Friday, 17 September 2021

Share Four Somethings - September

This month seems to have flown. We have a few more restrictions eased - we are allowed picnics with 5 freinds, if fully vaxxed.

This is a fb memory that popped up from an exhibition in Singapore. Seems relevant to what I'm about to write.

Something Loved: My eldest is moving out. It is defintely time. She has unfortunately had two of her University years online. Even though her partner has lived with us for those years in lockdown, she has lost much of her life - her band gigs, the parties, the nights out and all the other fun of being a youthful adult. This next step is at least moving forward in a time of stagnation. I am so grateful they chose somewhere very close to home, so I know I can be there if she needs me. I'm so happy for her, but very sad for us. It will be a little hole in our family. Our 6 will now be merely 4 around the dinner table. It will be very strange indeed. I am having fun buying her little bits and pieces for the kitchen and bathroom etc. Trying not to overstep but I want to make it a stressfree and lovely experience for her. It's been a pretty sad two years for the 16-25 year olds. They've lost so much of the best part of life. I love my little family and I will mourn the beginning of the end of it, but I guess that's what love is - while I'm so sad for us left behind, I can only be happy and excited for her. 

I had planned to share a song about leaving home or moving out but when you listen to the lyrics, they are all so negative (think the Beatles, Carole Bayer Sager and even De Hofnar's Moving On...) so going with this one for the freedom she is gaining, even in lockdown.

Something Read (or Said): I can not recommend the Anthony Horowitz 'Hawthorne' series enough! They are delightful. The books are funny and clever in execution, as well as all the comfort of a familliar detective story. I've devoured them one straight after another. They've been the perfect antidote to these dreary lockdown days. 

Something Treasured: I mentioned my Storybox award last month. Here is the Story box flash fiction on the theme of Community. You can follow Storybox on Insta or other socials
I also got some good feedback on my historical fiction short for the NYC Midnight competition, coming 4th in my group. However I've not done so well with my second attempt, a thriller. I am hoping others struggled as I might still go through if I can somehow manage 6th, lower than that and I suspect I miss the cut. I signed up to the 250 word comp in October so either way, I've something to look forward to. These pats on the back are really helping with my flagging inspiration and creativity. They are something to be treasured in these endless, shut away days.

Cafe Paci Potato and Molasses Bread is still the absolute bomb! #Somethingloved

Get #PicnicReady with #NipofCourage

Something Ahead: Picnics. Walks with friends. Outdoor restaurant plans. The whole household will be fully vaxxed soon so I can breathe a little easier. Not entirely, as we need to remember the vaccines only protect you from catching and spreading it by 40-50% (much high rates of minimising severe illness). However, even mild cases can cause long term issues, so risks still need to be assessed. I've already worked out a restaurant plan, and am waiting for the email to say they are taking bookings! Keen to book weekends away, if not even a week or two somewhere. This varies from Tasmania, Overseas, up the coast or a hotel in Sydney depending on how disasterous I feel the 'openning up' is going to be.  To be honest, I don't think it really matters. I'm getting a little spark of energy to be able to start making plans. It doesn't matter how big or small. It's the thinking about planning that seems to be doing the trick!

That  wraps it up for another month. Stay safe to all of you in lockdown and to borrow from someone on Twitter, I'm vaxxed, relaxed and ready for snacks!

  Linking with #sharefoursomethings and
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


There's a stillness in lockdown that invades the house. I'll look at a room and suddenly feel like the world has stopped and I'm frozen in time.

It's a fleeting feeling as there's still so much to do each day. Just nothing different or interesting. The revolution of time has changed and I now don't think beyond the next few days, as rules will change again or even may change back.

However, when the sun is out, I am happy. So that's all we can ask for at the moment.

Here's to a warm and sunny weekend!

Linking with #WeekendinB&W

Thursday, 16 September 2021

You are not just one color, you are a rainbow.” - Mridula Singh

Denyse put up a list of Rainbow words in her taking stock and I'm stealin as I thought they'd be a good framework for a post. For those that remember this obsession of mine from years ago, I've started chasing rainbows's obviously a comfort behaviour.

GRATITUDE: I am grateful that I can run my own day as the 'stuff' to do seems to be taking up more time than it should so 'work hours' seems to be very haphazard and starting later than they should (but extending later and onto the weekend).

