Saturday 31 July 2021

Share Four Somethings - July

We spent the month in lockdown, and I'm guessing because of those protestors adding to the spread, another month has been slapped on us. I have heard disturbing stories out of hospitals but basic maths on the numbers of people requiring ventilators as the numbers grow makes it abundantly clear we will be at capacity quite soon (and I'm talking weeks not months). So stop being jerks, stay home, get tested and let's get out of this. And please don't send our unvaccinated 17 year olds back to school. That seems is dangerous and irresponsible.

Note the photos are just a random collection taken on dog walks from around the neighbourhood,...

Something Loved: I got a ticket to Tomorrowland and have been working my way through the sets. My favourite DJ's were a little lack lustre but then I stumbled across Claptone. His blistering set was cheery and uplifting. I've listened to it four times already. It was the perfect pick me up for lockdown. Full set is here, or this song is a glimpse of his style. he is also generously doing livestreams almost daily. My morning so a perfect kickstart to these dull days.

Something Read (or Said): I just read Careful, He Might Hear You for bookclub. At a glance it was very unappealing to me but it is a brilliant book. The writing is fabulous and it's charming and sweet and funny. I devoured it as it delighted me. Perfect for lockdown and set all over Sydney, back in the 30's. Bonus is it's a Text Classic so quite cheap too.

Something Treasured:  My eldest's partner was at work and the three kids were eating lunch on the deck in the sun. I was folding washing on the drying rack next to them, listening to them laugh and joke, teasing their sister (about her information about watermelon farmers in Japan and the price of them - long story). It was jumbled and chaotic but jovial and silly. It felt like before - like long lost time that we can barely remember. It made my heart sing.

Something Ahead:
Next weekend I was meant to go to a talk On Creativity at the Opera House with Pasi Sahlberg. The Opera House has kindly offered to forge ahead online, so I am looking forward to that. Also another round of Furious Fiction is due (sign up here for anyone who likes a quick, free creative challenge). Some of you may recall how much it lifted my spirits last month, so give it a go if you haven't already.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Thursday 29 July 2021

Riddle Me This (again)...

It's been 6 years since I last did a Riddle me this post, so the only way to avoid a depressing rant about all the questions the Federal Government's lack of Pfizer ordering was to go 'old school'. So feel free to enlighten me if you know the answer to any or all of the questions.

1. Why do some things make you laugh hysterically but other people don't find amusing at all? And vice versa? (Assuming they aren't offensive in anyway, just the pure humour side)

2. How was Dusty Hill (of ZZ Top) only 72 when he died? I thought they were in their 50's in the 1980's.

3. How does music have such an instantaneous uplifting effect?

4. Why does sunshine feel (and smell on line dried washing) so good?

5. Where will all the disposable masks go?

6. Why do we refer to female politicians by their first name but male politicians by their surname? I am part of the problem here but I am working on it.

7. How can some writers even think of the beautiful phrasing and imagery for the most inconsequential scenes in their books?

8. How will it be safe to send 180 predominately unvaccinated 17 year olds from many different postcodes (in some schools, over 100!)  without creating super spreader events. Especially if they have to travel through the 8 LGAs on public transport (and I mean that only in a statistical increased risk of catching and spreading to other students, but could equally be a random case of bad luck too. Malta announced yesterday that almost HALF their COIVD patients in hospital had no symptoms. They were in hospital for other reasons and picked up in the routine testing. That is a country with 80% of the population vaccinated so the likelihood of attending school and being positive but asymptomatic is high).

9. Is there anywhere to recycle little glass bottles with eye droppers? And why does eyedropper sound wrong (but I googled and it is what they're officially called.)

10. Seriously, how did we get the vaccines so wrong?

Linking with 
div align="center">My Random Musings

Struggling to find my groove

I rocked last lockdown. We had, all in all, a blast considering we are a household of people that like to be out. This time, however, it's an effort. The highs and lows are amplified and the lows feel more consistent, thought I'm not 100% sure that is actually true. It just feels that way.

I am working hard to find things to buoy the mood. I'm making sure I exercise to lift my spirits.

I would love that feeling of hope I felt at the end of the last lockdown.

