Showing posts with label Friday Reflections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friday Reflections. Show all posts

Friday, 16 June 2017

Overrated Books

It's never been any secret that books are one of my most favourite things in the whole wide world. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many books. Also, it's not hoarding if it's books. Because I say so. And that settles the matter. 

Ever since I was a child I always had a book permanently attached to my hand. Shame it's now often a phone... but that's another story...

Even so, there are certain books that failed to enthral me. It's even more puzzling when they're books or authors that are so beloved and popular. It leaves you wondering if there was something you missed. Is it possible that you read the same book as others? It's a very curious thing. Let me assure you, I am the furthest thing from a reading snob. Read what you like, I say. If it's some sort of  Game Of  Thrones fan fiction, who am I to judge?

I've gone from a passionate love of Enid Blyton (who probably seems unhinged and secretly racist to today's kidlets), to the completely stupid Sweet Valley High series as a teen. Then onto reading Mills and Boon romances, then a tonne of dubious 'chick lit' and implausible thrillers. My main purpose in reading is pure escapism. So there will never be any judgement from me. 

However, there have been a few books I just don't get. Without further ado, here are three books I consider to be overrated:


THE SLAP BY SOME DUDE WITH AN UNPRONOUNCEABLE NAME


Yeah, that dude. How do you pronounce it?

I read it last year because I'd heard good things about it. It sounded like an interesting premise: a group of friends at a suburban barbeque where an adult slaps another person's child. 

To be honest, the only part of the book I enjoyed was the description of the food at the barbeque. Which probably says a lot about me... Ahem...

It seemed to me that every single character in this book was thoroughly unlikable.  Maybe I'm too much of a Pollyanna or something, but I need to feel like I actually like at least one character to care about what happens to them at the end of the novel. 

Another thing that disturbed me was some of sex scenes. In one, a female character fantasises that she's being raped. What the...? I don't have a copy of the novel anymore to quote the scene, but it bothered me. Maybe some women like it rough, and good luck to them, but rape? Really? 

Also, I'm wondering if there is really quite so much drug taking among the Australian middle classes? It seemed like every character was into drugs.  I dunno, I guess I just live in a bubble... In Sydney's western suburbs surrounded by druggies and meth labs... Yet I've never taken an illegal drug in my entire life. Go figure. 

Anyway, I'm sure this Christos dude doesn't care what I think. He's too busy winning literary awards and writing his next best-selling, critically acclaimed masterpiece, while I'm sitting here writing this crappy blog. Sniff. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS BY EMILY BRONTE






Yes, you read that right. I am really going to call this classic of literature for nearly 200 years overrated.  Confession: I've never actually read the entire novel. I've tried several times during my life and I just couldn't do it. And I LOVE AND WORSHIP the Bronte sisters! Jane Eyre is one my favourite novels of all time. I could read it again and again. But not this. 

I know that Emily Bronte is considered to be some sort of incredible brooding genius; and she probably was. It's not her, it's me. For so many years I figured I had to force myself to read this, because it's such a classic. But you know what? NO. I just can't. Besides, I know what happens at end, anyway.

SPOILER ALERT: Heathcliff and Cathy die and their ghosts wander about the moors and haunt people, and then Kate Bush writes a song about it and dances about in a field or something.... Yeah, that. Overrated. Moving on. 


                            I recommend the Kate Bush song/video NOT the novel. 



ANYTHING BY JODI PICOULT




I thought I'd give this author a go because she is so incredibly popular. She's sold enough novels to fill the Atlantic ocean or the entire cosmos or the Sahara desert or... You get the picture. She's sold a shit tonne of novels. I guess people like her. I don't. The first time I tried to read one of her novels was many years ago. I picked up a novel called The Pact. It was about a suicide pact between two young people. However, I wasn't in a very good head space at the time, due to having lost a baby. Therefore, I decided that reading a book about suicide wasn't a good idea. Fast forward several years and I spotted another Jodi Picoult novel called Plain Truths on a sale table. I figured I'd give her another go.

As I vaguely recall, the plot centred around a hotshot lawyer, who somehow ends up defending an Amish girl, accused of murdering her newborn baby. Look, it was actually a good story, but it just went on and on and ON. By the middle of the novel I'd guessed the ending, anyway. So it just seemed superfluous to have hundreds more pages. I ended up skipping ahead to the ending, and my guess was right. Personally, I wouldn't bother reading any more Jodi Picoult novels, but as I mentioned, she is SO popular and famous. I guess it's just me. Shrugs.

A google search shows me that this novel was made into a TV film in 2004, starring Mariska Hargitay. It might be worth a watch, rather than wasting days or weeks on the plodding novel.
 




So there you have it. Three novels I thought were overrated.  Then of course there is 90 percent of the entire self-help, non-fiction genre...and anything with vampires... and the Fifty Shades series.. but I'll be here forever...  

What about you? Have you read any of the above novels? 

Which books do you think are overrated?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Mistakes

Greetings and salutations! Here we are again on another fabulous Friday! Which means it's time for Friday Reflections. 

I have to chosen to write a post for the prompt: write a post about making mistakes.This may be a mistake...  You decide. 




I make lots of little scatter brained mistakes on a daily basis. In fact, I came to the conclusion that I am some sort of hapless doddering Mrs Bean character long ago. Read it about here. It's funny to read about... Well, if I didn't laugh I'd cry...


