Thursday, November 20, 2008


Just discovered the website WWW.WORDLE.NET which takes a piece of text and displays it according to the number of times you use different words in it. I have just tried my last but one posting, about how being 40 sucks. Lots of middling words seemed to come out strongly- maybe, possibly- is this a good thing?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not quite right yet

My challenge this week has been to add photos to the family blog and this one. Whilst I don't have the headers quite right yet, I am pleased with the results. The photo of the roller coaster is so cool I had to use it.

It has been a hard week since Anton's hospitalistion. I am still very worried about him, and the fact there is no diagnosis yet. The homeopath has given us injections of some remedy which I have to give him in the neck- so I am officially a pain in the neck! He has waves where he feels better but they never last for long and I am dreading the psychological issues that came with the last bout if this is Lyme.

I clung to some purpose yesterday, helping Elaine to do her Maths ( Gloss) testing. 4 hours and 12 kids down, only 16 to go! I felt I needed to leave Anton alone otherwise I would feel trapped. Even though I have been at home this past week I feel I have achieved very little. I still have curtains to make, and some painting to do and Idol costumes to perfect but relaxing on the sofa is nicer and less stressing for my OH.

Gave up on the Perfect Spy.It was far too long. The Arsonist's guide is really engaging and so far I have real sympathy for the main character. Hopefully this will last or my faith in my judgement will be sorely dented.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Being 40 sucks!

I haven't officially had a 40th birthday. I had a lovely 1920's cocktail party with 5 course meal all prepared by Anton...except for the cheese board of course.

Next morning, my actual birthday , Ant collapses with a suspected heart attack/angina/ who knows. Two days in hospital do not a celebration make. Lyme disease is most likely and he is currently undergoing any treatment he can find. Antibiotics, homeopathic, anthroposophic, herbal. Hm maybe the mixture is not a good thing.

I am coping but I am so aware of what happened the first time he suffered like this. I don't feel I can leave him alone for any length of time in case he has a panic attack or a relapse. Remembering him phoning me at Maria's will stay with me for a very very long time. I feel as though I want to cry, through helplessness mostly but possibly for very selfish reasons. I am having to shelve many of my activities to look after him, so I guess I feel I am missing out. Throwing my energies into keeping the house tidy doesn't seem to have helped. Maybe a good night's sleep will help.

On the book front, didn't really get 'Crash'. Not sure what I was expecting, possibly another Empire of the Sun but it so wasn't. Stuck with it to the end as it made compelling reading but can't say I enjoyed it. Ticked off another one of the 1000 though.

I have a few books cluttering up the bedside table. Am going through the 'not being able to focus on reading' phase so finding it a struggle. Trying to read 'the Perfect Spy' but may go for something shorter.

Hey ho. In NZ years I am officially only TWO (thanks Debs). I think I'll stick there

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Is this what Eddie Izzard means by thinly read???

So here are the remaining books from the 1000 that I haven't read, just to remind myself of the classics I have missed. I have managed to cross two off the list withoutrealising it- Birdsong and Crash.

There will be a new list on the left of the next five I want to read.
Then of course, there are questions... Why do many by Don Delilo? Why so few by Agatha Christie? Where is Kevin, given we should be talking about him?

