Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday reading

Lots of good holiday reading waiting for me on the bedside table. Exit Music by Ian Rankin, Charlaine Harris' From Dead to Worse, Christopher Stevens' great bio of Kenneth Williams, Born Brilliant and Goddess of Legend by P.C. Cast. Where to start! I have begun Born Brilliant but I am also starting on Anita Brookner's books (first - A Misalliance), hoping to find another Barbara Pym-esque writer.

How have you been spending your break?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Warm Wishes from the Yellow Wood

Only the Muppets are able to pull off this level of schmaltz and still be entertaining! But I must say I do like the message, and I do think it's applicable no matter what festival you celebrate at this time of year. At least now we know too what Kermit and Miss Piggy's kids look like!

Hope that you have a wonderful festive season and I wish you every good thing for 2011. Thanks for stopping by in the Yellow Wood! x

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I hope you had a lovely time celebrating either Summer or Winter Solstice yesterday. We spent it listening to the wonderful Wendy Rule at her annual Midsummer Party. I made this wreath for our front door in honour of the Season and I was really pleased that I managed to use just some grasses that I had pulled out of the garden while weeding, as well as a little string!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slightly inappropriate Christmas cartoon...but only meant in fun!

From this site:

Monday, December 20, 2010

I dreamed a dream

Some people have mysterious dreams. Some people have prophetic dreams. Me? Well. Last night I dreamt that I was watching "Spicks and Specks" (a music quiz show here in Australia ( on tv and the contestants on it were Alex (Gedeon Burkhard) and Christian (Heinz Weixelbraun) from "Kommissar Rex" ( No, I don't know why either. I am not an especial fan of "Spicks and Specks" and while I love the show "Kommissar Rex", I have no particular feeling for those characters. Mysteries of the sub-conscious...!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Stuff

Must be a bit of nostalgia in the air...the 90s today with a bit of Riot Grrrrrl fabulousness from Veruca Salt.

I am hoping to make this cake over the weekend (pre-Xmas hoo-hah not withstanding). Sounds yummy, huh? I'll report back!

Ginger Cake

2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, sift and thoroughly mix together flour, baking soda, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water, molasses, and honey. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and egg. Add the wet and dry ingredients alternately. Whisk your batter well after each addition. Mix in the crystallized ginger if you so desire. Pour batter into a square 9 inch pan that has been buttered and floured. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cake cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

[From Hex magazine]

What're your plans for the weekend? Cooking up any Christmas/Solstice goodies?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get on your dancing shoes!

I have been pretty much nose-to-the-grindstone lately, writing some short stories (with a hopeful view to publication!) and immersing myself in a completely new field of research which I hope to start writing on next year. For roughly ten years I focussed on one particular subject area while I worked in academia but now, out of academia but still wanting to research and write, I have gone in another direction altogether. It's fun but a lot of work!

My reason for telling you all this is to primarily explain why there's not been a lot of action here in the Yellow Wood. To make up for this, I give you two gems of 80s music (!) - The Blow Monkeys "It doesn't have to be this way" and Aztec Camera's "All I need is everything". I loved these bands way back when and I even won The Blow Monkeys album in a radio competition. And I had more than a passing fancy for both Dr Robert (TBM lead singer) and Roddy Frame (AC lead singer). Ooh...that floppy fringe!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nature's Beauty

I feel so sad for my friend Helena today over at Creating A Likeness ( She has just lost her dear feline friend of many years, Fluffy. Heart hugs to you and Fluffy, Helena.

I have never had a lot of pets - I had a couple of fish and birds when I was growing up - but I love animals, especially cats. There is a cat who lives next door to us here, I've mentioned him before. He has been wandering through our garden regularly for some months but he has been very reticent about being touched in any way. In fact he would dart away if you approached him.

I have been leaving little treats out for him - some cat food, some kibble, fresh water, milk - and slowly he has begun to trust us. The last couple of days he has allowed me to pet him and scratch him between his ears and it has just been lovely to be permitted to do that. For him to essentially say 'Ok, I trust you to come into my personal space'. Now he will present himself for a tummy scratch without even the promise of food!

I am worried about him, though. He is thin and he has fleas but no flea collar. Do you know of any way I could surreptitiously treat him for fleas - which are obviously causing him distress - without his owners taking umbrage?

