Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Compassion Questions

This is my last weekend home before I find myself travelling around the place on weekends. It's rather nice being home with the cats and doing not very much at all. Ah well. I should be writing and cleaning. We'll see what happens.

Questions are supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. What is the most fun thing you have ever done?

I've done lots of really fun things, but I do remember taking a balloon ride over Melbourne one year. The guys at work gave it to me for a birthday present. I've traveled all over the world. That's been fun too.

2. Are you left-handed or right-handed?

I'm predominantly right-handed, but I can use my left hand in many situations just as well. I can only use scissors with my left hand. I can play pool just as well with my left hand. My left handed writing is neater than my right handed writing. I often swap my mouse over the my left hand too. It's good to mix it up.

3. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

My step-dad paid for my flight over the London many years ago. They also forgave me a small student debt. These were big things for me.

A friend brought some weed over to me when my Dad died twenty years ago. It was a small kindness I've never forgotten. (I gave most of it back a week later when she came around - but it was a very kind act).

4. What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

I've seen some bloody big kangaroos out in the wild. And I remember when I was a kid being around some Clydesdale horses in paddocks. They were huge - like 18 hands high horses.

5. What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

I love that my parents have antechinuses floating around the front lawn. What's an antechinus you ask? A small carnivorous, marsupial rat, about the size of a mouse that lives in Australia. They're quite cute.

6. Do you ever have funny dreams at night?

I used to. I can't remember the last time I had a dream. It's been months.

7. If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?

Oh, where do I start? Other than four year parliamentary terms, reforming senate voting to under the line only, and allowing parliamentarians to be sued and jailed for their treatment of asylum seekers an rorting the system, as well as those breaking the building codes end up being jailed when people die... oh I don't know. I would make it law to be kind, at all times. See where that gets us.

8. What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Funny, I'm a middle aged woman - I feel invisible all the time. But if I would be really invisible, I'd probably sneak myself into a session of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." At $320 for a ticket to both sessions of the play, I think that would be a use use of the ability.

9. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

Clive Owen's wife... or Sarah Rafferty. I'm not going to explain this. :)

10. What would you like to change about yourself?

I wish I had a faster metabolism. And a better response to menopause. I've over the hot flushes. Damned genetics.

11. What is your daily routine.

Weekdays: Wake up around 6, get out of bed . shower, breakfast about 7, go to work at 8, in work from 8.30-5
00. Around 10 head down for a coffee, lunch around 1. Tram/train/walk home around 5 pm. Gym / dinner after this. Telly/write / chores after this. Shower 10.30, bed around 11-12. It's a long day. Weekends don't have to

12. What would your perfect day be like?

Any day which has swimming, sleeping in and reading is a great day. Throw in a room at the Westin in Sydney and I would be a very happy woman.

13. How old were you when you learned to read?

I was five. I was picking up things before this, bit I learned at school like most kids.

14. What is the most interesting thing you know?

I know all sorts of stupid stuff - repository of useless knowledge. I know a lot about Shakespeare and cats and strange bits of history, but I'm not sure anything like that is overly interesting. I used to now how to get out a Rubic's cube (in under two minutes, mind you) Still not interesting.

So, the most interesting thing I know? Hmm. Maybe this:  The male antechinus  lives for exactly eleven-and-a-half months, dying from stress-induced immune system breakdown about two weeks after mating.

Is that interesting enough for you?

15. What makes you nervous?

The thought of another three years of a Coalition Government.

16. What is your favourite flower?

Roses. Any rose will do.

17. Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?

I've ridden horses as a child. And I've been on the odd elephant ride - the last time when I was in Thailand ten years ago.

18. What time do you go to bed?

Normally around midnight. 11 pm if I'm lucky.

19. What time do you get up?

Weekdays, I'm awake at 6 and up between 6.30 and seven. Weekends, the routine varies a bit more.

20. Do you know how to swim?

Of course. I'm Australian. Swimming lessons have been pretty much a compulsory part of the school curriculum for over fifty years. I'm a capable swimmer. Love swimming

Today's Song:

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Aesthetic Themed List

A lovely quiet weekend. It's bliss. The furthest I've gone from the front door was to the hairdressers a few miles away and into the city for a mammogram (That was fun) So in all, lots of reading time and that has been about it. Going back to the gym after I do this seeing I piked this morning in preference to going to breakfast with Trish.

