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Even in a little thing

28th August, 2016. 11:18 am. Market morning

This morning was market morning and I replaced my eggs and citrus, but didn't get a lot else. In fact, what I bought was:
- free range hen eggs
- free range duck eggs (2)
- free range goose eggs (4)
- kom fuit (10, but some are for a friend)
- lemonade fruit (1 - the very last one of the season)
- 500g of fresh cheese curd, so fresh it was still draining when I bought it.

Dinners for this week are already cooked, and the rest of it takes care of lunch. I have banana bread for anyone who drops around, and gave away the banana muffins and my Cornish meat rolls.

What are the Cornish meat rolls? They're part of the food used as background to the new novel. Anyone who wants to cook from the food in the novel (and we have a few takers so far) asks and I give them a recipe or two and they blog about the experience. I thought it would only be fair if I did the same, even though I know the recipes already, so I chose one I haven't made in so long that I'd forgotten how. One batch made 4-5 servings. One serving was my dinner last night, and two were brunch for two of us today, and I left the rest with C because I did so very much cooking yesterday that I really didn't need any more.

I won't cook today,for yesterday I made banana bread and muffins using three types of eggs. I ran out of hen's eggs, you see, so used duck eggs, and I had banana left over so I doubled the mixture using a goose egg. A goose egg worked alongside 2 duck eggs and 2 hen eggs and they were amazingly light together. And this is why I bought all three kinds of eggs today, for one goose egg was the only egg left unto me and if I'm in a baking mood, one egg (however big) will just not do.

There is a stall at the market that has sourced goose eggs on a more regular basis than anywhere in Canberra. They're selling them to test the market. It's my service to Canberra-kind to buy enough of them until everyone else finds out and also buys them. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. The fact that two goose eggs cost the same amount as 6 hen eggs and do the same amount of cooking is merely icing on the cake. (I'm not going to eat four goose eggs, alas - two of them are for my mother, because she's never had a chance to cook with them and her life is incomplete and this has to be fixed. It mostly has to be fixed for the look on her face.)

Read 4 Notes -Make Notes

24th August, 2016. 8:54 pm.

Today A. asked me what to do with the Bible she was given. She'd been asked if she'd read it and had explained that she'd read the King James and was told "This is better" and was given a copy. A. and I talked about the "This is better" and I suggested she keep it as a reference volume, so that when people referred to it, she'd know what they were talking about. What neither of us had to say was that the book was a conversion attempt - our whole conversation was an indirect check on how to handle such things. There were Christians present, however, and they thought we were just talking about the book. I found the whole thing interesting, because it means Moslem Australia and Jewish Australia share a set of codes when faced with well-meaning conversion techniques and both try actively not to be offensive to Christians.

On social media one of those "We will make you feel guilty" headlines asked me just now "When did you last speak to a Moslem?" Today. And this was the conversation. And I was given a tiny pandan kue: she knows I love pandan and we were trying to find a non-Malaysian way of describing it (for neither of us are Malaysian, but I cook my kue in Malay, due to the friends who taught me how).

I wish there weren't a parallel potential headline that says "When did someone last try to convert you?" Mind you, I've been lucky recently on that front. Possibly because I can get very technical and go into Christian history just a bit too far for the comfort of the well-intentioned. I ask for personal opinions about the relationship between the Father/Son/Ghost and whether the early councils got it right. I also ask about whether they've given any thought to the neat resolution that the Gospel of Nicodemus provides to the issue of those-who-went-before. And other things. I have an almost unlimited supply of related subjects that I'm interested in discussing.

While I'm considering dates and conversion attempts, it's now 17 years since the Mormons have tried to convert me. One day they'll forget the last conversation we had... which is a pity, for I'm still waiting for an answer to my question.

People stopped giving me Bibles on the street when I asked technical questions about translations. I don't ask things merely to stir. I genuinely want answers, and I want those answers from the people who have indicated their willingness to talk by sharing their religion with me through the intent to convert me. They present the opening that changes the code I use in conversation. It allows me to be far more direct and open than I was in the veiled conversation today. Mind you, I get judged for being open and direct. I am expected to accept the book and the leaflets and listen to the spiel, not to ask the questions I want answers to (or more answers - I'm interested in them from more directions).

I do wonder, if people stopped trying to convert others in public places, whether it might be easier to be open about our religions in casual conversation. Then there would be no shock value in headlines about talking to neighbours and students and people met in libraries.

