Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad Luck?

Does anyone really believe in bad luck?  If they did then situations like those my family have found themselves in for the past 6 months would be dire indeed.  Since September last year, we have had the following: a broken leg that required surgery, a knee infection that meant hospitalisation, the wedding from hell where the Father of the Bride was removed from the reception by police, said wedding ending 7 weeks later, my brother suddenly in hospital with a trachiotomy then cancer, my father's cancer escalating where he will go into hospital for surgery next month, my grandfather stressing b/c of skin cancer and now a PET scan to ensure there is no more issues, and finally my sister in law's father in hospital with a very rare condition called "Myasthenia Gravis" and will have to undergo thoracic surgery!

So, here we are at the end of March and we still plod along the path that has slowly revealed itself in not so pleasant ways.  It would be so easy after such a run of 'bad luck', for wont of a better description, to settle into a depressed point of view.  There are however, bright spots within the horrors.  Too often I believe, we focus upon the bad things and forget that right amongst them there are bright spots.  The most important thing is that we know from these trials, who our friends really are.  I consider myself very lucky indeed that so many people consider me and my family highly enough to give their continued unconditional support.  This support and love from those people are the shining stars in the middle of the gloomy sky.  

So, remember that even though times are bad, there is always someone out there who has your well as many others far worse off than you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

British Comedy

I'm sitting here after another long Thursday at Monash watching The Vicar of Dibley and reminded once again of how wonderful and special British humour is.  There is something about the Brits and their humour that appeals.  Interestingly, we had a discussion recently on the reasons why many Americans don't quite get British humour.  I think that its because of the irony and wit of the humour in Britain.  If its not in your face, slap stick, canned laughter, then the show doesn't quite make it.

I love the character of Alice.  She's so naive but often comes out with the best lines.  For instance when discussing the story of Christmas she says that the fact that Jesus is the Son of God is a nice twist to the story, but it would be better if there was humour!  So, if any of you want to revisit some old favourites in the comedic realm, please keep the Vicar of Dibley in mind.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


For the first time in age I have actually had an alcoholic drink.  Why is it that when you abstain, even for a week or so, and then imbibe you suddenly find yourself in that state of fuzziness?  I have never considered myself a drinker...although I will say that some of my friends are a bad influence on my childish side from time to time...not looking in the direction of a few houses away whilst thinking of such situations..!
Tonight we had a lovely meal of seafood with one...or two bottles of white wine.  Now I have to say that my preference when it comes to wine is that of the red variety but there are a few white wines out there that I enjoy - enormously so as was evidenced tonight.  I managed, not one but 4 glasses of wine this evening and really, for someone who has not had an alcoholic drink for over a month, it has had quite an impact... I will in fact be spell checking this blog before posting!
Anyway, eat, drink & be merry.....for life was meant to be enjoyed...and Fuck the lot of them that think you have to be thin or go on a diet to enjoy life!  Now onto the chocolate!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Arthurian Legend?

This semester I am taking a course in history of the Arthurian Myth or Legend.  It is quite a fascinating subject because it touches on the fact that much of the remaining primary documentation we have, was in fact tampered with by the author.  Take for instance good old Geoffrey of Monmouth.  His book was on the Kings of England for the King of he going to tell a factual story about the legend that was Arthur/  Nope, he fuzzed that one over so that Kings could link themselves to the romantic grandeur that was Camelot and the whole that it stood for.

Carol Williams who takes this course is fabulous in that her enjoyment of her subject matter grips the student up and takes them on the journey with her.  Our 1st lecture included the brilliant Monty Python; a comedic entrance into the legend that still to this day is re-written, performed and read.  I'm looking forward to the mystery that surrounds the Arthurian legend and all that may or may not be fact in the disclosure of the historical pathways left to us.

Just a great book?

I thought that I would just shoot this out into the ether.  At the moment I'm watching the 1st of the Harry Potter movies.  Now we all know that due to time constraints, movies never quite meet up to the book.  I enjoy the Harry Potter movies but for some reason these books, for me, are ones that I can and do, re-read often.  I have just finished re-reading the 1st of the series again...why, well I'm actually studying the 3rd book for one of my subjects, and since I can't just go straight into the 3rd book I've begun at the beginning!

