Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lazy Bloggers Post Generator

What a gorgeous orange dress!
Flaming June by Marcello

Dudes I just climbed out from under my rock and realised I have not updated this since last week... You would not believe I spend all my time in front of a computer. Unbelievable.

I am not going to post now with feeding the little people, personal projects, just generally being a mother to my kids, my day is full to overflowing from the moment my children manage to unlock my bedroom door and use me as a jumping castle to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am so exhausted. I need some perspective.

I swear to update at least once a week. Honestly! What do you mean you don't believe me?.


Thank you,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Leibster Blog Love

A few days ago, the gorgeous Sheri from Sheri Bomb awarded me the Liebster Blog Award, & I am WELL FUCKING CHUFFED, man!
"Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favourite. The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs."

I do love the toughlove sound of the Geman language (Ich liebe Dich, Sheri xx). And also sad panda face that I have much, much less than 200 followers :(......

Being a Leibster entails the following..

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog. (Right click on the award image and save it to your hard-drive and then upload it to your blog).
4. Bask in the leib from the most supportive people on the Internet – other bloggers.
5. And best of all – have fun and spread the leib!
Well, in the spirit of the upcoming Australia Day celebrations, I would like to keep it local just this once. My top 5 Leibsters are;

A Boys Mumma
Accidental Wonderland
Hello Blogger Events
The one and only...Ozziethriftmumma

Ladies, I leib youse all.

Happy Birthday

I am a big fan of Good Taste magazine, but I am a bit embarrassed to say that I didn't know there was a website. That is turning 5 years old, for god's sake.

Yeah, what a noob!
Call yourself a foodie Mrs BC!

Things that make such an amazing website
  • It is a seriously huge website, with over 1.6 million unique visitors per month. (oh for those stats)
  • They bring together magazines such as Delicious, Super Food Ideas, Country Style, Master Chef & Good Taste to provide an index of over 23,000 recipes.
  • In the Taste Kitchen section, you can view other members favourite recipes or upload your own.
  • Marion Grasby (one of my fave Mastercheffers) is the new resident blogger.
  • They are having an amazing birthday giveaway, with the first prize being a gourmet trip for 2 to Thailand valued at  $11,000! How brilliant would that be?

Click here to enter's birthday giveaway. All you need to do is share your favourite recipe. 2nd prize is a Thermostat, & 3rd prize is an instant kitchen library of 10 cookbooks. (I'd almost rather the 3rd prize....)

Or just go check out the website, because it's pretty awesome!

Disclaimer - there ain't none! This is my opinion which I am happy to share for no money or product. I know, right!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rich Glen Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone that entered this competition, all of your recipes sound amazing & I will be giving them all a whirl at the Chaos dinner table. After a lot of discussion with Mr BC, the winner of the Rich Glen Olive Oil Pack is...


with her tasty sounding 'Joe's Roast Vegie Salad with Pomegranate/Mango' that had Mr BC drooling..

Email me your address Woodpuddle & the lovely Ros Vodusek will send you a bottle of award winning Lemon Lime infused olive oil, & a bottle of Chaos Household endorsed Poppy's Salad Dressing.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chaos Notes

I want to say a heart felt THANK YOU to every single person who left a message of support for the Unbloggable Guest Poster. Your lovely words of encouragement gave this mum a big lift, which is just what she needs as she heads into court. I hope & pray that we can hear a happy outcome to this situation one day soon. Sending you love & strength, Anonymous! xx

Meanwhile, in the Chaos Household..

Mr BC is continuing to fish, & sometimes he even catches one!

 Prawn pot stickers, rice, Asian slaw & Chinese style pork ribs.
A little bit of heaven.

 Donna Hay's Chocolate Sorbet.

OMG you guys you MUST MAKE THIS.

It's like a mud cake had a baby with a dairy free, fat free sorbet.
  • Dissolve 1 cup of caster sugar, & half a cup of brown sugar in 2 & three quarters of water over high heat.
  • Whisk in 1 cup of high quality cocoa powder. (Woolworths home brand is the best, truly)
  • Simmer for about 15 minutes. (Ms Hay says to measure 96C on a candy thermometer but I don't have one)
  • Churn in an ice cream maker. For some reason, my churn wouldn't churn this so I froze it & kept stirring every few hours. Probably the thermometer thingy..
Still bloody amazing.

