Things are beginning to look up…

Although left eye vision will never be very good again at least I can see the outlines of trees, buildings and cars. Driving isn’t bad either as my right eye is sharp as a tack for vision and with glasses I can read. There is a possibility too a new left lens in my glasses down the track a bit will improve it a bit more.  So onwards and upwards!

Reading has been slow but has been happening. I see Brona has written a review on H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, but I’m holding off reading it as I find the more I hear about a book the less I want to read it and I have just started Hawk myself. You can read
Brona’s review here.

I need to begin Geraldine Brooks book Horse as a priority as it is our August book group’s book and I have a ticket to see her at the Theatre Royal 27 July as organised by Fullers book shop. Tim who now owns Fullers felt bad when I could not make the Shakespeare event earlier this year due to eye surgery so he kindly put aside two complimentary tickets for a friend and I to see Geraldine Brooks this month.  (How to win over permanent customers though he never has to try with me.) 

I finished the audio version of Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. I have read several reviews of this book who love it but I was more than ready to finish it once read.  I found a lot of it tedious and I guess in today’s world the personalities of four women sharing a medieval Italian castle grated a bit against the daily news of today. I didn’t escape into it as many have though I thought the writing was good and the descriptions of the characters were good. It was orginally published in 1922 and though the world had just gone through  a couple of wars at the time and were recovering this book was a tad too fluffy for now.

I have also downloaded The End: The Human Experience of Death by Bianca Nogrady after reading Sue of Whispering Gum’s review of it.  I put it on my kindle as the book to read while sitting in waiting rooms and bus stops after the gym each week. As this book is quite a scientific look at death I think I need to read it in short sections. You can see her review here

I am currently half way through a new Australian crime book, Black River by Mattew Spencer. A serial killer has killed two women from a rich Sydney neighbourhood near a private boys school. When a third woman is found on the grounds of the school is it linked to the previous two? Two detectives, one female, one male work it out with the help of a cooperative journalist they enlist to publish specific information to hopefully flush out the killer or killers.  There are a range of suspects from the headmaster to the principal at the school and a few red herrings. This is the author’s first novel and I’d say he does a pretty good job of it but for Sydney all the characters bar one are pretty white as they talk about a multi cultural city.  But it moves along and I’ll finish it soon before I move on to Horse

Later this week my friend and I will attend the Fullers launch of 2022 Stella Prize winner Drop Bear with author Evelyn Araluen. I am looking forward to it very much and no doubt will buy the book. 

The 2022 Stella Prize judges described the winning book as:

“…a breathtaking collection of poetry and short prose which arrests key icons of mainstream Australian culture and turns them inside out, with malice aforethought. Araluen’s brilliance sizzles when she goes on the attack against the kitsch and the cuddly: against Australia’s fantasy of its own racial and environmental innocence.”

Chair of the 2022 Stella Prize judges, Melissa Lucashenko, says of the winning book:

“When you read Evelyn Araluen’s Dropbear you’ll be taken on a wild ride. Like the namesake of its title, this collection is simultaneously comical and dangerous. If you live here and don’t acquire the necessary local knowledge, the drop bear might definitely getcha! But for those initiated in its mysteries, the drop bear is a playful beast, a prank, a riddle, a challenge, and a game. Dropbear is remarkably assured for a debut poetry collection, and I think we can safely say it announces the arrival of a stunning new talent to Australian literature. Congratulations, Evelyn.”

That pretty much wraps up the bookish side of my week. On a more personal note, the planning of the Sydney photographic road trip thanks to my good friend J. there, progresses for August followed by four nights in a 5 star hotel near Circular Quay with another friend, I, who will arrive from Port MacQuarie for some R & R. We will enjoy full buffet breakfasts and a cocktail of the day for 4 glorious days following J and I crawling around rock pools and abandoned buildings I the rain with our cameras. SO looking forward to both lifestyles and getting off this island for a break. 

