Monday, April 24, 2017

Love like lightning, shaking till it moans (Paul Simon)

Week 11 - Book 12: The Hottest State (Ethan Hawke) 
Yes - that Ethan Hawke.

Another book from the recent grab at The Piggery in Whangarei. 

Hawke's name attracted me. I enjoyed Boyhood and this book - fiction but the protagonist is a conflicted young male actor, made me think of Hawke's character of the dad in that film.

It traces the arc of a love affair - not really my favourite thing unless done by a master like William Goldman. Although patchy, it's generally well written and who hasn't had a first doomed love affair like the one Hawke describes between William and Sarah.

Readers should be able to identify with the intensity of the feelings exposed and the nutty things William does. I know I did!

My lost copy!
Week 11 - Book 13: Mother Tongue (Bill Bryson) 
I left a copy of this on a Thai Airways flight about thirteen years ago. I forgot to retrieve it from the seat pouch! Doh!

I hadn't finished it and I was very much put out.

I had been enjoying it immensely, and was delighted to find a second hand copy in a Keri Keri bookshop on the weekend, during our 33rd wedding anniversary road trip.

The new one!
Bill is funny, knowledgeable, erudite and entertaining. 'Nuff said.

I easily picked up from where I left off thirteen years ago. It's warmly recommended, but as an English teacher, I would say that!

Here's an example of the juicy stuff waiting for you:

"To be fair, English is full of booby traps for the unwary foreigner. Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman’s apparel is clearly asking to be mangled.”

It's a jolly good book.

Love and peace - Wozza 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is there a certain age you're supposed to be? (Arctic Monkeys)

Week 10 - Book 10: The Fire Witness (Lars Kepler)  

Week one of the school holidays and I've finished this one, provided by a colleague from school. It's a rapid fire murder mystery set in Sweden and written by a young Swedish couple writing as 'Lars Kepler'.

It's similar in feel to Steig Larsson - gritty/ violent/ Swedish. 

Interestingly, I was nearly done and had wondered why it was called The Fire Witness. I guessed it was alluding to a key character but I had no idea. Sure enough - 450 pages in the answer is revealed.

Actually, my most interesting question while reading it was - how do two people write a book?

A few times I'd thought I'd noticed a change in style but the short sentences and short chapters keep the integrity pretty seamless.

Anyway, great book if you've looking for something quick and addictive!

Week 10 - Book 11: On Experience (David Malouf) 

Went to The Piggery (second hand book store in Whangarei) to score some fresh titles and this one appealed. 

On Experience contains a couple of essays written by Malouf, published by The Melbourne University Press.

It's very interesting. Easter saw SWMBO and Wozza enjoying the visit of some family. Of course storytelling is always a big part of such reunions. 

Malouf: In the word-of-mouth world that is a family, storytelling is still part of the complex give and take of daily intercourse, a means of weaving the past into the present to create continuity.

A casual listener would not have a clue what we were talking about - boomats and ootwag, Schwana McTwa and The Director dolls, family ledges and DeeDoo, Woody picture and Nerf guns, Fanfa and the Bruins. It's our own language and the storytelling is peculiar to our family.

We headed to some local sights - waterfalls and caves, and so, some new stories joined the past. 

Experience. Fascinating.

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Older times we're missing (Little River Band)

Various Purdys in the kitchen at Rochdene, Easter 2017,

The young and the restless crew met up for Easter. Adam and Ashleigh were visiting from Melbourne and Keegan joined the party from Auckland.

Predictably we talked about Jade and Samantha - elsewhere on the planet this time 'round, while catching up on news, reminiscing and dodging intellectual family banter (Adam - "shut up Keegan").

Good times. Good times.

Love and peace - Wozza

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go 'round and 'round (John Lennon)

Outside looking in.
I'm not yet in control of my news feeds and, as for email - don't get me started!

