Archive for the ‘things I like’ Category

I Swam With the Groper!!!

January 24, 2009

Yesterday I went snorkeling at Clovelly. Sydneysiders know Clovelly as the home of the beautiful blue groper: an enormous vibrant blue fish. Because of the beautiful protected marine life, Clovelly is an excellent snorkeling location and yesterday I was lucky enough to swim with the groper! We took an underwater camera and documented our day. I just HAD to share a couple of pics with you! 


The beautiful blue groper who lives at Clovelly.



Meeting the groper at the bottom of the sea!

You get some idea there of how big he is! It was such an amazing sight!

Researching Bluey, I discovered that “[a]ll gropers are born female, with a grey-brown colouring, and some turn into bright blue males as they age.” He just gets more incredible all the time! We saw a lot of smaller grey-brown gropers, so it looks like there will be plenty in years to come. I know I’ll be going back regularly to check.

Adaptation & Appropriation

May 4, 2008

Gerard Gennette once said everyone who truly loves books must hope at sometime to love two at once, or something like that [actual quote pending – where is that book?]. This love for two texts is a love I hope to instill in the hearts of my extension English class as we study adaptation and appropriation this term. So far I have a short list of possible texts for study, however, I know there are so many more out there and I know you know of them. So I’m making a list and am asking you to help me add to it. So far I have the following:


The Taming of the Shrew – Shakespeare

& 10 Things I Hate About You


The Odyssey – Homer

&  O Brother, Where Art Thou? 


Lady Windermere’s Fan – Oscar Wilde

& A Good Woman


Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

& Bride & Prejudice

or Bridget Jones’ Diary (Which I hate and thus want to ban from my list. Blah!)


Twelfth Night – Shakespeare

& She’s the Man


The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne

& Tristram Shandy


Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

& Bridge to Terabithia 

My list contains mostly appropriations because that is what I like best, however, it would be good to have some adaptations on the list as well like, well anything Jane Austen that has then been done by the bbc. Adaptations are interesting because often tiny changes are made to the text to make it relevant for contemporary audiences even though a fairly ‘true to text’ approach is taken. For example, did anyone notice how the teacher in Bridge to Terabithia makes reference to the internet even though the movie is set in the 1970s and this reference, as well as being anachronistic didn’t appear in the original text?
I plan on teaching adaptation and appropriation as a continuum and proposing a range of texts along this continuum for the students to choose from. We will then focus our studies on how changes have been made from the original text and what these changes say about context, audience, worldviews and values.
SO, I’m wondering if you can help me add to this list? What are your favourite adaptations and appropriations of texts? What do you like about them?

In retrospect: It’s all about me[!]me[!]

May 4, 2008

My friend David, who I kinda went to school with – same school though he was about a million years above me…ok 5 or so – but have never really met, tagged me for a meme. And surprise, surprise, it’s all about me.

So, I’m supposed to wade through my past posts and select one representative of each of the following themes (one link/theme, I think): family, friends, me, something I love and anything I like. Pretty much, this is what my whole self-indulgent blog is about but here we go…my selections are as follows:

FAMILY: I have a lovely new Poppy! And more very funny little people. I adore my family. 

FRIENDS: The ones who do things like this and inspire this response are awesome. 

ME: a post I wrote from my old blog – the second one actually… the one I began after deleting the first on some serious but rather impulsive whim – by way of obscure introduction. Here I strangely assert that I am from Bullfrogs and Butterflies – more precisely, the album. Those of you who grew up with the tapes will know what I’m talking about. Oh! How I loooooved Nathaniel the Grublet!

SOMETHING I LOVE: Besides Nathaniel the Grublet… the sea, books, reading, books, coffee, music, beach, family & friends, study, when the weather compliments my mood….oh! How am I supposed to choose ONE thing?

ANYTHING I LIKE: How about reading indulgently and learning through literature.


So I cheated. I linked to too many past posts…I’m not one for rules. However, one of the rules I DO like is the tagging rule. So, these people are it – and I don’t mind if you include multiple links for each theme either – Kim, Kim, Ellen, Beck, & Island Sparrow

Everything’s Coming Up Poppy’s!

April 19, 2008

I am an Aunty!!!!
My brother and his lovely wife have given birth to a beautiful little girl, Poppy! She is soooooo lovely! Incredibly beautiful and we are all wildly besotted!
The Most Beautiful Poppy in the World! xxx

The Most Beautiful Poppy in the World xxx

The name Poppy really suits her quite well for she is so delicate, so beautiful that no one can keep their eyes off her as soon as she enters the room, deliciously faintly scented with that lovely new baby smell, and is somewhat, ok completely addictive!

