Weekend Wander- 7 July, 2018

New Jammies


This has been a hectic week so today Mr. Penguin and I are having a Pyjama Day. It’s cold out. There’s been a lot of rain with more to come. It’s winter in Tasmania. Pajama Day is a day where you wear daggy clothes, stay home, read books, put a roast in the slow cooker and drink hot drinks…all…day…long.

Stamp commemorating the Berliner Ensemble Production

Tuesday our play reading class made good progress on Mother Courage and Her Children by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898- 1956).  It is an anti-war play rated as one of the most important plays of the 20th century. It takes place over a period of 12 years in 12 scenes.  The class is enjoying it very much.

Wednesday had our Writing Group admitting a new member. This week’s topic was “about a walk”. It could be a walk in nature, a walk you’d like to do, a walk you’ve done.  It has been a popular topic and we had a variety of perspectives.

I am also reading an interesting little book I found in the South Hobart Tip Shop. It’s called Circuit and is written by Francisco Jiménez. He was born in Mexico in 1943. He was the second oldest of nine children. When he was four years old his family escaped into the United States. The family worked as migrant farm workers. He started working in the fields with his family when he was six.  They would move with the seasons of crops and he missed a lot of school.  When he reached grade 8, his family was deported Snip20180707_1back to Mexico but they legally returned a few months later. His father developed back problems not long after and that caused them to stop moving and he settled into school. He went onto Santa Clara University getting his B.A. in Spanish in 1966. He then became a U.S. citizen. Throughout school he and his brother supported themselves working as janitors.   He went on to attend Columbia University to get his Master’s and Ph.D. in Latin American Literature. He later married and had three children.

He wrote a series of books about his life as a migrant worker. I thought the book is relevant to what is happening in the United States now.  It appears to be written for a younger audience and I can compare it to a simpler version of The Grapes of Wrath but from a Mexican view point.  It raises important issues and details the hardships that migrant workers face between escaping a poorer, more dangerous life,  trying not to get caught by U.S. immigration officials. Mexican migrants work incredibly hard and American agriculture wouldn’t survive without migrant workers. 

I picked this book up because I was drawn to the cover. I am really enjoying it and will be finished with it very soon.

Uncle Buck and Odie are the best of friends.

On a personal note we had a bit of trauma with our brain injured cat, Uncle Buck (aged 12). We’ve had him since he was three weeks old.  He came home with me as a kitten from a veterinary practise I was working in at the time. He had been badly injured and wasn’t expected to live but 12 years later he is an important member of our family. He has neurological damage and as a result of that he only chews on the left side of his mouth. That means the right side gums and teeth need to be watched. He was to undergo a general anaesthetic but he crashed on the table so the procedure was aborted. This hadn’t happened before but our lovely veterinarians and their nurse got him back after a good five minutes and he survived. It was described to me by one of the vets as “controlled panic.”  We have been keeping a close eye on him. It turns out he reacted negatively to the anaesthetic and after Friday’s ultrasound we learned he has been diagnosed with cardio-myopathy. It pays to have health insurance on your pets. He begins medication next week and we are happy to report he is back to his purring self.

Thursday was a lovely day. I mean lovely. Sunny,  16 degrees and no wind. That’s 60 degrees to my North American friends and relatives. Mr. Penguin dropped me in town with my camera for the afternoon on his way to the gym. I spent the next couple of hours meandering through Battery Point and Salamanca as well as the waterfront for the next couple of hours. Both of us needed a very stress free day after the previous activities and events.  Battery Point is the oldest section of Hobart. The original settlement began here.  I include a few photos here.


Arthur’s Circus is the name of this circular street. The cottages are lovely.


