A Gentle Return: Taking Stock for January

Helloooo! (waves). I’ve missed you.

It’s been months since I’ve blogged but am feeling the creative draw, and feel like I want to get back to writing a bit more regularly. So forgive my absence, hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me (if you want to, that is).

Lots has happened, and not so much at the same time, which is probably why it’s a good idea to come back with a ‘Taking Stock’ post, created by Pip Lincoln from Meet Me at Mikes.

It’s a lovely easy-to-read, easy-to-write post, with a focus on the now, not on the past nor on the future. Here’s what things look like at the moment:


Quite a few things actually: a fruit platter for my kids and their friends’ morning tea, a website for my copywriting business (this is still a work-in-progress but I will let you know when it’s done), and some art. I finally started my very large canvass, there is only one layer of paint so far but with school going back this week there may just be some extra time to invest in it.


Trying some new recipes actually, as I revisit French Women for All Seasons. It’s a kind and gentle way to reign in holiday indulgences and get back to mindful eating. The french way of eating is very considered, and also makes you feel very chic. I will share some of the more interesting and tasty recipes as I work through them.


Tea. It’s always tea. But also too much ‘summer fun’ drinks like Gin and Tonic, and home brewed cider and beer. I think the return to school routine will be good for all of us.


The Day of the Triffids. It’s a Book Club read, certainly not my choice, I actually hate Science Fiction but will persevere. I need to get on with it as it is due back to the library in nine days and I’m only on page 22. I wish it came in audio book.

Next read

I’d really like to start on my last year’s reading pile. I bought the ‘Museum of Modern Love’ by Heather Rose the day after it was announced as the Stella Prize winner, and I still haven’t read it. I need to commit to regular reading.


For things to go smoothly for my youngest daughter on Thursday. It’s her first day of school so it’s a big day for all of us.


For somewhere new to do yoga. There are a few places locally and one opening in March. I was doing it at the local gym but got sick of the thumping music in the main gym interfering with my zen.


A lot of games of ‘Guess Who’. Santa brought it for my youngest and it’s a great game for her age group, but as my nine-year-old said “it’s actually quite boring”. But she loves it and it’s better than her staring at the iPad.


How to go about building this website for my copywriting business. I can’t believe I’ve been a freelance writer for nearly three years and survived without a website. The time has come! But after Christmas and New Year and the back to school expenses there’s no  money to pay someone to do it for me, so DIY it will be. Wish me luck!


I could click my fingers and my website would be done.


The cool change that came through over night. What a relief! I do love the Summer, but I really don’t love the extremes and Sunday night was 29C – the lowest temperature! Way too hot to sleep. Sometimes it feels lovely to pull on a light jumper and a pair of socks after weeks in flip-flops (thongs, if you’re a local).


For payday. Bills to pay, and all that.


The idea of getting back to writing more regularly. I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up freelancing and going to work somewhere so I’ve taken a step back from my blog and all my other writing work while I consider my options. There are so many things I love about freelancing, lots of things I don’t love, so I’m still quite torn. But I am also liking that I am free to choose. So many aren’t.


What the year holds. For the first time in 11 years I won’t have a child at home with me. It’s quite weird after so long to think I might have more time and flexibility. Perhaps this is how people feel when they are about to retire “finally some for all the projects”! But I’m not so naive to think it will be like retiring – bills still need to be paid, people still need to be fed (every damned day!), life still unfolds. So we’ll see. But I’m making a few plans.


That my littlest has mastered riding a ‘wobbly bike’ over the summer break. A wobbly bike is a bike without training wheels. Here she is in action.


How too much of a good thing isn’t all that great. I’m ready for the kids to go back to school, ready to go back to work, ready for some routine and a bit more order. Although, no doubt in a couple of weeks I’ll be missing my slow mornings and pots of tea.


What I might get for my birthday. It’s in two weeks. Last year my husband gave me a Fitbit, and I love it.


Not too much. I’m trying to buy less.


The Crown, very slowly though – I think we are on Episode 4. We just don’t flick on the telly much in the Summer. But I’m loving watching 24 Hours In Emergency and One Born Every Minute (when I can manage to stay awake – they don’t start until 9.40!).

Next watch

One show at a time I think. But I did see that there was Series 3 of Broadchurch on ABC. But I’ll have to wait for that because you can only watch from episode 5 on iView.


That Series 3 of Broadchurch comes to Netflix. They have Series 1 and 2, so I am optimistic.


How taking a little bit of positive action can change so much. If you’re pondering something and it feels a bit risky. Just do what ever it is, you will feel better, braver and more optimistic.


About taking so long away from my blog. Now that I’m back to it I’m a little bit cross with myself to letting it languish for so long. Oh well, onwards and upwards!