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
Slow Man – J.M. Coetzee
Adjunct: An Undigest – Peter Manson
The Sea – John Banville
The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
The Master – Colm Tóibín
Vanishing Point – David Markson
The Lambs of London – Peter Ackroyd
Dining on Stones – Iain Sinclair
Drop City – T. Coraghessan Boyle
The Colour – Rose Tremain
Thursbitch – Alan Garner
The Light of Day – Graham Swift
What I Loved – Siri Hustvedt
Islands – Dan Sleigh
Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee
London Orbital – Iain Sinclair
Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
The Double – José Saramago
Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Unless – Carol Shields
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor
That They May Face the Rising Sun – John McGahern
In the Forest – Edna O’Brien
Shroud – John Banville
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Youth – J.M. Coetzee
Dead Air – Iain Banks
Nowhere Man – Aleksandar Hemon
The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster
Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi
Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald
Platform – Michael Houellebecq
Schooling – Heather McGowan
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
Don’t Move – Margaret Mazzantini
The Body Artist – Don DeLillo
Fury – Salman Rushdie
At Swim, Two Boys – Jamie O’Neill
Choke – Chuck Palahniuk
The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargos Llosa
An Obedient Father – Akhil Sharma
The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
The Heart of Redness – Zakes Mda
Under the Skin – Michel Faber
Ignorance – Milan Kundera
Nineteen Seventy Seven – David Peace
Celestial Harmonies – Péter Esterházy
City of God – E.L. Doctorow
How the Dead Live – Will Self
The Human Stain – Philip Roth
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
Small Remedies – Shashi Deshpande
Super-Cannes – J.G. Ballard
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
Blonde – Joyce Carol Oates
Pastoralia – George Saunders
Timbuktu – Paul Auster
The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
As If I Am Not There – Slavenka Drakuli?
Everything You Need – A.L. Kennedy
Fear and Trembling – Amélie Nothomb
The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq
Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi
Cloudsplitter – Russell Banks
All Souls Day – Cees Nooteboom
The Talk of the Town – Ardal O’Hanlon
Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
Another World – Pat Barker
The Hours – Michael Cunningham
Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho
Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Great Apes – Will Self
Jack Maggs – Peter Carey
The Life of Insects – Victor Pelevin
American Pastoral – Philip Roth
The Untouchable – John Banville
Silk – Alessandro Baricco
Cocaine Nights – J.G. Ballard
Hallucinating Foucault – Patricia Duncker
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
The Ghost Road – Pat Barker
Forever a Stranger – Hella Haasse
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
The Clay Machine-Gun – Victor Pelevin
The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro
Morvern Callar – Alan Warner
The Information – Martin Amis
The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie
Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth
The Rings of Saturn – W.G. Sebald
The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
The End of the Story – Lydia Davis
Mr. Vertigo – Paul Auster
The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst
Whatever – Michel Houellebecq
Land – Park Kyong-ni
The Master of Petersburg – J.M. Coetzee
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Pereira Declares: A Testimony – Antonio Tabucchi
City Sister Silver – Jàchym Topol
How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
Felicia’s Journey – William Trevor
Disappearance – David Dabydeen
The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm
Looking for the Possible Dance – A.L. Kennedy
Operation Shylock – Philip Roth
Complicity – Iain Banks
On Love – Alain de Botton
What a Carve Up! – Jonathan Coe
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
The House of Doctor Dee – Peter Ackroyd
The Emigrants – W.G. Sebald
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Life is a Caravanserai – Emine Özdamar
The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch
A Heart So White – Javier Marias
Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker
Indigo – Marina Warner
The Crow Road – Iain Banks
Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
Jazz – Toni Morrison
Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates
The Heather Blazing – Colm Tóibín
Asphodel – H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
Black Dogs – Ian McEwan
Arcadia – Jim Crace
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
Mao II – Don DeLillo
Typical – Padgett Powell
Downriver – Iain Sinclair
Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord – Louis de Bernieres
Wise Children – Angela Carter
Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard
Amongst Women – John McGahern
Vineland – Thomas Pynchon
Vertigo – W.G. Sebald
Stone Junction – Jim Dodge
The Music of Chance – Paul Auster
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
A Home at the End of the World – Michael Cunningham
Like Life – Lorrie Moore
Possession – A.S. Byatt
The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi
The Midnight Examiner – William Kotzwinkle
A Disaffection – James Kelman
Moon Palace – Paul Auster
Billy Bathgate – E.L. Doctorow
The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai
The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
The History of the Siege of Lisbon – José Saramago
London Fields – Martin Amis
The Book of Evidence – John Banville
The Beautiful Room is Empty – Edmund White
Wittgenstein’s Mistress – David Markson
The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
The Swimming-Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst
Libra – Don DeLillo
The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks
Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
The Radiant Way – Margaret Drabble
The Afternoon of a Writer – Peter Handke
The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
The Pigeon – Patrick Süskind
The Child in Time – Ian McEwan
Cigarettes – Harry Mathews
The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
World’s End – T. Coraghessan Boyle
Enigma of Arrival – V.S. Naipaul
The Taebek Mountains – Jo Jung-rae
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Anagrams – Lorrie Moore
Matigari – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Marya – Joyce Carol Oates
Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons
The Old Devils – Kingsley Amis
Lost Language of Cranes – David Leavitt
An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro
Extinction – Thomas Bernhard
Foe – J.M. Coetzee
The Drowned and the Saved – Primo Levi
Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel
The Parable of the Blind – Gert Hofmann
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
A Maggot – John Fowles
Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
Contact – Carl Sagan
Perfume – Patrick Süskind
Old Masters – Thomas Bernhard
White Noise – Don DeLillo
Queer – William Burroughs
Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
Legend – David Gemmell
Dictionary of the Khazars – Milorad Pavi?
The Bus Conductor Hines – James Kelman
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter
Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes
Money: A Suicide Note – Martin Amis
Shame – Salman Rushdie
Worstward Ho – Samuel Beckett
Fools of Fortune – William Trevor
La Brava – Elmore Leonard
Waterland – Graham Swift
The Life and Times of Michael K – J.M. Coetzee
The Diary of Jane Somers – Doris Lessing
The Piano Teacher – Elfriede Jelinek
The Sorrow of Belgium – Hugo Claus
If Not Now, When? – Primo Levi
A Boy’s Own Story – Edmund White
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
A Pale View of Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
The Newton Letter – John Banville
On the Black Hill – Bruce Chatwin
Concrete – Thomas Bernhard
The Names – Don DeLillo
Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
Lanark: A Life in Four Books – Alasdair Gray
The Comfort of Strangers – Ian McEwan
July’s People – Nadine Gordimer
Summer in Baden-Baden – Leonid Tsypkin
Broken April – Ismail Kadare
Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Rites of Passage – William Golding
Rituals – Cees Nooteboom
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
City Primeval – Elmore Leonard
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
Smiley’s People – John Le Carré
Shikasta – Doris Lessing
A Bend in the River – V.S. Naipaul
Burger’s Daughter - Nadine Gordimer
The Safety Net – Heinrich Böll
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino
The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
The Singapore Grip – J.G. Farrell
Yes – Thomas Bernhard
The Virgin in the Garden – A.S. Byatt
In the Heart of the Country – J.M. Coetzee
The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin
The Shining – Stephen King
Dispatches – Michael Herr
Petals of Blood – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
The Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector
The Left-Handed Woman – Peter Handke
Ratner’s Star – Don DeLillo
The Public Burning – Robert Coover
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Cutter and Bone – Newton Thornburg
Amateurs – Donald Barthelme
Patterns of Childhood – Christa Wolf
Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez
W, or the Memory of Childhood – Georges Perec
A Dance to the Music of Time – Anthony Powell
Grimus – Salman Rushdie
The Dead Father – Donald Barthelme
Fateless – Imre Kertész
Willard and His Bowling Trophies – Richard Brautigan
High Rise – J.G. Ballard
Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow
Dead Babies – Martin Amis
Correction – Thomas Bernhard
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle
Dusklands – J.M. Coetzee
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
A Question of Power – Bessie Head
The Siege of Krishnapur – J.G. Farrell
The Castle of Crossed Destinies – Italo Calvino
