Book survey

from Be your own hero

Favorite children’s book
The magic faraway tree

The last book you’ve read
Fear Nothing – Lisa Gardner

Books on your “to read” list
There are currently 190 books on my Amazon wish list so I won’t bother naming them all

Top 5 authors
I borrow most of my books from the library but there are a few authors I always buy without question so probably
John Connolly – Charlie Parker series
Dean Koontz – Odd Thomas series
Michael Connelly – Harry Bosch series
Mo Hayder – Jack Caffery series
Kate Atkinson – Jackson Brodie series

Favorite genres
Crime, murder, serial killers, anything gruesome and twisted – with some Young Adult dystopian thrown in to mix it up a bit.

A book that has made you extremely mad
None that I can think of. When I was doing the library course we had to read a book from a genre we’d never read before and give a report on it and I read a Mills and Boon and that probably came the closest.

A book that you’ve cried over
Too many to list – I cry all the time in books. I cried reading that Lisa Gardner one I just finished and it was about a serial killer.

A book that made you laugh out loud
A kids book I own called Paddington goes to town about Paddington Bear. He gets lost in the hospital and ends up on the psychiatrists couch being analysed. I remember lying in bed reading it as a kid and just laughing and laughing – it still makes me laugh now.

Fiction or nonfiction?
Fiction. I do enjoy a bit of non fiction but it seems that everyone thinks they have an interesting life story to tell which they don’t.

Best book-to-movie adaption
I thought The Beach was pretty good – even though they left out a main character. I think The Hunger Games have been pretty good. I’m looking forward to Serena so I hope that’s good. Most of the time the movie adaptations are disappointing.

Do you read comics/manga?

Hardcovers or Paperbacks?
Whatever the library has – hardback, paperback, trade paperback, mass market paperback, large print.

Do you buy books as soon as they come out or wait a while?
If they’re one of my top 5 I buy them straight away.

Do you buy books spontaneously without any prior knowledge of what happens in it? What – without even reading the blurb on the back? – no.

Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?
Well I am a fan of a nice cover – not the picture but if it has texture it gets my attention. Raised print or sort of raised rubber images suck me in although these days the library covers the books with plastic so if I want to feel a cover I have to pull up the plastic and slide my fingers under it. Then when I return the book I point out that the cover is falling off and they need to repair it.

Where do you usually buy your books?
Book Depository. Books are a rip off in Australia – I can buy it online overseas and have it posted for half the price of going to the local book store. Delivery times are prety good as well. I usually check out Booktopia and Bookfari to compare prices.

Book that had a strong impact on you
Too many to list – I love all my characters and stories.

Historical or science fiction?
Probably historical.

Dystopian or Utopian?

Worst book-to-move adaption?
Just about all of them. I read Labor Day last week and I reckon that would be a really boring movie.

Book that should have a movie adaption?
Maybe they could turn one of my top 5 into a TV mini series. Actually BBC did do a Jackson Brodie series.

The first book you’ve fallen in love with
I fell in love with Almondine, the dog, in Edgar Sawtelle.

Humor or angst?
Black humour

How many books do you own?
I used to own about a thousand – I had a special book-case built that covered most of a wall but when we moved I had a massive clean out as we moved into a smaller house with no storage so now I try to borrow more than buy or buy on the kindle. Except my favourite five series books – I buy them as paperbacks.

Do you go the library?
Twice a week.

How many books do you read a year?
I’d say about 200 – 250 (I’m a bad sleeper – I need to fill the hours somehow).

Favorite quote?
None but I do love the little quotes authors put at the start of books – but I don’t remember them or jot them down or anything.

A book you absolutely hate?
Any sort of romance or chick lit. Same applies to movies.


Daily Prompt: All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.

Hopefully it’ll be the results of the blood tests I had done yesterday.

I didn’t know this but in Australia, if you’re between the ages of 45 and 50 you’re entitled to a free health check/assessment with your doctor. Being 50 soon I almost slipped through the cracks but the surgery rang and told me about it so I thought I may as well do it. The sister told me it was good for – people like me – who don’t go to the doctor until they’re sick as opposed to those who race there at the first whiff of an ache or pain and seeing as how I’m never sick, I haven’t been for a long, long time.

