Weekend Coffee Share #1

Recently, my friend Natalie from Natalie the Explorer started a link up called #WeekendCoffeeShare. It’s a place for bloggers to link up and share their thoughts. I’ve decided to swap my usual Monday morning rush to empty my brain of the week with this – a much more leisurely summary of the week that was.

What brought joy to my week

I’ve spent the last 5 days in Hervey Bay, staying with my daughter. We’ve both been working (I work remotely so can do so from everywhere) but it’s really filled my heart to see and hear how she’s settling into her new life.

I’ve loved my morning walks on the pier and the birds and marine life I’ve seen. 

The highlight yesterday morning was a group of eagle rays – 4 or 5 of them – dancing around under the pier.

If you haven’t seen an eagle ray before they flap their wings like a large bird (no doubt where the name comes from) and if the wing tips breach the surface it can look a little like a shark fin.

It was a privilege to see them like this and starting the day in nature really is the best way to start a day – especially when you know you’ll be in front of a laptop for the rest of it.

I’ve also loved my breakfast sitting outside the flat watching the tides and being serenaded by magpies.

What made me laugh

I inhaled the second season of Staged with Michael Sheehan and David Tennant. Lockdown TV at its best. ABCTV

What made me cry

I also finished watching It’s A Sin on STAN. Aside from the music being the soundtrack of my teenage years and the music I love, it tracks the stories of a group of friends in London’s gay scene in from 1981 -1991 – yes, when AIDS first reared its head. 

I remember the stories and the attitudes at the time – and, of course, the conspiracy theories. Mostly I remember the TV ads – in Australia they used the grim reaper. As a teenage girl who hadn’t even started dating, it was frightening.

Anyways, the show was, despite the premise, both deeply sad with moments of pure joy and friendship. It was beautifully done and I suspect will stay with me for some time.

What I read

Hamnet. What a book. I tend not to read books that have been hyped or books that have won awards – I guess I feel they’ll be a tad too literary for my tastes, this, though, I loved and was wound up in the Tudor world right from the start. 

The book is a fictional account of the death of Shakespeare’s son Hamnet and I was so invested in the characters. Fabulous.

I’ve also been reading the latest in Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher murder mysteries.

What I imagined

A month or so ago Sarah and I attended a wine and clay night – where we took along a bottle of wine and played with some clay. Last weekend we went back to glaze our masterpieces and I’m now imagining how they’ll look once out of the kiln.

What’s cooking?

I’ve been on dinner duty here – one of my tasks when I’m in The Bay is to fill my daughter’s freezer so I’ve replenished the stock of chilli con carne. No baking this week – Sares has neither the ingredients or the tinware.

The highlight in the kitchen this week was the baked tomato and feta pasta that’s doing the rounds on Tik Tok. You take some cherry tomatoes, olive oil and garlic and pop it all into a baking dish. Add a slab of feta cheese and whack it in a hot oven for 40 minutes. You squash the tomatoes and feta with a fork until you have a sauce and stir through cooked pasta. I pimped it up with some basil, some spinach and a few olives I found in the fridge. Too easy and, actually, surprisingly tasty. Next time I think I’ll toss some chorizo in. The photo below doesn’t do it justice.

What I did to keep me healthy

Walk. I knew I’d have little to no incidental steps this week so walked each day before work and after I logged off.

In the News

Melbourne has come out of a snap 5 day lockdown and all other states are community transmission free. The Queensland border is still closed to travellers from Melbourne.

Facebook has defriended ie blocked all news, media and publishing sites in Australia in protest against a new proposed Australian law. This closure extended to Department of Heath and official Coronavirus sites, State Emergency and Fire pages and even the Bureau of Meteorology. They’ve since backed down on these. But, regardless of whether or not I think the law is a good one (and don’t get me started there), how dare Facebook think they can hold a national government to ransom? And yes, I know that’s a naive thing to say but the part of me that is still not completely cynical needs to say it. Okay, soapbox rant over.

