On Friday night, I joined Hubby at the Sheraton on the Gold Coast, for his work ‘Christmas’ do. It was SO lovely to be pampered in such a luxurious setting – and to not have cherubs saying ‘Mummy?’ every two or so minutes!

Anyway, on Saturday, we planned to watch Skyfall on the way back home. In a spare moment, I updated Facebook and twitter to this effect, relating that I hoped that it would be as good as I had heard. Later that evening, I was asked my opinion – and seeing as my opinion runs to quite a bit longer than the 140 characters of a tweet, or even the 420 limit of Facebook, I mentioned that I’d write something on my blog. Hence this post. (And sorry, Jo, yes I know it’s a day late!!!) Anyway, for those of you who are reading and haven’t yet seen it, and want to, stop reading now. This is your spoiler alert!

Okay. So this movie, Skyfall, stars Daniel Craig as Bond, his third time in this role. And seeing as Casino Royale – his first time – was touted as ‘the first ever Bond film’ (chronologically speaking, that is) and the plot of Quantum of Solace (which I maintain is one of the dumbest film names I’ve ever heard) follows on from Casino Royale, it is valid to think that this – his second time – was then ‘the second ever Bond film’ (again, speaking chronologically). So it makes sense to me, then that this latest Craig portrayal of Bond would be ‘the third ever Bond film’ – even though the filmmakers have been keen to position these latest three films as “a reboot of the series, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede or succeed any previous Bond film“. It still makes sense that Skyfall follows Quantum of Solace (dumb, dumb name!) just as Quantum of Solace (even typing it makes me lose IQ points, I reckon!) followed Casino Royale.

So this then, is my problem. In the end of Skyfall, the scriptwriters kill off Judi Dench’s “M” and replace her with a new “M”, played by Ralph Fiennes.

But this is the seventh time we’ve seen the great Dame Judi as “M”. Four prior to Casino Royale, and now these latest three.

So it makes ZERO sense to me, then, that they kill her off now – when (logical chronological sense prevailing) she’s going to ‘appear again’ when the timeline gets to the Brosnan flicks.

Is it just me, or does that bug the crap out of anyone else?

Anyway. That spoiled it for me. Really, really spoiled it. For crying out loud, if they’d wanted this to be her last film, fine. Let her finish off the film, without dying, and then in the next film, cast Fiennes as M and don’t explain it. Why wouldn’t that work?!! Seriously – it happens all the time with Bond (and Q, Moneypenny etc etc) and we don’t bat an eyelid. So WHY kill her off?!!! Bad writing, in my opinion. Bad, bad writing. Equivalent to the ‘let’s jump in the lake’ of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, in the 1995 BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

On a brighter note… anyone read “The Discrete Charm of Charlie Monk” by David Ambrose? Now THAT’S an interesting take on the ‘Bond’ concept!!!

Life Random thoughts Uncategorized

Zoo day

On Saturday, “Baby Bob” Irwin turned 9 years old. And judging by the crowds of people who were at Australia Zoo on the gorgeous sun-filled day, he had a very happy birthday!
We were there, the three cherubs and I, sunscreened to the max and with full water bottles weighing us down. It was a beautiful day!
I had hoped to follow our family favourite – the 10am otter feeding – with the 10.30 Feed the Elephants session… but I had not realised that they’d moved the Elephant feed to outside their enclosure, all the way on the other side of the zoo. Oops! Oh well. Tea cup rides and time on the Jumping Castle soothed Miss 4’s extreme disappointment, and time in the sandpit near the dinosaur ‘cave’ was in order, prior to feeding the baby farm animals and then the midday Croc show. It being Robert’s birthday, he came and fed a croc, as did Bindi; and Terri tried getting a uncooperative Mossman (the Zoe’s largest Salt-Water Croc) to eat a feral pig. We sat up the back, and got a good view of the birds, with a lizard for company next to Miss 7.
Then it was kangaroo feeding time, pony ride time, and elephant feeding time…



Today is the 19th of November, 2012. It is a new day, it is a special day. Today will see – with God’s grace! – the continuation of the 18th year of my marriage.


Yesterday was the 18th of November. On that day, way back in 1995, I married my dearest, best friend in St Mark’s Church, Dunwich, at 12.15pm. It showered in the morning, cooling down what would otherwise have been a hot, humid late Spring day – but causing some consternation for our friends and family, arriving by various Water Taxis and at various times, to North Stradbroke Island for our nuptial ceremony.

Yesterday we celebrated our 17th Wedding anniversary. 17 years. According to convert, that’s 6211 days. You could also count them as 149, 064 hours; or 8,943, 840 minutes; or even as 536, 630, 400 seconds. Any way you look at it, it’s a lot of time. Time that’s gone. Time that’s passed. Time that marked the first 17 years of our marriage.

Today is the first day of our eighteenth year. The first day of the next chapter; the first day of the rest of our lives. And I’m praying that the next 17 years – and the 17 after that – the 17 after that – and the 17 after that one again! – are just as amazing as the last 17 were. Thank you, my dearest, for being a truly wonderful person, for sharing your last 17 years with me. I love you and look forward to the rest of this incredible journey that we’re on!!!


Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!



My boy doesn’t talk much. He’s getting better, and growing in confidence daily, but compared to any other “normal” gone-three-and-a-half-year-old, he’s pretty much non-verbal. He’s quiet, and when he *does* try to talk, it’s difficult to work out what he’s saying, either because of volume if he’s unsure, or because what he says is mostly unintelligible due to his lack of articulation. We’re working on it in weekly Speech Therapy, and it’s improving no end, but it’s still mostly guesswork based on context with him. It’s one of the more-obvious autistic characteristics he has.

