February – All Wrapped Up

I struggle with February every year. Weather-wise it’s been feral – humidity off the charts (even for our 5am walks) and nights that don’t cool down.

The astrologer in me would say it makes sense. As a Pisces, the Aquarius sun is in the 12th house of my chart and that brings a winding down or finishing off and self-sabotage type of energy at a time when things are ramping up, so maybe that’s it.

Or it could have nothing whatsoever to do with the stars and just be the weather and a general case of the blahs. Who knows. In any case, this will be me next week:

Feral weather aside it’s been a relatively quiet month on the calendar – and that has suited me just fine.


Watching from the deck as a cruise ship leaves the harbour

As this post is published I’m in Wellington, New Zealand. I came over last Sunday and head back on the weekend.

While I’m here to spend time with my friend Heather and her hubby, I’m also supposed to be finishing the first draft of Philly No. 2… which means that on the days Heather works from home I write and when she’s gone into the office, I’ve gone in with her and played tourist.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to this city – one of my favourite places to visit – maybe 20 times in the years since they moved back here. Usually, though, it’s been a long weekend with a purpose – to attend WOW, a party, a restaurant, or at the beginning or end of a North Island road trip. This time I’ve been able to just wander.

Anyways, here’s one pic, but you’ll need to wait for a separate post for the details.

Eating Out…

(Other than this week in Wellington – which I’ll tell you about in next month’s What’s On My Plate) we’ve also eaten out less than what we usually do in February – and that hasn’t been a bad thing.

There was a date lunch at Bungalow in Eumundi – I had gnocchi with tomatoes and burrata and Grant had a pizza…

…and lunch out with Sarah and a couple of her colleagues at Giddy Geisha in Maroochydore. Grant, Sarah and I shared eggplant chips, butter chicken and Korean chicken ribs.

What I’ve been watching…

My addiction to Great British Sewing Bee continued through February but I’ve now run out of episodes.

I’ve also been watching the new series of Death in Paradise, the new series of C.B. Strike, and the new series of Clarkson’s Farm.

I’m not much of a movie watcher, but I did watch The Invisible Woman – a 2013 film about Nelly Ternan who was, until his death in 1870, the long-time secret lover of Charles Dickens. When they met she was just 18 to his 45.

Writing and blogging…

I’m finally nearly finished drafting Philly no. 2. I’ve actually felt the pressure of getting this one right, I think because I loved writing Philly Barker Investigates so much. For this reason it’s taken double the time to write.

I’ve also posted about Destination dining on BKD (this month we’ve “been” to Scotland, Thailand and Germany. I’ve also reviewed two cookbooks there – Recipe Tin Eats’ Dinner and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Tuesday Night Mediterranean.

Here on And Anyways, as well as my weekly Just One Thing posts I’ve been blogging my way through last year’s holiday in the UK (you can find the posts here). There was also the usual bookish round-up here.

Creativity, Colour, Change…

My art classes started this month. They’re trying to teach us how to draw and I’m finding it a tad frustrating even as I understand why there’s so much attention to this detail. Despite the frustration, I’m enjoying it and already beginning to “see” things differently. I think all the years spent using an SLR camera in the old days of manual metering and looking for the neutral point or 19% grey does help though.

This month I also began a volunteer gig with Queensland Writer’s Centre. On the first and third Friday of the month I’m co-facilitating a writer’s group at one of the local libraries. I get to write as well so it not only gets me out of the house but also is a connection point for other writers. Win-win.

Finally, this month I tried… chakra balancing. I’ve begun having a monthly massage and my therapist does this. No idea how it works, but my mind is open and, I have to say, afterwards I was completely clear-headed. In fact it felt as though the cotton wool that had been around my brain had gone.

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…

My co-hosts are:

Deb at Deb’s World

Sue at Women Living Well Over 50

Donna at Retirement Reflections

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

26 thoughts

  1. Hi, Jo – Despite February being one of your least favourite months, it looks like it’s been pretty good for you. I am glad to hear that you have been working on Philly 2. I am eager to read it.
    Thank you for the tip about the Dickens’ film. I will now go on a hunt for it. Enjoy the rest of your time in NZ. Safe travels back home.

