Saturday, 31 December 2016

I'm Back, Happy New Year!

Well, hello! I'm a bit of a stranger now, aren't I? Sorry about all that, life's been rather hectic lately.  First things first, Happy New Year! (This blog insists I published this post on December 31st but it is most definitely January 1st 2017 where I live!)

For many people, 2016 seems to have been a very up and down year, myself included. Yet, it seems as though each coming year, the valleys get lower but the mountains are higher and life becomes richer, deeper, and more meaningful every time. This past year has been so very challenging, incredibly unique and unfathomably rewarding for me personally in many different ways and despite the loss, pain, and tears, I look back in awe at the way God has worked - the way He has pieced everything together little by little like a jigsaw puzzle. I know without a doubt that 2017 will bring its own unique challenges but I am so excited for where life will take me over the next 12 months, In fact, can I just put it on record right here and now, that I absolutely love life!

The main reason I haven't posted much lately is that around the same time I started this blog, I also started a new full time job. It's been a wild roller coaster of learning which has only intensified. Physically and mentally, I've been too exhausted to post much on here but hopefully that will change this year.
So, what have I been up to since I last posted?  I remember posting a couple of months or so ago about how I was so totally going to smash out NaNoWriMo this year even whilst working full time.  I can now proudly announce that I hit the required word count for two whole days in a row and then barely touched my manuscript for the rest of the month.... Top tip for any future Nano-ers, full time work and novel writing in a month don't mix.

For the first time in my life, I was sick Christmas day which was sad but not too devastating since I had no big plans for Christmas anyway. It was a strange feeling lying in 40 degree (celsius) or 104 degree for my USA readers heat outside and having a few chills....Thankfully, I'm almost back to full health - and work! Yep, I only get public holidays off :(

Last night (New Year's Eve) was a time of celebration and welcoming in the new year in my home city. There were fireworks and tons of people down by the beach (how Aussie can you get!) and for me, I found it a really great night as I was volunteering. My local church went out onto the streets (as part of a wider organisation) handing out water, sweets and sick bags (there was a lot of drinking) and making Jesus known. It's not about us or how good we were but honestly, I can't think of a better way to spend the last hours of a year and the beginning hours of a new year than serving other people and doing what I know Jesus would have been doing if He was there. I had the privilege of doing a similar outreach earlier this year amongst thousands of drunk, drugged out school leavers and both times I can say it was an incredibly rewarding experience and one I can't wait to do again. I've had Christian people look down their noses at the wild parties that happen at events like these and talk about "keeping out of the path of the ungodly" etc but you know what, Jesus plunged straight into making friends with the people all the righteous Jews avoided and He was there for them - not condoning their sin, but serving them, loving them, and making them feel valued.

Like I predicted before, 2017 will probably be as challenging or more so than 2016 but if I focus on doing the kinds of things Jesus would do, those mountain peaks will keep on a comin'

Happy New Year xx

Monday, 14 November 2016

Movie Review - The Blue Castle

Read the title of this post.  Read it? Excited? Well now I must let you down gently and explain that whilst there is as yet, no physical film of LM Montgomery's phenomenal The Blue Castle, in honour of The Great Imaginary Film Blogathon, I will be reviewing one of the great films that never was.  Complete with director, casting and all those important details, settle yourself in for the read of your my dreams and perhaps start drafting a letter to Warner Brothers to consider my post.  The more they get, the better my chances are of this dream becoming a reality, right?

I don't know about you, but I consider the above to be my tour de force. Sincere apologies to any owners of individual pictures and to the New York Times to whom I have attributed an entirely imaginary quote - but I'm sure it would be entirely true if this were indeed an actual film. And now, my friends, to the review!

The Blue Castle by the one and only LM Montgomery tends to be overlooked somewhat in comparison to the Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series. Yet, it's one of my absolute favourite LM Montgomery's and with an older (comparatively) heroine, it just gets more and more relatable. Naturally, this means that the most exciting movie release so far of 2016 is this Warner Brothers version of The Blue Castle, directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby 2013) and starring Tom Hiddleston (War Horse) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey).

