Sunday, February 26, 2012

One year on

Just so you don't think that life has been all books, movies and holidays in the last year, I thought I would do an earthquake anniversary blog post.  Sallyscape is all about happiness and positivity but over the last year it has been a bit hard to fill it up with stunning loveliness as life has been rather bloody shitty.   Always a positive person I have been challenged but hope I have shared enough of the good. 

On Feb 22 2012 I did spend a bit of my day quietly sobbing and thinking hard about what I would write.  But now I can't be bothered sharing it so it was a day of internalising feelings after all.  I did go to the memorial in the park which was quiet and respectful and warm.  Sad too.  At the end of this service they played a lovely piece of positivity to get us all back on track.  It is tiring and a bit numbing to keep going sometimes and lately it has been harder.  However, I feel really good about the future again after a little month of dipping down.  I am very happy to share this YouTube link with you.  It is 12 mins long so get yourself a cuppa and sit back and enjoy.  The cool thing about Christchurch is that we all now some of these people.

Just finished reading #49

Ed King - David Guterson

I have taken the time to read some reviews of this book before writing mine as I had heard it had been given a 'bad sex writing' award so thought I should see what the world thought of it.  The bad sex writing is correct but when I was reading that I thought it said more about the characters than bad writing but now that I think about it....The guy at the Guardian hated it but others enjoyed.

Sex is quite important in this book because it is an Oedipal tale.  I didn't focus on the tale too much on before I read the book and did my usual gasp at various points...not a sexual gasp I might add, just a dawning.  The joys of not reading blurbs and reviews before I read a book.

The writing is quality writing; a style of omnipotent fact telling I really like.  It moved around a bit from Seattle 1962 to the future with each character getting spotlight chapter in equal measures.  Walter is our first protagonist and he has a lot of sex with the au pair, Diane, and she gets pregnant.  Ed King is their child.  That is all I will tell you about the plot, I am not a spoiler.  However, what I did enjoy (something I always find appealing) is the cleverness of the lead female character.  Conniving, ruthless, driven and so kick arse confident.   The 'search' motif through the book is appealing to me also being a librarian, finding stuff is what we do well so Ed's search software and his need to know everything was cool, although it was his undoing.  Can you ever know too much and is truth the ultimate?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just finished reading #48

Zugwang Ronan Bennett
Synopsis from the cover ...

St Petersburg, 1914. Dr Otto Spethmann, a famous psychoanalyst, is implicated in a murder. But he is preoccupied with two disturbing new patients: Anna Petrovna, the troubled society beauty with whom he is inappropriately falling in love, and Avrom Rozental, the brilliant chess master who is due to play the most important competition of his life but is on the verge of a breakdown. With the city rife with speculation and alarm, Spethmann must rely on his wits if he wants to save those he loves an escape from a Zugzwang of passion and politics.

I really enjoyed this book.  For some reason I am attracted to Russia as a setting for novels.   Great writing, nice and tight.  It was a real thriller set in a time of mistrust and on the edge of revolution where no one could trust anyone and loyalty was bought and sold.  The Zugzwang refers to the chess move and with a chess game going on through the game there was a clever relationship between it and the action on the page.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good murder and/or if you are wanting to read something interesting and thought provoking.  A good solid read.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sherlock and Hugo

Three movies in one week.  Heaven.  Firstly Sherlock Holmes: A game of shadows was another slick film at the hand of Guy Ritchie.  Basically taking a formula that worked well in the first film and applying it to the second was the plan.  I loved the first one and thought the second ok and interesting and visually rich but not quite the exciting event that the first one was.  However, the action was thrilling and Robert Downey just charming and gorgeous.  Definitely a fun Saturday night film

Nic and I read the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and loved it so much.  It is a stunning book with amazing hand drawn pictures and a great story.  The film was as beautiful and was interpreted beautifully.  Lovely Johnny Depp had a little cameo which is always a treat and later I realised he was also the producer.  Set in Paris in about 1925  it captured the love of a child, the development of machinery and some real sadness.  It was delicious and as many adults as children were in the audience.  Well worth a look.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Holiday Shopping

One of the joys of going to a 'resort' style town for your holiday is that the shopping is great on the windy and cold days.  Due to some of the unplanned things that happened our shopping took on a slightly different tack than normal.  We found ourselves in the Salvation Army Store looking for a woolen blanket for Nic...the nights were very cold.  We also found ourselves at Wanaka Wastebusters which was fantastic- legendary - and you must go next time you are in Wanaka.  We got snow chains, brand new for $10.

Our disastrous boat trailer tyre incident meant we met Lucy who owns Escape in the main street and also Mr Robinson of Mrs Robinson in Tarras.  Nice people and retail outlets.  Our neighbour at Glandhu Bay owns the menswear store in town called Structure for Men.  Another very kind and lovely person.  I am doing plugs for their businesses because they are lovely people and their stores are good too.  So if you are in the neighbourhood, check them out.  

 Another joy of travelling is finding the farmers markets and we happened upon a very lovely little market on a cold an windy day which turned out to be a very cold, wet and windy night in which we bailed from our tent.  Another story for another day.

Francesca's Wood Fired Pizza with Stewart Island salmon, fresh Central Otago apricots and the plumpest cherries ever and lastly German cherry custard tart were our highlights...YUM
Oh yes and we spent a very happy time in Gallery 33 buying a stunning piece of artwork to add to our very small and learner art collection. 

The Descendents

Love George Clooney for his ability to act and his choice of films.  This film is about a family in a bit of a crisis.  The mother is in a coma and as she lies there secrets are revealed and dealing with these as well as another string of family related issues in the extended whanau are played out through George's character Matt.  I loved the setting of Hawaii, the real Hawaii, the lack of bright sun, the relaxed shirts, sandals and messy hair.  Of course there is more to it than the look but it all added to the feel of the film.  I learned some stuff from the characters and loved the writing.   Loved the characters and the understatement of the direction and acting.  Go and see it, it is a good film.

Friday, February 03, 2012


We are back from our annual end of January camping holiday.  Not from our beloved Totaranui which may never again be accessible to us in the same way, but rather from the south, the stark and beautiful Central Otago region.  Wanaka has always been a winter or autumn destination for us, not a mid summer one.  We took our big tent, small boat, kayak, 3 bikes and a ski biscuit.  It was a holiday of extremes and some incidents that up until now have not plagued  previous camping holidays.  The key features were wind....lots of it, some snow and extreme heat.  Without dwelling on those things, here are some pictures of our holiday.

 Lake Pukaki on the way down...Aoraki Mt Cook in the background


 Lake Wanaka and Nic all geared up for a big day in the water

 Jonty and Nic enjoying a quiet rid on the boat

 Morning on the lake

A hot morning and a tiny beach all to ourselves

Glendhu Bay on a very hot day

The mighty Clutha River

Swing bridge up the Matukituki Valley

Up the Matukituki Valley at the end of the road