3 November 2009

bullets for your Tuesday evening

dramatic cloud

• Isn't that a fabulous cloud? Awesome, almost.

• It appears I've entered some sort of challenge, only with the housework and without the jogging. So ... today I weeded another garden bed, made a batch of muesli bars, baked bread, and helped the youngest child pack for camp. Hmm, not quite as impressive an effort as yesterday, which featured furniture rearrangement (a major and rare endeavour round here). I really should include the jogging, especially as bathers seasons is practically upon us. Well, IS upon us actually, as it was 33C yesterday. Or something.

• One of my favourite commenters started her own blog, yay!

• We had a four day weekend all because of a horse race. Not bad, huh?

• The Soup family celebrated today's day off with a picnic at one of our favourite spots. The boys and the mister took a soccer ball and three kids from a neighbouring picnic rug and a woman from a different neighbouring picnic rug all came and joined in the game while I wandered through the kitchen garden, albeit somewhat nervously due to the sign placed by the gate saying a snake had been spotted in there recently.

• This morning a cockatoo was trying to squeeze his massive self into the bird feeder. I always forget how enormous cockies are until I see them next to another large bird such as a parrot, or trying to fit into the feeder. (I did photograph him for you, but it's still in the memory card).

• I gave in and cast on a blue cardigan with the Silkroad (mmm, wool, silk and cashmere!) before finishing all the other projects currently on my needles. I justified this by saying I need mindless knitting for occasions such as picnics and SnB sessions, rather than projects that require charts and counting and no chit chat.

• Our department's city office is almost up and running which means I can work the occasional day in the city soon. Which means train time. Which of course means knitting time. Another reason for mindless knitting projects.

• Son #3 goes on camp tomorrow. I don't like this. Youngest children should not be allowed to leave home. Ever.

• We went out yesterday to look at rainwater tanks and came home with a $10 crabapple tree. And lots of tank brochures and prices.

• I'm on a Tudor reading kick at the moment. Currently in the car I'm working my way through Margaret Irwin's Elizabeth trilogy on audio book - Young Bess, Elizabeth: Captive Princess, and Elizabeth and the Spanish Prince. They waffle and get side tracked a bit, as if the author found some really interesting little tidbit when doing her research and then had to work out how to incorporate it into the story. Good though, mostly. On my bedside table are Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess, about Catherine of Aragon, and The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir. Gregory tells a gripping story usually although she is occasionally a bit repetitive and also has an annoying habit of giving her protagonist some little quirk or habit to denote anxiety/moral dilemma etc which she then bangs on about forever until you are ready to scream YES, WE GET IT NOW LET THE HAIR TWISTING/NAIL PICKING/SMUT WIPING ALONE. I don't know why I just typed all that - I've read all Gregory's books and enjoyed them, perhaps I've just read them too close together (ie all in the last 12 months). Alison Weir isn't a particularly elegant story teller; her prose can be quite bland and strangely stilted, but at least you know her research is spot on, being An Important Historian and all. I'm about a third of the way through both these last two.

• I went to the black hole that is Ikea the other day, and as is the rule, did not purchase what I went there for but came home with two lots of fabric (for skirts) two picture frames and this year's Advent candles.

• I did something the other day that I have mixed feelings about. I purchased The Artist's Way. Has anybody any experience of this practice? Am I kidding myself, or am I on the cusp of beginning a journey I've been heading towards for years? I have my end of year assessment essay due in on Monday (Pompeii again) and only then I will open the book.

• Son #3 let Son #1 cut his hair today. Talk about brave.


Eleanor said...

Not competitive much, are ya?

Bring it on sista!

If you take up jogging, I'll take up knitting.



Mary said...

I believe that you get more done in one day than I get done in a month.

I do believe that!

Laura Jane said...

I own The Artist's Way as well.

I have read it. I like it. Have I done it? NO. But I'm not dead yet. It already strikes a huge chord, I just don't have the mental space currently for it.

One day....when I finish being a midwife on the treadmill I will call myself an artist....and do it properly. THEN I may follow some of the guides in the book.

Kniterary Knews said...

