What’s Been On My Calendar : March

Alrighty… March.

If ever there was a month that was middling it was this one. Some good, some exhausting, some celebrations, some enough already.

Let’s get the not-so-great stuff out of the way first – work and the weather.

I’ve been doing someone else’s full-time job as well as my own part-time role over the past month and to say I’m finishing the week with no available brain space would be an understatement. Not sure how long it will continue, but I’d say at least the next few weeks. I’m hanging in there.

As for the weather – summer continues. The days have been warm and humid – as have been the nights. I’m so ready for the cooler weather to begin that I got ridiculously excited last night when I saw that the overnight temperatures would be dipping below 20C for the first time since what feels like ever. Heading into April the days are still forecast to be in the mid-high 20s, but the nights should begin to cool.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s wrap up the month.


Birthday selfie

It was my birthday in the middle of the month and Sarah’s last weekend. I was 56 and updated my 56 things about me post.

To celebrate mine Sarah came down for the weekend and we had a lovely dinner at a new-to-us Italian restaurant – Bocca at Bokarina – on Saturday night.

On the day itself (Sunday), we went for breakfast at Montana’s on Buderim before Sares drove back up to Hervey Bay. We had plans to do some things in and about Mooloolaba but all the roads were closed due to the Triathlon festival that weekend so Grant and I spent the rest of the day lazing about which, after a messy work week, was exactly what I felt like.


Scarness Beach, Hervey Bay

Not a lot to speak of this month – just a weekend up in Hervey Bay to celebrate Sarah’s birthday.

She had a few social things on, but we had a lovely dinner out on Saturday night at Odyssey and breakfast by the beach at Enzo’s the following morning.


There was plenty of that in March…but I’ll tell you all about it on Wednesday with What’s On My Plate.


New series of Endeavour and Vera (both on ABCTV), Under the Vines (Acorn) and Adam Liaw’s the Cook-Up (SBS TV) have kept me entertained this month.


Not as much as usual… but you’ll need to tune in to What’s On My Bookshelf on April 21 for more details.


Check out this post on BKD for the March Kitchen Diaries.


Grant’s made the decision to begin a transition to retirement and cut back to four days a week in his job, so is now having Fridays off with me…although I have been having to work on my days off this month.

Although he previously spent 37 years in banking, he retired from that 6 years ago when we moved up here. It was, in hindsight, too early for him to retire completely though and after volunteering for a local not-for-profit (mainly to keep him out of my hair) he has been working for that same company for the last 3 years managing one of their charity shops and warehouses. It’s a physical job – he clocks well over 20,000 steps a day every day – and this summer it’s really taken it out of him. At 62 the time is now right to begin to pull back a tad.

It means a few changes on the financial front, but we’ve spent most of our working lives preparing for this and have a good financial planner to help ease through the transition.

Also on the change front, I’ve given up expecting that my dodgy ankle is going to heal itself. I’m still walking most days, and strength training twice a week, but it’s still too weak for anything off-road so I’m seeing a physio for the first time to help it. I’m even (mostly) doing the exercises he’s giving me.


Because I’ve had to work on my days off I’ve missed most of my art classes this month but did manage a couple – and even managed to finish this parrot. In case you’re interested, it’s been done with pastel pencils on board.

The term is now over and I missed more classes than I attended. Hopefully, the work thing will have settled down by the time term 2 starts. In any case, Sarah bought me some supplies for my birthday so I’ve been having fun playing with those in a journal.


Writing has taken a back seat this month – yep, you guessed it, the day job. I am, however, still facilitating Writing Fridays at a local library for Queensland Writer’s Centre on the first and third Friday of the month so those few hours have been pretty much the only time I’ve had.

On a blogging front I’d pre-written and scheduled weekly posts based on last year’s trip to the UK and Norway. If you’ve been following along we’re somewhere in the Norwegian Fjords about now. You’ll find them all here. There’s also something on Wellington On A Plate – The Posh Nosh Edition and what I read in February.

Over on BKD you’ll find:

Recipes for Nigella’s Bara Brith, my Goulash, and James Martin’s Brown Butter Cake.

Through our weekend theme dinners we visited South Africa and Wellington, and I reviewed Anna Olsen’s new book Baking Wisdom – and cooked scones from it.

Random Critters

It’s so dark when we’re walking at 5am now that the possums are still out and about. The little fella below is a ring-tail possum and quite bedraggled from the rain that morning.

Also this month I waged war on the weeds in my garden – and the locusts – some of which were the size of my palm. They’d completely stripped the leaves on my lemon tree – and most from the bay tree beside it – so I cut both trees back and rigged up rather impressive (in my humble opinion) anti-locust netting. The trees have, I’m pleased to say, come back nicely and the locusts, after gathering on the outside of the netting looking wistfully at their lunch for the best part of a week have not.

This elegant green tree-snake slithered out of next door’s bamboo and down my fence last week while I was in the middle of a zoom meeting for work. the other participants (thankfully) found it hilarious when I said, ‘sorry guys, have to go – there’s a really long snake that’s come to visit.’ For those who are interested, I looked it up and he’s non-venomous.

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

37 thoughts

  1. A wonderful catchup for March, Jo and I always enjoy not just your words but your photos. I will certainly be glad when the weather starts to cool. I’ve not really felt the heat before but this year the humidity has been a killer. It is good that Grant will be able to transition back to 4 days and enjoy a 3 day weekend. Hopefully, your two jobs in one will finish soon and you can start enjoying Fridays together. Your parrot looks fabulous. I would like to try some art classes but my calendar is full at the moment so the classes will remain on the ‘one day’ list. Enjoy your April xx

    1. The humidity this year has been a killer…and has dragged on. I’m really enjoying my art classes – when I can get to them, that is!

