Things of interest (to me anyway)

Once more I have a raft of open browser windows across the top of my screen. I haven’t made much progress on the footy scarf I’m knitting for my husband’s boy. Luckily I told him it would probably be ready for next season. The reason why I’m going slowly with this project is mainly because the knitting pattern requires more attention (K2, P2 for those up on knitting lingo) than the other project I’m working on (just K, K, K, K). Here is a pic of what will be our blanket (my daughter is in on the action):



I did ballet as a girl. Probably only for a couple of years but it seemed longer. I went to a place run by a married couple, to Sollymossys (spelling?) and got up to points and then stopped cause it was too hard. The end of year concerts seemed to consist of all the ballet students providing backdrops to the two Sollymossys, who would dance in the middle and we would be trees at the back, or peasant girls picking flowers or seahorses, dashing through in diagonal formation. For a long time now I’ve believed that inside of all of us is the child we once were, and inside of me is a girl who loves ballet, which is why I’m considering doing this:

Going to adult ballet classes.

Anybody want to come with me?


Ulysses. I don’t think there’s another book that I am so determined to read before I die. I’ve tried a couple of times. The furthest I got was listening to it in audio as I drove to Adelaide and back by myself a few years ago. So I either need to go for a bigger drive or set aside a chunk of time and set myself to it. Someone at my book club is in another group and they are doing Ulysses – how fabulous. There was talk of doing Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, but there weren’t enough takers. I would love to be in a group that did longer works, so if anyone wants to start something up, let me know!

I read on twitter one person who read it in a day.

Here are a couple of posts from Bloomsday on the 16th, both from Biblioklept, probably my favourite bookish blog:

Bloomsday blog

How to read James Joyce’s Ulysses (and why you should avoid “how-to” guides like this one


I found this blog recently, called Write Like Rowling. I haven’t had time to look through it properly but this post, called Rowling’s Life as an Author: What it Was Really Like Writing HP looks very interesting. One thing seems to becoming clearer and clearer to me: that regardless of what type of writing people are doing, genre, non-fiction, memoir, any long-form project requires the same amount of dedication, persistence, attention to craft and so on. And reading about other writers and their experiences of getting it done is really inspiring and affirming.


Ah the Mildura Writers Festival. I went last year and what a hoot it was. You can read about it here and here and here.

Author and blog buddy Tracy Farr is going this year and she is the inaugural festival writer-resident. She’s appearing on several panels and will enjoy not just the writerly atmosphere of Mildura during the festival but the fab climate, good eating and beautiful location of the place. I joked last year that this is a secret I wanted to keep on the low-down but honestly, it’s such a solid drive from Melbourne, I think the distance keeps anyone other than the most determined of us away. It’s the distance that’s keeping me away this year, but I’m happy I’ll be meeting up with Tracy in Melbourne Town.


Reading: I know it will shock or confound some of you, but I am almost finished with a third or fourth re-read of Donna Tartt’s THE LITTLE FRIEND. I know, I know. What am I thinking? This is a book that has been described as the least-successful of Tartt’s books, and it’s a book that when I first read it, I didn’t know what to make of it and was disappointed with the ending. But each time I read it I see more and am dazzled by the density of what she’s attempted: the themes, the characters, the narrative and plot. And before you ask ‘why’, I’ll say ‘it’s for research’ – I am trying to see how she has done it. It’s ambitious and sweeping in scope. I think I just love people who have a go and try and I think it’s my favourite of her books. With GOLDFINCH I think she has scaled herself back to make it more popular, more accessible to the common reader (not sure that worked either).

I wonder if other people return to books over and over, and not just for reasons of love?

8 thoughts on “Things of interest (to me anyway)

  1. Hey J, thanks for the shout-out re Mildura. This time in two weeks I’ll be there! Immensely looking forward to meeting up with you in Melbourne on this trip.

    I too did ballet for some years as a kid. I looooved it. I stopped just before I got to points. I was a determined, serious, bespectacled little thing with short, solid pit-pony legs. My more willowy classmates (racehorse legs) were the ones encouraged to persevere, as I recall. Adult ballet classes sound wonderful. Coincidentally, I was thinking about ballet yesterday (research, I swear!). I stumbled on this: Barbra Streisand’s Swan Lake scene in Funny Girl.

    Your blanket’s looking good! I’d better choose a knitting project (something small and portable. Hello, I see socks in my future. Or perhaps a hat) for Mildura.

    See you soon!

    1. Yes the more I think about adult ballet the more I like the idea. I would love to have a pair of pink ballet slippers once more. I remember loving Funny Girl as a kid. Must watch again. Will check the link above. You will probably need a hat for Mildura, weather is v cold this year but also Mildura seems to have its own climate! Yes see you soon, am going to try to get to that launch next Tues.

  2. Loved your things of interest. I think readers are essentially voyeurs so blog posts in which people just write about a bunch of things that have caught their attention can be very interesting to others, though perhaps for different reasons from those intended by the blogger …

    BTW I did, and loved, ballet for 8 years as a child. I wasn’t very good and gave up within a year or so of going en pointe. Boy that was hard. I’m so glad people didn’t have video cameras then. My imagination of what I looked like is bad enough. I could do without seeing such images. But I think my ballet has fed into my love of things like yoga as a form of exercise. See where things of interest can take you (us, me)?

    1. Thanks Sue, wow doing ballet for 8 years, I didn’t do it for that long. I got the pointe shoes but don’t think I did many classes cause it hurt. Yoga is a recent interest of mine although have been slack about going, was too hot in that particular studio over summer, and too crowded. I have the name of a new place to try.

      1. I am very lucky … a new person moved into our neighbourhood (across the road in fact) eight years ago and turned out to be a yoga teacher. She didn’t want to teach formally but wanted to keep in touch with friends from her old suburb so decided to run a gathering in her home. She invited me to join them! How lucky is that? So once a week I wander across the road at 7pm and engage in yoga in her lovely rumpus room with up to four others including her. And then she makes us a cup of tea. Truly!

        So, after doing that for a year, I decided to get serious and practise on my own, which being retired I found easy to fit into my day (as long as I did it first thing). I’ve done yoga 5 mornings a week (with exceptions when I travel or something comes in the morning that interferes) now for about 6 years. I do things she teaches us, I do YouTube routines, and I have a couple of apps on my iPad. It has done me huge good. My posture used to be terrible. Now I’m much straighter – to the point that a couple of people have even noticed.

        BTW I’m pretty lazy about exercise – the good thing about this is that, except for the class, I can do it at home, in all weathers, and I don’t waste time by getting in the car to go to a gym. Get the mat out, do 30 mins, put the mat away. So easy, so stress free.

        I do hope you find a good place …

  3. That’s fantastic Sue, I envy you your stroll across the road. Though I am lucky there are a handful of studios close by to me. Just need to find the right one. I am going for long brisk walks and now am swimming once a week, just need to get yoga in the mix and I won’t know myself! I’m inspired by you…

  4. Thanks for the follow, Jenny, I’m following you now, too. I enjoyed hearing you’ve returned to The Little Friend—just a few nights ago I also returned to it, also for research. I wanted to see how graphically she dealt with the child’s death, and ended up being amazed at the first few chapters’ brilliance! Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline, thanks for your comment. I read your fab review of AS Patric’s Black Rock White City earlier this morning, found by a link by him on twitter. I also loved his book. And yes, interesting we have both returned to TLF. For me it was the third read and I think I read it closer this time than before. No longer disappointed with the ending. Now think the ending is terrific. Maybe I’ve grown into it? It’s gone from being my least favourite of hers to my favourite.

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