Sunday, 21 September 2014

Second-hand Book Shopping

Hello lovelies,

Gosh has it been a week already?

I've had a bit of bad luck with second-hand book shopping this week. First it started with a trip to the University Bookshop here in Dunedin where I was under the assumption all their sale books were $1.00. I assumed wrong. Turns out all the books about parenting, diets, natural handmade makeup and meditation were all $1.00, but if you wanted anything substantial then you were looking at $15.00 or more.

So then on Friday I decided to do a google search of the second-hand bookshops in Dunedin and it came back with quite a few, some of them I had already visited. One was called Octagon Books and in 2009 it was named one of the top 10 bookshops in the world! So I was like, how come I have never heard of it before? And I manged to find an address, went round and low and behold the place had shut down ages ago.

Not to worry, on to the next shop down near the oval. That place was essentially stocked with Mills and Boon novels so I left pretty quickly. Then I decided to head out to North Dunedin and visit a second-hand bookshop in the Gardens mall which had a website and quite good feedback. So, turns out that place it shut down too!

But what came out of all this was a goal. A goal to hire or buy a camper van and travel the whole of New Zealand visiting every second-hand bookshop possible. And I'll blog about it the whole way and eventually I'd like to turn it into a novel. It is quite a long-term goal, but one none the less.

Do you have any fantastic second-hand bookshops in your town?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

My first book haul!

Ahhhhh so excited! Welcome to my first book haul post. These will be quite often I can assure you, I am forever walking into second hand bookshops and leaving with at least one book.

Yesterday I went along to the Mosgiel book sale and picked up five novels and three children's books. I collect first edition Enid Blyton books so I was very happy to stumble upon a first edition, albeit without the dust cover, of Good Work Secret Seven. I also picked up Tales After Tea but it was the 1970 impression.

Lately I have been studying Janet Frame at university so I was thrilled to nab her part one autobiography: To the Is-land, so now I am hunting for part two and three. I have found them online but I think it is much more exciting to trail through bookshelves and see if I can find it.

I found the second Bridget Jones book too. I have seen both films and I have read the first and third book, I loved how different the book is to the movie and I enjoyed the book more than the film too.

My husband passed me the Bryce Courtenay book Matthew Flinder's Cat purely because it had a cat on the cover so I popped it into my book bag. I hope it is good, have you read it?

I also bought two guilty pleasure books which I know will be fun and light-hearted to read. One is called The Woman on the Bus by Pauline McLynn and the other is called Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.

I can't wait till university is over and I can just chill out in the summer sun with all my books!

Are you on Goodreads? Join me HERE

J.C Lemon xx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The first 'Do Want' moment

This will be the first of many Do Want moments in this blog. This morning I stumbled upon some amazing bookish artwork! It is artist and illustrator Jane Mount who paints portraits of people through the spines of their books.

"Want your very own Ideal Bookshelf? The books that changed your life, that defined who you are, that you read again and again! Record who you are at this particular time in your life, like getting a tattoo but less painful."

Her business is IDEAL BOOKSHELF and she does custom prints of full bookshelves or just single book spines in a gorgeous frame.

Thank you to for the article and photos.

I think this is an amazing idea and I am thinking of getting one of the single prints for a book that changed my life - The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

What books would you have in your Ideal Bookshelf?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Booksale Alert!

Good evening lovelies,

I thought I would just let you all know that there is a second hand book sale going on at the Mosgiel Bowling Club in Mosgiel on Friday 4pm - 9pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 9am - 1pm. This is a great chance to get your hands on some awesome books and all the proceeds go towards the St Johns Ambulance.

I will be heading there on Saturday afternoon and I will be sure to do a great post for you all of what great books I picked up while I was there.

Hope you'll head along too!

