Book snacking on The Lounge

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailDo you ever eat your books in three courses? Have one on the go as your entree (like a biography), one as main course (like ‘literature’), and one for dessert (like trashy chick lit)? Or is that just me? Sometimes I even eat them like Maccas Happy meals.

I get that it’s the usual way to eat your books like noodles in a box. You start at the start, and stop when there’s none left. I have never, ever finished a box of noodles. I get bored partway through, and just stop eating. With books, I sometimes like to mix up the flavour depending on my mood too, and have a few on the go at a time so I can munch on the right one at the right time of day. So I’m not eating figurative dinner books at figurative breakfast book time. Yep. I know. I’ve been told I’m crazy already. Too late to change now.

Over summer I snacked on the hard copy Hunger Games while on the beach (sand – you know. Ate some of that too. Crunchy.) I reserved the main meal books for the Kindle back at the ranch (aka the beautiful beach house de friend I love dearly). I’ll outline my course choices for you below, and explain why the flavours complement each other so beautifully.

The breakfast read:
An area I’m fairly sure I could excel in 2014 is as trash mag rogue photo editor. This is not even a book, but I need to read something while I eat cereal. A trashy mag sits in front if me? I’ll read it. Beats the milk carton nutrition information. Perfect for the slowly unfurling brain. Now, beware… I’m not sure if you want to copy this look as they suggest, but I sure as hell don’t. No extra appendages for me this year, thanks.

What's wrong with this picture? Look closely. Is Kate sporting an extra appendage?

What’s wrong with this picture? Look closely. Is Kate sporting an extra appendage?

The mid-morning entree
The Princess Bride – William Goldman. A classic. Hilarious, light, funny. It has adventure, swords, princess Buttercup, and razor-sharp narration from William Goldman that you miss out on in the movie. And bonus? It was only 99c on the Kindle store. Read. This. Book. If you need any more convincing, do I need to remind you? “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare, to die.”

I’ve quoted this line with such glee so often over the years, completely randomly and out of context, it’s been really enjoyable seeing it in its true home.

Main course
The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery. This is LITERATURE, people. But also very, very good. Smart and funny, brilliantly witty writing with an intriguing and unusual story about  interpersonal relationships and hidden identities slowly creeping to the surface. I love the nuances in this book. It takes time though, to soak in the words.

Afternoon tea
Me talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris. Cheese and biscuits. A light snack for me. He’s very witty and amusing, but this is real life, and I don’t like too much of that. Reality? Pah. He is clever though.

No-one ever Has Sex on a Tuesday – Tracy Bloom. This one is pretty obvious. Marshmallows with Persian fairy floss on top. My tired tiredy-pants brain is often skipping straight to dessert at the moment. This is fun fluff about a woman accidentally getting knocked up. Token gay bestie, two men fighting over the same woman, etc. It’s a good larff, with an ff. Can’t remember much else about it but it’s funny. Oh, and it was only 99c at the Kindle e-store.

I think you can probably understand the benefits of my literary nutritional style. I get all the value, without the bloat. I should point out though, that I haven’t actually finished ANY of these books as yet. The concept kind of assumes I have vast uninterrupted barrowfuls of time to gorge myself on these book meals, rather than having, say, CHILDREN. So I eat them like fast food. Munch on a cold chip here and there, for about 3 months. Eventually I finish them. I enjoy them just the same.

Mmmmmm books. YUMMY.


There once was a girl who wrote blogs

January 2014, WTF?

So, I once was a person who wrote blog posts. December whizzed by without me managing a single word. Not really so somehow, I guess, with the concerts and daughters being singing trees and the working full-time and the present buying online (I am still feeling smug smug smuggety-smug) and the enforced drinking and merriment (yep, hated that). I couldn’t face talking about Christmas to myself, let alone put it into words here. Anyway, ’tis done. All’s well. See?

Making Christmas merry and stuff. With schnapps of course.

Making Christmas merry and stuff. With schnapps of course.

Now it’s 2014, and I resolve NOTHING. A pox on all New Years’ Resolutions. They are cruel torture instruments designed to set people up to fail. I hate failing. Do as I say, and not as I do, my sweet daughters. Oh, and try your best and stuff.

