OUT OF THE OFFICE aka Get a life

No-one has ever received an I’M OUT OF THE OFFICE office email from me. That’s because I am never out of the office (see footnote) and if I was there is no-one to replace me. Poor me (please send flowers)


Thank you for this great little infographic

Truly – How is that for work life balance?  Not an impressive badge of honour to wear and I don’t recommend it to anyone. Not that this is new.  Its now fifteen years since I worked for some-one else and all I can say is I am glad smart phones didn’t exist then because even when I left the office (which was usually a 90 hour per week gig) I never relaxed nor was I much fun ( and kudos to my family and friends for putting up with me)


Now I am not alone in that there are plenty of people kidding themselves who email back within 5 minutes of me receiving the original OUT OF THE OFFICE message. I will kid myself here and say that’s because I am really important.

Just to show you the how the connected world is keeping us very connected I am finding LinkedIn a great tool for identifying potential Young Farming Champions. To reach as many people who can identify rising young stars I have been building up my LinkedIn connections. Last Sunday I sent 30 Connect with Me requests to agribusiness professionals at 5.30am. Sixteen of these people had replied by 7.30am. Does the agribusiness sector ever turnoff – me thinks not?

So 2014 is the year I reach my ideal weight and get an office assistant and a life work balance, meet new exciting and energizing people and have fun

You will be pleased to know I got off to a reasonable start and I did however manage to find some me-time over the last 3 weeks to relax

That involved making good use of my Kindle iPad app and my new Apple TV ( love it) catching up on all the movies I’ve missed in  the last 3 years ( I mean who doesn’t go to the movies for 3 years – pathetic Lynne) and spending lots of idle time on my front verandah reading


Love my front verandah – all it needs is me and a glass of wine

Now my friends all tend to have very diverse reading habits with only my sister having a similar penchant from crime novels to me. So where does one go to find book and movie recommendations and inspiration from like minded souls. All I can say is thank god for DR Google

Search “Best Books for 2013”

Search “Best Crime Novels for 2013”

Search “Best movies 2010-2013”

and a special thanks to all those bloggers out there who share fav movies and books

So I am going to do my bit (note to book publishers – please send your appreciation reward to my “get a life” fund)

Here’s my list of recommendations and BTW I do read other things beside crime novels but starting with Crime Novels ( note some a lot darker than others )

Now I read anything by Jo Nesbo with Police being a highlight for 2013, Michael Robotham ( Watching You was good ), David Baldacci (note if you are like me and over the Danielle Steele genre – BEWARE every now and then he brings out one of those gut wrenching power of love and determination and miracles story), Robert Goddard, Michael Connelly, Karin Fossum, Nicci French ( loved the trilogy Blue Monday, Tuesday’s Gone and Waiting for Wednesday – bring on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I say), Camilla Lackberg and a fair bit of Jodi Piccoult stuff.

I love Ian Rankin, am bit over Val McDermid, still fond of Elizabeth George, don’t mind a bit of Grisham every now and then and there are lots of great Scandinavian crime writers of the ilk of Stieg Larsson like Arnaldur Indridason, Ava Larsson and Hanning Mankell

My 2013 highlights have been


Police by Jo Nesbo ( me thinks this has been his best yet)


The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion is an absolutely hilarious, feel-good novel. I read this on the plane.  How embarrassing just couldn’t help myself from laughing out loud and if you have ever heard me laugh you would know what I mean. Whilst the ending is a bit lame I cant wait for the movie.

Thriller with a nice mix of humour

When Will there there be Good News by Kate Atkinson –  I love her sense of humour, ( not for reading on the plane) her sharp eye for the quirks of human behaviour and tales of dramatic events with unexpected twists

The Cuckoos Calling by Undercover J.K. Rowling, aka “new” crime writer Robert Galbraith is a very entertaining move into a new crime novel genre for Rowling.

Very Very dark ( for me anyway)

The Gillian Flynn Trilogy with Gone Girl being the highlight


Sister by Rosamund Lupton  This is a confusing emotive and compelling crime novel that really appealed to me yet I couldn’t get into her next novel Afterwards

Historical Fiction

The Aviators Wife by Melanie Benjamin

This is the story of the relationship between Anne and Charles Lindberg told from her perspective. This book was beautiful. It was raw, and heartbreaking in places; but beautifully done.

A review of the book I related to

It was real. It never tied itself up in a neat little bow. It was complex, and deep. It was unfair, and unresolved. It was life. I liked the stream of consciousness narrative. I fell in love with Anne, the main character, as she copes with the unexpected ups and downs of marriage, fame, and life, while trying to find herself, and figure out what it means to be a woman.

Motivational –  don’t normally read this sort of stuff  but then again it was a year of doing things I don’t normally do

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In Lean In,

She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

A Way Through – The Rick Farley Story by Nicholas Brown and Susan Bowen ( I will write a separate blog post about this book )

Bit of fairly serious Chick lit

In a Moment by Caroline Finnerty is a very emotional read, be prepared to go through all the stages of grief, Denial, Anger, Depression and then Acceptance.

A Beautiful Death  by Fiona McIntosh sees drop dead gorgeous DCI Jack Hawksworth and his team venture into the murky world of human organ trading.

Still on my list of Must Reads is

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, who is of course the bestselling author of truly wonderful and gut wrenching The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns,

Paris Wife  by Paula McLain, which according to the reviews is in a similar vein to the Aviators Wife and a

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Love to hear what your fav book is and why


When getting a life means I venture beyond my front veranda for more than 24 hours apparently the most polite and most popular Out of the Office email should look something like this

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office from [DAY, DATE] to [DAY, DATE] and unable to respond at this time.

I will review your message following my return on [DAY, DATE]. If you need immediate assistance, contact [Name, phone number and email address].

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Your  Name

I personally would prefer

“I have been kidnapped by my friends until <insert date> . They are holding me hostage, but treating me well. A condition of my release is my full surrender of all technology and complete cooperation…I will respond as soon as I am home safe and sound.”

PS Victoria I know you said you couldn’t be friends with anybody who didn’t like Canada by Richard Ford. Please make an exception for me. Whilst this book got rave reviews (you have plenty of new found friends) your current friend Lynne just found this book was all dark and no light – so depressing far too much ‘dirty realism’ for me

Victoria please remember I am with Marlene Dietrich ( and I am very, very confident you are too)

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

One thought on “OUT OF THE OFFICE aka Get a life”

  1. Reading is the best thing my mother ever encouraged me to do as a kid (it did help that our television blew up and my Dad absolutely refused to buy us a new one) and I think that was a pinnacle in my life. House work was low on my Mums list of priorities her nose was constantly buried in a book LOL!!!! I now have my little E reader and I fall asleep every night living in a world of fiction which I love…….as for having some well deserved time off Lynne you deserve it!!!!! Call me if your serious about an assistant, am currently on hiatus from employment due to commitments to my kidlets X

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