Category Archives: All things books

I’m not just a pretty face….

There’s more to me than a pair of knitting needles!

That was an expression used by a friend I had in England many years ago.
I met her at a ‘mum’s and babes’ group and marvelled at the knitting she produced.
However it seemed in a previous life before she married she had been a plain clothes policewoman, now dissatisfied with her present life (…..”reduced to nursing a baby and clicking knitting needles”….) she certainly let everyone know where she’d been and what she’d done.

So to prove that I can do more than knit I’ve managed to read several books in the last couple of weeks😊
My aim for these last few weeks we’re here has been at least a book a week, meaning I had to finish the ‘backlog of 3 by the bed’ before I could start the two new library ones

David Baldacci introduces a new character in Zero Day (the first in a now 10+yr old series of 5 books) John Puller, who could be called an army special agent investigator, sent to rural Virginia to look into ‘an unusual death’ he meets up with Samantha Cole a local police detective and the story unfolds from there.  This was an impulse ‘pick off the shelf’ from the library. I enjoyed it – a pick it up – put it down – and pick it up again – to get to the end as soon as possible sort of book.  A great way to pass a couple of wet windy days.


Linda Fairstein hadn’t been on my reading list before – this was a find on the ‘drop & swap’ shelf in the laundry.   Final Jeopardy is her first novel about Alexandra Cooper, a sex crimes prosecutor (there’s about 20 in the series now) so I got in on the ground floor as the saying goes.  Friend is killed, she becomes involved and then is a target as well.  I’m not a picky reader (will read anything and everything) but to me this seemed a bit humdrum.  I might see if I can find others and try again.
Other readers love her so maybe I should have another go.


David Mark’s Dark Winter was also another I plucked from the libary shelf.  Some days I go there with nothing in mind and just take something for the heck of it – not sure if I should be more organised or not.  Anyway this is his first novel about Aector McAvoy (10 in total now) – a policeman living in Hull, not the most glamorous city in Yorkshire but one that had a serial killer on the loose.  I became really engrossed in the story as it unfolded just before Christmas (Christmas in the book not real life Christmas lol) – 3 deaths that seemed unrelated till right at the very end.  And yes I did guess the killer but not the way he was involved.  He had vaguely crossed my mind sometime or another and it was only when it became apparent who it was I remembered my thought about that character lol

~ ~ ~ ~

Did I knit over the past couple of weeks – well, sort of 😊

I got fed up with the fawn shirt, then remembered I brought some half finished items with me – aiming to finish at least one. These rather crumpled looking pieces of green (which when finished will be a matinee coat looking like the pink top left corner) will be going home looking very much like they did on the way up. I reworked one of the sleeves then put the pieces back on the big stitch holder…..guess who forgot the very long needles to use for the yoke 😟

A very old pattern book from my very large collection

SO…..if you aren’t just pretty face and there’s more to you than meets the eye would you like to tell me what you’ve been up to ???? 

~ ~ ~ ~

I’m linking to Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse – you’ll find many interesting blogs there. Perhaps you’d like to join in as well.

Oh, and why don’t you pop over to see Kat…….She’s hosting Unraveled Wednesday
a great place where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading)

Winter Day90

How strange that the first day of our Winter (June 1) was a Wednesday and here we are at the last day (August 31) and it’s also a Wednesday!

Day1 at home in Victoria was the day we went for a drive in the rain (https://cranethie.com/2022/06/02/winter-day-1/) – I’m not sure how today will pan out but yesterday (Day90) here outside my little cabin in Queensland it was also wet!


Unlike Day1 when he didn’t play – on Day90 The Golfer decided maybe it wouldn’t be that bad…..it was the Veterans afternoon and ‘we can’t let the side down’ so just after lunch, waterproofs and brolly at the ready he headed out.

By early afternoon it was coming down in bucket loads

And had turned cool – well much cooler than it had been😌

But certainly nothing like it was at home!


Me – well I gathered up my blanket (to keep my toes warm) new library books
latest knitting project, parked myself on the bed and settled down
to enjoy an afternoon doing as I like on my own

He was home just after 4pm……a little wet and a bit subdued. Still doesn’t enjoy playing in the rain so didn’t stop for a drink in the club house…..something he usually enjoys
(reliving the game with all and sundry😊)

Me – well I was comfy so suggested he might like pop down and get pizza for dinner!.
Thanks for your suggestions
I’ll think about doing something with those egg plants another day !
~ ~ ~ ~

On the needles
The makings of another shirt similar to last week. I’ll do the ‘grandad neck’ on this one

