Posted by: Joan Spiller | December 31, 2015

You can’t oven-fry eggs (& other lessons from 2015)

My annual recap of the ‘year-that-was’ could be a depressing read and (let’s be honest) depressing sucks. So instead, I’m gonna talk about what this year taught me. And hopefully humour will be how I end my annus horribilis ..

As per the title of this post, I discovered you can’t fry eggs (nicely, that is!) in the oven. Lesson learned after setting fire to my kitchen in early November. As I type this, it is nearly the start of 2016 and I have no *functional stove (incl. range hood), the bench and around / wall behind the cooker area needs to be replaced and my lounge, kitchen and hallway all need to be repainted.

Wonder how long that will take? Another lesson: patience? Clearly .. 

I have also learned that birds crap .. A lot. I think I already knew this, after rearing the hen babies in a crate in the living room when we first moved here. And let’s not forget the ducks in the kitchen .. and the shit, always. The. Shit. But the cuteness overload (anyone who’s seen my magpie videos will, I think, agree!) is worth it.. most days 😉

Another lesson – not a new one but always a sad one, somehow: People are not always nice, even nice people. Sometimes people turn on you – for reasons you don’t understand. And – as hard as it is, your best bet is to walk away and accept that they have problems and should not be one of yours. People, or problems.

Coffee is good. Does this need explaining? I think not. I will let you know when the memorial service for my coffee machine (unfixable, post fire) will be 😦

Again, not news but somehow, so very hard to accept: People die. Friends, and worse: family, people you love.. Leaving you feeling so very sad about the fact they’re gone .. Oh sure, they’re “in a better place”, and actually for my grandfather, I think this is apt – he was not enjoying being old and unable to do what he wanted. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the ever loving hell out of him, all the time.

Something you may not have known: Goats actually are the devil. I miss Joshie & Billy.. Sam, less so (he was always an arse, lol) Bella, not at all. She was not into humans – her focus was on the neighbour’s sheep. Sometimes it feels that all I did was spend time, money and effort on fencing for these sodding creatures. And they in turn spent their days trying to outwit me (and succeeded, every time) and escape lol

And so, the funny farm is goat free.. And it’s OK.. but I do miss Josh & Billy so much. Dealing with their deaths was a lot harder than I expected it to be, for “just a goat”. 

This one will perhaps shock some of you but .. The sound of rain is actually not at all relaxing .. when you have multiple leaks in your roof! I see people posting ‘tranquil rainfall’ gifs and I want to stab myself in the ears so I don’t hear them! The rain of this winter was one of the biggest challenges faced here, and I am very, VERY glad summer seems to have finally arrived.

Insurance is important. A lesson I guess I never realised would need to be spelt out, I’ve always had *insurance. But yeah, trust me, after the fire and no insurance – I have a new found realisation of how important it is. It’s been an expensive / harrowing experience sorting things out, post fire, without insurance.

And what’s so gutting is I’ve had all my insurances for over 30 years with this same company and to have it lapse just before the fire .. well lets just say I felt justified in thinking the world was out to get me right about this experience.

Another not new lesson / notion is that some people are awesome and you’re lucky to have them in your life. I have a few of these people.. some old (snicker, now you’re wondering if I mean you) and some not so old .. (I did mean in length of relationship, but the slur can remain! Some of you I HAVE known a long time .. and yer old hehe) and I count myself fortunate indeed.

Be it random workmates (who I pretty much forced into being my friends), to total strangers (some I literally have not yet met F2F) and all sorts of other people in between .. I hope you know that when I call you, snapchat you, when I tag you on facebook or when I send you a text: it’s cos you mean something to me. And I appreciate you being in my life.

Not something I ever expected to learn, it’s now something I am well aware of: You cannot (AT ALL) relax when a magpie baby is hungry. Tinker suffers (and in turn, we do too!) from Hanger. Hungry rage! Just as well she’s cute 😉

I’ve also learned that money may not buy happiness, but it can fix a lot of stuff that in turn makes you happy (or less distressed, sad, worried) so that expression is pure bollocks I have decided.

Anyone who is a “landlord” will appreciate this. Me and the bank co-own a property in HB.. and I’ve learned that prospective tenants are always mad keen gardeners, lovely people and always likes to pay their rent on time or even early .. Except for the one I got who was completely INSANE. Poster child for “perfect tenant”, to start with .. this one left the country / abandoning the property, having done a ton of damage, only to threaten me with all sorts of stuff, when I came onsite to fix things up. AND he owes me rent *fume*

Of course we ALL know health matters.