The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch
Sula – Toni Morrison
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
The Breast – Philip Roth
G – John Berger
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
House Mother Normal – B.S. Johnson
In A Free State – V.S. Naipaul
The Book of Daniel – E.L. Doctorow
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
Group Portrait With Lady – Heinrich Böll
The Wild Boys – William Burroughs
Rabbit Redux – John Updike
The Sea of Fertility – Yukio Mishima
The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark
The Ogre – Michael Tournier
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick – Peter Handke
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Mercier et Camier – Samuel Beckett
Troubles – J.G. Farrell
Jahrestage – Uwe Johnson
The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G. Ballard
Tent of Miracles – Jorge Amado
Pricksongs and Descants – Robert Coover
Blind Man With a Pistol – Chester Hines
Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
The Green Man – Kingsley Amis
Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Ada – Vladimir Nabokov
Them – Joyce Carol Oates
A Void/Avoid – Georges Perec
Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen
Myra Breckinridge – Gore Vidal
The Nice and the Good – Iris Murdoch
Belle du Seigneur – Albert Cohen
Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The First Circle – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid – Malcolm Lowry
The German Lesson – Siegfried Lenz
In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan
A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
The Quest for Christa T. – Christa Wolf
Chocky – John Wyndham
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
The Cubs and Other Stories – Mario Vargas Llosa
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
Pilgrimage – Dorothy Richardson
The Joke – Milan Kundera
No Laughing Matter – Angus Wilson
The Third Policeman – Flann O’Brien
A Man Asleep – Georges Perec
The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West
Trawl – B.S. Johnson
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
The Magus – John Fowles
The Vice-Consul – Marguerite Duras
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
Giles Goat-Boy – John Barth
The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
Things – Georges Perec
The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
August is a Wicked Month – Edna O’Brien
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor
The Passion According to G.H. – Clarice Lispector
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
Come Back, Dr. Caligari – Donald Bartholme
Albert Angelo – B.S. Johnson
Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe
The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein – Marguerite Duras
Herzog – Saul Bellow
V. – Thomas Pynchon
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Graduate – Charles Webb
Manon des Sources – Marcel Pagnol
The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
Inside Mr. Enderby – Anthony Burgess
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The Collector – John Fowles
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
The Drowned World – J.G. Ballard
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
Labyrinths – Jorg Luis Borges
Girl With Green Eyes – Edna O’Brien
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis – Giorgio Bassani
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
A Severed Head – Iris Murdoch
Faces in the Water – Janet Frame
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
Cat and Mouse – Günter Grass
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor
How It Is – Samuel Beckett
Our Ancestors – Italo Calvino
The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Promise at Dawn – Romain Gary
Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse
The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes
Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow
Memento Mori – Muriel Spark
Billiards at Half-Past Nine – Heinrich Böll
The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring – Kenzaburo Oe
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Bitter Glass – Eilís Dillon
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – Alan Sillitoe
Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico
Borstal Boy – Brendan Behan
The End of the Road – John Barth
The Once and Future King – T.H. White
Jealousy – Alain Robbe-Grillet
Voss – Patrick White
Blue Noon – Georges Bataille
Homo Faber – Max Frisch
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Pnin – Vladimir Nabokov
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
The Wonderful “O” – James Thurber
Justine – Lawrence Durrell
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon
The Roots of Heaven – Romain Gary
Seize the Day – Saul Bellow
The Floating Opera – John Barth
The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
A World of Love – Elizabeth Bowen
The Trusting and the Maimed – James Plunkett
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
The Last Temptation of Christ – Nikos Kazantzákis
The Recognitions – William Gaddis
The Ragazzi – Pier Paulo Pasolini
I’m Not Stiller – Max Frisch
Self Condemned – Wyndham Lewis
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
A Ghost at Noon – Alberto Moravia
Under the Net – Iris Murdoch
The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
The Unnamable – Samuel Beckett
Watt – Samuel Beckett
Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
Junkie – William Burroughs
The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow
Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin
The Judge and His Hangman – Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
Malone Dies – Samuel Beckett
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
The Opposing Shore – Julien Gracq
The Rebel – Albert Camus
Molloy – Samuel Beckett
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
The Abbot C – Georges Bataille
The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz
The Third Man – Graham Greene
The 13 Clocks – James Thurber
The Grass is Singing – Doris Lessing
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
The Moon and the Bonfires – Cesare Pavese
The Garden Where the Brass Band Played – Simon Vestdijk
Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
The Case of Comrade Tulayev – Victor Serge
The Heat of the Day – Elizabeth Bowen
Kingdom of This World – Alejo Carpentier
The Man With the Golden Arm – Nelson Algren
All About H. Hatterr – G.V. Desani
Disobedience – Alberto Moravia
Death Sentence – Maurice Blanchot
The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene
Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Doctor Faustus – Thomas Mann
The Victim – Saul Bellow
Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau
If This Is a Man – Primo Levi
Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry
The Path to the Nest of Spiders – Italo Calvino
The Plague – Albert Camus
Back – Henry Green
Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake
The Bridge on the Drina – Ivo Andri?
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
Loving – Henry Green
Arcanum 17 – André Breton
Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi
The Razor’s Edge – William Somerset Maugham
Transit – Anna Seghers
Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
Dangling Man – Saul Bellow
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Caught – Henry Green
The Glass Bead Game – Herman Hesse
Embers – Sandor Marai
Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner
The Outsider – Albert Camus
In Sicily – Elio Vittorini
The Poor Mouth – Flann O’Brien
The Living and the Dead – Patrick White
Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
Between the Acts – Virginia Woolf
The Hamlet – William Faulkner
Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
Native Son – Richard Wright
The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati
Party Going – Henry Green
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Finnegans Wake – James Joyce
At Swim-Two-Birds – Flann O’Brien
Coming Up for Air – George Orwell
Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller
Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
After the Death of Don Juan – Sylvie Townsend Warner
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson
Cause for Alarm – Eric Ambler
Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
U.S.A. – John Dos Passos
Murphy – Samuel Beckett
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
The Years – Virginia Woolf
In Parenthesis – David Jones
The Revenge for Love – Wyndham Lewis
Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)
To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
Summer Will Show – Sylvia Townsend Warner
Eyeless in Gaza – Aldous Huxley
The Thinking Reed – Rebecca West
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell
Wild Harbour – Ian MacPherson
Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner
At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
Nightwood – Djuna Barnes
Independent People – Halldór Laxness
Auto-da-Fé – Elias Canetti
The Last of Mr. Norris – Christopher Isherwood
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy
The House in Paris – Elizabeth Bowen
England Made Me – Graham Greene
Burmese Days – George Orwell
The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers
Threepenny Novel – Bertolt Brecht
Novel With Cocaine – M. Ageyev
The Postman Always Rings Twice – James M. Cain
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
Call it Sleep – Henry Roth
Miss Lonelyhearts – Nathanael West
Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L. Sayers
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein
Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
A Day Off – Storm Jameson
The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil
A Scots Quair (Sunset Song) – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
To the North – Elizabeth Bowen
The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
The Radetzky March – Joseph Roth
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
Cakes and Ale – W. Somerset Maugham
The Apes of God – Wyndham Lewis
Her Privates We – Frederic Manning
Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
