I’ve never read anything by Rachel Joyce before, but I was hoping this book would be an easy breezy summer read, just as its cover seemed to promise. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of those books that are neither terrible enough to drop, nor engaging enough to really stick with. Instead of days, I spent a few weeks reluctantly picking it up, hoping that maybe it would get better (not really). As a lover of music, I really dug the premise, but this is no High Fidelity.
This time last year I saw Grizzly Bear at Melbourne Zoo Twilights, and this year we enjoyed a live show by the homegrown veterans The Cat Empire. Can we keep the animal band name theme going for a third year in a row? Stay tuned!
The moment of truth this past weekend, as I finally combined the main figure with the background! This deceptively simple task took me about five hours; I had to cut out the shape along the edge very carefully with the scalpel, then paint the edges to mask the white cardboard. Next up is finishing a few small details of the armour that would have been too fine to cut out, and doing the fire effects… somehow.
I love my conventional period costume dramas, but sometimes it’s nice to see a different take on the genre, and this deeply eccentric and sweary film hits the spot.
“I think… if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”
I’ve been to Kangaroo Island almost ten years ago, and in the meantime I forgot just how enormous it really is. Once we got off the ferry, it came as a shock to realise that it would take us about an hour and a half to get to the Flinders Chase National Park on the other end of the island. You also have to plan your meals carefully, as you very well may be stuck an hour’s drive away from the nearest cafe with a growling stomach.
The drive is worth it though, since Kangaroo Island is home to some of the most amazing landmarks in Australia. The absolute star attraction is Remarkable Rocks, a group of giant granite boulders that look like abstract sculptures artfully scattered by nature atop the granite base. I was prepared to enjoy them rain or shine, but the day’s random weather played into our hands; the minute we got to the rocks the showers cleared and the orange lichen looked even more stunning against the blue sky.
In the late afternoon, we just made it to a guided tour of the Seal Bay, where you can see the Australian fur seals. We were lucky to catch them during the season when young seal pups frolic around excitedly and annoy the grown-ups who just want to have a nap.
The next day, we headed to Little Sahara, which is exactly what the name suggests: a mini sand dune area about two square kilometres in size. More active travellers go there for sandboarding, but we were content to just go for a stroll.
Mum and I spent three days in South Australia, and as always we managed to pack a lot into the long weekend at our disposal. Though I still didn’t get a proper look at Adelaide, I at least managed to see more of the city than the time I flew in for a U2 concert years ago, when I pretty much only saw the airport, the stadium, and the interior of the all-night internet cafe. I wouldn’t mind coming back for a third time and exploring it better.
After a brief stop at the Glenelg Beach, we spent time driving around Barossa Valley, stopping at a couple of wineries.
Then we drove to Hahndorf, an obscenely picturesque and quaint small town originally founded by German Lutheran settlers in 1839. It was packed with tourists, but as the day was drawing to a close the streets got a bit more nice and quiet. The main tree-lined street, with old sandstone architecture and flowers everywhere, is very pretty. Of course we just had to have German sausages and sauerkraut for dinner, topped with non-alcoholic beer.
4.50 From Paddington probably sits squarely in the middle of Christie’s Miss Marple series – not a classic, but hardly one of the worst either. It certainly has a cracking premise at least. An elderly lady named Mrs McGillicuddy travels by train and shockingly comes face to face with a murder when she witnesses a woman being strangled in a train that briefly travels alongside hers. She promptly reports the crime, but no body is ever found and the officials dismiss her story as old lady ravings. The only person who believes Mrs McGillicuddy is her good friend Jane Marple, who knows that her friend lacks the imagination to make up a wild tale.
Fishing with my Dad is a line of memories that runs back all the way to my childhood. I didn’t have a deep relationship with him as an adult and we weren’t in the habit of having real heart-to-heart conversations, so time spent together on an activity like fishing was our bonding time. There were long gaps where we wouldn’t go fishing for years, but in the past few months I was lucky to share a few trips with Dad, including what turned out to be the very last one.