I began the Travellin’ Penguin blog back in 2011 for two reasons. I was recently retired, did not have enough to do and dealing with a good bout of chronic depression. Having the belief when things hit one, one must deal with them head on, I got help from a wonderful GP and a great psychologist. Having worked for 40 years, not having much family around me I was at loose ends. I also had a couple of thousand vintage Penguin books I wanted to do something with. Having no children or grandchildren to focus on as many do in retirement, my psychologist said I needed a job. I had always worked and I needed to continue to work in some way and there began the list of things I was interested in. Books, animals, motorbike riding, volunteering for wildlife rescue, doing something worthwhile, of use to others. In this post I will only deal with the books and the animals, or I should say ‘animal’.
I started writing about my Penguin book collection. I catalogued them all on Library Thing (no isbn codes to scan in with vintage Penguins) and that probably took a year or more. I started studying the history of the books and speaking to groups about that history in the community.
Before I knew it I was happily busy again and willing to participate in more activities.
Today our wonderful dog Odie is in the vet’s office. He has had some very unusual symptoms and to make a long story short, the vets are conferring with the specialists at Sydney University to get yet more information to the vast information in their heads. We have wonderful vets. There is a strong possibility Odie has leukaemia or some form of blood cancer. We won’t know more until all the tests are done. (By the way we are finding pet insurance very useful now). So much has been ruled out about what he doesn’t have, we are waiting to see what he does have.
Mr. Penguin is dealing with his worry by cleaning the entire house. I slept for quite awhile having been up with him quite a bit during the night dealing with his restlessness and pain. (He is unable to walk right now due to massive swelling in his leg.)
I am pulling books off the shelf. When feeling worried, or sad or just wanting to be alone, books are always such a comfort. I have had the book These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper on my shelf for awhile. I don’t remember if it was a blogger’s recommendation or if the blurb on the back cover drew me in. Good Reads describes it as: “Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.
Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.
But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37.”
I am starting it today and hope it turns out to be good. The synopsis of it intrigues me. I looked up Fran Cooper and it looks as though she is quite young and has another book out as well. Evidently this book won some kind of travel writing award. I’ll look into it more when I have the time.
Yesterday Mr Penguin and I took it in turns to be with Odie to care for him. As Odie slept most of the day on the bed I fooled around with some photos from past trips. I then saw an advertisement for a ‘Pop up Weekend Photo challenge.’ By then it was about 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon and this challenge was to end at midnight last night. I read it, sat back and thought about it and then laughed! I was going to do it! Besides the winner receives a new Sony mirrorless canon and lens to the value of $5000. The rules: Photographers could submit up to three photos of anything they liked……..as long as there was a pineapple in it! I jumped in the car, drove to the local shop just down the road and purchased a very nice looking pineapple.
I brought it home, grabbed my camera in one hand and put the pineapple in the other and began walking through the neighbourhood for inspiration.
I got my mind out of myself and started focusing (bad pun) on where could I photograph a pineapple. As I headed down the driveway our neighbour chatted to me and walked away smiling. I know, it is funny and we all need humour when dealing with adversity. Below are the photos I submitted to the challenge.
As I am still waiting for the vet to ring me later this afternoon, once again this blog has dragged me out of the depths of woe and given me something to smile about. I’ll stick my nose in the book I pulled off my shelf and see if that also takes me to another place temporarily as the photo challenge did. And wait to hear if the Pineapple Photos win anything.
I’ll let you know how Odie goes.