Saturday, 6 August 2016


26 July Paris-Brussels
First fast train experience on the Thalys in first class with our Eurail pass, plus a little extra cash.
With a maximum speed of 300km and an average of 280km, the countryside whizzes by!
Kids impressed by the little treats served, which I didn't think were included...
If 90€ counts for anything!

30/07 trying to get to Beverlijk...

Brussels-Rotterdam. 8:45-10:56
Rotterdam-Haarlem 11:07-12:01
Haarlem-beverwijk  12:24-12:40

Antwerp central

Should have been a 3 train journey though we are now on third with two more to go.
All crammed in like sardines.  One handle on my suitcase just broke while going up the stairs, repairs and improvisations ahead!
What transport adventures await us I wonder....?

We are standing in the aisle, not sure how far it is, possibly an hour.
The day is grey, the kids are tired and hungry of course, but it is what it is.
We have chatted with some fellow passengers.  Most of the announcements are in Dutch so not much to understand.

Not sure if we'll get to Amsterdam yet and still a night in limbo to sort out.

01/08. Buses, trains, feet...
From stay ok to Amsterdam this morning where we spent the day roaming streets and canals.  We are squished in our night train compartments.  The lady who made our reservation tried to save us a days travel but it didn't work.
Have had to pay extra twice now, though it is our first time in a speedy sleeping train and would be paying for accommodation elsewhere anyway.
We found a lovely peniche boat museum to visit, walked past anne Frank's house where the visiting line was endless!  Interesting and busy, the canals are great but I'm glad we stayed at the castle.  Looking forward to quieter places with less crowds.

Transport has been confusing, finding the right platforms, carriages and seats, going back and forth.  Using the lockers was also an experience!

More buses, metro and trains.
This time from Prague to Brno.
Tickets are confusing when written in Czech.  Our trip was 3/4 through when the conductor comes through, I have our tickets, no problem.
However, apparently we are sitting in first class and only have 2nd class tickets.
An honest enough mistake on a domestic train that requires no reservation, but he wasn't happy.  I tried to explain that we couldn't read the information on the ticket...he huffed and puffed a bit, punched numbers into his machine and eventually threw his arms in the air!  We were happy to move of course and we weren't the only ones.  A local man was in the same boat but he just smiled and said a few words to the conductor, not too worried.  We didn't pay extra and there really wasn't much difference between first and second apart from the colour scheme!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Review: The Girl with the Windup Heart

The Girl with the Windup Heart The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another series finished (except for the novellas).

I love The Steampunk Chronicles. There is just enough of everything to make the story and characters admirable. Excitement, strength, adventure, suspense, love and romance, intriguing settings, mystery and magic steampunk style, hunky men and gutsy women!

A world I would love to hang out in more.

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Review: Bush Studies: Text Classics

Bush Studies: Text Classics Bush Studies: Text Classics by Barbara Baynton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book of short stories has been sitting on my shelf for some years now. Introductions are peculiar things, sometimes I enjoy them and sometimes not. This one I found to be too long and didn't finish it because it was giving too much away.
I read the first two stories and found them hauntingly realistic but I couldn't manage to get into the others. I started each one and struggled either due to the written form of spoken language or lack of interest. I feel it was more a question of timing, I was simply not in the right mood, as the themes are powerful as is the authors own story. Definitely worth a look for anyone interested in Australian historical fiction.

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Monday, 1 February 2016

Review: The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like many books I have, waiting for me to read them, I wish I had done so earlier.
Wonderful storytelling. I wasn't sure what to expect but was happy with what I found.
Intrigue, adventure, secrets, mystery, love, interesting characters, depth, darkness and humour.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015


(School Newsletter interview)

My earliest memory is….  Climbing trees.
My first relationship was….  Sweet and short lived.
My most treasured possession is…  knowledge.
My mother and father always told me….  Yes but you’re different.
I wish I had….. More time to do everything.
I wish I hadn’t…. Stayed up so late reading.
My guiltiest pleasure is… not feeling guilty.
My happiest moment is…the present.
At home I cook…. Cakes for the neighbours.
My favourite gadget is…none.
I’m not so good at…… maths.
When I was a child I wanted to…. Be an archeologist.
The book that changed my life is……books are constantly changing my life!
If  I could live anywhere…I would need more than one of me.
It’s not fashionable but I love…. Trashy movies.
My worst trait is…. Talking too much or not enough.
My best trait is….  Creativity.
Friends say I am…calm.
I’d love to….makes costumes for films.
If  I could change one thing in the world it would be…..hatred.
My greatest fear is…..feeling stuck, settling for something.
If only I could….declutter.
The last big belly laugh I had was….a couple of days ago.
I relax by….. Reading.
What I don’t find amusing is…. Ignorance.
I’m always being asked…. Say something in French.
My favourite place in the world… too many.
At the moment I’m listening to…. City Calm Down, SOAK, Echo and the Bunnymen.
My favourite work of art is…. Too many.
My worst job was….. For a dodgy photographer.
The strangest place I've ever slept…in a bathtub.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Review: Lead

Lead Lead by Kylie Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More nice and light girly entertainment.
Fun with enough romance, steaminess and crisis moments to keep you in and finished before you know it.
Hooks in nicely with previous volumes and characters.

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

lots of weird and wonderful steampunk fun and adventure.
Interesting kick-arse characters, a touch of proper romance,
amazing contraptions and I am just imagining the costumes!

definitely grabbing the next volume.

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