A Little Miscellany Today

Beautiful day today. We have been having a very chilly, windy, showery summer this year so far. I’m not complaining because that is better than bush fires and terrible heat. However it is nice to go outside in shirt sleeves.

I am half way through the book Nada by Carmen Laforet. I am enjoying it very much. What an unusual and I must admit very strange family tale in Barcelona just after the war. Life in the 40s in this family is not only very poor but also extremely bizarre. It is translated by Edith Grossman who I really liked as a translator having read her translation a few years ago of Don Quixote. (Bill, I will be sending this book to Perth before too long.)

The Book Tube I followed for a few days did his spin on Sunday and number 15 came up. I have two months now to read the book I listed as number 15 which is a book I am looking forward to. You can see what it is about, if you haven’t on my post Book Tube Part 3 (here). It is The Only Way Home by Liz Byron. Travel writing by an Australian female writer. In 2004 she undertakes a 2500 kms trek of the Bicentennial National Trail over nine months with two donkeys. I am hoping this is an interesting book but in any case the premise of it certainly appeals. I will start it as soon as I finish Nada.

On Audible I am listening to the Odyssey by Homer. The narrator is Charles

Purkey and I enjoy listening to him of this version. Of course we visited this in high school, back in the 1960s but who pays attention then? It all went over my head that was filled with horses and social events.

I picked up Italo Calvio’s Book Why Read the Classics and the first essay is about the Odyssey. I had a new credit and used it for this so I can read both the essay and listen to it. I am enjoying it very much. We touched on several of the characters from this and also The Iliad in our play reading class which has sadly met its demise. Once I got all the characters pretty straight in my head and heard the correct pronunciations of them I have well

and truly settled into the story. Such a journey. I think this might be a book I read like Mortimer Adler suggests in his book, How To Read A Book from back in the 1930s of a classic book. Read it, ask no questions, do not stop to look up things, just go. Then go back and reread it and then look up things if you need to but by then much of it will be in your head. I would have enjoyed meeting Mortimer Adler. I read his book twice and again here and there a third time. When one grows up in a family where I was the only one who truly loved books and reading a bit of outside direction from various learned people comes in handy.

Outside of the books, we are still working with the vet around Ollie’s medical condition. Much has been ruled out but his ultra sound has shown smaller than usual adrenal glands on his kidneys and so far he has picked up quite a bit on his anti-biotics and steroids but Addison’s disease is being looked at. He does feel good most of the time. He has lost his energetic bursts of speed though and acts more like an older dog. More tests are coming up soon and the vet is working with a specialist from Sydney university.

In the meantime we have changed Dolly’s name to Peanut. We thought Dolly would be a retiring, timid little girl puppy who would slot into our family on a quieter side. However, Miss Turbo Pants is full of piss and vinegar and has two speeds, run full on and drop wherever you are and sleep. She has been with us about 10 days and is already pulling the tennis balls out of the bushes where Ollie hid them and banging on the back door to be let in as she runs through the house chasing the cats. She has been slapped once and is now leaving Cousin Eddie, our tabby alone more. She is such a tiny Peanut little hell on wheels. We love her.

Built by convict labour in 1824.

Sunday our senior group had an afternoon tea at a heritage listed home/hotel in Richmond which is about 25 minutes from Hobart. We had nine of us, a real girls day out, enjoying a garden, a courtyard and a stately room with lovely chicken salad with tarragon sandwiches, a lovely Tasmanian sparkling Rose wine and several assorted pastries followed by a choice of assorted teas and coffee.

There is a legend that a woman named Elizabeth Buscombe his her jewels somewhere in the house in 1860, but then could not remember where she put them. They have never been found. Evidently people still look for them.

A pleasant way to spend an afternoon with friends. Tasmania has been completely Covid free now for 2 months so a safe place to hide out from the world. The Australian state leaders, no matter what one thinks of their politics have handled Covid safely in our states, no thanks to our Prime Minister who is usually more interested in getting adulation from America’s past president than helping the Australian people in any way. (No more as I don’t want to ruin a perfectly good post.)