Other casting choices include:

Robert de Niro as Roaring Abel

Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Stirling (Valancy's domineering matriarch)

Ashley Benson as Olive Sitrling

Clémence Poésy as Cecily Gay

Not wishing to change a good thing, Warner Brothers have kept the name of the film the same as the name of the book - a great start.  The film itself runs fairly true to the book but omitting some of the more detailed sections - Valancy's large extended family is severely cut down with only a handful of relatives making an appearance. Other noticeable changes include combining the characters of Uncle James and Uncle Benjamin - a decision Warner Brothers said they made to "simplify the confusing family logistics presented in the novel" and having writer John Forster awarded with the Lorne Pierce Medal for literature in a "surprising twist to the end".

As in the book, the story begins with a downtrodden single 29 year old Valancy still living at home with her mother and mother's cousin, "Cousin Stickles".  In a society where marriage is the life goal for every woman, Valancy is scorned and snubbed by her mother, Cousin Stickles and other members of her extended family and the rest of her home town. When she secretly finds out she has only a year to live, Valancy decides to live life her own way.  She begins by caring for the shunned daughter (Clémence Poésy) of the local drunkard "Roaring Abel" (Robert de Niro in a fantastic performance) who is dying of tuberculosis and committed the unforgivable sin of birthing an illegitimate (and now deceased) son a few years previously. Following a dramatic death scene, Valancy continues to live life adventurously - proposing to none other than the shady and devastatingly mysterious Barney Snaith. After a very passionate kiss (which wasn't exactly in the book!), Barney agrees to the proposal since Valancy only has a year to live and an unconventional marriage begins.  For those of you who have not read the book, I shan't spoil the ending by going further but overall I would give this imaginary movie 8/10 for its portrayal and similarity to the spirit of the original.

What I liked: Michelle Dockery as Valancy Stirling. For those of you acquainted with Michelle from Downton Abbey, fear not, she has mastered a convincing Canadian accent. Certain "Lady Mary" characteristics are certainly on play here, seen in Valancy's obstinate, passionate stand for making her own life and again in her dry humour weaving in and out of the story. The very un-Lady Mary like crushed and downtrodden personality at the beginning displays Michelle's incredible versatility and ability to truly become the character.

What could be improved: Now, whilst I think Tom Hiddleston makes a good Barney, I don't think he's quite right.  Then again, no actor is really quite right for Barney.  The main problem with Tom is that in the book, I'm sure I remember Barney flicking his hair off his forehead and well, Tom doesn't exactly have the hairline to do that, does he? There were a few deviations to the story, most of which I have already mentioned. They weren't too major but being a true "the book is better" person, I feel justified in continuing to stick to that maxim.

Rating: M for some crude language and suggestive material. It seems to be impossible to find a modern film without a sketchy scene in it these days and The Blue Castle stays true to form. The main scene which some viewers may wish to skip plays whilst Cecily Gay tells Valancy her story which led to the illegitimate birth. There is also some vulgar language and mild swearing during Roaring Abel's drunken scenes.

I really enjoyed creating this movie so massive thanks to the gals at Silver Scenes for hosting the blogathon and for coming up with such a great idea! Thanks also to my sister who came up with the idea of Tom Hiddleston as Barney (from someone else's casting she saw) and Michelle Dockery as Valancy Stirling.

Now it's your turn, guys, what do you think of my casting and plot? What would you do differently?

Tata xx

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Old Hollywood Celebration - An Affair to Remember

Thanks to Rose, of An Old Fashioned Girl, this week is celebration of old Hollywood week! I am linking up to her celebration and have chosen to review a much loved old Hollywood film of mine, An Affair to Remember.

Oddly enough, even though I grew up with many of the old Hollywood classics, I actually didn't see this one until last year. It's already become one of my favourite classic Hollywood movies and I'm delighted to be able to review it for you all!

