Monday, 11 December 2017

A Little Problem

I am, by inclination, a night owl.  I like the dark & the quiet & the emptiness, not being a people person.  I like to read & potter & think in the quiet & the dark.  When the kiddies were little I always did my housework @ night because my days were so busy with little people & when you have little people nothing done ever stays done & I am academic enough that  I really like to complete a task, know it's completed & receive my *mark* ~ something not possible with housework in general & most definitely not with small children.

However, a number of those small children were very early risers.  Four a.m was not uncommon, especially in summer, & so I learnt to rise early & muddle through my days half asleep because my body clock did not change.  It still informed me that it was time to rage once the clock ticked past 10pm.

Over the years the body has just got muddled.  It wakes @ 3 or 4 am & I get several lovely early morning hours before crashing to finish the sleep I should have had last night.  Of course that leaves me raging into the wee sma's ~ & so the cycle continues...with brief pauses for normality.

The nice part of this circus is that I am usually up early enough to be blessed by our wildlife.  This morning, as I opened the verandah door for my cats, I heard a loud sloshing through the mangroves & very shortly a small, dark wallaby hopped through the shallows to glean the mangrove seeds from the low growing grey mangroves.

Too early to get a really good shot but he wasn't fazed by both cats & me lined up along the verandah staring @ him intently & eventually moved off unhurriedly.
 A little later there was a commotion on the verandah.  A family of Butcher Birds had arrived for their morning bath ~ & then there was Kirby, trying so hard to be good but wanting very badly to hunt.
And then there is this:


Hmmm. I was alerted to this teaching on a FB group I am a part of. My spirit immediately quickened to the concept because my understanding is very much that Heaven operates in legalities.  That is the big picture: Fall = breaking a covenant; Cross=restoring a workable covenant: Epistles=walking out the covenant.

Now my O.T understanding could be a whole lot better.  I am not, by any means, the sort of scholarly academic who can nit~pick theology & word meanings & break down entire concepts BUT I do well with big picture concepts where you can see the whole picture @ a glance so I do think Henderson is on to something here.  I am less sure about some of how he gets there.

Why I think he is onto something is the very simple fact that satan is the accuser of the brethren [Revelation 12:12] & he accuses us day & night before God.  So he can ~ because we were born into sin as the sparks fly upward. Now, Jesus has dealt with our legal standing with His blood but as so often I find there is something God does & then there is stuff he wants us to do & together He works out the details of our salvation. That the bible is, in many ways, a legal document just makes common sense to me.  It is other things as well but one of the things it is is a legal document.

Now satan accuses us ~ so we must not agree with him either for ourselves or for those we are praying for. That gives him legal ground for his accusations. We must agree with what God says. That is what I believe.  That is what I teach.  Guard your mouth for out of it flow the issues of life ~ because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. [Luke6:45]

Where it gets dodgy is between revelation & literal interpretation ~ mind you I'm not even a third of the way into this book yet! Are there literal courts in heaven? I believe so. There is a judgement seat; there are judgements rendered & that is a legal process & there are books: the Book of Remembrance [Malachai]; the Book of Life[Revelation]; the Book of Truth [Daniel] ~ & numerous scrolls... Are there legal processes for dealing with stuff on earth?  I suspect so ~ hence why I picked up this book.  Does that invalidate our standing with Christ?  Our authority in Christ? Our salvation?  Grace?  I don't think so.  It's just another aspect of the jig~saw & once you understand that you can put it in it's proper place & access it if you need it.

Now, having said that, without having read anything @ all, before I got the book, I worked with what little understanding I did have interceding for a friend in a matter that was causing her difficulties because there is no point in any of it if it is ineffective.  I did point out to Abba I was operating in a lot of ignorance & to forgive me if I was being presumptuous, but as I prayed the entire atmosphere around us changed!  It was really, really quick. It was a massive change ~ one my friend immediately noticed & she is not normally the most spiritually discerning of people. So I am proceeding with caution because there are some really big, really difficult things that we have been praying for & as they haven't shifted it is time to reassess what we are doing & how we are praying because Einstein nailed it: Insanity is doing the same thing over & over & expecting different results. Yeppity~yep.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Two differnt things.

I have been doing some babysitting again ~ which eats up huge goblets of my time, what with the travelling to & fro & the super tiredness that comes with looking after a small child again when you have not done that for a looong time!


 Our Little Man is growing up but still non~verbal.  I know this is not unusual, especially with boys, but as all ours were talking by 12 months, & ODD managed her first complete sentence @ just 5 months, I do find it rather peculiar & prone to making life difficult.  The Little Man cannot express his frustration adequately & consequentially grizzles.  It is very wearing.

For Purim I had made some noisemakers ~ just really simple ones out of milk bottles & coffee cans filled with a few garden pebbles ~ so I took one along for the Little Man, who has a house full of toys he never plays with.  Yep.  It amused him for ages.  Take the lid off.  Pour out the stones.  Put he stones in, one by one. Try & screw the lid on.  Shake it all about a bit.  Take the lid off.  Pour out the stones... Seriously scary how something so cheap & simple beats all the toys in the world.

Still, what the Little Man really likes is to be out & about.  He's not real keen on doing any exercise himself but he is very happy to be pushed along in his stroller for hours @ a time.  I like to walk but I do not like to walk in a Queensland summer.  Far too hot & sticky! Still, in the end, it was just too much not to.  There are some lovely old estates in the area with the biggest, greenest trees & acres of land. 

I have gone in new directions the last few times.  The Little Man & I generally disagree on the best direction.  He likes the highway with lots of rushing trucks & cars & motorbikes, where the train hoots & hurtles past & he can wave @ all the passing traffic.  Not my idea of fun & as I am steering we go into the quieter backwaters & the green spaces council has so thoughtfully provided ~ though what else does one do with the undrained swamps? Last time we found some glorious old gardens & I was perfectly happy gazing @ the lovely, established gardens but the Little Man thought this seriously dull.  He enjoyed the swing ~ but as he insisted on letting go & half upending himself for the joy of seeing me rush to grab his feet before he tipped out completely I told him we weren't going to do that any more.  He wasn't happy but I don't want to be responsible for his cracked head!

 We had a most lovely church service on Sunday ~ paddling through the Hanukkah covenants & sorting ourselves out for the holiday break but that is enough peopling for me for one day so when the MOTH decided he was going to keep the P&W music going afterwards I took myself off for a nice long walk where @ least the noise was different.  It has been so windy here & the waves were crashing noisily onto the rocks but God knows what soothes my soul & as I climbed the hill onto the point the first thing I saw was a large messy nest & both birds were in residence.

This is a whistling kite, one of our medium sized raptors.  Glad neither of the cats was with me as they are obviously breeding & a cat snack would be just the thing for a hungry brood.
The nests are always huge & get added to year after year.  I often see either the birds or the nests but getting decent pictures is never easy. So happy I got these.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

No, thank you.


