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?

Typical Tuesday

Today I read a post over at BabyMac and I’m exhausted and awed by it. 

Sheesh, talk about WERK-ing. Hats OFF mamas. 

You can read Beth’s post here

I thought I’d do my own cheeky version of the same thing, and share a typical day in the life of the mythical single gal about town ensconced in the suburbs. 

A typical Tuesday, a day in the life…


The need to pee pushes me from half asleep to throwing back the covers. Rats. Almost blinded by the sun streaming in through the ensuite window. 


Stagger back to bed, fall back to sleep. 


Need to pee again, damnation. 


Get up. Pee. Weigh myself (and a big middle finger to you, heart failure). 
Ego demands I weigh myself twice to stay under the looming leap into the next group of 10s! Thank you, dodgy, uneven bathroom floor. 


Take morning pills. Prepare for more peeing! 


Hop back into bed, decide to listen to a podcast.
Listen to an episode of Dirty John and it annoys me because *spoiler alert* after she’s found his criminal history and moved out of their house, she then TAKES HIM BACK! Why? Whhhyyyyy? Turn it off in a huff. Stupid conman loser! 


Decide to listen to Slow Home Podcast. Ahh, that’s better.


Roll out of bed, at about the same time my alarm was set for. 


Decide to start the day with some baking – banana bread for the win. 
A delicious, simple way to use up some of the fast ripening bananas in my fruit bowl. 


Banana bread goes in the oven.


Mosey out to the living room.


Watch an old ep of Sarah’s House, one of my favourite design shows. 


Check banana bread. Turn tray around, it smells divine! Crank up the heat a little. 


Record a video message and text it to my sister. Happy birthday Lisa! 


Make coffee and enjoy that with freshly baked mini loaves of banana bread. 
Post evidence of same on Instagram. 


Look out the window at another brilliant blue sky. 
Think about what to wear to work. 


Record my morning coffee in my H2Overload app. 240mls in. 1260ml left. 


Phone time, scroll Facebook, Instagram, check emails. Look at Twitter. 
Read latest Woosgworld post, when the newsreader becomes the news


Tidy kitchen up. No actual cleaning occurs, but dishes are stacked and the counter gets a cursory wipe. 


Guess what? Yep! Again.

Lost time

I don’t really know what I did here – it may have involved watching Jamie Oliver, daydreaming, and some wandering about. 

High Noon

Time to get ready for work, I want to be a little early today. 
Organise lunch – leftover frittata, a mini loaf of banana bread, an apple. Carefully fill my water bottle – bang on 500 mls, that’s to last me until I get home.


Update my H2Overload app. If I don’t update it, I worry that I’ll forget what I’ve put down the hatch, and accidentally drink too much and bloat like a sea sponge. 


Ablutions. God, I love that word.


I’m ready to rock and roll. Wink at myself in the mirror, as is my daily habit. 


Off I go. Freeway isn’t clogged today, sky is incredible, tunes are good. Easy drive. 


Arrive at work.


Log on, chat about this and that with my colleagues. 
Type the things, file the things, reply to the things, get driven almost insane by the volume of a meeting going on in the conference room. Indoor voices please! 

Werk, werk, werk, werk, werk. 


Reminder to move my car dings! It’s set to ding at 3:30pm every day from now to eternity because I can’t be expected to remember something that happens every day. Scoff lunch at my desk. 


Post office run. 
Take opportunity to snap #lookup photo and post it on Instagram. 


Back to the office. I get to park in one of the allocated spots under the building now, fancy. 

Werk, werk, werk, werk, werk.


Lights off, office door locked, head for home. Crank up the Gold104.3 tunes. Long live the 80s! 


Arrive home, via a quick stop at Woolies, check the letterbox, bins out, junk mail gets junked. 


Ahhh, bag off my shoulder, shoes off, it’s so warm I flick the fan on. 


Time for an after work snack, then my evening pills go down the hatch. 


Until the sun goes down, my feet are up. Lemon cordial and soda water on the rocks, cheers! 


Oooh a new Jamie Oliver show, yes! #5ingredients


Write a blog post. 


Dinner might be leftovers, or a batch of zucchini fritters. That choice is still in my future! 


More social media time while watching TV. Bra off! 



