In which our intrepid hero explains what he’s been doing for the last three-and-some months.

Despite dire warnings here, I’m still in Sydney. Thanks to various financial issues—not the least of which was the most bizarre and oft-delayed probate process I’ve ever encountered—my apparently ill-founded dreams of owning a bakery café in Tasmania foundered and sank.

On the upside, however, Mim K/W and I greatly expanded our cookbook collection during the research process, so I guess I’m everyone’s go-to guy for Swiss cuisine now. On the downside, I’ve become a cheese Nazi, and pulled out most of my remaining hair trying to explain to supermarket employees that the stuff they blithely call Swiss cheese is actually Emmenthal.

Rather than move interstate, then, we’ve nested, finally obtaining adequate shelving for the overflowing DVD collection, rearranging the lounge room, making the kitchen usable, and swapping the office out to our old bedroom, and our bedroom to the guest room. The new office is mostly a mess of books and unpainted miniatures, it seems, and once I get a chance to sort through it, then I might finally get to finish reading that Saigō Takamori biography.

I’m also inching my way through my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay collection, in the eventual hope that I might run a game. I’m only halfway through Forges of Nuln, but I believe it should win some sort of award for inconsistent use of the German language. Its immediate predecessor—Spires of Altdorf—on the other hand, has a 36-page background section that, despite its brevity, still manages to be one of the best primers on fantasy cities that I’ve ever read.

I’m also muddling through The World Without Us, a speculative piece on how quickly the world might return to virgin territory should humanity just disappear one day. It’s not a bad read, although I strongly advise against reading the cover blurbs, which range from Time Magazine’s unhelpful “Grandly entertaining” to the Toronto Globe and Mail’s nonsensical and yet mildly sociopathic “This book is the very DNA of hope”.

Possibly the most important change of the past few months is, however, the four-furry-footed invasion of our previously tranquil home. Having mostly exhausted our wanderlust, Mim K/W and I finally went down to the pet store to buy two cats; of course, we left with four. Holly, Timmy, Chloë and Jewel now share our bed, and our food, and pretty much anything that looks like it might be fun to steal and chew to within an inch of its life.

Somehow, though, we got talked into fostering cats from death row until they can be rehomed. So, we ended up with Benson and Jaffa and Nicky, who’ve since gone to new homes. At this stage, five more clutter up the spare room—Tiger, Tommy, Sooty Jr, Misty and Tabitha Jane—although two of those might be going in the next week.

I share a house with nine cats. I’m a walking toxo reservoir. Kill me now.