The Penguin and I enjoyed a great Arts Festival

We spent the day in Mill Valley in the middle of a large redwood forest. It is situated north of San Francisco and each year they hold a very large arts festival. Lots of people attend with their families and dogs. Saw a few quirky outfits and there are food stalls set up. I enjoyed the photography exhibits but I didn’t see any street photography on display or much travel photography outside of a German photographer’s wonderful photos of wildlife from around the world. They were truly stunning.

Of course I could not photograph the exhibits so you’ll just have to believe me.  If you’re interested, scroll down to see my captioned photos. If not, close this post and wait for another post on books. I have finished a few.

Lots of people everywhere



It was all a bit too  much for some people.
I sneaked a photo of this interesting, very shiny sculpture.
This is the view when we looked up. Beautiful redwood trees.
Colourful lanterns hung from the trees through out the festival grounds.
We listened to the ‘funk’ band for almost an hour. Great band.
I loved Mr and Mrs Hats sitting in front of us while we listened to the music.
Then they moved to better seats and we could see their faces.
This guy sang and also introduced the band members.
This guy could really sing.


The view when we looked up.
She spend her time listening to the band and sketching them. I loved watching her.
This woman was dancing and writhing around like a snake. A little off her head at times but fun to watch. Don’t you love people watching? !
As we left the festival we passed the entrance to the children’s area where they had art and music activities for them.
We met the Lovely Henry on the way back to the car. What a smoocher he is.


Miwok Native American Festival

3N3A1863Today arrived and we had a couple of festivals we could attend. We narrowed it down to an Arts Festival and a Native American Indian festival.  We chose the Native Americans.  Hosting this festival in the lovely Miwok Park in Novato was the Miwok tribe. The word Miwok means “people” in their native language. 

As I knew nothing of this tribe and in fact had never heard of them I looked them up in Wikipedia and learned:3N3A1855

“The predominant theory regarding the settlement of the Americas date the original migrations of the Miwok tribe from Asia to around 20,000 years ago across the Bering Strait land bridge, but anthropologists claim that the Miwok and some other California tribes descend from Siberians who arrived in California by sea around 3,000 years ago.

The Miwok lived in small bands without centralised political authority before contact with European Americans in 1769. They had domesticated dogs and cultivated tobacco, but were otherwise hunter-gatherers.

The Sierra Miwok harvested acorns from the California Black Oak.  In fact, the modern-day extent of the California Black Oak forests in some areas of Yosemite National Park is partially due to cultivation by Miwok tribes. 

3N3A1858They burned vegetation to reduce the amount of Ponderosa Pine.  Nearly every other kind of edible vegetable matter was used as a food source, including bulbs, seeds, and fungi. Animals were hunted with arrows, clubs or snares, depending on the species and the situation. Grasshoppers were a highly prized food source, as were mussels for those groups adjacent to the Stanislaus River.

The Miwok ate meals according to appetite rather than at regular times. They stored food for later consumption, primarily in flat-bottomed baskets. 


Miwok spiritual narratives tend to be similar to those of other natives of Northern California. The Miwok had totem animals, identified with one of two moieties which were in turn associated respectively with land and water. These totem animals were not thought of as literal ancestors of humans, but rather as predecessors.Snip20180915_4


Enjoy the photos below:






Week I in California

After a more than 24 hour journey I arrived safely in the San Francisco area. It has been a quiet week of just mucking about with my sister and doing a couple of day trips. We enjoyed a day out at the Samuel P Taylor State Park. I wanted to see some redwood trees and as always am never disappointed by them.

I was not familiar with old Samuel P Taylor so I decided to see why he had a state park named after him. According to trusty Wikipedia I learned that-

The park is named for Samuel Penfield Taylor, who found gold during the California Gold Rush and used some of his money to buy a parcel of land along Lagunitas Creek. In 1856, Taylor built the Pioneer Paper Mill, the first paper mill on the Pacific Coast. In the 1870s, the North Pacific Coast Railroad was built between Cazadero and a pier in Sausalito where passengers could transfer to a ferry to San Francisco. The railroad passed near Taylor’s mill, and, ever the entrepreneur, he built the “Camp Taylor Resort” alongside the tracks. A destination for city-weary San Franciscans, the resort offered both a hotel and tent camping, as well as swimming, boating, fishing, and a dance pavilion.

My sister and I have also taken a few smaller walks around her neighbourhood so I could take some photos. I share them wih you below.