I have read The Artist's Way. I have not ever stuck to the morning pages but I have done other (tho not all) of the homework. Despite not using it to its full it has been a really useful book for me. Whenever I feel myself getting stuck in a creative way I return to the book to reaffirm. A book that will always be in my studio close at hand.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Brotherly love is one thing . Fraternal haircuts are something else . It could have been the beginnings of a feud that lasted decades !
Meusli bars sound nice . Are these emergency rations for the youngest as he camps ?

matty said...

Tell about the meusli bars AND the Artist's Way (when you read it), won't you? I keep looking at it, but I just can't bring myself to purchase ANOTHER book if it isn't going to be what I hope for...

frog said...

I have The Artist's Way and you remind me that a reread over summer would be good. The morning pages are the biggest commitment - even if you were to do it for two weeks I think it would be beneficial. It's amazing what you write when your mind is fresh and you just let it rip. Sometimes just a little scary, too.

librarygirl said...

Oh Suse - how sweet. Thank you plugging my blog!

Re bullet points:

1. I love Heide. Read obsessively
all the Reed-Tucker-Hester-Nolan
biogs a few years ago. Australian gothic it surely is.
2. I've read all the Gregorys and I think most of the Weirs. And now Hilary Mantell has just won the Booker with Wolf Hall about Henry VIII and Thomas More so add that to your list.
3.Went to Ikea not long after it opened at Vic gardens and came close to an anxiety attack because of the size and all the plastic. Never been back!

Bells said...

Love the Tudor period and have meant to read Gregory and Weir for a long time. Might just do that although you make them sound ever so slightly annoying. Should I?

Penni said...

In defense of Gregory, it is AWFULLY HARD to come up with non-verbal gestures.

RW said...

another competitor.

I need to go to Ikea for our advent candles.

victoria said...

Hi there, I'm just catching up on your blog after having no internet. I see there's about 20-something posts I havn't read and am finding this very exciting, like a new magazine to read!!
Pesonally, I love The Artists Way to read for inspiration and motivation and had had a copy for a few years, but have never done any of the exercises. I do love it though.

Rowan the human said...

Hi Suse,

You may remember me from such longago comments as 'Hi, I'm at Melbourne Uni too!' and 'Oh no! Melbourne Uni is locking up our books!'.

Sorry for being such a chronic Lurker. I know how irritating those are. I do very much enjoy the reading and the peeping into your beautifully-rendered life though. Was living in Thailand for a year and felt much of my connection with Melbourne through your posts. Especially during the fires.

All that said, my actual comment is just that your boys seem to go off on camps an awful lot. Is this a fair observation?

Have recommended your blog to artists, quilters, crafties and many others over time. This is no excuse for Lurking, but hope it redresses the karma a bit.

In my next comment I plan to address such topics as 'OMG, I love audiobooks TOO!' and 'What's the city commute like from Warrandyte these days?'

~ Rowan the Lurker

Hyena In Petticoats said...

Just wanted to pop in to say:

The Artists' Way should be read the same way as all self help books - take what you need, chuck the rest, and don't forget the grains of salt.

Show us the cardigan once you have enough knit, won't you?

Leah xxx

Duyvken said...

Ah laundry, at least being part of a challenge might make it a little more interesting.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Loved the Morning Pages and Artist dates - those are the bits I got the most from. But for me the one I read cover to cover and got the most from was her book "The right to write" same theory, just more tailored to writing.

Don't be tempted, as I foolishly was, to read her autobiography.

Stacey said...

You know my thoughts on Phillipa Gregory, I think.
Hasn't stopped me reading her though. I'm on to The Other Queen now.
There's barely a likeable character in that book. I struggle when I don't like the characters.
Yay for the knitting on the train. Got to love that!

Kate said...

Have you read any of the Ursula Blanchard books? I am not sure how great they are, historically (although as a social history they are quite interesting) and it doesn't pay to read them too close together, but I liked them.

Tudor England, Fiesty Female Protagonist, Spy/Murder plotlines. What's not to like?

MsCellania said...

The Tudors are always in reading style.
I cannot imagine either of my sons trusting the other to cut his hair, until many, many years from now. And the involvement of some wagering.