Wednesday Waffle

I guess a few of you will be preparing for Thanksgiving overseas.  We don’t have it here and we’re celebrating spring with a bit of rain and lovely cool temperatures in Tassie.

Mr. Penguin, the Penguin and I are getting ready to head off to Sri Lanka on Saturday for a 17 day trip. We have not been there before and I think it will be very interesting. Visiting cities, country, Buddhist temples, national parks and an elephant orphanage which I am very excited about. Anything with animals just draws me right in.

Pinnawala Elephant orphanage (photo taken from their website)

I’ve been busy with photography, socialising and preparing for this trip. Our dogs are looking forward to the house sitter arriving as they love her. The cats are headed for camp, as we tell them.

I always say I’ll post the trip as I go but I find the days are long, the weather humid and hot and by night time I only want a cool shower and bed. We’ll see how we go. I thought I’d take some photos this time with my Samsung phone as it is quicker to post up a few photos that way rather than using my big Canon, downloading to computer, editing and posting. I just don’t have the time or energy to do that.

I’ve downloaded a couple of drawing books on Overdrive from the library.  I plan on doing a drawing class next year and a friend of mine and I want to visit a few parks and reserves and make time to sketch.  Both of us are beginners so I guess it will be a bit of motivation and some laughs.

I am still listening to A Gentleman in Moscow but only when I’m in the car.  (I always have a car book).  I’ve just finished The Dry by Jane Harper which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. I did think parts of the explanation for the murders were sometimes a bit more far fetched than reality but overall it was a good story and held my interest.

I got a gorgeous 2019 diary some books for my birthday from very dear friends and I’ll share them here.

The Diary


I love the idea of these seasonal essays. I also bought the Rain book by the same author as well. Comfort reads I think.


This is a wonderful book. Something to dip in and out of.

Peter Dombrovskis was the ‘premier’ photographer of Tasmanian wilderness and his photos are marvellous. He did for Tasmania what Ansell Adams did for the American west.

There are a couple more books but I will share them at another time.

I’m thinking a lot about what I want to do for 2019. First off…NO challenges. No Deal Me In, no promising I’ll only read from my TBR; absolutely nothing promised.  I do think I’ll read some more suggestions from the 1001 Children’s Books. I’d like to fill in a few from my Century of Books. That could take me the rest of my life but hey, who cares?

I would like to listen to more classics in the car.  I find listening to Classics on Audible is a very good way to hear them.  I lose concentration if I wait until night time to read them because I run out of energy.  I would like to read more Australian literature especially some of the older books.

I have to plan my weeks differently next year as the fatigue from the MS is getting me down.  I overdo it then I’m laid up in a chair in front of Netflix  or in bed watching you tube for a couple of days. That’s the bugger of MS but I am extremely fortunate it has not progressed much over the past 18 years so I am not complaining.  But some things will have to go. Back to Sunday nights designing my energy budget for the week. Not as many nights out. More exercise, less eating. More time in nature with my dogs and camera.

Snip20181102_18I will think about all of that while I sit on long plane flights and map my immediate future. I find travelling always puts things in perspective and shows me what is important and what isn’t.

So stay tuned.  I’m putting in a few photos just to break up this post a bit.

My Beautiful Odie


Some Miscellaneous Fun

Tomorrow is my birthday and I know I’m getting book vouchers for Fullers Book shop. More on that later. I also bought myself a few little books (they weren’t too dear and I love them) that I can’t wait to read. I think one should always treat oneself on their birthday.

But for today… I’ll share something else that was 1. funny and 2. hopeful.

  1.  Funny item first:

My friend Patricia and I went to the Tasmania Museum for a scientific talk on moths.  We like to go to these free events around town and this one looked fun. I really don’t get to the museum often enough.  This is what happened:

There were about 25 to 30 people who attended this talk. The first thing we learned about Dr. Catherine Byrne (the speaker) is she is a Taxonomist. She told us it has nothing to do with taxidermy or taxes. She is a scientist that identifies and catalogues various species.  She said that 75% of what’s out there in the world has not been identified. All of this really appealed to my almost Asperger’s like personality.


