Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Essays, Travel: Australia

Making Space & Starchy Fresh Days

The lure of writing something about the fresh, shininess of a new year, proved too strong. I was going to wave it on, insist it skip me, and soak in some other people’s words about progress and improvement. But I am sitting up at the beach house, a place where the opening days of fresh, shiny new years have traditionally been spent and thus a place that is naturally associated with reflection. And I have poured a coffee, a beverage that seems to lend itself nicely to introspection and resulting swathes of indulgent words. So I won’t wave on this changing of the guard. At the very least 2013 and all of its possibility – is there anything more thrilling than possibility? – needs to be acknowledged. And the excesses of 2012, the parts not currently in use, the lessons not currently being worn, and its abundance of ‘ch’ words – change, challenges, choice – need to be packed gently away. I need to make space in my head to be thrilled by possibility, to soak in my own words in these unmarked, starchy-fresh days of the new year.

So, 2012. You brought with you a surprise 27th when a dear friend from the other side of the world walked, jet-lagged and exhausted, into my bedroom and said ‘I’m here for your birthday.’ You brought a move across Germany to Weiden, that tiny town near the Czech border. A new home in Bavaria with a very Significant German. You brought mini and day-trips to Dresden, the Czech Republic, Rothenburg, Regensburg, Munich, Kiel, Münster, Nürnberg and to Küpferzell, where I walked around the village of my Great Great Great Grandfather. Two weeks in Santorini with SG, Mum and Dad.

But you also brought terrific homesickness. Fatigue. A sense of disconnectedness from home. So there were more goodbyes, another move, a temporary one, back to Australia, just two weeks too late to say goodbye to an old, beloved dog. There was a long distance relationship. More settling in. More waiting. A teaching course and qualification. A new job. Teeth pulled, a ten year reunionWeddings of old friends, bridesmaiding, meeting a new baby, hearing news of another one, family birthdays to be present for and to celebrate.

SG made his maiden voyage to Australia and got the context and clarification that so often strengthens a cross-continental relationship. Together we saw Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, the Blue MountainsSydney, Melbourne, the Hunter Valley and Central Coast. Christmas was huge and the last one held in our family home which is currently on the market. 

I kept writing features for Peppermint Magazine, something I am so proud of, and started writing for Daily Life, with one of my articles coming in at number 6 on the 2012 top 20 listWhat I Know About Germans went thoroughly viral, all over German and Swiss mainstream media and national papers and an e-book was born. O&S Publishing launched and with it a series of lessons in e-book creating and publishing. You all kept reading this blog and buoyed me with comments and emails and contact and I was even able to meet a few of you in Germany and Sydney for coffees and lunches I will always treasure.

2012, you were solid. You were exciting and tricky and interesting and full. There was family and love and friends and joy. There were tears and a little heartache. Your successor is already proving to be something of a show-off, although chickens shall not be counted before they hatch. It boasts a birthday and Australia Day in Sydney, a subsequent move back to Germany, a relocation to the northern city of Kiel for 6 months, and with it the prospect of trips to Scandinavia. There are planned jaunts to Istanbul and Italy’s Lake Garda. There’s a second relocation in the same year, back to Bavaria. There are two exciting babies to be met, an impending little Aussie and a teeny little German. There are more words to be written, photos to be taken, projects to be developed, mistakes to be made, crushing disappointments to be wept through, butterflies to be let loose upon nervous tummies.

I don’t really want for much this coming year. Just more family, love, friends, joy, experiences, travel and words. I have learnt the best resolutions to make are the ones that allow for more of something, not less, or require small changes, not enormous ones. But I am excited, excited and aware that the only way to tackle this coming behemoth is one day at a time. And now that I have indulgently reflected – thank you for your patience – ready to face it all.

2013, come on down.





  1. this is lemonade

    4 January, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Yeah! C’mon 2013, we’re ready for ya! (I hear myself saying that in an Aussie accent lol). Thanks for the peaceful, calm contemplation. Lovely recap of the year gone by – here’s wishing you great travels and adventures in the year ahead… the next steps sound exciting! Welcome back to Europe (in advance)! 🙂

    1. this is lemonade

      4 January, 2013 at 3:12 am

      Loving the new look by the way, and your new photo too – very sunny indeed 🙂

    2. Liv

      4 January, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Can’t wait to be back, even though I think leaving home (and Mum!) this time around will be harder than the other times. But new adventures and stories await, I can only chase them down. Happy New Year to you too, you little beauty (said in Australian accent just for you!)

  2. Katja

    4 January, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Congratulations on a full 2012. A little reflection, a little introspection, these are things we should indulge in occasionally. I didn’t make a list of resolutions, rather I focused on a word to help me frame what I know will be a full and rewarding year.

    1. Liv

      4 January, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Excellent idea – a framing word, I like it. I hope your 2013 is everything that word embodies and more.


    4 January, 2013 at 9:04 am

    HEY!!! Liv!! It’s great to see you back on here. I just found the link to your new site. Any plans for going back ot Europe soon ahead? I’m heading back to France in May. Let me know if you’ll be around. Maybe we can do a collab! 🙂 xx

    1. Liv

      4 January, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Dakota, so lovely to hear from you!

      I am actually heading back to Germany in February and plan on jaunting through Europe as much as possible. Would LOVE to meet and discuss a collab. Shall reply to your email soon! x

  4. Amanda

    4 January, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Happy new year, Liv! Thanks for inviting us all along on the journey. I look forward to more of your beautiful writing in 2013.

  5. Jacky Hyams

    10 January, 2013 at 5:16 am

    What a lovely piece, Liv. I predict …increased recognition ahead for your talents in 2013!
    And look forward to more of your blog which never fails to delight. Everything you
    wish for yourself — and a bit more — for the New Year.

    1. Liv

      11 January, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Thank you Jacky, that is a wonderful thing to read. And may 2013 bring you everything you need and be full of books and words!

What do you think?