Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?

Well, much as I’d like to say that I’ve been to London to visit the Queen, it’s unfortunately nothing close to the truth. I staged a little disappearing act a week or so ago … my apologies for the sudden departure. It took me a little by surprise too.

For no particular reason and yet for too many little reasons to count, I found myself withdrawing into my walnutty self again. That’s OK though, sometimes a little walnut journey is good for the soul.Β So what have I actually been up to? Well, here’s a few little visual clues for you …

Some clues as to what I've been up to.

While the last couple of weeks haven’t been all sunshine and puppy dogs, this gathered collection represents some of the more wonderful things that I’ve been doing. Things are often nicer when they’re part of a collection I think.

Appreciating … the simple things that make me smile or bring a little cheer into the world. Like cut flowers and the colour yellow. The floral selections shown above are from a large bouquet which only cost $6 and they lasted an age.

Reading … each day on my wonderful kindle (which is perfect for carrying on the daily commute). My current book of choice is ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak …Β Have you read it? I’ve been meaning to read it for ages and ages. It’s a page-turner and I think perhaps it will ultimately be a heart-breaker.

Working … out at the gym again, and I’ve never felt better. Well, that’s not entirely true … my aching muscles are complaining, but I already feel stronger and happier.

Playing … around with some lovely new makeup. It’s all just a bit of fun really, but I’m sure there’s something to be said for the little lift provided by a nice shade of lipstick or the perfect black mascara.

Chasing … away the black clouds with cute little brooches like my smiley little thunder cloud brooch. He’s so adorable, I don’t believe anyone would be able to resist his cute and cheery face.

The downside to being missing-in-action is that I’ve missed spending time with lots of awesome people, including each and every one of you. I’ll spend the next few days catching up on your blogs and your news, but I just wanted to drop in here first and say ‘hello’. How have you been? Are you keeping well? Would you like me to send Baxter the dog or Jones the cat to your place for a furry cuddle? (I don’t think either of them would mind).


  1. Erika Lee Sears

    Tracey! I have missed you and I am so glad you are back. I recently bought a juicer and it has changed my views on vegetables and healthy eating. I will have to read that book I am in desperate in need of good books.

    Send your fur babies this way- we can always trade? my puggers would cuddle you to death.!
    Welcome back! E

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – Thanks for your warm welcome back … it was a strange couple of weeks filled with thinking and reflecting. I always feel much better when I’m back catching up with the blog world. πŸ™‚

      Oh how exciting about your new juicer … I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun and healthy times with that!
      As for doing a fur baby swap? Yes, let’s make that happen … I’d love to meet your little puggers! πŸ™‚

  2. Lucent Imagery

    I’ve been thinking of you often and wondering how you are! I love your open posts. I adore your photo and your summary of the good things you’ve been up to. I just finished reading Provenance by Laney Salisbury about a guy in London who infiltrated the art world with fakes and inserted fake documentation into the major art gallery files. It’s a true story and quite a good read, but you really find him aggravating towards the end! I’ve just started WikiLeaks by Luke Harding. I didn’t pay that much attention to it when it all exploded in the media. I didn’t realise the guy was Australian! I wish you a wonderful weekend lovely lady. Know that you are missed in blog world but please don’t translate that as pressure to blog when you don’t feel like it. It’s a pleasure to be your guest when you do. x

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lucent Imagery – Oh you are so sweet … I never really expected to go off on such a long break from the blog, but sometimes that happens. The only downside to that is that I miss catching up with all my lovely readers.

      Provenance sounds like an interesting story, I’ve often reflected on that original vs fake concept and whether one automatically deserves higher praise or whether it doesn’t really matter … and then you’re on to reading WikiLeaks, gosh you’re covering some interesting books at the moment! I’ve just started reading ‘I Capture the Castle’ (I’m sticking with fiction for the time being).

      Sorry I’ve been so slow in replying to your lovely comments, your kind words are always appreciated. xx

  3. Gabrielle Bryden

    We all go on walnut journeys (that’s a great expression) sometimes – good to see you again πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – So true. Sometimes those walnut journeys are long overdue, but it’s always nice to come back and get out of the shell! πŸ˜‰

  4. Andrew


    Missed your blog posts, but understand the need for a break. Going to research the ‘The Book Thief’.

