Jul 16, 2014

Hair of the Dog. LEG, I mean Leg.

There is a Hairy Leg Movement taking over the interwebz. Really. There is a Hairy Legs Club which started on tumblr and a Very Hairy Legs blog, both of which are gaining followers from all over the world. Women everywhere are posting photos of their hirsute limbs in various poses in all their shaggy glory (as above). Some have never shaved or waxed in their whole lives, others are born-again Hairy Zealots. Some may be men taking the piss, we don't really know (other body parts tend not to be included in the pics, and there are some feet which are....well...anyway).

Commenters are also in their glory, as you can imagine. "Yuck", "unattractive" and "disgusting" seem to be the most common reactions, along with the thought-provoking "I feel sick" and the equally eloquent "ewwwwww".

My name is Cate, and I am a part-time member of the Hairy Leg Movement. I have a partially hairy leg in each camp, if you will.

I admit in winter the Department of Forestries comes a callin' to register me. I let what arises from my hair follicles do what comes naturally. That is, grow.
Yes, boys and girls, it's NATURAL. Who'da thunk girls have hair too??
I do this for a few reasons...
1. I'm lazy.
2. My legs are covered all winter and nobody can see them. I don't do skirts. Or swimming or gym (see number 1)
3. The extra layer of warmth when combined with thick socks and boots is pleasant on chilly days.
4. I have a beagle which sheds hair 24/7 all year round and I spend more than enough time scooping up balls of her hair.
5. I'm lazy.

However, as soon as the first sign of spring comes and the possibility of donning my Middle Aged Elastic Waisted Stretchy So I Can Eat Cake Three Quarter Cropped Jeans is on the horizon, out comes the Whipper Snipper Weed Trimmer and those little suckers get obliterated. I have been known, when in a hurry or feeling extra lazy, to only shave the portion of leg which I estimate will be on show. I have also been known to dreadfully underestimate this, then spend the whole day in public avoiding making any movements which would reveal my laziness, and hairiness, to the world. No, I'm fine, I don't need to sit down, I enjoy standing still....in the corner...behind this pot plant...

To be honest, I guess this doesn't really qualify me to be a card-carrying member of the Movement. I'm just not a committed Hair Activist. I love the feeling in warmer weather when I slide my smooth, hairless legs into my bed made with fresh, clean sheets. I feel cooler. I'm only a Wookiee when it suits me, and the rest of the time I'm Princess Leia (I WISH!). I admit I'm vain enough to find a dense thicket on my own legs unattractive. On me. But I truly don't care what others do and I will never comment with a "yuck". Each to their own.

In the interest of at least sympathising with the Hairy Sisterhood, I probably should have included a photo of my own legs in their current natural state, but I haven't had time to braid them. 
Vain and lazy, told you.

So, what camp are you in? 
Hairy Leg Movement, Smooth & Silky, or a Seasonal Swinger like me?

Jul 7, 2014

I am who I am.

