A Lingering Look at Windows- Week 47

IMG_3632 (Small)A lingering Look at Windows in Trondheim, Norway

Join others here

Windows to look through when Pondering About Something

 

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30 Day Book Challenge – Author I wish people would read more.

DAY 17. -

Elsebeth Egholm  An Author I wish people would read more.

“Elspeth who?” I hear the Australians, who read my blog, say with a rising inflection!!!  For this author is almost unknown in that part of the world.  Hailing from Denmark, she has only had two of her six novels, translated to English, but given the rise in popularity of Scandinavian fiction in this country of late, and how good the books are, I am a little surprised.

In fact, the books are so good, she has, to my mind, toppled the great Nesbø of his pedestal! [Pondering the ensuing riot in the comments section, right now!]

Egholm, (pronounced “E” holm),  is a Danish born journalist who writes a series based on investigative journalist: Dicte Svendsen, who lives in the University town of Århus, in Denmark. There are I believe, plans for three films/mini-series based on the novels. Please correct me if anyone has more accurate information.

Elsebeth claims to have been inspired by Nesbø and Liza Marklund, another favourite author of mine, from Sweden, who also has a journalist heroine, ( although somewhat atypical). I also like that Egholm’s protagonist has come from a dysfunctional and rather unique background, that of being raised in a religious cult, and fell pregnant at 16.

In Egholm’s book Next of Kin, the author chillingly foresaw the videoing of the Muslim be-headings that were published on the net so very recently, except in the book’s case: a video CD was sent to Dicte’s newspaper, and not the net as a messenger. This story unearths some unpalatable moments from Dicte’s past and it is a story written at the time of the Iraq war and the pervading terrorism phase of our history, – so its very topical.

Next of Kin and the Later novel, which I am yet to read: Life and Limb, published 2011 and 2012 respectively. Take a look.

Next:

DAY 18. – A book you wish you could live in.
DAY 19. - A favourite author.
DAY 20. - Favorite childhood book.

Something to Ponder About

 

 

 

 

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30 Day Book Challenge – Most thought-provoking book.

DAY 16 -

Endearing Love by Ian McEwan

This story is a surprising book about obsessional love and the actual psychiatric condition that underpinned the story added realism to the plotlines. It really make me think a lot about the mechanisms in the brain that trigger mental illness and those feelings and action that may not yet be classified as such, but have this same basis.

In this thought – provoking book, I found myself, as reader, really wanting the victim to mount an assertive response and understand he was contributing to the situation. I pondered how much this happened in reality. (After all, celebrities have, at times, contributed to their own stalking issues. For example: Agnetha Falskog from ABBA.

I was led to questioned his own sanity at one stage in the story as he delves into the criminal underworld for solutions to his problem. Had he really gone off the rails? Buckled under the constant pressure and stress?

This is a book that won’t grab your immediate attention, but once it has you in its grip, it won’t let go. I still think about some of the things that were said and discussed as well as the events that occurred in this book.

Something I will continue to ponder about.

Day 17 – An Author I wish People Would Read More

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Phoneography and Non SLR Digital Photo Challenge – Black and White (Dalen)

The Nexus 4 is still pumping out some good quality photos – this one is just sharpened a little and converted to Monochrome: via Picasa.

I chose this photo due to  the contrast in the timber supports and posts and the trees, as well as the shadows on the verandah.

black and whitenov18 phone

Daily Dalen – Norway

She is definitely pondering something

Join in with Lens and Pens Weekly Phoneography challenges

 

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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: (63)

Weekly Pet Challenge from Michelle

The teen has been playing around with photo effects and editing…..

Dog photo

What my dog constantly thinks

What does your dog think about? Something for our four legged friends to contemplate/

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Monday Mystery photo – Where in the World are We? (Last week: Changi)

Each Monday I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object on my blog.

