Today was the first day back at school for the boys. One of them was all fed, dressed, bed made, teeth brushed and bag packed ready to go by 7.30am. Get the feeling he was a bit excited? The other was about half an hour behind, but still pretty excited.
So what does a girl do with her first kiddy free day in six weeks?
She works her butt off, of course.
Got some writing done, pre-recorded a radio interview for next week's Write On Radio Show with Paddy Richardson, met Hubby for our first kiddy-free lunch in ages, had a meeting to hammer out the year's programme for the Otago Southland Branch of the NZSA, and did my book reviewing spot on Channel 9 Television's Dunedin Diary programme - the first show of the year. And yes, I did remember to go pick the kids up from school. After their first tiring and I must say very hot and sunny day at school they required treatment with ice cream.
Here are my notes for Dunedin Diary of the two books I reviewed today. remember, this is what I intended to say. Of course the actual twaddle that came out of my mouth when confronted with a bad case of nerves, a very dodgy memory and Dougal being as rusty as I was after the holidays was probably quite different to this, but you get the gist.
Hunting Blind by Paddy Richardson.
This story starts a number of years ago with the disappearance of a little girl from a school picnic at lake Wanaka. the family is devastated and the community is stunned by the loss. Her body is never found and the coroner rules that she most likely drowned in the lake. The novel follows the life of Stephanie, the little girl's older sister and the immense impact the loss has on her. She was a teenager at the time of Gemma's disappearance. Stephanie later in life becomes a psychiatrist and for her the alarm bells start ringing and the tragedy is brought back by her realisation of the similarities between her story and that of a patient who has also lost a little sister.
This is a fabulous book, superbly well written that looks deeply into the huge emotional toll a tragic event like this can have on a person, a family and a community. It's a psychological thriller, and I loved it. I highly recommend it.
Red Studio by John Z Robinson.
John Z Robinson is a local print maker, painter and jeweler and red studio is a selection of 45 of his prints, the majority being lino cuts. I'll state from the outset I am not an art critic, but I am someone who loves art and art books. I have always had a soft spot for prints and found this a delightful book.
Lino prints is a simple and humble medium that John clearly enjoys. He has had a lot of fun with creating these lovely, small works. I very much enjoyed the brief commentary which went with each, they are entertaining and informative. This makes this a lovely book to either read from cover to cover, or to dip into and discover. It is beautifully produced and would be very happy on anyone's coffee table.