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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Bluesfest - a lament

We were meant to be at Bluesfest this weekend, and while there's personal disappointment, a bigger loss was made with the death of John Prine with COVID19 complications. It just sort of hit a little closer to home the mess that we're in. And I hope that's as close to home as it gets, given I know a number of doctors on the Covid Teams around the city, as well as teachers who are my age, so at high risk too.

On Bluesfest, I miss being in a crowd. I miss the energy you get from shared live music. I miss the sheer joy of it all. I miss being in that festival bubble.

There is a spotify playlist of the artists that were coming for the 2020 event and this clip from last year really made me smile.

I guess all we can do is start planning for the next one, and go to those events we can, as soon as we can.

Think of those that we have lost forever with this disease, and work hard to keep that number as low as possible.

Stay home and stay safe.

I'll leave it to John Prine for the last words.

Linking with #FotoTunes

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Tromso - Share My Snaps!

Given that I don't have a lot of snaps to share that are of interest at the moment, I'm sharing some of the pictures from our trip to Norway that we were lucky enough to complete without incident (other than with a polar bear).

Open flames light the streets

Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the island of Tromsøya, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle in the newly established county Troms og Finnmark (1st Jan 2020).

There is a cable car lookout which has stunning views across the city. If you walk back, you get a lovely view of the picturesque houses and their hygge window displays.

 Tromso has a mix of very old buildings and wonderful modern ones. It's a beautiful and easily accessible city, though very slippery with hard ice in the streets!

It is a base for the Northern Lights, when in season, though we didn't see them. It is also a good spot to see Orcas, however you now need to travel a few hours (by boat or car) to find them, due to climate change and the herring moving north. The Arctic Fjords are a stunning back drop if you make the excursion by boat.
Look closely and see an Orca.

We were there for the International Film Festival, which alas was sold out when we attempted to attend, but there were screenings in the street as well, and a tipi to warm up in.

Known as the tiniest bar in the Universe
Even in the cold weather, the tiny bar was very popular. 

  Are you thinking of faraway places and wide open spaces?

Linking with #Lifethisweek

Sunday, 5 April 2020

“There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.” ― Leonard Cohen,

There is not a lot going on. We are loving playing Badminton - I can't believe I packed it away for a decade!

I loved dancing away to Hot Dub Time Machine - my kids did not enjoy my dancing at all, nor a lot of the music. (But seriously, check it out from 6 every Saturday night for the next few weeks. We had cocktails and I pretended I was out in a crowd...what do they say? Dance like no one is watching or like you really don't care what they think).

I'm not happy that daylight savings is over. Ordered some glow in the dark shuttlecocks so we can continue playing before dinner even as the light fades.

I'm enjoying my nightly wee dram of Aquavit for medicinal purposes (except on that dreary alcohol free night. You may also recall I'm not a dr and Aquavit is not a known cure or preventative measure against Covid19. Except in my head). And I know the Norwegians don't say dram, feel free to give me the Norwegian version....

Sunrise and sunset still bring me much joy.

Stay safe and let's beat this thing.

Linking with #LovingLifeLinky #MCoW #PictorialTuesday #WordlessWednesday #SundayBest  #ThruMyLens   #BlueMonday for the sky
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Self Care under Covid19

I started writing a self-care post awhile back but a lot of it is rendered obsolete. I want to say up front that I am not a doctor, and any mood depression for more than a day, while understandable, probably needs to be acted on ASAP in these times. Seek professional help where possible. This post is self-care for people who are in a good frame of mind, to keep them there.

It is a fact that smell is one of the senses that brings a sense of wellbeing (it's not a fact, I just made that up but it sounds right so let's go with it). Now is the time, if you can afford it, to spend extra bucks on the shower gel, conditioner and laundry detergent you like. The ones that remind you of a holiday, the one that make you feel pampered, the one that makes you smile when you sniff the dry towel as you take it off the line. These are small moments but they happen throughout the day so you'll get an instant hit of happiness.

