FO #12 – I found myself a hitchhiker

What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy says that the answer to the Question, is 42.

The number 42 has since become its own popculture reference with 42 towels, this 42 shirt that my little bit geeky boyfriend wears, an entire episode of Doctor Who, and the hitchhiker shawl which has 42 little notches.

This is the only true hitchhiker I’ve made. The other two I stopped before I got to 42. Mostly because of time constraints, but also because I’m pretty selfish and wanted mine to be the only true 42 hitchhikers.
Plus neither of the recipients of the other hitchikers would care about the reference.

So here it is. You have photos of work-Bek today because I finished it only minutes before I was due at my friends place to watch Eurovision.
Time restraints = terrible selfies.

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Nose in a book

As long as I can remember I’ve been a bookworm.
My school holiday highlight was going to the local library to get as many books as I could carry and I always had difficulties in only picking 10 to take home.

Frequently bed time reading time would include the phrases “just one more chapter” and “don’t turn the light out yet!”

So yesterday when I bumped into something in the kitchen and my partner said “why don’t you get your nose out of that book and watch where you’re going”, I immediately replied “yes Mum” out of habit.

I took advantage of knitters block and spent almost all weekend with my nose in 3 books, read in quick succession.

Diary Of A Young Girl or The Diary Of Anne Frank has been on my to read list for a long time.
With the announcement this week that Neutral Milk Hotel are reforming (and coming to Australia squee!!!) it rekindled my original interest in the book.
It has been well documented that their album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea could be based around Anne Frank’s writing. I had Holland, 1945 swirling around my head whilst I was reading.

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After reading it I spent the next few hours looking at Wikipedia articles about the same topic.
I am the first to admit that my knowledge of history is pretty terrible so I am trying to rectify that with my reading this year.

What struck me most was how well she wrote and how well she knew herself.
I don’t think I was that mature and self aware until I was much, much older.

Still on that vein I went looking for more to read on that subject and I found Adolescence in Auschwitz by Regina Frankel

Although not as well known as Anne Frank, her recollections and experiences have been documented and exist now as a gruesome memoir. It was a challenging read even with some details being left out, but I felt it was important to finish it.

I was particularly struck by one quote by Joseph Stalin “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”

I’m not going to say too much more about these two books mostly because its very difficult, conflicting, and I need to be a better writer to articulate my feelings clearly enough to do these events justice.

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After those two I needed something a little lighter so my dreams wouldn’t be haunted by the experiences of those two remarkable women.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella fit the bill nicely.
It’s an easy to read story about a girl who loses her engagement ring, and then finds a mobile phone which becomes her lifeline.
It’s the sort of book I usually read, and I do own a lot of her novels.
It’s a bit formulaic but her characters are relatable and fun.

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Now to decide what to read next?

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Book #1 Coraline

Coraline has been sitting on my bookshelf unread like a lonely little puppy. With lonely eyes looking at me, willing me to put down my knitting, stop watching television and read it.

So I did.
And now I need to buy more Neil Gaiman books.
I always heard that he was a wonderful writer, and now I feel compelled to read more.

The heart of the story is about being brave.
Being brave when you’re scared and you don’t want to be, but you be brave anyway.
I sometimes need reminding to be brave, even if I’m not facing horrible situations, bravery is still necessary.

Book 1 was a good one. What do I read for book 2?

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It’s an outfit post!

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.
But I reckon this is a good enough reason.

This is my cardigan! I am still super chuffed that I finished a big knitted project.

And this is my bookcase. The biggest reason that I haven’t done many outfit posts is that our apartment is so tiny, it gets no natural light, and there is no neutral place to use as a back drop.

So in lieu of a neutral place, I thought I’d show a part of my apartment that I’m proud of.
The first place that springs to mind is my cd collection. But that’s right next to the only window in the place and is really awkward to stand in front of.

So the next place is my bookshelf. I love to read. And I love to watch tv. To the left you can see my tea cup collection. And on the top shelf you can see my Dalek (and other assorted Doctor Who merchandise).
It’s forever changing, and being shuffled around, but I’m thinking of doing more outfit posts here. I’d love to know what people think of the location. Too cluttered? Too distracting? Or is it me? Will you all judge me on what you see in my bookcase?
Actually, if you haven’t already figured out who I am, my bookcase will certainly confuse or enlighten you.

