In nominating me for this challenge, Ju-Lyn has helped me realise how narrow my travel interests are. I have visited the same countries over five times. You can deduce from this that I am quite in love with them.
I have nominated Ushashita, who kindly volunteered to join the challenge to post ten days of travel photos, no explanation and nominate other bloggers with each post.
I do enjoy drinking a lovely cuppa at mid-morning. To savour that cuppa with other enthusiastic bloggers at Su’s Virtual Tea Party, is an extra treat.
The Thirteenth day of November in the calamitous year of 2020, is auspicious, but I am not superstitious. I do wonder how many extra lotto tickets will be sold today.
Having once worked in a Newsagency, I can vouch for the increase in sales on days like these.
Meanwhile November has been busy. There always seems to be something happening at the Home by the Sea.
Melbourne cup day without the racing crowds continued in our neighbourhood and one of our wonderful neighbours dressed up as a bookie running a sweep or two.
I have been joining in with Qi Gong exercise every day that I can through the week, however turned awkwardly this morning and have pulled a muscle in my back. Ouch…. Getting old sucks. Really.
Schnauzer November News
The dogs have not been forgotten and had a fantastic run at the fenced off leash area and the doggie beach. First time off leash for the pup and she loved running with the chocolate labradors and then having a hydrobath afterwards. They rested well afterwards.
The doggies were spoilt a bit with early Christmas presents from Pupsnaps anti – anxiety beds. Since these arrived, several of my friends have had theirs delivered. Pupsnaps must be so pleased with the business from the Schnauzers. The dogs almost need to recieve a commission.
The Koala Rescue group have been making Christmas garlands, complete with koalas. We threaded up all of these one weekend. I hope they sell well at the markets as the funds all go towards running the Rescue operation.
At least one koala is killed or wounded every night in breeding season. Staggering statistics.
To those of us who have read Camilla Lackberg’s crime fiction series, set in Fjallbacka, Sweden on the Bohuslan coast, the characters are like old friends, so familiar and comforting. They are all so similar to real people that we have met in our individual lives, with the exception of Christian.
His tragic childhood and adolescence is told over the course of the book, and ultimately the secrets are revealed in the most unexpected way. It might be easy for experienced Lackberg fans to detect the clues the author sprinkles throughout the book, but nevertheless, I feel this story satisfies her regular readers far more than others in the Erica Falck series.
I tend to find in this book, Erica’s character herself, is sometimes a little too perfect, akin to one you might find in a soap opera. Yet, it is here that you will find that Erica settles more into the background, and Patrick’s voice becomes the more prominent than in earlier novels.
Despite the melodrama of Erica and her sister being simultaneously pregnant, I enjoyed this novel and reacquainted myself with the Bohuslan coastal communities described in the story.
Visiting them and walking around the streets of towns like Fjallbacka and Hunnebostrand was such a joy for me as it brought the stories to life.
More importantly, the novel also touches on aspects of bullying, prejudice jealousy, and the all too common ostracism of anyone who is perceived by society to be ‘different.’ Those at the fringe of society and their sufferings can be and often are, invisible, even to the benevolent agencies that are purported to help them.
As the cover suggests, there are grave consequences to selfishness and jealousy, disguised as sibling rivalry, and the story highlights how we as adults, often dismiss the vulnerability of a child’s ego and mental state when exposed to stress.
Erica Falck Series
This is the fifth book in the Erica Falck series, previous titles include: The Ice Princess, The Preacher, The Stone Cutter, The Gallow’s Bird, The Hidden Child, The Drowning, and The Lost Boy. If interested in the writer, you can find out more about Camilla Lackberg.
* Tip: Although they are stand-alone books, do try to read the series in order, not as I did, missing the novel titled “The Hidden Child.” For, as Murphy’s law dictates, the novel you next read will contain a spoiler for the one you just skipped. It may only be one sentence but that words might relate to a central theme! Ponder about that before you dig in and read them out of order.
The Good: Suspenseful story-building to the final climactic end.
The Bad: Slightly predictable plot. Soap opera-type details of the main character’s personal lives. But they are like old shoes, they fit easily and are comfortable to wear!
The Ugly: Tragic consequences of child abuse, bullying and jealousy highlighted in this book.
That is it. Winter is done and dusted in this, the so-called Sunshine State.
Nature knows. The signs are there, for anyone who cares to look.
Clear blue skies and gardens sporting new foliage and flowers, (well some never stopped). All doubt were washed away when I spotted the first insect swanning around my Dining room, just before lunch.
Even that fly knows that warmth is on its way.
Whilst Blogger Snow over in Finland, laments how the first day of August heralds the end of her all too short, warm summer weather, I can empathise with her, for all the opposite reasons. The southern hemisphere is already warming up for its hottest season yet.
The earth has turned and so must the weather. It is the Yin and the Yang of life.
Technically there is still one more month of winter – August and yet the cool crisp mornings are receeding far too quickly for me. Living here in August means you can be caught wearing one layer of clothing too many, or a cardigan/jumper at 10 am in the morning. The body screams in response: “Take this hot thing darn well off!”
Even though the public seems to have forgotten about it – climate change isn’t in quarantine from Covid-19 and is real. Evidence is here for all to see.