Hebdomeros – Giorgio de Chirico
Passing – Nella Larsen
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
Living – Henry Green
The Time of Indifference – Alberto Moravia
Berlin Alexanderplatz – Alfred Döblin
The Last September – Elizabeth Bowen
Harriet Hume – Rebecca West
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Les Enfants Terribles – Jean Cocteau
Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille
The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
The Childermass – Wyndham Lewis
Quartet – Jean Rhys
Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh
Quicksand – Nella Larsen
Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford
Nadja – André Breton
Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse
Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust
Amerika – Franz Kafka
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Blindness – Henry Green
The Castle – Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek
The Plumed Serpent – D.H. Lawrence
One, None and a Hundred Thousand – Luigi Pirandello
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
The Making of Americans – Gertrude Stein
Manhattan Transfer – John Dos Passos
The Counterfeiters – André Gide
The Trial – Franz Kafka
The Artamonov Business – Maxim Gorky
The Professor’s House – Willa Cather
Billy Budd, Foretopman – Herman Melville
The Green Hat – Michael Arlen
The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
The Devil in the Flesh – Raymond Radiguet
Zeno’s Conscience – Italo Svevo
Cane – Jean Toomer
Antic Hay – Aldous Huxley
Amok – Stefan Zweig
The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield
The Enormous Room – E.E. Cummings
Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf
Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
The Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton
Life and Death of Harriett Frean – May Sinclair
The Last Days of Humanity – Karl Kraus
Aaron’s Rod – D.H. Lawrence
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Fox – D.H. Lawrence
Crome Yellow – Aldous Huxley
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Main Street – Sinclair Lewis
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
Tarr – Wyndham Lewis
The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
The Shadow Line – Joseph Conrad
Summer – Edith Wharton
Growth of the Soil – Knut Hamsen
Bunner Sisters – Edith Wharton
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
Under Fire – Henri Barbusse
Rashomon – Akutagawa Ryunosuke
The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
The Voyage Out – Virginia Woolf
Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham
The Rainbow – D.H. Lawrence
Kokoro – Natsume Soseki
Locus Solus – Raymond Roussel
Rosshalde – Herman Hesse
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Robert Tressell
Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
The Charwoman’s Daughter – James Stephens
Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
Fantômas – Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
Impressions of Africa – Raymond Roussel
Three Lives – Gertrude Stein
Martin Eden – Jack London
Strait is the Gate – André Gide
Tono-Bungay – H.G. Wells
The Inferno – Henri Barbusse
The Iron Heel – Jack London
The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett
The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson
Mother – Maxim Gorky
The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Young Törless – Robert Musil
The Forsyte Sage – John Galsworthy
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
Professor Unrat – Heinrich Mann
Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Forster
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
Hadrian the Seventh – Frederick Rolfe
The Golden Bowl – Henry James
The Ambassadors – Henry James
The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers
The Immoralist – André Gide
The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann
Kim – Rudyard Kipling
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad
Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. – Somerville and Ross
The Stechlin – Theodore Fontane
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
What Maisie Knew – Henry James
Fruits of the Earth – André Gide
Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz
The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
Effi Briest – Theodore Fontane
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
The Real Charlotte – Somerville and Ross
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Born in Exile – George Gissing
Diary of a Nobody – George & Weedon Grossmith
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
News from Nowhere – William Morris
New Grub Street – George Gissing
Gösta Berling’s Saga – Selma Lagerlöf
The Kreutzer Sonata – Leo Tolstoy
La Bête Humaine – Émile Zola
By the Open Sea – August Strindberg
Hunger – Knut Hamsun
The Master of Ballantrae – Robert Louis Stevenson
Pierre and Jean – Guy de Maupassant
Fortunata and Jacinta – Benito Pérez Galdés
The People of Hemsö – August Strindberg
The Woodlanders – Thomas Hardy
She – H. Rider Haggard
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Bel-Ami – Guy de Maupassant
Marius the Epicurean – Walter Pater
Against the Grain – Joris-Karl Huysmans
The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy
A Woman’s Life – Guy de Maupassant
The House by the Medlar Tree – Giovanni Verga
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
Bouvard and Pécuchet – Gustave Flaubert
Ben-Hur – Lew Wallace
Nana – Émile Zola
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Red Room – August Strindberg
Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Drunkard – Émile Zola
Virgin Soil – Ivan Turgenev
Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
The Hand of Ethelberta – Thomas Hardy
The Temptation of Saint Anthony – Gustave Flaubert
The Enchanted Wanderer – Nicolai Leskov
In a Glass Darkly – Sheridan Le Fanu
The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Erewhon – Samuel Butler
Spring Torrents – Ivan Turgenev
Middlemarch – George Eliot
King Lear of the Steppes – Ivan Turgenev
He Knew He Was Right – Anthony Trollope
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
Phineas Finn – Anthony Trollope
Maldoror – Comte de Lautréaumont
The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola
The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
Uncle Silas – Sheridan Le Fanu
Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
Silas Marner – George Eliot
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
On the Eve – Ivan Turgenev
Castle Richmond – Anthony Trollope
The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
The Marble Faun – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Max Havelaar – Multatuli
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Oblomovka – Ivan Goncharov
Adam Bede – George Eliot
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
Hard Times – Charles Dickens
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Villette – Charlotte Brontë
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Blithedale Romance – Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Shirley – Charlotte Brontë
Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
La Reine Margot – Alexandre Dumas
The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
Lost Illusions – Honoré de Balzac
Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
The Nose – Nikolay Gogol
Le Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac
Eugénie Grandet – Honoré de Balzac
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
The Red and the Black – Stendhal
The Betrothed – Alessandro Manzoni
Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg
The Albigenses – Charles Robert Maturin
Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Robert Maturin
The Monastery – Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Ormond – Maria Edgeworth
Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott
Emma – Jane Austen
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
The Absentee – Maria Edgeworth
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Elective Affinities – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Castle Rackrent – Maria Edgeworth
Hyperion – Friedrich Hölderlin
The Nun – Denis Diderot
Camilla – Fanny Burney
The Monk – M.G. Lewis
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
The Interesting Narrative – Olaudah Equiano
Justine – Marquis de Sade
Vathek – William Beckford
The 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade
Cecilia – Fanny Burney
Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Reveries of a Solitary Walker – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Evelina – Fanny Burney
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Man of Feeling – Henry Mackenzie
A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne
Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
Émile; or, On Education – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rameau’s Nephew – Denis Diderot
Julie; or, the New Eloise – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rasselas – Samuel Johnson
Candide – Voltaire
The Female Quixote – Charlotte Lennox
Amelia – Henry Fielding
Peregrine Pickle – Tobias George Smollett
Fanny Hill – John Cleland
Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
Pamela – Samuel Richardson
Jacques the Fatalist – Denis Diderot
Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus – J. Arbuthnot, J. Gay, T. Parnell, A. Pope, J. Swift
Joseph Andrews – Henry Fielding
A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
Roxana – Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
Love in Excess – Eliza Haywood
A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift
Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
The Princess of Clèves – Marie-Madelaine Pioche de Lavergne, Comtesse de La Fayette
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Unfortunate Traveller – Thomas Nashe
Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit – John Lyly
Gargantua and Pantagruel – Françoise Rabelais
The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous
The Golden Ass – Lucius Apuleius
Aithiopika – Heliodorus
Chaireas and Kallirhoe – Chariton
Metamorphoses – Ovid
Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

