A Bit of Delightfulness

There are many wombats at Cradle Mountain. Wombats have a hard shell on their rear so when in their burrows they can raise up and crush a predator if needed. They also have a pouch that faces backwards.

I edited a few more photographs from the Cradle Mountain Trip. I have a really cute dogs photo that makes me laugh and I hope you will chuckle a bit.

I have a few books to briefly write about and just some natter going on in my head. So let’s get started.

We’ll talk about a couple of books first

I am now 99 pages into Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman for the Fullers Bookshop shared reading. We read some of it in the reading group on Monday. Our facilitator, Ebi is a German man who really studied this book for more than a year and knows his Russian/German history inside out. We stopped several times to discuss features of the story or to hear some more history.

Then we had to read another section at home as it is such a large book and we have 12 weeks to finish it. I am really enjoying this Russian novel about the war between the Russians and Germans. I might add we aren’t doing too bad either with the Russian names either.

I have given up on the Shirley Hazard Collected short stories because I don’t have the patience for them. She is an excellent writer and her characters are developed well and her locations are descriptive. I do like the writing and will read other novels by her. However these stories were written in the 1950s for the most part and with all that goes on socially around women’s issues (and many other issues) in Australia, I am having difficulty going back to the time in a book at the moment.

Most of the stories have been about men lusting for younger women, boring descriptions of their wives, unrequited love. The entire book is a description of disappointment (which she does very well) but against the suffering endured in the Russian book I just want them to all go away. I made a small chart of the type of men and women described in the 40% of the book I did read.

I have been reading about the short listed Booker nominees this week too. Jason Steger who is Literary Editor for the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald has a newsletter that he sends each Friday. This week’s newsletter is about all of the problems with the Booker Prize, the criticism, the rules. I found it very interesting.

As I can’t attach this newsletter I will send it to anyone as an email to anyone who would like to read it. Email me at: travellinpenguin at gmail dot com.

So speaking of the Booker shortlisted books, you can find them online with google, (Booker shortlist 2021). I won’t go into the shortlist today though there are a few I’d like to read. I did start with Patricia Lockwood’s book No-one is Talking About This. It is very much stream of consciousness around the world of Twitter. As I don’t use Twitter and have never been interested in it I found the book bored me to tears. I actually downloaded the Kindle version. As I didn’t care for her book Priestdaddy that we read for book group a year or so ago. I didn’t want to spend a lot on this one. I read 35 to 40% of it then threw it down in frustration. I really couldn’t bear it. I looked up the reviews on Good Reads and found about 50/50 between ‘love it’ and ‘hate it’. I think I am too old for it. I’m sure she’ll find her audience who praise it but it won’t come from here. I was actually within the time period I could return it to Amazon. As I never return things to Amazon they allowed a refund which I happily accepted.

In the meantime I heard a podcast about Anthony Bourdain and as I’ve not read him before I downloaded his older book Kitchen Confidential. I began that last night and am really enjoying it. It is biographical as well as discussing the restaurant business, warts and all. The two American men on the podcast I was listening to, There Will Be Books, gave a good description of what they enjoyed about the book and it isn’t all peaches and cream when it comes to criticising the chef or wait staff. You have been warned. Bourdain has another book out recently, put together by others since his death and Good Reads reviewers pan it as an overrated grab for money on his name so I wasn’t interested. Kind of what happened to Harper Lee’s last book published after her death.

My copy of Womankind magazine arrived this week. It features the Arab world this month and I look forward to delving into it. Womankind is published bi-monthly.

That’s it on books for the moment.

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Now on to photography. I have a few other photos I edited from Cradle Mountain that showcases our wonderful wilderness areas in Tasmania.

Enjoy the photos. I was quite happy with them.

Philosopher Falls- Warratah, Tasmania
Philosopher Fall area
The wilderness area is full of these ferns. So green and beautiful.
This photo was taken by Kerri Huang, who gave me permission to post. She was a fellow
member of our tour at Philosopher Falls.
It is a truly beautiful area and there may be an elf or a hobbit who lives here. Just wonderful.

Next I have a wonderful snippet about Peanut and Ollie. I take the bus into town two or three times a week to go to the gym or run errands. Mr Penguin is often off to his gym and doing his errands so the dogs are home. As they play hard in the mornings they are ready for a sleep in the afternoon. They curl up on the bed that is under the window in our front room that is on the second story above our garage. Great views all around.