ODD is to blame for Sherlock because I have zero tolerance for bad t.v ~ meaning almost all of it. The rare exceptions are few & far between & far too often screened way past my bedtime.

You'll like this, mum, ODD assured me.  Trust me.

She was right.  I watched the 1st 3 seasons in a marathon, delighted the BBC once again had produced a witty, intelligent, well written crime drama.  I even liked the modern take on Sherlock.  It was sharp & clever & it didn't matter I had read all the stories.  There was enough originality to keep me engaged.

So along with a lot of others I waited eagerly for season 4 ~ which we get later in Australia than everywhere else.  I manfully refrained from pirating... Finally channel 9 aired season 4 on Sunday nights, when I am cranky & overtired & critical but it didn't matter.  The simple fact of the matter was, I was bored.

Why I liked this series to begin with was, it didn't bore me.  The dialogue was clever. The plots were just intricate enough.  There was just enough tension between characters, between plot & sub~plots, that lovely balance that is so hard to achieve between not taking itself too seriously & not taking itself seriously enough.  All gone.  In all honesty, season 4 is just silly.

I watched the final episode on my computer because I was baby sitting on Sunday night & that house is as cricket mad as this one [not me, the MOTH] & it's the Ashes & we're winning, so I chose a time when I was alert & focused & I gave the show my full attention ~ but it's still silly.  Plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, inconsistencies, illogical, poor link~ups between scenes in some arty~farty let's be super cleverness & it's just bad t.v.  The ending was just pathetic & I hate it like poison when I pick the outcome of a major plot line within the first 5 or so minutes!  I like to be kept guessing! Plus, I really, really hate being lied to, & the whole Redbeard thing had way more impact when Redbeard was a dog.  Should have left well enough alone!

Pinged off. Much.

Monday, 4 December 2017

What is worse than doing the tax...?

My children are notorious for borrowing my things & not returning them: pots, pans, knives & forks, pillows & blankets. They are so notorious that my mother once gave me a set of old forks for Christmas for my children to garden with.  Too sad making.

I know where they got it.  See the kiddos are grown & have flown the nest but my things are still disappearing.  The MOTH blames Kirby & Marlow but as Kirby & Marlow have no use for sticky tape, staplers, scissors & tweezers they can hardly be to blame.  The MOTH, however, uses all these things regularly.  In fact he uses them so regularly I bought him his own so that mine weren't constantly disappearing.  Nothing makes me so fraught as going to use something & finding it's not where I left it!

So we are doing the taxes.  This does not make me a happy woman.  I do not like numbers.  I do not do numbers.  Numbers make me fraught.  In point of fact, @ one point I took one look @ a worksheet of ODD's & declared she was on her own, to do or not as she chose, as all those numbers & graphs & what~nots made me feel physically ill.  Oddest sensation...so, no, tax time does not bring me joy. However it is mainly straight up addition using a calculator.  The MOTH does the hard yards.  However I do have to organise all the receipts etc by month & staple them together in order ~ which should be a simple enough task, yes...? No. 

When the man moved from selling stamps to selling plants I could never find my stapler, so I went out & bought myself a new one so he could have the old one & all would be well because he would have his own & I would have mine & there would be no conflict of interest. I keep my stapler with my sticky tape & my scissors, ruler, pens etc & though I am not the tidiest or most organised person ever  do keep them all together as it saves so much angst in the long run.  Imagine my ire to have organised piles & piles of paper all ready to be stapled & no stapler to be found!!!  Irate hardly expresses my feelings!  In high dungeon I went out & bought a new one, one with bright lime green inserts in the hope it will always be spottable!  The man now has 2 & he can't find either one!!!

This morning he borrowed my sticky tape.  If he hasn't put it back where it belongs murder will be done!

Thinking Thinks.

Our Little Man is getting big.  He understands heaps; when I suggested a walk he rushed to the door with great expectancy but he is still mostly non~verbal. 

His mum is teaching him to sign.  This seems to be a catch~22.  He doesn't need to speak if he can sign.  I don't sign so we make do with words. And he is something of a grizzler.  I thought, seeing as the whole house was down with some sort of tummy bug, that his grizzles were due to not feeling 100% well but, no.  His mum says he is always like that when they are home.  What he likes is to be out ~ which is why we have no trouble when I take him out!

I thought about that & the fact is, he doesn't usually grizzle for me because I won't put up with it.  Plus I am used to working with a child hanging off me one way or another so I tend to include him in what I'm doing ~ as really only experienced parents can because we have abandoned a *get it done as quick as possible* mentality in order to keep a little one happy & engaged ~ & this really only does come with experience.

The other thing, of course, is they have a urban house & a urban yard & it is dull beyond belief for a curious small child. I can't remember any of mine being grizzlers.  They were lots of things: noisy, destructive, competitive, busy but they weren't grizzlers.  Grizzlers got put outside & told to entertain themselves but of course we weren't urban & though outside was occasionally hair~raising it was never boring!

So I am thinking what one does @ home to keep a 1yr old busy & occupied.  I know I always cooked a lot with mine from as soon as they could stand on a chair & *help* but I don't remember ever struggling to keep mine busy & occupied.  Even Jossie, as the 1st & only as firsts tend to be, could occupy himself from early on & that is a skill well worth learning.  One is, of course, too young for most art activities & even play~doh needs to be supervised before it goes everywhere.  Going armed next time! 😜😜 Have one or 2 things in mind but as they are noisy no~one bar the Little Man is likely to love me!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

... All that.

I have had the lurgy.  It has not been good. My sleeping patterns have become even more erratic than usual.  So unable to focus I was scrolling through the t.v programming without much hope ~ Australian t.v being what it is; you know, reality t.v, like I need more reality in my life!

What I like, when I can get it, is British detective series, or British spy movies, [they do these better than the Yanks] or historical stuff ~ if there's not too many inaccuracies, but after a week of lying on the couch doing the dying swan act & watching all our old dvds  I was feeling more than a little jaded.  What I found, all I found, was The Last of Europe's Warrior Kings.

I thought we might be looking at pre~Christian Europe, which I know something about, spasmodically, with some rather largish gaps.  We were not. We were bang in the Middle Ages, a period of history I particularly dislike.  It was brutal, grubby & incredibly ignorant & I confess I have never understood what drove the dynasty wars.

What was worse is that of all that dark & grubby period I particularly dislike the Norman invasion of England because, true to form, I had read something of William, an incredibly nasty man with an overinflated ego, who brutalised the north of England & came to a justifiably ugly end, his bloated body too short for the sarcophagus so that when the monks tried to force it, his bowels exploded causing an unimaginable stink.  He was rather hurriedly disposed of despite a local peasant declaring the land the church was built on had been stolen by William & no way was William going to be buried on land he owned!  Wow.

