Stories & Shout Outs #47

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

My Year so far:

  • Busy
  • Lots of lovely weekends at our home in the mountains during January with various friends and family coming to stay and DIY projects galore.
  • Our first (small) dinner party at home since Covid.
  • February is my birthday month, so plenty of dinners, lunches and coffee dates have been had!
  • B24 & GF are about to move to Brisbane for 12 months. Will miss them both horribly, but already planning our Easter break…with fingers crossed for open state borders!

What I’m Reading:

  • Matrix | Lauren Groff
  • Collected Stories | Shirley Hazzard
  • Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens | Shankari Chandran
  • Mauritius Command | Patrick O’Brian
  • Orwell’s Roses | Rebecca Solnit
  • Last Letter to a Reader | Gerald Murnane
  • Fishing For Lightning: The Spark of Poetry | Sarah Holland-Batt
  • Signs and Wonders | Delia Falconer

Read But Not Reviewed:

  • House of Asterion | Jorge Luis Borges (short story)


  • These Precious Days | Ann Patchett
    • Wasn’t working for me after a few religion based essays in a row. Then I read Pam @Travelling Penguin’s post where she said “A series of vignettes about her life, well written but I must admit I got weary of repetition in this book.” For Pam it was the number of times she talked about not wanting to have children. And I realised I was weary already at only the one third mark.

New to the Pile:

This Blogging Life:

  • You may have already noticed that this year I have moved from posting something every 2-3 days, to posting something every 3-4 days instead. It has freed up some much needed time for other things. Although that does not seem to include visiting or commenting on other blogs at this point. I apologise. Once the birthday extravaganza month is over, more time will hopefully reappear!
  • I have been slowing adding my collection of Australian writer anthologies to the Australiana tag at the top of this blog.
  • The battery on my old laptop gave up the ghost last week, and I now have shiny, new one to play with. Still coming to terms with Windows 11.
    • Previously, I used Buffer to create twitter posts from my blog. With the new laptop, that feature seems to have disappeared. I used to be able to right click on an image and the Buffer option would be in the drop down menu. Is it Windows 11? Have I missed a step in setting it up?

Ongoing DIY Home Project:

  • Our microbat relocation projecvt began with numerous conversations between us and WIRES volunteers and local residents who’ve been through a similar process.
  • After the big fires of 2019/2020 many microbats decided to relocate to human homes out of safety and necessity.
  • Our FIRST funnel was very successful as we watched over 50 microbats leave our roof, slide down the funnel and fly off into the night.
  • The next morning they could not return and were forced to find somewhere else to make home (we live in a natural bush setting surrounded by trees, bush and a golf course – plenty of possible microbat habitats).
  • We left the funnel in place for four nights to make sure there were no stragglers left behind.
  • We then plugged up all the gaps with rubber strips.
  • Turns out this was not enough.
  • About a dozen intrepid microbats found their way back in by squeezing through the tiniest gap between the rubber and the wooden beam.
  • Funnel the SECOND was then constructed and hung.
  • This one was not as neatly built as the first, but it did the job.
  • They left and have not returned.
  • This time we will plug the gaps with steel wool and use expanding foam to seal the gap properly (thank you Youtube).
  • Naturally, the microbats have chosen the highest point on the roof to make their home.
  • We humans have therefore been contending with a 6.5m drop with each step of this project (which is partly why it has been such a slow and cautious one).
  • My friends & colleagues are now joking that our microbat experience could be turned into a Gardening Australia segment!
Funnel the First

On the Screen:

  • Ted Lasso: Season One – the perfect antidote to pretty much everything. I hope Season Two is just as delightful, heartwarming and kind.

Readalong: Change of dates. With so many reading plans for the first half of this year already, #TheEdithReadalong2022 has been pushed back a few months.

  • The Edith Trilogy Readalong
    • Grand Days – June 2022
    • Dark Palace – July 2022
    • Cold Light – August 2022

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.

21 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #47

  1. The microbats will give your home a gothic look I’d think. 😍. I have Orwell’s Roses on my shelf. I did a large book cull over the past weekend and found several books I forgot I had. Felt good to get them organised. Have a good weekend of reading and perhaps not so much bat activity.