They have figured out one of us is often on the bus. The bus goes by on weekdays every 30 to 40 minutes. When they hear it, they pop up from their bed, look out the window and watch for a few minutes to see if we come walking up the drive. If not I assume they go back to sleep. If we are on it, they follow with their little faces and greet us enthusiastically at the door. No-one is ever happier to see us than our dogs. I snapped this photo with my phone last week as I walked up the driveway.

Are you on this bus?

Well, that is about all that happened this week. I look forward to seeing what others are doing with their time and their reading.

Cradle Mountain Part I

Well, I survived the Cradle Mountain photography instructional tour. We had lots of fun and our guide, Luke O’Brien did a brilliant job of organising, instructing and generally putting up with our quirks for four days.

Weather was laughable. The tour began at 7:30 am Tuesday morning this past week. There had been a very heavy wind and rain storm through Monday night into Monday morning. It was serious. We had 60 to 100 kms gusts of winds and our neighbours house had part of their roof removed. I heard later there were a few roofs that were lost in and around the state. When we arrived at the hotel at Cradle Mountain in the afternoon, trees had come down and the power had been out everywhere in the area. It came back on as we arrived.

We had all kinds of wind and rain Wednesday and Thursday we were absolutely soaked. We walked with our heavy backpacks, dressed in layers of clothes (did I mention temps of 1 to 5 degrees C?) dripping wet up and down rainforest paths. Ankle deep mid, hundreds of stairs to see out of the way waterfalls, freezing hands and had the best time. Lots of laughs, great photography instruction, scenery like nowhere else in the world and the best food back at the hotel. Friday morning we left Cradle Mountain and drove through snow that had arrived during the night. Home safe and sound Friday night just after dark and my own bed never felt so good. I thought my muscles would never recover but they did. Thank goodness for all the fitness training I have done over the past few months. I don’t think this 70+ years body could have done it otherwise.

Luke O’Brien has a webpage that showcases his photos and you can find it HERE.

I didn’t get any reading done as I was in bed early as we planned sunrise shoots that were to begin at 5:30 am but sadly the fog and clouds were ground level so they didn’t happen. Neither did the night sky photography. But we made up for it. The photos I’m sharing today are from the beginning of our trip.

On the way home I did begin listening to the book Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams on Audible. It is described on Amazon as:

The story is an absolute joy . . . A captivating and exquisitely crafted debut’ Sunday Times bestseller, Heidi Swain

Absolutely captures the magic of reading and libraries’ Louise Hare When Aleisha discovers a crumpled reading list tucked into a tattered library book, it sparks an extraordinary journey.

From timeless stories of love and friendship to an epic journey across the Pacific Ocean with a boy and a tiger in a boat, the list opens a gateway to new and wonderful worlds – just when Aleisha needs an escape from her troubles at home.

And when widower Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to connect with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha introduces him to the magic of the reading list. An anxious teenager and a lonely grandfather forming an unlikely book club of two.

Inspiring and heartwarming, The Reading List is a love letter to storytelling – its power to transport us, connect us, and remind us that a new beginning is only a page away…

I need to catch up on Shirley Hazard’s Collected stories first before I begin again on the Reading List. I should be on the 12 story and I think I’m only on the 5th one. Need to crack on to those.

I have an interesting week ahead of me. Monday night we start the shared reading of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman at Fullers book store, the chunky Russian novel we will be immersed in during the next 12 weeks.

Tuesday night Fullers is hosting a poetry night to celebrate the Australian National Reading Hour day. PA limited number of people registered to participate and each person who wants to stands in front of the group and reads a favourite poem. The poem cannot be something that person wrote (thankfully). We are allocated 5 minutes each. If people don’t want to stand up and read, someone else can read it for them.

I thought I’d read an American poem I grew up with during my primary schooling years, Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Paul Revere was born in 1734 and worked as a Silversmith and Engraver. He was a real patriot and was best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution.

“The British are coming! The British are coming!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dramatised this event in this poem written in 1860 and published in the Boston Transcript publication at the time and the following. year in the Atlantic Monthly just as the American Civil war was beginning. It is quite dramatic to read and should be within the five minute time frame. It should be fun.

