27 February 2007

The Diviner's Son Gary Crew

I know I have said it before, but I just love Gary Crew books. I have just finished 'The Diviner's Son' I thoroughly enjoyed the both the setting and style of the book. Crew used actual historical articles throughout the novel about spritualism to enrich the setting of the novel. The characters were interesting and multiple perspectives were used. I like the ability to follow different characters and their point of view of what is occuring.

It was a good story too and although I considered the murderer at one stage as a suspect, I was totally surprised when the ending revealed him. I had been completely distracted by other events.

This novel was set in Tasmania. My parents are there on holidays right now.

24 February 2007

She's Leaving Home

Today we are taking the last of my daughters belongings to her new residence. She is moving to the city to go to Uni. She is a competent, independent young woman and I am immensely proud of her and confident that she will make a great life for herself and will be diligent and successful in her studies. I imagine she will have learning experiences about living away from home and I feel nervous and excited for her.
Most of all I will miss her. She is a fabulous daughter. I have adored her since the moment of her birth and this new letting go, just like the previous steps she has made into the world, I must admit make me long for the time when she was a toddler with wild curly hair and a trusting smile, asking plenty of questions, smiling a lot and taking great delight in everything around her. The tickles and cuddles are less frequent and the questions are harder to answer, even though they are more interesting now.

21 February 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot

It's been so hot for so long here. Lots of people have been complaining about hot classrooms and hot libraries and just hot. Last night there were some clouds in the sky and I hoped for rain. I went to the supermarket and when I came home, the sky was cloudless again. Each day it is in the 30s. February so far has had an average daily temperature of 31.
I was reading one of my favourite books to my class today "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse. On one page it read something like 'It rained everywhere today but here' or something like that. I thought, "I know how you feel!".
Perhaps the swimming carnival will bring rain.

20 February 2007

Read if you have a Home Loan

If you are paying more than 7.19% on your homeloan, you should check out My Rate. The whole process was completed via phone/internet and fax, which was perfect for me. I find that fitting in visits to banks and having 'meetings' with people to be a big time waster.
The reduction in interest rate on my loan comes with no bank fees and it has allowed me to save enough to better support my daughter as she heads off to Uni. The service was helpful and friendly and I would recommend it.

18 February 2007

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

This book, written by Margaret Craven, is a truly beautiful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the story of a man who works in a remote place with people whose culture is eroding and being absorbed by the wider world. It is just lovely and I highly recommend it.
It is a book that calls you to enjoy it, I thought about it during the busy day and couldn't wait to get to it. It is a small book, too small - it didn't last long enough.

Luckily I have a mountain of other great books waiting, or I might be miserable right now having completed it.

PS: There is a movie, so I will look out for it!

Dieting and Chocolate

I have being doing great with my exercising and have improved my fitness. I am using an exercise machine and started off being able to do 6 kms in 20 minutes and now can do over 8. It is taking a lot more to get my heart rate up and I feel generally better.

My diet however has not been sustained, so I am not losing any weight. I find low carb diets work well for me, but the chocolate always continues to beckon me. Low Carb chocolate is expensive and doesn't scratch the itch. I am going to have to just bite the bullet though and deprive myself of this pleasure to get the weight off.

I will have to satisfy myself with reading about it, perhaps at Chocolate Dreams.

17 February 2007

Happy Chinese New Years Eve - Year of the Boar/Pig

I find Chinese New Year a lot more gracious than Western New Year. I don't have to worry about who will get hurt, there doesn't seem to be as much self destructive revelry. This wikipedia entry gives the history and traditions associated with this festivity. It is a more domestic and family centered celebration. I like it.

The Year of the Boar promises:

Times Online: Pig of a Year? On the contrary...
Motley Fool: Year of The Pig: Squealing with Delight
Boston Globe: Fortune:Year of Pig will bring disaster

You can stay up to date with other news about the Year of the Pig on Google News.

Astrologers Predictions are found on this page. I am a philosophical snake so it looks like whilst finances will be good, health could need attention.

15 February 2007


Kathy Sierra's Creating Passionate Users, Valentine's Day post is spot on. As are most of her posts.

"And why do you read this blog? I always ask myself, "how can I help my readers in some way?" Whether it's a tip or trick, a post you can use to help make your case to your boss, a new way of looking at something, a potential source for an idea, a pointer to something useful...I try to make 90% of the posts here for you. And you in turn respond with the most amazing, insightful, inspirational, and often entertaining comments.

What's good for you is what's good for the blog. And for me."