Speaking of pandan (for today everything links with everything else), Peter Beagle had a roof thatched with pandan in the short story I read on the way home from teaching. Apart from it being a waste of food (I'd rather wrap rice in pandan than weave it into a roof), does anyone have any examples of a pandan roof? Preferably photographs. I am having trouble visualising it, My brain keeps defaulting to the kue and to sweet sticky rice parcels.

Since I'm talking about food, my task for this evening (already complete) was to make a two litre jar of liqueur from the peel of that amazing citrus. I've enough ingredients to make another, smaller jar later in the week. Next week I'm going to preserve some of the peel in sugar and then enrobe it in dark chocolate. Possibly I need saving from myself...

Read 13 Notes -Make Notes

19th August, 2016. 1:35 pm. So much updatery

I didn't intend to be silent for a week! I've done a great deal in the last six days, though, so all is explained. Let me give you a list of 10. It really ought to be a list of 30, I have 4000 words to write today, so I don't have time to list 30 things I've done!

1. I spent a half day at the National Library yesterday, reading Mary Elwyn Patchett and trying to sort out my very confused thoughts about Australian spec fic for children. I am now much less confused and have a much better idea of what happened from the 1890s to the 1970s. The Patchett is for an article I'm writing today, and the general background is so that I can accept or refuse other articles based on a much surer foundation. Also so that I can teach the subject if it ever becomes necessary. Also so that when people ask me about Australian spec fic for children, I have contexts in which I can place my reading. (My reading was sufficient, but my contexts were not.) I had to stop before 4 pm because my brain refused to process any more and I was getting tired. In that time I read 4 books in their entirety (we're talking about books for 12-16 year old children, so this isn't as great a feat as it looks) and the appropriate pieces (sometimes a dozen pages, sometimes a hundred) of another 11. I think this means my research capacity is returning. This is very good news, for I have my new big research project ahead of me. I did a bit of work for the new big project, but just background thinking, while I had the books in front of me.

2. The local library has produced books for my fun reading project. My fun reading project is Maori speculative fiction. Alas, the library has the right authors, but not always the right book. I'm reading those authors anyway, even if there is no spec fic component to the work. This week's reading is a book by each of Maria Lewis, Patricia Grace and Witi Ihimaera. I already knew Ihimaera's work, because of Whale Rider and don't mind excuses to read more, for I love his writing.

3. I'm almost out of editing! One more manuscript and I'm done. Most of my teaching is done, too. This means I'm entering the financial dry, but have a novel coming out. I wasn't sure I could do more than one thing at once, for the last few years have been a trifle difficult, but I think I'm back to normal and will take on more paid work if it's offered. If it's not, I'll do my own writing.

4. The Beast came out in very affordable paperback this week. It won't be available in the US until January, but I'm very chuffed it sold well enough to be in paperback.

5. I've done my final proof for the novel and done most of the planning for my end of the launch in Melbourne. I'll be out and about in South Bank on the Sunday, if friends want to join Julia and myself for lunch and drinks.

6. I've been cooking. You can tell a higher pain day (today - because we're getting Weather, so it's normal aches rather than anything serious) because it's a bit harder. On Tuesday I invented a cake using leftover ingredients and it proved very edible. This is a bit more important than it sounds, because to all intents and purposes I just threw everything into a bowl. I didn't measure anything. My capacity to cook has fully returned... Last night and today and made candied peel for my honey cake for New Year, and I think I might make liqueur with my left over peel next week. This is the most amazing citrus I've ever tasted, and it's specific to here, and I wondered how good the peel was last year but had no capacity to create. This season, life's so much easier and I can do it in the interstices of everything else. Its main problem is that the fruit is very pithy. Anyhow, my honey cake will contain the most aromatic candied peel I've ever had, and in a few months there will be liqueur.

7. I've already got chocs for Conflux, because it coincides with Jewish New year and because I have the book launch in between now and then. I also want to invite any people who need somewhere to go for first night Rosh Hashanah to my place. I'll have dinner for those who need/want. This includes any of you who are visiting Canberra at the time. I'll do my 'Canberra family' dinner later in the week, when Conflux is not running interference. I'll do the actual family thing when I'm in Melbourne for the launch. This festive year might just work out!

8. Last Sunday, Donna and Matthew and I went to see Sharyn and Chris and the boys. This was a 3 1/2 hour drive in each direction. It was tiring and it pushed my limits, but I was fine the next day. This means I can do normal travel! I made raktajino for the trip (since I'd made some for Conor in the morning and it was easy enough to make a bigger batch), but didn't put in enough sugar. Matthew and Donna are very polite, which means I didn't know until I got home that their flask was a bit difficult to drink.

