at home with ann


Posted on: 7 September 2007

okay luvvies, first things first… the gratuitous pic of my dahling Vincent D’Onofrio deep deep sigh… I’d lurv to be his dahling… would he adopt me or… or… or could I be his live-in housekeeper, but Vincent sweetheart I would need lotsa holidays because…

… wooo hoooo, I’ve booked my next trip to see the Israeli branch of the family. I reached a compromise with mother who is coming with me. I won’t go into the why’s and wherefores, but it will be a week with my babies over Chanukah and then a week in Netanya… I think that’s a kinda geriatric resort. I’m being unfair… it’s supposed to be very nice there and many of my friends have bought apartment there. However, I have no holiday left, so it’s gonna have to be unpaid leave; oh dear! And.. and… it’s another three months before we go. That’ll be four months not seeing them… tooooooo loooooong!

Ball Count: one bright orange one adorning my little olive tree, two more stones and a bright purple sword

Is anyone out there fond of pigs… oink oink grunt grunt? Well that’s me. I’m a big fat pig. I bought this little itsy bitsy tub of mini oreos… I mean tiny, they were soooo tiny, and before I knew it I’d eaten them all. To make matters worse I didn’t even like them that much and I felt sick sick sick. I confessed to a friend hoping to alleviate my guilt at my oinkiness, but did not feel absolved. I am bad bad bad… if I had a curly tail it would be dangling in shame.

I was really saddened to hear that Pavarotti had died. He and Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras brought opera and the classics to the people. There was a lot of airtime devoted to him last night. Anyway I spent a little time myself trying in my usual incompetent way to upload, or is it download, a video from youtube of Luciano Pavarotti and Jon Bon Jovi. I got messages saying there was an error but they couldn’t identify it… thanks!


Here’s the link if anyone wants to see it and I’m sorry, but it’s the best this technophobe can do. It is absolutely beautiful.

I got an award, I got an award… chanted in little girl sing song voice. Not quite the same as last week’s prize (which hasn’t yet arrived) but chuffed just the same. Well, you may ask (or you may not) how did I get this… by knowing my nursery rhymes. It has been bestowed on me, and many other nursery rhyme mavens by Akelamalu. I don’t know how to put things in the sidebar of this blog, so it shall be sitting alongside my other awards at London~Love~Verse where I do know how to put pics.


Which brings me nicely to my last dithering post. Thank you for all your comments and ideas and thoughts. I think most of you are right, everything should be lumped on one blog, excepting mrsbg who is, afterall, a person in her own right. My mrsbg muse has deserted me… actually I think my muse has dumped me. I do hope I can give mrsbg the kiss of life because I am particularly fond of her. Maybe when we poor saps in the UK get S5 I shall be inspired once again.

The next step forward would be a new look, but that is way too much to expect from me. A friend designed this one, but I can’t play around with it like I can with my London~Love blogs. If I try to redesign this I may well lose everything. Oh I am so indecisive. So until I can get my act together, normal, but intermittent, service shall resume.

I recall some time ago mentioning my new book club and wondering if anyone would like to add their tuppence worth about the books we’re reading. The book club is thriving, but I’m sorry I haven’t had much of a chance to talk about it here.

Here’s a run down of the books we’ve read and discussed so far.

The first on the list was Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld, a lawyer and lecturer. It got a general thumbsdown. I confessed to quite enjoying it, only quite, since the writer was obviously intent on giving us great doses of his knowledge of psychology and Freud’s famous Dora case, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and architecture all thrown in together and it simply didn’t flow. The only character I warmed to was the detective, I wonder why? The rest were like cardboard cutouts. It wasn’t a great story and it really wasn’t a particularly well written one either **

The next up was amazing. It is Adichie’s debut novel. This young woman is 25 years old and her writing is a dream to read. The story is moving and quite disturbing. It is set in her native Nigeria and is about a wealthy family at a time of political unrest. The father had been converted by missionaries and it tells how his piety affects his family. There is a paradox between his love and respect of G-d and Jesus and his attitude to his own pagan father who he wants nothing to do with and to his children, from whom he expects nothing less than perfection *****

No self-respecting bookclub would not feature Khaled Hosseini’s The Kiterunner. It is set in Afghanistan and in America. The prevalent theme of this story is strength of character, or rather Amir’s weakness of character. He fails to understand his jealousy or why he does terrible things to his friend/servant Hassan even after witnessing his friend being subjected to a gruesome assault and abuse. He has opportunities to right his wrongs and at one point his father’s friend, who understands him better I think than he understands himself, says, “There is a way to be good again.” He is not inherently a bad person, he is weak and he is flawed. It is beautifully written. *****

