5 things – Monday 17 August 2020

Okay, another week has flown by. What to talk about? It’s been one of those weekends at the end of one of those weeks and as I write this early on Monday morning, I feel brain-tired which isn’t the best way to start the week. I am, however, taking Wednesday off this week and have booked to go whale-watching off Mooloolaba.

So without any faffing around, let’s go.

1.Remind me never to

Please, I beg of you, if I ever make noises about writing horoscopes again, remind me of this post.

I used to do a lot of horoscope writing – both for annual diaries and daily ‘scopes as a ghostwriter for someone else but I haven’t written one in over two years and boy have I struggled this week. Really struggled. Every word felt painful. Yesterday took me the best part of the day to write just two day’s content – which, when I calculate how much I’m being paid to do this job, makes it a ridiculously cheap hourly rate. 

I’m not sure whether it was because I was out of practice, or because this was a ghost-writing job and I hadn’t written in anyone else’s voice in over two years, or because it’s not what I wanted to be writing this week, or because I was already brain-tired, or whether it was all of the above. Whatever the reason, remind me, please, because I’m pretty sure that I said exactly the same thing the last time I finished a freelance astro job.

2. Conferencing

Normally on this weekend every year, the RWA (Romance Australia) holds its annual conference. This year we made the decision back in March to cancel the physical conference and announced that we’d be holding a virtual conference instead. 

Kali and I are conference ready

That meant that the conference team had to pivot and start again and yet they managed to deliver a fantastic program – over 32 hours of content – virtually using webinar technology that no one was familiar with prior to this. I’m so proud to be associated with them. I managed to catch a lot of the sessions this weekend – in between writing horoscopes, of course. I have pages and pages filled with notes. While the sessions I listened to were all great, I think my favourite might have been Simon Lewis’ Crime Scene Investigation workshop…yes, at a romance writers conference.

Next week we’ll be doing our awards ceremony – again virtually. I’m the MC for that, which was super-weird to record. Again, the team has done a fabulous job and it was fun to be a part of it.

3. This Instagram account

Octogenarians Chang Wan-ji and Hsu Sho-er run a laundry service in a small Taiwanese town and have now become fashion sensations. Over the years they’ve acquired many forgotten garments. With the business struggling and the pair battling boredom they’ve started, at the suggestion of their grandson, to model the clothes that had been left behind.

“Many people are telling me, ‘You are famous now and you look younger’,” he said.

Hsu said she likes to “put on pretty clothes and go out and have some fun”.

“I am old in age but my heart is not ageing,” she said.

Their grandson, who is managing the Instagram account, has said the couple want to use their large social media following to encourage “environmental fashion”.

“Instead of following fast fashion and keep buying new clothes, we hope people can see that old and second-hand clothes can be fashionable if you arrange and combine them in new ways,” Reef said. “This would cause less damage to the earth and the environment.”

These memes also gave me a giggle.

4. Foodie Discoveries

Sarah and I tried out this (new to us) café in Nambour for lunch the other day – Mill St Kitchen & Pantry. It’s in a little cottage up where the old sugar mill used to be. There’s a museum there now and they’re also doing work on the old cane trail tracks so it could be worth having a bit more of a look around there.

Sarah had a Thai Beef salad with a very photogenic piece of cavolo nero, and I went for the ricotta gnocchi with greens, mushrooms and local tomatoes. Super yum – we’ll definitely be back.

5. In the kitchen

On account of the fact that I was conferencing and had to write horoscopes (remind me never ever ever) I haven’t had my hands in flour this week – and I’m suffering as a result; it really is where I find my zen.

Dan Dan noodles

I did, however, make these Dan Dan Noodles, and this Tandoori Chicken traybake which we served with Bombay potatoes. What I love about dishes like these is that even though they seem quite indulgent they’re not really that bad for you…well, relatively speaking.

I also mixed up a batch of these sesame peanut noodles packed with whatever veg was in the fridge for this week’s packed lunches. Not only are they put together in about 20 minutes, but they’re also both yummy and healthy. Even if you don’t normally do the meat-free thing give these a go – the dressing alone is worth it.

Oh, there was no Destination Kitchen this week because a) I couldn’t be faffed doing the research b) I didn’t have the time to spend in the kitchen and c) we decided to go out to the local Thai instead.

Okay, that was my week, how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

35 thoughts

  1. You make me laugh Jo, thanks so much. Can I ask for a personal horoscope reading from you??? Kidding 🙂 Just checking on your resolve to not write horoscopes again!! Love your look back at the week. You are amazing! #lifethisweek

    1. It’s a bit like my resolve when I came back from Milford to never ever do a track with a mountain in the middle. Never ever. Ever.

