Lining up all my ducks

On the way to a morning at St Mary’s of the Middle Class Ladies on Friday,  I passed a human sized yellow duck wearing a graduation cap and gown, standing on a street corner.

Dux of his class?





Dux of his class – Ducks of his class?

[Dux:  the top pupil in a class or school. Latin for leader.]


everything is coming up roses


I am  a superior human being.

I have gardened (planted celery and marigolds in the vegetable garden, as well as a lavender plant), gone for a walk (all the way to the local shopping centre, where I bought salmon to sear for dinner) and drank a lovely glass of red. I nurtured body and soul, all in one day!

Blogging, I have decided, and this is not under the influence of the red, is a great motivator (If I was under the influence I would announce “I luvs you all!” in an Australian slur). To blog about an intention, such as a life change, for example, to walk daily, brings lots of support and a few suggestions from the blog neighbourhood. This in turn leads to a sense of commitment on the blogger’s behalf and that turns talk into action. Walk the talk!

I am the case in point. I blog about needing to walk or exercise, lovely blog friends offer support and suggestions, and then I feel like I can’t let you down, as well as myself, and so voilà, I go for a walk. Who needs a salivating dog, Pavlov?

Of course that means that you have made the commitment to support and comfort me, every step of the way. Never thought of that did you? Ah yes, indeed my health is now in your hands. I am your responsibility.

What is my next reward?

Miles Franklin award to Kim Scott

West Australian author Kim Scott was last night awarded the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award for his novel That Deadman Dance

Big-hearted, moving and richly rewarding, That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers.

The novel’s hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. He is even welcomed into a prosperous local white family where he falls for the daughter, Christine, a beautiful young woman who sees no harm in a liaison with a native


What is on your reading shelf?

I often have more than one book on the go at once. Depending on my mood and mental state, I will choose one or the other each night. At other times, I am drawn deeply into a book and must, must read it without pause. At times, to slow down my eagerness to know how a book ends, I will read the last chapter to stop the anxiety and slow down the reading process. It has never worried me knowing how a book ends, if it is a good read!

These are the books I am currently juggling. I am afraid I am not a great reader of fiction, though I have been drawn to fiction of the nineteen thirties and forties in recent months. I know – a librarian who doesn’t like fiction. I blame my undergraduate degree – to much analysis and deconstruction!

Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds by Lyndall Gordon

Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time, but she has come to us as an odd and helpless woman living a life of self imposed seclusion. Lyndall Gordon sees instead a volcanic character living on her own terms and with a steely confidence in her own talent; a woman whose family feuded over a hothouse of adultery and devastating betrayal and a woman who had her own secret. After her death the fight for possession of Emily and her poetry became the feud s focus. 

Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster by Alison Weir

The life and times of the remarkable woman who was mistress and eventually the wife of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, third son of the charismatic and accomplished king of England, Edward III. Through John and Katherine Swynford (1350–1403) descended centuries of British sovereigns, including Queen Elizabeth II.


At the peak of her fast-paced career as a news presenter and interviewer Selina Scott bought a house in the Tramuntana hills of Mallorca. It was a dilapidated old farmhouse without even mains electricity or water, but the beauty and peace of the surroundings promised an idyllic escape from her high-pressure job and unwelcome tabloid attention

Corvus: A Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson

Esther Woolfson’s daughter rescued Chicken, a fledgling rook sixteen years ago. Amazed by their intelligence and personalities, Woolfson became fascinated by corvids. Chicken, Spike the magpie, and, most recently, Ziki the Crow, have formed sibling relationships with Woolfson’s daughters and with each other; cached food in her kitchen wall and laid eggs in her living room; called to her at dawn, and perched companionably on her knee of an evening; and taught her more than she ever expected about birds and about human beings.

Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols

An unusual gardening book that discusses flowers and gardens in a non-fictional novel format, telling the story of a deserted garden that is transformed into a paradise