Anyway so it’s an hour-long appointment and first you see the sister and she takes your height, weight, waist measurement and blood pressure. Then she goes through a list of questions regarding your diet, exercise, smoking, drinking and family health and gives you an assessment of your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other nasty things that usually end up killing us. You can chat about any concerns you have and then you have 15 minutes with your doctor and they follow-up on anything that’s emerged that needs attention and then they take some blood and test you for everything and that’s that.

I said – So I’ll see you when I hit the 50 – 55 age group and she said – not; the government doesn’t offer you another chance until you turn 70. So I have to stay healthy for another 20 years.

I’m not expecting anything too awful but I am expecting my cholesterol to be high because it always is. The first call back I had for high cholesterol levels was when I was in my early 20’s and there it has stayed despite me not eating meat or dairy or takeaway food. So I’m not going to worry too much about it unless my normal high level is higher than high.

So it’s a good idea to take up the offer I think – if you’re between 45 and 50 give your doctor a call and set it up.

Daily Prompt: Safety First

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

If you insist.

That would be the time a man tried to talk me into getting into his car when I was walking home from the shops one day when I was 15 years old. I was pretty calm about it really and didn’t freak out but my fight or flight response was definitely gearing up ready for action. Actually it did get some action.

So I was walking along the footpath – it was about 5pm – and I was going past the local High School so it was a huge distance with no houses on my side, just school ovals then empty school. He pulled up beside me and asked if I wanted a lift and I kept walking and said no thanks and he drove along beside me for a while saying things like come on, get in and I’ll take you home and where do you live and whats your name and we could go to the park (eww, no thanks creepo) etc but I just ignored him and kept walking. Then he drove up a bit in front of me and pulled over and got out and leant against the side of the car and I thought – hello, we’ve just stepped it up a notch here. So I just kept the pace up and walked past him and he said just tell me where you live so I pointed up past the school and said I live up there a couple of streets past the school (obviously I didn’t) and he got in his car and drove up just past the school and got out again. So then I took the flight option and bolted over the street and round the corner and ran as fast as I could back home (luckily I was a good sprinter back then) and my brother was home and I told him and he went off in his car to find this guy but didn’t and no one knew anything about him and I never saw him again.

And it never bothered me again.

Except it must have somewhere in my subconscious because………

A few weeks ago I was walking to meet some friends for lunch and I walked past this huge park area and I live in an area that is fairly notorious for its abundance of street walkers and I don’t know if this guy thought I was one or not (I mean really, you’d hope not wouldn’t you but the alternative is just as creepy) but he did a sort of mini similar thing and I really felt like I was right back there at 15 years old again.

He drove past me (travelling the same way) but then braked and reversed back past me and stopped just behind me but I didn’t want to turn and look at him because the first rule of walking the street-walker strip alone is don’t make eye contact with any men driving past. So then he just drove along next to me for a weeny bit but I kept walking and he took off but it did make me nervous and it was only because of what had happened when I was younger but I didn’t feel unsafe this time as it’s a main highway and plenty of businesses around and I guess once he knew I wasn’t a hooker he wasn’t interested.

Anyway men suck sometimes.

the what’s what meme

Stolen from impy. Wow, it’s long.

What’s on your bed right now?
Chicken Little of course. The morning sun hits the spot beautifully.

What’s your favourite word or phrase?
Anyone would think it was – Turn the tv down! or Don’t slam the door!

What’s the best ice cream flavor?
Don’t do ice cream. I don’t like dairy much and anyway it hurts this sensitive spot on my tooth. I come from a family of furious tooth brushers and I’ve worn the enamel from a couple of spots.

Did you wake up smiling this morning?
I can assure you that I never wake up smiling. I don’t sleep well enough to be happy when I get up and of course by mid afternoon I’m tired and cranky because I didn’t sleep well enough so there’s a small window of opportunity for me to be nice to people from about 11am – 1pm. (Although sometimes if I open my eyes and see Chicken Little lying under her blanket just looking at me wagging her tail that makes me smile).

Is there something in your life you used to have, and now miss?
Aww, my Dad.

What major company would you like to work for?
None! That would require being surrounded by too many people for one thing. I hate even dealing with big companies because no one in them seems to know what anyone else is doing and if the person you’ve been dealing with happens to be away that week then forget about anyone else being even slightly useful. When you run a small business then one person knows everything.