I am the softie who lets the dog sleep on the Husband's pillow when he's not here. I am the quick thinking lady who helps a young boy step onto an escalator when his mother is already halfway down and he is stranded at the top. I am the engaging nutcase who can have a long conversation with a stranger. I am the introvert who won't answer the phone. I am the party girl who sings and dances like nobody is watching, when everyone is watching. I am the anxious recluse who wants to stay home all week and read books. I am the impatient reader who will toss aside any book which displeases me. I am the word nerd who loves to say 'displeases'. I am the OCD dabbler who wants to count everything. Twice. I am the vague git who doesn't know how many days are in each month.
I am the mother who lets her adult kids sleep until mid afternoon when they're on holidays because she likes quiet mornings to herself. I am the hypocrite who then complains that her kids are lazy and she can't vacuum whenever she wants because they're always sleeping. I am the lazy domestic goddess who bought a Roomba. I am the hormonal wreck who cries at the drop of a tissue. I am the stoic cynic who rolls her eyes and takes everything with a pinch of salt. I am the shopper who buys unsalted butter. I am the loud one the neighbours hear above all the other voices and music at 1am. I am the wife who teases the Husband mercilessly for a whole day about his choice of footwear. I am the child who still laughs at funny real names, like Jack Sock, Fanny Chmela, and Rusty Kuntz.
I am the dag who loves trackie daks. I am the shopaholic who has a different scarf, necklace and pair of shoes for almost every occasion. I am the Twitter smartarse who starts a war with quinoa loving hipsters. I am the night owl who loves watching Wimbledon. I am the overtired idiot who falls asleep during the men's final. I am the glutton for punishment who will do it all again throughout the Tour De France. I am the stubborn grudge holder who would, for some strange reason, still have a drink with Lance Armstrong. I am the snaphappy photographer who has far too many accidental shots of her feet. I am the spontaneous woman who loves spur of the moment decisions. I am the organised planner who needs to organise and plan. I am the housewife who can use any power tool in the shed but fails at ironing. I am the potty mouth who swears too much, but does so with fucking excellent grammar and punctuation.
I am the perimenopausal sweatbox who finds every place she goes far too hot. I am the first one to light the fire on cold days. I am the annoying nag with the vivid memory who will tell you all exactly what you said during that heated discussion four years ago. I am the ditsy friend who can't remember where you all work or what cars you drive or how you drink your coffee. I am the odd one out who doesn't work, drive or drink coffee. I am the reluctant traveller who has successfully avoided flying for twenty years. I dream I can fly. I also dream in colour, with action and movement. I am the vivid dreamer who, when getting attacked with missiles from an unknown enemy, dives behind an armchair, because we all know that a beautifully upholstered wingback will save the day.
I am the optimist who knows life right now is so bloody good and will probably get even better. I am the pessimist who keeps the optimist in check. I am the sarcastic clown who uses humour as a defence mechanism. I am the pragmatist who hates hiding behind the words 'defence mechanism'. To be honest, I just love making others laugh. I am the realist who is fully aware of her contradictions. I am the expert at finding the funny side in everything, even if inappropriate. Especially if inappropriate. I am the naive girl who still tries to get her hair to do things it doesn't want to, like, straighten. I am the adult who doesn't always feel very grown up. I am the lover who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am the woman who embraces all the weird and wonderful things she is.....mostly.
I am the daughter who lost her mum one year ago today.
And I am so much more.


I think I've missed my calling.

I say this every time I try something, enjoy it, and feel just a tiny bit successful at it (no matter how deluded that feeling may be).
So far, I've missed my calling as an artist, a playgroup co-ordinator, a photographer, an interior decorator, a uniform shop manager, a writer, a party planner, a florist, a kitchen designer, a personal shopper, and an alcoholic.

I'm adding stylist to that list.

I watched, and enjoyed, the #7vignettes 'game' developed by Jen (@interiorsaddict) on Instagram for a while, before finally deciding to take the plunge this month.
It runs for the first seven days of every month, and Jen forms a list of seven different themes, challenging all participants to create seven vignettes related to those themes, upload them to Instagram throughout the week, and join in the fun. Some of the results are droolworthy. There are so many clever and talented people who take part (not including me, I'm a total rookie), and if you are as interested in interior styling and photography as I am, it is heavenly to relax over a cuppa and leisurely scroll through the photos. My finger gets sore from tapping 'like' on dozens of inspirational shots every day.

I am fairly happy with my first 'play'. I didn't want to try and copy anyone else's style, or attempt to produce a layout worthy of Belle magazine (dream on), but wanted to do what makes me happy.
I set myself the challenge of including colour (I'm just not a 'white on white' girl), nature, and vintage pieces in every photo, because that's just who I am (an old, colourful, accident of nature...).

So here's my first #7vignettes foray...

1. Threes

2. Writing

3. Lipstick

4. Bathtime

5. Coffee

6. Home

7. Canadian

I may change things up in future...I may challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and do a monochrome week, or a minimalist week. Or put my dog in every shot and get the attention of all the #dogsofinstagram followers too.

Whatever I do, I'm sure it will be my calling.

If you're on Instagram, follow me (@catep36), search for the #7vignettes hashtag, and check out my attempts, and those of all the experts, and maybe you'll get 'called' too.

Jul 4, 2014

When I Was A 3 Year Old Racist....

The Royal Show. Pretty sure every capital city in Australia still has one. You know, that annual event where 'the country comes to the city', the orchid growers strut their stuff, war breaks out between rival knitters, sewers and bakers, kids stuff themselves with fairy floss, cry until they win a prize, go on dizzying rides, then throw up in the Showbag pavilion. It's the one time of year when the people smell worse than the animals on show.