As the broadcasters say….”and folks- that is the week that was.” Enjoy the photos from our beautiful state that is…….Tasmania.

This currawong followed us around a bit that day.
The peak on the left is Cradle Mountain
How beautiful are these waterfalls?
Stay Warm

Simply Sunday

This Week-

I have decided to change how I write my own posts. I find waiting a week or two then doing a catch up is too much, so instead I don’t do anything. I have decided I am going to update it more like a diary or journal with day to day events. Then when the weekend comes I’ll publish the post. I’ll trial it until the end of the year and then maybe revamp the page for 2022.

Daily activities will include book events, anything read that week, a bit of photography, social events that may be of interest and anything else that catches my fancy.

UPCOMING INTERESTS-

The past week has seen me buying the book, Collected Stories by Shirley Hazzard. Our Fullers book group will discuss it the first Wed of October. It is a series of 26 short stories and so far I have read the first one today. I am enjoying her writing very much. The characters are quite visual and I like the dialogue. If all the stories share the same type of writing I will be happy.

We are focusing on A Perfect Spy by John le Carré for our September book group. I have finished more than 400 pages but have to admit I’m very bored with it and have decided to stop. When I checked reviews on Good Reads I find people are quite divided as to whether they enjoy it or not.

This past week saw our photo club going to the small village of Richmond for a photography scavenger hunt. We were given the list at 11 am and then met for a coffee/snack at 12:30, sitting outdoors at a local cafe. Richmond is quite the tourist town and it was busy with families. I kept seeing people walking little white West Highland terriers everywhere and I later learned they were part of a group of Westie lovers meeting up for a social event. They were everywhere.

The week ahead looks promising. Monday I will be participating in the final shared reading group of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf at Fullers Bookshop. It will be our 5th meeting. I have enjoyed the group and the book very much. I am wondering what reading they will do next and how staff will pick the 12 participants in the next group. Previously it has been, once you’re in the group you stay in the group until you leave. That may change as there is a waiting list to get into the group. Fairness may reign.

On Wednesday evening I am back at Fullers and we’ll discuss A Perfect Spy. I’m looking forward to seeing what people thought especially as our group has 12 women in it and no men. I am not sure how many women are drawn to spy novels though this is LeCarre’s most autobiographical novel. Other book groups at Fullers have men. There are several groups that meet the first week of the month at the shop, 90 people in groups of 12. They do ask us to come even if we don’t finish the book. It is a misleading thought that one cannot contribute if they do not finish the book. The reasons for that are as interesting as the reasons another person enjoys it.

Thursday night I am attending the local Playhouse Theatre to see Agatha Christie’s play The Stranger. The Playhouse theatre cast are amateur enthusiasts and I have often seen plays of a higher standard than those of some of the professional shows at the Theatre Royal. Many cast members are regular actors and a night out there has always been enjoyable. I’ll let you know next week how that goes.

That will pretty much fill up my week of social events. On top of that I will have my two weight training sessions Monday and Wednesday and Friday has me participate with my personal trainer in finishing up my 12 week challenge. After that I revert back to two weeks of weight training with instructor Daniel in our small group and hopefully one day a week dedicated to a walk or a photography day outside of Hobart.

Richmond Tasmania gaol

Things to look forward to in the coming months-

* A four day photography instructional tour at Cradle Mountain in September.

** A two day stay with a new group of previous biker friends who have set up a private fb group called Half Arsed Tours and Camping. They are riding their motorbikes up to Deloraine, north of us about 3 hours to visit a distillery and do a river walk. As I am no longer riding, I will take the car and back roads, and get some country photography shots and meet them at the hotel for drinks and dinner, staying overnight at the hotel. The hotel is situated alongside a railroad track and previous experience taught us that when trains go by the beds tend to move across the room a bit. I’ve not been there for several years so looking forward to seeing if this still happens. Breakfast will be the following day with the group at a local cafe. I will then head home another route to get different photos.

Richmond Tasmania church

*** I have an eye surgeon’s appointment in October where we have been working together to restore the vision in my left eye. I can see most things okay but can’t read signs or books very well. Fortunately the right eye is compensating very well. The eye had very high pressure that has now reduced to normal and hopefully if the vision does not restore completely a contact lens might correct it. Just a wait and see. As I told Mr. Penguin, we don’t have room for a guide dog. (That’s a joke!)

