5 Things: Monday 23 March 2020

Okay, so it’s been two weeks since I posted a catch-up. In that two weeks, we’ve driven to Canberra, said a final goodbye to my mother-in-law, had some lovely family catch-ups, driven back home via Coffs Harbour and Tugun on the Gold Coast (where I had a workshop to attend), and… oh, that’s right, also in that time the world has become a place that we don’t recognise.

It seems a tad trite to look for snippets of joy or wonder in an environment where non-essential services are in lockdown, jobs are being lost and businesses are forced to close, but, to be honest, looking for something to be cheerful about, grateful for, interested in is self-care for me – and, especially at the moment, self-care is super-important. Oh, and social distancing.

Before I get into the 5 things that made me smile, think and wonder over the last couple of weeks, a big thank you to my blogging buddies – you know who you are. I haven’t been reading posts or replying or doing any of that good bloggy etiquette thing in recent weeks and for that, I apologise. I am, however, now back in the game and this week’s holiday (first to Queenstown and then amended to Cairns) has been cancelled so I’m also back home – and actually quite glad to be so.

So, without further ado, here we go…


There’s a lot to love about a roadtrip – especially if you head off the highway and into the towns.

While our drive down to Canberra was long and rainy and we were dreading the tasks that lay ahead, coming back was a different story with an overnight stop in Coffs Harbour and a detour at lunchtime into Byron Bay for fish and chips on the beach.

2. Canberra

This city will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I met my husband, where we got married, where we bought our first house and where we’ve visited a lot in the years since.

This trip to organise the funeral and farewell my mother-in-law was a tough one, but there was still a lot to love about Canberra.

I also celebrated my birthday while we were in Canberra – if “celebrated” is the right word to use in those particular circumstances – with dinner at one of our faves: Ottoman in Barton. The food was, as always, fabulous – especially the zucchini puffs with yoghurt and dill sauce (top left pic) – although the photos really don’t do it justice.

Oh, and there was the obligatory birthday selfie. This is me at 53 with hubby. No make-up and you can tell that I left my hair anti-frizz at home on the Sunshine Coast.

3. Memories

One of my earliest memories is watching dolphins from the window of our holiday accommodation in Tugun on the Gold Coast. Given that there’s an old photo of myself and my younger sister on the beach with Dad I must have been no older than 3 or 4. 

Fifty years has passed since then and I would have expected that Penryn, like many of the older style beach-side accommodation houses, would have been demolished to allow construction of a high rise.

I’ve been staying in Tugan for the past couple of days for a planning workshop – my first visit back here in decades. Aside from the fact that I’d forgotten just how glorious this stretch of beach is, I was amazed (and pleased) to see that Penryn is still there. It’s a different colour and it has a shiny new fence, but it’s still there.

And the beach is just glorious – oh wait, I already said that…

4. Dude With a Sign

Discovering this Instagram account made my day. @dudewithasign an ordinary dude protesting mundane things with a cardboard sign. It’s the simple things.

5. This meme

There have been heaps of memes floating around in light of current social distancing and quarantine or lockdown policies. Yes, I realise this is a serious situation but this one is one of my favourites.

On a serious note, here’s hoping that you and your families remain healthy during this crisis.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

34 thoughts

  1. Hi Jo, you have certainly had your share of stress over the last few weeks but I’m with you in keeping some positivity in our lives. If we lose that we lose hope. Thanks for sharing your 5 things with us and I loved the Old Spice sign LOL:) xx

    1. Thanks Sue, I think we all need to make the best of this and find our smiles where we can. It’s one of the things that we still have control over.

  2. Love that sign guy! Nice seeing photos of what was normal – I feel like I haven’t done any of that in ages (when really it’s only been since the 13th…far out! That’s really only a week????HA

  3. Jo we definitely need humour and positivity, getting negative and depressed seems to me to be a slippery slope towards an open door for viruses in general. Not to be stupid or ignore the reality, but we don’t need to bathe in it either.

    I particular like the sign dude.

    Take care x

    1. How cool is the sign dude? But yes, looking for the positivity and the normal doesn’t imply a reluctance to accept reality, it just means that you’re choosing to look for positivity and normality as well as.