 Still walking by the ocean as much as I can.
I find the ocean so soothing, it's a spiritual thing.
What? No, I'm not a hippy.

  Crazy boys creating their own fun.

 Checked out a local park with new equipment. How blue is that sky?

 To infinity, & beyond!

 The world's proudest banana sandwich chef.
(photo taken by the worlds proudest mum of the banana sandwich chef)

Went for a walk at a local wildlife reserve. This boardwalk snakes around 2 km of mangroves & bushland. There is a bird hide, where you can view lots of different types of water fowl. We even saw a kangaroo bounding through some scrub, very exciting.

Years ago, before the children came along, Mr BC & I used to go wine tasting a bit. We still have a few bottles of red floating around, quite tempting..This bottle had lost it's label so who knew what was inside! I love a mystery & couldn't wait to open it...

 Big Disappointment.

but sanity prevails!!

Tomorrow I am choosing the winner of the Rich Glen giveaway, so click this link & leave your best salad recipe in the comments for your chance to win the most amazing salad dressing in the known universe. (as far as my taste buds are concerned).


Friday, January 13, 2012

Guest Post - The Unbloggable

A few weeks ago Mrs BC offered her blog as a place for anyone who wanted a rant, had something to get off their chest or, just had a story to tell that for whatever reason didn't sit well on their own blog.

First of all, THANK YOU so much Mrs BC!!! There are few things more frustrating for someone who makes sense of the world by writing than to not have an outlet. I'm choosing to post this anonymously for reasons that will become clear. I have a real need to tell my story but again, for various reasons I can't post this on my own blog. It's really hard to know where to start.

Part of the reason for it taking me so long to write is that the story has been evolving and changing direction so fast that my head is spinning. Sadly my story has not reached the end and, whichever way it does, the outcome is not likely to be happy.

So, where do I start?

15 years ago when I met my husband? The intervening years which, although not all unhappy were, on reflection, not happy times.

2 and a half years ago when I ended my marriage? The pain, ill health, emotion turmoil, suffering and punishment meted out during that time?

Or the 23rd of December when I stood barefoot with tears puring down my face in a car park while he smugly smiled as the police woman explained that without a residency order she couldn't prevent him from taking my children from me?

So how, and why did this happen. Questions I'm still asking myself even now the children are (for the time being) safely back where they belong.                                      

Ok, I'll start with how and yes, I know, this IS only from my perspective.  I AM emotionally involved.  I will only be able to tell you my truth based on my knowledge and experience of this man and my views are not unbiased, I appreciate that.

My views are tainted by the pain he has caused me and my belief that his only motivation was to cause me yet more pain for daring 2 and a half years ago to defy him, to not forgive him, for trying to remove him from my life and for trying to live my life without him.

One thing that should be made clear. My children love their Father.  They will forgive him ANYTHING just to keep him in their lives. He has used this to his advantage over the last couple of years. 

Refusing to make proper arrangements to see them (and barely seeing them at all in the first year).  Keeping them on edge.  Waiting for up to 2 hours at a time for him to arrive to take them out, all the while sitting silently on the sofa, peering through the blinds each time a car drew up outside.

Bringing them home early, before I was home and leaving them, without a key, on the doorstep before driving away.

Having my daughters long, strawberry blond hair cut short and dyed black.

Neglecting my son to the extent that he suffered 2nd degree burns after a day at the beach resulting in a week off school and in so much pain that we both wept every time I applied the burns cream.  During this week the only communication any of us had from his father was a text to say it wasn't his fault.

Many times they have come home having not been fed all day.  They are tired and hungry.  Their Dad has gotten drunk the night before and only got up in time to bring them home.

So why not just stop him seeing them?  Of COURSE you are asking that, I know I would!

