Wednesday 9 December 2020

My year in review - 2020

Linking this old post with #H20Thursday because I really like some of the pics - ignore the words, pictures only

This is a year best forgotten. While I sincerely hope it is done and dusted,  and 2021 brings joys and peace we can barely remember, it hasn't been all bad. There's been plenty of fun and accomplishments along the way.

January saw the end of the fires, we travelled through Norway chasing the Northern Lights and being chased by a polar bear. I managed to catch the fabulous Lizzo and Max Frost and bring in the New Year at my last Festival, Field Day (feels an eternity ago) for Disclosure.

February we had tourist fun with friends visiting from Greece, many plays and concerts, including one of my all time favs, Parov Stelar. 

March saw COVID and hoarding creep into our lives, and then suddenly lockdown was upon us. I am so glad I snuck in Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama and Grace Petrie in the first two weeks. Then it was a lot of cancellations and confusion.

April and May fluctuated with new fun at home, getting lost in music and memories, and a deep sadness at the pain of the world and the death of great musicians and artists, and numbers....lots of numbers.

June we were out again but a little stressed and unsure how to behave. What was safe? What were the rules?
July we got more confident, found comedy gigs and some live music. Little by little a sort of normal creeping back. We even managed a night in the Southern Highlands!
August saw some success with stories being published and moving through to later rounds of writing competitions (and long listed in Furious Fiction) plus a weekend in Culburra with the Champagne Club.
September and October raced along with weekends in Canberra, Culburra, Currawong and Whale Beach. And all of life resuming tentatively in person.

November saw me back at the Opera House and I've been there many times since.

I am wrapping up December with this post so I can fully enjoy the parties (yes! Outdoors, and under 50, with COVID safe food and hand towels), the school farewells and the Christmas traditions.

I wish you all a merry Christmas, or holiday break, and may 2021 be the miracle year we all need it to be. I've been out every night this week and feel elated and energised. Next week is focused on the kids and their things, so it's like my xmas season came early. 

I will be gone until Feb as I have much writing to focus on. My Insta will continue as usual.

You may have noticed the 'snaps' aren't related to the words (the links in the text will lead you to those photos) but I did enjoy taking these, and I don't think they'd made the blog yet.



Reposting for #HappyTuesday because it's a beauty, if I don't say so myself. I was at the doctor and taken by the cheeky smile from the guy watching me from the corner...

Stay safe and here's to a much improved 2021 for us all! (EDIT Well didn't I get that wrong!!)

A Christmas Story

This is the last #XmasLinky for the year, as I'll be off until Feb as of Wednesday.

Stay safe, both on the roads and in the air, don't forget to wash your hands regularly and all the other COVID jazz.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and here's to a better 2021 for us all!

A little Christmas tale I wrote many years ago - 100 words exactly:

She knew Santa looked at who was naughty or nice and gave gifts accordingly. She'd been good all year, not a cross word, always helpful and kind. Yet the Christmas tree was still bare, not a single gift at the base. The stocking hung by the chimney with care was also empty. Disappointment and confusion would reign yet again on Christmas morning.

He could think of a present for every single child on the face of the earth but didn't ever remember to leave something for her. Mrs Claus looked at her exhausted husband and wondered if he'd ever change. 

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo

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Sunday 6 December 2020

“Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have.” ― A.A. Milne

 I have had an emotionally stressful week. After let’s face it, an exhaustingly stressful and confusing year. Last night I went to my Mah Jong group Xmas party - these women I have known for 12 years (one of them much longer as they’re technically her friends). Within half an hour the stress and sadness was washed away and it felt festive and ‘normal’ (that long forgotten life we used to have). I am so grateful to have people in my life that can elevate me without even knowing they need to try.

My Random Musings



We are so lucky to have got our community transmission down to zero. We all slowly breathe a sigh of relief. Masks disappear though we still madly sanitise and check in everywhere....I am relieved my tickets to STC still require spacing (though that has now changed for any new tickets - bit mistake in my opinion) and I've fingers crossed my Pippin tickets will be isolated by chance. I'm not ready to sit crammed in with strangers. Crammed in with anyone really.