That’s a pretty standard day in the life. 

Sometimes there’s art, sometimes there’s laundry, sometimes I start work earlier, or cook up an evening meal in the morning before I go to work. 

So, pretty similar to Beth’s day, give or take a load or three of laundry! 

The beauty of this is that I know neither Beth or I would swap our lot for quids. 

This is what I want you to take from this bit of fun, we all choose, we aren’t in competition, and we certainly don’t need to justify how we spend our days to anyone. We all have great days and groundhog days.

But sweet Mags, give mama a break, how about 6:45am tomorrow? 

How was your day? Typical Tuesday? 

Whatever your days involve, please *make* time to #lookup. 


Annette x 







four things

A while ago over on Clare’s blog I found this four by four bit of fun, and after popping it in my drafts folder, thinking that’s a great idea for a post, I promptly forgot about it; which is a reflection on my brain, not on the source or the activity! 

Then the other day I saw another bloggy pal had posted her four responses and I thought, hey I was going to do that! 

So here’s my four by four, which you can play along with too if you have a blog or Facebook/Instagram/Twitter account.  

Four names that people call me, other than my real name.


Nettie Spaghetti 

Miss Nettie 


Four jobs I have had (not counting current jobs)

Schlepper of lipsticks, perfume and aromatic soaps on the production line at Nutrimetics 

Film reviewer (that was a nice perk of an admin role) 

Legal secretary 

Office coordinator

Four movies I have watched more than once

The Holiday 

Dead Poets Society (oh how it pains me not to add the apostrophe) 

Something’s Gotta Give 


Four books I’d recommend

The Collector by John Fowles

Broken Music by Sting 

The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss 

The whole Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton – from A to W (so far!) 

Four places I’ve lived

St Kilda – in the early 1990s, crazy times! 

Elsternwick – I loved that flat! 

Nunawading – in a trifecta of great homes 

Mordialloc – where if I stood on tiptoes in the kitchen, I could see the sea

Four places I have been

I’m a girl without a passport! 

Rosebud West – location of many idyllic childhood holidays 

Radelaide – loved visiting the Barossa Valley with Treena & Andy 

Daylesford – great scenery, food and browsing, and fabulous company – on ya Sueby 

The glitzy Gold Coast – stay at QT Hotel if you get the chance people! 

Four places I would rather be right now

I am perfectly happy where I am, but I’ll play along…. 

Auckland – at Rachel’s

London – I’d love to be sharing a cheese platter with Priscilla 

Via time travel, back at Rosebud as a carefree kid on summer holidays

On the set of a Nora Ephron film 

Four things I don’t eat

Who am I kidding? I LOVE chips!

Four of my favourite foods

cheese – soft, French, served with wine 




Four TV shows that I watch

Who Do You Think You Are

Location, Location, Location

Sarah’s House – or anything Sarah Richardson does 


Four things I am looking forward to this year (and into 2015)

New opportunities – with words, creativity, employment, friendships

Another birthday – life is precious 

Autumn – my favourite season 

Continuing the ride with I Give You The Verbs 

Four things I am always saying



I love that skirt/hair/blog/photo 

Spontaneous mutterings a of a person who lives alone 




My Sally Field Moment

Just like Sally Field at the Oscars, I’m clutching the bloggy version of a golden statue of a nude dude and saying ‘you like me, you really like me’ with a big grin on my face…

You see, I’ve been nominated, and like all good nominees, I’m bound to say that it’s all about the honour of the nominations, not the win or loss. Luckily for me, these nominations don’t involve a night in support undergarments and a 5 hour telecast.

Some bloggy pals have nominated me for the Liebster Award and for the Versatile Blogger Award, which I believe are variations on a theme that makes its way happily around cyberspace, bringing encouragement and rainbows to bloggers everywhere. Hooray for rainbows!

As far as I can ascertain, these are just two of possibly trillions of fun ‘chain letter’ type awards that have been doing the rounds since internet day dot. While I’ll never, EVER respond to any kind of moronic ‘share this or you’ll have bad luck for 5 years, or your teeth will fall out’ crap, this is just a bit of appreciative FUN and I’m all for that.  Bloggers showing some love to other bloggers – I’m for that.