Now it's time for a random list for no particular reason: 



LIST OF LITTLE MISTAKES I MAKE IN EVERYDAY LIFE





  • Putting the wrong clothes away in the wrong drawers.
  • Leaving the shopping list at home.
  • Forgetting to even write a list.
  • Writing a list, then leaving it at home.
  • Taking the list, but still forgetting to buy essential items written on it. 
  • Getting the dodgy trolley at the supermarket.
  • Choosing the slowest check out. 
  • Forgetting to replace the loo roll (I gather this is generally more of a dude thing, but I'm special...)
  • Buying/borrowing more books before I've read the ones I've got... No wait. This is NEVER a mistake! 
  • Forgetting the pizza that was in the oven... (on the plus side that means I burned a bazillion calories in just half an hour!  BOOM TISH) 
  • Picking up the wrong kind of schnitzels at the supermarket (the ones with corn instead of plain), an act of vile, callous and unforgivable EVIL as far as Mr 8 is concerned. 
  • Forgetting where I put my glasses/keys/phone five minutes ago....


You get the picture. This list could go on and on and ON. 

And that list hasn't even covered other past mistakes, such as my infamous mullet-perm of 1987, and the time I thought wearing shirts that looked like table cloths was attractive.  See below. What was I thinking? 




BIG MISTAKE


However, the biggest mistake I am currently making is this:

Not getting enough exercise. Followed closely by eating too much. OOPS. 

This in turn causes me to a) gain weight, and b) become more prone to anxiety.

This is also after choosing the word MOVE as my  one word for this year. Oh dear. 

So, yesterday I was at the shops and I had a big, wobbly, stupid, batshit crazy panic attack. Not fun. I haven't had one for ages, so it's very disconcerting when that bastard pops up. Well, it can go f#*k itself. I am making myself move again. I've always found exercise is one of the best strategies to combat it. 

As 'Anne' says, tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.

Or you know, fresh with no CAKES in it.  Since my mistakes often seem to feature baked goods. Ahem.  




Now I am signing off, because I really and truly need to get up and MOVE. 

What mistakes do you make? Do you learn from them?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Ten Reasons I Love Tea

Greetings, Earthlings.  How are we all? Well? Happy it's Friday? Bursting with enthusiasm and joy? All of the above? Nice. I'm not. Sniff. 

Nah, I'm good. Just have a pesky old headache, that's all. Nothing a good cup of coffee and some ibuprofen won't fix. Which segues neatly into today's topic:

TEA! 


I know. I said coffee before, but I like to surprise you with twists and unexpected turns. Since my head is pounding, I'm taking the easy option with the lovely old list-post. Why not? 

Here are ten reasons I love tea:

1. Tea warms me up on a cold winter's day. 
2. Tea never talks. I can sip it in blissful silence. 
3. Tea comes in convenient bags, with or without strings. 




4. Tea is one of the simple pleasures in life which is supposedly good for you, due to its antioxidants or something. I'm far to lazy and headachey to do the proper research. Shut up. 
5. You can drink it in lovely, pretty, dainty cups with saucers and pretend you're a character on Downton Abbey. Just me? 
6. Tea is the perfect companion for CAKE. Unless you prefer coffee. That works, too. 
7. You can have it in a pot or a cup. There is something so comforting about pouring it from the pot into those dainty cups. See above. This time you can pretend you're one of the servants on Downton Abbey, fantasising about spilling the scalding liquid on snooty Lady Mary's frightfully expensive gown. Again, just me? 




8. Cup of tea + good book + rainy day = Perfection, with a capital P. It's the simple things in life, people. 
9. Tea fixes everything. Have you ever noticed how in the middle of a crisis or something emotionally draining, the first thing people do is pop the kettle on for a refreshing brew? Or is that just in those historical saga type novels I read from time to time...? 
10. Tea provides the illusion that I'm much less socially awkward than I am. I'll take my small talk with tea, thanks. At least that way, when I can't think of anything to say, I can sip away. Luckily, I am not prone to spilling hot drinks or this theory could go awry quite easily...

And there you have it.  The ten reasons I love tea. Oh, and I do like the taste of it. That helps, too!

What about you? 

Are you a coffee or tea person? 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Odd Numbers

Welcome to another wondrous blog post from yours truly.  Admit it, it's the highlight of your day every time you delight in my meandering musings. You're welcome!

Now, today I have chosen the topic of odd numbers. This may seem odd. It's meant to! As you know, I always like to be cutting edge. Forever tackling the big issues.  Apparently, there are some folk who simply CANNOT BEAR odd numbers.  You know who you are.  Sorry if this post upsets you. Look away, NOW!

For the rest of you. You're in for a treat. Or something...

This topic got me thinking. As in, over-thinking about pointless important stuff... because that's how I roll. It suddenly dawned on me. I was born on the 15th of January 1971. All odd numbers. Fifteen. One. Seventy-one. Maybe that explains why I'm odd? Cue weird creepy music in the background...




My mother is certain that I wasn't exactly ready to be born on that day. She believes they got her due date wrong. Anyway, she was induced and I reluctantly made my way into this crazy old world on that momentous day. So perhaps I CHOSE the fifteenth... Okay, I'm getting carried away now. I'm not one of these 'everything happens for reason' annoying hippy drippy types. 

