mid-strength summer reading … favourite 3

I love reading.  Especially on holidays.  But I am a mid-strength chick.  I’m not in to too much gore, violence, mystery or suspense (I make an exception for romance – I do like a bit of that on occasion, and I am not too fussy in this genre).  So … I don’t mind a tear or two, but not uncontrollable sobbing.  I don’t generally want detailed drawn out deaths or endless gratuitous abuse.  You know what I mean?  Have I said this before?  Probably.

So anyway, I read some great mid-strength books this summer.  Here are my top 3 recommendations, if you are at all interested …


1.  The Muse – Jessie Burton

My only new book.  I loved her first book The Miniaturist (so consider this a bonus recommendation) which was set in Amsterdam at the height of the Dutch East Indies Company.   

And this one set in Spain at the time of the revolution was good as well.  The story moved back and forwards in time  and from England to Spain with an underlying mainland Europe arty theme, and resolved itself satisfyingly.


2.  The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey

Set in Alaska it is a little bit Little House on the Prairie (that frontier stuff) and a little magical and fairytale-ish, like Isobel Allende.  And really beautiful and interesting.  The ending was great and very memorable.  And that’s saying a lot for me.  Because I often know I liked a book but can’t remember much about it.  Thanks for lending it to me Cate!


3.  State of Wonder – Ann Patchett

Haha!  The basic idea still makes me laugh in a very cringey way … being mid 40s with 3 kids under my belt there is no way on earth I’d want to be having babies for my whole life.  My body’s ability to ‘bounce back’ was lacking even in my 30s!  Mums, you should read it!  And not just that bit.  Great characters.  A super story. 

And … Ann Patchett’s new book Commonwealth is meant to be excellent too (you can read my friend Katrina’s review here).  It’s top of my list, and I went to borrow it from the library as soon as I got home from holidays but it had 15 reserves – yikes!  Others must have heard it’s good too.  And yes … another bonus recommendation.

Happy (rest of summer) reading to you.

McGains … with green on trend

You know we have been going to Airey’s Inlet for holidays like forever, and thus Anglesea (which is right next door and hosts the supermarket and the op shop).

And … in all these years I have never followed the sign into the industrial estate to check out McGains Nursery and Cafe.  With a bit of an organic shop to boot.  And a gift shop.  Which is a shame.  Because it is actually super fabulous.  And I can’t believe I have never been there before.  

Look how ace it is!


See! Old stuff and plants.  


Yummy food on old plates with old spoons,decorated with plants.


Magazines to read and yummy food and old stuff and plants.

And it is all built under pergolas extending out from portable site offices (check out the gift shop building if you go there) but disguised with great doors and windows and old stuff and plants…. oh man …. I ❤️ it!

colours of 2017

As you know, I DO shop mostly at the op shop, buying last year’s clothes and all … but I don’t want to be super uncool in my choices.  I like op shop prices (and it’s good for the world to reuse and recycle) but I don’t want to look like I shop at the op shop necessarily (not that I won’t immediately tell you that I bought something second hand if you comment on my clothes or anything in my house – I just can’t help myself).

So, to keep things relevant I present my not so secret weapon …ta da!   The Pantone colour chart for the year.  2017 here we go.


‘Greenery’ is the PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR (and thus I predict that the home decorating trend for lots of plants inside is going to continue – go forth and buy that fiddle leaf fig I say).

Anyway, now I am checking out this chart to get the vibe man … you know.  

I’ll keep that smokey mid blue colour in mind.  I ❤️ blue.  And I like mid greens and yellows.  A bit of orange (yay I’ve got some great orange pants).  And I like the combo of the greens with that lighter blue.  

Those pastels aren’t super for me, but they might be good mixed with the stronger colours …

Right, done.  That’s it.  I’m  ready to go forth and rummage my way through 2017 with confidence.