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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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Review: 84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

this was published in 1970 the year I was born.
shorter than expected and followed by the duchess of Bloomsbury street.
have had tears in my eyes, sobbing my way through all the emotion!
the humour is spot on.
the exchange is exquisite.
the whole is charming.
I would like to make a list of all the books HH mentions, many of which I've not read or heard of.
I like novels - I also like what HH said about reading about real things, people, places, stuff that happened. I should do more of it.
the second part - the visit, made me think of all the places I didn't go to when I was over there, so have started another list of must sees.
it is incredibly easy to romanticise life sometimes. my piles of journals will no doubt remind me that reality is always present no matter where we are or have been. I liked her finishing thought from Prospero;

this is how I feel about all my years in France, it all seems like a far away dream.

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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Counting by 7s by Holly Golberg Sloan

Counting by 7s

Magical in so many ways.
I laughed,
I cried,
I held my breath and I hoped.

Do any of us realise how incredibly we can touch others?
How small gestures can ripple outwards helping in ways never imagined.

It is difficult to grasp a genius mind like Willows'.
I would love to have such insight of the world,
To be able to comprehend the miraculousness of everything in such an informed way.

The beauty of this story is in how all these unlikely people and coincidences
All move towards each other and fit together.
Compassion, understanding, empathy, needs and fulfilment.

A little patience and kindness goes a long way.
Each character needed a little saving
And somehow in big and small ways
they all saved each other.

You're the kind of girl I write songs about by Daniel Herborn

You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

Yeah yeah...the title got me straight away.
What girl, regardless of age, doesn't want songs written for/about her by some groovy guy?

Writing, the creative process in whichever form, is a response to life.
An experience, emotion, sensation, conversation, image, person, moment, a witness.
It requires thought, sensitivity, honesty, patience, a certain way of looking at and seeing things...
And then, courage because all creative expression makes us vulnerable.

What is in a song?
layers of music and words telling a story,
a different kind of snapshot,
that brings people together in sounds, vibrations, movement, dance.

That is a special energy,
so if someone felt so inspired as to create a piece of that around you it would (hopefully) be a huge compliment no matter how clichéd or corny.
Surely that means that someone has seen something more than an exterior or appearance. They have taken time to look harder and deeper to know who you are.

So I like this book for it's simple descriptions,
it's monologues marking moments of unspoken treasures.
All the things left unsaid.
We say what we shouldn't and don't say what we should.

I like the insight into how the characters think and feel about life and each other.
Life is amazing at any age but from 18 onwards new experiences are huge. Work, study, music, responsibility, reality, freedom, first love, travel, hopes and dreams...WOW, totally wonderful and overwhelming!

Mandy and Tim are young, lost and fragile.
Music brings them together, binds them, they express themselves through it with their band crushes, mix tapes, love of vinyl and for Tim his lyrics.
There is an ageless maturity in some of his thinking that is quite touching, mixed with humour and a little poetry. I like pensive minds perhaps that's why it appeals to me or the creative process, but it also takes me back.

"You can say so much without words. I guess I didn't mind before when Mandy didn't talk much because you can tell more about people during the silences. I know so many people who talk a lot and talk such a lot of shit that it's nice to have someone who doesn't say that much, but says things that are worth listening to when they do speak." - Tim

"...In those couple of seconds I try to commit every inch of the swell of her breasts to memory, every detail from the curve of her collarbone to the edge of the black lace bra under her shirt. I try to take a mental photograph of that tantalising inch between her skirt and her stockings when she walks, those acres of legs in black nylon. I'm forgetting how to breathe." - Tim

"One person, one moment, can change things forever. Perhaps I've always known this. After all, it only takes the three chords and the two and a half minutes of a great pop song to break your heart or make you feel invincible." - Mandy

Lots of cute awkwardness to love.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Raising Competent teenagers by Dr. Linda Friedland

This gives good practical advice and ideas on how to live and communicate with teens.
The question and answer approach makes it easy to find what you need and the what to do in point form is great for quick tips.
I'm always gleaning information from different sources in hope of finding some harmony over the next few years.
It is also reassuring to note that I am on the right track...so far...in theory!

