An Anniversary and A Virus

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It is now 8 days since my last post and in the intervening time I have passed a significant milestone – the 9th anniversary of this blog.  My very first post was 12th March 2011.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge.  GMan and I have both retired.  We have lost both of our elderly pets.  Our eldest granddaughter who was a 3 year old at daycare is now at high school.  There have been birthdays, holidays, deaths and an assortment of celebrations.  Skills have been acquired, friendships made, issues addressed, gardens planted and recipes made.

However, nothing I have written about is anywhere near as important as the current global pandemic of COVID-19 virus.  Very few countries have been left unscathed.  In fact, Australia has seen a doubling of reported cases in just 2 days – from 150 to 300.

It seems that the best chance we have of ‘flattening the curve’ is social distancing.  In order to do this large gatherings of greater than 500 are banned.  For example, there will not be spectators at football matches.

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Working from home is being encouraged.  Since GMan and I do not have work commitments, we have chosen to limit our social interactions.  This will not only protect us but assist in reducing community transmission.  The more people that restrict their movements the greater the chance that the increase in cases can be slowed.  The primary reason for this strategy is to ensure that our health system can cope with the influx of cases.

If you are going to stay home as much as possible, you need to consider not only your physical needs but also your mental health.  Food and other essential consumable items are important but you need to give consideration as to how you will spend your time.  Naturally, it will depend on your individual circumstances.  We are very lucky to have small acreage so outdoor activity is definitely still an option.  I will be sewing, gardening and cooking.  The focus will be on cooking from scratch and making do with what I have.  Check out this link on the blog.

I am grateful for my relaxing retreat right here at home.

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Whatever is going on and however we deal with it, don’t forget those around you.  Everyone has different needs and priorities.  Just within my smallish extended family, there are people who are elderly, sole traders, single parents, students, homeowners, renters and residents of retirement villages.  Each person is impacted differently.

These are unprecedented times.  This post was written almost 9 years ago.  While this is a very different scenario with the presence of a new virus in our midst, the message remains the same.  Take care of yourself.  Look out for others.  Above all, be kind and considerate.

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Newly Retired

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Blog posts have been few and far between over the last 6 months as I navigated the countdown to retirement.  I had previously managed to successfully combine the running of a household with full-time work but once I could see the end in sight I tended to put several things on the back burner so that I could focus on tying up as many loose ends as possible in my job as well as training my successor.

So, my last day in the office was Thursday 4th July, otherwise known as Independence Day.

I searched for a suitable retirement image but nothing sums it up better than this photo.  We now have the time to explore our own backyard as well as further afield and simply enjoy being surrounded by scenery like the amazing Glasshouse Mountains.

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The past 3 weeks have been an absolute revelation.  You do not have to be constantly busy.  It is OK to take your time.  What does not get done today will be done tomorrow.  It has been a huge relief to feel the pressure fall away.

The first week of retirement coincided with school holidays so we had our granddaughters visiting for a few days and managed some outings and activities with them.

Since then I have caught up on sleep – no more 5am starts, exercised – walking each day and socialised – lunch with school friends, morning tea with cousins and several more lunches planned as well as a gallery visit.

Catching up on appointments is much easier without having to juggle them around work.  Dentist, optometrist, financial planner, tax agent and so on.

On the home front, meals are prepared, rooms cleaned and washing done with the minimum of fuss.  I am doing some sewing, too.

Meanwhile, we are putting the finishing touches to the plans for our next overseas trip.  We leave in a little over 3 weeks and have a couple more train trips to book.

That is only a brief overview but suffice to say that I am not bored.

I plan to share more details of the day to day activities now that life is running at a much more reasonable pace.

Thank you for sticking with me during the very lean blogging periods.

 

Some Statistics & An Upgrade

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It is hard to believe that I have been writing this blog for over 7 years now.  A couple of years after I began I had a hiccup and lost all of the photos.  I had be able to reinstate most of them but a few seemed to have been lost forever.

One post that was affected in this way was my Worcestershire sauce recipe.  This morning I started a new batch so decided to take the time to photograph the steps and I have updated the page for you – Worcestershire sauce.  If you have never tried it, I can highly recommend this homemade version.

