Saturday, 24 March 2012


The book I recently read "Sex Life" made me think of my own thought about other people's sexuality.

My parents are both open minded, and although we don't talk much about it I know they are both open-minded to any type of sexuality, and I'm happy because it means that as far as I can remember I have never been judgemental of other people's sexual choices (as long as they're not doing something bad like raping anyone etc.)

I was a young teenager when I saw a program about trans-gender people, I hadn't even heard about it before then. I found it interesting that someone could feel like they were trapped in the wrong body, and I felt sorry for them and hoped that they could get surgery if they wanted for free. I know that people can get sex-change surgery covered in England. I think they probably have to go to psychiatrists and stuff to make sure it's what they really want first, but I think it's nice that they can get help to make the change they feel they need.

Same sex marriage was legalised in Norway 1st of January 2009. I can remember reading and hearing a lot about how some people thought it would be okay for same sex marriage in registrars' offices and such, but they didn't want them to be allowed to get married in a church! And I remember thinking: Why? Why don't they already have the same rights as everyone else? Why can't they be allowed to marry wherever they want to? They are two people in love, just like everyone else!

People can't decide who they love, it just happens. And in a way I almost envy bisexuals, they have a lot more choice.
A narrow-minded straight person can only date a straight person from the opposite sex,
An open-minded straight person can date straight and bisexual people of the opposite sex,
But a bisexual person can date a straight and bisexual person of the opposite sex, and a homosexual and bisexual person of the same sex as long as they're open minded.

I don't like narrow-mindedness. People are allowed their own opinion of course, but how you express that opinion is what defines you.

Who are we to be judgemental just because someone makes different choices to us, and feel differently to us?

What are your opinions on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans-genders?

Sex Life

Sex Life
By: Dr. Pamela Stephenson-Connolly

Inner front cover: When did your sexual experiences start? Are you having more virtual sex than real sex? Can you have too much or not enough sex? What exactly is 'normal'?
Drawing on hundreds of intimate interviews with ordinary people of all ages, appetites and backgrounds, Pamela Stephenson-Connolly reveals how the ever-present sexual force in each of us evolves throughout our lives - from our first months in the womb to our nineties and beyond. She also shows that there is no such thing as 'normal' and that anything goes when it comes to sex as long as it's safe, sane and consentual. The result is an intimate portrait of our sexual selves that dispels the myths, guilt and mystery surrounding sex and our sexual urges.
Hugely informative, always entertaining and at times shocking, this is arguably one of the most enlightening books on sex ever published.

Very interesting book! I consider myself fairly open-minded, but as I was reading this I felt my mind opening even more. There were so many things in the book that I've never even though about, but that made perfect sense.

It's all about peoples' sex life. How every body is different. How it can be because of upbringing, religion, choice etc. And it was just very interesting and educational. Most people don't think of disabled people and elderly people as being sexual beings, which is a shame and this books writes a lot about it. It also covers the LGBT community, with testimonials, which I though was very interesting as it's strange for me to imagine a sexual relationship with a woman, so it was educational to read what goes through the minds of lesbian, gays, bisexuals and trans-genders and what difficulties they might face.

I would recommend this book to anyone over 13-14, and especially parents as it might help them communicate with their children about sex, a very important topic if you think about it.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Filled aubergine

Today for dinner I made filled aubergines with a side of roasted vegetables and haloumi cheese.

The haloumi cheese didn't melt when roasted, it tasted really nice, but it had a weird rubber-y consistency. I could probably fry it and have it instead of meat in a salad or something. The vegetables I roasted with it was beetroot, which had been boiled beforehand as well, sweet potato and courgette.

For the filled aubergine I scooped out the aubergine, which I had to do with a knife as it was to hard to do with a spoon. Then I finely chopped what I had scooped out. Fried some mince (Quorn, as that's vegetarian) and garlic, threw in the finely chopped aubergine and some finely chopped mushrooms, some tomato pesto, soy sauce, water and seasoned it with some salt and pepper. I let that boil until the water was gone, then I put that filling into the scooped aubergines and put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 210 degrees C.