On holidays in Terrigal, with the gorgeous view of the skillion (if you’re confused – it’s a big hill) was marred by the little ants running up and down it every day like some kind of contest to make it on to The Biggest Loser. If my water pistol was sufficiently long range, I would have taken them all out. And on NEW YEARS’ DAY? Seriously. That’s just SO. VERY. OBVIOUS. It shows such a lack of imagination. Why is nobody deciding to learn archery? Start adult fingerpainting? Take a millinery course so they can create their own fascinator by next Melbourne Cup Day and have an excuse to actually ATTEND instead of toasting your kids with sparkling apple cider while holding ride-on pony races around the living room TV?

Freaks. Just lie down and give up already. STOP RUNNING

Freaks. Just lie down and give up already. STOP RUNNING

I’m too embarrassed to go to my gym until next week in case anybody thinks I’m one of THEM. Besides, exercise and walking was put on the backburner after a couple of days with so much beach telling me to make like a starfish and sprawl. I’m wearing an extra kilo as decoration around my belly button, but it’s ok for now. I ordered it for Christmas, with my ham.

Don’t think I’m writing this post as some kind of resolution either. Turns out I need some kind of splendid isolation or quiet to write, and throughout December I wasn’t even allowed to shower alone. There was always a small person in my thinking room, wanting to hang out some more. Hmph. It’s quiet as hell now though. THEY’VE LEFT ME. 


Bye bye family

Bye bye family

Terrifyingly, the girls have just left this morning to go up north for a week with That Man, the uncles, and my MIL, but WITHOUT ME, cos I have to go back to work. That Man has it under control, and they’ll have a ball, but my inner control freak is freaking. I’m scared of the missing, and I’m scared of the diabetes misbehaving. I’ll probably go to bed each night under a pile of second-best soft toys, and my 40 kg dog. Waaaaaaaah.

There is one thing I would like to do this year. It’s not a resolution. I just want to. You’ve heard of the whole mindfulness blah blah movement where you think really hard about every thing so you can be more grateful about everything and live in the moment? Well… I don’t think it’s for me. When the kids are fighting like there’s no tomorrow, I’m mindful that it sux. Being very mindful of the fact I’m eating a lot of peanut butter on my toast kind of takes the joy out of eating it.

My thing is going to be MINDLESSNESS. You can try it with me and report back. It’s pretty simple. You just practice thinking about nothing at all. I’m quite good at it already. I’m completely disorganised and have no idea when appointments are on. I sometimes miss them. I sometimes wake up and forget where I am. I often have no idea what day it is. On that note, what day is it?

In true feral holiday mode, I even forgot to have a shower yesterday. Can you smell me? Mindlessness. Winning.

Finally – to a special person who needs some reading fodder on the 6th January while she waits for the IV to drain – a 2014 toast to eating, drinking, being merry, and mindlessness. I hope this gives you between 1-3 minutes of reading material – the average time taken to read a blog post. Thinking of you.


Checking in while checking out – The Blogies!

Somewhere in here is a dolphin. It’s like Where’s Wally?

We’re crossing to you live today from the sandy yellow carpet of the NSW mid-north coast, where our fresh new Blogess Kim from Falling Face First has donned her best bikini in preparation for the acceptance of her recent Sunshine and Liebster blogging Awards.

Kim was tickled to discover she’d been passed the Liebster belt by Kelly @ Handmade Tears and Triumphs. In fact, as she spies our cameras she drops the small child she’s been holding and trots up the beach Gangnam-style, (tripping only once and dusting herself off with panache), eager to take hold of the microphone, oblivious to the ridicule she is attracting from onlookers.

Breathlessly, she agrees to conduct a brief interview before she resumes her important dolphin-spotting, kindle-reading, and lying prone-on-the-beach duties.
We unfurl our questions in quick succession before Kim can get herself into any further trouble standing in the upright position.

So, Kim, how long have you been blogging?’
‘Three months. Since September. If that’s still 3 months ago.’

