Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Language of flowers

Thursday night was our Bookclub's monthly get together to discuss The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

5 out of the 6 of us loved it - yay!!! always a relief when you're the person who has chosen the book. The 6th thought the story was a bit contrived - also a comment on some of the reviews online - and yes there were a couple of convenient turns but then I didn't think they were too bad.

What we did enjoy most about the book was the meaning of the flowers and how they were incorporated into the storyline.  

After finishing the book one of us saw a wedding and checked out the bride's bouquet only to see that she was carrying yellow roses which mean infidelity. Not a good choice for your bridal flowers.  J resisted the urge to take the flowers away - haha. 

I must check with my sister if she thought of meanings when she made my bridal bouquet - a traditional tussie mussie.

For dessert I tried something new - a triple chocolate mousse cone - mmm tasted good but maybe next time a little bit more Baileys in the middle layer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Thanks to Duchess Declutter for making my choice for bookclub easy.  After her recommendation I borrowed "The Language of Flowers" from the library and after reading it ended up buying my own copy. 

The blurb:-

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey what words could not, from declarations of admiration to confessions of betryal.

For Victoria Jones, alone after a childhood in foster care, it is her way of expressing a legacy of grief and guilt.  Believing she is damaged beyond hope, she trusts nobody, connecting with the world only through message-laden bouquets.

But when a mysterious man at the flower market responds in kind, Victoria is caught between fascination and fear, and must decide if she can open herself to the possibilities of happiness...and forgiveness.

Bookclub is at my house next week and I'm looking forward to hearing what the girls thought of the book.

There's also a great section at the back of the book which tells you what some flowers and herbs mean...must say I'm a bit concerned that basil (which I love) signifies hate.  I'll have to make sure I don't share any from the garden with friends.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here they come...

We are having the most wonderful spring weather at the moment - sunshine, gentle breezes (perfect for wet washing) and sprinkles of rain.  The garden is really starting to bloom.

Here come the agapanthus.

and the hydrangea

and apples

and last but not least some tomatoes.

I must admit that I find it all very exciting walking around the garden and finding new arrivals.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Anything for peace and quiet

Having young dogs in the family is just like having young children again - they always want to play when all you want to do is sit down for 5 minutes. 

Having spent my afternoon doing housework, washing and ironing all I wanted to do while tea was cooking was just sit down and read a couple of chapters.  So when Lulu discovered some packing from a box I thought I would just leave her to it...

Did I get any reading done?  No I was too busy watching Lulu having a lovely time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One less lunchbox

We went to Tom's Year 12 Graduation last night.  It was wonderful in it's simplicity.  I didn't see him get his certificate because I was actually trying to take a photo.  I did such a great job, didn't I?

I just love dark photos of people's back.

So with Tom now finished school it means that there is one less lunchbox in our house in the morning.

As Tom's been on study leave and then exams he hasn't needed to use his lunchbox.  So today is the first time it's made it out of his bedroom for a little while.   Mmmm it was delightful...

Anyone for strawberries?

How about a cheese and bacon roll?

Thank goodness he didn't leave it any longer to clean up his bedroom.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sending love to Enchanted Moments

My lovely friend over at Enchanted Moments has had some very sad news this week.  I'm not very good with words at times like these, so Suzanne I'm "posting" you flowers from my garden with all my love.



Thinking of you and your family.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Choose your weapon

I don't know about your place at the moment but as soon as we open the door in come the blow flys.

We've had so many that I've had enough.  They drive me nuts and the dogs are scared of them.  Not to mention that they turn each and every windowsill into a fly graveyard.

So I've had enough of just using this

and I hate anyone using this, especially the males, none of whom know when enough is enough.

So this morning I headed off to the local hardware shop and upgraded my arsenal...

A bug zapper for the back door and

a bug catcher for inside.

Of course we haven't had one fly since I turned them on so I suppose you could say they work.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I really do love the idea of having chickens.  I see them on other people's blogs and my friend has some "girls" and sometimes I'm even lucky enough to score some eggs.

We have room for some chickens to run around the garden and a bird avairy that would easily convert to a hen house.  Sadly Lulu would think they were for chasing and I'm sure they would all end up dead from heart failure.  So I'll just have to be content with this chicken, courtesy of my sister.

