Monday, 15 September 2014

The Melbourne Haul and a Spring Day

I have been home from Melbourne for almost a week and it already seems a lifetime away.  These holidays sure get away from us.  I was making my coffee this morning before settling down to read some blog posts from others and I saw the back yard was full of fairy wrens.  A sure sign that it is spring though these little birds are around quite a bit.  They were busily eating insects.  For those of you who don't know what these birds are here is a photo of the male and the female.  He is very flashy.

I spent the weekend reorganising my Penguin Book collection.  I had a lot of non Penguin books on the shelves and I removed these in order to spread the Penguins out a bit more.  I currently have them filed on top of each other so tightly that when I'd add more to the collection I could not fit them in. So I put the non Penguins in a box and though I'm not happy they're in a couple of boxes I will try to get them read so I can either sell them or give them away to make room for the Penguins. 

I would really like the library room to just be Penguins including the various series of them.  These are the books I found in Melbourne.  They are from different series and different time frames as you can tell by their covers.

These are from the earlier series of Penguins (1940's to 1950's.
These Penguins were in the later series as you can tell from the variety of covers.


These were also from the later series and there are some humorous books in this batch.


L to R:  The Penguin music scores which have beautiful covers, Typee is from the Penguin Illustrated Classics and the
George Meredith book is one of the Penguin Hardcover copies made especially for libraries. Bigger print and hardcover.


These books are from late in the series. They number as 2000 plus and were published in the late 1960's for the most part.


These are from the children's books, The Puffin series. All are first published Puffins and I only pick them up if they are firsts and low in price.  I can't afford to collect the Puffins from book shops where they usually cost more.  I found these in Melbourne and they were reasonably priced so I picked them up because I like t heir covers so much.

I would love to know if you have read any of them as some are obscure. On a Spring day while the wrens played in the back door I was happily organising all my shelves with my new Penguins.  Little pleasures, eh?




Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Penguin, An Airport and Graham Greene- 1959

Today I am sitting in the airport reading Graham Greene’s Penguin No. 2822, In Search of a Character.  It is a slight book and I am greatly enjoying it so far. It has two novels within it of two Africa Journals he keeps. I have read the first one. He is in the Congo area and he is thinking about a doctor, a character for his next book. However it is quite funny that every time he comes with an idea there is a footnote at the bottom of the page that this idea was later pitched out.  I have no idea if he ever settles on anything for certain.

He tends to visit places around the world for 3 to 4 months, he gets quite depressed until he has established a routine each day. He speaks of melancholy quite a bit. In this particular journal he is surrounded by people with leprosy.  He writes quite a bit about leprosy especially focusing on both contagious leprosy and non-contagagious leprosy. A lot of what he believed then is no longer true about the illness and that is also highlighted in the footnotes.

He also has a great deal to say about the role of the church in this country and most of it non too flattering.  He mentions a nun who is bemoaning the fact that a settlement up the river no longer has the numbers of people with leprosy anymore and says, “Oh there is almost nothing to do anymore.”  

One of the priests he spends time with shoots everything and one evening while on board a most uncomfortable boat ride the priest shoots a heron and serves it for dinner.  He doesn’t realise it isn’t rabbit until later.  He is not happy with the way the priest tends to sadistically tease cats, dogs and shoot birds.  He doesn’t think the faith and the actions mix very well.

The story is laid out like a diary beginning January 31, 1959. I guess keeping a journal that is true to events at the time is that later on medical research changes some of the facts of the time.  There are quite a lot of footnotes  but I found them quite interesting.

I felt very much like Alan Lane only in an airport and not a train station, wanting a little book that would fit in my pocket as my bags are so heavy with books. So after I checked in the bags I pulled the Penguin from my pocket and began reading this 1959 tale, trying to find a quiet place that wasn’t playing musak in order to concentrate on the story at hand.  (That is another topic altogether.)

Looking forward to getting home and unpacking all the books and putting them away.

Monday, 8 September 2014

A Book Free Day- Last Day in Melbourne

Today was a rest day. I slept late, read quite awhile today and didn't leave the hotel room until 3:00.  Last night's performance of The Last Confession with David  Suchet was above excellence. An interesting tale about the death and conspiracy of the Pope in the 1970's.  It was a fascinating tale and the acting was incredibly strong. I loved it.

The Effect

Tonight I went to a play called The Effect with Australian stars Sigrid Thornton and William McInnes. It was a story about two psychiatrists, one who works for a drug company and their research with mental health i.e. Depression and their two main subjects of their experiments. The two subjects fall in love and the ramifications of that are shown as well as Ms. Thornton's own depressive behaviour.  The young actors I thought were stronger than the two seasoned ones.  It was an interesting story but not overly memorable like The Last Confession.  I just enjoy live theatre.

I had time to kill before the theatre so I walked around the Southbank area next to the river and took photos, got something to eat from a food court and then sat down near the river and read an hour.

Once finished with the play I walked back to my hotel. By then it was dark and I got a few photos of nighttime Melbourne.  I hope you enjoy my last photos of Melbourne for awhile.

It has been a lovely week away from home and a chance to have time to myself, focus and look forward to getting home again tomorrow.