‘Messy play or clean play?’
‘Clean. Though messy is heaps of fun when someone else is cleaning up!’

‘Plain or patterned?’
‘Plain or patterned what? If you’re discussing leggings, please don’t. They’re not pants, even if you put patterns on them, and pictures of zips, and pictures of pockets. In this case, PLAIN, at the gym. Otherwise, if you mean animals, dresses or couch cushions, then patterned. Oh – though I’ll usually take plain skin over patterned.’

‘What is your favourite animal?’
‘I’m torn. Meerkats or lemurs? They’re both cute and ridiculous. Nobody can be sad with a picture of a meerkat on their desk. Can somebody please give me a picture of a meerkat for my desk?’

Fingers, calculator or in your head?
‘I realised some time ago I’m missing that side of my brain, so definitely not in my head. On my fingers, till they run out, then caluculator all the way.

‘Where was your favourite place as a child?’
‘Our pool, till I grew chlorine eyes and everything had a whitish halo around it.’

‘Inside or outside?’
‘Outside, but only if conditions are PERFECT i.e. 29 degrees, sunny, light breeze.’

‘How often do you clean your house?’
‘As little as possible. Boring. Next question. That said, I hate mess and it drives me crazy. So that’s the “as little as possible” determinant.’

If you could have as many children as you wanted, how many would you have?’
‘Two. Once I thought maybe three, but two is a bit like what you want with your boobs. Just more than a handful. That’ll do.’

Do you think you will ever stop blogging?’
‘In all likelihood, yes, unless the world becomes a slightly dystopic secret-opinion driven world where Parrots earn lucrative sums as they do in the last chapter of A Visit From the Goon Squad. Then I think we could say my need exists, my corruptibility is low, but my reach is, hopefully, growing.’

‘What is your favourite TV show at the moment?’
‘Tough question. 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy or Breaking Bad’.

‘Thanks Kim. That’s all we want to know from Lieb-land. An award in recognition of a small blog with less than 200 followers, in German meaning “sweetest, nicest, kindest, dearest” etc. Also a pat on the back, like your kids telling you occasionally, after you spend years wiping their poo ‘we love you mummy’.

‘I just want to say thanks to Kelly too. I Liebster her too.’

Kim has dropped the microphone in the sand and is already sprinting towards the water, arms akimbo in her trademark unco-ordinated running style, when I remind her she’s failed to address her Sunshine Award passed on by the fabulous Mumabulous.

‘Oh yeah. Which one is that?’

‘The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!’

‘OK. Today’s a good day for this one since I’m standing in the sun. I don’t know that I manage any of those things, but they’re good on the aspirational front for 2013. Thanks Mumabulous, you rock lady. Harder than Bardot!

1. Favourite Time of the Year?
My birthday- the festival of Kim! Mainly because it’s closely followed by our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and is in summer.

2. Favourite Festive movie?
Love Actually. I can rewind and watch the Hugh Grant dancing-like-nobody’s-watching even though you’re the PM scene about 10 times before I get bored.

3. What is your Passion?

4. Favourite Colour?
Cornflower blue

5. Favourite time of the Day?
Evening, first wine, just after the kids are in bed. Ahhhhhhhhh.

6. Favourite Flower?
The tiger lily, OR phaeleanopsis orchid. I said the first one cos you’ve probably said Huh? to the second. I only know because it was in my wedding bouquet.

7. Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?
Non … What? Sorry… I don’t think I’ve understood these words correctly. I do drink tea in the morning. Assam bold, baby! Love a cup of Twinings.

8. Favourite Physical Activity?
Are we keeping this PG? Ok. Too many… Swimming in the surf, kayaking, Zumba, Pilates, and, ummm, is sleeping a physical activity?

9. Favourite Vacation?
This one. Hawks Nest, beach house, for an inexpensive family holiday. For the ultimate non-kids getaway luxury escape, Twin Palms Resort Phuket. So much luxury, so little time.

So, who’s up next? She rambled on so long everyone’s straggled off to the car park for a coffee.

‘WAIT! There’s more!’
‘You need my Leiby-shiny nominations!’