It is the period before William I know something about: Alfred's Britain because Alfred managed to unite Wessex with Mercia, making them a force to reckon with  a rather large Northumbria & leaving all the little eastern kingdoms along the seaboard to eventually, one assumes,  be swallowed up by the larger & more powerful kingdoms. There is no England.  The Pictish kingdom of eastern Scotland is long gone.  Cornwall is part of Wales. In a weird sort of way it was still a rather Celtic landscape ~ or Saxon, they operated along similar lines ~ local *kings* who ruled all the territory brute force could hold but moving more into the tangled political hotbed that is England's history.  Think *Danelaw*.

The bit I don't understand was the over~riding urge to fight each other over bits of land, establish dynasties that were uncertain & generally short~lived. Let's face it, about all I knew of the Norman invasion was stray bits of poetry:

William the first was the first of our kings 
Not counting the Ethelreds, Egberts and things.
He had himself crowned and anointed and blessed 
In ten-sixty - I needn't tell you the rest.


In other words I knew zilch. Oh a stray maybe fact regarding arrows but naturally the whole sorry tale is a good deal more sordid & family feudish & waaay more fascinating. One wonders what might have happened if Edward the Confessor had actually clearly named a successor though one suspects that would not have stopped Tostig [how does one spell that name?] ~ or William for that matter~ both of whom were rather obsessed with becoming king & none of whom were closest in line of succession but as that was a boy...

I do find the visualisation of history makes it easier to remember.  One of the joys of the modern age. It always makes me wonder though, what was wrong with living simply with beautiful things: trees & flowers & animals & the good earth to till?  Why the urge to kill & destroy & accumulate? That is the total sum of human history.  Such a waste & nothing to show for all that angst in the end.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Are you Listening?

When we began our church ~ something I did not want to do ~ our biggest problem was how we were going to outreach because the ways that people generally do this were not for us. 

Being me, I said, *no can do* & promptly forgot all about it because  ~ well, people... I do get the whole deal is about people but I tend not to do people well.  Small talk, generalities, the mundane tend to leave me floundering & I'm pretty sure people have names for how I come across: arrogant; unapproachable; weird...honestly, I don't know.  The harder I try the worse it is & so I generally leave it to the MOTH to break the fallow ground.  Like anyone else I can operate really well in the flesh...

The MOTH is made of hardier stuff ~ & far more likely to wrestle with a problem I will ignore.  Wrestle he did.  Eventually he suggested open air preaching.  I promptly burst into tears.  I knew in my spirit that this is what God wanted but everything in me quailed.  As a general thing I do not like drawing attention to myself ~ & this was likely to draw lots of attention, not all of it good.  I don't like being asked to stand up & be counted.  I loath controversy; ask my friends.

For nearly 5 years we have done Church~in~the~Park. While I wouldn't say I was ever thrilled to bits, it did get easier. I feel for Timothy.  Paul's: *Do the work of an evangelist* , to a man who was not an evangelist, was a monumental ask. I wonder what sort of conversations he had with God...?

Anyway, I was like, okay, you want me to preach then preach I will ~ 'cause, you know, Holy Spirit ~ but as soon as I put that microphone down I wanted to be out of there.  Actually engaging with people...nope.  Not gonna happen.  There is a reason I like ideas... *sigh. 

I think God likes a challenge.  Really.  I mean He could just hit me over the head & compel me but no!  No, He likes wooing me, trying to convince me I like doing this! Does that *great cloud of witnesses* lean over the heavenly wall & giggle madly at the antics down below?

So my attitude pretty much stank.  Sad because the MOTH loves doing the park & we have a dear sister who also loves doing the park & I was the stinky fly in the ointment.  A stinky attitude is not a good thing to have even when you are being obedient but God is so gracious He worked with that.

So we had done this for years & never really been hassled ~ & we knew by the Spirit that we were impacting our community so even though we weren't seeing much for our efforts we weren't discouraged.  I preached what the Spirit gave me, the MOTH & Sister C talked to people & we called the park our second church because we knew there were people coming regularly to hear what God wanted to say.

And then everything changed.

We got rained off.  That was a huge shock.  All the years & years we'd been doing this we had only ever got rained off once.  Then it happened again.  Then it got bitterly cold.  The wind howled & whined through the speaker. Then the aggro started.  We had our electricity lead pulled out.  We were verbally abused.  We were threatened.  Council was dragged in.  I got sick.  The MOTH got sick.  We missed Sundays.  I was getting a *stop* in my spirit but so long as the other 2 wanted to continue I was in.  I wasn't saying anything because my aversion was well known & in all honesty I though it was just me being me.

Then we got the lady who hogged both power points & threatened us & got a full on sermon all for her very own self because she was so set on being mean & rarely have I felt the Holy Spirit get so het about making sure someone got His message! When timid little me gets bold you know the Holy Spirit is at work.

We haven't been back.  For one thing the MOTH got really sick while the weather turned nasty & in the meantime the MOTH got in prayer to end the park.  The insurance was too much plus the man is going to bible school next year.  It is for a season only.

Now here is the weird part.  That last lady apparently began drumming up a group to attack us ~ which the MOTH got in prayer  ~ & something peculiar happened. The people we had been ministering too, the ones frightened off by the aggro lot, the crowd that lingered on the fringes week after week, turned on her & gave her an absolute earful about how we have been here forever; we are not newcomers; we have done the park for years & she shouldn't have threatened us because there are lots of us who wanted them there & enjoyed what they were doing!  We got this straight from one of the ladies who did the telling [& very put out she is that we are no longer in the park!].  The *Silent Sea* has spoken.  Not to us.  Perish the thought!  But the blessing has been removed & they are not happy.

The man has been told in prayer that we are not to resume the park till the end of next year.  Yay!  I get a breather. I feel this is right & the Lord is not only regrouping us but He wants the MOTH better equipped.  However we have been taken for granted.  Now that people have tasted & seen that the Lord is good, He wants them hungry.  There will be a season without.  We are expecting great things when we go back in.

The MOTH often says that the Lord asks: Are you listening? So important because nothing remains the same forever.  Everything is in a constant state of flux & that includes the things the Lord has called us to do.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Prayer's in Session.

Each year we go to Toowoomba for the Rhema Church up there when they hold their prayer conference.

We do this for lots & lots of reasons: Patsy Cameneti is a world renowned speaker on prayer; we are a small church on a small island, small in the eyes of the world ~ for us to come together with so many other spirit filled Christians in prayer is a blessing & a joy; We want to come together in prayer with the Rhema people pastoring this area as this is where I went to uni, we married & our 3 sons were born [ our girls are islanders through & through!] so we know the area & understand the sort of spiritual problems that afflict it; it refreshes us in ways that other ministries don't so it is our ministry of choice when we are considering the conferences we can attend.

It is never a big gathering; the tongues speakers frighten everyone else off, but it is generally a very intense day.  Not only does Patsy teach on prayer but she makes sure we practice what she is instructing on, which means we work very hard indeed.  Anyone who thinks prayer isn't hard work has never really prayed!  Over the 5 or so hours we probably pray for @ least 2 of those ~ possibly more.  I've never actually added it up as such & it's not all @ once either.