Next she gave us an overview of the Satin Moth. They are very pretty. Snip20181114_9

More information on how to identify and classify. I found it really interesting.

Snip20181114_15More information identifying insects.Snip20181114_10

After the 40 minute talk we got to see some of her collection, look at the UV light in the bucket she uses to catch these little critters and then we peered through a microscope to see a very tiny little moth. Not much bigger than a couple of pinheads. It was very sparkly.




Pretty little creatures.Snip20181114_13

She also explained how insects are named. They can be named after the person who discovered them, a celebrity, a family member, anyone. One rule exists though: There are always two words and they are both Latin words.  She told us the moth Neopalpa donaldtrumpi was named after Trump because of its ‘hairstyle’ and when they put it under the microscope it had a very tiny penis.  I thought the audience would fall off their chairs laughing. It had been such a scientific talk and when she very seriously explained the naming of the moth it really got a laugh.

It kind of fits, doesn’t it. Well, at least the hair. We’ll leave the rest alone.

2.  Hopeful:

Today was the last day entries could be submitted into the Australian Photography magazine for Photographer of the Year.  I have never entered a competition before but they had a category for wildlife photos taken within the past year. I thought, “Why not?” Four entries had to be entered into each category so I went through my backlog of Snip20180427_2wildlife photos taken in Botswana and Namibia in March this year. I chose four and sent them in.  It would be amazing if I won or placed but whether I do or not I am very happy with these photos.

Enjoy the effort and send good thoughts.  I hope you enjoyed this little bit of fun for today. What did you do today?  Anything fun?


Male Lion

Botswana Lion 2


A Cheetahcheetah

A Caracal Caracol

A Baboon




The Weekend Wander – Jane Harper in Hobart

I know a few of you have read the Jane Harper books. Those are the books I keep meaning to read but haven’t got around to.  On Friday night a friend and I went along to the Fuller’s Book Shop launch of her most recent book, The Lost Man.

Snip20181111_6As there were quite a few people expected to come it was held in a conference room at the RACV Hotel across the street from Fuller’s. It was very flash sitting in reception with our drinks waiting to enter the room. The event had a good turnout but wasn’t mobbed.

I really enjoyed hearing her talk about how she writes and the research she conducts for her books. I love research and this sounded like so much fun.

Jane is a journalist who lives in the city of Melbourne. Very urban. However her books, of which there are three, all take place in the outback.  She talked for quite awhile about her experiences researching the isolation of the outback, the people she met, the pubs she visited. She also spent time with organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctors. She said she enjoyed it so much she didn’t want to leave. She spent most of her time in western Queensland.  Australia’s drought ridden country plays a role in all of her books so far. She stated her journalistic background was instrumental in succeeding in the research she did for these books.  She talked quite a bit about how she had to get the dialogue right as the country folk of rural Queensland speak differently than those urban dwellers of Melbourne.Snip20181111_7

She also mentioned The Dry has been optioned for a film by Reece Witherspoon’s outfit so look out for it in the future.  One audience member asked her about who would be cast as Aaron. She couldn’t tell us due to confidentiality clauses but stated she was happy with the person chosen if it goes ahead.  It will also be filmed in Australia and not America.

She presents as a really down to earth author and everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy her.  I came home and began to read the copy of her first book I have, The Dry. It features a federal policeman, named Aaron Falk. He returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke Hadler. Luke and he had hung out as part of a group of four, including their girl friends when they were young.

Luke Hadler killed his wife and son, then shot himself. The younger daughter was spared.  There was a history that involved a death of one of the girls. The classmate from years gone by and the town people still think he killed her. His reception in his home town after 20 years doesn’t go that well.

I am enjoying this book and now Aaron and the local town cop are beginning to think things just don’t add up around Luke’s family’s death when they visit the scene of the crime…well… let’s say, the plot thickens.  The Dry is Jane’s first book and I am right into it. I think I am not alone in thinking this is a very good book.

