Pip-Life Taking Stock

Taking Stock: Mid July (Brrrr!)

July 14, 2017
Pips Cat Hotel

I mean, why not write another chatty post full of links and tips? It’s one of my favourite things to do and some people even tell me it’s helpful, so there you go!

Taking Stock : Mid July

Making : Plans to make something with Bronte the cat. She’s coming to stay today!
Cooking : Stefano’s Soup Di Minestra (to eat with Noisette toast! So excited that my local greengrocer is stocking their bread now. It’s delicious and chewy and crunchy crusted.)
Drinking : Nerada Tea by the bucket full. I just really like it. Also Ribena. I KNOW. Yum!
Reading: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg – I am quite liking it. I would like it more if the hat tips to less privileged people were replaced by stories from those people, in their own words.
Trawling: My bookshelf to see if there are books I can pass on to the op shop. I am sure there are.
Wanting: To stop thinking about dumplings so much. I like the ones you can boil up and scoff with black vinegar and chilli oil and soy. YUM! I buy this kind of frozen thing from the Asian Grocer and they’re ready in a trice. You just boil them for 5 minutes. Add a cup of cold water. Boil for another 4 minutes or so. That’s it! No steamer or other nonsense required.
Looking: At the rainy and cloudy day. Two ducks just went by and one legitimately said “QUACK” as it passed the window.
Deciding: What to do about my dry Winter-y hands. Ugh. They are not nice, but they are useful.
Wishing: I hadn’t watched GLOW because I loved it and want to watch it for the first time again! I didn’t think it would be my thing, but it was great! I watched the documentary about the original GLOW ladies too. Both on Netflix.
Enjoying: Having a day off commercial writing to work on my own projects.
Waiting: For Michelle and Steve to bring Bronte around. They are not late. I am just excited and early.
Liking: Getting the house ready for a cat visitor. Make sure heating ducts are open in her favourite places. Put comfy pillows in her favourite bird spying vantage points. It’s important work.
Wondering: If I am going to need to move house. Hoping I am not going to!
Loving: Flipping Out. I hadn’t watched it before, but the people on it are very witty and my sister was taking about it a couple of weeks ago, and tweaked my interest. It’s quite different to Million Dollar Listing, but similar subject matter, of course. Now I wonder if House Hunters International is worth a shot…
Pondering: How many people are having a tough time. After my um… disclosure a few days ago, I have been inundated with very kind and supportive emails from people sharing their own difficult times – and letting me know that I’m not alone. A LOT of people are doing it tough, and despite what seems like a confessional culture, a LOT of people are keeping their struggles to themselves, let me tell you. If you are having a tough time, I am sorry to hear it. Life is such a challenge sometimes, but we generally get through it, so that’s quite good.
Listening: To Trace. Still. It’s just very worrying. How can these things happen? I hope that justice is done and Maria’s sons can find out what really happened to their lovely mum. Brilliant journalism.
Considering: How much I hate sitting at a desk and working. I like working on the couch, floor, bed. Desks and tables are hard for me. I do not know why and I must be stopped. What is even WRONG with me?!
Buying: Supplies for a Frankie craft project that’s due at the end of the month. Well. I NEED to do this. I have not done it yet because the project seems tricky and I’m turning it over in my head a LOT.
Watching: Speedy and silent rosellas whizzing past the window. I know. So many birds today!
Hoping: For good things.
Marvelling: At this amazing and clever service the SanFrancisco Museum of Modern Art have developed. You text them a word or phrase and they send you an image of an artwork to match! (found via Swiss Miss)
Cringing: At Donald Trump meeting France’s First Lady.
Needing: A cup of tea. No. Coffee. No. Oh. What would you choose right now?
Questioning: Why we all say so much, but often don’t say the things that matter most.
Smelling: My perfume. It’s this one today. I only have TWO perfumes, truth be told. The other one is this.
Wearing: A dress I bought from Obus, leggings, Ugg boots. I KNOW. Fancy me. Also underwear. Obviously. And a grey cardigan. Bet you wish you were fashion-y ol’ me. (Or not. Probably not, actually. You do you.)
Noticing: I need to read books that are FUNNY or light or easy – and not always go for the BIG and DEEP feels. Just for my own wellbeing at the moment. Any suggestions?
Knowing: That going to Brunetti to get my favourite treat and leaving empty-handed because they had sold out can only mean that I have an unresolved pastry issue now. It’s serious, everyone. *nods gravely*
Trouble-shooting: My slightly-broken-very-old car issue. It keeps conking out with a problem that’s always cropping up. (Had the same problem with the previous nearly-identical old car. Didn’t realise it was a problem unique to these cars.) Possibly need another car. Not in a position to get another car. Etc etc. Yawn.
Thinking: It’s nice not to be hiding away/hiding my feelings so much. I’ve had a lot of things going on behind the scenes and it was all becoming quite anxiety-inducing and paralysing. It wasn’t SO bad to talk about things very publicly. Nobody sneered or sent me mean messages, so that was a bonus. Thanks to the people who got in touch with me. It means a LOT and helps even more.
Admiring: People who battle through hard things and try to help others as the do.
Getting: Dumpling cravings. I freaking TOLD you. I like them SO much.
Bookmarking: This recipe for Pork and Beef Meatloaf Banh Mi. It looks so good.
Opening: The door to Michelle, Steve and Bronte. NOT REALLY. But they’re due in half an hour so I am practically doing that, don’t you think?
Closing: Blinds, in an effort to keep the place warm. It’s chilly today in Melbourne, the first really Winter-y day of the season, pretty much.
Feeling: Sad about my pup. Lucky, our oldest doggo, was nearly 16. She died on Monday and it was terrible, but also time, as she’d become very frail and we weren’t sure how to make the decision to say goodbye. It’s so hard when pets get very old, isn’t it? Our other pup, Pilot Bean, is getting used to life without his pal. We are doing that too.
Dreaming: Of a nice holiday. Summer tomatoes. Having the doors flung wide open.
Hearing: A pitchy sort of tone in my ears. What even is up with that? Is that normal? I will try not to Google it, I promise.
Celebrating: Ari’s new job. Go Ari!
Pretending: I didn’t need to wash my hair. #SorryNotSorry
Embracing: Dressing down. I used to feel the pressure to look a bit fancy when I went out. Now I’m okay with wearing less fancy things. Sweats and sneaks are cosy and look just fine.

