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

Wednesday 4 January 2012

A Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 4th January 2012

Outside my window...the outside is actually part of the inside this morning...if that makes any sense.
We've flung open the french windows to allow the most exquisite breeze to enter the house. After days of hot temperatures (up to 40 degrees celcius) we finally had the thunderstorm we'd been waiting for at dawn this morning.
There are a huge amount of vine leaves scattered on the floor that have managed to find their way through the trellis...just to annoy me especially as I've already brushed away the early debris. I've decided its an ongoing process, but then the grapes are looking healthy so I'll forgive it especially if they're edible...my work will be worth it.
The sky is a fantastic clear blue with just whisps of cloud drifting over. The sun loungers are plumped and waiting for afternoon visitors to chat away an hour or two. Plus a towel for any takers of the more active perhaps participating in a quick dip.
On the garden table sits my large white vase waiting for fresh blooms. I cleared the Christmas arrangement away this morning and now need to decide on a replacement.

I am thinking...the breeze is delicious.

I am thankful...for every minute that my family can enjoy each other's company under the one roof.

In the kitchen...my daughter is making me a cuppa for us both whilst I'm taping away on my keyboard. The wonderful sound so familiar of the kettle boiling, chinking cups and stirring spoons.
Oh and a Tunnock's chocolate mallow biscuit has appeared along with my cuppa. Tunnock's for those who aren't in the know are a national treasure in Scotland. When I saw them in a local supermarket the other day I had to buy them as a treat. (in a hushed voice...but I am always a little disappointed that there isn't jam in the centre...if Mr Tunnock happens to read this blog...(fat chance)...then maybe try adding just a wee bitee please...I think it'll be a huge success....not that you need any success as you've been making these biscuits since time began...just a thought)

I am wearing...Shorts, t-shirt and bare feet (again!) Thankfully no gentle glow now that the temperature is more managable.

I am creating...my resolution for the year ahead. Although I'd rather not call it a resolution as that normally leads to certain failure. I want to just keep positive (a new skill I'm trying to perfect since starting my blog) and to Follow-through on all things intriguing. The concept intrigues me for a start and after reading Tea and Cookies blog tthis morning ~ which by the way I cannot recommend highly enough ~ it's given me perspective for starting this new year with wonderful possibilities.

I am going...on a little shopping spree this afternoon with my daughter. We'll have a mooch, check out the bargins if any, have a little lunch and whatever else takes our fancy! Perfect :D (happy bunny face all round)

I am wondering...how can I fit everything into my day? There's always so much I want to do each day. The time just flies and before I know it, it's time for sleep. :O (yawn!)

I am reading...A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. It was my mystery book club present. I've only just started to read it so can't really comment too much. I do like the writing so far. It has been the number 1 New York Times bestselling novel, so should be good.

The curtain rises in 1907 during a Wisconsin winter "cold enough to sear the skin from your bones." Ralph Truitt, the wealthiest man in town, stands frozen in place on a train platform, but inside he's burning with the unsated desire of 20 solitary years.

Ralph is waiting for his mail-order bride, a woman he requisitioned through a classified ad: "Country businessman seeks reliable wife. Compelled by practical not romantic reasons. . . . Discreet." That may sound as horny as Sunday school, but Ralph isn't entirely what he seems, standing there on the platform with "his eyes turned downward, engraved with a permanent air of condescension and grief." Inside, the 58-year-old widower is startled by the intensity of his desires, consumed with thoughts of sex and murder and madness in homes all around town. "Sometimes his loneliness was like a fire beneath his skin," Goolrick writes. "He had thought of taking his razor and slicing his own flesh, peeling back the skin that would not stop burning."

When Catherine Land finally arrives, looking prim and dour, she isn't what she appears to be, either. She threw her extravagant party dresses out the train window a few miles from town, and she has hidden jewels in the hem of her black wool dress. She's not even the woman in the photo she sent Ralph during their summer of tentative correspondence. And she's carrying a bottle of arsenic and "a long and complicated scheme."

Poor Ralph has some awfully bad luck with women: the matrimonial equivalent of sailing to Europe on the Titanic and flying home on the Hindenburg. "This begins in a lie," he tells Catherine sternly as he picks up her bags. "I want you to know that I know that. . . . Whatever else, you're a liar."

All Ralph wants -- or pretends he wants -- is "a simple, honest woman. A quiet life. A life in which everything could be saved and nobody went insane." That's so hard to attain when your new bride hopes to poison you straightaway. But damned if he doesn't almost die in a spectacular riding accident while bringing her home from the station. Poor Catherine finds she's got to nurse Ralph back to health before she can start killing him.