  4. Happy belated birthday, Jo! Thank you for your lovely photos. I agree with you that self-care is super important at times like this. I actually want to read and blog about ordinary positive things which bring us joy and hope. Take care and stay safe and healthy with your family. #lifethisweek

  5. I can always rely on you to deliver the best memes and this post is no exception! I love that you’ve found 5 things that bring us joy because in this strange, new world where there is so much stress and uncertainty, I think we need to look for those sparks of joy more than ever. We booked a trip up to the Sunshine Coast via Tugun for May and we were so excited but of course now we’ve had to cancel. Wah! Stay safe and keep well xx

    1. I actually had to look harder than usual this time – which I guess is symptomatic of the way things are. Sares and I were supposed to be in Queenstown tomorrow & then we changed that to Cairns, but obviously all now cancelled. There’s a lot worse happening though than that. Like you having to cancel Sunny Coast & therefore not getting to see me – now that’s a tragedy.

  6. Oh Jo, so much in this post! I feel for you farewelling your mother-in-law and celebrating your birthday while away! That’s a lovely photo of you and Grant 🙂 I can relate to the road trip, we did the same trip in reverse going to Brisbane to see our daughter and her new baby for a few weeks. Like you, I’m glad to be home now and trying to get my head around the changes going on. Thanks for sharing the things as we need to see the daily joys during this difficult time. Take care xx #lifethisweek

  7. Jo, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law. So glad you could travel back to Canberra, a place that holds significant memories for you. Travel is very difficult here but we are allowed to take short road trips. Nice birthday selfie! 🙂

    1. In a way we were fortunate that it happened when it did. The pandemic was declared on the 12th (my birthday) and she’d passed on the 5th so we were already in Canberra. Likewise we were able to have the funeral before the restrictions were imposed and were able to get home before the state borders closed. Even in that sad time there was so much to be thankful for.

  8. Jo I love the positive vibe of your post. You had me thinking of road trips we’ve taken. Coffs Harbour was our favourite holiday destination when the kids were young. These days, I never tire of having time out in Canberra. We all need some positivity at the moment. Your beach photos are gorgeous. Subscribed and shared

    1. I love watching people posing in front of the Big Banana, it’s absolutely a roadtrip classic. Stahy healthy.

  9. Hi Jo – I’m so glad that you got to have your MIL’s funeral and family time before the world went completely crazy. Our nephew is going to have to cancel his wedding that’s supposed to happen in 2 weeks. They’ve been holding on and hoping because it’s sort of outdoors and less than 100 people, but air travel is cancelling people out, road travel is cancelling out others and numbers are dwindling. I’ll miss the opportunity to see our kids and other family members all together – but life obviously has other plans.
    Loved the guy with the sign – I’ve seen a couple of him before and they’re so droll. Also (as always) enjoyed all your other lovely photos. Stay home, stay safe, don’t work too hard, savour the quiet xx

    1. As sad as it was with it happening all so quickly, in retrospect it was also the best timing possible – if that even is such a thing in those circumstances.

    1. Thanks and you too – although sadly no vacation – we were in Canberra for my mother-in-laws funeral. We were, however, fortunate (if, indeed, you can use such a word) that it all happened before the lockdown. I was due to be on holidays yesterday for a week but, like so many others, these were cancelled.

  10. So much in this post and memories made and then…more via the funeral of your Mother-In-Law. Gosh March has not been kind at all. Happy Birthdays are always a good idea..and glad you got a dinner that was special. Being ‘home’ at times like these is so much better than being away. On the upside, no trips to Sydney for work!

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week, the optional prompt, is for some, the (Easter) seasonally-based 13/51 Chocolate 30.3.2020. Hope to see you back linking up then too. Denyse.

  11. It may seem late to ask this……..do you prefer Jo or Joanne? I have been using both.

    You have had quite the two weeks, Joanne. A roller coaster of ups and downs, and a complete 180 on our world. I feel like you, where I don’t want to sound trite, although I don’t want to enter a vortex of darkness. Gratitude has helped me in the past, and seeing some of the good is helping me now.

    Love all of the photos! My guilty pleasure is fish and chips and I will one day enjoy my guilty pleasure again.

    I know many of the comments are pointing out the dude with a sign. My smile with a message. Take care and stay healthy.

    Be find to yourself, Joanne. Your blogging buddies have your back. xx

    1. Lol, it’s never too late to ask. To most people I’m Jo, to some I’m Joey and to my mother and siblings I’m Joanne. I do, however, write as Joanne.

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