I’ve taken to trying to walk a bit more for fitness, and so I kit myself up with my smartphone and wireless headphones, turn on a podcast and off I go. For the past 23 hours I’ve been listening to … Continue reading ?
1972, 192 p. Last year I did an online course about Macondo, the setting for many of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s stories and novels (see course details here). Of course, I read all the stories in English, but I found the … Continue reading ?
The sun was shining and we had no commitments. So we hopped into the Big Red Car and drove up to Kyneton, about ninety kilometres from Melbourne. A former gold rush town, it still has many original buildings and the … Continue reading ?
2017, 138 p & notes It must be all those Dickens and Trolloppe BBC miniseries. When you’re reading 19th century colonial letters and newspapers, you’re often engulfed with a sense of deja vu. You’ve seen these dilemmas before; the characters … Continue reading ?
In January we had a day off from caring for Dad. It was a stinking hot day (41 degrees) and coming out of the air-conditioned comfort of Cinema Nova, we weren’t quite ready to head home yet but didn’t want … Continue reading ?
Dad thought I’d probably enjoy this. Then he thought again. As someone with a cleft lip and palate, I’ve had my own share of stares and cruelties as a child. I’ve also felt the pain of being the parent of … Continue reading ?
2002, 328 p & notes This might seem a really perverse book for me to have read recently. My father died a fortnight ago, and I began reading it while he was gravely ill. You’ll note from the title of … Continue reading ?
This certificate was awarded to my mother when she was in Grade Six. It’s hard to imagine Grade Six girls (because I’m sure that it was only girls) being taught baby-wrangling at school today. No doubt these 1930s girls would … Continue reading ?
2017, 254 p. The front cover of this book announces that it is “From the author of My Name is Lucy Barton“. That’s important, because the books are matching parts of the same scenario: the famous Lucy Barton has written … Continue reading ?
We’re going through photos that we can show at Dad’s memorial. One Australia Day several years ago I wrote about the Bicentennial Beacon, and Dad’s fortuitous involvement. And lo and behold, I found a photo! You can read about it … Continue reading ?
We’re going through boxes of photographs, in preparing for Dad’s memorial service. We started doing it the other day and rushed through it, because we were finding it hard. We did put aside a pile of photographs that have since … Continue reading ?
My dad died last week from congestive heart failure and renal failure. He lived with us, in the back unit adjoining ours, and I feel as if he is present everywhere I look. With the assistance of Banksia Palliative Care … Continue reading ?
Loving Vincent is the story of a young man who, charged with delivering a letter between the now-deceased Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, tries to find out how Vincent died. Story-wise, it’s a bit of a whodunnit, questioning the … Continue reading ?
I always stay to watch the credits at the end of a film, even with the cinema staff sweeping around me. The credits at the end of ‘Darkest Hour’ list 93-year-old historian John Lukacs, and I found myself wondering just … Continue reading ?
1985, 86p. It didn’t take long for Thomas Gardner of 117 George Street East Melbourne to enlist in what was to become the Great War. Due to the time difference, news of Britain’s declaration of war reached Australia on the … Continue reading ?
It’s violent, it’s funny in places, it presents cliches and then subverts them. It’s a rather Coen-Brothers-ish movie, and Frances McDormand (who has starred in several Coen Brothers movies) fully deserves the acclaim that she is receiving. My rating: 4.5 … Continue reading ?
During this week, Bill of the Australian Legend blog is running Australian Women Writers Gen 1 Week. He defines Gen 1 as “those writers who came before the 1890s and the Sydney Bulletin ‘Bush Realism’ school, although many of them … Continue reading ?
2016, 389 p & notes. You’ve always wanted to read a book about the philosophical differences between the crimes of ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’, haven’t you? No? Ah- but you should and you should read this book in particular. … Continue reading ?
2013, 224 p. I know that historians often get railroaded into a title for their book by marketing-oriented publishers, and I can’t help thinking that the title of this 2013 book was chosen with one eye on the then-upcoming centenary … Continue reading ?
2012, 392 p. I was too young to vote at the 1972 Federal election that brought Gough Whitlam to power. Until Gough came along, it seemed to me that politicians were always grey men in hats, exemplified for me by … Continue reading ?