There are several people in my family who have birthdays on the 15th of various months. Mine is on the 15th of January. My middle son is the 15th of March. One of my nephews is on the 15th of May and my Dad on the 15th of November. So I've come to the conclusion that only fabulous people are born on the 15th.

I found this interesting quote, allegedly by William Shakespeare.  Quotes on the internet are always legit, right? 



Interesting, because 13 is meant to be unlucky. I also found this article which explains all the complicated biblical reasons for this superstition. I am too much of a heathen to be bothered reading into all that. However, I noticed that there is a theory that if your name has 13 letters you're cursed. Stupidly, I found myself doing the mental calculation. Yep, Vanessa Connor has 13 letters.  Therefore I am thankful for the following facts: a) My full name is Vanessa FAYE Connor, and b) I am NOT superstitious AT ALL. Nope. No way. Gulps. 

Meanwhile, the house we live in is also an odd number. Mickey Blue Eyes was born on the 11th of August 1963. So, kinda sorta odd. We were married on the 11th of November 1995. Again; totally odd. Consequently, I would say that 11 has turned out to be another odd and meaningful number for me.

For the record, when I say odd, I mean quirky, offbeat and TOTALLY AWESOME not straaaaaaange ODD. Us? No way!

In other numerical news, Mickey Blue Eyes is spectacular when it comes to numbers. This is like having some sort of magical powers to me. That, and understanding maps. I'm hopeless. Forgeddaboudit. In fact, I will forget about it. I've forgotten every single useful thing I have ever learned in life. But I'm cute, am I not?

Some people use their 'special' numbers as their lotto numbers. This is what my parents do. And every now again they do win! Teensy amounts like 27 bucks 50.

I don't normally go in for this sort of thing, but I did some lazy googling comprehensive research into Numerology. This is what I discovered about the birth number 15:

With a 15 birth date number (the life path number of a numerology chart), it means the events and circumstances of the person's life tends to relate to home, health, harmony, nurturing, and beliefs.


As an overview, the numerology number 15 represents a composition containing the ideas of:

  • Family
  • Harmony
  • Exploration
  • Curiosity
  • Idealism

I must admit, this does sound somewhat like me, even though my basic conclusion is that numerology is a load of bollocks. Oh well, it's a fun and interesting load of bollocks, not unlike horoscopes

Anyways, I think I am done being odd. Snorts. As if...! 

After all, normal is overrated! 

Do any numbers have special meaning to you?

Do odd numbers bother you? 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Messy Nessy

Hello again! I have finally madeit back to another Friday Reflections link up. I'm sure you've been beside yourselves missing me. What's that? You hadn't noticed I was gone? How rude. Sniff. Oh well, I'm back, anyway. I did expect trumpets, streamers and exclamations of joy to mark this momentous occasion. But you're right. A quiet and graceful return to the fold is much classier. Though I can't help thinkng, couldn't you even manage just ONE balloon? Some people.

Enough about that. Let's get on with it.

The prompt I have chosen is this:

 Are you messy or neat? What about your family/people you share your house with? Does it work well?

Here goes...

Have you ever looked around at your surroundings, the place you call home, your sanctuary, your precious abode and beamed with satisfaction and pride? Have you surveyed the gleaming surfaces and pristine rooms while a surge of sheer euphoria engulfed you at the blissful state of Konmari perfection you have created? Yes?

HMPH. Well, good for you. I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure we'd get along. For I am your worst nightmare.




There is no doubt about it. I'm a messy little minx.You can call me Messy Nessy if you want. I've been called worse things.

It's not that I don't TRY. Honestly, I do. No, TRULY!  Sometimes I try SO HARD. And the harder I try the more ridiculous it is.

It's a funny thing about me. Like a lot of things. I seem to be all or nothing. Either I am going batshit crazy and cleaning ALL THE THINGS like a possessed person, or I literally have less than zero interest. It's like trying to motivate myself to dress in a chicken suit and run down the street singing bah bah black  sheep at the tops of my lungs. The idea is absurd, repugnant and I just CAN'T EVEN.

Luckily, Mickey Blue Eyes and I are similar. We're both fairly messy and disorganised. Although, to be fair, he does do all the clothes washing. He washes and hangs it out it, while I have the unenviable task of folding and putting away. This seems to work for us. And we take turns doing the dishes by hand because we don't have a dishwasher. I know! What are we like?

Meanwhile, the boys are fairly typical of most teens/kids. Cleaning is not high on their list of priorities, but they will do it if we insist upon it. The only thing is, I have to admit I struggle to teach them to be something that I am not. How do you teach another person to be neat, tidy and well organised if you're not any of those things yourself? It's a tough one for me.

As I've mentioned before, I struggle with executive functioning due to my ASD. I have this weird dichotomy where my actual preference is for order and cleanliness but I am ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS at being the person who can create it. It's super frustrating and depressing at times. Sigh.

I've tried various techniques. Lists, online sites or apps such as Evernote and Todoist and read a tonne of books. I even attended a de-cluttering workshop which I talked about here.

For the record, I'm not a hoarder. My house doesn't resemble something off an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive (books don't count!). Tables and lounges can be used for what they are intended for and there is no climbing over things. However, it's just not as neat and tidy as I would like. Sigh.

 After attending the above workshop, I did come to the conclusion that I'm doing reasonably okay for someone who has ASD (officially diagnosed) and ADD (self-diagnosed). So I guess I've kinda sorta made my peace with it. But not really. It does upset me. I often wish I was one of those organised, meticulous people who have towels that match and spotless white furniture and fittings.

