Monday, December 24, 2007

Presenting ... Miss Christmas 2007!!!

A very Happy Christmas to you!
I pray that you will be very conscious of God's deep and unconditional love for you as you hear again the wondrous story of His coming to dwell with us.
~ Have a wonderful day of celebration tomorrow ~

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Alexanne decorates the tree

Scatterday S - Week 18

Scatterday S - Week 18
Originally uploaded by dijobbins

This week's offering comes with sincere salutations of the season to all my savvy Scatterdaisies - and is brought to you by the letter S.

Firstly I have a patient's-eye view of a saline drip, taken one-handed with my little digital camera as I lay in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in Cairo in September 2005, suffering from severe dysentery. Obviously the treatment (and the home-made fruit jellies Jenny Bowker brought me) was beginning to work!
In addition - if you can cope - here is a photo of the scar on my wrist, a legacy from an accident when I put my arm through a plate glass door at the age of 4

My favourite soft drink - Coke Zero.

Some sparkling starry sequins.
Our own little Christmas 'star', Alexanne, hanging on the Christmas tree.
A shepherd and his sheep from my Fisher Price nativity set.
And the stable (or shed) with the rest of the nativity figures.

Have a wonderful Christmas - but keep those 'digis' at the ready!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Night Before Christmas - for Quilters

Here is a little poem, composed by that most prolific of scribblers - "Anonymous".
Does the predicament sound familiar??

T'was the night before Christmas, and the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stockings weren't hung, the pantry was bare,
the poor weary quilter was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins had turned into dreams.

With what to her wondering eyes should appear
than a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter
like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese and Bear Tracks,
each quilt was a beauty--even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames
they packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus and checked the next address,
more quilts to be made, another quilter in crisis.
She heard one voice echo as they drove out of sight,
Happy Quilting to all, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Would you like to leave a gift under my tree?

It was fun while it lasted, but now it's time for me to pack it up and place my Christmas Tree widget ever-so-gently but firmly in the wheelie-bin.

Thank you to the 17 lovely (genuine) readers who took the time to send me Christmas greetings and to choose such thoughtful gifts (and choose their wrapping paper and ribbon!) and place them under my tree. I do appreciate your kindness.

However.....I must also thank the 12,000 or so others who suddenly, over the course of the last couple of days, deluged me with unusual gifts and sleazy, illiterate messages - managing to completely by-pass my visitor counter by devious means known only to those bent on mischief. (For all the skullduggery you wrought, you might at least have had the generosity to have registered an extra 12,000 visits on my counter!)

While your many declarations of love and offers to marry me or amuse me in ways I would remember forever amused me, I'm afraid I must disappoint you all by declining to take them up.

I realise this is not at all in the spirit of Christmas - but then neither were your "gifts".

Please have a play with my new toy - and save it so we can all enjoy what you've created!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Scatterday D - Week 17

This week's Scatterday is brought to you in haste by the letter D and the extremely disorganised and distracted Di.

My computer is about to be hurled against the wall unless it gets its act together and starts to think faster - it's slowed to a crawl and I don't have enough hours in my life that I am prepared to waste while I wait for it to create a mosaic for me.

So, I'm afraid it's a No Frills / No Mosaic Scatterday this week.

The categories are:

Sewing - Here we have DMC embroidery cottons.

Vehicle - and here is a Delivery Van that was obligingly parked across the road this afternoon (a bit of a pattern emerging here - see last week's Kombi Van)

Touchy, Feely - and who better than my elderly, but very cuddly, huggable and gorgeous Dog, Chloe. Golden retrievers are such affectionate and gentle dogs!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Christmas Tree kind of day

Our real Christmas tree arrived bright and early this morning from Sydney Christmas Trees carried in by two strong lads who cheerfully set it up in its base and left us to give it a drink - or two.

It's a beauty - 7 feet tall and perfectly shaped, with lots of dense foliage and branches - and the house smells so Christmassy!