LOVE: My kids. One is about to move out and I'm so excited for her, and glad her life is moving forward in this very stagnant time of COVID and lockdowns. I will miss her terribly, especially as she won't be allowed to visit for quite sometime I suspect but she's a close walk away so I will have to restrain myself from pestering her for a 'picnic'.

HEALTH: Could be better, could be worse. Trying to up the exercise more regularly as I seem to ahve days of 17km walks and other days of 4!  Also trying to go back to some different workouts to get other muscles strengthened.

CONNECTION:I had a mini picnic with two friends - a super quick lunch break on a work day to avoid the crowds. It was so lovely to see people in person. I've been quite the physical recluse in lockdown.

APPRECIATION:  What the teachers are doing. I listened to the Webinar on the staggered return to school. While it sounds like DoE is doing all it can, I feel perhaps they are trying to make an directive as safe a s possible, rather than deem it an ideal situation. While I could see they are crossing all the t's, it didn't fill me with confidence and I will be very concerned about my kids safety when they return to school. 

CARE: I have a few male friends who have opened up about how difficult they are finding things. I'm not sure if they were always so open and I wasn't really listening, or if we just have had more time for connection. Either way, I think it's a good thing, probably for both of us, to discuss active self careand remember we are all being buffeted around by this storm but there are plenty of life boats around us should we tip up.

MEMORIES: Been thinking about travel a lot. Our last trip to Svalbard in particular as the polar bear incident made the State of the Polar bear Report 2020 (p23). We've been asking the kids if they remember certain aspects of places or holidays we've had at dinner. I've beenlooking at old travel photos on the blog. I miss Singapore and those luxurious F1 weekends. I miss seeing history and art in cities. I miss tropical sunsets. But I guess this should also fall under gratitude as I remind myself how lucky I am to have done all those things in the first place. (For those of you that missed the polar bear attack story, here it is).  

Linking with #WeekendReflection (Obscured self portrait of an artist)

Linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare #TrafficJamWeekend and #FriendshipFriday

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away. Phyllis McGinley

I don't know who Phyllus McGinley is but I saw the title quote and it made me laugh. This lockdown, I have taken to planting seeds. Not gardening mind you, just planting seeds and watching them grow. I am taking great delight in what sprouts. Even though I clearly planted carrots in the wrong container, confirmed when the carrot started growing OUT of the ground, begging to be harvested. We ate it, tiny as it was.

My greatest joy has been watching this flower grow from scratch - in a pot I made no less. 

It's planting without purpose. I don't care what comes of it. I just like to see what happens.

It's a quiet little few minues a day in the sunshine watering plants.

That in turn seems to nourish me in these house bound days.

Have you taken up new hobbies in lockdown?

Linking with #GardenAffair #FloralFridayFoto #FridayBliss #DND
There's some more blooms to come!

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Today's excitement - new blooms!

Friday, 10 September 2021

A postive outlook

 We are inching closer back to our old lives. Inching. We must be patient. I am grateful that my kids are all of an age where they can get some protection, though the youngest is still in a queue. I am extremely grateful they will all be fully vaxxed before returning to school.

I am glad I have a number of doctor friends to get opinions on safe behaviour.

I am happy we can soon see some freinds next weel. I am also glad the kids can't at this point. It allows us to minimise risk still.

Like in the picture, I can see tinges of colour begining to brighten my outlook.

May your week bring you eased restrictions and a safe return to people you love.

The negative Outlook is here.

Linkign with #WWOAT #WonderfulWednesday #WordlessWednesday #WordlessWednesday (NatashaMusings)

A negative outlook

 As mentioned before, the world view is subdued. As of Monday, we've been offered picnics of 5. I'm not sure how wise or safe that is. I am secretly glad the older 2 kids are still awaiting their second doses so the risks are minimised as they can't go.

I have organised a work day quick lunch/coffee picnic with two friends. It means it will only be for 30-40 mins, though Im not sure that minimises any risk. Its more that there will be less people in the park at that time. Hopefully.

I have doctors at three different hospitals living around me and the news is not good. I don't know if this is making me more cautious, or if I just have no faith in the goverment's roadmap.

Or maybe it's just that my youngest is still waiting on her first dose so until that happens, she's very high risk.

Lastly, a reminder to all that the vaccines only protect you from catching it by about 50% (according to Dr Swan) and even mild Covid can have long term reduction in life expectancy. So best not to catch it.

Take care everyone.....

