Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Matisse Stories- A S Byatt

A recent delightful review on the blog His Futile Preoccupations of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s book Getting it Right gives us glimpses into the life of Gavin, the sweet natured, imposed upon, protagonist who also happens to be a hairdresser. We see the missed lunches, the arrogant and lazy salon owner, the clients who vary from pitiable to rudely demanding, and the toll it takes on Gavin to remain calm under all these pressures. (The fact that he  lives with his parents who also have to be tip-toed around does not help.) Continue reading The Matisse Stories- A S Byatt

Field of Poppies by Carmel Bird


What a beautiful book Transit Lounge has created for Carmel Bird’s latest novel. Rich dark red wallpaper on the end papers, and a gold-framed image of Monet’s Field of Poppies in the centre of each page, close ups of red poppies on the cover. One instantly wants to buy it for a gift for those who would appreciate it. And isn’t that everybody? Well maybe not.

Continue reading Field of Poppies by Carmel Bird

Becoming Beauvoir: A life by Kate Kirkpatrick


In 1949, seventy years ago, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex was first published, and became famous for the statement, ‘One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.’  The book came out in two volumes, Facts and Myths,  and Lived Experience. She made many provocative observations, particularly emphasizing that because of childbirth woman was defined by her biology in a way man never is. ‘What is woman?’ ‘Other.’

Continue reading Becoming Beauvoir: A life by Kate Kirkpatrick

A Change is Gonna Come


I was born by the river in a  little tent

Oh and just like the river  I’ve been running ev’r since

It’s been a long time coming, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will


There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long

But now I think I’m able to carry on

It’s been a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will


The wonderful voice and sentiments of Sam Cooke can be heard below. I always feel a surge of optimism when I hear this (but I have to disregard the horrible piercing chords at the opening of this recording, but then everything has its down side.)

Do you think we have a little reason for optimism at present? Is a change gonna come?

Gert’s Knee

As our readers know, we are two Gerts. We are the poet, yogini, classical scholar and intrepid bush-walker, and we are also the singing, piano playing, weight lifting lying about, Gert. We are both compulsive readers.

Today, while Gert 1 is in a remote part of Australia leaping from rock to rock, this Gert, Gert 2, is minding the store and taking the opportunity to tell at length about her recent knee operation.

Continue reading Gert’s Knee