  2. Funny, I never thought of horoscope writing as being a thing. I just assumed they had maybe 50-100 entries that were just moved around and reused again and again. Actually, I bet it would be fun to write some tongue-in-cheek ones for a laugh (not that I’m trying to break your resolve 🙂 ). The Instagram pictures and memes made me smile… thanks for that!

    1. Well, there you go. Most of the major papers and mags employ proper astrologers, well, these days anyway – this ghost writing job is for one of them. I’ve seen some great ones done for a laugh…so tongue in cheek & hilarious.

  3. Thanks for giving me a laugh to kick off Monday, Jo. I loved the Taiwanese laundry owners. I’ve come to love a virtual conference. I’ve done a few during isolation.

  4. Jo, I love your memes, I’m still laughing… Congrats on the successful RWA conference! Switching from a physical conference to a successful virtual conference is a huge undertaking. Your food photos look fabulous. Oh please don’t do horoscope writing when the hourly rate is not worth it. #lifethisweek

    1. I used to be able to write a days worth in an hour or so & stupidly thought I could still do that – but back then I was writing a lot of astro, writing a lot of scopes and writing a lot of freelance. These days I’m so far out of practice it’s not funny!

  5. Lol @ the horoscope-writing! I especially love the Fight Club meme for 2021…I vow to not talk about 2020 provided 2021 delivers a better year! Whale watching sounds like fun! Looking forward to those pics later in the week. As always, loving your sunrise shots – winter seems to be coming to an end! Which makes me very very happy! I know a few writers who were posting about the RWA conference – looks like it was a hit! Hope you have a fab week ahead!

  6. Jo you just go and go and go don’t you???? I’ve never met such a multi-talented person in my life and you keep coming up with new ways to take it to the next level – virtual MC-ing is now added to your CV (you can use it to replace the horoscope writing bit you had to cross off!) Glad you’re treating yourself to a day off – hope the whales turn up to give you a good show x

    1. You know what they say – jack of all trades & master of none. Sometimes I wonder what sort of gaps I’m trying to fill.

  7. That zoom meme is one of my favourites, it’s so good. Haha. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you’ve learned your lesson with the horoscopes, we’re here for you. 😛

  8. What a busy week! I find it hard enough to write horoscopes in my own voice, let alone someone else’s so kudos to you! The conference sounds fabulous and you still have the awards to look forward to! As usual you find the best memes and accounts on the gram – there’s always something in these posts to make me smile so thank you! Have an ace week!

    1. Spoiler alert – the preso is flipping good. Our events manager put it together and she’s so incredibly clever.

      1. That Taiwanese couple made me smile! And I totally get not being bothered to do a cuisine night – so good there are still culturally diverse options for eating out!

  9. I loved the Taiwanese couple. I want to be fun like that. I have really enjoyed how versatile the writing community has become and all the online talks, book clubs and events that have been produced.

  10. Wow! You are a horoscope writer? Amazing. I can believe that would be a difficult writing job. Can’t even imagine having to come up with 12 horoscopes EVERY DAY!

    Great memes. I can’t wait to hear “This is your pilot speaking…” too!

    1. You’d be surprised what I’ve written over the years Laurie, but for a time my astro website was in the top 10 most viewed world wide. I haven’t written astrology though for a couple of years & only ever write daily scopes if I had a freelance job to do so. When this one came up 6 months ago I must have been feeling particularly cash-strapped.

  11. What I like about those sort of dishes too is that you can always throw in some extra veggies – whatever you have on hand. That’s how I cook! Though I am due a trip to the grocery store. Damn. Another errand on my suddenly expanding list.

    Hope the conference was good – I saw a few people around the internet tracks logging into it!

    1. Yeah I love those recipes too – where it’s an idea or a starting point rather than a prescriptive recipe.

  12. Never go back…or something like that..you are moving forward…not back to horoscopes….make sense? And huge congrats on MC a big on-line conference!! Great to see you finding new places to eat and explore. Go girls….

    Thanks for linking up this week for #LifeThisWeek. Next week the optional prompt is 34/51 Self-Care Stories. #5. 24.8.2020 and I hope to see you there. Take care, Denyse.

  13. I appreciate the peaks of your “5 Things” on Instagram, Jo. I love being reminded about the beauty on our planet. I don’t know how you manage to fit in many of your projects throughout the week. I do see you balance it all out with some fun. Possibly this is your secret.

    I saw a glimpse of this Instagram site on another link. I must follow them. Hilarious! Major drool on the food photos, again. It never grows old.😀

    1. Sometimes I don’t feel as though I’m balancing at all well Erica, sometimes it feels as though it’s head down & one foot in front of the other. My reativity keeps me sane (well, that and flour and sunrises) which is why no matter how mad life is, if I can do something creative I’m ok.

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