More newsletter than blog for the end of May

Van gogh newsletter

Here’s a newsletter so everyone knows I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks. My usual pastimes have fallen by the way. Blogs not written. House barely cleaned. Take-away meals on the table every night (no, just wishing, kidding!).

But I have been busy, in my own, pottering-around, eighty-four year old way. Life has a magic way of catching up with me. I know everyone says this, but how in the name of goodness did I ever manage to work and do all the other things?

Why bother about a newsletter?

Good question I asked myself, and the answer surprised even me. I guess it’s because I miss writing, miss connecting with the people who read my blogs. I’m not sure how many, but I do know that I have regular readers, who presumably like to know what I’m up to, what I’m thinking and doing.

I did write and post an actual newsletter for about a year, a while back. What I liked about it was that I could tell people the things I was doing and thinking on a regular basis. What I disliked was that, unlike a blog, a newsletter does not ask for or receive responses.

It’s like shouting into a void. After a while, I found writing a newsletter a boring way to spend time. Blogs are much more fun.

The things that taken up my time

Some of the things are pure magic. Others, enjoyable but rather more mundane. Some did not take any of my time but they did cause me concern and drained my energy. They can all go in this list. They’re in their own ways important. What I’m trying to say is that other more pressing matters have been on my mind recently than my blog.

First, the magic of babies!

The birth of two great-granddaughters, within sixteen hours of each other, is a cause for much jubiliation and joy in our family. Helen-Celeste Neo, daughter of Jane-Heloise Nancarrow and Colin Yeo was born at 6.30 pm one evening, and Avril Rory Thodey, daughter of Renee Paige and James Thodey arrived the next morning at 10.30.

Congratulations to both sets of parents and welcome to the world, dear baby girls. May life always be kind to you.

While I’m involved on the periphery of these newsworthy babies’ lives, revelling in the knowledge that I am now great-grandmother to fourteen people, the oldest of whom had just turned 11 years of age. Here’s a link to my celebration of the birth of Alistair Linton, who is now ten weeks old.

I’m very grateful that I’m invited to visit these babies and their families, and more excitingly, to ‘pop in’, which I do.

I’d love to post photos, but the new families have not posted to social media, and I respect that.

Birthday and wedding anniversary

John’s 86th birthday turned out to be a somewhat sombre affair because the families of two of his children were stricken with COVID-19. We made do (?) with a very yummy lunch together, just the two of us, at a lovely restaurant at the beach.

I’ve written about our fifteenth wedding anniversary, the day after John’s birthday, here.

Van Gogh Alive

A different sort of magic! This immersive, multi-sensory experience was truly amazing. It presents art in a way that excites the senses and made me want to come home and splash colour and sound throughout my life. If you get a chance, and live in Perth, this event is on until the end of July in the Supreme Court Gardens. Here’s a link: Van Gogh Alive Perth

John at van gogh
John in Starry Night set.

I’m not sure what it means when you give someone tickets to a show and they end up buying you a scarf as beautiful as this:

newsletter van gogh

Social media mastermind group

I’ve rejoined this group after a term away. I don’t know what I was thinking! It’s been so good to reconnect with Amanda Kendle and other colleagues and to rekindle some of my old passions. I’ll be writing more about this soon, I think

The Federal elections

On the downside these consumed far more of my time than I like to admit. I watched far to many commentaries, read too many new items, took part in surveys and generally immersed myself.

The final result, as we all know, led to a shake up of Australian politics, with the entry into the field of many more independents with the message of climate change Australia needed to hear. There were many surprises and I doubt this country’s politics will ever go back to how they were before.


Western Australia came late to the Covid pandemic. Our entry into the space was slow and well-controlled. Deaths and hospitalisations have been quite low. Vaccination across the state is high. But still family and friends have contracteds the disease. John and I try to be quite circumspect about where we go and who we see. I’m becoming well known at local cafes which serve coffee outside, even at this time of the year. It limits our activities!

Word challenge for this newsletter – blog

I’ve tagged this blog into the Weekly prompts weekly challenge, a site owned by my friends CG in Canada and SueW in Yorkshire. This week’s word is ‘pressing matters’ and the suggestion was to write about ironing. I chose a different meaning. SueW and CG blog at themainaisle and respectively. You might like to check out their blogs.

Here’s a little bit of puppy spam for no reason than I think this little animal is so cute.

Copyright, Maureen Helen 2022

Join the Conversation


    1. That’s wonderful, Myrna. Congratulations on the arrival of your great-grandsons! The world is crazy, but I’m not all that sure sit hasn’t always been a bit crazy. I think loving families make up for a lot for the babies.

  1. Congratulations, Maureen – I can feel your delight in the new great grandchildren. Lovely to read your news blog and I’m so pleased you linked to our challenge.

    1. Thank you Sueh. Glad you liked the change of pace. I haven’t written a blog for a few weeks, so thought this newsletter might be a good way to get back into my regular habits. Linking to your challenge was a pleasure. I knew it would be all right if I took another slant on ‘pressing matters’. xx

  2. Especially glad to hear you are happy to be back at mastermind (I mean, I did already know but it’s lovely to read it too!), and I love your newsletter-as-blog approach!

  3. Dear Maureen, we’ve only ever met in the virtual world but I do love hearing your updates. Keep them going, as newsletters or as blog posts.

    1. Hello, Nina,
      Thank for your comment. It’s good to hear from you. M

  4. Well done Great Grand Mamma.I only have one great granddaughter but have a new granddaughter.Ms.Margot.Best wishes to you and family.

    1. Hi, Rick. Thanks, very clever of us to have these babes. I hope you get as much enjoyment from yours as I do from mine. Love the name Margot.

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