It’s really nice to know that other people like what you’re doing, and so to Sonia of Sonia Styling, Charlotte of The Good Girl Confessional and Simone of With Vintage And Me, I say a heartfelt THANK YOU.

You should definitely check out these ladies’ blogs – they’re really diverse, but are each so well written, chatty, and great places to spend some time.

I’m combining my ‘acceptance speech’ into one post, and I’ll use the questions Sonia created to reveal some as yet unknown details about my utterly thrilling existence!

Which song do you consider your personal anthem? Why?

There is no way I can definitively answer this. From the 80s I could pick True Colours by Cyndi Lauper, Jump by Van Halen, Holiday by Madonna, Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden or Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones. I love pop music!

As soon as I press ‘Publish’ on this post, I’ll think of 10 or 20 other contenders. FAR too hard – lately I have been listening to Sia a lot, as well as Katy Perry, and Thirty Seconds To Mars and the SMASH soundtrack.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?

Sonia sure knows how to ask unanswerable questions! This year I have experienced so much kindness from people, it has brought me to tears, more than once. I will say that receiving kindnesses from people I don’t know in the face to face way is super precious. Without this blog I would not have had those humbling, beautiful moments. I appreciate each and every one of them.

Actually, when I think about it, I have known a lot of kindness in my life, which is so beautiful.  Someone paid off my car loan once!

If you could only wear one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

Finally, a question I can answer easily. I’m going to put one foot on each side of the realm of purple and blue. No lilacs or pastel blue hues for me! I like strong colours, and blues and purples make my eyes go sparkle sparkle!

If you were invisible, where would you go?

Anywhere I damn well pleased! Definitely behind the scenes – I’d love to roam the halls of the West Wing of The White House, eavesdrop on the editorial planning meetings at Womankind magazine, and sneakily reset some home pages to get my blog noticed by people who might be able to open some writing doors for me. And I’d sneak on to some international flights with empty first class seats.

You’ve just won the lottery. What would be your first money-is-no-object indulgent purchase?

It’s kind of lame, and perhaps shows a lack of imagination, but it would be a really good broadband connection, maybe connected to a new apartment! I’d definitely be ‘taking my ladies to dinner’ to quote the fabulous Carrie Bradshaw!

What are you famous for in your group of friends?

Hospitality, my ability to make my home welcoming and cosy, my food, being encouraging, my sense of humour.

What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already?

Entry level adulthood – how to find a career you’ll really love, how to relate to people in the workplace, how to cook for yourself and your mates, how to live debt free.

Which restaurant would you most like to dine at – anywhere in the world?

I’d like to have a roast chicken in that little French bistro where Diane Keaton has her birthday dinner in Something’s Gotta Give.

If you were a cocktail, which one would you be and why?

Absolutely nothing that involves Malibu or Midori – too sickly sweet for me. Maybe a Cosmo? Classic, SATC cool and delicious!

How do you want to be remembered?

This is a biggie. I’d like to be remembered for my encouragement of others, for my determination to know and accept myself, for finding joy in the ordinary, for my sense of humour and my words, and as someone who people were glad to call their friend.

Clutching my awards, I sweep off back stage to attend an exclusive after-party with blogging biggies like Swiss Miss and the girls from A Beautiful Mess, as well as my Aussie blog pals. We laugh, we drink champagne, we post a billion pics to Instagram. It’s a top night!

Now that award season is over, I think it’s time to turn away from ‘look at me’ posts for a bit… let’s hope I can think of something else to write about.

I’m supposed to nominate other bloggers to receive these awards, but I’m going to be super naughty and not do that at the moment. May the chain letter gods of the internet show me mercy!

Have you ever received an award?

I’d love to hear your tales of triumph and glory.


Annette x

The A to Z, of me!

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery – for the purpose of this post, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I recently saw this idea on Sonia Styling’s blog, and she saw in on Woogsworld, and now you’re seeing it here.

For those who love a list, enjoy a GTKY game or are just morbidly, or even mildly curious, here’s the A to Z of me.

Animal – if you were an animal, what would you be?

Not an auspicious start, as I’m not much of an animal lover. Hmmm, for now I’ll say cat, only because I have a lot of time on my hands and I do like curling up in warm spots. Whichever creature in the animal kingdom is the most clever, glossy, bossy and entertaining, I’ll happily be that in your imagination. Unless that’s the aardvark. Nobody wants to be an aardvark.