Good questions this week, thanks to Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. When did you last sing to yourself?

Earlier today. I sing to myself all the time.

2. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about anything, what would you want to know?

There is a part of me that would love to know what some of our politicians are really thinking - I have no idea how they can come up with some of the policies they put forward.

3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Completing my Masters Degree. Running a handful of half marathons is something to be proud of too.

4. What is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?

Playing with my dog as a puppy. I loved that dog.

5. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

Yeah, I'd quit my job and go travelling for 11 out of 12 of those months. So many places to see, so little time and money.

6. Do you feel you had a happy childhood?

No. But we'll leave it at that.

7. Would you ever have a deep conversation with a stranger and open up to them?

Yes. I've done that in the past. I spent too much time in Ubud, Bali not to have done that.

8. What would you title the autobiography of your life so far?

Don't Try This At Home or Nevertheless, She Persisted.  I'm writing a novel based on some of my experiences, at the moment. It's working title is Kryptonite.

9. How do you feel about tattoos and piercings? Explain.

Each to their own. I have my ears pierced and a very small tattoo on my hip. I'm good with that - I don't need any more body modification. What other people do with their bodies is up to them.

10. Do you wear a lot of makeup? why/why not?

I only wear eyeliner, mascara and lipstick during the day - a bit more if I'm going out. I don't need to wear much makeup. I don't like the feeling of it on my skin to wear it regularly. I'm lucky, I've got good skin.

11.The world is listening. pick one sentence you would tell them.

Just be kind.

12. Who in the world would you most like to receive a letter from and what would you want it to say?

There is somebody in England who I wish would write and say that he is sorry. He won't do this, but it would be nice to have him say sorry for his behaviour.

13. Do you have a desk/workspace and how is it organised/not organised?

My desk is organised chaos. I know everything is. Everybody else thinks it's a tip. This is true at home and at work.

14. What’s your Starbucks order, and who would you trust to order for you, if anyone?

I don't drink Starbucks coffee as it's dreadful - seriously, coming from Melbourne, the coffee is famous for being good, Starbucks serves crap coffee. You break up with friends when you find out they drink Starbucks coffee. And as I'm off caffeine, I will normally have an almond decaf latte in a large mug. I like it that there are coffee shops around like the one near the gym, where I can walk in, nod, and one will appear in a few minutes without asking.

15. What is the most important thing to you in your life right now?

Looking after my health and writing my novel. Pretty simple really.

And with that, I'm off to they gym.

Today's Song:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Book Questions Meme

Well, I am down at my mother's place in Myponga, South Australia. I have just been swimming with some friends, down at one of the best beaches in the world - Silver Sands. It was warmer in the water than out - and it is Mid-February in Adelaide - it should be sunny and thirty degrees and look something like this.

Image result for silver sands beach south australia

Breakfast with my friends at the wonderful Maxwell's in Aldinga - best Egg and  Bacon roll and coffee I've had for a while  - gluten  free roll, caffeine free coffee with almond milk - all good.

So we have a party here then I head back to Melbourne tonight. A good weekend, really.

I love these questions, supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Oh, this goes to most best sellers. Liane Moriarty being one of those people. I don't mind her books, I don't love them. I think I'm better than that.... but still I've read three of her books. Surprised by one of them (Big Little Lies) and underwhelmed by the other two (Truly Madly Guilty and Nine Perfect Strangers - both were okay...) Oh any anything by Stephanie Meyers. Like Mormon Vampire Soft Core Porn. No thanks.

2. If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

I would love to bring Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Little Bee (From Chris Cleeve's The Other Hand) and Dorrigo Evans (From Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North) to a Writer's Festival talk about injustice. Three amazing perspectives, three incredible characters.

3. You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

That would probably to the second of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. The first was bad enough... I got about fifty pages into the second one and nearly put the book in the fire for burning it was that bad.

4. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?