Been readin'

It seems a long time since I blogged. In fact it is a long time since I blogged. I have been feeling as though I was on a very slow roller coaster, going up and down though not as rapidly as normal. I have felt aimless, probably due to the lack of a job, or a purpose, or a routine. It has been difficult coping with other members of the family and their crises. OH can't make up his mind about jobs, what he wants, his health, the car etc ...which makes me feel inadequate for being unable to decide for him. Ridiculous I know! CAitlin is becoming more of a teenager but still with a little girl's responses to many things. Some days she IS 'Kevin" and some days she is a joy. Roo is still a sweetheart, loves cuddling up on the sofa, watching vids. I shall miss that when it disappears.

I have turned back to sewing, making clothes and curtains, as a means of controlling my life and surroundings. We have been in the house a year and I still haven't replaced all the curtains I hate! Soon though. I have made two dresses for me, and helped C to make a start on skirts. She wants to make an outfit for Prize day s o we have found a very easy pattern. t I will probably end up making it. She lacks a little application at the moment, unless it involves her guitar.

I have been reading more lately. Just finished Jpod by Douglas Coupland, which I loved. It was utterlyridiculous but compelling at the same time. I have read a couple of Jostein Gardner's book meditating on life and death, Traveller by Ron McLarty, who wrote the art of running. This one was about a man reminiscing about his childhood, whilst mourning the death of his childhood crush from a gunshot wound received when they were young ( The bullet was the traveller). Eoin Colfer has played a major role in the reading matter of the whole household. I read about the Half Pint detective, which was very odd and Roo and I read the latest Artemis Fowl which was brilliant.

Elaine has lent me yet more self improvement books. The latest was on the languages of love. There are apparantly five; Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality time, Personal touch and Acts of service. Supposedly each of us has a major leaning towards one of these and feels more loved if their significant other uses the right language. Trouble is OH poo poos the whole idea whilst I think a number fit my life. I do crave words of affirmation, no doubt, but I also need jobs doing without my needing to ask ( the bins for example, or mowing the lawn). Ant needs quality time, which I find difficult as someone who relishes space and peace and quiet. The kids are as interesting. They are not 'gift' people inspite of what we may think. They desire quality time most of all followed by personal touch, a hug or a family video curled up on the sofa.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Personalities and temperaments

Now that I can't drink because of my Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency..can't be bothered to explain it- google it, I am spending my drinking time ( yeah right) reading about personalities and temperaments. Elaine started me off by talking about learning styles and then about the 4 personality types. Having done some tests online and read a few books, it looks like I am Melancholy/phlegmatic.
Your personality is Melancholy Phlegmatic

Melancholy Strength:9 Weakness:15

Phlegmatic Strength:7 Weakness:4

Sanguine Strength:4 Weakness:0

Choleric Strength:0 Weakness:1

Weakness of a Melancholy

The Introvert | The Thinker | The Pessimist
The Melancholy's Emotions
Remembers the negatives
Moody and depressed
Enjoys being hurt
Has false humility
Off in another world
Low self-image
Has selective hearing
Too introspective
Guilt feelings
Persecution complex
Tends to hypochondria
The Melancholy As A Parent
Puts goals beyond reach
May discourage children
May be too meticulous
Becomes martyr
Sulks over disagreements
Puts guilt upon children
The Melancholy At Work
Not people oriented
depressed over imperfections
Chooses difficult work
Hesitant to start projects
Spends to much time planning
Prefers analysis to work
Hard to please
Standards often to high
Deep need for approval
The Melancholy As a Friend
Lives through others
Insecure socially
Withdrawn and remote
critical of others
Holds back affections
Dislikes those in opposition
Suspicious of people
Antagonistic and vengeful
Full of contradictions
Skeptical of compliments

Strengths of a Melancholy

The Introvert | The Thinker | The Pessimist
The Melancholy's Emotions
Deep and thoughtfully
Serious and purposeful
Genius prone
Talented and creative
Artistic or musical
Philosophical and poetic
appreciative of beauty
Sensitive to others
The Melancholy As A Parent
Sets high standards
Wants everything done right
Keeps home in good order
Picks up after children
Sacrifices own will for others
Encourages scholarship and talent
The Melancholy At Work
Schedule oriented
Perfectionist, high standards
Detail conscious
Persistent and thorough
Orderly and organized
Neat and tidy
Sees the problems
Finds creative solutions
Needs to finish what he starts
Likes charts, graphs, figures, lists
The Melancholy As a Friend
Makes friends cautiously
Content to stay in background
Avoids causing attention
Faithful and devoted
Will listen to complaints
Can solve other's problems
Deep concern for other people
Moved to tears with compassion
Seeks ideal mate

Weaknesses of a Phlegmatic

The Introvert | The Watcher | The Pessimist
The Phlegmatic's Emotions
Fearful and worried
Avoids responsibility
Quiet will of iron
To shy and reticent
Too compromising
The Phlegmatic As A Parent
Lax on discipline
Doesn't organize home
Takes life to easy
The Phlegmatic At Work
Not goal oriented
Lacks self motivation
Hard to get moving
Resents being pushed
Lazy and careless
Discourages others
Would rather watch
The Phlegmatic As a Friend
Dampens enthusiasm
Stays uninvolved
Is not exciting
Indifferent to plans
Judges others
Sarcastic and teasing
Resists change

Strengths of a Phlegmatic

The Introvert | The Watcher | The Pessimist
The Phlegmatic's Emotions
Low-key personality
Easygoing and relaxed
Calm, cool and collected
Patient well balanced
Consistent life
Quiet but witty
Sympathetic and kind
Keeps emotions hidden
Happily reconciled to life
All-purpose person
The Phlegmatic As A Parent
Makes a good parent
Takes time for the children
Is not in a hurry
Can take the good with the bad
Doesn't get upset easily
The Phlegmatic At Work
Competent and steady
Peaceful and agreeable
Has administrative ability
Mediates problems
Avoids conflicts
Good under pressure
Finds the easy way
The Phlegmatic As a Friend
Easy to get along with
Pleasant and enjoyable
Good listener
Dry sense of humor
Enjoys watching people
Has many friends
Has compassion and concern

I particularly like the description of the person in this description, though I am so NOT tidy
The Melancholic / Phlegmatic
The melancholic-phlegmatic is tidier, more procedural and less flexible than the phlegmatic-melancholic. He may be slower to take on new projects, as the melancholic fear of new situations and tendency to perfectionism takes over. The double-dose of introversion, along with the melancholic tendency to negativity, makes it difficult for him to give compliments and make upbeat small talk. It also causes him to instinctively say “no” when he first hears a request. Others may perceive this as “snobbishness.” Unless the melancholic-phlegmatic is very comfortable, and is surrounded by understanding long-time friends, he may find himself somewhat isolated and alone, unable to warm up in a social gathering. He is less critical and less grudge-bearing than a pure melancholic or a melancholic-choleric. However, the tendency of the melancholic to dwell on things for a long time in their mind, combined with the sensitivity of the phlegmatic toward interpersonal relationships, can result in long-lasting hurts, an erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem, and even depression. Extremely sensitive and possessing a longing for the ideal (melancholic), they are also highly attentive to what others need or desire, through their phlegmatic aspect. This makes them more than usually susceptible to anxiety and a negative self-image
This temperament combination is highly driven to succeed—not for success’ sake alone, but because their melancholic nature is drawn to high ideals, and their phlegmatic side will have a strong desire to please. Thus, they are capable of long-range planning, organization, and attention to detail that makes them excellent and conscientious scholars. They are capable of pursuing highly idealistic goals, usually with long-term academic requirements, such as attaining their doctorate. They value their friendships, but can spend many hours alone reading or studying. They may have a tendency to hypochondria or to genuine physical weaknesses, as well as a tendency to timidity and anxiety, especially about new activities or ventures.
One melancholic-phlegmatic we know is highly organized, critical, slow, and dogmatically unforgiving, yet reveals her phlegmatic aspect in her intense discomfort with confrontation (unless she is very at ease among the warring members) and in her strong relationships with her friends. You wouldn’t guess that she is so devoted to her friends, however, because true to her melancholic nature she rarely initiates contact with them – they always have to call her first. A tendency to avoid the stresses of social interaction by spending overmuch time alone—whether in scholarly pursuits or reading for relaxation—is something that melancholic-phlegmatics need to watch out for.

