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

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 8th February 2012

Outside my window...Before I even opened my eyes this morning the birds were at full volume. The Wattle birds, Magpies, Lorikeets, Doves and a Butcher bird. What a performance.
The sun was shining albeit weaker than normal and the fresh air was pretty fresh. The temperature has dropped quite considerably during this week, which is strange as we're in the middle of the Australian summer. It's very quiet other than the birds but then it is still early.

I am thinking...I can't read quick enough to cover all the fantastic books I've got listed that I'm looking forward to reading. I always have at least three books highlighted or sitting in the wings waiting. I wish I was more patient and able to take my time because I don't feel I'm giving true justice to the current book. I've been like this since early childhood, so I doubt I'll change now. 

I am thankful...for my brother and sister. I feel that I am very fortunate to have both a brother and a sister. They are both so special to me and I love them dearly. They are often in my mind even though I am 12,000 miles away. I hope that I can visit them soon. I haven't been home to the UK for the last two years but thankfully we are in contact regularly. They'll be big hugs when we do meet : D

In the kitchen...A portion of mushroom risotto from last night...that's lunch sorted.

I am wearing...Jeans, lycra blue vest under a Tommy Hilfilger peach jumper. As I mentioned its chilly today, so a thin jumper is needed. Oh and hair up today...in too much of a hurry for fiddling about. Note to self...must make an appointment for the hairdresser.

I am creating...a digital family photo album. My brother has daily been sending all the old photographs that he's converted from Kodak slides to digital. If you've read my post yesterday you'll know about my Family Photo Album

I am going...I wish I could say on a cruise like my friend. Imagine the travel blog I could post from each of the destinations. Instead I'll be here to take care of Zac (Muffin is going to be so excited when he comes to stay) in the meantime I'm planning lots of trips for when my SIL comes to visit in April.
There's also the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival starting in March, so there's lots of planning needed so that we can appreciate all the delights that will be on hand ~ yummy!

I am wondering...how many valentine card's will flood through my postbox....Yeah right...nowt! Same as every other year no doubt! We don't really celebrate Valentine's in this house. We did but that was way back....now after nearly 33 years married and 36 years in total, we're kind of over all that, although we always do a little something ie a meal with a little valentine theme. One year I shaped the toast into hearts at breakfast time....but they'll be no cards. 

I am reading... 'Rules of Civility' by Amor Towles

 My daughter started to read this book on her new kindle (Santa's gift ; D ) whilst she was staying with us and she recommended it to me. I've only just started to read it but its got my attention already. 
Despite the fact that I've never been to New York City or in fact alive in 1937, makes interesting reading especially when the writer Amor Towles transports you back there so effortlessly .
A statement by one of the leading characters protagonist, Katey Kontent, knew " how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine". With those two lines, I had already identified with Ms Kontent, . If you are a male reader, please do not click away now as this is most definitely not chick-lit. In fact, there is plenty of drinking (Martinis and Champagne, primarily), there are cars and even a few guns here and there. Oh, and jazz.

In brief, the plot revolves around Katey and her friend Eve; they meet Theodore `Tinker' Grey, a wealthy young man while celebrating New Year's Eve in a dingy jazz club and, without giving away the story, the encounter will change their lives for ever. A love triangle is among the central elements of this story, but the triangle changes shape at one point and anyway, this is a novel with a story, rather than a plot. It's about love, of course, but also about ambition, social mobility, and that aspirational quality that is quintessential to the mythology of New York City and that will inevitably bring up comparisons with F.S. Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby'. Indeed, it would be hard not to see the similarities between Tinker and Jay Gatsby - young men who pretty much encapsulate the American Dream of the early 20th century at the start of the novel and who, by the end, confirm that the dream is just that: an illusion.

A lot of `new' writers are too often hailed as The Next Big Thing to then only disappoint; but on the contrary 'watch this space' as they say. I am amazed at how Amos managed to create such believable and above all, likeable, female characters. And the male `cast' are equally memorable, none of them too perfect, none of them falling into the trappings of prince charming characterisation that could have taken this book down the pastel cover route.

I would be really surprised if 'The Rules of Civility' didn't become a literary fiction best-seller, as it ticks all the relevant boxes; great characters, gripping storyline, jazz, Martinis and a social commentary; it's peppered with literary references and quotes.  And when a book makes you want to read more books, to paraphrase Katey Kontent, `everything is probably going to be fine'.
I think it'll be one for our book club : ) 

About the Author:
Born in 1964, Amor Towles was raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University. He is a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Mr. Towles is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, caf├ęs, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.
His only other published work is a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure” published in 1989 in Paris Review 112.

I am hoping...that the rest of this 'no alcohol' month goes as easily as the past week. If you haven't read my post on No Alcohol February then you won't know that I'm challenging myself to an alcohol free month. But I must explain I don't have a problem (really I don't) its just that I thought after the Christmas/New Year indulgences it would be a good thing to do. I did try to persuade my OH to join me but unfortunately he  suddenly went deaf!

I am looking forward to...the weekend, but I'm getting very excited at later in the month because I'm going to a concert. I'll post more about that later perhaps.

Around the house...happy to report...all shipshape. Only the cushion covers need to be placed back onto the inners after being washed. Its amazing how much and how quickly things can be washed and dried here during the summer months. Watch out OH and son!

A favourite quote for today...I thought today's quote would have to have a Valentine's theme...so...
"Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart".  ~Author Unknown

Knowing that I'd to complete my Daybook today, I asked my son if he had a quote and his answer was this...."Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue" No comment! Well I did ask...
One of my favorite things...A cup of tea, especially that first one that my OH brings to me first thing in the morning. : D

A few plans for the rest of the week: I've got a few appointments but once they're done...I'm open to all possibilities.

A peek into my day... this giant teapot sits beside my kitchen door. In readiness for visitors popping in. The kettles never far from boiling....

I don't think the tea would infuse very well in this particular teapot. As you can imagine for a tea drinker I just couldn't resist buying it and miraculously it arrived in our freight from the Middle East intact!
If you fancy popping by I'll put the kettle on and we can have a natter ~ just leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

And that's it for this week, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to the The simple womans daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D


  1. That sounds like a fab book Neesie! I always have two or three books on the go. I just can't read one at a time. If I do, I am sure to lose interest in it. Playing switcheroo helps with that. I am longing for summer right now. It's so cold and damp! In July this year we will be in Canada and longing for some respite from the heat and humidity. It's always terrible at that time of year. It will be nice to see my family however. So you do what you have to do. I would be so tempted to plant something in that teapot. How sweet it would be with some lobelia trailing out and some geraniums sticking out the top. Don't listen to me though, I have a black thumb. lol. Loved your daybook as always! xxoo

  2. Hi Marie, I never actually thought about planting anything in my teapot, which is strange really when I think about it, because I love to plant everywhere. Maybe you've sewn a little seed there ;)

    I don't think I could manage to read a few books at once. I like to totally indulge in each book seperately. You must be a brilliant multi-tasker!
    We've been to Canada a few times during August and the temperature was around 30 degrees celcius each time. Not at all like I imagined Canada temperatures to be. I'm so excited for you going to see your family and look forward to hearing all about it.

    You make sure you stay cosy but please don't rush spring because we'll be heading into Autumn here and I don't think I'm ready just yet xoxo


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