Toowoomba is a large central country town.  As such it has loads of schools that serve the surrounding country districts, including big boarding schools, & the university campus ~ & it has loads of churches, including a large catholic population. It also means the areas around it are full of big farms & tiny towns with even tinier church populations.  If you aren't used to it, it's weird. 

The Lockier Valley, which we drive through on our way into Toowoomba, is Queensland's fruit & veg bread basket. The sky is big & the paddocks roll away under acres of corn & lettuce, potatoes, carrots, alfalfa & every so often, in amongst the rows of corn or lettuce or carrots, there will be a ramshakle row of buildings selling icecream, antiques, designer dresses, or suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge tin shed will appear with trucks & tractors & the sort of big farm equipment I have no idea about, or maybe a huge brick structure advertising furniture, & standing lonely in a paddock all by itself in the middle of nowhere a little white weatherboard church with it's steeple & bell tower, usually either Anglican or Catholic, & more often than not without a minister because the centralised church is cutting costs & no~one wants to minister in the middle of no~where, leaving whole congregations with nowhere to go.

Now I watched a church die out Eumundi way ~ which was in town & should have been ok.  It was full of elderly Anglicans & their minister was actually retired... huh! As the congregants died off or went into homes the powers that be shut the place down & all these people who could no longer travel & who's church home was that little old weatherboard building were abandoned. They did not do what one congregation out west did.  Finding themselves without a minister & locked out of their own church building each congregant brought a chair from home & they met under their highset building. So I get a little thingy for small churches, small congregations, who are not financially viable in the scheme of centralised mega churches but who are non~the~less important to God. Hence Toowoomba, where Rhema is ministering to the small outlying districts as well as in town.

We have done this for 4 or 5 years now, since we started up our own church, the body of Christ coming together to pray in the work of Christ, but this year was different.  Every year has been wonderful but this year we were absolutely blessed.

We left the island about 5ish ~ a good time for travelling but also earlier than usual so we weren't rushed as we normally are ~ & walked straight into the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Both the MOTH & I noticed.  Talking about it afterwards I said, well, they've been doing this for 8 years now.  That's 8 years of instruction in prayer, 8 years of practicing prayer, so the regulars should be getting better @ it! lol The thing is though, the anointing grows. Patsy didn't have to instruct everyone to bring the anointing down.  She could move straight into building on that ~ & she did!

The thing for me is when the Spirit starts moving like that I invariably weep ~ & it can get pretty bad.  Patsy had me in college so I'm a sort of barometer for her... *sigh* Oh, look. Ganeida's weeping like a fountain. On track... hmmm. And so much, while not only for us, was also most especially for us: small dynamite powers that God hides away in remote rural places [we had this word from the Lord but unconfirmed so confirmation was wonderful!]; something I saw in the Spirit years ago about *spot fires* of spirit filled Christians up & down our east coast, then the bonfire sweeping into central Australia ~ confirmed; ...just so much about what & how we pray ratified.

Perhaps the most helpful thing was something that has been driving the MOTH a little round the twist because he cops the brunt of it. I have been suffering intermittently from what I have been calling depression: a deep dark well it has been impossible for me to climb out of & it has affected me really badly, tapping into a whole heap of fears & insecurities & trust issues & negativity that I do not generally suffer from. 

On the whole I'm a pretty optimistic sort of a person even though I am also introverted & quiet. Like many introverts I can appear extremely extroverted.  The cost is high. However Pasty was saying what we have been experiencing [the MOTH gets it too though without the super emotional powder keg] is the Spirit leading to intercession for the world.  My spirit immediately confirmed this as it is sensed as a weight that doesn't belong to me.  I missed it because I have sensed those times when I know I've been called to intercession for individuals very differently! Very differently. I have a good enough relationship with the Holy Spirit that I can run with this even though Pasty didn't have time to teach on intercession.  I mightn't get it 100% but I know I can ask the Holy Spirit & I will be told! ☺

And the picture is a doozy! I like the outside because I wave my arms around a lot when I talk.  Nothing changes just because I am talking to God.  People in my immediate vicinity get clobbered! The MOTH is used to me & gives me plenty of space. I sat down shortly after this pic was taken.  For one thing I was already holding onto the chair in front to ensure I stayed on my feet. For another, holding onto a chair meant my other hand wasn't free & what I was talking about required both hands!!! The MOTH is much more sedate.


Monday, 6 November 2017

Not About Books.

I do not remember a time when I did not know a version of Tam Lin.  It is not a children's story &, strictly speaking, it is not a fairy tale. Rather it is that peculiar thing ~ a 16th century Scottish Ballad.  It does, however, fulfill all the requirements of faery...

Soooo...

when I came across Pamela Dean's retelling of this well known tale I grabbed it.  I love it for all the reasons most people hate it.  It quotes everyone that was ever anyone in English Literature [as does Eliot too & also why I like him!] & then it starts in on The Ancient Greeks.  It is like having a prolonged after lecture discussion & depending on your mood, or who you happen to be reading yourself, reveals hidden delights at each re~reading.

It is also beautifully written, one of those delightful books that is deceptively easy to read yet deeper than it first appears. Yet despite this, & my love of fantastical fiction, I have never read another Pamela Dean. I may rectify this in the near future ~ but then again, I may not. Is there a moral obligation to not support someone with such a peculiar moral compass? Which I do not want to discuss!

I was checking recently that I had remembered right, from when I first did my research on Pamela Dean, because I have just re~read Tam Lin [an easy reread when babysitting when a book is constantly being picked up & put down again & you really don't want to get caught with a new book full of suspense at just the wrong moment] & Tam Lin has become, apparently, one of those strange cult books.  I have grown cautious.

And Amazon, being the rather peculiar on~line place it is, decided to suggest all these other fantasy authors that I, apparently, am just dying to read. Uh~huh. In the process I stumbled across Seanan McGuire.  With a name like that & the information that she also wrote filk music how could I resist?

I had no idea what filk music was.  Even after an afternoon listening to it [because it is gorgeous] I am not sure I am any wiser.  It seems to be folk music only with themes more along the lines of horror, anime, cartoons, steampunk...not my sort of thing @ all.

I always have trouble understanding the lyrics because so often the music over~rides the vocals so having decided I really liked the music I decided I needed to understand what I was actually listening to. Here is Wicked Girls [& here are the lyrics if you need them].  I was not ok with the lyrics, not once I'd read them through properly & absorbed the implication but DearGina
[lyrics]I actually found deeply disturbing ~ more because nothing is specifically stated than anything else.

What is surprising, or maybe not, is that I have never come across this before. Folk music for me is not what came out of the '60's, or the political stuff before it, nor even the medieval ballads.  It is those old Irish & Scots songs in mournful Gaelic & minor keys that are as old as the countries they originated in.  Tam Lin was old before it was ever written down & there are numerous versions. Steeleye Span & Fairport Convention both covered it but it's roots are deep in Celtic mythology. 

