Stories & Shout Outs #42

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

My Week:

  • Same as last week.
  • E x a c t l y the same as last week.
  • Although I did get my first Pfizer vaccination today. Finally.
    • I booked this appointment back on the 23rd June. This was the first available time slot. It’s a huge relief to be on the road to protection.

What I’m Reading:

  • Scary Monster | Michelle de Kretser (ARC from Allen & Unwin | October 2021)
  • The Bombay Prince | Sujata Massey (book 3 in the Perveen Mistry series)
  • Meditations | Marcus Aurelius (translator Gregory Hays)
  • Committed Writings | Albert Camus (translator Justin O’Brien)
  • Ariadne | Jennifer Saint (September book club choice)
  • The Countess From Kirribilli | Joyce Morgan (bio)

Read But Not Reviewed:

  • Émile Zola: A Very Short Introduction | Brian Nelson (non-fiction)
  • Virginia Woolf | Nigel Nicolson
  • Dropbear | Evelyn Araluen (poetry)
  • Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today | edited by Alison Whittaker


  • Holidays, day trips, visiting family & friends, eating out, reading my book in a cafe, meanders around the art gallery, going to a show, getting a haircut, a wedding (twice! Let’s hope their third date is the charm), browsing in a shop, hugging…


  • Winter, Sydney, 2021
  • B21’s 21st birthday party

New to the Pile:

On the Blog:

  • I’m now a fan of Reusable Blocks.
    • It took a while to work out how best to use them, but I think I finally have their number.
    • The trick with reusable blocks is that, if you update it at any time, it updates ALL the posts that have this reusable block on it.
    • I use one for recurring notes like the Wangal traditional land sentence at the bottom of this page.
    • I’ve started using them for series updates – i.e. my Zola reads, rereading The Master & Commander books and all my Jane Austen posts. When I add a new review and update the reusable block, it then updates all the previous posts. Therefore, a visitor who happens to land on an older Jane Austen review, can then see all the reviews I’ve ever done, including the newer ones written after the post they are reading (hope that makes sense!)

Shout Outs:

Until next time, stay safe, and happy reading!

This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are our first storytellers.

26 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #42

  1. I totally get you on eating out, vacations etc. Only twice over in my case!! I am however super excited about RIP & seriously contemplating the Angela Thirkell read along! Do you have books picked out for the events?


    1. I’m up the second book with Angela Thirkell – Wild Strawberries (although I do not have all 29, but I want to read the ones I do have sooner rather than later).
      I also have David Copperfield to hand – it will be a reread, but not sure if I really have the reading time to fit it in this year…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you are still getting hugs at home! Harder for me, living on my own (but I get to go out for dinner). What astonished me was a photo in the paper this week of a deserted street outside a Sydney nightclub. Does this mean that it took 800 cases a day before they were finally shut down? You get the feeling Gladys’ and Morrison’s real intention is to keep this thing going until every Labor voter has been infected (and all lockdowns are restricted to Labor LGA’s. Though who’ll do the nursing, carrying cleaning then?)

    You’re doing some heavy reading. Very educational posts coming up!

    I’ll use my own (voluntary) time at home to look at reusable blocks. I like the idea of old posts being updated in that way. Reminds me, I have to go through my Gen pages in particular and change your links from Blogger to WP.


    1. Not sure what the photo was you saw Bill, but pubs and nightclubs (& restaurants and cafes and hairdressers) have been shut down for 2 months now. But a lot of people still our walking and stopping for a takeaway coffee etc. My suburb is not a hotspot so I try not to get too thing-y about how many people are out and about, but it makes me anxious nonetheless. Although, I must admit I do feel somewhat less anxious now I’ve had my first jab, even though I know it won’t have any effect for a week or so, and even double-vaxxed it won’t stop me me from catching covid, but at least I shouldn’t die from it now, or end up on a ventilator.

      And yes, I get hugs at home, but I miss hugging friends. Virtual hugs are not the same.

      The reuseable blocks would be a very useful tool on your Gen posts. I’m also hoping now that I’ve put all my Jane Austen posts into a reuseable block, I will make the time to go back and wordpress-ise them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a shame about the 21st…
    But if you put the money you would have spent into an investment for him, that’s a really great 21st present that will set him up well for adulthood.


    1. He didn’t want a party party, (this gen doesn’t seem to care about 21 – 18 is the b’day they want to celebrate big). He just wanted to go out for a nice dinner with ALL the family and then go out to the pub with all his mates.
      We had a nice dinner at home and zoomed his brother and had a spectacular cake – memorable if not exciting!


      1. Yes, that’s what I’m doing for my birthday. A local Vietnamese restaurant is delivering a banquet to us and to our friends, and we’re going to frock up for Zoom and drink bubbly.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh dear, how sad to read about all those postponed plans. I saw that your PM said that the groundhog day of repeated lockdowns would end when you get to 70% vaccination level – a long way before that happens it seems.

