Saturday, 24 September 2016

Kathryn's Inbox Exclusive: Supermarket Removes Self Service Terminals

NOWHERESVILLE, AUSTRALIA--A local supermarket has decided to get rid of their self-service terminals in a move that has surprised shoppers. "Frankly, I think these terminals are a piece of shit," Grant Gusto, manager of the Nowheresville Food Mart told our reporters. "They're loud, they break down every five minutes and to be perfectly frank I'm sick of hearing a recorded voice telling me to place an item in the bagging area when I've bloody well already placed the item there."

Since the self service terminals have been removed from the store, Nowheresville Food Mart has seen a sharp decline in instance of shoplifting. Other items, such as gourmet truffles are not being mistakenly sold as the much cheaper per kilo brown mushrooms, and shoppers are no longer using the self-service area as an extra entrance to the store. "Best bloody decision that I ever made," Grant Gusto adds. "Best bloody decision ..."

Friday, 23 September 2016

Friday Funnies

Love this!

Actually if you go on Twitter, Woodstock has an official account and will occasionally live tweet various important events. Lots of fun.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Around Adelaide (Street Art)

I can't quite remember where I snapped this odd plant stand, other than it was probably somewhere within the Adelaide CBD ...

Sunday, 18 September 2016

1980s/1990s Nostalgia: Dawn Schafer

Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, Mary Anne, Dawn, Mallory, Jessi. If these names mean anything to you, then at some point during your childhood you probably read at least one (if not several or all,) Babysitters Club books. If you're really sharp, you will have also just noticed that I listed the characters in the order in which their first book of the series was released. If you're a true fan, you'll probably notice that I left Abby off the list. And you probably don't care.

All of the characters had their set personalities. Kristy was the tomboy, Claudia was the artsy underachiever, Stacey was the cool New Yorker, Mary Anne was the shy one, Mallory was the awkward kid who dreamed of better things, and Jessi was a dancer with a big heart.

And then there was Dawn.

Of the seven core characters (sorry Abby,) Dawn was probably the greatest enigma. Dawn's role in the BSC as the 'alternate officer' because unlike the other four members she didn't have any particular quality that would make her a good president, vice president, secretary or treasurer, yet she was capable enough to be able to pick up any of the tasks if one of the other girls were absent and it was required of her. She was a vegetarian and her clothing was described as 'California Casual.' (I had no idea what that meant when I was nine years old and I still have no idea now.) Later, she became interested in Environmental issues. 

Dawn was introduced to the series in the fourth novel Mary Anne Saves the Day as a new girl who had moved to Stoneybrook from California, where she was essentially a prop for the shy Mary Anne, who is forced to make it on her own after a fight with her childhood best friend, Kristy. We learn that Dawn's parents have recently divorced. Dawn lives with her newly single mother, and younger brother, Jeff. Meanwhile, Mary Anne lives with her father, a widower whose wife died of cancer when Mary Anne was just a baby. And, of course, there is a rather obvious twist, in that it turns out that Dawn's mother and Mary Anne's father were childhood sweethearts. Over the course of the series, their romance would be rekindled and the pair would marry, making Mary Anne and Dawn stepsisters. 

The major problem with Dawn's character was that author Ann M Martin seemed to have little or no clue what to do with her. Her stories were an eclectic mix--some focused on her emerging interest in boys, which always seemed to force her to act out (Dawn and the Older Boy, Dawn's Big Date,) while others focused on her struggles with her parents divorce and the fact that her parents now lived on opposite sides of the United States (Dawn on the Coast, Dawn's Wicked Stepsister, Dawn's Family Feud, Dawn's Big Move.) There were also lighthearted moments (The Ghost at Dawn's House) and the downright forgettable (Dawn and the School Spirit War).

Dawn was eventually written out halfway through the series, written back in, and then written out again and given her own spin-off series The California Diaries, a series that was darker, more YA than middle grade, and perhaps a better fit for the character.  

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Kathryn's Inbox Exclusive: Keyboard Warrior Decides to Respect Difference of Opinion

NOWHERESVILLE, AUSTRALIA--Peta Palmer, a self proclaimed keyboard warrior decided to back down from an argument on facebook earlier this week and concede that, "sometimes people have different opinions."

"It was a first for me," Peta told our reporter. "Usually when I see a random stranger post an opinion on facebook, I feel the urge to tell them that they are wrong and then post a whole lot of links to prove my point, but today, I decided that it was okay for someone to have a different opinion to me. I mean maybe in her part of the world, potato fritters really are called potato cakes or something ..."

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friday Funnies: Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars

Happy Friday. I'll just leave this here ...

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Review: Blue Dog by Louis de Bernieres

Blue Dog is a charming story of a boy and his dog set in the Pilbara. Eleven year old Mick has been sent to live with his Granpa following the sudden death of his father and his mother's subsequent breakdown. Set sometime in the late 1960s (or possibly the early 1970s) this short children's novel tells the story of how Mick adjusts to life in the outback and how he rescues a puppy, Blue, after a cyclone and the pair form a strong bond. Over the next two years, Mick has enjoys many adventures in the outback with Blue and whilst riding his motorcycle, taming a horse and a crush on his teacher which has surprising consequences when he finally decides to battle his 'rival' for her affections. 

This one was an enjoyable tale that I found myself reading in small, one-chapter-a-night doses and found myself feeling quite sad when I finally finished this slim volume--more than a week after I started it. 

Blue Dog is a prequel to Red Dog, (which explains the beloved dog's life before being discovered on the road to Dampier,) and was adapted from a film script. The film will be released on December 26. 

Special thanks and shout out to my mum for lending me her copy of Blue Dog to read and review.