Cabin fever

I’ll admit, there’s been some cabin fever. I have learnt that I need an outing a day, and ideally something either social or mentally engaging. Monday week ago I settled for a few errands but then felt under house arrest. To alleviate that, this is what I did the other days:

Went to the Art Gallery of NSW and saw the graduating high school student art. Some was necessarily juvenile, or at least, not my taste. I walked from home to the gallery, via the library (to collect a book about the frugal art of hedonism!). When I got to the gallery I made a bee line to the cafe, and slowly sipped my pot of chai tea.

Multiple layers, notice the three different icons in the central top windows

Wednesday, I went back to the same precinct that the Art Gallery is in, but this time to read and swim at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. It is on the harbour, with views of the naval base, so it’s lovely even if you don’t swim.

Chai in the gallery cafe

Thursday I’d found a $10 deal for a movie ticket – far better than the $20+ it can sometimes be, for the film Escape Room. I went to a lunch time session and then browsed other shops around the city. I’m incredibly good at restraining from impulse purchases!

A card i could have bought

Friday I caught up with two friends. After a coffee with one friend, we walked the street and browsed the old wares and second hand shops as we discussed our job less state – hers being a bit more recent, and a bit of a shock. Another friend came over for a swim.

I ended up so busy, I didn’t think of job hunting!

Creature of habits and routines

It’ll come as no surprise to those who know me that I’m a conscientious person. And with that, comes routines and habits. And even in a period of unemployment and wide open spaces of unscheduled time, I’ve still come to a routine.

I now wake much (an hour!) later – at 6:40am. This gives me time to briefly review my notifications, get dressed and walk to the gym for a 7am work out. After my 45 minutes of sweating more than I think is humanly possible, I saunter home. I then make the planned breakfast *the plan being set by F45, the gym I go to. It’s usually either a smoothie, an omlette or eggs some other way, and occasional toast with chocolate/peanut butter concoction. Depending on my inclination, I’ll either wash up then (the previous 24 hours of dishes) or I’ll head to the local cafe for my cappuccino. (Fun fact: after many years as a mocha drinker, and then trying decaf long blacks for F45 challenges in 2018, I’ve found a more moderate coffee – it’s a skim cap with honey, so still sweet but less so? maybe?)

At my local cafe, I take the newspaper and read it cover to cover. Sometimes, annoyingly, someone calls. Don’t they know they are interrupting my routine? Even to tell me about that ONE job I’ve applied for in this brief sabbatical? I jest.

Once the paper is read, I return home to wash up, if required, and then shower. After that, it becomes a wide open expanse.

As the blog title hints, I have a stack of lists. I have a list of items I want to buy (both clothing and household items). I have a list of errands and chores to do around the home, including things I’d prefer do on a ‘big screen’ of the laptop when I’m next at the library or my parent’s house. I also have a list of tasks for my upcoming European holiday. When you’re going to Greece, Hungary, Italy, Croatia for fun, and further England & Wales, Germany and France to see people you love, there’s a fair bit of logistics. I thought I had it sorted, til ferries only ran two days a week, or flights only started in the true summer season, and not the shoulder.

Some days, I have ‘coffee dates’ with former work acquaintances and colleagues. Other days, I head to the library to use their internet. Other days, I stay home, and get cabin fever!

Most afternoons I take to the bed upstairs to lie down and read. Surprisingly, with such a leisurely schedule, my need to nap has diminished, and if I do end up napping, it tends to make my night sleep more broken.

A good day is when a few more of those listed items are struck off. Most days see me also add a few more tasks though!

Updates

OK, first, WordPress backend looks oh so different. Let’s see how I go?

For my readers who I comment on your blogs, you might know that I’m currently not working. My government contract was cut short. It was due to run til mid April but due to budgetary issues, and a looming March election, they cut it short to the beginning of February.

I was actually perfectly OK with this news. This time in 2018, I took four weeks of leave at half pay, to explore boredom and hopefully be inspired as to what to do next in my career. Following that time off, I was offered the contract role, and left the company I’d been at for nine years. Of course, I was paid out the long service leave entitlements (if you have no idea what I’m on about, international readers, this is a helpful post). I started at the state government after Easter 2018.