This year the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA are celebrating the 175th birthday of the Adelaide Show, and have been asking the public to share memories and photos of days gone by. I think they wanted reminders of perhaps a more gentile time, when men wore hats, children didn't take selfies, and the cost of a ride on the Ferris Wheel didn't break the weekly housekeeping budget.

Well, this is my only contribution to the photographic memorabilia which has been swamping the Show's social media inbox...

Somehow, I don't think this photo will be shared for promotional purposes.

It was either 1967 or 1968, I was about to turn either 3 or 4 (I can't tell, I'm not good with ages, I still think I look 29 when I get glammed up...until I arrive at a party and realise I look 72 in comparison to the real 29 year olds). I was wearing a stunning pink twinset, probably knitted by my grandmother, I had a hat, a whirly thingamajig, and a stern looking kewpie doll-on-a-stick...what more could a little white girl ask for? Oh yeah, let's give her a Showbag which will not only mark her, us, and all of 1960s society as ignorant racists, but will probably give her diarrhoea too.

I know, it's a sign of the times. A horrible sign of shameful times.
I can't even type the word. It's a word I have never used, has never been a part of my vocabulary, and which my kids have only heard from American rappers. The contents of the bag may have been 'colossal value', but the name was definitely not 'mighty good'. Thankfully, those times have changed. For the most part. The racist tirades captured on public transport recently show us there are still people out there who need educating, but I hope they are a minority.

And I suspect these days the Showbags come in such diverse, family-friendly varieties which reflect our current times....like chemical free, gluten free and sugar free.
That's fine, as long as they are also racist and diarrhoea free...but not fun free.

What's your earliest memory of your local Royal Show?

Jun 17, 2014

Reading, Not Blogging

I haven't posted here much lately. Whenever I've had a spare couple of hours, instead of giving you all a piece of my mind, I've either picked up a book to read, or got stuck into cleaning the house.
Because I love cleaning.
I'm kidding. Clearly, I'm not well.
Why am I cleaning and who even am I?
Or maybe there are no pieces left in my mind. Maybe as I'm getting older, I'm running out of things to say.
Kidding again. Still as opinionated as ever.
But too lazy to write them down.

Instead, I'll share some of the books I've read.

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

In this fairly epic debut novel, Justin Go combines history, romance, and a quest for truth which spans some eight decades and several countries.
American college graduate, Tristan, learns he could be the sole beneficiary of a substantial unclaimed estate, with a slight catch. There is no proof he is the rightful heir, and he has only two months to prove his lineage and claim the fortune. This prompts Tristan to hotfoot his way around Europe, seeking the documentation he needs to show the English solicitors, who are holding the inheritance in trust, that he is indeed the great-grandson of a young couple who crossed paths during the Great War; Alpinist and soldier, the likeable Ashley Walsingham, and his teenage lover, the feisty, impetuous (and, I have to say, a tad unhinged) Imogen.
The story moves back and forth through time (which I thought was done quite well; not all authors accomplish this easily) from romance in 1916 London to the battlefields of Somme, assorted European archives, through the pioneer expeditions to Mt Everest in the 1920s, some bleak Scandinavian landscapes, the odd pub and nightclub, to present day Paris.
Occasionally the story gets a little bogged down in the trenches of the first World War (pardon the pun), and in the mountaineering history lessons (not an interest of mine, but I guess we can always learn something new), and there were convenient coincidences which helped Tristan's search, requiring the reader to suspend belief and just go with the flow (something I don't often do well, but was agreeable to during this read, for some reason).
If you like a long, detailed treasure hunt, particularly when combined with a bit of love, a bit of historical reminiscing, and a European tour from a poor student's perspective, you will probably like this novel. However, if you like all your questions answered succinctly for you and your endings to be wrapped up in a neat little bow with no thinking required.....hmmm. I'm trying to warn you without a spoiler; it may frustrate you a bit.
Two weeks after I finished this novel, I had a lightbulb moment, where I *think* I worked out the answer to the question with which the story had left me. I say *think*, because unless I meet the author and quietly ask him, "Hey, dude...Did you mean what I think you meant in that last chapter??", I may never know if he was being cryptically clever, or if I am clutching at invisible straws.