Raising Competent Teenagers: . . . In an Age of Porn, Drugs and Tattoos

5 may 2015  this about sums it up (sometimes)

why is parenting so exhausting?

last minute nonsensical
bedtime bothers!

save me!
need to shake my head like a
cartoon character with all the
sound effects

just call me


anytime anywhere anywhy

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicolas Drayson

Fun, charming, touching.
The tortoise and the hare.
Secret side stories.
Wonderful birds.
Khan - surface bling, no real substance.
Malik - simple, noble...learning to see what is right in front of him,
Around him, his son, Benjamin, Petula.

Entertaining characters, sweet story for a rainy Sunday morning.

            A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. Nicholas Drayson

Looking for Alaska by John Green

First love, friendship, bonds, adolescence, questions, answers, frustrations, silliness, importance, fun, sadness, difference, acceptance, loss and pain.

All the big things are here.  The how, who, when, why and what. 
The awkwardness and ridiculousness of youth, the good and bad choices and how some of these moments can change us forever.

I liked Pudge's essay right at the end.
And this sentence, 'There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts'.

Looking for Alaska

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and his Ex by Gabrielle Williams

Two Australian authors publish books based on the same crime around the same time.
Having read Cairo by Chris Womersley I was curious to compare angles. 
Interpretations of the same theme are often interesting.

I loved how this story unfolds, how slowly the characters come together in strange twists of fate.
There is a mix of youth, young love, family, choices, right and wrong, tragedy, death, desperation, vanity, loss, stupidity, and life in it's many forms.
There is strength and fragility and a sense of optimism despite bad choices.
Fun, well paced and entertaining.

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

The Keepers Trilogy by Lian Tanner

An exciting adventure into a strange and unusual world where people are almost too scared to breathe!
Interesting and courageous characters including a museum with a mind of its own.
Many suspenseful, funny and endearing moments.
We will be listening to the next part starting tomorrow.

Museum of Thieves (The Keepers, #1)

Read from May 27 to June 02, 2015
We are really enjoying this trilogy so far.
Great strong characters and wonderful reading.
An air of calm peacefulness pervades the room or car when we are listening to the story.
It's wonderful.

This adventure was just as exciting as the first.
We got to explore more of the land with Goldie, Toadspit and Bonnie and despite the dangers
It was fun.
Love Idle Cat...all these wondrous beasts are incredible.
Goldie put all her training to practice.
Looking forward to more.

City of Lies (The Keepers, #2)


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This was a wonderful funny journey read in a day.
There are so many elements that make us who we are.
Empathy is an emotion we should explore and practice more often,
Then perhaps the many misunderstandings and misinterpretations we suffer from these days could be avoided.

There is often little logic involved in emotions and how can we really define love?
There is lots of specialness in this story.
We all suffer from/enjoy our own differences and uniqueness whether it is a defined condition or not.
We can all love and be loved as we are, for and despite our weirdness.

Of course it is not easy or without hurt,
But it is comforting and reassuring and beautiful knowing
That love comes in as many ways as we do.

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Another audio book enjoyed with my kids.

Despite the harsh reality of the main theme of this story, I loved the description of Mark and the urge behind his journey.
I loved his love of haikus and photography, the strong bonds between boy and dog and Mark and Jessie.  
Loyalty rang strong throughout and his brief encounters with others along the way were poignant.

There were desperate moments and emotions, scary and heart wrenching ones too.
A touching tale of love, hope, illness and alienation, frustration, life and death, small miracles, strength, courage and a big journey of self discovery.

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

This is the third audio book I have indulged in recently and was borrowed on a whim.

The description gave little away of the story and as I listened I became more and more intrigued about the mystery of it all and what would happen next.

It was adventurous and exciting with moments of suspense, full of well written characters that I either loved or despised accordingly.  Rose is a wonderfully strong female lead and I loved the mischievous elementals.  Eventually there were some predictable happenings as well as some surprises but I wasn't disappointed by anything and enjoyed it so much to finish off the 11 discs in a couple of days.

Loved the imagery, the fantasy, the magic, the costumes...it would be amazing on screen with a dash of steampunk perhaps.
Look forward to reading more in the series.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Gallery of Vanishing Husbands by Natasha Solomons


I loved this story.
I loved each characters mystery and quirks.
I loved Juliet's boldness in a world of expectations.
I loved her fascination with how people, things and places are ween through an artists eyes, with portraiture capturing ourselves and others.
I loved the talk of art and the urge of it under the skin of each artist or beholder.
I loved the secrets.
I loved that Juliet's father eventually realised that he was proud of her individuality.
I loved the sense of community and the sensation of feeling out of place, out of your depths, of not belonging - so human, so real and true.
I loved the pace of the story.
I love the title.
I love the friendships, the admiration they had for each other.
They remained true to themselves, not really trying to change just adventuring alongside the borders of new and different territories.

