February – All Wrapped Up

I’ve always found February difficult. For a start the weather is always at its worst – hot and humid. February is also the month before my birthday and for some reason there’s always a sense of winding down and finishing off – and I’m not great at finishing energy.

That aside, let’s wrap up the month…

Let’s talk about the weather

It rained. A lot. In fact, up here on the Sunshine Coast we had our wettest February in history. Something like 650mm of rain fell – that’s almost 25 inches. That’s six times the average rainfall for February and half of our annual average rainfall.

When you get that much rain with summer temperatures you also get humidity – and a lot of it. And bad hair days…but life’s too short to worry about them! Or dreadlocks…

Travel

We ducked down to Canberra for a few days during the last week to visit my mother-in-law. She’s in hospital at the moment and it’s times like these when every one of the 1500 kilometres that we’re apart is important.

Canberra has always had a special place in my heart. I moved there straight out of university, met my husband there, lived there for a few years and, even though we were by that stage living in Sydney, we returned to Canberra to get married.

As much as we love Canberra, this trip was, by its very nature, a difficult one, however, on the bright side, we were able to catch up with family members that we hadn’t seen in many years and, in some cases, hadn’t met. Special moments.

Point Hut Pond, Gordon

Excess Baggage

I won’t say that I’ve fallen off the Excess Baggage wagon just yet, but I’m grimly hanging onto the edge and finished the month at exactly the same weight as I started it.

While I’m happy to do my morning walks in the rain – as long as it’s not sheeting down – very often it was unbearably uncomfortable still by the time I finished work so my afternoon walks by and large fell by the wayside. Given that my job is quite sedentary I need that extra hour of activity a day to make any inroads on the scales. It’s such a numbers game.

It wasn’t just the weather though, I had difficulty maintaining a routine in February. Given the circumstances at present, and my schedule for March, I’m trying very hard not to beat myself up too much over that. If I can maintain for the next few weeks I suspect I’ll be doing very well.

Reading

I read 7 books over the month – including something completely out of genre for me: Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology”.

As for stand-outs, it was a difficult month to choose – I enjoyed each of these books for different reasons, but my favourite reads for the month were:

  • “Holding Onto Hope” by my friend Nicki Edwards. This is a romance with a difference – and has all the feels because of that.
  • Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” was an absolute surprise – and a pleasant one at that. A volume of individual stories, it was written with a real fire-side quality. I could almost hear Gaiman’s voice reading each one aloud.
  • “A Million Dreams” is the first novel I’ve read by Dani Atkins and one that I wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t seen it on Leslie’s online book club. I read it on the commute to and from Brisbane the other day – but really shouldn’t have read it on public transport. Another one with all the feels.
  • “Pride and Prejudice” is one of my all time favourite books, yet I’ve often wondered about Charlotte Lucas and her marriage to Mr Collins. Molly Greeley has gone one step further than wondering – she’s written it. This is beautifully written, and quietly, heartbreakingly sad in so many ways – not so much because of what happened but because of what was unable to happen. I loved it.

Watching

February saw me watching new series of Agatha Raisin and Midsomer Murders on ABCTV, and Outlander on Foxtel.

What I’m not watching is:

  • Australian Survivor
  • Married at First Sight
  • My Kitchen Rules (MKR)

Instagram

The most liked pics on my Instagram this month were these:

Writing

February got off to a great start, but I’ve barely written a word in the last two weeks – circumstances and all that.

Blogging

  • I’m still blogging our UK adventure. You can find all the posts (so far) here.
  • This year I’m reviewing a cookbook each month – and sharing a recipe from it. You can find February’s cookbook – and a recipe for orange granola – here.
  • February’s instalment in The Nigella Diaries was Butternut and Pasta Soup. You’ll find it here.
  • Most weeks we draw a cuisine out of the decision bowl to cook on Saturday night. Once a month I’ll feature one. This month it was Destination Bali which, let’s face it, is always a good idea. You’ll find it here.

Looking ahead to March

It’s birthday month for both Sarah and I. In addition to that, and to the usual day job activities, I have a strategy and planning off-site for Romance Writers down on the Gold Coast, a long weekend with Sarah in Queenstown, and a first draft to finish.

It’s promising to be a busy one.

Okay, that was my February…how was yours?

Author: Jo

I write, I bake, I chase sunrises.