Library books.
Violeta by Isabel Allende. ~ Her new release but my first read of any of hers
Cooktown by Andreas Heger. ~ A debut novel by a new to me Australian author

~ ~ ~ ~

As it is Wednesday why not visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  where there’s lots more knitting (and reading) to admire and think about

Linking to Wednesdays Words & Pictures …….Hosted by Denyse

#enjoyeverymoment

Two finishes….

it’s Wednesday – the day Kat from As Kat Knits hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday ‘ …….that’s where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

I finally finished a couple of little shirts for the charity box – actually following the pattern this time by knitting and placing a collar.
Something I’ve avoided instead preferring to work these ‘grandad necklines’
I’ll add buttons and fix the button band when we get home – and remind myself not to knit anymore rib patterns as my stitches never came even after frogging and reknitting 😟

My reading this past week has been – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

One of those novels I’m sure many of you have read – one I’ve said to myself ‘you should’ but never have.
Classed as a classic by the library in Bowen and that’s where I saw it (in the display I mentioned the other day).

I’m having the same ‘problem’ here as at home earlier in the year – pick a book, oh that looks interesting, two chapters – two pages in some cases, nope not for me. So I thought why not try something different- something unknown. So it came home with me.

A smallish book that had words (language, situations, ideas) I had to think about. I enjoyed it – and at the moment that’s all that matters.

I also found myself so engrossed I realised I was ‘acting out’ some of the things I was reading.

  • I looked at Miss Baker…..I enjoyed looking at her. 
    She was a slender small breasted girl with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body back at the shoulders like a young cadet

Straightening my spine and pulling my shoulders back – not recommended if you are non slender and large breasted😊

  • I glanced at ….and at Jordan who had begun to balance an invisible but absorbing object on the tip of her nose 

Lifting my chin and looking down my nose wondering what I had balanced there – not recommended….makes you go cross eyed 😊

… … … … …

A book and two woolies…..that’s me finished.
Do pop over to Kat’s to see what she and other ‘unravelers’ have been up to

They’re not all the same…

Libraries that is….

The branches I use back in Melbourne are part of a large group that come under the banner of Eastern Regional Libraries.
The one I use up here in Bowen is part of a much much smaller group under Whitsunday Regional Council Libraries

Here in Bowen the library might be smaller in size with not so many copies of each book but there are little touches I appreciate that don’t seem to be available at home….or if they are I’ve not noticed them😊

This whirly roundabout shelving has books from ‘series’ – not just the latest publication but all others from a popular series, and look (you might have to enlarge to see)……the library actually numbers them in the order they’re published
You can see at a glance if the elusive one you’re hunting for is available.

And if you look at the top right hand square you’ll see another doodad holding books labelled as ‘Classics’….we might only have one copy I got told, they tend to get get lost – almost swamped in the main collection so they’re better off here where they can be found.

… … … …

Now for something different but just as pleasing.
I know most of us are familiar with the little pictorial genre identifiers – those little coloured stickers on the spine.
Seeing the red kangaroo makes me smile, my ‘local’ doesn’t use them, so when I see them on the shelves it means I can identify Aussie authors and books about/set in Australia without actually having one in mind.
Big discoveries made this way!

Last month red kangaroos introduced me to novels by two more ‘new to me’ Australian authors.
Both books covering two young Australian’s experiences during recent world wars
Both enjoyable in their own special way.

The Stars in the Night – Clare Rhoden.
(Historical Fiction)

Book blurb:-.
Harry Fletcher is a confident young man.
Harry’s sure that he will marry Nora MacTiernan, no matter what their families say. He’s certain that he will always be there to protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide
.
Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans
From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.

The Codebreakers – Alli Sinclair.
(Historical Fiction)

Book blurb:-.
1943, Brisbane: The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. For Ellie O’Sullivan, helping the war effort means utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies to armed forces overseas. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of the Central Bureau-an intelligence organisation working with England’s Bletchley Park codebreakers.
But joining the Central Bureau means signing a lifetime secrecy contract. Breaking it is treason.

… … … …
And then there’s this one I picked up the other day – Flames – Robbie Arnott.
(Magical Realism Fantasy)
Let’s just say it’s proving to be interesting’ 😊

  • Book blurb:- A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte—who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

What’s been on your book shelf recently- anything interesting?

Taking the easy way out…

Do you see the date…..July 27th already! And I haven’t got round to taking part in the challenge – yet!

As I was leaving my book club back in June all I said was ’I’ll try’.
Some of the others were in favour of joining in with Jane Austen July info……a challenge to read/watch/appreciate Jane Austen whatever way you can – I didn’t feel so committed.