Thankful for the Olympics (sorry for Japan but it does give us something other than the shambles here to talk about).

I am excited War of the Worlds and Godfather of Harlem are back early August. 

I am grateful my 10Km radius includes all the best restaurants.

I am happy so far that our dip in turnover hasn't caused any major issues yet.

And so we keep pedalling on, for it is only if you stop that the bicycle falls over.

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” – Jewish Proverb

Linking with 

My Random Musings

Wednesday 28 July 2021

“A rainbow a day keeps the blues away!” ― Anonymous

One of my favourite houses in Sydney is this one. During the Marriage Equality waste of money and damaging redneck campaign by a government that refused to do their job and just legislate equality, they painted a large YES! above the window.

Given the tiles I am guessing it was once a butcher, perhaps? Though those are usually white and blue tiles so who knows?

I liked the reflections had painted the windows this time so it was almost a full coloured profile. I've put what was reflected in the lower window up too, not that it's anything charming - just for your curiosity.

Boo hiss to the tagger. 

Linking with #KeithsRamblings #WordlessWednesday 


“Let the beauty of sunrise keep your heart warm.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

Woke to a stunning sunrise yesterday. It really delighted half of Sydney as my Instagram feed was flooded with photos of it.

It has occurred to me that I will need to go hunting in the garden or dig out some old photos as another four weeks (at least, let's face it, we aren't really doing this right at all - best not to think about that) will bore all of you as much as me with just the view out my window, no matter how pretty.

The light was so bright it even reflected on the wall! 

Stay safe everyone and if in Sydney, stay home. Get tested and get vaxxed if you can. 

 Welcome to the #Allseasons link up.

1. All Seasons is open from Sunday through Wednesday 5pm, Sydney Time. 
2. Please link one  'seasonal' post a week. 
3. Make sure you link back to this  #AllSeasons post.
4. Please comment on the post before yours. Don't dump and run.

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Thursday 22 July 2021

“She chose the rose colored glasses not because she was na├»ve, but because she knew the power of positive focus.” ― Christina Sutra


No denying I'm working hard on polishing off the rose-coloured glasses this lockdown. However, there is beauty out my window some days, and fun and laughter to be had, so I guess that is something to be thankful for.

Make the most of your weekend, especially if you're lucky enough not to be in lockdown.

Linking with #SkyWatch #HappyTuesday 

Welcome to the #Allseasons link up.
1. All Seasons is open from Sunday through Wednesday 5pm, Sydney Time. 
2. Please link one  'seasonal' post a week. 
3. Make sure you link back to this  #AllSeasons post.
4. Please comment on the post before yours. Don't dump and run.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Nowhere to go

I saw this while dropping off some forms to the real estate agent. It sums up the Sydney lockdown vibe.

We have all hit lockdown fatigue. There was a good webinar out of Sydney Uni on it (focusing on young people and children), and the transcript will be up soon. It's worth checking out. I am apparently young too, because I recognised me in there a few times.

I am now mourning even that half life I was complaining about.

So get your vax, stay home and let's get back to the crappy old socially distanced, restricted numbers normal we had before.

If possible, buy takeaways (delivered) from your locals to keep them afloat.

My theme song for now. 

Linking with #WordlessWednesday #KeithsRamblings #PicturePerfectlinky #WWOT #WWOAT #TheRandom  #SundayBest

(PS I'm ok, I've discovered Claptone who is elevating my spirits but that's for another post....)

Monday 19 July 2021

Writing and Resilience

It's a tough one. There is inevitably a lot of rejection with writing. But just as writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised to strengthen, you also need to work on how you deal with rejection. You have to get so used to rejection that you form a callus. Take heed, work out what you're doing wrong, improve but don't give up. 

I have a couple of friends who wrote books and at one point or other both decided their books weren't any good. One is deciding to give up sending it out, just because it's been rejected a few times.  I am trying to push him along, make him realise that one or two rejections is nothing. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected 33 times, and he threw it in the bin. His wife dug it out and insisted he persisted and we know how the story ends.

