Portrait by Erwin Blumenfeld Lilliput, April 1947

The day of reckoning beckons – colonoscopy upon the morrow! Today, is that delightful day when pills and potions start cleaning out nether areas and I usually end up crouched upon the porcelain throne bargaining with the Big Whatever to “please save me from my plight”, but to no avail.

This time around, I have to rise at 3am to drink a second brew and reclaim the porcelain before journeying to the hospital. Is someone getting their Big Jollies from torturing people with bowel issues? Are we are a marked tribe?

Oh, the irony of our postal delivery this morning. A book I ordered a couple of weeks ago, arrived – Gut by Giulia Enders. It is not on today’s read pile. (Oh pile, I used the word pile….toilet joke!)

On the positive side, my skin biopsy came back negative and the stitches were removed this morning. They lied to me and said that there were three stitches, when in fact there were four. I would have made much more of a fuss if I had been aware of the extra stitch. Yes, there is a sliding scale for such things; or if there wasn’t, there is now, courtesy of moi.

If I don’t post ever again, because my intestines have fallen out and into the septic system, just know that I always loved you best…

The reading table

reader 1

Books I have brought home to read – the Librarian’s version of taking your work home with you!

Rock, Paper, Scissors : Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson

Breakthrough by Jack Andraka

Readicide : How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it by Kelly Gallagher


Audiobooks I purchased to listen to on my journey to and from school

The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaimann

Where’s You Go, Bernadetter by Maria Semple 

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord 

Let Your Librarian Be Your Guide

…or, maybe not.

In which Flamingo Dancer realises that even fast learners can be slow to learn, sometimes.


In bed, due to another bout of diverticulitis, I clicked onto a blog I follow and was introduced to the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kendo.

Hello, epiphany!

Yes, indeed the little grey cell lit up like a firefly. I have always considered myself a fast learner; prided myself on being a fast learner, but it has taken me a life time to realise that a slow, quiet regard for clutter cuts the strings of guilt when disposing of “stuff”.

Have you ever stood there, that white blouse that is still in great condition but no longer a favourite, textbook published in 1984, or ugly Christmas gift in hand and wavered in your decision to cast it from your life? I have, right to this very day.

Well, that was until I read Marie Kendo’s book and realised that a mix of gratitude, for and to, the clutter; feng shui and a zen state of mind releases any indecision or guilt. Thank the item for its service, for helping to bring you to this point in time, and then send it on its way. Hallelujah!

It’s only a short book, about 235 ebook pages with a long index at the back of the book, so it only took me a couple of hours to read. At the end of the reading I had to hobble from bed and find a garbage bag to stuff some clothes into; clothes that had survived two or three recent “declutterings”. Out went a couple of things I kept because a daughter gave handed them onto me, and the I might get something to go with that brown skirt that was really not a favourite anymore. Into the bag, thanks for the service and here’s to the future.

I am a born again declutterer. A guilt free declutterer. I have my resolution for 2015!


in which Flamingo Dancer feigns niceness and needs a lie down.

Wise men

Another day, another trip into the city. This time to accompany Petite Fille and her Mummy to a Let’s Make Music Christmas breakup. It was run by the Salvation Army, and Daughter1 warned that there might be a little “God bothering” but really, it just put God back into Christmas and no more than we would have expected at a Catholic gathering for children. Well, maybe we would have run a raffle for some alcohol as well!

The children were given little rings of bells and ribbons on a ring to shake and twirl as they sang a few songs. They were all given a book, a candy cane and a chocolate bear to take home – the candy cane and chocolate bear were not acknowledged as food in Petite Fille’s case as she is still sugar free.

After a shared morning tea of water and fruit, toys were brought out to share, while the adults had a lovely morning tea of sweet treats.

The noise was a little much for my delicate ears, even my teacher ears, but it was such fun to watch all the different babies and toddlers interacting, or not interacting with each other. There were a few older children as well, as today is the last day of the school year for state schools.

Petite Fille is a gentle soul, and as she does not go to day care, is not aggressive in any way, so she was sometimes stunned by the open aggression of some of her play mates. Some might call it assertiveness, and some were too young to understand the concept of sharing, but there were a couple that were just little bullies in the making. Teacher FD had to pull herself into visiting Grandma mode and not go into discipline mode on those children.