Books – what’s on your reading list?

I’m engrossed in The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. It’s so GOOD! The fabulous Catherine Deveny shared recently that she’s reading it chapter by chapter with her teenage son and they’re having excellent chats about feminism, labels, fictions – how rad is that? Buy this for yourself, and your partner, your sister, your boss, or the bloke next door. You can read about the idea behind the striking cover of the book here.



The next book on my shopping list is style blogger Nikki Parkinson’s Unlock Your Style. Nikki is all kinds of smart and stylish, and generous with her fashion know-how. I’m looking forward to buying her very first actual-you-can-get-it-in-the-shops book.

Compulsive about anything?

Even numbers, neatness, grammar, please and thank you, correct usage of the much maligned apostrophe, absentmindedly rubbing my eyebrow (what’s that about – so weird!), and many, many other things.

Dreams – do you dream in colour, remember them, keep a dream journal?

I couldn’t tell you if they’re in colour, sepia or black and white, but I regularly have very vivid, wildly odd dreams. I sometimes remember them, and have had dreams that have been quite hard to shake, they were so real to me. I’m a bit déjà-vu-ish too. It’s a thing!

Eating – what’s your usual snack?

A handful of almonds and dried apricots – hahahahaaahaaa, oh my sides hurt. I’m a sweet and salty girl – give me some crinkle cut chips and some chocolate and I’m good to go. I did eat a mandi today, they’re quite delicious.

Few of your Favourite things?

My local library. All those ideas, for free! Not to mention free wi-fi, and the gorgeous views.

The West Wing; and Aaron Sorkin.

Time to just look out the window.

Silence.       Blogging.       Dappled light.

Giggles – what or who makes you laugh? Do you have a good sense of humour?

I love well-chosen words, quips and lightning wit. Reading blogs like Woogsworld often cracks me up. Corrine Grant’s got the gift too. Late night guys Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon are genuinely funny, unlike Old Man Letterman, who is, well, not.

As for GSOH – you don’t know the half of it, I’m hilarious!

Hot button issue?

Crimes against words. Rudeness. Cruelty. Slow drivers. People who stand at the top or bottom of escalators nattering or gazing into space – for the love of consumerism, move your butts! Our Tone and his mate Scott Morrison.

I am ….. myself. A blogger. An individual. An adoptee. A seeker. A work in progress. Happy.

Ju-ju – do you believe? Yes I do. Call it whatever you like, I believe in the power of positive vibes, especially when they’re sent to others – but not in a ridiculous, selfish ‘law of attraction’ gimme gimme way.

Known as – aliases? Screen names? A nom de plume?

To those who know me well I’m Nettie. Everyone starts in the Annette camp, Nettie is by invitation only. I’ll let you know if you’ve breached the gate.

L is for love. I love …

the girl I see in the mirror, chocolate, my #favouritehuman, kindness, words, generosity, dappled light, trees, and Melbourne.

Meeting people – do you like it or loathe it? Prefer parties or one-on-one?

I’m an introvert, but I love good company. I like people who have a twinkle in their eye, who are a bit left of centre. I loathe parties – loathe them!

Name – what’s the story there? Were you named after anyone? Do you go by a nickname?

I have had two given names, you can read about that here. My dad, who is one of the best blokes ever, used to often croon to me as a kid, “Net, Net, she’s my pet”. Naaw, on ya dad.

Observant – what’s around you right now? What do you see?

I am at my desk. I see a surfing sloth, my noticeboard, and a miniature Eiffel Tower. The sun’s gone down. It’s quiet.

People – who are the special people in your life?

I have a #favouritehuman, she’s 6, going on 26, full of life and ideas, love and stubbornness and killer dance moves. She’s my ‘mini me’ and I am excited to be hanging out with her tomorrow. I also have some amazing, loving, funny, creative, smart, and generous friends. They’ve carried me.

Q – any little quirks about yourself?

So many! I am a great on-the-spot lyricist; the TV must be on an even numbered volume, all the clocks in the house must show the same (correct) time. I love quoting movies, and often wave at strangers in the street. I sing loudly in my car, and in my house. At 46, my mother still shooshes me – ha! Never gonna happen.

