Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 352: Three—Past, Present and Future

Okay. Let's try this without Irene ...

The eighties girl in me has a thing for white shoes. These were bought for a ball when I was a travel agent a few years ago (ra, ra, ra). When I bought them I had a badly twisted ankle. Again. It is never a fabulous idea to buy shoes when you have a foot injury. Especially shoes on an insanely thin metal stiletto. Ironically, even though my foot is better (well, not since I twisted it again a couple of weeks ago), I haven't been able to walk in them as well as I did during that ball. Did alcohol help? Stunning white and silver shoes which are great for sitting in! Three.

New Year, or close enough, is a time for reflection and contemplation. And for the use of graphs. Combining the two, here are my reading achievements for 2014. You will notice that, once again, the total number of completed challenges is zero. Finishing is over-rated. Reading is a journey—I like to think of challenges rather as quests.

Goodreads Challenge 2014

Everything I read for the year. Forty-six books.

101 Books

Book'd Out's Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014

The Boy Next Door; Meg Cabot
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards; Lilian Jackson Braun
Gone Girl; Gillian Flynn

12 Books

Giraffe Days' Around the World in Twelve Books Challenge 2014

Kabu, Kabu; Nnedi Okorafor (Africa)
The Terminal Man; Mehran Karimi Nasseri and Azndrew Donkin (The World, or No Place)

12 Books

Semi Charmed Kind of Life Summer Book Challenge 2014

A Rogue By Any Other Name; Sarah MacLean
The Man in the High Castle; Phillip K Dick
The Name of this Book is Secret: Psuedonymous Bosch
Gone Girl; Gillian Flynn
The Hanging Valley; Peter Robinson
Highland Surrender; Tracy Brogan

13 Books

Four quests have still a couple of months to go. (Or forever). Here are a few more graphs:

ToB (Tournament of Books)(until March sometime)

Some portion of one book: The Signature of All Things; Elizabeth Gilbert

17 Books

Book Journey's Harry Potter ReRead (until 31st March)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

7 Books

Semi Charmed Kind of Life Winter Book Challenge 2014 (until 28th February)

Dolores Claiborne; Stephen King
Knots and Crosses; Ian Rankin

13 Books

A to Z (My Own Challenge to myself in which I read a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet: Started December 1st, 2014; Finished Whenever)

Abducted; TR Regan
(The) Beach House; James Patterson
(The) Cat Who Could Read Backwards; Lilian Jackson Braun
Dolores Claiborne; Stephen King

26 Books

And I might as well get all the book stuff over and done with by telling you the quests I am doing this year. Including the one I am not!

Any Semi Charmed Kind of Life Challenge that comes along!


Book'd Out's Eclectic Book Challenge 2015

  • Retellings (of fairytale, legends or myth)
  • A book set in a country starting with the letter S (eg. Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia)
  • PI Crime (fiction featuring a private investigator)
  • A novel published before you were born
  • Contemporary romance
  • Fiction for foodies (fiction featuring food/food related business)
  • Microhistory (Non Fiction)
  • Science Fiction set in space
  • Sports (Fiction or Non fiction)
  • Featuring diversity
  • Epistolary Fiction (fiction written in the format of letters/emails/diary entries)
  • Middle Grade/YA Adventure

They write books about sport? How dreadful! Oooh, actually. Tour de France is a sport isn't it?

A (more) "Sensible" Goodreads Challenge 2015

My Goal: 53 Books

Bookmark to Blog 2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

In which you choose a book with one of these words in the title each month.

