A Bit of a Rethink

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His descriptions of the British people who run BnBs in the 90s are very funny.

I’ve been in a bit of a reading and blogging slump and have finally thought it through enough to come out the other side.  This blog was started in 2011 so it is almost 10 years old and I must say I am feeling quite stale with what I’ve been reading and writing.  When I think back to the books I get the most excitement from and just really enjoy I always come back to travel writing.  Travel writing isn’t written about that much.  Most of the bloggers I follow read the Bookers, the Stellas, the Pulitzers, the popular books, current events, politics, global issues and authors from the first half of the 20th century. While I enjoy following these posts they are books I don’t always get too enthused about, except maybe authors of old.  Modern authors, though on my radar, aren’t always authors I enjoy reading. I think too many of them try to be too clever,  politically correct to the extreme , using gimmicks that try to outdo everyone else. (Okay, you don’t need to agree with me and I will still like you).

I like adventure. I like a good story. I’m too old for too much naval gazing and deep and meaningfuls. I feel too old to do much more about changing the world from outside of my own domain. I’m leaving it to the younger generation. I have spent years writing letters to politicians, working in unions over worker’s rights, volunteering for various causes. I am tired now. Being in my 70’s I want to back down and enjoy what is around me more.

My interests in life are friends, animals, nature, photography and travel. I enjoy a lot of books that surround these subjects.  Having been socially isolated for several weeks now along with the rest of the world, these topics are continually rising to the surface.

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This recently arrived and looks to be a gentle, motivating book about this topic. It has literary quotes in it too from well know authors that I love

I’m supposed to be in Sydney today. I should be spending a day with a fellow photographer friend talking about the performance I saw on Saturday night at the Opera House.  That same friend and I had booked a trip to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia and should be leaving in a couple of weeks.  Sadly all of that has gone by the wayside and I now spend time here housebreaking a Jack Russell puppy who thinks he knows everything and argues with me every chance he gets.  (Lucky for him he is such a cutie)

It is odd how quickly things can change.  On the other hand I have been enjoying the quietness of being at home all the time. It’s given me a chance to buckle down and sort through closets and bookshelves. I even did a cull of some books and moved them on.

I haven’t been reading much though I did start the book Bruny by Heather Rose that was

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Thank you to a friend who sent me this. I’m almost half way through it and have smirked a couple of times.

kindly sent to me by a friend in Queensland. I am enjoying it. It is political but I know who all the characters are as it takes place in Tasmania.  The author isn’t at all careful about not revealing, shaming and almost naming the politicians this story seems based on.

But….. I keep going back to travel books in my heart. People walking, cycling, motorbiking to the corners of the earth. I love the people they meet, the experiences they have. The suspense of tricky situations that sometimes arise. I love road trips more than any other kind of travel, both real and virtual. I want to be with them on that bike, in that backpack so I am giving all the books I feel I “should” be reading the flick and focusing on travels. The Travellin’ Penguin didn’t get his name from reading best sellers.

I’m hoping the enthusiasm will come back to my moods when it comes to pages between covers.  I am also listening to more podcasts about books and interviews with authors regularly so I am not going to be completely in the dark regarding modern times.

So, without further adieu the Penguin and I are going to get our virtual passports and spend time doing more out in the world. I’ve scattered some photos throughout of the Dapper Penguinplaces and people I plan on spending time with.

21 thoughts on “A Bit of a Rethink

  1. “I like adventure. I like a good story. I’m too old for too much naval gazing and deep and meaningfuls. I feel too old to do much more about changing the world from outside of my own domain. I’m leaving it to the younger generation. I have spent years writing letters to politicians, working in unions over worker’s rights, volunteering for various causes. I am tired now. Being in my 70’s I want to back down and enjoy what is around me more.”

    We could be twins! I feel the same way. I still sign petitions and letters to advocate for animal welfare issues, but it’s someone else’s turn to try to fix the rest of the world.

