From Brisbane to Ballarat

I had a productive and rewarding time at the Brisbane campus,  meeting up with familiar staff and finally having face to face chats with lovely colleagues.

Flew back to Victoria,  and incredibly thankful for the expertise of the pilots in landing at Tullamarine, where the wind gusts were up to 120 km/h.

On the plane I ripped out a crochet cardigan I am making for Miss BG,  as I was losing stitches on each row- d’oh! Am back to where I was, so happy about that.

Kids were picked up from school,  then Mr BG was collected from work, and parent teacher interviews commenced.  Both teachers happy with their progress,  as are we.

A quick dinner, then out for book club, where tales of New York and San Francisco were told to a rapt audience.  The book discussion wasn’t too bad either :-).

Missing the warmth of the north,  but happy to be home.

#amonthinthelife- Day 8

View this post on Instagram

Post run selfie #amonthinthelife #emily #iwd

A post shared by Steph (@stephmcg71) on

I get up early Saturday morning and go for a run with a group of women, one of whom is my neighbour Robin. It was an early start this morning and too dark for the running track so we ran around town then headed to the Lake. We said hello to fellow runners, and cyclists, often greeted with the words “Hello ladies”.

It was a good run for me- 8km with very little walking and I was running at a quicker pace than usual. There are a couple of runs coming up for which I am tempted to register. Having usually run by myself, I am really enjoying being part of a group. You are motivated to keep up and we talk about everything under the sun. At the end of the run, you have a great sense of accomplishment, even over little challenges such as running up a hill :).

Coming back, I heard footsteps down the hall and a little voice saying “Morning mummy”. I got a cuddle and kiss and then I took this photo.

Happy International Women’s Day to all.


Two words for 2014

Be challenged.

Last year was about being mindful, of thinking and reflecting on my actions- or rather, thinking before I act. I realised that by being mindful and reflecting upon mistakes and lessons, I learned about my own limitations and capabilities.

This year it is about pushing myself to undertake tasks- and to complete them. Being mindful is something which will keep me on track, but last year made me aware that I need to push beyond my limitations and extend myself a little bit more. I did do that that with my new job, in a different organisation, doing things I haven’t done before.

I will be participating in a Crochet along, inspired by Tony who undertook a Knit along last year. This will involve crocheting snowflakes, which I can see popping up as Christmas decorations on my Christmas tree :).

I have also signed up for  the Year of Ethical Fashion, coordinated by Pip from Meet me at Mikes.

I want to move more, and get back into cycling more and running more. The cycling is a challenge as I‘ve got to learn how to ride without falling on my side when I struggle with unclipping myself from the bike :).

I also want to fit into a whole range of dresses I have in my wardrobe, so I will be continuing to exercise more regularly, be mindful of what I eat and continue to cut the crap from my diet.

I also want to engage more. I am a sucker for signing up to things, but not really engaging with people much after that. I will have to push myself to be a bit more and chat, go to meetups or lunches, and really step out of my shell.

The first thing though that I have to do is to get ready. I’m on holidays and today we’re off to Tasmania! We’re going over on the ferry and driving around to Launceston, Hobart, Port Arthur and Coles Bay, to name a few places. Maybe my first challenge will be to blog it!


I’m tired.

It’s the end of a personal tumultuous year, in which I changed hours at work, then resigned, started a new job and lost a family member. It was a year of huge learning curves, as I left a job after being there for 10 years to work in a new role in an entirely new library sector. Miss BG started school and it wasn’t an easy start for her, with my increased hours and her teacher being unwell at the start of the year, which resulted in a few behavioural issues. I also learned just how selfish and self-absorbed people in my life can be, which has resulted in a number of terse email exchanges, texts and phone silence.

When the proverbial shit hits the fan like this, I retreat. Sometimes it’s just physically into my bedroom, and other times it’s just being quiet, and lurking in the shadows. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, it’s just if I start talking, all the frustration and anger and sorrow will erupt and I won’t be able to hold it back. And I don’t like when that happens, as I upset people, and myself.

