This week

By Vita Forest

The Japanese Gardens at Auburn

The Japanese Gardens at Auburn

This week I have been

  • READING
    • The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta.  Again.  (It makes me ache, how I love this book…)
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling at school (up to the first Quidditch match…)
  • WRITING
  • MAKING collages of Totoro at school.
  • VISITING the Japanese Gardens at Auburn with my class (very lovely).
  • WATCHING the new season of Homeland on TV.
  • MEETING two gorgeous friends from high school and confiding in each other about our latest ups and downs.  A shout out to two very inspiring women!
  • LISTENING to Piazzola on the radio while
  • STOPPING to watch the sunset.
  • THINKING about all those effected by the terrible recent events in Paris.

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Walking back to the city over Pyrmont Bridge

Walking back to the city over Pyrmont Bridge

This week I have been

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Stairs at Barangaroo Reserve, look at that sandstone!

Stairs at Barangaroo Reserve, look at that sandstone!

This week I have been

  • READING The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard.  For the third time.  Oh my goodness… It really is an experience.
  • WRITING
  • MAKING cupcakes with lemon icing for Lucy’s birthday.
  • VISITING Barangaroo Reserve for one of Lucy’s birthday celebrations and a barefoot rock scramble.
  • WATCHING The Beautiful Lie on ABC. (Anna Karenina set in modern day Australia.  Very good indeed).

In The Cutaway, Barangaroo

I am Georgie, I am Lu

By Vita Forest

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There are books that need a second reading and there are books that you love the first time around.  This is different for everyone, but why?  Perhaps it is your own life that must be aligned to fit the book.  Do the characters speak your own thoughts back to you?  Is the emotional tenor tuned in to within a hair’s breath of your wavelength?

Dirt Music by Tim Winton is one of my very favourite books.  But it was not always so.  I used to prefer Cloudstreet – that sprawling tale of two families sharing a house in Perth.  With a talking pig and a mulberry-stained tent in the backyard.  But my preference now lies with Dirt Music.  The first time I read it, I admired it, but the second time, I loved it.

It tells the story of two lost souls – Georgie and Lu, who stumble into each others’ way.  Perhaps I love it because of Georgie – stuck in a bad place, having lost her direction, purpose and sense of self.  I am Georgie, I thought.  Another friend felt the connection to Georgie too, but found it too close to the bone, and for that reason, remained deliberately detached.  Or maybe it was because of Lu – the sole survivor of a terrible accident who deliberately provoked the wrath of the Gods (both local and spiritual).  I am Lu, I thought, as he noticed the tiniest details and avoided reminiscing.  Or was it the sum of its parts – the contrast of the brutal, ugly township and the transcendent scenes of nature, or the small poetic moments of yearning, like Lu leaving the imprint of his lips on Georgie’s window, or Georgie eating the red dirt found in an otherwise empty envelope sent from Broome.  Whatever it was, on my second reading I got it and Dirt Music became a “book to own”.

Dirt Music also contains a sense of hope sometimes missing from Tim Winton’s other books.  The characters are on a quest that they can’t articulate, but in the end, there is redemption.  I remember reading of someone finishing The Riders and being so frustrated, they threw the book across the room – before realizing what an amazing writer Tim Winton was, to provoke such a reaction.

Last year I saw an interview with Tim Winton by Jennifer Byrne.  There is something about him too.  Despite his eloquence he is very self-depreciating, an attractive quality in this world of narcissists.  When asked about whether his new book Eyrie was a change of direction for him with its urban setting, Winton ruminated for a few moments before drawing parallels to his earlier work and concluding, “It’s the same old shit really.”

Perhaps this is why, as Saskia would say, we are “a little bit in love with him.”

Do you have books that needed a second reading before you loved them?

This week

By Vita Forest

Orange Grove Market

Orange Grove Market

This week I have been

  • READING Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
  • WRITING
  • MAKING a Hedwig owl soft toy to go with Pigwidgeon (for Lucy’s birthday).
  • VISITING Orange Grove Market, Leichhardt.
  • WATCHING The Principal on SBS.
  • SPOTTING pelicans off Tunks Park, Cammeray.

This week

By Vita Forest

 

A cat friend for my nephew

A cat friend for my nephew

This week I have been

  • READING The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
  • WRITING
  • MAKING a cat soft toy for my nephew.  (He is One today!)
  • VISITING Manly by ferry with some lovely old school friends and some of our kids.  We did a BIG walk (sore, tired legs now).
  • WATCHING Saving Mr Banks and Rear Window with my kids.  Their first Alfred Hitchcock experience…

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Green Square

Central Park

This week I have been

  • READING The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (it was the school holidays after all – extra time for reading).
  • WRITING
  • MAKING Hedwig and Pidwidgeon (see last week’s This week… hand sewing takes a long time).
  • VISITING The Goods Line, The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building designed by Frank Gehry, the Central Park precinct and McKell Park.
  • WATCHING The Good Wife Season 1.
  • SPOTTING a seal! from Sawmiller’s Reserve at Berry’s Bay.

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Walking through the Blue Mountains

Walking through the Blue Mountains

This week I have been

  • READING Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson (lovely) and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chambon (so good so far).
  • WRITING
  • MAKING two owls for Lucy (Hedwig and Pigwidgeon) based on Ann Wood’s wonderful patterns.
  • VISITING the Blue Mountains.
  • WATCHING Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away with the kids (our own mini Studio Ghibli festival).

 

This week

By Vita Forest

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This week I have been

  • READING Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.  Again.
  • WRITING
  • MAKING a Facebook page for Jotterizing.
  • VISITING some lovely childhood friends for dinner
  • WATCHING Orange is the New Black (Season 1).
  • LISTENING to Simon Tedeschi play the piano (WOW!)
  • THINKING about how Finnikin of the Rock brings to mind the Syrian refugees.

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Sunday sights

Sunday sights

This week I have been

  • READING Little Adventures in Tokyo: A Guide to Strange Sidetrips and Unusual Ways of Having Fun by Rick Kennedy.  How lovely it is.
  • WRITING
  • MAKING plans for next term.
  • VISITING The Paddington Reservoir gardens
  • WATCHING Storyline Online during Fruit break at school.