Beautifully inspiring.

Love in Small Letters by Francesc Mirailles

This is one of the nicest books I've read in years,
absolutely loved it from start to finish!

The title caught my eye straight away and the chapter titles continued in style.
I would have devoured it straight if I hadn't started reading it aloud to my kids!

Very real and human.
It touched so many emotions and all the wonderful cultural references made it thought provoking and inspiring.
I loved these unusual and eccentric characters all amusing and attractive in their individual ways including Mishima who rubs his way through the legs of the story with impeccable timing.

Often I don't want a good book to end or I become nervous as the end approaches hoping it won't be disappointing but I must say that this is one of the best endings I've ever read.  I found it to be clever and satisfying, with a lovely completeness about it.

Will be reading again soon.

Serial poetry

Petits pas = arriver

My singing eye
Dances to the din
Of dizzy dandelions
Wishes colliding
On the tapestry
Of life.

Become a serial letter writer!

The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French

Two wonderful evenings spent listening to the audio version of this book with my kids, in the car and at home.
I have been reading to them for 12 years so it was such a treat to experience being read to again!
Lovely quiet, calm and relaxing.

The Robe of Skulls...we loved it.
Fantastical adventure, an array of interesting, curious and likeable characters including an excitable path!
Great descriptive imagery especially Gubble, all brought together by Nigel Planer's reading.

Lots of smiles and laughs for us.
Will be looking for the next in tales of the five kingdoms and using my costume skills to design a robe of skulls!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

CAIRO by Chris Womersley

Straight away my intuition was that there would be a tragic element at the end of all this.

I knew all along more or less what would happen, like when you witness something but are powerless or prevented from speaking or warning.  

There was a real cringe factor.  Youth, naïveté , denial, deception...all so blatantly obvious.
The cruel self interested games of manipulation people play.
So sad.
Could have been worse for Tom.

I enjoyed it without loving it.
Liked the familiar streetscapes.

Some small relief with the present? Left behind by sally.
I couldn't think of anything worse than going away with those disjointed couples.
Perhaps the experience wisened him up, one would hope it woke him up to the importance of doing your own thing, being your own person.
I felt uncomfortable because I recognised my own naive self.

What letters reveal...

Hi Andrea,

Just thought I would touch base and give you an update.

I hope your break was reposing.
Our summer and autumn holidays were lovely and full of distractions.
Like Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation!
My main one being books which is promising for a hopeful future librarian but not for getting anything else done!

Unfortunately, I didn't quite reach my 2014 end of year study goal and am paying for that now with a term already gone.  I don't know where it went but it lost me along the way.
I will be doing my best to get it together this weekend after having re-attacked my tasks on Thursday so it is all fresh in my head again.

I believe I need to complete 9 electives and figure I will be working hard to finish up this year and hope you will guide me in choosing these soon.  I have some direction already but not being in a library will surely govern some choices.
There is a large possibility that we will head overseas early next year so hopefully a little urgency will do wonders.  If you have any information about the course equivalences in Europe that will be helpful.

There have been a few life and family things harder to juggle over the months but some balance has returned. 
So many roles we play...
We talk about using 'the cloud' these days but honestly I think I've been doing that for years already!  Not that I can retrieve anything in mine.

Some of my casual work has become a lot more demanding recently and my own creative ventures are always overwhelming me so I am trying hard to prioritise and concentrate on what I feel most passionate about.  I really do feel that I will find satisfaction blending library/education together in some way yet to see or imagine.  If I am honest, classroom teaching is not where I want to be.

