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






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 



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

Did you really just say that?


On Wednesday I posted about racism on the blog, and I made a statement that I now realise needs some expanding on. I didn’t add anything to that paragraph in the post at the time because I didn’t want to fall into the trap of making that statement and then saying ‘oh but not like that..’.

Saying ‘I’m a racist’ is not something to say lightly. Perhaps it was foolish, but I won’t erase it and pretend it never happened.

As I outlined in Wednesday’s post, I have been doing a lot of reading and listening this year, on issues of inequality and racial injustice. That has led me to conclude that I can’t dismiss racism within myself simply because I perceive myself as a ‘good person’. 

I’ll state here that my use of we and our in these posts refers to white people and the dominant culture in Australia, as that’s where I live. 

I am a white woman. 

I benefit from white supremacy in my everyday life in such a way that I’m completely oblivious to it. It just ‘is’I live in a society that’s very structures promote whiteness as normative and right. 

I accept that white privilege is real. I believe it is so ingrained in our culture that we can’t see it. 

Now that I know these very basic things, I have to hold myself accountable for being a beneficiary of white supremacy. The images that these terms conjure up are potent, and there’s absolutely no way that I can see into the minds of everyone, or anyone, who reads this and thereby mitigate any negative reactions that I may receive. That’s something I need to be okay with, as I have no other choice.

When I talk now about racism, I don’t see it meaning someone who yells racial slurs at people in the street, I don’t think of it meaning that I hold conscious hatred or prejudice for people who aren’t also white. For too long, whave associated racism with only doing bad things.

I see it as saying, yes, I’m aware now that I’m part of the problem. Until I go from someone who is a beneficiary of a system that favours me simply because of the colour of my skin, to someone who is actively ANTI-racist, then I’ve decided that labelling myself as racist or as someone who is working against racist structures, is the very least I can do towards acknowledging that the way that the world is structured is deeply flawed. 

There’s something about this decision, that for me (and I can only speak for myself) has taken the sting out of the word racist. It’s a word we run from, it’s a word we fear, because we don’t want to be known as a bad person. 

Blogging is an ongoing conversation with the internet. Single posts don’t contain all the information about a given topic. This is an incomplete, immature and tenuous process. I’m okay with that.

My main goal in writing about stuff like this is sharing my experience. If something I share can spark a conversation, or lead to someone thinking about something from a new perspective, that’s brilliant. If not, this blog has always been about my wanderings, wonderings and words, and this is where I am right now. 


I am a novice. I will get things wrong. That’s part of growing.


Ratios to live by


Fear not, this isn’t a blog post extolling the wonders of the 5:2 diet! 

New Atkins on the other hand, spruiked by the impossibly handsome Rob Lowe… kidding, I’m just kidding! 


Lately I have been feeling neglectful of this space, yet when I try to write, nothing seems to flow. I’ve been thinking about this lack of flow for a while now, and I think I’ve worked out how to articulate why I haven’t been as ready to put fingertips to keys.

I’ve been concentrating on listening, rather than writing. 

As anyone paying any attention to the world around us knows, we are in quite the state of global flux. 

Sexism isn’t going the way of the dodo quite as easily as we perhaps anticipated, especially in light of the #MeToo movement. Women are still ‘asking for it’ in the minds of far too many. 

Governments seem to be turning towards authoritarianism and civilian protest is becoming more dangerous. 

Racism seems to be spreading like wildfire rather than evaporating as we ‘evolve’ as humans.

Violence against women continues to rise here in Australia, and nothing seems to be done about it. Mess with strawberries, and the government acts immediately. Kill a woman, crickets. It’s deeply disturbing and disheartening. 

The temptation to either bury your head in the sand or strike a defensive posture may be an initial reflex, but I’ve found that neither of those reactions does me any good. 

To pretend that everything is hunky dory is offensively Pollyanna-ish in the extreme, and to be in fight mode continuously is utterly exhausting. 

There are far too many things happening in the world for any one person to be engaged meaningfully across them all. 

As a very, very small cog in the wheels of global political and social justice upheavals, I made a decision to focus on listening to those who know through experience what they’re talking about and who can therefore educate me the best. 

I chose an area where I knew I could benefit a great deal from taking the time to listen:


Isn’t that a comfortable topic for a white, middle-ish class Australian? 

Nothing to see here of course, I’m not racist… except that there is, and I am. 

Yep, I just said that. Read more about why here.

I definitely would not be saying that without having begun to take the time to listen and reflect. 

Listening takes many forms in our super-connected world. I started listening on Instagram and Twitter. I listen by following women who don’t look like meand who have different life experiences than mine. I took advice to folloMuslim women, black women, African-American women, Indigenous women, queer women, women of colour and women I’d never cross paths with in my small orbit of Melbourne’s suburbs.

I have become a student of women including Ashley C Ford, Layla F Saad, Sonya Renee Taylor, Roxane Gay, and Maxine Beneba Clarke

I listen by reading their feeds, reading articles they write and link to, and books recommended by these authors, educators and activistsAnd boy do I learn a lot by reading through the comments! 

