Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A short documentary

Aren't we lucky!  I do believe that despite some challenges in our countries right now, most of us do not have to deal with the horrors on a daily basis that folk in Europe endured in the 1930's and 1940's.  This film was made by a student I think, a wonderful short documentary about his grandfather.  Very clever.  And lucky that now many of us have the resources to record such wonderful and not so wonderful history for future generations.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A great reading list!!

I have so many books to read - so look forward to curling up under my 'throw' and  checking them out.  I have almost finished one of my Kindle books, the very sad story of the children in the orphanage in China, and I look forward to reading Cindy Vine's book, but today the postman delivered the last of my Amazon order from a couple of weeks ago.  It is "The Last Days of Old Beijing" by Michael Meyer.

Readers will know now of my passion for things Chinese - so I am really keen to explore within the covers of this book, but it will have to wait.  Semester II has started and my reading for that is huge too, so I will work my way through the study books, and relax in the evening provided all assignments are up to date, by reading my novels.

I am a passionate e-book reader on my Kindle, and I find myself in 'arguments' with some folk who are passionately against this technology.  The idea of not having a 'real' book to hold is hard for some to comprehend.  My reading has increased since I have had my Kindle.  I can't imagine not reading 'real' books, but I find my Kindle so very useful.  I can read so much more in the bus/train than I would with a 'real' book, as it is easier to find one's place - easier to close and reopen when it suits me.

It is lighter and smaller than most good books too - and as an inveterate traveller, I find it awesome to keep me amused for long trips or waiting in airports.  And I can read it when it is dark as I bought the cover with the light.

I have found it easier to use - and yes, the one in the illustration above is the one I purchased, and I am in awe at the speed at which it downloads books for me.  So easy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lucky Winner

I don't enter many competitions as I find it is a waste of time, and I don't win anything, but a small comp came my way the other day and I sent my details.  It was on-line, and there were 10 double passes to see the movie I had written about "Sunshine and Oranges."   Yesterday an email arrived in the in-box saying 'Congratulations - you have won a double pass to the movie Sunshine and Oranges.  Yipee!!  The tickets will be posted to me.  I am hoping my daughter can attend with me.

Yesterday I met with some friends to organise the next Bayside Women in Business luncheon for mid July.  Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the new year and it has already almost the middle of the year.  We met at the newly refurbished RSL Club at Wynnum, and there was a bit of a mix up.  One of the ladies had emailed that she could not attend, and for a while there were only 2 of the four of us.  I'd left my phone in the car, and when we were concerned about the the non-attendance of the other, I went to my car and sure enough, there was a message.  Apparently she had arranged to meet the lady who was unable to attend. She suggested we all meet at her house later.  I sent a text message "We have just opened a bottle of wine." and her response was "Don't drink it all, I am coming."

So eventually, a little later than planned, we did have our meeting and our bottle of wine.  Sorted out all things we needed to sort out, nice food, nice venue (maybe our next event will be here), mid afternoon set off on our Friday afternoon tasks.

After some shopping (oh, I didn't buy anything - could not find what I wanted), I went to my daughter's, and eventually she and the girls arrived.

Theirs is a busy house hold - they were late because the girls were at hockey practice, and then later the youngest and her father went to play/watch squash.  The eldest and I had some fun - we read some of the limericks from my book and I tried to teach her how to knit. She is left handed, and I am not, so teaching her is challenging.  I found this video which should help.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Day for Books

I met a friend this morning at The Black Cat Bookshop - and bought a book which is simply called 'flood' - Stories and images from the ABC of survival, loss and courage during the Queensland floods. I've yet to read much, but I see it (a) as a way to remember this awful event that occured earlier this year in the city in which I live and (b) all royalties will go to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.

Even flicking through a few pages in the shop brought tears to my eyes - some people have been through so much - and for some the pain continues as they are not back in their terribly damaged houses.

I caught a bus into the city after we left The Black Cat as I had a couple of things to purchase.  It is so close from where I am house sitting, I am thoroughly spoiled, and it wasn't long before with my purchases I headed back home.

Not long after I returned home, there was a ring on the front door bell, and it was a delivery lady with more books.  I had ordered some from Amazon. 

A few weeks ago I had attended a workshop on Limericks - I use them occasionally, in the ESL classroom, and they can be a lot of fun for the students to create, and I thought I'd get some joy out of reading some more. So I now have a copy of "The Mammoth Book of Limericks".   Over 500 pages of  them should keep me amused!!

The other book was by Linda Aronson - "The 21st Century Screenplay" - I had ordered it as I am doing Scriptwriting at university this semester.  This should keep me busy for a while too.

I am happy to have a copy of this and another one, on screenplay, that arrived from Amazon a couple of days ago.

Next Monday the semester starts - so I have plenty of reading to do.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Australian Story on the ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) has wonderful programs and no advertisements (except for their upcoming programs.) and last night I watched "Australian Story", a regular Monday night event.  It is a program of some 30 minutes that tells the story of someone in Australia.  The variety of subjects is awesome, and unless you do some research it can be a mystery to the viewer.

