5 things – Saturday, March 13, 2020

Here we are Saturday morning catching up over a cuppa (mine is black tea, in case you’re interested). Anyways, without any further havering, let’s wrap this week up.


Happy Birthday to me for yesterday. I was going to take a selfie of me at 54, but I forgot and when I remembered it was raining.

I did, though, have a lovely quiet birthday. Given that I spent my birthday last year working on both day job stuff and RWA stuff and arranging the funeral for my mother in law, this year’s birthday was quietly beautiful.

I didn’t have to day job but because rain was forecast I didn’t do very much at all – which was exactly right. I had my monthly visit to the hairdresser to get rid of the grey and ran a few errands. Importantly I also dropped in my passport renewal. Given that Australians are still not able to leave the country without permission (and if we do we pretty much can’t get back in) I’m not sure whether that’s wishful thinking or not. I’m choosing to think of it as positive thinking. After all, each passport represents 10 years of possibility.

Other than that, my dog and I settled in for a Midsomer Murders Marathon. Absolute bliss.

My day was topped off with Sarah coming home for the weekend. We’ll go out for dinner tonight but last night we had, what we used to refer to when I was growing up, a party party – with sausage rolls and party pies and mini frankfurts. Not at all pretty and the table isn’t even done nicely, but it was like a kids party – with alcohol and minus the fairy bread.

Because I don’t eat cake Grant even got in a retro fave – a Vienetta. If you’ve never seen one before, it’s an ice cream cake with thin leaves of chocolate through it. It’s an Aussie classic and reminds me of growing up.

Yesterday was also release day for Escape To Curlew Cottage. After what feels like the longest time, it’s finally out there. It’s not available on print just yet but will be in a few weeks – I’ll let you know when. In the meantime, it is available on Amazon and will be on all other platforms by the end of the week. I’m ridiculously proud of this book and can’t wait to revisit Brookford later this year in something new.

2. Sunrises

They’re back – not that they ever went away… Sunrises in summer are never great. Aside from the fact that they occur too early even for me (at the height of summer sunrise is around 4.30 ish), they’re rarely colourful. There’s a scientific reason that I won’t bore either you or myself with.

This week there was plenty of colour around.

3. Watching

I bet you thought I was going to say the Meghan and Harry interview. Well, to be honest, I taped it to watch (I can’t be doing with the ads) and lasted about 30 minutes. My mother has always said that if you don’t have anything nice to say, talk about the weather, so my opinion of it is summed up by telling you that the sky is blue outside.

I’ve been waiting for Men In Kilts – Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (from Outlander fame) – to start here in Australia and it’s finally made its way to Foxtel.

I’ve also begun watching Back Roads on ABCTV – if you haven’t come across it, it’s a program that features small towns in Australia – and happened across an episode about Agnes Water and Town of 1770. We visited this amazing little place a couple of years ago, but what I wasn’t aware of was the community-driven environmental movement that’s happening up there – particularly in relation to sea turtles. If you’re in Australia you’ll be able to pick it up on ABC iView.


Also on TV this week I watched the semi-final of The Great Kiwi Bake-off and happened to see something that I never thought I’d see – a cow udder jelly cake. Yes, you heard me right. And as the contestant walked it over to the judges it really was wobbling. Hmmm.

4. Writing

It’s been a busy week in the day job this week so not much to speak about here. I did, however, manage to get something up during the week about 10 albums that influenced me. You’ll find it here.

5. In the Kitchen

No baking this week, but I did make a batch of bacon and red lentil soup for lunches. It was quick to make and like a healthier version of a pea and ham soup. The recipe is here but I added a sweet potato and used shortcut bacon instead of pancetta. It gave the same flavour without some of the fat. It’s not the most photogenic soup going around but it tastes great.

Okay, so that was my week. Linking up with Natalie for the weekend coffee share and Denyse on Life this week.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

37 thoughts

  1. Happy Birthday, Jo! A quiet day to celebrate at home sounds wonderful. Every day is a quiet day at home for me! 🙂 I hope you get to use your new passport soon. Your government has done a wonderful job of keeping you safe.

    That soup looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. What a lovely week Jo and I’m sending happy birthday wishes again. Don’t you just love a good party pies and sausage rolls party with the tomato sauce! Congratulations on the launch of your new book Escape to Curlew Cottage, what a lovely birthday gift. Have a great week,my friend. x

    1. Definitely sometimes foods! (And, if its not too much information, foods my tummy isn’t terribly happy with these days!)