We return. We hold our breaths. TV crews assemble. Home and Away extras stop pacing back and forth across the camera. Staring takes place.

‘Right. Here are my Leisbster noms:
Enid Bite ‘Em – she seems to love words as much as I do, and is just plain awesome.
The Things I’d Tell You - with all of the book love. And a wonderful, warm soul.
The Kids Are All Right - Rachel is a WISE WOMAN. Heed her teenaged advice. She is also very lovely. I intend to drink wine with her soon.
Bachelor Mum - is inspiring and full of culture and knowledge. I want to eat her brain, not at all in a zombie kind of way.

And my Sunshines:

Babbling bandit – It hasn’t been sunshine for you, but your blog is like the sun – open, warm and honest
Take Charge Now – She’s my Veuve kindred spirit, and gets on with shit when shit needs to be got on with, in a very sunshiney way. That certainly deserves an award.

I’m not great with rules. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to change the questions or not. I’ve run out of beach juice in any case. Sorry. And I know this isn’t enough peeps. I love so many of you – but you’ve been tagged already!

PHEW! Over and out xx

Summer Lovin’

So, how about this weather hey!? Could there BE a more boring way to begin a post? In actual fact, this first couple of days of summer has had me wanting to run around naked yelling ‘weeeeeeeee’ like a kid under the sprinkler, so much has it improved my outlook on the world. By contrast, winter has me wanting to dig a hole like a mole and crawl underground for the duration with a large stash of pinot and mashed potato. I suspect I suffer from SAD. Seasonal affective disorder.

I wonder if this somehow ties in with the timings of our birth? I’m a summer-born Aquarian, making me a water-loving (or bearing, supposedly …does this mean I retain fluid??) air sign full of quirks. I don’t go in much for star signs, but I do seem to fit the character traits pretty closely. I’m certainly stubborn! Either way, I am at my happiest when it’s hot and dry. I feel alive, and awake, and full of energy. Strangely to me though, I’ve been noticing around the interwebs on twitter and the blogosphere that writing mojo among others is running low, as is zest generally. Are you all born in June, by any chance?

Being an Aquarian, I find I naturally lean towards such outfits for doing the groceries. Ahem.

I can’t help but wonder if our time of birth makes us only truly come ‘alive’ in our season, making us feel a little out of sorts and not quite ourselves the other times. I have a friend (born in July) who loathes summer, and everything about it. She craves airconditioning, hates the sun, hates the beach, and longs for a day of mild temperatures in the high teens. My brother, born in August, spent at least two years following winter around the world, from Thredbo to Whistler then back again. Most of the time when I ski I break something (to date, a verterbra, a knee, and last year I even managed to plant a stock in my throat. Don’t ask. I haz skillz.)

I’m still chilly and in jeans until we hit the high 20s, which I’m sure has something to do with my fondness for December. I get fed up in winter with trying to work out how to layer on enough clothes to stop turning purple, yet still be able to move my arms  enough to answer the front door and not be confused for the little dude made of tyres. I get neck pain from wearing a scarf that strangles me like a neck brace, and my nose runs perpetually like a dog if I exercise outside. I think I would quite possibly actually die if I moved to the northern hemisphere for a winter.

Not that I am at all melodramatic. No… not me. I am not known for my tendencies to embellish a story. However, I have had not one, but two doses of pneumonia in the last few winters in Sydney, a couple of cracked ribs from coughing (I put some pretty good effort into it. Didn’t want to cough like a girl), and a round of pleurisy last year with a partially collapsed lung (which bought me a stay in hospital for a couple of days with a hot doctor. Being sick isn’t ALL bad. Just mostly).

Summer has: the beach; gin; hardly any clothes (= hardly any thinking and half the washing); watermelon; mangoes; frosty fruits; prosecco; peaches, bare feet, cut grass smell, night swimming; thunderstorms.

I’m going to ask Santa for one of these for Christmas. For me.

Winter has: hairy legs; shit all besides.

A well-balanced list indeed. You’ll understand why I was such a strong debater in high school.

Am I onto something here? Are you tired worn-out people winter energiser-bunnies?