I put the vegetables in at the same time to roast, but they took a bit longer, so I wish I had put them in earlier, but it turned out okay, even though the eggplant filling got slightly burnt, but not so much that affected the taste at all, so it was fine.

It was quite tasty actually, I could have probably put even more different things into the filling, but it was nice just like that as well. I love cooking with out recipes sometimes and just make things up.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Part of the What's in a name Challenge and BookCrossing.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
By: David Mitchell

Outer back cover: In your hands is a place like no other: a tiny, man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki, for two hundred years the sole gateway between Japan and the West. Here, in the dying days of the 18th century, a young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune. Instead he loses his heart.
Step onto the streets of Dejima and mingle with scheming traders, spies, interpreters, servants and concubines as tow cultures converge. In a tale of integrity and corruption, passion and power, the key is control - of riches and minds, and over death itself.

This book was rather boring. I really struggled at the start of it and just wanted to give up, there was just too much detail, I lost interest in what I was reading and had to reread a lot because my mind just started wandering.

I liked part 2 of the book, but that doesn't start until page 200 and lasts until page 365 of 546. That was the only part of the book I really enjoyed reading and the only pages where I had trouble putting the book down because it was so exciting. I would have loved a book just about the Mount Shiranui Shrine.

I guess someone that's interested in history would like this book as it is historic fiction.


I love salads. I will often eat them for dinner. Today I had one for my breakfast. As well as a leftover pizza slice, but the salad makes the fat in that disappear so it doesn't count.
In this salad I put lettuce, cucumber, carrot, apple, orange, pineapple, corn kernels and plum. So it was a mix between a normal salad and a fruit salad. It was very nice and I even have some left over that I can have for my lunch or dinner later.

One of the first times I made a chicken salad for my host family, and I put apples and oranges in it, they were really surprised because they wouldn't have thought of putting that in a salad, but they liked it.

Before I turned vegetarian I would put chicken in my dinner salads, but now I put an egg or two in instead.

A lot of people have a kind of set ingredient list of what can go into a salad, but really, anything can be put into a salad. Things I have put in one before include egg, cheese, capsicum, broccoli, grapes and cauliflower. Many of you will probably say I forgot about tomatoes, which most people put in a salad, but I don't like tomatoes so I will put it in for other people but not myself. The other day we also roasted some sweet potatoes, courgette and beetroot and put that in a salad, which was surprisingly nice. Any fruit or veggies that I have on hand and feel like eating I will throw into a salad.

What do you like in your salads?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A coconutty day!

I made Courgettes Pacifico for for the host family yesterday. The Mother liked it, but The Girl wasn't too keen.

Anyway, I accidentally opened a can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk at first, and when I opened the coconut milk the can was so big that there was quite a bit left. So I decided to make something with them today just to make sure they wouldn't just sit in the fridge until they went off.

I used most of the coconut cream for the dinner. I didn't actually use a recipe, just threw something together. I fried some vegetables, then added the coconut milk mixed with some sweet soy sauce, salt and pepper, and served it with rice. It was quite nice and surprisingly filling!
With the remaining coconut milk I made THESE muffins.

They were quite nice, but I thought they looked a bit boring, so I made the icing from THIS page to go with them. I didn't have any almond extract, and I used coconut cream instead of milk, the icing was okay but a bit too sweet. I sprinkled some shredded coconut and chopped almonds over the icing and we ate them with some fresh raspberry sauce. The icing really was WAY too sweet, but the raspberry sauce helped a lot to kind of tone the sweetness down. I think if I make these again I'll make a different icing.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House

Part of the What's in a Name challenge for 2012, and also a BookCrossing book.

The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House
By: Mary Chase

Outer back cover: Alone in the dark spooky house, Maureen stares in horror at the pictures on the wall.
Those wicked ladies - they've moved!
"People in pictures can't move," she tells herself wildly. Slowly she reaches out to touch a painted skirt - and her fingertips feel silk!

