Avoiding Assignments

Yes, that’s what I am doing now. I have an assignment due tomorrow so of course, I am on Facebook, writing this, basically doing anything but do the assignment. It is for a non-fiction book proposal, I have to do a table of contents, blurb, letter to a publisher and 2,000 words of a chapter. Yes, that’s doable, I say, I had a good idea and printed off loads of information. But when it comes to actually doing it I am finding it hard to concentrate.

After this assignment, I have another three over the next three weeks and then I am free until the last week in July.

I’ve probably always been one to put things off until the last minute but that doesn’t work at postgraduate level, though so far so good on my marks.

Wish me luck as I head back to the grindstone.


Weather, public holidays and other stuff

Yesterday it rained all day. It reminded me of Ireland except it was still warm. Today the sun is back out and all is well again. I prefer the weather in Australia, surprise, surprise. It is coming into winter here so it is a bit cooler – maybe more like a good summer day in Ireland. The only time I need a cardigan is on a Wednesday night for my class. The air-conditioning makes the room freezing.

One thing that amazes me is the public holidays in Australia – nothing is open. Well, I tell a lie some pubs are still open but they may limit their food hours. All the shops close so no going out window-shopping. Well, there are some shops open but they are few. I’m not sure about the city. It probably explains why the Australians love the outdoors, there is nothing else for them to do! On public holidays Australians go out and have barbecues in the parks and on the beaches or go away for a long weekend.

Jobs – job hunting is not going well, it appears to be very much a case of who you know, which sounds familiar. I haven’t lost hope and continue to send out applications.

Dogs – well I love having Gizmo here and she has settled in well. She sleeps a lot just like she did in Ireland. She is not very impressed with the dog next door but they walk well together each day and as long as I treat them both equally it is okay. Gizmo likes to sleep in Tilly’s bed, eat her food, and pee in the same spot as her!

I had my son and family stay with me last weekend as they were waiting to close on their new house. This included their dog Lily, who is a beagle and a little bit bigger than Gizmo. Once again Gizmo was not impressed that another dog was here and vying for attention.

Assignments – slowly getting through them and so far so good on the grades. Have five assignments left and in the final few weeks of the first semester.



Assignments – literature reviews and editing tests

I have realised that I know nothing about the English language, at least when it comes to grammar. I’d never even heard of a comma splice, nominalisation, squinting modifier and loads of other terms. I have an editing test next week and am dreading it.

Last week it was a literature review which caused me heartache. It was due Mon night at 11.59 pm and I put it in at 11.10! Had to scrap everything I had done on the Monday morning as it was all crap and didn’t make sense. It’s in now and I just hope I did enough to pass. Research techniques is my worst subject I think.

Have a couple of assignments in and marked and so far so good.

On the other hand, my fiction course is amazing and I am working on a short story about a murderer with a conscience. There will be a trial and a jury so I am trying to get real examples from people who have served on juries. I am even hoping to attend a murder trial here in Brisbane.


My dog has arrived

Haven’t posted for a while so I thought I would do an update. Gizmo arrived on Sunday and I am so happy to have her with me. She was fine following her travels and quarantine (ten days in Melbourne) so she is well travelled. My next door neighbours dog was not very happy. We closed the gate between the gardens and she couldn’t understand why. Then we met in the local park to introduce the dogs (dog whisperer tip neutral ground) and walked them together. They are okay in the house together but Gizmo is a bit of a bully and has snapped at Tilly. She also tries to take Tilly’s toys. Poor Tilly doesn’t even growl at Gizmo.

My hubby was wonderful in sorting out all the different injections etc with the vet. On the day she was travelling there was a bit of a delay and not all the paperwork was in order but it was sorted. Stressful and I really hope I find a way to stay so we don’t have to bring her back even though going back is easier as there is no quarantine.

