Wintry Wednesday

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A photo of Mt. Wellington taken by an ABC photographer. 

Although Australians think spring arrived on the first of September, I prefer to wait for the equinox because it is quite wintry today. It’s blowing a cold gale and although the sun shone for much of the day Mt. Wellington is currently under a cover of cloud.

It’s been a hectic week, though I am getting through a couple of books slowly.  I am enjoying listening to the Golden Earrings by Belinda Alexandra but I am more excited about the read/listen book I downloaded this week by Shaun Bythell. Remember the Diary of a Bookseller that was so popular. Well now Confessions of a Bookseller has just been released in the same diary format.  It begins on 1 January, (though I don’t remember what year) and continues through December. I have a foggy mind this afternoon. It’s fairly recent though. He continues to keep track of the eccentric characters and wacky book business of the running of his shop. He has a great sense of humour and I love following him through his days.

Snip20190904_2Here is the snippet from Good Reads.

“Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?” Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms. Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don’t understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices. The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they’ve come to know and love.”

I wonder how the TV series will be played out. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a good thing.

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Odie spends time with Uncle Buck. Good friends.

Other news this week.   Odie is still with us.  The swelling in his leg went down and I took him out front to enjoy walking around on a sunny afternoon. A cockatoo landed on the fence. Odie has a rule that birds are allowed on the tree branches in the yard but had better not touch the fence.  Well this cockatoo ignored that rule and Odie took off after him running at full tilt before I could grab him. He skidded on wet grass and crashed into the fence. When he stood up his bad leg was at a 90 degree angle to his body and he couldn’t move. He has severe bruising and a sprain on his elbow of his left front leg. So he is being treated for that at the moment.  He is scheduled for an ultrasound of his tumours the week before we leave on our big trip the end of September. We’ll know if the tumours in his pancreas, spleen and liver are fast growing or have been there awhile and continue to grow slowly. If they are enlarged more than they were we may be saying goodbye.  But we are coping okay for the most part. We’ll just have to see how we go and as my mother always said, “Don’t borrow trouble.”  He is happy, alert and continues to eat a lot.

Our Hobart Photographic Society is planning our large photo exhibition for the beginning of November down on the waterfront of Hobart. There will be approximately 170 photographs on display.

I’ve not exhibited before as I’ve not had the confidence.

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Cheetah

 

Caracol
Caracol

Yesterday I took four photos to the printer and they are being greatly enlarged and printed on a lovely rag paper and matted. I am putting four into the exhibit.  They are photos of wildlife I took in Namibia a couple of years ago and I think they are interesting. So many photos of African wildlife are of elephants, zebras, rhinos. So I decided to put a couple of photos in of animals many people don’t see photos of much. The caracal and the beautiful markings of the wild dogs.  I’ll share more on the exhibition later on once we begin.

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Wild Dog
Pelican
Pelican

I am heading to Sydney next Wednesday to spend three days with a photography friend and four days with my theatre/shopping/galleries friend. My photography friend will show me the places she goes to take her wonderful photos and we’ll talk cameras and settings no doubt for hours. We are like two peas in a pod when we get together. It’s quite funny.   Then my friend who used to live here but retired on the northern coast of New South Wales and I will be sharing a Tom Stoppard Play at the Opera house and also seeing the musical Chicago.  We’ll hit all of our favourite haunts no doubt including a couple of book stores.

Hopefully this is all sounding a bit more upbeat than my previous post as we continue to go through the ups and downs of life as everyone else in the world does.   I hope you enjoy the photos. Until next time…bluejumper

Beginning of an unknown week.

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2012

 

I began the Travellin’ Penguin blog back in 2011 for two reasons.  I was recently retired, did not have enough to do and dealing with a good bout of chronic depression. Having the belief when things hit one, one must deal with them head on, I got help from a wonderful GP and a great psychologist.  Having worked for 40 years, not having much family around me I was at loose ends. I also had a couple of thousand vintage Penguin books I wanted to do something with. Having no children or grandchildren to focus on as many do in retirement, my psychologist said I needed a job. I had always worked and I needed to continue to work in some way and there began the list of things I was interested in.  Books, animals, motorbike riding, volunteering for wildlife rescue, doing something worthwhile, of use to others.  In this post I will only deal with the books and the animals, or I should say ‘animal’.

I started writing about my Penguin book collection. I catalogued them all on Library Thing (no isbn codes to scan in with vintage Penguins) and that probably took a year or more.  I started studying the history of the books and speaking to groups about that history in the community.

Before I knew it I was happily busy again and willing to participate in more activities.

