Miss BG and the knitting Nancy #blogjune

Miss BG like me, enjoys to read. There are books scattered from one end of the house to the other that she has dipped into- craft books, nature encyclopaedias,  and Roald Dahl books, which she has inherited from her big brother.


She is not, however, a great one for finishing a book. Many of her school readers are quite short, and she hasn’t developed the reading stamina to persevere with a longer book. When the twin distractions of TV and Minecraft are competing for her attention, it’s even more difficult to encourage her to finish a book she has started.

I resorted to outright bribery on the weekend, with an incentive- finish a book and get a Knitting Nancy. The book was George’s Marvellous Medicine and it was wonderful to see her want to stay up to read, or get up early to finish off a chapter.

She finished it today at school, with a great sense of achievement. I am hoping that this is the start of many more books finished, and that maybe next time, the incentive may be learning how to crochet, or to knit- my yarn stash seems to never decrease…

Woke up, fell out of bed… #blogjune

 A David Bailey image of Lennon and McCartney- a souvenir from our first trip overseas- hangs in our music/spare/red room and its composition is something which I was pondering as I went about my morning routine in my normal headless chook fashion.
While Mr BG and I agree that Rubber Soul is better than Revolver, we are diametrically opposed as to who the better writer was. Bart is a John fan, while I have always had a soft spot for Paul (though recently, I think George was the underrated one).

John Lennon and Paul McCartney by David Bailey, 1965

John Lennon and Paul McCartney by David Bailey, 1965

In this image, John looms over Paul, his arms draped over Paul’s shoulders. Paul however looks to be oblivious to this dominance and faces the camera head on. It feels as if John is trying to dominate the space, but Paul is not giving in and holding his own.

 Their song A day in the life (from Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) popped into my head as a random stream of consciousness (much like this blog post). The song is discordant, and yet the dreamy genius of John’s parts, when merged with the pop sensibility of Paul’s contribution leads to a song greater than the sum of its parts.

Partnerships can often involve conflict, with different thoughts and approaches to a common goal. Yet when the stars align, magic can happen. Just like marriage.

And with that thought in my head, I kissed my husband goodbye and headed out the door to work.

Blogjune countdown

It’s that time of the year when one’s thoughts turn to electric blankets, an upcoming public holiday, and Blogjune.

A month where bloggers come together and blog every day on anything and everything.

There are no themes, but there will memes!

Flexnib has a form on her site, gathering a list so we know who to visit and read. The reading is the best part :).

You can also follow the fun on Twitter with the #blogjune tag.

I’m in again, with about a dozen half-finished posts that will get finished, a number of posts I can do on #anz23mthings, and the rest will be a wait and see and be surprised…

Mad scientist

That’s Mad Scientist Master BG looking surprised

A blinking cursor

Hello June 30, I can’t believe #blogjune is over!

I was going to title this post with ‘And now the end is here’ from the wonderful My Way, but that would indicate something else, such as I’ve gotten sick of writing every day for 30 days and I just want to go and bury myself in my warm bed and not get up until spring. Tempting, but no…

The challenge has been trying to find something to say when you don’t know what to say, and trying to silence that blinking cursor in the middle of a blank blog post. I have drawn inspiration from many of the participants through their posts and the wonderful memes which popped up. I know that the majority of you have a queen-sized bed and everyone seems to hate housework of some description. I’ve learned that the crafty peeps love softies, felting, knitting, scrapbooking and card-making. The interiors of our houses have come up for perusal, holiday snaps have been oohed and ahhed over (or was this just me?), and the use of pen and paper to illustrate a theme for a post has been cleverly used.

Local history has been a feature, as has social history and genealogy. I am also half inclined to take part in a week in the life project like Michelle and Tania, though my scrapbooking skills are not that great. I know my limitations regarding genealogy and with my other half having been bitten by the genealogy bug, I’m quite content to say I came from Ireland in 1972 and leave it at that for the moment :).

There has been a great deal of great library-related posts to emerge, but I think that the output of a post a day has meant that meant that posts have been lighter rather than meatier. Having said that, the collaborative posts from Libraries Interact, ALIA Sydney and The Room of Infinite Diligence have demonstrated just how well librarians work as a collective when collaborating on a blog. Several different voices, and different styles, all united by a passion for libraries and librarianship.

One of the good things which have emerged has been the 100 articles a librarian must read, which will make for a valuable read. Seeing the different libraries around the world Ellen wishes to visit whets my appetite for a busman’s holiday.

I have loved reading of people’s families, people’s recipes, and pets. I have really enjoyed knowing more of people’s musical and literary tastes and appetite for film. Fiona’s musical challenges have been cool and people have been very quick to answer them I feel spectaularly proud of the fact I can claim bragging rights on one of them :).

