Catching Up – June 26, 2021

It’s been an all over the place week – and the weather’s been the same. A couple of glorious mid-winter blue days and some hunkering down days with plenty of the wet stuff.

Sydney has had a Covid outbreak – yet another as a result of border breaches. Parts of the city are now in lockdown, the travel bubble between NZ and NSW has been paused and every other state has enforced border closures on NSW – just as the school holidays start. For us here in Queensland it’s life as usual, but I feel for the tourist operators who again are suffering. The winter school holidays is the prime tourist time for Queensland – and, in particular, Far North Queensland. I could say more, but this is a political-free zone. Heavy sighs.

Okay, to the catch-up. I’m trying a slightly different format this week – let me know what you think.

One Sunrise

The sun isn’t up until after 6.30am still, so my morning walks are mostly completed in the dark, with the best of the colour appearing just after I’ve finished my post-walk coffee and am in the car on the way home.

Thursday morning’s before-sunrise sunrise was, however, the pick of the bunch this week.

For more sunrises – and why I love them so much – check out this post.

One book I read

Scottish Myths and Legends by Daniel Allison. I’m trying to read a little more outside my normal genre – and this certainly fell into that category. Each story was bite-sized and very easy to read. Some were cautionary tales, some were creation tales, some were fairy tales. All took me to another time and place.

One thing I watched

I’ve begun watching Whitstable Pearl on AcornTV – I’ve also been reading the book of the same name, but more on that another time.

Set in the seaside town of Whitstable, each episode is a stand-alone mystery featuring oyster restaurant owner and private detective Pearl Nolan. It’s cozy crime UK style – my favourite.

One thing I’ve done for my health

All my blood tests results are back and now I don’t need to go back to the GP for another 6 years. Jokes. Seriously though, I’ve reached that age where I do need to take greater care of my health.

Despite all my baking, I tend not to eat the outcomes. I switched to a (mostly) low GI style of eating a number of years ago when blood tests showed I was in the early warning stages of diabetes (a common side effect of PCOS). As a result my blood sugars are still really good.

My cholesterol though is up a bit – not enough to cause alarm bells, but enough that my GP would like me to get it down via diet over the next 6 months.

I’ve let the whole Excess Baggage thing slip a bit over the last 12 months, so this was my wake-up call.

Even though I’ve decided my official start date is July 1, this week I replaced my usual brekky of boiled egg with a slice of rye toast (and butter) with more cholesterol friendly porridge. My beloved eggs are not off the menu completely (I can still have one a day if I want), but (sadly) butter is – at least for the forseeable future.

One thing I baked

Straight from cholesterol to baking…

In book club we’re reading Jane Eyre and what a treat this book is. To say it’s filling my senses would be to undersell the impact it’s having on me.

This week I baked something inspired by the book – seed cake. Made with caraway seeds, this is an understated and underrated cake. You can find the recipe here.

One reason I love Instagram

I’m researching some background for my next novel at present and am following a number of auctioneers, antique dealers and vintage china hashtags on Instagram. I wrote a bit about it in this post on the author site.

In a postcript, the painting I spoke about in that post was auctioned the other day – reaching a house record price for the auctioneers.

As a research tool, Instagram is fantabulous. I’ve never been one to follow celebrities as such (with the exception of Nigella and a few other TV chefs whose work I admire) and will unfollow anyone whose posts inspire anything other than positive thoughts (I’m that person who loves seeing other people on holidays), but when it comes to following your curiosity, there’s a hashtag for every interest.

One thing I blogged

Something about the foodie scene in Hervey Bay. You’ll find it here.

Okay, that was my week…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

36 thoughts

  1. Love your update Jo. I’ve noticed Whitstable Pearl and mentioned to Mike we should watch it. I think I would enjoy it. Having been a Highland Dancer and with Scottish family history (apparently I have a Scottish Lord in my family tree) I think I would enjoy Scottish Myths and Legends. Good for you too, taking charge of your health and I’ve got your back in your healthy lifestyle journey. Have a lovely July, my friend. xx

    1. I’m finding plenty of Scottish ancestors in my family tree too & I think that’s why I picked this up. I also love those old folk stories. Thanks as always for your support (and inspiration…)

  2. Oh, I like the name Whistable. Ooops…I was saying Whistable in my head but it’s Whitstable…huh? Well, I like the sound of that, too. Not familiar with Whitstable Pearl or Acorn TV. But I do recognize the star from her work in After Life, which we loved. Will see if I can find this show here.

    Interested to know if those yummy dishes with eggs atop are breakfast foods or dinner? Eggs are not eaten often for anything but breakfast, although there is a popular Mexican dish that calls for an egg on top.

    Beautiful photos. Hard to believe those are winter shots.

    So happy to have you join the book club. Proud of you to push your self to try books like the Scottish myths that are not something you would normally choose. I am trying to read one nonfiction/biography and one spiritual/inspirational each month but I am such a slow reader!!

    1. The eggs are actually on nasi goreng. It’s an Indonesian dish that’s often eaten at breakfast, but in this case was lunch. There are a number of south east Asian dishes that are served with an egg on top.

  3. Love your update and photos, Jo, especially the sunrise and the one with Kali. The food from Hervey Bay looks fantastic. I’m glad to hear you’re taking care of your health. You know I’m cheering you on. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

  4. This was a great catch up Jo, so interesting with great photos! You are very sensible to take the advice of your doctor on these issues and I wish you all the best in your quest, if anyone can do it, you can. I can’t imagine doing all that delicious cooking and not eating it though!

