Weekend Sundry

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The view of the River Derwent from our neighbourhood. 

I follow quite a few bookish and travel blogs and one thing I really enjoy reading is when they have a regular weekly feature.

Whispering Gums has Monday Musing on Australian Literature and Simon of Stuck in a Book has Weekend Miscellany. Many of the titles use alliteration.  I was doing Saturday Squawk but I wasn’t happy with such a crow like cawing title. I generally have time on the weekends to do something regularly but what to call it?  Sunday Sundry?  Weekend Sundry? Weekly junket?  If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I want to do a weekend round up of what happened the previous week. Posts will be related to combined topics of books or articles read; travels, nature, photography, films, theatre or animals.  Winter will be upon us very soon and the symptoms are here now so to prevent getting a good case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorders) from the short, darkened days I need some motivation and accountability that I haven’t been hibernating in my cozy bed with three cats and two dogs.  So suggestions are welcome but for today it is simply Weekend Sundry. 

So what happened this past week?  (No, I will  not mention ‘THAT wedding.”- yes, I watched it)

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View of an autumn day from the bus in South Hobart

Travel:  This past week saw me taking the bus into town (Hobart) a couple of times to get my walking exercise in. I love taking the bus. It’s a great venue for people watching and working on my photography. I wander around and try to accrue 5000 to 10,000 steps. I have included some photos from Thursday’s walk.  I met friends for coffee on both Thursday and Friday. We found a new (to us) burger restaurant on Friday and both of us being hungry gorged ourselves on hot kebabs in a wrap and the best hot chips I have had in a long time. We will be back. Sorry too busy scarfing the delicious food and forgot the picture taking.

Our play reading class is on term break for three weeks but will start up again in June. Our writing group meets every Wednesday afternoon except the third Wednesday of the month so quiet this week on that front also.

However my Photography class met this week as it was the third Thursday.  I love going to the photography class and hopefully one day my photos will be consistently at the top of the challenge ratings instead of the bottom or the middle.  I have read one must take at least 10,000 photos to even be classified as a beginner.  I have decided to post up at least five photos per week on my facebook page during the winter months. I need to have my camera on me more often.  The more photos taken the more one’s eye develops for what is good. I’ll share a few of them here.

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Books?  I have been listening to Walking The Himalayas. I have talked about Walking the Nile ages ago and Walking the Americas by Levison Wood. I am listening to this book by him from Audible.com.  I am not enjoying it as much as the previous two. He begins his walk in Afghanistan and then heads to Pakistan.  He and a friend are following the Himalaya mountain range from start to finish.  He goes on and on and on about the history of these countries. I find, as I read travel writing, I don’t want a great deal of the history. I want to hear about the travels: the accommodations, the trails, the people met, the experiences along the way. If I wanted to know about the history of the country then I would read that separately.  I find his style seems to be describing the history of the countries for the first third of the book then get to the actual travel.  Also as there is so much in the news about these countries (this is a fairly current book) I get satiated about those locations.  He is now in northern India and has met with the Dalai Lama which I enjoyed.  I think once this book is finished I will let whatever else he has written drop though I do have the dvd’s of two of these trips booked at the library.  I would especially like to see Walking the Americas as that was my favourite book. I saw Walking the Nile on the ABC, I think it was.

Miscellaneous:  Mr. Penguin is housesitting  a friend’s farm now for six weeks so I am busy with our five animals. He is spending his days rounding up sheep, and caring for a big labrador and an elderly cat.

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Mr Penguin (right) at an earlier date at the farm he is housesitting for.

Our animals and I are all having a pyjama day today for Sunday.  Might be a day to read some more (start something new), maybe one of the books I mentioned for Mother’s Day or soak in a hot tub with a photography magazine and learn new photoshop tricks. All I know is I won’t be travelling, socialising or exercising very much today.