Anyway knowing I had lost the urge to read and thinking it might put me back on track my battered copy of P&P (which even after various attempts over the years I’ve never finished….last one in 2009 ) came along….and has sat here on the bedside locker, ignored while I’ve been doing other things. I did briefly wonder about looking for an online production but that’s as far as it got.
( Internet – signal – online – words spoken here with rolled back eyes…..it seems (as with other years) park wifi reception is usually good BUT there can be/ often is problems/issues with the dreaded NBN. My phone (5g plus plan with our national carrier) is a bit hit and miss and using it as a hotspot for my iPad isn’t much better.)

Now you know how the libraries often have ‘just returned’ books on a trolley – hoping another reader picks them so saving the staff from having to shelve them….well look at this – The Usborne Complete Jane Austen – a (quite hefty) but really beautiful, printed on glossy paper, children’s book with abridged versions of all her novels – was sitting there just waiting for me to find it yesterday morning. How timely was that 😊

What I’m wondering is…do you think I’d be taking the easy way out, almost cheating, by reading (and most likely finishing) from this book rather than my Penguin edition with it’s over 400 pages of tiny print???
And look what else is included – before each of the novels there’s a whole double spread of who’s who and how they relate to each other. A pictorial cast list!

Honestly….it would appear

The older I get – The dafter I get!

I knit the back plain, in stocking stitch …then decided to do the front in broken rib

But couldn’t fathom out why my stitches were so ragged and out of shape

Look at the needles – I’ve been using two entirely different sizes😟

(I think there might be a bit of unravelling and some new beginnings coming up )

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s taken a while but I’m happy to say I’ve begun reading again.

Two new to me authors plus two entirely different genres
One down and one on the go!

The Things We Keep ~ Sally Hepworth

’Realistic Fiction’ – an interesting read, full of different emotions, one I really enjoyed about Anna, a well educated young woman in her 30s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease. Set in an aged care facility where she meets and strikes up a friendship with a young man with the same diagnoses.

Confronting for many with no experience of the disease in younger people it follows their intermingled times (good and bad) together, along with another character plus daughter trying to sort out their own lives

The Goldminer’s Sister ~ Alison Stuart

Australian Historical Fiction – set in an 1870s Victorian gold mining town.
Just begun – what I think will be an easy read about a young English woman arriving in the goldfields discovering all is not how she expected it to be. Her brother has died mysteriously…her uncle now has ownership of the brother’s mine….

(Even though it’s not marked as part of a series and can be read as a standalone seemingly it follows on from an earlier book ’The Postmistress’ set in the same small town so I might try to find that one)

Yes – sometimes it’s the little things in life on these winter days that make me happy 😊😊

As it is Wednesday why not visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  where there’s lots more knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

Carte Blanche or do as I please….

”Complete freedom to do whatever” source

The day I talked about the blue agapanthus EC mentioned white ones – which reminded me there was a clump of white ones growing near the garage, right next to the dark pink double Oleander, which is near where I park my car.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the ’heavy’ days we’ve been having but this year the contrast in the colours has been quite striking. The composition of the flower heads is exactly the same yet there’s always something special about the white that definitely isn’t there in the blue

12 January 2022

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this is how they looked. Very tired and weary and bedraggled. The heat had certainly got to them. It was time to give them a haircut.

OK, so I was keeping that thought somewhere in my mind for an opportune moment, trying to remember if the green bin had enough room for more clippings (those seed heads are enormous) and looking round the deck wondering where all the stuff on the benches came from, when I thought I saw the blue handles of the clippers ….(that would be secateurs for posh people 😊) in one of the tubs over there.

The sun was shining….there was just a hint of a breeze….it’s a five minute job….’cept I was planning on doing something else. So I made an executive decision- I gave myself carte blanche to do as I wanted – which (as anyone who knows me) turned out to be an hours sit down with a cold drink and a new rather thick (600 pages) library book!

#keeplifesimple

A fun ’did you know’ for you….

Because (in my mind) the year ’proper’ hasn’t begun yet

There’s Tennis on the telly – Australia Day is yet to come – the kids haven’t gone back to school yet…..some of us continue to eat and drink like it’s going out of style 😊

Here’s some fun bits of interest for you

  • We’re still in the first month of 2022 so here’s a little something to figure out….

If you take the last 2 digits of the year you were born…then add them to the age you will be this year…

It will equal ….122

  • Australia is wider than the moon. The moon sits at 3400km in diameter,  while  Australia’s diameter from east to west is almost 4000km. source 1source 2
  • Australia has more than 60 wine growing regions The majority of which are in Victoria and New South Wales source
  • Lemons float but Limes sink. Safe link below 👇 if you’re interested in why.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks, laying low, staying close to home, enjoying the summer weather, watching the beginning of the Australian Open and the ending of The Ashes. Lots of hopes and expectations dashed in both – but then that’s sport for you…….nothing is ever ‘a sure thing’ where that’s concerned.