Who even knew?!

x Pip

Here’s a list for you to copy and paste, if you feel like doing your own list.

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :


  • Reply Lauren Blakeney August 7, 2017 at 8:17 PM

    Hey Pip! Thanks for the Nerada tea tip – I was previously drinking something that rhymes with picton….but I did not like it. Nerada is great – Aussie too YAY! Also Alpha Kerri lotion is the best for dry, wintery anything. Hands, skin. Their bath oil is the tops too. Available at most chemists 🙂

  • Reply Alicia August 6, 2017 at 9:16 PM

    Thanks for your copy and paste list xx 🙂

  • Reply Lauren Blakeney July 17, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    oh I love these posts! It’s like a peek inside Pip’s Brain (sorry if that sounds gross). I have been adoring green tea like it’s going out of style, and Call the Midwife. I will be updating my internet plan soon so that I can get Acorn (thanks to you Pip – it is all sorts of amazingness). I am moving house, but am looking forward to a yard with big trees and a spa bath! Yipee! And I am now adding “get a giant bag of pot stickers from the discount store” to my to-do list for this afternoon. Thanks Pip! Oh and before I forget, April Fools day is a wonderful book. Already read it? Read it again. It’s real, deep, funny and just a fantastic read. Makes you grateful for what you’ve got (healthy happy kiddo’s – yay!). Lauren.

