Tuesday, June 23, 2015

look up (one hundred & seventy four) ....

xxxx one hundred and seventy four xxxx

recent (good) reads...

I've been munching on some delicious morsels lately....

 (oooo how I love being able to read just for me -- and not for research!)

just finished or still sitting beside my bed (partly digested) are these treats:

This Changes Everything - Naomi Klein

I admit that I finished this one late last year - not long after its release... 
it is a thoroughly researched tome - even if you aren't interested in what's going on in environmental/climate change circles, 
its really worthwhile reading this - if you can borrow from the library or a friend - give it a crack

Our Only World - Wendell Berry

this is a smaller book of ten recent essays --- 
I admit I just love love love anything Berry writes - he just drills down and nails the agrarian connection of land to life 
- naturally I found his latest offer a total joy

Easy to read, comfortable to digest - this one tries to answer the question 'what makes a life worth living'? 
(hint -- MacKay is very keen on the Golden Rule) -- its a pleasant book to munch through 

Feral is all about rewilding 
- although I got frustrated at times trying to follow Monbiot's meandering logic and his open hostility towards all farming was often annoying,
 there is enough nice stuff in this to make the journey worthwhile --
 I particularly liked the chapter 'Bring back the wolf' which had a great explanation of keystone species and trophic cascades 
- oooooo and I loved the point of view of Welsh small-holding farmer Dafydd Morris-Jones 
(I'd love to read a book by this fellow if he ever got around to writing something - a very astute guy).

This is the second book from local gal Sue - her first, Velvet Pears, was all about building the Foxglove Spires garden 
(12kms up the road from here at Tilba Tilba) 
- this one concentrates more on the sweet weather board house in the middle of the garden 
--- lots of piccies and a handful of recipes 

I've added two more reference books to my growing collection from publishers Chelsea Green -

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer - Jeff and Melanie Carpenter


Farming the Woods - 
An integrated permaculture approach to growing food and medicinals in temperate forests -- 
Ken Mudge & Steve Gabriel 

I haven't had the chance to do anything other than skim these 
-- they are both very detailed and refer primarily to North American conditions 
- Chelsea Green offer some terrific titles -- I have their books Resilient Farm and Homestead and The New Horse-powered Farm
Although the contents of CG's reference books are excellent they all have terribly flimsy covers (damnation!)

There's one other book that I'm going to tell you about and this one is completely different 
(its also the only one that was NOT purchased from my local independent bookseller)
 It's Drag Down to Unlock or Place and Emergency Call  - a book of poetry by Melinda Smith
- who is this year's recipient of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry

I have to admit that when it comes to poetry I feel like I have 2 left eyes and a head full of straw.... 
it's unusual for me to purchase a book of poetry 
so I'll tell you a little tale of how it is that I came to purchase this one 
- directly from the hands of the poet no less! 

I met Melinda last year - and had no idea that she was a poet 
 we had a mutual friend who was astonished to learn that both our sons had been diagnosed 
with the same condition, were admitted to the same hospital with the same team of specialists 
just weeks apart from each other (!!!!!)
our mutual mate figured we should get to know each other and I'm very glad we did connect.  

A few weeks ago Melinda dropped into Bega for a poetry reading and I lugged EJ along for the night. 
It. was. FABULOUS! 
We both loved all the poems and I'm now determined to purchase all of Melinda's back catalogue.


That is a little of what I've been reading (non-fiction still eh...)
EJ meanwhile has been devouring novels at an alarming rate!
(there's nothing like a looooooong bus trip to school to get a girl child thoroughly switched on to reading booooooooks) 
and sass remains a devotee of 4WD magazines (dawg bless the boy)

how about you? 
read anything great lately?

** although I've linked book titles to their publisher or to Amazon -
I purchase all my books from my local independent bookseller - Candelo Books 
- or directly from the author. 


Monday, June 15, 2015

look up (one hundred & sixty six) ...

xxxx one hundred and sixty six xxxx


My facebooky friends know all too well 
that I spend the majority of my time waiting and watching
beside pools and fields and tracks and ovals and oceans.

These are the natural habitats of the sporting child.

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

our sporting calendar just flows and goes around and around and around

(and I'm usually in the driving seat)

When I stopped to quickly draw breath recently I realised -
 in the past few years there hasn't been a single week
where our family hasn't had some sport 'somewhere'
(indeed there is rarely a day that doesn't involve some sport 'somewhere')

8yr old EJ (far left) at AIS Bruce Stadium, Canberra, waiting for the results of the photo finish 
final of the 2013 PSSA 8yr girls 100m sprint Regional Championships

swimming, surf lifesaving, indoor hockey, field hockey,
soccer, athletics, cross country, touch football, AFL
(Yes even AFL -- I barely know what the letters stand for... it seems they use a pointy ball....)

itty bitty EJ in full flight at the Sydney Cricket Ground 
2014 state final of Paul Kelly Cup (AFL) -- yes she was THAT little and everyone else was THAT big
 corrrrrr - scary!


its EXHAUSTING just transporting the kiddies to all the 
pools and fields and tracks and ovals and oceans

EJ at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) for the 2015 
PSSA State Swimming Championships (she qualified for Junior Girls 50m Butterfly and 200m IM) 

The interesting thing about having children is - 
you don't know where the parent journey is going to lead you --- 
for us -- it's been into the wonderful world of 


(note the capitals and the stars) 

Due to our kiddies' super sporting interests we've found ourselves learning all sorts of new and exciting things:
in recent years we've organised school swimming carnivals, marked athletics fields,
created fantastic cross country tracks (farmer phil's magnificent handiwork).