37 thoughts

    1. I probably used it last year too…you might have gathered, I’m not enamoured with February…

  1. Humidity makes it hard to enjoy the outdoors even when you sit still, let alone walk. Hope the weather will be more pleasant in March for you and that you have lots of fun in March. #lifethisweek

  2. Hi Jo – it sounds like a quieter month for you (not necessarily a bad thing!) We’ve had the humidity here too over the last week or so (after a couple of much needed downpours) and I must say that it’s not my favourite kind of weather – you step outside and think it’ll be cool and cloudy and it’s muggy and horrible. My weight loss has stalled (and crept up slightly) this month and I’m not happy – why is it sooooo hard to lose and sooooo easy to gain??!!

    1. Yes, other than the last 2 weeks it hasn’t been ridiculously busy – it helps when I’ve stayed (by and large) in the one place for the last month!

      1. Back again and snickered again at the February quote at the beginning. I can’t believe that we’re already into March – it’ll be Easter before we know it! Hope you’re back into the novel writing and going well x
        Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

  3. I agree, humid February weather is no fun. Definitely ready for it to cool down a little! And I love how many books you’ve read just in this month!

    1. I read a lot! Plus I had a flight and a couple of train trips to Brisbane for work… it helps.

  4. I don’t watch any reality TV shows but they’re hard to get away from! My mother gets the Woman’s Day etc and complains that they’re now full of stories from those shows and she doesn’t know (or care) who any of them are. But she keeps buying the magazine anyway!!!

  5. Oh the heat in Feb just kills me. I’m convinced it’s the cumulative effect – our bodies are “why isn’t this over yet?!?!”

    1. I think you’re probably right. I’d like to leave the country for somewher cooller each February…

  6. Great wrap up – I’m not watching any of those series either! I’m loving your UK posts sick!

  7. You certainly keep busy Jo. I’m hearing you on the lack of routine and difficulty of staying on track eating and exercise wise in February. A great wrap up of February and fab photos as usual.

  8. I am not sure how anyone with any intelligence can watch those reality programs, never watched and never want too. The weight issue is undoubtedly a numbers game and the older we get it becomes more fun juggling those digits 🙂

    1. I am sure I would be unable to look away! I used to watch MKR but people got too nasty for me. My daughter loves MAFS & hubby watches MKR.

  9. I’m with you on not really enjoying February – it’s the weather that I don’t like – the humidity and heat. I can’t get over how many books you’ve read this month. Puts me to shame. I seem to have lost my concentration gene. It’s so annoying. I used to inhale books! Bring on the birthdays month for you – hope it’s a good one! Have a great week Jo. xo

  10. I agree – February is a tough month. For us up here in the Northern Hemisphere it is the waning of winter, but cold and dreary nonetheless. I’m incredibly impressed with your reading accomplishments – despite feeling long, it truly is a short month! March is my birthday month as well – so congratulations all around!

  11. Sorry to hear about your MIL , Jo but great that you could all get to Canberra to see her. I’ve started A Million Dreams, found through Leslie’s Book Club and I’m interested in the Clergyman’s Wife and It Started with a Secret. Don’t worry about Excess Baggage, you know you can do it and sometimes life gets in the way. At least you are keeping up with walks even in the rain! Happy birthday in advance to you and Sarah and here’s to a Magical March. Thanks for linking up at #MLSTL. xx

  12. Hi Jo/Joanne, I am never too sure what to call you. Do you have a preference?

    First time I have seen the quote. Very funny, yet also true. You are doing really well, just by staying the same on the baggage, especially in a challenging month. I feel like my body has turned into one fluffy marshmallow. I won’t give up on it.

    “Another one with the feels” reminded me how I burst out crying on a bus years ago reading a book. I was a little embarrassed. I enjoy all of your photos on Instagram. Fun to get a glimpse into your life. Re: my month, I may have mentioned to you, being present at the birth of my grandson. Now, lots of company. Blessings and Grateful!

    Hugs to you and hope improvement for your mother-in-law. #MLSTL and sharing SM

  13. I used to hate February with a passion. Back to school, always hotter and more sticky than January but…I also liked it because it’s the month of my husband’s birth.

    Down here we got a better February than most…except it was wet wet wet. Sigh.

    I hope that your MIL is OK. Distance is the hard past of ageing parents. I wonder what “our kids” will say about us wherever we end up when we finally find a place of our own.

    Thank you for joining in Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is Share Your Snaps. Hope to see you linking up too. Denyse.

  14. Hi Jo, I can see all the rain you’ve had up here but so far we’ve had a good run of warm and very humid days since arriving a week ago.Distance is dreadful at times like this and I do hope all is well with your MIL. Along weekend in NZ sounds nice and I really hope March is better for you. Happy birthday to you and Sarah #mlstl

    1. Thanks! The distance isn’t great & we’re heading back down again in the morning – by road this time. My mother in law sadly passed away yesterday so down we go.

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