Thursday, January 19, 2012

Insomnia hits again

I can't sleep. I'm sitting on the lounge watching a documentary about Roxy Music (coz a long time ago I kind of liked some of their songs), sipping a herbal tea brew called "Sweet Dreams", and randomly typing words that I hope will be somewhat readable at the end.

I was given a journal for Christmas with the title "I Can't Sleep" and a relative quote every few pages. It's purpose is to fill those ticking sleepless minutes with written down thoughts. I don't like to spoil the pages with my inky scribble though so it sits beside me while I blog.

Work is the problem. Usually, I leave it behind at 5pm and don't think too much about it. I'm an event coordinator though with a big event coming up and this time I have not been able to switch the work brain off. Such a pain especially as my thoughts have little to do with events or work, or even much to do with thinking.

Scattered half-thoughts, ideas and memories bounce around with no direction and no control. There's barely time for introspection or examination before each word/thought/feeling flitters off.

It could be worse. Some nights, I lay staring at the dark of my eyelids with the exact same thought replaying in my head; worse than a scratch in an old vinyl record. It's like this, "stopthinking, stopthinking, stopthinking, stopthinking...".

Perhaps tonight, "Sweet Dreams" tea and Roxy Music will slow the scattergun mind effect and ease my way to slumber. I can only hope so, and try not to think about it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

I'm not back really...

though I do miss this blog. I switched to wordpress. I know, my bad. But I couldn't help it. Wordpress had all these new gadgety things, and different formats and looked realy pretty. Yes, I am attracted by bright lights and pretty things.

But I do miss blogger so I've come back for a quick visit.

I've found in the past year, that while wordpress looks a little prettier there are some functions on blogger that seem to be much easer to deal with, like putting up things like badges.... or perhaps it's just that I'm a year older and have less patience for html coding even in a wyswig type of environment.

As I write, I decide that perhaps I could keep both blogs active... in a flush of writing frenzy past inability to deal with regular blog posts is fading fast. But, you know, I could do it if I use this blog for writing about books etc.

That's not a bad idea. Maybe, I am back after all...

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm wondering - does the increasing taste for women's literature, biographies on women (middle-aged or older), chick flicks and Jane Austen mean I have entered the pre-menopause stage of life?

Have any studies been completed on this? I'd really like to know.

Twenty years ago it was all fantasy all the time... well, most of the time. Now, it's like (yawn) read one read them all. Give me a story about a writer from the 40s corresponding with some literary society on some island off the coast of England somewhere, and I'm there!

I've gone from there to Kerouac's "Open Road" and so far, I've got to say, I'm a little bored. I've only read the first few pages though so I'll stick with it and allow time to become involved...

There's a key word - involved - perhaps that's what I'm looking for. Involvement in someone else's life while putting mine on hold for an hour or so. After all, I know all about my life and it's not that exciting. I want to live in Tuscany, France, some island off the coast of England and have exotic people and stories in my life. I want to drink wine and food without getting chubby or diabetic (or drunk), and go for long long walks in the sunrise/sunset through simple country settings.

I'm tired of the suburbs and work and raising teenagers and listening to the washing machine agitate while I write.

I do have some excitement in my life - I'm off to the Melbourne Writers Festival in a few days - booked a nice room in a nice hotel - planning a nice meal with a nice bottle of wine - and at least a day of listening to writers talk and share. I may even take a notebook and pen. I'm going to pretend to be Diane Lane for a day sitting in a Tuscan Square writing about the taste of purple.

Oops, the washing cycle has just finished. I'll just go grab those clothes and throw them in the dryer then I can get another load on before dinner....

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Emma by Jane Austen

I actually finished reading this a few weeks ago and though I found the characters a bit pretentious at the beginning by about half way through I became used to their foibles and had settled in to enjoy the story.

Naturally, I liked Mr George Knightley, he being the "hero" of the story and all, and thought it obvious that he was hopelessly in love with Emma. Even better, of course, that he loved her for her bad points as well as her good, and appreciated the growth in her character as she grew older (guided in a way by him as she was). Also, she was allowed to make mistakes and be disagreeable. It drives me crazy to see unhappy agreeable people (in books and life).

I also enjoyed the relationship between Emma and Mr Frank Churchill - a fine understanding of personality and character between these two. I think them both "deep" thinkers in their own way, hiding behind a mask or veneer of Georgian society. This is something perhaps that even Mr Gge. Knightley didn't quite understand and it helped show him in a more realistic rather than idealistic way.

I have a few more JA novels to read before I can pass judgement on whether Emma is her worst or not, but so far, it certainly has my tick of approval.

As I'm still waiting for Northanger Abbey to arrive at the book shop (I've now ordered it twice!), I have discovered the delight in reading Oscar Wilde's plays. I've seen Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Ernest on television, but haven't really read any of Wilde's works before. I started with Mrs Windemeyer's Fan (sorry if I spelled that wrong) and loved it! I also liked A woman of no importance, and of course, loved The Importance of Being Ernest. I've started The Picture of Dorian Gray now and am off to a good start.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Article: Event Marketing

copied from: Coffee at Peace blog

I am experimenting with web marketing for an event. My goal is to increase awareness by having lots of mentions all over the place (ambient advertising, I suppose). I'm not sure if it's working as I'm waiting for hit reports on our website .

