A few of my (current) favourite things…

It’s been a bit serious on the old blog of late, so I thought I’d lighten things up with some snippets from youtube that have amused me lately.

First, in honour of Valentines day, the adorable lads of Out Of The Blue are here to sing you a song:

Next, we have the inimitable Miriam Margolyes (who I’m pretty sure was born without any f**ks to give and who I want to be when I grow up):  WARNING FOR THE GENTLY NURTURED: MIRIAM MARGOLYES IS NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, OR PROBABLY LIFE.  (Funny, but.)

And then, a very short visual explanation of why I’m a Cumberbitch to my bootstraps.  Phwoar!  (If you’ve seen the season of Sherlock this is from, you’ll know that this might not even have happened and Molly will never have Sherlock to keep, but none of that matters.  It’s still amazing!)

And now I must climb out of the youtube rabbit hole and do some work!  Enjoy your Wednesday!

More Unexpected Joys… (and the purple end of a rainbow snake)

It’s been a week of delightful surprises.  On Wednesday I introduced you to the charming, talented Lucy Spraggan.

She’s clever and funny and I couldn’t think of who to compare her to, until I thought of another of my all-time favourite singer/songwriters, Kristina Olsen.

This song, performed with her favourite performing buddy, Australian cellist Peter Grayling, should show you why she’s a favourite…

I hope Lucy goes on to create such a body of work and give as much joy as Kristina has!

Another unexpected joy was my lovely friend Resa’s latest creation.  She has been doing a series of ‘art gowns’ and her latest is almost too gorgeous to describe.  It’s old Hollywood in a new fabric and never has a dressmaker’s model looked so magnificent!

Then there was this: a love story with no words in a little over six minutes.  Black and white, charming, old-school animation that delighted my eyes and lifted my heart, from the very talented people at Disney.

Finally, I have actually followed through on my commitment of last week, which was to get out my knitting and have made some progress on the rainbow snake.  This is the violet and indigo end (obviously) and I’m sure you can see why I had to have the variegated yarn as well, even though it has doubled the knitting involved.  It’s not the best picture, (I’m never getting a job as a stylist) but I thought I should show you the beginnings, so I can do progress posts.

The unexpected part of this was how much I enjoyed doing it.  It’s calming and somehow rejuvenating to be achieving something while just sitting.  Much better than ‘just’ watching TV or, in the case of last night, my girl’s Karate class.

I hope you’ve had some unexpected joys this week too.  Here’s to celebrating them!

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Unexpected joys

I was all set to write a post about the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice – but it will have to wait.  Because last night (that will be a joke in a minute, wait and see) a young friend showed me this video:

And I LOVED it.  This adorable 20-year-old is so clever and talented and FUNNY!  There are few things I like better than funny.  As Lizzie Bennett would say, (note P&P reference!) I dearly love to laugh.  Make me laugh and you’re half-way there.  Half-way where, you ask?  Pretty much anywhere, frankly.  I am absolutely going to learn this song (have I mentioned that I sing?) because I think it will knock ’em dead as a party piece.  My friends are mostly past this stage, but not so far that we don’t remember.  Get a few wines into ’em and I reckon they’ll be joining in in no time.

Anyway, so impressed was I by this young lady that I watched a few more of her videos.  Which is how I came across this one:

And this one made me cry.  I was sitting at my desk, surrounded by mess I need to clean up, almost hyperventilating about all the things I need to do this month (writing! tax! deadlines! eek!) and this song made me stop, forget all of that and cry.  Can a creator ask more than that?  If what I write can do that – take people out of their lives for a bit, have a laugh, have a cry, make them forget their troubles for a bit – I will be very, very happy.

I also like this one, a bit of musical philosophising:

Lucy is on Twitter and Facebook, if you want to follow what she gets up to.  I’m a little late to the Lucy party, it seems, but I have always adhered to ‘better late than never’ – especially when it comes to talent!  And in case you hadn’t found her yet either, I just wanted to share my unexpected Wednesday joy!

Have you found anything that surprised and delighted you lately?

First Friday Wordfest gets down and back up again

I have been neglecting the wordfeasting of late, I have realised.  So I thought I’d come back with a bang, so to speak.  (Pun will become clear later.  I hope. Otherwise you’ll just stay confused!)

It all started when I was reading some pages from a draft of a friend’s novel.  It was a very dramatic scene, in which the protagonist was holding his lover in his arms, unconscious and bleeding and looking near to death.  (In case you’re wondering, it was his lover who was unconscious and bleeding.  It’s very hard to hold anything when you’re unconscious. And I, at any rate, tend to lose my grip on things while bleeding.  It’s the sewer’s and cook’s instinct not to bleed on the product. But I digress…)

Dog, Supine

Anyway, it was very moving, until I came to the bit where the writer had inadvertently said (it was a draft, remember) that the unconscious and bleeding one was lying prone in his arms.

Now, many people might not have thought anything of it, as prone is often used to mean ‘lying down’.  But it actually means lying on one’s stomach.  So suddenly, this terribly moving scene was invaded, in my head by a mental image of the hero holding his love face down as she bled out.