Never one to just sit ‘watching tv’ I surprised myself by finishing two green adult beanies and reading two books on my ’to be read’ A-Z list of authors.

Both set in post war periods (WW1 & WW2) with main characters who have ’served’ – both storylines involve murders – both with secondary storylines dealing with the result of war service. I’d’met Elly Griffiths’ Brighton Mysteries characters before but this was my first time reading about Inspector Ian Routledge and I’ll certainly be on the look out for more of this series.

And here’s something else I’m looking forward to seeing again….next summer.
But first…..Development of the level crossing in Mooroolbark meant I I have been using the library in Montrose – and seeing their landscaping with new eyes. I’d been used to just driving by on my way elsewhere, now I walk by on my way to the front entrance

Just look at this magnificent small flowering gum…..not too tall with the most stunning orangey red flowers. Corymbia Ficifolia (Baby Orange)


* Flowering gums are grafted eucalyptus trees. By grafting plants onto specially selected rootstock you get trees that will grow happily in a wide range of soil types and have greater resistance against disease. It also means no surprises when it comes to flower colour and smaller sized trees*
source:- https://www.flowerpower.com.au/garden-advice/gardening/flowering-gum-trees/

All through the summer season you can see long flower buds forming, then bursting open into these huge clumps of bright blossoms that slowly fade in colour before dropping off and leaving the little nut casing – all this going on simultaneously in different parts of the tree.

Those little nut shells left after the petals drop grow into these enormous ’gum nuts’.
A bit like me in that as I shed my youthful me and grew older, the more gnarled and bigger in the beam I became 😊


Linking to Life this Week. 

Pop over and see who’s visiting Denyse today – it’s always worth a visit.

#keeplifesimple

It all adds up…..

I had a friend once who needed to save some ’spending money’ for a holiday she was planning. She decided to give up buying all those glossy monthly magazines she loved.
So after opening an account at the library, she then opened an account at a different bank to the one she normally used.

When the library received it’s copies of those same magazines she’d borrow them, then magazine in hand go into the bank and deposit the cost price into the savings account.

She said it was a win – win situation for her. She didn’t miss out on something she enjoyed and little by little (by paying herself the price of the magazine) her spending money grew.

~ ~ ~ ~

I gave up buying books a long time ago, they were going up in price and after retiring my attitude to some things changed. I began to resent all that money just sitting there on the book shelves so my library card very quickly became my book credit card.

But it wasn’t until a few months ago I began to wonder just how much I was actually saving. I didn’t (like my friend did) go the whole hog and physically save the cash…mine was saved virtually.

I’d seen an idea on another blog where the blogger wondered if…..using library books only ….she could ’save’ an amount equal to her yearly council rates.
My curiosity didn’t stretch that far – I just wondered how much all these books I was reading….wherever they came from…..would have cost in the real world.
Like her I used an Australian online bookshop Booktopia to ’price’ my books and to make it easy any price ending over 50¢ was rounded up, anything under 50¢ went down and anything at 50¢ stayed as is.

Well, as the title says….it all adds up….I worked out that the cost of those 52 books I read to achieve my Goodreads challenge would have been in the region of ….

1240AUD – 676GBP – 909USD

So it’s a good job I I gave up buying because I’d never be able to afford it if I did!
How about you – do you have a money tree dedicated to books growing in your back garden?


Read-a-lot November

Towards the end of October I mentioned the Goodreads challenge I ‘work’ on each year. What with one thing or another I was way behind and had wondered whether I’d actually finish or not …….but look – this just popped up …….I did it!


So the question is – how did that happen a whole month before I intended it to?

Well, it would seem that because of all that cold wet weather we had over the past few weeks I didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty in the garden (plus the fact If I got down I couldn’t get up) so when a lot of my ordered library books all turned up at the same time I chose to sit around and do nothing but read. Not a hard choice at all – agreed😊

Out of all those I read, one stood out. One which looked like a smallish quick to read book that turned into a really great read by a new to me author. A crime/mystery set in Melbourne during WW2 involving the newly formed Homicide division of Vic Police. Very easy to read, mostly dialogue with a little bit of possibly unintentional humour in the writing

The bathroom was tiled in green…..and the reflected light gave a bilious cast to the very dead face of the man who lay in the generously proportioned bath.  He looked to be in his sixties and was fully clothed; his features were remarkably composed, given that the back of his head and his brains were spread across the chip heater and the wall behind.”