9. Being open about the heart stuff has paid amazing dividends. Two women (one a rello, one an acquaintance) with similar symptoms have taken their symptoms to their doctor and had tests and found out they, too, have heart conditions. Not as advanced as mine and thus easier to treat. I'd rather not have gone through the trials and tribulations, but at least if I had to it means that women's symptoms are taken more seriously. All these two women had to say was "My friend/rello had these same symptoms and she had a quadruple bypass" and the tests I wasn't given were forthcoming. If one's going to be misdiagnosed, then the best possible outcome is other people benefiting.

10. I got to see two of my UK friends yesterday. This rounded out a very nice week.

Read 6 Notes -Make Notes

13th August, 2016. 2:50 pm.

My Achievement of the Week is that I carried my shopping nearly 100 metres this morning. I felt it, I admit, but it wasn't til I got home and unpacked that I discovered that I'd been carrying at least 16 kg. Bit by bit, I'm reclaiming my life.

Read 2 Notes -Make Notes

13th August, 2016. 9:59 am.

This week is all about restocking the larder and sorting things out so that Rosh Hashanah won't be too difficult. It coincide with Conflux this year, you see, so whatever I do has to be doe a few days in advance. I know I said I'd skip Conflux if it happened again, but I'm giving a workshop and (more importantly) a whole bunch of friends need to check up on me. Until they've seen me, they don't know how I am, I suspect.

In other news, last year I was reading NZ SF, because it's been a while since I've done that. I'd forgotten that. I realised that only two of the authors I'd read were Maori. I tweeted that I wanted to find more writers (because with everything I know of Maori culture and NZ, two seemed an impossibly small number) and withing three hours people gave me 28 more names. Some of them I either knew or hadn't realised were Maori or hadn't realised could be classified as writing spec fic. What was really interesting is that the spec fic crowd always gave me the same names, and they were the ones I had initially plus the GoH from this year's NatCon (how I forgot Maria Lewis is a mystery). This is the echo chamber in reality. It produced 10% of what nice people on Twitter found within an hour.

I'm giving it a few more days, because I suspect that the wonderful Twitter people will give me more names. I promised to blog it, because there are a couple of online articles, but no simple list. It'll be a list for commentary and change rather than one carved in stone, because I don't know most of the writers yet and am liable to errors. But it'll be a list. And so far it's 30 prose writers and one who writes comics. And they're ll Maori to greater or lesser degree. And my library list has grown and I shall start my reading immediately after I've finished the Walton.

I'm not reading this for research. It's purely for pleasure.

Read 5 Notes -Make Notes

10th August, 2016. 2:17 pm. A few mostly unlinked thoughts

The temperature crept above 15 degrees for almost an hour, so my windows are open and my flat is airing. Winter's at that endstage where it's regretting its temperament and apologising nicely. Overnight it will more often be cool than cold and, but by bit, we'll have warmer days. Today I really notice the difference a few degrees makes. I've already done almost as much exercise as I get done by dinnertime on a colder day and by late night on a very cold day. In-between weather is healing.

I'm partway through my last Stella Gibbons. I shall miss her books when I'm finished.

I'm still reading slowly (for me) but I can now read while I walk again. I can also talk while I walk again. This was a cool discovery, for I did most of my post-hospital interview today unexpectedly, while I walked home from class. Both the very bad and the utterly amazing is now in writing, especially my admiration of the nursing staff.

Doing it all by phone enabled me to be frank, and I was able to talk about both the exceptional job Emergency did in diagnosing me and the not-so-excellent job the specialist did before then, which landed me in Emergency. I also discussed how to make hospital easier for people with allergies (labels on food! that was one of the various things we discussed, the other critical one was the need to trust the allergic person to have knowledge of their condition and to listen to them) and the big problem of single people under 65, for our system assumes that they do not need help. I was extraordinarily lucky in having the friends I do, but not everyone has these wonderful people in their lives: post-hospital care (or its lack) can undo the work of the hospital if it's not sorted more clearly. We also talked about the difference in how men and women are treated, for (since Gillians remain Gillians even ill) I analysed it the whole time I was in hospital. When I was asked whether the religion was an issue, I'm afraid I pointed out that I was expecting to have to compromise on those grounds, so I didn't make any requests. This is Canberra, after all.