    My husband and I travelled a lot in the 1980s and 1990s and I’m glad we did. You’d have to force me onto a plane these days and I don’t feel the excitement of ‘real’ travel anymore. I’d rather stay home, sleep in my own bed, and read a good travel book! There’s a good blog & podcast for armchair travellers called Strong Sense of Place that you might like. https://strongsenseofplace.com


  2. Notes from a small island, fantastic funny cheer you up read. We lived there for a few years. Bill did a great one on Australia too. Can’t remember the books title but Google is our friend…



    1. He did the DownUnder book that was funny. I have read a couple of his. A Walk in the Woods was my favourite. I laughed out loud especially when he wrote about the preparation of the hike. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Its going to be so much fun to travel with you – I wonder where your first destination will be ???
    If you love travel writing then what a smart move to focus on what you love rather than feel you are being pushed to read novels that are not exciting you. Your blog is indeed called TravellinPenguin for a reason….

    PS have you changed your template in WordPress? I don’t remember it having a dark background before. Looks classy but unfortunately I find it harder to read. Maybe just me….


    1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. My posts have had the blue background for quite awhile now. I will keep your remarks in mind next time I fiddle with it.


      1. Sorry,mi hadn’t noticed before. I wonder if it’s because I read the last one in the iPad when normally I read via the laptop. Maybe the screen resolution is different

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  4. You need to follow your heart with reading – don’t read what you think you should, read what you want to. If that’s travel then go for it! (I love reading travel books too – the perfect way to travel vicariously, and also with older books to time travel!) I imagine Ollie must take most of your energy, so just read what speaks to you!


    1. Ollie is adept at entertaining himself for hours pushing ants off the porch or carrying snails around until he finds suitable sticks. I can’t stop laughing most of the day. I’m hoping the books I begin to choose in the next few months give me the same joy.

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  5. I hear you too but then I would as I’m a keen reader of travel writing as well. You’re right, it’s not written about very much and not many people seem to read it but I love reading about other peoples’ adventures and difficulties in ‘furrin parts’ as we say in Cornwall. Can I recommend a book? I’m currently reading ‘Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers’ by Peter Fiennes, and I’m absolutely loving it. Not so much because of the authors whose footsteps he’s following in, more because of his commentary. He’s funny and interesting and really informative with little snippets of info on all sorts of things. So much so that when he put on Twitter that another of his books (about trees) was cheap for Kindle on Amazon I went over immediately and grabbed it. I do hope your enthusiam returns, hopefully we will come out of this soon and your travelling can resume. We had all kinds of plans of travelling over to Kent this year and later in the year up to Northumberland, both areas we’ve not been to. Never mind, next year will have to do.


  6. I love that you can recognise the Tas politicians in Bruny. How clever of Ms Rose. Good luck with your new direction, I hope you take us lots of interesting places.


    1. It should be fun to do a bit of virtual travelling. Yes the politicians in Bruny are incredibly obvious and Ms Rose even refers to all the blonde bobs that the Sandy Bay women wear which has always been a joke between me and my hairdresser. Do not give me a Sandy Bay bob!


    2. LOL But don’t say it too loudly, I’ve just read a book that was the subject of a lawsuit in Tassie because a politician was recognisable!


  7. if you type in “mudpuddlesoup2.blogspot.com”, you’ll get to my blog on which i did a 4 post series on Alastair Humphreys bike ride around the world… the latest post is on Shakespeare but the ones before that you might find of interest… best wishes…


  8. I hear you, I also love travel memoirs and books that recount the agony and the joy of long walks in out of the way places. I have been surprised by how the current situation has seemed to negatively impact on my motivation, a kind of depressive apathy started to creep in, hopefully shrugging it off at the moment. The good thing about the pups is they keep us going no matter what, the walks are essential if we want to save our homes from complete destruction and chaos. Good luck with Ollie.


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