Recreation – what’s your jam?

‘She was a day-tripper, a Sunday driver yeah….’ I love to hop in my car and head off, to the bay, into the hills, or just around the ‘burbs. If I see a great café, I might stop for a latte and do the crossword, and people watch. I love going to the movies, and having people over for dinner.

Sing in the shower? In the car? For friends?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Lucky them. I’m no American Idol contender, but I can hold my own.

To-do list – what’s at the top of the list?

Final preparations for ProBlogger 2014. Cannot wait! Ongoing – find a job.

Unusual experiences. Had any?

The déjà-vu thing has been incredibly strong at times. I was at a boisterous dinner party with my hippy-dippy aunt and uncle and their equally radical friends when I was a kid, and I knew they would argue about particular subjects – the environment, specific outworkings of their spirituality. I was 12, I discovered Dragon that weekend too. Whenever I hear April Sun In Cuba, I’m transported back to that house, and that night.

Vegas, Vienna, Vladivostok – how far have you travelled? Favourite city?
I do not own a passport. I haven’t been further north than Fraser Island, or east west than Radelaide. Wanderlust, schmunderlust. I may not have been to “Paradise” but I’ve certainly been to me (this is a reference to a killer song of my youth, you’ll get it or you won’t, it’s okay). My favourite city is my beloved Melbourne. I love her crazy weather patterns, her parks, her shores, her light, her people, her coffee.




Winter, spring, summer or fall – what’s your favourite season? What makes it special?

Autumn. Hands down. Relief from summer’s heat, the changing colours, the crisp evenings. The colour of the sky, so, so blue, the leaves, the end of endless chicken salads. A return to more enjoyable cooking, and baking. My birthday. My #favouritehuman’s birthday. My best friend’s birthday. The word autumnal.

The X files – I am 46, so there are ex-files. I once dropped a boy who quoted the lyrics of Wild Thing to me as a romantic gesture. Silly lad.

Yearnings – any secret/deep yearnings?

To become a great blogger. To write things that reach beyond my blog. To leave my mark on the world.

Zero to Zenith – where are you in your life? Growing, moving forward, just skating along?

I’m somewhere in the middle, the road is open before me, the sky is clear and blue.


Now you know my A, B, Cs, won’t you leave a comment, please?


Annette xx


5 things I’m loving, over a cuppa

Isn’t it lovely to receive an invitation from someone? Even if it is as simple as why not come over for a cuppa on Friday, there will be loads of people popping in and out, it could get noisy and clattery, but it will be fun and there may be scones or a slice. Well of course, I was quick to RSVP in the affirmative.

So the day has come, I’m thinking about who I might find here and who might find me.

I’m off to a tea party at Pip’s place. Loads of bloggers will be there, how fun!

I’ve got my intro ready in my head – hi I’m Annette, I’m from Melbourne and I’m a newbie to blogging. My blog’s name is I Give You The Verbs. I’m often found writing about whatever thoughts pop into my head, and I hope you’ll stop by soon. You’ll find an ode to my bed there, reflections about being in a season that makes me feel vulnerable, a story about where you can buy happiness, a crazy tale of mugs on the run, and loads more. It’s a fun, irreverent place and I’d love to share it with you. Like the Dilmah man says ‘Do try it’.

We’ve been asked to bring something a little unusual to the gathering, a smattering of things we’re loving right now. A top five to get the conversations flowing.

Without further ado, here are mine.

1. Generosity

I am LOVING that I seem to have stumbled into a group of people (all these other bloggers around me) who are so gosh-darn GENEROUS. Times are a bit tough at Verbs HQ, as I’m currently looking for work, but I have been almost (but I would never use that word in this context, because I know what the word means) literally lifted up by people’s kindness and encouragement.

From people’s comments on the blog that have made me smile, sigh or cry (the good kind of tears), to the Coles truck pulling up outside the door, receiving a note and a recipe and a gift, a sweet card with a red cross parcel or one with a box of chocolates, I am seriously blessed by this community. Thank you so much. Love that!


