another obscure review: Complete Persian

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be in Geelong to visit family. While there, my sister took me to the local library, which is quite modern, like it was recently renovated. I was rather impressed, but, as I wandered over to the language section, I still didn’t have high hopes of finding anything in Persian. Amazingly, though, they did have one!

The book in question was Teach Yourself: Complete Persian (Modern Persian/Farsi) by Narguess Farzad. I’m calling this an obscure review because it is unlikely to have any relevance/interest to anyone I know, but I’m writing this anyway because I feel compelled to, and, who knows, maybe there’s someone out there looking for reviews of Persian textbooks… Continue reading

obscure reviews: Hydralyte

I remember back in my first year of uni (which feels like many years ago), one of the tutors told us they once knew a student who liked to go and try out over-the-counter (OTC) medications so that they would be better able to counsel patients about these. But, of course, it would be irresponsible and going against the “Quality Use of Medicines” principles to use a medication if you didn’t have the condition being treated, so they had to somehow have/get the specific ailments first.

Now, I’m not sure if they went out of their way to get cold sores, diarrhoea, common cold symptoms, heartburn and other conditions treatable with OTC medicines, but they supposedly worked their way through a fair few products (I’m not sure which — I just chose some random examples here).

Anyway… I never took this approach to my learning, but I suppose there are some things that are useful to try in order to make better recommendations to others. I discovered this in this last week when I got food poisoning and became very dehydrated. I’ll spare you the details, but I was quite unwell for several days, and wasn’t eating or drinking much in case it made me throw up. Continue reading

cleaning up

Several years ago, I wrote a post about chores I don’t mind doing. Top of this list was ironing, which is possibly my chore of choice. I also realised that I don’t tend to like chores that involve water, and if you look at the other things on that list, apart from sweeping, I also seem to prefer chores that aren’t related to actual cleaning.

Maintenance, tidying, creating – those are things I’m ok with. Washing and cleaning and having to deal with mess and dirt? No, thanks. Doing the dishes is my least favourite chore. Getting a dishwasher might be a good solution, but even doing laundry – just putting everything in the washing machine – is a chore I’ll put off or avoid if I can, so I’m not sure a dishwasher will help much. Continue reading

forests and jungles

A few weeks ago, I was at a friend’s place with a few other friends. After lunch, it was somehow decided that we should watch a horror movie. I think the rationale was that it was broad daylight, and we were in good company, so any horror film was likely to be more tolerable (compared to watching one in other circumstances). A particular friend in the group also seems quite interested in this genre (JS!) Continue reading

snakes in the grass

I was going to write a different post this week, but I just don’t have the energy or inclination. Instead, here is a random thing I wrote a while ago, inspired by a friend.


It’s like getting bitten by a snake. If you’ve never met a snake before — only heard about them, never known what it feels like to be bitten and to have venom in your blood — then it’s all theoretical or hypothetical. But now I’ve been bitten, and I know what it feels like.

I also know how to watch out for snakes, to avoid them, and avoid getting bitten.

Still, sometimes you can’t evade them. They find ways.

There is no snake now, but sometimes I wonder if there’s one following me, hidden in the grass …or perhaps it’s just the wind.

Occasionally I find a snake, and I look it in the eye. I watch it, unflinching, waiting to see what it will do. Will it come closer? Will it strike?

But in these moments, I don’t feel very afraid (only a little) because I know how snakes move. Maybe I can dodge it and run away. And if I do get bitten, I know I have survived before — I have enough strength in me to survive.