JAN- Bird, Girl, Ever, Silence, Bad, Truth, End: The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
FEB- Key, Water, Lie, Chase, Heir, Once
MAR- Kind, Face, Power, City, Blue, Night, To
APR- Dream, Prince, Long, Wind, Rose, The, Rock
MAY- Ash, Road, Thief, Bend, In, Far
JUN- My, Together, Whisper, Win, Soul, Sleep
JUL- Sun, Unto, Energy, Fate, High, Look
AUG- Fall, Boy, Glass, Heart, Lost, Now
SEP- Color, Touch, Life, Day, How, Sweet
OCT- Ghost, Home, Beach, Away, Test, Number
NOV- Rise, Holiday, And, Little, Call, Dark
DEC- Space, Mirror, Over, Flower, Trap, Cold

And lastly. Because I don't want to go crazy with this book challenge thing (too late!)

Avant Ciera 2015 Let Me Count the Ways Reading Challenge

In which you count the number of pages you read each month. I would love to go for Gold (4001-6000). I think Silver is a more realistic but still stretchy target. But like CS Lewis says, and I paraphrase*, you are never to old to set yourself unrealistic and unachievable dreams to aim for. It is countered by W Clement Stone's quote about aiming for the moon and hitting some stars if you miss. Gold it is!

*The quote actually reads: You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream.

  • January:
  • February:
  • March:
  • April:
  • May:
  • June:
  • July:
  • August:
  • September:
  • October:
  • November:
  • December:

P.S: Just realised (by reading the comments!) that this is a yearly goal, not a monthly. So I am down for 'Multi Diamond' (a girl can't have enough diamonds!) which is 10000+ pages. That's me.

But what I most definitely am not doing, no matter what, no. For sure no. Absolutely not doing. Is the Goodreads Seasonal Challenge. Oh yeah. On the surface it looks fabulous. Such alluring and convaluted categories. Such unusual and unique ways to choose books. I started. The Winter challenge runs December 1st to February 28. But it is a logistics nightmare. I got myself a name, I posted the books I had squeezed into the categories. Bump-Pow! I had to run through three hundred pages of comments to find what had gone wrong: you didn't post including your name which isn't the same as your profile (more idiot me!). I re-posted. Bump-pow! Seven hundred pages of comments to sift through to find that there were no links to the books on my post. Duh! The i-Pad version of Goodreads doesn't give you the option to link the books. And seeing as ninety percent of my internet-action is i-Pad, I have popped this straight into the too hard basket and then cleared the basket. Not happening.

I may have found something way worse though. And I am doing this one. In fact, I am putting it over there in the side bar. Via the already counting Avanti Ciera to the source at Butterfly Feet: Read a Million Pages in your Life Time! That is a list no List_Addict can resist. I have made a spreadsheet to try and account for all reading prior to my Goodreads account in 2012. When I get to the point where I have to think too hard about whether I have read any given book or not I will call that number, plus the last three years on Goodreads my 'to date' and go from there. I am not decided yet if the inter-world needs a full list. I am sure that (1) no-one cares, and (2) no-one will notice its absence or presence amongst all the other stuff out there so I'll decide on that later.

Epic post. I am sure many of you gave up after looking at the pictures. I, however, have my head around challenges and a valid and solid reason why I never finish any of them. How do bloggers get anything done if blooging takes so long? Retorical. I don't want to know where so many succeed and I dismally fail!! Have a great reading year!

The Outfit
Dress with Belt: Op-shopped
Jacket: Thrifted, USA
Necklace: Retail
Bracelet: Op-shopped
Shoes: Urban Soul

Photographer de Jour: V——

Getting linky today with:

pleated poppy


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 351: New; Two, Buckle My Shoe

That's right. Over the course of a mere two months I have managed to advance the shoe count from 'One' to 'Two'. I have also managed to get myself into grown-up debt by finally buying a house (see below), whisk away on a Thailand holiday, settle my house, help my interstate Dad sell the house I did live in, completely change my work schedule to night shifts only, work through Christmas and New Year, pack a house, move two houses, pay the first mortgage payment, and, finally, start the process of unpacking in my new, amazing, characterful, beautiful, peaceful and simply stunning home. (More about our new home soon.) It has been a little crazy!