YouMonday Mystery can leave a comment if you think you know where this week’s mystery photo was taken. If you guess correctly, I will credit you the following week and post a link to your site/blog.

 

Where in the World are We Today?

Mondaymysterynov17

Last week we  were transiting through Singapore’s fabulous Changi airport!

Ted had a good guess saying Schiphol, so maybe someone can let me know if they have sunflowers too?

wpid-wp-1415576388064.jpeg

This Sunflower garden is located in Terminal 2 and is a delight to fill in time between flights.

Something to Ponder about between Flights at Changi

 

 

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30 Day Book Challenge – A Book Character Who You Can Relate to the Most.

DAY 15. - A character who you can relate to the most.

The Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks

I read a lot of thrillers/mystery fiction so I can’t say I relate to the victims, in those stories, but Anna in Geraldine Brook’s historical fiction novel: The Year of Wonders, grabbed my attention, for she is an extraordinary person.

Anna is a housemaid, who is in service to the village pastor in 17th century England. An infected bolt of cloth brings the plague to the village in 1664, and decimates the population. There are many important themes addressed in this book, as the Village Rector spearheads a campaign to quarantine the village, in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease, albeit via religious motives.

Anna, a servant of low class, shows intelligence, strength and resourcefulness in facing the catastrophe decimating her village. As the disease progresses, she does not succumb, physically or emotionally, but rather blossoms into a leader and heroine.  She exhibits a keenness to learn, and it is her eagerness to attain knowledge that not only landed her the initial job with the Rector, but also facilitates her transition to independent survivor and healer in the novel. Those in authority whom she once feared, and kowtowed to,  she feared no more.

The overriding message for me  in this book is “Knowledge is empowerment” and it is for this reason I identified and liked the character of Anna.  Knowledge and the attainment of knowledge, through education or informal learning, is of fundamental significance in improving the status of women in the world, especially so, in developing countries.  And so it was for Anna.

I also felt this novel was also critical, well, perhaps suspicious, of the intentions of religion and Anna was someone that kept her options open, as her knowledge developed. “Perhaps the Plague was neither of God nor the Devil, but simply a thing in Nature … We could simply work upon it … knowing that when we found the tools and the method and the resolve, we would free ourselves …”

Anna personified the ideal that kindness will be rewarded intrinsically or extrinsically. As one reviewer puts  it,

“The image of freedom, independence and escape from the past, from death and from convention is realized in a sequence of symbolic potency shortly after the plague fades away, when Anna, with no permission, takes charge of Mompellion’s great stallion, Anteros: “The wind rushed by, blowing off my cap and freeing my hair so that it blew out like a banner … We live, we live, we live, said the hoof-beats, and the drumming of my pulse answered them. I was alive, and I was young, and I would go on until I found some reason for it.”    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/neither-of-god-nor-the-devil-20130719-2q8du.html#ixzz3JHvKijXo

The novel is littered with old French and Middle English terms and this added to the book’s feel and authenticity. An interesting epilogue to the book is that the real Rector in the village of ‘Eyam’ sent his family away prior to quarantining the village, but his wife died anyway.

DAY 16. - Most thought-provoking book.

Something to Ponder About

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Why Do Some Kids Throw / Chew Toys or Over – Eat?

Early development and exploration is all about putting items into the mouth in order to explore the world. Some kids will want to eat everything in sight, despite being well fed with nutritionally sound meals. Why is this?

Having something in our mouth is a very primitive, calming tool. In utero, babies often suck their thumb, and after birth soothe themselves by being bottle or breast fed. But some have a greater need for sucking, mouthing objects, chewing or eating everything in reach. This may be a dummy or bottle teat, a toy or spoon, their own clothes (shirt collars and ribbons/ties are often chewed), and in older children, it might be a pen, or gum.

Chewing is really a way for infants and children to self-soothe, but also a way for them to seek out additional opportunities to get oral information about their environment. Some children have a stronger than average sensory need for this kind of feedback and it is these children who might continue to exhibit chewing,  in an attempt to regulate their sensory systems.

