Tag Archives: Happy New Year

Happy 2023 and 10 years of Just So Stories


Greetings one and all !! Why yes, I have been AWOL while it’s been the school holidays. After a pretty shitty year, and still many unresolved issues I needed some recharge time. I’ve done a LOAD of reading – just haven’t actually written the reviews but now it’s looking like it could be time to get cracking. I am also undertaking a course of study this year, plus trying to find some part-time work besides the grind of relief teaching so posts will likely be a bit haphazard :-).

That being said this year marks a decade since I started the blog. I had been writing a few reviews in a small way after being asked to help out a professional colleague – and that started a whole new hobby with publishers approaching me on a regular basis. So I decided to start collating the reviews. Thus, not all of the reviews I’ve ever written are found here but I’m going to dig around to see if I can find some of the old ones – which might be interesting I think.

Last year my stats were about 10.5k views for the year which was great and I’m hoping that the figures will continue to rise (HINT HINT -tell your friends!). To celebrate the 10k+ and the 10th year I’m going to give away a book (at least one) each month of the year. Given I’m unemployed and still got The Kid to raise, these will only be posted within Australia but if you’d like to be in the running – just message me on the post/s as they come up.

In the meantime, I hope everyone had a good Xmas and New year as did The Kid and I – quietly at the beach with our adopted family. 2023 is the Year of Good Things – we all need that I think!

Happy New Year!

  • 2nd year in my role as Head of Library Services and kicked some big goals along the way, with more plans already in the works for the new year
  • The Kid started at a regular school in Year 10 and there were plenty of ups and downs but fortunately the ups came out on top and fingers crossed we are through the worst of the bumpy road and I won’t have to send her to juvie for respite…
  • The Kid has now got a QATSIF scholarship to help out with her senior schooling which is useful
  • The Kid has also joined Surf Lifesaving and qualified as Surf Rescue and Bronze Medallion – big achievement for her! Now she’s out and about on the beach in her red-and-yellow being a caring and competent human bean.
  • I presented (paid!) at a seminar with some very positive feedback from well-regarded colleagues (please for some more paid gigs!)
  • My blog continues to grow – around 10 000 visitors from almost 100 countries- about half from Australia – and somewhere around 150 posts and I also contribute to another highly respected children’s literature blog on a regular basis- thank you to all my regular visitors!
  • Money has got tighter but that just means we get more creative I guess – though raising a teen is not conducive to being frugal it seems – and hey at least we don’t need to spend much on holidays 😉… however…
  • A couple of nights away in Noosa, then a couple more in Caloundra and a couple more coming up in a week or so – our holidays are close by, economic and relaxed
  • Confirmed that you can effectively be a productive teacher-librarian remotely as well as onsite – we got lots done working from home in fact
  • Covid may be the biggest pain-in-the-arse ever but it heartens me to see so many of my friends and colleagues remain upbeat, positive, caring and considerate for others. 2022 may not be shaping up to be any better in this respect but as the damned virus adapts so do we and I have confidence that we, the positive ones, will come out on top over the nutters, doomsdayers and ignorant twats.

That’s pretty much my year in summary – how about you? I hope you and yours are well and safe.

Happy New Year to one and all – wishing you the very best for 2022!

virtual new years

Merry Christmas 2019


Wishing all the lovely peeps who either read my blog regularly or pop in occasionally a wonderful and safe festive season. The Kid and I are now both on holidays after a pretty monumental year all round and are thankful to have some time to recharge. I am about to start my best and last job ever in the New Year as Head of Library at a wonderful school and the Kid goes into year 9.

The Kid gave up horse riding but started Navy Cadets and is loving it – especially after the weekend break-up camp she just had! Winning the Best Costume on Friday’s fun night  for her Morticia was just one highlight with canoeing and water park play as well as her first formal navy dinner. Next year she wants to have a go at drama classes as well so suffice to say that in the past four years her self-confidence has soared. She read her first ever novel – and got the Overall Academic Award at the end of school celebration.


We’re off to NSW tomorrow to spend Christmas with family – please help us pray for everyone’s safety in the terrible fires not only in the Blue Mtns where we will be but all over our beautiful country.

I’m taking books with me (of course!) but won’t be posting reviews until we get back at the end of the month at least.

Thanks for visiting this last  blog post of this decade – and I look forward to bringing you more reviews next year!