There you have it for today!

A Bit of Travel Photography

I’ve been busy with appointments, gym and life in general and the days pass by. Too tired in the evenings to write. Today we are supposed to get our Covid vaccinations but I’ve had a bad cold and although I’m at the tail end of it I’m not sure they’ll give me mine. We’ll see.

I’ve been doing a photoshop class through Udemy that I downloaded ages ago and decided I’d better get stuck into it while I’m resting at home with this cold. It has been very useful and their classes are reasonably priced.

I’ve also signed up for a drawing class for $15.00 (good value) through Domestika. I’ve looked for places around Hobart that have drawing classes but just can’t find anything I want. Domestika is Scandinavian but not sure which country. They have really fun, colourful, creative ideas and I’m looking forward to beginning the class soon.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I gave up on Gilead by Marilyn Robinson. It was just too religious and preachy for my mood and I got bored. I managed 200 pages and gave it up. I get the idea. I see she has written the book Jack who is the young son that the old man is writing to in Gilead. I probably will pass on that too though it could be interesting too see what he thought of his father. Maybe

I’m listening to The Bohemians by Jasmin Darznik on Audible. Booktopia describes it as:

In 1918, a young and bright-eyed Dorothea Lange steps off the train in San Francisco, where a disaster kick-starts a new life. Her friendship with Caroline Lee, a vivacious, straight-talking Chinese American with a complicated past, gives Dorothea entree into Monkey Block, an artists’ colony and the bohemian heart of the city. Dazzled by Caroline and her friends, Dorothea is catapulted into a heady new world of freedom, art, and politics. She also finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with the brilliant but troubled painter Maynard Dixon. Dorothea and Caroline eventually create a flourishing portrait studio, but a devastating betrayal pushes their friendship to the breaking point and alters the course of their lives.

The Bohemians captures a glittering and gritty 1920s San Francisco, with a cast of unforgettable characters, including cameos from such legendary figures as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Frida Kahlo, Ansel Adams, and D. H. Lawrence. A vivid and absorbing portrait of the past, it is also eerily resonant with contemporary themes, as anti-immigration sentiment, corrupt politicians, and a devastating pandemic bring tumult to the city-and the gift of friendship and the possibility of self-invention persist against the ferocious pull of history.

As Dorothea sheds her innocence, her purpose is awakened and she grows into the figure we know from history-the artist whose iconic Depression-era photographs like “Migrant Mother” broke the hearts and opened the eyes of a nation.


She was one of the best photographers who documented people living in 1930s depression America. She had polio as a child and walked with a significant limp the rest of her life. If you’ve not seen her catalogue of photography I suggest you google her.

I am really enjoying it and Dorothea Lange is one of my top five photographers. The early days of San Francisco, a city I have always loved, are also very interesting as are the people.

Reading has taken a bit of a back seat to photography lessons in the past couple of weeks so I’ll move on to it for a moment.

I’ll leave you with some back catalogue photos of my trip to Africa in 2018. I took a large number of photos and never really sorted them. However we have photo challenges in our club and I wanted to prepare some photos for those. I shoot all my photos in a raw format (which is like a negative) and import them onto Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop or Luminar to do the final edit (develop) them. It has taken a long time to learn the tricks of the trade and I still continue to work on it. I’ll leave you with the photos I worked on today and say goodbye for the moment. We need to leave for our vaccinations in awhile and I need to get some lunch. Until then….

Botswana, Africa

I love this sign and the road/bridge it refers to. I believe this was in Botswana.
African Pelicans, a bird I have always loved.
We slept in this bush tent for two nights and were told to not go out of this tent for any reason during the night. We had wild hyenas around it at night. It was too wet for lions or elephants to come through looking for water. There was a bathroom attached and enclosed at the back of the tent but it had a trillion mosquitos.
Aren’t ostriches just the most unusual animals.
Our guide and driver. Our group was very small and everyone had their own window in the truck. Lots of fun,
.The markings of a wild dog are absolutely beautiful.
The wildebeest is a very unusual looking animal. We saw some babies but I’ve not “developed” those photos yet.

Enjoy your week and I’ll try to get back sooner next time. Stay well and hope you can get out and do a few fun things.

P.S. Ollie and Peanut are well. Peanut was spayed and is now completely recovered.