It's just not going to happen. Sorry, Mickey Blue Eyes! Sorry, Mum!

On the plus side, there is indisputable evidence that messy people are, in fact, geniuses.
Articles on the internet are concrete evidence, right?As Einstein was alleged to have stated: If a cluttered desk a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?





So there you have it. I'm a messy monster and not a neat freak. Messy Nessy. But I'm also a GENIUS. Though why a genius can't figure out stuff that is basically menial tasks is curious...

HMPH. Details!

Right, I'm off to be all genius-like and, erm...make mess. Or something.

What about you?

Are you a genius/messy monster or a neat freak? 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Stuff I Do When I Should Do Something Else


Every day I have a to-do list. Well, most days. Okay, some days. Look, I actually prefer the idea of a ta-da list. 

I've mentioned before that I'm very easily distracted. In addition to this helpful trait, I'm also a daydreamer. An off with the pixies space cadet. This means that my lovely little to-do list can be found languishing and lonely while I'm otherwise preoccupied.

The things I do most often when I'm meant to be doing something else:


  • Scroll through Facebook and observe everyone's bright shiny happy highlight reels. No, I'm not jealous AT ALL. Sniff.  
  • Reading. Books, books books and MORE BOOKS. So many books, not enough time! 
  • Daydreaming (see above).
  • Writing or blogging (I do add these things to my to-do list, but for some reason I still feel guilty and like I should be something else that is housework related.) Sigh. 
  • Pole Dancing. It's a passion of mine. In my daydreams. Again - see above. 
  • Watching TV. I don't have Netflix, and I'm not a reality show fan. But lately I've found myself watching programmes about murderers. Or, true crime documentaries. I blame Mickey Blue Eyes. He got me started on this stuff. There is something totally icky about these programmes. I don't feel like any of these psychopaths should be given any air time. We should remember and honour the victims. Yet I still find myself watching them when I should definitely be doing something else. I know, I hate myself.
  •  Over-thinking. Ruminating. Pondering. Mulling things over.  
  •  Obsessing over Karen Carpenter by watching Youtube videos for HOURS. But she was SO CUTE. And talented. 
  • Hang gliding. 
  • Taking a nanna nap. This would appear to confirm that I did indeed make the previous point up. Shut up, I had to make this list interesting somehow! 
  • Making cups of tea.
  • Drinking cups of tea. Once made, they must be drunk. Drank? I should learn proper grammar one of these days... Snorts. 

Well, that was a comprehensive list. I could go on, but it all boils down to what my mother would call 'fiddle fart arseing around'. I'm a fiddle fart arser extraordinaire. It's a gift, people.

Without a doubt, good old Facebook is the biggest time waster for me. I don't even play Candy crush or Farmville, or any of those games, but I can still manage to spend ages scrolling away. Apparently I'm gifted. Or something. Besides, fiddle fart arseing around on Facebook has a certain ring to it. Doesn't it? 

It's a weird and wonderful thing, this here social media, don't you think? At the click of the mouse you can connect with like minded people, access information and endless entertainment. There are so many advantages. But if you're like me, you also need to remind yourself to pull back a bit and engage in the real world. 

Others would argue that the online world IS just as real and valid these days. And I suppose it is, but there needs to be a balance. for some one like me who finds it difficult to switch attention between tasks, it can certainly be problematic.

One strategy would be to set the timer on my phone as a reminder. That way I can limit myself to fifteen or twenty minutes and stop and do something else for a set time as well. I have been implementing this as a strategy. Sort of. Kind of. Sometimes. When I remember. Yes, I am a very bad person. 

Oh, well. I had better stop fiddle fart arseing around. (And, you know, saying 'fiddle fart arseing around...').  I'm sure there's something else I'm supposed to be doing right now. I had better go and do it. If only I could remember what it was...

Linking up for Friday Reflections. 

What's the thing you do most often when you're meant to be doing something else? 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Horror Scopes

Hello there! It's the weekend again, lovely people. Now, make yourself comfortable, sit down with a glass of wine, and let's talk about horror scopes. Erm... I mean... horoscopes. 

Do you read yours? I must confess, I do not. This may come as no surprise, but I'm quite the cynical old soul in regards to such frivolities.  However, I figured why not? Let's have a look into this nonsense, shall we? At any rate, I can't think of anything else to write, and I've had a scotch or two, so this should be interesting... 

Yep. I am a Greedy Emo. 


I made my way into this mad old world on January 15th of 1971. According to astrology this makes me a Capricorn. And a Greedy Emo. See above.


It is an indisputable FACT that all Capricorns are dazzlingly clever and divinely beautiful. Okay, I may have made that up. (Or stolen it from LM Montgomery...). There was no need for the word 'may' in that sentence... But aren't all horoscopes fiction? So why can't I invent whatever it is that I want? HMPH.

Anyway, I just did a bit of the old googling and this is my horoscope for yesterday:

It's a good time to build up your self-esteem in terms of expressing yourself. Deep down inside, you're a very creative person, and today is a good day to let that show. Get involved in planning or cooking a meal, and volunteer to set the table. You can arrange the settings in a unique way -- let yourself do something that strikes people as downright odd. It's all part of encouraging yourself to take chances and express your natural talents.