I had been watching Master Chef, which started at 7.30 pm and had to remember to switch over to the ABC1 station at 8 pm, but I was engrossed in the cooking competition and was a few minutes late, so I missed the first few minutes.  However, I will later, go to the website and see the whole program again. 

The focus last night was on the Sherman family - on the website it says

"Brian Sherman achieved the kind of success every migrant dreams of after arriving from South Africa with only $5000 to his name.
He and his business partner sat around a kitchen table and set up a funds management company called Equitilink. Five years ago they sold the business for $150 million."

The program was enlightening about Brian Sherman and his extra ordinary business, and also spoke of the rest of the family in particular Emile Sherman.  I had heard the name, but was about to be really education about Emile and the rest of his family. 

Emile was an Oscar winner in the recent Academy Awards for the movie "The King's Speech" - he was the producer.  If one does some research he has been very busy in film making since 2000, when his first effort was a documentary about his uncle in Lithuania.  His list of credits is awesome. 

Australians are accused for having what is called a 'cringe mentality' - as if we are embarrassed about the efforts/successes of Australians.  We don't embrace Australian movies or talents, but on the whole seem infatuated with all things that come from the US. 

This wonderful young man should be more well known in Australia - he is clearly so talented.

I would suggest that anyone (especially Aussies) sit up and take notice of the work of Emile Sherman, and I would also suggest watching last night's Australian story program here.  As I write this it has not been uploaded, but should be soon - perhaps after it is repeated on Saturday. 

One of his films "Sunshine and Oranges" is about to be released and I am looking forward to seeing it.  I have learned quite a lot about Emile Sherman (and his family) from last night's program, and I shall follow his career with renewed interest.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What am I reading now?

 I have a habit of reading every night before I go to sleep.  This is where my Kindle comes in handy, as I usually read with that in bed.  I set up a big pillow, and make myself comfortable while I read.

Oh, and the music.  I have a radio/cd player with remote control on the dresser and I usually set it to turn off after 40 - 60 minutes.  I figure I can read for a while and then turn off the light, and as the music is going, I waft off to sleep.  It works for me!!!

What music?  Mostly it is the ABC Classic radio, however sometimes I might play some jazz or Chinese music.

Last night it was the ABC - I had finished off Xinran's "What the Chinese Don't Eat" - I love all Xinran's books and this one was very enlightening.  It is rather amusing as I can relate so much to her stories as she tries to explain some of th Chinese culture that we 'westerners' find difficult to understand. 

I started on another one last night (and found 30 minutes to read it this morning) - again on my Kindle. It is called "Silent Tears - A Journey of Hope" by Kay Bratt, about the time she was a volunteer in a Chinese orphanage.  It is hard to comprehend that the Chinese often do not have any compassion.  I know that when I was negotiating at one stage to teaching nursing subjects in China, to encourage Chinese students to help fill the big shortage of nurses in Australia the issue of "compassion" was discussed. We were to do some basic training to enable them to come to Australia to complete their training, but it was very difficult for them as they did not have a 'natural' compassion that westerners seem to have. In the end, the program that I was considering working with ended.  (Some political issue.) Reading the words from Kay Bratt's book, give some indication of what we were dealing with at that time in terms of the students.  South Australia, at the time was recruiting from China for their aged care facilities, but the program did have some problems.

Movies, Books and Life

I have spent some time in deep thought, endeavouring to consider the right niche for the blog I am going to use for the 31 Day Blog Challenge.  I'm not a movie buff as such, but I do like to go to the Movies, but if any reader expects to read about violent, weird, X-rated movies here, they are in the wrong place.  I believe there is enough violence in the world without going to be 'entertained' by seeing more.  I try to choose my movies wisely, and I do favour Australian movies (more about Australians and movies later!).   I read.  My arms are often weighed down with the pile of Books I buy or borrow from our city council library (for free - although I do pay a small fee for them to hold certain books for me, and I have some overdue fines too!).  I am also an avid Kindle reader - have bought 3 Kindle books this week, and have read one, and in the middle of number two, and I found a book by a writer I know from blogging about China, so I bought that too!

I try to live Life to the fullest.  I am ageing (aren't we all?).  I wonder how much time I have left on this earth, so I try to make the best of every day.

You can read about me in other blogs so I am not going to do much of an introduction, but for those who are visiting one of my blogs for the first time, I will tell you that I am an Australian, born in Adelaide, South Australia before the end of World War II, have a husband, two adult offspring, who are married and each have their own children. We all live in Queensland, Australia.  I've had many careers, but they key ones are (a) I was a nurse - completed my general nursing training in South Australia eons ago, and worked in various positions as a registered nurse and later aged care trainer up unti 2004 (b)  I was a trainer and educator for many years and completed my Ba of Adult and Vocational Teaching at Griffith University in 2002 and (c) I was a gerbera grower/picker for several years in the family business (d) I have been teaching English (ESL) in China and South Korea and Australia since 2008 and (e) I am now a full time student at Swinburne University of Technology doing a Master of Arts (Writing), and I enjoy life.

I have always enjoyed writing.  And I enjoy a challenge, so hope to make some headway for the 31 Day Blog Challenge.