“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY Wednesday 7th December 2011

Outside my window...Your going to hate reading this if you're heading into winter but there's beautiful sunlight with a gentle breeze swaying the branches of the tree's nearby. I'm searching but I can't see a cloud ~ sorry.

I am thinking...I may have ruined a friends blog this morning when I left a comment. In fact I left four in error. I was very moved by what she'd written and replied before thinking things through properly then my laptop started to have a tizzy fit and when it sorted itself out there were four comment entries. Grrr!
Anyway, I won't feel offended in any way if she deletes them ~ honest!

I am thankful...for wonderful friends in my book club. Yes, we're a Book Club but there's a little more to it than that. We had a brilliant night out celebrating the end of a great reading year last night. Hence a latter post {Yawn.  :O }
We had great fun exchanging surprise gift wrapped books each with a number allocated. We then each picked a number in turn and matched the book with the number which determined which surprise pressie we received. It was great to see all of the beautiful books which will provide some great reading material plus a lovely meal too with great company. A great night.
There's been lots of ups and downs in each of our lives over the last few years but we've all been there for each other. Supporting and listening when needed. Sometimes you just need a friends ear.

In the kitchen...a pack of butter sitting ready for a session of baking. I took it out of the fridge earlier but I can't leave it too long {in a hushed voice so that those in cooler climes won't hear me} because it'll melt!

I am wearing...a vest, mid calf jeans and bare feet.

I am creating...hopefully a beautifully festive home for the Christmas holiday. The tree is up but not dressed yet ~ its all in its nakey ~ so that'll be today's job.

I am going...to buy more Christmas lights. I know I've got four sets for the tree already and surprisingly they are all working when I tested them yesterday ~ which is miraculous. But I need one large set so that I can eliminate all the wires and plugs. Besides I can use the old ones in the kitchen. I love to decorate my space as that's where all the magic happens....well, hopefully.
Besides you can never have enough bling at Christmas time.

I am wondering...If I should nip out for some shopping or leave it for another day. All the car parks are beginning to get very full and you need stealth, patience, cunning, precision, and sometimes just good luck to get a spot. It's nearly turning into an Olympic sport!
The local shops are fine though and have piped Christmas music playing along the main street which is a first for me and I have to say makes towards the atmosphere of good cheer. My local shop keepers are all a jolly friendly lot anyway but even more so at this time.
We just need a day of snow {one day should do it....Christmas Day please} Not the 32 degree's celcius that's being forecast.

I am reading...Bound Feet and Western Dress which is one of the books I picked up last week from the charity shop

"In China, a woman is nothing."
Thus begins the saga of a woman born at the turn of the century to a well-to-do, highly respected Chinese family, a woman who continually defied the expectations of her family and the traditions of her culture. Growing up in the perilous years between the fall of the last emperor and the Communist Revolution, Chang Yu-i's life is marked by a series of rebellions: her refusal as a child to let her mother bind her feet, her scandalous divorce, and her rise to Vice President of China's first women's bank in her later years.

In the alternating voices of two generations, this dual memoir brings together a deeply textured portrait of a woman's life in China with the very American story of Yu-i's brilliant and assimilated grandniece, struggling with her own search for identity and belonging. Written in pitch-perfect prose and alive with detail, Bound Feet and Western Dress is the story of independent women struggling to emerge from centuries of customs and duty.
From the Back Cover
After long afternoons spent with her great-aunt Yu-i drawing forth her story, Pang-Mei Natasha Chang, a first-generation Chinese-American, paints an unforgettable saga of a woman, born in Shanghai at the turn of the century to a highly respected, well-to-do family, who continually defied the expectations of her class and culture.

'In China, a woman is nothing,' began Yu-i over tea and dumplings. 'This is the first lesson I want to give so that you will understand.' Growing up in the perilous years between the fall of the last Emperor and the Communist Revolution, Yu-i led a life marked by a series of rebellions that changed the course of her life, including the first and most lasting: her refusal to have her feet bound. And as Yu-i confides her innermost dreams and demons, Pang-Mei comes to understand something of her own ambivalence regarding her Chinese heritage - and the ever-present tug between familial duty and desire.

Bound Fee & Western Dress is an exquisitely written dual memoir that tells the story of independent women struggling to emerge from centuries of custom and tradition, a deeply textured portrait which braids a woman's life in China with the very Western story of a young woman's search for identity and belonging.

About the Author:-

Pang-Mei Natasha Chang was raised in Connecticut. She received her B.A. in Chinese Studies from Harvard and a J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law. She practiced Law in New York City before moving to Moscow, where she currently resides with her husband. Bond Feet and Western Dress is her first book.

