Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gratuitous Dan Carter shot

He is lovely and a freakishly talented rugby player and just because...
...and because I saw him show great excitement at winning the game on Saturday and you just don't see enough of the fun and laughter emotions in the All Blacks these day.

Just finished reading #19

On top of everything - Sarah-Kate LynchI don't read a lot of light stuff. I guess belonging to a bookgroup where lots of lovely books are bought and having pedestrian reading habits(as in very slow), I am destined to twist it up a notch in the serious reading department. However, I have squeezed in a fun read this week and found it really relaxing and enjoyable. I have read all of S-K's books and you get what you expect. Slick easy to read stories with flawed but lovable lead women, a gorgeous soft centred bloke and a raft of other characters ranging from the eccentric to very annoying.

A tea house, divorce, marriage, cancer (or the measles as it is referred to), mad parents and that is about it. As a formula this seems to work well for Sarah-Kate and it is fun to know that not all New Zealand writers are worthy and serious. That sentence could offend many writers on both sides of the fence. I hope the NZ literaty don't spend too much time on the Internet 'Googling' themselves. New Zealand is a small country and everyone knows a writer...I am sure. Or perhaps that is just library types. Anyway, I digress.

Bugger, I have forgotten the lead characters names already. Anyway, she was bloody annoying and so stubborn and silly that I wanted to slap her silly face around about page 350 but she redeemed herself and let herself be rescued and cared for by the most unlikely to her but predictable to us, character.

Sounds like I didn't enjoy this book but I did. It was easy to read, funny, tiny bit formulaic, had a food theme (love that), and a jolly pleasant read.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Great Gatsby – another triumph for The Court Theatre | Cityscape

Jonty and I went on a date on Thursday and for the second time in one day were in the car together by ourselves and that in itself was rather lovely. Spending an evening riveted to a great play was the icing on the cake.

I love going to the Court Theatre as you are never quite sure what you are going to get in the way of stage production and direction. Being a tiny place, there is always a lot of thought and effort used in creating the set.I want to quote from a review as I am not a great reviewer of the arts....

"An actor-driven piece of theatre, The Great Gatsby has the cast on stage for the almost the entire duration of the production. There are some very innovative scene changes, actors playing several parts quite convincingly with a simple costume change or addition, and exceptional, expressive lighting by Geoff Nunn. The idea, says The Court’s artistic director Ross Gumbley, who directed this production, is to engage the audience and get them to interact with each scene, using their imaginations. It works"

We both loved it and having written a couple of uni essays about the novel it all came flooding back and I really enjoyed how they played with the imagery. $84 well spent...eeek.

Friday, August 21, 2009


We went to a funeral today of a mother who, for the past 10 years, has had Alzheimer's and lived in a nursing home. She was a fun looking person and her family were saying goodbye to her for the second time. It was heartbreaking and they were amazing. What a terrible thing to go through. Then my cousin Gill sent this list to me and I thought I would share it with you as the timing seemed right. I am not, as I have said before, a pass it on person but I am obviously in need of doing such things at the moment. Bear with me.

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn..

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby....

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

The origin of this letter is unknown,
But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.

Hold on tight to the ones you love !

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just finished reading #18

Limestone - Fiona Farrell
After an intense and very satisfying stint in Sweden I am now NZ bound with three kiwi novels on my bedside table. I am breaking up the serious stuff with a Sarah-Kate Lynch at the moment and I can hear it calling me so this is going to be brief.

Now, Fiona Farrell is a really good writer. Won stuff and been the writer in residence at UC some years ago. Limestone is beautifully written in a way that is both lyrical and local. I wondered aloud to my friend Bev (who is a friend of hers) about the total lack of explanation about the NZ references. We both thought this was great but also acknowledged there could be some danger if people didn't understand the references. Then I thought about Steig and how he wrote in detail about Sweden and just assumed you just knew about it. I liked that and think that this lack of regional explanation shows Fiona is an international writer who makes no excuses for where she writes about. Cantabrians will get most of the references as Fiona is a local writer.

Anyway, Clare is looking for her dad as he buggered off at some point in her life and she is in Ireland following the trail for a relatively short amount of time. There is a ton of back warding and forwarding and I must say I was a bit lost some of the time but that is more about me and not about Fiona. There is some relationship stuff and family politics and other bits and bobs. I would say check this book out at the library and see if you are interested. I did enjoy this book - considered but natural, lyrical but not too waffly. A nice New Zealand read and some lovely writing to boot.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cleaning Sunshine

I went with my friend Alex to the preview of this film the other night, thanks to TV3 Film3 tickets I won through their competition. Thanks guys.Made by the same outfit that made 'Little Miss Sunshine' it has that same real quality of warts and all lives, not sugar coated and not a spangle in sight. It could have been a gloomy tale and although not funny at all, there was a feeling of hope for the characters. Alan Arkin was superbly understated as the widower trying to keep his family together and I was mesmerised by the two women playing his damaged but loving daughters (Amy Adams and Emily Blunt). There were some 'eeeeew' moments as the Sunshine Cleaning company cleans up after dead people and we are not talking drifting off in their sleep dead people. It was a tiny bit predictable but the characters and filming made it a sweetie.