Old and New
View of the Derwent River from Princess Park

When I got home my friend rang me and said she was looking forward to us going to the theatre on Friday night. I said, “What?”.  We booked Sweeney Todd at the Playhouse some time ago and I hadn’t put it in the diary. As both of us laughingly state, “If it’s not in the diary it doesn’t happen.” So last night was a meal out and a three hour (including intermission) of Sweeney Todd. It was a musical and very gruesome. The story goes (in a nutshell). English man married with child. He gets transported to Australia for a crime and returns after 15 yrs. He meets the pie shop owner who falls in love with him. She tells him his wife has died. But a daughter remains and is holed up in a mansion with a lecherous judge who adopted her at a young age but now wants to marry her. He wants his daughter back but can’t get past the judge. The pie shop isn’t doing well.  The man is a trained barber but has competition. He ends up killing the competition and when trying to work out what to do with the body, they decide to bake him in the pies. The pie shop takes off because the pies are so delicious. To keep business going the barber continues to slash the throats of those in his chair if they are strangers or loners (no one will miss them) and keep the pie business booming.  I won’t give away anymore but the trend does continue with a few surprises.  We enjoyed the play but after three hours in a hot theatre we were glad to get out in the winter’s night air at 11:00pm. Snip20180707_5

This pretty much brings you up to date on last week’s wandering. I’m hoping for a quieter one next week. Snip20180527_1

17 thoughts on “Weekend Wander- 7 July, 2018

  1. So happy to know that Uncle Buck pulled through and is back to his purring self. Happy for Odie too, to have his best friend back! 🙂


  2. It’s so fun to get a glimpse into your life, from the roast and jammies to the cottages on the street (love the white one!) to the theme of a walk for your writing group. I wish I had had my class do that when I was teaching last year.

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  3. i’m glad Uncle Buck survived… our Uncle Wiggly (chihuahua) had the same sort of teeth issues but didn’t survive them… I didn’t know you’d worked in a vet office! our daughter is a veterinarian; her office is in Molalla, so we hear stories all the time about crazy clients and damaged animals… the story about the immigrants sounds very interesting; when i get a break, i’ll look into getting a copy; maybe… you know how that goes… “so many books…”
    and i’m sorry you had to go see that play; things like that upset me: i just can’t understand how someone would write such a thing… but i guess there must be something entertaining about it, although it’s way out of my understanding…


    1. I worked 40 yrs as a speech pathologist. The last few yrs only 3 days a week. So took up volunteer work in my friends clinic then only did the Level 2 nursing program more for my own knowledge of having animals than for employment. I enjoyed it. The migrant story is a good little book but turns out more for secondary students I think.


  4. Pajama Days are indeed the best… especially after a busy week! So glad your kitty pulled through. One of my daughter’s friends just paid $6,000 in emergency vet bills after his dog was hit by a car and required surgery. A staggering sum! I’m sure he regrets not having insurance. Your town is lovely – great photos!


    1. Thanks Joanne, we love it here. At least we don’t get lasting snow in winter, only rain and wind though most days are sunny. Just chilly. UB is doing much better, thank you.


  5. I heartily agree with you about pet insurance. I don’t know what we would have done without it when we had an Irish Wolfhound and six cats, most of whom eventually got heart disease. I recommend insurance to everyone with pets and roll my eyes if they say it’s too expensive. They’ll regret that when a single visit to the vet these days can cost several hundred (if not thousands) of dollars. I’m glad Uncle Buck is doing better. We had a similar experience with our late little special needs cat when he went in for dental work. It’s all terrifying and I swore I had done my duty adopting so many pets over the years, and yet – we’re adopting an 8-year-old cat in a few weeks. Here we go again!


  6. A busy week indeed. I’m glad to hear that your cat is on the mend, they are expensive little critters, I know. The Offspring has just had his Malamute to the vet for surgery after eating a sock!!


    1. Thank you Lisa. When I worked at the vet office a dog came in who’d eaten a peach pit. Surgery = ok. A year later when peaches were in season he came in again and had eaten another one equalling surgery again. The next year we heard the owners cut the tree down. I never forgot that and it still makes me laugh. I’m glad the Malamute is okay too.


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