I am not sure what all this means ( though the phlegmatic in m would say that!!) I am becoming aware of how negatively I talk about myself and I am attempting to change that behaviour in myself. It is the spaghetti which is not cooking properly not me that is a bad chef!

According to another test I come out as a INFJ ( on the Jung Typology test)

Idealist Portrait of the Counselor (INFJ)
Counselors have an exceptionally strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others, and find great personal fulfillment interacting with people, nurturing their personal development, guiding them to realize their human potential. Although they are happy working at jobs (such as writing) that require solitude and close attention, Counselors do quite well with individuals or groups of people, provided that the personal interactions are not superficial, and that they find some quiet, private time every now and then to recharge their batteries. Counselors are both kind and positive in their handling of others; they are great listeners and seem naturally interested in helping people with their personal problems. Not usually visible leaders, Counselors prefer to work intensely with those close to them, especially on a one-to-one basis, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes.

Counselors are scarce, little more than one percent of the population, and can be hard to get to know, since they tend not to share their innermost thoughts or their powerful emotional reactions except with their loved ones. They are highly private people, with an unusually rich, complicated inner life. Friends or colleagues who have known them for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that Counselors are flighty or scattered; they value their integrity a great deal, but they have mysterious, intricately woven personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.

Counselors tend to work effectively in organizations. They value staff harmony and make every effort to help an organization run smoothly and pleasantly. They understand and use human systems creatively, and are good at consulting and cooperating with others. As employees or employers, Counselors are concerned with people's feelings and are able to act as a barometer of the feelings within the organization.

Blessed with vivid imaginations, Counselors are often seen as the most poetical of all the types, and in fact they use a lot of poetic imagery in their everyday language. Their great talent for language-both written and spoken-is usually directed toward communicating with people in a personalized way. Counselors are highly intuitive and can recognize another's emotions or intentions - good or evil - even before that person is aware of them. Counselors themselves can seldom tell how they came to read others' feelings so keenly. This extreme sensitivity to others could very well be the basis of the Counselor's remarkable ability to experience a whole array of psychic phenomena.

Mohandas Gandhi, Sidney Poitier, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall, Emily Bronte, Sir Alec Guiness, Carl Jung, Mary Baker Eddy, Queen Noor are examples of the Counselor Idealist (INFJ).


We are what we believe we are.
C. S. Lewis

Now I am really confused. I mean the phlegmatic in me can't decide what I want to be and the melancholic will be dissatisfied anyway

Friday, August 01, 2008

Does this count as a new year

It is August the first and we are in the middle of Winter. I suppose I figure it could be the equivalent of New Year’s Day. Trouble is with winter comes the deep dark moods, made all the worse by the almost constant rain and a certain despondency about our situation.
I have had to increase my medication to try and ward off the worst of the shadows, shadows which saw me sitting at the lower Nihotupu Dam contemplating the drop.I seem to be spending a lot of time at the doctors as , although I am physically fine, I have an obsessive locum doctor who is adamant I have something serious. Haematuria has led to the possibility of gallstones and kidney disease and a blood test which discounted all those serious conditions has raised the possibility of chronic liver or heart disease. The blood test seems to have suggested I have a higher risk of these rather than any evidence of their presence! But I still need to go and see her at $37 a time!

I am having difficulty figuring out who I am right now. I'm not really a teacher though I feel obliged to take any relief work to make sure they keep employing me. My best friends tend to be teachers, Elaine and Graham, both of whom have experience of mental illness. We can support each other well but there still feel I don't want to burden other people. I benefit from supporting others, listening to their issues and concerns as it makes me feel I am not alone but I still need to be strong which takes it out of me.

I am trying to support everyone at home too which it rather difficult at present. The kids are wonderful and clever and vivacious and doing so well at school, but C seems to need a lot of support. She has so much on, with all the activities and responsibilities she has, but she is still a little girl at the end of the day, without the experience of having been in the school for years. She has struggled this week with expectations this week, particularly with her presentation. I so don't agree with the kiwi obsession with making things look pretty. In England colouring-in was classed as wasted time and content mattered more than how it looked. Anton accused me of being selfish for worrying about pushing her into so many activities and making her stressed. I have helped her with her wallchart and her competition essay, and her colouring inbut now I am not sure whether I have done too much. Anton says it is good for her to make mistakes and be made to do things again but I worry that she feels overwhelmed by all the tasks she needs to do. I probably worry to much but then I am starting to think I am neglecting Reuben. When I am working with Caitlin, he is usually on the computer or the wii or the xbox. I know we are encouraging him to do gym, tennis and now kung fu but I don't want him spending so much time in a digital world.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Anton used an interesting word last night 'Choice'. He was doing some extras work for Background talent and had been out from 7 am. It was now 6pm and he was ringing me to say that there was no end in sight to the days filming. 'I'm sorry he said but I have no choice really!'.

It turned out that the fact that he was earning money meant he had no choice but to take the job, on a national holiday, rather than spending the time with his children. When he rang at 9pm to say he would away till at least midnight and could I give the kids a cuddle, he added 'tell Caitlin I am sorry but I have no choice". I found myself saying that I couldn't explain that one to a ten year, even one as grown up as C, because he DID have a choice. He could say no! C, by this time was a little upset that she could not say good night to her dad. She left him a note on her new wipe board which read 'I know it is dark but I want you to know I love you'.

Last week she asked him why he was choosing to play music rather than spend time with her and Roo. His answer was that he has interests too! Needless to say she was upset by this and told me about it a few days later. Ant explained when I asked him about it that he had already played netball with her and what more does she want. In a few short years she will not choose to spend time with her dad; I think he needs to appreciate that fact a little more.

Frankly he only gets to choose to these things because I let him. Or rather I have to look after the kids as he chooses to go out. And my choice therefore is, do we stay in or do we go out? I hit rock bottom at the weekend, owing to neglecting the drugs I think, but I am also aware of feeling angry, undervalued and so lacking in self confidence it is untrue.

