Sunny Sunday Sensing

“Lazy Sunday afternoon
I’ve got no mind to worry
I close my eyes and drift away-a”
Small Faces  1960s –  an English rock band from East London 

Sunday afternoon and it’s here before anywhere else in the world. Well, this Sunday was great.

The day started with a late rising, followed by a chat with my daughter and then another chat this time on Facetime with my alter ego/good friend Chris.  You know that we regularly chat and although we’ve never met in person, we are firm friends. Maybe if one of us wins the lottery we might get to meet. Waterloo, Ontario is far from Wellington, New Zealand. Aren’t we lucky we live in a time when the internet makes connecting with friends so easy?

After being picked up by another friend and lunch in the coffee shop at my favourite garden shop, we took a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “Why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Then it was time to unpack the groceries and take the opportunity to sit in the sunshine with another book from Tony Park, the author I recently discovered. Another book set in South Africa, about game viewing and poaching.  I am enjoying learning more about this fascinating country. Off now to continue reading. 

Then after lunch, a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Back to reading my book.

JB January 15, 2023
Wellington, NZ

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Courage

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, 
more talented than you know,
and capable of more than you imagine.” 
Roy T. Bennett, Author, Politician and

member of British South African Police
1957-2018

 I have spoken before about my amazement at how people, in particular women, handle and survive quite awful situations.

I have a reasonably new friend/acquaintance with whom I’ve become quite close. I knew she was divorced but knew little about her life before meeting her in our reasonably affluent
community. 

Recently she had a book published titled Notes from Inside.

A pseudonym to protect her family

The preface to the book starts “Domestic abuse, family harm. Now here’s the question: how do we put a fence at the top of a long-drop cliff rather than an ambulance at the bloodied bottom? She goes on to say that “This book is a journey, a slice of life memoir of shimmering images from my long resounding memory, now given hard edges into story”

She tells of a childhood, often happy but always overshadowed by her father, a bullying patriarch.  Then to married life in a fairly remote part of New Zealand with an abusive husband, several young children and little or no contact and/or help from anyone in the neighbourhood. She doesn’t dwell on the abuse, both physical and mental, but she does talk about how her mental health has been affected for many years since that time. 

This is certainly not an easy book to read. It takes us through various times of mental illness, lost loves, and broken families.  Unfortunately writing and publishing this book has caused an estrangement with her daughters which seems incapable of being mended.

The daughters feel that in telling this story, my friend has opened her family life to the world. And they feel that their lives will now become conversations for many people.

 I am now in awe of this woman; What she has been through and how she has come out the other end as a totally caring, helpful friend.

It’s a book well thought out, giving an honest depiction of her life up to this stage.  She still suffers from the hurt but with help, is coming to terms with what has happened. 

The dedication reads 
For my mother, Silvia. Mum, how I wish you’d lived much longer. I was only twenty-six when you died. There wasn’t enough time to absorb your wisdom, your laughter and your myriad skills. You told me of Saint Augustine, who said ‘Hope has two beautiful daughters – their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.’

JB October 6, 2022
Wellington, NZ

When your friend raves about a book do you automatically read it?

As many of you know JB ‘Judith’ and I became fast friends eleven years ago. Through WordPress. Kindred spirits.

We inspire each other, cheer each other one, commiserate when needed, and more than anything we laugh. Sometimes at each other. Our similarities are many. Our differences many more. But our humour is wicked and what tickles one, invariably tickles the other. And of course, this blog, A World Apart, is done jointly by us.

Like JB, I am a voracious reader. Our literary tastes can be quite different, though often the same.

The point I am trying to get around to is that I learn so many more new things from her than I think she does from me. And books are an example.

For instance, she really likes character driven and I am more plot driven. Btw, what do YOU prefer?

She likes stories where horrible things are overcome, and I run and hide. I like my fiction to be less so. Otherwise, the horrors of life are too real. But we share what we are reading, and what we are writing.