Indeed, I have been cooking a lot lately, as well as setting the table in my own unique way. This involves flinging mismatching crockery and cutlery at the table in a most random fashion. Food follows likewise, because by the time I get to this point of the proceedings I am completely over it all and don't care anymore, so they can eat it or starve. 

But back to me being a Capricorn. 

According to Google, Capricorn personality traits are as follows:

Capricorn Traits : The Capricorn-born people are the most determined of the entire Zodiac. The most prominent qualities of the Goats, as they are called, are that they are ambitious, conservative, determined, practical and helpful.
Bwahahahahahahaha! NO.
How I fervently wish that the above was true for me! I am not at all determined or ambitious. I suppose I'm conservative, with a teensy little subversive streak that makes a guest appearance now and again. Like when I write rambling blog posts while I'm tipsy (or stone cold sober...). Living on the edge! 
Additionally, us goats are reputed to be quite stubborn. I've never thought of myself as stubborn. However, I don't cope with change whatsoever, so I'm wondering if that is, in fact, a form of stubbornness? What say you? 
Meanwhile, I just read the following passage and it certainly does resonate: 
Capricorn women typically enjoy people though they are often thoughtful, self-contained and shy. Their quiet exterior can make them appear to be loners, often building a wall of reserve around themselves. They are very loyal to those they care for, but often cold to those outside of their circle of friends and family. They are often highly cautious and analytical when making new friends.

CONCLUSION

My initial thoughts were that I am NOTHING like a Capricorn. However, after my drunken online reading, some of it does resonate. I reckon it's all open to interpretation and you can read whatever you want into it. I'd still never take horror scopes too seriously, but they're quite fun some of the time. Or maybe that's the scotch talking... You be the judge.

And now a final look at all of our horror scopes for the for the future...


I think that sums it up. 

What do you think? What star sign are you? Does it reflect your personality? Or do you think it's all a load of bollocks? 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Page Twenty-Seven

Hello again, lovelies! I'm back to moan about the weather. At least I am consistent with SOME things. Related: I am totally over this piss rain/become humid rinse/repeat thing.  That is what is happening in Sydney, anyway. I long for warm autumn days with crisp evenings... 

Well, I am glad I got that little whinge over with. As expected, it didn't change a thing. Funny about that. This would seem to confirm that there is simply no point or purpose in complaining about things you cannot control nor change. This won't stop me from doing it again, I expect. Like I said, consistency is key!

While I am here, I may as well join in for Friday Reflections. At any rate, it will stop me from whinging. 

This week I have decided to go with the prompt: 

  • Pick up the book you are currently reading, go to page 27 and write a post starting with the first line on that page.
Okay, if you insist. 

Dutifully, I pick up a book I have already read and am re-reading. It's a non-fiction book called Use Your Words: A Myth-Busting No-Fear Approach To Writing by Catherine Deveny. 

Upon flipping over to page 27, I discover these words:

After a quote attributed to Dorothy Parker:  
"I hate writing. I love having written". 

Then, the first complete sentence is this: 

I tell my Gunnas: 90% of writing never sees the light of day. But 100% of writing makes the writer feel better for having written it. 

Oh, how I love this sentence! In fact, I really love this book. This is coming not long after I had written a post proclaiming that I didn't think books about writing were helpful.  I've changed my mind after reading this book. It's tremendously helpful. I recommend it, especially if you are feeling stuck about writing in any way. 

I definitely relate to the above sentence.  You see, this is really the main reason why I write and have a blog. It just makes me feel better. I liken it to exercise. I'm actually inclined to be rather lazy, easily distracted and a procrastinator. Not very palatable to admit, but there it is. The truth hurts. OUCH.

There is never any day when I wake up bursting with inspiration and/or motivation to either a) exercise, or b) write. But boy, when I make myself do these things, do I feel better. SO much better. So, if nothing ever comes of my word vomit, and nothing ever has, it's worth it just for that. 

By the way, Catherine Deveny runs a writing master class which she calls "Gunnas", so that's what she is referring to. 

She also notes elsewhere in the book that there is no forced sharing in these groups. The reason behind this: it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of your writing. It doesn't even matter what YOU think of your writing, the only thing that matters is that you write. Genius! 

I expect writing makes me feel better because I can express myself better through writing, not talking. For some one who has considerable anxiety, it's a calming activity. Scribbling or tapping away is comforting for me. Furthermore, it's something  I can do with my hands besides shoving food into my mouth. Ahem. It also allows me to connect with others in a way that I'm unable to do in person. I'm introverted, shy and autistic, so people skills are not my forte. 

Often, if I'm over thinking, the very act of 'writing it out' and brain dumping helps tremendously. I don't necessarily need to share it. I have so many notebooks scattered everywhere about the house. They would make for very tedious reading if anyone got a hold of them. However, notebooks are so much cheaper than therapists!  So I'll call that a win. 

And with this bloody weather, what else can one do? Whoops! I'm whinging about the weather AGAIN. Time for me to go and do some more scribbling I need never share! Over and out. 

Do you agree? Do you think most writing isn't shared, but still makes the writer feel better?

Friday, 17 March 2017

Nessville Turns Five!

Hello, beautiful people. Yes, you. You are most certainly beautiful. How do I know? I'm psychic. Or is it psycho...?

Anyway, I'm glad you're here.  If you're a regular, thank you! If you're new, welcome!

Today. I would like to examine the reasons for my blog and it's title.