I have been known to spend a lot of time on you tube being haunted by the old Celtic songs but I have also noticed something because, you know, Enya...there has been a resurgence of pagan music & now it seems to have circled back to that something much, much darker @ its core.  At its heart there is a self destructive streak that reminds me of Invictus [William Ernest Henley] whose closing lines so remind me of Lucifer's I wills:

...I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul

And that is what I heard in Wicked Girls ~ the arrogant assertion of self will. Dear Gina is even darker.

Now it is not the themes that I am finding  disturbing. Alexander Pope declared in his An Essay on Man:

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man....
though I don't agree with him at all.  Rather the proper study of mankind is God.  Just the same God is pretty blunt about where unregenerate mankind takes itself.  The difference lies in the attitude & basic premise of the author.  God never glorifies sin ~ especially pride.  There is a subtle crossing of a line here where what is being portrayed as brave, courageous, , glorious is quite simply defiance for defiance sake & where that leads is nowhere good. 

 I expect it has always been there in popular music but as I never really was into popular I must have missed most of it.  As I said, what I like is folk.  What attracted me in the filk was the folk sound.  Sadly I don't think I will be returning. Horror has always been a no go zone for me & I have zero interest in defying my creator ~ @ least to that extent.






 

Monday, 30 October 2017

One koel, two koel, three koel, more...

A lot of our birds are migratory ~ like the koels.  We haven't seen them for a number of years but they are back! They are big, beautiful birds with a loud, distinctive call.

We have seen a pair over the last week.  The glossy black male with a satiny sheen to his feathers was seen @ the birdbath while the spotted female was in the large soap tree partway down our hill.
Despite the name, & their resemblance to pheasants they are a parasitic brood cuckoo. Lots of people don't like them for that reason but seriously...lots of our birds have really grotty habits. I once watched a pair of butcher birds retrieve a large & very dead rat Kirby had brought me & drag it away to hang in their *larder*, so I have to admit koels seem pretty tame by comparison.

Butter wouldn't melt.


I've got 2 cats.  There is the *couch potato* aka Fat Cat [he's not really, we just call him that] aka Marlow  &  then there is Kirby. 

Kirby is a most beautiful cat.  Photogenic.  Adorable.  Loving.  Quirky.  It is the quirky that is the problem.

Marlow has all the wonderful attributes of a ragdoll: big, heavy, gentle, floppy & generally underfoot.  He is very attached without needing to be on you & he is the sort of self~confident, plumy~tailed, beautiful cat that attracts comments like: Gosh!  Isn't he gorgeous!  And he knows it!  With his *Cleopatra eyes* & outgoing personality he is the cat my friends smooch over.  It is never Marlow interrupting prayer meeting with yowls of:  I've got a present for youuuuu...

This was Kirby the day we brought him home.  While Marlow was hiding & quivering with fright, Kirby was mesmerized by what he could see outside the window  & he could not wait to get out & investigate. And that is the problem!

At some point or other Kirby has managed to destroy every flyscreen in the house. Initially he just went straight through them but Kirby is probably the smartest cat I've ever owned & eventually he just perched innocently on the windowsill & gradually worked the rubber free until he could squeeze through.

Lots of people would probably just let the cat rip but we are responsible owners & our cats are in at night.  Apart from anything else I don't like being brought snakes & rodents & that is what happens when Kirby goes night hunting.

Last summer we sweltered.  The only way to keep Kirby in was to shut every window in the house & I can assure you no~one enjoyed that during a Queensland summer!  As fast as I could mend the screens Kirby was through them until they were no longer worth the mending.

The MOTH has finally conceded that regular screens are not going to keep Kirby in where he belongs. He has bought me a roll of aluminium screen wire.  It is not the special pet wire, which costs a fortune & then some, but it seems to have done the trick.  I have been working my way round the downstairs windows redoing the screens, though I have taken the precaution of putting them in backwards so the temptation to try removing the rubber is removed. Not that he hasn't tried!  Each window has been thoroughly inspected ~ & tested!  So far, so good!

Meanwhile Queensland has started its summer with a huge bang.  Each afternoon the thunderstorms roll in with booms & flashes but while Kirby is hiding safely under one of our big lounge chairs Marlow is perched on a windowsill with his nose pressed up hard against the screen watching the world light up.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

It was Interesting...

 October is our month for birthdays ~ not that we fuss overmuch but a nice meal out, off~island, is usually a good way to go. So as it was my birthday I got to choose. *sigh*

You know, you can be rainbow coloured & all the letters of the alphabet but finding vegetarian options on anyone's menu round here is harder than finding a needle in a haystack.  If you are lucky the restaurant in question will offer one: one entree, one main. And then they don't ever change their menu.  I cook better & more interesting vegetarian @ home. So knowing this, & knowing how very much my man likes to use my birthday as an excuse to eat out, I began looking early, scrolling through the on~line menus of the local restaurants. I opted for The Lighthouse even though their specialty is seafood.  They @ least change their vegetarian option regularly & the view is wonderful.

It turned out to be a really, really bad option.  The MOTH's meal was lovely ~ but he eats seafood.
There are lots of things to like about the Lighthouse.  They have a huge outside dining area that is spectacular & gets the sea breeze but on  Sunday it was super crowded & unbelievably noisy ~ a huge negative for me.  I don't like crowds & huge amounts of noise make me anxious & irritable ~ but birthday treat so I'm prepared to be accommodating.  They also do signature cocktails.  I hardly ever drink so these are always an experience as I never know what it is likely to taste like.  This was a *Blush Blast*.  Interesting.
The vegetarian option was pappardelle [with shiitake mushrooms, spinach & pine nuts] ~ which I had no idea was pasta. I'm not a huge pasta fan but whatever...About halfway through something cut the inside of my mouth & I spat out a huge chunk of mussel shell. Gag. Absolutely gross ~ apart from the pain. Nothing like trolling through your meal in public in search of other nasty surprises.


I remember my mother telling T1, after he'd ordered a particularly awful meal when eating out as a child & was hugely disappointed, that the dining experience was always about taking risks: win some, lose some ~ & sometimes your experience will be less than optimum. Well, mine was less than optimum!
Dessert was fun.  I ordered affogato ~ because I'd never had it before & it sounded interesting.  It was! I had no idea how one was supposed to tackle this but had a vague idea one was supposed to pour one's shots over one's icecream ~ so I did.  Apparently that is correct. Hmmmm.  Not sure what the attraction is....

We took ourselves round to the kids' place for coffee where the Little Man, who is experiencing his first day care & church creche, took exception to our appearance.  All in all it was an interesting day & a huge relief to arrive home!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Pink Car.

We feel so flash. Upmarket.  Part of the cool crowd. Really we're such yobs but the car is classy ~ classier than we are. ☺  Almost worth driving across all of Brisbane to collect.

