Okay, we haven’t done one of these for a while. January is nearly over and, this being a public holiday in Australia, I’m enjoying an unusually lazy morning propped up in bed as I write this, the rest of my house still asleep.
After a busy week it’s been a lazy long weekend in that other than dinner at a friend’s house in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (as an aside, check out their view, wouldn’t you love to wake up to that?) it’s been a weekend for turning off Facebook, catching up on some writing, and finally making some headway on sorting the photos from our UK trip.
There has, however, been plenty for me to smile, or think, about. Because it’s my first week back on the 5 things to be cheerful about on Monday morning caper for 2020, I’m not even going to try to keep it to 5.
1.This article by Nigella on turning 60 – yes, she’s 60. If you can’t get past the paywall on The Times, this final paragraph sums it up:
I do have to say that getting older is so much easier than being young. The two great enemies of happiness are self-consciousness and pressure to conform, and the older one gets, the easier it is to throw off those shackles. And while I never quite believe those who say that the great benefit of age is that one no longer cares what anyone else thinks — we are social creatures, and thus we are always somewhat reliant on the reactions of others — it is true that one cares ever more fleetingly. Or rather, one just doesn’t have it in oneself to care as much. Ageing happens whether we like it or not, and to mind about it is so futile as to be a waste of energy. Denial has an unfairly bad reputation: I am quite happy to block out those signs of ageing that, were I to focus on them, would make me unhappy. There is, however much one might want to glory in what the years have brought, both good and ill, something really quite perturbing about ageing, the withering on the vine. Ignoring it is the only way to go. Most of us spent our youth hating things about the way we looked, and now, from a more elderly vantage point, that seems so ridiculous. I try to learn from that. Why worry about being 60 when, in 10 years’ time, it will seem laughably young by comparison? And if I don’t get to see 70, then looking older will be the least of my troubles.
2. This music video by James Blunt. Watch and listen with tissues – it’s heart-breakingly good. The article explaining why is here
3. This Instagram account. It’s essentially pictures and videos of fluffy chickens, some in crocheted chicken caps – and who isn’t immediately cheered by a picture of a fluffy chicken? @herechookchook
4. Regular readers know of my obsession with Midsomer Murders and my ambition to be an extra on set. This article, a tongue in cheek guide to not getting murdered in a quaint English village made me laugh.
5. Silent book clubs. This is a thing now and one I’ve heard about from a few different sources – which means that it’s something I need to tell you about. I’ve never belonged to a book club but would love to do so. Too many tend to pick books that are either a tad too highbrow or serious or gory or just not my thing. The idea of meeting in a pub or a bar, ordering a wine and having a chat before reading (silently) something of your own choice for a prescribed period of time before you can stop, have a chat, maybe another wine really appeals to me. This article tells you more about it.
6. Because it’s my first week back and it was Burns Night on Saturday, this short clip came up in my feed – it’s Sam Heughan from Outlander reciting a couple of lines from two of Robert Burns’ most famous verses. The clips are ads promoting Burns night and are just 20 seconds long but let me just say this, you’ll want to hear more.
7. In the lead-up to Australia Day (which was, for the benefit of overseas readers, yesterday) there’s always opinion pieces about how it is to be Australian. This one by Richard Glover was good. What got me thinking though was this article and then this one debating what Australia’s national dish would be.
At first, I was on the sausage sanger and spag bol bandwagon, then my vote went to salt and pepper squid (below).
But then a comment that Erica from Behind The Scenery left after she’d read Happy Ever After came back to me. What about fairy bread? A mainstay of children’s birthday parties, many of us grew up with this, but it got me wondering whether other countries make fairy bread. Maybe this – a slice of supermarket white bread with butter and hundreds & thousands – is worthy of a nomination for our national dish? What do you think?
Have a great week!