Which is why my whole world stopped yesterday afternoon. It was just gone 4.30pm and I’d finally sat down after a brilliant five straight hours of Bloxham Marketing work with two amazing friends, followed by another couple of hours of intense garden work (and I live on an acreage, so before you start to laugh – to me, gardening involves taking out saplings and digging up tree stumps) and so sitting down, with my phone, and finally checking twitter for the day, was a good moment.

So I’d sent a few tweets and was in a conversation with @fionawb re her lack of communication while in the Emergency Department at Caboolture Hospital, and Miss 4 and Mr 3 were riding their bikes, when it happened. It was one of those “Did that *really* just happen??” moments, when suddenly your concept of your own daily existence smashes hard up against something completely unexpected, rocks your world, and leaves you shaking your head and questioning everything that you previously knew.

Mr 3, down on the driveway and a good 5 metres away, had been riding his tricycle. But he had stopped, faced me, and said with an audible voice from that distance away, “Mummy, I love you.”

My jaw hit the ground. I stopped breathing, and my heart skipped at least a couple of beats, I swear. I just stared at him, tears in my eyes, absolutely incredulous. My son, my boy who is only now, finally, learning to talk, told me he loved me! And said it intelligibly! Just sooooooooooo amazing and incredible and wonderful and precious.

And what was even better? Last night, when I was putting him to bed, he interspersed our usual giggles and cuddles and kisses and tickles with some more “I love you, Mummy” practising. It was an unbelievably gorgeous way to end the day!

So – just a little something that I wanted to share with you, dear readers. Here’s hoping that your day today has precious moments in it, too!



It’s not the clearest photo, I know.

But that’s my bedside clock. And it reads 6.32am. And I took that photo just now… when I woke up. I can’t believe it!!! (Normally I’m up pre-4am or pre-5am, and DEFINITELY before 6!) or I’m woken, rather than wake up myself (yes, there is a BIG difference, isn’t there, mums?!!) so to wake, myself, with my clock reading 6.32, is just absolutely incredible! (worth a blog post, even) and now I should just go check that my 3 are still alive…
(Update… Yes, they were…)


Audio recorder on iPad2

For some reason, mine’s decided to go on the blink. Which is not particularly helpful, seeing as I’ve just discovered and downloaded some fantastic new apps to help Mr 3 with his speech therapy… apps which record his sounds and replay them so he receives immediate feedback. Apps which don’t work as well if the audio recorder isn’t working.
And the trouble is, I have absolutely NO idea if the problem lies in the iPad settings (being a curious lad, he’s always changing settings here, there and everywhere, investigating what happens when he clicks on various things) or in its hardware (a result of being thrown onto a concrete floor in the midst of a tantrum…)
So, this is me asking for help again, dear readers. Any ideas on how to fix the problem? The audio recorder works sporadically across a variety of Apps, also sporadically within the same App… leading me to believe that it’s probably more the latter reason than the former… but I’m more than happy to be proven wrong!!!
So… Any ideas??!


A Question

If you were told, ‘Compared to you, roadrunner would be cruisy!’ how would you take it? Would you see it as a compliment? An insult?


top 100 books…

I was thinking of copying @flexnib’s idea when I read her post, counting how many she’d read… and since reading @jobeaz’s post, I’m now even more interested to see how many I’ve read. So here goes… (and keeping with ‘tradition’, I’ve bolded the ones I’ve read…)

1984 by George Orwell, England, (1903-1950)
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906)
A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)
Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910)
The Aeneid by Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Beloved by Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931)
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957)
Blindness by Jose Saramago, Portugal, (1922-2010)
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935)
The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400)
The Castle by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911)
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986)
Complete Poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837)
The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
The Complete Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849)
Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852)
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375)
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967)
Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321)

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616)

Essays by Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592)

Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875)
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832)
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553)
Gilgamesh Mesopotamia, (c 1800 BC)
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870)
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745)
Gypsy Ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
History by Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985)
Hunger by Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952) (I have read Hunger Games, does that count?)
The Idiot by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
The Iliad by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)
Independent People by Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994)
Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784)
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961)
King Lear by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768)
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977)
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)
Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC)
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942)
The Mathnawi by Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273)
Medea by Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC)
Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987)
Metamorphoses by Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC)
Middlemarch by George Eliot, England, (1819-1880)
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947)
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891)
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)
Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300)
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924)
The Odyssey by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)
Oedipus the King Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC)
Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850)
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)
The Orchard by Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292)
Othello by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)
Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986)
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002)
Poems by Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970)
The Possessed by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817)
The Ramayana by Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC)
The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, India, (c. 400)
The Red and the Black by Stendhal, France, (1783-1842)
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922)
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929)
Selected Stories by Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904)
Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930)
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)
The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972)
The Stranger by Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960)
The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (c 1000)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930)
Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500)
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927)
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)
The Trial by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)
Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989)
Ulysses by James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, England, (1818-1848)
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957)

11 out of 100. But to confess further, I’ve also italicised the ones that I attempted – some, better than others. There were 5 of those. ‘Don Quixote’ I only really glanced at, and decided that I didn’t have the time… but War and Peace I started twice, giving up at around the same place both times, and the same with ‘Crime and Punishment’. I persevered very hard with both Chaucer and Dante, but eventually decided that they were just ‘too hard going’. And I almost finished Chaucer, too! But got busy towards the end of it.

I’m a little surprised though. I would have thought that Victor Hugo or Alexandre Dumas would have made the list, or even Oscar Wilde or H.G. Wells?

So anyway, that’s *my* take. How about you?


The top 100 books of all time