Sunday 28 February 2021

'Grey skies are just clouds passing over'. Duke Ellington

We were invited on a friend's boat the other night, and while the weather looked dismal, we went anyway. There was a pause in the rain and even with grey skies, it was a wonderful evening. Relaxing, beautiful and luxurious. 

Sometimes you just have to say yes, when all of your brain is saying no.

I don't know if it's age or COVID that has increased an inflexibility, but I'm noticing it's creeping into my thought processes. And I don't like it.

However, if I push through my initial reluctance, I am rewarded with beauty and pleasure. Here's to saying yes more often!

Linking with #EverydayImages (Weather)

Saturday 27 February 2021

Taking Stock - March

Making : Much Merriment as restrictions ease and we have zero cases. Very much a case of making hay while the sun shines and I'm presuming we'll see another lockdown sooner, rather than later...

Admiring: Pretty much no one in Australian Politics. Somehow the people who got elected to high office, and the people who work there are not the calibre of people that should be there. We need to get rid of these people (and I'm not saying switch party, I'm saying replace them for different people).

Becoming: Very disappointed in the Nation's "leaders". We need to demand a lot more of them.

Curious: Why we aren't talking of the booster needed to cover the SA strain (and possibly Brazillian). Other countries that went with Astra Zeneca already have booster plans in motion for later this year.

Delighted: I got to see Jenny Lee at the MCA - I really enjoyed the exhibition. Especially the room where you were fully immersed. To me, because of what I've been reading, I felt like I was walking through the human body, surrounded by cells (this was not the artist's intent, but it is what worked for me!)

Excited: At being allowed to dance. Elated, in fact! 

Going: To the Bingo on Saturday night and can not wait! Fingers crossed under the new restrictions we can dance! Not sure what numbers were booked....

Reading: Just finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Laks (which is about the Hela cells) which is really interesting and entertaining on audio. In print, The Divers Clothes Lie Empty, which I'm really enjoying. Have The Midnight Library lined up next.

Viewing: Dark - which I really like. Once you get past the first episode, which misleadingly has a serial killer vibe, it's awesome. But I need a chart to keep it straight in my mind. Also loved Alice in Borderlands.

Eating: My favourite cake!

Looking: forward to Max Frost's streamed gig on the weekend! 

Linking with #BlueMonday & #RubyTuesdayToo
Wishing: This was over but grateful we have been so lucky!

Enjoying: Strolling galleries while catching up with friends.  

Loving: Being back at shows - had fun at Drummer Queens and Fangirls. Got quite a few more lined up for next month! Would be much happier if the spacing & masks were mandatory though.

Sharing: This fab series of  free streamed gigs out of the UK. First off is a lovely set from Grace Petrie. Worth checking out.

Smelling: To check I don't have COVID. I know, it's nuts. I had a total moment of panic when I couldn't smell the beautiful roses I'd been given. Then I realised it was because I could only smell the fish curry that had taken over the whole house after one of the kids microwaved it for lunch....

Grateful: Gladys came to the party for my party and I got to invite 20 more guests last minute. Even more grateful that those that got the last minute invite said yes and weren't offended...

Listening: To Rag'n'Bone Man

Have a great month, everybody! Remember if you get your vaccination in Oz, you are not covered until the second shot in a few months so everyone needs to mask up and distance for a while longer yet!
Stay safe, have fun and spend, spend, spend locally if you can! 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Friday 19 February 2021

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I will try to keep this space politics free as I've found the landscape this week perplexing and to be honest, quite disturbing. Not just the behaviour in parliament house but the way the nation and media discusses it. 

The new sign at the Marly Bar restored some of my faith in humanity. The inclusion of all is touching and I love the expressed minimum standards that as a country we evidently fail at.

I was also touched when the shop owner at Baxter & Black offered a safe refuge to the community should they feel they need it (offering for them to come in and he would lock the door and call the police) after witnessing a woman be attacked in the street.  His simple offer to the community page made all the difference to me.

As a nation, we need to demand more of our leaders. Or at least demand what I would consider the bare minimum.

As Mardi Gras begins in both Sydney and New Orleans, I thought I'd sign off with these picture taken at the Broadway shops.

It appears some good data is beginning to emerge in the vaccine roll outs, so fingers crossed and stay safe everyone!

Linking with #KCACOLS

Monday 15 February 2021

“One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

 I am going to have to go a little quiet to get three stories written in the next two weeks, but when I read this article, I felt I had to post on the #Lifethisweek's prompt of Explore. In it, Murakami talks of the importance of observation in the creative process and writing. I too have found this. After lockdown, I started going to comedy shows at Giant Dwarf and the comedians would run polls in the audience "Who's still a bit scared going out?", "Are we giving hugs yet? Raise your hands" (All bar one person was mildly horrified at the prospect!) and the most memorable, when the audience was very flat and lounging all over their seats (using the stage as a footrest) "Did you literally use all the f%&*s you had to get here? No F%&*s left?" and we sort of all looked at each other and nodded in agreement, that yes, all our mental capacity had been exhausted just deciding if it was safe to come out and sit in an audience.

