Daily Archives: April 27, 2015

a-z challenge: w

W, after much pondering, is for wizard. Please note that I used the singular case for the noun, because I only intend to warble about one wizard. And if you’ve known me for longer than five minutes, you’ll know which wizard. Yessir, I’m a self confessed Gandalf groupie. I wish he wasn’t fictional.


“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”

e55e2e7562df7f3c9b2d1cb827488376Gandalf (please read that in the voice of Frodo welcoming him back to the Shire) has been a comforting presence for me for a very long time. It’s also what nextofkin and I called our grandfather when we were little. I’m going to thumbsuck and mine my mind for this one and factcheck afterwards.

If names have power (and I firmly believe that they do), then Gandalf has pretty much all bases covered. Olórin is the first of his names and it means dream. In Gondor he is called Mithrandir, the grey wanderer. Incánus has numerous meanings (in the South, North-spy, mind ruler), even Tolkien himself was unclear on the matter. The dwarves called him Tharkûn, which might reference ‘grey’ or ‘staff’.  Despicable Grima Wormtongue called him Láthspell, which means ill news. And then there were his titles; off the top of my head, Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf the White, Gandalf Greyhame and Stormcrow. By the power of Google, we have The White Rider; his horse Shadowfax earned him that name. (I only missed three of those names before googling; my nerdy heart swelled with nerdy pride.)

gandalf_the_grey“I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!”

His presence in the stories is a good, but not always a reassuring one, neither is it a simple or one dimensional one. He can inspire terror, admit to flaws, get angry and express doubt. His overall presence is positive and comforting though; “Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day,” he declaimed and you know he will and of course he does, and the fact that he gets there at the last minute only serves to increase his awesomeness. Then there’s one of his best known quotes, “Fly, you fools!” while he keeps the balrog occupied. The flipside, obvious, is that his coming so often spells danger, but it’s not like he causes the danger dammit. In a fight, you’d want him on your side.

Fanboi much? I get grouchy about inspirational and motivational stuff, but whatever Gandalf says renders me solemnly attentive.

“Courage will now be your best defence against the storm that is at hand-—that and such hope as I bring.”

gandalf_samurai_sumi_style_with_calligraphy_by_mycks-d7cjkcaI can quote a lot of his dialogue, although books and films are muddled in my mind these days. There are some Gandalf references that my mother and I made often, there’s just a lot of important stuff. We never saw a moth without muttering at it to go and fetch Gwaihir. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us,” is something I said to my mother daily for weeks, and then her sudden turn for the worse raced to a death that none of us had foreseen, and the quote became even more heartbreakingly poignant. Thank you, Prof. Tolkien …
“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”

“Alas! there are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured.”

I think Sir Ian McKellen was perfect in the role and the fact that he’s queer (irl, not films) makes me happy too. It’s difficult to accept other representations of him as valid since he played the role – he really owned it as far as I’m concerned and I think Tolkien would’ve approved.

16971beae2e3a94908d95a4a65592fa1Song About Palantiri (Sung by Gandalf)
Tall ships and tall kings
Three times three,
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree.

The image to your left is the version I grew up with. That and Bilbo’s Last Song were hanging up on most of the walls of my childhood. I stared hard at them and decided that if I lived in Middle Earth, I’d be one of the Rohirrim.


And if my poxy autocorrect tries to change Gandalf to Gaddafi one more time …

Please Beware! Belle Gibson, Australian Wellness Blogger, Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

This woman, Belle Gibson, claimed that she cured her “malignant brain cancer” with only eating whole foods and holistic medicine. She claims she never used any allopathic medicines or chemotherapy. And she developed a bestselling app called “The Whole Pantry”, which apparently is still available on Apple itunes. She also wrote a book, also named “The Whole Pantry.” The book has been pulled by the publisher, it’s been taken off shelves. She has been accused of fabricating the whole thing. What’s really bad is that she has about 200,000 social media followers, and :-( some of her followers have been refusing meds and chemo for their cancer treatment, opting for nutritional therapy, as she claims she has done. If you or anyone you know is being influenced by this fraudulent woman, please beware! Link for article and part of the article below.


Belle Gibson said she cured her brain cancer with natural therapies and healthy foods.

But she never had cancer at all, an investigation from Australian Women’s Weekly revealed.

The 23-year-old Australian wellness writer became famous in 2013, when she said on social media that she had treated her malignant brain cancer using whole foods and holistic medicine for four years, after being given only months to live.

She also claimed she had seizures, a stroke, and cancer in her liver, kidneys and spleen, The Herald Sun reported.

Gibson developed a bestselling app, “The Whole Pantry,” pitched as the “world’s first” to focus on health, wellness and lifestyle, in 2013, and built a social media following more than 200,000 users strong.

She also wrote a book by the same name, in which she recounted her alleged cancer diagnosis and how she left chemotherapy with the aim to “heal myself naturally,” The Independent reported.

Elle Australia called her “The Most Inspiring Woman You’ve Met This Year” in its December 2014 issue.

But questions arose about her claims when The Australian newspaper talked to specialists who said the only brain tumour that could kill a patient was a Grade 4 glioblastoma.

They found no evidence of anyone surviving with such a tumour without treatment for five years.

In an interview with Australian breakfast show Sunrise last year, host Samantha Armytage remarked that she looked “incredibly healthy.”

In Chairs


I am reblogging this post by my good friend lilypup, not only because I can’t concentrate well enough to tie my shoes but because she describes a scenario that happened to her in real life. Read it and see what an effed-up mental health system we have even in this day and age.

Originally posted on lily pups life:


So to pick up my story of heading to the hospital…..

I was aware enough to know a few things. One was that I needed to let some people know, including YOU, my faithful blog readers. Even though you don’t know me, I figured you might get uneasy if I just dropped off the face of the earth. So I put a little post up for you. I also was able to text my good friends and let them know. I gave them my husband’s cell number in case they needed to call.

So we packed a few things and headed down to the hospital. One thing that’s important to remember is my emotional state. Every time I have entered the hospital I have been crying, sobbing, or just numb. It is a big low point in my life. Getting through the check-in can be tough.

There’s a process to…

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