Just because I haven't been writing them, though, does not mean I haven't been reading your blogs and it looks like everyone has been having a grand old silly season and are making great plans for 2015. My plans are simple: blog more, read more, knit more, make my house a haven, develop a green thumb, fit into all amazing clothes in (many, many) boxes I have just moved from one house to another and enjoy every moment of this new instant family we have made in the hills (borrowing the Eccentric Owl's idea of partner referencing, I refer here to Mr Earwig and our two fur babies).

Catelyn               List_Addict

A glimpse ...

Me, Mr Earwig and the threshold of Earwig House

I am looking forward to spending more time here at Fur Earwig! I miss the writing more than I thought. I don't miss the amount of time it takes to do photos. Today's photos introduce my avatar, Catelyn Covet (just made that up). She is wearing the closest equivalent of my outfit that I could find on Covet. (P.S: results from the Covet experiment are now live - check it out here. I was wrong.) I had to introduce Catelyn because my wardrobe has been disappearing into boxes and hard to access for dressing Irene up in. I'm not sure if I should leave Irene (and Catelyn) to moulder quietly in the night-shift bedroom (or cyber-space), or keep dragging her out numerous times a week to look better in my clothing. She is my perceived point of difference in a sea of fashion blogs. I also feel a tad self-conscious if it is 'all about me'. If I get rid of Irene I would have to up the ante on better photographs. What do you think? Is life worth blogging about without Irene?

But, about the shoes. Pair number two. Op-shopped/Thrift-stored. Lime green Scooters in near-pristine condition. I don't usually do shoes from second hand stores. I get feelings of ickiness if I think about it too much and trying to not to makes me obsessively think about it. I bought these in my 'shoe-making' phase. I was going to use the skills I had aquired, from a course I had done, to alter them. But, with their flick-flack comfort and kitten-heel cuteness, I ended up wearing them often and they remain unchanged. They are too much a staple to ever be removed from the collection. They are safely stored on the 'green' shelf of the new shoe-space in my new house space. Two.

The Outfit
T-Shirt: Roxy, Wet 'n Wild, Surfers Paradise
Jacket: Thrifted, USA
Skirt: Op-shopped
Shoes: Scooter

(Catelyn wears, in the same order, Cynthia Rowley, Black Orchid, SKOT and Madison Harding)

Photographer de Jour: V——

Getting linky today with:

pleated poppy

The Fabulous Kimba Likes' Wardrobe Wednesday!
(I just can't seem to get that button copied over?)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 350: Thou Really Ought Not Covet

Super quick, this was London, a bit more London, blah blah blah, trip earlier this year, Trafalgar Square, blue cocks, red buses, stone stone and black lions, photos held in stock until now, don't get me wrong London is the best city in the known universe apart from New York and Mexico City and Upwey, but I have something more important to discuss and must move quickly from photos to words. Enough about London? Good.

Let's talk about Covet

List_Addict               Irene

Oh my Goodness. How annoying is Covet? Have you all got it. Let me know so I can be your friend and borrow clothes from your closet. Like, real friendship, like. For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, Covet is an app/game/sales tool in which you 'buy' clothes for your virtual paper doll and dress her up in themes in the hope of earning more money or diamonds for more clothes to dress her in to enter more themes to earn more diamonds or money to ... Etc, etc. You can also buy the clothes for real (I think) (I'm pretty sure) and if you do, you earn diamonds to buy more clothes ... oh God, here we go again. It does my head in! (Not enough to stop playing.) Because the only way that you can score highly (as voted by your peers), is to dress like everybody else. Or to dress in a ball gown. The thing you can't be on Covet, is yourself. After mumbling this sentiment incomprehensibly to anyone who cares to listen for all the time between two days after starting to play and now, while simultaneously ignoring sensible advice to, maybe, just stop playing, I have decided that maybe the best way for me to prove I am not being a sore-loser, terrible-stylist who thinks that low scores on my outfits comes from everyone else's conformist stylings (just have a look at the highest scorers on any given challenge and tell me something isn't afoot) is to conduct an experiment.