  • Reply Leah July 15, 2017 at 10:49 PM

    Been thinking of you Pip…I’m pumped over Brontes stay with you. I’m sure she has magical healing powers or is it that gorgeous funny face of hers? – impossible to feel too sad looking at that ?Xxxx

  • Reply Madeline July 15, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    Hoping: that things get better for you
    Admiring: you for sharing the crappy bits of your life
    Reading: Deeds No Words by Katharine D’Souza, a sweetly written book about everyday life
    Sending: you lots of love xxxx

  • Reply lea July 15, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Big Hugs Pip.

    I dont share much of the real me as I do have a tendency to overshare anyway and then I get nervy when I attract attention. Tied to something else you wrote lately, it has also invited that SWF thing and it really bothers me that people can feel you so keenly they think you are blood sisters, and then they know too much, coz you shared so much. So it’s hard to balance.

    BUT, the times when I shared shit, like real shit, scared of being judged shit, I had nothing but outpours of love and acceptance and care and upliftings. And I keep those moments close to my heart because they are my diamonds. Whenever I am struggling with something big, I am reminded of those times and how no-one actually hated me or was mean. It still surprises me and even thinking of it, I can feel my eyes pinging. Many of my most treasured reachouts were from people I didnt even know secretly read my words and they shared their own quiet things, and they thanked me, for allowing them to say them. Privately. I felt more connected and less loserish than ever and I am forever grateful for speaking, and connecting. Although it’s funny, even with this knowledge, I am still quiet and fearful on other things I keep deep, or quiet-ish at least. I like to think one day I will spill my beans and ride the waves of connection again from others in a similar boat.


  • Reply Donna Bridges July 15, 2017 at 5:13 PM

    I’m not sure if it’s right to reply with a list of my own but it’s school holidays and it’s a long time since i have spoken to another adult (it feels)
    making : a Christmas Scrapbook pf my daughters OS adventure
    Cooking : beef curry with all the veggies and keens curry (childhood food)
    Drinking : raspberry schnapps and crisp pear cider
    Reading: The Slow Regard of Silent Things Patrick Rothfuss (don’t read it if you didn’t read the first two in the series)
    Trawling: the internet for Christmas light display know hows as I promised small people there would be lights this year
    Wanting: Patrick Rothfuss to actually write the third book come on it’s been five years already.
    Looking: at the beautiful art my grandkids did for their mum for Christmas
    Deciding: what to cook with rissoles for tea , mash, pumpkin peas and gravy?
    Wishing: sometimes my life was less complicated
    Enjoying: the sunshine this afternoon in the garden
    Waiting: for the imminent arrival of grandchild #4
    Liking: freshly washed bedding
    Wondering: if my car should go in for a service this week
    Loving: netflix
    Pondering: life as a single parent in the future
    Listening: to classic Bowie
    Considering: funerals , life insurance, end of life wishes
    Buying: warm socks
    Watching: Outlander , Pete’s Dragon , The Crown
    Hoping: That my dear one and I get a little longer together
    Marvelling: at the precious blessings that are grandchildren
    Cringing: Trump
    Needing: a holiday
    Questioning: life , the universe everything
    Smelling: L’occitane Joyeuses Fetes hand cream
    Wearing: tracksuit pants jumpers and warm socks
    Noticing: how cold it is the older I get
    Knowing: the year ahead will be the saddest most challenging in my life.
    Trouble-shooting: school lunches by cooking ahead now freezer choices
    Thinking: about other family members
    Admiring: Ivanka Trump (what an actress)
    Getting: new technology soon
    Bookmarking: garden blogs I love the one’s with heres where we started ,what we did and where we are.
    Opening: a new bank account for soon to be here bubbie
    Closing: the door on those who no longer visit it’s taken a while but on wards and upwards
    Feeling: cold
    Dreaming: of a holiday in England , it’s on the wishlist
    Hearing: football errr
    Celebrating: 25 years together on Thursday
    Pretending: I’m a spy on an international spy mission with mutant zombie polar bears , a boss call Missie Mee and that swordfighting can fend of those polar bears.
    Embracing: life all of it even the sucky bad bits because rainbows and sunshine after the storm right?