It hasn’t been all bad though.

I also saw my children grow up in so many ways, will celebrate Mr BG’s success at a pop festival in New York (fingers crossed his visa is approved), and have become more mindful in getting healthier and fitter through watching what I eat and being more active. I have also found my new job, while busy, is rewarding and I feel valued. My new colleagues, near and far are also quite nice too :).

I just wish my brain would switch off sometimes and I could sleep more easily, that kitchen and laundry fairies really existed and that I had enough leave to take off to cover school holidays. I don’t ask for much do I?

The tribe has spoken…

View this post on Instagram

The tribe has spoken. ..#tripnyc

A post shared by Steph (@stephmcg71) on

Thanks to everyone who has commented, on Twitter, on the blog and voted on my poll. A special mention to my niece who threatened not to speak to me until Christmas 2023 if I didn’t go :).

My leave from work will be without pay, and has been discussed with my boss. As there are a number of variables (band members, possible tour date in San Francisco) we can’t start booking, but visas need to be done and places to visit need to be planned. Any tips and suggestions will always be welcome!

Moments of time

My new job has meant that I have more time for my gorgeous Mr and little BGs. I can spend time with them in the morning, rather than skulking at the back of the house to get ready for work, drop the kids off to school and pick them up after work. I am home at a more reasonable hour and rather than do a mad rush in helping Mr BG get dinner ready, I can linger for a moment, and have a conversation about serious things like what’s happening on Doctor Who before doing a mad rush in getting dinner ready.

What has happened is that there is less time for this blog. My thinking time on the train has dried up, and when I am at home I am occupied with the usual things like getting tea on the table, listening to reading, trying to keep on top of the washing, and maintaining a modicum of hygiene in the kitchen and bathroom.

I have also found that working full-time in a new job that is challenging and different (after being in the same place of work for the past 10) takes a lot out of me. I find waking up in the middle of the night, pondering over things I need to do and ought to have done, mulling over lists of tasks to do and generally worrying. My headspace is full enough without my blog, and all the energy I would have expended on writing is channeled into emails, phone calls and attending meetings.

Hence my lack of blogging. The only reason why I am able to write this is it’s Sunday afternoon, the washing machine is chugging away through the first of many loads of washing and everyone else is watching TV. It’s a brief moment of time for myself where I can sip a cup of tea and bash away at the keyboard.

I am hoping for more moments of time, to finish draft posts  and to keep on finding things to say!

What’s new bookgrrl?

I’ve resigned.

I have given four week’s notice from my position and have accepted a 12 month position at Australian Catholic University. It’s a position that allows me to be based at any of the six campuses ACU has in Australia, and I have elected to be based in Ballarat. My commute has been significantly reduced, but I will also be visiting the other campuses in the course of my position.


woohoo!You betcha!

Scared? Absolutely. I’ve been in my role at the Parliamentary Library for 10 years and it will be a BIG leap out of my comfort zone.

I am really looking forward to working with some wonderful people at ACU, and it’s another big step on my library journey.

Thursday’s child is full of whoa!

I increased my hours at work recently but I elected to have a day off from work in which ‘stuff’ gets done. That is today

5.30am- tore myself from a very cosy bed to head to a Bodypump class

7.10am Returned home to a very quiet house and had a shower, and got breakfast sorted. I was going to take a photo of my porridge with rhubarb compote and a dusting of cinnamon, but I was too hungry and gobbled it all up. Likewise with the little espresso coffee I made when Mr BG got up finally (he’s unwell)

7.45 After a brief time perusing stuff online, I ponder breaking the  silence and go to rouse the kids. Master BG comes down and has his Rice Bubbles, followed by his second breakfast of Rice Bubbles (he has just started reading The Hobbit and is quite in tune with the hobbit’s need to eat- he is as skinny as a bean pole nevertheless!). Miss BG is awake but is not as silly as her mummy and chooses to stay in bed.

