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…
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.
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.
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.
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)
The most liked pics on my Instagram this month were these:
February got off to a great start, but I’ve barely written a word in the last two weeks – circumstances and all that.
- 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?