Since then she wrote a second book with the same protagonist called Force Of Nature.

Snip20181111_5The launch I attended was about her third and latest book that is a stand alone novel that doesn’t include Aaron Falk.   It is titled The Lost Man.

During question time one of the audience members asked if Aaron would come back in the future.  She stated she didn’t see a long term series as she didn’t want to do that, but she felt she owed him quite a bit, so don’t be surprised if he reappears in future. That got a laugh from the audience.

It was a lovely, fun way to spend an evening with a friend and I plan on reading her other novels once finished with The Dry.

If you’ve read any of her books what did you think?

Published by Pan MacMillan

Weekend Wander- A Day Early 3 November, 2018

I know, I know….where does the time go? Can’t believe I’m looking at Christmas decorations in the shops.  (sigh). Why don’t they just leave them up all year so we get used to them and then don’t feel so stressed when we see them?

This is a catch up post and to make it easier I’ll stick to categories. That’s how I think.

Snip20181102_3First off I’ve been reading lots of your blogs out there. Probably why I neglect my own. I get wrapped up in yours.  Having heard about “three things” on Bookjotter’s post I decided to knick part of that and come up with my own headings.  I’ll work on them and hopefully have more of a template by 2019.

I always feel if you haven’t written to someone you should just write about what’s happening today.  That way if I do that I don’t feel overwhelmed by having to think of everything that’s gone on for the past month.  I like it when people write to me too and just tell me what they’re up to on that day.  It means they’ll write more often if they only have to tell me about one day and over time I stay in touch.  I might think about that too for the new year.  Okay, let’s have a go-

Reading:  I just finished more than half of Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan. One of his earlier works, I enjoyed the writing but not the topic. He is drowning in a river and the entire book is about his thoughts while he drowns. The majority of the book has his memories circling his mind.  I enjoyed the stories he remembers but found the drowning disturbing and claustrophobic.  I read enough and just couldn’t finish it.  The world is sad enough without my free time being taken up by a slowly drowning man. The book was chosen by the Bushwalking Book Club which meets this Sunday….


My Brain Activities:  I can’t attend as I’m enrolled in a two day writing workshop by Rosie Dub through the Tasmanian Writer’s Centre.  I lifted the description of her from the Writer’s Centre.Snip20181102_5

“Rosie has worked as an editor, a mentor and a teacher of creative writing for more than fifteen years. During this period she has edited and assessed manuscripts ranging across many genres of fiction and non-fiction. Her creative writing teaching has been conducted through the writer’s centre in Hobart, UTAS, TAFE, Adult Education and private workshops.”

The Great Outdoors Experience:  I took my Odie for a bit of a bush walk this morning. We went up the fire trails, stopped when tired, ate our breakfast banana and drank our water, then headed home.  We saw a young woman walking her gorgeous greyhound, two young fathers with toddlers and infants strapped to their bodies chatting to each other and one very energetic runner that came up from behind very quickly and startled us.  After watching so many crime series on Netflix lately I turned around and was ready to hit someone with my walking stick as I heard fast moving footsteps.  I don’t know if Odie would protect me or if I would protect him.  But all was okay.

Listening:  I am currently listening to A Gentleman in Moscow on audible. Enjoying it very much. No doubt, many of you may have read it okay. It is by the author Amor Towles.Snip20181102_4

Fuller’s Book Shop Book Club:  We discussed the inaugural novel of The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen last night.  All of us, for the most part enjoyed it. The story that takes place during the time of the moon landing in 1969. It tells the story of two families living in Western Australia. Trials and tribulations with each other all narrated from the point of view of the Galah who lives in a cage.  I thought it was a great story and loved the location and the time period.  But I didn’t grow up in Australia, so much of the nostalgia talked about was lost to me.