Now is also probably the time to invest in fancy soap given you'll wash your hands more times a day than when you had a new born. Also nice smelling hand cream. I managed to get a lavender hand sanitiser and compared to the others, it feels like a luxury (because the smell envelopes me in a sense of wellbeing).

Go through the cupboard and dig out any fancy lotions you were given that never got round to using, or start going through all the hotel bottles you pilfered over the years. The memory trigger of where you got them might be enough to start your day with a smile.

Carve out some time for you. It can be first thing in the morning to write, before everyone gets up. Or a lunch break in the middle of the day where you listen to a lecture. I signed up to a University short course on literature, and you listen and answer questions in a group chat. It's an hour but I felt so elated after the first one. Intellectually engaged, talking about something other than the virus or the impacts. There are plenty of free courses and talks so make use of those.

Work on making yourself feel good. Exercise and healthy eating are a must, as they help your physiology (again, not a doctor & this alone won't cure depression but it will help maintain happy mood levels). May not have used the word physiology correctly.

If you are finding concentrating too hard to read, try audio books when you cook. The escape into another world is a welcome break, and the focus of your thoughts actually works to relieve stress, just like meditation would. It shuts out the noise in your head, which I suspect some days will get loud and heavy for us as time passes.

I am playing music in the shower on my phone (still a navy shower - we can't forget the drought, people!) and I am doing 30 mins of exercise daily with YouTube to music. If there's an exercise I think will hurt my back, I just dance through it. I do it before my shower each morning and the energy burst and happiness of the music is really starting my day right.

Organise Zoom catch ups with groups of friends. It gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day and helps you feel less isolated. Look also at what's on. There's now trivia nights you can sign up to, streamed stand up and a myriad of other things. If you can't go out, still find a way to enjoy what you used to enjoy. Or find something new...

You can't fix the big picture, but little by little you can make it easier and more enjoyable.

Linking with #Lifethisweek and #MLSTL

As stated, now is the time to act quickly if mood is slipping. Don't waste time struggling. Now is not the time to muck around. If you can't afford to talk to a psyche, call a friend or here are some numbers:
Kids Helpline (for anyone under 25) 1800 55 1800 - there's also a webchat.
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Black Dog Institute has Covid19 specific resources on their website
I would recommend talking to your GP ASAP regardless. Most GPs are now doing phone consults for non physical ailments.
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Musings Of A Tired Mummy
3 Little Buttons

Thursday, 26 March 2020


While I haven't been actively hoarding, and thank you people who have now created a normal where I can only get 2 chicken breasts for 6 people at a time, it appears subconsciously, I have. Not toilet paper, not meat, and not tins. Chocolate.

The weird thing is, I'm not a big chocolate eater. I like spearment leaves, Jujy fruits and Ginger Kisses. The chocolate seems to get purchased and then left in the cupboard....I guess for times like this. Who knew a secret chocolate stash would come in handy?

May you discover a supply of what you need in these strange days. Be it love, communication or merely chocolate.

Stay safe everyone.

Also Wayside Chapel is struggling to stay open and keep helping the homeless and those in desperate situations. Please donate if you can.

Linking with #LovingLifeLinky

My Random Musings

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Finding the calm in the storm

On Sunday, as I thought we might sensibly be preparing for full lockdown, I became scared and upset. I felt angry at everything that had been taken from me, and all the fun things my kids were missing out on - the cancelled camp, the last hat parade, the last international food day and the award at assembly. The role of house captain and the responsibilities now redundant. 

I was feeling how insecure everything was, and how the planning and life we set up was and things we enjoyed were now all gone. That security is really just an illusion that we had put too much belief into. Everything was in free fall and beyond our control.

I sat outside in the yard feeling hollow.  I worry about all these people that have literally no income now, in a country with poor safety nets. And I feel sad for my kids that will miss out on their fun. 