Clockwise from Top Left: Buses and Buyers in Oxford Circus; Best pubs with the best names and the best heritages; Treasures everywhere you look; V—— and our Harry Potter Tour Giude in the self-same tunnel the three heros walk along after apparating from the Wedding.

So, starting on the 1st November, the Day of the Dead and National Bison Day, I will be entering five outfits into themes per day. This takes work so don't let that make you think this is easy. I will do this for 5 weeks. Week One I will enter themes as I have been—trying to correspond to the brief while bowing to my own sense of style. Week Two I will style outfits that I think will win—the obvious outfit (if I can work that out?). Week Three I will style outfits as far removed from the themes as I can. Week Four I will style one outfit, with minor changes where there are requirements, and enter it into every theme. And in Week Five I will enter every theme wearing a ball gown. Note to self: stock up on ball gowns!

I will keep a cumulative tally of the scores for each week and update them below:

The Brief: 136.53/175; 19 likes.

The Winner: 135.74/175; 19 likes.

The Left Field: 133.18/175; 24 likes.

The One: 135.40/175; 19 likes.

The Gown: 139.09/175; 23 likes.

If, at the end of the five weeks, The Winner isn't the winner, I will say I was wrong (5 weeks later: I was wrong; but not about the ball gowns!), I will take my place at the low end of the fashion know-how ladder and I will shut my mouth and surreptitiously keep playing without ever talking to anyone about it. Suddenly I find Covet very exciting indeed. Check back for the results.

Left to Right: Trafalgar Square and surrounds; Wren's Cathedral

The Outfit
Dress: Primark
Jewels: Casio watch and a Fitbit
Boots: Meindl

Photographer de Jour: V——

Who Wore It Better?

Getting linky today with:

still being molly

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On the Daily Express/More Pieces of Me

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 349: One (and SCWBC14)

Starting this day in blog-land I am counting my shoes. Sure, I could go into my bedroom and count them, but this is more fun—and it makes me assess the right, of any shoe in my wardrobe, to stay there. This pair came from a swish little store on Chapel Street in Melbourne. They were, in hindsight, the shoes that started my fascination with the out-of-the-ordinary shoe. I call them my cowboy mary-janes. Insanely pointy; charmingly pink; unusually appointed. And like most of the shoes I own, difficult to wear. They won't turn your ankle, but there is a lot of real estate at the front of your foot that you forget about, and the ankle strap never comes across as trustworthy. Regardless, I love them. One pair.

Irene               List_Addict

And the acronym? Semi Charmed Kind of Life—the creator and curator of the Semi Charmed Book Challenge—has recently announced there will be a Winter challenge. What goes better together than Winter and reading? Nothing. The fact that we, here at Fur Earwig, are entering Summer makes no difference. I mean, what goes better together than Summer and reading? Nothing. I love the book challenges at Semi Charmed because the categories are wacky. See below for the same-said categories and the books I will be reading. The staring date is the 1st of November and coincidently, on that day, I will be well into reading mode, sitting on a sun lounge, sipping a cocktail, or seven, in Koh Samui. What goes better together than holidaying and reading? Absolutely nothing!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules. Dolores Claiborne by Steven King.

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books. — Submitted by Megan. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.

10 points: Read a book of short stories. — Submitted by Meredith. The Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon.

10 points: Read a book with a food in the title. — Submitted by Megan. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck.

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you (so no rereads for this one!). — Submitted by Crystal. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language. — Submitted by Belle. The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido (from the Spanish version).

15 points: Read a book written by a local author (either an author from your state if you live in the United States, or from your country if you live somewhere else). — Submitted by Katelyn. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Tasmania, Australia and the latest Man Booker Winner.

20 points: Read a "bookish book" (in which books play an important role, e.g. the setting involves a bookstore or library, a major character is an author, or a book that celebrates reading and books. Examples: The Book Thief, The Shadow of the Wind, The Thirteenth Tale, etc.) — Submitted by Jen. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title (e.g. north, south, east, west or any combination of those). — Submitted by Donna. South of Heaven by Jim Thompson.

