The Next Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, which has to be one of my least liked days of every year.

I posted a 10 slide mini-essay on Instagram, sharing my feelings about the day and how being an adopted person impacts the pinkest day of dotage on on the calendar. You can find my Instagram account here.

The first thing I did after posting was send a message to my sisters, assuring them of my love and telling them I’d posted something about MD and that the post was not about our family.
Thank everything good in the world, they get it, to the degree that than can. They both sent back messages of love and support, which meant so, so much to me. Their words of affirmation made me cry.

I was a little concerned about backlash, so I didn’t tweet the mini-essay, as Twitter can turn nasty fast. I was glad that the people I know on Instagram were supportive of me; I received lovely comments, and a few people shared their own familial connections to relinquishment and adoption.
To each of you, I send my heartfelt thanks.

Speaking or writing about adoption isn’t easy, especially on social media where things can be so easily misconstrued. I did pause before I hit OK, and then I hit it. They were my words, my thoughts and I wanted to share them.

After feeling relieved and buoyed by the response to my post, especially the words from my sisters, I watched MasterChef then binged more of my latest fave series, Power, which is on Stan. (Get on to that, FYI.)

Yesterday wasn’t an awful day, it was a (mildly) difficult day, as it is for lots of people.

Took myself off to bed and fell asleep without any issues. My brain clearly wasn’t finished pondering mothers and adoption though, as I had an incredibly vivid dream in which my family moved out of our family home of over four decades, without telling me. They just left.

In the dream, I was somehow at their new house, which had none of the family’s furniture or belongings, and literally no room for me, even though it was a big house. I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone on why they left without telling me. It was horrible. Horrible. Absolutely real, and gutting.

I woke up, sprang out of bed and had a brilliant day.


Actually, I woke up feeling literally wrenched out of the dream. I felt the emotions of the dream, abandonment and fear, coursing through me, like liquid neon.

I sat on my bed for more than an hour, trying to will myself to get going, get in the shower, get ready for work. I couldn’t do it.

Finally, I sent a text to my boss and let him know that I was having a difficult mental health day. I don’t sugar coat why I can’t function. No ‘I’m feeling a bit sick’ excuses. Just because pain is mental not physical, doesn’t make it any less real or valid. I was not capable of concentrating enough to work. I now know myself well enough to stay within my limits.

So, straight to the yoga mat, followed by 45 minutes of silent meditation? Sorry, no. Straight into my fluffy pink dressy-gown and then to the coffee machine. I ordered fresh bread on UberEats, thinking eggs on toast would be good, then popped myself on the couch. I finished watching Power (wow!) and just vegged out for a good few hours. No eggs on toast. Shrug.

A couple of people checked in after I posted on Facey and Insta, which was brilliant. I’m glad nobody called, I didn’t want to expend my limited energy on big emotions. I just let myself be in my vulnerable state, and didn’t give a second thought to missing work. I am more important than my productivity, so I chose myself today.

One of the main reasons I find it easy to choose myself is because I have broken the tape that loops in most of our heads shouting ‘compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking’. I don’t play that rigged game anymore.

I needed space and quiet time to let the after affects of that awful dream dissipate. It worked. I even managed a reviving shower by 5pm.

That’s how I got through the next day.

(Re-watching Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana helped too. Thanks TayTay.)

I guess I type all of that, to say this: Choose yourself.
The more often you choose yourself, the easier it gets.
It is within your power.

Annette xx

Blurry Days

Have you noticed that these stay at home days all seem to be blurring in to each other? 

Monday feels like Umday and then you blink and it’s Thursday. It is Thursday isn’t it? Yes it is, at least according to my phone. 

Yesterday I broke free of the walls of my house and visited a local bakery. I had a hankering, a gastronomic itch that wanted to be scratched. I had been daydreaming about flaky pastry for a days. 

It was jolly satisfying to chomp down on a warming sauso roll. I haven’t had one for ages. Mmmm so good.  

Going out feels positively Mallory Towers sneaking off to a midnight feast naughty. 

The streets are oddly quiet at the moment. There are cars around but not many people. Drove past a primary school with all the classrooms I could see sitting in darkness. 

There were two people in the bakery when I arrived, and even though three customers were permitted in the store at a time, I waited outside for one customer to leave. 

Black X……. Black X……. Black X, taped to the floor at an appropriate distance, in front of the bakery cabinets. 

Small businesses that usually prefer cash seem to all be using contactless payments. Tap and go, aptly named. 

One of my many nephews is an apprentice baker at that local bakery, so gave him a wave as I waited for my sausos and donuts. Pink icing with lurid green and fuchsia icing. Yum. 

Work has slowed quite a bit. I’m lucky to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment, so my income is guaranteed for the immediate future. Not everyone I know has been so fortunate. 

