Saturday 29 June 2019

My favourite reads of 2019 so far....

Stealing from Deb at Debbishdotcom when I saw her list of her favourite books so far in 2019, I thought I'd do mine. I've struggled a bit reading books this year, pretty much since our holidays in Jan, so the majority are audio books, as I spend way too much time in the car and in the kitchen.

In no particular order:

Educated by Tara Westover.
While I thought it wouldn't be my sort of thing, I quickly devoured it. Really interesting memoir.

Blue Nights by Joan Didion.
Not my favourite book of hers but still streets ahead of most of my other reads. She's such a remarkable writer.

Any of the MANY books by Jon Ronson (on Audible, he reads them).
I love them so much. I'm down to his last one now (Men who stare at goats) and am so sad that I'll now have to wait for something new!! Butterfly Effect should be mandatory listening for all parents, to start those porn conversations, as it's not just nudie magazines anymore and there's so much to cover. As should So you've been publicly shamed online.If you liked Serial, Last Days of August is as addictive. I loved both Lost at Sea and Them.

Love, etc. by Julian Barnes. Wicked people being nasty. It's not his best book and the ending was a bit weak but I really enjoyed it. If you love Barnes, you'll love it. I've also just started Nothing to be frightened of by him, on audio, and it's read by him and I'm loving it!

Notable mentions, which I enjoyed but not so sure about recommending them to others:
Daisy Jones and the Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

How Proust can change your life - Alain De Botton (I loved this and have only read Swann's Way, so I don't think it matters that much if you haven't read Proust, but you will enjoy it more if you have.)

Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race - Reni Eddo-Lodge

One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (I enjoyed it but not entirely sure why it's considered great literature - that could be a reflection on me).

Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind -Loung Ung. (This is the second book in the series, and I would definitely read First they Killed my Father first. I liked this book but it's not as good as the first, and I think knowing her history made me like the book more than the book itself.)

One thing that is interesting to note, I would describe myself as someone who reads fiction over non fiction, but other than a few book club books (not listed & Daisy Jones) and Love etc and Ivan Denisovich, nearly every thing I've read this year has been non fiction! How strange!

That's all I can  remember. Planning my holiday reads, which is dependant on the new Hermann Koch turning up in time...curse you English translations!

Any top tips from you?

Linking with #BWBR



Friday 28 June 2019

The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love -W. Somerset Maugham

While it's very easy to hear people criticise the young, I am finding it people my age that are really where the problem lies. The enthusiasm and open-mindedness is gone. I think understandably the emotional wear and tear of the years has jaded the best of us. And physically, the cards are crummy...or at least not the winning hand they once were.

I found myself guilty of this yesterday when I noticed a band I like was coming to town. I excitedly checked the date and went to buy tickets. Then I realised they were the second act, and the gig was starting at 11pm. Realistically, they would be coming on about 1 am...I have no delusions on my youthfulness or lack there of. I know I'm old. I know that is way past my bedtime. I might stay out late at the occasional party but I know starting my night at that hour is only for watching the World Cup or Olympics on the telly...

I felt a little defeated. Like I should be wearing a scarlet O for Old.

I was driving my daughter and her boyfriend to the airport this morning and my playlist was EDM. The boyfriend kept chuckling with each new song because he found it 'funny' I liked this kind of music. Funny to the point of stifling laughter. And he hasn't even seen me dance yet!

I do from time to time find myself sitting at a dinner party with the wrong people thinking 'Are we those people now? Is this all we talk about?'. But that's a Me vs Them scenario. Twice this week I've found myself in a 'You're the problem, you got old' dilemma. It is far more disconcerting than I expected.

Have you noticed a change in your tune, or the attitudes of those around you?

Was Somerset Maugham right? Do you think it's the case that we lose our enthusiasm rather than there's less to be enthusiastic about?

Linking with #FloralFridayFoto (just for the pictures)

Sometimes what is reflected is only part of the picture

As I shut the blog for a few weeks on the 5th, this will be my last reflection shot until the end of July.

Remember that while taking in the big picture, the details heralding change to come are often dimished until it's barely noticable. The big building will soon carry not the reflection of a tiny crane, but that of an equally large tower blocking the sky.

Open a door just a crack and the horse will bolt...

Linking with #WanderingCamera  #PictorialTuesday #WWOAT #WWOT  #WordlessWednesday  #SayCheese #ThruMyLens #WeekendReflection

Wednesday 26 June 2019

What would be in your box?