At 11 am today, I had a moment. For me, this moment happens every year.
No matter how cold the winter is, the realization that we are close to the start of a lengthy, hot summer causes this winter-loving bunny to have a personal crisis. The endless glare of the ultra-hot Australian summer sun and the eternal sweaty, smelly bodies that are consistent with subtropical life in Queensland, make hibernating in air-conditioning as essential as oxygen itself.
Then there is the unsettling feeling that our Summer of roughly five months, now might extend to eight or nine months!
The combination of the spectre of Bushfires, soaring temperatures and months without rain are worrisome indeed.
I shouldn’t complain, should I? There are worse things in life. And yet, everyone whinges about the weather no matter what kind of weather they have, nor no matter where they live, don’t they?
The morning sun rising over water can be one of the most invigorating feelings for the spirit and the body. Stimulating, within us, a bundle of potential energy to begin our day.
Sunrise is a time to bear witness to the opening of the universe’s portal to eternity. Untouchable and surreal.
When the sun breaks over the low, scudding clouds that persistently hang on the horizon, we are blessed with a fleeting splendour of golden rays that nourish in our spirit endless possibilities.
After hours of restful slumber, being present and mindful during a sunrise brings feelings of anticipation and promise: a myriad of potentials for a day we have yet to explore.
The amazing thing, about where I live, is the experience of both sunrise and sunset over the water. This is the beauty of living on a peninsula, with sea water on three sides.
The evening light show that Mother nature provides, is more often subdued than her morning counterpart.
More mellow, the tones of sunset can be at times be ever so thrilling, so excitable you cannot look away, lest the magic of what you are seeing, disappears.
Mostly laid back energy, the sunset is evocative of our time to chill out, to prepare for the evening and its accompanying slower pace. The light show nature lays out for us in a glorious sunset such as this, changes from a deep luminescent orange and gold, to a deep purple and hot pink.
The artist that is our Mother Nature is the consummate colour harmonizer. Sunset colours blend seamlessly. She never gets it wrong!
Life at my Home by the Sea is always satisfying.
Reaffirming something I have been waiting my whole life to experience.
Snow wrote something thought-provoking about parenting children. She wondered how much upbringing and certain experiences, or lack thereof, influence the adult a child becomes.
Conscientious parents are always concerned about impacts of parenting styles and the way we raise our children. I was. The old question of what makes an adult behave the way they do? Nature or nurture? Is it environment that shapes a child more or nature, or a blend of both?
Is there even such a thing as a perfect parent? Many expect that of ourselves and aspire to be just that – a perfect parent. Some fantasy that is unattainable.
What Kind of Parent are You?
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” ~Oscar Wilde
I wanted to be a good parent and read all kinds of parenting books and tips during my pregnancies, but children don’t always fit the model the book writes about, do they?
Children are as individual as there are grains of sand on the beach. Often-times, you have to make up the rules on the hop. There’s no time to analyse what is best, especially when you are dealing with more than one child, sibling rivalries, nappies, meals, and other family commitments.
I wasn’t a perfect parent and I don’t know anyone that was. Most parents have good intentions, most do their best they can at that given moment. There is no guidebook and every child is an individual.
For many years, I looked up to a neighbour who seemed to manage four small children without any kind of drama. Her life was perfect and her children were perfect. One evening, I was outside in my backyard. When all is quiet, noise carries further and I could heard her berating her children. The fantasy was shattered.
As a parent, I made blunders and regretted actions I took, enforcing certain boundaries for my own children. Sometimes I allowed them too much freedom, other times not enough. What worked for one child, did not seem to work for the next. In talking to other parents, it is apparent everyone makes mistakes at some point. If there is a parent that thinks they did the perfect job, I am yet to meet them.
Snow questions if it matters if her children haven’t petted a cat or flown on an airplane? I don’t think it does. Many kids grow up in areas without first-world privileges, TV or devices. Does it make a big difference to the adult they become?
There is much more to a child than the environment. Give a child an expensive toy and some will use their imagination playing with the large cardboard box the toy came in than with the toy itself.
Children and Television
When my children were small, they were not allowed to watch a particular TV show during school terms, but they could watch it in the school holidays. Given that we had younger children in the house, I did not deem that show to be appropriate for our family. Yet, all the other boys in his school class got to watch this TV show and my son didn’t.
Years later, when he was a teenager, my son told me in a half-joking way that he had felt left out at school, as he couldn’t contribute to the playground conversation. When I asked him why – he told me that the playground chats with the boys in his class were always about what happened in the previous night’s episode, of that TV show.
Was he deprived for not being able to contribute to the social conversation at school? He felt ostracised and belonging is important to everyone. Did this affect him long term? The answer is uncertain and depends on his own judgement of that experience and his perspective.
Some adults carry emotional wounds, whether that be from an experience, an interaction with a bully, personal loss or grief. Do we re-live our negative experiences and continue to harbour resentment or blame, thus being a victim, or move past it and grow?
If we aren’t able to move on and forgive transgressions from our past, we might get stuck resenting someone or something.
“As adults, we have the capacity to shape their own lives and the responsibility to do so.”
Ultimately, if you listen to your children, care for them, give them reasonable boundaries and above all, love them unconditionally, then you ARE the perfect parent for that child. After all, you do know your children best.