Catching Up – Sunday, July 25, 2021

It’s early on Sunday morning as I write this. I’ve switched on the heating (yes, even in South-East Queensland) and have decamped to the guest room with my computer and the dog, leaving hubby to sleep in a little longer. #wifeoftheyear

The mornings have been cold this week – getting well into single figures (celsius) midweek. Not unusual for midwinter, I know, but unusual for where we live.

To the south of the country, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide are all at various stages of lockdown due to covid outbreaks. Here in Australia, while we escaped the worst of the global outbreaks, a combination of mixed messaging, botched vaccine rollouts, complacency, and anti-vax sentiment has left us at the bottom of the vaccination race and it seems lockdowns like these will remain a fact of life until that situation changes. None of it’s helped though, by the stupidity of individuals. I will, however, say no more on any of that and step off my soapbox.

Alrighty, without further ado, to the catch-up.

One Tree

While I haven’t posted every day I have been continuing to contribute to Becky’s July #treesquare challenge.

I loved this advice from a tree that Becky posted the other day:

Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

We can certainly learn a lot from trees!

This week my squares have taken me from Maleny (on the Sunshine Coast hinterland) to an osprey nest in Hervey Bay, battlefields in northern France and down into Champagne.

Today’s #treesquare photo (below) is also from France – a little village perched high on a hill in Burgundy, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. I wrote a little about it here.

One thing I’ve done for my health

I’m now 2 weeks in to my new strength program and am loving the training, the pace of the class, the skill, grace and generosity of my trainer and the energy of my fellow exerciser.

It’s fair to say it hasn’t been a disciplined week diet wise, but I refuse to feel guilty about that.

Another massive positive is we’ve had company for our 5am walks this week in the form of friends who were in town for a few days and gave up their holiday sleep-ins for a chilly walk in the (mostly) dark.

One thing I did in the name of self-care

I’ve been sleeping even more poorly than usual and hit a wall of abject exhaustion on Friday. The tiredness felt as though it was in my bones so rather than attempting any of the things I knew I should be getting on with, I spent the day reading and watching the telly. I’m taking it easy this weekend and am feeling much more like myself again.

A big bowl of this spicy braised beef noodle soup certainly helped!

One thing I’m grateful for


Because I work remotely and rarely leave the house during the working week (even before covid) and know few people well up here (probably a function of the former), other than the cherished weekly zoom call with my women’s group, I can go for days on end exchanging no more than greetings with people we meet on the walking path and speaking face to face only with my husband.

We may not be locked down, but I feel quite isolated much of the time. This week it’s been fabulous to catch up with friends, to train with friends, to chat with friends, to cook for friends and to receive unexpected and gifts from friends. Like these handmade bookmarks that arrived during the week. Colourful, creative, and thoughtful. Denyse, I’m looking at you!

I am, however, missing other friends – my Kiwi bestie who was due to arrive here yesterday for a week. She came over to Sydney for a long weekend 5 weeks ago and has been caught up in the Sydney lockdown ever since and unable to get home.

One thing I baked

This orange and cardamom cake. It’s my husband’s favourite.

Okay, that was my week. How was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

33 thoughts

  1. That cake looks good! Don’t you wish Covid would just go away? I know that sounds a bit dumb….but you know what I mean. I hope your Kiwi friend manages to make it back over The Ditch soon.

    1. I know! We’re due to be in Queenstown at the end of October, but as we’re flying in and out of Sydney it’s not looking good.

  2. Hello – I enjoyed many things about your post, the lines from your friend about living like a tree, that cake (looks great), and the soup you had. We are in the middle of summer here in the northeast U.S., so soup isn’t on the menu. I love making it and my family loves eating it – something to look forward to. Our area is back open, with no restrictions except in doctor’s offices, but I have a feeling the masks are going to come back out.

  3. scrumptious cake, fabulous friends, a stunning array of trees and you have been taking care of yourself – a truly uplifting and wonderful post

  4. This was a lovely wrap-up Jo and so much happiness and friendship in it! I hope you’ve had a restful weekend and hope the weather warms up for you. x

  5. I enjoyed to read about your positive week. Even if you might not enjoy the cold, right now even that sounds lovely 🙂 Thank you for the coffee!

    1. It’s lovely to have the cold actually – our summer is a long one so the freshness (while it’s a shock to the system) is appreciated…for a few days…

  6. We went cautiously into stage 3 of reopening. 80% have been vaccinated. I was so proud of Australia last year and now this happens. A Melbourne friend posted a great YouTube

    1. 80% is a great number. I was so proud of us too last year. heavy sighs. I think we’re at about 11 or 12% at the moment.

