Sunday, April 30, 2017

Grace Notes - Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal has been one of those actresses who I lived in the roles I have seen her in, the fantastic Peg Bundy in Married with Children to the tough mom Gemma on Sons of Anarchy.  Yet I knew nothing if her private life, so for me this book really showed me who she is.

In a series of essays she talks about the times and people in her life.  Her parents who died while she was young, her relationships with various men, her singing career, acting and then writing and her deep deep love with her children and husband.

  For me there was a real poetic quality to her writing and the stories about her kids and partner were just a joy to read.  4/5

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ambulance Girls - Deborah Burrows

Lily Brennan is a young Australian who is working in London during the Blitz.  As well as transporting the injured and wounded to hospitals around the city, she helps to search bombed sites and rescue the trapped and wounded.

When her partner David Levy goes missing she wonders if he has been involved in foul play, there have been whispers round the station and she is suspicious about several of her colleagues motives.

I enjoyed this light read which transported me to the streets of London.  4/5

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Between Two Worlds- Tyler Henry

If you are familiar with Tyler Henry's show, then you know what the majority of this book is about.  It is always a little strange to read a memoir written by a 20 year old, as they have only a limited life experience.   Tyler tells us about his early years and how he first discovered his psychic abilities.

This book reinforced for me what a nice sweet boy he is, and how he uses his skills to help people heal and grow.  He does spend a fair part of this small book explaining what he believes which is interesting, discussing what he thinks happens when we die and how our love continues, even when our loved ones have passed. 4/5

Monday, April 24, 2017

Music Monday - Fresh Eyes

I keep hearing this song everywhere at the moment.   I watched the video at the weekend, such a lovely message.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Working Class Boy - Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes is an 80s rocker from Australia, that I was lucky enough to see perform in his heyday as he opened for U2.

I didn't know anything about his early life except that he was born in Scotland, and when I was in a bookstore I thumbed through his autobiography and was instantly hooked.

In this book he writes about growing up poor in Glasgow with an alcoholic father.  Things didn't improve once the family moved to Adelaide Australia, it is real Angela's Ashes hunger, violence and poverty that surprised me.  Such a shock to think about how rough it was for him when he was younger and I felt for him as a young child.  I didn't like the teenage Jimmy much though, break ins , drugs, drinking and horrible amounts of violence. 4/5

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night - Eight Days A Week

It is a while since I had a middle aged lady night.  It had been a busy day full of chores with washing out on in the autumn sunshine, the hoovering was done, bedding stripped and lawns mowed.  A trip to the post office, Library and supermarket all visited.  I then went off your meet a friend for dinner.  We tried a new restaurant Ombra which was tasty and worth the visit.

It was nice to get home in time to pull the curtains to keep the warmth in.  The movie I chose tonight was Ron Howard's Documentry Eight Days A Week.   Set around the touring years of the Beatles mainly from 1962-1965.  I have always loved the Beatles, but haven't listened to them in a while, but this wonderful movie makes me want to listen to them all over again.

Such a delight to see these four talented chaps as handsome and cheeky young men as the play in front of crowds of screaming teenagers.  Watching the movie it made me realize how short their time together was, maybe that is a reflection of my age, but when I was younger it felt like they had been round forever.  I wonder if teenagers today even know who they are?

Much as I love the pop songs if their youth, it is the songs like Blackbird, Norwegian Wood, Eleanor Rigby and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds that give me the most joy.

So I am going to load up all their tunes tonight so that I may listen to them tomorrow.   5/5

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Movies Film Festival

 Our weather was a bit cloudy and cool, so it was nice to catch up on the movies and shows crowding my DVR.  I quite enjoyed The Longest Ride, a romantic movie adapted from a Nicolas Sparks novel.  Scott Eastwood is nice to look at even if I am not a rodeo fan. 4/5
 American Sniper has been on my go to list to watch for some time so I was glad I got to sit down and watch it.  I did come away feeling a bit meh about it, a bit too much for me, too many guns and violence. 2/5
 Won't Back Down was one on the TV at 1am that I recorded and knew nothing about.  Maggie Gyllenhaal is a young single mother that is trying to get help for her young dyslexic daughter but keeps encountering obstacles at her local school.  She finds help from one of the teachers, played by Viola Davis and both woman try to motivate other teachers and make the school a positive learning environment to help all the kids.  4/5
I didn't know anything about this one either but once I saw Nicholas Cage and John Cusack I was interested.  Set in Anchorage Alaska, a young woman manages to escape from a man who has kidnapped and assaulted her.  As she helps police with the case it soon becomes clear that she was not the only victim. A bit gritty and grim it made me sad to think of all the young women killed by this serial killer, and how they must have suffered in their last days.  3/5

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Mother's Promise - Sally Hepworth

Alice is a single mother to Zoe, when she gets a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.   With Zoe suffering crippling social anxiety Alice initially tries to hide her condition, but as things progress she realizes that she must fill Zoe in and find some help. With no reliable friends or family available or Zoes father on the scene they have to accept help from Alices nurse and social worker.