That's the drawback of giving my man access to the internet.  He trawls it like a deep sea trawler when he wants something ~ because he invariably gets the best deal... which is all well & good but we  end up travelling miles & miles: Ipswich for the mainland car; Virginia for the island one. Hours upon hours ~ & me the car~sick, traffic & crowd adverse one... *sigh*

I had looked @ the map ~ & I had looked @ the satellite image & I was pretty sure it wasn't quite so straightforward as the MOTH assured me.  I was right.  Getting in was a nightmare.  No problem until we crossed the Storey Bridge because the southside is ODD's stomping ground & I know it well enough to be able to get myself out of most difficulties but once you cross a bridge ~ any bridge [& there are 13 of them & counting!] ~ then it is foreign territory & unbelievably frustrating! 

As I pointed out to the MOTH once we were safely home again, we drove halfway across Europe without the sort of issues we have in Brisbane because Brisbane thinks everyone knows where they are & how to get where they are going, so they don't bother to signpost anything.  We were halfway to Virginia before we got a signpost for the road we were on [& it wasn't the right one, just going in the right direction!]

Coming out we at least started on the right road but of course I was driving the mainland car [which is lovely to drive] & tailing the Moth in the new one, absolutely terrified of losing him in the Brissie traffic & getting totally & completely lost in the Brisbane maze!  Once we were over the bridge all was good, but we are two very, very tired little bunnies tonight.
Meanwhile: this is why I never get my washing up done! Like, seriously...why here?
And then there's this!  Both of them! I put down a nice fresh tablecloth on the end of the bench on Sunday for our church morning tea & the cats promptly took over!  Later I removed the tablecloth & put down an old towel instead because if they insist on sleeping there @ least it needn't be on the good stuff but OT was really put out & informed me he hadn't built a nice kitchen for the cats! *sigh*  They live here too. And as anyone knows who owns cats, they are persistent.  Very.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Randomness.

So this week more odd things have happened than can be accounted for.  Why, for example did ODD find a not pregnant cat in her garage?  And where are her kittens?

And why, oh why, did all our finances fly out the door just when we are saving really hard for a new island car ~ which, by all accounts, looks like being pink...PINK! Not hot, bold pink, but that faint champagne pink...still...

And it bucketed & bucketed down when my MIL needed the plumber to fix a leak in her main, the MOTH shattered a tooth & needed the dentist, & we had an interview with Rhema on the other side of town, when what I needed to do was oil treads & stringers for OT ~ still not done & he is due any moment.

I was asked to babysit but that is not going to happen.  I just can't. I have a grumpy man, a sermon in the making & 2 psychotic cats who have been locked up for far too long & are hoping the rain is long gone.  It isn't ~ but I washed anyway.  They can rinse as long as they like!

We went from hot to cold overnight.  We lit a fire.  In October.  When we should be starting to swelter.  I do not like being this busy ~ but the worst is yet to come.  At some point we must drive across Brisbane, to the north side, to pick up a car.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

One Birthday...

My Chile Girl was a very chill baby. Adorable ~ much ~ but with very decided ideas of her own, like my family not passing her round like a rag doll to be smothered in kisses & cuddles, or scooped up & bear hugged by some complete stranger. Fussy.  That's my girl.

And because she looks slim & frail & rather ethereal lots of people make the mistake of thinking she is delicate & sweet & accommodating.  Nothing could be further from the truth. My CG is one of my soccer ones.  Until she was about 13 she always played on the boy's teams [because that was all there was] so she grew up tough.  Tough enough to board a plane for Chile via Holland all alone at 21  to be a missionary in a country whose language she did not speak & whose culture she knew nothing about.

She is a strong independent young woman who has just boarded a plane for Ecuador for 10 days intensive training but something of the little girl remains.  She rang me [what else are mothers for?] to discuss who she should fly with because there was a prolonged stopover & not all South American countries are equally safe. What would I know?  I've never been to South America.

And as mothers do, as my daughter dithered between differing risk factors, I pointed out bluntly [as only mothers can] her biggest problem was pride.  She didn't want to be the one arriving late because of the route she took. Hmmmm.  I think I need to work on my tact factor ~ but if you knew CG like I know CG you'd realise CG in a dither can dither for quite some time & it is best to pop the bubble early & bring her back to reality.

But today is her birthday. If she were here there would be presents & pavlova & lots of spoiling.  Instead there are FB posts of  candles stuck in  lamingtons & missed skype calls, complete strangers leaving uninterpretable messages in a foreign language & vast swathes of sea between me & thee.

The away birthdays are starting to add up & the ache of missing hurt more ~ which is very strange because last year she was home on furlough & actually here for her birthday.  Perhaps that's why...

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Gorgeous Girl.  May it be a blessed one.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why?

My mother watches tennis.  My brother is a sailing addict.  My husband watches the NRL ~ as do 2 sons & one daughter. Sport is Australia's great idolatry.

As a thing I'm not very sports minded.  All that sweaty exertion, don'tcha know. So inane ~ fully grown human beings chasing little balls about.  I mean, really?  We don't have something better to do with our time?

The one exception, & only if I remember, & only if nothing better is on offer, is the socceroos playing for a world cup place ~ which they did last night.  Even then, more often than not, I don't watch because watching the soceroos is an exercise in avoidable angst.

Most of ours played soccer.  It is the sport for the under 12 crowd. The ones of ours who played played @ an elite level ~ so, you know, I know a little bit about soccer ~ the one sport my dear MOTH won't watch because he reckons it has to be the most frustrating game ever!  There are days I have to agree with him. And watching the socceroos is frustration upon frustration.

Australia has always been good @ sport.  As a nation we have excelled in Cricket, Union & League ~ American sports are not really sport ~ or universal ~ & we mostly leave those to the Americans because no~one else plays them.  We're a competitive bunch so we mostly play those sports where we can sit on our own dunghill & crow long & loud. Seriously.  When State of Thuggery comes round the only thing our news reports on is~ the State of Thuggery.  Kim Jong Un could press a dozen buttons & I swear our media wouldn't even notice.

Anyway, kids transition out of soccer when they enter high school & opt for Aerial ping~pong [Aussie Rules], Rugby League or Rugby Union.  Consequentially our international soccer team has lacked depth for years & we have never dominated in soccer the way we have in other sports. Over the last couple of decades that has been slowly changing.  Immigrants play soccer. They play well.  So our team is mostly unpronounceable names from all around the world until slowly we have edged into the bottom ranks of the *Beautiful Game*.

But we're competitive.  We like to win.  And soccer is not for the faint~hearted. It is low scoring.  It is difficult to score.  It is unpredictable.  And it is completely unforgiving of mistakes. The socceroos, love them to death & all that, have a tendency to dominate without scoring, to be fitter & have more stamina than their opponents yet lose their formation & open up huge cracks in their defense. *sigh* Which they did last night~ with aplomb.