“It’s Latin’, he said.  Do you read Latin, Sergeant? No, sir.  Latin isn’t big in Jewish families.

as well as a lot of ’not known to me’ history of military matters and ‘unsavoury political groups’ evident at that time.

The Holiday Murders ~ Robert Gott – (2013)

Book blurb:-……If only the killings had stopped at two. The police are desperate to come to grips with an extraordinary and disquieting upsurge of violence. For Constable Helen Lord, it is an opportunity to make her mark in a male-dominated world where she is patronised as a novelty. For Detective Joe Sable, the investigation forces a reassessment of his indifference to his Jewish heritage. Racing against the clock, the police uncover simmering tensions among secretive local Nazi sympathisers as a psychopathic fascist usurper makes his move.

And guess what….this is No.1 in a series 😊

There were several all involving babies.  Also their mothers, their fathers, and the lengths they will go to protect each other.

  • Harnessing Peacocks ~ Mary Wesley – (1985). Hebe sits in the darkness and listens to her hypocritical grandparents and her older siblings discuss how her unexpected pregnancy must be terminated to avoid the shame it will bring. 
  • The Couple Next Door ~ Shari Lapena – (2016) Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
  • The Foundling ~ Stacey Halls – (2020) Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known.
  • The Sister’s Gift ~Barbara Hannay – (2020) Two sisters, one baby and the best of intentions…

As well as a couple of others seen or recommended on other blogs.  It’s hard to go past those ‘books read’ lists….you never know what you’ll find !  

  • The Long Call ~ Anne Cleeves –  (2019) In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place
  • Death of a Busybody ~ George Bellairs – (1942) The eponymous nosy parker in Death of a Busybody is Miss Ethel Tither. She has made herself deeply unpopular in the quintessentially English village of Hilary Magna, since she goes out of her way to snoop on people, and interfere with their lives. 

If you’re interested, all the 2021 challenge books are listed in the Books Read page under the header photo. Hopefully there’ll be more added at the end of December

Did we ever find the answer??

I’m not sure what the question was or even if there was an answer

These turned up in a box out in the garage

I remember them as interesting reads at a time when I needed a bit of encouragement

Thinking back, I wasn’t a sheep, following along with everyone else, but strangely was ambitious yet didn’t want to be ’the big boss’ – what I was really interested in was what ’the big boss’ thought and how they might have gone about things.

At that time the words ’self improvement’ never entered my mind – what these books (and more) gave me (because they were always being mentioned in the staff room) was a small insight into how and why some of my colleagues and ’superiors’ thought (and acted) in those days.

I’m still cross we lent the ever popular Think and Grow Rich to a ’friend’ never to see it again yet still remember Hill’s first principle of success being Desire.

Anyway that was a long time ago now and guess what……Of all the advice I gleaned at the time …Dress Well and Be Nice …is what I remember the most 😊

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I had a week off from the blog, not writing or reading or answering comments……because ’The Back’ ‘flared up’ and has been a problem again I’ve been indulging in a self pity party – not wanting to talk to anyone, feeling angry (it’s not fair!) knowing tears don’t solve anything yet wallowing in misery. Which has got to stop!

I feel another quiet week coming up I think. A warm sunny one I hope
It’ll soon be breakfast time – time for another cup of tea…..will it be cereal, toast and marmalade this morning or porridge with cinnamon sugar and a handful of sultanas?
Then afterwards maybe I’ll dip into those books again and refresh my memory on how to Think Big – Win Friends – Look Good – Read Body Language – and Communicate Well With Everyone 😊

Curious to know if anyone else read these or any similar books and did you find them useful at the time? As some of them are still in print people must think the ideas haven’t dated and are still be relevant to life in the 21st century.

What ya reading Wednesday

At the end of last year 2020 I set myself a challenge of reading 52 books during this year 2021….that equated to 1 a week . Of course things don’t always work out the way we want them to and during the second quarter the ‘reading slump’ put in an appearance. Which meant that by the end of June (week 26) I was way behind…..7 books in fact.

Since then I’ve caught up a bit – Bowen was a great place to sit around and do nothing, a lot of reading happened there – but I’m going to have to get a move along to finish the way I intended. It’s a light hearted challenge….there’ll be no tears shed if I don’t reach that total…..but you know how it is…..If you think you can, there’s no reason you can’t

So far this month I’ve taken two off the total and there’s two more in hand ready to go!

And to answer those all important questions we ask our ’book loving’ friends

What are you reading at the moment?
What did you just finish ?
What are you planning to read next ?