This should be interesting. Or deadly dull. You decide. 

Still here? Good!  I knew you'd find it fascinating. Okay, on with the show.

This topic/prompt is quite timely. You see, it has come to my attention that I began this blog approximately five years ago in March of 2012.  Yes, it's been that long! I can't believe it either.

So, I guess I should actually celebrate a five year blogaversary? Why not?! Okay, cakies all round! Streamers, balloons and trumpets and unicorns and fairy dust and...

And, just me. In my own little world...

As usual.

That's what this place is about. All of the above. Unicorns and all. It's my own little world, so I can make it whatever I want. Sniff. 

It does seem odd to keep talking to myself here for five years. But the thing is, I'm NOT a talker. So I tap away and fling a few words and thoughts at the internet. A small  number of people read them and I still get to pretend I'm in my own little world, instead of writing and posting things publicly for potentially anyone to see. I'm weird and slightly delusional. A woman of illogical contradictions intriguing dichotomies, I think you will find.

I've discussed why I started this blog before.  Additionally, there was a post about the whole saga behind Nessville. You may pop over and read them if you like. I'll wait until you come back. Or, just give it a miss. I don't mind. 

Either way, you still get CAKE.




Well, a picture of a cake. Same thing, isn't it?  

At this point, I would just like to be all mushy for a moment and thank each and every one of you dear readers. Thank you for taking the time to have a bit of a squiz* at my ramblings. I do waffle on so, never providing anything useful other than a teensy bit of amusement (I hope), so I appreciate it. And I'm not even going to make any jokes about there only being one of you... There's at least two. DOH.

Self-deprecation is my default setting. Ever so sorry! I am trying to being less so. After 46 years, it's uphill work to retrain oneself. But it must be done. Slowly. I'm sure I'll be bursting with confidence by the time my 10th blogaversary rocks around... So make sure you stay with me to find out! 

Meanwhile,  in addition to cake, wine sounds good. So cheers!





* 'Squiz' is Australian for 'having a look'. Makes perfect sense, right...


Linking up for Friday Reflections with the prompt:


 The reason behind your blog and its name.


What are the reasons behind your blog (if you have one)? 

What milestones are you celebrating? 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Strengths Of A Woman

Have you ever taken the VIA  Character Strength survey? It's a lovely little exercise in self-absorption self-awareness. You do a fifteen minute quiz and then you receive your list of personality traits. Here's mine and why they could be considered strengths. Or not...

1. Forgiveness.

I am a forgiving creature. If you say you don't even like the Carpenters, I'll forgive you.  After all, it's not your fault. We can't all have exquisite taste. Besides, I think holding grudges is a waste of energy. Forgiveness helps me in life, because I avoid wasting energy thinking over things. Especially because I do tend to be an over thinker! 


2. Humility.

Humility is a strength because I'm not vain or full of myself. Sometimes, however, it feels like I can take this a bit too far. For example, I am terrible at self-promotion. That would explain why this blog has lain languishing in the far corners of the internet for approximately five years... Look, I'm sure there's a strength there somewhere. I'll let you know, when I figure out what it is...

3. Honesty.

This speaks for itself. Honesty is a strength because I have strong sense of what is right or wrong and I live my life in line with those values. Consequently, I have never been arrested. I tend to view this as a positive thing in life . I'm funny like that. Well, there was that one time when I accidentally forgot to pay for an avocado in Coles and I didn't go back... But this was back when smashed avo wasn't such a thing and they weren't really expensive... And I swear I'm a good person! HONEST. 

4. Prudence.

Apparently I'm a prim and proper Pollyanna type. I'm surprised by this because I thought of myself as a rebel and risk taker. Cutting edge and all. I mean, sometimes I even have TWO cups of coffee in a day! That's daring. Isn't it? On the plus side, at least I don't do or say things I regret later. Unless they involve cake... 

5. Love.

Well yes, I do love cake. Cake Love is everything. Valuing and loving my family is a strength, because basically I've got nothing else to offer them. Not a thing. I'm like a puppy.Cute to have around, eats a lot, but is utterly useless. But even if I suck at everything on a practical level, my boys know that I love them. That's the most important thing. I think. I hope. Of course it is! HMPH. 

6. Fairness.

It probably doesn't feel very fair at the moment that I am making you read this. But I do try to be entertaining. And fair. Always. I like to play fair. It's just the way I am and I'm proud of it because I treat everyone the same and am not judgey at all, even I'm supposed to be prim (see no 4. Prudence. What's that about...?)

7. Judgement.

I am not judging you. If you're sitting there in your PJ'S at midday, eating your body weight in cheese/chocolate/chips... Who am I to judge? Ahem.  

8.  Love Of Learning.

I'm learning about myself and life all the time. Just when I think I have a few things figured out, something perplexes me again and I'm back where I started. But I never give up.  That, in itself, has to be a strength. Doesn't it?




9. Kindness.

How could anybody think this is not a strength? I certainly sleep better at night because of this trait. I'll call that a win. 

10.  Humour.

Humour is essential and a strength because it allows me to see the lighter side of the most ridiculous and challenging things. And let's face it who wouldn't laugh at my Kath n' Kim 'fro'. It's noice. Unyewwwsual.

11. Gratitude.

I am grateful for all the small blessings in my life. Not just cake! 

12. Appreciation Of Beauty & Excellence

Being able to appreciate books and music has definitely been a strength and comfort in my life! 