On the blog

A day in the life

Courgette Lime and Cardamom Cake on the Brookford Kitchen Diaries 

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

50 thoughts

  1. Hi Jo.. I love to get into nature every day too. I’m lucky to have 3 great off-leash parks nearby to walk my dogs. I love Harvey Bay, lucky you! We have even thought of retiring there. Regards Christina

    1. You know, if I didn’t live on the Sunshine Coast I could be tempted. I’m very glad Sarah got a job up here – its a lovely lifestyle.

  2. I love this idea of using #weekendcoffeeshare for your weekly wrap-up Jo! A fabulous look at your week and what a special time you had with Sarah and those eagle rays!! As I said in Sue’s post I loved Hamnet too and am sorry I’ve now finished it in some ways, it transported me back in time. Hoping I can catch up with you in person one day soon :). Have a great week.

    1. I actually edited it to add a news paragraph too. I think the Friday wrap might suit me better. Yes, hope to catch up sometime soon…

  3. I’ve seen that tomato and feta recipe on so many blogs (all with great reviews) that I am convinced that I NEED to make it. Thanks for adding your voice to the chorus. It sounds like just the indulgence my husband and I need.

    I have also put Hamnet on my to-read list. I guess it’s the same book as Hamnet and Judith? I always love a good book recommendation.

    1. It is the same as Hamnet and Judith but was released just as Hamnet here (and in the UK too I think). You need to try the pasta bake. When my daughter first suggested it I thought I’d make it because she’d seen it on Tin Tok but I was pleasantly surprised.

  4. Jo, the Widow Badass shared the tomato/feta bake on her blog this week also. I agree, olives and spinach can only make it better. I think this would be great with chicken also. So nice that you are spending time with Sarah. Mommy/Daughter time is the best!

    1. Great minds really do think alike. I hadn’t heard of it until Sarah declared it had to be on the menu. I think chicken would be a great addition.

  5. Your heading photo is breathtaking, Jo! I love all the angles and photos of this pier. It looks slightly different in every photo, especially with various weather patterns. “Hamlet” is getting a resounding thumbs up from everyone. I have been reading about FB blocking news. Lemon is usually my favourite. Lime is a close second. Thank you for sharing your week and photos. Especially happy you were able to visit with Sara. (Can’t remember h or no h)

    1. Hi again, Jo, I meant to mention to you, I linked “Escape to Curlew Cottage” to my last post (Valentine’s Day), indicating March 12th is publication date. I hope this is still correct, or I can edit it. xx

    2. Here’s a great big shout-out to citrus! The pier really is photogenic and I have to think how many photos I’ve already taken of it. (And Sarah is an h, but she answers to both an ha an no h lol)

  6. I am so glad you and your daughter had such a wonderful visit. I am a huge fan of magpies. They are so bold! The ones we have here in the states look much different than their Australian cousins, though. That feta pasta sounds wonderful! Looks beautiful too.

  7. Hi Jo what a lovely week and it is good to be able to spend time with Sarah whilst she settles in to a new home and new job. There is nothing like having Mum around especially to fill the freezer! I also enjoyed Hamnet and just finished the Midnight Library which I found an interesting read. We’ve both decided to mix things up this week and I too decided to finish my week with the #weekendcoffeeshare. Great minds and all that… Have a fab week and look forward to see what you get up to. xx

  8. Hi, Jo – Thanks to your recommendation, I made the Tic Tok Feta-Tomato-Pasta Dish this week. It tastes divine, and the aromas that it creates are pure heaven. Combine that with a super easy dish = win-win-win! Thanks for sharing that, and for taking us back to Hervey Bay!

    1. You’re very welcome. I think I’ll make it again this week for Grant – although he’s extremely sceptical…

  9. What a lovely summaryu of your week. Oh to be able to be close to the ocean and see those rays. We have over a foot of snow here (Southern Ontario) and cold weather. I’ve been hoping to read Hamnet – have only heard good reviews. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Lime and cardamom, what a delicious and unusual combination. I bet that cake was heaven on earth. Just as your photos are. Starting the day with a walk in nature is the best. Will be glad when we warm up just a tad more so I can return to that.
    Very interested in Hamnet. Have pinned it so I remember to offer it to the reading group I host. Also have it on my Goodreads to-read shelf. Just finished The Midnight Library. You might enjoy it. Thought-provoking. Actually listened to it on Audible. Like a play or theater production for just the ears!! Would be great accompaniment for your walks.