2. A new (old) blanket

The other day I was visiting the parental units and I was saying that I’m finding my place a little chill-some. I’d just helped my mum stuff a blanket back into her linen press (quite a feat) and then she decided that the blanket would be a good gift for a chilly child. Score! It’s a gorgeous woollen blanket doing a bang-up job of keeping me from turning the heater on quite so early in the day. Love that!


3. Cook books – via the library

As I have a lot of time on my hands, I’ve been hanging at the library regularly (great views, free wifi) and borrowing loads of cooking books. They’ve just been renewed for another month of flicking through, oohing and aahing, scribbling down notes, trying new recipes and inspiring me to cook myself warming, delicious meals. Love that!

4. Tea!

I’ve been a dedicated coffee drinker for my entire hot beverage drinking life – the Milos of my youth notwithstanding. This week, just a few days ago I thought, I might try a cup of tea. And guess what? I liked it. So I see tea adventuring in my future. I don’t like flowery, fruity teas, I’d rather eat a delectable crumble if I need a hot fruit fix. So for now it is a wee box of Liptons, which I am enjoying. I knew my whistling red kettle was more than a kitchen prop. Love that!

5. Blogging

Last but certainly not least, I have to say that I am loving this blogging caper. I’m really enjoying the community that has come up around Pip’s great blogging course. I am convinced you’ll hear this elsewhere at the tea party, but Pip is a brilliant, giving teacher and if you’ve got a blog that’s a bit sad or saggy or lost, or just the inkling that you’d like to explore blogging, I say lay your money down and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. It’s SO GOOD. I promise you. There’s a July intake, so get on it people.

As for my blog, I really find it incredible that people are coming back, week after week, to read what I write. Not because I think my writing is dodgy, no siree Bob, but because there are so many blogs out there. What that tells me is that we can all have a place, and find people who like our style, want to hear our ponderings, ramblings or musings. Maybe someone who reads my blog here for the first time, will pop by I Give You The Verbs again, and find something else they like. Love that!

So that is a quick hit of just five things I’m loving right now.

The party seems to be winding down, I think we’ve drunk Pip’s entire tea supply dry and the scones and slices were so delicious, they’re all gone too.

What’s great about these kinds of parties is once you get home, you can check out everyone’s blogs from the comfort of your couch. I’d love to see some of you again, and I’m sure to be finding new blogs to bookmark after such a lovely party.

Thanks for having us Pip!


Annette x






The Writerly Stuff – the why and how of my blog

Did you see the Tony Awards this week? OUR Hugh Jackman, the handsome and hirsute host, jump/hopped all the way through the four-minute long opening sequence – from the red carpet, all the way up on to the stage, then around the backstage area, weaving through people and props, and then he jumped (literally) back on stage and then without missing a beat, or breath, he SANG. Most astonishingly, he did not require medical assistance. That man is fit! Fit I tells ya!

I’m not jumping, but I am hopping this week  – I’m blog-hopping. Allow me to explain. I was invited by my blog buddy Lila from www.littlewolff.com to join her in a blog-hop – where bloggers from here, there and everywhere talk about their writing process. Thanks Lila, it’s a great exercise to put the process into words.

I’m just a newbie to blogging, but I have been writing for most of my life – from the angst-filled pages of my diary, to creative writing at high school (murderous tales involving the principal’s demise if I recall correctly) to choosing a career at the typewriter (Google it!), then computer.

I have typed thousands of letters and legal documents, drafted proposals and have laid my hands on every kind of keyboard from a manual typewriter to a Mac. I’ve written wedding poetry and scripts for skits, and am the on-call family wordsmith when it comes to cards or letters that require that certain something.

In recent years, I have been lucky enough to bluff my way into writing for various publications, as a tacked-on part of my admin role. I have laboured over film reviews, and scrambled for good ideas as deadlines loomed. I’m no professional journalist, but I am passionate about words. I always have been, and always will be.

What am I working on?

My blog! I’m still finding my way, but the words are never far from my reach. I’m working on how often I want to post, the mix of content I want to write, and on the discipline of writing regularly. Sometimes I think people romanticise writing, but like everything worth doing, and doing well, it takes practice and discipline. Discipline and I are not besties. No siree. I’m trying to cajole myself into picking specific days to post; we’ll see how that pans out.

How does my writing differ from others in my genre?

