Thursday, June 28, 2012

Page turners, bodice rippers and brown paper bags.

blog 2012 

In recent weeks, I have relinquished my obsession with knitting just a smidge
and have been reading a bit more.

My bedside table pile of books to read
has grown into three in the past year
and I am keen to work through some of them.

I read Enduring Love (Ian McEwan),
because it was highly recommended by a telly book reviewer
and the accompanying oohing, aah-ing telly host.

I felt like I was wading through mud to get through it
and am now reluctant to pick up Atonement from the pile.
I do enjoy a lighter read these days.

Mind you, I then watched the movie
which was so, so ordinary
I can say that I actually preferred wading through the book.

I read My Sister's Keeper (Jodi Picoult),
because I have never read one of her books
and I am scared but fascinated by her storylines.
But was it just me or was it a cop-out at the end?
(And I have the movie recorded.
Should I bother?)

Now I am reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne),
because it is one of those books that it seems everyone has been reading.
I am nearly halfway through and want to sit up tonight till I finish it.
It is short and in larger print
and I am already moved by the story
and scared of what this little story holds in its pages.

I am also halfway through The Fifty Shades trilogy (E. L. James).
Oh, come on. 
Of course, I am.
Just like the majority of heterosexual women in the world.

blog 2012

I heard a little about it a few weeks back,
included "New York Times best seller"
(and I am a sucker for best sellers)
but, as I took the first book for reading on the plane last weekend,
I didn't realise that I'd find myself making sure that no-one could read over my shoulder.

Oh. My.

For those of you not familiar with it,
think of a 1980's "Mills and Boon" written for the new millenium.

Think "Mills and Boon" on steroids.

Heck, think "Mills and Boon", knickerless, lying on its back with its legs wantonly splayed, panting ...

Get the idea?

The first book is the fastest selling adult novel to ever sell one million copies in print
and has sold faster than the Harry Potter series in the UK.

I don't actually think that the books are very well written
but they are very, well, explicit
and very, well, titillating.

Never under estimate the purchasing power of women who like a bit of erotica
(or the number of partners encouraging it. Just ask Mr Boozle)

I am no prude
but if you come and look at the books on the top shelf of my bookshelf,
well away from the reach of anyone who can't reach to 3 metres 
or has a ladder handy,
you will find Lace by Shirley Conran
and  Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins.
Guilty pleasures from 20 years ago
but after reading Shades, the characters from those are almost chaste
and could earn a place running through that field with Laura Ingalls
in the opening credits of "Little House on the Prairie".

The Shades set may need to be buried under the house
because when my kids are actually legally old enough to read them 
and emotionally old enough to understand them,
hands over ears,
 la-la-la-la-la-la, not listening.
I don't want to know about it.

Of course, the movie rights have been snapped up already
which has me thinking.

Firstly, if the films are made true to the books,
the rating is going to mean that you are purchasing them
from your local adult book shop in a brown paper bag.
Forget the choc-top and the popcorn.

Will the movie version make Sharon Stone, 
still idolised by some for that undie-free scene in Basic Instinct,
 a has-been?


A fair whack of the books are basically having sex, talking about sex,
having sex, thinking about sex, dreaming about sex, having more sex,
fighting about sex, fighting about not having sex,
crying about having sex, crying about not having sex,
and then having even more sex.

If it is reigned in for anything less than an "R" rating,
the earth wont be moving for some people.

Things may well become a little...bland.
(Shall I say vanilla?
That's an in-joke for those who have read the books)

Secondly, the rumour mill is working overtime as to who should play
the unbelievably rich, unbelievably hot, unbelievably physically perfect Christian Grey.

As soon as the film is released,  many women's fantasy bubbles will burst- into the thin air of reality.
No-one who actually walks on this earth could live up to the character James has created.
(No, not even Johnny Depp)

This is the point of the fantasy, people.

When I put my hand up for Team Edward after reading the Twilight books,
I was not fantasizing about Robert Pattinson.

I certainly wasn't impressed when he got the role.
 OK, so a trillion squillion adolescent girls  (the target demographic)
were impressed and really, that is what counts in the movie industry.

But as soon as they put a real face to the ideal fantasy figure,
they ruin the fantasy.

This isn't about making a movie version of the Harry Potter books
where the computer generated special effects are so amazing
that you sit there with your mouth open.

There may be other reasons that a movie version of the Fifty Shades trilogy
might have you sitting there with your mouth open
but it will be interesting to see if that is because of casting choices,
the script writing, the classification
or because of what the lead characters just did in an elevator full of people.

This Week...28th June, 2012

Little Boozle 2012

...It has been about fingerless mitts...

Little Boozle 2012

(Camp Out Fingerless Mitts)

Little Boozle 2012 coffee machine demanded to be descaled again
after only 2 weeks.
Methinks I have a coffee addiction problem.

...Mr Boozle and I had 4 child-free days in Melbourne for my 20 year
Uni reunion.

AMJ 2012

...We wandered...

blog 2012

...We shopped...

AMJ 2012

(OK I mostly shopped
while the Mr played Angry Birds
or stood outside shops with other husbands)

AMJ 2012

...I had forgotten how much I missed those trams...

AMJ 2012

...We caught up with old friends from Uni,
very old friends from high school
and friends who moved away last year...

AMJ 2012

...We had (very, very) late nights,
quiet mornings dozing,
too much wine
and probably didn't miss the kids
half as much as we should have...

AMJ 2012

...Our son lost his third fish to DBUC
("death by unknown causes")
in as many weeks
and is totally disheartened...

AMJ 2012

...Our youngest finished kindy
and is ready for school.

I am a little teary and she is not.

I am not sure why I am being emotional
as I more than ready for her to go to school
and so is she.

These bloody irrational maternal emotions.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The other milestones.

I still remember,
especially as a first time mum,
carefully ticking off those milestones
as bub grew up.

...the age when that first tooth;
when was the first smile?
...those first steps,
that first word...

You couldn't get away from those checklists
proclaiming what age range your (average) child would be in
when he or she first looked at you and gave your one of those gorgeous baby dimpled smiles.

After the past couple of weeks of dealing with more-difficult-than-usual-and-that-is-saying-something kids,
those bubs all growing up so quickly,
all those lists seem to have disappeared.

You couldn't escape them when you were insecure and vulnerable
and wondering why your child wasn't walking yet
when all those glossy flyers said that he should be.

But now I want to know
when my child will stop lying.
When he will realise that stealing is not on.
When he or she works out that the reason that we say "no biting/punching/pinching/pushing"
is because there will be consequences.
When he will share.
When she will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
When he will develop empathy.
When he will be appreciative of all that he has
and not worry about all that he hasn't.
When she will realise that please, thank you and sorry
will get her further in life than any other words.
When he or she realises that screaming uncontrollably for 2 hours is not acceptable behaviour.
I am not sure about the normal ages for these milestones
but I do know when he or she will realise just how
worrisome, heart-wrenching and hurtful
these behaviours can be to a parent.

I reckon it will be the very instant that he becomes a parent himself.