Following this one, we decided to read The Bookseller of Kabul and do a comparison as both books are obviously set in Afghanistan. Seierstad is a Norwegian war journalist and it is an account of her three month stay in the spring of 2002 with a not so typical Afghan family, in as much as they are literate and middle-class. The book is non-fiction. Her account has caused controversy and although the names were changed, the family were easily recognisable in their native home. The father who does not come out in a good light, although he believed he was doing right by everyone, is suing for defamation and at one time was seeking to move to Scandinavia. His first wife, or rather his No.1 wife, is reported to now live in Canada. It tells of how life changes under Russian and Taliban rule and then through a coalition supported democracy. Seirstad spends much time with the women of the family and hears their stories, their heartaches, their dreams ****

The Story of Lucy Gault is for next month. I know nothing about it and shall get a copy later today. Here is Amazon’s review. Actually I have just got a copy since starting this post this morning in the middle of cooking, cleaning, laundry, dentist ouch, bank etc. (my usual Friday) and my friend was not impressed, yet from the synopsis below I was quite excited, although a little nervous, about the storyline. I am not sure it is one I would have chosen for myself.

A difficult novel for any parent to read, William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault recounts the tale of a young girl whose Protestant family is driven from its rural Irish home in 1921. Eight-year-old Lucy is in love with Lahardane: the old house itself, the woods, the nearby beach, the shells and fir cones and sticks that she collected like treasure. The day before her family is scheduled to flee Ireland, leaving the house and furnishings in the care of trusted servants, Lucy runs away. Her parents, finding a scrap of her clothing on the beach, assume the worst. Days later, they leave Lahardane, choosing not to settle in England, as they had planned, but to roam Europe in their grief, leaving no forwarding address. But Lucy has not killed herself; she’s only broken her leg in the woods. Eventually she makes it back to the house to find her parents gone. She spends her childhood waiting to be forgiven for her wicked act, postponing all happiness until she can be reunited with her mother and father. Revealing more of the plot will spoil this lovely novel for its many readers. It is enough to note that Trevor’s characteristic depth and emotional complexity are fully realized here in the watchful reticence of his young heroine and the strange but beautiful way she finds to express her own forgiveness. –Regina Marler

I have read other books in between, one called Disobedience which is about the lesbian daughter of a learned Rabbi. It was dire, both the story and the writing. In some ways the writer’s style was not dissimilar to mine and I realised I didn’t like it… hmmm! I was not put off by the subject, it was just not well done.

I am currently in the middle of Hosseini’s long awaited second novel A Thousand Splendid Suns also set in Afghanistan and Adichie’s second, Half of a Yellow Sun, which is set in Nigeria at the time of Biafra in the 1960’s. So far both are excellent, but they are not on our list.

It amazes me what becomes bestsellers. I realise much is to do with hype and good marketing, but I also realise that as I have boxes of impulsive shoe buys that pinch my feet and sit in the wardrobe gathering dust, so it is the same with books. Bestsellers do not necessarily mean best reads. The number of books I’ve bought and couldn’t finish far exceeds the number I’ve bought that I couldn’t put down. Interesting… eh?

In the meantime I have just procured three ‘new releases’ journals from the library, which I have to return. I find it just as hard to resist buying books as I do pretty lingerie and shoes and bags and Vincent dvd’s… see I’m not totally shallow. Please do share what interests you; I’d love to know your recommendations; what you enjoyed and what you hated too.

I have prattled long enough, although I started this post early this morning and have cooked dinner in between paragraphs… the mishpochah (family) are coming and the place is such a mess. I really didn’t have a clue what having decorators in actually entails, but it should be worth it in the end… says she!

Hoping you and yours have a restful weekend and Shabbat Shalom


16 Responses to "FRIDAY AGAIN… ALREADY"

I’ve really enjoyed the first two Dexter books by Jeff Lindsay, on which the TV series is loosely based. Darkly comic. Grim and gruesome. Lovely stuff!

My gosh you HAVE been a busy-bee…and I’m sure that tiny box of cookies will have made no difference to your waistline whatsoever, whereas yours truly spent her lunch break today in the cheesecake shop. Well, if Mr D’Onofrio will not make himself available, I have to look for alternative ‘sugar’ intakes!

I am just so blasted tired that I can’t focus on reading these days, but I do want to get back doing it regularly. Brian, on the other hand, has like 3-4 books going at the same time!

Have a great weekend and don’t worry about the oreos!