Well, my children are considered young adults, at least to the extent that they are  old enough to have their wishes taken into consideration. They want to see him. If I prevent this then not only do I alienate my own children but I face a battle in court.

So I desperately tried to put safeguards in place, to gain assurances, promises, ANYTHING that would show that he had his children's welfare at heart and would take care of them.

I worried every single moment that they spent with him. I stopped going out, even to the shops or walking the dog on the days they were due home to make sure that never again would they be left outside alone.

Again, yes, they have mobile but no matter how many times I asked for a text or a call before they left for the 1 and half hour journey home.  No matter how many times I called to find out what time they would be home.  No matter what I was told, the situation was likely to change without any warning or notice so I never felt safe.

The children were going to spend this Christmas with their Father. Not something I wanted or was happy about but something he had put to them stressing that it was HIS turn. Last year he told me he didn't want to see them at Christmas or for New Year.  He and his girlfriend had 'plans'.  I didn't know we TOOK it in turns!

This year his girlfriend threw him out after discovering that he had been persistently unfaithful to her during their 18 month relationship. This year he would be on his own and not be the centre of attention. This year he decided it was his TURN to have our children

And so, because this was presented to me as a done deal.  Because my children cling on to any and every sign that their Dad wants them.  Because I felt that yet again I was given no option.  I agreed.

But then his behaviour became more erratic.

At the beginning of November I received a drunken call from him saying that he didn't want to have the children from Friday night to Sunday afternoon but that he would pick them up on a Saturday morning every other weekend.  (there is a back story to him having them on a regular basis and it revolves around a reduction in maintenance payments from him if he has them for a set amount of nights a year).  It was shortly after this that I discoved he and his girlfriend has split up.

I agreed to the change in the arrangements but it transpired that he didn't want to pay the higher rate (about £40 per month) of maintenance that he would incur by being in breach of the shared care arrangement. I was to keep quite and continue to allow him to pay the reduced rate or he would stop seeing the children and tell them it was my fault for, in his words, 'being a money grabbing bitch again and making it impossible for him to see them'.

I refused to be bullied by him again.  (again there is a back story regarding money that he has refused to pay, has stolen ect) and so I said no. Predictably this unleashed a storm of abuse and threats and bizarrely, photos of him in compromising situations with other women being sent to my phone. At this point I said that the plans for Christmas should be revised.

He had threatened not to return the children.  To keep them and try to force me to sell my house (which I had owned for many years before meeting him and for which he has never made a mortgage payment towards).

I said that as he no longer had a place I felt the children would be 'safe' in.  Because he was living with a family member he had previously told me took drugs.  Because he refused to give me an address.  Because I was tired of the years of bullying, of abuse of constantly working my life around his demands even when he was living nearly 100 miles away, I said NO!

I said that he could still have contact with the children by phone and in person but only with supervision and only if he were to travel here to see them.  That I would not allow him to take them in a car. I did specify that the supervision didn't need to be by me.  That I was willing to arrange for the children to be with mutal friends that I trusted.

But you don't say no to my ex (If I refer to him as my husband it's because we are sadly still married.  So far he has ignored 3 sets of divorce papers but the next set will be served in person).

So, how did he come to take my children?

Why did they willing go with him?

Because, as I have said, they love their Dad but also because they have seen him walk away from children from a previous relationship and have no contact with them for 6 years.  They know and I know that should they not go along with his plans then in all likeliness he will do the same to them.

I wish to god he WOULD!!!

But they don't.

So yes, they choose to believe that I would stop them spending Christmas with their dad because (as he says) I hate him.  They choose to believe that I don't pass on messages or tell them when he has phoned, that I try to prevent them from speaking to him.

The truth is, and they KNOW this!!

He doesn't phone. His only interest is self interest.

He probably does love them in so far as he is able to love but it isn't the unconditional love most of us have for our children.  It's a self serving love.  A need in him to be loved.  A demand to be the centre of attention.

If I were reading this would I be thinking, 'but there MUST be more to this story'?  She MUST be a bad mother to have her children say they want to live with this man.  There is something she is hiding ...