The title sounds a little immoral but fear not, this movie is family friendly. Staring the inimitable Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr, this film blends humour, tragedy, and love into one compelling package.  Terry (Deborah Kerr) and Nickie (Carey Grant) are individually on a cruise where they meet  An immediate attraction forms between the two of them but there's one problem - both are engaged to other people (conveniently not on the cruise and conveniently rich whilst Kerr and Grant are poor!). Grant and Kerr struggle between their attraction to each other and their loyalties to their engagements whilst simultaneously enjoying an amazing cruise which includes a visit to Italy to see Nickie's grandmother.  Just look at the scenery!
In Italy, they meet Nickie's grandmother who used to be a concert pianist.  She plays and Terry sings the theme song of the movie.  It's one of my favourite scenes not only because the song itself is beautiful but also because it's played on my favourite instrument (piano) and sung beautifully by Deborah with a wealth of emotion and feeling.  The picture below is a bit poor in quality I'm afraid but it was the only one I could find which shows that scene - Grandmother at the piano, Terry singing, and Nickie looking on and really falling in love with Terry in that moment.
Once the cruise is over and the ship is about to dock at New York, Terry and Nickie realise that they have fallen in love with each other. Looking up at the Empire State Building, they make a promise - they will go their separate ways for 6 months and try to earn enough money to make a living in that time.  In 6 months, if and only if, they still feel the same about each other, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building and never be parted again. It seems so simple when they say it but at this point, the movie is only half over so clearly things don't pan out quite how they're supposed to. I can say no more specifically about the plot because spoilers! but the ending is a bit of a tear jerker!

Why do I love this movie so much? I'm a sucker for romantic / romantic comedy films and this one ticks all the boxes - timeless actors, beautiful scenery and music, and a sentimental storyline budded with touches of humour along the way.

For whom would I recommend this movie? It's a family friendly classic that wears well with age and would suit all ages. It's been a little while since I watched it but as far as I can remember there were no issues with language etc.

All in all, it has a kind of charm and sweetness to it that makes it very memorable. I am a fan of both Grant and Kerr's acting anyway but together there is a chemistry which shines through the screen.  Do yourself a favour and watch it! :)

Meet you in 6 months, Nickie xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Life Update

 Hello there to anyone reading this! :) It's been a little bit of a while since I've posted here due to real life being Busy with a capital b. So, what am I up to these days?

1. Work

Finally having a full time job in my area of expertise is a relief and very enjoyable when I look at my bank balance but it does take up most of my time. Almost a year after I graduated from university, I am working as a dietitian (that's dietician for you USA readers who misspell things ;)) and loving it.

The above picture is too true by the way - particularly the last picture! I definitely enjoy chocolate as much as anyone else. Working full time does mean that I am tired in the evenings and cramming my social life into the weekend leaving less time for blogging.

2. Nano

November means one thing, folks, Nanowrimo is here again.  I'm doing my second Nanowrimo (following two Camp Nanos and a Nanowrimo last year) and since this is my first time doing it on top of full time work, I'm not setting very high expectations for myself. Does anyone else find that listening to music distracts you from writing because you're singing along to the song in your head but when you switch the music off you have no inspiration? I can see this is going to be my biggest problem this November.

If you've never done Nano before, I highly recommend it.  It's a writing exercise that will teach you to just write a first draft and leaving all that editing to later on and it's an excuse to write and practise writing which is so important.  If you're a first time Nano-er, don't feel discouraged if you don't get far! I only wrote 12 and bit thousand words last year which is tiny but it was something and then in Camp Nano I wrote 45 thousand so there you go.  You don't know what you can do until you give it a shot.  Experienced Nano-ers, I have no advice but I'd love yours! What's the most valuable piece of information you can give us newbies?

I'll likely be a bit quiet round here for the next month but I'll try and pop by every now and then :) Feel free to leave ideas on what you'd like to see me tackle in a post - I've some thoughts of my own but I'd love to know what my readers want to see!

Wish me luck with Nano guys! xx

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Blogger Recognition Award

So I've not exactly been tagged but in a reply to a comment I left on her blog, the lovely Miss March suggested I fill out the tag.  I, being the tag lover I am, naturally could not resist. Here goes then - "The Blogger Recognition Award"! Rules are as follows:

Thank the blogger who nominated you
Tell a little bit about how you started blogging
Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers
Nominate 15 other bloggers 

1. Many Thanks

Thanks Miss March! If you don't know her blog, check it out. Now. Then come back here to finish reading this.