I've only read the critical acclaims so far so can't give my review just yet, but it looks a gripping, moving story. I'm looking to reading it.

I am hoping...to clear my guest bedroom of all the Christmas boxes that I've been rummaging through. There's chaos in there at the moment but its on my list to clear them back up into the store room.

I am looking forward to...I know my daughter is going to get VERY annoyed with me when she reads this {she says you'll all be bored with this section after me posting it so often} and I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing me but I've only got 13 sleeps before she arrives. I'm getting so excited I can't sit still.
: D {Huge Grin)

I am hearing...birds in full voice. There's a blackbird who perches on a tree in our garden and gives a wonderful concert to all who'll listen. There's also a very high pitched chirp that I don't recognise...not sure who that little visitor is? I'll have to investigate. Then of course the Rainbow Lorikeets and Magpies have to have their say....
Muffin's snoozing away and I can just about hear her deep breathing if I listen carefully. There's the odd car too but mostly its very quiet today.

Around the house...At the moment its very quiet and peaceful but as soon as I finish this post I'll have music blasting to motivate me. It always works for me. The more a don't like the job in hand the louder the music. Good job the neighbours are too near otherwise it'd be 'There she goes...Neesie must be ironing again'.

I am pondering...As I walked with Muffin this morning along our favourite walk, I saw so many sights and images that I would love to have captured on my camera....but alas as always I never have it with me when I need it.
It made me think of all the ephemeral surprises, twists and turns that can come passing and effecting our lives that if we don't stop and capture them...they're lost.
That's why I particularly like to do this post every Wednesday. It gives me the chance to stop and take in my surroundings, have contemplation and to re-evaluate.

One of my favorite things...Is having my constant companion Muffin. She never gets tired of seeing me. She is always so forlorn when I leave but ecstatic when I return. She listens to all my natterings without bias or boredom and sometimes even gives a little comment with a soft gruff.
She curls up by my side or feet waiting for my every move.
I never thought a dog would give so much pleasure and devotion. I know I'm a better person since she came into my life.

A few plans for the rest of the week: At the risk of boring you... it's got to be Christmas preparations I'm afraid. I've still got pressies to buy and decorations to finish. The tree needs dressing and I've so many recipes and lists to complete. But I'll get there....I always do its just a case of "'DON'T PANIC"!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This is Fergie ~ my daughter's cat {well he's her fianc├ęs really but they pooled the cats}
 She has Chloe ~ a rag doll ~ whom may be featured in future posts but I thought as I always feature Muffin, it was time to present a cat to keep the balance!
Fergie sure knows comfort and where to find it! Purrrrrrrrrr.............
And that's it for this week . . . my day book. Don't forget to pop over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries : D


  1. Oh how I would love some sunshine!
    It seems we all are getting ready for Christmas. My favorite time of year. It never bores me.
    Love your picture of Fergie.

  2. Hi Beth, thanks for stopping by...its great to hear from someone else that love's this special time of year too.
    It's such a magical time to spend with family and friends if you're blessed. But I know that not everyone is so that makes it all the more important to make the most of what you have. Take nothing for granted.

    Fergie is a charmer with such a cute personality ^..^ Meew!

    Good luck with your planning and preparations ;D

  3. I always wanted a rag doll cat. They're so pretty, but so is Fergie. I just love to listen to Blackbirds. Don't they have the most beautiful song! I think so! I have that book and am going to begin reading it as soon as I finish the one I am reading now. I have always loved reading. A book is a door into another world, and oh the travels I've taken through the years! Your book club sounds like great fun! xxoo

  4. Chloe the rag doll cat is actually bigger than Muffin my Shih Tzu. She's not fat you understand, just fluffy!

    Other than a robin I agree there's nothing quite like a blackbirds song. I was thrilled to find them here.

    Great minds think alike Marie with choosing the same book. Lets hope its a good read....it certainly looks interesting.
    Pack your bag we're off to China!

    I can really recommend a book club...maybe you could start one? Although how you'd manage to fit it in with your busy schedule I don't know.
    Keep cosy xoxo

  5. A lovely walk through your day with you Nessie! I enjoyed sitting with you as you read, listening to the purr of your cat, and pass me the slippers, please, because here it's cold! Longing for capris...


  6. I'm glad you popped by Allison...
    Its a little toasty here today,(+30 celcius) which makes Christmas shopping quite a task. Thank goodness the shopping Malls all have air conditioning.

    I'm excited because I've just got back and I managed to get a few pressies but also my first Nutcracker!
    I've never had one before. I just had to after reading some many blogs that feature them. No idea where to place him yet, but it'll be fun deciding.

    I'll post some sunshine photo's in the hope that it radiates heat from your screen.

    Stay cosy ;D


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