I’ll go about it this way….

Sitting on the table waiting to be read is – Women of the Dunes by Sarah Main

Book blurb:- From the author of the acclaimed novels The House Between Tides and Beyond the Wild River, a rich, atmospheric tale set on the sea-lashed coast of west Scotland, in which the lives of a ninth-century Norsewoman, a nineteenth-century woman, and a twenty-first-century archeologist weave together after a body is discovered in the dunes.

This is one I’m looking forward to reading and hoping it lives up to its reviews. Having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) her previous Scottish flavoured novels I’m sure it will.

My current read is – The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

Book blurb:- When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carlin Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company.

I’ve only just started this one so don’t have any comments but if it’s anything like the earlier book in this series it should be ’a good ’un’

Just finished – The Echo Chamber by John Boyne

Book blurb:- What a thing of wonder a mobile phone is. Six ounces of metal, glass and plastic, fashioned into a sleek, shiny, precious object. At once, a gateway to other worlds – and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept.

About a family, a ’modern’, some would say dysfunctional family, a family who are attached to their mobile phones and all the ‘must have’ social media apps.
Especially Twitter!
Humorous, witty, fun to read, seeing all the twists and turns that crop up in their lives and how the results of them link each family member to each other in unseen ways.

Also just finished – Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey

Book blurb:- London, 1879. Crowds have gathered at Islington’s chilly Agricultural Hall to place their bets on who will become the next world champion in a six-day, 500-mile speedwalking race, the “wobble.” When one of the highly favored contenders dies under suspicious circumstances, Sergeant Cribb also has a race on his hands—to pursue a ruthless murderer.
 
A quick easy fun read, a couple of murders and other skulduggery linked to a popular 19c event (Pedestrianism). It’s the only book in this series at my library so I’m pleased I discovered it.

As an aside I found this on youtube – just right for a rainy day…which we’ve had plenty of recently

To use our PMs words ”it’s not a race” – no, unlike some things, this is not a race but I’d really like to get to the finish line before the end of the year.

How about you……what’s on your bedside table- what are you reading this Wednesday?

Musical Monday….

It’s surprising how different the words to a song – the tune – the melody – can sound when sung by various arists.

Take this one  ~ Accentuate the Positive ……

Music by Harry Arlen – Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate_the_Positive

This is the original sung by Johnny Mercer

Crooners like Bing Crosby and Perry Como recorded it

Frank Sinatra recorded a version in concert (also a little chat with Johnny Mercer)

And Ella Fitzgerald gave it a go in 1960

While in 1988 Willy Nelson gave it a distinct country flavour


If you have time, listen and tell me what you think – which do you prefer?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These Mondays come by quite quickly don’t they…..I know I’ve been back home less than two weeks and shouldn’t make mention of it….in fact knowing what she went through during the war my mother would have a fit if she heard me carrying on…..but already, similar to this time last year, the ’controlled environment’ we’re living in here in Victoria is beginning to ’get to me’. I could hear that same frustration in Andrew’s voice when he commented the other day (“get busy in your garden There’s eff all else to do”) We must go oh so carefully now and if everyone plays their part (wouldn’t that be a lovely thing) it’s not going to last too much longer but in the meantime I’m going to have to take notice of the song and

accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative’ .

Last Saturday morning was warm enough to sit outside in a T-shirt and bright enough when I was ’pottering’ to need my sunglasses. There was a brand new (2021) library book to read (The Echo Chamber – John Boyne) a little cardigan to knit some love into and time to have a quick cup of coffee with The Golfer. Here’s to many more 😊😎

Love to you all ❤️

Linking to Life the Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

A little bit of this plus a bit of that

It’s Wednesday again, the first Wednesday in a new month
The first Wednesday in September 2021
Which means it is the first Wednesday in Spring in Australia

Mind you when I wrote this yesterday, here in this little usually warm spot in FNQ it felt almost wintery, very wet and very cool; so much so that because I had no reason to be out and about and there was more rain making it’s way down the coast, a strong wind warning plus the temp was only 18c (feels like 14c!) I resorted to wearing my bring along just in case tracky dacks and a windcheater.
The beach certainly wasn’t calling my name😊


Tuesday 10.45 am

As far as needles and wool are concerned I seem to have done nothing more than ‘look at and think about’ anything to do with them this month. I’m beginning to think a lot of the supplies brought up to keep me occupied will be returning to take up residence in the garage again once we get home…..however there’s hope for some of it because we’ve extended our stay and won’t (at the moment) be leaving for the journey down south until early October now….mind you that could also change given the circumstances in NSW (1000 cases again yesterday) as well as changing case numbers in Victoria.