Overall: To me, an entertaining read. (I have started and then tossed aside many, many, celebrated novels. I read all of this one)

It Will Get Better by Stella Gibney

If you think you recognise the name, yes, Stella is actor Rebecca's sister. In this memoir, Stella shares her tumultuous journey through life, from her childhood in New Zealand where she was a victim of sexual abuse and grew up in a household often dominated by alcohol and domestic violence, through teenage pregnancy and various volatile relationship breakdowns, her strong connections with her siblings and love for her sons, to her present day happiness.
Stella is honest and straightforward, and has a resilience that shines through; setbacks hit her from every angle but she fights on with determination. Somehow, whenever she hit rock bottom and didn't know how she could move forward, she managed to drag herself up and find a way.
I'll be honest, I'm not a religious person. At all. When it comes to religion, I tend to lean towards being somewhere between apathetic agnostic and cynical atheist. Or Jedi. Because of this, I didn't relate to Stella's faith, or her asking God for answers to some really tough questions (I tend to turn to Google) and believing He was her Saviour on several occasions. But I AM a supporter of the 'Each To Their Own,Whatever Gets You Through The Night' train of thought, so while I am not a believer (or a Belieber), I was not uncomfortable reading about Stella's thoughts and feelings.
And, in all honesty, if it has helped to bring Stella to where she is today, good on her.

Overall: Trigger warning for anyone who would not want to read about sexual or domestic abuse.
Brave and inspiring.

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do

This memoir follows a little boy's journey from war-torn Vietnam, across the sea in a crowded, dodgy boat where the refugees were faced with pirates and starvation, to starting again with nothing in a new country, and growing up to become one of Australia's funniest and  most loved comedians.
Anh and his family worked hard to make ends meet when they came to Australia to make a better life, and the stories of his family life (so many uncles on his father's side, they were not known by their names, but were numbered), money-making schemes, ill-fitting school uniforms and the joy of Salvation Army opshops are told with personable warmth and brilliant humour.
After working very studiously at school, he could've been a corporate stiff working 60 hours a week, but when he discovered comedians could work just four or five hours a week, Anh decided on his career. Being exceptionally funny helped, of course. He takes us through his jobs, his relationships, his cultural background, his reconnection with his estranged father, and his highs and lows on stage with enjoyable, moving, uplifting and often hilarious storytelling skill.
There are so many highlights and great anecdotes in this book, I can't possibly share them; you'll have to read it yourself.

Overall: I laughed, I cried, I laughed and laughed again. I loved it.

All of these books are published by Allen & Unwin

I'm currently reading three books at once....I know, THREE, MY HEAD MAY EXPLODE.... so I might get back here more when I finish them. Unless I pick up another three....

Jun 12, 2014

Dear John...

Dear John, 

It has come to my attention that you have placed items of clothing on the bedroom floor in the approximate area of where the dirty clothes hamper would normally stand. You may have noticed the hamper's absence when you went to lift its lid and it wasn't there, and let the clothes fall from your hand into nothing. If it is not visible in the bedroom, it will be found in only one other location. The laundry. You know, that room at the back of the house?

It is generally agreed amongst members of The Housewives Union that items not placed within the boundaries of a hamper, no matter its location, shall not be voluntarily washed. However, on this occasion I am prepared to overlook this error on your part and wash, at least, the shirt found languishing on the floor, as it is your first offence this week. (Note: I am only counting laundry offences, your farting is a separate issue for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Control committees.)

Please take steps to rectify this behaviour in future. 
Feel free to buy me some flowers.

Cathryn Pearce
Laundry Enforcement Officer

May 22, 2014

Grateful For The Alphabet

"I've had such a crappy twelve months, it's hard to focus on the goodness sometimes."

I wrote this comment on Anita Heiss' Facebook status about her A-Z Of Gratefulness post and her promise to record her 'gratefuls' more often.

But I was inspired. Or I was tired. Or sick. Or overloaded on chocolate. Or tipsy.
Not sure, I get all those feelings confused.

Either way, I decided to follow Anita's lead and write my 'gratefuls'. And I'm not going to dig deep, or think too hard about them. It will be spontaneous...whatever springs to mind.
Which means this could be hilarious. Or sad. Or a disaster.
Or a hilariously sad disaster.

Adelaide. I love where I live. I'm grateful we can afford to live just over 5km from the city centre, as the crow flies (6.5km drive), and yet be only 10 minutes from the beach. I'm a born and bred Adelaidian, who has never lived anywhere else and probably couldn't. We've had opportunities to go elsewhere, but this city has us in the palm of her hand. She's beautiful and affordable and a hive of creativity. And hellooooooo, wineries.

