Weekend Coffee Share August 20, 2016.

If we were having coffee today, I’d throw you a cushion and invite you to join me on the couch for some home made banana muffins. I almost didn’t mention the home made bit. Or, that I made them from scratch. After all, that goes without saying. I don’t know how to make banana cake without real bananas, and I don’t want to find out.

How has your week been? I hope you’ve had a good one.

Have you been watching the Olympics? I’ve been winning heaps of Gold Medals from the couch. Don’t you love it? After starting at the top of the medal tally, Australia is now 8th…not bad given our smaller population. Obviously, my use of the remote has made all the difference!


Glebe Street, The Junction, Newcastle.

The highlight this week was driving my daughter to her violin rehearsal in Newcastle. It was held at The Junction Public School, which is in an older boutique part of town and is absolutely delightful. I love the quaintly painted timber cottages with their picket fences and frangipani  trees, which are currently naked and undressed. I’d love to come back and see them in full bloom. They’d be stunning. Not that they weren’t photogenic as they are.


Talulah Bar, The Junction, Newcastle.

With three hours up my sleeve, I parked myself at Talulah Bar, a fabulous Cafe/restaurant/writer’s retreat.  After feeling  lost in Newcastle driving into Newcastle, I felt I’d  found myself here. Before your mind start wondering and you’re picturing me downing cocktails at 10.00 am, I was strictly on the caffeine and nothing else. In fact, I didn’t even think of alcohol. I’d had enough trouble finding my way around Newcastle sober and I definitely don’t drink and drive. Nothing like a rustic cafe to pull out your writer’s notebook and feel inspired. I was particularly inspired by an antique piano in the corner which had those old brass candle sticks stick onto the front. It seemed strangely haunting and I started writing a short story. I might have to turn it into a piece of flash fiction so I can get something finished and come back to it later. Anyway, I ordered sweet potato falafel for lunch, which was a fabulous twist on an old fave and that 3 hours flew by and I was needing to get back to the school without dessert…damn!

On the way home, we went on what proved to be a huge detour via the Bloch’s Dance shop in Charlestown, on the Sydney side of Newcastle. Again, we got thoroughly lost but found it eventually and I managed to try on my beautiful pink satin ballet slippers, matching pink tights and dance leggings…all but a leotard. Definitely no leotards! I was in seventh heaven, even though I wondered whether I was too “mature” for all of this. I didn’t care. If I was going to do ballet properly, I needed those pink satin shoes. They had to be satin. You can read more about it here.

Speaking of ballet shoes, I suspect these could be my mid-life crisis vehicles and in my defense, a pair of pink satin ballet shoes is much cheaper than a new red Porsche!


Thursday night, I had my second adult ballet class and headed off wearing my new shoes, stockings and black leggings. I think I’d probably look like a basketballer next to a real dancer but I didn’t care. My shoes were a hit, although my ballet teacher showed me how to do up my ribbons properly at the end. I should’ve known you don’t have huge pink bows out the front, looking very much like clown feet on an adult. Rather, you tie them in an elegant knot on the side of your foot and tuck the ends in. So, I guess next week, I’ll at least look like a real ballet dancer. Or, will have the shoes done up properly. You can’t become a ballerina overnight, even with those years of ballet as a child.

Margot Fonteyne

Dame Margot Fonteyn…what dreams are made of!

In between what felt like driving somewhere over the rainbow this week, I also finished reading a great book…Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. Have you heard of her? She’s an Australian author. This book is about a murder at a school function. Right from the start, we know there’s been a murder but we don’t know who is murdered or who done it. So instead of the story starting off with a body, we’re drawn into a tangled social web and we know all the players and I certainly knew these people. By the way, I should mention that she even had a “Rowena” on the P & C (Parents and Citizens)…just like me. that intrigued me as there are very few Rowena’s around and it’s very much MY name. Thief!


