I’m back with the living after three weeks of fighting with my left eye. I won’t go into the details as I once heard Germaine Greer say, One should not use body parts in conversation once over the age of 50 or you’ll be very boring. So I’m standing by that.
I have managed to get a bit of reading done but not a lot. I gave up on The Animals in that Country. by Laura Jean McKay. It is for the July book group. I read 50% and for me it was just irritating and I am the first to admit I do not appreciate books where things happen to animals. I have met others though who really enjoyed the book so I will leave it to individuals to form their own opinion.
I had to pull my Kindle out of a drawer to read the past couple of weeks as I spent a lot of time in dr waiting rooms and I appreciated the large font. I have been enjoying the book, The Day the World Came to Town by journalist, Jim DeFede. He writes about the history of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The small city embraces the welfare of the many people stranded there from all the planes that could not enter American air space. It is a wonderfully uplifting story of the kindness of people when life gets tough.
For our shared reading group at Fullers on Monday nights we are reading Dubliners by James Joyce and I really like these short stories. We read four stories each week and discuss them a bit once finished with each story.
I also attended a couple of book launches the past two weeks at Fullers. One was Chloe Hoopers Bedtime Story which was quite moving. She tells the story of her husband who was diagnosed with a terminal type of leukaemia and the doctors said chemo would not be effective. She had to work out how to tell her children their father was going to die. She has written an entire book of grief and children and how to approach it. However, our audience felt better once she told us her husband’s cancer mutated six months later, chemo did become effective and he is now in remission. I hope it lasts.
The second book launch was Wendy Davis introducing her book, Don’t Make a Fuss: It’s only the Claremont Serial Killer. In 1990, Wendy was working as a social worker in Palliative Care in a Western Australian hospital. Her office was located in a more isolated area of the hospital and when a telecom worker asked to use the toilet (in uniform) she didn’t think anything of it. Suddenly though he had grabbed her from behind, put a cloth over her mouth and was dragging her towards the bathroom. She fought hard, kicked him harder and he apologised to her and ran out. She was able to get to a nurses station and report it to police and the telecom office. But, being female and the police being as they were, no one took her seriously. Telecom made excuses for him and continued to employ him. The police never took a statement and sent her home with her husband, who was also employed in the police department. She was very traumatised and eventually moved to Tasmania. Then in 2012 (I believe it was), she heard on the news that this same man had been arrested as WA’s worst serial killer having raped and killed several young women. Suddenly she was contacted and gave evidence in his trial. The killer had gained more confidence and escalated in his attacks on women since her experience.
Her book details how she felt by not being taken seriously, and how the whole case affected her. She joined a Victim’s Support group in Tasmania when flashbacks came back to her upon hearing the news he had been arrested. The psychologist suggested she keep a journal, which she did and that became the book. You could hear a pin drop in the audience as she recounted the experience. Her message, is to definitely make a fuss and make sure authorities take your story seriously. I am sure police practises have changed (hopefully) in dealing with assaults on women in our current times but women still need to be assertive in these types of situations of assault or bullying.
The Telecom company eventually apologised profusely to her but nothing more ever came from the police department.
That pretty much wraps up my last three weeks of bookish news. I hope to get a few more things read in the coming three weeks. However it might still be slow going.
I will leave you with one of my photographs of some beautiful Tasmanian fungi.