It’s a wrap: November…

Early morning in Mansfield
Early morning in Mansfield

It’s December. That means Christmas in 25 days. This time last year we were almost half way through our 7 week tour of England and Scotland, and thoroughly enjoying all that the northern hemisphere does so well in the lead-up to Christmas. It was something I’ll never forget, and I’m so grateful we got to experience it in all its Christmas sweatered and mulled wined glory.

Covent Garden last year

Anyways, that was then and this is now, so given I haven’t yet started Christmas shopping, let’s wrap up November.

What I’m relieved about…

The hubster has finally officially retired from his employer of nearly 38 years and we’re looking to make a sea-change – to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Phew, I said it. Because of the ongoing (messy and long-running) issues associated with said ex-employer, the move is not been something I’ve been able to talk about publicly. Now I can.

What I’m scared about…

The proposed relocation to Queensland. Why? So many reasons – more than I can even begin to talk about. I know logically that the time is right, the place is right, and it makes financial sense right now. It’s been on the cards for so long, but now it’s all a little too real and too overwhelming. My emotions haven’t yet caught up with the logic. We’ve signed an agreement with an agent to put our house on the market, but I’m considering waiting until late January to act on it. Then in the next breath I’ll take a ‘for God’s sake, Jo, you climbed a flipping mountain – this is nothing’ approach. I suspect part of it is just that I want to spend our last Christmas here without worrying about open homes and being tidy.

What I’m proud of…

Making it through Milford Track – and getting off Mackinnon Pass in one piece.


What I’m waiting for…

The proof copies of Wish You Were Here (in paperback) to come in. I’m ordering a copy for my mother for Christmas (just don’t tell her) and will be blacking out the saucy bits and the swear words.

What I’m behind on…

The word count for my next book: I Want You Back. Let’s just say Nanowrimo wasn’t a great success for me this year.

What I ate this month…

The view from our table at Aqua Dining
The view from our table at Aqua Dining

So much. The stand-outs for the month were:

  • Lunch at Aqua. The view was stupendous…and the food was pretty good too
  • Breakfast at Vudu (Queenstown). That oh so pretty eggs bennie…
  • Dinner at Rata (Queenstown) – as always…
  • Lunch at Amisfield Winery (Queenstown) – pure perfection…
  • The pizza and craft beer at The Social Bandit at Mansfield. Good pizza, good beer, and great company.
  • The sausage in a roll and beer at Bindaree Flat. The sausage was cooked on the back of my brother’s ute, and we managed to rescue four ‘soldiers’ from the esky – the other bottles of beer were smashed with all the juddering from the track.
  • Special mention to Botswana Butchery (Queenstown) for the peking duck starter and pork spectacular; and to Blue Kanu (Queenstown) for well, one of the most difficult choices from a menu. I reckon I could work my way through their small plates.

What made me go whoo hoo…


Dart River Wilderness Jet. A fabulous, fabulous day.

What surprised me…

Just how beautiful the Victorian high country is. The air is clearer up there than any air has the right to be.


What disappointed me…

In the Alpine National Park on Saturday, on a couple of the 4WD tracks, we came across a few groups of men who had dogs in the backs of their (covered) utes and had obviously been up to activities they shouldn’t have been up to in a national park. One was carrying something that I certainly would not have expected to see in a national park in Australia. I don’t want to get into details, but let’s just say they weren’t there for 4WDing. What really concerned me is that there were heaps of hikers and campers about – and those activities don’t mix with the activities those other groups had been engaging in. And yes, I’m making a call to Parks Victoria; and no, I didn’t get any vehicle details – we weren’t hanging about to do so.

What I’m missing already…

There are still a few around, but more flowers are now on the pavement than on the trees. Jacaranda season is pretty well done for this year.


What I’m taking a break from…

The fitbit. After the efforts of Milford Track, my feet and my knees need a little more time to recover. We took a short walk up to Bindaree Falls on Saturday and my knees took one look at the slope downhill and screamed in protest.

Milford showed me that I also need to work more on my joint flexibility and strength. This is especially important as I approach the (gulp) milestone birthday in March. Leading up to Milford I spent the limited time I have each day for exercise on step and cardio related activities. I haven’t set any goals as yet, but I’m thinking of stepping back (no pun intended) from steps at all costs and substituting in some yoga and strength training a few times a week. I might even try something different – a dance class perhaps? Perhaps not.

What I’m contemplating…

My tummy still hasn’t recovered from Milford either. I told you how I’d had issues keeping food down, and I’m still feeling quite ill – especially after breakfast and lunch. It could be that I ate quite a lot of sugar (for me) on track (for the quick energy bursts) – and I’m usually mostly sugar-free, however I suspect it’s my tummy telling me that it doesn’t particularly like something I’ve been feeding it. I suspect I know what the culprit is (wheat – I’m looking at you). Because of this I’m contemplating an elimination diet of sorts – but not until January…I need to put a tad more contemplation into that one before committing to it!

How was your November? Any highlights you want to share?

Linking up today with the Loving’ Life crew via Debbish


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

14 thoughts

  1. Wow! What an action packed November you had. I adore Queenstown. We spend a week here in May this year and did the Woo Hoo thing and also a day trip out to Milford Sound – but no hike! This is something I would like to undertake before I get too much older. Well done on completing the hike. 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  2. I’m excited you can finally talk about the move and start planning. Perhaps you can half-heartedly ‘list’ the house but not stress about Open Houses until late Jan or something.

    You – and everything you do – are constantly an inspiration to me. Your positivity and your approach to everything. I just talk and talk about stuff and you do it. x

  3. You have an exciting and busy life it seems! From the few posts of your I’ve read I’ve gathered you live in Australia but travel to New Zealand. I’ll be in New Zealand next year and I am curious about how easy the travel is between there and Australia? Is it easy? Expensive? Sorry for the random question, but I figured I might as well ask someone who knows what’s going on!

    1. NZ is super easy. Just a couple of hours from the East Coast & fares are good if you keep an eye out for the specials and buy far enough ahead. It can be a tad expensive over there, but an amazing place.

  4. Wow Jo, you’ve had a fun-filled month! Best wishes with the sale of your house and the move north. It’s the best thing we ever did 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  5. What a fabulous month! The hiking sounds wonderful, and all that clean champagne air just so invigorating. Good luck with your move. From someone who’s moved around 21 times, many of them international moves, my only tip is don’t think too hard, just make lists and get on with it. Yes, it will be a pain having people look around the house before Christmas but also they might be in a better buying mood.

    1. Thanks for dropping by:) That’s what our agent said- the buyers now are motivated to buy. Fingers crossed.

  6. My goodness what an action packed November you’ve had Jo! I am missing the Jacaranda’s too. They’re my favourite tree and I just love it when they flower. You will love living on the Sunshine Coast. I haven’t lived there but I visit there often (from Brisbane) and holiday there and have relatives that live there and it offers a fabulous lifestyle. Beaches to walk along, eat beside, swim in, lie on and just look at, and then there are all those beautiful places up in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. I love all those little towns up there and of course the Eumundi markets! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  7. Oh I want to hike the Milford track at some point but in a slightly relaxed manner. Totally understand the fear of the seachange but it’s so exciting about the Sunshine coast. I made a seachange from Sydney to the Central Coast about 7 weeks ago. And yes, I was super scared and am still adjusting but loving the lifestyle. Hope all goes well in December! 🙂

    1. Oh, thanks for your comments re the sea change. It all feels so huge! Guided walks really are the way to go with Milford, it takes a lot of the stress out of it. You’ve still got to do the miles, but it’s amazing the difference knowing there’s a dry lodge & a warm bed at the end of the day.

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