2. Blogging Story

Once upon a time, not so very long ago at all, I started a blog.  Actually that's pretty much the story so far since I only began blogging about a month ago.  I'd thought about it for a few years but it took me a while to finally plunge in and create my own little soapbox for proclaiming my opinions to the world!  Never mind, a little beginning blog can be just as exciting as one of the "big" established blogs because you don't know what its future will be and there's still a whole story to unravel ahead.

3. Advice

It seems a little bit presumptuous of me to dole out advice on how to run a blog when I've only been at it for a month but hey, blame whoever made up these questions, not me! Besides, I certainly had a lot of opinions about blogs back when I was merely a reader not a writer. In short, my two pieces of advice are as follows:

1. Don't expect to change the whole world...
Let's face it, our blogs are very important to us authors personally, but they're not to many other people out there. Fact is, your brilliantly crafted post on Relevant Deep Thought probably won't end up being one of those ones that gets shared thousands of times and goes viral and has hundreds of comments from people saying how you changed their thinking / life.   Write about subjects you enjoy / are passionate about but don't be disappointed when you get little reaction, ok?

2....but expect to change a little bit of the world.
Having said the above, it's not wrong to have goals for a blog.  In fact, this can help eliminate aimless rambling posts which get skipped over by bored readers.  Your brilliantly crafted post on Relevant Deep Thought might not go viral, but it might touch one person's life.  Alternatively, your series of amusing reviews on Recently Seen Movie Series might just give someone the laugh they needed that day.  Have a purpose for your blog and use it to glorify God and you might just change a tiny bit of the world.

4. Nominations

I thought long and hard about whether I'd actually do this step or not. I've not been blogging that long at all and other bloggers don't really know me yet so I don't want to annoy them with a tag.  On the other hand, whatever, what have I got to lose? So, here's a handful of people I've chosen to nominate.  (Apologies if you've previously been nominated).


There you go, one exact handful.  It's not 15 but 15 is a multiple of 5 so I've almost answered the question. ;)

Adios xx

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Anne of Green Gables Tag!

G'day, g'day! Another day, another tag, this time by Miss Evie of Over the Hills to celebrate Anne of Green Gables week.  Her tag questions can be found here and my answers can be found below!

1. How did you get introduced to Anne of Green Gables?

I believe it was through listening to a dramatisation on tape of the first book.  We used to listen to it a lot as kids and I'm pretty sure that was the first time I heard the story! That's a loooong time ago now and I can't really remember when I first read the books but I was pretty young.

2. Are you more like Anne or Diana? Why?

Haha, if you ask my best friend, I am incredibly similar to Anne. I would hope I'm not quite as silly as she is at times (particularly as a child) but there are absolutely similarities - impetuousness, falling headlong into scrapes, talkativeness, affection and the list goes on.  Having said that, my best friend is definitely a Diana type so we've got the whole Anne-Diana dynamic goin' on.

3. If Rachel Lydne called your hair as red as carrots how would you react? 

Thank you! Red hair is beautiful! Having said that, although the carrots comment was a real trigger for Anne, Rachel Lynde also called her skinny, freckled, and ugly so no wonder Anne flew off the handle.

4. Gilbert or Morgan Harris? 

Gilbert of course! Morgan Harris is a made up perversion by the fake films! He was based on Roy Gardiner from Anne of the Island and yes, I'd still choose Gilbert over Roy mostly because Roy had no sense of humour and was incredibly boring.

5. Honest opinion on the third Anne film. 

Never seen it, never will see it.  I've read a synopsis and seen a few clips but I loved the books so to be true to them, I refuse to watch it.  The second Anne film was bad enough.

6. Have you seen the New Anne film? 

No? I might have read about it but I'm not sure.  I'll have to suss it out so thanks for the info!