To be honest?   I probably would and I don't blame you if you think the same. To understand you need to understand how manipulative this man is.  How he wears down your self esteem.  How he makes you feel that his approval is the only thing that matters.  How you lose yourself and your self worth.

This is what he did to me and god knows how I managed to break free.  I do know that it left me emotionally scarred and physically ill. I do know that the bond I had with him was far more tenuous than that which a child has for a parent.

I DO know that my children know that I will never leave them. That I will never reject them.  That I will ALWAYS, no matter what love them.

Maybe this is the key to it all. Maybe this is why they can behave in this (in the words of a friend) treacherous manner towards me. Maybe this is why during this time where I am backwards and forwards to a solicitor.  Where I face a battle in court.  Where every aspect of my parenting is questioned, they continue to tell me they love me.  They continue to behave relatively normally. They continue to laugh, to have friends over, to hug me to be so damned NORMAL at times that I really think that as their Dad keeps suggesting, I may be mad!

Or maybe he's just fucked so much with their heads that they don't know what normal IS any more.

To be honest, I'm not sure I do.

I appreciate there are gaps here.  Information and background that were it included would perhaps tie all of this together better but I'm only really getting one shot at this. It's as hard to write as it is to believe.

I feel broken and beaten but, there is still life in me and every moment I have, every breath that I breath is to protect and to love my children. I don't know how this will end and I'm scared.

I'm scared of the damage that's already been done and I'm scared of the damage and pain to come. I do know that no matter how this ends, no one wins and the biggest loser's of all will be my children who I love so much.

It breaks my heart.

Son's sunburn

Thank you Anonymous, this breaks my heart also. I truly hope that the courts, & your children see the truth of this behaviour, & that there will be a happy ending for you all.
Thank  you so much for sharing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today was not a great day.

Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso
It was very hot - too hot to be out at the beach or even in the garden. The 50 things to do in the school holiday post mocks me in my humidity induced lack of motivation. Our budget is too tight right now for any sort of diversionary tactics. The boys where bored & in an endless loop of  'antagonise-whinge-escalate' that seems to plague our house every school holidays, despite my best intentions. The constancy of this is such that I can't rub 2 thoughts together in my head - I literally forget what I walked into a room for.  I hate feeling so diconnected, so frazzled, so fed up with my kids. Mr BC is back at work so I cannot escape even if I wanted to. Unluckily for him, he works from home most of the time so gets to listen to my whinging in person.

I just need to go & have sushi & read a magazine & have no one talk to me for an hour! I sobbed melodramaticly to Mr BC.  I just need to have my head to myself for while! I've been telling you I need some time to myself & I NEED SOME TIME TO MYSELF!!!!

Mr BC hastily checked his calendar, & after some discussion we decided that I could steal $20 from our budget & I could take myself to a sanity break/sushi lunch on Saturday. It's a long time to wait but it's something to look forward to.

I decided that I would get on with some chores, but write myself a list so I wouldn't forget what I was doing. I made Donna Hay's chocolate sorbet recipe, Pioneer Woman's perfect iced coffee recipe, & a batch of Evolution Slice. I did 3 loads of laundry. I cleaned the fishtank & fed the guinea pig. I went through my inbox files to delete anything that could be dragging down the speed of my laptop.....

Wow, 153 items in my Junk Mail File, that's a lot..... I try & check it every couple weeks, I'd left it for 4. There where quite a few emails from 'Foreign Department, Africa' asking me to help them move a few billion out of thier country. Lots of emails telling me I had won the lottery, & apparently I might have been selected to win an ipad at least 7 times.

delete, delete, delete.

I felt a bit of a sinking feeling when I noticed there where several emails from people leaving comments on my blog, despite the fact emails from these particular guys are not normally junked. This sucked, because I really like to reply personally to each comment via email within 24 hours at most.

Then I found an email from a fellow blogger telling me I had won a $200 Coles Myer Voucher! My heart sank when I realised this email was almost 4 weeks old, because the blogger would be well within her rights to a redraw if I hadn't claimed, & until today, I hadn't. (I haven't heard back from her yet). Stupid Outlook.