Another Monday Morning

Ok. Where are we walking to now?

It’s been a fairly uneventful week around here so I did get some reading finished up. Our photography club starts up meetings this coming week so working on a couple of photos for the digital challenges. Ollie is also doing better and has a quick checkup on Thursday at the vet’s to see if his ear infection has cleared. We have had a day at the beach so he is happy. Our weather is spring like and you’d have no idea it is actually summer. Cool days and quite windy. The clouds are good for photography but not much else as every time I decide to take the camera out for a walk the rain comes pouring down or the wind is gale force.

I could not stop diving into this book. It requires a deep dive.

So let’s get started with the books. The first book I finished was Robert MacFarlane’s book Underland: A Deep Time Journey. This was a five star read for me. I really enjoyed it. The blurb from Good Reads states:

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane (British) delivers an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself. Traveling through the dizzying expanse of geologic time—from prehistoric art in Norwegian sea caves, to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come—Underland takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind.

Global in its geography and written with great lyricism, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.

Yes, it sounds dry but I assure you it is anything but. It had so much information of which I knew nothing about, it had suspense, it had calm, isolation and beauty. It really does let you see our earth in an entirely different light and I really loved it. It is a book I would consider reading again.

The second book I finished this week was Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior. This is what I call a fluffy book. Fluffy books are books that are comforting, easy reading and entertaining. They don’t require a lot of brain power.

Not for serious readers but great for a bit of fluff. It does have a good environmental messages though.

The story goes:

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime . . .

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea in Scotland. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this. (Good Reads)

I didn’t like Veronica at first when I began this book. Did not like her at all. But I don’t think you are supposed to. Then I learned about her life. She lives in Scotland and her memories go back to World War II. I almost gave this book up until….. things began to happen.

Did I mention she ends up in Antarctica?

It was fun and I know I will remember the characters for a very long time as they were very well developed. The book is one that gets much better as the writer gets more and more into it.

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I now have letters of author initials M and P completed in my TBR Author Alphabet challenge. Time to pick another random choice from the TBR.

Our photo club challenge has us choosing two photos we took in 2020 and ones we thought were pretty good. These are my two entires. The Waterfront is my favourite of the two but I’m entering the Covid sign one as I think it is important and it documents 2020.

A Sign of the Times

Hobart, Tasmania- Waterfront at Night

My new year now begins Thursday here which is the Wednesday inauguration day of Joe Biden in the U.S. I will be watching it. I will again be thankful Trump is going to be gone and I will then focus on everything else in life besides politics and Covid which have been all consuming. We are fortunate in Tasmania as we have not had any cases in the community for months now. I’m not sure when vaccinations will be available here but I have heard murmurs of March. Who knows? I do think of those in other countries who are doing it so tough. My heart goes out to you. Stay well.

I’ll be back soon.

…and the days keep flying by

Hobart Waterfront at night. One cool spring time night.

I know it is a cliche but I really don’t know where the time goes. Busy with the 12 week fitness challenge I’m doing, a long motorbike ride, a few photography events and lots of household planning. I’m not getting a lot of time for reading books but I am listening to a lot of books. I get a couple of hours in most nightHs while lying in bed. A very relaxing and quiet time.

I finished One Day by Gene Weingarten. I heard about it somewhere and was intrigued by the concept. The author wanted to explore the events of one day in history in America. He picked three strangers and each drew numbers out of a hat. One chose the year, one, the day and one the month. The result was Sunday, 28 December, 1986. It is the date he researched extensively to find the events of the day. He wasn’t expecting as much as he found as it was a Sunday. Not the best day of the week, he thought. It was also only three days after Christmas. In the end it didn’t seem to matter as there was no shortage of events.

That Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s turned out to be filled with comedy, tragedy, implausible irony, cosmic comeuppances, kindness, cruelty, heroism, cowardice, genius, idiocy, prejudice, selflessness, coincidence, and startling moments of human connection, along with evocative foreshadowing of momentous events yet to come. Lives were lost. Lives were saved. Lives were altered in overwhelming ways. Many of these events never made it into the news; they were private dramas in the lives of private people. They were utterly compelling.