Don't worry: I'm not giving anything away. Neither of these two steely people are playing straight with the other, and Goolrick isn't playing straight with us, either. The floor collapses in almost every chapter, and we suddenly crash through assumptions we'd thought were solid. Goolrick keeps probing at the way people force themselves not to know something -- not to believe the truth -- in order to fulfill their deepest longings.

I am hoping...to start planning a trip home soon. I have been restricted with flying this 18 months...(that's a whole other story that one day I may tell you about or maybe not?) but I'd like to be able to see my family in the UK soon. I've extended invitations out for them to visit here but for various reasons they aren't able to make it just yet.

I am looking forward to...seeing more of Australia. We haven't ticked off as many locations as we'd like. There's plans afoot but work keeps getting in the way. But when we travel there's sure to be a blog about it ;D

Around the house...Christmas decorations are waiting for 12th night before they can be packed safely away until next year. I don't like to take all of them down in one go because it looks so sad and empty...the parties over....so I've been sneaking a few away every day. The tree is still standing and looking good although after all my trouble finding new lights, I feel we haven't enjoyed them enough. It's difficult when the room is so bright for so many hours of the day that they have hardly had their moment to shine in the spotlight.

I am pondering...how am I going to clip Muffin's hind dew claws! I bought the contraption and read the instructions...ie point number one...calm your dog first....WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? As soon as I hold her and she see's the clippers it'll be game on!
I think I might just take the easy option and ring our friendly vet.
Times running out though as yesterday I noticed the claw is now touching the pad...eek ^..^

A favourite quote for today...“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

One of my favorite things...is to eat al-fresco in this beautiful weather. Everything just seems to taste so much better. Which reminds me I'm really looking forward to the Melbourne food and wine festival (2-21 March 2012) which celebrates it's 20th Anniversary this year. Note to self...step up on the exercise programme between now and then!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Enjoying every minute of our daughters stay. I'm aware that the time is marching on.... :-(

A peek into my day... left over Eton Mess...I know unbelievable to think any was left over. This was my portion though and I could only manage half otherwise it would have been devoured I'm sure.
I made it to soften the blow of my son's first day back at work after the holidays. It's one of his favourites. It's so simple to make and I had everything I needed so I got some really easy brownie points. Fresh cream, berries, meringue nests ... I haven't posted the recipe but just let me know if you would like it.

I wouldn't normally include a photo like this but you did ask for a peek into my day...
And that's it for this week . . . my day book, I hope you enjoyed. Don't forget to pop over to the The simple womans daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D


  1. Neesie, enjoyed your daybook as always. I cannot imagine it being so hot. I think it is unbearable when the temps read 30+. I guess it is my cool North American blood! I bought that book on my Kindle on your suggestion and am looking foward to beginning it! Tunnocks are a not so guilty pleasure. There are a lot worse things I could eat! I hope you have a lovely day. You've gotten mine off to a great start. As always a pleasure to read. xxoo

  2. Thanks Marie, you always say the nicest things and are so encouraging :D
    The daybook entry takes me the longest time to post from all my other posts, but it never ceases to make me stop and think things through in depth.
    All too often I flit like a busy bee from one thing to the another sometimes without completing the task...at least writing the daybook makes me stop and have a snapshot of the 'now'.

    Santa brought my daughter a kindle for Christmas and she's just read her first book on it. She's recommending it to me for my book club. It's called Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Ohh...so many books...so little time!

    Enjoy your day. xoxo

  3. Neesie, you may not post as many photos as me, but you write better words! And yes, I do want to see the pictures of the Runner beans...

  4. That is so true that the house looks empty once the decorations are packed away. I am so jealous of your open windows and warms weather

  5. Excellent post. The book looks great!

  6. Hi Mark, I'm not so sure about my words at times either...but thanks for the encouragement ;)
    If I can get dinner out of the way pronto then I may get to post the runner beans. Fingers crossed :D

  7. Hi Paula, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.
    I've stripped the house of all the festive decor today and we're all nakey now...well the house is!(whoops ~ that didn't come out right)

    Dare I mention that the weather today was perfect. Nah...I'd better not.
    Have a great day and hopefully chat again soon ;D

  8. Hi Reecea, it's always great to get positive feedback so thank you for your kind comment.

    I'm not managing to read as much as I normally would whilst my daughter is here for the holidays, but so far the book seems good.

    Enjoy your day :)


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