    Brian Nelson’s introductions to the Zola books are always enlightening – thats why I buy the Oxford Classics editions wherever possible


    1. I complain Karen and have the occasional lockdown lethargy day, but mostly I’m fine.

      I like the quiet life. I figure it’s not going to be like this forever and a couple of years of slowing down has not been a bad thing for me.

      I realise a whole stack of privilege is wrapped up in that comment. I have a job, so does Mr Books and both B24 and B21 and we are financially secure. We have good health, we live in a nice suburb, we enjoy each other’s company, we can zoom family and friends, and we have lots of books to keep us company. And by mid Sept, the whole family (plus GF’s) will be fully vaxxed.


      1. I completely understand your comment about “privilege”.. our lockdowns were similarly stress free. We have a large house and garden and live in a place where there are plenty of places to walk. But in our village many families l were struggling to pay for food because they’d lost their jobs.


        1. Certainly many of the friends of B24 and B21 are having a tougher time with loss of work (they worked in tourism or hospitality) and some have had to move back home. But at least they had that option.

          I am not a religious person in any way, but my Pop was and he used to always say, ‘this too shall pass’. As I get older, I realise how true this is. But it’s not always easy to see, or accept, when you’re young and just want to get started with your adult life.


          1. I’m seeing my niece really struggle. She is trying for her first job in publishing. Instead of living an independent life in London she is back home with her parents. Though she now has a temporary contract it’s all done remotely so the lack of social connection with her peers is getting her down.


          2. I say that phrase a lot too, Brona – “this too shall pass” – and I’m not religious. I believe it’s a Persian saying. Wikipedia in fact has a page on it.

            I had a dear old volunteer who used to say, “another golden thread in the rich tapestry of life”, when things went wrong.

            But, like you I do appreciate my privilege. My biggest grump concerns our favourite restaurants that don’t to delivery to my suburb! I mean really, how lucky am I. (Though I do want to see our kids soon!)


            1. I will now have to look that phrase up Sue, I just assumed it went with Pop’s love of the Lord is my Shepherd.

              We were able to see B24 +GF throughout the soft lockdown but now haven’t seen them (except via zoom) since early July. It’s hard.

              I have just heard about a group called Providoor, that bring restaurant meals to your home for you to finish. I’m thinking of getting a Neil Perry Spice Temple meal in for Mr Books bday soon. Perhaps there is a Canberra option?


              1. We do have a few options of restaurants serving meals for you to finish – and are looking at one for Father’s Day – but we are out of the delivery area for them so would have to pick up! Looks like Providoor is in Melbourne and Sydney but not here.


  5. Haha Brona … loved the black humour here, re your week, what you’ve abandoned. (I write weekly to my American friend, and part of that letter is always to tell her about my week. Since our short lockdown, that page and a half has become a paragraph: we walk, garden, read, plan our meals, do Tai Chi and Yoga, watch the daily press conferences. What else is there!!)

    I have been wondering about using Reusable Blocks, I have some of those, like your Jane Austen ones, where I usually say “Previous posts”. But I guess I could change it to “Other posts” which would mean past and future posts would be there – hmmm, except I’d have to go in an edit the block after the post was published to add in that post?

    Re your “traditional lands” block, I’ve gone a different way. I have an acknowledgement of country in my sidebar, and in my banner, just under my image, I have “on Ngunnawal Country”.


    1. Thank you for getting my humour Sue – from now on I will write my Stories & Shout Out posts with you in the from of mind 🙂

      I am by no means a reusable block expert, & I look forward to Karen’s post about them, but I’m happy to experiment with them. I figure if I don’t like them, or they get too unwieldy, I can simply delete the block and it will disappear from every post it’s on! Sometimes I have used the phrase ‘related posts’ or ‘other books in series’ if that helps.

      I did note your Ngunnawal country banner and I thought about that, but because we have a place in the mountains that we hope to use more going forward ourselves, I wanted to a have a block that acknowledged Dharug and Gundungurra country as well. And if we ever travel again, I would like to be able to acknowledge whichever country I am in if I write a post while I am there.


      1. Do that Brona … as an Austen lover, I enjoy wit and humour in posts!

        Ah, fair point re acknowledging different countries. Although I occasionally post when I’m away, like visiting family in Melbourne (I vaguely recollect those days!), I think I’ll just stick to acknowledging my blog’s home. I love how the ABC is incorporating country into so many of its banners and labels, including for the questioners coming in from all over Australia to Q&A. From little things, big things grow?


        1. I agree. They even have some signs in roads now. Before lockdown we spotted new signs going up along the M4 and into the mountains. And when I got vaxxed at Olympic park on weds they play a relaxing calming nature video acknowledging Country at the end.


  6. Hooray vaccination and thank you for the info on reusable blocks – sounds like they’d be good for my series on my work blog if only I had the oomph to go back and add them in!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s