Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Fun

I love it when people go to that extra little bit of trouble to make Christmas special and fun.
This is what someone in my neighborhood did.

 Brilliant, isn't it? It looks so lifelike, the first time I saw it I got quite a start.  From any angle it looks completely real.

People keep stopping to take photos and they often lift back the wig to check what's beneath.
I love that someone's taken the trouble to make such a fun and clever display to give us all a laugh at Christmas. They've gone to a lot of trouble, too — you can't really see it but the writing on the car door says "R&N Reindeer". The car is an old "ute" (utility truck) — a bit of a classic car in Australia.
(Following up a comment from Theo, I looked up the history of the ute, and turns out it's a fascinating one — and came from a request from an Australian woman farmer in the 1930's to the Ford Australia factory in Geelong to give her a car she could use to drive to church in, as well as take the pigs to market. The story is here.)

I also love that in the couple of weeks or so that it's been here, on a fairly busy street, nobody has damaged it or interfered with it.
Thank you neighbors.
All the best for Christmas and the holidays. Peace on earth.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Exciting Package

A courier just came to the door with a lovely big box. Great, I thought, copies of The Autumn Bride in time for Christmas. But no, instead, the box contained a pile of foreign editions of my books.

There were two in Indonesian (they're the ones in the pic with the title in English), all four French editions of Les Archanges Du Diable (love that French series title — The Devil's Archangels, instead of the Devil Riders), a copy of Princessa Furtiva, (Stolen Princess, or maybe Secret Princess in Spanish) and a Japanese edition of the Accidental Wedding. 

The titles in other languages aren't always the same as the ones in English, and I always find it interesting to see what they've named them. The only ones I can read are the French ones (and then not all that well, so please forgive me if I've translated the titles wrongly or clumsily) and from right to left in the top line of the photo, they are "Rider of the Storm,"(The Stolen Princess),  "Lady of my Torments," (His Captive Lady),  "A Lady to Marry,"(To Catch a Bride)  and "Nothing But Passion," (The Accidental Wedding.)

 I love getting my foreign editions — and so do the libraries I usually donate them to.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Men in Trees

I have a very large gum tree in front of my house. It's the biggest tree in the street, and I do love it. In spring it's always filled with rainbow lorikeets, feasting on the red blossoms, and chittering with delight, and there's a possum who lives there, too.

But gum trees are notorious for dropping branches without warning, and each time we have a storm or a big wind, I've worried that the branch that overhangs the house might fall on it.

Yesterday I had a tree man come to talk about removing a fig tree from the back garden. Don't get me wrong — I adore figs and if this tree ever produced an edible fig it'd be the most pampered tree in the garden, but it doesn't. The figs are always dry and inedible, so I've finally given up on it and it's being removed right this minute.

Anyway I asked the tree man about the gum tree — I was worried he'd say the best thing was to chip it down, but he said "Yep, we can prune back the overhanging branches and it'll be fine." So yay, I have a bad fig tree gone, and a newly pruned gum tree, so the lorikeets will stay happy and the possum will still have a home.

And if you ask me, tree men are heroes.