Thursday 28 July 2022

Taking Stock - July

Left the green dot to highlight the weird green reflected light on the bridge.

  A bird feeder. After seeing all these fabulous photos in the linkies of birds feeding at a feeder, I've decided to get one. I doubt I'll get those delicate humming birds but I might get some colourful ones...Mind you, my bee hotel is useless so I might also get nothing. 

Reading: Just started Lessons in Chemistry. Friends raved about it and then someone picked it for bookclub so I was pleased for the chance to read it.'s sort of 'feminist lite' - a bit lecture-y in a romance novel (fluffy but pretending not to be). It's ok. But, may just not be my sort of thing and I'm guessing my bookclub will love it (they always hate my picks) so don't let me put you off. I am only 7 chapters in, so not even a quarter of the way....this opinion may change.

Sipping: Negronis and loving them!

Eating: Truffles - breaking my cholesterol diet at Noi in Petersham.

Thinking: It would be good if we could stop embarrassing ourselves. The carry on over the Manly rainbow jumper and pride round is just mortifying, when you consider it will make the world papers. All I keep thinking of is when Robin Williams made a joke that Australians were just British rednecks and everyone got upset, but seriously, this sort of thing makes it ring true. When will we grow up? We don't even seem to realise how embarrassing our behaviour is anymore. It's really quite mortifying. For the record, just consider how there are no gay footballers (one gay soccer player in the world), but there are a lot of gay retired footballers (or other sports) then that is why they need the rainbow rounds. Not to mention all the scared little kids feeling like the world will hate them if they come out. How nice to have someone stand up for you, saying they will defend you and even welcome you. Shame on us.

Linking with #AwwMondays

Remembering: 'The old days' Vettel just announced his retirement and it's really hit me. I was never a Vettel fan, so to speak, but I did always like him, even when everyone was booing him (I was a Kimi fan but now in the wilderness waiting for my new driver to come along). I have no idea why it's made me so sad. Maybe ageing is not you changing, but you losing your feeling of connection to everything around you - even in sport? (Someone else mentioned Patrese this week and I had that 'OMG, I forgot about him' moment. There seems to be more of those moments...)

Laughing: at my baby making friends (I just re-read that, I mean my beloved pup, not my baby-making friends....)

Looking: At art this weekend - finally off to Melbourne for the Picasso and Tate exhibitions, and a few more, I suspect. 24 hours with no responsibilities except looking after myself. I can't tell you how much I need this! 

Listening: R3hab and Andy Grammer keep popping up in my Spotify, so it makes sense they should pop up together. This song is lovely, musically and lyrically.  

Less than I should be but hopefully time will free up soon. Am walking to the restaurant tonight to up my steps....

Wishing: COVID will go away - the news just seems to be getting worse on the complications. 1 in 20 now having ongoing health issues from it. 

Wanting: My kid's passport. I am still chasing it 19 weeks after submitting it and 6 weeks after ringing and emailing weekly. They keep promising to  call me or email me or do something but nothing happens. When did our agencies become so hopeless?  Applied for it 22nd March. Been chasing it weekly since 15th June. No one will help.

Buying: Rainbow dumplings from Din Tai Fung....just for the colours and the crab!

Watching: Lazerus Project. I'm really enjoying it - it's very clever. And for silly fun, Only Murders in the Building and Loot - corny but very enjoyable.

Hoping: We get to Japan next year (passports pending!!) for my husband to run the marathon and get the Abbott Star (for running the World Majors).

Wearing: My furry jacket from Uniqlo. I never want to take it off, but I have to wash it so I've just ordered two more in different colours so I really can 'live in it'. On sale for $29.90 so perfect!

Following: Hair budda. I have no idea why. I don't do my hair in any style other than a ponytail, I don't go to a colourist or even a hairdresser very often since lockdown....but this is mesmerising for me. I think it's his accent to be honest. I don't know. (You need to watch the reels). 

Feeling: Excited! I got my ticket to Harbourlife so will be seeing Claptone (and J.Worra) so am stoked!! I'm not entirely sure if half his appeal is that I discovered him in lockdown and so have very cheery, mood boosting associations with his music, or if it's because I performed in a Commedia Dell'arte show at University....(His Masquerade is very much my sort of thing!)

What's going on in your world this month?

Linking with #MondayMusicMovesMe for the Andy Grammar song....on being thankful.

(Note, just had to cancel Melbourne for the second time. 2022 is really destroying me.)

Tuesday 26 July 2022

“The real world is where the monsters are.” ― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief


A few years ago, after seeing some old bones, I came up with this idea, and as I tend to, told everyone I came across...and they all laughed. But low and behold, it was not as foolish as it seemed! I guess the moral is, even if the world is laughing at you (kindly), it doesn't mean you're wrong. Maybe sometimes you're just ahead of the learning curve. However, I still haven't done anything about the children's book though, so maybe I better get on with it!  (It has since been argued that while it is possible, it's back to the foolish corner for me).

