Sunday, July 31, 2011


Poem written for a friend.  DA friends might have read it already :-)


With a swirl and a twirl and a romp-stomp-slam
A slip and a slide and a crash-boom-bang
in the swinging, moving, pulsing mass is
a breathing puffing, pushing lass
she steps to the front and swerves to the right
her partner swings and she holds on tight
round they go and around again
through twirling, swirling women and men
he lets her go then he grabs her back
their legs keep movin' while their arms go slack
the crescendo builds and the pace gets hotter
she almost slips but he's still got'er
one more step, then a jump and FREEZE!

... and in the sudden silence, she laughs with glee.

He bows, she curtsey's, they smile at each other
he takes a breath: - "D'ya fancy another?"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avid Reader, or "100 Books"

Found on someones profile page:
According to the BBC if you've read 7 of these, you are above the average!

The cynic in me is disinclined to believe that without further research. A fact isn't a fact until it's properly sourced (and by that I mean reliably sourced, if you know what I mean). Anyhoo, it looked like something I was able to brag about since reading is something I can actually do. Perhaps I should add a 'currently reading' column down the right hand side of the blog. What do you think about that?

Here they are, 100 books the BBC seems to think I haven't read. Bold are the books I've completed, and the ones I've read some of are in italics:

oo1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
oo2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
oo3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
oo4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling  [honestly, how old is this list?]
oo5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
oo6. The Bible
oo7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
oo8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
oo9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
o1o. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
o11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
o12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
o13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
o14. Complete Works of William Shakespeare
o15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
o16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien [Bam! there's me at the so-called 'average.'  I think this is set up to make me feel good.]
o17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
o18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
o19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
o2o. Middlemarch - George Eliot
o21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
o22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
o23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
o24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
o25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
o26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
o27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
o28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
o29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
o3o. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
o31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
o32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
o33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
o34. Emma - Jane Austen
o35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
o36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis  [Actually, this book is one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia, so the list is doubling up on itself there.  I guess only people who have read all books in the series would know that though.]
o37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
o38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
o39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
o4o. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
o41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
o42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
o43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
o44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
o45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
o46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
o47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
o48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
o49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
o5o. Atonement - Ian McEwan
o51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
o52. Dune - Frank Herbert
o53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
o54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
o55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
o56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
o57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
o58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
o59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
o6o. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
o61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
o62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
o63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
o64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
o65.  Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
o66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
o67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
o68. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
o69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
o7o. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
o71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
o72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
o73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
o74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
o75. Ulysses - James Joyce
o76. The Inferno – Dante
o77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
o78. Germinal - Emile Zola
o79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray  [I would have finished this but it wasn't mine and I wasn't fast enough.]
o8o. Possession - AS Byatt
o81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
o82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
o83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
o84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
o85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
o86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
o87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
o88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
o89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
o9o. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
o91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
o92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
o93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
o94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
o95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
o96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
o97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
o98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
o99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
1oo. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Total: 27/100.  And I totally did not count LW&W, not even once, even though The Chronicles of Narnia is composed of seven books and all together they only counted for one.

But anyway, none of you really cared what I've read.  You all went through that list ticking off the ones you've read.  So... how many?  [And do you still believe 7 is the average?]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Edgar Allan ... er Pug?

I know most of you don't go to Deviant Art, but I spend quite a bit of time on that glorious website. There are a few artists there who I have a watch on, and any time they upload more pictures on to the website I am notified and can go look at them.

There is one particular artist called monaux who draws some quite amazing vignettes which can be in turn very funny or sad in a melancholy way. He creates other pieces as well and I strongly encourage you to view his gallery.

Here's something he gave me permission to put up here on the 'blog. I hope you love it as much as I do!!

Original found here.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Hairy Maclarey

I grew up with these books, read to me so excitingly by my wonderful Mum, and as I've grown I've enjoyed being able to read them to other youngsters. I can't wait to read this and many more to all my nieces and nephews. Check out Hairy Maclarey on Wikipedia to see all the books. Apparently there have been over 5 million books sold, so I am guessing they're not just sold in NZ! I think I always liked Hairy Maclarey's Bone the best. (Don't say it Doug. I'm watching you.)

Now that you've seen the book, please vote on my poll. Tell your friends and get them voting too! Let's see what people are out there in the world!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Genuine, Gourmet, Ngatapa Walnuts

They are so exclusive you probably haven't heard of them.  You cannot purchase them, one can only receive them as a gift.  They are quite small but are packed with more tasty walnut flavour than you'd find in the stores.  You will not find these anywhere else but New Zealand.  I have a whole jar of them.

Ngatapa Walnuts

Or I did have.
I have discovered that one can't have one's jar of walnuts and eat them too.