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Our beloved Odie-Dodie

Today our wonderful dog Odie is in the vet’s office.  He has had some very unusual symptoms and to make a long story short, the vets are conferring with the specialists at Sydney University to get yet more information to the vast information in their heads. We have wonderful vets. There is a strong possibility Odie has leukaemia or some form of blood cancer.  We won’t know more until all the tests are done.  (By the way we are finding pet insurance very useful now).  So much has been ruled out about what he doesn’t have, we are waiting to see what he does have.

Mr. Penguin is dealing with his worry by cleaning the entire house. I slept for quite awhile having been up with him quite a bit during the night dealing with his restlessness and pain. (He is unable to walk right now due to massive swelling in his leg.)

I am pulling books off the shelf.  When feeling worried, or sad or just wanting to be alone, books are always such a comfort.  I have had the book These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper on my shelf for awhile. I don’t remember if it was a blogger’s recommendation or if the blurb on the back cover drew me in. Good Reads describes it as: “Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.

Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.

But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37.”

Snip20190819_3I am starting it today and hope it turns out to be good. The synopsis of it intrigues me. I looked up Fran Cooper and it looks as though she is quite young and has another book out as well. Evidently this book won some kind of travel writing award.  I’ll look into it more when I have the time.

Yesterday Mr Penguin and I took it in turns to be with Odie to care for him.  As Odie slept most of the day on the bed I fooled around with some photos from past trips.  I then saw an advertisement for a ‘Pop up Weekend Photo challenge.’ By then it was about 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon and this challenge was to end at midnight last night. I read it, sat back and thought about it and then laughed! I was going to do it!  Besides the winner receives a new Sony mirrorless canon and lens to the value of $5000. The rules: Photographers could submit up to three photos of anything they liked……..as long as there was a pineapple in it!  I jumped in the car, drove to the local shop just down the road and purchased a very nice looking pineapple.

I brought it home, grabbed my camera in one hand and put the pineapple in the other and began walking through the neighbourhood for inspiration.

I got my mind out of myself and started focusing  (bad pun) on where could I photograph a pineapple.  As I headed down the driveway our neighbour chatted to me and walked away smiling.  I know, it is funny and we all need humour when dealing with adversity. Below are the photos I submitted to the challenge.

As I am still waiting for the vet to ring me later this afternoon, once again this blog has dragged me out of the depths of woe and given me something to smile about.  I’ll stick my nose in the book I pulled off my shelf and see if that also takes me to another place temporarily as the photo challenge did. And wait to hear if the Pineapple Photos win anything.

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To find the Secret Garden you must first get by the Pineapple

 

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This pineapple is as idle as the phone box of which it resides.
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Even a pineapple enjoys a bit of nature.

I’ll let you know how Odie goes.

Camera Penguin

Simply Sunday

Snip20190811_7This has been a very quiet week. The weather here has been cold, blustery, snowy and windy as a polar vortex sweeps the southeastern part of Australia. So we have not gone outdoors much at all except to run errands and stock up on food.

I have gotten into the book The Red Kangaroo by Hannah Blackmore. It is an Australian Travel Diary written by her in 2001. This year she has decided to publish it in the book I’m currently reading.  The author blurb on the back states she is from Jersey in the Channel Islands and now lives in Hobart, Tasmania. She is an artist and writer, working from her studio in Salamanca. She is passionate about art and travel.   Maybe I’ll run into her.  She kept a diary for one year as she travelled around Australia in 2001. Each entry is a paragraph or three about each day from mid 2001 into 2002.  So far she still hasn’t left Sydney. Evidently she is spending Christmas with family members before taking off on her own to backpack around the country.

I am enjoying it so far. She is a good writer and as this is a diary, she is quite concise which I enjoy. I am getting a good look into the life of living in a backpackers hostel on Bondi Beach and she writes a lot about her days at Coogee, Bondi and areas between there and the city centre.  She visits galleries and gardens, works briefly in a local, very busy cafe and spends days at the beach with new found friends and her boyfriend who visited from the UK for three weeks.

I am looking forward to the rest of her trip.  If you enjoy travel diaries then this one is fun and doesn’t take long to read. I’m also wondering if her relationship stacks up while she is away for one year and he is in the UK.

 

My other reading has me going cover to cover with Australian Photographic Magazine, Womankind Magazine (published here in Hobart)  and MindFood magazine (all Australian).  Winter is a great time for long, hot baths, hot drinks and reading magazines.  I get motivation when I read what the rest of the world is currently doing and magazines are good for that.

Our dog Odie and his friend Charlie (greyhound featured a couple of posts ago) had a play date bush walk up the fire track on Thursday and also we visited the donkey up the road. However Odie has either been bitten by something or somehow managed to get something into his foot that has caused quite the infection. Saturday’s trip to the vet with his very sore back left foot had him in hospital for the afternoon for x-rays (no fracture or tumours), a couple of high doses of methadone that made him a very sociable dog and antibiotics. He continues those now he is home with another check scheduled for tomorrow. He is such a drama queen and pretty much refuses to walk on three legs so we are carrying him outdoors in the pouring rain all weekend from the polar vortex. Now who’s being a drama queen?  As he’s 16 kgs this is great fun, while waiting for him to do his doggie business.  Hopefully whatever is causing his swollen, very painful foot will ease off in the next couple of days.