The others in the group enjoyed that part of it very much.  We talked about those little round onions on toothpicks, dinner parties, frocks, etc. We also discussed what we were all doing on the day of the moon landing. I didn’t enjoy reading it as much because of the cruelty around the Galah’s life.  She pretty much symbolised the lives of women in that time period and how constrained/abused they were at times.  It was also linked to the novel, The Lucky Country, written 50 years ago by Donald Horne. Tracy mentioned in an interview on the ABC radio that women were mentioned in his novel only three times. This book is meant to be an answer to the lives women find themselves in from a female point of view, even if it is from a Galah.

For a first novel by a young author I thought it was very well written and look forward to more from her.  One interesting comment from another was she thought it was too similar to Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. Ms. Sorensen wrote about Western Australia very much as Tim Winton does.  The two families who are at times friends and then at times falling out was very similar to the two families who shared the house in Cloudstreet.  We also saw similarities to the film, The Dish.  If others are familiar with these two books and the film I’d love to know what you think.

Play Reading Class: We just finished The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. We loved it. We read it a couple of years ago but we have new members in the group that weren’t familiar with it and it really is such a laugh. We are currently finishing up the year with the play Peter Pan by JM Barrie.  Great fun to read the lines of the pirates.

Photography Group:  Getting ready to turn in our digital challenges for the November meeting coming up. The task is to have at least three layers in the photo designed on photoshop. I had great fun with this and managed to insert the Penguin into it. It made me laugh while I played around with You Tube videos trying to work out how to do it and get inspiration.  I put the Penguin in and then liked it so much kept him there. Will be interesting to see how it scores on the night.Snip20181102_8

Pets:  All are in good health only because they have such good medical care. Dogs, Odie and Molly, are on medications. (Ear medicine and heart & arthritis medication respectively). Cats Grizzy on his every other day eye drop for herpes virus in his eye. He had it when we adopted him but didn’t know it and now we’ll be caring for that for the rest of his life. Uncle Buck is on Beta Blockers for his heart twice a day. Terrible tasting liquid med I am told. Cousin Eddie is the only one that doesn’t stand in the queue each day for a dose of something.



Something to Look Forward To:   Hopefully something Fuller’s related for a birthday present coming up soon and we’re in the air again. This time flying to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks the end of November. More on that later. Of course the Penguin will be going.

I guess that’s it for today.  Now- your comment for the day. What did you do today?  I only need to hear about today.

New Wardrobe Item:



An Environmentally Friendly Tasmanian Book Group

Snip20181014_5Everything in Tasmania is about beauty of the scenery, excellence of the fresh food and wonderful experiences.  Now there is a book club in Hobart I had no idea about. I saw a flyer for it a couple of months back on the notice board at Fuller’s Book Shop.

I saw the poster, read the book at the time...The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman. I was geared up to attend the Sunday meeting in a large reserve nearby and then something came up and I missed it. The next month came along and I was overseas.  I was determined to get to the October meeting.

This is their facebook page in case anyone would like to follow. Bushcare Walking Book Club – City of Hobart, Tasmania at

Okay, I’ll now explain.  This book club is an initiative of the Hobart City Council. Nicole, who works for the HCC organises it. She works in the area of Bush Care. You know, getting rid of noxious weeds, replanting and reinvigorating areas of neglect. It is a very ‘greenie’ department.  Each month she assigns us a book about the Environment.  When I saw the flyer about the Genius of Birds I thought I would see what it was about. I love birds. I downloaded the book on audible and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I learned more about birds than I ever thought I would. Their intelligence and habits are both amazing and endearing.  Such bright creatures.  If you love reading about birds then this is a great little book.Snip20181014_6

Before I left for the United States in September I downloaded the book Feral by George Monbiot, an author from the United Kingdom.

According to Wikipedia:   “Feral is a book about rewilding by the British environmentalist George Monbiot. It was published by Allen Lane (a hardback imprint of the Penguin Group) in 2013 with the full title Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding. The book has also been published as Feral: rewilding the land, sea and human life (paperback and American editions).

