Friday 27 August 2021



I got my youngest a much sought after Pfizer booking, only to have it cancelled 10 hours later. I am furious with the man who has put us into such a shambles.

So as I watch the numbers go up and the hospitals shut down, all I can do is breathe.

Linking with #WordlessWednesday  #TheRandom #SundayBest   #InspireMeMonday #WeekendReflection and #WeekendinBlackandWhite #FriendshipFriday

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Sydney - The Royal Botanic Gardens.

My 5km ends just metres before the Gardens start. I am very sad to have lost access to this beautiful part of Sydney.

I miss the city.
So much.

Not just the shows and activities.

The city itself.

As I roamed around the gardens that last afternoon, I was flooded with memories. My wedding was there. My sister-in-law's anniversary party was there. I used to take the children to follow the path of Alexander's Outing as toddlers. We went to the outdoors Wind in the Willows a few times. All the visits for VIVID.

High tea in the Calyx and visiting all those lovely flower installations with friends.

Fun lunches with friends in Botanic House and even an Alice in Wonderland party. 

I am lucky to love where I live. 

I just wish I could make the most of it.

Stay home, get vaxxed and let's get some of the fun back!

Linking with #SharonsSouvenirs #OurWorldTuesday

Strange yet beautiful Flowers

While in the Botanic Gardens, before my 10 kms shrunk to 5km, I came across these colourful flowers.

To borrow from Hannah Gadsby's Graduation speech at the University of Tasmania, it's the 'diversity of diversity' that we should celebrate. 

If we actually seeking it out when planting gardens, why don't we do it with people?

Embrace all the colours of the rainbow in nature.

Human nature too.

Linking with  #GardenAffair

Friday 20 August 2021


This is a truly glorious sunrise but when the B&W filter is on, it's subdued. This is what lockdown is. We can still do a lot of the important things in life but they're subdued.

Emotionally we are carrying a weight that seems to hold us back from normal exhuberence.

I guess we have to remember we are viewing the world through a dull filter at the moment, and hold tight to our memories of the original image and the promise that it will return.

Stay safe and stay home everyone. We need to get back to the fun stuff!

Linking with 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Thursday 19 August 2021

Covid in Pictures - Sadness and Hope

Linking with#BlueMonday


It fills me with sadness seeing the normally bustling bars and restaurants closed. 

Last night, the news that the iconic Golden Century has going into Administration. Hopefully like Din Tai Fung, it can manage it's way out of this hard time. (I know where our takeaway is coming from this weekend - I think XOPP is still doing takeaway - will amend once I know for sure - I couldn't get them on the phone so maybe not?)

The dining precincts are ghost towns and the streets are devoid of people.
Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo

The normally crowded White Rabbit Gallery was eerily bare as was Spice Alley.

However there is some humour and cheerfulness. The local toy shop has this display, and the streets are full of bears and funny takes on what is happening....

I really hope we get on top of this soon. I was looking for a quote on the impact of empty streets but this one sort of seemed applicable so signing off with a less inspiring quote this week.

“Newly infected people continued swarming the streets at a rapid pace and infecting anyone in their path.”
― Jason Medina, The Manhattanville Incident: An Undead Novel

As if we could forget.

Linking with #WednesdayWithoutWords & #WeekendCoffeeShare as I'm really getting sad and fed up with lockdown and Covid. We had all that time, why didn't we prepare more?

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Echidna and Cassowaries

With our exercise radius shrinking, I tore off to The Botanic Gardens for one last circuit with a view.

I was delighted by the echidna that had replaced the koala. Something new in this stagnate, small world.

The whimsy of it gave rise to a joyful feeling that eclipsed the feeling of yet another loss, as the gardens fall in the 5-6 kms radius from my house.

The cassowaries remain unchanged, though this time were dappled in sunlight.

It's funny how the smallest things can lift your mood. As I've discussed before 'Little things are not tiny matters. ― Hrishikesh Agnihotri

"The little things are the big things. It’s a fundamental shift in...experiencing your world with joy.” ― Richie Norton

Linking with #KeithsRamblings  #NaturesNotes  #Fridaybliss #DND #FloralFriday and #GardenAffair

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Saturday 14 August 2021

Share Four Somethings - August

As I missed linking up last month because I'm an idiot, I'm going early and being prepared! 

Something Loved: My city. With the news that our 10 kms was closing down to 5kms, I raced out to the Botanic Gardens* for one last crowd free harbour stroll (and a desperate bid to try my luck at seeing the seal on the Opera House steps but that was disappointingly closed off). I charged around a meandering 8kms in an hour, so definitely endorphin boosting exercise while taking in the stunning views and being flooded with memories of all the fun things I'd squeezed in this year - sunset drinks at the Botanic Gardens bar, sunset dance lesson on the Opera House forecourt,  Hayden James in the Domain, the Opera on the Harbour plus all the many shows I went to in the Opera House. I miss it all so much.

Something Read (or Said): I am struggling a bit with our book club book - The Miles Franklin winner, The Labyrinth. It's not the book's fault, my concentration is shot when it comes to reading. I am listening to audio books with ease though. Midway through Crusoe's Daughter (which I'm enjoying but not loving as much as I did the Old Filth trilogy). I just listened to You know you want this by Roupenian (of the Cat person fame) which was interesting but quite hard at time (hard in the sense of harsh themes or tone) and Adolfo Kaminsky A Forger's Life which I really enjoyed. It starts more or less with World War II and continues on to present day. Great biography.