I cried quite bit too which is unusual and that set me up for a big boo hoo when I got home and watched the first episode of the 'last season' of ER. Oh dear. I was pretty worn out by the time I went to bed, having expended quite a bit of energy crying for a bunch of pretend people. Sigh

Sunday, August 09, 2009


This is the month that Christchurch City Libraries has turned 150 years old. There have been heaps of celebrations around the city's libraries and this week has been the week for staff to celebrate. Last night we had a giant party in the Central library where 300 people gathered to catch up and enjoy lots of reminiscence, food and wine. During the week we had a party for the city where we launched our FREE INTERNET service for the city. The National Librarian Penny Carneby spoke and in her enviable way had many of us tearing up with pride in being part of such a fantastic and important profession. We are a self effacing lot and it was fantastic to take a moment to reflect on all the cool things that we have done over the years. Can't imagine that I will ever be able to do anything else. There is so much still to do. One of the highlights of the festivities as been the 33+ tukutuku panels created by all the teams in the network. We were given some 'training' and understanding of the tukutuku panel as an historical story telling mechanism for Maori and then let loose with all that info and a bunch of modern materials to develop a panel that best illustrates our teams role in the city. They are on show at South library and are just amazing. I worked hard on our one and with such a small team it was a very big effort. I loved it and I know every team found this to be a very bonding exercise. The communities were also involved at libraries as they did weaving and talking with staff as they went.
Here is our one. As you can see it clearly represents our role as the buildings people for the network and there are all kinds of things woven into it that represent the detail and behind the scenes nature of our role. If you want to see more detail go to the link above and you can see all the bits and pieces on every one of them. If you want to see what the traditional tukutuku panels look like then here is a link to some we have in the library.

And finally, log into our Flickr and see a whole heap of photos that have been digitised mapping the people and buildings of our library network. There are some really funny images and some lovely heartwarming ones as well.

Finally, I wanted to say to all the lovely people, staff and customers whom I have met over my time in the library that my life has been hugely enriched by the friendships and interactions I have made and had and that is a gift I have for my whole life. I am very grateful.

Just finished reading #17

Careless in Red - Elizabeth George
The girl who plays with Fire - Stieg Larsson

Not really just finished but just remembered I had finished reading these two books. Both are huge and both are mysteries or some other descriptive word for murder hunts. I read the Elizabeth George because my mates at work love her. I obviously started at the wrong end of her writing career. I read 265 pages in agony and then just flicked to the last 20 to see what happened. I know you that you need lots of characters and multiple motives to make a detective novel any good but Elizabeth needs to work much more closely with her editor. Say no more.

Moving on to Stieg. Everyone who reads these books loves them. I read this with veracity and had to slow myself down so that I could live in his world for as long as possible. It is violent, frightening and sickening in some places but the characters are compelling and diverse. It is about sex trafficking and a stuff and I am not going to go into all that as it is really complex. however, if you want a good synopsis go here

So go to the library to get this book. You will love it.
I have book group at my place next month and have no thoughts about what I should buy. All suggestions welcome.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Pass it on

A friend sent me this list today. I am not really a pass it on person generally but I did and I think there might be some useful things in the list. I thought you might like it. There are some good reminder lessons in there for me...good timing too.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 44 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step...
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift

Saturday, August 01, 2009

30 seconds of fame

A funny thing happened on the way to lunch the other day with Carolyn. We bumped into some friends of mine. One a photographer for the Press and the other a journalist. They just happened to be taking photos for the Zest supplement in the Press and they just happened to snap us. We turned up a week later and we gained our 3 seconds of fame.

So many observations

1. Everyone reads this part of Zest. I love it and look for people I know and pore over the details. Blokes read it and notice things.

2. Some people really really want to be in it....I am still mortified at the disgusting state of my pants. Need to take them up and in. I look like a hobo

3. Being 'famous' incites some fun communications and a few coffee dates

4. Your mates love taking the piss out of you - it has been a funny couple of days

5. Some people are very kind and complimentary - it is important to not take yourself too seriously, luckily I don't

6. Bit of pressure to wear nice clothes each day...eeek. I bought a pair of white jeans at Ballantynes Sale yesterday. Always wanted a pair and Trinny and Suzannah said I could

7. There was another librarian in the same section that day and another a month ago - good publicity for our oft maligned profession....tee hee

8. Never ever stand next to a tall glamorous woman in a photo...oh dear god...what a short arse!