So enough chat, here is me, pretending to model, wearing my own knitted creation.
(My jeans are cotton on, my shoes are from rubi, and my tank is from temt)

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Just another boring weekend

But that was just why I wanted.

I rediscovered Enid Blyton and spent Saturday reading the entire St Clare’s series.
As a result, smashing and cracking as adjectives have crept into my vocabulary.

I also watched this wonderful famous five parody.

I rediscovered tumblr thanks to the new iPhone app. Hello wasted hour’s of looking at doctor who tags.
find me here

I also finished my first item for my etsy store!!!

That’s the really exciting one.
I also failed at making a sponge cake. I turned it out and it was still liquid in the middle even though it was brown on the outside. It got tipped back into the pan and back into the oven. Needless to say it was very flat.
Even the whipped cream on top didn’t whip.
But they say practice makes perfect. I may just try again.

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I like a man in a tool belt

It’s just all there in a row. Sex and mending things.

I like a man who can say ‘I can fix your cistern, and I can fix your cistern

Of course it’s a little hard to write the intonation there, but that’s a fantastic quote from Coupling.
Which is one of my most favourite shows ever.

And I do like a man in a tool belt.

Another thing I like? Books.

So a man that builds me a bookshelf, in my bathroom (and wears a toolbelt whilst doing it), is a man to keep hold of.

And guess which lucky lady now has a book shelf in her bathroom.

Below is the photo I took when it first went up.
And a few more photos down you’ll see it now.
A slightly different calibre of books, but that’s us.

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I’m a sucker for a quiz meme

I love an opportunity to talk about books, and this meme is courtesy of sarahcastically

These are the rules, because Myspace surveys always have rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favorite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to pass the Q&A on to: Well if you want to continue it, go forth!

Favorite book cover:

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I know I’ve spoken about this book before, but it’s influence on my life was so profound.
And it really does have a great cover.
It sums up this book so well.

What are you reading right now?
I’m still trying to read the Sweetheart Season by Karen Joy Fowler.
I’ve started it so many times, but each time I get to the end and have no idea what has happened.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I have a lot of books which need a first read but I’ll probably end up reading Persuasion again. It’s such a comfort book, which starts calling to me in winter.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
On my shelf I have Game of Thrones by George R Martin, The Red Queen and The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory, The Captive Queen by Alison Weir, and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, all sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
I have a readers digest knitting pattern book. I don’t really buy print magazines much, I prefer to read them on my iPad (love Mollie Makes).
I do have a fishing magazine and some Simpsons comics, but they’re not exactly my taste.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
There’s only about 3 books that I’ve taken back to the second hand bookshop, and none of them I really remember their names.
There was one i think called 20 times a lady, who had made a pact with herself to never sleep with more than 20 men, and when she gets to her 19th she figures she should have found her ‘soulmate’ by now and so hunts them all down.
It’s a flimsy premise, but the narrative style and writing style were horrible. As well as it having a really predictable ending.

What book seemed really popular but you actually hated?
Wuthering Heights. I really didn’t get that.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
I want to be really profound and say some classic book but Milk Run by Sarah Mlynowski gets recommended the most in real life.
It’s a chick flick waiting to happen.

But seriously everyone should read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – its wonderful.

What are your 3 favorite poems?
I tried to like Walt Whitman in high school. Song of Myself I can still quote parts of. But the only poetry I’ve really read was in Lord of the Rings.

Where do you usually get your books?
I have a second hand book exchange love and hate within walking distance of my house.
But I recently bought my first ebook for my ipad (the latest Sophie Kinsella), which wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be.

Where do you usually read your books?
The couch, in bed, in the sunshine on the banana lounge, at the dinner table, doing the dishes… If I’m in the middle of a book just try and make me out it down, I dare you.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
“Just one more chapter!” And then 5 chapters later, “just one more chapter”, until mum or dad had to put the light out, and I would read under the covers, usually until I tried to fall asleep with a book in my hands (it sounded so romantic in books, but never worked in practice), or I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
I read the Deathly Hallows twice in one day when it came out. I read all three of the Hunger Games within a week, and I’ll devour any Sophie Kinsella or Maggie Alderson novels when they come out.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
Not really. I’ve faked reading a book before seeing the movie, but I’m always scared someone will ask me how did you like ‘this part of the book the movie left out’.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Not just because of the cover, but I have hunted a particular version of a book to match a set.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Anything by Enid Blyton, particularly the naughtiest girl in the school series, or cherry tree farm series, or the faraway tree series.
Then later Guitar Highway Rose (above) and The Wind Blows Backwards by Mary Downing Hahn

What book changed your life?
I’d say without The Famous Five books my childhood would have been a lot more dull.

