18 Dec

And of the Son by Jack Geurts

Jack's book coverI finished reading ‘And of the Son’ this week. It is Jack Geurts’s first novel and he is my cousin’s son. It is set in Gippsland and I could not put it down. Reading familiar landscapes is instantly gripping for me.

The places visited in the childhood of Dan the protagonist are  close to me and the story messed with my head and my memories, in an interesting way. Whilst the storyline was not recognisable the vivid descriptions of the landscape and some of the background of the novel were deeply familiar. It brought back memories of some of the happiest times of my childhood and described adventures and experiences so clearly it intruded into my dreams when I slept.

The plot was in contrast to those beautiful recollections and it was a suspenseful and dark story of murder and betrayal. I don’t often read this genre but I couldn’t put it down. I was committed to understanding all the dark secrets in the story.

It is available on Kindle – And of the Son by Jack Geurts

This is Jack’s first novel and I look forward to reading many more.

 

13 Dec

Learning Experiences

I’ve been learning lots the past few weeks and this weekend I’m pausing to reflect and get the learning experiences. That involves remembering I call myself a blogger :).

I haven’t squeezed blogging in so here are some quick updates. I got to catch up with my much loved extended family this week under the saddest of circumstances for my Uncle Danny’s funeral.  Why do I allow such larges spaces in the time between seeing people I love?

We have almost filled the Community Based VCAL for 2015.  We have planted the tennis courts with sunflowers as part of Reactivate Latrobe Valley’s #getsunflowered project. We could use some support with this project. I have learnt the depth of distrust in the Valley. I am so grateful for all the work Rose and Craig put into our site to clean it up and prepare it. Days of work! These two are the most active academics I’ve ever come across – they dig in and get things done. We met some new volunteers to plant. Still doing lots of grant writing and meeting fabulous and helpful people.

I went to a retirement dinner last week of a great teacher and  caught up with Lavalla friends I hadn’t seen for ages. I had a fun birthday and continued celebrating myself up until Thursday night when I finally caught up with my ‘twin’ Rhonda for dinner:).

I wrote an astrology reading for my favourite masseur this week (also squeezed a massage in). It was a busy week and whilst there was no pressure from the person I was doing it for, it was fun write in the spaces at the beginning and end of my day.  I have been reading astrology books and blogs for years and participating in Kim Falconers wonderful lessons on Good Vibe Astrology  has given me confidence to read a chart and the positive perspective of the planets energies that I can use.

I watched this TED talk this week (among others). Andrew spoke at TEDx Melbourne earlier this term. I wanted to attend but I had Digital Shed and it was the first week with a new group of students. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Andrew 3 times and each time I’ve come away with great information, ideas and that full inspired feeling that keeps you going for ages. I’m really grateful to my friend Wilma for introducing us. He’s a massive inspiration so I’ll share it here:).

 

22 Nov

New Moon in Sagittarius – Saturday 22nd November 2014

This week has been busier than it should be on a dark moon so I’ve just woken up from a delicious 10 hour sleep. I met a new friend this week who has a son who is a sleep scientist. I am quite fascinated with sleep so it felt like a cosmic delivery. I’m anticipating learning more. It’s our last morning for 2014 at the Digital Shed this morning. It’s been a busy year and very rewarding. I’ve made lots of new friends and learnt plenty, about technology and life.

Sagittarius love learning and my sun is in that sign, so it’s one of the gifts it has brought to me. I have lots of friends born at that time of year and whilst their path to learning may be different it’ something most have in common. Some like to travel to learn, or complete formal study or do it in a variety of self initiated and random ways like I do.  April Elliot Kent’s post on this new moon ‘A Hat Full of Stars’ talks about this time of the year evoking the hero’s journey, where we set out into the unknown. Great title!

Lynda Hill has a beautiful new website if you haven’t yet caught up with it. This new moon’s post: Reunions, Reruns and Running the Race discusses all the line up of planets. In response to the energy she says “How we handle it may be a measure of our ability to stand strong with our belief in the goodness of life and that good things are unfolding – and exactly as they should be. Of course, many people are having a good time in their lives, but for those who are feeling rather tested or pushed, this could be a time of having to reconnect with one’s positive thoughts and feelings. ” The Sabian Symbols are a fascinating study into the 360 degrees of the zodiac. I’ve had Lynda’s book on CD for many years and find it a valuable insight when I read charts.