I enter a lot of short story competitions. That is the easiest way to learn to be unfazed by rejection. You don't have to put in a year's labour, and you get relatively quick feedback. A few pats on the back make a huge difference, but when rejected, you learn and grow.

In Age against the machine, a podcast I mentioned last week,  Marcia Hines talks about what causes Imposter Syndrome. "Somewhere along the way someone told you you'te not worthy, and you believed it". She concludes, 'You should never believe it'. 

I learnt from Art Spiegelman in Maus, 'Why not me?' Look at the logical statistical outcomes and then set out to do everything necessary to make it happen.

I am in two book clubs and read a broad range of books. Not all of them are good. Not even the best sellers. So don't think you have to be good to get published. You need a hook, you need a market, you need appeal. Listen to feedback and criticism and work with it. Get it out there, in front of as many eyes as possible. 

See it more as a challenge or a game than the rejection of your baby, and you.

And write a few quick shorts to get your confidence back before returning to the big labour of love.

How do you deal with inevitable rejection as a writer?

Linking with #WritersDen and #FriendshipFriday

Friday 16 July 2021

Age against the machine

 Melissa Doyle has made a podcast for Audible called Age Against the Machine on the many issues women face or feel as they age, and how to embrace ageing positively. It's worth a listen, though for me I was probably more ahead in my comfort level to gain much from it (all those times of being told how old I am at Festivals has weirdly boosted my confidence to just throw myself into things without worrying what people think, evidently). However I found it interesting all the same, so recommend it.

It gets different perspectives on ageing from around the world, on appearance, power, confidence and relevance. Our normal is not necessarily normal. Or maybe there are some warnings of where we don't want to follow.

The big takeaway for me came from a woman called Joan Nestle, an activist and author, among other things. She says "If history comes knocking at your door....Open it." As this country seems to be widening the inequity and inflicting so much suffering on the population, perhaps as we age we need to start carry the load for others. We need to demand change, not just for our own interests, but for what is ethically wrong. She finishes with "Don't be afraid to stand alone....Don't be burdened by the yoke of respectability and all that means...If you see there is a real need to step into an unsafe place, to make yourself marginalised because of a larger issue, do it...Knowing even if it was just once, you stood up and said "I can't accept this..." Perhaps the real thing we need to embrace as we age, is our responsibility to make this country, and the world, a better place for the generations to come. We have failed at that, however maybe this will be where we benefit most in purpose and drive once our children have left home and we settle into retirement?

As an aside, I have a very successful friend in a high powered job who is taking a dramatic pay cut to work for a non profit. Another friend has moved from a prestige workplace to do the same. It manifests in different ways but the drive to do something with meaning, over something that makes money, brings purpose and fulfilment in later life. 

I think of that meme 'Never pick a fight with a woman over 40. They're full of rage and sick of everyone's shit.' There is a nugget of truth in that, so perhaps we need to harness that rage to change the paradigm (a fancy word for other people's shit)?

This is not a podcast specifically on menopause but it does frame the headspace in a more positive lens for embracing it.

As always, it starts with you, it starts today.

Linking with 

esmesalon senior salon pitstop

Tuesday 13 July 2021



We missed our annual trip to the Hunter Valley for Snowtime for the second year in a row. I am sad my youngest will have  probably outgrown it by the time next year rolls round.

As facebook does, it reminded me with a flood of photos of what we were missing from years gone past. One of my rituals in the Hunter is to get up early and take photos of the kangaroos at sunrise. 

Sharing these pictures, because like the roos, I seem to be a creature of habit and the fact that these photos appeared over a span of two years on the same day, it appears I follow a very strict routine.

I really loved this ripped male, though was completely intimidated and zoomed in with the lens, rather than approached.

Welcome to the #Allseasons link up.
1. All Seasons is open from Sunday through Wednesday 5pm, Sydney Time. 
2. Please link one  'seasonal' post a week. 
3. Make sure you link back to this  #AllSeasons post.
4. Please comment on the post before yours. Don't dump and run.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday 12 July 2021

Lockdown in pictures

 I found my camera reel changed during lockdown last time, and it's already happening with this lockdown. 

Did you find your surrounds change rapidly when thrown into lockdown?

