February 2021 – All Wrapped Up

March already! According to the calendar we should be into autumn but I suspect here in south-east Queensland we have another few weeks (at least) of warm nights, warm days and humidity in hair frizzing percentages.

March is, however, birthday month for me and my daughter so what’s not to love?

Okay, without further ado, let’s wrap up February…


I read 7 books across the month:

  • Katherine Kovacic’s The Portrait of Molly Dean
  • Katherine Kovacic’s Painting In The Shadows
  • Katherine Kovacic’s The Shifting Landscape
  • Jill Mansell’s And Now You’re Back
  • Kerry Greenwood’s Death in Daylesford (the latest Phryne Fisher mystery) and
  • Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet – my read of the month.
  • I also finished the reread of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights with my book club. We’re moving on to Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey this month.

If you want to know what I thought of each of these, the February bookshelf round-up is here.


Some good stuff last month.

On ABC TV is Erik Thomson in Aftertaste. It’s the story of Easton West (get it???), an internationally-renowned yet volatile celebrity chef who has a spectacular fall from grace and finds himself back in his hometown in the Adelaide Hills, Australia. Having burned all his bridges, he now sets about repairing relationships and reinventing himself with a little help from his niece, an amateur pastry chef.

It’s funny and good and the scenery is great. Mind you, I’d watch Erik Thomson in pretty much anything.

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

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.

I’m also watching the BBC adaptation of David Nicholl’s Us. This was one of my favourite books last year and with Tom Hollander in the lead the show is really well done.


I’ve been listening to Barack Obama’s book. I’ve been struggling with my afternoon walks during February (it’s so stinking hot and humid) so I’m still only half way through but I could seriously listen to him all day.


So I didn’t get to Sydney to see my parents – while our border is open, our state premier is quick to shut it should cases emerge in the southern states. A friend got caught out during the month – went to Melbourne to see his aging mother only to have some covid cases down there prompt a snap lockdown of the state. The Queensland border was closed to anyone coming in from Victoria but it was done so quickly when he landed he was whisked off to a quarantine hotel – $2500 for the 2 weeks. Ouch. I’ve decided to leave it another month and see if things settle now the vaccine is being rolled out.

I did spend a week up in Hervey Bay visiting Sarah though. While I was working from up there, it was still lovely to do the day job in a different location.

I even wrote a post from there – A Day In The Life…

Experiencing and Imagining

We started the month off with a trip on the Mary Valley Rattler. Something a little different, it was a lovely step back in time. I wrote about it here.

Also during the month we went back and glazed the pottery masterpieces we created back in January. I’m yet to pick them up after firing, but I’m sure they’ll look as fabulous as we imagine they will. (Cough cough)


As I write this it’s just over a week until Escape To Curlew Cottage is published. It’s such a long road to get a book written and published and I’m amazed that this is my 7th release. And this from someone who has always been better at starting things than finishing them.

Anyways, it’s still available on pre-order at $2.99 (USD). I’ll keep it at that price for a week after release date. The link is here.

In the meantime I’ve been rewriting the draft of the as yet untitled Queenstown book – a sequel to Wish You Were Here. It goes off to my editor this month for a look through.


Quite a bit of activity here.

On this site I popped up a 53 things you mightn’t know about me post and, as part of a Valentine’s Day recipe hop, posted the recipe for my husband’s favourite dish, Kapitan Chicken.

On the author site, I introduced you to the cast and the setting of Escape To Curlew Cottage, and also shared an excerpt from Wish You Were Here in a post introducing what’s new on BKD – Brookford Kitchen Diaries.

Speaking of BKD I popped yup recipes for tan squares and zucchini, lime and cardamom cake. I also posted 2 recipes inspired by Wuthering Heights – parkin and pikelets. You’ll find them all here.

Looking forward

March has begun in a swirl of activity and looks to continue that way. We had old friends up last weekend, will have more visiting the region this weekend and more still towards the end of March.

I’m heading off for a holiday up in Cairns after my birthday – while I’ve had a couple of long weekends here and there, this will be a whole week away from the day job and I’m looking forward to it very much.

We’ll also head to Hervey Bay for a weekend to celebrate Sarah’s birthday.

Bring it on.

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Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

14 thoughts

  1. Happy birthday to you and your daughter! My grandson has a March birthday too – St. Patrick’s Day. I gave my daughter-in-law Barak Obama’s book for Christmas. She texted me yesterday to say she’s loving it. I hope she lets me borrow it when she’s finished! Congrats on your book release! Exciting news!!!

    1. Thanks Laurie. The Obama book is very good. It’s also honest and I’m very much enjoying the peek below the covers of the campaigns & the office.

  2. That was a busy Feb! I had all kinds of grand plans for Feb but mostly just barely scraped by with a lingering virus unfortunately. And happy birthday month 🙂

  3. It’s hard to believe that February is over already! It just flew by. Congratulations on your new book, it looks great!

    1. I really enjoyed Molly Dean but can understand how it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I love though how we all have different tastes.

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