My nephew is currently re-reading the 6th book, mainly because it is about to be released soon at the cinema.  I think that likened to the Lord of the Rings series of novel, Harry Potter will be a favourite to be read frequently and remain in the forefront of Children's Literature for many years to come.  This brings me to another issue.  During my lecture last week my lecturer brought forth the statement that often there is a stigma to adults reading what is considered children's books.  She went on to say that this was a reason that books such as the Harry Potter novels and even more recently Christopher Paolini's books were all given an 'adult' cover.  Do we in fact look down our noses at adults reading such books; those that have a 'childish' cover or were notably written for the specific audience of children?  This is not dissimilar to the stigma given to the romance genre...a favourite annoyance of mine.

Anyway, looking forward to the next in the Harry Potter movies and of course many years to come re-reading and immersing myself in the Harry Potter series novels.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I have just found a new type of rice cracker.  They're called Peckish and have some brilliant flavours.  At the moment I'm dealing with crackers that actually taste like the flavour they say they're meant to be...wasabi.  For those of you that haven't had wasabi before you really should try it.  The wasabi root is part of the horseradish family and hence has that same sort of hot mustard effect of hitting the top of your nose and giving a not dissimilar feeling to when you bite in to an ice-cream and get a quick cold headache.
One of my favourite scenes in a movie is actually from a French movie called 'WASABI'.  It has Jean Reno as the main protagonist where he literally devours a complete plate of wasabi with none of the usual reactions...his partner cannot believe and decides to give it a go...almost choking in the process with his eyes watering!  So, anyway, live a little.  Enter into the realm of culinary adventure if you haven't already, and for those of you that have - give these crackers a go.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Writer's Block

I have an assignment to do; to write a short story for my English class.  The problem is that I can't seem to focus on anything that will flow.  I get a few ideas and WHAM!  Writer's block occurs.  Add to this that I've been trying to go to bed early for a little over a week now, but can't settle down enough to actually sleep.  Then we get to about 3pm and I feel as if I could sleep forever...of course this isn't convenient because I'm either in class, at work or about to head off in the car to go tutor a student.
I have many things planned for this semester.  The main one being that I keep on top if not ahead of the masses of work/assessments.  So far this is not quite gelling.  I'm seriously thinking about having a shower when I get home around 6 tonight, taking a mersyndol forte and curling up in bed.  At least I know that taking that little tablet will send me off to the Land of Nod with no interruptions.  I only need to work out how to rid myself of the dreaded writer's block!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pride & Prejudice

As is usual for me, at some point throughout the year I revisit one of my favourite authors and the adaptations of her novels - none other than Jane Austen.  To the left you see the man who epitomises my ideal of Fitzwilliam Darcy.  I take my hat off to the marvellous person who cast Colin Firth in such a role.  
There have been many adaptations of this novel in particular, but none seem to meet the brilliance of the most recent BBC production.  The cinematic picture with Keira Knightley was grossly miscast and still could not displace the much earlier Laurence Olivier version.  My love of Jane Austen reaches into the ultimate dream of no matter how bad things are there is always a suitable ending... a 'Happy Ever After'.  

I often have a giggle to myself when I consider that critics and the snobbery of the literary world place Austen's books within the realm of literary classic.  When you think about it, her novels are actually an earlier pop fiction within the romantic genre.  A genre which in my opinion, is often mistaken to be nothing more than a denigrating trashy novel and not worthy of the attention from the higher echelons of the literary world.  What do you think about that - is/should romance novels be ignored over those considered of literary value?

Monday, March 2, 2009


It has begun.  Once again I am trampling through the grounds of the Clayton campus of Monash University.  The weather on this day if surreally reflective of my state of mind as I blunder through classes and hope to God that I'm not too late to a class due to the confusion of different locations yet undiscovered.  My next class is Children's Literature.  I wonder if I'll get any extra marks for submitting myself as a representative of the indomitable spirit of the inner child? Probably not as this IS academia and such things are often frowned upon.

My earlier class was an Introduction to Fiction Writing.  We were adamantly told that 'once upon a time' or 'happy ever after' had no place in this class...morbidity seems to reign in this dwelling of literary aspirants...UGH!  I am so going to fail if that is the factual case.  So much for imagination and creativity being sancrosanct in fiction.  I'm really not sure if this is for me.  I enjoy to write and ultimately the writing is for me - it's an outlet of my imagination or quirky thought patterns, not to be labelled and placed under a label that does not fit and therefore is not "acceptable".

Anyway, we shall see where this semester takes me.  The campus (as is the State) is under seige today from natural forces.  Winds are battering the people as they scurry across from the relative safety of the buildings.  Trees are bending like someone doing aerobic stretches at fast forward speed.  Somewhere in the State, firemen are fighting a battle against nature with fires burning and shifting in the blink of an eye like a bunny on speed as it has no defined direction.