Ferry ride from Hell..no Wellington....to serenity of Queen Charlotte Sound.

Chewing on items also provides a lot of deep pressure and ‘proprioception’ * (sense of body position in space), especially to the jaw and facial muscles. Some children will chew in order to gain this understanding of their jaw’s positions in space, particularly if they don’t get this feedback easily through eating, or if they are not able to tolerate solid food which requires chewing, (due to age or health status). In addition, children who suffer anxiety, and some of those on the autistic spectrum might display a greater need for feedback of oral sensory information than most of the population and in doing so are attempting to regulate their sensory systems or self-soothe.

Furthermore, I have noticed some children can become a bit ‘obsessed’ with food, and tend to over-eat despite not being hungry, looking for anything to eat at all hours of the day. Food seems to occupy their every waking thoughts. They are frequently overweight.  Is it possible these children are also seeking extra sensory input through eating?

  • Proprioception: body’s position in space as well as the force we are exerting or the speed of a movement. A child that seeks out body awareness information might pat animals with too much force, frequently bump or push other children, or frequently break things by pressing or pushing too hard on them.

What can be done?

Excess chewing/eating:

If Kids are chewing on a spoon or constantly eating – an alternative might be to replace the object with crushed ice, cubes of ice, or very crunchy, chewy foods, depending on the age and health status of the child.

Throwing items (Casting):

As well as pushing, pulling and squeezing items, throwing items helps provide the muscles and joints with additional body awareness information and proprioceptive input. Throwing toys may give a child an increase in the amount of  ‘body awareness’ information through his arms and shoulders, much in the same way other children get this information from running or jumping. If they are not able to run or jump, they might try to attain it through other means. This has implications for the mainstream behavioral management for these children.

Proprioception (and balance) can be increased by:

Weighted products – which may assist in providing additional information to the muscles and joints, providing extra body awareness information.

(Lap buddies, weighted blankets, weighted toys.  – but never more than 10 % of body weight)

Vibrating items – this provides input to the muscles – these are often used in therapy or special needs settings

Swimming

A wobble board

A Lycra suit or wrap gives significant sensory input due to its stretch properties

Lots of cuddles, squeezes and hugs – a great way for parents to help (and you can never overdose on hugs).

Children such as these are not just being “naughty.”

Something to Ponder About

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Travel theme: Belonging

 Tvor’s Travels posted about ‘belonging’, in response to Ailsa’s travel prompt

You can belong to a group of people, or a family or each other. You can have possessions that belong to you. Things can belong together (One of these things is not like the others!)  and some things go together like cookies and milk or ice cream and summer!

How does it relate to travel? You can feel an affinity for a place, like you belong there or maybe you lived there in a former life.  It may be that you associate something iconic….

A sense of belonging is one of the most important things in life, and without it, we can feel pain, disorientation, loss, bewilderment, and isolation.

With these things in mind, I found a sense of unexpected belonging in my affinity for my ancestral homelands, in my travel experiences in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and my final pic is just for fun!!

clasonsborg.jpg

My ancestral home – Clasonsborg, Denmark

Special places I feel a sense of belonging:

and I feel a sense of belonging to these people:

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and finally, a different kind of belonging!! (Australiana)

IMG_20140921_095323Something to Ponder About

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Eight Myths That Encourage Women to Stay in an Abusive Relationship

Forestwoodfolkart:

I encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to consider the content on this blog post and other posts. It might save a lot of heartache, wasted years and ultimately, your life. An important issue to ponder about.

Originally posted on betternotbroken:

If you are leaving an abusive relationship you are not only up against someone you loved, you are up against society. It is difficult for others to validate your pain and struggle when they have the same biases that prevent them from knowing abuse when they see it or feel it.