8.00 Making lunches and supervising Miss BG eating her porridge and peaches.

8.10 The ill Mr BG arises from his bed and makes his way to the kitchen

8.20-8.50 A flurry of activity as kids brush teeth, wash faces, get dressed and hair is done, bags are packed and hustled out the door. Kids are dropped off at school and I then head to…the supermarket!

9.30-10.30 Supermarket shop done I head home, drop off the groceries, put a load of wash in the washing machine then head back to school. I help out for an hour with the Preps answering such questions as “What’s your name?”(Steph)  “Why do you wear glasses?” (Because I used to read in bed at night and my eyes went bad) and “Why do you have a gold tooth” (Because I didn’t brush my teeth very well)

10-30-11.00 head to Wilsons, the fruit and vegie place, whereupon I slip and fall flat on my bum after slipping on a mushroom. Quelle embarrassment. Half the staff come rushing over and eventually the manager comes out, apologises and I have to fill in an incident report. I’m fine, thanks to padding the only thing bruised was my pride.

11.00 Wash out, wash in, tea consumed, beds made and I catch up on some much reading of blogs and news

12-2.00 Lunch and a spot of Game of Thrones watching (I have a backlog of Season 3 and no, I have not yet gotten up to Episode 9). I also do a spot of crochet while watching the PC.

2.00-2.30- Doctors appointment with Mr BG.

2.30- 3.30 Tea, another load of washing put on and dinner popped in oven before I go and pick up kids from school.

4.00-5.00 Head out to laundromat to get clothes dry. I don’t have a dryer and not enough drying space for 3 loads of washing. Miss BG comes out with me and we head out to get some extra bits and pieces.

5.00-6.00 Arrive home and with Mr BG’s help, peel some vegies for dinner. Kids are bathes and pyjamaed and dinner of lamb stew is served

6.00-7.00 Dinner eaten, clothes sorted and put away, school  books read and I call my mum (most important task of the day)

I didn’t do everything on my list. The microwave wasn’t cleaned and the vacuuming and kitchen floor not washed, but can do tomorrow. Ballet stuff for Miss BG will be done Saturday.

I’m definitely not a lady who lunches on her ‘day off’ :).

Happy blogaversary to me!

Four years ago today I registered with WordPress and started this blog.

In that time, I have completed a Masters, seen my children grow and start school, gone overseas twice, and seen my time at work increase. I’ve blogged about op-shopping, recipes, learning, cats, my kids, my husband, my studies, libraries, reading, work, my extended family and lots of books.

I managed to keep a travel blog of my trip last year, on the go, thanks to free wifi and a tablet.

Through my blog I have also met quite a few lovely people who have said very nice things about my blog and who will often themselves be writing and sharing their words and thoughts, which is awesome.

I am not sure what is around the corner, but it may possibly involve more yarn and yarning about stuff…

View this post on Instagram

Noro at Morris and Sons #2013pad #happy365 #melbourne

A post shared by Steph (@stephmcg71) on

I feel very fortunate to be finally doing something that I have always wanted to do- to write and to be read.

Thank you. xo

Mini BG

Here is a photo of me when I was 5. It was the day of my fifth birthday and my mum had dressed me in a pink crochet dress. The crochet had stretched over the years, as it was originally created to fit me as a two year old.

me on my 5th birthday

My mum, bless her, had kept a number of clothes belonging to my sister and I and passed them on to me for miss BG. This is she wearing said pink dress.

Pretty in Pink

It has stretched a bit and it’s missing a ribbon which was worn around the waist, but it’s cute to see her in something I remember wearing :). As a little person, she loves dressing up in mum’s clothes (and shoes and makeup), and this was one thing she could wear which remotely fitted her.

I don’t remember what I was like at that age, and my parents are somewhat vague on the matter. Was I as headstrong, funny,  needing to be cuddled, annoying, and lovable? I do look at her and wonder, how much of me is in her? She is a delightful puzzle and one I will continue to decipher…