Monday, March 29, 2010

Music Monday - Sarah Blasko

Artist Celeste Potter illustrates this song from Sarah Blasko. I love the girl on the bike - off having adventures.

Have a great week.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chicken Curry

I tried this Tom’s Trinidadian Chicken Curry recipe that the wonderful posted this week. I love recipe books, cooking on tv but seldom actually make anything, as often the recipes involve buying 50 ingredients and I only have a tiny pantry.

This one seemed doable, and it didn't take long to make and was deliscious!! So it is Chicken curry leftovers tonight for dinner. My mission this week is to peruse the cookbooks and find something else to make during the week. As it is Easter next week, it will be nice to have the time to fiddle around and do something different.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer

Mao's Last Dancer (2009)
The folks that devise the movie timetables seem to be very stuck in their ways here in Wellington. There are lots of 2pm shows and 8.30 sessions but very little imbetween. Being old now, I want to see something at 5 or 6pm. We were left therefore with only a couple of choices, and seeing how we both had friends who had seen this one, Mao's Last Dancer was the pick for us.
Basically a good old fashioned drama, it was sweet and not too taxing on the brain cells. A few old ladies were teary eyed in the audience, and there was much admiration of the lead characters physique.

Living Oprah - Robyn Okrant

Living Oprah - Robyn Okrant (2010)

In 2008, Robyn Okrant set out on a venture to follow the advice of Oprah for a whole year. She watched every show, and read the whole magazine taking in the advice and trying to apply it to her own life.

Me, well I like Oprah, and enjoy most of the shows although I do often find it a bit preachy and the show a bit one sided and often old fashioned. I am truly annoyed with all the how to live your best life, and honour your true self rubbish. I hate that Oprah will have a show about living frugly, but be sitting in her $900 shoes that she can't wear. Buy some flats lady - let it go.

These are points that I think Robyn recognizes, and she is good at pointing out the crazy stuff, the contradictory advice, the preaching, but she also is able to tell us about the things that did work. The relationship advice that did make her husband happier, the baking with vegetables in them that people did eat, the clothes advice that made her feel good, the leopardskin shoes that did go with everything.

So I am going to give it a 4/5 - it made me smile and it wasn't a total suck up of a book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blackout - Connie Willis

Blackout - Connie Willis (2010)

Connie Willis is the author of Doomsday book, where a time traveller accidentally ends up in the middle of the plague in rural England. Like that book, this one also takes a group of time travellers, who are historians in 2060, who all return to various time periods in Britain in the second world war. Sent to observe and find out about the Blitz, refugees and heroes at Dunkirk, each inadvertently finds themselves at so called 'divergence points' where there presence may ultimately affect the outcome of the war.

Like the Doomsday book, I was annoyed by the long introductory chapters about the time travel centre/university that seemed a bit of a ramble and too long. I wanted more action earlier on and by the time I got into the book, it was two thirds along, and I could see that it was bound to continue into another book.

2/5, but I will still await the next book to see how it ends. I'm a sucker like that.

Coventry - Helen Humphreys

Coventry - Helen Humphreys (2008)

This little book sat on the new arrivals shelves at the big town library, and I chose it mainly as I had a busy day ahead and needed something small to slip into my bag.

Poetic and lyrical, it tells the story of Harriet Marsh, both as a grown up in Coventry during the bombing raids of November 14, 1940 and as a young war bride to a first war world soldier. Firestorms sweep through Coventry, and Harriet in the company of a young man Jeremy, search for his mother, not knowing that she is trying to find safety while searching for him.

A 4/5 for this little tome, for the beauty and the ability to evoke the period so well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ugly Truth - Dvd

The Ugly Truth - Dvd (2009)

Well I will start off by saying this one deserved a horrid 0/5. Only in planet hollywood would they write the well worn tale of the bloke who sweeps in, to save the dowdy tv producer, convince her to fall in love with the handsome neighbour, only to fall in love with her yourself. Oh wait, you haven't seen Roxanne?

How on earth does anyone believe that beautiful Katherine Heigl would have any trouble getting a date? Just because she keeps her buttons done up on her shirt and her hair tidy in a ponytail - oh my gosh look how plain she looks (give me a break). Lets pull out her boobs and farrah up her hair - oh my gosh she's gorgeous now!!

Rubbish script, that seems to have been doctored to try and be edgy by throwing in some swearwords, oh how I cringed. The green screen balloon scene at the end, horrid. The ever changing farrahdo that was different in some shots in the same scene - terribly done. The cheesy tv show that they worked on - embarassing. Honestly it was like they'd pulled plot ideas out of a hat and let my 85 year old aunt and 11 year old nephew work on the script (except he'd have put in more fart jokes, and she might actually have made it funnier).

