Country days

AustraliaME/CFSSouthern Highlands

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Bye la belle vie, our country house

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Over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, a huge group of us went away to Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands to celebrate a friend’s birthday, relax and catch up. We stayed in a very large country house on lovely grounds, and spent most of the weekend eating (the group seriously excelled at high-standard catering) and chillaxing.


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I was a bit anxious before the trip about how I would survive with such a big group — I get tired out so easily, and socialising is one of the easiest ways to burn out (as much as I love socialising, and as much as it is essential to emotional health). But luckily the house was big enough for me to disappear when I needed to, my bedroom was furthest from the noise so I could still go to bed at 10pm while others were screaming out the lyrics to to Total Eclipse of the Heart and twerking in front of the fireplace. I was sharing a room with two friends who know the whole CFS story, so it all went pretty well and I enjoyed it. The first night wiped me out a fair bit since I coordinated dinner (pizzas, for cooking in the wood-fired pizza oven – I made dough for 18 people the night before, then drove up, then was trying to organise – turned out well, but tiring) so I felt a bit ‘crashed’ and in pain on the Saturday but luckily everyone else had stayed up late and was hungover, so it was sleep-ins all around.


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The break came at just the right time. Just prior to it, I’d had a rough few weeks at work – finally raising things that had been simmering away was necessary but quite emotionally draining. Then I had a specialist appointment a few days before the trip that (despite the doctor being kind and thorough) didn’t come up with any solutions and highlighted some hard realities, so that left me feeling really broken. I’m also at a point where I am really trying to figure out some way to move forward with this illness, but not many doors were seeming to be open. So a weekend away just goofing around, trying to not think about those things too much, had me feeling much more positive when I got back to the Can this week (even though I had a post-trip fatigue crash a few days after getting back – thankfully it was mild).

Dinner team extraordinaire!

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Some highlights included:

  • The birthday girl requesting a trap remix of the theme song to The Bill, and receiving it that same weekend.
  • Popping into town for coffee at Jumping Rock Cafe.
  • The very retro Bundanoon Hotel, which was… an experience.
  • My friends’ amazing cooking and all the leftovers I have been eating for the past week. #winning
  • Watching Insiders with my girls and loudly heckling.
  • Relaxing in front of the fireplace.

The dining room (in slight disarray)

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Boss ass fireplace!

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