13. Leadership.

Not surprisingly, this trait comes in at 13. I am a quiet soul.  These days us introverted souls can still lead in our own quiet ways. Don't laugh. If I choose not to, that's my prerogative. Shut up. 

14. Hope.

I was hoping I could think of something to say about this. Nope. Nothing. But I never give up hope. See? 

15. Perseverance.

This one is a little dispiriting. To see it so low down the list. In part I believe it's because I'm easily distracted. This prevents me from getting tasks done. However, I'm improving. Sort of. In increments. Okay, it's a two steps forward, three steps back kind of thing, but I never give up. See? I have perseverance! 

16. Perspective.

I change my perspective and get confused about what I believe easily.  I don't really know what to say about this. At least I am flexible about changing and understanding new information. Yep, definitely a strength. 

17. Teamwork.

I would like to say I'm a team player,but actually I hate people. So, no. Just no. 

Okay, hate is a strong word. I just don't understand them. Especially myself.   But I think we've established the fact that I'm actually some sort of creature from the planet Zorg. 

18. Creativity. 

To be honest, I've only just truly understood what creativity really IS in the last few months. To my chagrin, I am not as creative as I'd like to be, but again, I am changing. One of these days, I'll be a creative genius. See my hope and perseverance? 

19. Zest.

Yes, well. What can I say about this? I do feel full of zest quite often. Unfortunately it's the zest of a sloth creature on Valium. No surprises, that this trait features so low on my list. Having admitted to this, many ASD folk speak of something called Autistic 'inertia'.
I am going with that. Explains a lot. 

20. Curiosity.

I am a bit odd here. I don't seem to have much interest or curiosity about things the way others do. Again, I think it's something to do with ASD. We're supposed to have rigid and narrow interests. If I really think about it, there are things that interest me, they're just different than others. It's all good. 

21. Spirituality.

Apparently this relates to having coherent believes about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. Yeah, got nothing. If anyone has any answers I'm all ears. 

22. Bravery.

Apparently I'm a spineless, scaredy-cat wuss. If anyone needs me I'll be shaking and cowering in the corner. 

23. Social intelligence.


Yeah, I think we've covered the fact that I really don't get people. That is all. 

24. Self-Regulation. 

Well, this is not exactly a shock. Self-regulation comes in at the very end for me. Considering my passion for all things cake like, it's sadly true. It's an area with which I struggle. Sigh.




I must admit, this exercise is a bit dispiriting and I do wish I could shuffle some of these traits around.  However, I guess a forgiving, humble, kind, non-judging, fair-minded Pollyanna with a love of learning and a sense of humour isn't so bad. After all, it's all a matter of perspective! 

Joining in for Friday Reflections with the prompt:


What character traits do you consider to be strengths? 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Imagination



With my imagination I can behold
Mysteries, stories, tales to be told

Search through the archives of my mind
Ask probing questions, transcend time

I'm sitting, just staring, so it would seem
Dreaming things that make my eyes gleam

Thinking up magical words to create
Making up characters, deciding their fate

Lost in the wonder of words I discover
Finding a rhythm, then writing another

Sitting in bed, pen in my hand
Come to me now, dear words, I command

When I have written, I like how I feel
Something shifts and inside I heal

In a quiet corner where my books all reside
Another notebook, words jumbled, I've tried

With a laptop and imagination, I tap away
Contented and happy in this simple way

Flying away in both heart and mind
Along with the wind, to see what I'll find

Past houses, trees and curious people
A windswept beach, a sombre church steeple

Thinking of questions, pondering answers
Daring to dream, take further chances 

To ancient lands of haughty queens and kings,
Creatures and serpents and sinister things

Grotesque visions that make your heart lurch
Yes, imagination is the highest research!

Outside the window, the rain starts to fall
I'm lost to my imagination's beckoning call

I weave my words, unaware of the time
Oblivious to the washing, now wet on the line!

Suddenly I see my dear Mickey Blue Eyes

Who looks out, aghast, and hastily cries

"Didn't you hear it?"I give a sheepish no.
 It's hard to believe I didn't, I know.

I said it before, but one more time...
Imagination is the place you will find

The research for all the things you ponder
True glory and hope, visions of wonder

Of course imagination is the highest research
It's always a blessing, but sometimes a curse!

Abruptly I have to crash back to Earth,

Be present and focused to prove my worth

So I must explain, I often feel misunderstood
I'm a wistful dreamer whose intentions are good

Although imagination does take me away
It's how I express the things I can't say

It's not laziness that you think you see
This is the magic of imagination for me

I'm sitting, just staring, so it would seem
Dreaming of things that make my eyes gleam

With my imagination I can behold
Mysteries, stories, tales to be told...



Linking up for Friday Reflections with a poem that is inspired by the following two prompts: 


 “Imagination is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.

 What’s the one thing you wish others understood about you


Do you think imagination is the highest form of research?

What's the one thing you wish others understood about you? 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Letter To A Kindred Spirit





Dear Anne,

You don't know me, but I believe if we'd met we would most definitely be kindred spirits. Maybe I wouldn't take the place of Diana as your 'bosum' friend, but I would be a close second. 

I am shy and silent just like your beloved Matthew. You could chatter to your heart's content and I wouldn't mind. 