Isn't she a sweet girl - just like the homemade strawberry jam.  I really did miss out on all the crafty genes in our family.  I suppose that's what happens when you come out fourth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I think I can...

The little red engine was chuffing along when she came to a great big hill.

She said I must chuff and never stop.
I must chuff, chuff, chuff till I get to the top.

I think I can, I think I can,

I think I can...

And she chuffed right over the hill.

Yes, you guessed it, it was another hard
day at the office.

Monday, October 31, 2011

All talk and no action

Michael and I have been watching the purple carrots grow and grow and grow.  On Sunday we decided that it must be time to harvest the crop - well all 5 of them.

We were expecting to be super impressed with our harvest...all I can say is it's a good thing we weren't hungry.  This was the biggest -

and only one we harvested.  Let's hope the orange carrots are a bit more successful.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"The elegance of the hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery

A new book for bookclub and already I'm putting off reading it.  Two people I know have already read "The elegance of the hedgehog" and neither had kind words to say about it.  The Mum at work said she refused to finish reading it for her bookclub and Judy in our bookclub said we would definitely need an extra week to get it finished.  Hardly inspiring reviews are they?

So what's it about -

"Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building on the Left Bank.  To the residents she is honest, reliable and uncultivated - an ideal concierge.  But Renee has a secret.  Beneath this convential facade she is passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her self-important employers.

Down in her lodge, Renee is resigned to living a lie; meanwhile, several floors up, twelve year old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid a predictably bourgeois future, and plans to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday.

But the death of one of their privileged neighbours will bring dramatic change to number 7, Rue de Grenelle, altering the course of both their lives forever."

Now do I start this book straight away or do I finish the book I'm half way through and loving?  Actually I might see if the library has an audio of "The elegance of the hedgehog" then I could listen to it...might be a tad quicker that way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What makes a good book?

Cricket season has started and I must say I'm looking forward to reading a few books  watching the boys play again this season.

What makes a good book in your opinion? 

I know one of my friends likes to see growth in the characters. Others have said it needs to be well written, original, have an exceptional storyline, make them laugh, or entertain them and I'm sure there are many more reasons.  Others can only read "real stories" which I find a bit sad, all those wonderful books that they miss out on.

When I attended our friend's book launch it was interesting to listen to people talk about the book's themes and characters.  They picked up on things that I just glossed over as I read and I must admit I ended feeling like I was a bit of a "shallow reader".

I've finished reading "Book of lost threads" by Tess Evans and for me it fulfilled my criteria of what makes a good book.  I really really enjoyed it.  I started Saturday morning and finished it Saturday night. 

I was there, I could see the characters and hear their voices.  I felt their sadness and shared their joy.  I knew exactly what their surroundings looked like and could smell the rain coming. I wondered how I would feel if I was Lily or even Finn.  (Some of you would like the fact that Lily was a keen knitter of tea cosies....)  I also was able to imagine the rest of the characters' lives after I had finished the book. Of course I married a few of them off...

And best of all....I felt like I had been somewhere else while I was reading it.  What more can you ask? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Not much sleep

I knew what sort of night it was going to be when I saw all the stuff wrapped around his chest.

 After Richard's "little turn" as our friend has dubbed it, the doctor is getting everything checked, including getting him checked for sleep apnea.  So after a quick visit to the local hospital Richard came home all geared up for a night of monitoring.

Richard hates feeling closed in, in any form, so when I saw him all taped up I thought we'd be in for a good night.  He then told me that he also had to have sensors on his face and a couple of tubey things up his nose - wonderful.

I elected to sleep on the spare mattress in the lounge knowing how much he would fidget and hoping that I might get a little bit of sleep.

Fidget is an understatement and finally at 3.30am we both got up had a little drink of water, opened the sliding doors for some fresh air and had a chat.  I gently reminded him that if my Mum could do it at 80 years of age then he could too...back to bed we went.  I slept and he woke me up as soon as he was able to unhook everything.  I couldn't undo the velcro belts quick enough for him.

It's a 2 week wait for the results and let's hope that we never ever have to have that done again.

I know the dogs are really going to miss him when he goes back to work next week but luckily for them Tom starts his Year 12 study break on Monday.

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