The cat is Nature's beauty -
French proverb.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little bit of crafting

I have been much inspired of late by a wonderful blog from New Zealand, Tiny Happy
( So much so that I have returned to trying my hand at a bit of crafting. I've made a couple of felt brooches (love felt) and some little notebooks I am calling 'memory books' - just to stick in little bits and pieces like photos, ticket stubs, pressed flowers and so on. It's been fun - I haven't done anything like this for awhile. If you're interested, I will also be posting these bits and pieces in my Etsy shop -

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alone again, naturally

As I've got older I've realised increasingly how much I need alone time. It's not that I don't like people or that I don't ever need company but I need - really need - to have some time each day to myself. To be alone with my thoughts or even to just be alone, not thinking.

I have always been an extremely shy person - although I am getting better with that - so I think some of my need for aloneness stems from that. Added to the shyness, I am an only child so my earliest memories are of making my own fun rather than relying on the input of others. Whatever the cause may be, now I find that even an hour or two of quiet solitude is just the ticket for calming any feelings of anxiety or angst I might be experiencing or for just getting myself back into my own rhythm, rather than jogging haphazardly along to the rhythm of others.

Apparently one can be diagnosed now as a 'highly sensitive person' and I think I am perhaps leaning in that direction - dislike of crowds, aversion to loud noises and bright lights, need for peace and solitude. I also know it's important though to balance that need with regular interaction with the rest of the world lest one goes a little hermity and weird. I do think it's good to be able to recognise and respond to one's feelings, though.

Are you a 'loner' like me or do you love to be surrounded by people 24/7?

Monday, November 29, 2010


I have what could best be described as an ambivalent relationship with Christmas for various reasons. What I am thinking might give it a bit more enjoyment this year is to think of some really great presents for people. The last couple of years I have really fallen back on the book/CD/DVD option and I want to do something a bit more this year. This doesn't mean spending a lot of money necessarily but just putting a bit of meaning into proceedings. Any suggestions? What are you giving for Christmas?

PS Sorry to make you think of Christmas in November :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crying over you

I like to have a good cry. Don't misunderstand me - I don't like to be unhappy - but I like a good cry when it's not for real - that is, when I'm crying over a sad movie. Why? I'm not sure. It's an opportunity to release emotion, I guess, which sometimes I have a tendency to repress. My mother tells me that even when I was a baby, hearing another baby cry would set me off. So maybe I'm a sympathy crier? But why am I telling you all this? Because today I've picked out three truly blubber-worthy clips - first, The Bridges of Madison County, second Brief Encounter and third, An Affair to Remember. Oh my. Especially Bridges. My DH is embarrassed to watch that one with me. Do you love a good cinema sniffle?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is a beautiful depiction of the craziness that is social networking. I say this having lately started to get very into Facebook. I won't be tweeting, though. 'I just had breakfast'. 'I am watching telly'. Who cares??? Is anyone else on Facebook or Twitter? What do you think of it? Seriously, I do find FB rather fun - so long as it is kept within certain boundaries. I can see how it invites all sorts of pitfalls for young people though, with cyberbullying and so on, as we were discussing a few weeks ago.

PS Please take a moment to pat Kumiho, my virtual pet. He won't bite!

PPS If you are at all interested in all things vampiric, I have started a new blog at Would love to know what you think :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Keeps Spiders in her Pocket

A little touch of nostalgia...I had forgotten how much I love this song!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And now in Royal News...

News everywhere today that Prince William (of Britain) has become engaged to Kate Middleton. This immediately took me back to 1981 when I was agog over the news of Charles and Diana's engagement. I was 8 years old and a major fan of the British royal family. I loved Diana or 'Shy Di' as she was known in those days - she gave particular hope to a painfully shy child such as myself. Perhaps shyness could win out afterall! I wanted a Lady Di haircut, I wanted my ears pierced so I could wear little pearly earrings like hers, I wanted frilly, high-necked blouses like hers. Hey, it was 1981! These things were fashionable then...and, ok, I was a fairly dorky kid. My grandma (who had been a milliner) made me a little pillbox hat a la Diana and I did my school assignment on the British Royals...oh my.
Apparently William has given Kate his mother's engagement ring - a nice gesture, but not sure it's something I would have done given his parents' disastrous marriage. I have got over my royal obsession and I'm pretty indifferent to them now but like them or loathe them, good luck to them today I guess!
What are some embarrassing crushes and/or obsessions from your childhood?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"There's rosemary, that's for rememberance. Pray, love, remember."
~ Ophelia in Hamlet.