7. What in your own words is a Kindred Spirit?

A "kindred spirit" is a person with whom you just "click". Often within a few moments of meeting them, you just know you're going to get along.  You like a lot of the same things but there's also enough differences for you to complement each other.  You can talk deep, talk random and talk shallow without reservation and end up being close friends.

8.  Movie Gilbert or Green Gables Fables Gilbert?

I think I've seen maybe part of one episode of Green Gables Fables so I've not seen that Gilbert.  By process of elimination therefore, I guess I choose movie Gilbert. :)

9.  Does anyone know where we can watch Road to Avonlea online?

Buy it off itunes if it's on there? I've never watched it actually, and not sure I'd be interested.  From the sounds of it, they've mashed up a few LM Montgomery stories together and since I loooove all her books, I'm not sure I can stomach too many changes to them.

10. Favourite book cover? 

Hands down this one for Rilla of Ingleside:


11. The Films or The Books?

Books absolutely! They contain a charm and magic that the movies could never touch.  The books have the Anne that LM Montgomery created and the Anne that she meant her to be.  The first movie isn't too bad (apart from the complete and utter miscasting and misunderstanding of Rachel Lynde and to some extent Marilla) but the second movie was not great overall.  I'm still waiting for a really good adaption of each Anne book so movie directors give me a call.

Farewell as romantic Anne would say xx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Different Types of Bloggers

I've only been blogging for a few weeks but I've read a lot of different blogs over the past years and have decided (for a bit of fun) to do a post about some of the different types of bloggers out there. Disclaimer, this post does not necessarily include all the categories of bloggers! Disclaimer 2, yes, I'm being sarcastic but that doesn't mean  I don't like you - or your blog. ;) Without any further ado folks, give it up for six different types of bloggers!

1. The Amateur Bloggers

Or as I prefer to call them, teen girl bloggers. Generally (but not always) on blogger, they post about books, movies, crushes (including lots of "squees" and "ships"), and general rambling life posts. Normally Christian, American and / or in their teens.  Probably one of the friendliest categories of bloggers. My blog falls into this group or at least my intended audience is in this group.

2.  The Christian Bloggers
Tackle all the heavy, controversial theological / moral issues. Can struggle to tolerate other opinions.  Range from the amateur end where they post lots of deep posts to the more professional blogger end of the scale a la Matt Walsh.

3. The Food Bloggers
 Devote themselves to the one topic: Food.  Spend hours perfecting the right shot in the right lighting and with the right editing. Recipes range from the standard to the weird to the Gordon Ramsay.

4. The Hipster Bloggers
NEVER blog at Blogger but share deep and profound thoughts on the most trivial of things. Share instagram worthy super edited photos snapped on their Nikon D4. Posts include finding tiny aesthetic cafes and listening to James Bay music. Enjoy posting and arguing about political views.

5. The Mommy Bloggers
 Because the facebook audience isn't big enough to appreciate mama's little darling. Posts about gluten free, sugar free kitchen experiments and essential oils.  Pictures tend to consist more of modest mommy fashion than of the kids.

6. The Professional Bloggers
Blogging is not Fun. Blogging is A Very Serious Business.  Also never blog at Blogger but use their own domain. Make money off their blogging.  Generally incredibly boring.

So there you go! Six different types of bloggers stripped down for the general public to more easily understand.  Do you agree? Which one are YOU?

Until next time xx

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Pleasure Bent - A Deep Post

 Over the past few weeks, my church has been going through the book of Ecclesiastes.  Yes, I know, *that* book of the Bible, the one that's all doom and gloom. (Spoiler alert, it's not really!) To be honest, I was really struggling with the series and felt like I wasn't getting much out of it at all.  In fact, I was a bit bored. Well, God knew what I needed and I can truly say that the sermon I heard last Sunday was one of the best and most real to me sermons I've ever heard, and yes, I mean ever.

I'd been feeling really saddened and shocked by things I've seen happen in the world, especially when God doesn't seem to be present and I was wondering how He could fix things and whether He even would. I didn't know how to help friends who are struggling and the thought of pleasure wasn't really on my mind!

