The Week: 31st December 2018 – 6th January 2019

Sunset on Friday – the hottest day this week.

Happy New Year. But – just as important – Merry Christmas again!

Making varenyky yesterday afternoon. We made ninety-five in the end (not all in this picture).

Today is Ukrainian Christmas Eve, which is The Big Day for Christmas in Eastern Slavic cultures. This evening is the time for kutyaborschtveranyky, and more presents.

Our resident baby magpie is having trouble with the heat

This time of year is always so hectic for me. Apart from anything else, it has been Really Hot in Canberra for weeks, with a “cold” day being about 35 Celsius. We’re constantly sweaty – and getting some absolutely massive spiders in the house!

Wish List for 2019

Book Feature: Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul

End-of-Year Escape

The Week: 9th -15th January

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The only surviving flowers around here, after our heatwave. It was a gorgeous, sunny week.

What a ridiculously hot few days! Every day went into the mid-30s to 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit), and it always feels so much hotter here inland, where it’s still and you don’t get a sea breeze – or much in the way of rain.

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2003 stamp for Ukrainian New Year

Happy Old New Year (14th January). Saturday was the day for New Year until the new calendar was brought in, and Ukrainians still recognise it.

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Speaking of Europe, 40 of the 65 people killed in Europe’s extreme winter weather are Ukrainian. And yet I’ve not heard the word “Ukraine” mentioned once on any news story here…

It’s like Europe’s biggest country doesn’t even exist…

Here is the baby magpie I call “Sticks” (because he is still tiny and skinny after months!). This week, and like his other family members, he was so hot he couldn’t close his beak. I fill up bowls of water, front and back, for them every day.

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It’s going to be a big shock in a few weeks, when we go to Europe, where there’s record snow… EVERYWHERE.

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Driving home from Ukrainian New Year drinks (I wasn’t driving!) on Friday afternoon, just before the freak storm hit. You can see how weird the sky already was.

Following the worst of the heat, we were hit by a brief, freak windstorm that brought down trees all over the city, including at Australian Parliament. We’d only just arrived home when it happened – thank goodness we weren’t on the road. This news story about it shows a trampoline go flying through a suburb, and someone’s roof blown off!

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That’s Federal Parliament in the background!

In other news, I found this story pretty shocking this week:

Pennsylvania school set maths homework on sex abuse of girl.

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I’m not even going to start on Trump’s latest acts of stupidity (because, UGH – gross), or the latest nonsense the Kremlin has been on about…

My review of Ruby (Landry #1) by V.C. Andrews

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My review of Slow Dance with the Best Man by Sophie Pembroke

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My review of One Grand Season (A Willowbrook Manor Romance Book 2) by Sarita Leone

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If you want your book reviewed…

Old book bindings at the Merton College library.Old_book_bindings BOOKS

The Golden Globes

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The Week: 2nd – 8th January

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Cooking hundreds of varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) – just one of our trays – for Ukrainian Christmas.

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Summer Flowers on New Year’s Day.

So, it was another week, another Christmas for us. Now I have a few days to sort out birthdays for both my parents (and me!), have Ukrainian New Year, and then we’re off to Italy and London. It will be Easter straight after that – and we have two of those, too!

It has been very hot here, and it is going to get hotter in the next few days. I need to exercise because I have long-term knee problems related to my years as a ballet dancer (I have a talent for dislocating my right knee every few months!), but who can exercise when the temperatures are up around 40°C (104°F)?!

Speaking of ballet, I found an old photo of me backstage during a season of Giselle (Andrew, if you ever see this, I hope you don’t mind me posting your picture!). It was 1999, and – obviously – my night off from performances.

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First sunset of 2017

According to the lovely pussy-grabber, only stupid people oppose Russia. I’m guessing that means “stupid people” like my family and other friends in Ukraine, who are in the process of being invaded and slaughtered.

I was hacked by Russian trolls again on Saturday evening.

America: I know Russia rigged your election, but many millions of you still voted for this. It is unforgivable, and deeply upsetting for me on a personal level.

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Pro-Trump and Putin propaganda appearing in Montenegro. Serbia and Montenegro are almost totally anti-Ukrainian and pro-Putin. This is Hitler and Stalin take #2, and nobody seems to care.

Some of my favourite authors? I can no longer read their books. Anybody who supports Trump… It’s shocking we live in a world with people who think like that. This isn’t a difference of political opinion; it’s literally supporting mass murder.

I don’t even want to know what is going to happen to the world in the next four years.

Revisiting Old Books

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My review of The Workhouse Children by Lindsey Hutchinson

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Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

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Cover Love

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