5 things – Monday, July 13, 2020

Here we go headlong into another week. 

Last week was a mix of everything – rain, sunshine, rain, some more sunshine. From the covid-19 files, Melbourne has gone back into level 3 lockdown due to a second wave of cases and the border between NSW and Victoria has been closed. 

Here in Queensland our borders have now opened, although not to Victorians or anyone who has been in Victoria within the last 14 days. We’re all crossing fingers and whatever else that it can still be controlled up here. 

In other news, Sarah and I are off to Cairns for a few days this week and can’t wait! 

Okay, that’s enough havering for now…to the five:


Thank you to the man from RACQ who replaced my car battery and had us back on the road in no time. Car breakdowns are never convenient but this one could have been a lot more inconvenient than it was.

A massive thank you too to Suzanne at Picture-Retirement who posted this lovely review on Happy Ever After. I read it on a day when I was seriously questioning my ability to write something decent and as a result it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

2. Memes

This one is my fave.

3. Listening

I’m on a bit of a Desert Island Discs binge at present and delved back into to the archives – way back. While walking this week I listened to Tony Blair (before he was Prime Minister), Hugh Grant (when he was still with Liz Hurley), Keith Floyd (before he died), Hugh Laurie (before he was House), Kevin Whately (before he was Lewis), and Marianne Faithful (before she was…well as she was back then).

It’s the stories that I listen to – how these people started, where they came from, what motivates them, what they’re afraid of – but the music choices are really interesting too. You can find the archives here or search on itunes.

Also last week, again while walking, I listened to Michael Pollan talk to Richard Fidler in ABC Conversations about how he “shook the snowglobe” of his mind by investigating the therapeutic effects of psychedelic drugs. Interesting. Check out other guests here or search for Conversations on itunes.

4. Epilogues 

A couple of weeks ago Leanne from Cresting The Hill set me and some other bloggy friends the challenge to write a four-sentence obituary. It was, indeed, a challenge. Rather than being morbid as I feared it might be, it was actually quite life-affirming and positive and, for me, made me think about how I might want to be remembered. 

At first, I was tempted to just rewrite the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, but then I found a card that my bestie sent me a number of years ago and I had the first sentence of what I decided to call my epilogue.

Anyways, if you’re interested in what we all came up with, you’ll find them here.

5. In the Kitchen

It was Grant’s decision week last week which meant he had to come up with the meal plans Monday – Friday. I did, however, get let loose on the weekend and while I should have been writing or getting up to date with some RWA deliverables I baked a loaf of bread, turned a batch of “seconds” tomatoes into chutney (you can find the recipe here), and made Nigella’s Clementine cake but with oranges. Keep an eye out on the blog on Saturday for the recipe.

I also made Dan Dan noodles – and this super spicy roasted Sichuan chilli oil to go with it. Pow!

Dad Dan noodles is a Sichuan street noodle dish. There’s a spicy tahini sauce on the base, noodles on top of that, some spicy minced pork and veg and Sichuan chilli oil drizzled over the top. The recipe I used was Brendan Pang’s from this year’s Masterchef, but I didn’t make my noodles from scratch. #steptoofar

And finally, in case you missed it…

Aside from my tomato chutney recipe, also on the blog last week:

  • I got back on track with my posts from our England trip. If you want to know what the devil has to do with the Queen of the Cotswolds, check out this post.
  • In the interests of reviewing and resetting I updated my progress against my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. You’ll find the post here. Given that this was my first list, it’s now 2 years old, I’ve ticked off heaps of stuff and 2020 really doesn’t count, but mostly because it’s my list and I have the right to change my mind, I’m resetting it. Keep an eye out for that at the end of the month.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

30 thoughts

  1. I’d like to try making Dan Dan noodles (especially as my husband is called Dan!) but I think I’d tone down the spice just a little. I’m impressed with how that bread turned out too!

    1. They were great and you can control the spice…although we do like our food spicy. Next time I’ll have a go at making the noodles too, I think.