Books. I am forever grateful that someone, some time, decided to write a novel, and publish it for all the world to read, and this practice has continued for centuries. Except for that 50 Shades business. That was awful.
I have a few books. Some. Ok, lots. This is just some of them.

Cinema. When the lights go down, I'm in another world. I am grateful for the movie industry, shallow and overpaid (in Hollywood) though it is, as it has provided me with countless hours of entertainment over my whole life. And the word 'entertainment' barely covers it. I've laughed and cried, I've been thrilled and scared, I've thought deeply, I've blanked out completely, I've been enthralled and enraged, I've imagined I'm that dancer, singer, mother, CIA agent, soldier, fugitive, bounty hunter, zombie killer or Jedi knight on the screen.
The first movie I can remember seeing at a cinema was The Jungle Book (yes, I'm that old) and the last movie I watched, albeit from my own sofa, was August: Osage County last weekend. I've been a slave to a good movie all the years in between.

Dad. Aged almost 92 and still going strong. And still willing to put on a silly hat for one of my whims.

Electricity. Because it's important and we take it for granted. It lights the darkness and charges my iPad. It helps us cook, clean, keep wine cold, and reheat last night's pizza.
I know, it's a bit of a dumb 'grateful', but I warned you it would be the first thing that popped into my head. It was either that, or elephants.

Friends. I loved that show, can't believe it's been 10 years since the final episode aired.
Oh, did you think I meant real life friends?
Ok. Them too.
Seriously, I have some cool friends. The closest ones know when I need a shoulder, and when to back the fuck off. They know when to give me a nudge, and when to let me move at my own pace. I quite like them.

Garden. I am grateful we have the space to create a big, beautiful garden. I love roses, trees, shrubs, natives, perennial and annual flowers, lush grass, paved paths, seasonal pots, succulents, vines, hedges, statues, birdbaths, garden art, blossoms, herbs, bees, butterflies, birds, bulbs and borders. And I have them all. Now. Considering our yard was a labyrinth of concrete paths, weeds, and dead fruit trees when we bought this place, we've done quite well in 10 years. The Husband is a good digger and I am an excellent supervisor.

Home. I have one, when many don't, and I'm grateful. And it's a haven. A sanctuary where I feel comfortable and safe, despite my own cooking. It was just a house when we bought it, but it's now a home.
Shit, I probably should've been grateful for the Husband, but he doesn't read my blog, so don't tell him, ok?

Instagram. I'm grateful that I can take a fairly ordinary photo, then crop and filter it to magnificence.

John. Oh, thank goodness, I found a way to include the Husband.
Just in case he does ever read this.
I am grateful I have him in my life, he's my rock and I know I'd flounder without him, even if he does pack the wrong knickers when I get rushed to hospital.

Kitchen. Even though I hate cooking because I am the world's best Disasterchef, I still love my kitchen. I'm grateful that my design, which I spent months tweaking, and then the last five years adding to, came to fruition and I was able to include everything I wanted.
Except a full time professional chef.

Lyrics. I am grateful that, while I don't mind the odd symphony, somebody once put words to music and the idea grew. A beautiful lyric, along with a mesmerising tune, can bind me to love a song forever.
This does not apply to the lyrics of Nick Minaj's 'Boss Ass Bitch'.
And I'll be honest. The first L word I thought of was lemons. Which I guess in some weird way I might be grateful for when I ....need lemon juice? And the second word was Laxatives. For which, apart from that one time after childbirth, I have no reason to be grateful.

Mother's Day. I'm grateful I survived Mother's day. It didn't start well, with yet another 3am decision of 'do I go to hospital or not?' rearing its ugly head in the shape of a gallstone. (I decided NO, I do not want to spend Mother's Day in hospital waiting for surgery, I will soldier through this pain and go when I have my next attack. Or the one after that. Or I'll just eat salad for the rest of my life and avoid another attack, now there's a thought)
Anyway, then Dad's closest friend died in the morning. I realise friendships in an aged care facility have, shall we say, a limited time frame, but this bloke was only in his 70s, so we hoped he would outlive Dad.
Thankfully, the day improved with a couple of nice gifts, dinner at a lovely pub at the beach, and a stroll along the pier.
I also got Mum out of the cupboard for a little while. She sat on the dining table in the sunshine. I think she had a good time.

Nurses. Given my experience this year, I am truly grateful that so many wonderful men and women choose to be nurses. I know I couldn't do it. I can barely stand my own vomit, let alone someone else's. And if they are free and easy with the pain relief, all the better.