    All the best


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrew – Thanks for your kind words … sometimes those breaks give us the chance to catch our breath and sort those other life things out. I enjoyed The Book Thief, but it seems to be a book that gives a mixed reaction for some people. Take care. πŸ™‚

  5. ejorpin

    I think the walnut-y moments help keep us sane for when we don’t have our shell?
    I’ve been hitting the gym again this past month too, and like you I am loving it! It is cutting in to my on-line time but I am happier for it (I used to boot up the lap top first thing in the morning, now the first thing I do is go to the gym!) and it’s forcing me to be more disciplined and focussed with my on-line time. Plus, if I’m getting too bored at the gym there’s always Twitter or Instagram on my phone…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Emily – That’s a nice way to look at the whole walnutty concept … I have been feeling a little like I haven’t had much of a shell against the world lately … thank goodness that time seems to have passed! πŸ™‚

      It’s great to be back at the gym, and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it too … though I’m not quite as good at you in getting there first thing in the morning, I’ve been doing the lunch-time thing as it’s a nice way to break up the day.

      Have a great start to the week!! I’m loving all your travel photo updates!! πŸ™‚

  6. Monica {bohemian twilight}

    well it sounds like you’ve been having a good time of it. i read the book thief and enjoyed it, although felt it was a little dumbed down and the metaphors got a little silly sometimes, until i discovered it was really a YA novel, so all good. the Mr is reading it now. lovely to hear that you’re appreciating the little simple things. have a wonderful weekend.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Monica – Yes, it was good to be gone … but I feel it is better to be back. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder about the importance of simple pleasures. Thanks for the welcome back! πŸ™‚

  7. sofia

    send me Jones please πŸ™‚ that would be so great πŸ™‚ and yes you are totally right, the lipstick power is stupefying.
    Have a great day !

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Sofia – Haha, I’m sure he would happily come to your place for a visit my dear … he strikes me as a rather keen traveller of the world. πŸ™‚

      I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful weekend and very soon a fantastic start to the week. xx

  8. Kylie

    Hello lovely. I have missed your posts. Hello to Mr Jones and Mr Baxter (and your other Mr as well!).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hello there lovely Kylie – Gosh, just look how far behind on everything I still am?!?! Oh well, better late than never I suppose … the various men of the household thanked you for your hello … and Jones didn’t even mind me waking him up to tell him so! πŸ™‚

  9. Valerie

    Glad you’re back! I can relate to the surprisingly sudden need for quiet. I will be chatty Kathy on my blog and have so so much to say, and I don’t see it coming when I suddenly feel… quiet. I should know better because it’s an obvious cycle!

    It’s odd, this need we have (I have it too) to explain our absences, to justify them, to announce them. I always announce a digital break, as if everyone in the universe is paying attention to me. Ha! So I guess what I am trying to say in my terribly obtuse way, is that maybe we should feel more comfortable disappearing from time to time, knowing our loyal readers will be waiting when we come back!

    p.s. I need to check out The Book Thief. I’m apparently the last person in the universe to do so.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Valerie – Thanks for the welcome back … I’m glad I’m not alone in suddenly having that feeling of needing to ‘close shop’ for a while … it’s strange, but one of those phases to just go with I suppose.

      I always mean to tell people when I’m going to be away, because I don’t like people to worry … and I will apologise for not staying in touch, but I don’t think we should ever feel that need to apologise for an absence – I agree with you on that front.

      PS. I hope you’ll let me know what you think of The Book Thief, I thought it was rather lovely.

  10. woolf

    so glad to see you back! but if one needs to be a walnut, then so be it! to hell with all else, sometimes we need to go nuts.

    to tell you the truth, i’ve been non stop stripping paper from too many walls (three floors of hallway), and as i was doing so, i was thinking of you, occasionally, since you were thinking of renovating, and i advised to keep at least one room ‘sane’. well. hell’s bells. i’m glad these five days of stripping are over, and daren’t think of the fact this is phase one. now the glue needs to come off…

    ps – i wΓ s in london, i didn’t see the queen either… ha ha ha..

    yes! i saw kindle everywhere on the tube. if it wasn’t the ad, then it was the real mccoy. they seem to be well spread over there too… i wonder. and if that book you’re reading is a page turner, how about that on your kindle? just wondering ’bout that too… tee hee.. i’ll say i love your kindle wrap!

    am glad you’re keeping well. i see joy in your collection. X

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Woolf – Thanks for your kind words … haha, and I love your ‘to hell with it’ approach to those walnut moments … goodness knows I sometimes feel like I go a little nuts in more than one sense of the word! πŸ˜‰

      It certainly sounds like you’ve been busy with all that paper stripping … that sounds like a huge job!! I agree, best not to reflect on it being only phase one … one step at a time I think. I hope getting rid of the glue wasn’t too painful or long a job (though I suspect it might have been).