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read. — Submitted by Jenn. Westerns: True Grit by Charles Portis.

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title. Be sure to tell us the song name and artist as well! — Submitted by Daire, who was kind enough to provide several example books, as this challenge is quite tricky! A few possibilities include: Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson (English nursery rhyme of the same name), The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes ("Girl You Left Behind," Pixie Lott), or Somewhere Only We Know by Cheyanne Young ("Somewhere Only We Know," Keane). Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Florence and the Machine.

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, brunch). — Submitted by Amber. Breakfast with the Borgias by DBC Pierre and The Dinner by Herman Koch.

The Outfit
Shirt: Thrifted, USA Somewhere
Cape: Thrifted, USA
Jeans: Kmart
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Chapel St

Photographer de Jour: Moi

Who Wore It Better?

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pleated poppy


Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 348: My Favourite Colour

Who: Melanie at Bag and Beret

What: The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show

When: A while ago (have I told you trying to buy a house keeps getting in my way!)

Where: At, around and in the vicinity of ACCA

Why: Do you even have to ask?

Who Else: B—— for the photos, Melbourne Bike Share for the props (although I did pay for that, and we spent so long riding around getting moving pictures that they charged me again so I am not really sure why I am telling you about them: this isn't a plug, except that they are quite cool!)

What the ?: Sunshine incarnate in the form of a yellow skirt travels the world searching for women, bold and beautiful, who make it their own for a day, or a week and share their own take on its joyous light with everyone out there who thinks that being an exceptional individual with the daring and bravado to walk your own way, strut your own stuff and be your own you is a good thing! That's my take on it, but you can read the full story on the link to the skirt above. Make sure you check out all the wonderful women by whom the skirt has passed.

The Outfit
Skirt: Melanie at Bag and Beret
Jackets: Both thrifted in the US
Belt: Thrifted
Tights: Retail
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice Hook Line & Sinker

Photographer de Jour: B——

Who Wore It Better?

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pleated poppy


Lena B, Actually

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 347: Largs and Lassitudes

stream of consciousness literary model narrative technique psychology James Joyce Virginia Woolfe good enough for them to get everything on the page in a hurry no need to worry about punctuation

Okay, might be hard to read but it's about me not you. The final full stop. Read Ulysses, it'll make more sense.

for now this is the quickest way to catch up and move on in this blogging silliness stopped for weeks by the all-consuming search for houses and the associated stasis it has wrought on everything else of meaning in my life

Irene               List_Addict

Pictures are of Largs months ago at Kelburn castle where they needed to render the wall but couldn't afford it so graffiti artists painted it in the meantime now everyone prefers it to the render except the council it must be a reason people pay quite a hefty fee to come in even though there isn't a lot to see just some hamsters a good birds of prey keeper a maze a sort of scary jungle-gym which would be occ-health-and-safety-ed-the-living-day-lights-out-of in this country a couple of two thousand year old yew trees

seventy-one house inspections since that holiday it makes perfect sense to book another holiday the exasperation of continually being outbid on properties justified it until the broker wanted to know why the value of our deposit went down

going to koh samui

Left: Kelburn Castle
Right: Close(r) up detail of the graffiti

joined a book club at poppy loves reading lee rourke's vulgar things also joined up with steptember walking ten thousand steps every day sort of if you'd like to donate their page donate to team called The Quick Feet of Flinders Street that's us proceeds help people suffering from cerebral palsy got a bookriot box with more books read more books joined covet app enraged but addicted it deserves a blogpost of its own coming soon few minutes away from being shafted on another house

it's all about houses brain or thyroid gland going to explode

that is my life all caught up am trying to blog three times a week monday (fail) wednesday or Thursday (fail) and saturday (fail) back to Monday see how it goes want to cry bye bye

full stop

Top Left: Cow on Great Cumbrae, the little island off Largs which the ferry visits all day long
Top Right: A typical sunset from the window of our rental flat
Bottom Left: Looking back at Largs from the ferry—our flat was at the left side of that white building in front. Perfect!
Bottom Right: Looking down at Largs bay from the hills above

