Month: October 2010

Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson

I completely love it that Kate Atkinson is now a crime writer albeit a ‘literary crime writer’ her version of a crime novel is one where there is no gore but plenty of thought, mulling over of things, and beautifully plotted humorous wonderfulness (I’m  gushing), this is crime for grown-ups of a certain age who like a thinking novel.

This is the fourth in the series which begins with Case Histories where we first met Jackson Brodie (but which I have only just read see this post) and whom we have now come to completely adore as he bumbles his slightly depressed way through life and love and sorts out the odd criminal along the way.  His new life as a private investigator hasn’t gone so swimmingly and he has been ripped off by his most recent wife who has absconded with a sizable chunk of his fortune, he is back into it again though searching for Hope McMaster’s parents.  She was adopted and the family moved to New Zealand and wants to find her roots.  Add to that story Tracy who is a recently retired cop who accidentally ‘buys’ a small child and also Tilly who is an elderly actress whose mind is fracturing.  There are these three separate stories which will ultimately connect, but it is the getting there that is the thing.  She weaves her story and you are completely taken on a journey, it is all so real, so beautifully done and this is a crime novel that doesn’t read like a crime novel.

My favourite thing about her writing is that you feel totally inside the heads of the characters, you understand how they feel and why, even though it may be totally bizarre that they act the way they do, but you get why they are being bizarre.  It should be set reading for everyone in the world!

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First harvest of the year

Mustard Greens.  Don’t they just look luscious!  This is my first leafy harvest of the season, and looking like they will provide plenty of delicious extra flavour to leafy salads all spring long.  I grew them last year but they went in too late and then bolted at the first hot spell, I think the trick will be to pick and pick and pick them.

I served them with a bunch of other leaves – not from my garden with some feta cheese over the top to accompany a baked potato and a half chicken breast pan fried with seasonings from the mystery collection in the drawer in my kitchen.  Delicious.  And you really can’t go past the “I grew them myself” moment.

Changing Education Paradigms – great speech from Sir Ken!

Sir Ken Robinson – genius, give his opinionated fabulously wonderful talk wonderfully RSA Animated.  Sit back, fill your glass, listen and watch and chuckle a little cos the jokes are quite amusing too, to the awesomeness, sigh as you go to your happy place.  Want more?  His website is on the links on the sidebar.

Rhododendrons Rockin Dunedin

October is Rhododendron Festival time in Dunedin.  The botanic gardens here are one of the primo sites to go and see them, but all over town they are amazing right now.  So, with this understanding I went out and purchased one for my place.  Her name is Rubicon and she is a brilliant red.  I took her photo but it isn’t showing her in her best light, she has lovely little black dots in the throat of the flowers which look rather fetching.

Below is last years new rhodie.  She is Princess Alice and I bought her because she is scented and I had been so impressed with the smell of the one in my friend’s garden every time I walked past it.  She is white with a pink tinge when in bud.  Lovely stuff. Again the photo is a bit rubbish, will post a better one if I can get one while she is still enveloped in blooms.