We had a conference call staff meeting today. The downturn in business gives us time to focus on processes and developing our social media presence, reminding people we exist and have expertise. When this strange season is over, we will all need new clients and old customers to come back to the businesses we rely on for our living. 

My independent streak is thrilled that online grocery shopping is back, even if it’s click and collect this week. I am quite determined not to run out of chickpeas while these strange times endure. I’m mad for chickpeas! So versatile, tasty and cheap. Oops, I may have overspent, I think it was the excitement of being able to “add to trolley” from the comfort of my couch. Veggies, chocolate, soda water, click, click, click. Inordinately chuffed to be able to do my own shopping again. 

How are you coping? Have you got kids doing remote learning? Take it easy on all involved I say, I think the hysteria over kids “falling behind” is, ridiculous – we are only a couple of weeks into this new way of learning. Interrupted education is nothing new in this world, it’s just usually something that happens over there, far away, not to people like us. 

These days, “people like us” are experiencing life rather differently than we usually do. That can be quite confronting. It can also remind us that all the ease and freedom of movement we take for granted is actually quite a privilege. 

Keep going. Prioritise keeping yourself mentally well, look after your people (you’re one of them!), hug those in your household often. 

My last hug was on the 21st of March. I’m not sure when the next one will be. 

Until then; double coated Tim Tams, new books for reading in bed on the weekends, popping out into my backyard to admire the sky, taking dance breaks during “office hours”, House Party calls with my sister and loads of social media chats, they’re my hugs. 

Keep going. Gently. Keep going. 


Annette x




Easter Eats – Chickpea Coconut Curry

There are no family recipes handed down through the generations here, no fluffy hot cross buns or crispy pork crackling secrets. That’s not my kind of cooking or eating. Don’t get me wrong, I love hot cross buns, it’s just that mine are from Woolies.

I shared a photo of my dinner on Instagram last night, like millions of people do, and someone asked me if my recipes are kept anywhere.

Chickpea Coconut Curry

That reminded me, I have a blog! I should be sharing my recipes. Doh!

Chickpea Coconut Curry

Vegetarian curry featuring sweet potato, chickpeas, zucchini and coconut milk.

  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large zucchini (roughly diced)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes ( )
  • 1/2 medium capsicum (roughly diced)
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk ( )
  • dried parsley ( a couple of shakes)
  1. Gather your ingredients, a sharp knife, your chopping board and a frying pan.
  2. Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add olive oil (or a neutral oil of choice). Peel and dice the sweet potato. Add the sweet potato to the pan.
  3. Dice the zucchini roughly. Allow the sweet potato to begin to caramelise, then add the curry powder to the pan. Give it a stir to coat the sweet potato.
  4. Add the zucchini, and the chili and garlic powder. Let them cook for a few minutes, then add your drained chickpeas and the cherry tomatoes.
  5. If you want to help the veg along a bit, add about 1/4 cup water to the frying pan. Let the heat and water do their thing while you chop your capsicum. Give the pan a stir to keep everything moving.
  6. Now add about half a tin of coconut milk and the capsicum. You want enough liquid so the veg and chickpeas are having a nice paddle about, but not drowning. Shake on some dried parsley if it seems the right thing to do.
  7. Let everything simmer away until your sweet potato is cooked to your liking.
  8. That’s it. You’ve made an incredibly simple, not-at-all authentic curry.
  9. Serve with rice or whatever takes your fancy.

My style of cooking isn’t exact. I cook by feel mostly. 

If you like onions, start with sliced onions, let them soften, then add your sweet potato. 

If you don’t like zucchini, use broccoli or beans. Substitute away, just cook from densest ingredient (sweet potato/potato) to lightest (capsicum).

Want to throw some fresh spinach in at the last minute, go nuts! 

The only outcome you’re after is tasty! 

And there you have it, an absolutely nothing to do with Easter recipe, save that I made it on Good Friday 2020.

I think the leftovers are calling me, food blogging makes me hungry.

I hope you’re having a cosy #stayathome Easter break, and that there are hot cross buns and chocolates within reach. Please let me know if you try and make this curry – and if I’ve left something obvious out of the recipe – tell me that too! (I left out the cherry toms, which I realised while I was heating up my leftovers – I’ve added them now. Phew.)

Annette xx



I am one week into the stay at home and work from home life. My art desk has become my work desk. Totes profesh, huh?! 

When I stop for a quick lunch at the office, I usually check out BabyMac’s latest blog post.

Works from my home desk too, with the bonus of a bowl of delicious veggie soup! 

There’s definitely been some anxiety for me this week. 

food, being able to work while so many people are losing their jobs; these things have helped me stay relatively calm. 

Some nights it’s difficult to fall asleep, and I badly want to hug, kiss and wrestle with my little nephews.

The most important thing is that we all do all that we can to get through these strange days. 

Stay at home as much as you can. 