I love reading this blog because she does provide useful ideas. It works. Thanks Kathy

14 February 2007

Margo Lanagan

I have just completed reading 'Red Spikes'. It is a delightful collection of short stories that has really fired my imagination. My favourites were 'Winkie', 'A Feather in the Breat of God' and 'Under Hell, Over Heaven', yet each was a special little adventure into a surreal, yet familiar somehow landscape. 'Under Hell, Over Heaven' was especially thought provoking and brought up fears and thoughts so young and forgotton in me.

I read 'Black Juice' last year and found it terribly good. I have 'White Time' on my bedside table and will dig into it soon.

13 February 2007

Happy Valentines Day Andy

I know it's only the 13th, but I'll probably forget tomorrow. I know Andy never reads my blog, so he'll never get this greeting. I know I don't believe in Valentines Day, but this clip made me laugh.

In the event that you do read this Andy, I adore you, everyday. I didn't say I didn't believe in love.

12 February 2007

Dad's Retirement

My dad has sold his business after 38 years of delivering sand. He started the business with my pa and they have worked hard to make a living from this business. Dad has raised 6 children, the youngest is now in her mid twenties. Mum has never had to work. I know he has had stressful times throughout these years and yet he has persisted and I hope his retirement is long and enjoyable.
It is so good to see him and mum planning trips and the weight of the responsibility he has carried, lifting at last. I remember when I was a kid dad often worked 7 days a week and he left before I woke and got home after dark. I also remember times when the building industry was quiet and he would be worried about meeting his commitments.
My pa retired officially around 10 years ago probably but he has still worked out there from time to time. The funny story from this is that he apparently told the local butcher that my dad had sold his job and he was a bit cranky about it. Pa is 87 this year, yet he still enjoyed going out to the sandpit and putting in half a days work from time to time. He had cancer last year and underwent chemotherapy and had just 'got back to work'.

10 February 2007


I had a great week at work. I feel really enthused about my classes and teaching this year. There is a really positive feeling amongst most of the teachers I feel. It is great to work with people you love.
I have two new classes this year. One of them is careers and I feel quite adequately experienced having had over 20 jobs in my life. I have also began an enterprise class in digital storytelling. I am quite passionate about that and am enjoying it and hope the students do as well. It is great to learn new things.
Life is good.

09 February 2007

The Secret - Clue #1

'The Secret' as has been previously discussed on this blog previously has put a selection of clips from the movie onto Revver. You can view the entire collection here.

07 February 2007

Yoga Classes

Last night I returned to yoga. The teacher Mary, was my first yoga teacher. We had a yoga class at secondary school as an elective activity and I started when I was about 16. I have attended classes on and off throughout my life and I love it.
It has been a wonderful assistance in my life. The awareness of breath and my breathing has supported me in many of the critical times, such as exams and stressful times. The stretching is something that has always been a pleasure and given relief when I have been sore.
I enjoyed my class last night and Mary is amazing. I am glad to be making the time in my week for something so good for me.

04 February 2007

Feedback, statistics, where am I?

Since I have returned from holidays, I have been on a quest to lose weight and get fit. I have already lost a few kilos, so it's going well.

I have an exercise machine and I have spent 20 minutes a day on it with my heart monitor and my mp3 player, sweating as much as I can. I intend to do some weight training and exercises soon, but want to get this cardio stuff made into a habit as that is my weakness physically. I find if I attempt to create large and complex habit, it soon evaporates.

I'm heading back to yoga next week, and I am excited about that too. I have done yoga on and off for many years and I love stretching and being flexible.

I have decided on the gradual approach as far as dieting goes. I am paying attention to what I am eating and reducing the chocolate intake, which was becoming enormous last year. Chocolate had become a daily staple rather than an occasional treat. I am cutting back mainly on sugar, and processed foods. Nothing extreme though, no measuring or weighing or excluding of any food types or groups. I generally eat a variety of food and am now eating less of that same variety, minus the extremely unhealthy foods. I am also having a protein drink for breakfast as it is easy for me to get into the habit of skipping it because I never feel hungry in the mornings. By morning tea I am starving and straight into the chocolate or any junk I can find at school, usually processed unhealthy food.

I think the thing that helps me most is that I have been weighing myself more regularly and entering stats into an excel spreadsheet. I had actually thrown my scales out and decided I would never diet again. It was a good theory, but it didn't work. I need to monitor myself. I gained too much weight whilst I wasn't watching. I have created a few measures and I record this daily. It is keeping me on track.

