Saturday, 30 November 2013


Today I went out for a long drive as I am currently working towards getting my license (I can't wait to get it, then I'll be able to go on adventures). The day started off a little cloudy but by the afternoon the sun was shining over the sleepy little coastal town we were visiting.

While we were there we had a browse through the shops and I found this lovely little pair of retro, slightly odd looking, Mexican donkey salt and pepper shakers [made in Japan - go figure?] in the antique shop.

I look forward to using them to season my tacos...

Earlier in the week I also went op-shopping and came across a big pile of old fashion & home magazines from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They had quite a few old Vogues and LIFE magazines with missing covers. Even though I like old fashions I decided not to get a Vogue because a lot of them had pictures cut out of them, but also because over the last few years I've grown to greatly dislike fashion magazines for various reasons - and though the old fashions were interesting, they really weren't all that different from the fashion mags of today, content wise.

I ended up choosing this 'Home' magazine from January 1958, which makes for quite entertaining reading. It really is like stepping into a whole other world!

I might do a post about some of the contents another time.

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

7 Links

I wanted to share some links I've come across this week relating to animal issues, the environment and veganism...

Tiger nearly killed in making of Life of Pi

1. A couple of days a go this article came up on my dash:

Animals Were Harmed: Hollywood's Nightmare of Death, Injury and Secretary Exposed, a detailed article in the Hollywood Reporter that reveals how many animals have been negligibly injured and killed during the filming of Hollywood films such as Life of Pi, The Hobbit, HOB's Luck and many more.

I naively thought that nowadays there would be strict regulations in place to protect the well being of animals used in movies and that filmmakers would be forbidden from deliberately killing or harming animals for live action shots - but instead we have another corrupt system to add to our long list. Since reading Thanking the Monkey years ago I have opposed the use of wild animals for entertainment and films because wild animals have to be 'trained' to perform and do as they are told and this usually involves negative reinforcement such as hitting, prodding and beating.

And of course wild animals are just that, wild animals and cannot really ever be controlled. If they want to lash out at someone, they will.

This brings me to my second link...

2. Trainer Mauled by Tiger at Australia Zoo

The stupidity of the human race and the media never fails to amaze me. I think the outcome speaks for itself here. But I will say this - training tigers to interact with people and to perform tricks is not conservation.

3. Al Gore Goes Vegan

While I am a little skeptical about this one particularly since it also talks about Bill Clinton as being vegan when apparently he is not really vegan - though I believe he may have been vegan initially while he was trying to improve his health and now consumes much less meat and animal products than he used too. The article also says Gore reportedly switched to veganism for health reasons. While it would be great if this were true, even going mostly vegan or cutting down your meat/dairy intake is a good start so good on him. I do hope that environmentalists will take note of this too because there are a lot of environmental benefits to eating a plant based diet - mainly because livestock produce so much methane, factory farms and fish farms produce toxic run off and meat production uses huge amounts of water.

4. Two guardian articles about waste:

 Marine plastic pollution: the threat pervading Australia's waters

Ever since I watched Midway I have been deeply concerned about the amount of plastic waste ending up in our oceans. We really need to do something now. We need to stop over consuming and start cleaning up after ourselves - stop dropping cigarette butts all over the ground and being litter bugs - because sea animals and birds pay the price for our pollution - and we will to eventually if our ocean ecosystems die.

5. And the second article is more about priorities - What do we really need this Christmas?

And now for a happier story...

Cyrus the rescued roo

6. Cyrus the Roo rescued from Melbourne Airport has returned to the wild by Wildlife Victoria.

Last month an injured kangaroo was found confused and distressed trapped inside a pharmacy at Melbourne Airport. Goodness knows how he got in there? (it's hard enough to find your way around Airports as a human!). It was a very dangerous situation for him because kangaroos can die of stress, and it is really quite miraculous he survived it!

7. And lastly, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but I do like these photos of lucky turkeys taken by Jo-Anne McArthur, who have been spared the dinner table and now live out their lives at Farm Sanctuary.

Monday, 25 November 2013


I thought I'd share some of the faces that inhabit my walls. These are mostly cards I have collected over the past few years. 

I like to scatter my walls with magazine cut outs, photos and artwork....


 Paul the turkey on the 2013 Brightside Sanctuary calendar. 

"Paul is a favorite resident at Brightside. He loves people and generally spends his days in the carpark and barn where the action is. Paul loves pats and cuddles and if you give him a tickle under the wings he will return the favour by gentley preening your arm."

You can read more about Paul via Brightside's Meet the Animals page.

Happy bear :)

WSPA postcard featuring the rescued bear Rohini.

 Drawing by Valerie Davide. This one caugt my eye in a gallery shop because of the crazy lines and reminded me of my own messy sketches when I used to draw.

Mitsy a little kitten I looked after for some friends while they were away.
She was a stray who adopted them!

Artwork by Adam Cullen. This picture reminds me of my old family pet who was a German Shepherd.

 Artwork by Fiona Hall who had an exhibition recently at the Heide Museum of Modern Art which I sadly did not get to see.

Artwork by Kristina Browning.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pleasure & pain

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Life in books

I discovered this cool little book quiz via Linda of The Lentil Institution and decided I couldn't resist doing it myself. The books I've read in my life mean a lot to me. I feel like I have to have them by me and that of I didn't I would somehow feel a little incomplete. Almost every book that I've read and really really loved I own a physical copy of (with a few exceptions) - it's almost like having a collection of old friends on the shelf. There are some books that I enjoyed, but would also feel okay if I didn't own a copy, but then there are others that I'm super protective of and don't want to lose or give away. I also have quite vivid memories of reading certain books when I was younger and what was going on in my life at the time - probably because I read less then and was more impressionable.

