Sunday, September 30, 2007


We're re-watching all seven series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer through from the beginning to the end. It was a brilliant show and well worth seeing again. Anya, the former demon, is scared of rabbits and this is carried through all the series from her early appearance dressed as a bunny for a Hallowe'en party. When we rescued our rabbit (seen above posing in front of our Buffy collection) from the SSPCA animal welfare centre, we had already decided to call her Anya in honour of Anya from Buffy. When she was naughty (which wasn't often, she was an adorable lovable bunny), we called her Anyanka, which was Anya's demonic name in Buffy.
If we had had a male bunny we thought of calling it Bishop Brennan after the character in Father Ted, who was scared of rabbits. Well it seemed to us as good a way as any of choosing a name for a pet. I'm glad we got a girl rabbit though.
(Anya sadly died earlier this year)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Doubt, possibility, uncertainty
if things were different
conjugating the possible
dreams, fears, hopes

and if it were so
what then?

Monday, September 17, 2007

haiku recipe

cheese and onion
baked in a pastry case -
serve with potatoes.

haiku recipe for One Deep Breath

Giveaway Update

Just to let you know that I put the names in the hat for the Esther Morgan book and the winner was Odessa! Just email me with your address and I'll send you the book!

Thanks everyone for your interest and there will be more Giveaways in the future!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Writing about Ordinary Life

Anne Tyler - Breathing Lessons vs William McIlvanney - A Gift from Nessus

I read both these books while we were in Orkney. Both of them feature ordinary people living ordinary lives and in both novels, the main characters find themselves in effect in the same place as they were at the beginning.

Breathing Lessons won the Pullitzer Prize and Anne Tyler has been described as 'the greatest living writer in the English language" yet I found this book disappointing. Yes, she is a good writer with the ability to create believable characters and dialogue and she highlights the funny little details in people's personalities that make them unique and therefore not as ordinary as they may appear on the surface. However, I feel she doesn't really delve very deeply, I want more insight. I came to the end of the book and felt that none of the characters had learned anything or changed in any way and that they would remain forever in the same unsatisfying situations. Am I missing something here?

A Gift from Nessus is different, I loved it. The characters are again ordinary people, but they are truly three dimensional characters that felt much more self aware than Tyler's characters. I felt the writing was full of insight. The prose is beautiful and not afraid of metaphor and allusion though I didn't feel it was ever pretentious (apart possibly from the title). On the surface, again nothing has changed by the end of the book, however I felt that the characters had learnt a lot about themselves, enough to change their unsatisfactory lives round to become more fulfilling.

Back from orkney!

We're back from Orkney. You can find photos and more on Crafty Green Poet !

Update on the Giveaway - I'll be putting names in a hat for the Esther Morgan book this evening and will post the winner tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Celebrate Literacy with Your Favourite Words

8th September is International Literacy Day and Education Action , a charity that works with wartorn communities to rebuild lives through education, are celebrating the occasion by asking people to share their favourite words. Here are some of my favourite words today:

adorable, ingenious, weird
German - there are lots of wonderful words in German that don't have an exact or good translation in English, my favourite today is Zeitgeist
French and Italian - well everything sounds so much nicer in those languages, it would be difficult to choose my favourite words!

What are your favourite words? Remember to share them at Education Action!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Two Days in Paris

I really enjoyed this, the directorial debut from French actress Julie Delpy. Is She not only starred in and directed this film, she edited it, co-produced it, wrote the soundtrack and sang on some of the tracks! It's a funny, insightful look at a relationship between an American guy (Adam Goldberg - Delpy's real life ex) and a French woman as they visit her parents (Delpy's real life parents) in Paris, offering loads of opportunities to highlight the cultural differences and to touch on the differing views on the world, as well as offering many a reminder to tourists about why they should learn the language before they travel abroad, especially if they're visiting their partner's friends and family! There's not much in the way of plot, but the characters are engaging and the dialogue comes across as real conversation. Oh and there's a totally adorable cat (possibly Delpy's cat in real life!) that steals several of the scenes.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Silence Living in Houses - Esther Morgan (Giveaway)

The Silence Living in Houses is the second collection from UK poet Esther Morgan. Her poems focus on domestic life haunted by unexplained ghosts. She is an accomplished poet with a real feel for the way that words sound together, this is the first stanza of Domestic:

Under the chestnut tree its already night
as I turn back towards the house
where lights are coming on
though some of the windows
are still dark as mouths.

Sometimes I felt there were too many ghosts and wanted more of her poems to have the substance and presence of those that deal with more concrete things, like Her Given Names:

At the word cat
she's down on all fours
performing her hunger,
warping and wefting through his legs,
arching her spine at his creamy voice.

I've registered this book with Bookcrossing and am happy to pass it on to someone who wants to read it. If you'd like it, just let me know in the comments. I'll put the names into a hat in a couple of weeks.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Daratt (Dry Season)

Even when there isn't a film festival, Edinburgh's Filmhouse cinema still shows excellent films from around the world. This evening I saw Daratt, a film from Chad, that follows Atim, a young man as, sent by his grandfather, he travels to the city to kill the man who murdered Atim's father before Atim was even born. It's a slow, meditative film, with much of the narrative being revealed through visual clues.

A Festival of African films, Africa in Motion comes to the Filmhouse from 25 October to 4 November.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rocking Girl Blogger Award

I'm delighted that Na of Shadows and Clouds has nominated me for the Rocking Girl Blogger Award! I now get to nominate up to five Rocking Girl Bloggers. It's difficult to choose as there are so many great women bloggers out there, but I decided to keep it to just two who really do rock:

Abby, aka Abzdragon, from Geek Tragedy is a young rocking poet already getting published and performing her work - without stage fright she tells me! I wish I'd started out in poetry with so much confidence!

Michelle at GPP Street Team sets rocking Crusades - art journalling challenges on topics such as 'My Rockstar Moment', 'Tattoos' and 'Playlists'. Why not check them out!