IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks, so here we go....

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing with you from June. Winter is beginning to set in and life is picking up as the restrictions continue to be lifted. I'm back at my exercise class, and Tai Chi, and coffee dates - and appreciating the freedom of being able to get out and about again. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat though, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks, so here we go....

BLOGGING

My MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series continued with another two lovely guests. First off was Cheryl from Born in a Car, who wrote about having to find a new country to live in just as the pandemic was locking everything down. Quite an eye opening post. My other guest was the lovely Susan who is in the process of starting a blog of her own. She wrote about setting some Second Act Goals in Midlife - something we've all been challenged to do I'm sure.

I also had the pleasure in being Sue's first guest in her Conversations with Women Living Well After 50 interview series (now on youtube). Sue's leaping into a new and exciting phase with her blogging and taking a few of us along with her for the ride. It was the first Facebook Live interview I'd ever done and it was surprisingly less scary than I expected. 


FAMILY-ING

We didn't waste any time now that the restrictions have lifted and headed up to Perth to see both lots of our kids and the grandgirls. I hadn't seen our daughter and SIL for close to 4 months and it was lovely to spend some time together and also to catch up with the others again after their visit down to us last month.

It's funny how, as adults, we change very little from month to month, but children are constantly evolving. It was so lovely to hear our littlest grandddaughter, Georgia, excitedly jumping up and down and calling our names when we arrived. Hearing "Nan, Nan, Nan" over and over made my heart very happy.

WALKING

I've been working hard at not letting all the sitting around I do at home (especially during all that self-isolating and lockdown) add any extra kilos. I've managed to lose about 6 kilos since I left work and when it started creeping back on again, I decided I needed to increase my walking (and watch the snacking!) I usually manage around 8,000 steps a day, but have been pushing myself to 10,000 most days if I can. One of my favourite days is Friday when I go for a walk along the local estuary with my sister-in-law. We catch up on all the week's news and burn a few calories in the process. When Winter sets in we'll probably go back to our cafe catch-ups, but in the meantime this is what my Friday mornings look like.

Australind estuary
Julie and our walk path - love the serenity

READING

I started June by deciding to read "Normal People" by Sally Rooney because it was being lauded everywhere and the TV series was too. Well, I'm sorry to say that it's several hours of my life I'll never get back again - and if that's what normal young adults are like these days I'm grateful that I'm not part it. The minutiae, misery, mindlessness, and general awfulness of their lives just left me cold. So, I guess I failed 'hip and happening' book review 101 for this one!

I followed it up with Nora Roberts' latest book "Hideaway" - which I enjoyed thoroughly. Her books always make me want to keep reading and at the same time dreading that I'll finish it too quickly. I watched the end drawing near with pleasure and pain. Nothing beats Nora and her books!

Normal People - Sally Rooney - I didn't enjoy it at all.  Hideaway by Nora Roberts

JIGSAWING

A friend of mine (who I think must secretly hate me!) gave me a puzzle a couple of months ago that I finally decided to tackle over June. It should have been titled "1,000 shades of beige" - I have never seen so many variations of pale brown in all my life.....but....I refused to be daunted by the challenge, and as my husband said, there was no hurry. So I plodded my way on through it, doing a little each day while I listened to some podcasts to help me stay focused. And here's the result.

jigsaw

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during June. So, what have you been up to? How are social distancing and lockdown going for you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments and we can cheer each other on as life slowly returns to a pre-pandemic "normal".


There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks, so here we go....

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34 comments

  1. Hi, Leanne - Your Facebook Live Interview with Sue was truly awesome. You are so brave. I'm completely stilted on video. No lie!

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    1. Hi Donna - it was my first ever FB Live - Sue pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone, but I'm hoping all the Zooming will make this sort of thing feel more natural in the years ahead.

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  2. Loved your interview with Sue... As for normal people, yeah, I was much the same...in fact I still haven't finished it & had figured I'd pick it up another time when I was in a better frame of mind. Weirdly, and unbelievably, I've never read a Nora Roberts - I really must rectify that.

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    1. I'm so relieved I'm not alone with not loving "Normal People" - I was a bit worried the more erudite (you!) would tell me I'd missed the nuances or somesuch - I just found it all a bit dark and miserable and I actually felt sorry for them all in their insecurities and lack of self differentiation. And BTW - Nora is awesome!

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  3. So nice that you got to see your daughter, SIL, and grandkids again after 4 months! We started seeing our grandsons who live close by again about a month ago but haven't seen the one who lives across the country for a long time. I am keeping my fingers crossed for July. We are supposed to visit then.