A general feeling of ‘can’t be bothered’ seems to have crept into life….not just for me but also many in the park. I don’t mean dropping standards but a slowing down, in normal (pre covid) times it would be coming towards the end of the season with many packing up and making the trek back to southern or even farther afield states but more and more like us are staying put because border closures are a problem….especially for those returning to Western Australia or Tasmania.

The baby cardigans from the other day are still at the same stage they were when I spoke about them….unfinished- and thoughts of making another of these little white lacy jackets have progressed as far as casting on plus 3 rows garter stitch!


And that’s when I was interrupted – then glanced down to notice how dry my legs were…….dry legs, moisturiser, greasy hands….no more knitting but time spent lazily watching the clouds pass by through the palms in front of the trellis right where I was sitting 😎

I may not have achieved all the crafty things I planned
BUT…..I have done a bit of reading

One turned out to be a reread – two were a bit so so – and two were definite 5*.
Which ones do you think think they were? Have you read any of them?

August 2021

Sophie Green ~ The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Sophie McKenzie ~ The Black Sheep

Christine Piper ~ After Darkness

Christopher Koch ~ Lost Voices

Emily Koch ~ If I die before I wake

Oh my….. so many words here to tell you it rained all day, I did very little knitting and read a few books last month. There was much beach sitting and very little walking.
How did ‘your’ August go? And what are you reading this Wednesday?

If you’re interested in seeing other’s knitting and reading ideas you’ll find both at Unraveled Wednesday hosted by Kat. Pop over and have a look – she’d love to see you 

It’s yours or is it….

When the stars align and the internet plays nicely I sometimes have a quick look through my Twitter feed.
Recently I seem to have lost interest in much that’s said there, haven’t actually tweeted/retweeted/liked anything for a long time, in fact a lot of unfollowing has happened as I’ve got fed up with the thoughts of some users…..but now and again something piques my interest and I click through to read some replies.
Rightly or wrongly (depending on your point of view) Poor ‘1000 cases a day’ Gladys & Mr ‘not my prime minister’ M (NSW Premier & Australian PM) are really being lambasted over recent events. Lets just say some of the words ‘spoken’ make interesting reading,

Anyway seeing a recent tweet from a Scottish knitwear designer had me thinking about when I’d heard someone else talking about self publishing to keep hold of creative control. (I’ve removed all the other usernames mentioned in the tweet)


After all these years The Golfer and I don’t feel the need to be in each other’s pocket all day every day. Unlike many retired couples who do spend their days together we’re happy to amuse ourselves knowing each of us value that ‘own time’.
While we’re here in Bowen this (below) is where he spends several mornings a week hitting a little white ball, trying to get it to land in a hole in the ground half a mile away…..yes a slight exaggeration but listening to him recap his hole by hole adventures you’d think it was instead of just up the way a bit😊




Meanwhile I’m enjoying the delights of this little town
One of them hearing a talk at the local library earlier this month by visiting
Australian author Annie Seaton

I’d already read several of her novels so enjoyed sitting there for well over an hour while she entertained us with humorous snippets of her life, where ideas for her novels come from, early treatment by publishers, how hard it was to ‘fight for’ what she had in mind – covers and book titles being changed – to retain creative control (Australian words & terms changed by international publishers …eg the very Australian word bast.rd….changed to ars..le…..turning derogatory into vulgar …….certainly not what she wanted in her novel) and now self publishing as a means of having that control.
She has managed to reclaim the rights to several of her books, ‘editing and rewriting’ where necessary to return them to their original state and was happy to tell us they were selling in larger numbers than with the previous publishers.

This is her latest book
Hidden Valley
Book 4 Porter Sisters series

Book Series by Annie Seaton

Linking to Life the Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
Photos will enlarge – just tap/click or use the 2finger slide

I’ve used (most of) it up…

Back at the end of May I mentioned a bag of odd balls coming up to Bowen with me
they were destined to come back home in a different form

Flat things are so much easier to pack than round balls 😊

Nine pairs of fingerless mittens – with more to come!

My reading mojo returned with a vengeance- theres been some reading done as well
All enjoyable- Nothing outstanding (most only 3*).
A couple of ‘new to me’ authors and a Chevalier one I missed years ago.

July 2021

Anne Perry – A Christmas Escape

Tracy Chevalier – The Lady and the Unicorn 

Fiona PalmerSisters and Brothers 

Rachel LearyBridget Crack

Kate Grenville – A Room made of Leaves

Kerry McGinnisCroc Country

Monica McInerneyThe Godmothers 

If you’re interested in seeing other’s knitting and reading ideas you’ll find both at Unraveled Wednesday hosted by Kat. Pop over and have a look – she’d love to see you 

I read a book….