One Day asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily, daunting challenge of being human. (Booktopia site)

Gene Weingarten- Author

Gene Weingarten is an author that has won the Pulitzer Prize twice in the past. His day job has him working as a journalist for the Washing Post newspaper.

I enjoyed this book as if you think of everything that happens in a person’s live and multiply that by billions there really doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. One never knows what lies ahead. The author’s research was good and it was an interesting concept to explore.

Last night four of us from the Photo Club went down to the waterfront to teach ourselves how to get night time ‘bokeh’. For those who don’t know what bokeh is, it is the blurry lights you see behind a photographic subject. It is regularly seen in films and television and nighttime photos. The photographer finds a subject to photograph and then looks for light sources farther behind the subject. The camera lens is opened up wide and hopefully the subject in the front of the photo will be clear and the lights in the background will be blurred. It was trickier to get then we thought but some other lovely photos came out of our experimentation. It was a chilly night out, as we wandered around the fishing boats and fish and chips shops at night looking for subjects and lights with our tripods over our shoulders. It was good to get out in the fresh air with like minded fellow photographers and have a laugh and share ideas. Here are just three photos I came up with. The bokeh isn’t that great but the photos turned out nice and one had nice starbursts in the light I wasn’t expecting to get. Once I went out to get starbursts and ended up with bokeh. One just never knows.

Here’s hoping all is well with anyone stopping by this page. Stay well.

Flippers is really good.

A Bit of a Catch Up

victory-in-the-kitchenI’m finding the current situation in the world very weird. I’m not going to say anything more about this virus thing as I am well and truly tired of hearing about it. We are doing everything right though. Like everyone else we are trying to find things to do around the house and that isn’t too hard. For a start I have a lot of books I can read. I also have a 7 month old puppy to spend time with. So each day I ask myself- “will it be a quiet book and a cup of coffee?” or “will it be a crazy , high energy puppy to occupy my time?”

 

I have been reading a lot of photography magazines and watching you tube videos on the subject. So not reading a lot of novels. However I did start this one which I am enjoying so far at a fairly slow pace. It’s called Victory in the Kitchen: The Life of  Churchill’s Cook by Annie Gray. The blurb on the cover states, ” This is a book about Georgina Landmark. It’s about her life, her times and some of her employers, including Winston and Clementine Churchill. It’s about working class life, and women’s work and expectations, and it’s about domestic service at the highest level. It’s about British food and French influence, and the impact of war on the way we ate. Above all else, though, it’s the story of a woman who loved, loved and cooked her way through much of 20th century Britain, and, while her life is made more resonant by her relationship to her last employers, it remains Georgina’s story.

I might also add I love the cover of this book.

Other activities: 

90419399_3070627949638320_5357850227199967232_oWe have three cats and for entertainment they are quite hard on their cat tree. We replace the one in the house every few years by moving the old one outside to their enclosure and adding a new one to the living room. I ordered one online and it arrived in a flat pack package and I had to put it together. Once I sorted all the pieces and made sure everything was there I got it together this morning.  I had to spray vinegar water around it to keep little Ollie from grabbing pieces and running through the house with them. I often spray a bit of vinegar water on things I don’t want him to chew, such as the edges of furniture or power cords.  It works well as he hates the smell.

 

Our cats took one look at this tree, backed up and went, “Whoa! Check this out!!”  So far, we are getting gentle sniffing at it but not daring yet to venture onto it. I’m sure it won’t be long before they explore it properly,

Photography and bush walks with Ollie:

89828882_3055537494480699_5550781738684252160_oWe have a reserve behind our house that has trails that eventually lead to the pinnacle of Mt, Wellington.  Ollie and I took the camera out one beautiful autumn day and took some photos.  He sniffs out wallaby poo and I look for things to photograph. I thought I’d do a bit of macro work. These are the photos.

Well that pretty much sums up the week. I won’t go on too much about the cancellation of all of my activities I generally participate in. The Book group and Shakespeare group at Fuller’s book store have stopped though a Shakespeare activities is coming up soon online dealing with the sonnets. That should be fun.

The Play reading, Motorbike group rides and social events, the sketch groups at the 90047539_3055537341147381_6826748498633818112_omuseum and all photography events have been cancelled as well. Though the sketch group has a fb page and our photo club currently has a bingo game going on with our fb page.