  • Reply Anissa Ljanta July 15, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    You really are the very best of people Pip. That is all.

  • Reply Jade July 14, 2017 at 11:15 PM

    Hi Pip, I’ve been thinking of you ever since I saw your post on Insta the other day – I really hope you’re doing ok. I like reading about food so when I’m in the mood for something easy, light, kind and cosy, I read Jenny Colgan’s books. I really liked the Rosie Hopkin’s Sweetshop ones – oh, and the Paris Chocolate Shop too. Don’t forget about the most magnificent Mr Stephen Fry’s Harry Potter audiobooks either – they’ve helped me immensely in my kind of crappy times in the last couple of years. You’re a good person Pip, lots of love to you x

  • Reply Sarah July 14, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    For good, funny reading, I’d really recommend Jasper Fforde’s books. The Thursday Next series is great, lots of funny wordplay, puns etc, good fun and not too taxing (and they have a good way of making me feel like I’m the only.one who gets the jokes in them!).

  • Reply Reannon July 14, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    How good is GLOW! I didn’t think it’d be my thing either but I watched the lot in 2 nights. I really struggle to find things to watch on Netflix, I get too overwhelm by choice!
    As for book recs, I have nothing too funny but I do want to send you a book that I am sure you will love!
    And I’m with you on the dumpling thing, they are too damn good! But i steam/pan fry mine. My stupid fry pan has lost its non-sticking abilty so it makes it a rather messy & cranky cooking experience these days. Must buy new pan.
    Hope you have a cosy weekend Pip xx

  • Reply Edie July 14, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Hey Pip …. PAstoralia George Saunders and Travels with my aunt Graham Green … you might have read them but ya never know xxxx

  • Reply Carolyn July 14, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Gah! Trump! I mean, just in what world are they appropriate comments to make? I would recommend House Hunters International. House Hunters in general is just pretty entertaining, I think. And if you want a laugh, John Mulany does an excellent bit on a House Hunters type interaction https://youtu.be/HAt1R6fhVs8. Nice to hear you having a little more sparkle! Enjoy Bronte time!

  • Reply Ginny July 14, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss, our animals help us get through the tough times and they never live long enough. I’ve been reading your posts for a long time and they have helped cheer me when I was down. I wish I could drop by with a cake and share a cuppa with you. All the best and thanks for sharing..like others I was a bit worried..wish I had reached out. I will to the next person so I’ve learned another thing from you.

  • Reply Kate July 14, 2017 at 12:53 PM

    This is a great list Pip. I saw lots of positive things amongst all the not nice stuff you have going on. Aren’t people amazing? All the wonderful support you have received since you shared some of your story.
    Now I want dumplings.

  • Reply Isabel July 14, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Pip! Your post today is very Bridget Jones-esque, in all the best ways. And in that spirit, I would heartily recommend reading Bridget Jones, the book. Forget the movies…I mean, they’re OK, but the books are FUNNY. V funny. Have a nice weekend! x

  • Reply Jodie W July 14, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Lovely post Pip!

    I was feeling like I was reading too much crime/sad times books too and it was making me feel a bit weird. So I read The Florentine Bridge by Vanessa Carnevale and it was just the thing I needed. It felt like I had a lovely trip to Florence and I found myself smiling a lot more afterwards. It’s lovely and easy to read and I highly recommend it. P.S Now I want dumplings too!

  • Reply Nik July 14, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    Hey wonderful Pip. Totally hear you on the needing to read something not too dark. I was recently in a very blah bit of life and I was chatting to someone about the new book I was reading which was about something pretty disturbing and they said to me ‘do you really think it’s a good idea to read something like that while you’re feeling so blah?’ And I thought hmmmm probably not the best idea, so I read an old favourite (the alchemist) and I really did feel a lot better!! I really quite like Kurt Vonnegut books for a good combo of deep and dark but also funny and easy. Big hugs and warm vibes for you:)

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