A book aimed at older children to scare them into being good. It was very short, I finished it in a couple of hours, but it was okay. I would have loved it when I was younger but now I felt it was a bit too childish in a way. It was still slightly scary though.

The Pumpkin Coach

The Pumpkin Coach
By: Susan Sallis

Outer back cover: For Alice Pettiford, living near Gloucester in the late 1940s, leaving school for a job as a railway secretary makes perfect sense. Most of her family have worked for the railway over the years, and her best friend Hester’s father would be in the same office.
What Alice does not expect is that she would fall in love with Joe Adair, a colleague, almost as soon as she meets him. But Joe has to go overseas on National Service, and in the meanwhile Hester’s brother, the enigmatic Valentine, finds that his fondness for Alice is deepening into something much stronger. When he and Alice discover an old railway coach, long abandoned, hidden in a clearing in the Forest of Dean, Alice realises that it has been a very special, magical place. What she doesn’t know is that the coach has played a secret part in the history of Joe’s family, and that Joe’s mother named it “the pumpkin coach”. Now her own destiny will also be shaped by this enchanted refuge.

Another book I only picked up because it was a book in English in the hostel book bin and didn’t think I would enjoy, but then did. It took me a few pages to get into the way Sallis writes, but when I did I could hardly put the book down!

The book just follows the lives of two families, how they interact and intertwine, and it was really interesting to see how they changed during the course of a few years. Alice is the main person, I’m not sure if I liked her; she wasn’t quite believable enough, which was strange as most of the other characters were. The story didn’t just focus on her though but on all the other characters of the families as well which was good as you get to know what happens from more than just one perspective.

There were quite a few surprises in the book, which was nice because I never knew what was going to happen next. The biggest one, I think, was what happened with Valentine. I don’t want to go into too much detail but I just want to say I didn’t think he would end up the way he did.

My favourite character was Reggie. This sounds strange if you’ve read the book. I didn’t like his personality but that was also why I liked him, because you always found out new things about him and he was just quite well written.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Golden Keel

The Golden Keel
By: Desmond Bagley

Outer back cover: The Lure of Gold...
Mussolini's missing treasure - three million pounds of it - lies hidden in Italy. A group of adventurers sets sail to track down the treasure and smuggle it out. But how?
There are many enemies along the route - murderous ex-partisans, ruthless titles beauties, gangster smugglers - all of whom will stop at nothing for a chance to hi-jack a fortune...

I din't think I would like this book, I only picked it up because it was one of the few books in English in the hostel book bin, but it was actually really good and I read the whole thing in one day. Partly because I didn't have anything else to do, but also because it was so exciting I had trouble putting it down.

The group of adventurers that first set out to get the treasure are all very different and it's interesting to see how they get along. My favourite character was probably Coertze, just trying to figure him out was hard, there seemed to be so many layers to him.

Inside the book I found a label saying it was registered at I think that's a great idea and I think I'll register and print out some of those labels when I'm back with the family, since BookCrossing includes the whole world and not just the UK like the Guardian Book swap. I have registered that I've read it on the website and I'll put it back in the hostel book bin so that someone else can read it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Going back early..?

The longer I stay in Brisbane the more I'm ready to go home and start a new adventure...

I think that after I've worked for the family again I need to go straight to another place. Maybe that will help. Maybe not. Maybe I should just hurry up and see the parts of Australia that I really want to see and then go back a few months before the plan...?

I love travelling, but I don't like this life. I don't like not having a home. It might be just restlessness. Being in one place too long without working. Knowing my money will run out.

Maybe I'll feel better when I start travelling again, but I don't know. I don't think so. But I will see everything that I planned to see before I leave!


And maybe Tasmania. Actually, yes! Tasmania! I will be kicking myself if I don't go there now that I'm actually on this side of the planet!