In the same magazine where one writer documents the turmoil of women on the brink and the horror of having a stalker, women receive encouragement to find a Christian Grey, an archetype of a cobra abuser, a truly odious, shallow, man with a penchant for tedious narcissistic melodrama written as a hero-protector and hailed as a paradigm for men to follow to get sex, power and women.

As I sat in my former home in one of the world’s most prestigious cities and attempted to recover from the trauma of an abusive fifteen year relationship and to process what had happened to…

View original 1,063 more words

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Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday Nov16

Something to Ponder About

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30 Day Book Challenge – A Book that Made You Cry

Day 14 – A Book that Made You Cry

The Potato Factory – Bryce Courtenay

Cry? How about bawl my eyes out? Because that is what I did when I read this book released in 1995. And I really can’t remember much about why?  It was some years back and I know that it affected me to the point where I would recall it for days, nay, weeks later, thinking, “It is just not FAIR” – such was the effect of Bryce Courtenay’s writing.

Perhaps it is the story of a convict consigned to the colonies, or that of a female trying to make her way, or a female with a gift for mathematics. Such an  unlikely character, I think. There has been some criticism of this novel being anti-semitic, and Bryce Courtenay, despite living most of his adult life in Australia, did grow up in Apartheid South Africa, however, I did not notice any anti-jewish overtones in the book.

This is apparently the first of three books in a series, but the pervasive and sad thoughts that lingered with this book meant that I have not ever felt emotionally strong enough to read them.

As I can’t remember too much about the content of the book, other than the basic plot line of common thief makes good – an Australian version of Oliver Twist), I will also nominate another book: Elisabeth’s Daughter by Marianne Fredriksson, an author who I mentioned previously in this challenge. Elisabeth’s Daughter is a full on tear-jerker about a relationship between a damaged mother, and her adult daughter and how personalities can sometimes be shaped by our past experiences. A young girl from a dysfunctional family,  who is frightened of commitment in relationships, falls pregnant and decides to keep the baby. Her partner, however, believes he is being deliberately trapped by her and resorts to violence against her, as his communication device. Memories of her own childhood and regular abuse of her mother come flooding back to Katrina, and confused, she goes to her Mother to talk things through.

The Author wonders whether violence can be inherited by the Victim as well as the Perpetrator and explores the very deep bonds that occur between mother and daughter.

Keep your Kleenex handy!

DAY 15. - A character who you can relate to the most.
DAY 16. - Most thought-provoking book.
DAY 17. - Author I wish people would read more.
DAY 18. – A book you wish you could live in.
DAY 19. - A favourite author.
DAY 20. - Favorite childhood book.
DAY 21. – Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t
actually finished).
DAY 22. - Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually
enjoyed otherwise.
DAY 23. - Best book you’ve read in the last 12 months.
DAY 24. – Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like/liked.
DAY 25. - The most surprising plot twist or ending.
DAY 26. – Book that makes you laugh out loud.
DAY 27. - Book that has been on your “to read” list the longest.
DAY 28. - Favorite quote from a book.
DAY 29. - A book you hated.
DAY 30. - Book you couldn’t put down.

Something to Ponder About

Other challengers:

http://keatspeare.wordpress.com/

 

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Daily Post Photography Challenge – Achievement (Springbrook Waterfall)

The Gold Coast Hinterland isn’t that far away from metropolis, but rather is a area frequented by tourists who need a break from the hype of the beaches, shopping, surf and casino lifestyle that is the Gold Coast. So it was a complete surprise to me that we might get lost on a bush-walk with marked trails, but the Australia bush can be confusing, and we completed a 11 km trek instead of a 2 km stroll, all with an 8 year old tagging along!

Springbrook

We must have missed the sign pointing the way out, so we walked and walked, and, walked. We had to carry the 8 year old along the final 500 metres, when cajoling her with sweets and stopping by frequent rests and water breaks failed to work.