Since holding her my boys have said:
Oh Mama! If anything ever happens to Poppy I will be soooooo sad!
[whispers] Awww! Did you see that?! Isn’t she beauuuutiful!

We watch every little blink and frown, every twitch at the corners of her mouth – they are smiles, you know – every squeak, every sigh, every flutter of her lashes, crinkle of her brow, and wiggle of her fingers and we adore her. Oh we adore her!

She is, as my little man says, “The first girl-child in our family [and] it’s lucky she is here because we needed a girl-child.”

This same little man has taken up French Knitting to make his precious little cousin a “sausage shape” or a “P for Poppy”. He has chosen a fantastic colour changing wool that, like Poppy, is “just beautiful!”. My older little man has been somewhat more reserved, that is until he held little Poppy yesterday. Now he is devoted. He has become Poppy’s personal photographer, capturing every change and admiring it nostalgically moments after it occurs. Mum is madly knitting little booties and bonnets and embroidering pink onto everything. Dad is quietly proud. He holds her and beams. My brother cries with joy, my sister-in-law is radiant. Sleep deprived and still radiant. I am an Aunty! And I can’t stop buying pink things, filling my house and my brother’s house with fresh poppies from local growers and exclaiming, “Welcome, beautiful Poppy! You are so beautiful!” And isn’t she?!

I love…

March 16, 2008

I love how the sea beckons me, picks me up, kisses my face and tousles my hair in warm greeting like an old forever friend.  


February 28, 2008

roses tipped with pink

grow new days

& smell like freedom,

making her heart

shine like the sun

glistening on the ocean

outside his window.

The Happy Swim

February 12, 2008

Late yesterday afternoon as I was swimming at the beach with a friend, we were suddenly surprised by the appearance of a little black and white head in the water. It was one of these little fellas:


 A Fairy Penguin.:) 

It was rather enchanting.  


January 27, 2008


Watching the Tall Ships Race.

Sydney Harbour, 26th Jan 2008


It was swell.

January 2, 2008

Just when the temperature finally heats up, all Sydney beaches are most miserably closed! It’s just not right! It’s just not summer! High winds in Queensland have severely affected Sydney beaches. The news reports that all beaches from Queensland to Sydney are closed! 

 This is completely bad news for my beach faring family! So far this season we have cancelled a couple of trips down to the beach due to the rough surf and hazardous conditions. We have sensibly resisted the powerful urge to swim in the unrelenting heat, till now.  Today we finally succumbed.   

My brother took the boys to see the first day of the second test at the SCG while I met up with a friend. It was a hot day. So hot that you couldn’t sit in your car for a minute without the aircon on. So hot that your clothes stuck to your skin, the air felt thick around you and sapped your mind of rational thought. Perhaps that’s why the promise of cool water was too much to resist. By 4:30 we had all found our way to Bronte.   (Photos of Bronte here).   

 The beach was mush. Most of it was white water. Churning white water frothing on the surface hiding the terrible undertow. The beach was closed. I had walked down earlier in the day and had checked out the state of the surf. The beach was certainly too dangerous to swim in. Despite the hot day, no one was in the water. Actually, when I say “no one was in the water”, I mean no one was in the surf. Some people were paddling in the areas that were protected by the rocks. However the tow there was still quite strong and most people only went in up to their knees. The dangerous surf sign was up and the flags were down.*sigh*However, the Ocean Pool was open! 

Waves periodically crashed over the walls turning the usually calm lap pool into a wave pool but it was safe. I walked down the steps and dipped my toes into the water expecting it to be refreshing but warm. It might as well have been ice. The water was sooooo cooooold but so enticing.   

 As I said, by 4:30 we were all at the Ocean Pool and while it took us some time to jump in, once we were in it was divine! Oh how I love the sea! We swam across the pool and climbed up onto the wall closest to the surf. Holding onto the ropes we braced ourselves for the crashing waves that splashed a spangled shower of salt and bubbles over our heads and into the pool. While the waves were of a frightening size they were not as strong as I expected them to be once they reached us having lost a lot of their power on the rocks (they would push you into the water if you were not holding on but were not strong enough to pull you free of your grip on the rope). Thus we spent the afternoon splashing but mostly being splashed by the beautiful ocean. [Ooh! and I just found out Rebecca’s theme for the month is weather! I guess now I can safely confess to having a few weather widgets on my dashboard! ] 

Oh! How I could fly on the viewless wings of Poesy!!!