Tonight we will decorate it with as much bling, lights, and tinsel as its branches will hold. As usual, my mother has bought a new ornament for each member of our family, with a very special one from Harrods for Alexanne's first Christmas. Over the years we've built up quite a collection, and the children, grown-up though they are, always delight in once again seeing "old friends" from Christmases past.

This afternoon was spent with three generous friends packing sequins, beads, needles, threads and felt Christmas tree shapes into kits to give out at our church's Women's Christmas Craft Morning Tea this Saturday. After a short talk by Michelle Underwood we'll all turn our hands to creating a sparkling Christmas brooch to take home, in one of 3 patterns.

Not something you'd wear every day, but hey, at Christmas I don't think there's such a thing as too much bling, do you?

And Christmas came early for me when Lindi told me I had won (drumroll here) a fat quarter from her stash! Have a look at her pretty, festive blog - it'll get you in the Christmas mood!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boo Hoo.....

Where have all my presents gone? I had 10 lovely, thoughtful gifts under my Christmas tree (see my previous post) this morning. And now they've gone! Who took them? Was it the Grinch Who Stole Christmas? Anyone out there with ideas?

Maybe they only have a shelf-life of a week....

Never trust a Widget!

POSTSCRIPT: It seems the Elves are playing tricks! Now you see them - now you don't! Go figure....
Anyway, I am going to change the dates for this post and the Christmas Tree so they remain near the top of the opening page.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Scatterday K - Week 16

Scatterday K - Week 16
Originally uploaded by dijobbins
It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks.

Upon receiving this week's assignment I sank into a mire of despair. I had an extraordinarily demanding week ahead of me, culminating in hosting a 60th birthday party on Friday evening, and babysitting 8 months old Alexanne on Saturday while having the carpets shampooed at home, and taking her to a wedding and reception.

I'll be lucky to even think straight, I thought, let alone sparkle with original ideas and brilliant examples of lateral thinking like Rooruu and Nola. And the letter K ? - well, I ask you!!!

However, as I plodded through the daily tasks I began to see more and more K items! My spirits rose considerably! By the end of the week I had a veritable gallery of photos to present to you, dear reader, and I was feeling mighty chuffed, I can tell you.

Well, 3 hours spent trying to upload my snapshots to Flickr tonight has taken the wind out of my sails, and at 1.20am I just want to go to bed...

So, with a quiet smile and much relief I hand in my homework for this week.

The first category is Blue Things -
Here I give you a blue Kombi Van, which has obligingly been parked in the street outside my home since Wednesday, a ball of blue Knitting yarn, and a row of blue and white houses which are Keepsakes which the airline KLM used to give to passengers about 40 years ago, filled with gin. Cute!

The next was Dangerous Things -
Everyone knows that a little Knowledge is a dangerous thing, and so I have 2 very aged books, a legacy from my grandmother - "Consult Me" and "Enquire Within Upon Everything". If you were to believe the claims within, with these 2 volumes in hand you could cure most ailments and remove every stain known to man, and much more.

Finally, In Your Neighbourhood -
The park down the hill has a Kiosk, not shown at its best in this rather distant shot, and in the bay beside the park are many, many yachts moored in the marina outside the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. I don't know what to look for but I'm sure at least one must be a Ketch. While I was capturing these shots I also noticed a "K" carved on a tree in the park. There are two Kindergartens in my street, one right next door and one run out of our church hall where I also have my Sunday morning creche. Of course the church - Kirk - is here too, and only a stone's throw from the genteel suburb of Darling Point is the lively King's Cross.

I add the usual disclaimer that I have steadfastly resisted the temptation to look at any of my fellow Scatterdaisies' blogs yet, lest I'm influenced by their choices, and so I might just take a quick peek before I don the PJs and drag myself off to bed. It's been a big day....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Scatterday M - Week 15

Scatterday M - Week 15
Originally uploaded by dijobbins
Hmmm, this week's challenge was a little more thought-provoking than usual, and had me on the prowl for items with which I could do some serious harm.....