    Good for you for upping your walking game! :)

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    1. Hi Laurie - we managed to see our son and DIL and grandgirls within days of travel restrictions being eased - but it took another month before we got to see our daughter and SIL - they're coming to us for a visit next week and I'm really looking forward to having a couple of days with them - time is the greatest gift of all.

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  4. I'm so glad things are opening up there and you have finally been able to resume some of normal life, and especially that you were able to see your kids and grandchildren! Four months is an awfully long time. Here in Texas, our Covid numbers are skyrocketing, so it's very worrisome. We are just staying home as much as possible, and wearing our masks and social distancing when we do have to go out, hoping and praying for better days ahead. I, too, am trying to step up my exercise routine to offset a little "emotional eating" I fell into. I don't know if you have Cheetos there, but they've been my undoing!

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    1. Hi Laura - I'm so sorry to hear that your covid numbers are going in the wrong direction. We've been so fortunate in that ours in Western Australia have been almost zero for the last few months (besides a few quarantined returned visitors). Hopefully you guys will get on top of yours soon - wearing masks and staying home for so long would be doing your head in. It's almost normal here - except for the closed borders, and that doesn't impact on me, so I'm happy that we got on top of it. And no, no Cheetos here - but potato chips are my nemesis!

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  5. I totally agree with you about the book “Normal People”. I couldn’t wait for it to end. It started out ok, but it was misery watching her poor self esteem and ongoing abuse! I didn’t watch the tv series.

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    1. What a relief - I thought I was going to be the only person in the world who thought Normal People was just miserable and pitiable - I hated how they were so hopeless at a time of life when they shouldn't have been. Their lack of soul/groundedness/centredness just depressed me and I truly hope they aren't a reflection of what's normal in young adults because that would be too sad.

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  6. Leanne, I have heard a great deal about Tai Chi and I have yet to try it. I greatly admire you for doing the Live interview. You always come across very friendly and approachable and this shines through in the interview. Both you and Sue look gorgeous!! Great subjects. Good point on using watching the words we use, like "allowed."

    I agree whole-heartedly how special our time is with the grandchildren and how they change very quickly. You made me smile on your description of the puzzle. Good for you on the walks. A friend and I call them “walky/talkys.” I look forward to connecting with you again, soon.xx

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    1. Hi Erica - thanks for your kind words - it was good to have Sue push me to do the interview - I'd never have done anything on FB Live under my own steam - I just feel I always seem awkward on video and even in photos. Sue seems to do it much more effortlessly! And that puzzle did my head in (I threw it in the bin when I finished, rather than donating it because I didn't want to inflict it on some other hapless soul!)

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  7. Hi Leanne, Glad to know that you were able to move around and visit your daughter, SIL, and grandchildren.

    I watched that conversation with Sue too... Very interesting insights into kindness, something that we don't give so much thought to, is it not?

    India is a huge country with so many people. So we aren't going to see the end of this disruption to our daily anytime soon. Bengaluru city, where I live, the numbers have been slowly climbing with lockdown being eased and people moving and interacting with one another. Sadly not all are very careful with taking care.

    Personally, I am still confined to home with making trips outside for picking up essentials.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - I've been watching with sadness other countries that are still struggling with increased infection rates. India, Brazil, the USA etc. I'm so relieved that Australia seems to have it under control and there are no cases at all where I live - and only two in our whole state (both in quarantine after returning from overseas). Our borders are still closed and I think will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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  8. Thanks for the cuppa and the chat Leanne. I love the way your grandchildren were all excited at seeing you. Our Emilia is growing up and points to the phone now and says G, G which is her way of saying 'ring Papa G, I want to talk'. I'm glad things are opening back up for you over there and you can return to Tai Chi and other activities. You and Sue did really well, you are both naturals! That puzzle would do my head in, you know my feelings on beige!

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    1. Hi Deb - isn't it so lovely when the grandies start to know us and want to interact with us? To be greeted with joy was such a blast for us. And yes, that puzzle reminded me of the black, grey and white one that Grant finished - that did my head in too!

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  9. I am with you on Normal People. It was so boring (and frankly irritating). I got to the end of chapter 5 and then asked my FB peeps if I should chuck it. All said yes but one who loved it. Weirdly, a few who told me to not bother finishing it (which is a big thing for me) are excited about the tv show....so who knows what that is about. Conversely, I never read Remains of the Day because it looked like a total snoozefest, but I'm LOVING it! So funny and engaging...doing all the wrong things for the 'right' reasons. Great book. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Lydia - it's SUCH a relief to find out I hadn't turned into a literary pleb who had no grasp of the nuances in that book. I ploughed my way through to the end - I kept hoping they'd pull themselves together - but their lives just dragged from one miserable episode to the next - not a high recommendation for the tv show IMHO.