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Taking Stock - September

Linking with #WeekendReflection

Making :A mess cooking Din Tai Fung for dinner. Not sure how I use so many posts and pans! Two loads in the dishwasher!!  But still an easy dinner and a family favourtie. My eldest announced yesterday "I love this lockdown tradition". We have Din Tai Fung Wednesdays  and once a  fortnight have a Chinese feast! We are making the most of their discount in lockdown.

Watching: Post Mortem on Netflix. Can't recommend it enough. Just adored it. So funny and weirdly enchanting.

Drinking : When my harbour walk got moved to Pyrmont because of the 5kms, I discovered the Goodsline Bar and the Peachy Passion which is a little holiday in your mouth. Seriously refreshing and takes me away to far away island beaches in my mind. Bonus you can return the bottles for recycling.  

Bookmark made by Denyse!

Reading: Just finished the free Kate Grenville on Audible, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great look at Australia, Sydney in particular, through history. Before that, I listened to 100 Days by Alice Pung. 
I enjoyed that too, especially for the familliarity of the time period and I thought she nailed the distorted view of the teenager when looking at the actions of her mother and other people in her life.
In paperformat, because my concentration is shot, I've returned to junk crime - a fun easy read by Staunton Hitchcock called Bluff. Seems to be doing the trick and I'm reading properly again (instead of taking almost 8 weeks to read one very short book 3 or 4 pages at a time.

Wanting: COVID to be cured or just go away.

Looking: Tired apparently, everyone on zoom keeps asking me if I'm alright....

Playing: Zoomed with some friends to play Geochaser - it was weirdly fun. How to travel when you can't leave the house.

Wasting: Away (in the house, not in weight...)

Sewing: No

Wanting: Us to be safely out of lockdown and this stupid virus gone.

Enjoying: The street flowers of Spring and walks by the water. 

Celebrating: Got my youngest booked in for a shot. Will be happier when all the kids are fully vaxxed.

Waiting: For youngest to get their vax, and the other two to get their second doses. Finally booked in. Fingers crossed to less fiasco this time.

Thinking: Way too much about how to get the kids vaxxed.

Listening: This cheery number.

Wondering: What I'm meant to do about the parcel I ordered in June that is sitting in Germany waiting for a plane or ship to bring it over here. Anyone got any clues? And how long do I wait before I assume it's actually just 'lost'?

Hoping: The Norman Swan tote bag I ordered for a friend (as her prize for organising two really great trivia nights in lockdown which she didn't get to participate in as quiz master) arrives soon as I'm desperate to give it to her, for her reaction!

Anthony Horowitz. I'm listening to The Sentence is Death (the second book in the series, that started with The Word is Murder) in which HE is a character. It's hilarious and he is so clever and wickedly playful. His line in this one about how he would certainly never make himself a character in his book, let alone the side kick made me laugh out loud and fall a tiny bit more in love with him.  I'm beginning to think I'm that lady that finds intelligence sexy. I have no idea what Horowitz looks like. Mind you, he had me with the Tim Diamond series when I read those to the kids over a decade ago. I used to laugh when reading it to them and was admonished "Mum, stop laughing, you're ruining it!"

A lot of insights in this month's free Quarterly Essay on Audible. For me the rise of 'barracking' for political parties rather than policy discussion really hit home. It explains so much that I didn't understand - how people my age don't seem to know what they're actually voting for anymore. Why they vote for the 'guy' not the party.

Smelling: I got some essential oils on sale ($6 each) so adding a few drops to the laundry - the smell of the sun dried, oil infused clothes is very uplifting.

Wearing: Sun dried, essential oil infused clothes.

Following: All the travellers in Europe. Loving the pictures. Bands at festivals too. Fingers crossed for us.

Noticing: The kilos creeeping back. Slower than last lockdown but really just don't care enough at the moment.

Knowing:  This too shall pass.

Feeling: Very lucky with my 5kms both for walks and restaurants.

Wishing: #Lifethisweek a very happy 5th birthday. I want to thank Denyse for bringing us all together each week and building a solid communtiy of bloggers. I have enjoyed trying to follow the 206 prompts that Denyse has given us. It is always an enjoyable challlenge and a good way to exercise imagination and creativity. Many thanks for all your effort and congratulations on being the longest running Australian link up still in existence. That is an achievement in itself and very much appreciated.

Linking with #Lifethisweek on this very special milestone and  #HappyTuesday #WeekendCoffeeShare  #TrafficJamWeekend   #TheRandom #FriendshipFriday #ClaireJustine
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Random Musings