12 May 2008

random snippets on a Monday

• Last night I started reading The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett and can't put it down. Looks like it will be as good as Bel Canto if not better. Hooray!

• The day before that I started Intuition by Allegra Goodman. I could only get a large print edition from my local library and it actually hurts my eyes to read it. What's up with that? Enjoying it nonetheless.

• I am loving the blog Record the Day.

• That book Heroic Australian Women in War, the selection for bookgroup tonight which I was so looking forward to, was terribly disappointing. If I were less polite I'd say it was appalling. How could the publishers let typos, spelling mistakes, sloppy scholarship and lifeless writing get through like that? I noticed that the front of the book states that the author lectures at the University of Queensland, yet when I got to chapter three, there is a little sticky note on University of Queensland letterhead saying (and I quote) "Much of the info contained in this chapter is not accurate and the quotes attributed to A.K. are manufactured. This work should not be used as an academic text." Then throughout the chapter are little pencil marks denoting all the errors. (I wonder if the author still works at UQ? My guess is no.) I must say I felt vindicated when I read the note as I always feel oddly guilty if I criticise a book, especially one from a respected publishing house. Is it just me? I always presume people who choose to write about facts check their work, and that they have editors who recheck their work, not to mention provide ghost writers to wrangle flat, dull writing into elegant prose. Sigh ... I stopped reading at the end of chapter two. Updated to add: looks like her latest book is just as shambolic, if this review is anything to go by.

• Mothers' Day around here featured three homemade cards, a small boy in tears because he'd left his present at school, and a mandarin tree. I nearly have the full complement of citrus trees now, but as Son #3 pointed out, there's still a grapefruit tree to go. Next birthday is my guess. I did not get a fish oil capsule and now feel a little unappreciated, frankly.

• Mothers' Day also featured the distinctive smell of death. Throughout the afternoon that familiar rank smell grew and grew until we realised that another mouse had gone to god behind the refrigerator (where god resides apparently as all mice go there to end their days. Either that or behind the washing machine. God is in the whitegoods, clearly). Mr Soup did the honours with a dustpan and brush and the aid of a pissweak torch given to me at work the other day along with a showbag of other promotional goodies. That reminds me, does anyone need a new mousemat or stubbyholder?

• I kettle dyed some sock yarn recently. The lovely and gracious Nicole sent me a gift of three skeins of undyed sock yarn to play with. There's another skein in the dyepot this morning, being overdyed as it emerged looking like a candy shop, when I was after something slightly more subtle.

This skein, however, I LOVE.

hand dyed sock yarn, Plum

I've also been continuing my obsession adventures with natural plant dyeing. Photos to come soon.


innercitygarden said...

I have no need for a mousepad, as I have just shelled out for a laptop (but not a desk, I'm still working on the couch).

Your sons will thank you for keeping random stubby holders for them when they leave home and live in grungy student houses. They will be able to impress their guests with their vintage stubby holder collection. At least, that's what my partner seems to think. He's got about 12 of them. I have one, it's from my accountant.

innercitygarden said...

Also, I couldn't help myself. Google says "Susanna de Vries is an international author and former lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology. She writes full time but gives occasional study days as part of the ‘Travel and Destinations’ programme run by the Continuing Education Dept of the University of Queensland."

So "former" but still "occasional".

Katalatabata said...

I adore the yarn and am about to start diving into yarn dyeing as well. Can you suggest any books/sites/tutorials specifically for using acid dyes and wool yarn?

It would be so wonderful to have the help since you create such beautiful yarn!

mrsfife said...

Just one idiotic question: what is a stubbyholder and am I leading a dull and colourless life for not knowing about it?

h&b said...

I too am looking forward to acquiring all trees citrus .. but quite frankly, I don't think I have a need for grapefruit.

Glad you had a nice day - if only you could swap dead mouse for fish pills, huh ?


blackbird said...

I think my lemon tree is dead and I'm very sad about it.

I would feel quite vindicated having found that note in the book.

BabelBabe said...

what? did they PUBLISH it with the sticky note?

I liked Patron Saint BEST of all Patchett's books, and much as I liked Secret Life of Bees, it is a rip-off of Patron Saints IMHO.

I can't read large-print books either they make my neck itch.

happy belated mother's day, dear one.

louise said...

I read the latest Kate Atchinson in big print format from the library...and I felt like I was being shouted at...very weird. Lovely wool by the way.

Frogdancer said...

Thank goodness the fish oil capsule isn't the only thing I was given. There would've been murder committed if that was the case!

Beautiful beautiful colours. It must be very rewarding to lift them out of the pot/kettle/whatever you use and see what the wool has become.

Eleanor said...

I have a large, established grapefruit tree in my backyard. We inherited it from the house's previous owners. I can send you some grapefruits if you like because we have a HUGE crop every year and NO-ONE I know, other than me, likes eating grapefruits.

I have even discovered, thanks to my neighbour, that many heart and cholesterol meds react badly with a chemical found in grapefruits.

I have left them outside front gate with a sign "FREE", and even that was unsatisfactory.

Ok, off my grapefruit soap-box now. Sorry. Have gone on. And on.

I'm going now.

Stacey said...

Grapefruit is a very overrated fruit IMO. I'd rather the fish oil tablet I think.
You're a yarn dyeing superstar aren't you?
Colour reminds me of fairy floss.

kris said...

Mice - yes, they do perish under whitegoods, in revenge, I guess. We had one under the microwave this morning (white goods, see), and I still can't go into the kitchen by myself; I send my three year old in ahead of me, as a sacrifice to the monsters.

pretty essential said...

That's it - I'm going to have to read everything by Ann Patchett now!

Love the idea of trees as plants, I gave my mum an apple tree last Christmas. Shall start droping some hints around here, I think . . .

peppermintpatcher said...

BLAH to the dead mouse. That happens here too when geckoes get caught in the windows and sliding doors. Truly disgusting.

crafty said...

My kids LOVE grapefruit. Really truly.

Congratulations on your etsy shop ...

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your natural plant dying results.

Tuli said...

Badly edited books can kill an enjoyable reading experience. I had a college textbook this past semester that has to be the most dismal editing job I've ever seen.

My professor got an ear-full about the book when I completed my course review. After all, he wrote the book and the crap editing of the text made the man look like an idiot.

elena jane said...

dead mice are better than live mice foraging thru your bags of snacks....but they smell more ;)

and those pink colours are beautiful!!! :)

h&b said...

hey - do you read The Bird bath ?

this post made me think of you:

fifi said...

I just read a book called The Patron Saint of Eels, so we are both in a bit of a Saint-world.
It was a lovely little book. Set in Victoria.

My cat has just walked in carrying a mouse by the head and is looking for somewhere to hide it. Luckily she can't fit under the fridge, but I'm thinking the piano seems to be the haven of all rodents in the fifi house.

BTW I love grapefruit drinks, that san Vittorio Pompelmo is my favourite but I guess there is some distance between a grapefruit tree and an italian soft drink.

Jen said...

I love the Patron Saint of Liars, but loved The Magician's Assistant even more. My favorite A.P. by far.

And I'm totally envying Eleanor's grapefruit tree. I'd be at her house every morning picking up my free grapefruit.

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