What’s Been On My Calendar: January

And here we are, the first edition of What’s Been On Your Calendar? (WBOYC), a monthly link-up where we can catch up on what’s been happening over the month, and progress against goals, resolutions, intentions, or words of the year. The equivalent of a monthly get-together if you like.

So, without further ado, let’s go…

Travel and Eating Out

January kicked off with friends visiting from Sydney and New Year’s Eve at The Boat Shed in Cottontree. It’s the first time in I have no idea how long that I actually saw midnight on New Year’s Eve… normally I’m tucked up in bed. Anyways, it was a good way to kick off my year of change.

We had a very busy calendar for the first couple of weeks of January with either hosting or catching up with friends – mostly over meals out.

Mid-January saw us spend a weekend in Hervey Bay. Sarah and Grant took a jet ski tour to K’gari (Fraser Island) but the stormy weather made it very choppy and a tad hairy. While they were out risking life and limb on the high seas I caught up with a friend for breakfast, and that evening we tried Potjie Pot, a South African restaurant in Scarness. It’s a cuisine that’s new to both of us. Before leaving town we had brekky at Salt, our fave in Urangan.

It was no wonder I had trouble sticking to my eating plan this month!

Finally, as this goes to virtual print I’ll be in Sydney. It was Mum’s birthday on Monday so I’ve come down to see her and Dad.

Mum and I had a lovely morning tea at the nearby state forest yesterday on a sweltering Australia Day, and today I’m heading to our Western Sydney office and catching up with my boss for the first time in over a year.

What I’ve been watching…

Somehow I’m now addicted to the Great British Sewing Bee and have been working my way through the old series.

I learnt to sew when I was very young and used to sew a lot of my own clothes – especially at uni when I couldn’t afford to buy the styles I liked, and again when I was pregnant and wanted maternity clothes that had a little more colour than what was on the market. Over the years I’ve also sewn curtains and other soft furnishings, but haven’t taken the cover off my sewing machine in many years so have no idea why I’m enjoying this show so much. Maybe it’s judge, Patrick Grant with his Saville Row suits, maybe it’s Claudia Winkleman (who hosted the first few series) with her severe fringe and fabulous Cleopatra kohled eyes. Maybe it’s the drama of inserting an invisible zip or altering a wetsuit into a wearable garment or maybe it’s just that the sewers are nice. Who would’ve thunk it.

Other than that I’ve also been watching the second series of Professor T on Britbox, cosy crime on Acorn – The Hailey Dean Mysteries, the Flower Shop Mysteries – and The Pines (based on the Det. Inspector Armand Gamache books) on Amazon Prime.

Writing and Blogs

I’m making slow progress on the imaginatively titled Philly No.2… I really need to pull my finger out on that.

While novels are my business, my blogs are writing for fun and when I cut back on that last year I also lost some of the creative spark. So for those that are interested in that sort of thing, after over 3 years where I didn’t touch it, I’ve resurrected my old astrology blog. This time around though I don’t care about the numbers or offering any service to anyone else. Instead it’s all about me and tracking my annual change moon by moon.

I’m also doing a bit more on BKD this year – more cookbook reviews, more recipes and more Nigella Diaries. While I was tempted to absorb that on this site, I know I have readers who aren’t interested in the foodie stuff so am still of a mind to keep it separate.

Word of the Year

My words of the year for 2023 are change, creativity and colour – and I’ve gotten off to a cracking start.

One of the things that needed to change wasn’t just my isolation – I work from home, write at home – but my attitude or the way I think about things like my day job. Essentially I needed to get out more. So this month I’ve signed up to co-host a fortnightly writing session with Queensland Writer’s Centre at Maroochydore Library and enrolled in a weekly art class. Both activities start next month and will take me out of my comfort zone.

Also this month I’ve tried online yoga. I’m less convinced on this one. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that my ankle is still a tad dodgy and I have trouble balancing or putting weight on it, or whether it’s that my tummy gets in the way or even that the instructor has used the phrase “find your truth on the mat” once too often for me. It could just be that I’m not ready for a yoga “practice” yet. I’m not giving up on it, but I’m not yet converted.