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  10. Leanne, Great interview with Sue. I like your takes on self-acceptance and living well/ pie analogy. Well done with your various activities in June. Thanks for the heads up on Normal People. I don't think I've read any Nora Roberts books yet. Maybe this summer is the time. #MLSTL

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    1. Yes, skip Normal People (some of the other commenters agree - so that's a relief) and I'd heartily recommend a Nora Roberts stand alone novel as a Summer read - Hideaway was very enjoyable.

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  11. Hi Leanne, what a beautiful place to walk! Good on you for your regular walking catch-ups. I completed a jigsaw too! Only took me two months! Mostly because it's been too painful to lean forward for long periods. I really enjoyed your YouTube video with Sue. Take care, Christina

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    1. Hi Christina - yes I imagine leaning forward would have been a challenge. I have neck issues and too long bent over a puzzle isn't good for me - I end up with a headache for the next day. And yes, the Friday walks along the estuary continue to be lovely while the weather holds.

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  12. Hi Leanne. We are still in lockdown in doctors orders. Probably will be for a while now there seems to be a second wave. I agree with all you said about Normal People. I thought it was dreadful but everyone else in my Bookclub enjoyed it. #MLSTL Sharing

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    1. Hi Jennifer - Victoria isn't looking good and I'm so relieved we're on the other side of the country. We have no cases here at all and only a couple in hotel quarantine who've returned from overseas. The longer they keep our borders closed the better - and I hope Victoria gets on top of their cases soon or you'll be stuck at home for a lot longer. Still, it's been a great time to rest and consider what the future holds for you in a lot of areas. x

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  13. Haha, fair play, Leanne, for bucking the trend on Normal People. I liked the book, but it is quite minimalistic. On the other side of tat, the emphasiis is totally on the relationship, and I did care about that. Very much. The TV series is a world-wide smash, of course, ands the lead characters are absolutely terrific. Each to their own, though. Well done on stepping up the fitness kick, and it must be great to be able to meet up with close family again. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Enda - maybe you understand Normal People better because culturally you're more similar? I think the Aussie upbeat sunshiny mindset contrasts really strongly with the Irish doom and gloom and hardship mentality. My husband mentioned Angela's Ashes as an example of dark Irish writing and it felt similar. Each to their own indeed!

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  14. Thanks for the glimpse into your month, Leanne. I'm so happy for you being able to see family after so long. There is nothing like the joy of a grandchild when they see you coming! I'm impressed with your accomplishment of that difficult puzzle. Just wow. Happy July!

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    1. Hi Christie - family is so important and I think this whole covid thing has served to emphasize that even more to me. When you can't see your kids or grandkids it just kills your heart - it made me think of the Berlin Wall and North & South Korea - just being cut off and forever would have been a nightmare for those people!

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  15. You do have to wonder about some books..well I do. Normal People. Not for me. However, I also find it hard to get into any book. So good you got to see the grandkids. We are seeing 4 of ours (son's) aged 12,10,7 and 5 this weekend for the first time in 2020 and it will be 'new teeth' we will see as well as changed heights. We have a wooden height chart that they are all on....since babyhood so they will want to do a measure!
    Thanks for sharing the lovely space where you walk. That is great. You were awesome with Sue. Congratulations. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Hi Denyse - thanks for the lovely compliment about the interview - very out of my comfort zone! Lovely that you get to see all those little grandies after so long and that they'll be lining up for the family tradition of height measuremennt - there'll be lots of smiles at your place I'm sure.

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  16. Another enjoyable month for you Leanne and I loved that you stepped out of your comfort zone and excelled in the interview that we did. We will have to do it again. Another two books I haven't read so my list is getting long. What a pretty spot for your Friday walks and it is always good to have a walking buddy to chat and walk with. Thanks for cohosting #MLSTL with me and have a lovely July (I can't believe half the year has gone). x

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    1. Hi Sue - don't even think about reading Normal People - I'm sure you'd be as unimpressed with it as I was. And thank you for pushing me to be braver by doing the interview - it was a great chance to have a chat and to throw around some thoughts with a good friend x

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  17. Leane,
    Great post!! Glad that you were able to see and catch up with your family!! I put on quite a bit of weight before and after my surgery because of the immobility and also what I was eating..I am now exercising and really watching what i eat as i know it is imperative for me to get the weight off for health reasons...Thanks for much for stopping by!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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