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Having a Pajama Day

 

Before I leave- just reminding you to help me think of a title for these weekly (hopefully) posts. I know how clever some of you are.gardner

Saturday Squawk

Snip20180103_2What a week this has been. I have had a quiet week messaging back and forth with photos, information and encouragement with my brother and sister as our mother died. It was peaceful and we are all comforted by the wonderful care she received. She would have turned 92 next month so she had a long life.  We also caught up with many relatives I have not heard from in years and new, younger ones I did not know.  Family deaths tend to do that. That has been lovely.

I spent much of the week reading, with Mr. Penguin, with friends and being comforted, almost too much, by our goofy dogs. They always know when something is going on. I’ve had more face washes this week.

Snip20180210_2The short story I drew in the Deal Me In Challenge (2 of Diamonds) was The Rainmaker from the Tibetan Folk Tales book. The timing of this story was lovely as it is quite a spiritual book of stories in the Buddhist tradition and was a gentle read. Zor is an orphan taken in by a monk for life training. The story told of their life in the cave, with their meals from herbs as rain falls around them. (comforting right?). The old monk is a wise Rainmaker and is able to control the clouds and the weather. At times he is called to the Dalai Lama’s palace to monitor the storms as to protect his beautiful garden. The story revolves around the lessons he teaches to Zor and how Zor copes with his own successes and failures as he inherits this responsibility once the old Lama dies. I enjoyed it immensely.

Snip20180210_5On the other hand, I began the book Lincoln in the Bardo as a Kindle read/audio. It is irritating me beyond belief and I’ll be lucky to finish it. I know, I know. Man Booker prize winner of 2017 and all that. I really should stay away from this prize. I heard a review about how wonderful all the voices were on the audio version. There are around 100 actors reading various parts of the ghosts. For those unfamiliar, it is a story of Abraham Lincoln and his young son Willy who died at a young age. Lincoln in his grief visits him at the cemetery and there are all of the ghosts who live there with their comments. Lots of flashbacks to Willy’s life.

Now, I am not an Arts person. Not overly creative or literaryly (is that a word?)  astute. My talents are in numbers, technology and figuring out those puzzles of the boxes with all the lines and dots and what comes next.  I am very left brained.  I am only seeing mathematical structures in this book.

The structure of the book is composed of categories.  First part in the cemetery- let’s think of as many personality types as possible and give them each a sentence to read. Next part, let’s include as many quotable quotes from every book written about or pertaining to Lincoln.

In describing young Willy, lets get as many people as we can remember names of and tell the reader- What a good boy he was.  He really was a good boy.  Was he a good boy? Yes , such a good boy.

To me, it is as though the author thought of a category and then looked it up on google to find as many entries in that category to include in the book.

So far the category of emotion (again, to me) is missing. I get no gut wrenching feeling that Lincoln lost his young son. I do not feel grief. I am finding the whole thing a bit too clever in its structure and completely lacking in character development.  And I know, perhaps the author smirking because he is so clever.  I only see categories as I read this and find myself wondering- what will the next category be?  I will persevere but you probably won’t catch me writing much more about it.  So if you loved this book, please don’t have a go at me.  I have seen it described as brilliant, a masterpiece and many words in that category.  I mean, The Man Booker Prize Winner for heaven’s sake!!!

Snip20180210_4On another lovely note…yesterday was a beautiful summer’s day and I took the dogs to the beach. We call it the Big Beach as it is bigger than the dog beach we normally go to. As it was a weekday, there was hardly anyone there. The airport runway ends at this beach at a 90 degree angle so the planes were going overhead in front of us as we walked.

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One more thing- I thought I’d share this Australian native plant with you. Ptilotus Joey is the name of it. When my father died I set up a little fountain in his memory in the back yard. But the water attracted snakes so I filled it in and put in flowers. I thought I would plant this in my mom’s memory in a large pot next to the fountain. I had never seen this plant before but it was on our garden centre’s Instagram page and I love it so that may be my project for today.

 

I hope all of you had a good week. Let me know one thing you did this past week.