Making room

Today I revelled in something that I haven’t enjoyed in far, far too long. (And it wasn’t voting.)

Today I visited another world, a world which drew me in so completely that I wanted to tme travel to see what was coming round the corner. 

This world was created by Emma Donoghue, in her engrossing, moving novel Room

I didn’t anticipate that I’d read all 401 pages today, but Room wouldn’t let me go. 

At one point, I actually toyed with the idea of skipping ahead because the tension was almost too much for me. 

Written from the perspective of a four, then five year old boy, I was enthralled by the story of a mother and child held captive in an 11 foot square room, in a suburban garden in an unidentified American city. Abducted off the street as a 19 year old, Room explores the relationships between a young woman and her child, and their captor, Old Nick.

The story unfolds at a fantastically captivating pace, and as I sat reading in my small living room, I had no idea where the story would lead me. As a reader, that’s the most exciting feeling! 

I felt like I was in the room with Jack, as he described his daily life with his mother, their routines and songs, their moments of quiet connectedness and of fear. Jack’s vocabulary was wonderful, and I could hear my niece’s speech patterns in the mangling of tenses and jumbling of ideas. That room was all Jack knew of the world, and I loved feeling him grapple with the notion of Outside, which is something I think we all grapple with from time to time. The world is a big, uncertain, and sometimes scary place to navigate. 

The setting reminded me of another favourite book of mine, The Collector by John Fowles. 

Something about people behind locked doors appeals to me for some odd reason! 

There’s something special about reading that’s different to binge watching a favourite TV series, or even going to a movie. 

I’d go so far as to say that reading captures us in a deeper way, because we are participating in the story. 

When we read, we determine the pace at which the story unfolds. 

I was holding my breath at various moments, willing Jack to be scave. 

Today reminded me how much I love great writing, because writing has the power to transport us, to move us, to teach us and to expand us. 

Sadly, it seems easy to forget how awesomely satisfying a good book can be. 

I don’t want to forget, I need to make room for more reading in my life. 

I don’t know if I’ll get through another 400 pages this weekend, but I’m definitely going to move reading up on my priority list.

Do you like reading? 

Have you read Room? What did you think of it? Should I see the film adaptation?

What’s on your bedside table or iPad at the moment? 

Got a recommendation to share? 

Thank you Emma, Room was a wonderful ride. 






Today has been beautifully ordinary. 

I hope your days are filled with beautiful ordinariness too. Is ordinariness really a word? 

Tell me about your day. What can you hear? What have you seen, felt, remembered?

Life is pretty amazing isn’t it? 


Annette x 

Sia versus the rest

Good morning blog-world!

Today I have a few thoughts to throw around – don’t worry we’re not talking reinstating the draft, kale versus spinach or anything controversial of that ilk.

Hang on a second, I just have to stop here and point out the idiocy of people saying versing instead of versus, a habit which seems to be taking over in certain circles. You’ll see I’ve written kale versus spinach, not kale versing spinach. When you compete, on Family Feud or in a game of footy, its you/your team versus your opponent. It is NOT EVER versing – if it’s a word at all – it is what poets do!

Everyone clear on that? Okay, let’s proceed.

As I was saying before that knee-jerk diversion into a grammar lesson, I want to muse about a few things today and I’m hoping you’ll join me and share a few of your stories. This blog is a conversation, not a monologue!

Right now, I’m listening to Sia’s latest album 1000 Forms Of Fear and it’s SO GOOD. Some of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, ‘hello… Sia has been rocking my world for years’. I’d sung along to Titanium when it came on the radio, but I’d never delved further into the creative genius that is Miss Sia of Adelaide.


The reason I’m listening to Sia is because of the amazing Inspiration Information course I’m doing, run by cheery lass and creative life coach extraordinaire Pip Lincolne. Pip does not sponsor every (or any) mention of her on my blog, she’s just been really ace and influential in my life lately! Everyone needs a Pip, even if her name is Shirley, or Gary, or Eugenia.

So, as part of the Inspiration Info course, Pip introduces us to creative types to broaden our ideas of creativity and expose us to new artists, thinkers, creators, and artistic champions. The list has included Patti Smith, Charles & Ray Eames, Sia, Wes Anderson, Bjork – authors, painters, musicians, designers… living and dead, diverse, and wonderful.

Listening to Sia got me thinking about how the stuff we listen to, read, watch on telly, download, and talk about gets on our radar.

I think a lot of it is by osmosis, maybe we hang out at our friend’s house and they’re listening to an album, and a week later we’re downloading that album. Maybe we make the connection to where we heard it, maybe we don’t, but either way, we become fans of a new thing.

Cool, right?

Sometimes we deliberately put ourselves in a place to see and hear new things, and entertain new ideas – by signing up for an online course, or taking a class at the CAE, or going to a gallery opening, or out to dinner with our friends and some of their friends. There are loads of ways we can broaden our horizons, with or without a passport.

So in the spirit of that, here are my questions. Pop your answers in the comments, so everyone can benefit from our collective wisdom, or at least our eclectic taste.

What are you reading, listening to, watching, and talking about?

What’s got you inspired, grossed out (Wicked Campers, anyone) or enthralled?

Should I watch Game of Thrones?

What was the last book you read and couldn’t put down?

I’ll go first – my viewing recommendation is The West Wing. I am conducting an ongoing experiment to see if you can wear out DVDs – so far, so good. I still laugh at Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant writing. I’m still moved. I love those characters. Any show that revolves around a team with a lofty goal, and I’m in. The West Wing, The Newsroom, Grey’s Anatomy… sold.

I’m reading The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. It’s intelligent, timely and topical. Get thee to a bookstore.

So, over to you, what’s on your radar? How did it get there?







How I went to France and met Frank Lloyd Wright




This may look like just a stack of books to the untrained observer, but it’s actually a photo of my passport.

Just by flipping open a beautiful book and drinking in the words and images it contains, I can be somewhere else in minutes, and completely alter my mood. No wonder there’s a history of book-burning – they’re practically hallucinogenics!

These books are some of the many I own which allow me to travel, first class, to places I’ve never seen, where I get to meet new people and peek inside amazing homes.

My books can take me anywhere – from the test kitchen of Aussie food guru Donna Hay to a breathtakingly beautiful French vista, or perhaps a weekend visit to the most famous home in America. I can cross borders, time travel and delve deep into other people’s artistry, or my own imagination.

I’ve always been a book lover. I don’t know why, or how, that happened, but I’m super grateful to be a bibliophile.

If you think I’m just a nutso bookworm who needs to get a life, I’ve got the backing of an esteemed doctor!

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

And if you’re more of a rom-com lover, even the queen of that film genre has something to say about reading:

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” — Nora Ephron

Thanks Doc, thanks Nora – I couldn’t agree more.

When was the last time a book transported you?

Where did you go?