Weekend Coffee Share 4th February 2017

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© irene waters 2016

Welcome and come on in and share a cup of whatever you want with me. I feel as though I haven’t seen any of your for ages and it certainly feels funny saying Happy New Year when already we are into February. I hope you all did have a wonderful time progressing into the New Year.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the cruise was just what my husband and I needed and it came at exactly the right time. It allowed us to sit back and draw breath and that is exactly what we needed. I have decided that I am going to do a series on the voyage as the places we stopped are ones I have always loved and I look forward to sharing them and cruising with you over the coming weeks.

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© irene waters 2017

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that to add to the pressures of selling and moving I received my thesis examination back. One examiner placed it in entirety in the top 10% of those she had marked, where the other examiner hated the creative work so much that she determined it had to be rewritten in entirety. Naturally I was initially devastated and I have lost what little confidence I had gained regarding my writing but because one loved it and one hated it I should be realistic and say it boils down to taste. I was over the moon that both thought my exegesis (scholarly dissertation) to be good. Although I haven’t rewritten my sequel memoir in entirety I have done a major edit and added some stuff. Some things that she wanted included I am explaining why I am not. This is a memoir after all and if it is not in my memory I am not going to make it up. I still have a little way to go but hope to have it ready to resubmit by the end of February. This time it is only subject to an internal review and doesn’t have to go off to external examiners.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we have moved into our rental accomodation and we are in a heat wave. This house has no fans and basic air conditioning and is so hot. Where our old house was so well designed to stay cool no matter the temperature meaning we rarely felt the need to swim to cool down, in this house, if we had a pool, we would be in it day and night. Luckily we have a date for our final move in March and I’m looking forward to not having to pack another box for some time. The move here almost killed us as it is only one door from where we were living and we decided to do it ourselves. Let me tell you though that a fridge is heavy no matter how far you move it (particularly as we didn’t have the right trolleys to move it with.)  Anyway that is done and we will get a removalist for the next move. We have learnt our lesson. Roger feels his energy quietly leaving his body. I think once this is all over he will get back to normal. I hope so anyway.

I’m looking forward to reading more this year – both blogs and books. I’m planning on doing regular reviews of book I’ve read. Currently I am reading Ruth Park Harp in the South. It was written some time ago but gives a wonderful insight into living in the slums of Sydney (which are now expensive upper crust areas). More about it later. I have just done a review of Hinting At Shadows by Sarah Brentyn. What are you reading? I also went to see the film Lion. It is an Australian film set partly in India and partly in Australia and tells the story of a 6 year old Indian boy that becomes lost in India and is finally adopted by an Australian couple. Based on a true story I found it poignant, not a lot of fun but well worth seeing as it too gives an insight into a life that is so different from western expectations. Would you recommend any films that you have seen?

Well that is about all from me at the moment. Stay longer if you like and chat. It’s been so nice having you drop in.

Oh… Just quickly. Bundy and Muffin survived their 14 day visit with Mel and her flatmates. They even had a visit to Santa.

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© irene waters 2016

Thank you Diana for hosting coffee. Want to visit more coffee drinkers and find out how their weeks went go here.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
This entry was posted in daily events, Memoir, musings, pets, photography, Weekend Coffee Share and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Weekend Coffee Share 4th February 2017

  1. I am glad to hear that your cruise was just what you needed. I love those little vacation breaks because they are so refreshing to the spirit. A question for you; in your first photograph with the coffee mug, is that your picnic table? Its colouring is beautiful. I am currently reading book 5 in The Wheel of Time series and I talked about in briefly in a reading list post a few weeks ago (it is high fantasy). Anyway, great post and thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I figured with you gone about 6 – 8 weeks, you’d have much to write about when you returned. Can’t wait to start reading your new posts.

    As for your thesis, I’m so sorry about you feeling devastated by one examiner. Here is my take: the examiner who liked it appears to have a lot of experience with this type of review process (stated that yours was in top 10% of what they’d read.) That tells me to place most weight on her (?) review. The other examiner wants you to re-write even to include events you don’t know about, which removes your work from creative non-fiction (personal observation and experience but limiting to only most essential factors.) This tells me that examiner #2 is of the mind that “This is what I would have written.” That kind of critique is worthless – if examiner #2 is capable, she should write her own thesis based on her experiences, not tell you what to write or what you should have experienced.