The interviewer thanked me several times, for I apparently gave them really crunchy material to work with (their words). The hospital has some major concerns (for which they became a bit notorious not so long ago), and so they're sensibly sorting them.

This morning I taught my usual class, but we did slightly unusual stuff. I've been thinking about reading aloud as a tool for writers, and I've also been thinking about children's stories as giving writers insights into language and structure. This means that the class read aloud short stories from one of my favourite books when I was under 7 (and later - I owned my own copy, so much did I love this book when I was in primary school). It worked magically.

I gave my class a reading project, since reading for oneself is also critical to develop one's writing, and was delighted to discover (during tea break) that my students loved last week's exercises using art so very very much that they've assigned themselves more art and more exercises to be done over the next few months. One of my students is a gifted photographer, and they're using her work as a springboard for their creation. This and the reading project are on top of their regular homework. I love it that ten years in, my students are working harder than ever.

Make Notes

9th August, 2016. 12:10 pm. Complexity

I skipped yesterday because it was the anniversary of my father's death. It's left me a bit serious, and so a series of tweets by Rose Lemberg got me thinking. She was shamed by readers for writing a particular character. They suggested that it would have been better if the character were female (because the submissiveness would have worked, perhaps) or not written at all. But the character worked within the fiction and was credible as a human being. In shaming Rose for writing well, these readers shamed themselves.

What I find interesting is that some people can write characters that aren't standard and no-one even comments on it. I was waiting for people to notice Geoff's background in Langue[dot]doc 1305, for instance, but he appears to have been acceptable as a love interest and no-one has so much as commented to me that he wasn't WASP. In fact, the only remark readers have made is that they wouldn't mind meeting him. He's their kind of bloke. Given that a whole layer of this novel is about what is acceptable in society and about race, I found it interesting that no-one finds it challenging. They weren't challenged in the way Rose challenged her readers, obviously. Maybe some kinds of differences are more easily accepted by readers than others, maybe we have different readers, or maybe our writing means that the characters are presented differently and mine is easier to accept. I suspect it's more writing styles than anything else ie that they're the root that leads to consequences of various types. I also think that the country one is writing in makes a significant difference,. I wasn't depicting my characters using US categories, so they didn't fit within those clear parameters. This means that different readers will interpret them differently, having had apparently less guidance from me on what to think ('less' in the instance being guidance suiting my particular Australian background). I think this because so many readers have come back from reading my story 'Impractical Magic' and thought my King of Demons had light skin, even though I'm very clear that he doesn't. He's a good guy with a sense of humour and so some readers lighten his skin. I find this depressing but interesting.

A third category (counting Rose's and my work as representing the first two) comes up when a writer very self-consciously pushed a political barrow. We all do, I think, when we write these things, so these categories overlap, but some people push the barrow in public and make a big fuss about it. My worry then is how much they're doing to change things and how much of it is to get attention as a person who is rather clever. Some writers push the barrow and also do the groundwork, and the results can change things. Too many writers don't do the groundwork. Their novels are much easier to read, then, because they've really got standard cultural, religious, gendered or/and sexual backgrounds couched in non-standard terms. The results of this are mixed. (I'm not going to name writers here, because last time I did so I got myself into trouble and I really don't like trouble!) I really hate it when someone with a barrow unintentionally reinforces negatives, however, and makes it easier for people to hate. To me this is unprincipled: fame being more important than social conscience. I would rather writers who don't want to challenge society's norms admitted it and just told good stories.

I have a lot more thoughts on this (of course I do) but to explore them means to get into trouble. I'm very much not in the mood for trouble. What I'm thinking about today, though, is, basically, how complex things are when one starts moving away from standard background for characters. Looking for simple outcomes is not a wise path. Once the complexity is accepted, however, I think amazing things can happen. That's a discussion for another day, though.

Read 2 Notes -Make Notes

7th August, 2016. 12:21 pm. Update - the status of things in the land of the Gillian

Today I carried all my marketing myself. It was a backpack full of ten kom fruits (a type of citrus, possibly the most magical type there is), two big bulbs of fennel, tomato, sugar snap peas, bread, chocolate covered sunmuscats and some fresh cheese curd. I didn't have to carry it more than a hundred metres each time (to the car, from the car) but I carried it and it didn't hurt! The weight training is working, it seems, and it's only a matter of time before I can do all my supermarket shopping and carry it a mile. This makes it worth sticking to the schedule and exercises the rehab people and I devised.