As an added incentive, it is budget-friendly.  I used home-grown lemons and homemade chilli powder but spent up big on local organic garlic @ $50/kg.  The final cost was 99c/250ml.  This compares very favourably with the cheapest home-brand version for $2 for the same quantity, Holbrooks brand for $3.60 and I have it on good authority that artisan/gourmet offerings are in the vicinity of $8 – $12 for 250ml.

Apart from over 7 years of blogging, the other statistic I wanted to mention today is that this little blog has 597 followers.  That is not a huge number in the scheme of things but I am pleased that you have found me and hope that you will discover something of interest.  Since many of you have joined in more recently, there are probably many posts that you have yet to discover.  So, in the interests of sharing some of the wealth of information lurking in the depths, I will be sharing an older post each week for Throwback Thursday.

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Blogging Benefits

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I meant to tell you that there would be a break in blog posts as I was going on holidays but I was caught up with final preparations and forgot to do a post.

So, here I am on the other side of the world and just wanted to let you know that I am still blogging, albeit on a different site.  You can follow along with my UK adventures on Somewhere, Anywhere.

We have just spent two nights with friends in south Wales and you can read about it on the travel blog.  This was particularly special because we are friends as a direct result of this blog and a close connection formed as a result of our common interests.

People write blogs for all sorts of reasons – as a diary, to make money, to promote their business and so on.  I started my blog as a way of recording my thoughts and particular interests and hopefully to connect with like-minded individuals and share ideas.

Meeting someone on the other side of the world, whom I regard as a good friend and who I have been lucky enough to meet in person on two occasions has been a real joy. I am truly grateful for her friendship.

You never know what is on the other side of that door………….

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Still Here

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I thought I better make an effort to write something to let you know that I am still here and OK.

Why haven’t I written anything for a while?  Work is busy, but no more so than usual.  I am doing all of the normal things at home – washing, ironing, preparing meals and so on.  There have been a few social activities that have taken up a bit of time.

The real reason is simply that I have not felt like writing.  Several times, I have sat here with every intention of writing but I just feel an overwhelming sense of inertia.  Everything seems quite pointless.  It is difficult to express but I expect it is grief in one of its many guises.  I know it is nothing to what my daughter is experiencing but a challenge nevertheless.

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Please bear with me and hopefully my regular posts will return soon.

 

A Particular Passion

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During the holiday break I have had time to read and post in various groups and forums.  I participate to varying degrees in several groups.  I find that many of them have quite a narrow focus, sometimes to the exclusion of all else.

Some of the topics covered include:

Frugal Living
Zero Waste
DeclutteringMinimalism
Veganism
Upcycling
Buying Nothing New
Simple Living
Plastic Free Living

I dabble in all of these to some degree apart from veganism although we have reduced our intake of red meat to quite a modest level.

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At times it seems that I am not sufficiently passionate about any single topic, however, I feel that they are all inter-related and one aspect can support another.

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Hence, this blog contains posts which cover and wide range of topics and I hope you will find something of interest to you.

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Please let me know if there are particular topics which you would prefer to see more of or less.

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A Clean Slate

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It is well over a week since my last post and quite a bit has happened since then.  I did not anticipate being away from my blog for quite such an extended period of time.  However, the combination of a busy final week at work before the Christmas break as well as organising and hosting a couple of family events on Christmas Day and again 48 hours later meant that the blog was firmly on the back burner in the final days of 2016.  The internet has not been entirely helpful either which made the prospect of shooting off a quick blog post seem all too difficult.

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But here we are, on the first day of the new year.  A clean slate which is completely unsullied and just waiting for us to make our mark.  I have plenty of plans but there will be more about that in some upcoming posts.

I have not been idle during my absence from the blog and I have have even remembered to take some photos of some of my projects and I will share them with you, too.

Tomorrow I will review a few things from Christmas – the successes and those which did not quite go according to plan.

I hope you had a warm and loving Christmas with those who are near and dear to you.  May 2017 bring you kindness, joy and peace.