November 20, 2007

I have just been allocated an Extension English class for next year! Wooo!!!
I get to teach solid texts from the canon and I’m very excited about it.

My first task is to choose a theme or a character that has been represented in literature throughout the centuries. I have a few ideas. For example we could study ‘Heroes’ and look at Beowulf, The Odyssey, Ulysses as represented by Joyce in Ulysses and then I would need some contemporary texts including poetry and film. Or a closely related theme we could study could be ideas of ‘Saviours’ in literature throughout history. Or we could study the theme of ‘Redemption’ and look at Cry, the Beloved Country

Ooooh! There are so many good options my mind is all a flutter! What theme would you study – either one of mine or of your own invention – and which film, poetry and fiction texts would you choose?

A Thousand Splendid Books

November 4, 2007

Well, that’s how many I hope to be reading anyway.

I have joined a book club! Hoooray!!! I’m very excited about this because the club that I have joined freely acknowledges, nay, embraces the fact that many of its members have children who love to read and be read to as well and has freely included them in the literary leisure. Usually the members of the club will choose two books to read over a two month period and will then meet to discuss them on a Saturday night at some appointed time. This time the book club has decided to choose a book that will interest parents and children as well as a grown-up option. The books they have chosen are Dragonkeeper and A Thousand Splendid Suns. At our next meeting – which will be my first – we plan to discuss Dragonkeeper with our children – who have read it with us- and then send them off to watch the movie version of the book while we discuss A Thousand Splendid Suns. How fantastic is that?!! Discussing books with children and grown-ups!!! I love it!!!

I bought A Thousand Splendid Suns yesterday and am already half way through. It is not becoming one of my favourite books, however, I am drawn to the pathos that pervades the lives of these Afghani women and the beautiful language with which this is communicated. Their pain, although more pronounced because of their terrible circumstances, is tragically universal though not overstated and my heart cries for the characters. Here are a sample of quotes that have left me sighing in woeful recognition:

On losing her best friend and barely acknowledged love Laila feels that one day “she would not miss him as she did now, when the ache of his absence was her unremitting companion.” I love how Hosseini masterfully describes the absence of someone as an “unremitting companion.” Sigh.

And on hearing of yet another death, after having already lost so much, we are told Laila:

could hardly move. She could hardly move a muscle.

She sat on the chair instead, hands limp in her lap, eyes staring at nothing, and let her mind fly on. She let it fly on until it found the place, the good and safe place, where the barley fields were green, where the water ran clear and the cottonwood seeds danced by the thousands in the air; where Babi was reading a book beneath an acacia and Tariq was napping with his hands laced across his chest, and where she could dip her feet in the stream and dream good dreams.


The novel is not this beautiful all the way through. There are snippets of wonderfully crafted sentences where imagery assaults the reader in powerful ways. It’s enough to draw me in. Gotta go read…

On Consumerism: Don’t Buy It!

November 2, 2007


guess what guess what guess what guess what guess what guess what guess what !!!????

October 25, 2007

Tonight I began studying again!!!


After lamenting the loss of study for nearly a year, I have decided to delve into the realms of discovery again! Oh how I love it!!!  Tonight I began studying a subject that will be credited towards my Masters of Christian Education and already I’m feeling indulged!

I’m soooooo excited!!!!


September 12, 2007

Me & My Boys, Mt Perisher, 2007




Snowed Under & Heading for the Bush

September 5, 2007

Work has been hectic! So I’m heading for the bush. Not George Bush – as many fans and protesters are – but the Aussie bush. While George Bush has hit Sydney for the APEC conference, residents are being encouraged to stay out of the city. We’ve even been given the day off work on Friday in order to minimise traffic in the city. Mind you, George Bush is doing a good job of gridlocking the city with his enormous cavalcades! Did you know he is even followed by <strike>an</strike> six ambulances with the correct blood type in it ‘just in case’? Wow!

Anyway, as I am an obedient citizen I have decided to get as far away from Sydney as I could be bothered going for a weekend and so I am heading for the snow! Woooooo! Snowy Mountains here I come!