In summary, it really is a strange time and I’m finding it quite interesting to see the progression of the government rules coming out daily. Tasmania is currently locked now. You can leave but you can’t enter without going into 2 weeks isolation though they are still working on how they monitor the caravans coming in on the ferries from interstate and driving around everywhere.  Governments are great at issuing orders before they work out how they are to be implemented and monitored.

90094922_3055537697814012_1509713474496757760_oAnd if I do get really bored there is Netflix though I don’t want to dive too deep into that entertaining activity.  Remember, I have all these books

I hope all of you out there are doing well and coping and staying well.  It is distressing to see what is happening with people losing jobs, getting sick and dying in large numbers around the world. But it is careful we balance these things out in our mind to prevent getting too depressed about it all. I appreciate all my blogger friends at this time and sometimes I don’t have time to comment on all the blogs I read, I do read most of them, most of the time. I appreciate seeing what others are doing during these weird times.

 

 

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He was so exhausted after his bush walk. Check out the spots on the belly. I love puppy bellies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

masked penguin
Stay Well.

Documenting Life-What are their stories?

Spanish wash woman copy
Laundry lady in a Portuguese courtyard

Today I came across a photography competition (Lens Culture) being held somewhere. It’s online and international. I saw that the winners of the competition will have their photos exhibited somewhere in Paris. The competition closes in April and anyone can submit one single photo, five single photos or five photos that are part of a project where the photos are linked together to be a project or tell a sequential story. I chose the five single photos and I also paid the small extra fee to receive a critique back on them from the judges. If I am not going to end up in Paris at least someone from another part of the world will explain to me why not.

Now, I am not a professional photographer by any means as I’ve never made a cent from my photos.  But I am somewhat of a dreamer and I can see me walking in to the well lit gallery on a Parisian street with dozens of wonderful street photography hanging on the walls. Standing around in a quirky outfit with other people in interesting dress. I might even wear a hat. We’d be sipping champagne discussing the settings we used in our cameras and the experiences of dealing with the people we stalked through the streets.

(Though I am more of a photographer that sneaks up from behind.)

As it is fun to give things a go, even when you know you have no chance, being in that moment for a second, on a cold, blustery, rainy Tasmanian day is a fun way to live once in awhile.

Moscow Woman fix shoe
Making herself more comfortable on a street in Moscow while life passes by.

My favourite genre of photography is Street Photography.  Documenting life. Street photography are photos that presumably tell a story. I also try very hard to not take a photo of anyone holding a mobile phone unless it is imperative to the story.  All of us are living stories each day that very few people ever witness.  I like that about life.

Often I will sit in traffic and be stopped at a light. How often do you watch people cross the street in front of your car and wonder what’s in the shopping bag or think about where they are coming from? How did they spend their afternoon? Probably not too exciting but the thought does cross my mind. I enjoy looking at the expressions on their faces and while really stuck in a long line of traffic, begin to make up stories in my head about them.

 

Moscow Men and Dog
Two friends hanging out on a Moscow street. The dog has his own agenda.

Perhaps she wouldn’t be so cranky if her son hadn’t just slammed the car door on her and disappeared down the street. Or the three girls giggling because their school day has finished and they have big plans for the weekend.  How good will it feel for the elderly lady, carrying too many groceries in that bag, hoping she makes the bus and can finally relax when she gets home.  It is no wonder I love books so much. It also keeps me calm when some idiot does something on the road where I want to ram him or her. I won’t describe the stories I think up for that person but *hint* it involves crime and will I get away with it?

Morocco
Morocco:    Waiting for his friend to come back with jumper cables maybe?

It is with the idea of these little stories happening every second of the day and night, right around the world that I decided to enter five of my favourite shots I have taken whilst travelling. I may never hear of them again which is most probable but I’ve had fun making up the dream and working with the photos.

I share them here with you today.

Cleaning lady
A Street Cleaning Woman on a street in Seville, Spain.

and last but not least…………….

Tasmania penguin tourist copy
Penguin exploring Tasmanian wilderness.

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.

Cheetah
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.

Wild Dog
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.

Odie
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.

Pineapple 2
To find the Secret Garden you must first get by the Pineapple

 

Pineapple 4
This pineapple is as idle as the phone box of which it resides.

Pineapple 3
Even a pineapple enjoys a bit of nature.

I’ll let you know how Odie goes.

Camera Penguin