  2. Hi Jo – thanks for the eulogy shout out – I really loved the uniqueness of what everyone came up with for it too. I also think of the Brady Bunch when I’m Zooming – it’s stuck firmly in my head from all those years of watching it – and is now firmly locked in with Zooming. Well done on all the baking etc – our oven has died atm so any baking plans have sadly been put on hold untl the part comes from overseas (with several weeks of wait time!)

    1. I’d be lost but would need to invent another way of baking – dig a fire pit perhaps? Somehow I don’t see Grant being on board with that.

  3. Hi, Jo – All of that ‘throwback listening’ that you did sounds really intersting. I will definitely check out the link. Thanks for sharing this.
    And I loved the closing cartoon!

  4. Hi Jo thanks for the pointer to Leanne’s eulogy post it. I had missed it. I love listening to podcasts so will check those you’ve been listening to. Enjoy Cairns. I’m desperate for the borders to open for Victorians so I can cost my son and grandchildren

  5. Beautiful pics as always Jo! Writing your eulogy is a really good thing – it’s part of overcoming that fear of death but also, we use it in therapy at any age around helping people think about their values. I’m slightly envious of your trip to Cairns. I’m struggling to organise any kind of getaway because of all the unknowns and the possibility of another lockdown here. It’s so stressful! Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

    1. It’s the unknowns that are the worst. I can legally come to Sydney now to see Mum & Dad but am still not allowed in the office so think I will wait until I can get into Chatswood.

  6. I ALWAYS think of the Brady Bunch when on a zoom call, it just makes me laugh! Your memes are great, especially the age one, as I turn 60 later this year I am really questioning if this year counts at all?? Your eulogy was fab and you are such a great writer capturing everything in your words! Enjoy Cairns with Sarah #lifethisweek

    1. I can’t believe that the Brady Buch connection hadn’t occurred to me sooner. Enjoy Brissie…

  7. Seriously, I wasn’t finished! Anyway, I read your eulogy last week and it was perfectly you. Also, thanks for the introduction to Desert Island Disc. Something new to do with my spare time. Life is good this week. Stay well.

    1. Desert Island Discs is such a rabbit hole – but great for when you’re out walking… Have a fabulous week.

  8. Jo, I want to come to your house and have you feed me for a week! Your food always looks so delicious! The bread, the chutney, the spicy chili oil…yum!

    Loved the “you’re allowed” meme. I need to post that picture where I can see it often.

  9. Enjoyed the funnies!! More truth than poetry about the planner. Maybe we can just scratch out the second zero in 2020 and put a 1 in its place???

    Those noodles sound so good. Love sweet and spicy foods. My daughter just bought me a jar of Korean BBQ sauce to use with bulgogi, which I have never made or had but like the sound of.

    Enjoyed your epilogue and those of the other gals.

    1. The noodles were great and the sauce was so easy – mostly tahini, chilli oil and soy…mostly. Bulgogi is lovely, you should give it a go…easy as too to make. Have a lovely week.

  10. I love that “You’re allowed” Meme – so needed to read that today. And the last one 😉 Yep, I think this years age should be waved, ha ha. Brilliant. Xx

  11. I thought I read Leanne’s post last week but can’t remember seeing your obituary… must go and have another look.

    I’m yet to pay my RACQ fees this year but must do so as my new(er) car doesn’t seem as reliable as my faithful old one.

    And I’m off to look at that review! x

  12. It’s pretty scary about the covid-19 in Victoria. I really hope it doesn’t spread north. I love all your baking photos they look so yummy. I laughed about the meme for this year. I was recently saying to my daughter I will be glad when this year is over we have had to cancel so many big family events. Looking forward to 2021 with renewed optimism.

  13. Good old NRMA has helped us out in the battery stakes too. Good to have the membership where you are. I didn’t know it was a girls’ trip to Cairns and hope it’s amazing. I have actually been to Cairns, and onto Palm Cove x2 and Port Douglass …I may not have travelled much but up there is lovely. Mind you, HOT too. Last time now was 2010!

    Thank you so much for linking up for Life This Week. Next week, the optional prompt is “whatever you choose” because I am focussing on Head and Neck Cancer: 29/51 Your Choice. Mine is: World Head & Neck Cancer Day. 20.7.2020. Hope to see you there. Take care, Denyse.

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