The tender-hearted of you will be glad to know that I pointed this out to the writer.  I couldn’t in all conscience let her proceed, only to have every doctor (say) who ever read her book, burst out in inappropriate giggles in the middle of her death scene.  (I say doctor because I have found they tend to be both familiar with words with Latin roots and particular about distinguishing between fronts and backs of people.)

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Imelda needs…

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for Whatever takes my fancy.  (And no, the picture is not what takes my fancy: it’s my reaction to what’s below…)

Today it is one from the vault.  A few years ago, among my mates, anyway, there was a craze for Googling your first name, followed by the word ‘needs’ and seeing what came up.

I don’t know how this worked for other people, but on the day I did it, it was as if the interwebs were trying to tell me something.  Regard:

Imelda needs an army and an elderly husband behind her to get anything done.
Apparently I am the origin of the question, ‘you and who’s army?’

Imelda needs a loan of US $225
Well, natch – who doesn’t?

Imelda needs a loan for $8000 MXN
This is getting silly now.  What’s with all the money-grubbing, all of a sudden?

Imelda needs to develop discipline and patience in order to achieve her aspirations
Okay, now it’s a little creepy.  Do you actually know me, Google?

And following that one, this one immediately after it made me completely lose it…

Imelda needs to write soft porn bodice ripper novels
Google has spoken! nuff said!

Imelda needs to be disciplined
Put this together with the previous two and one beverage alert is just not enough…

Imelda needs financial support
Until she starts selling the soft porn, anyway…

Imelda needs new shoes
Again, with the ‘doesn’t everybody?’

“But Imelda needs those shoes
Alright, already, I get it!  New shoes!

Miss Imelda needs to come a-knockin’ on Scotland’s door.
And now, for something completely different…

It’s silly!  It’s pointless!  But amusing… at least to me.

Do yours! Go on, you know you want to…

Tell me what you find! 🙂

What makes a man sexy: It’s all about the coat…

Previously, these ‘sexy’ posts have been moderately serious, but to heck with it, it’s Friday, so I’m going a bit more old-school with the sexy characteristics today.

Today, it is all about the coat.  Seriously, lads, get yourself a coat.  In support of my argument, I offer, first, from the shimmering firmament that is the work of Joss Whedon:

Spike (From TV’s Buffy and Angel, played byJames Marsters)

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Imagine, if you will, a young girl, growing up poor.

Imagine that she has a chronic, undiagnosed anxiety disorder, a taxidermist father with a yen for roadkill and some very curious ideas about what makes a good puppet (and the time of night at which is appropriate to share said puppet).

Imagine she has a series of pets which… well, let’s just say that the pet experience is not entirely usual.

And all she wants is to fit in.

In the hands of Steven King, it would be a towering, terrifying horror story.  (At least, I imagine it would.  Growing up has not made me any more able to read Steven King’s novels than I was when I first encountered them as a squealy 11-year-old.  Loved ‘On Writing‘ though.)

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What makes a man sexy? Part II

So, after last week’s post on man sexiness, I was thinking about the topic some more as I was watching Doctor Who (colour me geeky, I can handle it!) and I decided that this week would be all about Rory.

For those who don’t know Doctor Who, Rory is an average bloke, who gets caught up in the time-travelling, trouble-seeking shenanigans of the Doctor, because he is in love with (and later, married to) the Doctor’s friend and companion, Amy Pond.

Rory’s normal-ness is important here, because last week, although I was talking about smiles and focus and such, I did illustrate the post with pics of David Tennant and John Barrowman, which some might have thought was cheating (I’m looking at you, Kez), as they are easy on the eye.  Arthur Darvill (who plays Rory) isn’t bad-looking, but nor is he stunningly handsome (sorry, Arthur, but the whole point of Rory is that he is normal).

But enough of the ordinary: onto the sexiness!

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Today’s Musical Friday Favourite = OK Go

I love, love, love, OK Go.

What other modern band would illustrate their song with a multi-coloured tango?

Or work so well with the Muppets?

Or go to this much trouble for the sheer, gleeful, musical madness of it? (Listen to the end to get the ironic, [in view of the song subject] spoken last line of the video.)

A true Friday favourite!  Do you have any OK Go favourites?  Or Muppet favourites, for that matter?  Or any video silliness to share?

Hope your weekend is looking good…

Imelda

Wednesday Review is Dead, Actually

Dead, Actually, the new young adult novel by the lovely Kaz Delaney, is the subject of today’s review, and since Kaz is a mate of mine, I thought I should invite someone else to do the review.

So today’s review is courtesy of my Sekrit Squirrels Helper (or SSH, for short) guest YA reviewer, who is not only impartial, but also in the novel’s target demographic.  If you like her review, please say so in the comments, so I can inveigle her into doing more!

Dead, Actually
Willow Cartwright: D-Lister by choice.
She’s about to find out what lies beneath the
tans and tinsel of the A-list, in a wickedly funny story
of blackmail, scams – and swoonworthy crushes.

In  Dead Actually, Kaz Delaney follows Willow Cartwright, a teen from the Gold Coast whose life has recently fallen into a shambles. Her family is completely dysfunctional, her adopted brother is a creepy liar out to steal her parents’ money, she has a huge crush on her best friend’s (Macey Pentecost) older brother, (Seth) and to top it all off, the dead Queen Bee of Ruth Throsby High, who happened to see Willow last before dying, is haunting her bedroom.

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