We returned from our month long Moscow to Prague trip last week. I have photos from Moscow, St Petersburg, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic to sort through. As this blog has been dedicated to travel photography for the past month I thought it was time to get back to reading and books.
However I have grouped some photos together that I think readers of these posts might enjoy and will post them up in upcoming weeks for Travel Thursday. But first things first.
One the home front:
Odie is doing well for the time being and was great while we were away. Our house sitter kept us posted. However this week he is quite under the weather and he will be spending time with the vet. We are keeping him pain free and as happy as we can.
On the photography front:
Our photo club has our big exhibition opening Thursday night, on 1 November and will run until 12 November. There will be more than 100 photographs on display, of all genres, at the Waterside Pavilion on the Hobart waterfront. I have four photos being exhibited. As it is my first exhibition I am looking forward to it. However I will be working quite a few two hour shifts so will be busy with it until it closes. Then hopefully things will go back to normal. I’ll let you know how it goes.
On the book front:
I have actually been reading and enjoying it. My airplane read was the newest Michael Connelly book (Bosch series), The Night Fire. It’s exactly as one expects from his books, a mystery to solve with an interesting detective who now has more freedom to bend the rules now he’s retired.
I am up to the last chapter of Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self which I have enjoyed very much. It is a retelling of many chapters of her life that she discusses with a great deal of honesty that doesn’t hold back any punches. She grew up in Ireland with her sister and mother with an alcoholic father lurking in the background (a tale we’ve all read before) that influences them greatly. The first chapter is about his ageing and illness in Greece, where he now lives, as they are called to attend his bedside in a very under-resourced hospital. How do you care for your father’s bodily functions when you barely have a relationship with him? He is a person who they both love and hate. Growing up with alcoholic parents in my own family I could really relate to the emotions that surfaced. The next chapter is her quest to have her first child in her late thirties. To say more would spoil this story.
The third story explains the divorce laws in Northern Ireland (with the first divorce granted 17 January, 1997. Her parents split when the sisters were quite young but the laws of the country really reverberates throughout their life. Her father, of course plays a role in this story quite a bit and how the sisters dealt with their emotions related to him throughout their early lives.
The book is well written and quite a quick read but it expresses some powerful emotions and I got taken right into their lives while reading it.
The audio book I’m listening to is one I began at the start of our trip to Moscow. Thomas Keneally’s book Schlinder’s Ark. As we visited many places where Arthur Schindler lived and worked in Poland I thought it would be beneficial to finally address this book. We also visited the museum dedicated to his life in Krakow of which I will write about in a later post. I am sure I’m the only person in the world to have not seen the film, Schindler’s List, but I have been waiting to read the book beforehand. Despite the horrific events within the story it is a story that all should be familiar with. We were immersed in so much history on this past tour between Stalin, Hitler and the events of Jewish cleansing it did become a bit much at times. Stories of the impact of life under the Soviet Union in the Baltic countries also filled our heads. Our group visited Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps but as Mr. Penguin and I have gone through it previously we chose to not attend again. It is certainly not a tourist attraction as much as a sobering memorial to the six million people who perished. Not only the Jewish population, but homosexuals, intellectuals, gypsies and the list goes on.
We only had 11 people in our group and it was good to have discussions with some of them as we toured the museums and we visited the atrocities in stories and photographs around us. There were a couple of days we did need to debrief.
Well I guess that catches everyone up for now. Today I am going to see Downton Abbey, the film, for the second time. I loved it so much, I cannot let it pass by without seeing it again on a very large commercial screen. My friend who is going with me hasn’t seen it yet so we should have a good time. Then off to my favourite spot in town, Fuller’s Book store for afternoon tea break. Until the next time.,,,, all the best.