Nevertheless, the sermon was about pleasure.  Solomon sought pleasure in ways we could never hope to top today so we can pretty much take his word for it when he says that all the pleasure in the world brings but fleeting happiness and then is gone.  My pastor had looked up research studies which show that material things we buy and experiences we take only give us pleasure short term.  We will be left empty after. 

Normally, when I hear messages like this, the preacher will then rebuke people for seeking pleasure and exhort us to turn away from pleasure to God etc etc.  Not this time. My pastor proposed that the problem is that we don't seek pleasure enough!

"Ohhh he's being sarcastic," I thought.  "In a minute he'll say that's what the world says but we should be seeking God instead."

Nope, I was wrong.  You see, God is the ultimate pleasure.  If I truly want pleasure, then why am I searching for it in things that I know won't last? If I really want pleasure enough, won't I seek the pleasure that lasts and lasts and lasts?

Seriously, that struck me hard. Maybe this sounds crazy but I have never in my life heard God referred to as pleasure before! It's a radical idea, it's (to me) an almost shocking idea but it's so darn true! My pastor followed this up with an illustration I absolutely love.  Imagine your joy in units and 100 units is the maximum amount of joy you can have.  It can get topped up I guess by experiences and things but the joy always goes down eventually.  When I search for pleasure in God and "mine the depths of God", my joy will not only stay full but my capacity for joy will increase.  The "100 units" will expand to 200 - 500 - etc etc etc but no matter how much it grows, it will always stay topped up. I don't know about you, but it was the most incredibly encouraging thought. My circumstances could be terrible but it doesn't matter.  By searching for pleasure in God, I can and will have utmost joy. Oh I've heard about the joy of the Lord and all that before but this was so real, so relevant and so clearly put, it struck straight to my heart.

I'm not normally emotional in church but I was almost tearing up as we went into worship after the sermon and just praising God as we sang and praying to Him.  I've been praying day and night for some of my friends since the sermon and though some of that might be emotionally fuelled, a lot of it is from a deepened closeness to God which came from that sermon.

So there you go, that's a bit of what's been happening for me since I last posted.  I absolutely did NOT mean to write a "deep" post so soon into my blogging career, particularly since I don't have much of an audience yet, but the message touched me so deeply I just wanted to share! If you're disillusioned by temporary pleasure or depressed by circumstances, 1) you're not alone and 2) God WILL help you - it's not just words.

(All credit to my pastor and God)

God bless xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Third Post and Tolkien Party

I don't know about you but third posts are a bit of an unknown.  What is there to write about? The first post is a welcome, the second is more detail about myself but the third - it's an enigma, isn't it.  I don't want to go too deep without a known audience but too shallow will certainly turn any readers off. So what better than to join Hamelette's Tolkien party! I first watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy a couple of years ago and surprised myself by loving it.  I've since watched at least one of the Hobbit films and you can find out more of what I think about Tolkien and his works from the tag below:

(Thank you so much Tolkien. I appreciate your choice of deaths more than you know).

The Tolkien Tag 2016

1.  How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read?

Um.... none.  I started The Hobbit but never finished. That's a terrible record, particularly since I'm a huge "the book is always better" person.

2.  Have you seen any movies based on them?

Yes I have seen the LOTR trilogy (not the extended versions yet) and at least the first Hobbit. I've seen some of the second Hobbit I believe but I don't think I've seen all of it.

3.  Are there any scenes/moments that make you cry?

 When Frodo reminisces about The Shire with Sam and they both realise that they will never have that same happy carefree life again.

4.  Are there any scenes/moments that make you laugh?

The Legolas / Gimli banter is funny - I love Legolas's "challenge accepted" face!

5.  Have you ever chosen a Middle Earth name for yourself?  If so, what is it?

I've used one of those namesites before to generate a Middle Earth /  Elf name but I can't remember it, I'm afraid!

6.  Who would you want to party with/marry/fight to the death? (pick three characters)

Party with Legolas
Marry Legolas / Aragorn
Fight to the death with Saruman -  except I'm allowed to use modern weapons ;)

7.  When was the last time you visited Middle Earth, via books or movies?

Too long ago! At least a year ago when I introduced my now brother-in-law to Middle Earth :)

8.  Do you consider Gollum to be a villain?  Why or why not?

This is a bit of a toughie.  According to the Oxford dictionary, a villain (in a story / film) is "a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot. I'd say Gollum's actions and motives are both evil and important to the plot line so therefore he must be a villain.