  5. Sounds like a good week for you. Your morning walks sound very pleasant. Early morning walks is something I’ve meant to get started with for a long time but I rarely manage to get up that early. Maybe one day it will happen, early mornings are good opportunities to take nice photos, especially in the autumn so maybe I should try again this year.
    That Scottish myths book looks interesting – reminds me I have book of Irish fairytales somewhere that I haven’t yet read.

    1. It’s a habit for me now. I log into my day job at 7.30 & the way I figure it, no matter what the day descends into, I’ve ticked one box. Thanks for dropping by.

  6. I’m impressed! I don’t think I could do all that baking and not eat any of it… I tend to allow myself at the very least one bite just to see how it turned out. Then the problem becomes that if I like it I have to fight with myself not to gobble the whole thing up! What a beautiful sunrise.

  7. Lovely photographs! I like the look of the Scottish book very much – I shall add it to my list. I’m saving up for a beautiful book I spotted of Nordic legends, I’m going through a bit of a folklore phase 🙂

  8. I like this format. I’m thinking of doing a catch up post for tomorrow. I’ve got something else drafted and had something for last week as well but can’t seem to finish them.

    I should look into Acorn TV as I suspect I’d like it. Though in reality I’m probably watching too much now anyway. I tend to be watching Netflix, Prime AppleTV or iView most nights rather than reading.

    As you know I need to make an effort health-wise as well. Am planning on doing Dry July. I think. *shudders*

  9. I love your format! We are on the flip side, with just having celebrated the summer solstice on Monday. I’ve been doing more on IG as well, I got away from it from a while. I’ve enjoyed your Catch Up!

  10. Lovely update Jo! Don’t get me started on the Sydney lockdown – I’m so, so angry and frustrated with the federal government and its utter lack of concern and urgency with the vaccine, and even a lot of people who are refusing to get vaccinated despite being eligible. I don’t blame Gladys for anything; I think she was trying her best to keep us out of lockdown {which I for one, was all on board for} but I can see she was left with no choice.

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing little things for your health while continuing to bake. That cake looks delicious. As you know, I love your sunrise photos! Hope you have a lovely week ahead

    1. Thanks Sanch – & you pretty well summed up what I was thinking. Until people get vaccinated we’re looking at these rolling lockdowns & closed (both domestic & international) borders.

  11. Great to catch up – looks like you’ve been super busy! I have read about 2 pages this month which is disappointing because the sooner I finish my current book, the sooner I can start yours! I had friends from London who made a sea change to Whitstable, it’s meant to be really lovely. That cake looks delish and the china it’s served on is gorgeous! I’m a sucker for a lovely tea set! Have a great week x

  12. All I can say is Sux to be you. I’m on a cholesterol lowering diet and I HATE it. It’s basically you can’t eat any of the good food and everything is boring. But that’s just my experience….ha! I’ve lost a tonne of weight even though I seem to eat all day. I’m hungry ALL the time. It’s so weird.Good luck with it. I have some terrible cookbooks if you want recipes. Message me for ideas.

    1. Lol… I’m missing butter already and can’t be faffed with that pretend spread stuff. Other than that I’m doing okay so far. A million and one ways to cook salmon.

  13. Nice to catch up on what you’ve been up to Jo. I’ve seen on Instagram that you’ve been up at Hervey Bay again. Nice to have a change of scenery now and then and also to catch up with your daughter (and Deb) of course! I never thought of Instagram as a place to research but you’re right – it would be! Love your china (teacup and bread and butter plate). I’m sure you’ll get the cholesterol thing sorted in no time. Have a great week!

  14. Hi Jo – another great week for you with lots of interesting little things – that painting was fascinating with the little spots to cover blemishes and the black/white women companions. We had a new covid case in Perth last week so they’ve gone to mask wearing etc – nothing down our way and it was actually a bonus for me – people who’d been to Perth had to cancel their appts and I got in on one of those cancellations – so no doom and gloom for me!

    1. The painting was so interesting. I went down a rabbit hole about the little silk face patches – I’d never heard of it before. Have a great week.

  15. I just got two of your books for my kindle to read. I’ve been meaning to and just haven’t done it. 🙂 I got book one of the Melbourne girls and then Wish you Were Here.

    I’m not sure I’d like seed cake, since I don’t like caraway seeds. Oh, my. That last photo looks really yummy. We went on Saturday and met friends for breakfast at a french inspired restaurant called La Provence. I had a really yummy lavender Latte and my breakfast was shrimp with chorizo over Polenta. SOOOO good. but I didn’t get a photo.

    1. That polenta dish sounds yummy. Thanks so much for getting my books – I’d probably start with Wish You Were Here. The seed cake is also good with poppy seeds – caraway is an interesting taste… Have a great week.

  16. Well, that was quite the catch up. Glad you are making choices (she says, encouragingly to you) re food like butter. Here’s the thing for me. I literally HAVE to have butter (real) on something like a bun, cake, etc as without it the food just goes round and round inside my mouth Something related to the mouth reconstruction, loss of some salivary glands too…need slipperiness …like butter. I am not losing weight (nor measuring it anymore via instructions from my GP!) and health seems OK for my age so as long as I keep it to not much butter in a day then I go well.

    Thank you for sharing your post for #LifeThisWeek at Denyse Whelan Blogs. It’s been great to see you here and thanks so much for your contribution to the community of bloggers who link up from Mondays to Wednesdays (Australian Eastern Time). Next Monday the optional prompt is Taking Stock. And we are past half way for my 2021 Blogging Year! Denyse.

  17. Your heading photo is exceptionally beautiful, Jo. Hugs about the lockdowns again. I follow the news and my heart goes out to you and everyone affected by this. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to some of the shows you talk about. I have not had anything with caraway seeds in it for awhile. Wow, the food…🙂

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