Like you, I also had red hair as a girl. Unlike you, I wasn't particularly bothered by it. In fact, I felt proud to have something in common with my favourite heroine. I wore a blue dress with puffed sleeves to my year six farewell. I agree. Puffs are MAGNIFICENT. 

I can imagine us together. You would show me all your favourite haunts. The White Way Of Delight, and the Lake Of Shining waters. I think I'll pass on The Haunted Wood, however. My imagination is quite vivid too, you see. 

I would have been a prolific member of your Story Club, Anne. I too, wrote such melodramatic stories as a child. They are hilarious in hindsight, just like your stories: The Jealous Rival and In Death Not Divided. And Rosamund Montmorency is a splendid pen name! What do you think mine would have been, Anne? I'm thinking something like Lavinia De Lovely.  Or, with your permission, I could be Cordelia De Lovely. Yes, Cordelia IS a perfectly elegant name. You are quite correct about that. 

Mind you, I believe Anne is also an elegant name.  And yes, it should be spelled with an E. Remember how when you asked Marilla to be sure to spell it with and E and you said: "Whenever you hear a name pronounced, can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out?" 

I had such a thrill of recognition when I read that! I do the very same thing! In fact, I often see entire sentences in my mind as if they were printed out. It's odd, but I'm glad I have something else in common with you, Anne. This seems to confirm to me that we are indeed kindred spirits. 

I must confess, I would have been a little jealous of Gilbert's devotion to you, Anne. I definitely have a crush on him! But he would only ever have eyes for you, so you needn't worry about that. I am not a horrible flirt, show off or nasty gossip like Josie Pye! I would dance at yours and Gilbert's wedding, and toast you with currant wine. Being careful not to get drunk like Diana did! 

And when you went off to Queens and Kingsport Ladies College and then to live in Glen St. Mary, I would have been a faithful pen pal. Letter writing is something I've always enjoyed. I do wish that I could be much more determined, like you, Anne. But I'm getting better.

As Miss Stacey said: tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.  That is always such a comforting thought. Until tomorrow comes and I make the same mistakes all over again. You know, just to be sure! 

There have been many times when I've felt like I'm 'in the depths of despair' as you put it, but you have always been there to comfort me.  Even though I know you're fictional, you'll always be my friend and a true kindred spirit. After all, that's what an imagination is for, right? So thanks, Anne. I look forward to the next 'bend in the road'.  

I will remain yours faithfully,

Ness. 

Joining in for Friday Reflections with the prompt:

Write a letter to a fictional character.


Which fictional character would you write to?

Are you an Anne Of Green Gables fan? 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Being Grateful

Over the years I've tried on and off to have a gratitude journal. This is the simple act of writing down the things you're most grateful for each day. Apparently there is research to show that this process is effective in helping with things like depression and increasing contentment. I tend to be a bit cynical about these things (surprise!). I will concede that it's a much better option than reaching for the cake every time you feel crappy. That has worked out really well for me. NOT.  

The problem I have with gratitude journals? It gets a bit boring to write the same things every day. OF COURSE I am grateful for my health - now more than ever, having had cancer. OF COURSE I am grateful for my family. I'm also grateful to have some time to myself away from my family now and again (but you're not supposed to admit that?).

During my cancer treatment, I began the concept of a 'happiness jar'. Except I used a shoe box, because I like to be different. The idea is, you write down anything that made you happy that day, any memorable moment no matter how mundane or seemingly insignificant. Then you pop it in the jar. At a later date you can read them and realise there were happy moments among the shittyness. 


I haven't added anything to my happiness box or written a gratitude journal in quite a while.

 And while I'm still somewhat sceptical about the practise on a daily basis, it doesn't hurt to revisit it once in a while and remind yourself that you have plenty of positive things to be grateful for. So, here's my A-Z of things I'm currently grateful for. 

The things I am currently grateful for:


A - Apples, Avocados, Ass burgers diagnonsense, Air conditioning, Australia: I'm grateful I was born and live here; even if it has been like the seventh circle of hell lately!

B - Boys, Books, Blogging, Brain (I think I have one)

C - Cakies, Carpenters music, Creativity, Cuddles

D - Daydreams

E - Exercise, Eating (everything always comes back to food with me...)

F - Friendships ( online and real life ), Family

G - Green (one of my favourite colours)

H - Home, Health

I = Imagination, Igloo (well, I WOULD be grateful if I had one...it's bloody hot here!)

J - Juices, Joy, Jogging (Just kidding, I never jog!)

K - Karen! (Carpenter, of course! )

L - Love ( I am loved and I love my family )

M - Micky Blue Eyes, Music

N - Notebooks

O - Online world

P - Pens, People I love

Q - Quiet time!

R - Reading, Resilience

S- Silence, Stories, Songs

T - TV, Therapy, TITS ( this is what I call my ipod, plus I AM glad I got to keep my tits on after having breast cancer)

U - Unicorns? ( Okay, I'm stuggling, now!)

V- Vanessa being my name,

W - Words, Writing, Water

X - X - rays (since a mammogram saved my life)

Y -  (New) Year

Z - I'm grateful I've reached z so I'm finished!!


There you have it. An A-Z of gratitude.

I just realised yet another reason why I'm uncomfortable with the procedure. I always feel like I'm missing the point and there is some big, important thing that I should be grateful for and I'm such a self-absorbed arsehole  to only think of food! 

Oh well! Oops. 

What are your thoughts about gratitude journals? 

What are you most grateful for?