Really, I feel like I have wasted an hour and a half of my life on this one and even Gerard Butler couldn't save me.

Have a Little Faith - Mitch Albom

Have a Little Faith - Mitch Albom (2009)
Faith is a funny thing. Some people are so sure of what they believe in, and many of them shout it from rooftops, try to convert people and start and end wars all in the name of it. Others ponder, they question, they drift.
In this book Mitch Albom is asked by his family Rabbi to deliver his eulogy, 8 years before he eventually dies. Seeking to understand more about this man who has asks, he tries to find out more about his life. During this search, he also meets Henry, who with no money tries to help the down and out and homeless at his own church.
Interesting enough, and luckily brief as I found this a bit twee. I felt like Mitch Albom was sitting behind me and shouting out how clever he was. How he got to go on Oprah, and that by writing about faith, and heaven and dying in his books, he was smart, full of wisdom.
Somehow, I guess I'm not convinced. I found it all a bit smug. So a 2/5.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Many Lives, Many Masters - Brian L. Weiss

Many Lives, Many Masters - Brian L. Weiss (1988)
I saw this fellow on Oprah one day, talking about the theory behind past life therapy. How he never believed, unitl he met a patient who talked about the 86 past lives she had left. An interesting book, as it is as much about the doctor who has his beliefs challenged as well as the patient who recounts many of her lives and deaths.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Aren't these books dreamy? All arranged by their pretty colours. I am sure that so many of the books I buy don't have such wonderful blues and lilacs, and I know I would become a bit obsessive compulsive if it was in my house. I would be hugely annoyed if anyone put them in their wrong place. Still it's nice to dream isn't it?

My own much smaller shelves are groaning with all the books on them, and I hate the messy look of books piled up here and there, so I am feeling it is time to send some onto the charity shop. Good recent books, I often send those onto my old high school as I know they don't have much money in the budget for good reads, but ones I didn't particularly like, or are in rough condition can go down to the Salvation Army shop.

What do you do with your old books?

Music Wednesday - Paramore - The Only Exception

I adore this song, even though I am not a 15 year old girl. It's working it's way up my 25 most played list on my ipod.

Have a lovely day!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Slow Journey South - Paula Constant

Slow Journey South - Paula Constant (2008)
Paula and her husband decide to leave their life in Australia and walk from London to South Africa. Relocating to London, and living in the damp and cold, much of the beginning of this book describes the planning they try to make for their trip, before finally leaving. The rest of the book continues with them walking through France, Spain, Portugal, Spain again and then onto Morocco.
Like Dervla Murphys books, I got a bit frustrated by the lack of financial planning for the trip, and the expectation that people with much less than them, would provide food and shelter for little or no payment. Surely if you are planning a trip that will take you several years, then you think you would have an idea of the costs involved. It does make me cringe a bit, a lot really.
I saw the second book in the bookstore at Christmas, and so waited for this book to come to me via the library. I did enjoy reading it, and I can see the idea of leaving everybody and everything to have an adventure is extremely appealing. However the physical aspect would do me in. I have had two days off, and taken big walks in the sun both days, and my feet ache.
So it is a 3/5 - it was ok.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Music Monday - Human League

Ahhhh, it reminds me of school diso night - 1982!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Jane Bites Back - Michael Thomas Ford

Jane Bites Back - Michael Thomas Ford (2009)
It has taken me over a week to read this book, shameful I know. It seemed like a good idea, it popped up somewhere in Blogland, so I rushed out and reserved it from the library. Actually, I could do that from home on the laptop.
In reality the book was rather dull. The premise being that Jane Austen is a Vampire who lives in upstate New York as a bookstore owner. It sounded promising, and I liked the idea a lot. It was just that Jane seemed to be a bit dull and plodding, and didn't seem to have done anything interesting in her 200 years around, except for retaining her virginity.
Not enough vamp action for the Twilight crowd, or any witty conversation or observations for the Jane Austen followers. So I can only summon a 2/5.

A Fine Frenzy

Instead of getting ready for work this morning, I looked at blogs and loved this little video that I found on Isn't the stop motion and images just beautiful and the song, from A Fine Frenzy is just sweet.

Must go, and get my hair looking normal instead of crazy person.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I'm a Satellite Heart , Lost in the Dark

It's late, but I'm off to read a few more pages of my book before sleep, but this song is swirling around in my head. It may just be because it is on my fave playlist on itunes at the moment, and I have been listening to it while I check out all tonights new posts in blogland.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Still Reading

I offer you a small musical interlude. I am still busy trying to read chapters before bed, but we have had a steady stream of visitors and family, and the opportunities to laze in the sun with my book have been twarted by the temptations of wandering the city and having meals out. The longed for summer sun has made the past few weeks fly by, but soon the chilly nights will return and the lure of a warm bed will beckon, and the reading will begin again.