I also love reminiscing about books I've read and films I've watched.

Here's my list...

Author you've read the most books from: Virginia Woolf.

Best sequel ever: Hmmm I never really read series'...the only series I think I've read the whole way through is Harry Potter.

Currently reading: The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders which I've been wanting to read for ages, Feel The Fear, Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers which I stumbled upon on a Readings sale table and couldn't resist, and still attempting to complete The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments by Andrew Knight (science tends to go right over my head).

Drink of choice while reading: Camomile or English Breakfast tea.

E-reader or physical book: Physical book. I commute a lot and do a lot of my reading on the train and nearly always have a book or two with me which is definitely annoying at times (and makes me look like a bag lady), especially when you're reading a big one, but I still prefer the page to the screen.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school: Patrick Bateman? Just kidding! Probably Ron Weasley or Harry Potter...but I feel so boring for saying that.

Glad you gave this book a chance: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I had to read this for first year uni and at first I really hated it. I remember starting to read it a number of times and then not getting past the first page. But once I actually pushed through and read the whole thing it was amazing and I ended up writing on it.

Hidden gem book: Tongues of Flame by Tim Parks.

Important moment in my reading life: In Primary school we used to have 'silent reading' sessions where we were meant to pick a book and sit and read for an hour. I never really liked this much nor did I like reading much in general because I just found most of the books on offer geared at pre-teens kinda boring. But I also never read at home either because I'd never found a book that I liked (other than Fantastic Mr Fox - love that book!). But I remember rummaging through the boxes of books on offer trying to find something that looked interesting and I stumbled upon I Am David by Anne Holm. I think I was drawn in by the cover which had a boy and a dog on it and I think that was the first time a book had ever utterly engrossed me. I found that book so hard to put down but also very moving.

Just finished: Green Is the New Red by Will Potter, which is about the U.S Government's crack down on environmental and animal rights activists who engage in non violent liberation/sabotage tactics as the 'no. 1 terrorist threat," The Baby Farmers by Annie Cossins, Death at Seaworld by David Kirby and Clay by Melissa Harrison.

Kinds of books you won’t read:  Sci-fi, fantasy, action, romance - I'm really not massively into any genres but have been known to delve into some crime or horror.

Longest book you’ve ever read: One that comes to mind is Andrew Motion's biography of John Keats. I think it's about 500 pages.

Major book hangover because of: Definitely Harry Potter when I was younger, also Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Me and my dusty shelves...

Number of bookcases you own: Only two in my room, which is nowhere near enough. I now find myself stashing books in boxes and piling them up on the floor and on tables.

One book you’ve read multiple times: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I think I've read this three times now. Also The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Preferred place to read: Lounging on my bed or on the couch. I find that if I read in bed I get sleepy.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 
"I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and too them away to a zoo of something. Or if they just flew away." - Catcher In The rye

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - The Great Gatsby 

I studied Gatsby in VCE so I remember our teacher drilling quotes into us.

Reading regret: I usually tend to give up on books that I hate rather than finishing them, but I had to read Sense & Sensibility for my VCE Literature class and really hated it. It took me months to finish that book.

Series you started and need to finish: I started reading Twilight a few years ago when it was big. It was readable and reasonably entertaining but I have no intention of finishing it.

Three of your all-time favourite books: Gah how can I choose only three!? I have way more than three. You can see all of them here.

1. Catcher In The Rye
2. The Bell Jar
3. Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Unapologetic fangirl for: Victorian History.

Very excited for this release: We Animals by Joanne McArthur - a coffee table book of photographs taken by Joanne McArthur documenting the animals who are victims of exploitation.

Worst bookish habit: Unfinished books & my tendency to leave books lying around the house.

X marks the spot (Go to a bookcase and select the 24th book across): Peter Carey: Collected Stories.

Your latest book purchase: Feel The Fear Fear, Do It Anyway and The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J Bourne.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):  I'm not very good when it comes to reading late at night as I tend to nod off, but probably Death at Seaworld by David Kirby. It was very long, but also very engrossing.

So that's my list. Feel free to link back to your book list if you have one in the comments section or just tell me what you've been reading lately. It's always great to see what other people have been reading!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Cup Day: Why horse racing sucks

 "Every dollar you spend, or don't spend, is a vote you cast for the world you want." - LN Smith

In Australia Melbourne Cup Day is one of the biggest national holidays there is, and yet it is something that I am far from proud of. I guess horse racing is still seen as a national past time. But if you think about it horse racing is actually incredibly old fashioned. As a society our morals have changed quite a bit since the 19th century (though you could say this only really applies to human rights issues given how our society still uses and abuses animals) when horse racing was a hugely popular sport. Yet the workings of the racing industry have really not changed at all - thousands of horses are still bred, raced ruthlessly, and then sent to the knackery without the blink of an eye.

It is estimated that somewhere between 15,000 and 25, 000 ex-racing horses are slaughtered in Australia annually because they are no longer profitable to race and deemed too expensive to keep. This is beyond unacceptable.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses are currently campaigning for a 1% levy to be placed on all betting turnover and for this to be put towards re-homing and rehabilitating all ex-race horses. This is essentially, a call for the racing industry to clean up after itself and to take responsibility for the horses it breeds. The racing industry, according to CPR, currently funds only three horse re-homing programs which together re-home about 100 horses each year. This is just not enough.

I personally think it is wrong to use animals for entertainment and to make money like this anyway. But, at the very least I just want to see these horses taken care of instead of killed.

CRP have a petition calling on the racing industry to implement this 1% levy.

Please do not attend the races or bet on horses while this cruelty continues.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Forest

Today has been pretty average. I have been listening to this album on repeat all day though & what can I say, it is such a diamond of an album.

Here's to Friday.