OT geed me up. Australia V Syria to advance to the next level.  Do or Die. Played in Sydney.  Home ground advantage.  And you know, given the inanity of Australian t.v @ 6pm on a Tuesday night watching the soccer looked like a really good option.  For about 7 minutes it was.  Australia was looking good.  Dominating the middle.  Fast down the wings.  Keeping good formation.  Great passing ~ not always their strong point. One mistake & the away goal advantage ~ gone! 

At which point I rolled my eyes.  This is how it so often goes for the socceroos.  They like coming from behind or something. Don't ask me to explain the World Cup scoring system.  I don't think anyone really understands it except FIFA & I wouldn't put money on that either, so even the equalizer wasn't enough & despite dominating, despite numerous shots on the Syrian goal, it stayed @ one all for the full 90 minutes.

Now a pro soccer player runs 3 or more kilometers a game so the lactic acid build~up can get pretty bad & Syria wasn't in good shape to play an extra 30 minutes even before they got red~carded & lost a player.  I get it.  Soccer is a hugely exhausting game requiring the sort of stamina & mental strength required of marathon runners.  It requires similar sorts of stamina from its fans.  It was exhausting to watch shot after shot on goal deflected & the one rule I cannot abide [& will not watch] is a penalty shoot out ~ which is where we were headed.  Thank you, Timmy Cahill, for saving us from a penalty shoot~out!

I watched to the death ~ but my.oh.my!  By the end I had enough Adrenalin pumping through my system to power a small village! *sigh* And sadly I will probably do this again.  And again.  And again ~ until some European powerhouse or South American genius puts an end to the agony.  Why do I do this to myself?

You know, when the kids were little we always watched the World Cup & it was great.  Australia was never there so we chose a team to barrack for & when they got wiped out we chose another team, and another team, right up until the Grand Final. Reckon that's the way to do it but with Australia still in it...Aussie. Aussie. Aussie. Oi. Oi. Oi.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A little Food @ a time...

 After a day or so of skulking round feeling sorry for himself my big, beautiful, boofer of a cat is back to normal ~ or what we define as normal for this cat.  With attitude like this, it's no wonder he's so big!

Meanwhile I've been having more than my fair share of "...But I don't wanna cook..." days. Gosh but I hate dealing with food! Eat? Sure.  Plonk it in front of me & I'm happy enough to make it disappear ~ mostly because I can do something else while I eat ~ like read.  Cooking doesn't work like that, though I have tried ~ mostly unsuccessfully.

My children have never understood this attitude but @ least now I don't have to deal with the 2 who don't eat tomato, the one not keen on pumpkin, 1 mint hater, the vegan & the vegetarian, the mushroom hater, the seafood lovers, the suspicious looks, the one who forages through her food in case something's snuck in she doesn't like [as I am apt to do the same I can't really fault this one!] & cries of, None of that for me, please.
 The MOTH is relatively easy to please though when you don't eat meat yourself cooking meat is pretty gag~making. So looking down the barrel of having to provide yet another meal when I didn't want to I came across this happy pasta meal. Twenty minutes from start to table.  Oh, happy me!

Steamed broccolini heads, pine nuts & a squeeze of lime ~ topped with Parmesan if you like. I made cheese bread instead.

As an inveterate food hater how did I manage to raise food lovers & good cooks?  Because given the right day & plenty of time I actually like to bake.  Baking was our go to activity when it was cold & had been raining for days on end, board games threatened to get violent & everyone was bored out of their brain.  I taught all of mine to make bread, pies, biscuits, cakes.  It could take all day & kept everyone happily occupied & fed.

Then the oven died & as the children left the house I decided this was a good thing because I couldn't get fat on my own baking.  The MOTH is more of a savory man ~ which means I was the only one eating all that sugary sweetness.

Renovating meant we got a new oven.  Oh dear. It has begun.

 I found this Impossible Pie recipe on line.  With a name like that who could resist?  Not me.

It was very yum.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Adventures with the Little Man.

 Last time I was @ the Little Man's it was because most of the household was sick.  From the look of Old Sobersides here you wouldn't think he was enjoying himself much but in fact, now he recognises me, he  can't wait until I make overtures for him to get in his stroller & head out.

 The new fangled contraption is nice & light & apparently converts, by degrees, into a trike.

For me it has always been easiest to learn a new area by walking it so each time we go in a new direction on @ least one trip out.  This time it was to one of the Green Spaces council has put in ~ though, quite frankly, I think it is less they are ecologically minded than because the majority of these are swampy.
 The one we visited is a large patch of mostly grass but someone has put up a lovely driftwood  bird feeder.  Wrong time of the day to see much but nice to know it is there.  Apparently all the dog owners like to walk their animals there & one lovely lady stopped to chat so the Little Man could pet the easiest of her 3 very large dogs.  Not being much of a dog person I'm always a little leery of any dog;  One never knows...However this one behaved itself & like so many dogs liked me far more than I liked it.  Too sad making.
 In the middle, where the land dipped down, all the swamp had drained into a large billabong ~ obviously the waterhole for any native wildlife around & a huge attraction for the Little Man. As he wasn't going to be content just looking, I put him down knowing full well the prickles on his bare feet would put an end to any wild ideas he had about paddling!
 I know most people like their suburban gardens to be neat & rather unimaginative so I am always charmed when I find someone with a bit of imagination ~ even if it's not particularly my thing.  If you click on the image you can see the huge variety of old farm implements these owners have on display.  Their lawn is just like everybody else's though ~ half dead.  We haven't had rain, any rain at all, in months & all the sidewalks were brown & patchy.  We often walk by here & I always like to stop & look because...well...there is something to look at!

As we go round our circuit we are invariably accosted by large braying dogs hurling themselves against their fences ~ one reason I don't like dogs.  Most people seem to own @ least one, some people several.  Cats are rarer but we do see the occasional one & for the most part they are far more friendly & will come over to investigate & get a scratch under the chin.  As the Little Man doesn't have a cat he finds these encounters most exciting.

Most times I've visited we've been able to head down to the little park not far from home & have the swings & slides & round~a~bouts all to ourselves but last time was school holidays & there were children everywhere.  Like his father, the Little Man is a social animal but despite his overtures One is too little for the big kids to be interested.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cat Misadventures.

Cats!    Own one & you know you're alive.  They have a knack for turning a humdrum, ordinary sort of a day into something else entirely!

At present my mornings consist of something as dull as taking postage stamps of paper for our home business & putting them in blotting books to dry.  This exercise requires no expertise.  You don't need to know a single thing about stamps ~ which are nearly as dull & boring as golf ~ or watching wet paint dry.

In this exercise of dulldom I am generally accompanied by a cat ~ or two.  They are either sprawled at my feet or curled upon my kitchen benchtops keeping an eye on all my doings because obviously I cannot be trusted to get my life together without their help.

My cats, however, are ragdoll crosses: double coated, semi~longhaired animals with minimal moult & we have gone from winter to full blown summer heatwave almost overnight.  The only thing making this bearable at present is the westerly winds blowing at a steady 25+ knots, & the most pleasant place to endure all this is on our verandah, cool but out of the full force of the wind. Guess where my cats have been?