If you are like me you enter a lot of competitions in blog land, & you'll be especially like me if you don't keep track of them. I clicked over to the blog in question to see what competition I had actually won. I had to leave a comment telling how I was leading a healthier life. This is my answer.

It's a struggle, this trying to be healthy, but I'm sure it's worth it. For me it's portion size, carb quality & excercise. Lately I think mental health is also part of the bigger picture of 'being healthy' - take time to laugh, relax, & spend time with my loved ones. And try try try for quality time to myself!

Words to fucking live by. Pass the tissues.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Projects up the Hoo Ha

Image from this talented artist

It's no secret - I have the nerdy love for a spreadsheet. I kinda think I could manage the world on one. (Well, my world at least although I did once work for a largish company that insisted on managing their world on excel. Hugely inadequate, but we all managed, almost.)

I tell you this because as part of my resolution management, excel is an integral tool. One of my resolutions for 2012 was to totally own my project list. The OGSR went like this..
  • Objective - Move forward on creative projects.
  • Goal - Organise projects out of notebook & onto spreadsheet
  • Strategy - Do one project per week, minimum
  • Resource - I have enough half done stuff to last all year, so bloody finish it!
So now I have a spreadsheet called 'Master Project List'. I listed each project then put them into a category (Art, Gardening, Carpentry, Upcycling, Upholstery, Organising, Financial, Sewing, etc, etc,)

I made a column for Details of each project, then a column for the Roadblock that was stopping progress on this project. This has given me a good handle on what the hell I am doing with so many half finished projects - I have things listed like 'time' or 'need to do x project first'. To my surprise there where a lot of blank spaces - as in there is no good reason why I haven't finished this project.

I suspected that money was a major roadblock & in many instances it is, but after adding a column for Approximate Cost, I found to my surprise there are a lot of projects that cost $0. Yep, a big fat zero.

So, yay me - I am unfocused & lazy, & I proved this to myself with my favourite toy, the Spreadsheet.

Fucks sake.

On the good side, this list has made it easier to choose a project to do, & therefore keep the momentum going. Feeling cash embarrassed? Choose a free project! Raining? Do an inside project. Want to play with power tools? Choose a Carpentry project.

I have 65 projects on the Project List. I'll try to do at least one per week, hopefully more.

Imma be busy.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Rich Glen Olive Oil - Giveaway

Before Christmas, I was sent some beautiful Australian olive oil products to try. Rich Glen's Zesty Lemon & Lime Olive Oil, Fiery Chilli Olive Oil, & Poppy's Salad Dressing. Oh, that's nice I thought & got on with the silly season.

I drizzled the chilli oil over a salad made of left over prawns, cold couscous & rocket from the garden. Hmmmm, yum I thought.

I drizzled the lemon lime oil over a chicken roasted with lemons & garlic & thought Hmmmm, pretty good.

And then, I opened the Salad Dressing, & angels sang.

Oh My Heavens MOTHER OF GOD this stuff is GOLD!!!!

It is made from completely natural ingredients, & is utterly fabulous on EVERYTHING. It has been 'tested' (read hoovered up) by every member of this family on green salad, pasta salad, ham sandwiches, egg sandwiches, poached eggs, cold chicken, thick slices of pana de casa, steamed potatoes, BBQ lamb chops, cold prawns & poured into half an avocado & eaten with a spoon. Mr BC has almost been drinking it with a straw. I cannot rate this highly enough, & I am one of those people who doesn't normally like salad dressing at all. At  the Regatta Brunch, Kym & I started raving about it like born again dressing lovers to the point where people where giving us odd looks.  Now of course I have run out, & you can only buy it online direct from Rich Glen, or here.

Or, you could win some of your own!

I would love it if you liked the Rich Glen facebook page, & I would really love it if you liked the Mrs BC facebook page, but what I really want you to do is give me your best salad recipe. Just type it in the comments & we are good.  Sorry, but Australian residents only. Winner to be chosen on the 18th January. Rich Glen will ship you;

1 x bottle of Rich Glen Zesty Lemon & Lime Olive Oil, &
1 x bottle of Rich Glen's Poppy's Salad Dressing so you can hear the angels sing yourself.