Apart from that, it has been a learning exprience for me. I have enjoyed the discipline of writing every day, and it is one I’ll continue to do. I’m going to take a couple of days off, make some muffins and some of the chai tea from Katie’s recipe, and make some plans as to what I want to do with this blog.

As for July, I have

  • a pile of books to read,
  • kids to wrangle during the school holidays,
  • a cardigan to finish knitting,
  • a gym to visit,
  • tax to do,
  • piles of laundry to sort (as always)

and above all, more writing to do!

Book Review- Pride and Prejudice- The Wild and Wanton Version

15 years ago, my heart was all aflutter at the sight of a sodden Mr Darcy striding across the lawns of Pemberley in the TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In my mind this has remained the best visual adaptation of Jane Austen’s most famous novel.

With her works out of copyright, Austen’s books are freely adapted, with mixed results. There has been Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood version, Lost in Austen and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The latest adaptation to emerge is Pride and Prejudice the Wild and Wanton version.

This has involved a romance writer writing additional text  snippets (in bold so as to distinguish from the original text) in order to enhance the story. Sometimes the text is designed to reveal deeper thoughts of the characters, almost spelling out the plot (as if it were a paint-by-numbers Hollywood movie). In other cases the additional text certainly raunches up the story- Lydia’s escapade with Wickham is explored in intimate detail, for example.

If you’re an Austen purist, you may wish to give this one a miss- or in fact, you may wish to read it to tut tut over the artistic licence. It’s worth a read, if only to see what Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet do get up to…

I’ve grown accustomed to her face

I have kicked her out, shooed her off the bed, the kitchen counter, the clothes horse and the dining room table. I have washed her feeding bowl, cleaned out her kitty litter tray and admonished my children several times for playing with her, then not washing  their hands.

But… I’ve grown accustomed to her face peeking through the glass door as I head down to the kitchen early in the morning. I’ve looked forward to coming home and seeing her in Miss BGs bedroom window, looking out to the street, almost as if she is waiting for me to come home. I have enjoyed the warmth of her body as she curls up on my lap while I’m watching telly.

I didn’t want to be the cliched librarian with a cat, but I’ve enjoyed having a pet around, and the rest of the family are also loving it. As Mr BG said “The family feels complete with a pet.”

As we legally can’t register a stray, we had to take Tiger to the RSPCA so they can check to see if she is a match for any lost pets. She doesn’t have a microchip, but she has been desexed and she matches the description of a lot of lost cats- that’s the thing about grey tabbies! She’ll get checked by a vet tomorrow, wormed and vaccinated and microchipped. If she is not claimed, then we can adopt her.

It was really, really hard dropping her off today, and coming back to an empty house did not make it any easier.

Just feeling very flat and blah at the moment.


Somewhere over the rainbow

The rainbow meme, with thanks to Fiona and Tania. I have kind of followed Tania’s example, with something about what the colour symbolises to me and favourite songs featuring the colour.


1. My wedding dress is red. The fabric doesn’t really crease, which is great, as I had orignally planned to elope with Mr BG and get married in Scotland. Wiser heads prevailed (namely my two brothers, who convinced me Mum would KILL me if I ever considered it) and I was married in a civil service in  a former Anglican chapel in the Dandenongs.

2. When I was in kinder, I used to paint exlcusively with red paint, as it was a safe colour for me. When I branched out into other colours, my teacher hailed it as a breakthrough!

3. I see red is one of the best Split Enz songs ever :).


1. I look hideous in orange, but the leaves in my street look gorgeous in that colour in autumn. I think that’s one of the reasons why autumn is my favourite season.

2. Orange is the colour of Unionism in Northern Ireland, so I’m not entirely comfortable with it. Having said that, you know if you’re in a Unionist street because they paint the kerbs red, white and blue after the Union Jack, rather than orange.

3. One of the first REM songs I knew and liked was Orange Crush.


1. The walls of our hallway and kitchen are painted a beautiful buttercup yellow, which always cheers me up. In the morning sunlight the front hallway is ablaze as light streams in through through the front door.

2. The juxtaposition of yellow with blue always reminds me of the kitchen at Monet’s house in Giverny, a truly beautiful place in the world.

3. One of the best songs from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is  Oh yeah by Yello.


1. It’s Master BG’s favourite colour and he chose it be the colour of his bedroom.

2. Green is the colour of my new (vintage) coat, and makes for a splash of colour in the black shades of a Melbourne winter.

3. It was only recently that I discovered that the Talking Heads cover of Take me to the River was written by Al Green.


1. My eyes are blue, which I inherited from my dad. Except from when I’m sleeping, they are usually framed by glasses, which I have worn since I was 10.

