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.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A hard day at the office

Back to the office today after 2 weeks off. 

There were dragons and reindeers to ride...

Cars to drive, balls to roll...

The roller coaster was rockin'...

The ladybird was looking pretty...

We sailed the seven seas...

The bees were busy in the garden...

There was time for some cooking
and of course a cup of tea,

and at the end of a busy day in my office there was time for a very real piece of Sam's birthday cake.

Hope you have as much fun in your office
as I do in mine.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The object of his affections

Julius and I have the same morning ritual, I make a cup of tea and sit in the chair opposite the family room door and he finds a ball.

We open the door wide and while reading some blogs I throw the ball and he chases. Back and forth, back and forth.  Every so often he has a drink and just so no-one else, Lulu, can steal the ball he puts it in the water bowl.

There is no doubting his dedication or is that obsession to the game...

Julius doesn't care how wet, slimy and soggy the ball is as long as I throw it.

Michael asked awhile ago if Julius would eventually stop being sooooo keen to play ball and I said yes when he gets a bit older.  A few days later he came home from a friend's house and said they had a 9 year old blue heeler and he still drove them nuts wanting to play ball....great, lucky us.

If Julius could talk I'm sure he'd offered these words of advice:

Keep your eyes on the ball and never give up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Look what I found

My sister and I went op shopping on Tuesday.  A lovely day.  I bought some new blue and white bowls - what a surprise and as usual my sister found lots of treasure. 

In the last shop Shirley found a small shadow box - not the best quality but pretty good.  As she was umming and ahhing I talked her out of it.  Next day she left a message on facebook telling me about the great ideas she had for it overnight.

I went back today...gone...but on the upside for me I did manage to find these.

They cost me the grand sum of $2.50 for six.  The pattern is "Christine" (my middle name) and is the same as the cutlery canteen Mum and Dad bought us for our wedding present.  I couldn't believe my luck.

Michael was with me and he took one look and said "don't expect me to use them, they're filthy."  He didn't believe me when I said they would clean up with a little bit of help from some Silvo.

I didn't even have to use any elbow grease and I'm sure they'll now meet with Michael's approval...I think we'll have an icecream sundae for dessert tonight.

Flowers are always prettier when they come from your own garden, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"A spot of bother" - Mark Haddon

It is Mandy's choice this month for bookclub so we're all reading "A spot of bother" by Mark Haddon.  He also wrote "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time" - a book I started but never finished. 

One of the good things about bookclub is that you do feel obliged to finish reading each month's book.  There's only been one book I didn't complete - well I read the start and I did read the end but just skipped over the middle - and that was "The boy in the striped pyjamas" by John Boyne.  I couldn't read it once I realised that it was about children and concentration camps.  Apparently I read the worse bits and the middle wasn't too bad, but back the new book.

The blurb says:

George Hall doesn't understand the modern obsession with talking about everything.  "The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely".  Some thing in life, however, can't be ignored.

At 57, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels, listening to a bit of light jazz.  Then Katie, his tempetuous daughter, announces that she is getting remarried, to Ray.  Her family is not pleased - as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has "strangler hands".  Katie can't decide if she loves Ray, or love the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by all the planning and arguing the wedding has occasioned, which get in the way of her quite fulfilling late-life affair with one of her husband's former colleagues.  And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip and quietly begins to lose his mind.

I've read 82 pages so far and everything the blurb says has happened, so I wonder what the other 305 pages are going to be about???

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A fly on the wall

Happy 18th Birthday Tom

We had a family lunch last Sunday as we knew he wouldn't be up to one tomorrow.

He had a leisurely start to the day - nothing surprising there - he's not an early riser.  He spent the afternoon up at the cricket nets with his brother and some friends and tonight - well he's "going down to the city".

He's never had a fake id so tonight is his first night of hitting the clubs and pubs in the city.  He's going with lots of friends so I'm not overly worried - well you know - sort of am but he's gonna do it anyway.  I do know one thing tho...

I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An inappropriate book

Richard gave me a little scare on Friday.  Came out
ready for work and then flopped in the chair with "I don't feel right".  Not at all like him - so googled heart attack (amazing how your mind goes blank) and called an ambulance.

Fortunately my mind stopped being blank and I managed to make all the right phone calls, in between banging on bathroom doors telling the boys to hurry up, running outside to look for the ambulance, putting dogs away, moving furniture, gathering up stuff I might need, oh and checking on Richard.

I even remembered to grab one of the books I'm reading as I figured I might have a bit of spare time at the hospital.

We spent the day in Emergency, inbetween going off for tests, and late in the afternoon Richard was taken off to his room for an overnight stay.  Fortunately all his test results are good and hopefully this was a once off warning about work vs happy life.

I did have some time to read but when I pulled my book out I realised that maybe it wasn't the time and place to read it.

Oops...when your husband's hooked up to a heart monitor a book about what happens to your soul when you die could be considered a little inappropriate.

On the upside he's been given a week off to recuperate and I'm on holidays so I can keep a close (actually very close) eye on him.

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