Simply Sunday

map-of-italyThe past couple of weeks have been rather busy so I’ve been catching up on medical appointments, reading and socialising.

Events:

I’m dealing with too much pressure in one eye so getting that attended to. Drops and more drops. Treatable so no problem there.

My photography friend in Sydney and I had booked a month long trip to Italy, Croatia and Slovenia to begin in mid May in Milan and Venice. After agonising over it for awhile we decided we had to cancel. It is very disappointing but it would be more disappointing to get quarantined somewhere or to catch the virus everyone is sick of hearing about.  As the virus is so widespread in northern Italy, everything is closed up tight and the streets are empty. Though photography would have been great as nobody is walking around. We are  dealing with the travel agent and hopefully we’ll recover cancellation fees through travel insurance as we booked it last October before anyone heard of the virus.

Atwood
Apologies for poor quality of phone photo

Another lovely event was held at Wrest Point Casino theatre. Margaret Atwood appeared interviewed by Australian journalist and television presenter Carolyn Baum. It was a lengthy interview attended by 800n people. She was intelligent, astute and extremely funny and the chat was great. During the intermission people could post their questions to a Twitter address and when we returned for the second half several of the questions were answered.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and to make matters even better, I won my ticket through Fullers Book shop.

 

The week before last a friend and I travelled up to the small country town of New Norfolk which is about a 45 minute drive north of Hobart. There is a new bookshop and a stationery shop with beautiful things in it. We wanted to see what it is like. The bookshop is called the Black Swan and has a lovely small cafe. We enjoyed some wonderful baked goods and cappuccinos and had a look through both the new and second hand books. The young owner had a good collection of vintage Penguin books on his shelf and I was only too happy to discuss all the books with him.  It was a lovely morning followed by a very good Pub lunch.

Fullers Book shop had some lovely events I attended this week.  First was the book group where we discussed The Godmother byFrench writer Hannelore Cayre.  Most in the group really enjoyed it.
Originally published in 2017 as La Doronne, later translated by Stephanie Smeethe into English and published in 2019.  A widowed woman, Patience,  in her fifties works as a French-Arabic translator employed by the French police who monitor Arabic drug traffickers through wire tapping.  She translates the conversations for them and it evolves that she starts to be less than honest with the police.  She is needing money to establish some security for her grown children and The Godmother (online)also to pay the fees for the nursing home her mother resides in. She ends up acquiring a very large haul of hashish and begins to sell it. The story deals with those activities, her boyfriend who happens to be a policeman and also the difficult relationship she has with her mother. She also adopts a wonderful retired police drug sniffing dog named DNA who is quite important in the book. (Nothing bad happens to the dog.) The book, at a mere 200 pages is concise, well written and everything is neatly woven together. There is a lot of black humour that keeps you chuckling here and there. I really enjoyed it. No spoilers (except for the dog) so if you like this kind of French noir crime you will enjoy this book.

Fullers also launched the new book just released by Tasmanian born historian Cassandra Pybus. It is the non fiction biographical tale of Truganini, an important Aboriginal woman who was born south of here in the early 1800’s. The book, told through journals and historical documents, all listed at the back of the book, is absolutely fascinating. Truganini was an important figure in Tasmanian history.  I started reading  the book the day of the launch.  I read half of it and couldn’t put it down. The Aboriginal people were completely annihilated from this state and/or moved to the islands to make room for white settlement. It is a horrifying tale but an important one that needs to be

Trugunini
Cover photograph by the late Tasmanian Photographer Peter Dombrovskis.

told. I hope this use this book in Tasmanian schooling as many do not know our history. The motivation for Ms Pybus to write the tale is because in her thirties she learned Truganini grew up on the land that was later acquired by Cassandra Pybus’s family on Bruny Island and Cassandra grew up in her footsteps. The book is very factual and not at all sensational. It is not sentimental but written in a style I enjoy and the individual tales are fascinating. The bookshop was packed with people who came to hear about her story and many were later seen to be leaving the shop with the book under their arm.Screenshot

Later that evening three of us went to the Playhouse Theatre to see the amateur play, Keeping Up Appearances. Most would be familiar with the British tv show with Hyacinth Bucket (Pronounced Bu-Kay) and her wacky family. My father’s second wife was much like her and I always get a kick out of it when I see it. We had a fun night out between the book launch and the play with a lovely Nepalese meal in between.

What I have described is only about half of what I’ve completed in the past fortnight but I did want to catch up with this and I’ve added a new category to my blog posts called Photo of the Week that I will post at the end introduced by the Penguin. Our photo club meeting is coming up soon and I needed to work on some photographs for our print and digital challenges.

Until next time…..Screenshot 1 copy

 

 

 

 

Architecture Don Quixote
Don Quixote mural taken in a Spanish courtyard- Spain for Architecture challenge for photo club.

 

Author: TravellinPenguin

I live a retired life in Tasmania, Australia. I love books, travel, animals, photography, motor biking and good friends. I indulge in all these activities with the little Travellin' Penguin who has now shared five continents with me. We love book shops, photography walks and time with friends as all our family is in USA and Canada. I enjoy visitors to my blog so hope you'll stop by.

17 thoughts on “Simply Sunday”

  1. Disappointing news about your trip but probably wise. It would be dreadful to travel all that way and find the places you want to visit are closed. Then if you did fall ill you’d be trying to get help from overstretched health services while not speaking the language. there is always next year

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  2. Lovely photos Pam. Hope the eye improves. As for the virus, it’s a worry for us older types, though I rather wickedly have to say that the thought of having to self-isolate would mean a lot of reading would get done. I think it *would* be nice to just catch it and get it over with…

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  3. The Truganini book is also on my list, and while I want to read it for the content I must admit I absolutely love the cover. I think you were right to cancel Italy. My thinking is if you are under forty and fighting fit, than yes it might be great time to take advantage of the lack of crowds but if that is not your circumstance it could be playing with fire.

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  4. Really sorry you had to cancel your holiday but the virus is rife in Northern Italy so it makes sense. You would have to self-isolate when you got home and that would be no joke.

    Will look up The Godmother as I like the sound of it and always enjoy reading about France.

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  5. That’s a smart idea, I’ll bear that idea in mind for if I catch it and recover. We certainly had a wonderful time in the UK and Europe when we travelled shortly after 9/11. Most people were too scared to travel so the tourist hot spots were all empty and the service and the welcome everywhere was just wonderful.
    I’m glad to hear that the Pybus book is good reading. I was hesitating over buying it because even though it’s an important book, I thought it might be too academic.

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    1. No, not academic at all. Extremely readable. It would be a great book for high school and uni students to read. Very informative and the characters get in your head. Written mainly from G Robinson’s journal.

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  6. The thing to do with covid19/coronavirus is catch it now (shake hands with Trump maybe), get over it, then visit Italy while all those annoying tourists are staying away.

    The one fiction I can think of with Truganini in it is The Black Crows by Robert Drewe.

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