Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Year End Hodge Podge meme

I will do the longer, more traditional version of this after this meme.

Questions are supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season? 

I have a cat staying with me. He's wonderful. I also had a lovely time with somebody else's family in Tasmania over Xmas.

2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

None and nothing. Christmas is over rated.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?

Yes and yes.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate

I did a bit of writing and finished my Masters. I'm very happy about that. Onwards I say.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

Thank goodness you're over. he're to a wonderful 2018.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I think I have a lot in common with Lorelei Gilmore.

Okay and now for the real questions.

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Finished my master's degree. I went to MONA.

2. Best thing that happened to you was...

Finishing my master's degree and making the great friends I made this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My downstair's neighbours brought in a daughter in September. She's awesome.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Nobody close to me died, but I've had a lot of death around me. An acquaintance committed suicide, which did hurt a lot. I have a lot of friends who have lost love ones. It's been an honour to be able to stand next to them and be by their side through the process.

5. What countries did you visit?

I haven't used my passport this year. I feel bad about this, but I have a few trips abroad planned in 2018. I did make Tasmania twice - I wonder if this counts.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

More laughter and more travel and more sex. I also want to make more time to write.

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 15. I submitted my last Master's assignment.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I've ended up with one distinction and three high distinctions in my studies. I work hard, but it's nice to see the work pays off.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Losing weight. That didn't happen this year. That changes this year. It has to.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than a bout of flu and having a smalll gynaecological matter sorted, I've been really lucky.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Two pairs of Birkenstocks. They are so comfortable. That and my Sheridan sheets.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The women who have spoken out about sexual abuse. All I can say is #metoo. Samuel Johnson will always be an enigma too.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Where do I start. Aging man-baby, Donald Trump is simply appalling. Most of the Australian Federal Cabinet could go jump of a cliff and there would be no loss.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, tuition, travel and theatre.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Pop Up Globe in Melbourne. Shakespeare on tap. It's been AWESOME!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

I love Tash Sultana's Jungle. Love it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier
b) about the same
c) About the same - though I'm richer in wisdom.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Laugh, travel, drink gin, exercised (though for a few months it was hard to do much because of that bloody bruise) and saved money.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eat ice cream and procrastinate about exercise.

20. How will you spend New Year's Eve?

I'm about to go see a film, then I'm off to Alice's place to watch the fireworks from her balcony.

21. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind..  (The Pixies - Where is my Mind?)

22. What was your favorite new TV program?

I was put onto Gogglebox earlier this year. Love the Australian version.

23. What was the rudest thing someone did to you in 2016?

The Federal Government put me through that awful plebishite. That was awful. Not one of Autralia's finer moments, though we do have same sex marriage now, thank goodness. ABOUT FUCKING TIME. I hold the government responsible for this.

24. What was the best book you read?

Hanya Yahanigara's "A Little Life". Running not far behind, Heather Rose's "The Museum of Modern Love" and George Saunder's "Lincoln in the Bardo."

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Tash Sultana. See above.

26. What did you want and get?

A job that I love after my long running contract at the bank ended. I am very fortunate. That and the friendship of some wonderful people.

27. What did you want and not get?

An extra hour in the day to write.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw it yesterday. Amazing. Call Me By Your Name. It's incredible. Runners up - Their Finest, Lion and Logan Lucky for my guilty pleasure. It was also great to see Branagh's Hamlet on 70 mm at the local indy theatre.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Dinner with friends at a local French restaurant. It was lovely.

30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Regular trips to Sydney to see a friend. Nuff said there. Doing well at my studies.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Plain, boring, black.

32. What kept you sane?

Friends, movies, books, writing, exercise - and the odd gin and tonic.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Still have a thing for Richard Roxburgh and Craig McLachlan. That doesn't change.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I was pretty vocal for the Yes campaign for the same sex marriage plebishite.

35. Who did you miss?

I still miss  Reindert, but we talk often. I still mourne Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alan Rickman too.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

No one person, but I now work with a great mob of people.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The No Meme Meme

Weell, it looks like Bev at Sunday Stealing is having a well earned break, but as it is Sunday, he meme must be written - and as I'll have no access to a computer for a few days. best get it in before I hope on a plane to places overseas (read Tasmania - not that exotic.

So here is my no meme meme for the week. Written quickly as the car is packed and I have to get to the airport. I'm concentrating on good things and gratitude.

What is the best thing to have happened to you this week?

I got published. Pitched Thursday lunchtime, written Thursday evening, submitted Friday, published Sunday afternoon.  A short article on managing grief at Xmas. Mamamia is a well known Australian online magazine. I wonder if they will pay me for it?  Here's the link to the story.

What have you learned this Xmas?

I get burnout easily. I found myself burned out by Wednesday of this week. the night on the couch with the cat, instead of the noisy dinner did me well? That and I work with a heap of huggers. This I don't mind. They are lovely people my workmates.

Task of the week?

The flat has been hoovered every second day. I have Maow Maow with me. he is the best, but he likes to spread kitty litter everywhere. He's a great boy.

What are you looking forward to?

Two weeks off work. And going to the gym a lot and seeing lots of movies. That's a good start. Christmas on the banks of the Tamar River in Tassie will be most lovely too.

What are you reading?

George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo. It's incredible.