TEXTURE - Here we have a jar of Alexanne's favourite baby food, and its texture, appropriately enough for a little tot, is MUSHY!!

WEAPON - Being by nature a peace-loving soul, this one had me stumped for most of the week. In vain I wandered the house looking for a MACHETE, a MALLET, a MONKEY WRENCH, or even some MACE. Then, with the arrival of the first "blowy" of summer, I had it - a rolled up MAGAZINE! You might not think this much of a weapon, but if you were a blowfly I think you'd be seriously impressed by it!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Scatterday T - Week 14

Scatterday T - Week 14
Originally uploaded by dijobbins
Election Scatterday is brought to you by the letter T.

Clothing - Whe I saw this T-shirt a few years ago I simply had to have it - its message always makes me smile! Wonder who paid attention in Latin classes at school and can put up her hand and tell me what it says...

My Purple thing is a Tree. At this time of year the gorgeous jacaranda dominates the landscape, absolutely covered in glorious purple blooms with hardly a leaf to be seen. Here is just a branch from a big one in the harbourside park at the end of our street.

And finally, my Hot thing is, of course, a mug of Tea, brought to me by my DH.

Off to vote now...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Scatterday H - Week 13

Scatterday H - Week 13
Originally uploaded by dijobbins

Posting my Scatterday at the eleventh hour, but at least it's still Saturday!

This week's letter was H, with the categories Human, Toys and Soft.

For Human we have a hand, mine.

The Toy is a little plastic helicopter I borrowed from our church creche.

And for Soft I have a photo of Alexanne, wearing a headband over her fine, soft, whispy, sticky-up, lavvy brush hair. The mosaic has cropped much of it, but I think I can safely predict we won't be seeing curls here.

She's so cute I hope you'll forgive me using her in Scatterday yet again. It's been a few weeks, and if Pennie can introduce her babushkas in 100 different ways into Scatterday, I reckon I can do the same with Alexanne!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Scatterday O - Week 12

Here you are, girls - it's late, but not too late I hope. Lately the weeks seem to fill so fast with the everyday minutiae of life that if it weren't for Scatterday my postings might be a really indecent period apart.

I've deliberately avoided checking everyone else's blogs so there was no temptation to - gasp! - copy from those cleverer than I am. So any similarities are absolutely unintentional and simply show that great minds think alike.

This week's Scatterday is brought to you by the letter "O" and the categories - Breakfast, Shiny Things and Small Things.

In our house breakfast is spelled with a capital "C" (for Coffee!!!!), but I found this carton of delicious orange juice from the Original Juice Co. in my fridge.

When I switch it on my Ott Lite is definitely shiny! even if not in the sense strictly intended here... And it's pink!

This small and dainty pair of opera glasses belonged to my late mother-in-law and I think they're really pretty.

Off to do my homework for next week! I don't want to be kept in after school by the Chief Scatterdaisy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Scatterday A - Week 11

A little early because life has a habit of crowding in on me on a Saturday.

Call me anal (many do) but I do like my Scatterday mosaics to look pretty as well as practical (get a life, girl!) . So this week I'm not greatly pleased with the presentation of my photos. Finding a colour for the borders was quite a challenge since I'm not particularly enamoured of the shades in my photos. Oh well, at least I've done it......

Round things was the category that gave me the most food for thought, and I think best when I'm driving. So it wasn't surprising that inspiration came as I was approaching an intersection! The amber traffic light! I quickly turned down a side street, whipped out my camera, and took up my position beneath the traffic light, taking quite a few shots of that little round amber beauty as the lights went through their sequences. Lord knows what the motorists thought I was doing - but then we Scatterdaisies are getting used to bemused glances, aren't we?

Vegetables was an easy one this week because just about every night we've enjoyed wonderful, snappingly fresh asparagus from our local supermarket where it's been selling at a very attractive price. I hadn't realised how reptilian those heads of asparagus can look until I began my photo session. Just how do you 'style' a bunch of asparagus?