What time do you wake up on a typical morning?
Well, I usually wake up at about 1am then again at 3am. Then I usually read until about 5am when I think – shit I’d better try to get some sleep so I sleep until 7am when people get up and go to work then I drag my arse out at about 8am.

What holiday makes you sad?
None – I don’t have a problem with holidays.

Where does a good night’s sleep rank on your priorities?
Oh wow (see above) – I’d kill for one solid nights sleep. I want to just go to sleep at 10.30pm then not wake again until 7am. It’d be a dream come true. Sometimes I wake through the night and think  – wow, that was a good sleep, I bet it’s nearly morning time and I look at the clock and it’s 1am and I go – nooooooooo, because there are so many hours to go until morning time. I’ve never been a sleeper – my mother took me to the doctor when I was about five years old because I couldn’t sleep and he told her I was having psychedelic dreams (well it was the 60’s).

One song that makes you cry?
None – although when I watched that movie Spirit years ago about the horse – there was a moment in that during a song that brought a tear to my eye but I don’t sit around now and listen to it and weep.

How old was your mom when she had you?
31 years old. I was the youngest of four and four years behind the closest sibling. Mum had three in four years so I guess she needed a four-year rest before she had me. And no – I wasn’t a mistake (even though the charming Emjay once told me so when I was little) because I found a baby card to Mum and Dad that said – Little Jane at last!

When is the last time you went to the beach?
On the weekend. It’s only 10 minutes drive away so I usually go a few times a week, even in winter I go for walks along the beach paths.

What is the most random object around you?
Boring me – nothing that I can see.

What is your favorite sushi?
Oh I love sushi, any kind of vegetable or salmon or tuna will do thanks. If I’m making it at home I usually make prawn, cucumber and avocado. Hmm, might make some for lunch.

What food do you find disgusting?
Mushrooms – ewwwww. I blame it on The Great Sickness that swept through our family a few years ago wiping us all out with a violent tummy bug. The last meal I had before I was struck down was eggs with mushrooms and now I can’t even look at them without feeling a slight tummy rumble.

If you could have any type of dog in the world, what would it be?
None! I’m really looking forward to the time I don’t have a dog actually. I’m almost 50 and I’ve never not had a dog and I’ve loved them all enormously but they’re such a big responsibility, I think they’re more of a responsibility than your kids really. At least when you go on holidays you can take your kids with you – with pets you have to find someone to look after them or board them then you worry about them the whole time you’re away (well I do) and I worry about someone leaving the front door open and them escaping and getting run over and last week Chicken Little had an ear infection and I didn’t go to the Melbourne Cup party because I thought maybe she had a tick and wouldn’t it be awful if she dropped dead and I was out getting drunk somewhere. So I’d really like a few years where I just didn’t have all the responsibility but then I’ll probably miss having someone always hanging around my feet and get another one anyway.

What was the last meal that you made for yourself?
I made this really good avocado sauce – just an avocado blended with garlic, greek yoghurt, lime juice and a bit of water and had it with a baked potato and some veg.

Is the hard drive on your computer full or getting close to being full?
It’s about to explode it’s so full.

Are there any songs that you prefer the acoustic version over the regular version?
Not really – but I do like a good acoustic version of anything. On Triple J Friday mornings they have a segment called Like a Version and singers come in and sing an acoustic version of someone elses song and most of them are fantastic. Also if you asked my children what the soundtrack to their childhood was they’d all say – Nirvana Unplugged – I flogged that and it’s still the cd I pick when I’m not sure what I want to listen to.




learning new things

Shaking my head in wonder here.

I never knew such a thing existed as pro thigh gap groups. Yes, there’s more than one, apparently they’re prolific on FB and IG and they like to shame women who have a thigh gap that isn’t big enough i.e. healthy sized women.

I don’t imagine I’ll be eligible to join any time soon, I don’t know if I even have one.

How did the world ever become so shallow.

I’m going to have to go for a long walk to get over my disappointment about this because I can’t even see a funny side to it yet.

Daily Prompt: Express Yourself

Tell us about a time you couldn’t quite get your words or images to express what you wanted to express. What do you think the barrier was? For bonus points, try again.

