Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life Taking Stock

Taking Stock A-Z

November 14, 2022

Argh. I’ve been stuck in bed (mostly) for the last few weeks and struggling to do very much. I’m determined, however, to try to do some of my favourite things … and that includes writing here.

My friend Denyse has been the impetus for this post. She’s updated the Taking Stock prompts in the very best way, alphabetising them and breathing new life into something I love. (More about that here – and thank you, so VERY belatedly, Denyse.) So today, I am going to Take Stock and publish this post, whatever it takes!

image one juicy tomatoes and basil and humus on toast | image two an ornate plate piled with noodles and vegetables. Pip's hand is holding the plate.

Taking Stock


Joan Didion’s belongings. She was pretty fancy, wasn’t she?! The photographs are particularly beautiful, I think.


… more resilient by the day. It’s been such a turbulent few years for my family but each day I surprise myself and find ways to endure the rough days.


… about using Mastodon, the social network that lots of people are moving across to since Elon (Kanye, Trump, others …) destroyed Twitter. You can find me on the Mastodon.World server under my name (Pip Lincolne) if you fancy joining. There are so many interesting people over there. Lots of academics and writers and bloggers and art-loving types. It’s a bit like the OLD days of the internet over there.


… with my diffuser thingy that whooshes fragrant oil-anointed mist into my bedroom. I bought a little pack of oils from Kmart and I’ve only been using one type so far (REST) and it smells LOVELY. Proof that you don’t have to spend a lot to have a sweet-smelling space, chums.

Pip's dog Peach lying amongst a tangle of quilts. She's a mixed breed spaniel.


… that I’m on track to have read over 50 novels this year. After years and years of not reading enough, illness has slowed me down and focused me in this unexpected way. Sometimes I’m not able to read visually, so I go with the audiobook. And sometimes I can’t listen very well, but I can read. (Go figure!) I feel so grateful for this bookish upside and I hope I can read even more next year (which is zipping incredibly close now, isn’t it? How did that happen?!)


… glad that I got some big tomato seedlings into pots between spells of tricky weather. Just four plants, but it’s better than no plants. The last month has been nuts, weather-wise in Melbourne (and other parts of Australia … #climatechange) with frosts and thunderstorms and humidity and hail. Here’s hoping my little buddies do well.


… not very many places, but feeling glad that I have a safe home and ace people in my life.


… myself to an extremely ridiculous number of cups of tea. Tea is life, as far as I am concerned. My latest favourite is Twining’s Morning Blend. It’s just perfect for me right now and I must drink it when it’s just the other side of scorching hot, and definitely NOT when it’s lukewarm and muddy.


… my tuxedo-ed cat Bruno to NOT shout at me relentlessly every time he sees me. I appreciate the conversation, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes there’s SUCH value in what’s NOT said, Bruno. Less is often more.


… around on TikTok quite often. Sharing a few videos there. Loving the gardening and cooking and making community that shows up in a big way and shares excellent tips and ideas.


… me, knowing you. A-haaaaa.


… spending time on Pinterest. I’ve set up monthly private boards for myself, to track the things I am interested in there and it’s a daily ritual to scroll through and save things for later (or possibly never, as is the way with Pinterest!)

photo one nick cave poster and bookcase and kitsch ornaments photo two a pink and grey early morning sky


… slow progress with craft projects due to muscle weakness and pain. But trying so hard to keep my hand in. I love making things!


… cab off the rank is thinking about what to do on Christmas Day. It seems that COVID will be everywhere again, so it’s quite hard to know what’s best. Last year we went out for yum cha and it was okay … but not great. What are you going to do? Maybe I can take inspiration from you?


… that my lawn (UGH) has grown inches and inches in the last month. I wish we didn’t have so much lawn at our rental. It’s such a waste! I’m too much of a weakling to do anything about it/turn it into no-dig beds at the moment, but I remain hopeful that I will be able to someday soon, when I magically regain my health!


… on Mastodon more than anywhere else. It’s just less shouty and more share-y over there.

image one a tabby cat on a patchwork knitted blanket image two a dandelion clock in the lawn


… where my State election postal vote is. Maybe it will come this week?


… a few things at once. I had never read a Jodi Piccoult book before, but I was interested to read Mad Honey and am so glad that I did. It really got me thinking and I like the way she represents a bunch of perspectives (while clearly having her own.) I’m also slowly reading Gabor Maté’s new book. And Ella Risbridger’s The Year of Miracles. And Deborah Robertson’s Notes from a Small Kitchen Island. All are great! High recommend.


… home most of the days. Sometimes I can manage a half-hour outing, every few days.


… to limit streaming services to evenings only. Much better to be reading, resting or trying to study/write essays/get my brain to work properly.


… more and more about Land Art. I am writing an essay about the Land Art movement at the moment and finding it so interesting, but so hard with my broken brain. Hoping I can limp to the end of this degree I am doing. Only about 8 more months to go.


… lots of lectures on YouTube from universities around the world in lieu of solely doing academic reading. There’s so much good stuff on YouTube from some brilliant tertiary institutions. I love that they share this stuff so we can all benefit from the cleverness of far-flung specialists and assorted geniuses.


… my eyebrows back. I dyed them yesterday and I look like MUCH less of a weirdo.


… the work of Agnes Denes for uni. I love her Manifesto.