The more I read, the less I feel ‘entitled’ to speak, especially in defence of white responses to the things they share. 

Listening isn’t our default posture on social media, we are quick to jump in and have our say (or is that just me?). I’m trying to do that less. 

The other night I started typing a response to something that wasn’t about me and didn’t need my input, and then half way through my response I deleted it. I did this about three times with that same thread… ‘Note to self’ my brain screamed, ‘this isn’t about you, just LISTEN!’

I listen by watching a broader selection of documentaries and trying to expand my knowledge of history. Thank you, Netflix, Stan, iView et al. 

As I listen, I have felt schooled, deeply uncomfortable, defensive, curious, sad, ashamed and empowered. As I listen, I realise how far I have to go, I am most definitely at the beginning of my listening journey. 

My decision to listen means I have learned enough about white privilege that I don’t recoil when it’s mentioned or rush to defend myself. I understand that it has bugger all to do with work ethic, and everything to do with structural, racial inequality that’s been built up over the centuries by white people. 

I’m privileged, not because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but because I was born in this white skin. My skin colour impacts everything about the way I experience the world. Whiteness as an identity is a bit of a new concept for many of us, as we (white folks) have pompously assumed the default position when it comes to identity. 

Sometimes I wonder about how I lived in blissful ignorance around issues of race for so long. Then I remember where I grew up, in the whiter than white Australian suburbia of the 1970s and 80s. 

Look around at our society, and ask yourself, who has power?

Look at who is publishing newspapers and running global media empires.

Who do you see on TV? 

How diverse is any locally made show on Australian screens, really? 

Now that I’ve worked out why I haven’t felt like writing, I could write for days. I won’t though. Thank goodness, right?

What I want to leave you with is an idea about ratios to live, listen and learn by. 

It’s not my idea, it’s not a new idea, but I believe it’s worth repeating, particularly in the context of educating ourselves about issues that genuinely matter.

We’re (mostly) equipped with two ears, two eyes and one mouth. 

If we each choose to spend a little more time using our eyes and ears, and a little less time using our mouths (speaking or writing), maybe we’ll give our brains and hearts time to consider things from another person’s point of view. 

Who knows what that could lead?

Annette ❤️

Jump in to the comments, let’s talk! 

Let’s talk about race, baby

Let’s talk about you and me… 

Got anything to say about who you listen to, what you reckon about racism or the state of the world? 



Tree School Revisited

One from the archives while I try and find my words again..


Trees have a kind of magical power in my life. (Thank you, Enid Blyton!) 

When I look at them, I gain perspective. 

Summer trees aren’t better than winter trees, because it’s not about the number of leaves a tree has, its about the tree itself. 

A tree is tenacious, strong, grounded, life giving. 

It doesn’t become more or less of a tree because of what it’s wearing. 

It doesn’t become more or less of itself, because of what it’s wearing. 

Why do we struggle to learn this lesson from the trees? 

It isn’t about our leaves. 

Worth doesn’t come from your wardrobe. 

When I wear my cobalt blue jumper, I feel great, but it is just a feeling. The jumper isn’t magic. It doesn’t change me. 

Worth certainly doesn’t come from your car or your bank balance or your job title. It doesn’t come from your marital status, or your progeny and how well they behave in a cafe. It doesn’t come from the step count on your Fitbit or the number of projects you’re juggling. 

All of these things have an impact on how we feel about ourselves, but they aren’t who we are. 

Somehow though, we have bought into this lie, that the leaves – our outward appearance, our accomplishments and the badges we wear – mother, wife, healthy person, clever person, caring person, martyr – matter most. 

They don’t. They don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Yet it seems they have so much power over us. 

I think we sometimes use these things as a salve for our souls, or props on the set of our lives. 

If I can just wear the right outfit, if my kids behave, if I get that job, if I’m “on track”, if I weigh XX kilos, then I’m okay. Do you ever feel like that? 

Because you’re here reading, I feel like we have some kind of relationship, so I have an invitation for you. 

I invite you to ponder this lesson from the trees. 

Think about the human equivalent of leaves – our clothes, validation through others, work, weight…. what role do they play in your life? What power have you assigned to them? While you’re pondering these things, please practice self-compassion. ❤️

After I sketched this tree yesterday, I got to thinking about my great aunt Adeline, who was a gifted artist. I was thinking about her style of painting and my style, and how different they are. She painted trees, and I sketch them.  They are identifiably trees in both instances, but they aren’t the same. 

We are like that too, you and I. 

We aren’t all the same, but we are all people. 

We all have worth and value. 

That doesn’t depend on the season, or the leaves, it simply is. 

You can’t earn it, you can’t get it from others, and you certainly can’t buy it or wear it. 

You can only realise and embrace it. 

Maybe that’s why the trees say wishawishawisha, because that’s the highest wish you can have for anyone. 

Learn from the trees. And please let me know what you hear them wishing for you. 

With love, 

Annette x