J.C Lemon xx

Monday, 8 September 2014

Katherine Mansfield's Birthplace

Hello lovelies,

Recently I took a trip to Wellington and decided to visit the birthplace of Katherine Mansfield. She is a favourite writer of mine and I have taken a particular shining to her story The Garden Party as well as The Dolls House and Miss Brill which left me in tears.

Today I thought I would share with you some of the photos I took while I was touring the home and I highly recommend that if you are ever in Wellington, you must go and visit.

This here is the original manuscript for The Garden Party. Seeing this actually blew my mind. To be able to see her own handwriting, writing out the lines of one of my favourite short stories. I was so excited to be able to read the first line: "And after all, the weather was ideal."


And this photo is of the house that The Garden Party is based on. I had always had my own vision of what the house looked like and I was thrilled to see that my thoughts were actually very close to the real house.

Here is the lovely Katherine Mansfield, taken in 1916. The text below says "Would you not like to try all sorts of lives - one is so very small - but that is the satisfaction of writing - one can impersonate so many people."

They also had the original manuscript for The Dolls House too. There was another photo in the living room which was of Katherine's grandmother and in the background you can see the dolls house. It was amazing to know that the dolls house, and the little Kelvey girls really did exist.

A lovely photo of Katherine, John and Richard all together.

And finally, here is the house where Katherine Mansfield was born. It is a lovely home and I am so pleased that it has been looked after and that we are able to go and visit and look at all the photos and read the manuscripts and wander around a house that she has also been in. I did feel very lucky.

If you are a fan of Katherine Mansfield and you are in Wellington at some point, you must visit.

J.C Lemon xx

Friday, 5 September 2014

Musings about word choice in songs

Good afternoon lovelies,

There has been something that has been bugging me for a little while, and that is the over use of the repetition of single words in a song. It's a little thing to be bugged about, but it drives me bonkers when I hear a song on the radio and it's lyrics are on repeat.

For example, Taylor Swifts new song has a mass amount of repetition in it. The chorus alone goes a little something like this:

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I can't begin to tell you how tedious it is to even type all that out but it doesn't end there. Katy Perry, whom I love and am going to her concert in December, also does it a wee bit in her new song This Is How We Do by repeating the word 'do' in the following line: "This is how we do, do, do, do, do"

But the one song that really grinds my goat and I have to switch it off is Boom Clap by Charli XCX because of the line: "and the beat goes on, and on, and on, and on, and." Good God I can't stand it! It just sounds like there were no other words to come up with so why not just repeat 'on and on', and then to make it worse, it does sound like she is going on and on and on and on and on and on and on for ever.

It's something so small, but it drive me a little crazy when I hear these songs, and others who do the same thing, come on the radio because I feel like they are a bit of a cop out. I feel like I'm being insulted as a music listener and they perhaps assume that my brain is so narrow and slow that I couldn't possibly handle more lyrics. In a nut shell, these songs make me feel stupid when I hear them.

What do you think? Are you bothered about this like I am? I'm going to take a wild guess and figure that I'm probably the only one :)

J.C Lemon xx

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Word of the day - Quaffable

Good afternoon lovelies,

Now, I don't drink wine at all, but I was passing through the wine department at the supermarket and this little bottle with its tag caught my eye:

Do you see what it says there? That this wine is "effortlessly quaffable." Quaffable is certainly a word that I had not heard used with wine, nor a word that I had heard of ever. 

Quaffable...what does that mean? So of course, I googled. And quaffable means, essentially, to drink something in large gulps. So this wine can be gulped down apparently, because it is just so damn delicious. 

But I think quaffable could be better used elsewhere, as typically one sips wine and does not, well, quaff it?
So my hot chocolate is rather quaffable, and even more quaffable when my husband makes it because hot drinks always taste way better when made by someone else. 
My favorite drink is Lemon Lime and Bitters, which I quaffed down (that does not sound right) at dinner last night.

So your challenge this week is to use the word quaffable in a sentence! Or better yet, comment below with your funny sentence using the word quaffable.


J.C Lemon xx


Monday, 1 September 2014

A short story - Cate's Crazy Christmas Eve

Good morning,

Today I though I would share with you a short story I wrote a few months ago. I sent it away to be considered for a Twisty Christmas anthology. It wasn't accepted so now I can post it here! 

I do understand why it wasn't accepted. The brief said that they wanted something really twisted, crazy and with a Kiwiana theme. On reflection of my story, I saw that while the Kiwiana theme was present, it wasn't as crazy as it could have been. The judges wrote in the sci-fi genre so I can see how my story came off rather traditional. 

However, if you like your traditional Christmas tales but with a Kiwiana twist, then you may like my story!

Enjoy x

Cate's Crazy Christmas Eve

It was Christmas Eve. The house was silent. Cate couldn’t sleep with all the butterflies bouncing around in her tummy – Santa was on his way! Quietly she got out of bed, put on her dressing gown, tiptoed down the hallway and into the lounge. She sat down in front of the elegantly decorated Christmas tree and gazed up at it in awe. At night, the lights shone brighter and the glitter from the baubles twinkled ever so gently. She could smell a slight musty scent from the tinsel and the tree. Cate was jiggling with anticipation, there was no way she could get to sleep on Christmas Eve!
Cate and her family lived in a small town called Brighton. They lived across the road from the Brighton beach. She thought it was the best little town around because the local dairy served the biggest ice creams and at Christmas time, people decorated their houses with lights. As Cate lay down to rest in front of the Christmas tree, she listened to the rolling waves in the distance crashing upon the sand and wished that Santa would hurry up and arrive.
The sound was broken by a faint jingling noise. Jingle jingle jingle, someone was walking around with bells on. Cate sat up right and peered out the window.
All of a sudden she heard a squeaky voice announce, “Santa will be here in 10 minutes! Get the runway ready!”
Cate quickly jumped to her feet and dashed outside into the warm summer night. The barbeque on the deck still smelled like burnt sausages from tea earlier that evening. She hid behind a bush on her driveway which looked out onto the beach front.
From around the corner came six little elves! They were no more than a meter high, but unlike the winter elves from the North Pole, they were wearing apple green coloured shorts with a matching t-shirt (it was summer after all). The elves had on small gold sandals with bells that jingled when they walked. Cate watched with excitement as the elves flip-flopped their way to the beach. The lead elf was giving orders to all the other elves.
“Right you lot, last year someone did not cover up the sleigh tracks on the beach. You were lucky there was a high tide that night,” growled the lead elf.
“But why must he land on the beach? If he just landed on the road like he used to then we wouldn’t have a problem,” questioned one of the elves.
“Because it's quieter if he lands on the beach. Remember three years ago when he landed on the road and crashed into the street sign? It made a huge noise that could have woken up the whole street!” replied the lead elf, “Now I will hear no more chit chat, get those lights out and get to work. He will be here soon!”
Cate could not believe her eyes. She was watching six elves getting ready for Santa’s arrival. She watched as they rolled out the poles onto the ground and smoothed out the sand so that Santa could land safely. She giggled to herself as she watched two elves tumble around as they tried to untangle a string of lights. They started arguing with each other and she could hear them shouting,
“You take this end and I will… no you take this end!”
“I have got this end, you just need pull on it.”
“I tried pulling but it is not working!”
“Right, just let go. Now, pick up that piece and pull.”
She watched as they mastered the string of lights, slowly pulling it apart in different directions until it lay flat across the sand. They grabbed the lights and formed a big rectangle which was held in place by the poles.
“Hey guys, this is perfect. Take one of these and stand along each side,” the lead elf ordered as he handed out paddles that were lit with different colours. The elves wandered off to their spots and waited patiently for Santa to arrive. Cate was still behind the bush watching and fidgeting with her dressing gown. She so desperately wanted to go out across the road to the elves. She started jiggling around with nerves in her tummy and a big grin on her face.
Suddenly she saw him, she saw Santa! Emerging from the twinkling stars came Santa’s sleigh. He flew over Cate’s head with a loud whoosh and circled around the beach. Cate stood up in pure delight as Santa and his reindeer came in for landing. She watched as he pulled on the reins to slow the reindeer down and land with a gentle thud on the sand.
“Oh my gosh!” Cate squealed with delight as Santa got out of his sleigh.
He had dressed for a summers evening in a bright red shirt, navy shorts with gold buttons and a pair of sandals on his feet. Santa, sadly, was also wearing white socks. The reindeer were brown with enormous antlers and she could even see Rudolf’s bright red nose.
“Ho Ho Ho,” Santa chuckled, “Marcel, you have done a splendid job on the runway this year. I shall have Mrs Clause make you a nice pair of socks that you can wear with your sandals” he said while giving his toes a wiggle.
“Oh gosh Santa, thank you” chirped Marcel.
Cate couldn’t help herself, she was overjoyed to see Santa so she yelled out, “Santa! Hi Santa!”
The elves all turned to look at her standing in her fluffy dressing gown. They exchanged unpleasant glances between each other.
“Marcel, did you do a security sweep before I arrived?” Santa asked.
“No, I’m so sorry Santa, we were running late and…”
“Don’t worry Marcel, I will go and speak to the little girl,” Santa informed him as he made his way across the road.
Cate was beside herself with excitement. Santa walked across the road and over to where she was standing.
“Hello Cate, shouldn’t all good little girls be in bed?” Santa said with a twinkle in his eye.
Cate, speechless, gazed up at the jolly man in his big red shirt. Then she gazed down at his sandals and socks.
“Are your feet cold Santa?” she asked.
“No” he replied, looking down at his feet, “Is this not…hip?” he asked.
“No Santa, you look silly!” she giggled.
 “Oh,” he said, looking disappointed, “Well, um, perhaps you would like one of your gifts now?” Santa asked.
Cate nodded. Santa beckoned an elf over with a gift. Santa gave the box a little shake to check it was for her then held it out for her to take. Cate took the box and sat on the ground. She quickly ripped all the paper off and looked down to see a beautiful doll with curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes looking back at her. 
“Santa, it is just what I wanted!” she exclaimed.
Cate jumped up and gave Santa a big hug.
“I thought you would like it. Now, you really should be going to bed. I have a lot of work to do,” insisted Santa with a big smile on his face.
“Ok Santa. There is a cup of milk on the table and a few biscuits too. I got you chocolate ones this year,” Cate said.
“How wonderful of you Cate, thank you. Do you have any carrots for my reindeer? They get a bit grumpy if they haven’t eaten, you see” Santa asked politely.
“Yes Santa, they are in the fridge. Take as many as you need,” Cate replied with a smile.
“Thank you Cate. Now you run along to bed,” he ordered.
“Night Santa! It has been amazing to meet you,” Cate yelled as she ran back up her driveway.
She ran inside and closed the door. She tiptoed back down to her room, jumped on her bed and looked out the window at Santa and the elves. Cate laughed as she watched Santa sit down and take his socks off then throw them in the back of the sleigh. He turned to face Cate and gave her a small wave. She waved back enthusiastically and jumped up and down on her bed.
Santa then hopped back into his sleigh – he was ready for take –off.
“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas” Santa sung as he pulled on the reins and lifted the sleigh into the air. With another big whoosh, he was gone.
The elves cheerfully packed up their lights and their poles. They covered up the sleigh marks and quietly flip-flopped away. Jingle jingle jingle, Cate listened to them as they disappeared into the silence of the night.
She took off her dressing gown and hopped back into bed. She lay awake wondering if what she had seen was real. With her new doll tucked under her arm, she slowly nodded off to sleep dreaming of elves, reindeer and of course, Santa.