I will be in Melbourne this weekend, on my covid postponed flyby art adventure. Check the insta and I apologise in advance for missing in the comments for awhile. Ditto re lack of promoting the post, so feel free to share it on your socials...(Melbourne got postponed again - fingers crossed I get there at the end of this month!)

This is a bit of unseasonal photos, or no season...but it's now so I guess it's a July vibe.

Linking with #PictorialTuesday #WednesdayAroundtheWorld #WordlessWednesday #MCOW #WWOT #ThruMyLens #PicturePerfectLinky

Linking with #WeekendReflection

Monday 25 July 2022

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

I had a fabulous time at Sofi Tukker - it was a kooky, wholesome show. I was smiling the whole time. Even better, I caught up with a friend I hadn't seen for years, since well before Covid lockdowns began. So it was lovely to spend some time with her too, and hear her news. 

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo

Booked kiddo's birthday party so hoping that manages to go ahead Covid free. However, feeling virtuous that I'm organised so grateful for that, and that some of the online-ordered presents have arrived, as the last two years she's missed out on celebrations due to lockdowns. So I'm feeling good I've at least done my bit to make that happen for her. 

Lastly, I got myself not one but two bunches of flowers over the course of the week and the smell in the kitchen is glorious. I can't help but smile while unstacking the dishwasher....

Working on sharpening my vision to see the beauty in the little things. As it's what we see every day that makes our every day enjoyable.

What's the one small thing that made you happy this week?

Linking with #YourMoment #PictorialPotpourri (the sky and wattle - I hope they fall under photography?) #KeithsRamblings #WWOAT  #WordlessWednesday #PicturePerfectLinky #ZeigeUnsDinnenHimmel  #Skywatch because the pic left is pretty magical#InspireMeMonday (inspring gratitude) #HappyTuesday and #FridayBliss

Linking with #FloralFridayFoto

Rules and origin here.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Share Four Somethings July

Something Loved: I've been having my own mini Splendor without the rain, with three of the sideshows this week. Duke Dumont, Joy Crookes, and on Sunday, Sofi Tukker. It's been fun to get out with different people for a night out with music and dancing. Why this feels different from just going to three concerts, I don't know. It's like I'm not missing out or getting something extra. Which I guess just means I'm bringing something to the perception and experience. Philip Pullman said “You won't understand anything about imagination until you realise that it's not about making things up, it's about perception.” I'm enjoying this imaginary aspect that's making my week feel more fun.

I've been wanting to see Sofi Tukker for about 6 years or more but every time they come, I have a clash so I am super excited to finally get there, COVID dodging permitting. Fingers crossed. And this is NSFW as there's swearing and nudity - nothing extreme but not at work).

Something Gleaned: My daughter's school is constantly having gold coin donation days for charities. They get to wear mufti if they donate a coin. As I dug out these rare beasts since Covid moved us more to tapping for everything, I discovered Australia has a Donation Dollar for just this purpose. Did people know this? I found it quite hilarious (I did have to check it was a real coin, but it is!) I found out that it was launched in September 2020 on International Charity Day with the idea of being donated every time you get it (it can be spent, of course, but it is meant to remind us to give to others.) Given it took me 2 years to learn any of this, I'm not sure how successful it is. I did do what they wanted and donate it to whatever cause my daughter was supporting that day. The theory is, that if the coin is donated once a month before returning into circulation again, each coin will raise $360 in its lifetime. The Mint's press release is here. The initial run was 4.5 million but they plan to mint one for every single Australian. There is even a website for it here.

Something Braved or Saved: I really enjoyed this and found it very eye-opening and thought-provoking. I adore all the Jon Ronson books, and couldn't believe You've been Publicly Shamed would be considered controversial. That's so bananas. I have also ordered the Dick Gregory book discussed in the series. (Interestingly I found one part of that Ronson book quite motivational!). As an aside, I really hope he's coming for FODI. I had tickets to him back in 2020 but that got canceled with lockdown.

Something Achieved: Today my husband finishes his 7 day ISO and comes home. It's been a long and difficult week, no doubt much longer and mentally & emotionally harder for him. He was lucky not to have it severely but he was sick for 6 or so days. Our first brush with the disease, so thankfully that's over. I'm sure it will return soon, given we have a kid at school and two others with jobs and further study (Uni and TAFE).

What do you want to share this month?

Linking with #KeithsRamblings #ItsYourMoment #WeekendCoffeeShare #ShareFourSomethings #TrafficJamWeekend  #TheRandom and #InspireMeMonday (to try and make a certain coin or not inspire you to donate)

My Random Musings

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Sydney Tower - #Allseasons in an hour

We went into town for lunch before a show, and within 60 minutes, I took all these photos. 