Something Treasured: 
A short story of mine got a Story Box Award which really lifted my spirits as I didn't make the Grieve Anthology this year (I knew I wouldn't because I just didn't have an idea for a story and I couldn't get the one I submitted to really work). I celebrated with the prize money by buying another tasty treat from 3 Ronin. Variation on the Lychee Martini and thoroughly delicious! I treasure the pat on the back that makes me want to write another story, at a time when my creativity is flagging....

Something Ahead : For us, there's nothing further ahead than planning the Friday night dinner party (a fancy dinner box delivered, to mark the start of the weekend when every day is more or less the same). So I leave you with the new song by Grace Petrie which pretty much sums up the lockdown vibes. I find it quite fortifying when I get down about all that we've lost in the last two years and all that seems so far off from regaining safely.

"So best foot first, and hold on fast

Do your worst - this too will pass"

(Note the new album and merch are available here)

*Both the Botanic Gardens and Walsh Bay are in the 6km radius. My 5km ends at the start of the Domain and Barangaroo Reserve, so wasn't being wildly irresponsible - just making the most of what was allowed yesterday but not allowed tomorrow.


Thursday 12 August 2021


 I'll just begin with I get nothing out of the companies I'm about to plug and I paid for everything - they are just things I thought were good so am spreading the word...

During lockdown, there has been a bit of online shopping done here, a lot of which is to do with the first few are specifically for Sydneysiders. I need to apologise as I've discovered I apparently only take photos of cocktails, not the actual food. Will try to do better in future...

1 Fat Noodle - this dinner box is $70 for two and we ate the first few courses for dinner one night and had the main and dessert for dinner the next. The course before the main was a rich seafood laksa so I can't guarantee this every time, but it's a generous and tasty offering by Luke Nguyen. You might want to throw in a couple of Coconut Martini's because they were delicious!

2. Long Chim's Curry Night - Again a lot of courses for the price, great for two. Otherwise, add some extra dishes for feed the family. Pick up only, so make sure it's in your 10 kms (or 5km/LGA depending on the rules). You park in the laneway and they pop it in your car. Thursdays to Saturdays only and they sell out due to timed pick up. We did it last Friday and doing it with the new menu this Friday as it was a real crowd pleaser.

3. Tea Cosy - They are delivering all over Sydney again (check your suburbs day) and the special flavours change all the time. We got Butterscotch scones with butterscotch cream this week as a special treat, after I saw another blogger's Insta pic of them!
Clearly, I'm not a food stylist.

4. Din Tai Fung - Fill up your freezer with frozen goodies. $50 off orders of $200 or $20 off orders of $100. We have been getting $200 a fortnight, and that does one banquet dinner, one normal dinner and one lunch of soups or noodles for 5 of us. Easy and a real crowd pleaser in this house.

5. Shout out to the Oxford Tavern who has been offering free feeds to Hospo workers who have lost their jobs since this whole thing began last year. Order lunch, dinner or drinks. They're canning some interesting cocktails now too. They also have a Vegan smokehouse platter every Thursday.

6. Lotus has 20% off, so as long as you can pick up at one of their restaurants then you can have a lovely meal at a discount, including drinks. I picked up from Madame Shanghai and could park right next to it. Very Covid safe set up on the terrace. The 20% applied to cocktails that made them great value.

7. Holy Duck - They currently have $1 dumplings (in little bags of 6) so you can bulk up a meal with them without blowing the budget (or in our case, get them for the vegetarians when we have the other dishes.)

In other shopping news:

1. Zero Co is now branching into Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion and Deodorant. So more ways to reduce the plastic consumption in your life are on the way. (See previous post on Zero and other recycling options here).

2. This is an expensive luxury, but it is a mood lifter for me in the shower each morning. I got it online here, I'm not sure if it is sold elsewhere. The smell is strong and uplifting (and I think for me triggers memories of faraway places I've been lucky enough to visit.

3. TwoGood Sanitiser - both the gel and the alcohol rub are great. Two Good also works on a buy one, gift one model. So your purchase also sends one to a woman in need in a shelter. They also have great lunches in a jar. Well know chefs help design the ever changing menu.

4. Seeds and potting mix.  I'm not much of a gardener, but I found some old pots and decided to fill them. I am getting great joy watching the seeds sprout - as our Premier would say 'the green shoots'. It's a small thing, and with no purpose other than to bring me a little joy.

5. I've been buying these little books to try out authors. They are $2.50-$7, depending on where you buy them. They are also handy if you need to bulk up an order to get free postage. I have also been posting them to friends as a lockdown surprise,. as they posts as a more expensive letter. See titles here and then buy from your favourite bookseller. Penguin Black Classics, Faber Stories and Penguin Modern Classics.  

6. This is reverse shopping. I am trying to use up all my half used toiletries and keep coming across a pile of unused hotel soaps/ They are sealed in their original packaging, so I put them on the fence and they are always gone by the end of the day.  (Always sanitise before putting stuff out and picking it up).

I actually thought I'd have more in the general shopping, but apparently I'm not buying much otherwise. I'm just spending a small fortune of food once a week....


What have been your lockdown discoveries?

Linking with #MakroTex on a plate.