Online Shopping. Ahh, the ease and comfort of sitting at home in your PJs, sipping a cuppa, one eye on Escape To The Country and the other on a designer dress which has been marked down by 50%, or a clearance of a set of towels in just the right shade of green to match your apparently no-longer-fashionable bathroom. And if there is a free shipping offer, I may just orgasm. So grateful.

Photos. I'm grateful for every ancestor who has managed to save photos over the decades, as I have a fascination with them, the older the better. We have a great collection of sepia and black & white portraits hanging in our hallway, fondly referred to as the 'Wanted Gallery'. We even have a photo of the children of the original owners standing in front of our home, back in the 20s. So grateful the grandson of the owners gave it to us.

Quiet. Those people who constantly need other people around them, the hustle and bustle of activity, the sound of voices or TV or the stereo, the stimulation of constant noise....yeah, I'm not one of them. I love quiet, and I am grateful for any quiet time I have.

Railway. Oh god, this is another 'first thought in my head' selection. Partly because the Husband was talking about the movie he saw on last week's flight home, The Railway Man. And partly because this photo I took of the railway line at Port Elliot is the screensaver on my iPad, so I see it constantly. But of course, society in general is grateful for the railway...I'm just not sure what makes me personally grateful. Perhaps for the great photo opportunities they provide? Yep, that's it.

Sauvignon Blanc. Wine. Grateful. Nuff said.

Time. I was going to think of something else because being grateful for Time seems too clich├ęd. Of course I'm grateful that every day I wake up, I have more time with people I love. Or to do the things I love. I would be even more grateful if I could turn back time (did you read that in Cher's voice? I typed it in her voice), not to change any outcomes, but to say some things left unsaid, ask some questions and solve some puzzles. But if I did, maybe that would change the outcome anyway....jeez, this is a bit profound, I wish I'd said I was grateful for Toasters now.

Underwear. Eternally grateful for knickers that hide things and bras that hold up things.
And if I really could turn back time, I'd make sure the Husband brought the right knickers to the hospital.
Clearly, I'm not over it.

Velcro/Vasectomy. Both words popped into my head and I couldn't tell which arrived first, so I was going to prioritise... I am especially grateful for the Husband's Vasectomy... but Velcro is the SHIZ.
I don't know, maybe I have to give it to the snip.

Weather. We see the sun and beautiful blue skies a lot in Adelaide, and while I will complain loudly, and hotly, when the sun is beating down with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (which also happens a lot), I never take our amazing climate for granted. Grateful for our wonderful weather.
Also, wine. Oh, I already said that.

Xylophone. I am grateful that the first musical instrument I received as a child was a Xylophone, as it taught me so much. It taught me I CANNOT play a musical instrument. Not that this fact stopped me from progressing to the recorder. I bang a mean tambourine though.

Young'uns. Not just any Young'uns, and certainly not all Young'uns, but MY Young'uns. I am grateful that they are happy and healthy humans, who have turned into funny, loving, and goddamn nice young adults. Who love to be photographed with me. Obviously.

Zzzzzz. I am not a great sleeper, never have been, so I am grateful if I get a good night of restful Zzzzzs, or a daytime nap which refreshes me. I've been awake today since 5am, so it could strike me at any tiiiiii....zzzzz.

May 1, 2014

Disney Ignorance Is Bliss

That word probably brings forth an immediate gamut of emotions to millions of kids and parents around the world, not the least of which is psychotic desperation due to an apparent shortage of merchandise available from Disney's latest blockbuster. (Kerri Sackville wrote about it here)

I'm happily ignorant. Haven't seen the movie. Don't know what it's about. Haven't heard the songs (I changed the channel during the Oscars) and don't want to. And as a perimenopausal woman who is having regular hot flushes, the word 'frozen' is not even in my vocabulary at the moment. 'Hot', 'sweat', and 'getthefuckoffme' are though.

This is probably not a scene from Frozen.

I'm also oblivious to Tinkerbell, Brave, Tangled, Planes, and Wreck-It Ralph, and their associated merchandise issues, along with the feminism and sexism arguments on social media which generally accompany a Disney release, especially if princesses are involved. I would assume Ralph is not a princess, but that would be sexist of me.
(Seriously, I had to google for movie titles, I have no fucking idea what Disney animation have been up to in recent years. Also, there is Tinkerbell porn. It's an actual thing. Trust me, don't look.)

