5 things – Monday, August 3, 2020

August? Already? Yes, it would appear so.

It’s been an up and down week. I’m still adjusting to a changed timetable since Grant went back to work – he needs to leave home earlier so we’re up and walking half an hour earlier. It doesn’t sound like much but there is actually a world of difference between 5.20am and 4.50am. It is, however, worth it to keep our daily walking habit going – and to see first light and the sunrise.

I’m struggling a tad with a few things – mostly regarding workload – but given that’s been my choice and commitment to make I need to suck it up and do the head down bum up just get on with it thing.

In COVID-19 news, Melbourne is now in 6 weeks of stage 4 lockdown, with the rest of Victoria in stage 3. After a couple of women came across the border after (allegedly) making false declarations on their paperwork and have since been diagnosed with the virus, Queensland’s borders are again closed to Sydney. I’m going to resist the temptation to get my soapbox out about that one.

Okay, without further faffing about, here’s the five…

1.First Light

There’s something quite lovely about being out before dawn. The birds start at first light, when just a glimmer is visible on the horizon.

On the water the kayakers are wearing head-lamps so in the pitch dark the lights look like they’re scooting across the surface of the water, like big fireflies. Now, how’s that for a romantic picture at 5.30 in the morning?

2. Box Ticking

Man, did I tick some boxes last week – the sort of things that have been appearing on my weekly to-do list for months (and I mean months….). Sure, some of it was done because I needed to do it for my author website (which is close to being complete), but that’s beside the point. Aside from my day job and some Romance Australia commitments I also:

  • I updated my “about me” and book pages on this website
  • Wrote blurbs for 3 books – I Want You Back, Careful What You Wish For and Escape To Curlew Cottage. (If you’re interested you’ll find them on the Book page.) As an aside, I’ve been needing to write the blurb for I Want You Back since I finished it in late 2017.
  • Wrote the acknowledgements for I Want You Back (again something that’s been pending for a couple of years) and Careful What You Wish For
  • Chased up cover designs for the print versions of Baby It’s You and Big Girls Don’t Cry and sent through some ideas for the covers for Careful What You Wish For and Escape To Curlew Cottage
  • Started the ball rolling on the formatting for I Want You Back.
  • Completed yet another re-write on Escape to Curlew Cottage and got rid of 10,000 words that it didn’t need
  • Cleaned the oven

It’s probably no wonder that I feel mentally drained.

3. On the wall

At the beginning of July we ordered a couple of pictures for the wall. Both were by a Sunshine Coast based photographer Ben Messina.

The one we’ve hung over the lounge is of a Redwood forest in The Otway National Park in Victoria. The shard of light is incredible.

This one of the Sugar Pines at Laurel Hill near Tumbarumba is particularly meaningful. These fabulous trees were destroyed during the bushfires earlier this year, so it’s lovely to have a permanent reminder of them on the wall.

The light in these photos is not great (our walls are actually white), but the pics are fabulous and really feel as though we’re in nature.

4. In the Kitchen

It was Destination Queensland in Saturday Kitchen this week so we had local seafood – well, it was all local except for the smoked salmon which came from Tasmania.

I also made yoghurt ice cream using Maleny Dairies yoghurt (from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland) and made strawberry jelly from Sunshine Coast strawberries.

Also on the ice cream front, I made a chocolate peanut one using Snickers bars and served it with a blueberry galette. The recipe is here. Sarah says she has a new favourite ice cream.

Finally there was the Sunday Roast…with excellent (if I do say so myself) Yorkshire Puddings.

5. In case you missed it

On the blog I posted:

And that was my week…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

28 thoughts

  1. Oh my goodness those Yorkies look amaze! I must have missed the bit about Grant going back to work, hope he’s enjoying it. So worried for Melbourne and so peeved about the QLD/NSW border situation, I wonder if we’ll ever be able to take our Sydney to Sunshine Coast road trip. Wah! In other news, I really need to clean my oven, do you have any tips for me?!