03 February 2007

Trip to Wollongong - Final thoughts

I learnt I am very afraid of heights on the trip. I am getting worse. Andy, in one of his amusing moments took a rather unflattering clip of me getting down from a monument that I had climbed thinking I could get a better shot. I suddenly felt overwhelmed by fear. You won't find this video, because it hasn't been put online. This horrible 'fear of heights' feeling came along several times during the trip, particularly on the 'Suggan Buggan' road and some of the lookouts.

I learnt that I prefer to stay a while in places rather than pass quickly through. We usually spend a week at a place we holiday to and I found this website today Slow Travel, and I totally agree it is the best way. I guess when we visited Broken Hill last year for a week and traveled to and from taking a week either way, it was the same. The most enjoyable part is the week long stay at the destination. We think we will spend a couple of weeks next year in the one spot rather than spend as much time travelling. We do like to take roads off the beaten track though, which takes longer. I thoroughly agree with the concept of 'slow travel' though. You need time in a place to appreciate it and to really relax there.

I learnt that I prefer smaller places and larger accomodation. I need to get fitter and healthier to continue to enjoy walking and camping. Wollongong was a beautiful place. It was not the industrial city I had thought it was.

I really enjoyed Andy's company and appreciate the care and planning he puts into these trips. I wouldn't see a quarter of the marvellous thing I get to see without him.

The coast is so populated. I was quite astonished by this. The price of real estate is high along the coast.

01 February 2007

Trip to Wollongong - Laughs

This photo was taken at Tilba and I immediately conjured in my mind a toothless old guy searching the road for his teeth.

There were plenty of laughs! The things I remember most about the adventures I have in my life are the laughs often. Andy, the love of my life and travelling companion provided most of them.

When we drove through the little hamlet of 'Suggan Buggan' we passed this little cottage with a family sitting out on the veranda and he dared me to go ask them where McDonalds was.

When we arrived in Jindabyne, we were having a coffee and a police car pulled up, we had just watched the movie 'Jindabyne' before we left and he 'dared' me to ask the police man if they'd caught the murderer yet. When we passed the service station that had featured in the movie, he dared me to ask if Gabrielle Byrne was in.

At Kiama, on the way home a kid was leaning on his shorter brother in front of me. Andy dared me to lean on him. At one of the caravan parks we stayed at there was live music. It wasn't really the bonus they had advertised and Andy dared me to go and ask them to turn it down.

He watches too much Ed.

Wollongong - Returning along the Coast

We spent 8 days travelling down the coast to return home. The beaches were all great and the names have blurred in my memory as it was one after another. We ran out of time to stop at every beach, I think you could take 6 months to make that trip. The coast was also much busier than I expected. The cost of real estate was much higher. There were no sleepy little places. I was longing for one at times as the traffic and crowds distract a bit from the natural beauty of these great places. I am a part of the traffic and the crowd though, so I guess I can't complain.

We spent time in Kiama and checked out the blowhole, and the lookout. We spent our first night there. The next day Andy bought a boogie board and we began looking for appropriate surf for him to 'boogie'. There were so many places I liked and the names I can remember were Mollymook, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, Husskisson and Stony Beach. There were some great National Parks in among those places also.

I never take as many photo's or clips in the last week. I suppose I get a bit tired of being away from home. We camped a lot also and so didn't always set up the laptop and 'do the photo thing', so it all becomes a blur.

We joined the YHA in Merimbula and stayed there for an enjoyable night. It was awesome to have a massive and well equiped kitchen to cook in. We camped at Narooma and Mallacoota, and a place where this photo was taken. I couldn't believe this caravan park, almost every boat owner seemed to have an old tractor to tow it to the boat ramp. Caravan Parks are like little settlements. People are there for the duration and set up these homes away from home. Some of them looked more permanent and well organised than my home. They each have their own cultures. I personally prefered the ones that didn't have signs telling you what to do and had spacious showers with enough hooks. It's funny the little things that make a difference when you are away from home.

I liked these murals on the side of the public toilet and was impressed that they were so clean and the place they were I can't recall the name of, so if you recognise it I would appreciate you letting me know, because it was my favourite place. The vegetarian cafe there also had this awesome picture for sale and I would have loved it. It was a collage made from sea urchins and star shaped shells. The other thing I really liked about this place was at the beach there were a lot of older people surfing. It was great to see these fit, happy people pull up in the work ute and indulge in a spot of surfing.

I didn't really interact with people, but I did notice how polite and happy people were in the general public. Whilst walking around these places, very few people passed without a cheery 'gidday' paired with a wide open smile. I guess that is what holidays do for us.

Surfers at Mollymook
Kiama Lookout
Pirate Cove

All Wollongong Trip Videos in Revver Collection