  2. Your March certainly had some lows (way too much professional work) and some highs (a lovely weekend away and lots of good food). Your pictures are just lovely – the beach and blue skies. So good. I wonder about your ankle — have you tried any unorthodox treatments? I often use cupping to get over an ongoing injury and acupuncture certainly has been helpful as well. Bernie

    1. Thanks Bernie. I’ve used acupuncture in the past but not up here. The physio is attached to my chiro so I figured I’d try it first. Mind you the best thing for it would be to drop 20kgs overnight, but that (sadly) takes time.

  3. Your day job and a half has really impacted on you this month Jo but you still managed to be creative and I loved reading your words. That parrot is amazing! Hoping your ankle exercises are helping and you start to notice an improvement soon. Great news about Grant transitioning to retirement too! All the best for a more work friendly April 🙂

  4. Hi, Jo – For a self-declared ‘middling’ month you have continued to accomplish a great deal. I never cease to wonder how you do it all. (I’m not worthy ). 😀 Your pastel parrot is absolutely beautiful. Sending you healing vibes for your dodgy ankle!

    1. I suspect it’s because I refuse to not do the things I want to do just because the what I have to do list is longer. Hopefully it won’t last too much past April.

  5. Hi Jo, considering how busy you have been with work you have still managed to produce a fair few blog posts even if you haven’t got much book writing done. Also, Happy Birthday to you and Sarah. Your birthday celebrations looked lovely. Your parrot looks amazing – I hope you get to do more in April. Thanks for sharing your March

  6. Gosh Jo, I don’t see work/life balance happening right now…for you. Glad Grant can cut back to 4 days. I know doing that, over time, helped me. I am sorry your work has multiplied to overtake your creative time. Hope life works its way out for you again. Your visual eye needs more creating. You are very talented. HB to you and Sarah. Thanks for the link up. Denyse

  7. Hi Jo – sorry to hear that the day job has been overkilling life lately – you’re very noble to have stepped in to do 1.5X the work of the average person! Nice to see Grant taking it down a notch and it’ll be lovely when the two of you get some extra time to chill out together. Your birthday and Sarah’s look like they were well celebrated and that life is going pretty well despite slaving away at work.

  8. I’m thrilled to see that possum, we don’t have any of those so it looks very exotic!
    Belated birthday greetings, the 56 Things About Me is a great idea. I may steal that for my birthday in November!

  9. I’m sorry to hear about that work thing – my sister had to do something like that but at a regular basis because people were shoving way too much work on her instead of taking responsibility themselves. Now she has a different role in the company and is doing much better. I hope this will be over soon for you!
    I loved your shots of the critters, especially the locust! I love bugs. I know I’m weird. 🙂
    Physiotherapists are like magicians! I hope you get better soon. Everything foot/ankle related is so debilitating!

    1. Thanks Susanne… Unfortunately it happens periodically in my job. On the upside I’m collecting lots of extra holiday time. As for the bugs? Let’s just say you’d love these locusts.

  10. Oh wow! That parrot is amazing; I am so sorry you had to miss so many classes though. My husband is currently trying to do two full time jobs for his company and it’s crazy how thin they are stretching all their help. I hope it lets up soon and you can get back to writing and relaxing a bit more.

  11. Wow, it certainly sounds like your month was very busy! I really do hope things on the work front quiet down soon. That snake story made me chuckle. I’m glad he’s non-venomous though.

    1. Thanks Astrid. I’m not into snakes but Frank (yes, we’ve named him) really is a very pretty snake.

      1. Ah, cool! I have a weird fear/fascination combo for snakes (though particularly the venomous kind). They aren’t too common here in the Netherlands though.

  12. I always love your photos, Joanne. The one of Scarness Beach especially jumped out at me, and the parrot is impressive. I hope you get the cooler weather you are looking for, and that we can finally warm up a bit. Here’s to a happy April!

  13. Being creative with pencils, food and some exercise thrown in seems a rather good March to me. I give my hat off to you all for being able to handle the humidity. Winter is your best months well for us visitors it is.

  14. Your possums are cuter than the North American ones! Ours look kind of like mangy rats (but cute mangy rats).

    Happy birthday! I also turned 56 in March, and for some reason I’m having trouble wrapping my head around being closer to 60 than 50. Like I could always delude myself that whatever age I was wasn’t *that* old, but 60 sounds, well… old. *sigh*

    Your locust gave me flashbacks to the last place we lived, where we had swarms of them. I found a biological control agent that helped–terribly expensive but helped me keep my plants alive without spreading poison all over the place. They are awful.

  15. Hi Jo, funny how the ‘day job’ can get in the way of the fun bits of life. You seem to have managed very well in spite of the conflict. As always, I love all the food pics and can practically taste everything pictured. Malcolm retired too early too, but never went back. I think that is a regret for him, so kudos to Grant for recognizing that he needed more and following through with it for the last few years. I am enjoying your UK and Norway posts. Great idea to delay posting and create a series. Wishing you a fabulous April with lots of time for writing…

  16. Sorry to hear work’s been overly busy and you’ve been picking up extra, but I hope that you get more balance soon. And good news that Grant is cutting back and I hope you’re able to start thinking about that transition as well.

  17. What a busy month! I hope work calms down for you soon. I love all of shows you are watching. I hope Under the Vines returns. Your parrot is amazing! So cool to see an opossum. Here in the U.S, opossums are gray and with a longer nose. I hope your husband’s transition into retirement goes smoothly.

    1. I’ve just finished watching the 2nd series of Under The Vines. Fingers crossed they make a 3rd…

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