2. Our bedroom is painted a Brittany Blue (Haymes shade), which looks very nice against the white mantlepiece and wardrobe. I also have a lovely blue dish from Kate which was a gift last year when she came for dinner.

3. The vocals in Chris Isaak’s song Blue Hotel always amazes me.


1. I was the second person in my class in Grade 5 to graduate from a pen licence to a fountain  pen. My fingers were constantly stained with indigo ink in the latter years at primary school.

2.I don’t have a lot of indigo in my wardrobe, but a love indigo and white striped tops, which looks tres nautical!

3. I always associate indigo with navy, as In the Navy 🙂 (sorry, I am stretching it a bit!)


1. Every pot of violets which I have been given, I have killed, either by underwatering, overwatering or sheer stupidity.Which is a shame because I love their subtle fragrance.

2. I have never entertained the thought of naming my daughter Violet, although I do know a Daisy, a Rose and a Holly.

3. Here is a chance to indulge my prediliction for U2 and Ultra Violet (Light my Way)

Sunday Conversations

Kitchen. Sunday morning, 7.30am

Master BG: (seated at table) Mum, do vampires like garlic?

Me: (making breakfast) No, they hate garlic!

Master BG: Mum, what do vampires eat?

Me: They drink blood.

Master BG: They don’t eat brains?

Me: No, zombies eat brains. Vampires are on a liquid diet (cue laughter).

2 minutes later. Master BG and I are at table eating breakfast.

Master BG: Mum, do we have a bible?

Me: (mouth full of porridge) Why do you want a bible?

Master BG: We were talking about bibles in school.

Me: (resigned to the fact that I will never get to eat my porridge in piece) Do you want a bible or a bible stories book? (even at home always doing the reference interview)

Book of bible stories selected. Book is read. Much concern over Jonah and the ‘big fish’, from Master BG because he is swallowed, and from me because the last time I read this story, Jonah was swallowed by a WHALE which is a mammal.

Peace for five minutes.

Master BG: Mum, can I play library?

Me:(Big sigh and little chuckle) Why not 🙂

Library play ensues. Such is the demand for books that library expands from just Harry Potter books to information books and Captain Underpants books, which are been organised into ‘sections’ (his words). We all take turns in being a librarian ‘Mum you know how to be one- you’re already a librarian!’ Master BG learns the basics of marketing ‘please come to my library’, and finally the grim reality ‘If you don’t come to my library I’m just going to have to close the library forever’.

Cue exit from me.

To market, to market…

Saturday beckons, and with any luck there’s a farmer’s market to go to. We’re pretty spoilt for choice in Ballarat with the Lakeside Farmer’s Market on twice a month, the Town Hall market the first Saturday of the month, as well as the Buninyong Market. If we want to make a day of it, Talbot is about 40 minutes up the road on the 3rd Sunday of the month where the market occurs in the main streets, or Daylesford’s Sunday market!

There’s my favourite stalls- the fresh pasta (homemade gnocchi with napoletana sauce, which is Saturday dinner), the vegies, the organic tomatoes and the scrummy cheese and artisan bread. If I’m lucky, there is a fresh egg stall, but that is largely dependent on the seller having enough eggs to sell- if the free-range chooks aren’t laying, there’s no eggs.

There is even an iPhone app (I have asked about an Android app, which they assure is will be developed), designed to assist users in locating a nearby farmer’s market.

Today I picked up tomatoes, gnocchi, and 2kg pink lady apples, as well as a couple of pastries to have later for coffee. Had the rest of the family been with me, there would have been a stop at the sausage sizzle stand, and the coffee van. Sausages would have been eaten and excess bread thrown to the ducks in the lake :).

Do you have a favourite market you like to visit?

Master (BG) Blaster

I feel compelled after yesterday’s post to add, that the adorable Miss BG has an older brother in prep, and in fairness I should say something about him that is equally proud. Just letting you know now in case you don’t wish to continue reading :).

Master BG’s first school report arrived on Wednesday. It was a great report, with my boy performing extremely well in his reading, spelling and his numeracy. His behaviour in class was an issue, but he is making a concerted effort in class to concentrate and focus on the task at hand.

Reports from his other teachers for PE, Art and Japanese also speak well of his enthusiam for his work and his cooperation. His Performing Arts teacher also commented on his energy and enthusiasm and hoped it to be better channelled in the second half of the year!

He is well-liked by his classmates and is thoroughly enjoying school. Do I feel lucky to have a great kid for a son? Indeed I do!

He had a day off today as parent teacher interviews were scheduled all day. With his sister in kinder this morning, we ran a couple of errands together and stopped off at The Turret for a coffee and chocolate milkshake. To celebrate he also scored another book in the Adventures of Captain Underpants series for his collection, which we’ll start tonight.

And now the bragging stops :).