Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bright Spots on Dull Days

The weather here at the moment is very, very dreary. There has been quite a lot of rain and it is becoming very cold in the evenings as well as during the day until about lunchtime. Things seem very special today because we have actually seen the sun. It is, I suppose, winter and rain is a wonderful thing in these parts prone to drought but all together - the cold, the rain and the grey skies - it makes for a fair bit of blah.

Being of a naturally melancholic nature, I have thus been working doubly hard to keep calm and carry on (as they say) and one of my latest treats is to search out beautiful vintage jewellery on Etsy. Obviously, I have no plans (or means) to actually buy these baubles but just to look at their sheer beauty is enough to feed my need for bright spots on dull days.

Which one is your favourite?

Edwardian ring for sale at

Edwardian ring for sale at

Edwardian ring for sale at

Victorian ring for sale

Victorian ring for sale at

Victorian ring for sale at

Monday, June 18, 2012


We are in the depths of winter here at the moment but I was delighted to see yesterday, when I had a little potter around the back garden, that everything is still there, hibernating, just waiting for spring. There were worms and beetles everywhere under pots, just resting in the moist earth, and these two little snails -  a mother and child I'm thinking - all snuggled up in a leaf. Everything is always still there, you just can't always see it.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I have been working hard on my novel this last week or so, while also starting an online course on feature writing for newspapers and magazines. Phew! I must admit that my brain is now a little fried. On this, I am finding that I am not getting through my reading very quickly if at all. I am loving Young Bess by Margaret Irwin, but I open it up to have a read at night and I am asleep within half a dozen pages. Not good for an aspiring writer, or even for someone who just wants to finish a book! When do you do your reading?

Of course, I would probably be a lot better off if we threw out the telly. We have recently had a number of digital channels added to our tv schedule here in Australia, but the quality has certainly not improved. It reminds me now of the worst excesses of tv that I saw in Europe and the USA. Is my life being benefited by watching repeats of shows 40 years old or by a seemingly endless supply of reality shows about the American law enforcement system? I think not. And yet I watch and my books remain unread and my craft projects undone. How do you escape the tv trap? Perhaps you don't? Perhaps you love a bit of trash tv?

Having said that, I am in love with the comedy Arrested Development, which is re-screening on the ABC at the moment. Is anyone else watching it? And Downton Abbey? Don't get me started...

We made a pilgrimage to that great site of Scandinavianess - Ikea - on the weekend and bought ourselves a lovely new armchair which is both very elegant and very comfortable. Yet again I wondered if I should throw out all of our inherited, second-hand and just plain odd furniture and install a big dose of Swedish sleekness. Then I reminded myself that my life would not become sleek along with it as a result - despite what Ikea's image makers might like me to think - and that I do love all of our old and weird bits and pieces anyway. We did however also stock up on some culinary deliciousness, like the Swedish cookie(s) pictured above. The last one went down the red lane (as my grandmother would have said) with my morning coffee this morning. Love Ikea's foodie bits. Do you?

I may have posted a clip from this band - Dead Can Dance - before but their so very unique music has been wonderful for me at my desk lately as I try to keep my wee brainbox ticking over.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Creating...and blog candy!

The Swedish artist Carl Larsson - one of my favourite artists - doing his thing. 
Image from Wikipedia.

I have recently started doing an online art class here, at this gorgeous site - - and I am really enjoying it. I have never thought of myself as being able to draw or paint (especially after some very negative school art class experiences!) and I don't think I will ever be one of the world's great artists but I am really loving learning the process and seeing what I come up with.

Speaking of which, Sefarina at Windleben is giving away some lovely blog candy over at -  

Sefarina is such a talented artist so enjoying her blog has inspired me to continue on with my (currently) primitive scratchings!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s: image from
As you are perhaps aware, celebrations are taking place in Britain at the moment to mark Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee on the throne. I stumbled upon a live telecast of the royal procession down the Thames on tv last night. Did you watch any of it? Apparently some people down here in the Antipodes were setting their alarm clocks to get up and watch it live. Like or loathe the Royals, I think you have to concede that Queen Elizabeth had done a pretty fine job and has certainly - if nothing else - done her duty to the utmost. I've been watching a documentary the last couple of weeks about the Queen's reign and her commitment to duty and service is truly admirable. Also, as a commentator on the radio pointed out this morning, the British do do these sorts of occasions well and with a very touching quaintness - the street parties, the flags plastered on everything and, as for the London Philharmonic floating down the Thames on a barge, what can I say? Lovely.

Image from
Quite coincidentally, I have just started reading Margaret Irwin's Young Bess about that other Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth I. Have you read it? Really engagingly written and such vivid descriptions. Very inspiring as I battle on with my own attempt at a novel! If you like historical fiction, you'll love Margaret Irwin.