I’m back at the gym with Daniel who runs the weight classes, twice a week, followed by another dear friend, Teresa who is a diabolical personal trainer I will work with for 12 weeks developing core strength, balance and Pilates. Hopefully I’ll build up enough coordination and muscle people will stop on the street and stare saying, “Who is that old woman with the big muscles and drooping eye?

I’ll be the one wearing the black hat, black eye patch, black mask carrying the black Canon. Might make a good Instagram or Tik Tok personality. (As if…😳😳😳)

Keep laughing.

On that note the Penguin and I wish you all well and hopefully all obstacles in your life will be pursued with a sense of humour. 

20 thoughts on “Things are beginning to look up…

  1. So happy to hear you are getting better. The eyes are important for an avid book reader. Thank you for the re-cap and reviews. I did like Enchanted April, but can agree that it is boring in parts. I think it is the romantic in me that likes such books. Or it is just that I like the way she writes and tells a story.

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    1. Thank you. I think I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for Enchanted April. I have a lovely copy of it I might try again with when things are a bit quieter. May reading outdoors in the lounge chair in summer instead of our gloomy, wet winter now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Delighted to hear things/health/life on the upward road. Tim of Fullers sounds so nice – enjoy the outing . I enjoyed your book reviews. Horse sounds particularly interesting. And as for your gym programme – I am overcome by a mixture of admiration, awe and terror and have settled even deeper into my comfy chair and blanket.

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    1. Thank you Alison. Don’t worry, I am also quite in awe and terror with my fitness routine but the best part is leaving it for the day. Always feel happier and taller!! 😁 Winter has been wet and cold this year.

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  3. I’m very happy to hear your eye is improving, Pam… good news, indeed! So many interesting books, too. I love The Enchanted April and have read it at least a couple of times. The next reread will be on audio.

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  4. What happened to your poor eye? Thank God your right eye works! That was really cool of the guy to put aside complimentary tickets for you and your friend!

    Your upcoming Sydney trip sounds great!

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  5. So glad to hear that you’re still able to do the things you love despite the eye problem.
    Pity about your reaction to Enchanted April, I really enjoyed it as a kind of fairy story. Ah well we can’t always like the same books can we?

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    1. I think it was more a matter of just not reading Enchanted April at the right time. I did like the writing. Also I listened to it on audible and probably not the best selection for audible.

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  6. I love a buffet breakfast. The best, of a very limited number, was at a hotel in Copenhagen for work (30 years ago) where I discovered the delight of pastries for breakfast. Not to mention beer in the works canteen for lunch!

    I’m not a Geraldine Brooks fan; the weight of all those reviews, and the Stella, is pushing me towards Drop Bear; and I have an E von Arnim on Audible which I will get to one day.

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    1. I can certainly second the love of the buffet breakfast. I think I didn’t enjoy the Von Arnim book as much as I listened to it in bits on audible so probably more disjointed than if I’d sat down and just read it. Reading moods change with the weather it seems too.

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  7. Ah yes, a sense of humour is a great salve to a wounded soul.
    I’m very pleased to hear that you are back on track with the things you love, and I look forward to seeing a photo of you in your new identity!

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  8. So glad that you are finding that things are finally improving and having a holiday to look forward to always helps 🙂

    I went to an author event with Geraldine Brooks when I first moved to Sydney. She was wonderful. Somehow I missed hearing the news that her husband had died (pre-pandemic) so I think it’s amazing that she was able to write through her grief to produce a new book. She still has a house in my suburb, but it’s been years since we saw her pop into our bookshop.

    Matthew Spencer is another local author. We’ve done a couple of events with him; he’s great fun.

    My proof copy of Robbie’s new book turned up this week as well – very excited! I love his writing.

    Thanks for the shout out to my Hawk post – I hope you find it a worthwhile read too.
    And finally, I’d love to see the pic of you all in black with your black eye patch!

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