Book Review: Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

I meant to post this yesterday, but best laid plans and all that. We’re currently down the country, living the dream… sea, sand & finally some rain! BLURB: A magnificent epic set against a history of seven thousand years of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men – of strange lands and events – of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled! THE BELGARIAD

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved – but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while… THUS BEGINS BOOK ONE OF THE BELGARIAD’

MY THOUGHTS: I love this book. Totally adore it. It was the first title I brought with my own money, earned from a paper round (which I hated, BTW). It’s classic high fantasy, good vs evil, with a few twists & turns along the way. Recently I listened to it on Audible, with the gorgeous tones of Cameron B (think Sean Connery *sigh*). Yes, it has gaps and there is a bit of patriarchal character development, but that reflects the period of writing. After all, not many people complain about Tolkien’s writing!

WIP Wednesday #262

Hello everyone! Can you believe it? I’m not only posting on a Wednesday, but I am living up to the “scrap” part of my name. Hallelujah for a creative pulse!I mapped out a very simple template in my notebook and when push came to shove, actually used it. And used part of my growing Ali Edwards stash. AND pushed past that “it has to be perfect” mantra that I so often am crippled by. Super happy that I got our short Sydney trip journalled.Yes! We went to Sydney. Just Si and I, and our plans to catch up with some friends and lots of shopping and exploring. It was a much needed break from reality and allowed us to refresh from day-to-day stress and come back to the family a little bit happier. Well, I am… we crammed a lot of shopping in, with two Costco visits (cannot wait until it opens here in Auckland! My fav purchase is the Ott Lite now gracing my stitching table), Sydney Tools (even I could have cut loose with their Makita selection, let alone other stuff), Target (I like that I can buy some clothes for work that no-one else will be wearing) and other places, but the best customer service came from Peter Wynn’s Sports Score in the main street of Parramatta. We’d been there before, but this time we got talking (eep) and got a perfect something for each of the boys. On Saturday Anne (feather stitching) took me to her stitch group meeting out in Bligh Park & I enjoyed the fellowship & meeting Judy in person. It was a hysterical ride home (until we hit, literally, Judy’s drive).Stitching wise I have done the bare minimum. Fairy Tales got a few strands in while we were away (airplane cattle class is not conducive to stitching) and there’s been so much going on at home/work. I may be behind the scenes in the retail group that I work for, but Labour Weekend thru to New Years is a long silly season.Last week was Year 7 Week 4 and about the horcruxes. Because there were 3 people to share the load of the horcrux, we had to stitch 100 on each of 3 WIPs – so Shakespeare’s Fairies, Home of a Needleworker and the Mill Hill Celestial sleighs each got 100. Then for a bonus 1 point per 100, we could chose one of those WIPs and keep going – I chose to forgo extra points and complete the Celestial Sleighs. So that’s two more ornies finished before Christmas!This week is W5 and about Travel. We have to do 100 on 4 tasks and I’ve managed to get Fairy Idyll to fit 3 of those and knocked off 150 stitches last night. My other piece has to match a Freshwater Plimpy (don’t ask) so I’ll start to bead my Mermaid of Atlantis.Anyway, must go back to work mode now. Have a great week!

WIP Wednesday #261

Hello everyone! I am well overdue posting an update & apologies if you missed me! My focus was mostly on home life, as we had our family Christmas a week last Sunday and now, in a really bad way, I feel that I have reached the end of my purpose in a lot of ways. I am not interested in much, and feel in limbo. I’m hoping that after we get some time away to reset and recharge this weekend, I can re-spark and sort my sh*t out.Stitching wise I am not quite keeping up with the weekly homework. I did 4/5 tasks in the first week, three in the second, and five in the third. I have got nearly 300 in on this week’s task, which is only 500 – very small compared to some weeks of 1200+. Nothing on the extra credit side, altho I did FFO two ornaments (one for Mum, one for Sharon). I have brought more charts (go on, pretend you’re surprised!) and made some plans for next year.Work-wise there is a lot going on, with a co-worker having been away for a month. Arg! Plus it’s coming up into the silly season (at least I can be smug that I have done my Christmas shopping) so that’s an extra layer. I admit I messaged T to make sure he was getting on a plane & coming back! I now have some assistance too, thank you Lord, and I’ve managed to cut most of the loose ends up there. This is already making me feel better.

#taskersontour Whitianga Edition

Hello everyone! As promised, here’s a bit about a recent weekend getaway.

Whitianga is a coastal town about 3hours drive from home (or four, if you leave later than expected on a Friday afternoon, doh). It’s reasonably quiet and peaceful for most of the year then comes alive for the summer months, especially during Beach Hop with all the classic cars & music. For this trip we deliberately chose a quiet period, so we could have a look around the area without the hordes.

We rented a comfortable modern house in the centre of the residential district – a few minutes’ drive to the beach and supermarket, but within walking distance of several good restaurants and cafes. The area the town is on is flat, with wide streets and footpaths – really safe for cycling or pedestrians. Only Mase came with us this time, which is very odd, but it was argument free! He enjoyed being the only, being spoilt and having all the attention. This trip marked his first visit to a pub and he’s still in awe that he was allowed inside – it was lunchtime, kid! He was super polite to the staff in the hope he didn’t get kicked out, which made them laugh.