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Most recent photo of Odie- 2019

As Odie spends long days on my bed sleeping and refusing to walk, yet we don’t want him to jump up and down off the bed, I am on the computer sorting through old photographs from a couple of years ago, keeping an eye on him.  I thought I would share a few of my Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary photos that I forgot I had. As I have several North American and European blogging friends I thought they might enjoy seeing some of our wildlife here.

All photos taken at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary that cares for injured animals with view to release back into the wild, if possible and educate the public about our wildlife. They have rescued more than 7000 injured and sick animals this past year.

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Greg, the owner, explains to tourists about the life of wombats. I love the expressions on their faces. 
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Orphan wombat being cared for until old enough to be released into the wild.
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Tasmanian devil, part of the education and research programs
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Eastern Rosellas that just hang around the Sanctuary in the wild.
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Koala. Not native to Tasmania. He is here for education and display to the tourists who love them. They are not allowed to be held but are patted at sometimes under strict supervision. 

We’ll look forward to seeing what this coming week brings. Hope your weekend is sharping up to be a good one and for you Australians, hope the storms didn’t hurt you too much. received_344353279619767

Simply Sunday

This is what Hobart looks like today.

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This is what Hobart looks like today, maybe a bit grayer.  

Weather:

It is a cold blustery day down here and I am loving it. I don’t have to go anywhere today. Mr. Penguin is house-sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks so it’s very quiet. It’s the kind of day where there is time to snuggle with the pets, read a backlog of things piling up, watch a bit of Netflix and eat food that doesn’t go together. Just graze. Did I mention how quiet it is. Phone is turned off. Instant message is ignored. Except for Mr. Penguin.

The last week has happened in bits and pieces. It is that time of year where throats get a bit sore and you hope the flu shot you had works.

Theatre:

Snip20190714_3Last night a friend and I went to the Playhouse Theatre in Hobart. It is the home of the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society that was established in 1926. They feature amateur community productions. One often sees the same actors from play to play. The plays can be excellent and there is a very congenial attitude of mixed ages in the audience. Also chocolate is very cheap. You get a chocolate bar, a glass of wine if you wish, take it to your seat and enjoy the play.  I support them every year by going to most of their performances.  Last night we saw a production of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  It was a cold and windy night and the audience wasn’t packed like it usually is but the people who bothered to come out had a good time.  They didn’t seem to have enough men/boys for the pirates so many girls played both girls and boys. They made good pirates. A young woman played the part of 14 year old Jim Hawkins and she did such a good job. Long John Silver was great fun. (Can’t find actor’s name). It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday night despite the cold.

Books this week:

Snip20190714_4I finished the Mongolian horse race book by Lara Prior-Palmer, Rough Magic.  I found it to be an average read.  I liked her writing and hearing about the logistics of the horse race.  She wrote about some of the Mongolian people she met and that was interesting.  I got a little bit tired in parts when she flashes back to other times in her life. I think she had a lot of time to think of her past as the traversed the long days on the Mongolian steppes.  I know when I rode my Scooter from Hobart to Long Reach, Queensland in Australia (one way 2300 kms/1450 miles) I was on very long straight stretches of road and your mind wanders to all sorts of memories, thoughts, creative ideas, future plans. She put a lot of these thoughts into her book.  I would give it three stars. Just a good read. However I do think she is a character whom I will remember for a long time and I will remember her story. That is always a good measure of a book.

I am currently listening to a non-fiction Australian story called My Mother, A Serial Killer written by the daughter, Hazel Baron and Janet Fife-Yeomans narrated by Kate Hosking who does a brilliant job.

Snip20190714_2Good Reads describes it as:  A gripping and shocking story of a serial killer mother, and the brave daughter who brought her to justice. Dulcie Bodsworth was the unlikeliest serial killer. She was loved everywhere she went, and the townsfolk of Wilcannia, which she called home in the late 1950s, thought of her as kind and caring. The officers at the local police station found Dulcie witty and charming, and looked forward to the scones and cakes she generously baked and delivered for their morning tea.

That was one side of her. Only her daughter Hazel saw the real Dulcie. And what she saw terrified her.

Dulcie was in fact a cold, calculating killer who, by 1958, had put three men in their graves – one of them the father of her four children, Ted Baron – in one of the most infamous periods of the state’s history. She would have got away with it all had it not been for Hazel.