It is Rememberance Day here in Australia today, upon which we ponder and commemorate the sacrifice made by all of those who were involved in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the post-WW2 wars in Korea and Vietnam. Those taking part in the current conflicts in the Middle East are also remembered.

It is a touching day, irrespective of your views of the rightness or wrongness of these wars, given the awful anguish and pain that comes for all of those participating in conflicts of such magnitude.
But I think it also needs to be remembered that as dreadful as the soldier's lot is in war, there are many other people not directly involved in fighting who suffer terribly too. I am thinking especially of women who are raped in war. I never cease to be shocked and appalled by this common notion that women are somehow part of the spoils of war. You burnt down our village, therefore we get to rape your women. As though a ruined house and a 'ruined' woman were two equivalent objects to barter. As though women were the possessions of men to be given or taken.
There was a group in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s called Women Against Rape (WAR). They tried to march on ANZAC Day (another Australian memorial day), to make the point that raped women were as much a part of the wartime experience as anyone else. They were blocked at every turn by officialdom and members of the public alike. They were insulting the memory of the war dead, they were insulting the returned soldiers, it was claimed. Even when they made it clear that that was not what they were doing by laying wreathes at war memorials, even the wreathes were given back to them, unwanted.

Acknowledging the suffering of everyone in war does not insult the soldiers. Soldiers in war do an extraordinary job that many of us could not even begin to attempt, so acknowledging the depth and breadth of wartime suffering in fact makes their efforts even more remarkable. Not every soldier is a rapist. Of course not. But it needs to made more clear that war is hell for men and women. It is not an exclusive experience. It is a tragic blight on all of humanity. And the realisation of this, that we are all people - not possessions - in the face of such horrors is something to truly remember.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's a Bug's Life 2

{This clip doesn't seem to want to load, so check out -}

It is this sort of organisation that makes me realise two things - (1) I am very wise to be scared of ants and (2) It is pointless to be scared of ants, because they are obviously smarter and more organised than me anyway :)

Summer at last seems to be on its way - 26 degrees today, 29 tomorrow and 32 on Friday. We turned the overhead fan on in the living room for the first time this year last night. I always have mixed emotions about this time of year - for every delightful 25 degree day, there is a 45 degree one waiting for me in February. But for now, it's November and it's pleasantly warm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's a Bug's Life

A Daddy Long Legs as pictured at

I have to admit that I have a long and bloody history stretching behind me of killing bugs. I have always HATED creepy-crawlies. But lately I have tried to be a little more mellow, a little more philosophical if you will about the whole bug situation. They are living beings too, and who am I to rain down death and destruction upon them? This time of year tests my newly tolerant approach, however, with everything it seems hatching from its egg and making a b-line for our house.

I am feeling especially kindly disposed towards Daddy Long Legs. There are a number of them who have taken up residence inside and I've found that I actually quite enjoy watching them tread carefully along, meditatively testing out their next step with one leg, deciding it is too wet/dry/dusty to fully stand on and so reversing their steps and trying out another spot. And then, when it gets too difficult to put the best of one of their eight legs forward, spindling down to their desired location on a delicate strand of web.

My benevolence still stops short of ants and really nasty looking spiders though. There is a medium sized deep black variety of spider which regularly makes its way into the house in the warmer months. I killed one last night just as it was hovering over my shoulder while I read on the couch and then I found another poised on the doorstep! And ants....well. It's the sheer numbers that get to me there. Neither makes my skin creep quite like being walked on by ants!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

The week has ended quite well, with me making tentative moves to take off in another direction academically. I have moved largely out of the academic sphere, officially speaking - that is, I'm not teaching anymore - but I am still keen on writing and researching so it's been wonderful to come across a new topic and make solid moves towards working on it. My previous research interests I've been working on for ten years or more, so it's quite lovely to start afresh. And that's how it feels - fresh - everything else was getting pretty stale! It's been a pretty tumultous couple of years for me professionally and personally for me, so it would be good to think some of it was sorting itself out.

The weather is so nice at the moment too - just warm enough (without being hot) and with gentle breezes wofting through. All in all, not a bad note on which to end the week!

What have you been up to this week?

