A Wintry Sunday

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.

From Styx Valley, Tasmania

Styx Valley Tasmania. (PSParks)

33 thoughts on “A Wintry Sunday

  1. Hello from the USA. Have you read any books by Edwidge Danticat? Last month I read her novel Breath, Eyes, Memory. It’s a good one. The story centers around a Haitian girl. Her mother lives in New York, and, against the girl’s wishes, brings the girl to live with her there. Neil S.


  2. Hope you continue to make progress with the eye condition Pam – reading with just one eye is very tiring.

    I read the Gander book a few weeks ago – fascinating story about generosity and community spirit though I would have liked an epilogue to discover if any of those friendships have continued.

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    1. After reading your review I downloaded a cheap ebook of it. It had a follow up to several of the people. The romance between Texas and the Carolinas did not last. They never mentioned if Kevin died in the trade tours but it is assumed he did. The Hugo Boss of fashion retired not long after. One or two people moved back to Gander to live. The two girls in the tent remained friends and went back to Gander but were not going to stay in a tent again though they were tempted. It was a very uplifting tale.

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    1. You will probably have a hard time finding the books as they are so local but Bedtime Story will probably be easier. I am enjoying all the stories by J Joyce. They are about people in Irish towns and they are so well defined as they go about their daily lives. It is quite hard to describe them. Just worth reading I think. I imagine gutenberg or other discount places would have them as they are out of copyright and freely available.

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  3. Fabulous Fungi Fotos. the Wendy Davis story (previously unknown to me) infuriated me – our South African Police often ignore or dismiss women’s complaints , its unpardonable, It happens far too often.

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  4. Happy to hear from you and that all is well. I have tried James Joyce but think he is not for me. I admire anyone who can read his books. Thank you also for the wonderful photos. Really professional.

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  5. I was one of those who did (kind of/with reservations) enjoy Animals in that Country, but I can easily see how many would not. It ended up being one of those reading experiences where I just let it wash over me in the end as trying to make sense of the language bogged me down too much.

    And I love your dedication to fungi pics. Mr Books did some work for the mushroom board of NSW for a while, so we got to know edible fungi very well!!

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    1. Our photo club had a presentation from a fungi specialist from university and she told us there is only one fungi in Tasmania that is safe to eat so I won’t be eating any of them. Some are very toxic. I’m looking forward to the book group discussion of the Animals in that Country because sometimes I see from others things I did not think of or notice. I do enjoy a discussion where some love a book and others don’t. Makes the conversation so much more interesting.

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  6. I’ve heard that from Germaine Greer but I respectfully disagree. To a point anyhow. It can depend on your audience, and the tone in which you do it. But my friends and I reckon that sharing our health issues with each other can be both helpful and informative for all parties. You can offer sympathy and support, you can share and receive information.

    I love The Dubliners, but it’s a long time since I read it.

    And great photos, as always.

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    1. Thank you Joan. The eye is certainly better than it was but a ways to go. Thank you for your comments re fungi. There are so many unusual fungi in Tassie. I find they are fascinating. Though crawling around on the forest floor hunting for them gets a bit mucky at times. 😁

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  7. Gorgeous photos!
    I’m not fond of short stories but I love Dubliners. I’d read them years ago as a student, but I borrowed the audiobook from the library and it was just wonderful listening to them being read in an Irish accent.
    I’ve read Bedtime Stories too. It was very moving book, and I read it not knowing whether the husband lived or died which made it even more poignant.
    Stay warm and well in the wild weather, Lisa x

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    1. I also downloaded the stories on audible as I missed the first shared reading meeting and I couldn’t read the book. The Irish accent is lovely. I haven’t read a lot of short stories but I have come to enjoy more of them than I used to. I don’t like the ones that leave you hanging or are too abstract. My brain doesn’t stretch that far any more. lol

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      1. I know what you mean. When my father was in aged care he used to like reading with me, and I tried to find short stories that we could finish in one visit. There was nothing contemporary that suited: too much filthy language, too much sex, too much drinking and drugs, too much bitterness and angst and almost always incomprehensible to him. I got recommendations from friends and found lots of interesting stories from an earlier era and he loved them.

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  8. Lovely photos (as always!). The Claremont serial killer took up a lot of newspaper space here over the past 20 or 30 years (I’ve been back in Perth 21 years). In 1996-7 two young women leaving Claremont (a posh inner-ish suburb) nightspots were murdered and another was/is missing. It was only a couple of years ago that the killer was finally charged and convicted. It’s a nice thought that police might take women seriously now, though probably a bit optimistic.

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