plus some book stuff.

Hi ,

How are you doing? Hanging in there?

Me? I'm fine.

I'm completely fine with the extended lockdown in Melbourne, making it the longest lockdown of any city in the world. I'm totally fine with remote learning continuing into term 4. I'm absolutely fine with the lack of personal space, stalling creativity, isolation, watching people I care about struggle and small businesses close their doors...

Okay, so I'm not fine.

There are cracks appearing. I was doing well until Sunday's announcement, which apparently everyone was expecting—except me. When I raised this with my husband, he said, 'Yeah, you've been in denial for weeks. That's how you cope.'

He said it without any judgement, probably because denial is better than wine for breakfast. Though I might need to test that theory.

Hubby has been regularly checking in on me and the kids while living large at work (he gets to go on the freeway and everything). Sometimes for fun we have entire conversations using only gifs...


Sure, I can be a little dramatic, but it's kind of my job.

I've noticed the teachers have been prioritising mental health over learning this term, which is great. Lots of mindfulness, yoga, and game-based learning.

Last week the kids baked cookies for Father's Day as a class. I thought virtual cookie baking might be ambitious—and I was right. 

"We're doing this together as a class," Ms Teacher announced, slipping her apron on. "Step by step. You'll only need your parents help getting them in and out of the oven."


"Ovens should be pre-heating. Does everyone have their large bowl and wooden spoon?"

"Is this okay?" asked a boy, waving his barbie-sized bowl in front of the camera.

"Ah, is it large?"


"Then, no."

"I don't have a wooden spoon" came another voice.

"Mum wants to know if we can we use gluten-free flour for the recipe?" asked another.

They hadn't even gotten to the ingredients yet.

"Did everyone take their butter out of the fridge this morning like I told you to?" Ms Teacher asked.


Sighing, Ms Teacher said, "If it's cold, you'll need to put it in the microwave for ten seconds. Make sure it's a microwave safe bowl." She paused. "Actually, don't put anything in the microwave until you've checked with a parent."

That was the first ingredient sorted.

"Now," Ms Teacher continued. "We add half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of white—"

"We only have white sugar," said one boy.

"That's fine," Ms Teacher said, keeping the smile in her voice. "Just use one cup of white sugar."

"I dropped my egg," said another girl.

Ms Teacher's smile faltered. "Do you have another one?"


Rookie mistake. Always have a backup egg when baking with kids.

"I'm allergic to eggs" came a new voice.

The bowl Ms Teacher was holding fell a few inches. "I sent out an email to your parents with alternatives for allergies. Do you have chia seeds?"



"How much flour do we need?" asked one boy.

"One and a half cups."

Muffled voices ensued.

"Mum wants to know what that is in grams."

On and on and on it went. One girl made it all the way to the end before announcing she didn't have any trays to cook them on.

You'll be happy to hear that most of the kids had cookies by the end of the session.

Now, writing update.

Breathing Water is with my proofreader, then it's over to my arc team before being released into the world.

Hubby is reading it at the moment. He told me one bit was really funny.

"Did you laugh out loud?" I asked.


"What about that weird nose exhale thing you do in place of laughter?"


Clearly, he didn't want to pump me up too much ahead of the launch.

Make sure you add Breathing Water to your "Want to Read" list on Goodreads...

Okay, who's ready for...

Reading: I've just started Pippa Grant's new release, Real Fake Love. Perfect if you're looking for a funny, lighthearted read *raises hand*.

Watching: Finished season two of Hannah and loved it as much as the first. Apparently there's a third season coming (yay).

Listening to: The Carnivore's Crisis with Rachel Khoo. This is an Audible freebie if you're a member.

Over-indulging on: The treats my hubby got for Father's Day. What's his is mine, and because I'm the one at home with the kids, they're mostly mine. And yes, I ate the cookies too because I'm a survivor of their baking.

Something that made me smile: This vid imagining that first post-pandemic flight and this one of a K9 with his handler

Okay, that's it from me. Wherever you are in the world, keep well, safe, and sane.

Until next time, happy reading!

Tan x

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Tanya Bird

PO Box 7304, Point Cook