      The kindles seem to be spreading … I think they’re great for a commute as they’re so compact, and yes I’m even used to ‘turning the pages’ on the kindle now! πŸ˜‰ … I love my kindle wrap too, it offers the perfect amount of protection in my handbag. Have a great start to the week!

  11. Camila Faria

    Hey you! I’ve been missing your posts! That cute cloud brooch is really irresistible. So sweet!
    Have a great weekend! β™₯

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Camila – It’s nice to be back in the land of the online. I’ve missed you too!
      I think the cloud brooch is super sweet too … I just couldn’t resist his sweet smiling face.
      I hope your weekend is treating you well. xx

  12. Galit

    Hello dear one! Happy you’re back although I can totally relate to taking some time off for a little walnut journey as you said.
    You were in my thoughts!

    P.S. Will look for β€˜The Book Thief’ although I’m not sure I’m capable of a heartbreaking book again… (just finished Never Let Me Go and still recovering my soul…)
    P.S.S. Love everything about your little things collection!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Galit dear – Your messages and tweets are always so welcome … and I’m glad you understand the need for a little walnut journey from time to time … I think sometimes the world just catches up with us and it’s necessary to have a break.

      I know what you mean about not wanting to read too many heartbreaking books in a row … I just finished ‘Never Let Me Go’ too, so it’s nice to be on to something a lot lighter (I Capture the Castle).

      PS. Thanks for your kind words about my little collection … it’s all about finding joy in the little things. xx

  13. bobbi

    good to have you back, but I believe you did a good thing. breajs are necessary, even when you have fun doing something. I was thinking about a kindle, but I don’t know…I am a book lover, I like to have physical contacts with my books, I like the smell of he paper…isn’t all this lost on a kindle?

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Bobbi – It’s lovely to be back too … though I do agree with you about the need for a break every once in a while.

      As for kindles, they’re great for when you don’t want to carry big bulky books with you – so for me they’re great for commuting to work or for travelling. But I’m a book lover too, and will never completely go away from printed books. The kindle text is just like reading a piece of paper, so it’s been a smooth transition for me.

  14. danica

    time away from the blog world is always refreshing i find…even if it is overwhelming when it later comes to catching up with what’s been going on. as for me, i have been busily editing my thesis, so if you would like to send either baxter or jones over to keep me company i would greatly appreciate it.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Danica – Yes it is good to have a break away from the blog, and I think you’re right … because while I’m currently feeling a little overwhelmed in having to play catch-up, the break itself was ultimately rewarding.

      I hope your thesis editing is going well … I just can’t imagine how much work / stress is involved in that! Best of luck!
      I would happily send Baxter and Jones to you for some company and furry cuddles … they are very good at both things! πŸ™‚

  15. Debby

    Welcome back Tracey, I’ve really missed reading your posts.
    Glad to hear that you are OK.
    It’s really good to have a break sometimes and just ‘do’ things without writing about them. I used to get mad with Ahmad for videoing all the time on holiday because I felt that he was recording everything, but not actually taking part and enjoying it. I think sometimes blog writing can become a little bit like that, but It’s amazing how after a short break you soon miss catching up with everyone and get back into the swing of things.

    A nice cuddle from Baxter would be perfect just now…I’m allergic to cats so I’m hiding from Jones…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Debby – Thanks so much for your lovely welcome back … I’ve missed visiting your blog too! πŸ™‚
      All is well in my world, I think this year has just been a little busier and crazier than most … I’m so looking forward to taking a proper holiday later in the year! πŸ™‚

      It’s true about what you said about living an experience vs ‘watching’ an experience … it reminds me of someone who once said that it’s better to be a participant in life than a voyeur … so true!!

