December 2023 Newsletter

So Uni has finished for the year. After a massive November of assignments and exams, I crashed and retreated to the couch to watch cricket and hug my teddies. In exciting news, I passed both of the subjects that I took. One Trimester down three to go. There has also been some socialising and hosting of the Gemini Club.


Professor Brian Cox: Symphonic Horizons with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

I kicked off my university holidays and December with Brian Cox and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing if you ever get to opportunity to see it go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mara and I even wore matching dresses for the occasion. For more things about the ideas behind it all check out this Big interview with Brian Cox or if you want something a little small this Short on SSO YouTube. The whole concert is available on ABC iView. The program is available here. Also, someone has put together a playlist on Spotify

North Sydney Symphony Orchestra December Concert

My final performance of the year saw a concert at North Sydney Girls High School where we performed a variety of music. Check out the playlist on Spotify that I put together. We also premiered a new piece by our principal clarinetist. For more information about the concert check out the website.

Harry Connick Jr.

So to finish off the year of big star concerts that I have been wanting to see, i.e. Elton John, Sting and Paul McCartney. I went and saw Harry Connick Jr. It was brilliant the band was great, he is such a showman and feels like someone you want to hang out with. The music was great and we even got (I Could Only) Whisper Your Name, which is my favourite. There were Christmas arrangements, standards and Harry’s compositions. It was an amazing concert.

Noël! Noël! – Brandenburg Choir and Orchestra 

Noel Noel: More information about the concert can be found on the Brandenburg Orchestra website and in the program. There is also an album released in 2017 available on Spotify which will give you an idea. It was a great concert and I think it will become a new Christmas tradition. Talking about Christmas.

Christmas Celebrations

So I headed down to Bellambi to my cousins for Christmas. There was sitting on the couch but also some outdoor activities such as an electric scooter ride along the bike path. We also started a new tradition, Jólabókaflóð. It’s an Icelandic tradition where everyone gives and receives books on Christmas Eve then sits around a reads them for the rest of the day. Very very cool. Christmas was good lots of spoiling of each other and eating.

My other Christmas tradition of Christmas Lego was on full display yet again this time with a new lodge, dunny and ice skating lake. Check out all the photos and the video here


  • Cosmic Chronicles: A user’s guide to the Universe by Fred Watson Australia’s Astronomer-at-Large – Just such a brilliant book full of extraordinary science with so many laugh-out-loud stories. I can’t recommend it enough.
  • The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves – Vera Stanhope Book 5. I love the trip into her world. This time investigating a murder where her neighbour is the prime suspect after a body turns up at a writer’s retreat.
  • A Curious Incident by Vicki Delany – Book 6 of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. This time the murder of a Garden Club member. Gemma and Jayne get up to mischief and yet again solve it before Gemma’s boyfriend Detective Ryan Ashburton.
  • Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed by Nancy Atherton – Book 3 of the Aunt Dimity Series. My first one though. This was the book I read for Jólabókaflóð. It was a mystery without any dead bodies for a change. It did have soft toys and the ghost of Aunt Dimity who helped solve the mysteries. I will borrow some more of these in the future.
  • The Untitled Books by CJ Archer – Book 3 of the Glass Library series. I listened to the audiobook from the library. This time Sylvia, Gab and the gang track down the murder of a bookbinder who recently sold a book that has magic paper. We learn more about Sylvia’s magic and history along the way to finding the murderer.

These took my total of books for 2023 to 28 books. 2024’s goal is 26. If you want to follow me on Goodreads here is my profile


The cricket season is now in full swing. The men’s Big Bash has been on. The Pakistan Men have been playing Australia in the tests. Australia’s women had a successful tour of India winning the T20 and ODI series but unfortunately losing the only test. Also been watching the Super Smash from New Zealand, the NZ equivalent of the Big Bash.

There was also an outing to a talk called 99.94 Slides at the State Library of NSW. All about the cricket-related items that live in the collection. There were papers, books, photos, paintings and even some trophies. It was a great talk. I also met someone who has the best job in the world. A curator for the NSW cricket collection.

Things from the web

Oldest Australian Cookbook from the SBS website and on trove

Amazing moments

I had an amazing moment. On Christmas Day I received an email from Herman, who is a Dutch Artic guide, who visited Jan Mayen a week or two after me and found my luggage tag which had fallen off on the beach. He is now using it as a tree decoration. Epic given the very small number of visitors. Here is my post about visiting Jan Mayen.


2024 will see me going back to uni and doing more maths, doing orchestra concerts, sewing and a couple of cruises. Looking forward to it.