That seems to sum up Sydney's weather at the moment. Ir's rainy then sunny, then freezing, then warm.

But compared to the floods, fires, and constant downpours, I guess I shouldn't complain.

Linking with #BlueMonday

Linking with #WeekendReflection

By celebrating what's right with the world, we find the energy to fix what's wrong. Dewitt Jones

Having dodged Covid with a family of 5, and a household of 6 for two and a half years, my husband finally ran out of luck. He went diving and texted me from the taxi from the airport that he had a fever and aches. We were lucky enough that he had a place to isolate elsewhere so there was no risk of the kids catching it - though now school is back I have every expectation that it will walk in the door very soon.

I am grateful that he was not too sick (thought sick for about 5 days!) and fingers crossed for no long-term health issues - a friend's family of 5 all have long-term issues from it - including exacerbated tinnitus and one of the kids now has an eye gland issue. I also have a friend whose colleague lost her vision in one eye. So as my friend said  - don't listen to the people who say it's just the flu, it's nasty! 

I am really happy that my husband coming home tonight, as he's effectively been away for two weeks now. Which is a long time apart for us. Though he did get to dive with minke whales so it hasn't been all bad for him....

I am also very excited to see Joy Crookes as one of my Splendor side shows.... 

The rabbit was something I walked past most delivery runs to my husband in the city. It really delighted me. 

Linking with #NaturesNotes #SaturdaysCritters #PicturePerfectLinky #PictorialPotpourri #WWOT #FridayBliss 

RachelSwirl loopyloulaura



What's the  #OneSmallThing that made you happy this week? Feel free to let me know in the comments or add a post to the linky. Let's shine a light on the positive things out there.

#OneSmallThing link up rules.

The link up is only open for 40 hours. From Thursday morning until sometime Friday evening.

Please link one post only on what you are thankful for, one small thing that made you happy (or I will accept something you are excited about).

I will delete posts off topic.

Please comment on the post before yours and the host. I will delete people that dump and run. Also please use the hashtag #OneSmallThing.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday 14 July 2022

July Reading

 I finished Under the Banner of Heaven (rereading to watch the series, which so far seems to have deviated substantially from the book). Under the Banner of heaven seems more even-handed than Prophet's Prey - where the author seems to have got more personally involved and determined to save the children (he has gone on to produce Keep Sweet and Obey on Netflix. Having read Prophet's Prey, I'm not sure I could watch it. Too much child sex abuse and abuse).

I am finishing Disgrace, which is even more magnificent than I remember, but disturbing and uncomfortable. But for avid readers, with no history of sexual assault, I can't recommend it enough.

(They were all in last month's round-up so you can click back if you want to read more)

I have forgotten what I read that recommended this book, but I'm midway through Playground - A childhood lost inside the playboy mansion. It's a junk beach read but entertaining for all the wrong reasons (in that incomprehensible, gossipy reasons).

For book club I have to read After Darkness by Christine Piper, which is okay. I feel for the subject matter it should be more interesting and engaging than it is. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but it's big issues in history and could be more meaty but I feel I'm sort of meandering through it (but still only halfway so that may change). Very interesting idea though.

I'm trying to track down this book by Gregory Dick because it came up in the Jon Ronson Podcast 'Things fell apart' and it sounds so interesting. A very well-read American friend said he read it at school and was amazed by it (but he added that was 47 years ago and his standards were lower then, so we shall see). I will admit I'm uncomfortable with the thought or reading that book in public, and I may have to find it a dust jacket (which given why I know why he used that word, it's not the right thing to do...but...)

I did finish How to Lose Friends and Influence White People by Antoinette Lattouf, who I saw at the Writers Festival. I found this interesting and I learned a bit but I'd already read Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race* and it covered similar ground but with an Australian bent. Note neither of these books are bashing white people, but we say things without thinking due to what we've heard all our lives. It's good to get that pointed out so you are aware and think a little more about things. I really enjoyed her Writers Festival Session so am keen to see her at Antidote if I can make it. The book is entertaining and amusing, though at times quite eye openning.

I did mention I got a friend the Big Life Journal for adults - they also have one for teens and 7-10 year olds.  I did have a quick read before sending it off and I think it's quite a good way to start challenging negative thoughts. I'm in no way connected, I just liked it. Their description reads: 

NEW guided journal to help you manage your self-sabotaging inner voice and start living fully and joyfully. This motivational, gender-neutral journal is packed with short, practical lessons and easy, thoughtful writing prompts that will help you transform your mindset.

This journal is for you, if you…

  • feel trapped in constant cycles of negative thoughts
  • self-sabotage your efforts and ask yourself 'who am I to do this?'
  • put yourself down and don't follow through with your goals 

(And it continues on here)

As you can see, my time off has slowed my reading as well as my writing. Hopefully, I'm back into things next month.