Oh good lordy, well – that would be the time I wrote a letter to my friend a letter expressing how I felt when she left her husband and I left town and we drifted apart and I felt that she’d replaced me pretty damn quickly with another buddy and I felt a lot of it had to do with her new man and how she seemed to have washed her hands of anyone involved in her previous life and moved on with a whole new gang.

It all sounds a bit like ten-year olds but trust me it wasn’t like that, although I will admit I did feel jealous of the affection she was showing her new best friend but this was someone who had been my best friend for over twenty years. There was more to it anyway but no offence, it’s none of your business.

I’m the sort of person who can’t just keep my mouth shut if something is bothering me and I do have a tendency to get flustered and cranky and upset and loud in person so I like to write notes about the problem. That way you don’t get interrupted, you don’t yell nasty things in the heat of the moment and you can edit things before you present them. (Just don’t ask my husband about some of the notes I leave in his in tray at work though because those rules don’t apply to him).

Well anyway, she wrote back and I guess things were kind of lost in translation because she just ripped shreds off me, boy was she cranky. It was all about how I’d picked sides (her ex husbands) and how I’d never supported her in her decision to leave him and a few other choice paragraphs all finished off by informing me that I’d royally fucked up her birthday two years previously.

Say what?!

First I’d heard of it. Not only did I fuck it up but I offended her father and sister while I was at it by sitting there being quiet and not talking to anyone. Well if I’d realised I was the entertainment I would have tried a bit harder.

I remember the birthday very well because we’d just driven back (especially for it) after spending time with Daz’s family which let me tell you right now was one seriously royally fucked up weekend. Basically it was the weekend his family imploded and different family members stopped talking to others and they still don’t and don’t even ask me who talks to who anymore because I haven’t got a clue.

So yes, I was quiet at the birthday party because I was in shock. Anyway, Daz was so worried at the thought that we’d offended my friend’s father that he went around to his house to apologise and Frank didn’t even know what Daz was talking about and hadn’t been offended at all – so, hmmmmm………………………..

Now I’d just like to say in my defense that when my friend and her husband broke up we did stay in contact with her husband not only because we’d been friends with him for twenty years but because she asked us to stay close to him because she was worried about him and we did support her in her decision to leave him even when we knew she was having this affair with the new guy months before she even left because we don’t judge people and know that shit happens and we’re grown ups and can be friends with everyone.

I don’t know what the barrier was, maybe I was a whiny bitch but I loved her and missed her and that’s all I was trying to say.

Ah no thanks, I won’t be trying again. Actually I did try again. This must have all happened at the beginning of last year so when her birthday came around later I sent a birthday card and at christmas time I sent her and the new guy a card but didn’t hear anything back and I’m willing to put in my share of trying but I’m not going to bloody beg. But when Dad died and I didn’t hear a peep from her I thought that was pretty poor form because that sort of situation should be apart from any petty issues you think you have.

So really, by not saying anything at all she expressed herself much better than I did.

The End.

Express yourself

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

I’m not even in this photo but it always makes me feel nostalgic; in fact I wasn’t even born.

These are my siblings running under the sprinkler in our garden – thats Emjay with her arms up, jumping with joy.


We had a damn and bore water so no worries about water wastage. Dad set it all up so Mum could have this massive beautiful garden oasis in the middle of the dry red land we lived in.

I love this photo, it sums up my whole – Embrace simplicity – philosophy. But I mostly love it because they’re my sibs, my originals. As most of you know, my father died last year and just recently a good friend of mine lost her brother to cancer and we were talking about it and how it’s really sad when one of your parents or your siblings die because they’re the ones who have known you for your whole life. Sure you go off and have a life and marry and have your own kids but they don’t really know you, not like your originals do.

It’s the same sort of thing with friends – I tell my kids that they should try to stay friends with at least one of their childhood friends because it’s really good to know someone who knew you before you became a worker, a wife, a mother, a carer and whatever else you become.

Of course we all weren’t super happy fabulous 100% of the time but we were just – us.

Weekly photo challenge: Up

I always have plenty of things to look at when I take a walk along the beach be it up, down, over or out to sea. I could never classify it as a power walk or any kind of calorie burning workout because I usually just dawdle along checking things out and stopping all the time to take photos and look around.

It’s a good place for hang gliders with plenty of high cliffs to jump off and parks and beaches to land on not to mention the view they have from up there.  It’s nice watching them loop about and float around – this guy was coming in to land.