Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

US Kath and Kim

We just looked at about 10 minutes of the American version of Kath and Kim.

Omg, I hope youse guys don't think THAT'S what we've been getting hysterical about over here for the last six years!

Unrecognisable and not even slightly funny.

Monday, December 15, 2008

WHA-A-AT???

An Iraqi journalist throws his shoes at George Bush, and furthermore calls him a dog. George says, ‘I don’t know what his beef is.’

I’ve got a rough idea myself, haven’t you?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The first swim of the season

What heaven, what bliss!

It happens the same way every year: the weather starts hotting up, the tourists start swimming (and people in Melbourne) – while I say to myself, ‘Hmmm, not quite hot enough yet…’ Then suddenly there comes a day so swelteringly hot and humid that I think if I don’t get in the water RIGHT NOW, I’ll die or at least go crazy.

When I do get in, of course it’s a shock – so cold. So I dunk myself straight away and in a few moments the temperature’s perfect. After that I don’t want to get out; I stay until my fingers and toes are thoroughly wrinkled. I’m not talking ocean; never could cope with surf. I grew up in Launceston, at the end of an estuarine river, and swam at river beaches. Tasmania is a very small island, so I did sometimes get to ocean beaches too, but never became at home in the waves.

Here, I have both. What we call the river – really a creek – is just at the end of our street. It’s an estuary too; just a little further on it meets the Pacific at a vast, sandy beach that Andrew and I love to walk on in the cooler months. From our house we often hear the thunder of the surf. I might not care to swim in it but I do love the sound! It would take me three minutes to walk to the river, ten to walk to the beach. But I don’t want to cool off only to get hot and sweaty again walking home, so I don’t; I go in the car.

I’m not one of these bronzed Aussie sporting types, I’m afraid. Even in the creek, I don’t go in for strenuous swimming. Forget the Australian Crawl, all that overarm and turning the head from side to side while spitting out great gouts of water. No, I do a bit of lazy side-stroke, and mostly float happily on my back, gazing at the sky and the tree-covered banks. Sometimes the trees are hung with ibis; sometimes pelicans cruise the sky or the stream. There’s usually a few insistent gulls skittering over the sand.

Today there were no birds. It was a very windy day. The tide wasn’t full; you could see that it had come all the way up to the rocks and then receded a little. The narrow strip of sand was still wet. But it was high enough, and it was flowing upstream. I like it better that way. The current is strong in the middle of the creek, and I prefer to be swept a little way upstream than down towards the sea. Today the wind was blowing the water into rapid waves, and being an estuary it always tastes salt. I could kid myself I was in the ocean after all.

When I arrived, there was a man lying immersed in the shallows and a young couple just entering the water while their tiny dog stood guard on the bank. I passed some polite remarks. I think the man in the shallows didn’t speak English; he looked foreign, and smiled rather blankly at everything I said. The youngsters were friendly, but were more interested in kissing and canoodling in the water than chatting to me, so I tactfully turned in the opposite direction to give them a bit of privacy. After a while, first the man left, then the couple, and I had the whole creek to myself. Lovely.

And by the way, with the weight I've lost the bathing suit looked a lot better today than it did last summer! Then, I used to wrap a towel around my waist as soon as I got out of the water – not only to get dry, also to hide. Heck, I used to wear it before I got in the water, too, just walking from the car to the edge of the creek. I’m still a fat lady, but today the towel was merely for drying myself; I strode in and out of the water without feeling any need to cover up.

THE FLOWER HEALER: my review from Goodreads

The Flower Healer: Flower-essence Medicine for Healing The Flower Healer: Flower-essence Medicine for Healing by Barbara Olive



My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautifully produced book, this is lovely to both the eye and the touch. It explains what flower essences are and how to use them, in accessible language, drawing on the author's own experiences to illustrate the points she makes. This section is simply a lovely read, as well as informative!

Then there's a detailed, illustrated account of the flower essences stocked by Essence World, her shop and clinic in Eton, England – a comprehensive range of essence systems, lesser known than such systems as Bach and Australian Bush Flowers, and very much deserving to be widely known. (I have personal experience of some of them.) It includes a list of physical symptoms, possible emotional causes, and the appropriate essences to use. There are even lists of essences for cats and dogs, and a special section on working with children.

With a reading list, an excellent index, and a directory of the essence manufacturers whose ranges are included, 'comprehensive' is the word for the whole book - that, and 'beautiful'.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

100 things to do before I die

Transmemed from Capt. Lychee's LiveJournal

Bold those you've done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (as in walking up it – not a crampons and oxygen tanks deal).
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (Rode in a speedboat, saw gondolas)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30.Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (different birthplaces of different ancestors)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (again, a bit of a scramble, not the real sporting deal with equipment and all)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen a geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
(twice! neither of which I acquired nor wanted)
48. Gone deep sea fishing (as observer)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (don’t suppose Tai Chi really counts, does it?)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (except we call it Girl Guides)
62. Gone whale watching (don’t have to go far, only to local beach just down the road)
63. Got flowers for no reason (both got for self and received from others)
64. Donated blood,
platelets or plasma
65. Gone hang gliding
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (won’t Edinburgh do?)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
(as passenger)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (had some of mine published and also been the publisher of other people’s)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (lots)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (well, outside only)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (if a fish is an animal)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one (quite a few)
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

(Why one might wish to do some of these beats me!)