We thought we might do a bit of a road trip through northern California to Oregon but have decided against it due to the big fires around Redding and farther north. With evacuations most likely causing accommodation filling up quickly and heavy smoke in the air we have decided against it and will entertain ourselves staying closer to San Franciso. Enjoy the photos.




On the bookish front we enjoyed watching The Great American Read program on the PBS TV app on her Roku box. It was fun to hear authors talking about the classic books they have enjoyed and made me wonder which of the mentioned books are currently sitting on my shelf. I would like to read more of the works of the classic authors mentioned and even better to take those from my shelf to look at. I have some of the lesser works from several authors mixed in with some of the Penguin boxed sets that set on the shelves looking at me. In any case, there is never going to be a time when we run out of things to read. What a comforting thought.


1001 Children’s Books You Must Read…

.Snip20180826_13…Before You Grow Up.

I really love having this book on the shelves and a couple of years ago I started finding the books recommended in this large tome.

I’ve decided to resurrect this project. I will probably jump around a bit as in the first instance I will read those books I can find on line from the library or through the app Libby.  I noticed they had lots of children’s books and that is what reminded me of this book.

I will put up a photo in the sidebar and link it to this page.  It will be something to add on in a LEISURELY fashion as I find the books.  Not being around children anymore (I worked with them for 35 years) I find I miss their books.  This will be a good way to catch Snip20180826_15up.  So here goes….







Wordless Wednesday (well, almost)

Tasmanian Raptor Rescue Refuge

A friend and I underwent training a week ago to learn what one does when finding an injured raptor in Tasmania. There are 13 species of raptors in Tasmania and all of them very beautiful.

At the end of the session a Peregrine Falcon who had been rehabilitated was released back into the wild. He was ready to go a couple of weeks previously but the owner of the refuge wanted to share it with our group.  It was a privilege to see this beautiful bird fly away.  Photos are below:

Craig with Montgomery the Owl. He was born there (not planned) so he cannot survive in the wild. He helps with training people.
Montgomery- Take a bow.  No, he isn’t trained to do tricks. He just needed a stretch.
A bit of ‘rock’ art.



The Peregrine Falcon is brought out in preparation for his release.
It is as though he turned to say goodbye. There was a bond between these two.
He realises what is about to happen.
He prepares himself to leave.
Leaning forward he is ready..
Off he goes.
He circles around and then heads for the bush towards the sea.  A beautiful sight. It was all over in the flick of an eye.
Best of Luck my friend.


Weekend Wander- A to Z

Snip20180303_1I don’t do a lot of memes but I have always enjoyed the alphabet post that Beyond Eden Rock does once in awhile (here). I thought it was time for one to go up here.

I am busy doing last minute tasks around the place and packing for my trip to San Francisco next Monday, 4th September to see my sister. I’m really looking forward to it.  The Penguin will be teleported off the pages here and into my suitcase before returning to Australia.

But more on that later- here’s to alphabets.

A-  A Bike Ride today but too much wind so I turned around, came home and will spend the day reading and writing.

Wedgetail Eagles in Rehabilitation mode

B- Birds of prey- I will post photos of the Raptor Refuge site I visited last weekend.  I also saw two wedge tail eagles soaring on wind currents this morning. Wonderful.

C- Classics Club posts have been coming fast and furiously since new moderators have taken over.  I might participate a bit more next year. 50 Classics to go on a list but I will only take them from books I already own if I do participate and many will be modern classics.

D- Diary of a Provincial Lady is nearing its last chapter. Such a very funny book. I might read some of the others after all down the track but need to keep working on that TBR pile.

E- Beyond Eden Rock- Inspiration for this alphabet task.

F- Festivals I wish I could have attended the  Melbourne and Canberra Writer’s Festivals happening this winter. I will hopefully attend one of these days.

Some of the books being discussed at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival this week.

G- Good Reads shelves need updating. I am almost caught up with books I’ve read and books I want to read.

H- I have 44 books on my shelves that start with the letter H. Who would have thought. Quite a few are “How to” books.  How to have Kick Ass Ideas, How to Keep a Pet Squirrel (fiction of course).

I- Illustrations. In journals and children’s books. Don’t all bibliophiles love them. I am signing up for a drawing class in Feb. I’m hoping to get past stick figures for my own journals. This will definitely present a challenge for the instructor.

José Naranja’s journals (Spanish) are stunning. I follow him on FB and Instagram. Would love to be able to do this. 2019?