I've even become an accredited Athletics Australia coach
which everyone who knows me finds totally hilarious
(I get a giggle out of it too)...

Many of the times I have looked up this year I've been at the side of 
 pools and fields and tracks and ovals and oceans

2015 South Coast Regional PSSA Touch Football trials, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong.... 
looking up to see parachutists dropping down on the field next door! 

I'm not a sage, but if the past couple of years are any gauge, we are in for a whole heap more
sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport
in the next wee while!

 this story may explain, in part, why you haven't seen a lot of arty projects emerge of late:
when your 'free' (or me) time is limited and your kiddies' childhood is so short
I've chosen to be there from them

I'm presently rejigging my creative endeavours to fit
in and around and beside
all. the. sport.

see if you can spot EJ in the crowd of 77 of the best zone runners
 at the start of the 2015 10yr girls Regional Cross Country Championships, Nowra 
(hint - she's in the Far South Coast representative colours of red, white and black...) 
 in just over 8 minutes from the time of this snap, the small grrrrl child won her first PSSA Regional title.....
next month she will compete at the PSSA State championships and attempt to qualify for her first Nationals.... 




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

look up (one hundred & fifty four) ...

xxxx one hundred and fifty four xxxx

the notebook nerd...

How to identify a Notebook Nerd
(from ronnie: self-confessed Notebook Nerd, Pen Groupie and General Stationery Tragic )

* cherry wood graph paper memo books.... red moleskin soft covered stitched journals ----
ooooo yesssss give me more! more! MORE!

a Notebook Nerd (aka N.N.) knows the locality of every stationery outlet in every city and town they have ever visited 
the N.N never passes a store without perusing the collection of notebooks --- generally they do not leave without a purchase
or two (or three or four) and can be overheard whispering sweet odes to their new notebook ('oooo notebook blue I do need you...')

* found in a small shop packed to the ceiling with arty treasures 
--REnote has a soft recycled leather cover.... and gridded pages (because grids are my favs....)

 a N.N. can tell the difference between
a moleskin and a field notes notebook just by touch
(hint - moleskins have a pocket at the back... small field notes are stapled...
I could go on... yes it's quite tragic)

 a N.N. will have a room (or at least a shelf) dedicated to their notebook collection... 

 * my shelf of research notebooks - 14  x A4 spiral bound hard cover notebooks...
then of course there's my shelf of small notebooks, soft-covered notebooks, drawing notebooks, coptic bound notebooks.....
ok - I think I need to get a room.

a NN will always have a trusty notebook within arms reach (or closer)
--- if the NN is separated from their trusty notebook by more than 25 metres (or 25 minutes)
they may suffer from Notebook Withdrawal Syndrome
which manifests in itchy palms, twitchy fingers and a nervous tic in the left eye....

 * pity the poor notebook that gets lugged around in my handbag... 

 a N.N. cannot resist a notebook sale
---  it doesn't matter if they already have 5 identical notebooks in pristine condition on their shelf...
without a stockpile of similar notebooks the NN cannot contemplate actually USING their new notebook

 * this is the newest addition to my stack....
field notes 'two rivers' limited edition 48 page memo book with covers printed by hamilton wood type & printing museum
mmmmmm purty purty

a N.N. may be lured by the promise of a free notebook with any purchase...

* yes.... successfully hooked by the free notebook....again... damn you country style magazine!

a N.N will keep their notebooks for decades after every page is chocker block full
- even when the N.N. can no longer decipher their contents...

* miriam bereson hardcover notebook with cutout cover detail (and ronnie embellishment) circa 1993-1999

... even when the kiddies have inscribed notes of their own between the now ratty covers...

* sassy-boy's toddler notation in treasured notebook circa 2004

even when all the notebook seems to contain is shopping lists from 12 years ago
and orphaned phone numbers
and the dimensions of a bookcase you no longer own...

* my notation in same notebook - same era....
I remember these were notes for a quilt I was making for my bestie's 50th birthday

The Notebook Nerd is generally a solitary animal
but occasionally can be found flocking at stationery outlets such as
Kikki K, Pepe's Papiere,  or Zetta Florance
where they may be overheard hyperventilating in front of a new perpetual paper diary
(with leather covers and a tiny brass clasp --- - ooooooo be-still my heart)

the Notebook Nerd (N.N) may also be a Pen Groupie (P.G.) or General Stationery Tragic (GST)
but best to talk of those another day - I have just found
a 'to-do' list in my 2007 hard cover spiral bound red and black collins notebook
and realise I haven't bought food for the cats.....