I was given one week’s notice. Many were aghast it was such short notice – for me, it felt right. My last employer required only a week’s notice. The kicker was that I was told a DAY before both my birthday AND the day I was moving back into the loft. The loft being the property I blogged a lot about in 2012 and 2013. I actually worked my birthday, and Dad supervised the move of furniture. I’d slowly moved all non furniture items in car trips. The property was actually vacant a brief while, as I got it repainted and laid new carpet. The last tenant’s dog damaged the first three stairs (and a few more other things). So I’ve asked the agent to recover costs for repairing those stairs, and the cost of carpet cleaning – which I’ll put towards the new carpet.

In the three weeks I’ve been off, I’ve spent a bit of time getting things sorted around the house. I scoured Facebook Marketplace and have found cheap and free items I was missing. Weird stuff like ice cube trays and some storage in the bathroom/laundry area. I’ve also got rid of strange items – a collection of three cutlery trays.

I’ll try to post more regularly, though I don’t have the internet at home. It’s an intentional decision, to stop me from being a recluse with Netflix. So I take myself to various libraries in the City of Sydney – they are amazing! There’s a whole new on in Green Square, and a beautiful one in Custom’s House. And I’m going to skip the blogging recommendations and post without photos. Might remove some of the road blocks to me posting more often!

Jetsetting – again

Once again, I find myself travelling.  This time, to Germany, for a fabulous christening and then a side trip to Copenhagen – cause when in Europe, you may as well see the next place on your bucket list!

Delightfully sunny day to arrive in Frankfurt

The beautiful building my friend’s apartment is in. It’s beautifully sunny with lovely wooden floors. I didn’t want to leave.

It was a very short turn around between being asked to be a Godmother, and the actual christening (which, of course, I was not obligated to come to, but couldn’t see any good reason not to attend).

A Sunday stroll around Heidelberg

I had four nights with my lovely friend, her husband and her baby daughter, before taking the train via Hamburg to Copenhagen – they put the train on a ferry! It’s cool!

The funny look is cause i was eating , in Hamburg station(and seriously, it’s hard to see your face as you take a selfie)

The pastry of Hamburg – having German friends helps you use the few minutes between trains to try the best things!

The ferry deck – both the departing shore and the arriving shore has wind turbines, as well as some in the sea.

An attempt at proof of us, in a train, beside trucks, in a ferry!

Getting off the train to go to the upper decks of the ferry

I’ve only just arrived in Copenhagen, and it’s already great.  I arrived as the sun set, it was cool, but not too cold.  The hostel is everything it promised – hip, stylish, but affordable.  The rooms are great – the list of ‘things I could have brought’ for this place include: an s hook or a coat hanger for my coat, a padlock for the locker, thongs (my feet want to be free of shoes!).

Golden hour for me to fall in love with the city by

The train trip started around 7am, and I arrived around 6.30pm, so a long day.  I was well equipped by a delicious snack pack from my friend.  And I bucket load of throat lozenges as I battle the start of a cold.  The journey was quite enjoyable – I saw a lot of really pretty countryside and wind turbines. I passed most of the time listening to podcasts – some I’d pre-downloaded, but many I listening to using the wifi on the trains.

Have you been to Denmark? Any recommendations?

Podcast overload

I recall when I used to feel overwhelmed by the quantity of blogs I had to read and comment on.  Some how, with some natural attrition, I have overcome the overwhelm.  Now, my issue is podcasts! Figuring that some people may be seeking some podcast recommendations, I thought I’d list them.

By ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) or at least, their employees! – 5

  • Pineapple Project – a podcast by a female comedian, pitched at women getting their finances in order.  Currently on hiatus.
  • Ladies, We Need to Talk – by Yummi Stynes, who I LOVED back when she did radio in the afternoon with Chrissie Swan.  She touches on many topics, money is one, but also female orgasms, mental load.  All sorts of things.  Erratic posting schedule.
  • Bang On – by Zan Rowe and Myf Warhurst for the ABC digital radio service Double J.  I loved Zan when she did mornings on Triple J, before moving radio stations.  They talk about current events, including music (both have been involved with Eurovision) and parodies to fashion.
  • Chat 10, Looks 3 – it’s like Bang On, but I feel like for an ‘older’ audience, just my read of it.  Hosted by Leigh Sales, a journalist* and Annabel Crabb who is a politics journalist.  They steer clear of work (politics) and are firmly in books, baking and random other things that enter their mind, like show tunes and podcasts.
  • Download This Show – my celebrity crush is on the host, Mark Fernell.  He used to do short movie reviews on Triple J.  Now he has two co hosts (who vary) and they discuss the week in technology and media with humour and lightness.

