What are you Missing?



“What are you missing?” has been asked of me, off and on, for weeks now.


Yesterday, a friend from Sydney phoned, and the same question was uttered.


I thought for a moment, and decided that negative thoughts might just conjure more of the same, so instead, told my friend what I was enjoying.


Many things came to mind, but my first reaction was art. Until galleries re–open I’ve been able to indulge in the many artworks we have hanging at home. Our house is full of them.



A selection



A selection


My mind then went outdoors. Our daily walks along the beach at Albert Park and South Melbourne, especially when the sun is setting, are definitely a highlight.



And, when out, I quite like wearing a mask. I feel protected, and in some strange way, I like being hidden!



I also love coming across wonderful, inspirational footpath drawings



I also told her that it was great that I had extra time to finish off transcribing my Mum and Dad’s letters to each other during the War, between 1943 and 1945. I had started these a couple of years ago (wrote an article in the Almanac in 2018 https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/70-year-old-letters-come-to-life/) and when I first put fingers to the keyboard there were over 500 letters.



And now, two years later (even though I didn’t work on them in 2019) there are just 50 left to type



As we chatted away, I told her about many other aspects of coronavirus life that I was enjoying:


Seeing so many happy kids and their families revelling in their neighbourhoods and parks


Receiving smiles and hellos that weren’t there before


Greeting people on their verandahs, enjoying their morning coffee or evening glass of wine


Hearing of or reading about any positive story in the media about compassionate and caring people


Learning that the pollution levels have decreased world–wide these past months


Feeling happy for the fish that have been able to survive, free of the fishing line


Being relieved and somewhat surprised that footy, and sport in general, hasn’t really come into my thoughts, even though my lifetime habit of reading the newspaper backwards hasn’t left me


Knowing that our large extended Courtin family is safe and well


Knowing that Marshall is safe when he’s with me


Knowing that, at some point, I’ll be able to go to a café and occasionally to a pub for a meal


Meanwhile, with my favourite ice cream shop still open, I’m really enjoying my weekly visits to Messina, in Chapel St. This is definitely an essential service!


And, perhaps, more importantly, with millions out of work and the ramifications of that too sad to ponder, I’m so grateful that I’m one of the very fortunate ones. I can still work my three days a week, have no mortgage or debts, and can more or less do as I like.


How lucky am I!


Oh, how could I forget to actually mention the Swannies!


I’m REALLY looking forward to being able to drive to Sydney again – whenever that might be. I love driving, especially long distances, and especially knowing that the trip involves my beloved footy team. So, I’ll patiently wait, however long it takes. And when I do, it will be the first trip along the Hume, proudly displaying my newly acquired Victorian number plate.



About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com


  1. Ross Treverton says

    Does the ‘5’ refer to the number of premierships Jan?
    Great to hear you and Marshall are doing okay. And our beloved Swannies continue to be unbeaten this season!
    I’m enjoying a walk around Albert Park lake on the mornings when l drive in to work, and walking from South Yarra station to Southbank on those days when l train it. And l especially enjoy stopping at the magnificent Bobby Skilton statue where I park the car. I also have taken time to stop and read the various monuments which line St. Kilda Rd. from the Shrine to the Arts Centre. Over the years l have driven past them thousands of times…
    Coffee in Domain Rd.,
    Time to listen to 3AW on the headphones.
    Healthy, happy kids.
    Lots to be thankful for.
    Cheer, cheer…..

  2. Hi Ross, good to hear from you!
    Number plate is an interesting one: When I relinquished my NSW SWANZ plate, I tried for a variety of versions of Swans for the Vic one. Swans gone years ago, as was Bloods and Swannies.

    Then I wanted 1 SWANS. No such luck. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 SWANS all gone too! But, miracle enough, 5 was still available. Of course I grabbed it.

    Many people have wondered about the 5. Several asking if Heeney is my favourite, or Ryan O’Keefe or perhaps, Johnny Rantall!

    No, not 5 premierships either – what would I do when we win another one?!

    I see the 5 as ’05 – enough said!

    Glad to hear you’re well and still working, and parking your car at Lake Oval. Yes, we often walk around the lake and little goosebumps appear when I see the grandstand, and remember all those years ago!

    Take care, and keep enjoying!

    Go Bloods!

  3. Sharryne Daley says

    Fabulous read Jan as always. Love the positive and sense of gratefulness that oozes throughout your article, it is truly uplifting and reminds us that there are so many simple things that we should be thankful for. I am looking forward to when Mal and myself can enjoy spending some quality time with both you and Marshal again, it is always so enjoyable. Those walks along the the beach in Albert Park and South Melbourne would be really something special and that photo of the sun setting would be a real sight to behold. As I look forward and happily see myself sitting in the crowd again,cheering on our Bloods somewhere down the track, I also practice mindfulness and focus on the now and very things I have to be grateful for which are truly abundant. Much love always Jan from your Number one Fan


  4. So love the glass half full and treasuring the simple and beautiful things in life. Onya Jan. X

  5. Rulebook says

    Great stuff,Jan love your optimism and I look forward to Dylan Stephens debuting knowing Dyl I am sure that he will hit the ground running when the season re starts

  6. I’m with you 100% Jan. Have loved seeing more dads in the park with their kids when the pubs/tabs/work is closed. There seems to be a lot more family engagement in simple fun. I’m not missing AFL footy but am grateful we didn’t lose golf courses for long in WA.
    The economic damage will be brutal for many but I hope there will be some long term rebalancing of priorities.

  7. Just read your Almanac article. I detect a major mindset shift to the positive side of the happiness scale.
    I’m so happy for you. In relation to how one manages life’s challenges, I gravitated to Abraham Lincoln’s words to his wife regarding a particuilar issue: “You may lighten the burden or render it intolerable.”

    Footpie in 25 sleeps!

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Fantastic, positive piece Jan! Your art collection is super impressive, you should be charging anyone who enters your house. All the best to you and Marshall.

  9. Lynn Baker says

    Great to read such positive thoughts Jan – as usual so eloquently put .!
    I too get goosebumps when walking around the lake and seeing our old grandstand …. brings back so many memories .
    Keep well Jan and hope to see you at the G or perhaps at the Riser before years end .
    All the best to you and Marshall .
    Lynn Baker

  10. hey Jan. how delightful indeed are your ponderings of good stuff in your life and all around you!
    each moment in the day there is always beauty all about….
    ‘you have sunny glasses’. thankyou for your uplifting story!
    sis polly x

  11. Julie cattlin says

    Well, Jan dear, that is a really beautiful story. So much to do! We are truly blessed in Melbourne at the moment with our wonderful, clear blue skies, which is not everything, but truly something. Strange but it feels like Spring to me, even though the falling leaves tell me it’s Autumn. So keep enjoying everything you’re doing. Sounds pretty much a full life to me.
    Much love Julie.

  12. Marie teague says

    It all sounds rather idyllic Jan. How lucky so many of us are. And to see the positives is so uplifting. Thanks Jan. Love Marie. X

  13. Thank you everyone for your kind words. Keep well and keep enjoying life!

  14. Daryl Schramm says

    Thank you Jan. Can especially resonate with PB’s response.

  15. Thanks for your comment Daryl. I agree with PB’s response as well.

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