J- Journals are one of my favourite things and I plan to keep one on the trips I have planned in the next six months.  Illustrations may be stick figures but jotting down notes in a journal is lots of fun

K- Kick Ass Ideas (How to Have) by Chris Baréz-Brown is a fun book of motivation and ideas for completing any project.  Might need to pull it off the shelf again.

L- Linc Tasmania is the name our silly government gave to our State Library system several years ago. Who is going to associate Linc Tasmania with a library. The state liberal government has recently changed the title back to Libraries Tasmania so people actually know what is being talked about. Why do governments waste their time and money on such trivial tasks as renaming a perfectly good library “Linc”. There are so many other things to spend money on. eg. homelessness, drought, health, education. (Don’t get me started!)
M-Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare is the Dominic high school play I am attending Friday night. My friend’s son has a major role in it and he has been busily learning his lines.  He can’t quite get his head around all the ‘buts’ and ‘doths’. Should be fun.

N- November book club book is The Lucky Galah by Tracey Sorensen. An Australian novel told from the point of view of a Galah.

Looking forward to this for November book group.

O- Odie and Molly accompanied me to the dog beach yesterday where we had a great time. Beautiful sunny winter weather and the beach was packed with people and dogs. They loved it.

Left: Molly, aged 13                            Right: Odie, aged 7

P- Politics in Australia- I promise not to talk about it…never, ever, ever …on any post.

Q- Quiet time. How I love my quiet time to read, reflect, walk and spend time in my own company.  One can’t do this much whilst working but once retired it is important to learn how to enjoy your quiet time as there seems to be much more of it once a career is over.

R- Reading about Sri Lankan food from a book found on the newest app I’ve acquired, Libby- linked to the library. Mr Penguin and I are spending 15 days there towards the end of November and I am looking forward to the variety of food. So many different religious cultures and each has their own food.

S- San Francisco- here I come.  I am looking for places to spend our days walking, taking photographs, spending time in nature and eating really good Mexican food.

Golden Gate Bridge

T- Still making my way through the Melbourne cold case in the book Trace by journalist, Rachael Brown.  Can’t believe the secret events the Catholic priests were involved in that included human sacrifice and cannibalism in the state of Victoria.  I will never stop feeling incredulous at the depravity of some of these priests.

These possums are a genetic mutation. They don’t have enough melanin and are more rare than the ordinary ones. So privileged to have one living in our yard.

U- Under a tree in the middle of the night in my front yard is often a large Golden Brush Tail possum looking for the sunflower seeds I sometimes put out for the birds. He is beautiful.

V- Tomorrow will see us spending some time at the Vet’s office.  Odie has been treated for an ear infection and his beagle anal glands that we won’t discuss here and Molly gets her arthritis shot and her heart condition monitored.

W- Walking. A favourite thing to do. It’s not always aerobic but climbing hills can make it so. Taking photographs, spending time with our dogs, exploring suburbia and reading books about it. We just never tire of the concept of a good, long, interesting walk. Time to clear your head and relax.

X- Xerxes Invades Greece – 480 BC. The story of when Greece invaded Persia.  How on earth did this book come to be on my TBR shelves?  Part of Penguin series of Great Epics.  Will it ever see the light of day here? I’m not sure.

Y- Y’all have a good week and make sure you do something each week you enjoy so you always have something to look forward to.

Z- Zeitgeist- definition: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. And isn’t it fun that it is always changing. Think how boring life would be if it didn’t.

Y’all have a really good day. (Mates). Need to express both our cultures.



Weekend Wander- What a mess…

Snip20180527_1I really don’t like to get behind with my posts but so much has been going on with everyone around me I haven’t had the energy to put up much. Bear with me, this may be long. I’ll try to put in photos for interest.

Books read, either finished or not-

I have been reading a lot with both the real thing and listening to audio. No reviews, will just give you a blurb- I’m sure that’s enough anyway.

Snip20180819_3Madness, Mayhem and Motherhood by Nikki McWatters.  No I don’t have kids, I have animals. The choices we make, but I do feel for single mothers and am very interested in how they cope. This young woman’s husband walked out leaving her with two young boys. She’s Australian and lives in the Sydney (Bondi Beach Junction) area. Trials and tribulations. A lot of joy, a lot of poverty, a lot of gumption and success and some very real heartbreak. The writing is good and the story really packs a punch with surprises. A bit of name dropping too re: the Australian music scene. I really enjoyed this and Nikki will stay with me for a long time.


Dancing Home by Paul Collis-  I read a review by one of the Australian bloggers, think it was Lisa? Sorry if wasn’t you but I loved this book but it is a tough read. Aboriginals and the police are not a happy mix in this country and the drug use, alcoholism and really tough lives of these good people was a tough read. I will never forget them.

