Currently I am …

book coverReading: short stories from the multi-author collection Scottish Girls About Town, which my friend Pam gave me a couple of years ago. I’ve only read the first two stories; both were enjoyable for different reasons, which is one of the bonuses of short stories.

Listening to: the hum of the computer, bird song, the occasional vehicle zooming past on the road

Laughing at: Simon’s Cat – DS was home over the weekend and he’s learned to draw this character; I’ve found one lurking on my shopping list (I wonder if there are more?).

bellbirdSwooning over: bellbird song – we have a flowering banksia and both bellbirds and tuis are visiting to drink the nectar.

Planning: training sessions in our new library management system for my colleagues; this is the product of my trip to Christchurch back in February, where I was trained as a trainer in Kotui (the NZ version of SirsiDynex’s Symphony LMS). The first session is on Wednesday, when the three library managers will be my students. Trying not to freak out.

Eating lots of: dukkah – most of our current hazelnut production goes to a local producer of this middle-eastern condiment, and recently we started stocking their product to on-sell to our own customers. Minor flaw in the plan though – it’s so delicious that I’m eating a good proportion of the stock!

Feeling: good about keeping up with yoga; nervous about the training; satisfied when I look at my April productivity

Discovering: different yoga philosophies and approaches, and the resources of Yoga Journal – awesome!

grapes-no-netsLooking at: the house and garden; the grape rows are flush with autumnal colour and look so pretty since we took down the bird-netting yesterday

Wearing: 3/4 pants, yoga pants, leggings – the cooler days have brought these back into my wardrobe after a summer of skirt-wearing.

Cooking: in a bit of a rut at the moment; need to try new recipes with vegetables currently in season

Wondering: what do the cats get up to during the day (and night) and where do they go? Ninja was missing Friday/Saturday – no sign of her all night, not there for breakfast – but she trotted up to me in the garden late on Saturday afternoon, absolutely her usual self. Mysterious!

Trying out: scrapbooking regularly on Monday nights; so far it’s working well and I’m carrying on finishing pages started then – and creating more – during the rest of the week.

What’s on my…

DRESSING TABLE | Two jewellery boxes for ear-rings, books from the library, cheque and deposit books, hair ties, a dish for my rings when I remove them at night

PERENNIAL TO DO LIST | File papers, data input for the accounts, take surplus clothes/kitchen tools/books/craft supplies to the Sallies

REFRIGERATOR SHELVES | Cheeses, fruit yoghurt, coffee, mushrooms, bread, filo pastry, wholegrain mustard, pesto, chocolate spread, hazelnuts

ITINERARY | Trip to Melbourne with my sister (not til August though)

FANTASY ITINERARY | India, Nepal, Uganda, Marche in Italy (where cousin Kirsty has a villa), anywhere in Spain, the South of France, Utah and Florida in the USA. 

PLAYLIST | Neil Young and Deep Purple – having heard them live recently I’ve been enjoying their music here at home too

NIGHTSTAND | Nicky Pelegrino, Josephine Tey

WORKOUT PLAN | Yoga at home twice a week; yoga class on Fridays; bike around the block once (or, if it’s too windy or wet, on the stationary bike which is HARD work because it’s permanently jammed on the highest setting) 

SMARTPHONE | Solitaire, Jewels, Crossword Solver

TOP 5 RIGHT NOW| Getting lots of scrapbook layouts made (15 so far this month), nice new recipe for dinner (Mushroom & Potato Enchiladas), DS home for the weekend, great photo printing deal at Harvey Norman, time with my dad tomorrow

BUCKET LIST | Travel, recording my memories, enjoying being with people I love and who love me

MIND | Getting ready for training my colleagues in our new library management system, organising my time so I don’t get too tired, olive harvesting and when it will be, trying to find balance in my life, supporting DH through a stressful time   

BLOGROLL | Melissa Stinson, Elise Blaha, WCS, SCT

WALLS OF YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE | Abstract art that was a gift from my sister for my 50th

LIQUOR SHELF | DH has a good collection of interesting liqueurs; I can’t imbibe but I love to smell them!

LAST CREDIT CARD STATEMENT | Petrol for the business; groceries for dinner; parking for DH


SCREENSAVER | This photo I took a few years ago in Palmerston North

TV EVERY NIGHT | A recording of Bones or NCIS

Thanks to Ali Edwards for this meme – you can see her take on it here.

Enjoying Yoga

At the beginning of the year I began yoga again. In years past I had worked along to various DVDs but never in a very focused way. In February I made it a goal to seek out a local class, and I found one. Since starting to attend each Friday I have become much more dedicated to my home practice as well. The class has given me many more poses that I can say I have at least tried, and different ways of placing my body into poses I already knew. Every class has revealed new muscles, tendons and ligaments that need stretching, and I am learning so much about my body – for example, I am tighter on one side above the waist, and on the opposite side below.

The group varies in size from five to ten students, and we are gently guided by our tutor who is more flexible than I am and candid about her own difficulties with some poses (it’s good to know that even an experienced yogi finds them hard).

One class had to be cancelled unexpectedly, and I felt my week wasn’t complete. What about you – is there a physical activity that rounds off your own day or week?

Favourite books

Listmania‘s prompt for this week is favourite book(s) and what’s on my current reading list.

There are many books I’d describe as ‘favourites’ and, now that I work in a library and can  borrow books so easily, I don’t buy nearly as many as I used to. I have also purged lots of books from my collection and have kept only the best of the best. Here is my list for today – it might be different tomorrow!


The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy is a trilogy, but as the first edition I ever owned was the ‘one volume’ paperback, I’m counting it as one title. This is a book I can re-read again and again, and it’s the absolute pinnacle of fantasy fiction as far as I’m concerned.

However, coming a close second are Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, and it’s extremely difficult to pick just one. However the concepts in Thief of Time are amazing and funny and provide lots to think about. The basic premise of the tale is that the Monks of History  ‘harvest’ time from creatures that don’t need it – eg undersea fish (how much time does a cod need, really?), and allot it to those who do – eg city dwellers (who never seem to have enough time). Great idea, isn’t it?

Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley is simply a lovely story which makes me smile and feel good (there are places where the tension is high, but I am happy to reread these bits because I know there is a happy-enough ending coming up). I think I also enjoy this novel because it reminds me of some of the great times I had with my horses when I was considerably younger than I am now.

Anne Donovan is probably not well-known outside her native Scotland. I have Buddha Da because my aunt sent it to my mother as something light for her to read during Mum’s final illness. It is amazingly funny and true and heart-rending and lovely. What would you do if your Glaswegian plasterer father became a Buddhist?

Life of Pi is a book I loved so much I wouldn’t see the movie (I like to keep my own visuals intact, and not have them influenced by someone else’s). It was a close contest for the #5 slot between this title and The Time Traveller’s Wife which falls into the same category for me. Do you enjoy seeing movies of books you have really enjoyed?

As for what I am currently reading, I am getting close to the end of The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie. It’s a sort of Da Vinci Code idea, and it started off very well, but got a bit bogged down in the middle with all the explanations and historical information. I’m finishing it because I’m almost done, and I want to see how the writer solves the puzzle (as I’m sure she will). However unless you’re very keen on conspiracy lit, don’t bother to read it yourself.