What else? We finally found a bedspread we both quite like. It’s a Morris & Co design (Strawberry Thief) and works really well in the room.

Over to you…

What’s been on your calendar this month? Perhaps you’d like to update us on your word of the year or intentions? We’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to…

The linky is below and it’s open for a week…

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


What’s Been On Your Calendar is hosted by:
Sue https://www.womenlivingwellafter50.com.au

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

52 thoughts

  1. What a fabulous start to the year, Jo! Food, family, friends – love it! Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on co-hosting a fortnightly writing session with Queensland Writer’s Centre at Maroochydore Library. Taking an art class is on my list but I need to find the TIME (my WOTY). I look forward to your catch up post each month and love sharing our co-hosting duties for #WBOYC. xx

    1. Finding time is always the biggest challenge… and I missed the first art class being here in Sydney but am very much looking forward to starting next week.

  2. This is great to read Jo, so many yummy food shots and fun places you’ve been – I’m drooling! The writing sessions and art class sound like great ideas and a fabulous way to get out of your own head and home for a while. I’ve just signed up for an 8 week photography course at the local library so will see how I go with that! Exploring new ideas! Your new bed cover looks very swish 🙂 I really enjoyed your first post for our new linkup #WBOYC and can’t wait to chat with you about things soon. Thanks for being a great co-host!

  3. Oh when do you start the QWC writing sessions. I’m keen to hear how it goes. I hope you meet some great people!

    And I hope you’re enjoying Sydney.

  4. Happy Birthday to your Mom!
    Oh, and I’ve been meaning to tell you that we have a Home Exchange couple staying at our place for a week in September. They are from the Hervey Bay area (Dundowran Beach). It’s definitely a small world!
    Congratulations on taking on some activities that pull you out of your comfort zone. I look forward to hearing more about them.
    Oh, and was the online yoga with Adrienne? I don’t remember her saying “find your truth on the map” (perhaps I was hyperventilating from my side plank at those times). :O But I do remember her telling us (frequently) to “breath in the love”. ❤

    1. From Hervey Bay – oh wow! Sares is at Torquay so they’d know that. The world really is small. Re Adrienne there is no way I can do a side plank! I’m in awe! & yes the “breathe in the love really does my head in too. I have to try and ignore what she’s saying at times.

      1. I’ve had to do a ton of side planks, rolling planks and downright contortionist planks with Madfit so I’ve gotten used to them. But for some reason today’s Warrior 2-Extended Side Angle Flow totally did me in. Spoiler Alert: Breathing in the love did not remotely help!

      2. I just laughed out loud…which is fine except I’m at the airport and had taken a mouthful of wine which is now on my computer screen.

  5. Hi Jo – so nice catching up on all your news! I’ve been to Salt in Urangan so can vouch for how good it is! Good on you for doing the QWC writing sessions and signing up for art class. I can’t wait to see what you produce! As for the yoga – just give it some time. You don’t have to do it perfectly. I certainly don’t. My tummy gets in the way too and my short ass legs can’t go from downward dog to up between my legs without an awkward stumble or two. I just do my best. Some moves I’m really good at though! I particularly like Yin Yoga – so relaxing – great stretches – so nice. Oh and Savasana – best bit! lol Loving your bedspread. It’s always good when you can come to an agreement on something isn’t it? Thanks for hosting and hopefully I’ll be able to link up again next month! xo

    1. You were actually my inspiration for the art class – I’ll keep you posted. I haven’t given up on the yoga yet, but man, her voice does my head in some times…

  6. Wowsers a very busy January indeed. Oh I saw the photo of your and Mum at The State Forest and felt ‘hot’ for you…and then going to your Western Sydney office..this is all reminding me of what we are getting back to after we leave the coast. Never mind, for us there are more compensations. I LOVE all the new and creative plans you have. May they all go well. Thanks to you and your link up co-hosts! I will be back at the end of February! Denyse

    1. It was so lovely to catch up properly with Mum & Dad. I do, however, curse the lack of air conditioning in my bedroom #suchaprincess

  7. I love your bedspread, both the colours and design. It’s one of the nicest I’ve seen for a while. I’m a bit of a Manchester nerd and can’t resist spending too much money on sheets and quilt covers. You’ve started the year well. It’s great how you’ve recognising the reasons your creativity was a little flat last year. I agree that you need to get on with Philly No 2 as I’m waiting to see what’s next for this
    great character.