I always try her recommendations (unless it is about the ravages for war, or ravages of humans), and to be fair she always considers my recommendations. (although between you and me -SHHH- Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden ranks number one with me and she just can’t get through it)

Anyway, when we were FaceTiming the other day she mentioned Tea Cooper’s The Fossil Hunter. Another book she just couldn’t put down. I can’t find that this side of the world but I did pick up The Cartographer’s Secret by Cooper tonight at the library, and I am excited about starting it.

So while it is lovely sitting here at 10:59 p.m. chatting you up, I shall bid you adieu from North of 43, and settle down to at least starting this new adventure. (I hope it isn’t so gripping I won’t be able to put it down – I really need my sleep!

Chris G August 31st ‘22

COLD COLD BONES: an evening with

Just like big people I went out last evening, rather than being in pjs by nine.

The evening was with Kathy Reichs, the creator of the Temperance Brennan character, who by the way are two different people.

TV Tempe is different than book Tempe, but both are intriguing strong women, and both are forensic anthropologists. Bones the TV series went for 12 seasons and Kathy R was also a producer on the show who also wrote a few of the scripts.

My friends and I were not too sure what to expect given her age. As a hint she is one year younger than I. And I am seventy-five. But I wasn’t that far from her, well really close when she signed my book, but you might mistake her for my daughter, well maybe much much younger sister. NO plastics, but glows with apparent good health.

So that was the first surprise.

The next was that she so people friendly, as comfortable as she might be in my living room. I have been to meet other authors some of which were stiff, uncomfortable, and obviously just wanted the evening over. One even had a body guard standing next to him.

Then it came out that she published her first book twenty-five years ago. And that made her pretty close to the big 50.

She has accomplished so much more than books that I wondered how she could seem so laid back.

The theatre of two hundred seats was almost full so I was glad I got our tickets early. And being swift of foot I managed to get close to the front of the line for the signing.

I joked on FB that she actually wanted to sign my copy to my bestie Christine, but we know that was not quite accurate.

But I got my book signed and sighed with pleasure.

Felt amazing coming home in the evening and feeling so energized. And thought to myself as I poured a G&T, I really should go out in the evning more often. But I wondered where I would go??

So from North of 43, I am off to read and relish.

Chris G July 15th ’22

I Love Audio

The advent of technology, specifically internet, wifi, zoom, YouTube has enriched my life immensely.

And books on devices.

I still like the feel of a book in hand, turning pages, looking back, looking forward.

There are some of Stephen King’s books/movies I simply can’t handle and don’t but some I dearly love: The Talisman, Stand by Me, Mr. Mercedes, The Stand, – well to many to mention, and though I had problems with The Shining when I was younger, I loved Dr. Sleep and meeting the adult Danny.

Once when I felt rather brave I bought the book Duma Key, thinking that if it was too frightening I could put it down, skip pages, or go real slow. It was so gripping that I stayed up all night reading it. Terrified I still could not put it down. Then a month later thought I would reread because I already knew everything there was to know and be afraid of – so read it again- stayed up ALL night again- whew. Exhausting, frightening, terrifying.

Okay, so back to audio books. This is all about freedom, multitasking and still enjoying a story. I don’t listen to books or music when I go walking because I like to be in touch with my surroundings and ’enjoy the view’.

Audio books are action books for me; clean, knit, exercise. No longer having to give up one thing over another. Unfortunately I have stopped some audio books because who reads makes a big difference in how the story and characters are perceived. Some of the best for me are Titus Welliver, Scott Brick, Erick Conger, and Robert Bathurst, but again not enough time or space to list all.

I don’t buy audio books. I belong to a number of libraries and have a constant supply. Actually, I try not to buy too many books. As a child I dreamed of having a home some day with a library and books floor to ceiling, but then found whenever I moved any distance I got rid of my books and then restarted wherever I settled. So now after down-sizing I am happy with a constant non-space occupying solution. There are of course some I buy. Old friends that will become dog-eared with use.

So from here at north of 43 I bid you adieu as I must dash to return to LP’s The Reckoning, and my cross-stitch.

Chris G March 6th’22 Sunday