*Interestingly I read it in 2019 so it must have made quite an impression on me as it seemed to have stuck with me since then.

Linking with #WhatsonMyBookshelfChallenge #WeekendCoffeeShare #FriendshipFriday

bookworms monthly linky
My Random Musings


Still getting the hang of the camera, so while not perfect, I did like the orange and black contrast.
Given all this rain, even the hint of sunshine is enough to put a spring in my step....

Linking with
Pieni Lintu - MakroTex challenge
I do have a black bird if this one doesn't count, but I like this one better, with the city all black.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Gratitude linky #OneSmallThing

 As I discussed, I am trying to bring back the Thankful Thursday style link up - share a post of One Small Thing that made you happy this week or that you are grateful for.

With Apple making my phone battery die along with its camera, I am very happy to have finally got the new phone set up (all except the authenticator but that's today's job...). It did take most of the day and I had to take it into the shop as it really didn't want to do it, but it is finally done. (And the person that helped me was very nice about it even though I am clearly old and useless). The photos are not great photos but they are the first ones I took on the nighttime dog walk (which made my little four-legged friend very happy as she thought she'd missed out on her second walk...)

Hopefully, you see the new stellar camera in action this Friday night at Duke Dumont. (The other thing that made me elated was when the Duke Dumont tickets pinged in my email this week - I was flooded with excitement (That anticipation of dancing feeling is very strong for me). I feel like I've done nothing fun for ages, which is not entirely true, just where my head is at, I guess. More reason to appreciate the little things.

(This week's linky is here)

#OneSmallThing link up rules.

The link up is only open for 40 hours. From Thursday morning until sometime Friday evening.

Please link one post only on what you are thankful for, one small thing that made you happy (or I will accept something you are excited about).

I will delete posts off topic.

Please comment on the post before yours and the host. I will delete people that dump and run. Also please use the hashtag #OneSmallThing.

Let's shift a bit of the negative vibe out there, as the song says, let's bring 'a fire to a world so cold'....hope you join me...(Feel free to just share in the comments if you don't want to write a post).

Linking with #FriendshipFriday #TrafficJamWeekend

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday 9 July 2022

As luck would have it....

Long-time readers might realise there are lots of patterns in what I do. My Facebook memories will often have the same event over multiple years as memories. I try to create certain memories for the kids. One of them is Snowtime in the Hunter Valley.

We have been going for about ten years. Just a quick overnight adventure. At first, it was just with my kids. Then it was with other families we could rope along. Now as my youngest suffers the fate of becoming an only child, I try to take one of her friends with us. We were booked to go but the last two lockdowns canceled it. This year we booked last minute but the rains didn't abate and we arrived at a closed event. 

We made the best of it trying to seek out dry activities in the Hunter  - Aquagolf, Candy Store, and the Arcade room at Crowne after a meal....but we hadn't been able to stay at the hotel with the indoor pool so eventually we just retired to the room with board games and tv. 

Even reception was trying a little 'magic' to change the weather!

I got up early to stalk the roos and the rain drizzled a little. As I waited to see if they would open the gardens, I wondered if this was another childhood experience that we'd had the LAST of without realising. COVID years did steal a lot of memories and celebrations from these kids. One kid never got a graduation ceremony or any of the fun Year 12 stuff, one kid never got to do their Sports captain duties and missed most of the Year 6 Primary school milestones. Had we come up to the Hunter for a very expensive and dull night away? My kiddo assured me it was still a great holiday (being with a friend is all it takes at the moment) but I was disappointed for her (and I guess for me, as another end of childhood moment had passed by unheralded).

As luck would have it, the sun came out, and though muddy and while much of the garden was barricaded shut, the Snowtime was open. We tore over as I had to be back in Sydney for something and spent three hours roaming around. The kids were delighted (though very wet). 

The crowds were down so there was very little queuing. There was much delight and enjoyment, even for me as I trailed after them (I did do the tobogganing as I just love that!).

My youngest assures me she won't grow out of it anytime soon, but I have a sneaking feeling that by next year, the interest will have waned. 

I am grateful I got to give her one last shot at it, to remember it fondly. A childhood memory to look back on that wasn't canceled or snatched away from her by the pandemic.

These days, that's all down to luck.

Memories are like footprints in the snow. For a while, they show that we were there but eventually vanish...Childhood is fleeting and these moments become ephemeral and ever so precious!

Linking with  #NaturesNotes for the flooding

This igloo triggered quite the reaction from my youngest, still carrying a bit of trauma from the whole polar bear experience. We walked in through the flap and she stopped abruptly when she saw all the bears - but then they started moving and growling and she yelled "What the hell is this?!" in we had an unexpected exposure therapy session thrown in for free. She calmed down quickly but I did have a brief moment of wondering if it was all about to go horribly wrong, given she won't let us even talk about it two years later.