I think I feel that I has established myself fairly well in the Uk before we left and I am having to start from scratch. Elleray was OK but I had got the opportunity to work at St Martins'. In fact there was a job opening for me. Did I choose to give that up? Strikes me that the last few moves we have done have been detrimental to my way of life. There is nothing wrong with being a mum, you understand, it is just that I am not sure exactly what I want now. Being a mum is great but as the great Edmina Curry said ' I didn't get this education to clean toilets!' I have spent the last hour cleaning up diarrhoea caused by a teething dog, successfully I might add but I now feel guilty because I am writing this and not cleaning something else. I feel that there should be some obvious sign that I have spent the day fruitfully, but if the house isn't clean or I haven't earned money then it is not important.

I don't want to be 'one of the mums'. Playing footie is cool and coaching the netball is fun ( when will we start winning I wonder?) and I love helping the kids with whatever they have to do. I am just not sure where I am. Is this a midlife crisis? I mean I have supposedly achieved a lot over the last 40 years...Oxford, W&L, successful teacher, marathon runner, great kids, parachute jump, ICT stuff, being creative, moving to the Lakes and here. Yet here seems to be rather aimless. I am conscious of putting on weight, because I am so angry and sad; I'm not exercising... I can't imagine running to the post box let alone a marathon right now. Where did my motivation go? Why do I feel so lost?

I have just bought a book ( Don't tell Ant as books are expensive over here). It is entitled 'short, fat chick to marathon runner'. It's about a radio presenter who gets sponsored to do the Auckland Marathon and her 'journey'. It is rather inspiring,largely coz she had just turned 40 and I KNOW HOW SHE FEELS! But do I want it enough to choose to do something for me?

I have a doctors appointment on Thursday after school, a follow up to the ultrasound scan. I'll have to take since I have no idea how long it will take and Ant is working...or rather he is taking the day off to do a commercial. He decided to say 'yes' to that role a few days after I asked him if he could come home early, or meet me at the hospital at 5.30 so that he could look after the kids. He said he couldn't. I figured 'ah well' until I mentioned it to a friend who went spare. Health versus money? He says he shows his devotion to me by letting me have the dog. I think I 'd rather he held my hand at the hospital but still!

I know I am down,or I wouldn't be writing on THIS blog. I know I'll feel better tomorrow ( maybe) but I also know that this feeling of anger and frustration isn't going away. Maybe if I try to run it will help me feel better. I am aware I have been neglecting my strategies but then someone has to cook tea, take the kids to tennis, walk the dog ( don't mind that one), make sure his trousers are ironed...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Work in progress

This is a short note which will be fleshed out later

I have to go and see a specialist about my haematuria. The ultrasound was clear, no gallstones or kidney stones but the doctor is still concerned. As the ultrasound showed nothing I am now a little worried by what it might be.

Had a nice day at Julia's, supposed to be just for morning tea but stayed for lunch.

Donna came to pick up Ruby from a sleepover with C and saw some suspicious men driving away from Ginny's. We went to investigate and found the place burgled.

Still the usual worries about money, though A has arranged to take me out for dinner on Saturday. I think we need some us time!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Feeling overwhelmed

We are trying to keep everything together today. Had a bit of a meltdown, over camping equipment, bit embarrassing really. I think Ant realised how difficult we were all finding things lately, him not talking to us, moaning about money then spending thousands, not joining in with the family, never reading the bedtime story. We all had a good cry, in the middle of a camping shop, which confused the hell out of the assistant who thought it was her fault.

Silly thing was I had no intention of spending thousands on stuff for the girls camping trip. Trade me is good but because he doesn't talk to me he didn't realise I am good at doing things on the cheap. He finally said that his illness took more out of him than he is ready to admit and that worrying about money is his default setting ( my words). The last two times we have been shopping, he left his wallet at home so I had to physically pay for everything.

Anyway, today is another day and I have found lots of free things to do, if only to make a point! Titirangi music festival is on and there are bands playing in the street. I am sure we can afford the price of a coffee!

Here are some pictures to cheer everyone up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not such a good week

This week is proving difficult. I am feeling a bit lost and down. I think the problem is that I can see how many jobs there are around here that need doing and I just get overwhelmed. It's a head thing. There seem to be too many obstacles too..Ant bought a 'cheap' step ladder which won't reach to the top of C's wall so I got already to achieve something and then couldn't. The cleaning just seems endless, so does the washing and it takes forever if I need to get something from the shops. Not being organised and living in the back of beyond has taken its toll this least Molly is sleeping so I can't blame her.
Ant is down too though won't say why. Even when he's home I hardly see him, he's always on the computer doing cookie stuff or writing his book...none of which is making him happy. And if he says 'well I go to work!'once more I think I will hit him!

Hopefully the weekend will help. The rest of the family has said they will cook on Saturdays...remains to be seen! We need to make more plans to do stuff otherwise the time just drifts and we end up doing very little.

New Zealand isn't feeling so idyllic today, inspite of the sunshine!

Friday, March 21, 2008


It's easier to update this blog than the family one

So I have Molly lying on my lap having been in her crate from 11pm til 6.30 am. Not coz she slept through the night you understand but because I LOCKED HER IN HER CRATE WITH A DUVET OVER IT IN THE ROOM FURTHEST AWAY FROM ME !!! I was exhausted last night and desperately in need of sleep!

She is the most adorable puppy I think I have ever met, which is odd considering I had discounted her when we went to visit the litter. She is very cuddlesome, follows me round the house, charms everyone ( except maybe Anton) and gives lovely spaniel kisses. I just wish she would not want to play at 3am.

I can't wait til the day she can go out for a walk. April 5th I think is W Day as she will have had her last vaccination. C and I are going on a mum and daughters' tramping weekend so I hope Roo will enjoy his privileged position and take her out!

It looks like the cookie business might actually amount to something. The oven is working ( well) and Shaun, who is on the Board of Trustees at school and organises trail runs, has invited Anton to provide cookies for the next one, in Henderson, on April 13th ( about 400 cookies). I do so hope this works out. Ant has been very down lately, especially over work, though I am sure jet lag has something to do with it. He seems to think that he SHOULD have a job to match his lifestyle, although I pointed out that most kiwis work so they can enjoy the lifestyle, they don't necessarily work on something that is part of it ( does that make sense?). I do hope he won't be disappointed. I think the cookies could be physically harder than his current job. You can, after all, only make so many cookies in a given time...sleepless nights anyone?

Having a puppy is good for my lifestyle though. Getting up early means I can get my emailling done before everyone else gets up and cuddle time is good for reading. I have just finished " The Tenderness of Wolves' that book set in Canada, written by someone who never left the British library. Frankly you don't need to visit a snowy wasteland to be able to write about it. It felt a bit like 'Brokeback Mountain' meets' Call of the Wild', but with too many characters. Easy to read however but I didn't find myself caring for any of the characters.