*thanks for the suggested edit 🙂

Other Aussie content – 2

  • Straight and Curly – found based on a recommendation from the Chat10 Facebook group.  Two ladies riffing on life hacks and productivity.
  • The Teacher’s Pet – by The Australian’s journalist about a crime from 1982 that remains unsolved.  If I’m honest, I’m starting to grow tired of this podcast, there’s a LOT of repeating information and using the same descriptors of characters in the narrative.

NPR content – 4

  • Hidden Brain – I love the host’s voice, and he uses interesting academic research and often the experts to discuss how the brain works in so many scenarios.  The topics always pique my interest and his voice has a lovely lilt.
  • Planet Money – two hosts who talk about all sorts of things that relate to economics.  Release FAR too often for my appetite though!
  • How I built this – Guy Raz interviews the entrepreneurs of major companies, most of which I know of.  There’s an occasional company that’s very US centric.  In any case, it explored their journey to wealth and success.
  • Invisibilia – hasn’t been an episode for ages, so I almost forget the details! Should add it to the ‘fade out’ list down below.

The rest – 8

  • Ear Hustle – inside San Quentin jail, this has some incredible into an insight into life in prison. Short seasons and long breaks, so I’m always wanting more!
  • Kind World – in hiatus lately, but a lovely short podcast of serendipitous kindness.  Always warms my heart.
  • Reveal – investigative (US) journalism with person of colour host (he’s never said it, but you can just tell!)  Goes deep into issues in the US and makes you thankful not to live there.
  • Savage Lovecast – a gay advice columnist, with a very liberal political and sexual perspective! Every episode starts with a politics rant which I find keeps me up to date with the US current affairs!
  • Young House Love Has a Podcast – a married couple who had a fabulous blog and then retired from it.  They returned with a podcast about renovating their beach houses.  They are such an upbeat couple – serious relationship goals!
  • The Guilty Feminist – only recently added it to rotation and always a live taped show with guests.  I enjoy the opening where they admit to ‘I’m a feminist but….’ and also, assess whether the day or week has been ‘guilty’ or ‘feminist’.  Lovely plummy British tones of the core host.  Her guests are as diverse as someone with Cerebral Palsy and disability activists.  Really causes me to think, but also laugh out loud.
  • The Shortest Longest Time – a parenting podcast.  A recent change in host has put this into the maybe pile, but they’re current on a break for the US summer.
  • Death, Sex and Money – topics we should talk about more.  Currently doing a ‘summer loving’ series about dating.

That brings the count to 19 podcasts so far!

Things I’m drifting away from – 3

  • Where should we begin – Esther Perel’s recordings of her couple’s counselling.  I find them a little longer than I can handle.  I might find them more insightful in a relationship?
  • Ask a Manager – I found this recommended so I started listening, but I think the host’s voice grates on my ears, even if her ‘work life’ advice is probably well placed.
  • Dear Sugars – two advice columnist who always seem to be able to recall literature that emulates the writers life! Cheryl Strayed is great, but… I get a bit over advice, or the styles of questions which are asked.

Things to devour (ie not on current rotation) – 6

  • The Habitat -about a group of six people who go into a bubble for a year to simulate being on Mars.  It explores every facet of life, including the interpersonal relationships and the simulated delays in emails.  Fascinating, consumed my whole Saturday prepping food!
  • Making Obama – I only listened to the season of Making Oprah, but didn’t get far with Making Obama.  One day?
  • Myths & Legends – I subscribed to this in summer when I took a month off, and would listen to learn about Greek and Roman myths whilst doing jigsaw puzzles.  I imagine I’ll dip back into this when I have a curiosity on certain myths from certain regions, as it’s quite diverse.
  • Getting Serious with Jonathan Van Ness – he’s a little too flighty to continue listen to, but asks innocent questions in serious issues.  His voice isn’t quite the timbre I enjoy.
  • Casefile – an American podcast with an Australia host.  I did the three parts of Silk Road in binge form, but realise I don’t need to hear lots of crime.  The music or sound is really well done however, really improves the mood of the podcast.
  • Alone – A Love Story – two seasons of a woman’s divorce.  Some have reviewed it as self absorbed, but I found it well done, and could really walk in her shoes and know how she felt.

What are your favourite podcasts? Do you listen to any that I do?

Plastic Free June

So, it’s meant to be Plastic Free July, but I was a eager beaver? Or figured it might help others to start analysing before it’s too late for you readers to get on board.