I knew it would happen – sooner rather than later
It would return and I’d wonder how and why it had managed to get lost
I just didn’t imagine it happening this way

All it took was one short 280 page novel to find it again
A YA (young adult) one at that
And a willingness to accept some events that might be a bit far fetched. Not quite suspension of belief – more…. Do they really expect me to believe that?

Could Australia be invaded via a small town in NSW…..over a short period of time by an unknown force speaking an unknown language when everyone (apart from the main characters who’ve ‘gone bush’ for several days) is at the yearly agricultural show?

After being dissatisfied with recent library picks, annoyed at not being able to find something I could lose myself in, mourning the loss of my reading mojo I rummaged through a bag of books set aside for Bowen and came out with something that had me engrossed from the first page in.

Tomorrow, When the War Began – John Marsden did it for me.
Deciding to have a set time to read during our latest lockdown (well we couldn’t go far so I wasn’t going to be out long if I did go out) rather than reading on and off during the day meant I actually looked forward to that time.
Plus choosing a genre (YA) not normally on the bedside table was a challenge in itself – I don’t remember ever having a book geared towards teenagers about teenagers there before.
But as the old expression goes – whatever turns you on 😉

Ever hopeful I can return to my usual reading rate I’m about to start The Awakening…..first book in The Dragon Heart Legacy written by Nora Roberts…..a new to me author, well I do know her name, just haven’t read any of her work
Fantasy, Romance, Magic…..all set in Ireland.
My mother always said once I got my nose in a book I was lost to the world – I’m about to open another book and get lost, all the while keeping a tight hold of my reading mojo 😊

I need a little help….

I haven’t done much reading this month – just one novel.
Well actually, I finished it on the first of the month but put it into last month’s listing so really the amount is nil
All those authors and books I took note of last year because they sounded ‘interesting’ just aren’t looking that way at the moment. Books have come home from the library and been returned unread…not even opened in some cases.
However, when I dropped into the library the other day to return some of The Golfer’s loans I saw this on the recently returned trolley- you know the one where they put books before they are shelved…..and much to the librarians delight, lots of times they mysteriously find their way out the door again on the same day 😊

Have any of you read.
The Spire – William Golding?

( it deals with the construction of the 404-foot high spire loosely based on Salisbury Cathedral; the vision of the fictional Dean Jocelin. Wikipedia)

I read The Lord of the Flies years ago and after a quick read of the back of the book blurb thought this would be as easy to read as that one.  Short answer (for me) it’s not a ‘hard/difficult’ read, it’s just not an easy read. I’m finding it confusing trying to ‘work out’ what is happening in real life and what is happening in the main characters head. I’ll plod on and finish it because I want to know if the Spire is actually built on the cathedral and what becomes of the Dean and the other characters.

Right now, I’ve a little question for you. I’ve ‘looked it up’ but can’t find an explanation. So I’m wondering if any of my ‘well read’ readers know what is meant by:- (page 21)

He had a tariff of knees

He knew how they should be after this length of kneeling or that. Now, when they had passed through a dull ache, to nothing, he knew that more than an hour had passed”.
Any ideas anyone ?

Gosh, this week has flown by. As usual early on a Monday morning I sit here ‘thinking’. The Golfer is still abed and it’s quiet and peaceful….inside. As the weeks are passing since we got a sort of ‘all clear’ more and more people are back at work…..which is good…..but it’s becoming noisier…..outside. So as far as the roads are concerned (at this time of the morning) it’s almost back to the way it was.

This time last week I was wondering what the next would bring.
Well, It’s been all go….I’m now ready to meet influenza head on, my BP is back down to where it was last November (before my lovely little sister’s illness and subsequent death), my feet are feeling fabulous after a visit to the ‘clippers and scalpel wielding lady’ who is a foot massage genius, my back was ‘put right’ by my other ‘lovely lady’ with her little clicky thing and I can tell you the water at the pool was refreshingly cool. Obviously my idea of what heated means and that of the local council who run it is different – like the ocean feels when you dip your toes, it’s alright once you get in!

The kettle has just come to the boil so I’m off to make another cup of tea
My last week seemed to revolve around health and well being…..what was yours like?

And I’m attaching this little postcript as a reminder we all need a little joy in our lives.
Carols by Candlelight are just that for everyone who attends or watches on tv.
One of the things children (and adults) missed out on last year due to Covid restrictions
Song of Joy sung by David Hobson. Melbourne 2012

Denyse is hosting  Life this week – why don’t you pop over and see what’s going on