Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday reading

Lots of good holiday reading waiting for me on the bedside table. Exit Music by Ian Rankin, Charlaine Harris' From Dead to Worse, Christopher Stevens' great bio of Kenneth Williams, Born Brilliant and Goddess of Legend by P.C. Cast. Where to start! I have begun Born Brilliant but I am also starting on Anita Brookner's books (first - A Misalliance), hoping to find another Barbara Pym-esque writer.

How have you been spending your break?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Warm Wishes from the Yellow Wood

Only the Muppets are able to pull off this level of schmaltz and still be entertaining! But I must say I do like the message, and I do think it's applicable no matter what festival you celebrate at this time of year. At least now we know too what Kermit and Miss Piggy's kids look like!

Hope that you have a wonderful festive season and I wish you every good thing for 2011. Thanks for stopping by in the Yellow Wood! x

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I hope you had a lovely time celebrating either Summer or Winter Solstice yesterday. We spent it listening to the wonderful Wendy Rule at her annual Midsummer Party. I made this wreath for our front door in honour of the Season and I was really pleased that I managed to use just some grasses that I had pulled out of the garden while weeding, as well as a little string!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slightly inappropriate Christmas cartoon...but only meant in fun!

From this site:

Monday, December 20, 2010

I dreamed a dream

Some people have mysterious dreams. Some people have prophetic dreams. Me? Well. Last night I dreamt that I was watching "Spicks and Specks" (a music quiz show here in Australia ( on tv and the contestants on it were Alex (Gedeon Burkhard) and Christian (Heinz Weixelbraun) from "Kommissar Rex" ( No, I don't know why either. I am not an especial fan of "Spicks and Specks" and while I love the show "Kommissar Rex", I have no particular feeling for those characters. Mysteries of the sub-conscious...!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Stuff

Must be a bit of nostalgia in the air...the 90s today with a bit of Riot Grrrrrl fabulousness from Veruca Salt.

I am hoping to make this cake over the weekend (pre-Xmas hoo-hah not withstanding). Sounds yummy, huh? I'll report back!

Ginger Cake

2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, sift and thoroughly mix together flour, baking soda, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water, molasses, and honey. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and egg. Add the wet and dry ingredients alternately. Whisk your batter well after each addition. Mix in the crystallized ginger if you so desire. Pour batter into a square 9 inch pan that has been buttered and floured. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cake cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

[From Hex magazine]

What're your plans for the weekend? Cooking up any Christmas/Solstice goodies?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get on your dancing shoes!

I have been pretty much nose-to-the-grindstone lately, writing some short stories (with a hopeful view to publication!) and immersing myself in a completely new field of research which I hope to start writing on next year. For roughly ten years I focussed on one particular subject area while I worked in academia but now, out of academia but still wanting to research and write, I have gone in another direction altogether. It's fun but a lot of work!

My reason for telling you all this is to primarily explain why there's not been a lot of action here in the Yellow Wood. To make up for this, I give you two gems of 80s music (!) - The Blow Monkeys "It doesn't have to be this way" and Aztec Camera's "All I need is everything". I loved these bands way back when and I even won The Blow Monkeys album in a radio competition. And I had more than a passing fancy for both Dr Robert (TBM lead singer) and Roddy Frame (AC lead singer). Ooh...that floppy fringe!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nature's Beauty

I feel so sad for my friend Helena today over at Creating A Likeness ( She has just lost her dear feline friend of many years, Fluffy. Heart hugs to you and Fluffy, Helena.

I have never had a lot of pets - I had a couple of fish and birds when I was growing up - but I love animals, especially cats. There is a cat who lives next door to us here, I've mentioned him before. He has been wandering through our garden regularly for some months but he has been very reticent about being touched in any way. In fact he would dart away if you approached him.

I have been leaving little treats out for him - some cat food, some kibble, fresh water, milk - and slowly he has begun to trust us. The last couple of days he has allowed me to pet him and scratch him between his ears and it has just been lovely to be permitted to do that. For him to essentially say 'Ok, I trust you to come into my personal space'. Now he will present himself for a tummy scratch without even the promise of food!

I am worried about him, though. He is thin and he has fleas but no flea collar. Do you know of any way I could surreptitiously treat him for fleas - which are obviously causing him distress - without his owners taking umbrage?

The cat is Nature's beauty -
French proverb.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little bit of crafting

I have been much inspired of late by a wonderful blog from New Zealand, Tiny Happy
( So much so that I have returned to trying my hand at a bit of crafting. I've made a couple of felt brooches (love felt) and some little notebooks I am calling 'memory books' - just to stick in little bits and pieces like photos, ticket stubs, pressed flowers and so on. It's been fun - I haven't done anything like this for awhile. If you're interested, I will also be posting these bits and pieces in my Etsy shop -

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alone again, naturally

As I've got older I've realised increasingly how much I need alone time. It's not that I don't like people or that I don't ever need company but I need - really need - to have some time each day to myself. To be alone with my thoughts or even to just be alone, not thinking.

I have always been an extremely shy person - although I am getting better with that - so I think some of my need for aloneness stems from that. Added to the shyness, I am an only child so my earliest memories are of making my own fun rather than relying on the input of others. Whatever the cause may be, now I find that even an hour or two of quiet solitude is just the ticket for calming any feelings of anxiety or angst I might be experiencing or for just getting myself back into my own rhythm, rather than jogging haphazardly along to the rhythm of others.

Apparently one can be diagnosed now as a 'highly sensitive person' and I think I am perhaps leaning in that direction - dislike of crowds, aversion to loud noises and bright lights, need for peace and solitude. I also know it's important though to balance that need with regular interaction with the rest of the world lest one goes a little hermity and weird. I do think it's good to be able to recognise and respond to one's feelings, though.

Are you a 'loner' like me or do you love to be surrounded by people 24/7?