This is probably not a scene from Brave either.
*shrugs again*

On another platform, there is a Barbie stage show of some sort doing the rounds. It apparently involves lots of pink glitter and has also started a debate on Barbie's feminist traits, or lack thereof, and whether everyone's daughters will be damaged in some irrecoverable way if they are forced to sit through the show by parents who are clearly being abusive in letting young, vulnerable minds see some....gosh... singing and dancing.
(Twitchy Sharon wrote intelligently about it here)

I think this scene was axed from
the Barbie stage show because he
wasn't wearing glitter.
And as for hobbies, what is with all this 'loom' business? Kids are 'looming' everywhere (and I don't mean over your shoulder like a murderer in a slasher movie), so much so that it has caused a bit of a shitstorm at some schools and teachers have had to ban looms from the classroom. It's like Pokemon and Tamagotchi all over again, but with less Japanese words. These Looms are just coloured rubber bands to me, and I have no idea what wizardry can be done with them (and no, don't tell me) but it can allegedly keep small people occupied for hours, especially when swallowed. Occupied in the toilet, that is.

This is the only loom I know.
Yes, I'm that old.
 As I sit here, smugly ignorant of what parents of young'uns are dealing with right now, knowing I paid my dues in the 90s with Power Rangers, Tazos, and those godforsaken Furbies, I am relieved my two offspring are now adults. This means I only have to keep up with the latest Uni schedules, music festivals, and Just Jeans sales.

And dingy nightclubs.
And pub crawls.
And death metal bands.
And drunken parties.
And police contact numbers.

Frozen sounds really good....

Apr 22, 2014

Crimson Dawn

You know how certain things hold certain memories, and remind you of a specific time and place in your life?
Like that John Hughes movie which will always remind you of the time you and your friends hired it on video (remember them?) and watched it every night for a week until you all knew every line by heart.
Or the smell of sultana scones which takes you back to your grandmother's kitchen in the school holidays where you were just happy to watch, and eat.
And that Best Of album which will be forever linked to the Easter roadtrip to the freezing caravan park by the river where the possums had overrun the shower block.

Fleur McDonald's latest novel, Crimson Dawn, will always remind me of 'that time I was in hospital getting my gangrenous appendix removed'. (see previous post if you missed the gory details)
But it will remind me in a good way. I don't know what I would've done without Crimson Dawn to transport me away to somewhere far outside the hospital walls, especially at 3am when the nurse woke me to check my obs and I couldn't go back to sleep. I grabbed that book and kept reading whenever I was awake enough to do so, possibly to the detriment of my recovery, as I was supposed to be walking as much as I could. Oops. I sat and read instead because, as usual, I couldn't put Fleur's book down.

Now, I may be a little sketchy on some of the details, because BOY are those opiate painkillers really good, but I know a good read, drugged or not.

In Crimson Dawn, Fleur lets the story flow seamlessly back and forth in time, to show us how our ancestors and their secrets can have great bearing on both our present and our future.
And she says "semen package" on page 64. Now that I DO remember.

Just like my grandmother knew how to make the perfect sultana scone, Fleur knows how to weave a tale.... A pinch of love, a handful of betrayal, a dash of romance, a dollop of mystery, a measure of adversity, a hint of tragedy, a scoop of triumph, and a whole cupful of the basic ingredient; life in the country.

Laura Murphy has grown up on Nambina, a property which has been in her family for generations. Suddenly, she finds herself running it, and eventually, after some personal setbacks and heartbreak, starts a school teaching the next generation of women the basics of managing a property like Nambina, in the hope that they will get the solid grounding she had herself from her grandfather.

Laura has her hands full with not only her students, but problems with her former best friend, former boyfriend, and a young family member who shuns Laura's attempts to get close. When the legal ownership of Nambina is placed under threat, Laura must find all of her strength to fight the claim by delving into her family's history, and reaching out to her family and friends to help prove her status as the rightful heir to the property.

This is Fleur McDonald's fifth novel, following on from her previous best sellers,
Red Dust
Blue Skies
Purple Roads
Silver Clouds
(I have written about all of these, see my Review page)

If you want a taste of the Outback without getting dirt in your eyes, try Fleur McDonald and her series of novels.
You won't regret it. Cracking reads, all of them.

Fleur McDonald

www. fleurmcdonald.com


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