Monbiot looks at rewilding projects around the world. However, he pays particular attention to the scope for rewilding in the United Kingdom. He argues that overgrazing is a problem in the British uplands and calls for sheep numbers to be reduced so that areas can be rewilded.  Such ideas received criticism from organisations representing farmers, for example the Farmers’ Union of WalesOn the other hand, the book received favourable reviews, including in publications normally hostile to Monbiot’s work, such as The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph.  Many reviewers were impressed by the lyrical nature of the book’s prose style. According to the New Statesman‘s reviewer “something about the charm and persistence of Monbiot’s argument has the hypnotic effect of a stoat beguiling a hapless rabbit.”

Snip20181014_8I didn’t think I would find this book of essays very interesting but I have to say I really did.  The issues he brought up were fascinating.  He talked a lot about the environmental rewilding projects mainly in Europe but he also touched on Africa and the United States. I don’t remember there being any Australian content.

The format of the book group is also fun and interesting.  A beautiful location is picked in the Hobart area. One month it was on Mt. Wellington trails. One month is was in a large reserve near a water catchment area where they are picnic facilities and much birdlife.

October had us walking along the shore of Sandy Bay beach which borders the River Derwent.  We meet on the first Sunday afternoon of the month from 2:00 pm  4:30 pm. In the past approximately five or six people turned up but this month we had 18!  We had 13 women, three men and one child about ten or eleven. He attended with his mother.

We all introduced ourselves at the beginning in the carpark area. We had to tell everyone our name and our favourite Tasmanian animal. (How do you choose that?)

Then we began our walk about 20 minutes along the beach. There were lots of families on the beach and on the adjoining playground. Many were enjoying a swim or a picnic. The day was a beautiful warm day. It’s springtime here.

When we first stopped, Nicole asked us some questions about the book. A discussion then pursued about environmental issues in our locale. We talked for about 15 or 20 minutes. We then walked on.  Small groups that had formed on the first leg of the walk chatted and then the groups changed once we began the second leg of the walk.

When we stopped the second time, maybe another 20 minutes down the beach, we all sat in a circle in the sand or on rocks and chatted again. Some people drank from the water bottle or pulled a snack from their bag.  We continued to talk about the issues raised in the book and also about who we are and what our interests are within smaller groups. We were probably at that location 2o to 30 minutes.  The time went so fast it is hard to estimate how long we were there.

We then turned around and did a very long walk back the way we had come and beyond.  We seemed to walk quite a distance and it was becoming very warm.

At the last stop, Nicole produced a large container of hot water, coffee, various teas and lots of biscuits (cookies), even catering for any vegans that may appear.

This saw our conversations with new found friends to be much more social and Snip20181014_7personal. We talked about various books and experiences we have had. Nicole wants us to think of other books about the environment we could read for this group. So far most books have been non fiction. But the November book will be Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan who is purely Tasmanian and a Booker Prize winner (The Narrow Road to the Deep North). Death of a River Guide is a much earlier work of his and refers to the Franklin River dam dispute that began the Greens movement in Tasmania in the late 1970’s.

The Franklin Dam or Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was a proposed dam on the Gordon River in southern Tasmania. The government wanted to build a dam for the hydro electricity it would provide but it is in a wilderness area of UNESCA heritage listing and it never happened. The protests were large, loud and often violent. It was the most significant environmental campaign in Australian history and the beginning of the Greens Political movement.

But back to the book group…..After a walk of about 3.5 kms and 2 1/2 hours of walking and book discussion our friendly group returned to the carpark to get their rides back home.

It was a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Next month we will be near the foothills of Mt. Wellington again, I presume on a bush trail and I look forward to it very much.

Here are more photos of our environment for the day.  I know…..very nice.

Our group heading out.
These were a very bright spot on the river.
Everyone was out today. From a tall ship to kayaks.
We have a lot of these things in our river. A bit of a nuisance but still pretty to look at.
Another peaceful view of our River Derwent.












A Weekend Wander through Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

We also wondered what the significance of this cover was.

