Simple advice

My thoughts for today, such as they are. What can I bring my readers that’s a bit different?

What can I say that might lift their spirits or make them feel less alone?

Let’s begin with words I’ve currently banned from this blog:




With my hand on the Macquarie Dictionary, I swear not to tell you these are hard times, challenging times, unprecedented, extraordinary times.

You already know that, right?


Mischief managed.

So, as the time of ‘grim novelty’ passes and we sink into the familiar grind of a new normal, this is what I’ve noticed about me.

Maybe you’re noticing this, too?


I’ve been scattered.

Can’t focus.

Keep starting things but not finishing.

I’m preoccupied.  Often with… nothing.

I’m highly emotional.

At times I feel angry, judgemental, self-righteous.


Vulnerable and teary, too.

Last night, for instance, a sheep truck drove by and I burst into tears. All those dear little souls off to the slaughterhouse. It was unbearable.

I’ve been having intense, profound and at times disturbing dreams.

I’m grieving for all I haven’t done, achieved, enjoyed or relished.

I’m grateful for all I have done, achieved, enjoyed or relished.


I’ve pulled out my mother’s china  and placed it on the mantlepiece.

The cup and saucer are from World War II.


I’m not an Anglophile (well, maybe just a little).

It’s the sentiment that offers solace.

The steady faith.

The quiet dignity.

That’s energy worth tapping into. Energy that nourishes rather than depletes.

The screech of mainstream media shreds my nerves and sets my teeth on edge.

The News is a cup of bitter tea I only sip from once a day.

In the meantime, I’m striking cuttings for my garden.


So far I’ve struck geraniums, wormwood, garlic, rosemary, pelargoniums. All collected from neighbourhood gardens.

No nasty ‘hormone powders’ needed for this exercise.  Just snap off a ‘slip’ and sit it in water. They sprout roots in good time.

Slow down says my mind.

Slow down says my heart.

Slow down says Mother Nature.

A trickle of fan mail comes in. Perhaps, with time on their hands, kids are discovering the joys of snail mail.

Letters to write.

Envelopes to decorate.

A gentle ‘to do’ list; no uniforms, lunchboxes or seatbelts required.

Expressing thanks and gratitude.



Every day I’m up at dawn.

It’s quiet and crisp.

The morning sky is vast, generous, expressive.


I’ve made many cakes.

Himself and I share morning tea every day at 11. Sometimes at the table, sometimes in the garden.

I’ve found recipes that are ‘lean’ in terms of resources. This banana cake, for example. It only uses 60gms of butter. My mother taught me that. Some cakes use way too many ingredients. Some cakes ‘waste’ butter…

We can’t get SR flour at the moment. Haven’t been able to get it for weeks. So I make do and make my own. 1 cup of plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.



I think of my parents all the time. Their stories of the Great Depression. Their stories of the war. Soon after they were engaged, Dad was sent away for six years. The Middle East, mostly. Mum was left at home on the farm in Central Victoria, and along with her siblings and her parents, they carried on.

I often asked her how she coped during those years.

Her answer was always the same— always given with a perplexed look on her face. As if she could barely understand the question. After all, wasn’t the answer obvious?

‘Darling,’ she’d say, ‘we just go on with it.’

Bright blessings to you, dear reader, as we get on with it together.

Jen xo

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14 Replies to “Simple advice”

    1. Heather, that is so lovely to hear, I can’t tell you! Thank you! And yes, cake will see us through. We’ll all have a big one together when this is over! #letsdoit!

  1. Jen
    I truly feel what you are saying. I have been flitting from one hobby to another like some sort of psychotic bee 🐝. Not being able to settle on anything my life has become “ a series of busy nothings” to quote the messiah Jane Austen. Anyhow just wanted to reach out to you and send a virtual big snuggly hug, you know the kind like snuggling into a grandmothers chenille dressing gown. Stay safe my dear mentor.
    Love always
    Michele Pinney 😘😘

  2. Oh Jen! This is exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve had my head oscillating between business as usual – aka must finish assignments, must survive the final year of my degree in strange circumstances – and my desire to create freely, without worry for where it will go or what it is for.
    I’ve cursed the perpetual mess my children create, with no real desire to stem their creativity or their imaginations, because they’re grieving the world they’ve known too – a world filled with friends and trips to the park, visits to grandparents and extended family, and felt most deeply perhaps, the absence of regular visits to see their dad.
    It doesn’t feel like today is my birthday. There’s been a flurry of messages and posts, love sent from a distance, but as the days all run together this feels like just another spot in that endless stream of waiting for the world to resume.

    1. Everything is topsy turvy and kind of static at the same time, isn’t it?! I love how you’ve described the world of your children, too. So true! I’m sorry you’re birthday has been lost in the mix! Wishing you a beautiful year ahead, Elle, despite all the curve balls!

  3. Well this just made me burst into tears Jen. In a good, miserable, emotional, someone-gets-it kinda way. Reading this is the best thing I’ve done all day. Thanks so much. Sending love and lots of lovely new flowers for your garden your way xx

  4. What a perfect way to end my day. Your words echo my life at the moment. Standing barefoot in the grass everyday even for a short time is helping. Being kind to myself is helping. Reading, resting, writing, cloud gazing, hanging out with my horse are all helping. Reading this is helping. Thank you Jen.

  5. Oh Jen, I understand the scattered feeling well and the emotions. I have been very teary lately. Having two 84 year olds in the house is….’different’. Looking after mum and dad is a time I’m sure I will treasure later on, but I feel like I’m cheating them out of something. They have come from living by the ocean to being cooped up in side my house. so I carry an element of guilt too. We do take short walks and enjoy the sunshine…..thank god we have had some lovely weather. While we all sit in our homes it is easy to think we are alone in the crazy situation. However reading your post reminds me….we are all in this together. Thank you 🌼🌸💐

  6. Gosh. Yes, scattered. Thank you for writing this. All those ridiculously productive and creative people on the socials, utilising their free time like demons, were really starting to get my goat. Scattered isn’t great, but I’m doing my best not to feel guilty about it.
    And… geraniums… they strike better if you cut them, leave them lying on the grass for a day, then stick the end in a cm of honey, then into the ground. They don’t like to be soggy wet so much. Just my experience… And honey is a good antibiotic replacement for any of those striking hormone thangs. I keep a jar just for the garden. It’s full of sand, but it works. An added advantage is the connections it’s made in my head—the smell of honey, the smell of the garden, clever bees, new life and new plants, honey sandwiches and teacups—they all go together now. Nice.

    1. Oh! Someone else mentioned the honey thing! Thank you for this gorgeous comment, too. It has made me laugh bc my goat was got, too. I’m off to pour some honey in a garden jar!! Thank you Kate Rose! xo

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