The Week: 8th – 14th January

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

Another week, another mess in the world… Today is “New Year” by the old calendar, if you need a reason to celebrate something this weekend.

Two stories out of Russia this week that I think are newsworthy!:

Russian man steals armoured tank, rams shop, steals one bottle of wine.

Russian man steals tank, rams shop, steals one bottle of wine.

Russian man steals tank, rams shop, steals bottle of wine..

And, more importantly:

Fewer than one in five Russians are okay with gay sex.

In fact, only 8% of Russians support homosexuality in any form:

Previous surveys showed that the number of Russians against gay sex has progressively increased, from 68 percent in 1998 to 76 percent in 2008.

This year, only 8 percent of respondents said there was nothing objectionable about sexual relations between adults of the same gender.

This is what happens when you let the church run your society and heavily influence your government. This sort of thing is happening in a number of former communist countries at the moment.

Coming Up for Brynn Kelly

Isle of Shadows A Risk Worth Taking the third book in Brynn Kelly‘s Legionnaires series

My review of Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Thomas Hardy’s Early Career

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, influenced both in his novels and in his poetry

Meet the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan

Meet the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan

The Week: 1st – 7th January

First Sunset of 2018 Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia Sky Clouds Summer Garden Nature

The first Canberra sunset of 2018

Ukrainian Christmas Eve Canberra Australia Ukrainian Embroidery Ukrainian Culture Sonya Heaney 6th January 2018

Happy Ukrainian Christmas! It’s HOT here – 39 degrees today, and we’ve had high temperatures most of the week.

I’ve been working my way through a good book or two, but haven’t had as much time to read as I need to finish any of them yet!

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Christmas Candles Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney Zazzle Store

Cooking for Ukrainian Christmas

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney 5th January 2018

Wish List for 2018

Books HD

Fancy running a bookshop for a week?

Wigtown_Market_Square_-_geograph_org_uk_-_212447 Wigtown Market Square Scotland UK Book Town

My review of The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

The Husband Hunter's Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

My review of Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience (Big Sky Country) by Linda Ford

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Christmas Candles Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney Zazzle Store

Even though – since the 2013-14 revolution – there’s been talk in Ukraine of only using the 25th December date for Christmas from now on, the 6th of January is still the old calendar date for Christmas Eve, when Ukraine’s main celebrations take place.

So, we will be having bowls of borsch (which is a dish originating in Ukraine, not Russia as most seem to think!) and kutia, mountains of varenyky, and plenty of sparkling wine, while exchanging an extra present or two tonight.

Cooking for Ukrainian Christmas

Capital life and random beauty…

Today we made (across both pictures, but please don’t count – I bet I’m wrong!) 90 potato varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) for Ukrainian Christmas Eve tomorrow night. The traditional Christmas dinner is huge, with twelve foods served.

The varenyky took several hours to make. The second picture is of the gluten-free lot – my fault! They look different, but taste the same. The first picture is the normal stuff. They’re not obviously cooked in these photographs!

The borscht was made yesterday – it tastes better after sitting a day or two. There’s still a lot more to make!

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney 5th January 2018

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney Gluten-Free 5th January 2018

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The Week: 2nd – 8th January

preparing-for-ukrainian-christmas-in-canberra-australia-sonya-heaney-varenyky-5th-january-2017

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

hydrangeas-summer-flowers-canberra-australia-1st-january-2017-sonya-heaney-garden-nature

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.

giselle-backstage-1999-sonya-heaney

canberra-summer-sunset-new-years-day-sonya-heaney-1st-january-2017-sky-clouds-australia-nature

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.

trump-and-putin-propaganda-in-montenegro

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

ruby-1992-the-first-book-in-the-landry-series-a-novel-by-v-c-andrews

My review of The Workhouse Children by Lindsey Hutchinson

the-workhouse-children-by-lindsey-hutchinson

Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

the-most-dangerous-duke-in-london-decadent-dukes-society-1-by-madeline-hunter

Cover Love

devil-in-spring-ravenels-book-3-by-lisa-kleypas-uk-cover