    If both believed your exegesis was excellent, we know you can write articulately, organize thoughts logically, identify critical moments, formulate a context, present sufficient information so that unfamiliar readers can comprehend the situation, and define the events with a beginning, middle, and ending – in other words, a problem, a series of important moments, and a conclusion based on facts.

    It doesn’t seem reasonable that such a well executed exegesis would fall so short to warrant such criticism. I suggest you take a big breath and realize that the examine came to your project with prejudice for whatever reason.

    Happy new house to you and Roger and the pups – I can’t believe you’re already thinking about when you will move again! Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right Sharon. Mine was the only thesis the examiner who hated it had examined. Still I’m not as devastated as I initially was and it has given me a chance to make some changes that I think are really beneficial. However, some of the changes will mean it will never be published in a wider sense. It will be back to the drawing board to keep those I like and get rid of the ones that change the entire sense of the piece. I’m just looking forward to a time when this is over, the move is over and I can just be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela Morse says:

    I am really looking forward to your cruise. I am sure it will be more fun that moving from house to house. Thanks for the tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad that you are back an the voyage was fun. Sorry about your thesis. Think Positive!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck with your thesis. Don’t be disheartened, I find it is very much about individual preferences. Be proud of the positive feedback. The negative feedback doesn’t necessarily mean she hated it, perhaps she was harsh because she could see great potential in your work, which I find is often the case with negative feedback.

    Your dogs are adorable! Have a lovely week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not disheartened although when I first read the reports I was devastated but they are so disparate in their view of the creative work and both agreed positively on the exegesis I realise that it is more a subjective assessment. I see it at our book club how one will love and another will hate a work. No criticism is bad however and I have made some changes that I think improve the work so we will see.
      I agree the pooches are adorable. Hope your week is good.

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  6. Rowena says:

    Hi Irene,
    It’s great to share a cold drink with you again and share the heatwave experience. I can’t imagine how you’re surviving without air-con and in QLD. It’s hard enough here.
    We’ve also been away. We had 3 weeks in Tassie. We drove down to Melbourne and put the car on the Spirit of Tasmania. We were based with friends living in the bush outside Devonport and helped them move while we were there. They’d been renting to see how it went and are now converts to the Tassie lifestyle. We also spent a few days in Hobart and drove down to Port Arthur. I’ve done a lot of research on the place since getting home and hope we’ll get back there soon and will stay a few days next time.
    The kids went back to school as soon as we arrived home and we’re getting sorted. Finally, sent the Christmas tree packing tonight and packed up the decorations. I couldn’t throw out a good tree before we left.
    I’ve been working on writing memoir for some time and it does get quite tricky. I went to a workshop with Sulari Gentil at the Sydney Writers’ Festival a few years ago. That was quite helpful. I am working on a memoir set in Paris when I was there in 1992 and we used to hang out at a cheap cafe in St Michel and I can’t find the name of it. It’s so annoying because it’s quite central to our time there and I don’t want to fudge it. However, that’s gone on hold at the moment while I write about our Tasmanian trip.
    Hope you have a great week and surive the heat.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your tree must have been super dead with needles everywhere by the time you got home. At least you had one. I didn’t bother putting one up this year at all.
      Your trip sounds great. Sometimes its just the getting away and Tassie is such a beautiful place. We like NZ for that reason also. A little cooler today with a lovely breeze although I have heard we are back to super hot on the weekend. I’ll just enjoy the lull while we have it. Hope your week is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        Hi Irene. We went on our honeymoon to NZ 15 years ago and that blew us away too…50 rolls of film. The return home was rather expensive!!
        We’ve had a couple of cool days and you really need them to catch up.
        BTW I had my NDIS package approved yesterday and it’s amazing. I’m really looking forward to seeing an enormous breakthrough!
        xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

