Sunshine in my shadows

Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!


Monday, February 28, 2011

Farewell Summer....

As much as I love Summer I look forward to the change of seasons. Autumn is my favourite, I enjoy seeing the changes in the garden. Our hawthorn tree has just developed it's first berries for the season. In a few weeks it's branches will be hanging heavily bearing masses of it's pretty fruits. They may be inedible but they look oh so pretty and tell me Autumn is here!

I shall miss the blue skies and sunny days of Summer and yet I enjoy so much more the cooler Autumn days.
I'm just not cut out for very hot weather. I wilt like a delicate flower and hide indoors lest my lily white skin be burned to a cinder in the blazing Australian Summer sun.
Sadly we don't get the right kind of change here to give us the autumnal delight of changing leaves on the various deciduous trees. How I long to visit a place where the autumn sees a landscape palette of ever changing reds, greens and golds. I have seen photographs of places in Australia and overseas that take my breath away with their majestic Autumn flush of colour.

Cooler days mean more time to spend taking leisurely strolls around the garden. Evenings to sit and enjoy creative and crafty pursuits.More time to read! Of course I can do all of these things in Summer as well but usually don't. Summer is usually spent trying to keep cool, out of the sun. Summer is time with the children, preparing for Christmas & beyond. Organizing back to school and making plans for the coming the year.
The months fly by and before we know it Summer has ended and Autumn is here.

Autumn eases us from Summer to the resting and recuperating time of Winter. I hope you enjoy the coming season as much as I know I will.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Photo courtesy of

Lasting Damage...

I just finished reading Lasting Damage by Sophie Hannah. I haven't read any of her books before but on reading the teaser on the back of this novel I just had to add her to my reading list.

"It's 1.15am. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead she's logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove , Cambridge. She knows it's for sale ; there is an estate agent's board in the front garden.
Soon  Connie is clicking on the virtual tour button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind to rest once and for all. She finds herself looking at the scene from a nightmare: in the living room , in the middle of the carpet, a woman lies face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock , Connie wakes her husband Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room".

I really enjoyed this book, it kept me guessing right to the end. The twists and turns of the plot are interesting and the characterisation of various family relationships will resonate with many readers.
Whilst not a book I will keep I will happily look for more by the same author and pass this on to friends to read and enjoy.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Half price Tuesdays...

I discovered my local op shop has half price Tuesdays today! Who knew? This could be great or it could be the beginning of very bad things! Last week I was dropping off some unwanted goodies to the op shop and I saw a lovely vintage mirror hanging on the wall. I resisted temptation and did not go in to ask how much it was.
That mirror haunted me all weekend. Monday came and I considered calling in to the op shop to see what the price was. I resisted once more!

Today temptation got the better of me and I decided to call in and see if it was still there and how much they were asking for it.The mirror was still there and the price was reasonable I thought. I carried it to the counter and the lady said to me "We have another out the back if you would like that one too". So I found myself looking at a second mirror. When the lady told me it was 'half price Tuesday' and I would get 'two for the price of one' that sealed the deal! Two lovely old  mirrors for $30. I was thrilled to bits even if I have no idea at this point where exactly I am going to place them. They are both different but roughly the same size. One is oval shaped and the other a rectangle.

I should have left then but I made the fatal mistake of putting the mirrors in the car and returning to browse the books on offer. I came out with a nice armload of assorted books for the princely sum of $21.00. Some of the books were even hardbacks. So lots of sunshine in my shadows today! Doubtless my local op shop will see me back for more 'half price Tuesdays'.
wishing you sunshine in yours

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Slap

I finished reading The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas this week. I was disappointed with it. Some parts of it were enjoyable and entertaining but on the whole it left me with a dissatisfied feeling. I had problems with the book on two major counts. One was that it almost seemed to me that the author was trying to be politically correct creating a mixed bunch of ethnic backgrounds for the main characters. I know we live in a multi cultural Australia but I just found the idea of such a range of ethnicities being present in such a small group of friends to be somewhat beyond belief. I admit to growing up in the country so perhaps I just don't know what it is like to live in suburban Melbourne.

The other thing I took issue with was the frequent, in fact I would say overuse of one of the very worst swear words. (in my opinion) I am not talking about the 'F' word either. I'm not a prude. I read women's erotica and have even written some myself. I understand sometimes such words are used for the power behind them. However in my opinion in this instance the coarseness was grating and used unnecesssarily and much more frequently than I would have expected. I wondered to myself how many unsuspecting readers picked up the book only to be totally horrified by the use of the 'c' word on the very first page. (and thereafter)
My advice would be if you think you might like to read this book borrow a copy from your library first. I certainly was not enamoured of it enough for it to earn a permanent place on my bookshelf.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

stuff and nonsense...

I haven't been sleeping well this last week. I am not really sure why or if there is a reason at all. I have suffered  insomnia quite frequently in my lifetime but not for a short while. I wonder if my mind is just too busy to shut down enough for me to fall asleep at night. I have had quite a few things on my mind this last week.

School is back and for now I have the kids sorted for books and uniforms etc. The cat had a visit to the vet for some dental work which created quite a dent in my somewhat limited finances. I need new glasses but cannot pick them up yet as I do not have the required funds to pay for them. (damned cat!) I finished reading Kate Morton's The Distant Hours last night and sat up a little late to do so. Excellent book! My knitted teddybear is coming along nicely, I will share when he is done. I have been having some funny dizzy spells that required a visit to pathology and I am off to see my doctor tomorrow to see what the results are. Although I am diabetic my sugar levels have been fine so that does not appear to be the area of concern.

Today I joined a creative writing class. It was interesting if different to what I had expected. I am hoping it might spark my creative drive somewhat as it has been rather lacking of late.
Whatever you are doing this week I wish you sunshine in your shadows

***photograph my own

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time to get creative...

What a wild and woolly week it has been for much of Australia but the State of Queensland in particular. Two cyclones coming fast on the heels of the recent devastating floods has caused massive damage across the State and I am sure the emotional toll on families will reverberate throughout our communities for years to come.
Like many living in other States I have watched and waited with baited breath to hear from friends and loved ones to be reassured of their safety and to hear if they were among the lucky ones who escaped loss or damage to homes, businesses and personal posessions.

I tend to feel overwhelmed at times such as these and along with all the other personal happenings in my life at present I found myself  longing this week to get away from it all and an urge to create. Generally I am not a knitter but today I chased up a simple teddy bear pattern and needles, bought some wool and began knitting a small woollen bear. The gentle and repetitive motion of moving wool and needles gave me some much needed respite from the more serious side of life. I can knit but am not good at it and lack patience to practice and improve. I deliberately chose a small project in the hope that I will actually finish it and hopefully sometime this year! I once knitted a cardigan which took me three years to knit and then another 2 to sew the buttons on!

I am not sure if I just have a sensitive artist's soul but crafting something with my hands or creating with my mind and imagination soothes me in a way that I have been unable to recreate in any other way.
Do you turn to the simple joys of creating something new when you need a little breather from the world around you?
wishing you sunshine in your shadows