    1. I’ve had a few people recommend Midnight Library and I have to say the cover really appeals to me – yes, maybe on Audible…although I’m working my way through Obama’s book at the moment – man, it’s long… but excellent.

  11. Jo, I’m so glad you decided to swap your usual Monday morning post with a Weekend Coffee Share post. Your week in Hervey Bay sounds fantastic. To see a group of eagle rays in the morning, wow! Sarah must be so happy to have you visit and share meals. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare.

    1. The eagle rays were pretty amazing and yeah, I think Sarah enjoyed having me there to bounce off and download to at night. I just wish she had better airconditioning lol #firstworldproblems

  12. Hi Jo – nice to see you’re another Hamnet lover – I think I missed something in the translation – I found it over written, tediously slow to get going, florid, and generally……boring. It’s one of the few books I’ve started and given up on with absolutely no regret. I think I must be a literary plebe – but that’s okay with me. I’ll stick with fast moving plots and interesting adult characters – and a LOT less meandering descriptions (can you tell I hated it??)
    Nice to see the rest of your week and your example of the pasta thingie that everyone seems to be making.

    1. I can tell you hated it! But I also love how we can all have different tastes when it comes to, well, everything and that’s ok.

  13. Hi from over The Ditch! I had thought about Hamnet but was unsure but have seen two good reviews of it this week so might need to go and pick it up. Also good to see a review of the Tik Tok tomato/feta thing – have to try it now too.

  14. I’ll have to try that pasta thingy too. I don’t normally care for feta, but it sounds delicious when combined with cherry tomatoes and such.

    I’m so glad you got to spend some great time with your daughter as she settles in to her new life.

    I’d never heard of eagle rays. They sound so amazing! I totally love nature’s beauty.

  15. Hi Jo, coming to you from #lifethisweek, my first visit! I love the coffee share as a weekly round-up, it makes sense. I haven’t been that involved with coffee shares for a while since I host my own challenge, but link-ups are a great way to meet folks! Beautiful view of the pier and your recipe looks amazing!

  16. Love this wrap up of your week – yay for the bay! That Tiktok pasta has been doing the rounds – the consensus seems to be that it needs a little something extra, I think chorizo would be perfect. Now I wish I had Stan so I could watch It’s a Sin. Have a great week x

  17. So much goodness in one post (until I got to the Facebook comment. Urgh. Facebook! but let’s not muddy the waters with that talk). I loved reading about your walks along the pier. The pictures are just beautiful! And I like the sounds of the book Hamnet. I’ll put that on my list of books to explore. The cake. Oh the cake! YUM! I’m definitely putting that on my list. I’ve seen the tomato-feta dish but didn’t realize it was the hottest thing. It sounds good. I have some cherry tomatoes in the fridge. I might have to round up some cheese (wonder if it would work with mozzarella instead of feta). Adding spinach and sausage sounds good too. Will think about this one and maybe give it a go.

  18. Gosh, you do get around…lol. I know why. How much better it is that you can travel to where Sarah is working AND do the Mum thing, the work thing and even meet up with Deb. I know you are keen to come to Sydney to see your parents so hope this happens soon.

    Thank you for linking up your blog post for #lifethisweek on Monday 22 Feb 2021. Next week, it’s the first optional prompt of Taking Stock where I am using my own prompts for the first time. Hope to see you there, on or off prompt. Take care, Denyse #lifethisweek #linkup #Australia

  19. I saw the feta and tomato thing on something and wondered how it would be. I sometimes choke a little on tomato skin – even that of cherry tomatoes. Not sure why, something about the texture maybe? I’m the same with large pieces of rosemary weirdly!

    It’s great you got to have the week with Sarah and a change of scenery. I loved Staged too and think I would love It’s a Sin but don’t have Stan. I had intended to watch a heap of things the week I was stuck at my bro’s when mum was in hospital and they were travelling but unfortunately I had an assignment due and the editing gig, so only got time for The Mandalorian. (I also wanted to watch Wandavision!)

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