What is your favorite passage from a book?
The last line of Northanger Abbey.
That book is so full of wit and catchy one liners.

Who are your top five favorite authors?
1. Jane Austen
2. Enid Blyton
3. Sophie Kinsella
4. Maggie Alderson
5. Lauren Weisberger

What book has no one heard about but should read?
Milk Run.
Why it’s not a movie already I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve been reading and re-reading it since I was in high school I overrate it, but I still relate to it and keep finding that it strikes that balance between funny, and romantic.
It would make a great chick flick.

What are your favorite books by a first-time author?
Is this debut novels? I don’t know.

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?
I think everyone should read Anne of Green Gables. It’s such a wonderful series, and I’m always sad when I meet someone who has only read the first one, or hasn’t even read that. So everyone should read Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island.
You don’t get the full Anne and Gilbert story otherwise.
And the read Rilla because it’s so full of romance against a hideous backdrop.

What is your favorite classic book?
I think I’ve mentioned two of the 6 Austen’s by name, but Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey are special friends.
Pride & Prejudice because everyone needs some Darcy in their life.
Sense and Sensibility, I swing back and forth who to relate to.
Mansfield Park gets a little squicky and as for Emma, I’d rather watch Clueless.

5 other notable mentions?
1. Mad About The Boy – Maggie Alderson, I still remember reading the first chapter in the book store and laughing hysterically. This started me on the Maggie bandwagon
2. Twenties Girl – Sophie Kinsella, I know I’ve mentioned Sophie before but I never really read the shopaholic series. But I have got 4 of her others, and I think this is my favourite. It really made me laugh, and reminds me of holidays.
3. Chasing Harry Winston – Lauren Wiesberger. It has a chapter title ‘panties is a vile word’
4. Ethel Turner – Seven Little Australians. It’s an Australian classic and one of the first books to make me cry
5. The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory. Apparently it’s the most fictionalised of the Tudor novels, but I like the story and it’s got me more interested in historical fiction, which I never was previously. But mostly I like the story, even if it isn’t true to history.

Well that’s a bit of a walk through my bookshelf. It’s been pretty culled over the years and it’s not as diverse as I would like, but I do tend to gravitate towards easy reads. And I do love a good romance story.

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A slice of organic life

I was given this book a few years ago now, and it’s since become a constant companion.

It’s quite light on, but it does give a nice overview about living organically.

It makes me day dream about keeping pigs, and making jam, and living more sustainable.
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I’m quite glad that my Mister shares these dreams and aspirations (even if he day dreams of chickens, ducks, geese, and weiros, which would be slightly more useful, but not quite as relaxing for this bird-fearing girl).

Last Christmas I started a trend of all handmade gifts. This year I intend on continuing that, but I do want to diversify. I also want to have those ‘last minute gifts’ handy in the cupboard.

So I spent most of this weekend knitting up dishcloths.
I felt very proud of myself as they were wish homespun yarn from our recent Bridgetown Adventure.

At the time I felt a little disappointed with this yarn, because I just didn’t know what to do with it. It is quite coarse and doesn’t feel nice on your skin; it wouldn’t be good for clothing.
But it is knitting up into dishcloths quite nicely, and I can see them being quite good for exfoliating cloths.

This is why I started looking through that book. I think these would be lovely presents with a home made lavender soap.
I have a lovely lavendar plant in my garden, which is very underused.
Unfortunately this book didn’t have a recipe for soap, but I will make a carrot soup tonight.

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4 day weekend has passed with a whimper

Australia day, we drank Aussie beer, watched cricket, and listened to the hottest 100.

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The day after Australia day (hangover day), I resigned myself to my hangover and watched an entire season on My Family and had some quality bonding time with my couch.
Air con was appreciated, particularly as it was pretty hot (42 I think) outside.

Saturday we went shopping for a new tv, and some more lazy viewing.
I bought a crepe maker (guess what we had for dinner) and we watched the Perth Scorchers lose the grand final (boo).

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Sunday I finished my sockhead hat, and started a new sock, Scylla.
And started watching series 1 of Buffy. (and since bought the box set). I thought I’d have nightmares about creepy ventriloquist dolls but thank fully I didn’t.

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And look what arrived Monday afternoon. The books I thought I’d read on the long weekend.

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