A new personal blog series from Jessica Taylor Yates. Explores the highs and lows of the conversations you have at brunch.
Hi there, and thanks for visiting! I'm Jess, a writer and one of the co-founders of this website. You can find out more about me and Large Almond Latte here.
So, after a tumultuous few years, I've looked to do something a little different with this particular article, and the subsequent series related to it.
Large Almond Latte Media (LAL) is fun, light, and full of entertainment - fashion, TV, lifestyle, celebs (“Shoes. Laser therapy, Dressing for your body type. Use your imagination. The sky is the limit!")
But when I thought about it, our tagline has always been 'the conversations you have at brunch.' And while a lot of the time, these are full of fun, light-hearted bants over avo toast and poached eggs for $28 - they also include everything that is going on with you and your friends - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, after a push from some friends, in this series, I've decided to quote unquote "blog" about the unfolding of life events, just like you would with a friend you're catching up with for brunch (I mean... a friend who monologues and doesn't let you get a word in, as it is my blog).
For those interested (or for my own, lone, catharsis that is cheaper than therapy), this series will read as a catch up on the big events that led to certain pathways in the last few years, including the creation of LAL; career stop-starts; births, deaths and marriages; and what has led me down the most unusual path to a wedding streamed live on Facebook, a face-cake package, a blue hair debacle, and a Spanish-speaking stranger who may or may not be having my child.
If you would like to continue to get updates as they are posted (so, when I can be bothered), please feel free to subscribe. If not, the fun bants will still be here on LAL, as will the regular newsletter and wherever you get your LAL fix!
Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)
No, not my conception or childhood. That's too far back, with the main highlights being themed birthday parties, loving lactose when it don't love you back, and the stop-starting of numerous courses and degrees in areas such as hula hooping, or a scriptwriting class full of people who caught up for drinks every week without me.
So let's skip ahead.
After a few years of ups and downs - my mum going through cancer and a subsequent liver transplant, a bout of pretty severe depression, changing jobs and weight fluctuations, in the summer of 2020, things were looking good.
It was the year of things happening. I was engaged to my boyfriend of five years with the wedding imminent; I had gone from being a '3' on the dog scale to falling madly and wholeheartedly in love with my own dog and animals in general; I had recently landed a job I actually liked after leaving one that was insanely toxic; we were headed on a Hawaiian honeymoon like I had dreamed of since I was young (it didn't really matter who the Ken was, I just knew it was MY honeymoon) and we then had plans to try for a baby later that year. Life was happening.
But then... you know... 2020:
Obviously, this was a shitstorm for everyone, and we were lucky in lots of ways - no one close to us died, got violently ill or hospitalised, lost their homes or livelihoods, and we're in Australia, with access to free healthcare and vaccinations. Things, even now, could have been a lot, lot worse, and I'm always thankful.
But now that that's out of the way, I want to whinge.
The wedding got cancelled!
Everything happened very quickly. My first memory was a Friday, when it was announced on the news that Australia was... closed?
Now, in 2023, when we remember that the suburb five kilometres away was 'closed', we don't bat an eye. But at the time, it felt like a dystopian nightmare just four weeks out from our big fat Jewish wedding.
I remember balling my eyes out on the phone to mum, knowing some of my closest friends and relatives from overseas would no longer be able to come, including members of our bridal party.
That night, we had our wedding rehearsal, filled with practise dances, speeches, laughs, tips for outfits and a run of the day's schedule.
By the Monday, the wedding was cancelled completely.
At the time, I honestly couldn't believe what was happening. I was in total shock at the entire situation - borders closed, Grand Prix cancelled, Comedy Festival cancelled.
At work, they told us to register if we were going overseas. It felt very controlled and 1984-esque (I'm not a QAnon conspiracy theorist, I'm vaxxed, stay with me). It just was so... insane. The next day, we were told to pack our laptops and work from home. We all laughed, and said see you in a few weeks.
I never went back.
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