Don’t you love this cover.

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner (1942) on audible. Simon of Stuck in a Book talked about this American author and actress who lived from 1899 to 1979. I had never heard of her and so needed to remedy that. This was the only book I could find by her on audible so I’ve listened to her. It’s a memoir of the trip she and her friend took in their twenties to France via New York, the St Lawrence Seaway, London,  across the Atlantic on a ship in the 1920s. Although I found the two young women very tedious, especially when they bought two little dogs in a pet shop as fashion accessories, their trip did have some very good humour.  It is what I refer to as a ‘fluffy’ book. Lots of natter and nothing that will keep you awake at nights.  I was happy to finish it off though. I tired of their silliness.


I have started Educated by Tara Westover, the American woman who escaped from her family who lived as a cult against all government authority in Idaho.  Joanne reviewed it on Lakeside Musing (here).  I must agree with what she said about it. I have taped an episode of Insight on the ABC tv here about people who deal with aloneness and I noticed this author is on theachael  panel but I have yet to finish the book. I will probably read more but I’m not in a hurry.


More interesting is the story Australian journalist Rachael Brown from Victoria has written about a cold case death that happened in Melbourne in 1980. She launched the book Trace, at Fuller’s a couple of weeks ago and my friend and I went along. Fascinating. We bought the book and I have just begun it. It involves some very corrupt Victorian police from that time and the protection at all costs of a group of extremely dodgy priests from the Catholic Church. I continue to be amazed at what crawls out of the woodwork about priests and bishops these days.  A gripping story. What a professional journalist with bucketloads of integrity this young woman possesses.


The following week my friend and I went to the launch of The Nowhere Child by Christian White. It was a smaller group of attendees than Trace but we had a fun discussion of this book. The story is fiction but the events throughout the book are based on fact. Like the Pentecostal church members who have ceremonies around rattle snake handling. Australian Kim Leamy is the protagonist and she is approached by a stranger from Kentucky in America who is investigating the disappearance of a child 28 years ago.  He believes Kim is the missing child. I have not started this book yet but am looking forward to it. It goes back and forth between Australia and Kentucky.


I will also mention  Priestdaddy: A Memoir (memoirs seems to be everywhere these days) by author Patricia Lockwood.  I have just rejoined Fuller’s book club after a couple of years break and this is the book for October. I will talk more about it after the group meets in the first week.


We also finished  final play of the term in my U3A play reading class, A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney. Set in the 1950’s in North West England, it tells the story of Jo a 17 year old working class girl, and her mother, who is a very crude and sexually indisriminate difficult mother. The things they get up to…. Very much enjoyed by our class reading aloud about a slice of poverty in 1950s England.


Oh Yeah, I’m also listening to A Diary of a Provincial Lady by  E. M. Delafield (1890 – 1943) now when I am in the car.  I’m getting through it quite quickly and it is gently amusing.  It was the August book for the Fuller’s book club so I decided to listen to it with one of my audible credits. It will go towards my Century of Books challenge (1930). It is largely autobiographical told through the pages of a journal, which is a format I dearly enjoy.  I heard there were mixed opinions of this novel in the book club group. I’m not sure if I will follow up with the sequels of her story.

For those of you suffering heat waves I thought I’d share a photo of what Mt. Wellington looks like this week. Beautiful snow.

This kind of catches you up on the bookish side of life in South Hobart.  I have three overseas trips coming up between now and May of 2019 and have been spending time wrapping up payments and paperwork for those. The first begins in two weeks when I am heading to the San Francisco area of California to spend three weeks with my sister.  I’m hoping photography and books play a part in this trip as well as maybe a short road trip or two.  The penguin is going with me and…..wait for this….he may be taking a couple of friends of his…..the Bald Eagle and the American Robin.  So stay tuned for that.

I have done some fun photography also and am looking forward to sharing the visit to the Raptor Refuge over the weekend with you.  We were trained in what Tasmania has to offer regarding the beautiful raptors and what to do or how to handle if finding an injured one. More on that later and I’ll share the photos of the release we observed of a rehabilitated Peregrine Falcon that is just too stunning for words.


Whew!! I hope this didn’t get too boring.  I’ll try to post up again soon and the next six weeks should have a bit of fun as well as some more books, arts, travel and photography.

Have you read any of these books?  I’d love to know if you enjoyed them or not. Back soon…gardner