I did enjoy the story although I could not help but feel a bit annoyed with Alice, as she seemed to have her own social issues.   It helped to read the authors explanation of why she wrote the story after thinking about what would happen to children in her own family if something happened to the parents.  She also wanted to explore what would happen to those people who are alone without any support. 4/5

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Extreme Measures - Jessica Zitter

Jessica Zitter is an Intensive Care Specialist Dr who also works as a Palliative Care Dr, and in this books she talks about her experiences working in the hospital and the lessons she has learned.

She is able to talk about some of the hard choices that people face when they become critically unwell.  Do we do everything we can at any cost?  What does that really mean and do patients and their families understand the consequences of that decision?  What would doctors choose to do when they attempt end of their lives?

Such an interesting book - one that I think everyone should read and talk about with their family and friends. 5/5

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Their Finest

Easter break is the perfect time for a movie, and as school holidays have begun this was one movie where there were no punters under 35.  Set in wartime London, a trio of scriptwriter are given the task of helping write a new stirring patriotic script, to be immortalized on the silver screen.

At it's heart though is the story of young Welsh woman Catharine who is finding it hard to survive and doesn't expect to find love.

At first I didn't think much of the story but was impressed by the lovely scenery and perfect rumpled costuming.   As the story developed it became more endearing and charming.  4/5

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Rolling With The Punchlines - Urzila Carlson

Urzila Carlson is a South African born New Zealand comedian who has been popping up on our screens the past couple of years in a variety of shows.  Although she writes a little bit about the comedy, this mainly a story about her difficult childhood growing up with abuse and poverty.

I really enjoyed this book, she's a good story teller and I felt like I was just listening to a good friend chatting.  She doesn't have to throw in lots of absurd cheesy jokes to enhance the humor, her telling of the stories us entertaining enough. 4/5

Friday, April 07, 2017

That Sugar Film

Maybe this one wasn't the ideal movie to watch before Easter weekend.   It certainly made me back away from the biscuits and have some fruit instead.

Basically this Aussie documentry maker Damon  Gameau , who lives the good life without a lot of sugar decides to take on the average persons diet of 40 teaspoons of sugar a day.  At first he thinks it will be hard to do, but as he discovers sugars are in 80% of products at the supermarket.

Without eating junk food, sodas or sweets he consumes sugar through juices, yogurt, cereals, bread and ready made meals.  The effects of weight gain, fatty liver and foggy brain happen rapidly but are also reversed once he returns to his normal eating.

A movie that we should all watch, not too long and presented in an easy way to consume the information.  4/5

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

It Ends With Us - Colleen Hoover

I know this seems a silly thing to say about a fiction book, but it just seemed all a bit too made up for me.  Lily Blossom Bloom is a girl who has grown up in a home where her father continually physically abused her mother.  After escaping she heads to Boston where she dreams if being a florist  (cue the cheesy name).

There she meets Ryle a handsome Neurosurgery registrar who falls in love with her.  Somehow it all felt a bit too TV movie for me.  I didn't feel like the characters were real. 3/5

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Innocents

This was one I had ticked off to see at the 2016 film festival, but life intervened and I had to skip it.  Todays weather forecast was predicting rain, so a bestie and me met for some curly fries and a drink and a seat at the cinema.

This movie is based on a real story.  It tells of a young French red Cross worker who is asked to assist with a difficult labor of a young woman at a Polish Convent.  While there she uncovers a secret that the nuns have been trying to keep quiet from the locals.

I did enjoy most of the story, although we had been warned it was somewhat grim.  It was a bit bleak and I did nod off a bit half way through.   3/5 nods from me.

Never Put All Your Eggs In One Bastard - Peta Mathias

Peta is a TV host/chef/author from New Zealand who has written several books over the past 20 years and appeared on many shows showcasing her travels and the food and people she encounters.

In this her latest book she has made it a memoir telling us about her early life growing up in Auckland, and leading onto her latest venture of rebuilding a house in rural France.  It just all felt a little flat for me.  I think I needed more amusing stories, instead it was a little dry. 3/5