      • 50 rolls when you had to pay for developing – I was very careful in those days. I still took more than most people but I tried to make each shot count whereas now I just point and shoot. It’s computer storage that’s the problem.
        Glad for you that your NIDS came through. Hope you get the breakthrough you are hoping for.
        Cheers Irene XXX

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        I was much more careful with shots back then but I did bracket shots on occasion and didn’t know when I’d be getting back. That was quite astute because as yet, we haven’t made it back. xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

      • With all the earthquakes I bet you have a few shots of places that sadly no longer exist. I’m sure you’ll get back – one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        Strangely, I hadn’t thought of that before…aside from possible damage to the Cathedral. I am usually very conscious of things like that so I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of it. I thought you’d appreciate this link:
        http://onetravelsfar.com/2013/04/185-empty-white-chairs-in-christchurch/
        I find those white chairs very intiguing and would love to see them.
        xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

      • Those chairs are heart wrenching. Thanks for the link. I was talking to a New Zealander in our dog park only yesterday and he was telling us of the sale of his business. He was paid over 700,000 for it a year before the earthquake. 9 people died in his shop and the new owners sold a year or so ago for 125,000 NZ dollars. You’d have to think you were lucky to have sold when he did or, you’d be thinking, it could have been me. Devastating for those who lived in ChCh and we met a few that had left out of fear. Is anywhere safe these days from natural catastrophe?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        That Kiwi you met at the dog park must be thanking his lucky stars. At the same time, you’d have to feel for the people who bought it.
        I have family in Christchurch. Some were in the bad zone and and having to use pump out toilets and others who were fine. Such a lottery…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes a real element of thank god, it could have been me and guilt and sadness for those in his shop. Yes life is a lottery.

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  7. It’s great to know that you are back with us, full of stories about your cruise, which we will be anxious to hear about. The input on your thesis must be really annoying, since you may not be able to move ahead as you wished. I hope it works out soon! I regret that you had a hard time with the move, but I’m happy both of you came out of it alright, without serious strains or injuries!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I feel once we do the move in March, my revisions will be in Feb/March as well and we’ll be back on an even keel. I think the hardest thing has been that this episode has shown Roger that he is aging and possibly that is the bigger struggle – the rest are just things to take it out on. Hope all is well with you and you are having a nice week.

      Like

  8. Looking forward to hearing about the cruise. 🙂 And thank you, again, for the lovely review of Hinting at Shadows.

    I’m sorry to hear about the annoyance (for lack of a better word) regarding your thesis. I must say…that is odd. I mean, people’s tastes vary for certain but usually with academic pieces, they are a tad closer than “top 10%” and “needs a complete rewrite”. That is unfortunate. Are they on a committee together or do they read it separately? Were there only two examiners? What happens next?

    P.S. Bundy and Muffin are adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No they are separate. No-one knows who they are although both have said that the university can tell me who they are. My supervisor gives a list of names of people that can examine as experts in the field of the thesis and invitations are sent to them to read it and they do an examiners report. As it was only the creative work that there was such a vast difference of opinion (apart from my immediate reaction) I am not to concerned about. I see it at book club. I also feel that the examiner that did not like the memoir is not a memoir academic but rather someone who wants research on Australia’s First Nations People, colonisation and critical dog theory. None of these are in my memory and I am writing memoir. Got to get off the high horse. Some good has come out of it as I think that some things that I have added have made an improvement. As for myself I never think much of anything I write so perhaps she was right to hate it. I am doing a response ot the examiners and a major edit to my creative work. Luckily the exegesis I don’t have to touch and that is a relief.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So, wow! Now, hold on a moment. I’ve read your work. It is very good, Irene. So none of that!
        It seems things are a bit different there. I see. The memoir. Okay. Well. I don’t know why someone who doesn’t care for memoir was chosen as an examiner but, okay. If you feel you’ve made some improvements, that’s great. But, yes, it is such a relief that you’ll not have to touch the academic part of it. Best of luck with all this. I, for one, look forward to your creative pieces as well as your memoir writing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are too kind Sarah but thank you. I think the main thing is that you have to be true to yourself and if it works for a reader that is a bonus but you have to accept it won’t work for all.

        Liked by 1 person

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