Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #23

What’s top of my mind: Why the news is so sensational.

Ok, so the share market went down today. A lot.

I was watching 9 News last night and the way they were reporting it – you’d swear that boatloads of Vikings had swarmed in and raped and pillaged everyone’s Superannuation accounts. According to them, everyone’s retirements are fu#*ed.

Seriously? Get a fu#*ing grip.

I’m not saying that things won’t be rough for a while. But it won’t last forever. The doom and gloom reporting was eyebrow-raising.

Still, having said that, I think I’ve made the right decision to do CRT work at the moment. I have my contingency plan for a bear market, but having some income trickling in while a bear market is happening within the first 5 years of my retirement seems to be a very good decision.

Where I’ve been: Wedding dress shopping (again).

This time it was at a place in Oakleigh. They gave each of us a glass of pink champagne while we were there.


Where I’m going: another wedding dress expedition.

Izzy tried on a dress that she loved. Months ago. At a place on the other side of the city.

Despite having tried on MANY other ones, apparently the Deer Park dress is “the one”. She’s booking an appointment this week to go back.

What I’m watching: Peaky Blinders (season 6.)

A kid who was in Tom30’s year level at school is in this season as one of the major characters. I’ve been meaning to watch this show for years – it’s been on my Netflix watchlist since I first bought a subscription.

When I heard James Frecheville was in this final season, I finally started watching. Now I’ve only got 5 episodes left to go.

What I’m reading: More Anne Tyler.

I’m halfway through The Accidental Tourist and I have Clock Dance waiting by my bed. I read The Accidental Tourist decades ago but I can’t remember much about it, so seeing as I’m reading as much Anne Tyler as I can lay my hands on, I picked up this novel again.

I SO love Tyler’s writing. She’s a master at understated prose.

What I’m listening to: The Teacher’s Trial.

Many of you would have heard (or heard about) the podcast called The Teacher’s Pet, which investigated the disappearance of Lyn Dawson, a married mother of two little girls. This happened 40 years ago. At the time, her husband was having an affair with one of his 17 year old students. What a delightful man he must have been. #sarcasm

This podcast was riveting, especially when it started uncovering the toxic predatory culture of the 1970’s secondary school scene on Sydney’s northern beaches. It was gobsmacking.

Anyway, he’s now on trial for the murder of his wife Lynette. This new podcast is following the trial, week by week. I only recently found out about it so I’m playing catch-up.

What I’m eating: See the photo at the top of this post.

I decided to make not only bread rolls for lunches, but also ham and cheese scrolls. I think the boys’ll like ’em.

What I’m planning: my upcoming Sydney holiday.

Yesterday I realised that in less than 2 weeks’ time I’ll be heading off for a week in Manly Beach.

I booked it a couple of months ago when it dawned on me that unless I booked something from my timeshare before June 30, I’d be losing lots of points I’d paid for.

Not on my watch!

Since then, this holiday has been comfortably filed in “the future” part of my brain. Looks like I’m going to have to get cracking and work out some fun things to do while I’m there. I’ve already done the Bridge climb the last time I was here – 12 years ago when I brought the boys with me.

Surely there are some good things to do in Sydney? Any ideas?

Who needs a good slap: Flight Centre.

It’s been a week since I walked to their shop in Southland, only to be told that they only accept appointments. WTF????

Anyway, Olga (the woman monitoring the line outside the door) asked me where I wanted to go, then asked me to email all the particulars of Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Santiago, and Easter Island and she’d get right back to me.

It’s been a week, as I said before. I think we can all agree that I’ve been patient. I sent a follow-up email this morning and have heard nothing all day. Maybe it’s time for another travel agent.

(Starting to wonder if this holiday is cursed…)

What has made me smile: the dogs when they saw Dad.

While Mum’s in the rehab hospital with her fractured pelvis, I’ve decided to have Dad around for dinner every week, mainly to give him something different to do while he’s Home Alone.

On Monday night he opened the front gate so quietly that the little woofs didn’t hear him. The joy when I opened the front door and they realised that someone they like was there!

They love it when their people come over.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Maureen

    In the last 10 years I’ve lost so much respect for what passes as news. Yes the markets are down, but unless you just landed on the planet recently, I believe recessions, bear markets, and corrections are part of the business cycle (8th grade social studies?) Even a simple thunderstorm is presented as a major calamity. Sigh.
    Your baking habit is admirable. Those rolls and scrolls look amazing.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I was lying in bed and I heard Tom30 put a couple in is lunchbox. Made me smile.

  2. sandyg61

    No wonder people go into panic mode if they believe the headlines. We live off our super investments and are not deprived.
    I only use Flight Centre to pick up brochures. For the past 5 years I’ve used the agents at Helloworld and found them to be really good. They were very helpful to us with cancellations and refunds for our overseas trip during Covid, even paying one refund from their own pocket as it was taking a long time from the French cruise company. Go in and have a chat and sus them out.
    In Sydney I love the Rocks area and being near the water. My sister and I are planning to do Vivid next year and always go to Manly and walk to Shelly Beach. We also enjoy fish and chips at Watsons Bay or heading the other way to Balmain for coffee.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Well this is a comment jam-packed with good tips! I’ll definitely check them out.

  3. Andy Todd

    Off the top of my head some top tips for the Manly area are;

    – Walk/bus to North Head and walk around the park.
    – Visit the Quarantine station (near to North Head).
    – If you’re feeling energetic the Spit to Manly walk is great – should take about 2/3 hours if the weather’s nice.
    – Take the Manly Ferry into the city, obviously. I’m still happy that this is my commute when I go into the office.
    – Around the city take a walk around Circular Quay.

    There’s probably more but hopefully that’s a good starting set.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Thanks! Looks like I’ll have to get a new battery for my Fitbit – can’t let all those steps go to waste!

  4. Andrew

    We are just back from a few days in Sydney. Vivid will have finished by the time you are there. I can’t really recommend churn them through Captain Cook Cruises but as we left the boat at 6.30, the area of Barangaroo and King Street Wharf was alive and buzzing, like I’ve not seen in Melbourne pre pandemic.

    We’ve seen most of Sydney’s famous beaches, but a half hour trip on a bus to Maroubra Beach was well worth it. Absolutely lovely.

    I am not keen to recommend as it may not be your thing, but we loved our one hour comfortable train trip to Hawkesbury River Station and taking the Hawkesbury River Mail Boat lunch cruise.

    While a friend drove us, there is a train and when we last visited, the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains was just wonderful. The views… Rug up. It is cold in ‘dem der hills.

    We always take the ferry to Manly, but you are there already. Food in Manly on the Corso and Styne is very expensive cafe food. Fusion Point in Wentworth Street is not expensive and rather nice.

    Again from past visits, Paddington Reservoir Gardens was interesting, as was the Sydney Observatory.

    The walk from Watsons Bay village to South Head is good, as is a visit to Bradleys Head and the old Quarantine Station on the north shore.

    There’s always plenty to see and do in Sydney. All you need is an Opal card for public transport.

    • FrogdancerJones

      This is so helpful – thanks! I can see myself looking to the comments section each day for ideas on what to do.
      I’m driving up, but I’ll be getting an Opal card, though a friend said you can also use a credit card instead.

  5. Urspo

    Fun reading this.
    How many times have I been through inflation, bad times, recession etc. only have them pass?

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