Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just finished reading #33

It has such a long time since I wrote a book review and that might indicate that I haven't been reading, however that is not the case, rather I have not been writing much.  Study and winter have really taken their toll on me this year.
Italian Shoes - Henning Mankell

Mankell writes a variety of stories and has himself a resident crime series with a chap called Kurt as his protagonist.  This is not one of these books.  Italian Shoes is about Fredrick, a doctor who lives in self composed exile on an island in the Swedish archipelago.  He has sent himself there for a life a solitude because one day as surgeon he made a big mistake.  At this point he thought it was a good idea to take himself out of circulation for the safety of others.  However, we all know he did it because he is not great at facing up to himself and his feelings etc.  Anyway, his ex love Harriet turns up on a walking frame, she is dying, and helps him confront or reconnect with his life.  No more details from me as the revelations are more enjoyable if you read them as you go.  It is written in the first person, at a perfect pace with the spare but descriptive writing of a confident and well respected writer.  Beautifully written. I love books set in cold place and islands so this is all just perfect for me.  Being a person who craves warmth and company I am not sure why I love these kinds of books but I just do. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Earthquake humour

I am not saying this is funny at all, because we don't find earthquakes funny.  However, the sign on the end of this shelf at Lincoln University Library does make you have a little chuckle, in a kind and supportive way. 
Sign says...'Help us keep the library tidy.  Place books for reshelving on here'

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Society Inc

In the rain on the earthquake Saturday in Sydney I dragged my poor Jonty around the streets of Paddington looking for the shop of one of my design idols.  I was so excited to be there and so excited to meet Sibella Court whose books I have poured over many times.  It is in the reading pane to the right.  She is a very cool woman and I was a tiny bit blushing as I talked to her.  In the picture below you can see the items I bought from her shop.  Yes it is a piece of velvet ribbon, a little jar of paint and two turquoise glasses.  You can laugh, Jonty did.

Friday, September 17, 2010

This is too good not to share

Wow how times have changed.  Long gone is the angst and self discovery of our 20's, here is our reality and it is kinda funny.  I know you will all find something to chuckle about reading these.  Shared with me by my friend Alex.

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
2. Nothing annoys more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
7. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
8. Bad decisions make good stories.
9. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taking steps

Last night we hosted a dinner for our friends to help distract them from the state of their house and the fact that they are homeless.  They looked very tired and markedly thinner.  The worry and not knowing what their future holds is really impacting on them.  It was very nice to be able to do something vaguely useful for them, although you may think partying is inappropriate.  We all know that the warmth of others is what gets us through these kinds of things.  Also, some of us are very keen to start moving forward.  Acknowledging and grieving is important but the need to look forward and imagine the future is also a really important part of getting on.   I know that it will be a lot easier for those of us who have little damage and we all come to his at different times.  There are people in Christchurch, especially in some suburbs who are very bored and over it.  They obviously don't see what we see over here on the east. 

Anyway, I want to share with you the most delicious and simple recipe that is going to become a very standard production out of my kitchen.  Anyone who has had to sit and listen or read my blog will know that I LOVE Ray McVinnie and this another ode to him.  It is so simple, but don't laugh, you will love it.  Follow this link.  I am wondering about quince jelly as a possibility.mmmm.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Chandalier Rescue - my friend Donna at work has posted this amazing set of pictures of the rescue of a chandalier that she saw yesterday.  The photos are all her work.  This would be my absolute favourite thing this week.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sydney Eats

I hope you don't mind me not talking about the earthquake for a moment.  Although we were like traumatised zombies walking around Sydney in the weekend, we did have to eat and it is about all we did as we didnt fancy shopping not knowing what the future held.  Man, did we eat.  Memorable meals were scoffed at 'bills' one of the lovely Bill Grainger's restaurants.  I had written down the address and made poor Jonty trek up and down through Surry Hills to find it.  It was a very low key place but totally buzzing and the food was simple but perfect.  Service was fantastic...as I might say, was every single wait and serving person we met.  I was amazed at the lovely friendliness.
 Another memorable meal was at the suggestion of Sibella Court, a hero of mine, whom we met at her shop The Society Inc.  (I will do a separate post on her sometime.)We were a bit dazed and she said the best place to go and have a lovely afternoon was the North Bondi Italian.  It was gorgeous.  Very flash Sydney people meeting in large groups, the noise immense and the fooood just perfect.  Again the staff were fantastic.  We had arancini balls, squid, mussels and cheap Italian wine.  It was as windy as hell outside and we just drank in the warmth and atmosphere.  No one knew we were earthquake refugees and that was ok.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

As bad as it gets

For us we suffered nothing in comparison to some people and these are the photos of our damage.  Stay tuned for more images as I get out and about today for work.  
This is my most loved possession and I am even ok about it being broken because my house is still standing.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Holy Shit Batman....an EARTHQUAKE.  A big one and it happened here in little old Christchurch.  There are pockets of devastation and some people have lost everything.  However, most of us are fine and we are carrying on as normal.  Normal being after shocks every hour or so, working from home and sharing stories.

I have to admit I wasn't even here.  Jonty and I were on a romantic surprise weekend in Sydney.  Nic was with my parents in ChCh so had to be very brave and cope without his parents.   We landed at 12 last night and it was really windy and I have had a weird spinny head going on.

So we found out through an avalanche of texts and the tv in our hotel.  Iwas shaking and crying wondering what had happened to my family.  Quickly I was in touch with them all and they were fine but everyone has lost something.  Small things mostly.  Everyone who experience the quake is damaged in some way.  People are a bit dazed, others getting worn down by the aftershocks and coming to terms with the loss of their homes.

100,000 homes are damaged.   Our libraries are amazing with so few books falling off shelves.  Crazy.
I am heart broken to see the beautiful old buildings that we love demolished.  Our city really is never going to be the same again, for anyone.  It takes time to ponder that impact.

Thank you everyone for lovely messages of support.