So, I thought I'd do a bit of writing to track the process.

Step 1.

Blogging - Creation of the Coffee @ Peace blog. Aim of the blog is just to talk coffee, keeping it friendly and personal, and hopefully generate a little bit of traffic. I've kept it very simple so far - under the radar. I may be a little too far under the radar though and over the next few weeks (which covers the event date - Sunday 12 July, in case your wondering) I'll step it up a little. This isn't a short term project though. I want to build it up over time and so the benefits may not come into realisation until the 2010 Shire Coffee Festival (as long as I can keep the event coordinator sane, yes, there will be one next year).

Step 2.

Twitter. I started a twitter account (coffeeatpeace) in which I was originally going to "tell a story". I found this hard to keep up though and exchanged the story with weekly updates that occasionally included mentions of the coffee festival, more regularly talked coffee and now include marketing. As soon as I mentioned "marketing" my followers list jumped in request numbers. I do not follow back everyone. I pick and choose. I prefer Australian followers, coffee interest followers, and marketing/graphic design followers who aren't trying to push their services or software too much.

It seems to be going okay. Again. though, I'm unsure as yet to the impact and am currently researching measurability.

Step 3.

Alerts. I have registered with Google Alerts to pick up mentions and although we have sent out a press release we're not getting a lot. That's okay. Small, first time event is not going to make the news in a big way (again, may be next year).

Step 4.


- One way of getting hard data on how people heard about our event is to just ask them. We'll be doing this on the day (Sunday 12 July, btw) with volunteers undertaking surveying.
- I have an order in for hit reports on our website though I am unsure if this will include where people came from to get to our webpage.
- Alerts are activated in order to track web mentions.
- Blog traffic tracking - I follow stats for this blog on MyBlogLog.
- Finally, queries via email and telephone. Again, we simply ask where the caller heard about the event.

It's been an interesting process, at times fascinating, and I'm keen to see what impact any of it has had. I know there are applications out there that I can use to push the event in people's faces, but I'd prefer to avoid that at this stage. I want people to talk about the event and to do it naturally.

And the event?

Shire Coffee Festival

Sunday 12 July, 2009

Peace Park, Sutherland

Sydney, NSW, Australia

For enquiries, leave a comment here, follow me on twitter, email to or visit our webpage for our telephone number.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Jane Austen

I've always loved Price and Prejudice though it's been years since I read it. I blame that on the great BBC series which has replaced the need to reread. Especially as my youngest girl fell in love with the series and over the last 12 months I've watched it many many times. Also the Keira Knightley version which I also love. Matthew McFayden does a brilliant job of Mr. Darcey as does Keira of Elizabeth!

A few weeks ago I decided that I needed to do more than watch P&P on DVD yet again and started reading Sense & Sensibility. It took a while to get into though I'm not sure if that's the seeming bog of characters in the beginning or the fact that I was dead tired. At any rate, get into it I did and I ended up loving it. My favourite characters were the Palmers! I'd love to get a glimpse into their lives. I think those two understand each other very well.

Yesterday, I went to the bookshop to buy Northanger Abbey. Mainly because I can never get it from the library. I came out with Emma . My eldest daughter tells me this is the worst of Austen's novels, but I don't care. It has a wonderful cover. Congratulations, Word Press, it's a great publication. I haven't even read it yet, I'm too busy admiring the cover - just holding it makes me feel good. It's plain black with only Jane Austen and Emma embossed on the front. There's a lovely illustration inside with several introductions and other info inside. I don't care much about that either, I just enjoy the simplicity and feel of the cover!

I'll start reading it this weekend. I'm looking forward to the discovery.

Coffee Festival

Coffee @ Peace

I've been having a great time over the last few months working on the marketing for a coffee festival being held down my way in July. My way is Sutherland (just south of Sydney).

The Shire Coffee Festival or Coffee @ Peace will be on Sunday 12 July so we are daily praying for good winter weather. July is usually a fairly good month here in Sydney. March and April are usually damp, May cold, July and June okay, and August windy. So far so good. The last few weeks have been a mix of cold, wet, and sunny (the usual mixed up mix).

Our progams come back from the printer next week, but I've had a look at the proof and they look great! I believe that I may have done a pretty good job of these given that I have a strict corporate styleguide to adhere to.

We have 8 coffee vendors booked and piles of food stalls. The arts and crafts section is going to be amazing! Our live entertainment consists of The Peter Morgan Band (latin jazz) and a comedy act called Pull Your Head In! I can't wait to see these guys as they are cartoonists who include celebrity characterures as part of theiir act. In between their on-stage performances, they split up to do separate cartooning and magician acts at some of the local cafes. We also have a guitarist "busking" at the cafes.

There's stuff for kids - art making, storytelling and Walkabout Reptiles - and stuff for the culture buffs - Japanese Thin Tea Ceremony and a Turkish Coffee Ceremony.

I wish everyone could come to Sydney to attend this event!

If you are in the area and want more information, just go to the Sutherland Shire Council website and type "shire coffee festival" into the search engine box. Alternatively, click on one of the Coffee @ Peace links I've left lying around, or leave a comment here and I'll get right back to you.

Coffee @ Peace

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yarra Glen heritage railway line and bridges

Before the fires...

Photos taken by Kathy and appear on her Facebook page.