Did you know that the word February comes from the Latin word februa, meaning “to cleanse”? It was named after the Roman Februalia, a month-long festival of purification and atonement. Well, so I read somewhere…
The month the rains came.
This year the weather gods have taken that “to cleanse” part to ridiculous degrees and February has been wet. It’s been easier to count the number of dry days than wet ones (hint – you won’t need all your fingers). Not only has it been the wettest February on record, but one where here on the Sunny Coast we had almost 90% of our annual rainfall in just…wait for it… 4 days. That’s over 900mm of rain in just 4 days – 300mm of which fell on Friday in just a few hours. That day I was running the backwash on our pool constantly for a couple of hours and it was still overflowing.
Thankfully we’re sitting quite high and proud so other than a few leaking spots in the roof and a swimming pool that currently is the approximate colour of a muddy river in flood, we’ve come through it okay. That hasn’t been the case for thousands of others in Gympie, Maryborough, Brisbane, and Northern NSW impacted by rising rivers. The pictures and statistics are heart-breaking.
The single road in and out of our estate was closed for most of Friday and Saturday due to floodwaters – I’d show you the videos, but they’re all posted on a private Facebook page. Let’s just say the water was moving quite fast and was, in places, waist-high.
It was quite the tourist attraction down there for a time with the usual number of idiots attempting to drive through, stalling, and having to be rescued from their then abandoned cars.
What I watched…
It was a good month for telly, with new episodes of Death in Paradise (Foxtel), Vera (ABC TV) and Midsomer Murders (ABC TV). I also enjoyed The Long Call (SBS) and a couple of new series on Acorn: Madam Blanc Mysteries and Chelsea Detective. Plus, The Great Australian Bake-off (Foxtel) is back.
What I read…
Obviously you’ll need to wait until What’s On Your Bookshelf for the full lowdown (mark your calendars for March 18, but here’s what I read… As for my favourite book of the month? Again, you’ll need to wait for WOYB…but rest assured it definitely was not Multipliers (which I had to read for the day job).
What I wrote
I began February strongly, but as the rain came down, so did my energy levels. Hey ho.
I did, however, manage a blog each week:
- What’s On My Plate? Cranachan
- January Review
- Writer’s Digest
- What’s On Your Bookshelf?
- Word of the Year February Check-in
And over on BKD:
Out and About
One of my resolutions this year was for Grant and I to do more things together.
To that end we did a cooking class at Spricers Tamarind (which you can read about here), had a date night at a local restaurant,
Sunday lunch at a Hinteland pub
and also went for brunch one Sunday morning down at the beach.
In the Kitchen…
I didn’t realise how busy I’d been in the kitchen until I began typing this up. No wonder I:
- didn’t lose any weight in February and
- didn’t get as much written as I would have liked.
Cooking is, however, my way of coping when I feel as though I’m not coping, so I’m not going to beat myself up about either of these things.
While I lost most of my garden veggies in the rain we had early in the month, my eggplants were still producing so I experimented with a few new recipes to use those – my favourite of which was Neil Perry’s spicy eggplant and pork stir-fry.
Pickings have been limited for most of the month with supply chain issues as a result of covid at the beginning of February. The shelves have again been bare over the past week, but this time as a result of the floods and loss of both fresh produce and the highways being closed. Nevertheless, I did try a few new recipes during February.
After an absence of a few months, we reinstated our Destination nights on Saturday nights and visited Scotland with this chicken with a whisky, mustard sauce, and Venice with figs and ricotta, the best home-made pasta I’ve ever made (which we had with prawns, calamari, lemon, chilli and olive oil) and poached peaches with amaretti. As usual, my night photos aren’t great.
Also making a return in February was the Sunday roast. Generally we had friends over to share it with and I experimented on Diana Henry’s roast chicken cooked in milk (surprisingly good), Diana Henry’s Pacific Lime Roast Chicken, classic roast pork with crackling, and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings.
Okay, so that was my February…how was yours?