On Friday 1 June, I started collecting all my waste that wasn’t destined for the worm farm or recycling.  I didn’t photograph the following no longer so fresh ingredients: onion skins and ends, lemons, and off ricotta cheese and similar.  None of these are OK for the worm farm.

I’ve also skipped photographing dental floss and cotton buds.

But the rest… in photographic glory.  A third of the way through the month.

Treated myself to 12 coloured pens for decorating my paper journal

Top is the wires and flowers not used to make a flower crown. Bottom left is the not rubber bands and floristry tape. A single use Opal card the day I forgot my normal card. A wrapped for a tin of mints. The little inner cap from a bottle of sauce.

Top left is the plastic sleeve from a card, and the seal from the envelope. On top is a sheet from tablets – this was a month on one sheet, better than a week per sheet :s. A cucumber wrapper and asparagus plasque. Foam trays which I will return and cling wrap from these trays and other vege. A dirty plastic peanut butter jar.

Top right is a yarn bag full of plastic sleeve from two weeks of flower purchases – for church and a flower crown

Ok, so what could I do better with?

Flowers are part of my volunteering time, and I really enjoy the creation of ‘things’.  No all flowers come wrapped in plastic, but it’s not possible to get certain types with plastic wrap.  I can RedCycle this plastic though; along with the cling film from fruit and vege trays. The green tape is from making a flower crown and not something I use most of the time; like the wires.

Fruit foam trays will go back to the local green grocer where I expect them to be reused, as it’s a sole trader.  I buy cheaply priced items like this – those aiming to prevent food waste.  Also, snow peas and sugar snaps ONLY come on trays.  I reuse the large plastic bag from grocery store spinach and refill at the green grocer 🙂

Pen packaging and in time the pens.  You can buy pens loose, but I did like the price ($12.50 for 12.  A militant zero waster would have done without.  And I’ll admit I have some coloured pens from scouring the work stationary supplies.

Cucumber of the lebanese variety are always wrapped.  And others aren’t. (Aside: I paid $3 (!!) for a singular cuc yest!).  I have found that the long Lebanese cucumbers can last longer, grow less mould and shrivel less.  I will RedCycle the plastic.  I buy a cucumber a week on average, and this was the first Lebanese is a long time.

Peanut butter jar is a tricky one.  I’ve worked to use a spatular to get as much as possible out.  I can wash it up.  Or give it to the dog as a game to getting to the last scraps – she’d love that I reckon.

Circling back to the unphotographed waste – I am planning to go back to buying plastic free cotton buds, as I feel even if they end up in landfill, longer term they have a chance of breaking down in a way that plastic tubes in cotton buds do not.

I think will this account complete, I’ll take out the trash (with the cheese, onion and lemons) with the items that won’t RedCycle.

How do you think your bin audit would fare?

2018 Goals

Back in 2017, I still used my blog as a place to ‘put’ thoughts.  Not always to publish! And look what I found, a list of things for 2018.  What’s great is that I have updated on a few!

Plan a weekend in Canberra for Floriade

A week or two ago, I picked a weekend and booked an Airbnb.  That’s it, I’m now committed before other things crowd out my calendar.  And I have a car, so that bits easier than in some years gone by. Coincidently, Floriade is the same name the Dutch use for their flower show, says my DUtch friend.

Try rowing, in summer

Not yet, but summer comes again in 2018…

Attempt a monthly ‘browse’ of a book store, cause it makes me happy!

I haven’t really done this.  But what I did do, was ask for Christmas to have a membership to a bookstore.  The upside is free entry to book launches and talks.  I also get no postage in Australia and a discount, but given I seldom buy books, I’m not too fussed about those details.  I have bought one book this year, and one book voucher.  And I’ve ‘nicked’ a few books from free libraries.

Getting into ordering Who Gives A Crap toilet paper

The reason I didn’t do this sooner, was that they come in BIG boxes and now I have a big home this year, I’m a bit better at storing them.  They were set up for auto resend, but when I got the reminder, I was a LONG way from running out of toilet paper, so I pushed in out more.  I’m pleased I’ve gone ‘plastic free’ on one more item.

Set up composting at my parents/my house

YES! I ended up with a worm farm for my birthday.  It lives in the garage. After the period of using Bokashi in the loft, I can tell you, the worm farm is way less smelly!

Grow a garden!

It took a while to get going, and only my parents return at Easter gave me the kick in the butt to get onto it.  But I’m please to have five vegetables growing now.

