July started in Melbourne and ended up somewhere very different. In between were work and writing and all the usual stuff of life. Some sun, some rain, some cold, some warm…no time to be bored. Anyways, here’s the month that was – in one (or more) sentences a day.
1. In Melbourne but heading home today. In other news, due to some over-eating of the truffle and dairy kind (not together) my tummy is complaining.
2. Thai Boat Noodle soup for lunch – it was medicinal.
3. Dolphins at play this morning – just splashes in the distance with the light catching their shiny backs. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think the rain has stopped.
4. Swedish Death Cleaning – Dostadning – is a thing…so, apparently, is work.
Random fact: Swedish Death Cleaning is about gradually getting rid of your stuff. The idea is to minimise the amount of clutter that you leave behind for others to deal with some day. According to the idea of dostadning (try saying that ten times in a row) your treasures will be a burden to someone else someday.
5. Beat the rain with a walk – some really cool cloud action to start a busy work day.
6. Friday and usually my day off the day job. Today, however, instead of writing words as I go through the usual monthly de-greying regime, I’m still doing corporate stuff. Don’t ask.
7. Inspired by Masterchef this week I’m doing Rick Stein’s butter chicken for dinner. As an aside, beetroot powder is a thing – and it’s a fabulous colour.
8. My brother and his family arrive this afternoon. Decision bowl lunch was at Uptown Gastro Pub in Maroochydore – food was good, but service slow.
9. Blue skies, fish and chips on the beach with the Lyons Den for lunch, and slow cooked 5 spice lamb for dinner. Other than that? Work…of course.
10. Walk to Alex, work, and the Lyons Den leave on stage 2 of their holiday.
11. Road trip itinerary nailed. In other news, it was flipping freezing – yes, even in Queensland.
Random whine: When trying to book a double room in one country town that will remain unnamed, I hover over the fine print to see that the 2nd person in the room will cost an extra $20 a night. Yes folks, the 2nd person. The one sharing the same bed. Not a 3rd person who would need extra bedding, that would be fair enough, but the 2nd person. Essentially that makes it $20 for the 2nd towel. Now I’ve seen everything. As an aside, I booked the other motel in town. Rant over.
12. Rainy start to the day – not that it mattered, I was stuck inside working.
13. Ms T off to Yandina for house-sitting, and some words written in the best office in the world.
14. Markets early on a cold morning, an afternoon walk on the beach, tried the new gelateria at Mooloolaba Wharf, and a Bastille Day menu. And pelicans at the boat ramp…I love pelicans.
15. Corbins was drawn out of the decision bowl but closed today, so La Canteena and beers in a bucket for lunch instead. Five coronas for $25, we couldn’t say no.
16. Another cracker of a day, hubby to Bribie Island to farewell Uncle T as he heads back to England. I, on the other hand, didn’t leave my desk.
Random thought of the day: Never in the history of calming down has someone calmed down by being told to calm down. Just saying.
17. Cold start for our walk, blue skies, stuck at my desk for the rest of the day.
18. I was a guest judge at the Brisbane Office bake-off comp – a tough job, but someone had to do it. The three winning entries are below.
19. Blue skies and work…that’s all. Fires up around Peregian painted the sky tonight.
20. Sunshine Coast Velothon this morning so roads closed and unable to get to the beach for our walk. Instead, we walked a different route – from Currimundi to Shelly Beach…8kms return.
21. Saturday morning beach walk and a cruise ship moored just off Mooloolaba Beach – Mooloolaba certainly dressed in her fancy pants for the occasion. Back down at lunchtime for prawns in the park. In other news, the white chocolate cheesecake I made was pretty fantabulous. You’ll find the recipe here.
22. Mad Mex Cantina drawn out of the Decision Bowl for Sunday lunch – Ms 20 is ecstatic, me not so.
23. A blue sky start to Monday. Walk, work, and a rainforest walk at lunchtime – complete with a catbird that sounds like a baby crying.
Random fact: the pink and yellow flowers are lantana – which is a noxious weed…it’s also pretty.
24. Take yesterday and repeat – without the rainforest and the catbird.
25. In between work we started putting together pantry pack for Eucumbene. Yes, we really are taking paella rice, saffron and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce on a “camping” trip. The culinary competition is real folks.
26. There was a dolphin playing metres away from us this morning. A pink sky and dolphins – the day can’t get off to a better start than that.
27. Even though it’s Friday and my day off, I worked.
28. Got up early to watch the Mars and Moon show in the sky – it’s not every day you have a total eclipse under skies that clear. As for the rest of the day? Packing and cleaning – I can’t stand going away with a dirty house or any dirty clothes in the laundry.
29. Off on our road trip. Tonight’s scheduled stop is Narrabri in North Western NSW – and 666 kms away. The verdict? Narrabri is a lovely town – a very comfortable stop – but I can’t get over just how dry the country is…it’s heartbreaking.
30. A lot of nothing for much of this morning’s drive. With a huge observatory at Coonabarabran, they’re a tad space-obsessed along this stretch of the Newell Highway.
We called in at The Dish just outside of Parkes. The last time I was here I think was back in about 1976 or 77. It hasn’t changed that much – but the visitor’s centre is very impressive.
Tonight’s stop is Cootamundra – 582km from Narrabri.
31. Tumbarumba. Even though I’ve never lived here if anyone ever asks me where my roots are it’s in this town – despite having been born in Sydney. It’s where my father was born and where his parents were born, lived their lives and died. The history of this town and the history of my family are so closely intertwined. Anyways, I’ll tell you more about that later.
What I watched:
- Secret City (Netflix) – OMG this had me hooked.
- Nanette (Netflix) – because everyone else was watching it.
- Jack Irish (ABC)
- Doc Martin (ABC) – I’m very late to the Doc Martin party
- Masterchef…of course
I started watching the latest series of Poldark and am ashamed to say that I’m a tad over it. Not that I’m over Aidan Turner or the random shots of him emerging from the sea…no sirree…but I’m getting a tad tired of the story. Don’t throw anything.
What I listened to:
Other than my usuals, new podcasts for this month:
The Washing Up – a rundown of reality food programs with a heavy leaning to Masterchef at the moment. Don’t listen if you haven’t watched the episodes.
Wrong Skin – a podcast put out by Fairfax. Man, this is confronting and interesting. It’s an investigation into an unsolved death and a missing person in the outback, with themes of traditional law and relationships banned under those laws.
What I read:
I read 9 books over the month. My favourite reads were:
The Marmalade Files, by Chris Uhlman – political satire at its best and the basis of Secret City.
April in Paris 1921, by Tessa Lunney
The Hidden Cottage, Erica James
The Comfort Cafe series (I devoured them all – pun intended – over the month) by Debbie Johnson.
I’m on a road-trip at the moment and am blissfully wi-fi and cell-phone reception free – yes, those places do exist. I’ll respond to any comments when I’m back online.
It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…
It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, Debbish, Seize the Day Project, Write of the Middle, 50 Shades of Age, and, of course, me.