      Oh gosh, well I’ll only send Baxter your way for a furry cuddle … I’d hate for Jones to give you an allergic reaction.
      Take care. xx

  16. Lynne

    What a great term walnutty, tho’ I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling that way.
    Loved the Book Thief.
    I love cut flowers too. You had some on your walnutty post where you said your tutor didn’t like them. But I must agree with you, I find them cheery.
    Glad to have you back.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lynne – Haha, I’m glad you like the ‘walnutty’ term … I think it perfectly sums up that need to hide away for a while. I’m very glad to be back now … The Book Thief was so sad, but so beautifully written …

      Yes, that’s right … one of my science tutors hated cut flowers, she felt they were a waste … I think they’re rather wonderful and create the right amount of cheer in the home! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the welcome back!! πŸ™‚

  17. Kristi

    welcome back. it is fun to slip away every once in a while. x.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kristi – Thanks for the welcome back … I think I just needed a little bit of recharge time. πŸ™‚

  18. tdauntie

    I just discovered your blog about 10 minutes ago when I clicked the link on the Poodle and Dog blog. Well, I’m so glad I did! Your writing and photographs are a delight! I’ve already added the URL to my “top sites” and look forward to enjoying your updates on the blog and on twitter. Thank you for sharing your beautiful corner of the Web. πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi tdauntie – Oh aren’t you lovely!?! (yes!). Thanks for your visit and I’m very glad to hear you’ll be popping by again … Jan from Poodle and Dog blog is one of the bloggers I’ve known for the longest. πŸ™‚

  19. le@thirdontheright

    hello there tracey … think I’m having a rather mixed nut month … oh um yuk .. think i need a gym too πŸ™‚ love your wee brooch – best le xox

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Le – Oh gosh, a mixed nut month? That sounds like quite the challenge … the gym is great for working through lots of issues! The brooch is sweet isn’t it? I just couldn’t resist his sweet cloudy form. πŸ™‚

  20. Sandrine

    Hello Tracey, there is nothing wrong with a little quiet time, I hope that whatever you are going through it is not too difficult…I am glad you have the ability to find things that make you smile and the Gym is a great way to get some happy endorphine through out the whole body (even with those aches :))I was hoping I could have met you at the ABCD meeting there was few weeks ago(Yes I made it!!)…next time! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for your little visit, I am glad you like little bear πŸ™‚
    Take good care…
    Sandrine xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Sandrine – There’s nothing too challenging in my world … I just think with work being busy, long commutes and never seeming to have enough time to just breathe, well it all sometimes becomes a little too much. While a break is good, I do hate missing all my online friends … but still at least I can catch up now! πŸ™‚

      The gym has been great and getting me feeling better and stronger … I can’t wait to be fit again.
      I’m sorry to have missed you at the recent ABCD meeting … I’ll do my best to be there next time my dear … I’m so glad you were able to get along (everyone is so lovely there).

      Have a great start to the week dear. xx

  21. hila

    good to hear from you tracey – I was beginning to worry about you, being the worrier that I am πŸ™‚


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Hila – Well as a natural worrier myself, I know just how you feel. That’s why I hate making those sudden disappearances … it’s much nicer to be back! πŸ™‚

      Have a lovely rest of your birthday! xx

  22. Selma

    I have my walnutty moments too, I must admit, and I think you have coined the perfect description for those blue (or black) moments. I have read The Book Thief and really loved it. It really, really got to me. I am glad you’re enjoying it. Glad you’re back!!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Selma – Those walnutty moments can be unpredictable and do seem to get to us all from time to time … I’m glad to be outside the shell again once more! πŸ™‚

      The Book Thief was a lovely read, beautifully written and yet tragic all at once … I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading it! Thanks for the welcome back! πŸ™‚


    welcome back πŸ™‚ sometimes it’s nice to disappear for awhile.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Elizabeth – Thanks for the welcome back … I agree, sometimes a little disappearing act is good for the mind and the soul. πŸ™‚

  24. Christine

    Welcome back πŸ™‚ I love your list, it sounds like it’s been a week of wonders (along with all the other stuff πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Christine – Thank you! It was lovely to catch up on a few bits and pieces … but then I miss catching up on all the online bits and pieces … haha! πŸ˜‰

      Thanks again for your lovely mailed treats. xx

  25. Susana

    Welcome back! “The Book Thief” is on my to-read list for a while but, for now, I’m reading “Watership Down”. It’d be lovely to read your opinion after you finish! πŸ™‚

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Susana – Thank you so much! The Book Thief was a beautiful read. I thought the writing was thoughtful and while the story tugged at the heart more than a few times, it is a book I’m still thinking about (that’s always a good sign). I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. πŸ™‚

      Gosh, you’re reading Watership Down?? That’s one I have to stay well away from … I don’t do well at all with sad animal-related stories … I turn into a complete emotional wreck.

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