I can now do the same amount of activity that a non-fit healthy person is capable of. Now I just have to work up to being a fit and healthy person. My aim is to be able to carry 20kg a mile, for that's what I used to be able to do. My aim with walking is to be able to walk 5 miles comfortably and to run for a bus without getting short of breath. This isn't as much as I used to be able to do, but I am older now, so it's a sensible aim.

My weight has stabilised now, and I get hungry. These things are linked. I was kinda hoping I'd be a few kilos lighter before my weight stabilised. Considering my doctor's already happy with my weight and considering I'm lighter than I've been in twenty years, however, this isn't a bad outcome.

I'm not skinny by any means, but my weight is in the safe zone. Well within the safe zone, in fact. And all the various people responsible for me have agreed that I am heavy for my height because I have big bones. This is rather important, because one of the reasons my heart problems went unnoticed was my erstwhile cardiologist was positive that I was far more overweight than I was, due to me apparently having small and light bones and therefore being about 35 kg overweight. I've lost eight kg overall and could lose another seven kilos without causing any problems. More than that takes my weight out of the safe zone at the other end. If 15 kg is the most I can lose sensibly, then 35 kg would have left me non-functional. All this is obvious to everyone now, and it's a relief to not have to argue that I don't have birdlike bones and that my large waistline is not all due to fat. While I would like a different figure and the chance of slim sylphness, working with my actual body type makes the goals achievable and is really making a difference in returning me to health.

My migraines are diminishing and my weather sensitivity doesn't produce quite as extreme symptoms as it did a few weeks ago. This means that the inflammation is lessening as my body heals. My doctor said this would happen. I'm afraid I doubted her, because it hasn't happened before, but it seems that a healthy heart makes an enormous difference to one's other symptoms. I still have many bad nights (I had one last night as the clouds pulled over Canberra) but even on a bad night, I'll get a few hours decent sleep.

Being able to lie down and sleep is an enormous gift. This time last year I was living on three hours sleep a night and those three hours were from sitting upright in a chair, for sitting upright hurt less. Now that my main back pain is ordinary back pain (and not referred from the heart) I can get out of bed, stretch, and then rest properly.

This is where those years of dancing and Pilates are paying off, because my back has come out this in remarkably good condition. The extended recovery from the operation, in fact, has sent my RSI into abeyance, so I have a stiff neck rather than damaged neck and shoulders and back muscles. This is one of the many reasons why I do two hours a day of various exercises: I love being more capable and in less pain.

I still have far too much pain, but it's getting less, week by week. Each week, too, a bit more of my days are spent in things other than dealing with my body.

My breaththrough personal achievement last week was being able to have hot baths again. Three months ago I could hardly stand up from sitting and had to sleep on a slope so that I could get out of bed safely. Now I can stand up from lying down, even if I'm lying down in a sloping and old (too small) bath.

I still need help with some household chores (vacuuming, putting rubbish out - things that require particular muscles used in a particular way), but I am reclaiming my own work in that, bit by bit, one chore at a time. I can lift up to eight kg now, and carry, as I said earlier, shopping for a short distance. All this makes me close to a return to independence. I'm expected to be able to do absolutely everything myself by late October. I also come off some of my medications then, with the rest of the temporary ones going in November.

I still have quite lot of background pain and the doctor says I'll be on pain relievers for a while yet (they're the November meds, in fact), but it diminishes week by week. And I can do more work each week.

I'm at a moment in my work when I could actually take on more work than I have been given, which is a good feeling. This means I can add a bit of research and writing in ie my life is suddenly not all about meeting my obligations. This week I've also done a bit on my seventeenth century novel. It's still way behind and I am still going to have to talk to my publisher, but last week it looked as if I couldn't do any this year at all. I'll give it til Conflux before I sit down with my publisher, I think, just so that I have a better understanding of where this year has left me.

The only work that my condition has run major interference with is this novel. There has been minor interference (some deadlines that needed to be shifted) but I've otherwise completed everything. The icing on the cake is that I made a significant breakthrough on my research just before I went to hospital, and I wrote notes about it into my academic paper (which has since been published in Croatia, because life does these things). That breakthrough pulled me ahead of where I expected to be, and means that I'm not even a day behind with my big new project, despite having had time out.

I am very thankful for intellectual insights at unexpected moments. Fandom has won themselves any number of papers and workshops and presentations because without their request for this, I'd be behind in my new project. I needed the push they gave me. I thought I was further behind, because I lost the paper, so I need to thank KJ Bishop as well as fandom. Kirsten wanted to read it and so I found it and pulled my research back together.