Things that I like the smell of made me think a little. I could have taken a photo of my gorgeous and oh-so-sweetly-smelling Crabtree and Evelyn air freshener which I adore and save for when special people are coming to visit - like any of you!!! However I decided instead to present my Anais Anais perfumed body lotion, a gift from a dear friend a while ago, which makes me feel a million dollars.

I'll try to improve my standard of mosaic next week! Dy and Michelle, please be nice to us!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scatterday J - Week 10

Hmmmm...... The letter J and categories Pointy Things, Restaurants and Sports, eh?

Could our challenge-setters have made our task any more difficult, I wonder?

It never ceases to confound me how, no matter how crowded my week, I can always find time to produce my Scatterday photo mosaic, and this week I've again (only the Lord knows how!) risen to the task.

These pieces of jewellery are rather pointy things - pair of marcasite clips and my Weight Watchers star pin.

Jonah's restaurant at Whale Beach, north of Sydney, was where my step-mother-in-law arranged for the three of us to fly, in a tiny seaplane, for an absolutely outstanding 60th birthday lunch for Boak this year. Here we are, trying not to be too distracted by the spectacular rocks and seascape in the background as we attempt to choose from the menu. I know there's no signage in the photo, so you'll just have to trust me. You do, don't you?

Finally, sport and I share but a nodding acquaintance. However I do own and love these pink-trimmed joggers and you can't tell me they aren't essential equipment for dozens of sporty activities. They may never have been actually used for jogging, but they have pounded the pavements of Rome and Palermo and kept my tootsies comfortable along the way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Would you believe my dear father is 84 years old today? I'd love his secret for looking so young, wouldn't you?

Nothing wrong with his 'puff' either! Happy birthday, Daddy, and we all wish you many, many more.
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Scatterday P - Week 9

Here you go - All three categories wrapped up in one photo!

RED - Alexanne is sporting her favourite red pants.
SWEET THINGS - She's our Princess, of course!
METAL - In her chubby little hands is a Georg Jensen stainless steel pen holder.

Nice, eh?

However, lest you label me lazy, and begin to pelt me with post boxes, poppies, pavlovas, passionfruit, peaches, posts, pipes, and other sundry objects, for not keeping to the rules, here is my mosaic.

RED - An assortment of red packets from my pantry.


METAL - A potato masher.

I'll try to be a good girl next week - but I'm not making any promises!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My birthday

While the actual day was yesterday, the children (Lachy and Merry, Ben and Sunny, and Sarah) arranged a splendid family dinner for tonight - with plenty of pink flowers! - to celebrate my birthday.
The menu was special - Korean barbecue, lovingly and authentically prepared by Sunny, followed by chocolate mud cake and berries presented with great style by Sarah, complete with sparklers. Yummmmmmm!
Thank you, everyone - I've had a wonderful time!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nana and Pa get a visit from Alexanne

Alexanne, Sunny and I enjoyed a lovely visit with my parents - her great-grandparents - today.

When it was time for her to have lunch she sat in this very special little chair which has been in our family for 5 - maybe even 6 - generations. Following on from his father, Pa used it when he was a tiny tot (some 84 years ago) and Alexanne thoroughly enjoyed her little throne! Over the years the chair has undergone many colour changes, and now Pa has decided to paint it pink for our little Princess.
Here is our very proud Pa with his tiny great-granddaughter. And below is an equally proud Nana. What a blessed little girl she is!

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Scatterday F - Week 8

Scatterday F - Week 8
Originally uploaded by
Cold Things - For this one I delved into my photo archives. This was Christ Church, Oxford, on a freezing November morning in 2005, covered in crisp white frost, and enveloped in a chilly grey fog. In spite of the cold was absolutely enchanting!

