Let the countdown begin…

Okay, so I chickened out just a little and gave myself (and those who were game enough to include themselves in the challenge!!!) another week of ‘preparation’. Another 7 days of reading Jane Austen’s work, immersing in her style, ready to blog in Austenese next Monday. For 5 days. Because 5 days will probably be long enough! Just blog what you would normally blog, but in her style, and tweet your creations with #blog5daysAustenese – it should be rather an interesting week!

Those game enough to enter, to date (oh – and any and all are accepted, if you feel like joining us!) are:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

Hopefully I haven’t missed any! Sorry if I have; it’s been so hot here my brain’s not working properly…?! If I have, or if you’re game enough for the challenge, comment below to join in the fun!

Anyway, I thought I’d spend this week’s blog posts on *my* take on Austen.

I first encountered Pride and Prejudice in mid-High School, as I had been on a William Makepeace Thackery bent, and wanted something different. From Vanity Fair to P&P wasn’t a huge stretch, and I carried on “charmingly, when once I had made a beginning”. From P&P to Emma, to Sense and Sensibility. I left Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park til I was in Uni, and Persuasion later still. But it wasn’t until I purchased the Penguin “Complete novels of…”, a decade later again, that I encountered Lady Susan, which quickly became my favourite.

So early in December 2011, after a particularly trying day, I re-watched the Keira Knightly version of P&P. And decided to re-read my Penguin tome again, in order from first to last, watching the DVD (if I had it) immediately prior. Sense and Sensibility took me through to mid-December, followed by P&P by Christmas. And then it was the turn of my least-favourite, Mansfield Park. Apparently it was Austen’s favourite. It’s not mine. I always find it a slog. But I finished it last night, so am looking forward to watching Gwyneth Paltrow sometime in the near future.

Sense and Sensibility struck me anew with its wide array of characters, having just watched the Emma Thompson / Hugh Grant version (I really do NOT like his acting, but I guess he does play the part quite well) and being quite a fan of Gregory House, I do enjoy seeing his droll version of Mr Palmer. Best of all was Alan Rickman though, with nary a shade of Die Hard in evidence. I would have liked to have seen the “Willoughby coming to see Marianne during her illness” scene in the film, but can understand why it was cut, and the ‘intelligence’ he brought with him regarding his motives, left to Colonel Brandon to give. But all in all, an enjoyable film, and an entertaining read.

Final thought:

It’s truly amazing, the things you can learn from Librarians! Apparently the following exists: “Pride and Prejudice and zombies”; “Sense and Sensibility and sea monsters”; and the twitter version of Austen. Who would have thought?!!

Oh, the joys!

On New Year’s Day, hubby and I took the kids to Bribie Island for the day, with some good friends and their three children. Afterwards, we ate at their place, and Miss 3 found Wall-E, a v-tech toy that belonged to the other family’s Mr 7. He was more than happy for her to borrow it for a little while, so for the past five days we’ve been regaled with all the sounds that accompany the dozen-odd educational games he plays.

I also instituted a new house *rule* recently, as I was completely and utterly OVER the wastage of food by my own three gorgeous cuties, at meal time. Miss 6 and Miss 3 currently earn pocket money (Mr 2 will start this as well, when he becomes Mr 3 in a couple of months) and they love spending it on whatever takes their fancy. But now, to teach them the value of food, if they leave any food – for example, crusts on their plate after their morning toast – then they *pay* me whatever amount equates to the amount that is left. Sometimes it’s 5 cents, sometimes 10 cents – and boy they learned to not eat a huge morning tea the day that they both left half their lunch, and had to pay back 25 cents each! Some might be horrified at me for my ruthlessness, but boy! it’s working! There’s a LOT less food wastage since they’ve learned that food costs money!

The thing is though, I’ve started paying them pocket money in 5 cent pieces, instead of 10 cent pieces. Which is no real biggie to Miss 6, but is quite the novelty to Miss 3. And her interest in all things ‘money’ led her to pretend that Wall-E was a short, kid’s version, of an ATM.

Long story sort, my friend’s Mr 7’s expensive v-tech Wall-E now has several 5 cent pieces floating around his insides.

Whoops!!!

 

I’m thinking it’s Day 11, but I might be wrong…!

Okay, so I’ve mentioned several (hundred?!!) times on this blog that my Maths leaves a lot to be desired. But even I think that I’ve reached a new low point. Seriously – being unable to count to 12?!! But that’s the situation I find myself in when constructing a title for this post. Cos I looked back, and on New Year’s Eve I wrote that it was Day 7. Which means that today is Day 11. But according to my twitterfeed, others also in #blog12daysxmas are only on Day 10. So what’s up with me?!! (Edit – I’ve just had a thought. Back on Boxing Day, I read a number of tweets from people who were confused about exactly which day to start. So maybe that explains it…?!)

So today was a lovely day. I spent some time just hanging with a truly lovely lady and her three gorgeous kids, and then got stuck into more Bloxham Marketing stuff. (It was good to remember to remove the 2011 Church worship times from the St James website, too!) I also found time to watch a couple of taped episodes of the Big Bang Theory!

All in all, a good day. The best bit – spending time at Max’s grave. And smiling over the memories.

See you tomorrow for Day 12! (Or is it 11?!! LOL)

A sad day…

Max has been a faithful companion for 12 years. A black labrador, he was best friends with Hubby’s German Shepherd “Storm” until her sudden death on Good Friday, 2009. He since played father to “Aksel”, Storm’s replacement; a very exhausting German Shepherd pup.

Max with Storm, late 2009.

We buried Max today, in a grave next to Storm. She would have liked that. He had broken his foot, and was in incredible pain. It was good to give him release from that pain. It was also good to see how much support I felt from others through how hard today was. Hubby – a tower of strength; my children, all trying to make me smile; friends on facebook with their condolences and messages of support.

But what surprised me the most were the instantaneous tweets from people I’ve never met IRL. People who I “follow”, and with whom I have communicated via twitter, sending me messages with (hugs), <<hugs>>, *hugs*, many *hugs*, big hugs, and hugs and tissues for me and my whole family. Absolutely incredible. I feel SOOOOOOOOOOO blessed. Thank you, my friends! I am so honoured to *know* you all!

One of my resolutions this year was to intentionally be more positive. So today’s photo of Max is accompanied by other memories of today that make me smile: Miss 3 building a tower out of Garlic bread crusts, and Miss 6’s eggs that she scrambled herself, while saying “These look like vomit, Mummy. Lucky they taste nice…” Just wanted to share these lovely memories with you, too.

Thanks, dear readers.

 

Weird things that can kill you…

I read recently in a friend’s blog that in France, 1518, 400 people died in a ‘dance plague’. Yes – they danced til they died, of heart attacks, exhaustion, and the like. Apparently they didn’t want to, and were pleading for onlookers to help them. Strange.

It got me wondering. I wonder what other ‘normal’ activities have been known to kill people, en masse, like that? Have there been cases of mass plagues of ‘harvesting’? How about ‘washing the dishes’? ‘Skipping’? ‘Nagging?’ I wonder!

Anyone out there know of any?