PS Just had to post the above clip - perfect for anyone who's self employed!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


What is a grown-up? I've never been entirely sure but I've known for awhile that, from what I've seen, I don't really want to be one. One the weekend I found these fantastic sheep-shaped erasers and I just had to buy one in every colour. "Why did you buy those?" My DH asked, perplexed. I wasn't quite sure how to reply but when I saw them in the shop, I was taken instantly back to being an eight-year-old who collected erasers, who loved taking them out of their box to touch them, sniff their sweet rubbery scent and pose them in different positions. Then I realised that that eight-year-old had never really gone away.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

This is a fun little quiz...I was quite surprised to find that I was a snapdragon! Thanks Helena (!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Turning the Wheel

Warm wishes to you whether you are celebrating the bright and lively joy of Beltane
the more contemplative rememberances of Samhain.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


There has been a lot of debate here in Australia of late about bullying in schools. Students seem to be beating other students up at regular intervals. Yesterday, I heard on the radio the story of a child routinely bitten and urinated on by another student...they were both five years of age. Where is this coming from? Is it worse than when I was at school? Than when my parents were at school? Than when my grandparents were at school? I don't know.
I finished school twenty years ago, so I started school thirty-two years ago. Certainly there was bullying. I should know - I was on the other end of it. I was a shy, delicate child by nature who had grown up without siblings. I found making friends difficult and, as a result, I didn't circulate amongst a wide circle of children. Add to this a lack of co-ordination, and I was a prime target in the boisterous, games-mad world of primary school. During physical education classes, I was always the last one picked to go on a team and only then with groans from the team's captain. At one stage, I couldn't cross the playground at lunchtime without having a ball aimed at my head. And it's a vicious circle - the more you're targetted, the more you retreat into your shell. At least, that was my response. At high school, I was in an all-female environment and while physical beatings were not common, certainly verbal ones were - and they could leave you just as bruised. I have heard many people say that school is a microcosm of real life, but I would beg to differ. There is something distinctly uncivilised, brutal and lord-of-the-flies like about school. Bullies neither seem to know nor care about social niceties and being mindful of the feelings of others. The object is to humiliate, to break down one's opponent, to win.
And this leads me to wonder if this is not why bullying seems to be getting worse. As I've opined on this blog before, so much now seems to be about winning, success and coming out on top. The rise of cyber-bullying, wherein victims can be humiliated on an international level, feeds into this. Not only will I beat you down in the schoolyard, I'll show the whole world me doing it.
The other thing is bullying doesn't end when the abuse stops. Personally I feel it has fed into - at least in part - my overall understanding of self...and even now, I flinch when I hear a ball being kicked.
What do you think? Were you bullied?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lost and Found

I have been happy to rescue and resuscitate a few objects this week. I ran over the geranium stem above when I was backing the car out of the driveway the other day. Not only has it recovered but it is now flowering!

I love foxes and have been doing some reading about them lately. It was definitely an omen that I found this forlorn little fellow in the thrift store on Monday.

While we were out walking last night, I found two shelving units like the one above discarded on the curb as part of the area's annual hard rubbish collection. I have converted the one below into a 'bookshelf extension' for a pre-existing bookshelf in our living room and I am still thinking about what to do with the larger one above.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Inspired by my good friend Bodecea's beautiful autumn posy (, I bring you my spring posy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spring Clean 1

This may not look like much. In fact, upon reflection, I should have taken a 'before' shot. But yesterday I made some real headway in getting my home office into a happier state. In this corner-where you can at last now see...wait for it...the floor-there was a music stand set up when no-one is currently playing a musical instrument, an old armchair that no-one can sit on because the seat is broken, four dusty teddy bears and assorted empty shopping bags. In order to get to the bookshelves, you had to move all of that around. But now, you can just walk right up to the shelves and pick out a book. Little by little is the way to go, I think... If I think about everything that needs a spring clean around here, I'll freak out!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This week

Went to a fascinating workshop which focussed on the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Did lots of thinking about spirituality.
Ate delicious Japanese sushi. Love, love, LOVE Japanese food.
Finished two interesting books - Drugs are Nice (Lisa Crystal Carver) and Dead as a Doornail (Charlaine Harris) and wondered how I could make my own writing more engaging. Still wondering.
Saw some gorgeous sunshine - today especially - 29 degrees!
Started making some wristbands for my Etsy shop which involved me successfully using my sewing machine. Woo-hoo!
Saw a massive redback spider in our backyard - very poisonous - and my DH saw a brown snake at his work. They are the second most venomous snake in the world. Now, who wants to come to Australia for the summer! No?
Watched the Sherlock series which was really good.
Planned yet more spring cleaning adventures for my weekend.
What did you do this week?