If you need more insights check out Kim Falconer , Mystic Medusa or Moonkissd by Jessica – always a good read. Don’t forget to make a wish – the time in Australia is 23.32.

 

 

 

14 Nov

Old Links

This week when I was doing some one on one tutoring for someone who was making a website, I was showing him how to put a link widget on the sidebar using my own blog and how it would show up. I realised that my links were so old so I have removed the widget but will update it in the coming weeks.

I’ve stopped running courses on blogging. It’s more effective for the student to have a couple of one on one sessions. I can tailor the learning for the individual and it’s less frustrating. Typically in a class every person has a different purpose for wanting a web presence.

It was interesting to see how many of my old list had disappeared and the ones that are still current have sometimes changed addresses. I started blogging in September 2005, so just a little over 9 years now. The last time I updated the links on my blog was possibly around 2008/9. My posting has become more irregular lately because I’ve been so engrossed in my other projects, yet I still love blogging and have intentions of using this space more thoughtfully and frequently.

My personal journaling is a big more regular. I watched this clip last night and it has reinspired me to keep up my writing habits. Interesting findings!

06 Nov

Full Moon in Taurus – Friday 6th November 2014

This is not an eclipse so should be a little less intense than the previous moons. Taurus is a comfort loving sign so good food, friends/family, nature and a massage would all be supported by this one! The moon will be large tonight and Friday night, as the exact time is 9ish on Friday morning.

Life’s good after a long weekend – Jenny from the Neighbourhood House insisted I take Monday off as well so I did my best ;-). I slept all day one of the days , only breaking to eat and read and made a conscious effort to do as little as possible. April Elliot Kent – Big Sky Astrology – Taurus Full Moon: The Centre of You gives a thumbs up to taking some time out from the intensity to comfort yourself.

Moonkissd by Jessica: Taurus Full Moon: Come to Your Senses has a familiar theme and also mentions choc chip biscuits. It’s vital to take some time out and look after yourself and a Taurus Full moon is as good a time as any. After my big rest I was able to make some big decisions that gave me some relief from long standing stresses. I’ve also had some great things come through in this half week of work- sometimes relaxing does solve problems. My inclination is to push and stress, but taking a break and getting grounded is more effective.

Sleep is so restorative. I feel calmer and clearer. I listened to this podcast over the weekend of Tim Ferriss interviewing Maria Popova and she mentions sleep as one of the important parts of her ritual. She is such an intelligent and prolific producer, so if it works for her – I’m going to make it a priority for me too!

My Taurus son and his friend are going to be home this weekend. It’s going to be easy to loll around and get into the relaxed and grounded vibe.

02 Nov

It didn’t work

Last night I was out for dinner with some wonderful friends. They were talking about their experience with some people who blocked their suggestions with ‘we’ve tried that’.  I couldn’t help but think back to Seth Godin’s post from 2007 that I bookmarked to help me through the resistance I felt as a teacher trying to change things at that time- We’ve Tried Everything.

My answer to that was always – well I haven’t now.

The thing is that the rate of change, in our world, as I see it, means that things tried in the past could possibly be relevant again. A great question to ask when presented with the old ‘We tried that back in 19xx or even 200x’ is What didn’t work? It’s not that you won’t want to learn from mistakes, or discount previous experience, but hell, just because something didn’t work the first time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it again. What was learnt? How could that be improved? What could be tweaked or adjusted?

I was watching a Khan Academy lesson today and at the bottom of the clip I was watching there was a place to report a mistake. They even gave an example of what that might look like. This made my heart leap. Here was an educational authority inviting correction, not avoiding it or pretending that mistakes aren’t sometime made, but inviting and therefore encouraging improvement. That’s the kind of culture that I respect.

01 Nov

Coyote Choir – Pepa Knight

On Friday when I was at the Digital Shed at the Court House in Traralgon, there was a busker on the opposite side of the road. I heard a dog singing along and it drew me out of the building. I love hearing dogs sing. I can’t hear any dogs in this song, but the title reminded me.

It’s been a good week.

 

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