The Penguin and I are members of two separate book groups now.  One group is a monthly meeting at Fuller’s Book Group. Today I am writing about the October meeting with Fuller’s Book Shop in Hobart. We meet the first week of each month, February through November with a Christmas get together involving all their book groups in December.  Everyone in all the groups reads the same book each month.

The October book was Priestdaddy by American author Patricia Lockwood.

Wikipedia describes her career as:  “She married at 21, has scarcely ever held a job and, by her telling, seems to have spent her adult life in a Proustian attitude, writing for hours each day from her ‘desk-bed,'” according to a profile in New York Times magazine. During that period, from 2004 to 2011, Lockwood’s poems began to appear widely in magazines including  The New Yorker, Poetry and the London Review of Books.”

Good Reads comments indicate that:   “The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, (she was born in Indiana) the poet dubbed “The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas” by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and discovered a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI – despite already having a wife and children.

When the expense of a medical procedure forces the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she must learn to live again with her family’s simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Told with the comic sensibility of a brasher, bluer Waugh or Wodehouse, this is at the same time a lyrical and affecting story of how, having ventured into the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact.”

First off all of the major publication reviews I read are glowing about this book. Mostly American sources, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker all glow about her work.

This is one of her poetry books I have not read.

However in the everyday life of our six (or seven) book club members our views were vastly different. Our book group had different views about this book. One member loved it. She laughed at the family, enjoyed the quirkiness of it. (Of course I find quirky is a description of something that you don’t know how to accurately classify).  Patricia’s father had been a Lutheran Minister. Over time he became more and more interested in Catholicism and eventually was able to exploit a loop hole and become a Catholic Priest. Although he was married with five children he seemed to live in his own world that not many others could penetrate. Being a Catholic priest with a large family is not a situation we see often, if at all.  No one in our group liked this man. He could be crude, crass and cruel.

I must note I listened to this book through  It was a painful listen and may very well have clouded how I felt about the whole story.

My notes:  Patricia Lockwood’s narration could be loud and brash at times. I thought it was like fingernails on a blackboard.  Her narration reeked with sarcasm which annoyed me to no end. I wish she had simply read her book. This may have affected how I reacted to the book.

I could not connect with the family no matter how hard I tried. Neither could most of the others in our book group.  It is a family we did not enjoy being involved with at all. The mother would pipe up and say the most ridiculous things at time.
The siblings didn’t seem to do much. The father walked around the house scratching himself in very old, transparent underwear no matter who was visiting. He would often start playing his guitar when things got rough. Family members would ignore him in exasperation.   When he entered a room we just wanted to leave. There were many wisecracks about him from his children but no one really talked about any emotional connections they had with him except those that were negative.

Source: Wikipedia

The book consisted of activity after activity as though it was a list of events. No laughter or other emotion was attached to much of it.  It was as if they were caricatures.

Now, I did not enjoy this book much but there were parts of it that did make me shake my head and laugh a bit. But not enough.   I did find the writing very good. She has a very creative mind and some passages I listened to again as they were clever and often funny.

However many critics in mostly American publications gave this book rave reviews. It could have been the narrative on Audible was so irritable it tainted my overall view. I’m sure that clouded my perspective of this book. Perhaps if I had read it in hard copy I would have appreciated it more.

I think it is a reasonable book for book clubs because it does polarise readers. There are many issues that caused discussion.  For example the church, how people should act as a Priest… or shouldn’t. What are our expectations?  Moving back home with parents after leaving home and being independent and finding yourself home again.  How we deal with family members we don’t feel connected to.  There is also mention of a rape Patricia endured a decade earlier, however that doesn’t seem to play a very big part and I almost forgot about it until someone in the book group brought it up. Not a topic I normally forget.  Maybe my reaction of it is because I am getting tired of Memoirs that seem to be in bookstores from everyone and their dog lately. I think I need to move on with my reading choices.

Advertising more of her work.

I would suggest if this is a book that has a subject matter you find interesting then read some of the other reviews, that are better written than my little comments. You will also find they are quite positive.

Here are some links.

