November – all wrapped up…

So that was November…I’m finding it difficult to believe that next month will not just be next year, but a new decade. I have a round-up of the decade that was scheduled for next week, but for now, let’s round-off November…


I spent a few days in Sydney for the day job – just happening to coincide with the office party. Lucky that. Unfortunately, it also coincided with a few days when Sydney was blanketed in thick smoke and the air quality was abysmal. It did, however, make for a really weird light – especially in the early morning.

Excess Baggage

I finished October 5 kgs lighter than I started it. I’ve now lost a total of 10 kgs since July. Crossing the 10 kg milestone meant that I got to buy a new cookbook – yes folks, that’s how I’m rewarding myself for every 5 kgs lost.

In case you’re interested I bought Rick Stein’s “Secret France”.

I’m thrilled with that first 10 kgs, but at the same time know there’s a lot more to go – about another 15-20 kgs…which I’ll think about in January when I’m back from England.  

For the next month be prepared for photos of food that absolutely hasn’t been on the menu for the past 5 months!

Oh, and so far no one has noticed. I’m only 5 ft 3″ so surely someone should have noticed by now! I was, in fact, questioning whether my scales were breaking at the rate of a few hundred grams a week, but apparently, they haven’t.


There was quite a bit of frangipani spam last month as my enthusiasm for the frangis in our front yard bubbled over. The pic below was my most popular pic on Instagram for November.

followed closely by this one.

With this one rounding out the top 3 in November.


I read nothing but festive novels in November – and devoured 9 of them. Other than one slight disappointment, I’ve loved them all.

Just like a Hallmark Christmas movie, you expect a little cringe and the occasional too sweet for words scene, but somehow, at Christmas, all of that is forgiven.

I’m hard-pressed to choose a favourite but have to give a shout-out to my friend Nicki Edwards for her set-in-Canada offering. Plus, there’s a chef involved…


Speaking of which, I watched a few Christmas movies during November – a couple of those Netflix originals that have just as much schmaltz as Hallmark, but also, for (unbelievably) the first time – The Holiday, my new second favourite Christmas movie.

Also in November, I inhaled the third series of The Crown. A different cast, a different era, but Sarah and I loved it. Now, of course, I can’t wait for series 4.

I really enjoyed an Aussie political series on the ABC, Total Control and, also on the ABC, the return of Grantchester and The Good Karma Hospital.

When you consider that I’ve been watching Great Australian Bake-Off as well, it’s no wonder I haven’t done as much writing as I normally would. Which leads me neatly to…


Okay, I was supposed to be doing Nanowrimo again this month but it sort of snuck up on me and I was even less prepared than I usually am. As a result, I bombed out at around the 20,000-word mark. And of those 20,000 words, there are about half that I think will still be in the novel when I finish it.

It’s not like I haven’t had a lot on though, so am totally cool with it. In other news, I did finish the rewrite for Careful What You Wish For.

Careful is the 2nd book in a mini-series that I’ve had the first finished and waiting to go for some time – I Want You Back. Do you know how frustrating that is? I’d made a deal with myself though that I wouldn’t release the first until I’d finished the third. That means that 2020 will be a big year for publishing for me.

Sitting on

I’ve been sitting on some big news – well, big for me. If I thought 2019 was a big year work-wise, 2020 will be busier. In addition to my day job and my writing, I’ve stepped up to take on the presidency of the RWA – Romance Writers of Australia.

It’s a big role, but one that I believe in whole-heartedly and the opportunity came up so I put my hand up for consideration. To be honest, I’m at the point where I want to “give back” and this is a volunteer position and one where I can use my business skills to help take the organisation forward. 

Of course, there’s something in it for me too. Of late I’ve felt as though I’ve been dwelling in my comfort zone for a little longer than I normally would, so am ready to shake things up (personally) again and am excited about the challenge. 


About the direction of this blog next year. 

I’ve absolutely decided (I think) to step back from all astrology writing in 2020. I’ll keep the website going but my heart isn’t in it – and, to be honest, hasn’t been for some time.

As for this blog, I think I’ll go back to basics. The tag-line is “the rambles of a hungry writer” so that’s what I’ll write about – food, travel, and writing and nothing else. I have a few ideas that have been percolating in my brain for some time, but I’ll tell you about them when (or if) I’m a little clearer.

Looking forward to

Spending the next 4 weeks in England and our very first cold-climate Christmas!

Okay, that was my November. How was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

13 thoughts

  1. Looking forward to being here at the same time as you for Christmas Jo. Your month sounds very busy and I love your pictorial story! Congrats again for the new role you’re taking on. Looking forward to reading your words in 2020. #mlstl

  2. Congratulations on your new role Jo. I agree as we age the need to give back tends to come up. Enjoy Christmas in England. We had a beautiful and memorable Christmas there 15 years ago. #MLSTL Will share

  3. Hi Jo – a great wrap up of the month – and congrats again on the Presidency. Also on the excitement that must be building as you get ready for your trip away. You and Debbie will be posting snowy Christmas pics while the rest of us are baking in the Aussie sunshine. Loved all the beachy pics (especially while I’m sitting on Rottnest looking at the beach through the window!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  4. First up – Congratulations on taking on the Presidency of Romance Writers of Australia! How exciting! I’m sure that will be so fabulous for you. You will make connections, be inspired and doors will open for sure. On the subject of Xmas movies I gotta say that I LOVE ‘The Holiday’!! I will have to check out those xmas books you’ve got there. They look very much my cup of tea and so nice to read this time of year. Not long now to you head off to the UK and quite timely too if you like to escape the heat (which I would like to)! I look forward to your photos and stories upon your return. xo

  5. What?!! Did I read that correctly?! You (who love all things Christmas) just watched The Holiday for the first time ever?!! How can that be?
    I’m not much of a movie-watcher but The Holiday is my #1 Christmas movie to watch. I never get tired of it.

  6. I had a chuckle at all the Christmas books. I do love reading a good romance now and again, but have never gotten into a Christmas binge. Safe travels and hope you enjoy your cold-weather Christmas!!

  7. Hi Jo what a lovely start to my day. I’ve had conjunctivitis this week and feeling low so reading your post (even one-eyed) lifted my spirits. What a great way to reward yourself for your weight loss journey and well done on your achievements so far. I’m with you with all the Christmas books and have started them myself it is a lovely indulgence at this time of year as I always wish for a White Christmas but that ain’t going to happen in Qld. Have a fabulous time in the U.K. Like you I’ve been contemplating the direction of my blog. Do I still want to do it? etc etc. It must be that time of year and a new decade as well means we look at what we are doing that brings meaning to our life. Thanks for sharing each week at #MLSTL and being part of this lovely online community. xx

    1. I really think it is that time of the year where we start to question and question & doubt & wonder. You’ll decide on the path that’s right for you. xx

Comments are closed.