I second Val re: Dexter books. They are terrific. I loved The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. The writing was engaging and beautiful. Just finished a non-fiction called The World Without Us. It is a thought experiment written by a science journalist about what would happen if humans disappeared. Should be required reading for all high school and college students. Heart-Shaped Box was a worthy freshman work of scary fiction (written by Stephen King’s boy, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the book jacket). And of course HP and the Deathly Hollows was an extremely satisfying conclusion to the HP series.
I did read Interpretation of Murder and quite agree with your assessment.
Shabbat Shalom

well, i’m happy that you seem to post quite often these days again. at least from my perspective. 🙂

the time might be long until you see the kiddos again, but you have something great to look forward to, that’s still something, isn’t it?

btw: you’re not a pig. don’t get me started about the chemical poisoned yet delicious sweets and snacks i get my hands on here and how quickly they’re gone once i grabbed them. you’re not alone, you’re not the only one and i actually believe that this is a very human (yet: female) behaviour. 🙂

i was so sad when i found out that pavarotti died. i don’t know if it’s just me being a bit emotional these days, but when i saw a video of him, i had to stop it after a few seconds already so i won’t burst out in tears and cry like a baby. heartbreaking.

you’re in a book club? maybe i should join one too given the amount of books i read. 🙂 but what is it like in book clubs – you practically plan in advance what ya gonna read and decide collectively, right? because i like to get my books somewhat spontaneous from the library. 🙂

anyway, hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. take care.

val: thanks for the recommendation… I’ll check them out; I’m not familiar with them, book-wise or tv-wise

diane: you’re right;
no vincent = sugar binge

jojo: I make myself read… I wish I had that same discipline for writing

claire: I’ve got that book in my Amazon basket! I don’t do Stephen King or that genre; I’m a real scaredy cat

tamara: a book club is really useful… firstly in my case I get to see my friends every month. Secondly, yes we do choose in advance, but it is only one book a month and everyone has a say. It means I get to read books I would not necessarily pick up myself. I still read other books and we share those too. It is really interesting to see how different writers affect everyone

Another trip to Israel – lucky you, it’s on my list of places to visit.

Well done on the nursery rhyme quiz I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

Thanks for the info on the books Ann. I’ve been tagged for jury duty this week (Hurry up and wait to see if I’ll be selected, which I hope I won’t) I’m in need of a good book!

Hope you have a good weekend.


Chowing down my lunch at the moment. Crazy day at work only a couple of hours to go.

I’ve only read one book on that list. I rarely have time to read much anymore.

Love you

Cool new profile pic there Ann – you make a very handsome couple, even if poor Vincent-Baby had the most terrible cold when that picture was taken!

akelamalu: I am drawn there by something so powerful… my grandbabies

tess: yuck jury service; I did it at the Old Bailey over 30 years ago… hope you have a good one too

brian: a writer or a reader be… we all know which one you are and let me guess which book you read; could it be the Kite Runner? ;>)

diane: yeah, in my dream eh!

Lucky you getting to see your grandchildren again. I can’t wait untill I’m a grandparent.
How do you get the time to do everything (are you super-woman)?
Not to bad a week with the balls then!!!!!

Love the Janus picture, but only one question? Who’s the bloke on the left? Shouldn’t it be me? 😛


… but I don’t have a pic of you ;>)

I never get time to read anymore,thanks to working in a bookstore!How ironic and unfair is THAT?Or watch the movies we buy or the seasons of anything.

As for the Oreos,everyone should be baaaaad once in a while,or all the time,as long as you are happy with you,then screw everyone else.

Inspiration….well,I understand.I painted myself into a fan fiction corner in my last post and I NOW have to figure out how to get out of it!

I MAY have time to do that tonight,if I get any time alone.I can’t write with other people in the house!

And the trip sounds great!Shame it is so far away BUT that gives you time to appreciate each day drawing you closer to it.

I got you beat…three dark slabs in as many days…EXCLUDING the cheesecake slice.

We all need ALTERNATIVE FUEL and with all my new ventures I need all the fuel i can get. Maybe its all your reading, Ann, draining the brain of sugar…Ha!

Needless to say, I haven’t even started on that very deep, thought-provoking novel you sent me…Hee-heee!!

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the loves of my life

at the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet ~~~ plato

thank you…

... to everyone whose pictures and videos I have borrowed; if anyone would like theirs to be removed, please tell me and I shall be happy to do so

all words here are mine ~ I’ll tell you when they’re not!

from long ago

in case I forget what day of the week it is

September 2007
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