Signs - Once I started looking, I was spoilt for choice here. Signs on my local shops (Food to Go, Flight Centre, Fresh Salad, Florist), a real estate For Sale sign outside a block of units in my street, and the Ferry Link sign at the bus stop. Couldn't choose one, so I've given you the lot!

The Elements - Fire, one of the four Greek classical elements. A no-brainer! (Gosh, I'm glad the letter wasn't Z!)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Anniversary - and Congratulations!

It's hard to believe, but on Wednesday this week (10th) Lachy and Merry will have been married for a whole year. They wed on 10/10/06, on the 10th anniversary of their first date, in a romantic late afternoon ceremony in a harbourside park at the end of our street, and we had the reception in a marquee in our garden. Happy Anniversary, darlings!

Last Wednesday we were very excited to read an article on Jack Kerouac that Lachy had published in The Australian Literary Review. He has studied Kerouac and his writings in considerable depth over many years, and wrote his BA Honours thesis on him, so Lachy is something of an expert on Kerouac and the Beat writers. What prompted him to write his current article is the publication of the original version of "On The Road".

Here's what Lachy says:
"As you know, I’ve been reading and thinking about Kerouac and the Beats for many years. I wrote my honours thesis on On the Road and Visions of Cody, and Kerouac is one of my major inspirations. The recent 50th anniversary of the publication of On the Road has seen the release of Kerouac’s original scroll – the 120 foot long single-spaced strip of paper on which he wrote the first complete draft of the book in April 1951. The novel we have known as On the Road is actually quite different from the 1951 version, which is more of a memoir, with real names and real events. It isn’t as ‘literary’ as the 1957 version, but in many ways it surpasses it, if nothing else for the experience of that one, relentless, 300 page paragraph. If you haven’t read Kerouac before, or if you haven’t read him in a while, I would thoroughly recommend you pick up a copy of the new edition."

If you are interested in reading his article, click on the link above.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Scatterday C - Week 7

Scatterday C - Week 7
Originally uploaded by dijobbins
This week Scatterday is brought to you by the letter C, and the categories Furniture, Pizza Toppings and Hobbies. A really nice one!

Furniture - My favourite chair, from my bedroom. Of course it's pink.

Pizza topping - A big knob of mozzarella cheese. Yummmmm!

Hobbies - This is a detail from a cross stitch I created of a house we lived in for 10 years. Cross stitch can be so relaxing - though I don't do much these days.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Annie's Birthday

My friend Annie is celebrating her birthday with a very special cake made by her son (my godson) Matthew, aged seven. Clever boy!

His big brother Anthony, aged nine (also my godson!) helped him to decorate it with plastic horses surrounded by a pasta fence, lurid green icing and a Dora the Explorer candle. No, Annie, those are not ants, just chocolate sprinkles!

But the best part was inside! Bright pink and yellow food colouring swirled through the mixture to create a technicolour wave effect! Yummmmmm!!!

Happy birthday, Annie!
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Scatterday W - Week 6

Scatterday Week 6
Originally uploaded by dijobbins

This one really had me thinking.....but I've managed to come up with a few items.

Black Things - There it was, right in front of me - my wireless internet modem!

Tool - Wire brush, a tool a conscientious painter might use to prepare a surface for painting. I hate preparation when I need to paint.

Game - Whac-a-Mole! I've never seen it before either. According to the box players bop a mole on the head as he emerges from his hole in the ground. Seems like a good way to take out one's frustration, doesn't it?!? I could have also shown you photos of "Wizardology" and "Where's Tinkerbell?" - but this looked more fun!

For these last two items I prowled the hardware and toy departments of my local K Mart store, mobile camera phone in hand, and snapped my photos when no-one was looking in case someone bailed me up wanting an explanation for my weird behaviour.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Presentation Night

It's taken eighteen months of dedicated stitching (with just a smattering of "naughty sailor words" when the going became tough) for Moo to create this magnificent cushion to pad the rector's seat in our church. And Boak, as the current rector, gets to have his seat padded first. He looks pleased, doesn't he?

