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 (!