  3. Happy birthday! I just downloaded my book this morning and can’t wait to start reading it this weekend. I hope you get a chance to use that passport soon.

  4. Happy, Happy Birthday, Jo. I’m glad that your birthday was just perfect — and included fun extras (haircut and passport renewal). The Party Party looked awesome (although I was disappointed with the lack of Fairy Bread). Congratulations as well on the release of Escape to Curlew Cottage. With the privilege of being an Advanced Reader, I have already highly recommended it to others!

    1. I was so disappointed with the lack of fairy bread. That’s what happens when Grant boots me out of the kitchen and doesn’t let me interfere in my own birthday dinner.

  5. Hi Jo, Happy Birthday and congratulations on the release of Curlew Cottage. Thanks for the reminder. I just checked my reader and it is there. Will get started tomorrow.

    As for the Harry Megan thing. I didn’t watch it, but I have seen some of the backlash towards those who expressed disbelief. He is a weeny and she plays the poor little Princess very well. The world has real problems and the airwaves are consumed with these two. Sick!

  6. Happy birthday! I love your Party-Party… what a great idea! And that Vienetta… double yum!

    I didn’t see the interview (I wasn’t aware that it was on, but I wouldn’t have watched anyway). With social media, I really didn’t have to see the whole thing to feel as if I did. All I can say is: that family needs some serious intervention… and counseling.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes – it really was a flashback to childhood birthdays. Have a fabulous week.

  7. Happy birthday, Jo! Congratulations on the release of Escape to Curlew Cottage. Why not take a photo of you and your new book as a way to mark your special birthday week? I hope you get to use your passport soon. I like your thinking of 10 year of possibility. I need a haircut but all the hair salons are closed due to lockdown here atm. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare.

    1. Thanks Kirsten. I love marking the beginning and end of the day – it’s the best way to stay in tune with nature’s cycles.

  8. Hi Jo – congrats on the book release and the birthday. I would have heartily enjoyed your party food dinner – my kind of food! And right up there with my baking skills – I can whip up a Vienetta with the best of them! Nice little pic of the men in their kilts too – do love me a bit of Sam/Jamie!

  9. Happy, happy birthday! I wonder if we’ll get to celebrate with wine and dumplings before your next trip around the sun rolls around! I loved your party party food degustation – I might have to ‘borrow’ that idea and yay that Escape to Curlew Cottage is out and double yay now that I have a kindle, I can actually read it! Woot!

    1. Woot indeed! I think the borders are getting more stable so hopefully we won’t have to wait a year!

  10. Happy birthday, Jo! That is a feast you celebrated with – finger food parties are the best!
    What an exciting week it’s been: congratulations on the release of your book. Such excitement!

    Thank you for the cup of English breakfast with a splash of milk!

  11. I’m so glad you had a good birthday Jo and you should be insanely proud of Escape to Curlew Cottage , it’s brilliant! Back Roads is a great show and i always learn a lot when I watch it. I am devastated about the no fairy bread at your party though. Lovely sunrises 🙂

  12. Happy birthday, release day, and sunrise photo celebration! (Ok I might have made that last one up, but I do enjoy a sunrise photo.)

  13. Sounds like you had a great Birthday Jo. There was so much in your post that had me smiling or nodding my head in agreement. I’ve stayed away from the Meghan/Harry saga too. Doesn’t interest me at all and who know what’s true! Outlander? I’m trying to read the books but have been thinking of swapping to the series as they are taking up so much of my reading time. There are just too many good book ms to read to put so much time into one series. On that subject, I’m off to download Curlew Cottage. I love the sound of it #lifethisweek

  14. Here’s the thing…take a photo more than just one day of the year. Seriously. You will never actually be as YOUNG as this again…and it’s time for YOU to be in the picture. HB of course!! When we were a young family living in our house in Wrights Road Kellyville, Bernard’s choice of bday cake was a Viennetta. Great memories there for me and you would have been in your 20s!! See how time goes fast…lol

    Thanks so much for linking up for Life This Week #231. Glad to have you add your post as part of the community here. Next week. the optional prompt is Good. Hope to see you there. Denyse.

Comments are closed.