When Swans attack Hawks. And win.

It is a sweet feeling when your team makes the Grand Final.
It’s awesome when you manage to snag a ticket.
And it’s a brilliant day out.
Winning, just makes it the sweetest feeling of all!
Thanks Swannies!
Cheer! Cheer!

I love the crazy fans. I met this lovely lady in the queue for the ladies.

Getting ready is half the fun. Just a shame it was freezing, so these little beauties were hidden in boots.

Moving to the South of France- Swimming Home

Unfortunately not me, just my next Booker Buddies book.
I read “Swimming Home” by Deborah Levy.
It’s transported me to the south of France.
Rather nice backdrop, but I was a bit ambivalent about the book itself.

Swimming Pool at Chateau Marmont (yes, I know that’s not actually in France)
by Tyler Shields

I must say, for the first few chapters I was pretty ambivalent about this book. Insert crazy cat (Kiity Ket to be precise) into the set piece of two middle class couple staying at a home in France with the blossoming teenage daughter of one of the couples.
Tensions within the relationships are sharpened by the intruder’s presence etc etc.
But after a couple of chapters, the book really grew on me and an almost thriller like tension took over as I wondered how the twists and turns would impact everyone in the story.

A compact stealthy unsettling novel, I ended up not being able to put this one down.

For some other points of view, here are a couple of other reviews:
Hooked Bookworms review on Booker Marks
Reading the 2012 Bookers review
Penny’s Review on Booker Marks

Hotel Negresco in Nice

Spring on Great Ocean Road. Brilliant.

A lovely spring weekend cycling along the Great Ocean Road.
A big ride for me, Apollo Bay to Lorne and back, was tough, but so beautiful!
Such a great area for riding. Hope there are many more rides to come this year.

6.30am. The park at Apollo Bay, ready to go.

Took this photo by accident.
But I quite like it.
Wish I’d been going faster.

A quick break.

Looking for Koalas

Headed back I caught a view of Apollo Bay. Sweet relief!

Making Stuff. Super cute, super easy baby’s blanket you can make in one evening.

Our neighbours have just had a little baby.
I wanted to give them something hand made for little Oliver.
I found this wonderful pattern on Prudent Baby.

I found the gorgeous bunnies at Funky Fabrix.

It took one night in front of the telly to knock it out.
Really love how it turned out.
Hope Oliver loves it too!

Do you have any super easy baby projects that you can knock out in a hurry?

For some lovely craft inspiration, check out And Sew We Craft!

Riding on the Great Ocean Road with no cars. Heaven.

What an amazing experience, cruising along the Great Ocean Road on your bike with no cars.
It’s only possible once a year at Amy’s Ride which raises funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation.
I did the Medio Fondo (just under 40km from Lorne to Apollo Bay) this year and it was absolutely brilliant. You should try it some time. There’s also a Gran Fondo for the more ambitious- a 120km loops up through Forrest and Dean’s Marsh with a brilliant downhill towards the end.
This stuff makes exercise seriously fun!

Pit Stop at Wye River.

Some crazy cats at the starting line.

Leaving the smoky opium dens of Bombay. Reluctantly.

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
“Narcopolis”, set in the opium dens of Bombay has a languorous and dreamy quality appropriate to it’s narcotic theme. Essentially the story of Dimple, a beautiful eunuch who prepares pipes in Rashid’s opium den, the story slides in and out of the following characters whose paths cross hers. From the Hollywood adventures of the angry man, Rumi, to the poignant tale of Mr Lee’s upbringing and flight from Maoist China, these are essentially stories of lives beyond control. As one of the characters puts it: “This is our reality. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.”
These are experiences that can only be subdued with the pipe. But it is the introduction of heroin that begins to destroy their dreamy world. The unravelling of Rashid and Dimple’s world is written with enormous dignity, grace and empathy. And a new India emerges, shiny and bright, but full of the old melancholy.

For all it’s dreaminess and langour, the storytelling in the book has a strong sense of momentum. At the heart of this book are stories love, affection and longing.

I loved this book, I was completely enthralled in it’s world and missed them all once I was done. This is a book I will return to again and again.

How I picture Dimple

Nb. There are some fairly confronting sex scenes in the book- perhaps not for the fainthearted. I wouldn’t give this book to my mum for example.