The Weather in Ireland

I’m entralled by all the posts and blogs coming out of Ireland about the Beast from the East and Storm Emma. Looking at it from sunny Australia it seems like a different world but I do remember 2010 and having to trudge through the snow – still have the timberland boots I had to rush out and buy! I turned the heating down to low and had it on 24/7.

I also remember the snow of 1982 and being trapped when I was staying with a friend half a mile out the road. Cars had been abondoned and the snow nearly covered them so you were walking on cars. The aftermath of sludge etc wasn’t as pleasant.

I hope everyone gets through it okay and if they do I think it is down to the media warnings telling everyone to stay home – less people ont he roads means less issues.

Thought I would share

Assignments, grammar and other scary things

This week I had a bit of a wobble. I was doing some reading before a lecture and wondeered had I taken on too much. It was grammar. I was questioning if I even knew the English language and how to write it at all as I read about the comma splice, nominalisations, dangling bits and bobs etc. You get the picture. It seems that in Australia they went through a few decades where grammar wasn’t taught in schools. This made me try to remember my own early days at school and if I can recall learning grammar – well I don’t. It was back in the seventies and apparently the UK stopped teaching grammar around that time as well so as I started school in London I obviously lost out. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Fortunately I have some very good friends in the class who are happy to help out and know more than me. I actually thought everyone knew it all but that’s not the case. Such a relief. By the way I’ve discovered I,m not the oldest in the class so that’s good.

The next day we had a research lecture and I was looking at the first assingment which is a literature review and the topic is strong female characters in science fiction still don’t play the same scope of roles as males or something like that. I have to review the literature ont he subject and be able to analyse and support my  own conclusions and add to knowledge. Deep breath I can do this.

Some peopl ehave asked me do I get lonely here and miss home. Of course I miss my other half and buy do I miss my dog Gizmo but I have not had an occasion where I am sitting wondering what to do or feeling bored or isolated. That’s not because I have made loads of friends to go out with I haven’t been out much at all. It’s simply that I have good classmates who I interact with, all my classes are in the evening when you are more likely to get bored and I’m too busy doing coursework or looking for jobs to be bored.

Yeah that’s the subject of another wobble – the job front. It is hard because I can only work 20 hours a week and I admit I am struggling but in fairness I had not anticpated getting a job in the first couple of months anyway. I am looking at entry level jobs to get my foot in the door so to speak and am confident something will come up. If not I will simply have to start writing books very quickly, self publish and get all of you to buy them!

I’ve discovered I like my own company being able to do what I want when I want, not being told off for not cleaning dishes properly etc. I have got the internet up and running so can get some tv series and movies on the box. But I got addicted to a programme called married at first sight where couples are matched by experts and the first time they meet is when they get married. I don’t think they get married legally but they move in together full time and it’s full on.  I know it’s totally stupid but I am addicted which I can’t understand because I never got into big brother, I’m a celebrity, etc. The finale is Sun to Wed next week and I can’t wait.

I’m going to leave you with this which I am sure is funny if you understnad it but I am still working my way through it. Credit to whoever wrote it!

A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

A question mark walks into a bar?

A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.”

A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

A synonym strolls into a tavern.

At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

A dyslexic walks into a bra.

A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars.

A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.



Confession but don’t tell Gizmo

I have a confession to make but you have to promise not to tell my dog Gizmo. I am dog sitting another dog, Tilly, for a few days and she is an absolute sweetheart. She is smaller than Gizmo and is a cross between a Maltese, pom and Shih Tzu I think. She dances around the room on her hind legs and I’m afraid if I step on her she will break something.

She belongs to my next door neighbour who has gone away for a few days and it is lovely to have a dog in the house though still not the same as having Gizmo here.

Gizmo is still in process of getting bloods and other treatments and will fly on the 10th April. She will arrive in Melbourne on the 12th and spend ten days in quarantine before she is flown up to Brisbane so hopefully I will have her around 23rd April. Can’t wait to see her. I hope she gets on okay with little Tilly and they can be friends.