We all live in our own mental bubble of what we think is normal. Comedy is a great way to see broader market research of behaviour. As is going to the shops (we see the masks subside and reappear), as is walking the streets and people watching. The important thing is to get out of your routine and into the broader world. 

In lockdown I did an EDx course that had students from all over the world, there were very few Australians. It was really interesting to see what other nations were focused on and how they viewed things (and how much more informed they seemed on everything globally!). We explored ideas from many different viewpoints, most importantly, from outside our own frame of reference.

This importance and the art of observation is probably why so many spies wrote great novels. Graham Greene, Roald Dahl and possibly Ernest Hemingway to name a few. 

The other benefit of observation is that inspiration can come from the most odd places. Sometimes just an glimpse of a person can present a whole character or story. An art work might tickle a tale from the recesses of your mind. An incident grows into something more detailed.

So as part of your writing routine, don't just sit at the computer or put pen to paper. Watch and learn. Literally.

For those doing actual exploring, this was sent to me due to my MANY concerns about our pending trip to Hobart (which I now wish I hadn't booked at all) - it is worth reading, but the chief take away is bring two weeks worth of medication in case you get stuck there. To those travelling, may the borders be ever in your favour!

Linking with #WritersDen

Friday 12 February 2021

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

 I have written before about the healing power of music and dance, but now as we start looking like a lockdown will be heading our way, I will say it all again. It is the easiest and quickest working self care.

On Thursday I woke elated just at the thought of seeing a band and dancing (albeit stuck firmly in our chairs (engage those abs and you can still get quite physical!) and the prospect of buying tickets to Hayden James and attending our first pod festival....will be weird but I'll take what I can get. And the up side is young people won't be able to be mean to us because we'll be cocooned in the safety of our private old lady pod! So there are upsides to everything...

Last night we went to dinner at Flying Fish and their playlist was all my guys - Kygo, Sam Feldt, Hayden James to name a few. I kept saying to my husband "OMG, I love this song too!" excitedly. He at one point replied "It really is like your playlist." It was already a very happy occasion but it was the icing on the cake, like I had some shared camaraderie with a stranger, whoever made those musical choices.

For now we can't get the full benefits of shared musical experiences, but make the most of what you can. Sing in the shower or car, dance while you clean, do whatever you can to lift your spirits. It can make an enormous difference.

What are you listening to now?

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.” – Edward Elgar

Shout out to the Soda Factory for Jukebox Thursdays. Was a great night!

Linking with #MondayMusicMovesMe because the song linked makes me feel like I'm on a summer holiday - somewhere warm and sunny...

Thursday 11 February 2021


 Taking time to smell the roses this Valentine's Day with #NaturesNotes #GardenAffair #Allseasons #FloralFridayFoto

Thursday 4 February 2021

May the borders be ever in your favour!

 I've coined a new blessing for these post Covid times. Having been caught up in the border closure chaos in January, I'm a little gun-shy on venturing out of State (which is stupid but it's where my head is at).

I have a decision to make - we will only get one holiday this year, in April so I need to book soon. Do I risk it and book Tasmania or a Queensland island - or take a big risk and punt on WA or do I just plan something closer to home that we can drive to? Or do I just not bother at all?

It unsettles me a little that I'm overly worrying about this. Remember, I was the person that went to the northern most settlement on the planet because I was 'close' by. I have had a fear of flying for decades (stemming from a bomb scare and emergency landing when I was 12) but it's never been greater than my love of travel so I've sucked it up as a means to an end. Now I'm thinking 'Do I really want to be on a plane with that germy air?" and "Do I really want to sit next to a stranger, not spaced?".

More over, I'm thinking "Can I really be bothered dealing with refunds and credits again?".

A while ago, I said we were all a little changed by this. I am changed a lot. In a way I don't like. I guess it's really time to write that letter to my post-Covid self I talked about.

Not relevant but looks a little like the Mockingjay

So, I have a decision to make. Cast your votes in the comments:

1. Tasmania

2. Northern Territory

3. Heron Island

4. Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula

4. Beach house in NSW


Linking with #BlueMonday and #RubyTuesdayToo just for the photo.


 Short and sweet for #WeekendReflection. If you are in Sydney and haven't checked out the collection at the Chau Chak Wing Museum at Sydney Uni, it's well worth a visit. Free of charge, with some great art and artefacts. Something for everyone.