“Books, glorious books . . . “

“. . .  fat hardbacks and werewolves . . .”

Well maybe not werewolves this time but flesh-eating water-horses are pretty damn scary-cool and bloodthirsty, right?

I am looking forward to a couple of orders flying in from other countries fairly soon;  a pre-ordered copy of Maggie Stiefvater’s new book The Scorpio Races SIGNED and DOODLED in by the author herself, plus Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement, from Fountain Books in Virginia, USA;  and Sir Terry Pratchett’s new Discworld novel SNUFF from the UK, also pre-ordered and signed by Sir Terry himself [!!!].

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Recipe Index

Moved this  Post / Category around = part of “cleaning house”

Index of all recipes on this site with linky-links.

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. . . And back again

Well guess what, after dumping “Otterkat” and moving over to “Crazy Diamond”, then going on a very long hiatus, I’ve decided to start up the old bloggy thing again. I have been so inspired by various writers, blogs and sites around [I’m looking at YOU, Maggie Stiefvater], that I wanted an online place to ramble, and basically lay my hat.

The site will be going through a bit of redesign, and I’ll be playing around with categories and stuff; to begin with I’ve imported all the drivel posts from Crazy Diamond so everything is here in one place. So yes, there’s plenty needs doing, but I wanted to START. So here goes.

Watching: Doctor Who [Series 5]

I adore Doctor Who;  I have been watching since 1976 [my eldest brother used to hide behind the sofa – WUSS].  Tom Baker was definitely my favourite Doctor, but I found Doctor # 7 played by Sebastian McCoy and his companion Ace [Sophie Aldred] really engaging.  They were in the very last three-episode story-arc of Doctor Who called “Survival” in 1989, before the BBC finally pulled the plug after 25 years.

The return of Doctor Who in 2005 was wonderful, and the series so far have been consistently good and living up to the iconic nature of the show.  Of course there have been grumbles about things “not being like they used to be” but generally I find the show works better in its 45 minute format [as opposed to 25 minute episodes] and general improvements in special effects, costuming etc.  The aliens are still basically men in rubber or metal suits though, just as in 1976;  there’s something very comforting about that.

I wasn’t sure I would like the Eleventh Doctor [Matt Smith], in fact I was decidedly against the idea of using such a young actor – over 10 years younger than David Tennant*.  However thanks to the ABC I’ve been able to get to know and like this young, cheeky boy; he’s definitely growing on me.   The first episode’s minor “glitches” could mostly be put down to a) canonical issues with the Doctor’s personality et al arising from his latest regeneration; and / or b) growing pains.

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Pet therapy

A dear friend’s beloved dog and long-time constant companion died recently.  Naturally she was absolutely devastated; even more so as the pup had been her comfort and consolation through many many years of incredibly rough personal-health-related times.  The news and the thought of her pain and loss made me sob and snuffle in empathy.  I adore my two ridiculously fluffy Maine Coon cats and honestly couldn’t cope without them in my situation – no matter how amazing and supportive my husband is [and he IS truly amazing and supportive; I don’t know how I got so lucky]. 

I am bed-ridden for so much of the time, for days / weeks / months, and those two kitties are constantly entertaining, affectionate and perceptive.  When I’m especially bad, they will snuggle up on the bed as close as possible to me, one on each side, with a head snuggled into my shoulder here, or paws wrapped around my wrist there . . . aaaaaawwwww.

I’ve had several cats over the years:-  My first cat Rocky was a splodgy black and white mog who had no interest in humans and snuggling whatsoever.  Cat Numero Due was Bella, a dumped, abused stray who turned up on our doorstep and yowled to come in, please.  She was not at all averse to cuddles or snuggles and returned affection with fervour.  I really could have done without the disembowelled rats left for me on my duvet cover as a precious gift, though.  Bella lived to the amazing age of 22, and died quietly in her sleep just a few weeks after we returned to WA from Ireland.  I’m forever glad I had the chance to snuggle those last times and say goodbye.

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Please note . . .

I have added new Categories of my favourite links, over on the left there,  including; = =  Blogs,  Food,  Horse,  Make Up Etc.,  Online Shopping and  Resources.

Please have a bit of browse.  You know, if you feel so inclined.  There might be something there to pique your interest.

Listening to . . .

Massive Attack – Collected

New make up stuff

We all know about my ever-enduring love of all things MAC Cosmetics.  We also know that an anal-retentive uber-list-maker like me will have a looong wish list of MAC items.  Starting with loads of delicious eye shadows to pop into the MAC PRO 15-Pan eye shadow palettes I’ll be getting later this year.  Greens, blues, greys/monos, purples, neutrals . . . there is so much choice at MAC.  Not to mention the thrill of the hunt for past Limited Edition shades!  I would also like to pick up a few more lipsticks and lipglasses [oh so delicious!] and beauty powders / highlighters this year as my collection is pretty bare in that department.

Here’s what I have saved up for and bought with great excitement so far.

There were a couple of collections in January but I was only caught by Love Lace.  I managed to hold back and picked up only two eye shadows;  Hypnotizing, a sort of frosty grey-mauve and the eponymous Love Lace, a heavenly smooth mid greyed-out blue in my favourite MAC eye shadow formula Veluxe Pearl, which is pretty much what it says on the label, luxe and pearly.  While I was shopping online [MACCosmetics.com.au] I got two eye shadows from the permanent collection – in Electra, an icy silver-grey, and  Knight Divine, a smooth dark grey with silver pearl.  All four of these shades lend themselves really well to a variety of smoky blue-grey eye looks, both subtle daytime and more intense dramatic night time combos.

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Book blurb: The Piper’s Son – Melina Marchetta

The Piper’s Son is a sequel-ish to Saving Francesca.  I say “ish” because it’s not about Francesca, but another member of her group of friends at high school, and is set some five years later.  Set again in Sydney, Thomas Finch Mackee – who seemed the archetypal yob but with hidden sensitivity in Saving Francesca, has lost touch with his friends and family in the last couple of years, and has pretty much lost the plot.  He spends his days stoned out of his mind, deliberately cut off from family, friends and the world except for his love of music. 

What happened to Tom to send him off the rails and basically treat his friends like shit gradually unfolds and is explained, in much the same way as Taylor’s story in On The Jellicoe Road.

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Book blurb: On The Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta is the Australian author of the much-beloved and much-awarded Young Adult books Looking For Alibrandi and Saving Francesca (also Finnikin Of The Rock – so far unread).  I’ve read these multiple times, and on my latest visit to a bookshop greedily scooped up On The Jellicoe Road (published 2007) and her most recent release The Piper’s Son.

I am a big fan of Melina Marchetta and her writing.  Her characters are so real and alive, through brilliant characterisation and dialogue.  Her books are in the Young Adult category so are directed at the mid-to-late teen group, but the stories and themes are universal and heart-warming* so Proper Grown Ups can enjoy them too (and have a bit of a nostalgic gleam about their teen years).

*I usually despise the description of any YA or chick-lit as “heart-warming”, it’s tossed around by reviewers in such a generic way, like so many MickDee burgers (and just as nauseating).  However in Marchetta’s case “heart-warming” is so perfect a description I’ll let it go.  In Saving Francesca especially I totally related to the feeling of alienation experienced by Francesca herself, and also her mother’s “nervous breakdown” and deep dark depression.

So, firstly, On The Jellicoe Road     (The Piper’s Son to follow)

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