So there is plenty to do and I will be working hard on my focusing/discipline strategies to achieve it all.
Lucky I'm an optimist.

happy weekend adventures,
Tina Pech

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Dear Mr Sprouts by Errol Broome

I love books I can pick up and read in an evening!
This is inspiring in so many ways.  
Correspondence is such an appealing story format and this demonstrates nicely how powerful a written relationship can be.
It is an unexpected journey about a chance meeting, unlikely friendships, discovery, growing up...of trees and youth, place, identity, of sowing seeds, words and all of which these may grow in to.
 A lovely way to have spent my evening.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Baradine Bookworms March 2015

At the first meeting of the year for the Baradine Bookworms, we discovered an interesting list of summer reads.  Many genres were included from fantasy, crime, biography, travel and general fiction.  Some of the titles were;


Baradine Bookworms are a friendly bunch of keen readers that meet in Baradine Library at 5 pm on the last Thursday of each month.   We are a theme based reading group, sometimes reading the same book but mostly just sharing our passion for books in general.
Anyone is welcome to join us, whether you read a little or a lot.  The next date is April 30th and we are; 'reading a book we always wanted to read but never got around to'.

22 March 2015

I often wish I could disappear.
Not due to unhappiness,
Simply because my desires
Long to take me somewhere
Other than here
Or there.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

In the making...

A few wonderful wire work pieces I am currently working on.


Today I received a lovely friendship memories necklace.

What a wonderful thought!

Merci Nat!

Finding a niche

Have been enjoying wonderfully creative moments lately.
I have found a new niche and rediscovered old ones, 
As well as continually exploring and experimenting.

The therapeutic bliss gained through this process is such a gift.
I particularly love working on pieces commanded by people I know.
Finding the right materials, adding those personalised touches that 
Make it uniquely theirs.

Though inspiration can come from anywhere, over the years it has been materials that lead me in different directions.  Using what I have at hand, rethinking how things can be used, improvising and mixing what doesn't mix.

Words and writing are magical, creating visual poetry is incredible, blending all of them together is amazing.

Recently parted for new dreamers...

It is a great feeling when your work is admired and appreciated.
A true compliment when bought as an offering.

I often found creating for an unknown purpose or person somewhat of a challenge until a friend suggested that I focus on positive energies and imagine where or to whom a piece might go.
This was good advice.
We all have a road. a journey and usually end up exactly where we are meant to be.

The person who likes a piece enough to buy and offer or take it home finds their connection and in doing so makes one with me which is a charming exchange.

Many thanks to past, current and future customers.

Sunday, 22 February 2015


This is a beautiful book, with wonderful photography and delicious recipes.
It has definitely inspired me and given me food for thought, however if I'm honest, I know that I would have difficulties getting to this level of amazing ness in my kitchen.  
I am surely capable but feel I wouldn't have time for much else.  
I know we all have busy lifestyles and as a casual teacher I may have more time on my hands than some.  
Even so, I tend to seek out recipes that have easy to find, simple ingredients, that are not too time consuming.
I love to take time in the kitchen occasionally experimenting and I sometimes feel guilty that our meals aren't always as wholesome as they could be, but many of these recipes require ingredients not available in my local area or lots of prep time, which isn't realistic during the week.
I realise it is a question of changing habits and getting into the swing of it, I've been vegetarian for over 20 years, so I understand the adaption process, but it seems so time consuming.
Nevertheless, we had fun testing out green juice, which my daughter actually liked and she is my fussy one!
There are a handful of recipes I will copy and try for sure.
Regardless of my umming and ahhing, the title is perfect, there is plenty of vibrancy in this book and I so admire anyone who can achieve such colourful, healthy eating daily.  I am quite envious!
My cooking enthusiasm has waned somewhat of late...

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

For the love of lists


Through creative writing I discovered The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon, a beautiful collection of intimate writings by a Japanese woman of honour from the 11th century, made into a film by Peter Greenaway.
I can't remember if this was the beginning of my list writing, though I can say that I have written many since and find they are a wonderful tool for anyone who writes.

Here is a list of some of my list titles!

Places where I've slept
In my bag
Things I like (looking at the moon, tickling my children, feeling tall, cafe et croissants, learning, walking, staring into space, lazy days, exploring, public transport, reading, writing, paper)
Things I dislike
Addresses I've lived at
Favourite words
Or words that sound nice or feel good in my mouth
Things that are slow
Things that make me melt (inside and out) (soft spoken honey like voices, gentlemen, people who have their own style, creativity, the sound of the violin, people who make me laugh, sincerity and honesty, nature, accents)
Things to do while watching a sunset
Things I remember
Things I can't forget
Things worth listening to
Things that give me goosebumps
Things I'd like to do
Things that make me feel warm and squishy inside

I also love books written in different formats.  These two are kind of list like;

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
Something Beginning With...by Sarah Salway