This year we have had some of the greatest snowfalls in years – though probably nothing like what some of you Northern Hemisphere people experience! So, although it is late in the season, there should still be plenty of fun to be had. In fact some resorts still have excellent conditions. Yay! My family are all going which will be fantastic! I love family holidays! After a experiencing a term at school with enormous amounts of work I just can’t wait to feel really snowed under!!!!


July 19, 2007



July 10, 2007

Last term I was creating posters on figurative language to go on the walls of my classroom. In the middle of composing said posters at school I had to abandon my desk, probably to make an essential cup of tea or something. While I was away someone made a few alterations to one of my posters:







Repeated consonant



“Peter Piper liked to

peck and tickle lepers.”



Kim is trying her hardest…

July 8, 2007

…to get me to blog again! I can always tell by the amount of memes she [Kim] tags me for because I’m sure she doesn’t really want to know what kind of pans I like but here we go.. For Kim ’cause I love her!!!!

1. What is your favorite OUTDOOR memory, before Kindergarten?

EASY. My Grandfather – aka Gargi, who died when I was 6 – used to spoil me rotten! To him I was his Dresden plate. He loved me & I knew it!!!!! My first outdoor memory is of me waiting on the steps outside for my Nan and my Gargi to arrive. I remember sitting in the warm sun on the concrete steps playing with leaves and any insects that happened to wander by when my Nan and Gargi arrived, walked up the stairs, promptly smothered me with kisses and handed me the BIGGEST punnet of fresh strawberries I had ever seen! My Gargi stooped down and handed me the punnet saying, “Stay out here and eat these, Katie. But DON’T share them with your dad!” With wide eyes and tingling taste buds I felt like Eve being tempted in the Garden of Eden with the forbidden fruit and wondered if it could possibly be true: Did Gargi really say I was to sit here alone and selfishly eat all of the strawberries? Knowing how much my dad loved strawberries too, I wrestled with guilt but as the temptation was more than I could bear and I sat quietly on the steps so that noone would find me and I ate every single strawberry in the punnet. Without sharing. When the punnet was empty, serpent like I slinked into the kitchen where my family sat and I confessed to my grand deception, gluttony and selfishness. To my surprise my family laughed, scooped me up with cuddles and told me it was fine, the strawberries were all for me because I loved them the most. I felt like I would explode with love and I knew my Gargi loved me much. So much!

2. Do you find history fascinating and if so, which historical period are you most likely to explore?

History. Hmmm. Yep, it fascinates me how people can study it and love it. I would love to love it and have tried to many times but there are so many details that need to be remembered when you study history and I feel like they clutter all my ideas and bury me somewhere in a pile of dust long, long ago.The only way into history for me is through an object: an art work, a novel or an artifact. I love to learn about things and the period they came from but history for history’s sake is as dry as King Tutankhamon’s tomb. As to the period, any time as long as it is relevant to something tangible. I love studying Irish History through literature.
3. What period of art do you prefer and who is your favorite artist?

One period of art? Sheeeesh! One favourite artist? Sigh.

Ummmm… I love art! Just one? Okay, I love the expressionists for their use of bold colours and their attempt to capture the way objects and experiences make them feel! The heightened colour and emotion appeal to me because I feel things strongly. However, I don’t like abstractions. I like the subject to look as it actually would but to be tinged and heightened by the artist’s response. Chagall would have to be my all time favourite painter. His works are passionate, emotive and religious. Oh, and beautiful and ethereal… I could go on…


4. What kind of vacuum cleaner to you own and would you recommend it to someone who is looking for a vacuum cleaner that is strong enough to pick up little red Vizsla hairs without locking itself to the expensive oriental rugs in the process. (not that I know anyone looking for a new vacuum cleaner solution. . .)

Rainbow. A so, so old version of this. Yes, perfect. A great vacuum cleaner.
5. Tell me about your favorite pan, if you have one. Speaking of pans, have you ever made crepes? If so, what is your favorite filling?

Scanpan Classic Sauté Pan with Lid 32cms.


I cook everything in this pan! I love it!!!!! It’s beautiful to cook in, washes well, looks good. But only buy it if it is on sale because it is too darn expensive for a pan, in my opinion.