No doubt my job is busier and my lunches are not my own any more. At Woodford I'd grab my peanut butter cruskets and get back to my computer to read and Vox and all the other news feeds rocking into my email accounts.

Cannae do that in this new job - for one the internet blocks a lot of the links from Walrus Gumboot, James Whatley, and others. For another it doesn't seem right when a lot of staff want to talk with me at lunch.

And fergetaboutit during the working day - it's full on from 7am until 5.30 each day - no non-contacts fer me.

Then I get home and I'm too cream crackered. I know right - would you like some cheese with that whine Wozza?

So yeah - not yet under control. Which I spose means - not yet into my daily routines. By that I mean, my morning rituals before school. 

I guess I need to hack out a regular time for that and some personal brain sustenance during the day - my goals for Term 2.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nobody wants to be left out, uh-huh (Sly and the Family Stone)

Family ledge - 2017 version

Recently, Fanfa rang from San Francisco, having seen the post about BRG and made enquires about...her dolls!!

Realisation dawned that I had only partially created a new family ledge. Jade's bears, Keegan's fish, SWMBO's painting, Adam's CDs. They were all in cupboards/boxes/or somewhere in the main house. Calling to me.

But all is well now - the family ledge is BACK. 

Week 8 - Book 8: Teacherpreneurs (Berry, Byrd, Weider)  

Baggy trousers has a post, if you are keen on my opinions on this one.

Week 8 - Book 9: John lennon in My Life (Pete Shotton and Nicolas Schaffner)

I visited Piggery Books in Whangarei last weekend and came away with this little beauty - Pete Shotton's autobiography.

Did I already have it back home in ART? I wasn't sure, but at $14.50, it was worth the punt. 

Turns out I didn't and so this week I'll be indulging in this and a backlog of Mojo Magazines!

And, of course, gazing at the family ledge and trying to cope with the eyes from Fanfa's dolls that follow me about the room!!

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, April 1, 2017

You studied to portray me in ice and greens (Joni Mitchell)

Welcome to BRG - the Bodvin/Rowbotham Gallery!

A very exclusive gallery. You should feel extremely privileged to be given this sneak peek. 

We've paid a fortune for special security measures at Rochdene but you get this post for free!! You lucky lucky bastards!

Both Bodvin and Rowbotham are American artists from the east coast.

Dale Clayton (Clay) Bodvin hails from Seattle but now resides in Huia Road (Auckland, NZ), while Jesse Rowbotham was born and bred (and still lives) in San Francisco. 

Both are exceptional artists (Clay in paint and latterly digital mixed-media; Jesse in photography). 

They are also fine human beings and funguys.


Whas that? Oh, you're very welcome!

Love and peace - Wozza 

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm a feline Casanova, hey man that's that (Stray Cats)

It's about time I updated the very patient blogosphere on the animal situation at Rochdene. 

All of you will remember that SWMBO and I went looking for an aviary a few months ago and came home with two cats.

Said cats, Scooter is the male, Flower is the female were part of the scaredy variety initially, but they've now become quite at home.



Although he looks somewhat moody in the photo, Scooter is the well behaved one - using the scratching post and the cat door expertly. He's also much more outdoorsey.

Flower, however uses the carpet and couch rather than the scratching post and has no intention of ever learning how to operate the cat door. She's a tart, but a cuddly lovable tart.

Animal wise we also have a second horse to join Grace at Rochdene (a sign is still on the agenda). He's a weirdly put together neddy but very gentle with humans. He has established his male dominance of poor Grace and looks quite at home as well. Name - Beetle Bomb (from the Spike Jones classic skit) or Beetle for short.

Week 7 - Book 7: Orphan X (Gregg Hurwitz)

I needed some quick reads to keep me on track for my one book a week goal and so I grabbed this from Whitcoulls in Whangarei.

This one looked like it could be one to grip me after the last couple.

So far, so good. The jacket has a great line from David Baldacci which is about right after 26 pages. Thanks David!

Love and peace - Wozza