The focal point of the cushion, slightly modified from an original design by artist Angela Lober, is a stylised winged lion, symbol of the evangelist St Mark, set within a diamond, and Moo has well and truly risen to the challenge and made her stitches in the scarlet background so beautifully even, as only an experienced tapestry worker can do.

The presentation took place at a glittering "night of nights" - actually an intimate and relaxed dinner for seven at Edwina's place - and grins and cameras flashed as the long-awaited cushion was finally handed over and the project that has consumed so much of Moo's spare time (not that there is much!) was complete.

Well done, Moo! Congratulations!

What fresh challenge can we find to keep Moo out of mischief now, I wonder?

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The Joys of Spring - Azaleas

Although I do love living in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, I really miss the spectacular displays of azaleas that the North Shore climate produces every spring. I photographed this magnificent specimen at my parents' home at East Lindfield today.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Megan's birthday

My friend Megan had a birthday this week - so four of us went out for afternoon tea to celebrate. Happy birthday, Megan!
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"Shoestring" - An unashamed promotion

My indomitable stepmother-in-law, Joy Jobbins (Twig to her family) celebrated her 80th birthday this month - with the publication of her colourful memoir, "Shoestring". How many octogenarians can make that claim to fame?
Today was the book's official launching, and Joy was the featured speaker at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum's After Noon Talks, afterwards signing copies of her book outside the Gift Shop.

She's doing it all again on Sunday 25th November at 2pm - details on the Powerhouse website. Joy's donation of advertising material and photographs relating to fashion promotion in the 1950s, and The Australian Wool Board in particular, has been very gratefully received by the Powerhouse Museum.

It was an exciting day for all of us, since this memoir has had a gestation of 15 years or more since Joy first put pen to paper, having been polished, nipped and tucked, and promoted along the way by various members of our family of wordsmiths.

A former swimsuit model, and then advertising executive in the male-dominated working world of the 1950s, Joy recounts, in often hilarious detail, how she managed to juggle motherhood with a high-powered career that eventually led to her promoting wool fashions as the head of advertising for the Australian Wool Board.

In "Shoestring" Joy herself admits that the lily is deftly gilded in parts, and to my mind there's just enough embroidery to enhance her tales of fashion, fun, family and a financially-challenged life.

In the best tradition of autobiographers, too, she name-drops with gay abandon! Leo Schofield, Chips Rafferty, Maggie Tabberer, photographers Laurie le Guay, Helmut Newton and Henry Talbot, Sir William Gunn, Robert Helpmann, the Queen's couturier Hardy Amies, Jimmy Stewart, Peter Carey, and Pierre Cardin are just a few of the colourful characters who have crossed her path or been a part of her life.

It's a wonderful book ..... honestly!

And you can read more about the remarkable and glamorous Joy Jobbins and buy your very own copy of "Shoestring" by going to Joy's website.

Or you can buy it from Dymocks and other good bookstores. Just $24.95.

Of course the Princess came along too, and was the perfect listener to Great Grandma Joy's reminiscences. I wonder what experiences life will bring her?

A postscript......
Imagine you are 9 years old, out on an excursion to the Powerhouse Museum with your school class and teacher, and you suddenly spot your Grandma Joy signing books in the lobby. That's exactly what happened to Twig's granddaughter Geena today! Absolutely unplanned, but a real thrill for everyone, especially little Geena.
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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Scatterday B - Week 5

My creation
Originally uploaded by
Favourite Things - So many things to select from here, both animate and inanimate. Blogging, Books, my Bible, my Baby granddaughter, my DH Boak, my quilting Buddies....... Call me shallow, but I chose Bolts of fabric just because they made a pretty picture!

Big Things - This is the big Block of units that looms over the back garden of our lovely 168 year old sandstone rectory. Makes scampering to the clothesline in one's nightie rather difficult!

Shop - Borders bookshop, where I can buy books, my quilting magazines, audiobooks, and enjoy a great coffee. What else could one want?