  2. Hi Jo, February flew for me and I did more than I realised. I’ve only visited Wellington on a cruise so didn’t have time to explore fully. It looks great and I know we will plan another NZ trip so will make sure I spend more time there. I live the Strike series TV and books and I’m looking forward to Philly 2. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  3. Looks like a busy/fun month, in spite of the sweltering heat. Our August feels just like you describe your February so I can relate. Chakra balancing sounds interesting. I’ll have to read more about that. Good luck with your writing.

  4. Your Feb is my November. It’s the endless cloud cover. It drags me down as do the shortening days. February, I’m like jumping with joy as the days are so much longer and the cold is usually better (but it was -31 this am).
    A WOW event? I attended one in Vancouver and wondered if it’s the same organization.
    As to CB Strike , is this from the book series by Robert Galbraith? I had forgotten. Must see if it’s available in Canada.
    I had chakra balancing done once and felt amazing after it. I have never found anyone in my city who does this. It was, interestingly enough, at a WOW conference.
    I’m glad you got away and got writing and visited your friend.

      1. LOL! Not the same meeting. Have you enjoyed the Strike books? The last one was pretty violently graphic. More so than the first ones I felt.

  5. I always disliked (was going to say ‘hated’) February because the weather would turn on all the heat and humidity for “back to school” and it seemed never ending. THIS February however, we have been incredibly distracted by the moving plans. It helped me get over the Feb thing. We found out we had a successful application on 6 Feb, and move in on 28 Feb…and the bloke I am married to is 74 on Monday and his concession to celebrating is we will have morning tea out and then home for final pack up. I am so pleased to read about how you are taking on some new personal challenges like art and mentoring. Good stuff. I am not a fan of Julia Cameron’s…something in her didactic style didn’t sit with me from The Artists Way …so I do my own art thing very happily. Have really enjoyed your pics from Wellington! Thanks for the link up. Denyse

  6. Hi Jo – I laughed to myself at your “unbusy” February – where you still managed to pack in more than I do in a year! Glad you’ve enjoyed Wellington and the chance to play tourist. And I hope the Philly 2 book continues to progress – I’m also looking forward to you sharing some of your art projects as time goes forward.

  7. Hi Jo, Your February weather sounds like my August weather; high humidity slows me down and makes my hair frizzy. I’d love to visit NZ. I hope you have a wonderful time in Wellington. All the best with Philly No. 2. Thank you for the WBOYC linkup. Have a wonderful March!

  8. New Zealand looks lovely! It sounds like you’ve had some really delicious meals this month. I’ve always struggled with February as it’s such a cold and dreary month here.

  9. That’s wonderful you are encouraging others to write; the best people to learn from are doing it. You will want to get home to the warmth; Wellington may not have the best weather. It’s quirky, arty, and an exciting city to spend time in, especially with a good friend.

    1. It’s absolutely one of my fave cities to visit – I love its edges… the relief from the humidity was very appreciated this time too.

  10. So glad you have been out and about in Wellington. At least we haven’t had the weather they have had up north. It hasn’t felt like summer at all this month. It is a great city just to wander about though and hope you found some fun things to see and do.

  11. Your Wellington pictures look amazing! And yay for facilitating a writing group. I need to find an in-person critique group one of these days. I miss the one I was part of before I moved. The feedback is important; the support even moreso.

  12. Hi Jo, it’s been great following along with your trip to NZ, I really must try and get back there one day soon. It looks like it’s been fruitful for you and your writing which is great news to us who are awaiting the next Philly instalment (no pressure). I’m so impressed with your activities this month, art, balancing chakras and facilitating the writing group, plus your cooking and blogging – go you!!! Thanks for being a stunning co-host for #WBOYC. xx
    By the way you’d have loved Tumbafest this year!

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