Then it occurred to me that this was exactly what happened to the Syrians. Living normal lives, planning their school dance, a new career, their next day's work and overnight, it's all ripped away and life as they know it has changed. Or the Bosnians, the Croatians, the Cambodians, the Vietnamese and a million other places. It's not that it's the whole world changing forever, it's just that it's the first time it's happened to us. A Croatian friend I discussed this with concurred. 'All of our lives were so badly disrupted by a war we had 25 years ago that I honestly think people here in Croatia are in the group of “the least panicked” nations — you can even hear it between people in the grocery store "“This is nothing compared to scarcity of food and hygienic items during war.” was disrupted ALL THE TIME. And when we would go to school, at least one hour was spent in the shelter due to air strike sirens...This isn’t to say I’m minimizing what’s happening now — it’s affecting our lives too, mine, my family’s, but this is still so FAR from the fear, anxiety, and devastation that war brings....Even my mom came home the other day and said: I refuse to lose my shit due to coronavirus— I still remember very well living through a war with two small children and husband in military and this is not that type of crisis.'

My understanding is that Russians my age have lost everything twice. All their money worthless overnight & it’s changed their thinking and behaviour and they just spend everything, as they've learnt there's not a lot of point in saving for later, as later can change everything. 

I heard an interview with an Aussie stuck in a hotel in Lebanon when the last flare up happened (can’t remember the exact details but he was doing daily reports on the radio) and he said that in the hotel, all the Australians were freaking out (& crying) and all the Lebanese had just jumped back in time 10 years, sitting relaxed at breakfast and were saying things like ‘that’s a R27*, you don’t need to worry about those ones’ or looking at them as if they were being ridiculous and creating a scene by crying as the bombs went off. 

In Australia, we been really lucky to not have experienced that on shore since WWII. It felt like the world was changing forever with this virus. But now I realise it's just that it's the first time we've experienced anything like it. Yes the world is changing, and some things may never come back, but it is probably just an interlude, and we will adjust, maybe alter our thinking a bit, but some sort of normal returns. 

It cheered me up and I've been okay since. I'm sure I will yo-yo on it, but for now it's all out of my hands and I just have to go with what is recommended (frankly go higher than the Australian recommendations - look at WHO and the countries that are getting it under control). If you have the economic security to help others, please do.

Please don't think I'm trying to minimise anyone's distress. This is just what helped me get my head around it. I also think it is okay to complain about the little things, to work them out of your system. We only understand what we are losing for now. I suspect that will change the more out of control this gets. Robb Webb has this bit where he says it’s like you go to the doctor with a broken arm and the guy next to you has a broken arm and two broken legs, and yes, he’s in more pain than you and needs more work done but the doctor still sees you and says ‘you have this broken arm and it’s causing you pain, so let’s talk about that’. So that’s our pain. And it’s okay to deal with that...(so don’t let anyone dismiss whatever you’re upset about).

Needs to be noted that I am not a doctor (*and I also know nothing about missiles so I just made the R27 up, because I can't remember what he said exactly). I am also taking my time frame for Ticketek who started selling tickets to a concert in late July. That seems as good a date as any, so I'm going with them for 'expected medical outcomes'.

Please note: Lentil as Anything is running takeaway so please donate food and containers if you can so they can continue to feed the poor. For more details  or Donate Here

Linking with #MLSTL  #KCACOLS #AnythingGoes and #Inspirememonday
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Ironically titled Out and About

Pink Clouds

In a rather poorly timed post prompt, and as I've spent the week more or less at home (when not at Supermarkets and walking the dog), I've little of interest to offer on the #Lifethisweek's theme of Out and About.

However, yesterday my husband needed something dropped at his office - I drove instead of getting the train like I normally would and parked at the empty Barangaroo point park, then walked through the greenery to get to his office.

I need to maybe try to find an empty outdoor space closer to home as it was a good mood enhancer...

 Have you been staying sane in these isolating days?

Linking with #WordlessWednesday #OurWorldTuesday #PictorialTuesday #MCoW #SayCheese #WWOAT #WWOT  #ThruMyLens #Lifethisweek and #SundayBest