I have not made crepes myself but my favourite filling is chicken and mushrooms in white sauce, with asparagus on the side. Yummo.

restaurant meme

July 2, 2007

I owe Kim a restaurant meme. The 5 best restaurants in my local area – Sydney, Australia – are debatably:

Mash Café, Glenbrook

This Café has the best breakfasts and I love their ‘Winter Warmer’ Organic hot chocolate with chili, cardamom [& marshmallows, if you like] . It’s great to sit in the warmth of Mash, just at the foot of the Blue Mountains, and eat the most delicious food in the company of good friends. This is one of those cafés that you could retreat to for hours and just keep ordering the occasional warm drink, that is if you can resist the delicious food on their menu. This is a café with a conscience that delivers quality food with great ethical values. They are fair trade and all tips go to the sponsorship of three World Vision children. Oooh, and they’re friendly to our children too! The kids menu is also great and children are given pencils and paper to colour in while they wait…not that you have to wait very long ’cause the service is great too. Oh, I wish you were all nearby so we could run off for a while to Mash. What would you order?

Tasman’s in the City

This restaurant has just closed down I’ve heard which is a terrible shame because the food there was delicious!!! Now I’m too cranky to talk up their food, not that it needed talking up. I can’t believe they’re shut! Grrrr!

Bottom of the Harbour Seafoods, Balmoral Beach

This is one of those Cafés in which the waitresses don’t make a single note about your order but manage to get it perfectly right every time! I am always impressed when that happens and know that the food is going to be awesome. And it is. I went here the other day with a friend and I casually asked if they had any Berry Frappes. The lady taking our order said they don’t usually make fruit frappes but she could whip one up for me if I liked. “Sure,” I replied wondering what strange version of a Frappe I’d receive. I was not disappointed. I had the best frappe I have ever tasted. Yummo! It so should be on their menu! My friend ordered calamari which was also the best calamari in the world. Amazing! If you’re ever in Balmoral – go!

Hayashi Teppanyaki Restaurant, Castle Hill

Because sometimes you should be allowed to throw food at each other.

I am a fussy restaurant eater so that’s all I can think of right now if this is to be a list of the best! Sad, I know, but I am going out for dinner tonight so perhaps I’ll find another restaurant to add to my list then. For now, my number 5 will be:

The Book Haven– one of my favourite bookshops because it contains a delectable assortment of literary treats and treasures that I just cannot wait to sink my teeth into. With books stacked up in piles all over the floor as there is no room left on the shelves it is also a complete mess – not unlike my house after a dinner party – which makes it exciting when you actually find something you want! AND the shop owner can get me any book from anywhere in the world in about 2 weeks! I love it. Food for the soul! Yum!

Books are food, right?

Oh, now the tagging:

I would like it if Ish played – even if he plays in the comments section here – because he is from Tasmania and I soooooo miss Tassie food! I’d love to hear about his favourite eats in Tassie. He may even like to write a poem about them! That would be awesome!

I would like to hear about the 5 best places to eat in Africa from dekker when he returns.

I would also like to know where one4jc eats when she’s out and about on her motorbike! Congrats on getting your license!!!

Ellen is a bit of a traveller, so I’d like to see which places she chooses from anywhere.

And finally, because I made Island Sparrow hungry in my last post, I’d like to read about her favourite places to eat on PE Island.

If I haven’t tagged you and you’d like to play, please do!!!

This is the happy post.

May 19, 2007

The post in which I list all some of the great things that happened last week.

Okay so here we go:

  1. It was my birthday.
  2. My students gave me a happy little frog cupcake, popped party poppers and blew party hooters, then sang Happy Birthday to me.
  3. Some other students decorated my car with lovely signs decorated with pictures of balloons to wish me a happy birthday.
  4. I was randomly serenaded by, well, actually, I don’t know who by, but a I received a great message on my phone in which two guys sang, “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyy baby, ooooh ahhhh hhhhuhhhh, I wannnnna kno o o oo o ow if you’ll be my girl,” and then hung up. It was the night of the Eurovision Competitions, so I guess they were feeling inspired. I appreciated it. I do love to be serenaded.
  5. I received an email inviting me to attend a presentation and consider applying for various international scholarships such as the Rhodes, Fulbright or Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan for postgraduate study. This was exciting because the scholarships are really very good and I’d love to apply but then I remembered that I have two little boys who may not respond well to being uprooted while their mama undertakes intensive study overseas…I’m not sure if I’ll attend. But then I remembered that Bob Hawke was a Rhodes Scholar and he is not that fabulous, except at drinking, so, perhaps it’s not as prestigious an award as it first appears. But Oxford would be nice.
  6. Hmmm, I’m sure there was a #6 however, it’s way past my bedtime.

Must sleep. Will post soonish.