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Monday, 21 July 2014

Cats - Cosy, Comfortable and Complacent!

 Bella curled up in "her" recliner.
























(Below)  Mitzi settled on "her"side of the bed.





Both cats taking advantage of the winter sun - on "their" bed!



















Neither of my cats has been particularly affectionate in the past.  Oh, Bella would make herself at home on my lap occasionally; Mitzi hardly ever, and neither liked being picked up.  They did adore having their heads scratched and I'd get tired of doing that before they tired of having it done.

Since I've moved to my new place, their behaviour has radically changed.  Both cats have become much more affectionate now that the initial settling period has...well, settled.  I've picked Mitzi up several times without her scratching me to bits and she continues purring!  Bella is still not over keen on being picked up but jumps up on my lap at every opportunity (which makes it rather hard to use the keyboard at times).  In fact, there's been the odd stoush when one's on my lap and the other also wants to be there!

Bella hates the cold.  Yesterday she was curled up nice and comfortable on her chair when I opened the sliding door to let the breeze in for a bit.  Ok, it was a cool wind, I admit that, but the look I received should have had me six feet under.  She jumped down off the chair and stalked into the bedroom to lie on the bed in the sun. 

Mitzi, on the other hand, doesn't particularly worry about the cold...or water for that matter.  Bella hates water with a passion which is usual for most cats.  They're chalk and cheese...I guess coming from different litters explains that.

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Yesterday, for the first time in months, I decided to visit the Farmers' Markets at Bundall to buy some of my all time favourite chicken, macadamia and honey sausages.  To my intense disappointment the "chicken guys", as I call them, weren't there. Another stall holder told me that they no longer go to those markets now.  Looks like some detective work will be called for to track them down although I have a feeling they do go to Palm Beach markets.  I shall check it out.

I didn't come away empty handed though.  Stockman's Meats had a great special...1 kg of bacon for $8 - and I grabbed the last pack!  I also picked up a pork porterhouse sirloin roast which was a bonus as they don't have those often so I was very happy.  I cooked the pork last night, seasoned with garlic salt, and it was melt in the mouth delicious.  Pork sandwiches 
for lunch today...yum.

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Book Review:

"The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul" by Deborah Rodriguez (pub. Bantam Aust 2011)

I loved this story about five very disparate, remarkable women of various nationalities during the resurgence of the Taliban and all that event signified.  It's fiction but the author has lived in Afghanistan which gives authenticity to the background of the story.  There's drama, humour, romance and danger all mixed up in a very readable tale set in what is probably the most dangerous country on the planet. 

Although, extremely different in content, for some reason I put this book in the same bracket as Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird".  I think it's because it's one of those beautifully written books that one never forgets, no matter how many books one reads.

I really do recommend it for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Rating:  *****

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As those of you on Facebook know, I have the launch of "Old Age and Villainy" this coming Saturday afternoon, 26 July 2014.  I'm looking forward to it (I think).  I'm not particularly comfortable with being the centre of attention but we'll see how it goes.  Wish me luck!  

If anyone is interested in buying a copy (AUD10 plus p & p), contact me via email robyn_lee1@bigpond.com and I'll send a copy off to you or you could download it to your digital reader via Amazon.com.au.  I think the price is $2.99 or something like that.

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Well, it's the start of a new week and I hope those of you living in Australia are coping with the coldest winter in a very long time.  Living in Queensland, where the average daytime winter temperature is 22C F, the cold is a shock to the system...in my case anyway!  Until next time...

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Here I Be!



A box of my first ever published book...much excitement!
     Followed a few days later by
the business cards I'd ordered...
more excitement and an excuse not to 
finish sorting my new place out!

















It always takes me some time to settle into a new place and actually the cats have done better than I have.  They had a few days of freaking out and hiding every time they heard voices or a noise they didn't recognise.  They've come to accept it all now and spend most of the day snoozing in the sun.

As for me, I've had the very good reasons above to put off unpacking the last two or three cartons and instead spent time revelling in the fact that I am now a "Published Author"! For those of you on Facebook, this is old news but for those of you who aren't, this is my news.

I've been over the moon at the orders I've received from people for a copy and I'm very grateful that they actually want to read what I've written.  A huge appreciative thank you to you all!

After all the faffing around, today I finally unpacked the last cartons, sorted out the cupboards properly and also sorted out stuff that I no longer have a need of for selling.  Friends of mine are having a garage sale in the next two or three weeks and very kindly offered to sell it for me, but I'll take it around the night before, organise and price it then come back the next morning to help out.  It'll be fun although rather chilly seeing as it's the middle of winter.

Talking of winter, up until the last week, I hadn't had the heater on at all.  Quite a change from where I was living last winter.  That place was extremely cold, to the point where I started using the heater at the beginning of May.  Over the last week though, we'd had two or three nights of lower than usual (for the Coast, that is), temperatures so my heater went on...only on low though.  Enough to take the chill off the air.  Otherwise, my new home is quite cosy without any heating.

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I read a fascinating book last week.  It's called "Over The Mountains - Not Over The Hill" by Dr Elisabeth Puruto.  Elisabeth is a good friend of mine who, in her 50s, undertook a trek of the Himalayas.  Her book describes the effort it took and her vivid description of the mountains, villages and people really brought them to life as I read.  It's a wonderful account of what can be achieved when one sets one's mind to do things.

I'm afraid I'm more of an armchair traveller when it comes to treks of that ilk and I admire Elisabeth for her grit and determination to do the trek.  The book is available in eformat only through Amazon Australia.

If you enjoy reading of other people's exploits, as I do, rather than doing them yourself, I can recommend it for an interesting read.

Right...that's it.  It's time for a well deserved glass of wine before dinner.

Enjoy your week!