Some interesting facts that make Rich Glen Olive Oil products taste even better;
  • Rich Glen Olive Oil is situated on the banks of the Murray River in Yarrawonga – right in the heart of Victoria’s gourmet food and wine region.
  • 30,000 Olive Trees are tended by 3 generations of the Vodusek family, who all live on the estate.
  • Ros Vodusek took the estate from just supplying bulk oil to creating award winning infused oils & salad dressings, while bringing up 4 children.
  • Ros went to school with someone who has the exact same maiden name as me, although it wasn't me.
  • Rich Glen Olive Oil is cold pressed, & is a vastly superior product than many imported olive oils.
  • They produce a large range of olive oils, jams, pastes, dukkas & salt rubs, as well as soaps & moisturizers. They sell these goodies online or from their farmgate store.
  • I would really really like to try their Mandarin Olive Oil.
  • The Zesty Lemon Lime Olive Oil is used in this award winning recipe.

Disclaimer - I was not paid for this post, although I was sent 3 bottles of Rich Glen's Olive Oils products to preview, & now I am addicted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Books that should be movies

Not to be confused with movies that should have stayed books. Obviously.

I am not a 'mainstream reader' whatever the hell that is. I do not really like Chick Lit. I prefer my reading material multi levelled with a generous helping of snark. My favourite authors include Robertson Davies, Kyril Bonfiglioli, & Anne Rice. I also like to read biographies & books about comparative religion. But that's just me.

When it comes to movies I like black humour or supernatural thrillers mainly but I also like some movies for the way they look or the subject matter - for example, Skeleton Key because it is set in Louisiana & is about Voodoo, even though it is fluffy. Occasionally, the planets align & all of these factors create a subset into the perfect movie - Drop Dead Gorgeous, the Big Lebowski, Practical Magic or The Exorcist. Warning: Love Actually is not for me.

There are a number of novels that I believe would be brilliant on the big screen, and they are;

A Confederacy of Dunces.
Written by John Kennedy Toole, & published at the insistence of his mother, 11 years after his suicide. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1981. Set in New Orleans (my favourite) it details the story of the outrageous Ignatius Reilly, an educated intellectual mummy's boy slob, prone to ranting & insurgency, who is reduced to selling hot dogs. The story is set in the early 60's & is filled with hysterical characters. As I read this I found myself casting Will Ferrel in the role of Ignatius, & was happy to see on the Internet that a movie of this novel is 'in development hell' & already has him signed. Unfortunately it's been in development hell for a loooong time, & no one knows when it is actually going ahead. Shame. I hope filming commences before Will Ferrel loses interest.

The Mortdecai Trilogy.
Kyril Bonfiglioli wrote 4 books (3 make up the trilogy, the last published separately) featuring Charlie Mortdecai, fictional art dealer, minor aristocracy, ex British secret service, sexually ambiguous anti hero with occasional psychopathic tendencies, who with his thug/manservant Jock Strapp skip through all manner of adventures. These books read very much like PD Wodehouse, with Charlie & Jock very similar to Bertie Wooster & Jeeves. The books are laugh out loud dry satire. I had heard a rumour that Hugh Laurie was interested in playing Charlie Mortdecai, & I think that would probably work, if a movie ever goes ahead. One book alone would make an excellent film, maybe there is an opportunity for a franchise? Looking at you, Guy Ritchie! (don't click to look inside the cover, I got the image from Amazon).

The Witching Hour
My most favourite of favourite Ann Rice novels, & it's not about vampires! It is a saga spanning 13 generations of the extremely interesting, rich & powerful Mayfair Witches who cannot seem to escape their fate; the spirit that haunts them, & the story of The Talamasca, an ancient occult investigative organisation. Anne Rice's rich text transports you from Scotland to Amsterdam to St Domingue to New Orleans (of course), with luscious characters, houses, & scenery. Apparently there were plans to turn this large trilogy into a 12 hour miniseries, but this plan was first put on hold while Anne Rice embraced Catholicism (& thereby refusing any production on any occult material she had written, before changing her religion a few years later) & eventually evaporated after a change of studio head. Booo!! There is a movie of this name starring Micheal Madsen (you remember, the ear cutter from Reservoir Dogs) but it has nothing to do with the Mayfair Witches. It is a very popular 2am drunken conversation - who would play who in a movie of this book. Please not Tom Cruise.