The final countdown is on for my daughter’s performance at Sydney Opera House on Monday night. She’s playing in a huge multi-school string ensemble with her school. Even though she’ll be a speck in the crowd, for us, she’s a star and might as well be playing solo. She has essentially picked up the violin this year and they’re playing at about a grade 1-2 level and so I’m really proud of her and myself. I drive her up to her lesson every week and as most parents testify, their kids don’t practice with a bit of “encouragement”. It might not be the Olympics but it’s a huge effort.

To that effort, I’d just like to point out that while she might be swanning off to the Opera House, you wouldn’t believe the organisation involved in getting her to the Opera House with the school and then get my son, husband and parents organised. I have a disabled parking permit so we can get free parking at the Opera House, which is great. I also have a companion card and I requested disabled seating and the only spot they had left was a wheelchair spot so they’re providing me with a wheelchair. This all feels a bit fake but I wasn’t doing so well when I booked the tickets and what with crowds and stairs to contend with, I chose to play it safe. I’ve also had to sew up the hem on her skirt, which was a bit tough with my bad eyesight. That’s what it means to be a real stage Mum.

Hope you’ve had a good week and I look forward to hearing from you!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster. You can click the Linky  to read the other posts.

xx Rowena



10 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share August 20, 2016.

  1. Inspiring Max

    My kids used to go to The Junction School years ago and those trees in your photo are exquisite when they are in bloom. It was a joy to walk by them. Thanks for the tip about the writers cafe as it isn’t far from our house when we move back into the area very soon. I hope you daughter enjoys her Opera House performance.

  2. Rowena Post author

    I’m so pleased someone local actually got to read about Talulah as most of the people reading it are overseas. They even had a short story magazine there, which I thought was a very good sign. I don’t know whether you read my other posts about my day in Newcastle but you’d appreciate me getting last and thinking I was in Charlestown when I pulled up at Kotara Westfield. Here’s a link to a more detailed post about Talulah and The Junction: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/lost-found-in-newcastle/
    The Opera House performance is so exciting and the organisation behind it is pretty scary. I’ve drawn up a schedule for the day. Time management isn’t my forte so wish us luck! I know I’ll be early all day. That’s my coping strategy. Hope you have a great week! xx Ro

  3. Suvi

    Good for you with your ballet! I am enjoying following your progress. Thanks for the book tip, I have enjoyed Moriarty’s books before 😀 Have a great week ahead!

  4. Rowena Post author

    Hi Suvi. Thanks for the encouragement on the ballet front. My friend and I are having quite a hoot doing it, although we’re taking it seriously. Our kids are dancers and we are often at the studio so why not do something for ourselves!
    Which of Moriarty’s books have you read before? I was very tempted to go and get her latest one as soon as I finished it but decided to get back to my reading pile. I’m reading Maya Angelou’s autobiography and have a long train trip tomorrow so it will be a great chance to get started. Hope you have a great week! xx Ro

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thank you Agnes. I’ve been working away on my book of stories about my ancestors and their relatives, which will be including a write up about my famine orphan. HOwever, atm I’m research a convict from the village of Sorn in Aryshire, Scotland and have touched on Scottish stories instead of the Irish and it’s been fascinating. The day just disappears and not necessarily a word on the page either.
    The ballet classes were great and I’ll have to get onto the teacher and see if we can get them going again this term.
    Our daughter auditioned for a local ballet company for youth and made it through. They’ll be putting on Swan Lake. How magical is that. I feel like she’s dancing into a dream. Not a dream I ever entertained with my poor coordination but into a dream world.
    How are things with you going? Must be starting to warm up and I hope things are going well.
    Best wishes,

  6. gaiainaction

    Thank you Rowena for your delightful reply. Here very busy weeks, as Ian in hospital for tests and a lot of travel to and fro. But I have had the chance to explore another little town….on the way back from the hospital 😁 and took photos, am writing up on it presently. Wishing you happy days.

  7. Rowena Post author

    I’m sorry to hear Ian is in hospital and I hope the tests go okay, although if he’s having tests something isn’t feeling right so I guess you’re hoping it’s something they can treat with minimal impact.
    I’ll pop round and say hello. I’m relaxing a bit tonight. My husband’s been away in Melbourne for work for a few days and the kids are out. Just the dogs and I at home tonight .
    Best wishes,

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