Sometimes it seems a lot of energy gets spent on erecting little bloggy fences around who we can be, depending on our genres, or niches, as bloggers tend to call them. I know for some people those labels probably are a great thing, helping them focus – but for my blog, I want to be unconstrained by niche-y limitations and just be myself. I’m a multifaceted gal, and my blog reflects that. There’s even a label for this kind of broad strokes blogging, it’s called lifestyle or personal blogging.

Getting down to the tin-tacks of how my stuff differs from others… well, simply put, it differs because it is mine. Nobody else writes exactly like I do, or thinks quite like I do, so my content is unique and over time, I hope it will be easy to recognise my style. I think I’m easy to “hear” on the page and that my voice is distinct. I’m irreverent, sincere, and keen to create a place for conversations on my blog. Even in the few months I have been at this, people have responded to things on my blog in a way that makes me immensely glad to be typing to the beat of my own drum.

It also differs because, for my age, I’m not in the usual life-stage of a lot of other people. I’m not married or significantly othered, I’m not sending any kids off to high school (or even uni, I’m that old!) and I don’t own a cat.

Why do I write what I do?

It may sound a bit trite, but I feel compelled to put words on a page, even if that page is virtual, and not many people ever read it. I’m a reflective person, and find that in writing about things that I’m experiencing, or have experienced, I can clarify my thoughts and ideas, and sometimes even reverse my own strongly held points of view. I also really enjoy words, the way they work together to paint pictures, the flow of them once I am at the keyboard, the satisfaction I feel when I finish one paragraph and move on to the next. At the heart of it, I guess I’m a writer.

How does your writing process work?

I usually think about a topic for a bit, considering what my position or goal is, and eventually, I sit at the keyboard and just write – mostly in one hit. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going, and sometimes I have no idea. I find that as I write, the words lead me, even if we go the long way around.

A post I wrote a little while ago, which was quite personally challenging to put ‘out there’, went in two different directions as I wrote it, and I knew that it wasn’t coming out coherently. By allowing myself to just write, rather than editing as I went, I found that one direction was the heart of the issue, and one was a bit of a smokescreen around what I was feeling. I probably deleted a chunk of four to five hundred words from that post before I hit publish, but I’m glad I did.

I don’t really agonise over the words as I’m writing, but I am thoughtful about what I put out there.

So that’s my writing process. I’m happy to have my L plates on, I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m not letting my beginner-ness (I think I just created a word) stop me from pressing Publish.

Enough about me!

Part of keeping the blog-hop hopping is for everyone that does it to choose three other bloggers to share their writing process. I’m so lucky to have met loads of amazing, talented people via the Blog With Pip course I’ve done (twice so far), so I decided to ask some classmates whose writing I really enjoy to join the hop. Without further ado, and in their own words, I give you:

Rachel Cox
Rachel Cox

Rachel blogs at http://rachelfaithcox.com

Rachel has a rare progressive neurological disorder which has munted her autonomic nervous system.  It has not munted her desire to chronicle lots of different things with words. Or her ability to love.  She writes about the little things that put her in mind of the Big Stuff.  And about how lucky she is.  She’s also a bit obsessed with mothering, poetry, books and the spoken word.




Naomi Bulger
Naomi Bulger

Naomi blogs at http://naomibulger.com

Naomi is a journalist, author and mother who uses her blog to document and discover the beautiful moments in life, from family and food to craft and photography, life in Melbourne, and decorative mail. She believes creativity should be celebrated, joy should be shared, and the world needs more snail-mail.




Karen Lynch
Karen Lynch

Karen blogs at http://leafandpetal.com.au

Karen is an artsy crafter and vintage lover who adores reading, writing and gardening.  She is a mum of three and lives by the beach in Adelaide.  Karen writes about nostalgia, vintage craft, beachside living and anything and everything that catches her eye.




Check in with the blogs of these fab ladies next week to read about their writing process – actually, pop over to each of them now and you’ll soon see why I’m a fan! Blogging has such diversity of voices and writing styles, there really is something for everyone.

What about you? Do you like writing? Have you got a burgeoning blog up and running, or a half-finished novel or children’s book shoved in a desk drawer or saved on a dusty floppy disk? Fossick around and have another crack at those projects.

You know what they say, practice makes published. Okay, maybe nobody’s ever said that, but I think it might catch on!