No one was more surprised than me, when I had a mid year check up only to be told I had dangerously low iron levels and dangerously high blood pressure. I knew I was gritting my teeth often but yeah .. seems it was taking its toll. 2015, that is..

As someone who regularly gives blood, the iron thing was actually a shock .. a transfusion later, I feel fine, so thankfully it doesn’t seem to be an issue now. Of course, I can’t afford to go back to the doc to check but let’s think positive 😉

We’ll not talk about the 24/7 pain thanks to planty fasciwhatsit. Suffice to say every waking moment (and it wakes me, from sleep) I am in pain. And when I mow my lawns (my ride on broke down so lawn mowing now is back to being a 2.5 hour job every few days!) it takes me 2 days to recover back to being sore vs agonisingly sore. God. I am SUCH a whiner but there it is … my life is just .. actually .. a pile of donkey shit. Very annoying.

Speaking of annoying .. Big brothers .. they’re actually awesome. Many of you will already know this but I doubt I ever really appreciated my brother growing up (he was a bit of a drag, lol) and we went in different directions as young adults, so I’m quite chuffed at how we’ve become closer in recent years. And I was thrilled to be able to cater their wedding as my gift to them this year. An epic and exhausting experience, it was nonetheless, great fun. And he’s been amazingly helpful to me here with fixing a variety of problems .. lesson learned: appreciate your siblings. I do. Now.

Also awesome? Animals. Esp dogs. Sure, they’re not cheap to maintain, feed, take to the vet etc – but they’re probably all that’s kept me alive this year.

Someone once asked me how I coped, living on my own / didn’t I get bored or lonely. I was shocked to think they imagined me alone and lonely, cos I never ever feel that way. Oh sure, now and then I think “might be nice to have some company”, but then I take the dogs for a walk, watch an assortment of the animals that surround me and I’m not even remotely bored .. or lonely.

A really big lesson for me? Stupidity isn’t as simple a “thing” as it sounds. I’ve done some stupid stuff and seen some stupid stuff, this year. And have realised that desperation and fear lend themselves to stupidity at times, so will probably regard “stupid” acts differently to how I once would.

In the words of Forrest Gump “that’s all I have to say about that.”

I can honestly say that 2015 has been one of the worst years of my life. I’ve spent so much energy and money on problems that at times, I’ve felt unsure how to even go on. Melodramatic maybe but yeah, it’s how this year has been for me.

Raised “stiff upper lip”, it isn’t the done thing to let people know if you’re struggling – and I actually feel .. distressed being this honest .. oh, is that why I try to only post pics and videos of fun things all over snapchat and facebook etc but to be fair, I DO take delight in a moment of something wonderful.

But at the same time, most days I’m freaking out, in tears and I’m struggling. With it all. And that sucks cos not having your shit sorted at my age?
Uncool in the extreme. Esp when I once felt I HAD life sorted, lol

So yeah: 2015 you utterly and officially suck.

2016, I beg you.. Please.. Be better. I don’t think I could cope with a rinse and repeat.

*Oh yeah and why did I let my insurance lapse? I’ve been asked before today .. I defy anyone to live 3 years with part time or no work and still be able to live life, pay their bills etc. It was a choice between that and paying my mortgage, ’nuff said?

Doh. I forgot, I was aiming for humour tonight. Sorry .. But anyway, here’s to the new year. May it be good.

For both of us.


  1. Joan this is Dave. Are you J S from N Z?


    • Hello stranger, lol yes I am indeed she! How’s things? Look me up on facebook or whatsapp or snapchat, easier than this site


  2. Here’s what solved the plantar thingy for me: stretching the muscles on the back of my calves. Stand on the edge of something so your heels hang over and there is something to hold on to so you don’t fall. Let your heels drop to stretch the muscles. Not too far to begin with.

    No idea why physio never suggested this as the fix, it was very fast compared with the strapping etc she suggested which fixed nothing. I guess each of us might have different causes needing different solutions, but it is easy and costless and might work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow thank you I will try this .. I find (oddly) when I wear high heels it feels fine, as does massage but I will give your cure a whirl, thanks again!


    • Miriamnz it’s helping, thank you SOOO much!!!!


  3. May you drink (coffee) out of your saucer because your cup is running over with blessings and good friends in 2016. Love you Joan


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