Be mindful of how much news you’re consuming.

Don’t trust medical information from random social media accounts. 

Wash those hands, and keep your physical distance from others when you need to venture out. 

Don’t forget to be EXTRA courteous and kind to people, especially staff at supermarkets, pharmacies and to anybody working in healthcare. 

Use the most basic function of your smartphone, call someone up and have a chat. 

Stay connected. 

Stay positive. 

Stay healthy. 

Together, we can get through these strange days.


Much love, 

Annette xxx 



Yonder Hills

Something I love about where I live in Melbourne is how close I am to the Dandenong Ranges. 

Yesterday I had a bonus day off, so I decided to head up to one of my favourite spots in Sassafrass and enjoy some lunch. 

Proserpina Bakehouse has THE most epic pizzas and pastries. I was introduced to this gorgeous Bakehouse by some dear friends and it’s now one of my go-to destinations for delicious food and coffee in the hills. 

While I waited for my pizza, I grabbed my sketchbook and doodled some trees, sitting outside on a cushion lined bench. The weather was a little gloomy, which I kind of love. It makes the hills seem extra atmospheric, there was a definite hint of autumn in the air.

When I am up in what I call “yonder hills” I feel SO at home. There’s something about all those towering trees and luscious ferns that I find so peaceful and grounding.

As I finished my pizza, a little boy and his mum arrived at the cafe, parked his bike at the bench next to mine and headed towards the door to order their lunches. 

On the way in, he spotted something on the ground, and crouched down to pick it up  “Look mama!” he said, holding his treasure up to show her. 

It was a gorgeous green acorn, a little jewel nobody had noticed. His mum told him it was an acorn and he repeated the new word, an acorn. It was such a sweet moment. 

After trying to capture his beautiful blonde curls in a sketch, I headed into the cafe to warm up and select a pastry. 

When in Sassafrass, right? 


Heaven on a plate. 

Enjoyed every bite with a second coffee, did some more sketching, and admired the huge not-red-yet-not-burgundy bunch of dahlias in the centre of the table. 

Have you ever seen a dog sitting in a highchair in a cafe? I hadn’t until yesterday. It was quite something. 

As I drove back down the gently winding road towards home I felt quietly revived. 

Spending time under a canopy of greenery is one of my favourite things to do. 

I know I am super lucky to have such a special place so close to home. 


Where do you feel revived? Have you eaten any incredible pizza lately or seen a pet in an unusual place? Tell me all about it. 


Annette x 



Overcast Monday Q+A

Hello friends, 

It’s a rainy/warm/overcast confused weather Monday here in Melbourne. Seems like the right kind of day to delve into a list of questions that come to me via Pip of Meet Me At Mikes. She stumbled on to them via a friend’s blog, who saw them on My Quiet Life In Suffolk.


The internet really is a big old web isn’t it? 

Here we go! 


1. Who are you named after? 

Nobody as far as I know, though I do have two original names. I was named Sara at birth, and then Annette when I was adopted. 

2. Last time you cried?

The day I wrote my last blog post, which you can read here

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Yes! I have great handwriting. Long live cursive. 

4. What is your favourite meat?

Do you think this should be meal? It seems a funny question. Nonetheless, my answer is chicken.

5. Longest relationship?

51 years, with myself. It’s true love. 

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

I do. 

7. Would you bungee jump?


8. What is your favourite cereal?

Cornflakes. So bright and crunchy, and sadly, SO packed with sodium! 

9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?


10. Do you think you’re strong?

In myself, yes. In any kind of physical scenario, do not count on me. 

11. Favourite ice cream?

On a stick – Barney Bananas or Almond Magnums. In a tub, I go for coffee ice cream or cookies and cream. 

12. What is the first thing you notice about a person?

Hmmm, I think it’s a toss up between taking a quick mental inventory of how they look, followed by noticing their demeanour. 

13. Football or rugby?

AFLW, or Netflix. 

14. What colour trousers are you wearing?

I am not wearing trousers!! 

15. Last thing you ate?

A delicious Turkish Delight mini Easter egg. Note to self: must eat something! 

16. What are you listening to?

The air conditioner in the office. 

17. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be ?

Oooh sky blue or purple. 

18. What is your favourite smell?

I like the aromas of fresh things – freshly line-dried sheets, freshly mown lawns, fresh pjs, fresh bread, freshly rained on roads. 

19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

A lady selling printer cartridges. 

20. Hair colour?

Silver fox! All natural now after decades of dye jobs. 

21. Eye colour?


22. Favourite foods to eat?

Lately I have been enjoying adding more veggies to everything. I made a chickpea and veggie curry on the weekend and it was scrumptious. I like dishes with zucchinis and sweet potato. I’m partial to a corn chip and avocado dip situation. Swiss cheese pleases me. Tomatoes and cucumbers are excellent. Pasta is welcome on my plate, and chocolate is also a feature. 

23. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings, only because I do not like scary movies or tv. I think happy endings can be more than what Hollywood romcoms usually serve up. I like the ending of The Break-Up, of Julie & Julia, of It’s Complicated. Happy endings don’t have to be about ending up in a couple. 

24. Last movie you watched?

I’m going to cheat for this one! I loved a Netflix documentary film I watched recently, called Eagles Of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). 

It was about this American rock band (who are not at all what their name suggests!) playing a gig in Paris on 13 November, 2015. If that date seems familiar it’s because it is the night that horrendous terrorist attacks occurred across Paris. The film covers the band’s experiences of that awful night, where terrorists killed dozens of people at their gig, as well as the aftermath and their return to playing in Paris. 

I knew nothing about the band prior to watching the film. I fell in love with the band’s backstory. If you want to watch a film featuring a deeply beautiful friendship between two men, this is the one. 

25. What colour shirt are you wearing?

I’m not wearing a shirt either! I am wearing a multicoloured maxi dress. It is bright blue, navy and white. 

26. What is your favourite holiday?

Somewhere not too busy, where I can wander to a great cafe, go for a drive somewhere scenic, read books, hear birdsong and enjoy nature. 

27. Beer or wine?

Wine. Mostly my “wine” looks and tastes a lot like soda water and lemon cordial, but I do like white wine or a glass of bubbly. 

28. Night owl or morning person?

What is this “morning” you speak of? Most definitely a night owl. 

29.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Perhaps in one of the kinds of places I like to go on holidays? Taken another way, I’d like to live somewhere affordable and secure where I can express my personality in the decor and not ever have any problems with noisy or dodgy neighbours! 

30. Favourite day of the week?

I do like Fridays, but all the days of the week are okay by me. 

And there you have it, 30 things you may or may not have known about me. 

I hope the weather is less confused where you are, and that you enjoy all the days of the week ahead. 

Hugs and kisses, 

Annette xoxo 

Here’s a blank list if you’re keen to answer these 30 questions too: 

1. Who are you named after?
2. Last time you cried?
3. Do you like your handwriting?
4. What is your favourite meat?
5. Longest relationship?
6. Do you still have your tonsils?
7. Would you bungee jump?
8. What is your favourite cereal?
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
10. Do you think you’re strong?
11. Favourite ice cream?
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
13. Football or rugby?
14. What colour trousers are you wearing?
15. Last thing you ate?
16. What are you listening to?
17. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be ?
18. What is your favourite smell?
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
20. Hair colour?
21. Eye colour?
22. Favourite foods to eat?
23. Scary movies or happy endings?
24. Last movie you watched?
25. What colour shirt are you wearing?
26. What is your favourite holiday?
27. Beer or wine?
28. Night owl or morning person?
29.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
30. Favourite day of the week?

These are for you, friends

This weekend I have been thinking about the women in my life who are wonderful. That’s all of you really. Yep, that includes you, and especially you.

That I have so many faces coming to mind strikes me as deeply special, as I have a weird predilection not to be too trusting, and to keep what I perceive to be a protective bit of distance between myself and other humans.

It may appear that I’m quite open, a wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve type, and I think that’s true, to a degree. I also have a pretty good game face that I deploy to, I imagine, keep me ‘above the fray’ or something like that.

I hadn’t planned to write about this, so it’s not going to be a definitive, polished blog post. That’s okay with me.

This month I decided I wanted to spend time each day being creative. Over the past 48 hours I’ve tinkered with a watercolour in my sketchbook. It’s a simple subject, a vase of flowers, drawn from my imagination.

As I painted it, considered the colours and shapes, waited for it to dry, added detail, came back to it, photographed it, I realised I was painting it for you. For the women in my life whom I love and appreciate so much.

Perhaps I’ll never meet some of you face to face, yet we have connected.

I will not allow myself to get into specifics, because my memory WILL fail me and I do not want anybody to feel excluded.

This I’ll allow myself – sitting with you, receiving words of affirmation from you, tap-tap-tapping out conversations with you online, feeling known by you even though we may not have (yet) met face to face, bear hugs, being so practically supported when I’ve been in dire straits, laughing easily with you, telling you I’m scared or feeling vulnerable, knowing I’m not in this alone. These are the most precious moments in my life.

Being permitted to speak honestly, to encourage, to cheer for you in any tiny ways I have – ooof, it brings me undone. It makes me cry, it is such a privilege to be allowed into another person’s heart. Sheesh.

Flowers for friends

So friends, these flowers are for you.

You are an immensely important human.

You have such depth and wisdom, courage and love inside of you.

Remember to look yourselves in the eye when you brush your teeth and give yourselves a wink and a kind word.

You make my life richer.

Thank you,

Annette xxxxx