It would be nice to say that I did a whole year in Australia, but why kid myself that I want to be here when my head and my heart is somewhere else most of the time?

The plan was to stop in Kuala Lumpur and Rome on the way back to Norway. If I leave earlier I will have to see if I can change my tickets and bookings. It will be a shame to waste all that money. If I can't change the flights I will have to choose whether to waste the money and book new ones (if I can't get the money back if I cancel them), or just wait in a country I don't really want to be in any more...

I need to make a few calls...

I need to have a few conversations...

Beautiful creatures

Beautiful creatures
By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Outer back cover: In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets...
There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head... Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.
There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, of the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and, on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never saw it coming.

It was nice to get lost in a world where the natural and supernatural lives side-by-side again. The book is kind of "childish" and very suitable for young teens.

Something will happen to Lena on her sixteenth birthday and I enjoyed reading about how she and Ethan tries to find out more about it and do something about it and what they find out about the people in the village as they do it. I also think the book captured how it can be for an "outsider" to come into a small community, where everybody knows each other, quite well. And the small mindedness of some people in such communities.

My favourite part of the book was learning about Lena and Ethan's families, there are still a lot of things that's unanswered about Ethan's family though, but since the book is the first in a series I'm guessing you would find out more about his family in the next books.

My favourite character was the librarian, Marian, she was a very interesting lady.

Except for the last part of the ending where the authors left a kind of cliff-hanger, and the fact that there was a lot of unanswered things about Ethan's family, the book could have ended where it did without any more books. It was a good ending in a way. I don't know if I will read the other books in the series as I won't let myself buy any more books at the minute, but maybe I will in the future. Plainly because I want to learn more about Ethan's family.

A place to myself

I am looking forward to one day in the future having my own place, my own permanent place.

  • I look forward to having a bedroom to myself (and maybe a lucky guy)
  • I look forward to being able to buy loads of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks
  • I look forward to having a freezer
  • I look forward to having an oven
  • I look forward to having my own bathroom and not having to wait to use the toilet or shower
  • I look forward to having my own place to decorate
  • I look forward to having a wardrobe so I can put my clothes away instead of living out of a suitcase and to be able to buy as much clothes as I want to
  • I look forward to not having to pay every time I need to do laundry
  • I look forward to having a bookshelf and being able to keep the books I want to
  • I look forward to knowing that if my room/kitchen/bathroom/living room is messy there is only myself to blame
  • I look forward to not having to fight for a place in the kitchen or search for a place to put my stuff in the fridge
  • I look forward to not having to share a TV
  • I look forward to being able to do what I want and have lazy days when I feel like it without anybody other than myself judging me for it
  • I look forward to having my own new linen and crockery
  • I look forward to not having to fight for a plug to charge my phone
  • I look forward to not having to be quiet and leave the lights off in the evening and morning just because someone else is sleeping

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The White Tiger

The White Tiger
By: Aravind Adiga

Inner back cover: Meet Balram Halwai,
the “White Tiger”: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells his story…
Born in a village in the dark heart of India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coal and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape – of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose murky depths have seeped remains of a hundred generations.
His big chance comes when a rich village landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son, daughter-in-law, and their two Pomeranian dogs. From behind the wheel of a Honda, Balram first sees Delhi. The city is a revelation. Amid the cockroaches and call-centres, the 36,000,004 gods, the slums, the shopping malls and the crippling traffic jams, Balram’s re-education begins. Caught between his instinct to be a loyal son and servant, and his desire to better himself, he learns a new morality at the heart of a new India. As the other servants flick through the pages of Murder Weekly, Balram begins to see how the Tiger might escape his cage. For Surely any successful man must spill a little blood on his way to the top?
The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.

Very good book. It was really interesting to kind of learn about India and how things are there from someone who comes from the “darkness”. I wonder if India really is like that, and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if it is, which is really sad when you think about it. The book has made me want to see India with my own eyes even more, but it has also made me less willing to go on the roads there. I might have to rethink my plans of going on a bus-tour of India…

I like how the book is written in letter-form from Balram to the Premier of China, but I wish it would have said something about how the Premier reacted to Balram’s life story.

