March – all wrapped up

I almost wasn’t going to do a wrap-up of March – I figured that if I didn’t wrap it up it would mean that it hadn’t actually happened. To say that it hasn’t been a good month would be an understatement and to say that it hasn’t been off the charts busy and chaotic would also be selling it short. There absolutely have been times over the last 4 weeks where I haven’t been ok, but then at the same time I’m also aware of just how fortunate I am and we are and it puts things into perspective.

Besides, life is many-textured, and what is happening now is impacting every single one of us in some way. So, without further ado, let’s farewell the longest March in history…


We said a final farewell to Grant’s mother on March 5 after a relatively short battle with cancer. In fact, her funeral on March 16, marked just 4 weeks from the day that she went into the hospital and was diagnosed – in that order.


There were two of them: mine and my daughter’s.

Mine just happened to coincide with us being in Canberra and planning the funeral. As one of my bestie’s pointed out, mine also fell on the day that WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic. They seemed to think there was something fitting about that.

Anyways, I spent the day at work in the day job (from the hotel), we met with the celebrant and the funeral director, and then we went out and had a lovely dinner. It was a tough day and, shall we say, different.

My birthday selfie

Sarah’s was last week, and we celebrated with takeaway Italian and sponge cake. Sadly I don’t have a birthday pic of her because she hates having her photo taken. Sigh. So, here’s a gallery from when she was (much) younger than the 22 she has just turned.


Due to the funeral etc, we spent almost 2 weeks in Canberra, and on our way back I had a planning weekend in Tugun on the Gold Coast – arriving home (luckily) just before Queensland’s state border closed.

Sarah and I were due to go to Queenstown for 4 days, changed that to Cairns in Far North Queensland when it looked like international flights might be problematic and cancelled it completely when things got real. There’ll be other trips when this passes, as indeed, it will.

Excess Baggage

Next question?

Seriously though, after a month spent mostly either on the road, in hotels and otherwise away from home, routine and regular exercise, I ended the month just over a kilo heavier than I started it. Oh well.


I read 5 books and there was another that, unusually for me, I didn’t finish. It was, quite frankly, not worth my time and no, I’m not going to tell you what it was or who wrote it.

The biggest commitment for the month (656 pages of commitment) was Marian Keyes’ Grown Ups – it was also the best read for the month. It was, however, closely followed by Milly Johnson’s One True North. I love all of Milly’s novels and even though I worked out quite early what was likely to happen, this was no exception.

I love anything by Mhairi McFarlane and these two were great reads; but I was very ho-hum about Sheila O’Flanagan’s Isobel’s Wedding.


The Capture on ABCTV – you can stream the whole series on iview

  • The new series of Agatha Raisin, also on the ABC
  • Great British Bake-off on Foxtel
  • Rick Stein’s Secret France on Foxtel
  • Outlander on Foxtel


Yeah, that’s a bit like asking me about Excess Baggage. Not much was accomplished in March.


  • I’m still blogging our UK adventure. You can find all the posts (so far) here.
  • There were three instalments in the Nigella Diaries in March: Treacle Tart, Chocolate Ice-cream and Vanilla Ice-cream. You can find them here.
  • Most weeks we draw a cuisine out of the decision bowl to cook on Saturday night. Once a month I’ll feature one. We were all over the place in March so nothing from Saturday Kitchen this month.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

13 thoughts

  1. Ah I missed that Agatha Raisin was back on. I love that series .
    Here’s to at least some improvement in April.

  2. So sorry about your mother-in-law.
    Your book list looks so interesting – will check them out.
    Take care.

  3. Hi Jo – definitely a rollercoaster month for you. In comparison mine has been quiet and mellow and mostly at home. My roundup post comes out tomorrow and it’s the last one with any IRL family contact in it for a while. I’m making up for it with lots of videos and pics from my DIL of the grandgirls. We’ll certainly enjoy seeing them all even more when this is all over. I think our April round-up posts are going to be quite sedate!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

  4. Hi, Jo – So true about March having 97 days (and seemed like more).
    I love what you are reading. Expect a FB invite to share your favourite books there! You’ve been warned!

  5. It certainly was a difficult month for you Jo especially with saying goodbye to your MIL. I love the books you are reading and have looked at If I never met you, so might go ahead an buy that. We have very similar tastes in books and TV shows – Love Agatha Raisin but didn’t realise there was a new series. I hope April is better for us all although as that puzzle showed me I’m going nowhere! Take care and thanks for sharing at #MLSTL. xx

  6. Hi Jo, Another month has gone by and you’ve had a hugely emotional time of it all. It’s been quite a hard start to the year hasn’t it? I have to say I can’t get into Agatha Raisin for some reason. I do love that selfie of you both and happy birthday to you and Sarah (again). I hope next year’s birthdays are much better than this year. Take care #mlstl

    1. It’s certainly been a tough few months for everyone. I have to admit to having struggled at times last month.

  7. Happy belated birthdays to you girls. Hope there was cake for both of you!
    Your poor mother-in-law. I guess if you have a fatal form of cancer, it is
    better not to go on indefinitely with no hope of recovering. But I hope she was able
    to prepare things and say her goodbyes. My grandmother died of pancreatic cancer and
    lasted 6 weeks from diagnosis. So sad.
    Beautiful photos are always a part of your monthly wrap up. Thanks for sharing some
    of the beauty of your corner of the world.

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