I used to say The Great Gatsby. I have read that now - and enjoyed it - but it only took 25 years to read. Slaughterhouse Five was there too. Love that book. Nope, now it's Catcher in the Rye. I have it. I know I need to read it. I will get there. Should have been done years ago. What is it with me and American Classics?

5. As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?

I think there are a couple of Dickens in here. I've never read A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist or A Tale of Two Cities (Though I have read Bleak House, Little Dorrit and Great Expectations)

6. You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why?

Okay, if it's a man, he gets told to read Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It won the Booker. It's about war, and the pity of war. It is phenomenal.

If it's a woman, I'd nominate Charlotte Wood's The Natural Way of Things. It's perfection. I demonstrates women's rage better than any book I've seen.

I need to differentiate - I often get asked to nominate books. These are both very import books for very important people.

7. A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Easy. French. Gorgeous language, and I would love to read Moliere in its original French. If not Italian - to read Umberto Eco in its native form would be sublime - though it is pretty great in good English translations.

8. A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

I will make it choose between one of these four books - because I can't choose between them:

  • Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  • Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex
  • Richard Zuzak's The Book Thief
I've re-read all of these books numerous times over. Would happily re-read any of these one a year. 

9. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

My appreciation for performance art has increased greatly since reading Heather Rose's The Museum of Modern Love. Actually I've read a few novels with art as there themes. Highly recommend Dominic Smith's The Last Painting of Sara de Vos too.

10. That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Look, I just needs lots of shelves, a regular restocking of new, literary paperbacks and a big leather chaise lounge - I'd be happy with that. The new paperbacks with things like the Man Booker long list, the Pulitzer Long list and the Stella Prize and Miles Franklin long list will see me very well indeed.

Today's Song:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Three Wishes Meme

Quick one today as it's going to be a bit of schlep to the airport. The trains are all buggered up due to track work. I can either go the long way round through some place called Wolli Creek, or catch an Uber. I think I might Uber out there. The joys of Sydney.

Questions, as always, courtesy of Bev at Sunday Stealing.

16.) What is your favorite wild animal?

I'm very fond of seals and lions - so it is a toss up between the two of them. Wombats are pretty good too. 

17.) Name 3 of your favorite childhood shows:

  • MASH
  • Wacky Races
  • I Dream of Jeannie
18.) If you could live as a character in a movie who would it be?

Please, please, please can I be Hermione Granger. If not then I'd like to be Holly Golightly, Matilda or Amelie Poulin. All have their good points. 

19.) Favorite vegetable?

Potatoes. Not that I go about eating them regularly - now I eat sweet potatoes - better for you. 

20.) Favorite Fruit?

Passionfruit. I'm also a lover of mangoes. Best eaten naked under the shower. 

21.) If you had a dragon what would you name it?

Frank. I name everything Frank, so why not a dragon. 

22.) What do you put on hotdogs?

Tomato Sauce (read ketchup, my American buddies) and sometimes a bit of American mustard. Note I have to designate the mustard - not grainy, not Dijon, not French, not Hot English - all can be found in my fridge. I currently only have a hot dog when I go to Ikea. The best ones are found out of the Keith Roadhouse on the way back to my mother's place. 

23.) Do you play online games?

Does Candy Crush and Words with Friends count? Then yes.

24.) What's your favorite way to get inspired?

Go for a walk. That normally inspires me. If not, go exercise. 

25.) Do you have a middle name?

Yes. It's boring. My middle name is Jane - just like half the Australian population born in the sixties and seventies. 

26.) If you had to order from a kid's menu, what would you get?

Probably fish and chips or pizza. Or just go find another place which sells healthy food. 

27.) Do you speak any other languages?

Sort of. I have reasonable schoolgirl French, a smattering of Greek and Spanish and a little bit of Balinese and Italian. I'm a polyglot - I pick up languages really easily. 

28.) Do you use Twitter?

Not for posting - more for Darvey trash and big news events. 

29.) Do you go onto YouTube?

Sometimes. It's good for music clips. 

30.) Do you play Angry Birds?

Not any more, thank goodness. 

Today's Song 
(For a little girl who is currently battling brain cancer up in Brisbane and her family - she's an inspiration - and I can't get this song out of my head):