The Moon at the PACT theatre
We've been watching the latest installment of 7 Up - 63 Up. I found myself wanting them to be happy. I wanted them to be content. Strangely, it really mattered to me.We discussed if the forced introspection and putting your life on show every seven years made you more at peace with your lot, as many of them seemed happier at 63 than they had previously.

Then last night I saw a great little play, I hope it's not raining in London (in Sydney until the 29th and then on tour). It made me think about what would be my defining moments? What objects would represent me?

I don't have the answers yet but it's interesting to think about.

So this week I'm grateful for ideas and introspection.

What are you loving this week?

Linking with #TheRandom #MCOW and #Nanahood

PS The play review is here. No spoilers.

Saturday 22 June 2019

Light and Nature - Share my snaps!

EDIT: This is an old post, so clearly I'm not going on holidays and thankfully not in disarray with the ATO. But I also have no interesting pictures...

This week got thrown into disarray and I'm gearing up for EOFY and introduction of STP (ironically named given the process!) and then the school holidays.

So this may be my last post until the 23rd July. Not entirely sure yet (nothing like a mature adult with a plan, right?!)

Anyway, there should be some good Insta photos over the coming weeks, so if you aren't following, click here.

Have a great week everyone - and notice the beauty in the world around you!

Linking with 

Pieni Lintu - MakroTex challenge

Small mercies

Sometimes all you can do is focus on the little things that lift you up.
1. About to start my last Jon Ronson book (please write some more ASAP!)
2. Good news from friends - new houses, engagements and other reasons to smile!
3. Seeing the younger men that don't see feminism as an attack on men, but rather as a struggle against an unfair system, one that they are happy to join in and fight to change.
4. Pretty much anything Finnish is making me smile. Simply winning at life.
5. Good fun with good friends.

What's been bringing you out of a funk?

Linking with #StayClassyMama  #KCACOLS and #DreamTeam

Friday 14 June 2019

Party ettiquette - the need to RSVP

Why don't people RSVP?

We are having a party -it's just for fun so I don't care if people come or not, but I do need to know.
I had to chase 88 people for their RSVPs. A number of them can't come becasue they have other things on, or it's their child's birthday, and yet they didn't bother to RSVP when they realised they had a clash? Why would you not RSVP if you know you can't come?

I understand some people need to sort out sitters or other people's logistics, and some people might be waiting for a better offer (which is also fine, but don't make me chase you for your decision). If you know you're a NO, just send that text.

With the 30 outstanding I've just emailed and said I'm presuming they aren't coming, which is rude but I'm not catering for 30 people that may or may not turn up (and I figure they were rude first by not bothering to RSVP).

I get people can get caught up, but surely once you get the reminder you reply? And it's almost always the same people that can't be bothered replying.

My husband said for the next one, I needed to write on the invite "If you don't RSVP, you're never being invited again". Nothing makes people feel more welcome than a passive agressive invite, n'est-ce pas? Ha!

Do these people never have parties? These things cost money, no matter how 'budget' you do it, and I'm loathe to waste food for the ecological reasons as much as the cost.

I  don't even mind a few 'can I let you know on the day' due to difficult arrangements (I currently have 6 people in that boat, but I figure with the no shows and last minute cancels there'll be enough food to cover them).

If you are invited to something, please RSVP so your host knows if you are coming. They really don't care if you come or not, but they really hate having to waste their time chasing your decision.

Linking a ranty, cranky post with #LifeThisWeek and #KCACOLS.

Can anyone explain why people do this?

As an aside, of that last 30, some are now I'm just meant to guess how many people will turn up.

And it's lights out for another year! VIVID ends.

Sadly it's all over for another year.

Here's a recap of the camera photos .

This year I explored VIVID from High and Low, and from Inside and Out.

These were projected on the ground in a laneway in the Rocks.

During VIVID it's always important to look up and down, and also back into the city, not just out to the bridge and Opera House.

Plus a few less than impressive shots of the fabulously pretty Rufus Du Sol show at Carriageworks.

There are so many ways to enjoy VIVID, not just in the streets by the harbour.

If you didn't make it this year, start planning your trip for next year.

VIVID brings Sydney alive!


Linking with #WWOT #WWOAT  #ThruMyLens #OurWorldTuesday #WanderingCamera #MummyMondays and #GlobalBlogger #FotoTunes (I don't think you'll like this song but I LOVE it! An oldie but a goodie!)

Just house keeping, I'll be offline a bit this week, not in a post VIVID funk, just early morning meetings.

And some cheery music to get you dancing....