Sociable Saturdays and Slow Sundays

My weekends are proper weekends again. Hooray, and phew, only two days not working to do things like switch the sheets, hang out with people, paint, shop, get my recharging time in, blog, sleep late – I’d forgotten. Looking forward to Fridays is back on my radar! 

This weekend has been a fantastic combination of the social and the slow. As an introvert, I really enjoy people’s company, and I really enjoy, and need, big chunks of time by myself. 

I set my alarm for Saturday morning and headed to Carlton for a #BWPmeetup organised by the lovely Naomi. A group of eight Blog With Pip alums got together at Travelling Samovar, a beautiful tea house, where we sampled a range of iced teas, learned about cold infusions and a little of the history of tea, and we even got to blend our own tea to take home. We all had a wonderful morning in their sun dappled courtyard. 

BWP fun at Travelling Samovar

One of my favourite moments was chatting with one of the owners, Pascale, about the BWP community. If you read more than one Pipster’s blog, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of praise for Pip Lincolne, and hand on my heart, without elevating her to sainthood, I’d say Pip’s greatest achievement as a teacher is fostering a truly supportive, encouraging, online community. This is rare! As we all know, the internet can make people lose their minds (and manners) a little, as anyone who spends time reading comments, message boards, or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter would have seen. 

I was so proud to be able to tell Pascale about our community, how those of us who live near each other arrange meetups and how some travelling Pipsters have arranged international meetups, and how I have friends like Rach in Auckland thanks to blogging. 

So Saturday started out with a fun and social vibe. A few of us went on to lunch a few doors down and we had a great conversation over pizzas and salads. I enjoyed a cheeky glass of midday wine! 

I was so happy that I got to meet a few new people, and enjoy a gorgeous summer morning with such quality ladies. 

The rest of the day was solo and quiet, which also suits me just fine! 

This morning I baked a KILLER loaf of banana bread using this recipe by BabyMac. I love that #sundaybakingsunday has become part of people’s routine. I love seeing all your delicious pies and cakes and lunch box treats on Instagram. 

Bev’s Banana Bread

Mmmmm… so good!


I’ve done a little painting, hung out online and am showered and wearing fresh pjs! For bonus points, it is Fresh Sheets Day. Ahh, life is good. 

Time is precious. 

Whether you enjoy it more in the company of others, or spending it alone, or a combo, time is a real privilege. 

We have only this moment. Today. 

I hope that thought inspires us to treat each other with kindness, to be mindful that everyone we meet has battle scars and victories that have shaped them, that the best thing to do if we feel unsure of someone’s intention is to ask, politely, and as appropriate, to engage more with each other. I wish I could look you in the eye as you read this. I truly feel like I’m entering into conversation with you here. I want it to be a genuinely open dialogue. 

So here’s to slow Sundays, social Saturdays and the simple joy of putting my head down on fresh sheets tonight. 

How has your weekend been? Got a story to share? I’m listening. 


Annette xx 


My date with Kate – how blogging has made me a serial blind-dater

As you know, earlier this year, I did the Blog With Pip course which enabled me to get I Give You The Verbs off the ground – yay! The next intake of BWP is coming up in May, so if you’re wondering, ‘should I?’, let me give you a tip – you should!

One of the unexpected, and very pleasing benefits of the course has been meeting some of my classmates in real life. I wrote about my first bloggy blind date here, and this week I went on my second. I’ve never been on a ‘real’ blind date in my life, but it seems blogging has me expanding my horizons, in more ways than one!

So, to date number two: Kate is a BWP classmate from Brighton, England and we clicked early on in the course. When I heard she was visiting Melbourne I thought it would be nice to see if we could meet up. Plus, I LOVE showing visitors around my home town, it’s kind of a sick lifelong obsession of mine. I love this city!

Kate and I texted, Facebook messaged, and emailed back and forth, working out what day of her short stay would suit her best, where she was staying and only getting as far with specifics as that  I could pick her up from her hotel. When I looked up the address of her Melbourne digs, I knew it rang a bell with me. Sure enough, the secretarial college that I attended in the mid-1980s is now a hotel! Kate was likely sleeping in a (hopefully modified) room where 30 years ago, I struggled with basic accounting, or blitzed shorthand. I’ve still got mad shorthand skills, FYI.

I was running early, a lifelong habit, so I idled illegally behind Federation Square, where I noticed a giant kangaroo. Do you see it?

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A few minutes later, I pulled up outside Holmes Secretarial College Kate’s hotel and after a moment of scanning the crowded street, Kate’s smiling face appeared in my window, she jumped in the car, I made a lame joke about Pip going to a lot of effort to start an international white slavery ring, and we were off!

We decided to drive across to Fitzroy, and after taking an inordinately long time to find a carpark, we went for a wander, stopping to take photos, and chatting easily about work, where we live, this and that. I think I was a bit nervous, because I regaled Kate with stories about my dad’s predilection for wearing really loud orange socks, how I suspect Our Tone is doing the Locomotion on the global stage and other weird things, things I drove home thinking why did you say that?, but hey, I’m a newbie at this dating game!

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I guess if I was really dating, I’d be pleased as punch that conversation flowed freely, we chatted about how much we had enjoyed Pip’s course, had other things in common, and both stopped to take lots of photos. It was an easy, relaxed afternoon, and Melbourne turned on a pretty nice autumn day, phew!

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How beautiful is this building? A bit neglected, yet its beautiful craftsmanship is standing the test of time, and the faded, almost illegible sign-writing on the sides of buildings like this – I’ve definitely got an architectural crush on this city. Click, click, sigh, click.

We popped into Arcadia for coffee, and treats. As evidenced below by the mandatory food shot for Instagram, it was a Portuguese tart for me, something for Kate, and a brownie for Kate.

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When we’d all introduced ourselves at the start of the Blog With Pip course, Kate had mentioned books she’d written, so I knew she was on an upward trajectory in her career, but I confess I didn’t ‘look her up’ again prior to our date – to me she was my writer-y classmate Kate, not an extremely successful author, with books on the best-seller list.

It’s funny how we associate people with the way we meet them, if I’d gone out with ‘Kate the author’ I think I would have been a bit of a wreck, but because I went out with Kate my BWP pal, I was able to be myself, and enjoy pointing out great buildings, parks and other landmarks as we meandered around to funky Fitzroy.

I’d call my BWP blind dates a real success, I think I’ve made some ongoing connections by stepping outside my usual comfort zone and meeting new people. There’s another meet-up for Melbourne BWP chicks in my diary, and I got to show a groovy bit of my beloved hometown off to a first time visitor. I’m proud to say Melbourne had bewitched Kate by the time she’d been here half a day, so I’m sure my tales about my dad’s blinding sock collection haven’t completely undone her fondness for my favourite place.

So, thanks Kate, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your Australian visit. See you online again soon, and now that I’ve met you in person, I must get my hands on one of your books, maybe this one? And upon reflection, I’m glad I googled you after our date, not before, or I could have made a real nitwit of myself! You’re lovely, it was a pleasure to spend an autumnal afternoon with you.

For those whose curiosity I’ve piqued, I think you’ve probably heard of this one of Kate’s books.

If I was a gambler, I’d say the odds are 5:2.


Thanks Melbourne, you’re still my one true love.