Monday, August 20, 2012


Hard to believe but my baby turned 5 this month. I remember when I started blogging at sweetp-knits and she was just a few months old!

It's an exciting time - lots of new beginnings, for her and for me.

She is really enjoying being a big girl and going off to school in the mornings and coming home on the school bus. Long may the enthusiasm last !

She is a bit of a character and doesn't like anything pink or girlie. Many months ago she requested a yellow robot cake - so we themed her party around that. I found an awesome robot cake tutorial online - perfect for my cakedecorating challenged self. She loved it :)

 My days are very quiet now but I am finding my days go by very quickly. The girls finish school at 2.35 and it rolls around very quick.  I had all these (lofty) plans of what I would do with all my "free time" but I seem to be busier than ever!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Gift

The Gift.

The boy stands alone in the dark. Normally he would be afraid to be out here by himself, but tonight there’s no room for fear. Tonight, it’s going to happen. He knows it, feels it in his bones. It makes his hands shake to think about how much he wants to prove them wrong.

His eyes see nothing - just blackness all around. There are no stars. He can hear the sea rushing against the shore, far enough away that he can’t feel seaspray on the air; so close that he can hear nothing but the constant suck and crash of the waves. It helps him to block out the rest of the world, helps him to concentrate on his task. Nothing else matters now.

His hands are rigid with the strain, knuckles white and fingers curled up to the sky like claws. He can feel the energy gathering, growing, piling up on itself in the tips of his fingers. With every passing second it grows stronger, and from somewhere deep inside himself he wills it to stay alive, to take that final leap to spark and combust. The energy is building, hot and burning, but he ignores the pain, trying not to think about running to the sea to plunge his hands in the waves. He cries out as the heat intensifies again, a sudden burst so strong it must surely be making his blood boil.

Then, the flames appear. They dance and flicker on his fingertips, crackling against the cold night air. Furls of smoke rise from his hands, illuminated by the bright white fire that was once a part of him. The pain is gone now, replaced by a satisfying sense of power.

A triumphant grin breaks across his face.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book review: Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow/Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg.

Smilla Jaspersen thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love. When her six year old neighbour falls to his death she is convinced that his death was the result of foul play and not an accident as the police believe. As a Greenlander, Smilla has always felt at odds with her new home in Denmark, and she is lead back to the icy frontier of her roots as she begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the boy's death. 

This book is hard to categorize, and describe. At times it sweeps the reader away on achingly beautiful and poetic descriptions, there's a real sense of atmosphere - ice becomes a character of its own, and the cold seeps out of the pages. And then in the turn of the page there is a clunkiness to the prose that grates and made me feel like something had been lost in translation. (The book was originally written in Danish).

Smilla is at turns, provocative, with an inner strength that is admirable as she hunts for the truth, and then at other times her motivations are a mystery, or she utters something that seems just plain... odd. She portrays a sense of aloofness, a disconnection with the world around her which at the beginning was interesting, but by the end I felt like her voice had been lost a little. The plot too, at this point seemed to ramp up to 'the big reveal' only for it to feel forced and the ending rushed and incomplete.  I also remember feeling this way about the film adaptation that I watched many years ago - there is very little I remember about the film actually (except that Gabriel Byrne starred) but I do recall a sense of disbelief that the ending 'went there'.

That being said, the setting was incredibly fascinating. The 'sense of snow' was incredibly evocative and exotic. We, in New Zealand, have one word for snow - the Inuit people have so many - Smilla's gift for the ice was probably the thing that held the book together for me. I didn't know anything about Denmarks's relationship with Greenland and the issues globalisation has caused there - so that too was something I enjoyed learning more about.

I have a suspicion that this book will linger in my mind for a long time, but I don't think I will be rushing to reread. I gave it 3/5 stars. 

1001 books to read before you die #157