As we have seen, however, it's only a matter of time if we don't take care. How we still haven't sorted out International Quarantine is beyond me. And as for when we stop hotel quarantine, that will be a HUGE mistake. 

I look at countries in Europe who got it under control and are now facing lockdown again. I hope we learn from them, but I don't think our powers are even paying attention, which worries me.

So for now, I am making the most of it - theatre, concerts, possibly even DANCING this week! A xmas party with up to 50 friends outside (need the weather to hold for me!!) and all the other end of year festivities. I am 'on the clock' as I like to say, regarding making the most of eased restrictions. I still wear a mask and have sanitiser with me at all times.

I'm trying not to hug people (though I'm finding I have to recoil as they approach me, which is causing all sorts of embarrassment).

I am happy, and feeling very lucky. I did give a number of family their Xmas presents on the weekend 'to put under the tree', partly to avoid getting stuck with it in case we go into lockdown. So while I am revelling and congratulating Australia at our good fortune, I know the minute we open the internal borders, we risk our contact tracers becoming too slow to contain spread (due to too many people moving around, not their competence. They get 'over run' too). 

We still need to do our part. Don't assume it's over. Over the next few weeks we need to keep vigilant and as Clint Eastwood said "You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" And for now, the answer is thankfully YES!

Linking with #Lifethisweek

Crazy pink sky the other night. 

Wednesday 2 December 2020

More Gift Ideas for the hard to buy for...(the ISO selection) #XmasLinky

It's been a strange year. For some, they're still keeping a low profile. Here's some out of the ordinary gift ideas for them!

1. Bottle Rocket is doing 2 drinks and a movie for $35 (each cocktail comes with a complimentary pass to rent a film on Movie Night, their curated streaming platform featuring the best new releases, cult gems and classics)  the perfect way to make the holiday season special (delivery costs apply). As an aside, they are also showing a Christmas season at the Golden Age Cinema for those needing some help getting into the spirit this year.

2. Give them a night off - you will need to take the surprise out of this by sorting out delivery, but The Grounds have great meals, desserts and sides so you don't have to lift a finger to feed up to 6.

3. Dinner ladies can go in the freezer, so give a few nights off  kitchen duties!

4. If they're in the war against waste, and really have anything, save them some bucks and hook them into Zero Co - a fantastic way to reduce plastic consumption with great cleaning products to boot!

5. Give an Audible subscription - 1 month, 3 months or a year. You can even just give a title!

6. Two Good has some luxe items, and for everyone you buy, a second one is donated to a woman in a shelter. A double win in giving!

Don't give clutter this Christmas, give something a little different!

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Tuesday 1 December 2020


 On Sunday, I spent the day at Antidote - at three talks from midday until 9pm at night. We had a leisurely lunch at Botanic House and I saw 5 different friends across the course of the day. It was fabulous to spend so much time at the Opera House and Botanic Gardens, while also learning and thinking a little.

It was the perfect antidote to many of the COVID blues.


What did you love this week?

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Gifts for the hard to buy for - #XmasLinky

I will say upfront that none of these are sponsored and these are what I am actually giving people so if you are one of my friends in real life, maybe stop reading now.


From the makers of 1st World Problems, a brilliant game on Australian politics. You can play as simply a card game and attempt to win the election but for older players, reading about the political shenanigans is hilarious. For overseas players, it is 100% all true* - you won't believe it! Buy here $40 - bonus is you'll have a mirth inducing game for lockdown should that happen again!

*Could be my faulty memory playing tricks on me...but it all seems vaguely familar

2. Mr Consistent Margarita Mix

Bar quality margarita without the effort. You need to add the tequila and pour over ice if you can't be bothered doing the shaker thing. Buy here $30 + postage. 

3. Pocket Change Collective

These little books are great essays written by activists to get people of all ages thinking. Prices vary but you should be able to get them from your bookseller from between $13-$15, depending on sales.

4. Native Jingles Chocolate

The chocolate is a taste of Australia that also gives back to Indigenous communities. While shopping online, look at the lovely balms and lotions too....$12.99.