The Lyre of Orpheus
No, not the Nick Cave song. This is the last in The Cornish Trilogy (gosh I love trilogies, don't I?) written by Canadian Literary Darling, Robertson Davies. All 3 books are awesome, but this is the first one I read & it certainly stands alone. It is about a collection of characters who are putting on a theatrical production of the Arthur of Camelot legend. The story works on many levels, & the characters unwittingly act out their own version of the myth. There are gypsies, ghosts, lesbians & all manner of love affairs. It is one of those reads that makes you laugh and think, I love it. I was so sad when Robertson Davies died, I cried. True.

The Lost Book of Salem
Sensing a theme? Well this isn't a trilogy. Written by Katherine Howe about a multi generational family of witches, the novel jumps back & forth between the 17th century & the present day. It tells the story of a woman who was hung as a witch, as well as her descendant, Connie, who is sitting for her PHD thesis (subject: Salem witch trials, yet she doesn't believe in witchcraft).. there is an old house, a love interest, some history & a treasure hunt for a missing book. It is not as heavy going as some of my other choices, but is a definite page turner & almost feels as if it was written for the screen. In the US this was published as The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane.

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves
I don't normally go for science fiction, & I cannot even explain why I read this massive doorstop of a book written by Stephen Hunt, but I did, & even more - I loved it. A group of misfits (a Craynarbian crab woman, a steam punk robot man, & an archaeology professor, a lady who magicians manipulated before she was born to have giant arms) are directed by some dodgy politicians & familial passive aggressiveness to go off on a journey to seek the mythical land of Camlantis, via submarine. I know! You are hooked already, right? There are all manner of surprising twists & turns, before the whole journey ends with everyone in hot air balloons, making you wish this was a bloody trilogy. I loved the disapproving housekeeper who is actually a crack assassin, although I can't remember if she was biological or machine.

So there you have it. Would you agree with any of these novels being turned into movies? Who would you cast as the leads? Or do you have your own ideas about your favourite books?


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 week 1 in 7

 There has been a bit of slip & sliding. Heaps of fun, & the lawn needs the water. I know that water restrictions have eased up, but I still felt very very uncomfortable watching the water just run into the yard. I really had to stop myself running to turn the tap off.

Walking in a very windy rain shower - look at that brown water churning up in the bay. Bet you where too busy looking at the double rainbows eh? They where vibrantly beautiful & distracted me from the sand getting whipped into my face, almost. I love walking in the rain, but that sand was a deal breaker.

 Teenage Daughter dodging the laundry basket to teach The Gentleman how to play Battleship. It's nice to watch them spend time together.

Spicy chook wings, zucchini fritters with creamy mint sauce, garlic butter cous cous & garden salad, with most of the salad ingredients actually from the garden.

 Mr BC attending to the garden. Hang on, that is the neighbours garden!

 Finally put my blue & white plates on the wall!
I figured out the placement using butchers paper, & it did the trick.

 That plate at the top left corner, & it's mini me in the middle right, are all that are left of the service my great great grandmother bought over from England in the 1840s. The oblong shaped dish in the middle was Mr BC's Nana's, but I don't know anything else about it. It's a bit discoloured but I still love it. The other plates are not at all old, but I love them so.

Me, wearing my favourite outfit, trying to look glamorous. Do you want to see the rest of my attire? Well keep an eye on Suger Coat It, it was for an ongoing feature she is working on. She has alot of participants, so scoot over & take part if you like...


Monday, January 2, 2012

Iron man

The other day, in an effort to avoid The Gentleman's hands actually fusing to the WII controller, I turned on the Kellogg's Nutrigrain Iron Man Series.

Me - Look Darling! The Iron Man competition is on!