Back at the house we shared lunch. Petite Fille now sits on a booster cushion on a chair as she has outgrown her high chair, and she was intent on showing me her “bounce” as she ate toast and soup. Just as well she was wearing safety straps! By the end of this visit she was calling me Grandma Flamingo Dancer. Her other grandma is just called Ga. Not that it is a competition or anything …

I drove home through the rain, listening to the audio book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which is absolutely wonderful. I laughed out loud in a couple of places, even though I was driving down the highway! A grumpy old man (59 years of age is old? I think not, but it doesn’t hurt the plot) who just wants to be left alone to be disappointed by the world, has his life invaded by a number of people and situations out of his control. It is also about the important of doing the right thing, and how helping others can bring rewards that can never be anticipated. One of my favourite reads for the year.

Tomorrow may not be the seventh day, but I am resting. I arrived home to find there was an invitation from the neighbours to a street Christmas party next week. I need to rest and gain my strength for another round of niceness, that being the niceness you pretend when you don’t do nice.

heathens and philistines


It is so fashionable at the moment to adorn ourselves, and our homes with books. Sadly,not read though.


Jewellery is made from books, furniture is made from books, and of course art is made from books. Cafes and hotels grace magazine pages boasting book lined shelves and often no one could reach even if they were inclined to open the covers.

room 1

No one who reads has time, nor the inclination, to arrange their shelves by colour hue.

Someone should hit them with a stick, and I know just the person to do it.


currently 1

Writing : I am participating in NaNoWriMo, along with my little band of student writers. It is a work of fiction, and yes, based on libraries and books, and new technology and altering history.

Reading : The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. The book sits on my desk in the library, and I read it during my literacy classes free reading periods, so I am dipping in and out and keeping half an eye on students at the same time (and remember there is only one eye to start with!) so not conducive to happy reading, but I am enjoying the tale. Problem is that sometimes I end up reading the same paragraph a couple of times before I actually retain it. Oh the hazards of being a teacher librarian!

Wishing : Counting down to the end of the school year. Four weeks to go! However, I am booked to have a mole near near my ex-eye removed over the holidays, so last day of school I am off to a plastic surgeon for step one of the process. I am also due to have a colonoscopy, so I am not sure why I am so excited about holidays coming… oh, wait, yes, I do know ….NO STUDENTS FOR SEVEN WEEKS!

Best moment: when one of my little band of student writers called me “the best teacher in the world”. I don’t actually teach her in any subjects, we only meet for the writing group, but her compliment came at the end of a long day when one of my other students used the f word towards me, so it gave me the strength to last another day. (The naughty student got suspended for a day for his utterance.)  I think said compliment may have been influenced by the food I provide every week in our writing sessions!

Missing : Lost family members. Anniversaries of deaths of my Dad and BIL recently. Good memories of happy times, too short, make it a sad time. Missing my Mum, who is here in body but not in spirit, due to dementia. I wish, I wish…


not like a painting that’s just hanging there for ever,



…’What if … what if Heaven is real, but only in moments? Like a glass of water on a hot day, when you are dying of thirst, or when someone’s nice to you for no reason, or …’ Mam’s pancakes with Toblerone sauce; Dad dashing up from the bar just to tell me, ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite’; or Jacko and Sharon singing ‘For She’s A Squishy Marshmallow’ instead of “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ every single birthday and wetting themselves even though it’s not at all funny; and Brendan giving his old record player to me instead of one of his mates. ‘S’pose Heaven’s not like a painting that’s just hanging there for ever, but more like… Like the best song anyone ever wrote, but a song you only catch in snatches, while you are alive, from passing cars, or … upstairs windows when you’re lost …’

David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks, pp 33, 34.

What if Heaven is real, but only in moments?


Paris 1950 Ed Van Der Elsken

Paris 1950 Ed Van Der Elsken

Reading –  Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – actually I am listening to the audiobook; for the second time! I love the mystery, the reality, the mix of books and technology. My pick for 2014, I think.

Listening  -To the kookaburras in the trees outside my house. Australians pronounce kookaburra, as COOK-a-burra. We just do.

Watching – Quite enjoying Secretary of State with Tea Leoni . I have never recovered from the demise of West Wing, so this is feeding my addiction.

Wishing – I wish I had more time, more energy, more, more, more motivation. Maybe the time and energy is wound up in the lack of motivation.

Drinking – Tea. Always tea. REAL tea.

Wanting – Holidays. Retirement. Freedom. More time, more energy, more motivation.

What are you currently up to?