Saturday, 7 June 2014

Saturday Bits. Bobs. Books and Pets (A Catch Up)

The past couple of weeks have sailed by and I don't feel I have done very much but in writing this I guess there has been a bit of chaos.  First off, my pets who always make me laugh. I came into the bedroom the other day and caught Odie and Molly having a tug of war game on the bed with their flamingo in a Santa hat.  Snapped a couple of pictures because they were too busy to notice.

Then went into the bathroom only to see Eddie looking at the water. He never seems to get tired of staring at the water in the toilet.  If he hears it flush he comes running from wherever he is in the house to watch the water swirl. He's not fussy. Sometimes he watches the water go down the kitchen sink drain as well. It does not take much to entertain this little creature.

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Or else he just hangs out in a box. I have never met a cat who doesn't like a box. The funniest thing he did this week was to hide out in a friendly green bag after we got groceries. He was hunkered down in the very bottom when two of the dogs wandered into the kitchen to see what goodies we brought home from the grocery store. As they went to stick their head into the bag he flew out of it and I swear they went 6 feet into the air.  Sometimes I just sit back and laugh so much I can't get anything done.

Do you believe he's 7 months old now?  Getting bigger too.

Speaking of life in the kitchen.  I pulled out this little book I have had for years and years and made some blue berry muffins. I must say they came out reasonably well and tasted even better.  Will certainly be doing that again. The only thing is there are only two of us in the house that eat them and they are too good to give to the dogs. So they are a bit heavy in the waistline department.

I also decided this past week I had too many books. When they don't fit onto the shelves anymore and start piling up on the floor I begin to feel uncomfortable.  So I pulled all my books off the shelves (except the Penguins) and alphabetised them by author (instead of title) and began to put them back on the shelf.  As I went I was ruthless in culling them into boxes for auction.  They are all going to go to auction so I can get hard cold cash for them and who knows, I'll probably buy some more. Sad isn't it.

As for updates on the challenges of my blogs.  There is a lot going on in the next month. You can see the pictures in the side bar.  I began Roof Beam Reader's Moby Dick challenge. We are reading this book as a Readalong and so far I am enjoying it very much. I had no idea it would be so amusing. There are many parts that make me laugh out loud and though it is the most descriptive book I have ever read I am feeling that I am living in this time period and about to set sail with Ishmael and Queequeg very soon on Captain Ahab's ship.  We were supposed to be up to Chapter 20 by today (finishing it on a planned timetable in mid July).  I am right on target. Will talk about this more soon.

My book group at Fullers Indie Book Shop in town has assigned Moonstone by Wilkie Collins for the July book.  I have scheduled that in my diary to begin it in two weeks. That gives me about 10 days or so to finish it.  I would like to jump ahead on Moby Dick to allow free time to read this book which looks excellent.  I haven't read a Wilkie Collins book before but have several of them reviewed  on blogs.

I still have the Letters of Rachel Henning, an Australian classic to read and post by July 7th for my Classic Club Spin.

Haven't worked out how I will fit that in but I plan on getting into it after I do the daily Moby Dick read.  I have put the Penguin History of the World on hold until Moby Dick is finished.  

In the hairdressers yesterday I got half way through a very short little fable called The Tiny Wife and what a strange fable that is. I will keep that one in my bag and read it in cafe's and such when I have time.  I have a few waiting room visits coming up with medical appointments next week. A good time to read. It shouldn't take time to get through the rest of it and I do want to see what happens. Will review that when finished.

The Monopoly challenge is up to date and it is time to roll the di again.  I need to do that soon and see what comes up for that.  Might wait until later in June to do that one once I am caught up with the others.

As for the Book Phantom I haven't delivered anymore books to public places because I have not been out on my scooter much in this winter weather.  I have not received any emails from anyone who has found one of these books. I wish at least one person would write so I could share it with you.

And last but not least. Some exciting book news. I have been reading Australian blogs quite a bit lately and am embarrassed by how many Australian authors there are I have not heard of. I know the big ones like Richard Flanagan and Tim Winton but not so many other, less prolific ones.  There are some really excellent books being reviewed at Whispering Gums (here) and ANZ LitLovers (here) to name a couple. They are inspirational blogs when it comes to Australia and New Zealand.

I thought I needed to read more of what is going on in this country in the field of literature. After all I have been here 26 years now. So I took out a subscription to the ABR (Australian Books Review). My first one arrived yesterday for June/July and I am enjoying it very much.  
It is published 10 times a year.

As if I don't have enough to do I also signed up for a MOOC.  These are free classes, run online by universities from around the world for free.  I read about MOOCs and one day with not much to do I googled "MOOC- Literature"  just to see what would come up. Well up popped an 8 week course through Sheffield University in England that is hosting a class of Country Home and Literature

We study for 8 weeks and visit 8 country homes, mostly in the Derbyshire area where Sheffield University is. Through weekly units of assignments, discussion forums and videos of the homes we get escorted tours through the homes. In addition the lectures relate the homes not only to their history both economically and politically but by the literature that refers to them or was written at them. I am nearly finished with Week I and there must be several thousand people who are signed up. The discussions are fun, the organisation is excellent and I will certainly be doing another MOOG class.  What a wonderful way to spend long dark winter nights. 

People who live in the United Kingdom have so much access to these beautiful old homes and gardens throughout their country but in Tasmania, with such a recent history I'm afraid we have nothing quite so grand. People come here to visit the wilderness that nature provides us but sadly not too many grand old historic 1600's homes. 

Well that is my week. You see what I mean by saying more happened the past couple of weeks than I thought.  What have all of you been up to book wise lately???  

Until next time.....


  1. One of our cats likes to come into the bathroom in the morning and stare down the drain in a way that encourages me to turn the taps on and off for perhaps far more time than I should be wasting on a work day. But he is so funny to watch and makes the day start amusingly, even if a little late.

    1. I have always said that pets are time wasters because they do such funny things and you just want them to keep on doing it. I know exactly what you mean. So funny. Love your comment!!

  2. What characters your animals are! I love the photos. I read The Moonstone years ago and really enjoyed it. You have encouraged me to pluck it off the shelf for a re-read. Your blueberry muffins look very tempting....

    1. That's great if you can reread it. We can talk about it together. The animals are characters. Very much so and they are just so wonderful and funny. Catch up soon Frances

  3. Love the photos. Phoebe loves boxes too. I admire all your challenges, I don't know how you find the time. The Moonstone is wonderful, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Wilkie is very readable. Once you start, it will be hard to put the book down so getting ahead with Moby Dick is probably a good idea. Enjoy the weekend.

  4. I only find the time once I went from full time pressure work to retirement and had nothing planned. It has quietly taken my life over now and I wonder how I ever worked. My eyes are bigger than my stomach so to speak when I take on challenges and books so we;ll see how I go. I'm flying along with Moby Dick so would really like to get ahead on it but then that's today. Tomorrow might be a different story. The cats always hop in a box. They are genetically programmed for boxes I think.

  5. Pets are such fun to watch... great photos! I hope you like The Moonstone. It was my introduction to Wilkie Collins and still a favorite.

  6. Hello Pam, how kind of you to mention my blog:)
    I am intrigued by MOOC. I know it's insane because I already have too much on my plate but I cant' resist, I'm going to head off and google it now!

  7. Thank your pets for me for making me laugh! Love the photos and the stories. (I write this with a large grey cat on my lap!)


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