Stay safe, everyone.  If possible, support local. Mask on, chin up!

Linking with  #FriendshipFriday

Thursday 8 July 2021



Late 2019, I was lucky enough to get to China. In Beijing, we stopped at the Panda House, more because I felt we 'should' while we were there, I thought we'd tear in and out and move onto something more interesting. What I failed to realise was how delightful these animals are. 

Playful and agile when not eating, we watched mesmerised, having to be hustled along by our guide who knew how many more Pandas there were to see. The black rings are that, rings, that circle their body and they prefer solitude unless mating. 

The Chengdu Panda Reserve has a panda cam for anyone keen to watch them in action from afar.

This guy was on the streets of the bar and restaurant precinct in town.




This is just the side entrance into a hotel in Xian, China but the light reflected acts like a filter on the image.

A reminder that sometimes what we see is enhanced by the beauty we see in it.

Short and sweet for #WeekendReflection #WWOT #WordlessWednesday #Random #WonderfulWednesday

Be warmed by the fire within

I've been in s low mood this lockdown but when I sat down to write my Furious Fiction story on the weekend, that rapidly changed.

The story I wrote was silly and playful. It amused me while I tapped it out, and after I submitted it, I spent the rest of the day in a joyful mood.

The spark it ignited in my brain warmed me for the rest of the day.

It is not a winning story, I knowingly submitted it anyway but it fulfilled it's purpose. It gave me the buzz I needed. 

In writing, that is winning. 

 Linking with #HappyTuesday #WeekendCoffeeShare #Inspirememonday #SundayBest and #WritersDen

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Extension Blues - self care

Even though I knew it was coming (and it had only been two weeks), the extension of lockdown hit my mood hard. I am finding this lockdown so much harder than the last, and it's only just beginning. Chatting to a doctor friend,  she said all her friends were the same, and their teens were all really lethargic and waking up late morning...

So the announcement of another week, online school and extended dullness (with pending tighter restrictions when we are 'released') just threw me down in the dumps.

I had tickets to Hot Dub, Tim Minchin and Miss Peony, all  rescheduled from 2020 and now all postponed further (some of them are now on their fourth date!). I can no longer go to Minchin as it clashes with another event. I had a party, champagne club and a night out dancing at Soda factory all nixed. Plus the school holiday adventures in Bowral and the Hunter. My youngest, having missed Snowtime in the Hunter Valley Gardens two years running will probably have outgrown it by next year. So I am feeling the clock ticking on these stagnated years. Missed opportunities that will never come back. The sand is passing through the hour glass but we are not doing anything with it, just watching it go by as a spectator, not a participant in life.

However, I understand this thinking is not helpful to anyone, least of all the kids, and as I steer the emotional ship so to speak, I could not dwell in the negative. So after sitting in my sorrow for a bit, I got to work in lifting my mood.

I ordered way too much Din Tai Fung to be delivered next week as a treat. (They have a special that you get $20 off orders of $100 or $50 off $200 for frozen items). I discovered the ping pong table at Everleigh and we will head there today with paddles and balls for something to do. There are no people around so all good.

Our dart board arrived and I set it up outside so we could play in the fresh air. I played with two of the kids individually, so we had some one on one time in the sun. That has been harder to manage this time for some reason, so it really felt like I'd achieved something, and that made me feel good.

I did some dance cardio routines - and blood & oxygen pumping  hard through the heart will lift your mood, add to that the hilarity of not being co-ordinated enough to keep up with the 'double time', and it made me laugh as well.

I purchased access to Tomorrowland - the festival online for another year, so next week I'll have a lot of happy, upbeat music to listen to as I go about my day. (Timmy Trumpet's set was so hectic last year and I played it about four times in it's entirety. Even just watching the opening minute of the clip below brings a grin to my face, the endorphins are Pavlovianly entrenched now.


I organised to host bookclub online, so I see some friends.

I read my book in the bath for an hour.

These things are small but effective. While realistically, the extended lockdown isn't a big deal, it's important not to let those sinking feelings take hold.

How are you all coping?

What are your tips for shaking off the blues?

Linking with #Lifethisweek and #WeekendCoffeeShare