We’ll see how the rest of this week goes. I am hoping to just finish the books I have picked out, do some more cooking and maybe experiment with some baking after watching reruns of both the Great Australian and British bake off shows. I have a Mary Berry book being delivered today that I am looking forward to. I really like her. She said in a television program her mother cooked right up until she passed away at age 105. There remains hope for us all.

Enough for today. Now I’ll go hunt out some photos for this post. Stay tuned and for goodness sakes, stay well.

Author: TravellinPenguin

I live a retired life in Tasmania, Australia. I love books, travel, animals, photography, motor biking and good friends. I indulge in all these activities with the little Travellin' Penguin who has now shared five continents with me. We love book shops, photography walks and time with friends as all our family is in USA and Canada. I enjoy visitors to my blog so hope you'll stop by.

24 thoughts on “A Little Miscellany Today”

  1. Peanut is a very cute name and definitely sounds like a better match for her personality. Hope little Ollie is better soon.’

    Nada and The Only Way Home are now on my list.

    Afternoon Tea at that lovely estate is EXACTLY the kind of outings I love to go on and that place you went to looks amazing.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  2. What a cute dog and Peanut is an excellent name for such an energetic dog. I Hope Ollie will become better.
    How I envy you the possibility to visit such a beautiful house. What I miss most during these times is the cultural life in all their variations. Here in Austria, they had a lockdown since Christmas, but it seems that from February 8, shops and museums will open. I intend to visit one of the museums here as soon as possible.
    I added Why Read the Classics to my book list. It will be interesting to see what he says.

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  3. There have always been bits of The Odyssey and The Illiad in my (reading) life. I certainly had more than one children’s book that referenced stories and characters from them. And of course (like Sue/WG) I was an Argonaut – a programme for children on the ABC where you were assigned one of the heroes. I seem to remember mine was Jason (mum will have the paperwork somewhere). And we must have had The Odyssey around form 5, I remember it had a paper cover.

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  4. Peanut sounds a hoot, you must be having tremendous fun watching her personality develop.
    A 2500k trek could make for an interesting book (Bill Bryson’s version of that in the US was hilarious at times) but why the donkeys?

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    1. I imagine the donkeys to carry her packs through the deserts especially and maybe water? I will find out. A Walk In The Woods had me in tears of laughter. Such a funny book.

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  5. What is about these wild girls, Ada is the same.
    Really looking forward to reading what you think about The Only way home, I have added to my list. Best wishes to Ollie.

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  6. Peanut must be part Chihuahua; thats what Henry does, run crazy and collapse… i like Calvino a lot: i read this Classic one and liked what he had to say… i’m looking forward to your reaction to the 2500k lady… w/ 2 donkeys? seems like twice as much work as going by oneself?

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  7. I’m sorry to hear about Ollie I hope he comes good soon.
    Peanut sounds like a bit of a handful… your story reminds me of when we went to get a rescue dog as company for our second Silky Terrier who seemed a bit lonesome after six weeks with the company of two other dogs while we were overseas. I scouted round all the rescue centres and found a small dog that I thought might be suitable, so off we went…
    The lady, who knew *a lot* about dogs, picked Sapphire as ‘somewhat excitable’ so she suggested a dog more placid than the one we had chosen. So we got Chifley, a Shitsu-something cross with a beautiful black coat and the most gorgeous face. He was the most laid back dog I’ve ever had. It’s also true that he was off eating dinner somewhere when the Canine Commander was handing out the brains… he never learned that he could come back in through the doggy door as well as go out of it, and he only ever knew a couple of commands, but we loved him to bits, and I still miss him heaps.

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    1. I answered this earlier but word press put it elsewhere in comments section. There is such a shortage of puppies especially here in Tassie. It took ages to find a puppy that would fit our lifestyle. We can run marathons now chasing after here. A very smart little thing.

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      1. I was permanently exhausted running around after Amber when she was a pup.
        BTW If WP is moving your comments, you may be able to fix it in settings. Go to Settings/Discussion and find “Enable Threaded Comments, there’s a box there for how many replies there can be for comments and still keep them together. I have mine set on 8.

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