  7. Hi Joanne,
    I just visited another coffee-sharer who was depressed with much of the same thing you cited. I feel myself to be something of a barometer of isolation based depression because I’m mostly immune to it and if I begin to sense it it could only mean that others are miserable with it.
    We are not in lock-down here but what news I hear is that we may not be far from returning to lock-down protcols due to an up tick in covid deaths.
    Everything about this is controversial here we have all the differences of opinions everyone else has, but in California, we also have terrible distrust in our government and media both of who have been cause in outright fraud in how Covid-19 has been reported on and managed. We actually had multiple credible stories of family members being offered money if they agreed to having death certificates lie about how their loved ones passed to show it was covid when they had actually died of heart attacks or car accidents. This stuff makes me crazy and depressed. How can anyone act wisely when all they have to work with are lies?
    Anyway, I decided to offer her a fun story as a laugh-worthy distraction. Perhaps you would enjoy it too.
    If we really could sit down and share some coffee together, I would likely offer you this link with the hopes that it makes you laugh as it does me.

    The Eucalyptus Sprouts Adventure

    1. Thanks Gary. On the whole I’m pretty okay & tend to be a brightsider. We’ve been so lucky here with hardly any restrictions when the rest of the world wasn’t quite as fortunate. Even now, with the southern states in lockdown we’re (touch wood) pretty well free to move. And we have such a lovely big state to move in. Thanks for dropping by, thanks for the read, and have a great week.

  8. I loved many aspects of your post too. Love the advice from a tree you shared. It’s summer here in the Netherlands and I’m loving it, though each season has its good parts. I’m glad you’re able to do your strength training program. Also, friends are definitely something to be grateful for.

  9. We sure can learn a lot from trees! I haven’t been sleeping the greatest either; I know it’s just that I have too much on my mind and can’t get my brain to fully shut down but I am hopeful that a full night of sleep must be coming soon if only from exhaustion. Your bookmarks are so cute!

  10. What a nightmare for your friend from NZ. I’d been thinking about going there in Jan but it all seems too hard now. All our holiday plans had to be cancelled last school holidays and a dr friend just told me not to bother booking anything for the next ones. I don’t want to think about that. Anyway, nice book marks and love the France photos…#Lifethisweek

    1. We’re booked to go in October but as we have a wedding to attend in Sydney first, was driving down and flying out of there. Not sure either will happen at this point.

  11. A good night sleep is so important. I hope you sleep well and are feeling better. Lovely updates and photos. I particularly like your header photo with the sun rays on the water. Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

  12. I’ve used the heating so much this year, but I defer to bronchitis as the reason haha.

    Also haven’t spent much time outside (see above) so your photos are very welcome to this hibernating person!

  13. I love your tree photos and that cake has me salivating! I’m sorry about your friend being stuck in the Sydney lockdown. The whole situation down south and across Australia is really getting me down (and I’m sure many others!). I feel for them locked down indefinitely. Art is helping to take my mind off it a bit. I totally understand the isolation you can feel. I am exactly the same. I rarely leave the house even though I’m not currently in a lockdown. Hope you have a great week ahead!

    1. It’s a conundrum isn’t it? I’m trying to get vaccinated but because the health advice has changed it’s becoming quite difficult. Have a great week.

  14. Hi Jo – hope you’re feeling brighter and happier after your week of self-care and cutting yourself a little bit of slack. Sleep is so important and seems to be a constant point of discussion in Midlife. The first thing my husband and I ask each other in the morning is “how did you sleep?” Man I think we’re getting old! Sorry about the Kiwi bestie getting caught in the lockdown. I have a lot of thoughts about the whole covid thing but keep them to myself – because I don’t think they’d go down too well with so many opinions pinging around the interwebs!

  15. I’ve also been lucky enough to receive some of Denyse’s bookmarks – isn’t she/aren’t they fabulous?! You are so right, we can all learn a lot from trees. I really feel for your friend being stranded in Sydney, lockdown is no fun! Your food pictures always have me drooling, I could totally smash a bowl of that beef soup right now! Have a great week x

  16. Oh dear Jo, thanks for the shout out. Loved making them…and now onto a new lot because, hey, in lockdown why not and something to get in the mail. Hated reading about your friend and then not being able to get back home. This stuff is getting out of hand, sadly and as I write the Greater Sydney stuff which is us too, is bad news. I feel for your Mum. My Dad, 97, occasionally gets his walker out and walks a bit around the unit/village he lives in and he like me, is an extrovert and is not allowed to have anyone to his place or go to another’s. My brother can visit and that’s it.
    Thank you for being part of this week’s Life This Week link up. I enjoy seeing the posts linked by the community of friendly bloggers every Monday …and you are one of those. Next week’s optional prompt is Question. I hope to see you then. Denyse.

  17. Jo, I know how that hitting the wall feels. Good for you for doing what you needed to do despite the to do list. That soup looks amazing. What sweet surprises from friends. Great job on the exercise. I haven’t been sleeping well either. It’s like at night my brain switches on overload and all these thoughts run through it. Ugghh. My hubby and I are on a weekend getaway and I’m hoping to finish your book I bought, then I can start one of the others.

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