    1. Thankfully microbats do not make the same kind of mess as fruit bats, and they are pretty cute…just not in our roof! We spent yesterday replugging the gaps, so hopefully this second, more thorough effort will do the trick.


  2. I wish there was a solution to possums, they ate the last of our Pink Lady apples the day before yesterday, we didn’t get a single one.
    Your picture of the Judith Wright writings reminds me that I have Arnott’s bio on my TBR. I really am going to crack on with my author bios this year, it is my favourite form of NF and #FamousLastWords I am not going to get distracted by other things…


    1. I’d rather microbats than possums anyday – no where near as destructive. Although we think our little antechinus friends are back under the house! Another cute native, but not when they decide to sleep inside the heating pipes.
      I also have Arnott’s bio of Wright on my TBR and think I should read that first.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re obviously a better parent than I am. I expect my kids to visit me, not the other way round (though I would have liked to visit Lou in Morocco).
    I enjoyed the microbat saga. Makes a change from trucks (and books).


    1. We are the type of parents who LOVE a road trip, whereas your day job is driving, so I imagine that your holidays do not centre around being on the road again. If we ever move permanently to our home in the mountains, we may become the come-to-us kind of parents too 🙂
      Now the microbat issue is resolved (fingers crossed) we need to move onto the antechinus trying to live under the house again and sleep in the heating ducts!


  4. To begin with Happy Birthday! Many happy returns of the day! Wishing you a happy, healthy and bookish year with lots of travels and good times with the loved ones! Also congratulations about the new Laptop. I do not use Windows 11 so have no wisdom to share unfortunately. I hope your Easter Break does work out as planned. In the meanwhile I hope you continue to having oodles of fun with your coffee, dinner and lunch dates. I have added almost all the books in your new to the pile. Especially interested in Dostoyevsky and Jane Austen !


    1. Thank you for all the good wishes and I’m glad my booklist has inspired you. The Let’s Eat Italy doesn’t show up here just have magnificent it is irl. It’s an oversized hard cover book all about the food, wine and eating habits of Italy. I’m pouring over every single page, ohh-ing and ahh-ing at every turn.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all – Happy Birthday for whatever day it is!
    Your comment on the Ann Patchett caught my eye because so far I’ve heard nothing but praise for this book. 3 essays in a row on religion wouldn’t be my cup of tea either


    1. Thanks Karen. It was a shame about the Patchett as I enjoyed the first few essays, but then the next few just lost me. It started to feel a bit self-indulgent. In the end, with so many books demanding my attention, I needed more than a conversational style anecdotal memoir.


  6. Ted Lasso Series 2 is a bit darker, but still good. We are eagerly waiting Series 3.

    The one good thing about kids moving away is getting to visit other places. We’ve been to Japan, Canada and now Melbourne, to visit our kids!

    Next month is my birthday month. I’ve not done well this month, with our 16-day Melbourne trip, and I don’t expect next month to be any better. But, while reading and blogging are great, life is full of many great things, eh?

    There are some great new books on your pile.


    1. Yes, we are discovering the darker side to Ted (& young Nath) after a binge session on Saturday night. But very glad to hear there is a season 3 in the works.

      Holidays are something we’re looking forward to getting back into soon, although overseas travel still feels like it will be at least a year away for us just yet. We both love a road trip, so happy to explore Australia for now. Also looking forward to grandhildren, but hopefully not for several more years!


      1. I didn’t fully like the Nat thing but it’s interesting and I guess makes it edgier.

        As you know I love exploring Australia. Us oldies though wonder about getting overseas again though I think we still have a few years left to do that! Grandchildren are great … but as you say let the young enjoy their youth first. Most of my close friends had our first between 28 and 32, but this generation seems to be more 32+

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m curious to see what this new Gen Z group do. B24 & GF are not opposed to having children and they obviously talk about it quite a bit together as a ‘one day’ thing. But they have two dogs that seem to cater for all their nurturing instincts at the moment!


  7. I’ve yet to try Murnane but feel sure I”ll enjoy him once I get ’round to it. You seem to have a great combo of reading on the go. Glad to hear that the residents are happily relocated. Perhaps a little heated adjunct, slightly roomier than the pipes, would make a convincing alternative domicile…I’m sure no one would choose a pipe if there was a better option.


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