Written by award-winning journalist Janet Fife-Yeomans together with Hazel Baron, My Mother, A Serial Killer is both an evocative insight into the harshness of life on the fringes of Australian society in the 1950s, and a chilling story of a murderous mother and the courageous daughter who testified against her and put her in jail.

I am really enjoying this bit of Australian history of this woman. It isn’t so much the murders. They are discussed but the main part of this story is the psychological machinations of this woman’s mind. Her manipulation, how she fools everyone in the communities she visits. If she were an animal she would be a feral cat. It is a shame she didn’t put her brilliant mind towards something worthwhile.

I am about half way through it and every time I sit down to rest a bit or before going to sleep I put the audible app on another 30 minutes to listen.  It is true to its word as it details “society on the fringes” in the 1950’s which is a time period I enjoy reading about in both Australia and the USA.  If you enjoy this type of book I can certainly recommend it.

Photography News:Camera Penguin

Our photo club meeting is coming up this coming Thursday evening. We have two digital challenges I had to put up. One category is “Open” and the other category is “Hidden Spaces”.  The print challenge category is “Abstract”. We get two of our images printed and upon arrival at the meeting we lay them out on a long table with our names on the back. Nobody knows who they belong to though some put in the same type of genres so easy to guess. I like to mix it up a bit so no one knows mine ahead of time. At the tea break during the meeting, members attending vote on their favourites. The first place (which I have never won) gets a bottle of wine. Second and third places get chocolate.  I have come in third place a couple of times and enjoyed some chocolate.  I love challenges and competitions and enter often both in and out of the club meetings.  It is a good way to learn new types of techniques and genres of photography.

So I’ll pop up the challenge photos for this week for you to have a look at.  They are all quite different. Until next time….the Penguin and I say..Have a good week. If you’re in the northern hemisphere stay cool. If you’re anywhere near Tasmania or Melbourne, stay warm.

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OPEN CATEGORY:  Spain Street Photography:  Two boys daring each other to kiss this mannikin. It was quite funny watching them. They didn’t see me. 

 

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HIDDEN PLACES. Fez, Morocco:  Travel Photography

 

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Print Challenge:  ABSTRACT CATEGORY:  Street Photography- doorway with abstract drawing of a face.

 

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ABSTRACT CATEGORY:  Art work from festival I attended in Mill Valley, California.

 

Wordless Wednesday- Well, almost…

Sri Lankan Photography -November, 2018

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It rained a lot. Hotel porter takes our bags to our rooms.
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School Children boarding their bus to school
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The whiteness of school uniforms really stood out. The government gives each child a uniform and it is up to the children to keep it clean.
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Passing by one of the many temples.
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The dining room at restaurant at elephant orphanage where we ate lunch and watched the elephants play in the river.
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Some of the many elephants that are walked to the river daily. The orphanage takes care of previously abused elephants and orphans. 
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Back on the bus, watching the men work the rice fields.
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One of the many temples we visited
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We saw monkeys in most of the places we visited. So much fun to watch.

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This little guy was very interested in what we were doing and didn’t mind posing for this photo. 

Camera 5DMiii; Lens 24 to 105

All photos are copyrighted and not for distribution.

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Photographic Treasury- Vivian Maier

coverI love photography so I was more than happy I was able to check this wonderful book Vivian Maier, Street Photographer out of the library.  Ms. Maier was born in 1926 in Europe and died in 2009 in Chicago. She worked many odd jobs but nobody really knew much about her. She was most known for her work as a nanny, working in various homes. What people didn’t know was she took photos. Not just photos. Excellent photos. She took her camera everywhere she went. When she worked as a nanny she dragged the children everywhere on excursions so she could take photos. I think at times the children were quite the inconvenience but she had a place to stay and some spending money and three freedom to roam the streets of Chicago. One day she took a couple of her charges through the slaughterhouse in Chicago, a very in appropriate place for children I would think but she wanted the photos. (I have not included any here!)

In 2007, the author of this book, John Maloof of Chicago was at a large sale and came across many boxes of her film, much of it undeveloped.  He had his own interests in photography and bought the lot. Over the next few years he sorted them, catalogued them until the job became too much and he turned it over to others to help him. He was responsible for establishing biographical information through her photos as much as he could.

Most of her photographs were taken during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Although she continued to shoot pictures into the 1990s.

I recently watched the biography documentary of her life on Netflix that went right up to her death.  She was described as exceedingly private and eccentric. She also had mental health issues. She never married, she didn’t always get on with people and in the end she spent her time surrounded in her apartment by hoards of things she kept. She was a classic hoarder. No one knows how the thousands of film canisters came to be sold.

I enjoyed both the Netflix documentary and this book. I also looked her up on line and read quite a bit about her. Now I will share some photos of her work with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. kidsthumbnailold manbeach mancurlerspoliceworkers