Something is eating my broccolini

Cabbage is also tasty to the slugs

Overwhelmed by work

Another archived draft that was never published, in late 2017.  Based on my career change lately, I feel it’s topical to share this now.

I’ve blogged in fits and spurts for a number of years, and it all started due to having a lot of idle time at work.  Whilst I’ve remained with the same employee, I have let this blog take a back seat and really seen my career grow and change in the past few years.  I largely don’t blog about work, but if you are interested, I have a smallish collection of tagged posts.

In early 2014, I did a six week period ‘acting’ as a manager, and from there, other opportunities unfolded as my company (six months as a manager of a small team in late 2014) saw many restructures and many generations of staff leave.  I was permanently appointed as a Field Manager in April 2015.

In those to two and a half years in the role has been all elements of managing field staff (here’s the ‘one week in‘ debrief, and ‘one year in‘).  They are powerline workers and labourers who install poles.   Overall, I think the job is a fantastic fit to my skills and my personality.  I like being involved with ‘day to day’ works.  I love that we do emergency response.  I like that I have such diversity in my role: from chairing interview panels to assisting with logistics on setting stock levels or appropriately scraping materials, managing a huge fleet and the renewals/upgrades/returns.  Days rush past and I can nary remember a time when I could draft a blog post in working hours!!

But wow, of late, I’ve been overwhelmed.  Where 2015 and 2016 saw reductions in field staff, and that was brutal and destabilising, 2017 is the year of reductions from all the supporting staff.  There’s been wholesale changes to sections like: training, HR, fleet management, engineering & standards and clerical support.  As an organisation of thousands, I believe have ‘subject matter experts’ in areas like that, REALLY help.  They can make business wide decisions or at least ensure consistency.  They can have specific knowledge.  They can negotiate quantity discounts.  However, with every in a full time employee comes from ‘business savings’.  Sometimes, what that means is pushing some of those tasks to the regions.  Now, I do things like

  • scan and file log books into a centralised system (but only one type – heavy vehicles do TWO log books everyday)
  • updating what was fixed & when.  Previously a paper form went to someone else to process.  I knew those people – they used to get SO bored!
  • write interview questions, complete inordinate additional tables/forms to appoint and wonder why it takes from April to August to get a job even CLOSE to filled

Everything seems to take so long.  And be so hard.  Every decision or email seems to need a handful of people included.

I keep thinking if I do more, I’ll be on top of it.  More will be achieved.  And… I mostly succeed, stuff gets done, things improve or move forward or change for the better.

Then I realise – I let work take all of me.  I literally get annoyed when a friend/date asks me when I’m free during work time.  In my mind, I’m sometimes indigent they’ve also interrupted my day with yet another demand.  How could I possibly predict if I’ll have ANY energy left on a week night to meet with them.  Then I resent that I crowd my weekends with ‘have to dos’ with chores to keep the next working week afloat.  I actually ‘worry’ I can’t socialise as I won’t get the week ahead prepared and chaos may descend.  It’s ridiculous.  This is NOT how people live.  People actually cook and prepare every meal fresh; not batch cook on a weekend or live off ready prepared freezer meals.  Or is that a ‘should’ – I listened to a podcast today and the presenter admitted he doesn’t cook, and I didn’t think he was a bumbling non-adult.  He just… didn’t. Doesn’t (Well he does now, it was an ad for Blue Apron, but anyhow).  Who knows how he feeds himself and his health.  That’s it right – I worry.  I worry I am not eating healthy ‘enough’.  That my convenience meals are generating waste (which long time readers KNOW I hate).  Some of my errands and chores are adding to the burden on weekends – needing to go to a bulk store, drop off compost, drop off soft plastics, return books to the library.  But none of those will I give up, as I really DO feel they align to what’s important to me.  But I resent that they are seemingly taking up time I could have fun in.  Time I could enjoy with others.  And I blame work.  Well, I blame me.  I stay back an hour or two to get some more done.  I know I have a commute, and really, without it, imagine!  In the past few months, I have pushed myself to exercise more and overall, I can’t fault that decision.  I just need to find a balance between work – exercise – life.

Does your work gobble up your life? How do you stop that from happening?

Getting into the manager groove (in 2016!)

From the archives; drafted but never published. The guys did their training in April 2016, so I expect this is from early 2016!