9.  How would you sum up what Tolkien's stories mean to you in one word?


10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.

Another tough question because I'm not enough of a die-hard Tolkien fan to actually know quotes.  Here's a few:

"It's all wrong By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for. "

(Tears, guys)


"One does not simply walk into Mordor."





"It is mine to give whom I will. Like my heart."


"I am no man!"

Thanks for hosting, Hamelette! Such fun!

Tenna' telwan xx

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Face Behind the Mask aka About Me

Whenever I  read blogs, I always want to know more about the author - what they look like, what they are like and what they like.  The first is best summed up in a photo, the second can only really be determined through regular reading of the blog (and personal knowledge of the person) and the third is easily told!

If you want to know what I look like, my tiny blurry profile picture is a very recent photo of me.  Otherwise, here is a photo from a couple of years ago of me in the 1860s ballgown my sister made for me. Isn't she incredibly talented?

I wore the above to my sister and my annual English country dance that we hold and I'm sure you'll hear more about that in future blog posts because it's something very dear to my heart.

What am I like?  I'm an extrovert. I'm rather quiet until you get to know me but I'm very outgoing and bubbly once I'm comfortable around people and I thrive off parties and events. I'm fiery, energetic and empathetic. I'm many things both good and bad but as I said, I feel like if you keep reading along, you'll find out much more about what I'm like than if I could tell you now. Do stick around for the ride, I'll try to be entertaining! :)

What do I like? Do you have all day? Haha, ok, I'll try and condense the list down. I like: warm windy spring days, blazing hot Australian summer days, the smell of gum trees in the sun, fluffy cats and a traditional Aussie Christmas among other things.

I love reading. Growing up, our large library was my everything and I still love to curl up in a chair close to the bookcase and re-read my favourites.  Books I love include the classics, such as novels by Jane Austen, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and LM Montgomery. I also love children's books written in the 1900s, particularly early 1900s.  So many great reads :)

Of course, reading translates to a love of watching movies and TV shows as well.  You'll find that I'm a huge Pride and Prejudice 1995 (what other adaption is there anyway?) fan, a Downton Abbey fan, Sherlock fan and fan of oh so many more!

I love music. Deeply. Passionately. With feelings I cannot begin to describe. I've played piano for over ten years and it's one of the best subjects I ever took up. Music - well, it really speaks the emotions we can't, doesn't it?

So there you have it.  A little glimpse behind the mask of The Elf at what sort of person she really is. I'm fun, complicated, and very very human.  I think I'm interesting naturally - like I said, I'm human - and hopefully my readers (once I get some :D) will too but hey, blogging takes time to get used to.

Catch you later xx

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hello and Orana!

Hello! Welcome (orana) to my very first blog and my very first blog post! You may or may not know me as I've floated around the blogsphere for a while, commenting on various blogs, generally as "The Elf". I'm not too fussed about my real name being known but I was when I first started commenting so I used one of my (many) nicknames - The Elf.  It's kinda stuck now and I feel like that's what people know me as online so The Elf I'll remain!

Why blog and why name it such a weird name? Great questions! I've thought about blogging for a while now because I a) love to write and b) like to share my opinion.  Blogging kind of connects the two and it will be so cool connecting (hopefully) to lots of different people.  The blog name is an Aborginal word meaning "stop here" which applies because I want people to stop here and read! I'm not Aborginal but I'm Australian and wanted a blog name that reflected Australia's culture.

I plan to blog about anything and everything - my life, my work, my hobbies, things I love reading and doing etc.  Feel free to give me suggestions.

I'll warn you now - my posts are going to look a bit amateurish for a while. I'm trying to get the hang of blogger and it's a lot different from what I anticipated. Bear with me, I hope you find this entertaining and thought provoking and I look forward to hearing from you.

Love & light xx