Friday, October 15, 2010


A bid for freedom detected... Our neighbourhood cat who lives next door has a penchant for eating the local birdlife. Recently he has been fitted with a collar and bell. Yesterday I found said collar and bell undone and abandoned in our yard. How does a cat undo a collar? Gotta admire his determination. And I wonder what getting a collar off feels like for a cat? Something like finally unwedging something that has been caught in your teeth, I should imagine...!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Folk Art

Images from Google Images

I am doing some reading about Poland at the moment for the writing I'm doing and I have just been reading about the town of Zalipie, where the women of the town do folk art paintings both out and inside the houses. Lovely! I love folk art and I am slowly amassing a little collection of it (mainly from Russia), so I would love to visit this town one day.
Has anyone been to Poland or even Zalipie?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Now, Here is the News

I couldn't resist posting this video, which had me laughing out loud. The Old Spice ad is certainly funny but I think Grover's take on it adds a whole other dimension.
The weather has done a complete backflip here since yesterday. It had been beautiful - blue skies, sunshine and really quite warm - but today it is grey, overcast and pouring with rain. I don't mind it, though - there was such a wonderful, fresh smell to the air this morning.
I have had (what I think is) a good idea for a novel so I am writing furiously at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the creative well doesn't go dry on me before I have a first draft done! This has happened to me before - I have a great idea, I start writing and then - bam! - the Muses up and leave.
I am hoping we will get away on a little mini-trip before this year is up. I am plumping for either Japan or Singapore, since both are quite close to us. I saw a documentary last night on how the Geisha are trained and so I am super-keen on Japan again (not that I would make it as a Geisha, I don't think!)
Whether we get away, though, is a tricky question. The year is fast disappearing and the 'Only...weeks until Xmas' ads have already started on the TV. I know I have railed against it here before, but the whole thing just turns into such a commercial fest of bleugh. Any real meaning to it all but completely disappears. My real celebration will be at Summer Solstice, anyway. Christmas, I have to admit, has become a bit of a case of just turning up. Bah! Humbug!
So, what's news with you?
PS Sorry the video has loaded in wide screen. Have no idea why it has done this. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wise Words for the Week

Image from
"As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to refold it no matter how smart you are. So forget the map, roll down the windows and, whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic."
~ Kermit the Frog.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stuff No One Told Me

I've recently discovered this site - I just love this cartoon which was posted there yesterday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have been having some fun fiddling around with my new(ish) camera and the computer. The photo on top looks to me like something from a hyper-exaggerated Willy Wonka world with its bursting colours while the second one looks like an old photo to me - 60s or 70s - taken on a Polaroid. My husband thought it looked like something taken on another planet!

I have to show you this beautiful neck adornment made by my grandmother (I think) many, many years ago. It's made of black beading to look like (I presume) the popular Victorian material, Jet. Having said this, I wonder if it isn't in fact older since my grandmother was not even an embryo, let alone making jewellery in the Victorian age! I'll never know for sure now but I found it languishing in an old tin in the sleep-out. I now have it on display on my dressing table.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Another football season has passed here in Australia (and that's AFL not soccer), with the Grand Final having been played on Saturday. I don't really have any feelings about football - I neither like nor dislike it. I am fairly rare in this viewpoint - most people either love it passionately or avoid it like the Plague. Perhaps this is because of how I was brought up - my mother was always happy to watch a game but my father was a member of the Anti-Football League. Add to this the fact that I am not really a sporty person within myself anyway and you come up with an attitude of basic ambivalence.
What I'm thinking about today, though, is the behaviour of players off the field. Yet another rape allegation has cropped up here involving players from the team that won the Grand Final ( What's interesting is how the media and the public in general have responded to it. An ex-footballer has tweeted that women who go home with men at 3 o'clock in the morning should not be surprised when sex is demanded of them (even, as in this case, if it's group sex) while a local tv identity has described women who go out with footballers as "strays".
At the heart of all this is an enormous disrespect for women and for their sexuality. Women are still being identified as available playthings for men if they dare to mix within certain social circles or if they conduct themselves in a certain way. In short, as this argument always seems to return to, they are 'asking for it' if they ignore society's apparent rules. There are still significant restraints upon women's freedom as this case (and the many like it) clearly illustrates.
What do you think? Is there a similar situation within other countries?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meditating on meditation