The guardian:

NPR Book Review:

The New York Times:

I will talk about the other book group I belong to in my next post. It is a very unusual book club and I think people will enjoy hearing about and may even want to start one up in their own communities.  I will post the information up in the next day or two.

That’s it for now.  I would love to know if anyone else has read this book and what you thought of it. It is certainly unusual. That’s never a bad thing.

I won’t need this scarf for much longer. Spring has sprung.

Library Loot and Miscellaneous Life…

Snip20180427_2The Penguin and I returned from California in one piece and it was good to get home. I had two dogs that exploded when they saw me. Love an exploding dog. It’s as though they forget you and then remember and then explode.    I had lots of well wishes for my travels. I always laugh a bit when people wish me a safe trip.  As if I can control what happens with the pilot and our plane. But I know their intentions are good.

Today I went into the city and picked up some library books I had on hold. I suspended my holds while away so of course once I returned and took the suspension off them they all came in at once.  I got two photography books that I won’t display here but I am enjoying them.


The books I picked up today have a funny tale.  The one book I have been waiting for is The Totem Pole by Paul Pritchard. The Totem Pole is a very tall rock formation on the east coast of Tasmania. Here is the blurb.

“Climbing defined Paul Pritchard’s existence and signposted his horizons. From his Snowdonia base he gained a reputation for routes of extreme technical difficulty and meagre protection.”

“He’s climbed in the mountain ranges from the Hiumalayas to the Andes, Baffin Island to the Pamirs.  When climbing the totem pole in Tasmania a falling boulder inflicted such terrible head injuries that at the hospital they thought he might never walk or speak again.”  He spent the next year fighting his hemiplegia, his memory and speech disorders. This is his story. He does come back from all of this.

I was waiting in line for the bus today. A hippie type man was standing next to me also waiting to board the bus. He saw this book on the top of my pile and said, “He’s a good friend of mine. I was just at his place yesterday.  We actually like him more since he’s had his head injury. You’ll enjoy this book. It’s just been reprinted in a new format.” I was told I don’t have the ‘new’ one.

People in Tasmania get teased a lot because everyone is supposed to be related to everyone else and have two heads. Of course with the great rise in cultural events here now we don’t hear that as much now our state has been discovered by the world. However, you have heard the saying, “six degrees of separation.” Well Tassie has two degrees of separation and we do witness this all the time. So today I was only two degrees from meeting the author of this book.

Snip20181004_6Other books I picked up were:


Red Dirt by E.M. Reapy. I saw this one in City Lights Book Shop in San Francisco and made a note to check our local library for it. The blurb from the back:

“Hopper, out of his head on acid, is left for dead in the outback.  Fiona has fled an abusive relationship that shattered her self-respect.

Murphy’s family lost a fortune when the Celtic Tiger collapsed. In Australia’s vast promised land, these three young people try to escape their past.”  This is the author’s debut novel and I’m hoping I don’t run out of time to read it.

The next book is Girl With Dove: A Life Built by Books by Sally Bayley.  It is a story of Snip20181004_5how one girl’s life was shaped by books.  I always love a book about books and reading. I think I heard about this from a fellow blogger but for the life of me I can’t remember who.

The last book is much more serious. Home: Drawings by Syrian Children edited by Ben Quilty and a Foreword by Tasmania’s own Richard Flanagan.

It is a very large book full of drawings by children who have survived the war in Syria, still reside in refugee camps or have escaped to other countries.  It is important to keep these issues in the mainstream especially when the Australian government treats refugees, many of them Snip20181004_3sick children, so cruelly in off shore detention centres   that are below third world conditions.  Shame is the main word I use to describe our politicians in leadership at the moment. I can’t print what I really think of them. I will put up a couple of drawings from the book.  If I had lots of money I would send this book to every politician in the federal parliament.


I have read several books over the past month but I will mention them another time in a list.  I have a book club meeting tonight at Fuller’s Book Store and will add that one to the pile. This post is long enough for today.  Let me know if you have read any of these books. I’m not sure which one I will begin with.