“… understanding the finitude of human existence and still striving to create beauty and provocative reasoning, finding new concepts, recognizing new patterns …”


… I have actually written a whole blog post! (Almost!)


… and now it’s time to rest.

Thanks Denyse!

Love to you all, chums. Thanks, if you managed to read this far. You are a TROUPER!

x Pip

PS: Apparently I’ve been eating A LOT of noodles!!!

Head over to Denyse’s to copy and paste the Taking Stock A-Z prompts, if you would like to join in. Or use my usual prompts (below!) It’s such a good way of keeping track of the things we do … I really don’t do it enough anymore. I WILL TRY HARDER!



  • Reply Rachel November 17, 2022 at 10:21 PM

    I haven’t taken the plunge with Mastadon yet, but your description of it feeling like the internet of old has me tempted! I hope you are feeling better soon

  • Reply Lesley November 14, 2022 at 4:54 PM

    .. I just realised you linked to the oils, and they are essential ones so just ignore me!!???

    • Reply Pip November 15, 2022 at 9:01 AM

      Haha! It’s okay! I love it that you warned me because I hadn’t even THOUGHT about that, so addled is my brain. THANK YOU! xx

  • Reply Donna Bridges November 14, 2022 at 4:42 PM

    Making: gift tags and air dry clay ornaments
    Getting: excited for salad weather
    Cooking: double meals as part of being kind to myself
    Sipping: tea London Fog by Hanley and Son
    Reading: the Scarlet Thread by Kate Forsyth
    Thinking: I may book a holiday to Orange , I would love to see the Autumn festival
    Remembering: the wonderful family holiday we went on to Kangaroo Island taking our car on the ferry and a five hour road trip there and back .
    Looking: through my garden books
    Listening: all the classics from the 80’s on the car radio
    Wishing: dementia didn’t exist
    Enjoying: our tiny new grandson
    Appreciating: the kiddos who live here they’re such dears
    Wanting: well more energy if I’m honest
    Eating: home made apricot jam on rye with a lovely strong cup of tea
    Finishing: making gift tags and activities for the advent
    Liking: having a craft space again yippee
    Loving: being able to breathe and having a little more energy ( I have long covid )
    Buying: very little everyone is getting books for Christmas
    Watching: trees and birds , very lucky to be surrounded by bush
    Hoping: my little tiny garden thrives and I’m able to care for it .
    Wearing: winter clothes still ! In November!
    Walking: as much as I can and finally able to hit 2000 steps
    Following: Restoration Nation on YouTube, love the peeks inside beautiful character filled homes
    Noticing: how people have become more insular
    Saving: for our own home to buy
    Waiting: for our visit from our Grandkids next weekend 🙂
    Bookmarking: reading about slow living and long shelf life foods
    Coveting: prelit Christmas tree
    Feeling: grateful to have a roof over our head finally
    Hearing: Lots of birds in our new abode

  • Reply Reannon November 14, 2022 at 12:57 PM

    Hello friend!

    I love the new list Denyse has come with. I wrote a post last week using your list as my template but next time I’ll Denyse’s one a go.

    I too love puttering about on Pinterest. Currently looking for a chocolate granola recipe. I do miss having all my little videos at the top though. Where have they gone???

    Rest will Pip xx

    • Reply Denyse Whelan November 14, 2022 at 10:13 PM

      I am glad you did too! Thanks to Pip, the OG For Taking Stock and sharing!

  • Reply Jodi November 14, 2022 at 12:52 PM

    Pip, you must read Heather Rose’s new memoir: Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here. It’s extraordinary and exquisitely written. She also discusses her chronic illness and how she navigates her creative life with it. I think you’ll enjoy it. Always love your taking stock posts xxx

  • Reply Lesley November 14, 2022 at 12:48 PM

    Yay Pip, so glad you felt up to posting!
    And the “knowing ” prompt made me laugh out loud! Ah haa!? reminded me of a vicar of Dibley sketch as well..Where Jim says”No, no no..knowing me ,knowing you”??have you seen it?so funny.
    ..and I had a thought…if you havent thought it (and you probably have?) can you check that your oils from Kmart are made from pure essential oils ?? There are some lovely smelling synthetic oils, (and candles) but they arent good for us, just cause lovely smelling air pollution. ( Sorry if I’m telling you something you already knew. )
    Oh!..and we are having really easy family Christmas ham , lamb,spuds and salads..everyone bringing something..That’s pre Xmas for our shift workers..then just us two Christmas day we are having sourdough,ham,brie and cranberry toasted sammies !

  • Reply Kate November 14, 2022 at 11:47 AM

    So lovely to hear from you pip.
    Cheers Kate

  • Reply Denyse Whelan November 14, 2022 at 10:22 AM

    Woo hoo for yooooo.
    I am so glad you had a go with my A-Z prompts dear Pip.

    And that was a lovely and heart-filled post. So chuffed the woman who began Taking Stock used my version this time round.

    I am sharing far and wide.

    Sending you all the healing wishes and love from me.

    Denyse x

    • Reply Pip November 14, 2022 at 10:38 AM

      Thank you for the inspiration and for the constant kindness, you blinking legend!
      xx pip

      • Reply Denyse Whelan November 14, 2022 at 10:14 PM

        All the better for knowing you xx

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