The week of 10th July, 2022
Welcome to the new format of the Travellin’ Penguin. With my dodgy eye sight I decided to develop a template for future blogs. Something easier that keeps my on track, avoids me rambling too much and just getting out the points I want to make.
What I’m Reading: I am getting through Geraldine Brook’s book Horse. It is based on the true story of the most famous race horse in 1800s America who was cared for by a young slave. I’m finding it a much simpler read than I anticipated. It is more like a book I would have read in 7th or 8th grade, a level above Black Beauty maybe. I am finding the research is quite good as are the characters that pop up in the 1800s. Of course a book about slavery and horse racing is not my favourite topic. I really abhor stories of slavery (though so far I’m not finding the horrific events written about in other books but the night is young). I also really despise horse racing but as this is a book for August book group and I’m seeing Geraldine Books at the Theatre Royal the end of July I am persevering with dread.
I have begun a wonderful memoir by British actress Sheila Hancock called Old Rage. She is in her late 80s and she has a lot to say about growing older. The book is in diary form. Her sense of humour is on every page and I have seen her most recent film, Edie (2017) a couple of times and no doubt will watch it again. The story revolves around her life after her husband’s death. She doesn’t want to sit around waiting to die so she travels to Scotland where she is determined to climb a mountain in a remote area. I loved the film. There is a synopsis of it here.
I also have the book about death called The End on my Kindle by Bianca Nogrady. Sue at Whispering Gums wrote a great review of it so I decided to read it. Find that here.
It is an interesting non fiction account of death, what happens physiologically, the myths, is there an afterlife, etc. It is not a book for everyone but I am really enjoying getting familiar with the nitty-gritty and hearing other person’s experiences with it (then revived) or around it. But……(Now you’ll laugh at this) I tend to read it when sitting in doctor waiting rooms or at the Franklin Square bus stop waiting for the bus home after the gym). I do not read it before falling asleep at night in bed. It is a bit too close to home!
Bookish Event of the Week: There have been two book launches in the past two weeks through Fullers Book shop. The first one was the Stella award winning author Evelyn Araluen discussing and reading from her book of poetry Drop Bear. There are many reviews of this book online so I’ll let Mr Google lead you there, but what a breath of fresh air she is. Young, dynamic, tells it like it is regarding First Nation’s people of Australia. Funny, intelligent and I think I’d read anything she publishes. We just loved her. If you get the chance to see her or read her poetry, run, don’t walk.
The second event was the launch of Undertow, by Kim Bambrook. The blurb is as follows:
And on it goes. Fiction published by Forty South Publishing.
Kay wakes up on a floundering yacht.The Tasmanian coastline has receded, and her partner, Sam, has mysteriously disappeared.An eerie fog hinders visibility.With no means of communication with the outside world, Kay’s worst fears are realised: she is alone and isolated, her vessel off-course and lurching into the unknown.From the bow of a sinking yacht to remote and craggy coastlines, Kay’s journey is one of unexpected dangers and startling discoveries.In an unforgiving environment, Kay has to dig deep and trust her instincts
(Photo at left- Above: Kim Bambrook rt and below Evelyn Araluen)
The launch was a bit of a laugh. This is her first book, and she based it on a very adventurous childhood and adult life she has lived. She has travelled the world, lived and sailed on a yacht alone for 7 yrs, had two children, seemingly raised on her own. The head of Forty South Publishing flew here to introduce the two people who would introduce and interview her. The room was packed with quite well off people who flew here from all over the country to be here for the night. The launch was person after person singing her praises and achievements. In one hour we had the three who heaped accolades on the author, the interview of the author, a journalist whose name escaped me after the audience was told she had Covid earlier in the week! I lost my train of thought after that announcement and I must say she looked very sick. Then we had the talk for 15 or 20 minutes of how the book came about which was interesting. I must say I liked the author and she appeared very humble but the others! Then there were a few questions and then the author gave a speech lasting about 10 minutes as to how humble she felt and she had a list of notes four pages long of those she wanted to thank. OMG, we winced. There was a book signing afterwards and of course I bought the book for my friend’s 83rd birthday and I think I will actually enjoy the story. But as my friend and I left the shop we looked at each other and said, “Did she just launch her first book or did she find the cure for cancer?” Hilarious.
Penguin of the week:
I will tell you more about this the next time and probably in a separate post.
My week went well. A couple of times at the gym, no visit to the eye doctor for a change. Cold days but I accomplished a fair amount of walking. A wonderful pedicure with teal nails in anticipation of seeing two dear friends in Sydney soon. I hope my mask keeps me healthy as I wear it everywhere. The book launches over the past two weeks and the Monday night shared reading of Hard Times by Dickens pretty much filled the week.
From the Photo Archive:
I am continuing to learn editing software of my photos so have pulled a few out of the archives. I will share one of the past travel photos here. I hope you enjoyed this rambling missive and look forward to hearing one or two things you read or did this week.
This photo was taken in Botswana on a trip we did to Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. These guys are scary and purported to be the most dangerous animal in Africa. Faster than you’d think.
Hippos weight up to 2000 kgs and kill 3000 people per year in Africa. Yikes!
Let me know what you did or read this week. I really enjoy hearing what people do to make themselves comfortable or happy during these times.