The Outfit
Shirt: Primark
Jacket: Gift; Vic and I swapped jackets because he knew I preferred the yellow one
Leggings: Target
Shorts: Primark
Scarf: Buff
Gaiters: Kathmandu
Boots: Meindl

Photographer de Jour: V——

Who Wore It Better?

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still being molly

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On the Daily Express/More Pieces of Me

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 346: Stages

[Quickly, before you start, pop over here to see what stage I reached on the Bout of Books 11 challenge I did last week: it's underwhelming!]

I'm stuck on stage three of the process of grief. Anger. The people around me are becoming uncomfortable. They can't understand why I won't move on. I think it's because I didn't see it happen at the time. I have only just realised that it is, already, a done deal; something that can't be brought back, something forever gone that I didn't realise was leaving us. A lot of people don't even appear aware. When did the word 'fewer' actually die and leave the English language? Suddenly it is gone and I must spend all my time yelling at the television—from ads to news to fiction to categories of programs sometimes referred to, ignominiously, as high-brow television—for 'lesses' where there should have been 'fewers'. All. The. Time. 'Less' harsh chemicals in Finish dishwasher tablets, for example. Is it my past lives in times when English was spoken well that grate with modern usage? Is it the seventy-third gene on my DNA strand that switches grammar-fascism on in my brain? I'm in hell! I'm usually an advocate of the organic nature of language, but this one affects me. It's like we are loosing a poetic nuance for the sake of simplicity, loosing a complicated step in a dance because it's easier to step clumsily into the next phase: something more difficult but more beautiful. We are making language a thing people can use without thinking about it! Dangerous precedence!

List_Addict               Irene

I'm stuck on stage one of the process of grief. Denial, shock. At least, I was when I started this blog post, but due to time passing, as it inevitably does, I have moved through depression (stage four), and am onto the 'I'm okay' stage—which may actually be number one all over again. I should be dead. Merrily wending our way, along the freeway, to look at a house for the second time—a house which we have since fallen in love with, made an offer for, increased the offer, increased it again, got disillusioned with, and lost to another bidder, in the end, gratefully—we suddenly found ourselves, in no discernible increment of time, going from talking about who-knows-what, to spinning through three lanes of late afternoon traffic. I can't recall the bang of the semi-trailer hitting us. Just the surreal change of being. V—— was on the side which was hit; his expectation, in the infinity of time it took to come to a halt, was directed to all the other vehicles that should logically have been impacting with us as we spun through their lanes. I was calm. I didn't scream. I held my paper cup of coffee throughout, uncrushed. Although I have coffee all over my face and coat when we stopped. It was a miracle. Miracles f^€% with your mind. You come out thinking you should feel grateful for your life, you should be feeling you have a second chance. But the bizarreness of the event being survived unscathed, the trivialising of something significant, and the expectations of an abundant thankfulness instead made me depressed. I am fine now; V—— is too. His car is being repaired as we speak and he is getting by in a tinny loan vehicle. Life goes on. But you know what is strangest of all: we went back to the house a few days later, starting at the same point and ending at the same destination, and the GPS didn't take us on the same road. If miracles make your mind explode, then I can't express the effects the idea of meant-to-be, and the subsequent lack of agency it suggests, have on my poor little synapses!

The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Tights: Retail
Bling: Red bracelet from a bike chain gifted by my lovely B——, charm bracelet gifted by my lovely V—— with a charm gifted by B——, ring gifted by V—— from the craft centre of the universe, near Largs, Scotland
Shoes: Irregular Choice Golden Harpy

Photographer de Jour: Moi

Who Wore It Better?

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