I have also read 'The concise Chinese English dictionary for Lovers' which was excellent! It takes the form of a notebook written by a Chinese girl who comes to England to attend an English Language college. It is written in deliberately poor english which improves as the story develops. It alleges to be about the misunderstandings and misconceptions of two cultures, but could as easily be about sexes, ages, or outlooks. Just lovely.

Ant is writing a book ( another lifestyle choice). It's rather good so far!

It seems we have slipped into very stereotypical roles. He the breadwinner, me the mom. I was starting to resent all the jobs I have to do, especially when he suggests another task like doing the paperwork ( the Admin) or mowing the lawn. The kids have been arguing about who does which jobs and most often so we were going to keep a record. Maybe we should all do that and see where the balance lies. I think I have problems with having to remind people to do their tasks, like watering the plants. It takes as much effort to remember as it does to do the bloody thing so I sometimes think I should just do it myself...but then what would be the point in that? At least the dog makes me stop occasionally, and just sit. A lot like having a baby really!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Newly read

Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson:
A mother and daughter sit in a house on a Scottish Island recounting interesting times. Nora, the mother ( or is she) explains about Effie's ancestors whilst Effie describes her time at Dundee University on an English course. It is interspersed with snippets of the creative writing produced by the students, asides from Nora and a gamut of interesting characters- the dotty professor, the anarchic family, a private detective, a yellow dog and the inhabitants of a commune.
I have read this twice and I am not entirely sure I get it. It doesn't feel as well written as her other books- Behind the scenes at the museum and Case Histories ( which I really like).

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers: a series of post it notes etc left on the refrigerator as a conversation between a mum and her 15 year old daughter during a particularly difficult few months. I bought it for Caitlin and it's no surprise she was affected by it. It is slightly grown up for her and outlines the selfishness of both characters, though for majorly different reasons. I read it in about an hour and was very moved by it!

I am currently reading a weighty tome called Underworld by Don De Lillo from the 1001 books list. It is huge but beautifully written so is hardly arduous, although I can't exactly carry it around with me in my back pocket. I feel I ought to make a brief note on each chapter so I don't lose the thread and so I can remember more of the plot when I'm tired.

I now have two weeks' work starting Monday so no time off! Ho hum

Monday, January 28, 2008

Casino Royale

First new book from the 1001.

Figured I'd pick a short one so I could get the score up to 74. I am aiming for 100 before I reconsider this as a bad idea. Next comes DeLillo and Auster.

Casino Royale was an interesting read, very much of its time. Bond is a misogynist dinosaur ( as quoth M to Pierce Brosnan) of the 1940's. Vesper comes across as she did in the film and the torture scene was horrifying, even more so than the film. Is it a good idea to read a book after you've seen the film? Made it easier to concentrate on the character nuances and the paucity of language.

C is reading Northern Lights ( after she saw the film). She is comparing it to the film and the film is losing!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have another blog, entitled the Library of my Life, which was intended as a review of books I had read, as when I am in a hyper or dark mood, I tend to struggle to read or forget what I've written. A sort of aide memoire I guess. I haven't been very good at keeping it up. If two blogs are hard to do, three are impossible. So I think I shall amalgamate it into this blog, since it is integral to my life as a Manic.

I found another blog entitled 'So many books, so little time". The blogger/bloggerine/bloggette gets involved in lots of reading challenges and posts lots of lists, like the 1000 books you must read in your lifetime.
I just found her marking scheme ( out of 10) which I loved.

10 One of the best, worth adding to my permanent collection
9 Compelling, wonderful, should force strangers to read this
8 Very good, happy I read it
7 Quite good actually
6 Okay plus, good, but not so remarkable
5 Okay, pleasant enough but entirely forgettable
4 I read this under duress or a sense of obligation to the group
3 Why did I bother?
2 I read this only due to lack of nearby cereal boxes
1 Painful, but continued reading anyway
0 Despicable, vile; continued reading to burn off purgatory time
(Created by Jan T.)

I think I'll stick some more lists on the sidebar, just so I can remember to read or feel inspired.

At present life is pretty good. The sun is shining, the washing is dry, the drugs seem to be working and the children are quiet (friends round and no arguments). We have had visitors from the UK ( Claire and Graham) and it was lovely to share our bit of paradise with them. They have been touring the country for two months and are about to fly back to Blighty, poor things. I sometimes fear having people around when my head is off but they are so easy to talk to and relaxed with a silence.

Perhaps I should add a currently reading to the blog too, for more inspiration?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy New Year!!!! 2008

It's difficult to keep up two blogs. I have a moral obligation to write the family one- as all the family read it and are desperate for information and pictures of the kids. I have tried getting the rest of the family to do it but it requires motivation, not something an eight year old has for anything that does not involve a trampoline or a computer game.

Trouble is I can't be honest on the family blog. If I feel shit I have to write that everything is fab otherwise the parents will fret. Christmas has been far from easy, although enjoyable for the most part. My head has been off the lines and Ant says he saw it coming but didn't do or say anything so I sort of blame him for my meltdown. He's just spent thousands on a jetski which at best can cater for two of the family and can't understand why I'm not enthusiastic. We could have bought 10 kayaks for the same price! He winges when I buy a coffee and then splurges!

He hates his job, wants to jack it all and bake cookies ( a la Ben) and then what? I guess I feel that he has let us down. He brought us here, with promises... a trampoline (yes), a spa pool ( yes), a great house ( yes), family time ( hm), a baby ( a big no), a dog ( probably a no). We are having to deal with him being unhappy and not be able to feel frustrated because if you do he hits back. Maybe I am just finding being 'just a mum' less than fulfilling, but I don't seem to stop. This is the first minute I have had to myself for about a week and I'll be in trouble for spending too long on the net, when I should be in bed.

The kids and I are enjoying our holiday. We have our roles, they empty the dishwasher while I hang out washing, then we play, shop, go to the beach, have an adventure, play with the cats, water the plants.

Ant seems jealous of my situation, having made friends with a few of the moms, but it's difficult starting again. I miss having people around who know when I'm starting to gabble and can just say 'stop', who don't expect too much of me, who know they have to ring me, because I could be having a bad day. I miss the possibility of seeing people I love, however fleetingly. Email is fine but I wish some one would just walk through the door and say 'hey'.

I wish my life was as simple as the kittens. They are curled up beside me at midnight, grooming each other, or could that be play fighting. They eat, sleep, purr, run, poop and look cute.

Oh yeah my new year's weigh less than a dog! Storm is a big dog ( Newfoundland) but I need to weigh less than her. Well it's good to have an aim.

Been sitting watching the Big Chill as I have been ironing and blogging. Perhaps it struck a nerve or perhaps I chose to watch it for familiar reasons.