Balram has led a very interesting life. He does everything he can to get what he wants and to get higher up in life. I really enjoyed reading about how his family was and how he looked at the rich people and what he felt he needed to be happy in life.

The book is sad, funny and very interesting. It’s probably a bit too “dark” for children, but I think everybody else should read this book.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ladies Night - Oh what a night!

Some friends and I went on a ladies night last night at North Leagues and Service Club in Kallangur outside Brisbane (Their cheesy garlic bread is to die for!). The Sydney Hotshots were preforming. For those of you who don't know who that is (like me before I got my invitation to the girls night), they're male dancers... That just happen to take their clothes off...

I have never been to a show with male strippers before, or female strippers for that matter. It wasn't actually that good. I found it mostly awkward, but maybe that was because I didn't drink much as I haven't been feeling well for a few days. Some ladies in the audience got pulled up on stage and got to kind of dance with the men or help them take their clothes off. I'm sure glad I wasn't among those ladies. Don't get me wrong it was a fun night and a good laugh and it was nice to do something other than just going for dinner or to the pub for a drink or whatever. The guys weren't that great though to be honest. Nice bodies, but I think at least 2 of them (there was only 4) were new and the times they preformed together they kept looking at the other guys for what to do. The Mother, which was one of the ladies I went with said that she'd seen them before when they were much better.

Part of me would like to go see a show like that again, when I've had a bit more to drink and when the show is hopefully better, just to see what's that like, but another part of me doesn't really want to as I feel uncomfortable seeing people take their clothes off. And yet another reason I'm not sure I want to see another one: the guys only stripped down to a thong so you never saw their gear, I don't really get the point as I can just go to a beach or whatever to see that.

But it was a good laugh. Until one of the girls passed out sick in the ladies room. She was okay, she had someone to drive her home. I don't get the point of drinking that much though. Drinking so much that you're sick when you get home, fair enough, but being sick while you're still out? You're just ruining the night, not just for other but for yourself as well. I don't understand teenagers who judge the greatness of the night out by how sick they were.

Another one of the girls was sick in the car on the way home... Yuck! She didn't even say anything. Luckily the girl that was driving had noticed that she didn't look very well and opened the window. Then one of the other girls asked if she was feeling sick and she said yes, but then she was sick straight away before the driver could pull over. Some of it got inside the car.. Eurgh! TM was kind enough to deal with it and clean it up. Mostly because the rest of us is no go dealing with spew. The girls that threw up did give the girl driving some money though as she felt really bad about it. What I don't understand though is why she didn't shout out for the driver to pull over when she felt she was going to be sick!? It might be embarrassing, but as she probably now knows it's even more embarrassing to be sick in someone's car.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Tattoo #2

Well as I said in one of my Melbourne posts I got a tattoo while I was there. I got it at Fox Body Art. Here is a picture of the original. I did ask the tattoo artist to cut off the top half of that really long swirly thing, and then he drew a new one that would look better on my hip, which I agreed on the design on.

I had put some numbing cream on before I went to get the tattoo. Like on my first tattoo, since the design changed, part of it was outside the area with the numbing gel. That hurt! I’m glad I had numbing gel on at least part of the area, I couldn’t feel a thing there, it actually tickled a bit. Anyway. I was lifting my head occasionally and looking at what the tattoo was looking like, one of those times I noticed he was making a mistake; he was filling in the swirly bits.
Me: Are you filling it in?
Tattoo Artist: Yes.
Me: …. It wasn’t supposed to be.
TA: It was on the original.
Me: No it wasn’t, it was just outlined and the heart was filled in except for the bottom swirl.

