30 March 2020

We still need stories

Reading is like breathing to me - one of life's essentials. I stopped reading print books at the beginning of March. I returned my last lot of library books because I didn't like the idea of what germs might linger on them during this virus-ridden time. Now most public libraries in Australia have closed their doors anyway.

So what to do? 

1. Check if your local bookshop will deliver.
My local bookshop will and it's a great service to those who want to buy print books and are loathe to leave home. 

2. Buy e-books.
I don't buy print novels at all anymore because I don't want them filling my house. If you saw how many old novels I discarded before we moved house, you'd understand why! E-books are the way to go for me because I can download them instantly. I'm happy to buy new novels in this format.

3. Borrow e-books from your library.
Most libraries have e-books for loan for free. You will need your library card number and have to download the relevant app. Look at your library's website to see what they offer. I have placed several reserves on e-book titles from my libraries (I belong to several).

4. Borrow magazines from your library.
Many libraries have digital magazines you can download. I highly recommend PressReader, if your library has access, because it has thousands of local and overseas newspapers and magazines for free. RB Digital is another source that your library may have. Again, you will need your library card number and have to download the relevant app.

5. Watch and hear stories for kids.
Story Box is a fabulous website, where you can see and hear great storytellers read aloud. Aimed at preschool and primary aged children, this Australian service is subscription-based. Check if your library has a subscription, or subscribe yourself. You can see a free story if you want to try it out first. 

So there are plenty of reading opportunities for us all, even if we are housebound. We will always need stories in our lives.  

23 March 2020

My book of the month: March

My book reading has stalled this past month. I've had a short attention span and have found that magazine articles are easier to absorb. I think that's due to all the unsettling news that is constantly bombarding us every day.

However, I've still found time to read a few novels. The one I've enjoyed most is Just One Wish by Rachael Johns.

Gosh it was a good read. Three generations of women in a family, all wondering about the paths they had chosen for their lives. This sounds like a familiar theme for a contemporary novel but in the experienced hands of Rachael Johns it's an engrossing modern family drama.

You can read more about Just One Wish on Goodreads.

21 March 2020

Being rosy

How is everyone feeling today? I've run away from the daily news and have been cutting roses from my garden instead because it lessens my anxious feelings.

Surround yourself with beauty and small pleasures, people, because sometimes that's the best we can do. ❤️ We'll get through this. Stay safe.

17 March 2020

This week

Well March has gone downhill fast, hasn't it? How are you all feeling? Anxious, unsure of the future, and trying to stay calm? Or is that just me? (Four questions in a row, that's a barrage!)

Take a big breath and enjoy this photo of pretty flowers I cut from my garden this morning. It's a trio of blue salvia, pink gaura, and lavender. Pity you can't smell the lavender - it's divine! It also has soothing capabilities so, as I sniff the oil from the flowers, it helps me calm.

There's a balance between obsessively reading all the stories about the COVID-19 virus and having enough accurate information to stay up-to-date. I'm trying to get that balance right; how about you?

So this morning I took a slow walk around my garden, seeing what has developed since I last looked properly. Bulbs have sent up shoots (I suspect daffodils), the roses are flowering madly, the Japanese maples are turning red (look at that fabulous colour!) and, sadly, the weeds are flourishing.

It helped to get out in the sunshine and fresh air. We've chosen to avoid other people for a while (which isn't difficult for two introverts) so having a large outside space is a treat. It's nurturing.

I hope you are all ok and finding your own ways of living in these challenging times. Let me know if you need a friendly hello. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (see the icons on this page). Sometimes a friendly chat is all we need to perk us up!

02 March 2020

Hello March!

One of the (many) reasons we moved to the Southern Highlands is the climate. We wanted to live where there are four distinct seasons, which there aren't really in Sydney any more. Here it is the first week of March and the signs of autumn are already starting.

The nights are cooler and the leaves on many trees are already starting to prepare for the change in seasons. That excites me! This tree in our backyard has leaves that have subtly started to change colour around the edges - just enough to let us know that cooler weather is on its way.

This second tree shows more colour and I can see changes on each of my morning inspections.

This tree in our front garden has decided to go all the way on particular branches, leaving the rest to follow.

Of course, we haven't been here through a winter yet but we have all we need to be toasty warm inside. And there will always be piles of leaves to gather outside - that will keep me warm!

27 February 2020

My book of the month: February

I think I've written about this series before but every book seems better than the previous one. In The Lantern Men (number 12 in the series), Ruth Galloway has a new partner and a new job but I sensed things wouldn't stay that way for long. Was I right?

Ruth is a forensic archaeologist, whose profession often leads her to work with the police to identify victims. Such an interesting life.

Read more about The Lantern Men on Goodreads.

18 February 2020

Three things I like this week

Looking for the positives in my life, here are three things I like this week.

1. Fire Fight Australia

Wow, what an event this was! We watched most of it on TV (yep, about 10 hours worth) and was blown away by the emotions on show on the day/night. My three fave performances were:

Queen + Adam Lambert - OMG they reprised the legendary Live Aid set of songs, the first time since 1985. It was simply awesome. Don't miss it.

k.d. lang - she was totally mesmerising. Made me cry.

Alice Cooper - total energy and thumping songs, what more can you want?

2. Rain

So much rain. There are so many new shoots popping up in my garden (mostly grass seeds, unfortunately, so there's a lot of weeding ahead of me). Some plants I thought dead have new leaves and there are unknown bulbs sending up stems. I'm looking forward to discovering what they are! I hope you've had rain at your place, too.

3. My crepe myrtle tree

It's burst into bloom and I love the cerise colour of the flowers. I didn't plant this one but I'm so glad someone did!

What did you enjoy this week?