The Wheel turns

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For those of you who don’t follow such things, an enormous event has recently taken place in the world of fantasy fiction. The final book of the Wheel of Time series has been published. For some, this will be old news. For others, it’s not such a big deal. But it’s actually pretty impressive.

The series was first published in 1990. It has since sold tens of millions of copies. The final six books have each hit number one on the New York Times best seller list. It has an enormous fan following on the Internet. And the author died before the end of the series, leaving the job of finishing it to another. But anyway…if you’re into fantasy, you’ve probably encountered it. If you’re not, it’s probably not for you.

We planned to buy a digital copy of the book because we are both big fans and wanted to read it simultaneously. Unfortunately, the ebook won’t be released till April, to avoid eating into hard copy sales. So we were faced with a choice – choose who got to read it first, or read it aloud to each other.

We decided to go with the second choice. We’d done the same with the final Harry Potter book and quite enjoyed it. It was really relaxing slowing down again and reading to each other. It’s very different to watching a movie together – I found we interacted more. It’s been lovely turning the tv off (or muting the cricket) and sitting down to read a story to each other. It took us seventeen days, but we did it.

There were a few challenges though. Firstly, a very active 14-month old. We had no option but to read while our son was asleep, which made for late nights (followed by early mornings…gah…). It’s also meant the laundry has been planning a coup with the washing up. I think the dust bunnies may be in on the plot too.

Secondly, I’ve realised why we read stories to children at night. Aside from the numerous educational benefits, it’s relaxing. Very, very relaxing. We’ve gone through a lot of coffee while we’ve read to each other. There was still the odd moment when the person being read to would need to re-read a section that they’d zoned out through.

Thirdly – one of the challenges of reading a fantasy series aloud that you’ve both read to yourselves is different pronunciation of names. We didn’t come to blows over it, but there were some…discussions over the appropriate way to pronounce the names of key characters.

Finally – I often get my words tangled when I talk. It’s even worse when I read. This led to some quite amusing results. A Waygate became a Waygoat. Lanfear became Landfill. An evil mace became evil mice. The later it got, the less coherent my reading was. The less coherent I was, the more hysterical the giggles were. The more hysterical the giggles, the less coherent I was…and so on.

Despite these challenges, I’ve really loved sitting down on the couch reading to my beloved. It’s a highlight of an excellent holiday period. We’ve felt more connected than if we’d read it separately. I’m glad to have read the ending, but sad to have finished this time. I think we’ll have to find something else to read to each other now.
But maybe something with less complex words. Hairy Maclary is looking good.

Looking-glasses.

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Hi ho, hi ho…

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I love my job. Well, most days anyway. I’m a registered nurse on an oncology and palliative care ward. Those are just the technical words for cancer and dying people. It doesn’t sound particularly cheerful, but I work with some amazing people who bend over backwards to help their patients and workmates. We see a lot of sadness, and a lot of love. We also have pretty warped senses of humour – that helps too. :p

Today, however…I knew it was going to be an interesting shift when my best patient was 90. My second best patient was 94 with a broken arm. So I took a deep breath and plunged in. By the end of the shift all were clean, fed and comfortable…and now I’m trashed.

I am also very satisfied with my day’s work. Perhaps the most satisfying element of today was working with one patient’s family. At the start of the day they were…challenging. By the end of the day, they were smiling and shook my hand. That was particularly gratifying.

And now I’m home. And there’s a Magnum in the freezer with my name on it, so you’ll have to excuse the abrupt end to this post.
I’m sure you understand. 🙂

Looking-glasses

Hot off the press

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Today was the hottest day in Sydney on record. And we decided to go into the city with our porcelain-skinned child. I think that’s almost a parenting fail.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. We wound up having a lovely (if slightly fried) day. Our trains were air-conditioned on both journeys which made a tremendous difference.
On the way in we got talking to a mum and daughter who had come to Sydney for the day. It was the young teen’s first visit to the city and she was so excited to see and travel over the Harbour Bridge for the first time. It made me realise it’s easy to take for granted so I snapped this picture on the way home and put it up on instagram.

Then I got a message from an ABC news account asking if they could use my age in their news feed. I said they could. Shortly after I visited the ABC news website and lo and behold…

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I was on the front page! It was a collection of tweets and instagram pictures from Sydneysiders about the heat wave and they chose mine to display on the front page.
So very excited. And substantially cooler now the southerly has arrived.

Hope you’re staying cool where you are right now.
Looking-glasses

Food is love

It’s an old saying that may well be the cause of weight problems for many people, but tonight for me it takes on a new truth.

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Last night I cooked a meal for a family I have never met to show them they are loved and prayed for. Just before Christmas, one of the families in our community lost their teenage daughter in tragic circumstances. Our church has done what it can to support this family through this awful time by (among other things) providing a month of meals. Tonight is the evening I signed up for. Once I’ve finished my coffee (priorities) I’ll take them some spaghetti bolognaise. It’s not a flash meal – it’s comfort food. I hope it brings them some comfort and respite.

I took this photo while out getting groceries. Yesterday’s Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge was yellow. I thought these guys looked pretty cool.

Sorry for the slightly heavier post! I’ll try for a lighter one later today.

Looking-glasses