I’m missing; my dad is having a major retrospective of his work (he’s Trog, the cartoonist) in London which I won’t be able to attend.

And yet, and yet…. I seem to have found a place at work, I’m rewriting the doctoral programme and taking a lead in re writing the UG  degree next session – really interesting challenges. I like most of my colleagues and love the fact that our Xmas coffee morning involved impromptu displays of hula hooping, multiple juggling and an astonishing whole body (horizontal) lift on one hand from Dan. And thanks to Dan we have a little writing group that meets on Wednesday mornings and works separately, together.

Which is my other great news, I am finally immersed in my book, which is gradually shifting from a collection of quotes and observations to something other people might actually want to read. It’s still way behind schedule, but my plan is do as much as possible over the Xmas/New Year break so I have the bulk done before term starts in Feb. I reckon I can do referencing and minor editorial changes during the working week, but not the kind of thinking that comes from real creative space. Last week, had an enormous shift in focus from trying to generate a psychological approach to professionalism/professional ethics, as per thesis and many papers, to reframing it as a socio-cultural approach, which is much more accurate and then links to other writers in Jungian studies and in public relations, so will knit the whole project together more tightly. Love doing this stuff, makes me really happy.

But I’ll take a couple of days off – have lunch invites for Tuesday and Wednesday and the key to friend’s house with a lovely pool in the back garden – so no complaints from me. After the bone ache of Bathurst winter, I am revelling in this deep, dry heat and the beautiful warm evenings.

So: season’s greetings mates