My finances are fine. Thanks to everyone, enough work came in and I am able to pay all my bills and even put money away for the very high electricity bill I'm expecting.

I know I went back to work a bit early and have pushed things on that front, but it was really worth it to reach the moment where I could pay everything without worrying. I can even afford occasional treats! It was also worth it because I know that I'm going to be fine for fulltime work in a matter of weeks. If I don't need to do fulltime work then, I can take more time off but I don't actually have to. After Jewish New Year, in fact, I'll be able to do almost anything. This is a very special magic. It means that when people ask "Can you come in and give a talk?" I can negotiate a time. I have two talks set up for various community groups and I am going to Melbourne for my booklaunch.

I always feel happier when I work, so being able to do things makes a big difference in my sense of well-being. This means I'll feel emotionally better in September, for all the work of a new book has been moved to then. I m able to do interviews and blogposts and .... loads of things. I hope that people want them! I lost so much momentum this year - I want to make it up.

I think the summary of this is: medicos extremely happy, rehab case manager extremely happy (I am meeting all my targets ahead of schedule, which augurs well for my longterm health - I had my meeting on Thursday, so this is news almost hot off the press), Gillian wanting to be better much faster than is possible and grumbly about every delay but making progress anyhow.

Read 28 Notes -Make Notes

5th August, 2016. 4:42 pm.

I've been so busy sorting out this and that (and catching up on things!) that I forgot to blog. In this case, no news meant enough paid work. Paid work is a wonderful thing.

I've just come from a fill-in teaching. The teacher who took care of my Wednesday class when I was in hospital needed me to take his class today. It's rather nice to be able to return the favour.

This is a reading class, more about sharing literature than anything else. I love being a temporary teacher of this class, because I get to match stories with poems and encourage people to talk about them all, and it's a bright class, language-aware and thoughtful.

I've been thinking about Mr Polly recently, and how HG Wells was quite different to his contemporaries than he is to his current readers, so I chose "The Magic Shop" as my short story. The poems were Robert Service's "The Joy of Little Things" and Emily Dickinson's "I think I was enchanted." They worked perfectly together. The class reacted to every emotional shift in the story and gave a wonderful "Ah" at the end of the Service.

I had a lovely time with them, and it was a real treat to hear the reading aloud. This group of readers is a lot more effective in their reading skills than some writers I know. And the difference a good reader makes to a story or poem! I think I need to practise my own skills, just to make sure. This is another reason I love teaching: it keeps me aware of my own skills base and helps me stay on track.

Tomorrow is a quiet day, unless I can get to a booklaunch. I really want to go to the booklaunch and it's a mere half mile away, but I did a lot of walking outside on Wednesday and today to get to teaching, and if I do too much tomorrow I won't be up to Sunday, and Sunday will be amazing and fun, but long. There's a certain irony in me not being able to get to the launch, given the theme of the anthology (which I'll talk about another day), but I've asked around to see if anyone can give me a lift, so I still live in hopes of irony not controlling the day.

If I sound as if I'm only half here, it's because Lucy Sussex was talking about Stella Gibbons the other day and my mind is in her particular storybook England. Twenty years ago, the only work of hers I could get hold of was Cold Comfort Farm, so I've not read much else, but Lucy was reading other books and I wondered if that meant other books were now available. I checked the library, and lo, other books are in print. This means my reading today and tomorrow is Westwood, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm and Nightingale Wood. I tried to get a Mitford or two to match the mood (for more twisted moments, I suspect) but couldn't. I'm on the waiting list for Walton's Mitford-influenced series, instead. My TV doesn't quite match my reading, for I have finally obtained Season Five of Game of Thrones.

I need a nice cup of tea and a good bok for the next hour, I think. Nightingale Wood and I are about to endure a close encounter.

Read 5 Notes -Make Notes

1st August, 2016. 3:16 pm. The Wizardry of Jewish Women

I was going to give you a health update, but I think I'd rather give you an invitation to a book launch. This one is in Melbourne, so please spread the word to your Melbourne friends. The more people who turn up, the more likely they are to want me back!


It's at Readings in Hawthorn on 5 September. Readings is my very first bookshop. Just a little detour on the way home from primary school. A very appropriate launch base for a book that's about peoples' pasts. I won't be wearing a pink tutu (sorry).

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