The tattoo artist did say he was sorry and asked if I wanted him to only outline the heart, but I told him to just fill it in, so that it would match the rest. I wasn’t too happy that he filled it in, I had actually thought that I should say when I was getting it to not fill it in, but I totally forgot on the day. And also I figured he would follow the original picture. I didn’t want it filled in because that way it’s a lot “lighter”, it’s not as “heavy” as when it’s full colour. But at least it wasn’t a major mistake, and it still looks good. So I can live with it.
 (The tattoo is not getting smaller at the top by the way, it was just a bit hard to take a picture of my own hip... )

I had paid $55 in deposit, which went towards the tattoo. When I was going to pay it was another $70!! It’s so expensive! I can’t believe it! The one I got in England was only £30! I kind of wish I had pointed out he made a mistake on something that is going to be on my body permanently and see if I could pay less because of it, and I probably should have, but I just wanted to get back to the hostel and lie down for a bit. It was really weird to walk right after I got it since it’s on my hip I could feel it every time I moved my feet.

Now for the meaning of it. It’s a heart, so you can probably guess it has something to do with love. And you’re right. It’s to remind me to not be scared to love, to take chances. Things may not work out, and I might get upset, but if I don’t take a chance then nothing will ever happen. And no, it’s not got anything to do with The Paramedic, I would not get a permanent mark on my body because of ONE guy. He just fits into the reason, but so will any person that I have a relationship with.

Viaduct Child

Viaduct Child
By: Patrick Wood

Outer back cover: The orphaned Dushma lives in the arch of a railway viaduct with her unsympathetic Aunt Megan. Officially a non-person, by law she should be in the workhouse. Instead she spends her time exploring the tangle of streets beneath the viaduct and the outlandish, labyrinthine St Gotha's Cathedral, occasionally accompanied by the glamorous truant and shoplifter Alison Catfinger.
When police raid her home, Dushma flees. Rescued by a small band of fellow outcasts, she finds refuge in the forgotten passageways of the city's underground railway. But hardly has she begun to discover the truth about her new companions that she is once again running for her life. And this time she's not only threatened by the sadistic Detective Inspector Rapplemann, but also the elidra, the lethal, unpredictable electric dragons that guard the tunnels...

A kind of believable future world. Some of the things in the book seem a bit barbaric, but some things actually seem like a good idea. The book is set in Britain and unless you're "registered" there are things you can't do. You're automatically registered if you're born to parent who are allowed to have you. If you do something wrong it's 3 strikes and you don't have your registration any more. You can't travel or get a normal job unless you're registered. If you're not registered you end up in the workhouse and you're not allowed to have kids.

The story was quite exciting. To read about how Dushma was trying to stay away from the police and how she got on with the band of outcast boys who saved her. I would have liked to learn more about the workhouse and what goes on there and also what happens to Dushma. I'm kind of hoping for a book number 2.

Dushma has a kind of issue with electricity, I don't want to go into too much detail, but I didn't really think it had too much influence over the story and I could have done without it. Part of it was okay but Wood took it a bit too far and it just made it unbelievable, I think in a way the story would have been better without it. But other than that it was a good and exciting book.

The highest tide

The highest tide
Jim Lynch

Outer back cover: When thirteen-year-old Miles O’Malley discovers a rare sea creature one unforgettable night, he unwittingly becomes a local celebrity and is hounded by TV crews urging him to explain the phenomenon. But Miles is just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and struggling to keep his world in tact.

The beginning of this book was really boring I though. There was too much detail for me to think it was interesting. It was also a bit hard because although I think sea life is interesting I don’t know a lot of the names for stuff, especially in English. I googled some things but there was just so much that I gave up in the end and just focused on the story.

The book got a bit more interesting after a few chapters. The whole sea life side of the book was interesting, and the next time I’m on a beach I will probably stop and look a lot more because of this book, but what happened with the sea life was a bit over-the-top to be believable. My favourite parts of the book were the parts with Miles best friend, an old lady named Florence with a degenerative disease; she was a very interesting old lady.

I think maybe this would be a good book for older children and young teenagers that are already interested in sea-life, just so they can read more about it but in a story rather than a textbook.


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