    1. We have been looking for ages for something with a bit of colour that won’t clash with the wallpaper and my red reading chair. It feels right to start the new year with new manchester.

  8. I looked at all those food pics and realized the only eating out we do is an occasional morning tea or lunch at a cafe……I’m just never going to be a foodie I’m afraid (but man all that stuff you ate looked good!) I can’t believe that you’re adding two more activities into your already full schedule (your calendar must look like Donna’s!) but good on you for stretching yourself and I’ll look forward to seeing your artistic creations here on the blog. 2023 here you come!

    1. I had to find room to do something creative – for fun…& I write at that time on Fridays anyways so the only change is that I’ll be writing with others and setting a pomodoro timer for it.

  9. Hi Jo, congratulations on your co-host gig for WBOYC. Taking a look back at the month- that-was can make the path forward seem a bit more clear. I’ll be joining with a post on Sunday.

    Getting out of your comfort zone and ‘changing’ things up is a great place to begin a new year. I wish you well with your new pursuits. Awesome kookaburra photos.

  10. It looks like a delicious start to your month! I used to make quite a few of my own clothes too and almost went into fashion design for college (it was one of the many, many fields of study I looked into).

    You sound like you are doing a great job on your words of the year; I tend to practice Yoga using Yoga With Adrienne (found on YouTube) and I like that she always has suggestions for modifications and talks in a pretty soothing voice too.

    1. That’s the one I was using… her voice was doing my head in though. I suspect though it’s me and not her. I haven’t given up on her yet though.

      1. I can see that; another one to try is Boho Beautiful– she has some lovely locations that she records her yoga sessions (not sure I remember what her voice sounds like though!) LOL.

  11. Jo, It’s great catching up with you and what a full January you’ve had. The food looks yum. Congratulations on taking on new activities that pull you out of your comfort zone. Thank you for co-hosting WBOYC with Donna, Sue and Deb. Have a fabulous February!

  12. OMG — you have a real blog about baking. Not one of those bloody annoying ones that try to sell stuff and you have to scroll and scroll and finally get to the recipe. I just signed up. Now I have to figure out how to read your books next!
    Sounds like your new year is off to a stellar start.

    1. My baking blog is a tad rambly & I talk about all sorts of foodie stuff on there. Thanks so much for your support.

  13. Oh and I meant to mention I’d never heard of that British Sewing Show but will look it up as I love sewing and quilting so might find it interesting. Bernie

  14. How fun that have done so many fun sewing projects over the years, Jo. I recently bought a new machine but I haven’t yet taken it out of the box!! 🥴 I was impressed with all that food, if I eat like that I’ll be a whale! It’s funny how we can keep ourselves busy but still have room for down time. Thank you for cohosting WBOYC!

    1. I feel a tad like a whale at the moment! My poor old sewing machine hasn’t been out of its cover in years.

  15. How lovely that you’ve been making your own clothes! I tried learning to sew in my 20s but never became good at it, as with so many things I’ve tried over the years. I still have some nice fabrics but it’s unlikely I’ll do anything proper with them.
    Your meals out look fabulous!! And I love that you have some other blogs too, I didn’t know! I might check out some of your recipes.

    1. I try and keep my foodie posts away from my main blog as I know there are plenty of people not interested in them. Mind you, I haven’t been as actively posting there as I should.

  16. It sounds like you’ve had a good month overall with some outings and good food. I’ve never tried South African cuisine, but it sounds interesting. Hope the yoga class will start to feel better for you.

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