5. Grace Petrie Pin

The wonderful singer Grace Petrie has some great merch at Bandcamp. The Pin is very cheap but there's also tees and cups...but in UK so get on it quickly.

6. Uplift Fair Trade

These bracelets are $15 and simply gorgeous. They come in a range of colours. The other cute little gift are the wooden Snowmen - Small for $5.50, Medium for $10  or large for $13

Hopefully there's a few ideas there to get you started!

Add your Xmas themed posts below for #XmasLinky

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Click here to enter

Navigating Baby

Nature's Spotlight

 I don't know if our air pollution is right down due to COVID, but last night the moon was spotlighting the Opera House in a way I've never seen before.

Our moon is glorious in so many ways.

It can usually make me smile.

Linking with #TravelTuesday (Was looking for something else and stumbled across this shot of the Sydney Opera House)

It feels good to be back....

Those of you who follow my Insta will know I used to spend a lot of time at the Opera House. I did, until February 13th, my last visit there before the world changed completely.

Until last night.

I went back for an hour long show. Spaced and in a mask.

I was elated.

I went early for my usual treat, a negroni at Portside (followers of Insta will recognise that as my usual photo op with the Harbour Bridge as the backdrop) but alas as they're only open for dinner, I had to settle for a cocktail at Opera Kitchen instead (if I have to make do, that's still a good way to 'settle').

I have tickets to some talks there on the weekend.

It's not exactly the same. It's a little strange but it feels so good to be back. And it feels good to be looking forward to going back again.

What are you loving this week?

Linking with #MCoW #TravelTuesday #WednesdayAroundTheWorld #WordlessWednesday #WWOT #OurWolrdTuesday #ThruMyLens #WonderfulWednesday and #SundayBest

Friday 20 November 2020



Like the sun rising higher in the sky, dappling a path of gold towards me,
I am watching the country slowly turn a little faster.
The streets are busier, the people are appearing,
but still tentative in numbers.
May the end of 2020 see a confidence and enthusiasm just on the horizon, 
ready to burst forth in full colour.

Thursday 19 November 2020

Taking Stock - November

 What a year this has been. Started off escaping the smoke and fires, being chased by a polar bear (for real), and then watching the whole world grind to a halt from my bedroom window...or at least the backyard. Now we're out and 'ramping up' tentatively but suspecting poor decisions by the Govt will mess this up for us soon. Fingers crossed we don't head back to lockdown because we opened up all the internal borders or ditched the hotel quarantine for incoming travellers...

After that cheery introduction, I'll take stock for the last time in this weird year that I hope to put behind me. 

Drinking :
Finally the end of the Negroni season, treating myself to Mr Consistent Margaritas and the humble Gin & Tonics....

Reading: Still on Symphony for the city of the dead which I'm loving, and listening to 30 Rock and Philosophy on Audible. Hoping to give Ken Follett a try soon - but they're all so long....aaaaaah!

Wanting: Life to go back to normal (or better than normal) and this virus to be something we forget about.

Looking: forward to some nice dinners out with good friends in the lead up to the party-less 'festive seasons'.

Wasting: Time. Very unfocused at the moment.

Enjoying: The Queen's Gambit. Also just started Fleabag - yes, I'm a million years behind everyone.

Wearing: Fab sneakers with pretty much everything.

Waiting: On some short story responses. Got 4 out there...

Loving: Playing the World Cup of Painters. Currently the Russians look set to meet France in the finals...

Needing: Very little, truth be told. 

Wondering: Why I took so long to get back for lunch and a swim at my favourite place in Sydney?

Smelling: Gardenias. Like a drug. Stopping and sniffing every time I walk the dog.

Feeling: Up and down - crazy highs and then blah. Not sad, not depressed just a little gloomy that this stuff will continue forever and people will suffer.

Listening: To this song and singing along because it makes me happy (even though lyrically it's a total that's weird). Note some swears so NSFW and the word masturbate - not sure if that also is a NSFW or just biology so okay? Hmmm.

Opening: Lots of parcels for Christmas gifts for others.

Eating: This gold gingerbread toffee pudding from David Jones.

Wishing: You all a safe and hopefully COVID permissible holiday season.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday