Book Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here.

saving-francesca

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
(2003, Viking Childrens Press)

Own copy

This was another reread for me. While I don’t have the same fondness for Saving Francesca as Looking for Alibrandi (there’s always something special about the books you love as a teenager) I always find myself engrossed in Francesca – and staying up to all hours to finish it.

Francesca is starting her second term as one of thirty Year eleven girls at a formally all-boys school. That’s hard enough, but on top of that her formerly energetic and passionate mother can’t get out of bed. Suddenly Francesca is tackling adult tasks in order to protect her mother and dealing with the complete change in her family, all while trying to work out who she is and where her place in the world is supposed to be.

There was an eleven year gap between Alibrandi and Francesca, and you can see the growth of the author in both the quality of the writing and the subtleties of the story. Francesca is a sympathetic narrator and it’s easy to like her. Supporting characters are a real strength of Marchetta’s and you can see that here – from the giggly ‘big-boy’ worship of Francesca’s little brother Luca, to the brisk, but sympathetic supervisor at her mother’s university, to the other students and teachers at her new school.

There are still lots of misconceptions and prejudices around mental illness, and we see a lot of them discussed or put forward here. These misconceptions often makes it harder for Francesca to comprehend her mother’s illness – especially when she doesn’t feel like she’s getting the full story and her father – relentlessly positive – keeps reiterating that everything will be fine – even when it’s clearly not.

Unlike Alibrandi, which now has a lot of outdated references, Francesca is pretty low key with just some references to game shows (which no longer exist) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This means you’re very rarely pulled out of the story, and it’s still very readable and relevant now. It would probably make an excellent substitute for schools and teachers who are tired of teaching Alibrandi. It might be a quieter and less applauded book from Marchetta (who went on to write other incredibly popular books after Francesca was published) but I think it’s one worthy of our recognition.

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Book Review: Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life by Maureen McCarthy (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here.

(I couldn't find a good image of the cover I have, so I decided to go with this most recent one instead)

(I couldn’t find a good image of the cover I have, so I decided to go with this most recent one instead)

Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life by Maureen McCarthy
(1995, Penguin)

Own copy

(Note: Totally coincidentally, my wonderful friend Liz also read and reviewed this book at the same time. And then I twisted her arm to join the AWW Challenge 🙂 )

This was another one of my favourite books as a teenager and I’ve read it a number of times since. It’s the story of three different girls from a small country town thrown together into a share house in Melbourne for their first year out of school. Carmel is the shy farm-girl, known around the small town for her amazing voice. Jude is the radical, juggling medical studies with protests while being haunted by the violent death of her father. Katrina is from a privileged and well known family, renowned for her beauty and her snottiness. Told from the three different perspectives we follow them up close and through each other’s eyes as they navigate the world after school.

There’s a lot to tackle in this book, and it’s definitely bigger than a lot of similar books. To me, Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude has always had an almost epic feel – like a fantasy novel without the fantasy. Maybe because of the different journeys we follow over the course of the book – as Carmel becomes more comfortable with who she is; as Jude confronts what her parents went through in Chile; as Kat gets over her head with a ‘fast crowd’ – the reader is pulled along, from one story to another, one place to another.

This time, when I read it, I was struck by how sad Kat was, especially at the beginning of the book. She seemed almost disconnected from herself and from other people, separate from any kind of human emotion. She didn’t want to have anything to do with a school-mate who had lost her father, she broke her mother’s favourite vase because she didn’t feel she was getting her way. She knew how to ‘act’ in social situations – after all, that training would come with being from the eminent family in a small town – but she seemed deeply uncomfortable and unable to deal with human emotion, and humans in general. I think Kat’s story wouldn’t have worked anywhere but at the end of the book, where we’ve been exposed to glimpses of who she is underneath the act – it would have been terribly tiring to read her performances earlier in the book.

Despite the mid-nineties publication of this book, it mostly works as a read for a modern audience, especially (I suspect) a modern audience living outside of Melbourne. (There are a number of settings which have apparently changed significantly in the time, but an outsider reader wouldn’t necessarily know that). The themes themselves are timeless – trying to please parents while forging an identity away from them, learning to live in a bigger world than your school world, finding a voice in a world that often tries to shut people up. The characters, including the supporting characters, are well developed and memorable, and you can often ‘see’ them as you read. And although there are a lot of ‘issues’ explored (especially in Kat’s story) it doesn’t read like an ‘issues’ book.  I’d definitely recommend it to high school students today, and I suspect a lot of them would enjoy it.

Book Review: Moving Among Strangers by Gabrielle Carey (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here. However, I am taking a short break from them to read some of the books from the Stella Prize Longlist. Read more about that here

moving among strangers

Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and My Family by Gabrielle Carey
(2013, University of Queensland Press)

Own copy

When I saw this book on the Stella Longlist, I knew I needed to read it. Midnite by Randolph Stow was  one of the favourite books of my Year 6 teacher, and he read it aloud to our class, as he had read it aloud to my sister’s class the year before. When I became a teacher, I tracked Midnite down at the Lifeline Book Fest and made it part of my classroom library – it was always exciting when a new student discovered this excellent book about a very bad bushranger.

So, a book which was connected to Randolph Stow was an exciting idea. But I had no idea that it was going to be such a wonderful, moving, whimsical and real story of Stow and his connection to the Carey family. Gabrielle Carey opens with a letter that she wrote to Stow when her mother was dying, a letter which sets up a chain of events leading to a literary pilgrimage. Along the way there’s books and poetry and shipwrecks and Australian (specifically Western Australian) history. And it’s sad and uplifting and beautiful.

This isn’t an easy book to summarise, there’s no neat and easy way to explain it. It’s like listening to a wonderful lecture by someone who doesn’t always stay on the same path, but somehow manages to make it all connect anyway. (That reminds me of some of my favourite Ancient History lecturers at the University of Queensland – maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much). It’s a glimpse into the life of a prolific Australian author who has sadly been forgotten by a lot of Australia and a wonderful, rich family story at the same time.

Carey’s writing style is immensely readable. I devoured this while staying with my in-laws at the beach. Often I take books when we head there with the best intentions of reading them, but get sucked into the allure of napping and come home with a lot of unread books. Moving Among Strangers, though, was stronger than the nap, and I made my way through it quickly (a little too quick – I really wanted more!). I thoroughly recommend this book and hope it gets a big boost with readers thanks to the Stella Prize recognition.

Book Review: The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here. However, I am taking a short break from them to read some of the books from the Stella Prize Longlist. Read more about that here

misogyny factor

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers
(2013, NewSouth Publishing)

Own copy

This was the first of the Stella Prize Longlist I have read, and it was a good introduction to the 12 books selected this year.

Summers tackles the economic aspects of feminism in Australia, detailing the fascinating history of the ‘Equality Project’ through different federal governments, as well as examining the extraordinary treatment of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the subsequent feminist revival.

This is a short, but beautifully written book, particularly the history chapter which brings political to-ing and fro-ing to life. It can be very easy to get bogged down in details and definitions and Summers avoids that for the most part.

While the writing is engaging, the content is at times problematic. Summers refuses to deal with race, religion or sexuality, leading to a strong impression that this is a book for straight, white, middle/upper class women. Her focus on economic factors leaves one feeling that feminism is all about money – not enough money to be safe or comfortable in the future, but the amounts paid to CEOs and top company board members. (Plus, the impression that we should all be heading for CEO/Board member positions, instead of being happy with ‘lesser’ jobs). To focus on child care did little to offer solutions or alternatives (I really wish we’d talk more about family daycare in those discussions – I have 2 friends with their sons in family daycare – they’re happy and less inclined to get sick than in the big centres, plus it costs a lot less for the parents (and therefore the taxpayer with the rebates) and is a lot more flexible. Worth learning more about)

Particularly insulting was Summer’s attack on women who choose to stay home with children. This is the only time Summers chooses to attack a particular group of women, and it is an attack full of tired stereotypes and generalisations. In the following section, Summers writes that we can judge feminist progress by the respect given to women – while she refused to respect a whole group of diverse women (disclaimer – this group includes me).

This is very much a ‘now’ book – I think its time is already over. The history section was good, but it feels really outdated, considering how much has changed in Australia since January 2013 (The undermining and ‘comeback’ of Kevin Rudd. The amazing grassroots campaign in Indi which unseated one of two women in the then-Opposition ‘line up’. Julia Gillard’s graceful move away from public life) Personally, I’d prefer this book if it had been written more from a historical perspective – it feels a little rushed into publication.

Would I recommend this book. Yes for good non-fiction writing and the historical chapter. Otherwise, hold on for the inevitable books about the Gillard era – a little distance will make for better books in this case.

Book Review: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here.

lookingforalibrandi

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
(1992, Puffin Books)

Own copy

When I was younger, we didn’t have a library in our town. Or the nearest town. In fact, our nearest library was a good half an hour away. Instead we had the mobile library, a bus adapted to carry shelves of books instead of people. It visited our town at 9am, Tuesdays, stopping outside our school. When we first moved to that town, the school let kids out of class to visit the mobile library. But that stopped after a few years and I was dependent on my mother to restock my library books.

That’s how I discovered Looking for Alibrandi.

I have an unusual first name – Melina. So when my mother found a new book written by an author called Melina Marchetta, she thought I’d be interested in reading it. (She had some unusual criteria for choosing my books. It usually worked really well for us) She picked really well – I loved the book, rereading it several times between then (1992 or 1993) and now. However, it’s been a couple of years since I read it last, and I was interested in reading it again for the 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge – this time with a more critical eye.

Looking for Alibrandi is a ‘coming of age’ novel, like both The Min Min and Playing Beatie Bow. However, instead of looking at the emotional coming of age of a 14 year old, we’re spending some time in the life of 17 year old Josephine Alibrandi:  “The seventeen that Janis Ian sang about where one learns the truth”. It turns out to be a tumultuous year for Josie, when she falls in love, learns some serious truths about herself and her family, loses a friend and gains a father she never knew she wanted in her life. It’s also her last year of school, her HSC year, just to add to everything else.

This is a really hard book to review objectively. I loved it when I was younger and I still think fondly of it. However, it’s not the best written book in the world – Marchetta’s later books are much better in terms of writing craft. From what I can tell, though, Looking for Alibrandi was a bit of a game changer in Australian YA books – bringing a very different voice into the arena, and paving the way for a lot of the books which came after. It deals with serious issues – racism, identity, family shame, suicide – but there’s still a lightness over it – Josie is a good person, her family will probably be ok in the end, she’ll probably go on and have a good life. We’ve just had a peak into a difficult time for her.

One of the themes which really resonated strongly for me on this reread was that things aren’t necessarily what they look like on the surface. John Barton (who I was thankfully able to disconnect from Matthew Newton on this reread) isn’t the self-assured debater with a guaranteed future – he’s a deeply troubled kid drowning under a sea of expectations. Josie and her friends aren’t the unpopular outcasts she assumes they are, they are all leaders in their different ways. Her family story doesn’t follow the narrative she thinks it does – there’s a lot more twists and turns and human failings and successes underneath.

There’s parts of this story which don’t work as well today. I’m not sure if Josie’s illegitimacy would be such a big feature, such a big scandal amongst other students at her school (students from different backgrounds to Josie) and some of the references are really dated. But the story of Josie and Jacob Coote continues to ring true in a lot of ways, and I’m still happy with the choice Josie made to do what felt right to her in that situation. (However, the scene where Anna and Josie are threatened at MacDonalds gets scarier as I get older)

I could probably ramble about this book for ages, and go even longer if I introduced the movie. Looking for Alibrandi may not be the best book in the world, but I do think it’s an important one in the history of Australian YA writing. I think it’s essential in telling the very real story of a young woman, while telling the equally real stories of the other women in her life – her mother and grandmother, her friends, even her teachers.

Book Review: Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here.

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park
(1980, Penguin Classics – originally published by Thomas Nelson)

Own copy

Despite being a massive book worm as a child, I never read Playing Beatie Bow. I think it probably had something to do with the cover – the ones which were most common when I was little were seriously creepy, and looked very very different from the kinds of books I usually read. But so many people I know have read and loved it, so I knew it needed to be part of my ‘Children Classics’ Australian Women Writer’s challenge.

I actually read Playing Beatie Bow twice before writing this review. It’s such an adored book, that I wanted to make sure I really ‘had’ it before I wrote about it. In a way, I’m terribly sad that I didn’t read this as a child. There have been other books written since Playing Beatie Bow which explore some of the same ideas and themes, and I read them as a child – so Playing Beatie Bow felt at times like it was going over old ground – even though it was written first.

This is the story of Abigail, a 14 year old girl who lives in the modern (well, late 1970s/1980) version of the Rocks in Sydney. She’s carefully built a wall around herself in the four years since her father left her and her mother, but now he’s back in her mother’s life and she wants them to move overseas with him. Meanwhile, Natalie, Abigail’s young neighbour has become overly interested in the scary game – Beatie Bow –  the local children are playing – and the small ‘furry girl’ who comes to watch.

After a fight with her mother, Abigail finds herself chasing the furry girl – Beatie Bow, when suddenly she finds herself in the 1870s version of the Rocks – and after a run in with the girl’s father (injured in the Crimean War and still mourning for his wife) finds herself a guest of the Bow/Talisker family. Here she discovers she is the Stranger, bought to their time to help the family preserve the family gift.

I can definitely understand why this is such a beloved book. It mixes time travel and fantasy and historical fiction and romance in an almost effortless fashion, allowing it to appeal to a wide range of readers. The romance is gentle and sweet, perfect for slightly younger readers. The characters are quite vivid –  quarrelsome but intelligent Beatie,  wise Grandmother, kind Dovey, warm hearted Judah, wounded father and annoying Gibbie. The historical parts are interesting, while challenging the idea that one era is necessarily better than those that come before or after. And the writing is wonderful.

The real key to this is the coming-of-age of Abigail. In building up the wall to protect herself, she’s really shielded herself from other people around her and the things which hurt or affect them. Spending time away from her own problems helps open her eyes up to other people – and the very real things which shape their stories. I’m not sure this book would ever be published today – it’s too inbetween middle-grade and young adult and it crosses too many genres to be neatly catagorised the way so many of our modern books are. However, it’s aged remarkably well, considering that it’s more than 30 years old – I think it would be appealing to a lot of modern young readers (though with better covers – the classics one is aimed more at the nostalgia crowd and the Penguin classics is boring.)

If I learn nothing else, or complete no other books this Australian Women Writer’s challenge, this year will already be a big win for me. Finally reading this particular Australian classic has made me very happy, and if you have also not read it, I thoroughly recommend it.

If the book had a cover like this, I think I probably would have read it!

If the book had a cover like this, I think I probably would have read it!

Letters to Squirm: 18 Months Old

Resize Chris Photos3

Dear Squirm,

You’re a year and a half old! That time has gone so fast – I keep look at you and wondering where my baby went to! At the same time, I’m loving the cheeky, adventurous, smiling, creative child you’ve become.

You have real interests now. You adore trains – you point them out in pictures, in books, on videos, in real life. You can clearly say ‘train’ and ‘toot toot’ now, and we hear both of those a lot during the day. Last week you got to ride on a train and (after initially being startled) you loved it. You especially loved it when the driver tooted the horn or we went past another train. Your grand uncles are pretty chuffed with this train obsession – you come from a long line of train lovers.

Your other big interest is dinosaurs. You’ve loved them from the time you heard the Justine Clarke song ‘Everybody Roar . . . ‘ and you have a convincing roar of your own. Our trip on the train was to see the dinosaurs at the museum and it was really exciting for you. Even more exciting was our discovery of good plastic dinosaurs at a local shop this week – you love playing with them already!

You also love books of all kinds. Your daddy has set aside reading time in the morning, and we both read to you before bed, but you insist on having books read to you no matter what time of the day it is. You’re starting to remember parts of your favourite books and sometimes you ‘read’ along with us. We keep a collection of board books and sturdier books where you can read them at any time of the day, and a collection of less sturdy favourite books for bedtime. Your favourite sturdy books are The Avengers Little Golden Book, Alison Jay’s Numbers and Letters, an ABC book, Where is the Green Sheep, Demolition and I’d Like to Be a Train Driver. Your favourite bedtime books are Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and the Pigeon books.

You continue to grow in independence. You choose your own clothes from the drawer now and can bring us your shoes when it’s time to go out. You help us clean up and you love playing with your toy broom. You eat pretty much everything, but you tend to prefer things with strong flavours. You get your floor mat ready for dinner without needing help.

You’re also very physical. You love climbing, which is wonderful in the playground (though a bit disconcerting to people who don’t know you) but not so wonderful at home (where you attempt to climb the furniture). You run around a lot, love the tricycle Nana and Poppa gave you for Christmas and adore walking up and down hills and stairs. You also love your swimming lessons after a period of not loving them so much. I’m amazed at what you can do – kicking across the pool and back on your own with a pool noodle looped around your back, going under the water towards the wall and grabbing it, running on the mat on the water and jumping it. You still need to learn patience there, though – you always want it to be your turn!

Your talking has really started to take off in the last month. You have a collection of words including truck, car, water, bowl, up and Avengers. You ‘talk’ with us quite a lot and it’s wonderful watching you communicate more and more.

You’re also very good at getting into things you shouldn’t be playing with. We keep pens and pencils a long way away from you, because you cannot resist drawing with them on whatever surface is available. You love pressing the buttons on computers and pulling things out of cupboards. You often get very quiet when you’re into things, so noise is a bit of a blessing at our house.

I could write about you all day. You make me so happy, and I feel so lucky to be your mum and to spend this wonderful time with you. I look forward to all the adventures we have ahead of us!

Love Mum

Resize Chris Photos5

I want to include some of your favourite things to look back and remember

Favourite Foods

  • Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Olives
  • Bananas

Favourite Toys

  • Your stuffed sheep
  • Your trains
  • Your dinosaurs
  • Your trucks

Favourite Music

  • Paul Simon
  • Justine Clarke
  • They Might Be Giants

Favourite Things to Do

  • Play at parks with climbing things
  • Swimming lessons
  • Drawing
  • Reading

Book Review: The Min Min by Mavis Thorpe Clarke (Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014)

This year I am reading and rereading children and young adult ‘classics’ written by Australian women. Read more here.

The Min Min: Adventures of a Subversive Reader

The Min Min by Mavis Thorpe Clark
(1966, Lansdowne Press)

Own copy

The Min Min has a special place in my family. When I was a child, it was a treasured book of my parents (my father, I think) and it was regarded as both an excellent book and a possession to look after. Obviously, there was no chance of taking off with this one, so when I saw it in an op shop, years later, I grabbed a copy for myself. But I don’t think I read it then – in fact I can’t remember reading it since I was a child.

The Min Min is – on the surface – the story of Sylvie Edwards, the slightly awkward, eldest daughter of an often drunk and abusive railway fettler and his wife – who we rarely see through the course of the book. But before you get far in the book, you realise it’s a bigger story than that – it’s the story of Reg, Sylvie’s troublesome eleven year old brother, of the young and eager schoolteacher determined to ‘make a difference’, of Sylvie and Reg’s father, and of all the people who either chose or are forced through circumstance to live in an incredibly isolated part of Australia.

After Reg and the other children of the siding (a collection of 10 houses and a school where the fettler’s families live) destroy the school, (including the teacher’s personal belongings), Sylvie and Reg are filled with fear. Reg is scared that he’ll be sent away to reform school, after having many warnings about previous misdeeds. Sylvie is scared of a future, with a teacher who refuses to teach her any longer, and a father who has asserted his right to hit her as long as she lives in his house. The pair sneak away from their home, following first the railway tracks, and then a bush track to the sympathetic Tucker family – a family who live a life completely foreign to the pair. The Tuckers give Sylvie and Reg a glimpse of something different and the possibility of a future, something which has always been untouchable and out of reach – like the mysterious min min lights which they see from time to time.

At the beginning, this book is just bleak. The landscape around the siding is smooth and unchanging, with the houses the only shapes in their landscape. The families of the siding have developed a gang like community, where the men are the ‘bosses’, women are supposed to be mothers (or are treated with suspicion) and the boys are relied on to cause mischief – to ‘stick it’ to authority and bring some excitement to the town. No one is particularly interested in education or learning, the men have come to the siding  ” . . . because life was sour or dangerous, and it was as good a place as any.” Clive Scott, the young teacher who requested the position, doesn’t belong there – it’s a place for people who feel they have no where else to go.

Things begin to change when Sylvie and Reg turn up at the Tuckers’ place. The Tuckers chose to live in an isolated place (in fact, they live within the borders of Woomera, in a house complete with an air raid shelter), but insist on maintaining aspects of their previous city life – education for the children, reading at night, a set of strict rules and guidelines. Mrs Tucker – who had previously been kind to Sylvie – shows her a world beyond the siding, a world where she can create things with her own hands. (Mr Scott had already started this process of showing her a different world, but his world seemed unattainable to her, while Mrs Tucker’s was very possible)

Meanwhile Mr Tucker and their three sons show a completely different definition of masculinity to Reg. At the siding masculinity is defined by mischief and beer. The Tucker boys shoot, fix things and ride horses – but they do it under the rules and guidelines set out by their parents. The boys wash and wipe dishes, are expected to work hard at their school work and respect learning, and spend their evenings reading. Although he scoffs at them at first, Reg finds himself admiring them more and more.

There’s so many themes I could discuss further with this book – the love of land, the importance of rain and water, the irony of the ‘safe’ family living in an unsafe area, how our families and experiences shape who we are  – it’s remarkably deep, although very few things actually happen. The roles of men and women are quite structured, as expected for a book written in the 1960s, but both men and women are written as people, even if their roles are more ‘defined’. There’s definitely some casual racism, though there’s also a sense that the author respects the Indigenous people she met on her journeys through the area, and the Aboriginal characters are much better written than some other books from the same era.

I’m really glad I read this book again as an adult – a well written book like this often has different sympathies as you grow older. The teacher was a much more vivid character to me this time, as were some of the other adults in the book. This probably wouldn’t be a ‘jump off the shelf book’ for young people today – it’s much quieter than many of the books aimed at the 10-14 year old readers of today – but I could definitely see it making an impact on certain children. It’s a wonderful book, which probably deserves a bit more recognition as an Australian classic than it currently gets.

 

  • The Mavis Thorpe Clarke website has lots of extra information about the author, her books and her inspirations.
  • The Children’s Book Council of Australia awarded The Min Min the best book award in 1967. Here’s a list with other winners and commended books of the decade

Australian Women Writers Challenge: 2014

Last year, I excitedly jumped into the Australian Women Writers challenge. It was wonderful in many ways, and I completed the challenge, though (for reasons to do with my own goal setting and perfectionist behaviour) I let it drop completely in the second part of the year.

This year, I’m taking a much more relaxed approach to it, and looking at children’s and young adults books, particularly ‘classics’. Sadly, there’s a long list of classics I’ve never touched and another list of classics which I haven’t read in a very long time. I’ll probably review some newer ones as well, especially picture books I read with my son.

I have a short list of books I want to tackle, and I’m definitely signing up for the full Franklin (read 10, review at least 6).

What Australian kids classics (written by women, of course) would you recommend?

hatingalisonashley

2014: New Year, New Things

I hadn’t intended to post today. Today was for moving slowly, drinking tea, spending time with my boys. But Squirm is napping and Mr Pilot is watching an aviation documentary, and a series of posts leaped out and pinched me.

Maxabella Loves challenged her readers to tinker rather than change for the new year. To pick a word, just one, which sums up what our life could use more of. (I think this is something which bloggers have done previously, though I’ve only come across it now!)

Our word encompasses what Mr Pilot and I have been talking about recently, when we talk about the 2014 to come.

Make

We want to make more this year. We want to make beer and clothes and vegetable patches. We want to make yummy things to eat. We want to make memories. We want to bring things from raw materials to finished product. We want to make our house beautiful. We want to make our life beautiful.

2014 Make