A good (unbroken) sleep. The downside of my littlest starting school is a bit of anxiety which is manifesting in nightmares. The only thing to do is give her plenty of cuddles. Last night she came into our bed at around midnight. She slept but I got plenty of fists in the face and knees in the back.


Where social media is going, why so many people are stepping back from it and hoping that more traditional blogging is making a come back. I think it is.


The rain. I love the smell of the rain. There is a word for that. Petrichor. Nice hey. It was invented by Australia’s own CSIRO. If you want to read more about it, you can take a look at this interesting piece published on The Conversation.


My new denim skirt, and boots. Pink Rollies. Which is lovely after so much hot weather.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I hate the word ‘following’. A woman I’m friends with on Facebook posted about how she ‘met a friend and follower for lunch’. And it made me feel a bit weird. I was not that friend/follower but I probably would have been even more weirded out if I was. It just reminded me of the ‘god complex’ from that scary Nicole Kidman movie from the 90s. But I am discovering lots of cool artists, writers and other creative types on Instagram. Which is lovely and inspiring and not at all weird.


About my littlest. She’s only just turned 5, and still so little. I hope she’s ok at school.


That I didn’t worry about my older two as much when they were starting school. Probably something to do with her being my baby.


That this year will be a good year. Well, hoping optimistically.


That I am starting to get peckish and I should think about making some food.


The rose water cup cakes that my daughter and I just made. I definitely think she needs to take one of these in her lunch box. Maybe I’ll get one of those sad-face letters from the teacher saying I packed the wrong thing. I would be very happy if I got one of those letters.


All the school supplies. I can never see a time when this will be fun.


Organised. well, trying. I am yet to succeed, but I keep going in the hope that things will fall into place.


Great websites that will help make me a better writer (and hopefully help make my writing business better).


Some Frankie4 Footwear. Designed by podiatrists to keep your feet happy. And they look so good. But they are exey!


That time just disintegrates and suddenly it is nearly time to get dinner on.


My heart to 2018. I know it’s nearly February, so I’m a bit late to the party. But I don’t engage with the world over January. It’s family time, holiday time, down time and time for regeneration.


Not currently, but I think I am easy to make laugh. I like to laugh. If you know me, you will know that. Giggles are good and regular with me. So don’t worry too much that I am not giggling currently. It’s just a matter of time.




On those cup cakes. Well, later, after dinner.


The chatter of my kids. It makes me so happy to hear their kind chatter. More often than not, it is screams of indignation “don’t touch me”, “shut up”, “I will if I want to”, “leave me alone”. Sigh. Give me a minute to just enjoy the moment.


  1. says

    Hi! I just clicked through from your Instagram post, and what a delightful read! I love how you wrote that you’d be happy to get a sad-faced letter from the teacher for sending a pink cupcake to school. Life is to be enjoyed, and what better way to spend it then baking with children 😊 (My daughter is 11 and now bakes by herself all the time).
    Happy writing this year 😊

    • collette says

      Thanks so much Marie. I really would be happy to get in trouble from the teacher – I’ve become way too conformist in my adulthood. My oldest daughter (she’s 11 too) would be horrified if I got such a letter home! I will tell her about your daughter baking on her own, she has just started experimenting in the kitchen and has mastered the omelette and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for reading. xx

    • collette says

      Aww, thank you Meryl. You’re lovely. The cider is so good (too good)! We are nearly out of it, which is not a bad thing! Thanks for reading. xx

  2. says

    So good to see you back 🙂 and science fiction! The naughty boys at my book club sometimes favour that and I groan a lot! 2017 was a funny year I think, it left me wondering about all sorts of things. Rose water cup cakes sound delicious as does the return of blogs. I love your writings too much xx

    • collette says

      Science fiction… gahhh! I should give it a go though, instead of just wrinkling up my nose and putting it off. It’s nice to be back, I have to say. And partly thanks to you. xx

  3. says

    Ah so great to read your words, Collette! And so much is happening at the moment! I so hope your little one has had a happy first day. My girl started school the day after her fifth birthday and we had lots of anxiety and analysis going on before the first day…which has continued through the rest of her life! I read The Museum of Modern Love last year. I’d love to hear what you think. And yoga at the gym? Yep, can be hard to channel the zen in that environment! Hope you find a lovely studio to practise in. And enjoy your painting xx

    • collette says

      Thanks for reading Carolyn. Being a January baby there has already been much discussion and analysis on her school readiness, fingers crossed we’ve made the right decision. But I think if we both had another year with her at home … no, it doesn’t bare thinking about! Lol. xx

  4. ANDREA says

    Got into work early today to get things done and instead sat with a coffee and read this. Great read – thanks Collette. Can relate to so many of your comments. 1st Feb – let the year really begin – and bring on the birthday month.

    • collette says

      Thanks Jenni, and thanks for reading. That’s what I love about blogging, and have missed – that we can make connections with others that we may not otherwise make. xx

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