This is all fine.  We have always given our cats the run of outdoors because by nature cats are outdoor creatures, though some like their creature comforts more than others.  Marlow is rarely far from his people & not generally the cat I worry about. Kirby ~ well Kirby is super smart, super stubborn, a hunter of anything than moves & generally the sort of trouble you don't want.  Marlow is a sloth.  He lies around waiting to be loved on. He is not the one I expect to have to rush to the vets at a minutes notice.

Mid afternoon Marlow wandered inside to be sick.  Why do cats do that?  Marlow is always throwing up so I didn't think much of it but some time later I noticed a thick spool of drool running continuously from his mouth & he kept stretching his mouth as if it was bothering him.  I had a look but could see nothing wrong.  He was showing no signs of paralysis, indicating a tick, & seemed bright eyed & alert apart from continually wandering up to me with all this drool. *sigh* I rang the vet.

I hate ringing the vet.  It always means money I don't have.  Sure enough ~ Bring him straight in. This sounds easier than it is.  Apart from wrangling my rather large cat into a carrier it means finding a boat, lugging him in a car to the boat, a boat trip, another car trip & then the vets ~ all of which stresses him to the max. And guaranteed, once on that boat all his symptoms strangely disappear!

Now being a ragdoll, Marlow is pretty easy to handle though once in the carrier he does what he does when he doesn't want to be removed from a chair: He hunkers down in one corner, applies all of his not inconsiderable weight into defying gravity, & requires upending to get him out.  I felt for the vet.

A preliminary consultation had me looking down the barrel of sedation & exrays ~ & huge expense.  The expense had to be paid before I left the surgery.  Panicked phone call to the MOTH.  However on a second examination the vet was able to get a really good look at Marlow's mouth & under his tongue ~ all very swollen, as was his throat. I wondered if a bee or a wasp might have stung him...? As he was otherwise fine the vet suggested a steroid shot.  My bill plummeted from $500+ to just $95.00.

Just the same, Marlow is now officially, a more expensive cat than Kirby! Everyone jolly glad to be home again safe & sound.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

One Children's Book.


There were 5 of us.  My mother is one of the most intelligent women I have ever known.  She was smart across the whole academic spectrum: English, math, history.  She is an artistic homemaker & an excellent cook.  She was also a prolific reader & read to us children so much that we were reading before we began school.

My mother is a realist.  She likes realistic books.  My first brother likes scientific books & my youngest brother liked animal stories. I generally read fantasy but among all the books on our shelves were my mother's school prizes:  Billabong Books; Dimsie Stories; Milly~Molly~Mandy.  They were there so I read them. 

Children's authors don't write books like this for children any more.  We have become way too politically correct but these stories of everyday children doing everyday things in an everyday manner were the sort of books you didn't have to pre~read to ensure the content was suitable for your child.

So down the road I became a very indiscriminate reader.  If it was printed I read it: junk mail, jam labels, newspapers, magazines & more books than anyone else in the house ~ both adult & childrens.

I was blessed to have an excellent Primary School library with a brilliant librarian & the freedom to change my books as soon as I had finished them.  I did not have to wait for library day. This meant I waded through the packed shelves at a truly frantic pace but much of what is now considered children's classics I didn't read till much, much later.  I was in my 30's before I read the Anne Books.  I have never read all the Little House Books.  I read Heidi backwards; Tom Sawyer but not Huckleberry Finn; Pocomoto & myriads of Chalet School Stories, The Abby Girls ~ & that staple of so many young girls, pony books.  Not that I liked ponies or horses & I never wanted to own one but, well, they were there & so I read them.  I said I wasn't discriminatory.

That is how I found Lorna Hill.  Tucked in amongst all the ballet books, which I read afterwards & disliked intensely, was a little red book minus its dust jacket called They Called Her Patience

For some reason this book fired my 10 year old imagination.  I could visualize the Northumbrian landscape vividly. I played tennis [badly].  I had been to Teen Ranch & ridden my first ever horse [also badly]. I empathised with spoilt Judy & her long rats~tails plaits.  I was intrigued by Patience. I longed for a protective older brother like David.

Unlike the ballet books, Hill's stories about Patience weren't all that popular, though I liked them better, & getting copies of these now out of print books is extremely difficult.  So many years down the track I couldn't even remember the title of the book I had read.  All I could recall was that the name Patience was in the title. Still the internet is a wonderful thing & Mr Google a wonder of misinformation so eventually I tracked down the author & eventually a book title.  It was reasonably priced so I forked out my hard earned cash & waited patiently for the book to arrive.  It was the wrong one.

Still I hadn't read it so I was only minimally disappointed.  Not as good as the book I remembered but I now had titles & was fairly sure of the one I wanted.  What I hadn't counted on was something that I have also struck with Antonia Forest ~ there aren't a lot of fans around but those of us who admire these now hard to get & out of print  books do not part with them willingly & when they do become available they are exorbitantly expensive.

I had horded my Christmas money as there was nothing I particularly wanted at the time & on a random search found They Called Her Patience was, unbelievablly, available through Abe Books.  Three copies: 2 in excellent condition, one fair ~ & with price tags to match.  The price tags put me off. Let's face it, new the book wouldn't have cost that much. Then it slowly dawned on me that this was my Spending money & if I wanted to blow the lot on an out~dated, out of print children's book then I jolly well could! So I did!




Saturday, 23 September 2017

New Things.

Parking is @ such a premium for all islanders that if you can afford to pay for a permanent parking spot you do.  It saves so much hassle.  We were lucky.  We got ourselves one of the last spots with the lady we've always parked with when we've had a mainland car.  While not the handiest park it saves the endless round & round, endless fines for parking where one shouldn't or risking the wrath of not removing a double~parked car in time.  It sounds mad.  It is mad ~ but our council has refused to either cap our population @ a sensible level or address the need for mainland transport, arguing, wrongly, that the public transport is adequate.  To the shops ~ yes.  Anywhere else ~ no!
Anyway, it has been a week of *new*s. 
New glasses.
New movies...
New skills.

The glasses I am super happy about.  I can see again to do all those multitudes of things that require I see clearly.

The movies I have been waiting to see. Hacksaw Ridge I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would.  All that creeping about in the murky smoke with Japs suddenly emerging...Too much adrenaline for me! However Hidden Figures was an absolute Joy.  The MOTH deemed it slooow...but I remembered so much of the hoo~ha surrounding the space program when I was growing up ~ even the live footage~Kennedy & King & the racial tensions of the 60's.  So much respect for these women who overcame so much!  No sex.  No violence.  Wow.  Such a novelty in this day & age!

And the Little Man has progressed from tottering about on 2 feet to running everywhere.  I babysat last night & will be back over tomorrow as the Dilly is sick & my boy must work.  In between there is church...