Springbrook2

It wasn’t all torture, mind you, as you can see there are loads of things to see along the way, rock tunnels, birds and lizards, and it was refreshing to walk behind twin waterfalls and feel the spray on one’s face.

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Lovely reward of a gorgeous view and a pretty rock pool, when we finally reached civilization again. An Achievement! More so, for the 8 year old.

springbrook

 Daily Post

Something to Ponder About

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30 Day Book Challenge – A Book that Disappointed You

Day 13 -  The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

I can hear the howls of protests now: that I dare speak of Annie Proulx’s books in these terms! But, it’s true. I WAS sadly disappointed with this book! After all the Pulitzer-prize -winning hype and hearing the author speak, not only in an interview about the book, but also of her insistence at hand-writing all her manuscripts to avoid a certain writing style she felt came with writing on a computer keyboard, my expectations were high for The Shipping News. Maybe a little too high?

Firstly, there was nothing much to love about ‘Quoyle’s character; well, there’s the fundamental problem! If you don’t like the protagonist, things aren’t going to go well with the book, generally speaking.

Quoyle’s character is that of a

…defeated man, He knows the taste of brack and seaweed.” Even his name, “Quoyle,” is a mariner’s term for a coil of deck rope to “be walked on.” People walk all over Quoyle, a clumsy man whose doughy and weak-chinned face is “camouflaged torment with smiles and silences.”says one Goodreads review.

And then, I didn’t like the plot, either. Boom! Another death knell in the coffin for the Shipping News, at least in my eyes. Seemingly predictable, the storyline ensured the ‘bored and skipping pages look’ started to appear in me, during my reading of the Shipping News.

So, if it was this bad, was there anything I did like?

The setting was different and it really made me want to visit Newfoundland. I was also intrigued by the eccentric and wiry characters in the Killick Claw community. I imagined them to possess a totally different persona from other parts of America, but I could be way off in my estimation there, as American anthropology is not my strong point. I do remember Newfoundland was a Viking area long before Columbus sailed in to America, wasn’t it? So there’s one point, at least in the book’s favour.

Furthermore, I liked the almost Dickensian names, the rich vocabulary, the scenic imagery and poetic adjectives often inherent in Proulx’s writing such as:

“Waves bursting. Exploding Water. Silence and the gnawing sea”… “and the woman with arctic eyes”. (Names like: Petal Bear, Wavey Prouse, Bunny and Sunshine, etc)

And finally, I loved the sailor’s knot depicted at the start of each chapter. That was a cute and unique addition to the book.

But overall…. if the plot fails, the book fails, and it fell ever so quickly and resoundingly on the ‘NRAP” - ‘Never read again pile’

My apologies to Proulx fans.

Something to Ponder About

DAY 14. -  Book that made you cry

 

 

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30 Day Book Challenge – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t.

DAY 12. – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

After selling more than 90 million copies and combining the genres of detective, thriller and conspiracy fiction, I must be the only person who has NOT read this book in the western reading world.

Being a fan of thriller and detective novels, I have always been intrigued, but there has been so much talk and media about this novel, that it never seemed a priority to buy it. (no pun intended).

I once read an account of the Historical figure of Jesus Christ, as opposed to the legendary or spiritual), and I was initially hoping this book would be of the same ilk, but it appears to be completely fictional or so it’s critics claim.

Did Jesus in fact, marry or have an intimate relationship with Mary Magdalene? Are these Kings really descended from Jesus? Even if Jesus died without a progeny, someone must be related to him, distant. I seem to be related to half of Denmark, from my Danish genealogical research going back 500 years.

Getting back to the book itself, one day I will have to obtain a copy, but because of the media hype, it will most certainly come from a library, and not a book shop!

Something to Ponder About

Still to come:

DAY 13. - A book that disappointed you.
DAY 14. -  Book that made you cry.
DAY 15. - A character who you can relate to the most.
DAY 16. - Most thought-provoking book.
DAY 17. - Author I wish people would read more.

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