Seen any good movies?

Yes. Jay and I went to see The Florida Project on Friday. It's different - and amazing. Willem Dafoe is superb, as are the group of six-year-olds out act the adults. A telling tale. It's this year's Moonlight.

Any Christmas regrets?

No. I do feel the loss of my niece more keenly at this time of year. It's also the time if year I reflect on being single more than any other time. But then I look at what I have - my health, my friends, and I realise life is pretty good. 

Anything else?

I have to get myself to the airport.

Right, have a lovely Season.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

The It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Xmas Meme

Well, I have to say that since the death of my niece two years ago, Christmas  has really lost what lustre it had - not that it had much to begin with. We're going to be celebrating a form of Christmas in early February, where we can put the hard memories away.

Questions, as per usual, are provided from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

Time off work. (but this is is cancelled out by no office air conditioning.

2. Do you send out Christmas cards and if so how many do you send?


3. Be honest: holiday newsletters. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Depends on who is sending them.

4. Be honest: photo cards. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Not an Australian tradition.

5. How soon do you start shopping?

Early November. Get little bits and pieces to take away some of the stress.

6. Real or fake tree?

No tree - but real ones smell good.

7. When do you put up your tree?

I don't

8. When do you take down your tree?

No tree to take down.

9. Describe your typical tree (size, decorations, type)

No tree, nothing to describe.

10. What do you top your tree with?

No tree to decorate - but a good star is hard to beat.

11. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?

I have a strand in front of the telly.

12. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?


13. Do you hang up stockings?

Hell no. Besides, nowhere to hang them.

14. Your favorite Christmas Movie(s)

Die Hard. (technically it is a Christmas movie)

15. Be honest: A Christmas movie you don't like

That one with Reece Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn was pretty ordinary.

16. Favorite Christmas Song(s)

Fairytale of New York.

17. Be honest: If I hear this/these Christmas songs again I will throw up

Jingle Bells. Over it.

18. Give or Receive?


19. Eggnog or Mulled Cider?

It's Australia - too hot for those, but cold egg nog is lovely.

20. Ham or Turkey?

When we do Xmas in my family, we do seafood - suits the weather better.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Bah Humbug Meme

Oh this is my kind of meme.

I'm not overly enamoured with this time of the year anyway, adding to this a tradie who has let me down and an anniversary that I would rather not be remembering and we have a perfect storm of Christmas hatred - so this Bah Humbug meme is quite perfect for the moment.

There are lots of good things happening at the moment, but I can get a bit of bah humbug out in one place. This is a good thing.

Questions courtesy of Bev at Sunday Stealing.

TV show I loathe:

I have to say Q&A, an Australian current affairs program where politicians yell at each other. It's gone downhill in the last few years. There is not enough chicken wire around to protect my television from the projectiles which would come from my direction.

Movie I loathe:

Other than pretty much anything with Will Ferrell in it? Sin City. Walked out after 20 minutes.

Music genres I loathe:

Country and Western. Just not my cup of tea. Death metal can also stay off my playlists too.

Magazine which annoys me:

I don't think magazines are a part of my life anymore, but I really don't like Murdoch propaganda rags - in particular The Australia, which is just right-wing trash.

Makes me cranky at restaurant:

People being rude to the waiting staff.

Makes me cranky in public:

Walking behind smokers, and those who walk three abreast on the pavement.

Makes me impatient at home: 

Not being able to find things.

Makes me impatient at work:

People not getting back to you in a timely manner

Celebrity I hate: 

Not so much hate, but I can see no point to anybody with the surname Kardashian.

Music artist I hate: 

If I am ever made to listen to Meatloaf again it will be too soon.

I could care less about:

The Kardashians

Blogger's habit that annoys you: 

People who go on about trivial slights.

Feature on your blog you hate: 

I wish it was more professional looking.

Politician that you hate: 

Where do I start. Most of the Australian front bench. Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton head the list, gutless wonders they are. May they be up on crimes against humanity in the near future.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Book Meme

Well, this is apt. I'm sitting here trying to work out what books I'm going to put up for book group this year and we get a blog about books. Yay.

The rules of book group books - and I have to take along two books, preferably under 500 words, fiction, of literary or good quality popular fiction, easily obtainable in  bookshops and libraries. As  the book group coordinator, I have everybody else's book choices, but mine are proving a little elusive.

So what is on my list?

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmitt
Hagseed by Margaret Atwood
The Buried Giant by Kazou Ishiguro
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleeve.

Well that is the short long list. I have until next Sunday.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you prefer hardcover, paperback, or Kindle...and why?

Toss up between paperback and kindle. Both are portable.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it ...

The Broken Spine

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is ...

"I do think that means what you think it means." The Princess Bride.

4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be ...

Richard Flanagan

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be ...

Possibly The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Or Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that ...

Would read me two books a day while I could do something else. I'd love that.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of ....


8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be....

Hermione Granger in Harry Potter.

9. The most over-rated book of all time is....

Until two years ago I would say, The Great Gatsby, but I love that now. Anna Karenina is up there for me. I really don't like Russian literature.

10. I hate it when a book....

Takes a turn for the worst and it all goes to seed. Or is badly written. Most of Liane Moriarty falls into that category. Or a great idea badly written - aka Dan Brown.