I have always had an interest in meditation but I have never been very good at it. Perhaps I am missing the point? You're not supposed to 'be good' at meditation, are you? It's about the journey. What I mean is, I have never found a great sense of calm or peace in it. Now, more than ever, I would like to find that sense. I think it would be lovely to have a 'quiet place' to go to every day. Does anyone else meditate and if so, do you have a favourite practice?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winnie Pooh

I discovered this yesterday on You Tube - a 60s Russian version of Winnie the Pooh. I have no idea if the subtitles are accurate but I just love the look of it - the colours, the different style of Pooh and of course his little song with the affirmative 'Da!' at the end. Beautiful stuff!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There's an App for that

As much as I love my blogs, email, Facebook and Etsy, I sometimes get a little teched out. Do you? So today's cartoon from Harold's Planet seemed very appropriate!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Springy Sunday Sunshine!

Apparently Sunday was the first day we have had over 20 degrees celsius for something like 100 days!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spring and Autumn

Wishing everyone a lovely Spring or Autumn Equinox, Ostara or Mabon, depending upon where you are in the world ~ but joined together by the beautiful story of Persephone and Demeter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of David Bowie and Fairy Tales

David Bowie has been my soundtrack this last day or so as I've been having a little burst of creative energy - doing some writing and making some new cards. I especially love this song - "The Man who Sold the World". I was hoping to find an original 70s clip of it but this one is pretty good anyway. I had no idea either that Nirvana (another fave of mine) had done a version. So here they are :) Love that opening guitar riff!


I am also reading The Fairy Tale Series of books which are adult rewritings of traditional fairy tales. Tam Lin by Pamela Dean is my favourite book ever and I found Briar Rose by Jane Yolen and Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost in the thrift shop yesterday. I love the surreal world of fairy tales so I am thoroughly enjoying these. Do you have a favourite fairy tale?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I am reading Untangling my Chopsticks by Victoria Abbott Riccardi at the moment and really enjoying it. She went to Kyoto in the 80s to learn a specific style of cooking associated with the tea ceremony. We were in Japan in 2008 and I just loved it. So beautiful - especially Kyoto.
So I am keenly interested once more in all things Japanese. We are hoping to get back to Japan later this year on a mini-break (it's only about 10 hours from Australia) and this time I want to go prepared! I doubt very much that I would ever become fluent, but I have just bought Japanese for Busy People at the thrift shop, so perhaps one or two phrases might eventually embed in the brain cells! I also found a Japanese cookbook so if I master anything out of that, I'll show you. Has anyone else been to Japan?
I have to say Blogger is being a bit naughty loading photos at the moment. Or perhaps it is my computer? Is anyone else having problems?
On the David Attenborough documentary Life, there is footage of the Yemeni island archipelago in the Arabian Sea - Socotra. So beautiful! Apparently much of the flora and fauna there is found nowhere else on Earth. And one island is not inhabited at all. I loved the Dragon's Blood trees which reminded me so much of the Baobabs in The Little Prince. Has anyone else heard of Socotra? Or, better yet, been there?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like a bear with a sore head

Ever woken up feeling like a bear with a sore head? (does this Australian expression translate elsewhere?) That's how I felt this morning. Sunshine disappeared behind cloud before 9 a.m., not feeling 100 %, mildly irksome news via email...blah! I have gradually eased my way out of it as the day has progressed, though...somehow. What do you do when you wake up feeling like this?
Have you see the 'Happy Inside' Ikea ad? I discovered it a couple of days ago and it's so beautiful! I tried to upload it but that didn't seem to here's the link -

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ports in a Storm

Bob T. Bear over at let me know that September 9 is National Teddy Bears Day. Or was it International? Well, if it wasn't international, it should be. Because Teddy Bears are the unsung heroes of our everyday lives. Who else can we cry to, hug and share our secrets with and still receive unconditional love in return? Even at the ripe old age of thirty-...ahem, I still look to my bear, Woolley, for comfort. And I receive it, unfailingly.

Do you still have a teddy bear? Or do you have some other form of comfort for those darker moments?

Thursday, September 9, 2010