On Saturday we did the Cathedral Cove walk. This local landmark is in a few movies that you might have seen – it’s the beach where the children land in the Narnia series, below the cliffs of Car Paravel (YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUlVUvffXwk) and it’s every bit as gorgeous on an overcast day as it is on the big screen (or little, if you’re on your mobile). Of course we met people we know – the Si curse – but on the whole we got to enjoy the sound of the sea, birds and the wind in the trees as we walked. Mase mocked us for being slow both ways (yes, I am massively unfit) but spoiler alert, it wasn’t me asleep in the back seat on the way back to Whitianga!

There’s going to be a soldier’s memorial arbour there too – anyone can “buy” a tree that will be planted and cared for by the trust.

We drove home on Sunday trying to beat the incoming storm – and got home in time to unpack then listen to the hail on the roof. Ah, bliss.

WIP (Wednesday was a migraine) #252

HI everyone. Hope you’ve had a good week, especially if it’s coming up to your summer. I’m very very jealous! I’m not a fan of winter, and the current family focus (read: everybody but me) of going playing in the snow is making me cold even before we get there. Yay for Icebreaker merino socks.Last week’s #magicalstitches homework was around 12 Grimmauld Place. We could either work on WIP #12 or a combo of one & two – and as #12 is Guardian by Teresa Wentzler, lots of confetti and blends and changes, and I knew I was going to be time poor, I chose the combo. WIP #1 on my list is Fairy Idyll, which I already had out from starting the monthly Extra Credits, and the bonus is it’s fewer colours & some blocks.WIP #2 is, as Murphy could have predicted, my other TW, Tapestry Cat. Thankfully there is still some of the cat to stitch, so it’s sort of blockish. Sort of. Just as well I make working copies, as this is one I have to check constantly to make sure I am actually in the right spot.It was super easy to knock out the Fairy Idyll portion, but not so much with TC. I didn’t take him on the four-day work/play trip, opting for Mermaid of Atlantis (my one-a-day choice) so by the time we left, I had only about 50 stitches in and was thinking I’d be opting out of those points.

The weather turned to custard however on Sunday, so we left half-a-day early & arrived at home before the thunder started – phew! As I worked away on unpacking, cleaning (why oh why did we trust the Screaming Teen at home by himself?!) & stitching, the gutters overflowed and the other two snuggled into their bedrooms & enjoyed some quiet time. Without the “muuuum! Z did XYZ” and “muuuuuuuuum! M did ABC!” moments that graced the last few days, I got heaps done. And hallelujah, filled in enough gaps on TC to hit 536 stitches. Woot!This current week is all about our (not) favourite professor, Umbridge. Pink & kittens & tea & fluffy stuff. It’s been interesting trying to find WIPs to match the prompts.

WIP Wednesday #251 & bonus book mini-review

Morning everyone! This time last week I was absorbing the fantastic Becoming by Michelle Obama (audible version, which has the bonus of being in her voice and so with her intonations and emphasis). It was great, for work and playtime and transit time. The only obvious problem is of course the book hangover that results from a great read. Regardless of your colour, creed, race, status or whatever – this one will have some lesson to take onboard, even if it’s just that what’s on someone’s surface isn’t necessarily true. Look to their actions, and be empathetic. Remember that person next to you in the supermarket queue also has problems and prejudices, and work to minimise yours in such a way that others are enabled. Or at least, not inconvenienced or damaged.

Right. Onto the lighter stuff. Last week was the first relating to The Order of the Phoenix. I worked on the actual challenge points:

  1. Boring neighbour – 300 on something that can get boring – I used Mermaid of Atlantis’ borders and you’d think that would be straight forward. EHHHH no. Not when you look at the chart and count the BS line as where a ten block finishes…and it actually doesn’t! I had to frog 70-odd silk stitches (carefully!) and their corresponding BS line as I was two rows out. I’ve now started on the filigree corner for an Extra Credit task.
  2. Unapproved Magic – 300 on a project that’s been suspended for 5 months or your oldest WIP – Teresa Wentzler’s Tapestry Cat certainly qualified, as I started this in Christmas 2006! I worked in the Greek key sections on that top right corner and got in 600 back stitches. Boring but necessary.
  3. Dementor Attack – 300 on a project that has no faces –a new start, the Mill Hill Princess Carriage. As per, I’m making one for me and one for Ms Lou. I managed to get in all the stitching to be at the beading point – 758 stitches at work/training/travel.

This week’s challenge is around the address of 12 Grimmauld Place, the Black house that lies semi-hidden in London & is the home of the Order of the Phoenix. The options were either 500 stitches on WIPs 1 & 2, or 1000 on WIP 12. I’ve gone for the first option so there will be another session on Fairy Idyll and Tapestry Cat, as I just couldn’t face Guardian. I may or may not get this out – we’re leaving on a combo work/play trip tomorrow and neither of these WIPs is something I can take with me, FI being on the floor stand and TC being a complicated blend of multiple threads (plus white evenweave, eep!). At least there are large blocks of colour on the Mirabilia.

Bonus shot is of a mural we found in Point Chevalier, another suburb of Auckland. Not sure who the men are, perhaps the composers? But I liked it anyway.

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Have a good week!

Te Puna Quarry Park

In March, Louise made a cake for a first birthday, so we took the opportunity for a night away in Tauranga. The party was being held at the Te Puna Quarry Park, just outside the city limits, so while Lou spent time with her friends, we took the opportunity to explore.

The quarry itself ceased operations in 1979, and from 1996 a group of volunteers have worked to create natural habitats alongside art installations. There’s machinery (made safe), musical instruments, a hobbit hole, butterfly houses and more. We walked around for over an hour and probably only caught quarter of it. And the views!