Some will remember the first time I stepped into a management role in February 2014.  I was really struggling with the influx of communication and how the heck to get people to do stuff.  It was a six week stint, and by the end of it, I had a better handle on things, and really did appreciate readers advice.

Two years on, I’m permanently appointed as a manager.  I started the role just after Easter in 2015, with indirect and direct reports in the vicinity of 75!  It’s hard to imagine now, as that number has seen a number of staff have their volunteer for redundancy.  I’d say my ‘count’ is closer to 45.  I appreciate that everyone who is at work now, wants to be at work.  For a long while, we were struggling with demotivated people who just wanted out!

Moody shot!  All the photos I took when I was working, died with the return of my work phone & iPad

Now, the business is still talking about more cuts, and I can’t see how – not when I look to my team.  We all just hope they’ll find cuts elsewhere.

Despite further staff needing to go, the business has allowed some opportunities for people in the team to develop, train and improve their skills and income. It gives me the greatest pleasure to work one on one with staff and see where they’d like to move long term or how they’d like to develop.  It’s incredibly strategic – working out ‘who goes where’, trying to get people to where they want, but also develop people in time to fill holes in the business.

I’ve shortlisted applications, I’ve interviewed, and I’ve short listed for appointments.  Telling those who haven’t succeeded is hard – and so many people just take it on the chin.  Others, whinge and think it’s unfair.  The best response are those who are mature enough to see there’s somewhere they need to grow.  I’m learning to be better prepared to have and give that feedback.  And with each pass through the system, I learn how to better equip applicants so they can shine in their application as much as they do day to day.  Running a ‘job readiness’ course has made a world of difference to the quality of applications.

Early next week, I’ll announce some of the most long sought promotions.  For SO LONG they’ve wanted to be a live line worker – working at high voltage without turning the power off!  It’s as technically challenging as it can get, and it’s financially rewarding.  It’ll topple the apple cart – as there are some stars that have silently risen.  There are some candidates who have misplaced confidence.  It will be a undertaking to deliver the news with the sensitivity it will require.

This is a lot of words to say – I love the job.  I love developing staff.  I love seeing people grow.  I relish the day they eclipse me!

Highlights of early 2018

Easter 2018 was a family reunion.  My parents returned for two weeks from their year in Tonga.  My youngest brother came from the UK with his wonderful GF.  SO we did some fun things:

Manly beach for a brunch with my family and aunt & uncle

My brother’s GF loves make up, so I got her to do mine (and Dad took portrait shots of all us kids, to print and display in their home in Tonga)

My bro gave his GF tickets. Buying on arrival (online) was super cheap as April is serious shoulder season. Tricks for young players

Outside of Easter, I got up to some fun with my gfs from water polo.

Being kooky at a concert – the Irish band the Script

The main act

Someone suggested my first ever girls weekend away.  It was awesome! I BYO’d all my challenge meals, and we each took a meal to cater for.  They were kind enough to suggest dessert would be ‘walk to ice cream parlour’ so I could stay home if it was torture.  I didn’t stay home, but asked for high fives when I didn’t give into even a taste!

Weekend away on the cusp of the cold snap, with the girls from water polo. This is how we enjoy Saturday nights!

One of our girl posse got engaged and had AMAZING cakes/sweets.  She’s an awesome baker, but seems she has other friends who are equally amazing.  I think I actually might have left before having some…

Amazing engagement cake, for a gal who dislikes cake

But cake is no good if you don’t like it.  So another friend made her a two beautiful cookies in the initials of the bride and groom

Alternative engagement ‘cookie’ for the non cake bride to be

Casting my mind further back, when I took a month off my ‘old’ job.  I worked on getting one of my bucket list items done!  I picked apples and made a pie.

An apple farm in Bilpin, where I went to pick apples

Apple pie 1

Not settling for boring apple pies 😉

Aside from an engagement party, we also had a WEDDING! It was lovely, just the right size.  All the girls stayed at my place, and we shared ubers in and out of the Eastern Suburbs.  It’s a season of weddings, we have two more before the year is out from the photographed group below!

One of the polo girls got married, and I got a great selfie

And on a quiet weekend, my local friends suggested a flower show.  I thought it was a tour of gardens, but alas it was more of a ‘best in show’ style.  It was right up our alley, as we often walk to the Flemington markets, which sell flowers, fruit and vege!

Went to my first garden show in a neighbouring suburb. My local friends think we might enter next year. I’ll do the arranging, they do the growing!

Well, that’s made up for some lost time (or at least, some time the blog was offline).