The Gentleman - Really? Iron Man?

Me - Yes, look!

The Gentleman - Where's Tony?

He's got a point.

I'd like an Iron Man too.

Wouldn't you?


Sunday, January 1, 2012

I like to make resolutions.

There, I said it. Skipping through blog land this morning I've noticed that lots of people don't like resolutions, because they feel doomed to fail. Also, lots of people had a terrible 2011, & are hoping for a much better 2012.

My 2011 generally sucked. And it sucked for many reasons, lots of them outside of my control. But I sort of think that blindly wishing for a better year this year without making any plans to accomplish this is kind of, I don't know.............short sighted faulty logic?

I get that some things are so huge & so horrible, they just need to be coped with the best they can while they push all other plans out of the way. But not formulating an action plan to achieve your objectives, whilst expecting those objectives to just materialise is nuts. I like to make resolutions. I don't always keep them, but I like to make them.

So, again, my goal setting process and how it applies to 2012 for me.

Image credit here
  1. Think about the Big Picture Objectives I want to achieve. This year I have 6, but for brevity's sake lets talk about 1 - Be Healthy.
  2. What are my Goals surrounding being healthy? What does Being Healthy mean to me? It means;
    1. reducing my weight
    2. proactively managing diabetes, &
    3. reducing stress.
  3. What Strategies am I going to use to achieve those Goals?
    1. reducing weight means diet & exercise, yay.
    2. managing diabetes means I need to plan for taking all of my medication (even when there is a national shortage), as well as going ahead with a new medication my Doctor talked to me about last time I saw her.
    3. Reducing Stress is a tough one, it seems to be my natural state of play. 3 strategies I can do are to do yoga, try & do daily meditation, & continue seeing a psychologist.
  4. How will I know these Strategies are working? How will I Measure their effectiveness? to be honest, I don't like the stress of a 'Measure'. If I am doing the Strategy, then it should fall into place. So to expand....what Resources do I have to help me out/fall back on when the going gets tough? There is no point just writing 'will power' because that is always faulty.. 
    1. Diet - be stricter on portion sizes, choose high quality carbs, minimise junk & eat well -  Don't skip any meals. I can go to Weight Watchers if I want (I don't want to, yet). I can buy scales. I can use a smaller plate & divide the portion sizes off if I want. (maybe..)
    2. Exercise - continue walking at least 4 times per week, even more if I can. Try 1 new thing every month - zumba, karate, counts here too.
    3. Managing Diabetes. I'm pretty good at talking meds when I am supposed to, but I am always surprised when I run out, so I plan to diarize script requirements so that I can be on top of it. Talking this new medication will require a lot more blood testing & insulin adjustment I think, which will require more attention.
    4. Yoga - I personally know 2 excellent yoga instructors but still can never find the time to do it. I need to commit myself to a prepaid 10 class pass to make sure I go. If I really really can't get there, I do own a yoga DVD, & there are lots of yoga classes on YouTube.
    5. I like the Psychologist I am currently seeing but only have 4 free appointments left on my health plan, so I need to think about the exact areas I want help with & divide that into 4, to ensure I can maximise my time with her. Note to self - don't hold back.
    6. Meditation. Yeah, my head doesn't like this. But I keep reading everywhere how brilliant it really is for stress reduction, so I should at least give it a good try. I can buy a guided meditation DVD, & start with a few minutes a day. Maybe in 6 months I will throw in the towel, but maybe I will be a stress free convert to meditation.
My aim is to have all of these actions interplay with each other to weave a healthier me in 2012. I have gone through the same process for each of my other objectives, spreadsheeted it & printed it out to make sure I look at it everyday, & keep on track.

Do you like this method or is it too hard?  I find that concentrating a bit of focus now sort of sets me up for the coming year, & unless there are major external influences, it keeps me on track. I normally do this on my birthday each year (because it is the beginning of my year) but 2011 was such a shit fest that it blew all of my objectives off course. My 2012 objectives are very much a continuance & expansion on my 2011 ones.

Do you have any resolutions for this year, & do you have a process for planning them out?


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