5 things…

Week in pics

It’s been a crazy old week – and one where nature has absolutely shown her power. While a large part of England has been under floodwater, a large part of NSW and Queensland is on fire. Then, over the weekend, storm season arrived with a bang here on the Sunshine Coast.

As they say, it’s been from one extreme to another.

At present, I’m avoiding much of the news. There’s a lot I don’t want to hear about – the knowing is enough. Having said that, there’s still a lot to be cheerful about…

This podcast with Claire Bowditch…

I’ve long been a fan of Claire Bowditch’s – both in her music and her big-hearted attitude to business and life.

My admiration for her went up tenfold though when I listened to her conversation with Richard Fidler. For everyone who has told themselves stories, “everything will be better when…”, and for everyone who has thought their emotions were too big, that they took up too much room, that they were too much, and who wants to embrace a joyful, messy and imperfect life, this is essential listening. You’ll find it here.

The Holiday

I can not believe that I haven’t watched this before and now think that this could be my new second favourite Christmas movie – behind Love Actually…and that’s a big call.

The Naked Farmer Facebook page

The spiel is:

The Naked Farmer is a social media movement aiming to break down the difficult conversational barriers that often lay in front of people struggling to speak up on what’s going on inside. By using the liberating combination of nudity and farm work, the Naked Farmer is starting conversations about mental health across Australia because at the end of the day it’s easier to talk about what’s inside once someone has bared everything on the outside.

It’s a fabulous idea that’s worth getting behind (no pun intended). They even have a calendar for sale. Check it out here. As an aside, how much joy is in the pic below? It’s from the Facebook page.

Finishing Christmas shopping

Yes, it’s all done. Every. Last. Present.

Rest assured, I’m not usually this well organised, but given that we’ll be needing to take them to Sydney with us in less than 3 weeks, and given that I’m busy every single day between now and then, this weekend just gone was my last chance to finish it off.

News I’m not allowed to talk about just yet

I have news that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. What I will say is this:

  • it doesn’t involve any more money…sadly
  • it will mean a lot more work than I’m doing now – if I thought 2019 was busy, 2020 will be more so
  • it’s about me giving back to an organisation I believe in while at the same time pushing my own boundaries way past my personal comfort levels.

Watch this space…

The Fryer of Whitby

pic from their Facebook page

Yes, it’s a proper English-style chippo on the Sunshine Coast. Given that we’ll be in the real Whitby in a tad over 3 weeks, we stopped by for lunch yesterday. Real hand-cut chips, real mushy peas, real curry sauce, and real Irn Bru. Although, given my Excess Baggage commitments, we shared a portion…

Whitby, November 2015


These Noosa Reds really are the most amazing tomatoes…just saying. I eat them like apples.


The first frangipanis are out, so get ready to be Insta-spammed!

Festive Reading

I’m well into my festive reading list – it’s the perfect antidote to reality at the moment.

Storm Season

Storm season is well and truly upon us. The pic above was taken yesterday here on the coast.

We were lucky to only get the edge of it, but there was a lot of rain, a lot of noise, a lot of wind and power outages.

The storm hit early in the afternoon and the power was out until well into the night.

So, what’s to smile about there? Water in the tank again and cheese and tomato sandwiches by candlelight for dinner. With red wine. Plus, we can be grateful that:

  • we have torches and candles on standby – especially at this time of the year and
  • we didn’t sustain any damage – others weren’t so lucky.

Saturday Kitchen

This week our destination was the South of France. I’ll blog it, but given that Sarah was away in Sydney, we had ingredients we knew she’d be less than enthusiastic about. It was also, accidentally, a meat-free meal. Oh, hang on, I forgot about the anchovies…whatevs.

On the menu was:

Pommes d’amour a la Marseillaise – pretty much tomatoes baked in olive oil with garlic, parsley and baguette to dunk and slurp. Guaranteed to keep any possible lurking lurgy (or vampire) away.

Pissaladerie – a Nicoise style onion tart with olives and anchovies. It’s a cross between a pizza and a focaccia.

For dessert, we had fresh strawberries and blackberries in creme de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur.

Okay, that was my week…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

25 thoughts

  1. The food looks yummy, the tomatoes look delish! Those storm photos are amazing but scary. How bad has the weather been, huh? Need to read and listen to Claire Bowditch’s story. Hope you have an awesome week ahead!

    1. It’s a fascinating story – especially about the death of her sister & how that grief manifested over the years.

  2. Very intrigued about your news – will wait with bated breath. Those fish and chips had me drooling, I must see if there is something similar in Sydney. Love your positive attitude with the rain, I guess it will be good training for your trip to the UK! And how good is that Christmas book, I’ve just started the prequel to it and am really enjoying it so far!

    1. I haven’t read the prequel yet – & must do so. I’m in Sydney this week now, but just for the Christmas party & going straight back…

  3. Oh, those tomatoes make my mouth water. Sadly, the tomatoes here are over for the season. We will have to do with supermarket tomatoes until next July.

    Can’t wait to read about your big announcement! How exciting!

    1. We’re fortunate to get these most of the year – other than a couple of months at the very end of summer & beginning of Autumn. The strawberries are now almost finished. Our local strawberries are out from Mothers Day to Melbourne Cup Day ie May to November. During the summer they come from the southern states.

  4. Love all the colours in your photos, Jo. Can’t wait to hear about your news. Congrats on getting all your holiday shopping done. I’ll be watching Love Actually and The Holiday again in December. #lifethisweek

  5. Hi, Jo – I’m not a big tv or movie watcher… but I absolutely LOVE ‘The Holiday’. I’ve seen it countless times before and never tire of it.
    And those noosa reds….they look incredible!

  6. Hi Jo, The Holiday and Love Actually are my favorite Christmas movies. My husband moans at the suggestion of yet another viewing of either,and would much prefer watching Bruce Willis take back the Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard (yes, it is classified as a Christmas movie). Having separate spaces to watch TV sort of defeats the purpose of a Christmas activity, but oh well. So that’s what tomatoes are supposed to look like!

  7. The news is worrisome, Joanne, especially when we cannot do anything about the weather. I am a fan of podcasts this past year. I have learned/absorbed a great deal of good. I am making a note of Claire Bowditch. The concept of taking up too much room resonated with me. Interesting combination with the creme de cassis and berries. We keep this liqueur in our refrigerator to make kir royale. I love the berry idea.

    1. We discovered the berries in cassis when we stayed in Lille, Northern France, with a friend last year. Before that I too thought it was just for Kir Royale.

  8. I so want to tip with world a bit so we get some of England’s flooding..to put out the fires.
    I am excited to hear your news…happy Jo, sounds like it might be GOOOOOD.

    The frangipanis are an amazing colour.

    The food pics: you do this so well. My Christmas move is It’s a Wonderful Life.

    Thank you for linking up for life this week. Next week’s optional prompt is 47/51 Do You Celebrate “zero” Birthdays? 25/11/19 Hope to see you there. Denyse

  9. Oh my goodness… I haven’t even started shopping and you are all finished!!! Good on you!!

  10. I am just now at 61 years old developing a taste for tomatoes. Not beyond picking them out of certain things but no longer gagging! Your tomato photo makes me want to embrace them even more.

    Oh, that storm. Mother Nature showing her muscles! Hope there wasn’t a lot of death or devastation related to the storm.

    Anxious to hear more about your news. Will keep checking back.

    That photo of Whitby would make a lovely painting. Thank you for sharing it and the fish and chips with us. Mmmmm.

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