    1. He’s now working for the charity/op shops he was volunteering for and really happy. Re the oven I used baking soda & water on the door glass & tried out Koh – a non chemically thing – on the inside and it worked really well. We do have a self-cleaning oven but the fumes and the process is just too much for me.

  2. Jo, I love your sunrise photos and the pictures you chose for your walls.They’re so uplifting. Your food photos are amazing, too and I’m glad I’m just looking at them on my computer and not IRL. No calorie gained, just some drool wiping 🙂 I’m glad to read your comment that Grant is happy with his work. Have a wonderful week! #lifethisweek

  3. Hi Jo, I have seen some of your photos on Instagram. I can see where the phrase “died and gone to heaven” came from. Spectacular skies! You and Grant are inspirational on how you keep up your walking habits. The Melbourne lockdown is scary and sad. The world is watching, sending hugs, “and there but for the grace of God, go I.” (so far) You have been exceptionally industrious and accomplished a great deal, Jo. Your “On the wall” photo is even more beautiful when I can see it closer. Of course, more beautiful in real life. I cannot even begin to talk about the food. I get it on the term “food porn.” An enjoyable post! xx

    1. It sounds trite but I truly love those few minutes before the sun is up – when you watch the glow on the horizon and then it pops up. So much promise.

      1. It really stayed with me, how it is also a very special time together with you and your husband. Like you say, beauty, and a day filled with so much promise. ❤️

  4. 4:50 am is incredibly early (says an early bird). No wonder you get so much done!
    I’m very impressed with all of your box-ticking. But it did make me want a nap! 😀
    Well done on all…including the oven-cleaning!

  5. I made Yorkshire puddings yesterday for the first time.
    They were great when they came out of the oven but instantly deflated on serving. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Debbie, making the batter up some time before you need it (hours before or even the night before) can help maintain the structure when they come out. They will deflate a little and should leave that fabulous hole that the gravy collects in, but will still be quite upright. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Your week reminds me of a saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”. 🙂 Lovely the tree photographs, I am a tree hugger from way back. Sad that Australia is off bounds until at least next year!!

    1. Sigh, it’s a bit like that at the moment – and will be so until the middle of September. Hey ho.

  7. Hi Jo I always look forward to your sunrise photos and yes it is hard to get up early but so worth it for many reasons. I know I leave home on Saturday mornings by 4:45 for a 6am run in Brisbane. Sometimes I’d rather stay in bed but after the run with my friends, I always feel so much better. I drooled over your latest cooking feats and was actually breathless just reading all you ticked off last week – you deserved your delicious dinner that is for sure. Have a lovely week and really love the tree photos and the story behind them. #lifethisweek

  8. Always love your sunrise/first light pics. I agree there is something mesmerising about being out before sunrise. While my trip outside is more just a walk to the gym, I still love that time of the morning. I saw your photos on social media and I think they look fantastic! Your food pics and posts always make me hungry. Ugh the Covid situation is just ugh. I have no words. I feel for Victoria so much (esp Melbourne!) and I fear NSW won’t be far behind and I’m just so exhausted about it all

  9. You are a machine Jo and I am so impressed with you ticking off some big jobs from your list! Well done to you. I am impressed with your early morning starts and the commitment to keep walking with Grant. And you already know how I love your Sugar Pine photo – just amazing! My week came to a sad end with us starting our drive home after spending 3 weeks in sunny Qld with our daughter and grandson.

  10. I love the light in the photos you just hung on your walls – beautiful. The one you took of sunrise was beautiful as well. I love getting up early. Being outside when the sum comes up is so worth it. Of course, that usually means a nap in the afternoon for me! 🙂

  11. I have NO IDEA how it’s August already. Though, to be honest, this year has felt 100 years long already. When I think back to the fires in January, they seem so long ago.

    The prints look amazing! Beautiful work.

  12. 10,000 words is a scary level of cutting! And I love the photos. And I’ve been craving seafood all week and this hasn’t helped 😉

    1. It was scary to cut, but the result is much tighter, so that’s good….and sorry about feeding the craving lol

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