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Apr. 25th, 2007

06:39 pm - Some pictures for ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day, so I thought I'd post some more pictures of the soldiers in the family I posted last year.

These three pictures are of course Dad. These would've been taken around 1983 at our house in South Perth; he's a Lieutenant in the Australian Army by now, and is the Officer in Charge of the Wesley Cadet Unit - it can't be seen in this copy (I've seen the limitations of the home copier now) but the badge on his hat is the school crest.

John BanksCollapse )

These are pictures of Grandpa - Captain H. Berwick Hanton. He was a training officer in WWII, and was instrumental in setting up the cadet unit at Wesley (the same one Dad would be the last OIC of).

The first two pictures show 44 Battalion, on parade through the streets of Perth in 1939. Berwick is in the centre of the line, and can be seen giving the "eyes right" in the second picture. Appropriate they should get the picture in front of the Bank of New South Wales, that's the bank his father worked for, and he himself worked for them for a brief time in the '20s.

The next picture shows an inspection of the cadet troupe, unfortunately I don't know who the VIPs are. This picture or one very much like it appear in the Wesley history. And a couple showing off different uniforms.

Berwick HantonCollapse )

These are more of Jack - Flight Sergeant John Stubbs. These would've been the rough test pictures people took home to decide which prints they wanted blown up as their "proper" photographs - one even has the store's stamp across it still (although dark ink on dark photo doesn't exactly copy and scan well). These were probably taken just before he left Australia.

Jack StubbsCollapse )
The small picture of Jack and two mates would probably also be from this time. One of the men is Reg Stokes, from a town called Northampton north of Geraldton. Berwick knew him before the war since he'd gone to Wesley as well. When he'd heard Jack was leaving the Cameron Highlanders and joining the RAAF, and that he'd be training at the same place as Reg, he wondered if he should introduce them. Replies Dorothy "No, Jack's as mad as a wheel, so's Reg, and he's got money so they'll only spend everything on some wild scheme." So, no introductions were made. Cue Jack's first letter "I've met this bonza bloke called Reg Stokes and he comes from Geraldton too!" The two became fast friends, out to have a good time while they could.

One time Berwick had to travel up to Geraldton on Army business or something like that. On the train he got talking to an RAAF chappie in his compartment. Berwick asked what this chap did, and he turned out to be one of the instructors at the RAAF camp in Geraldton. Enquires Berwick "I know this is a silly thing to say, but I've got a young brother-in-law who's just joined up, presumably he'll be in your class..." to which he replies wearily "Thousands pass through my hands, thousands, I can't remember their names." "I know it was a silly question, his name's Jack Stubbs..." "OH great heavens, I know them all right! Stubbs and Stokes, the bane of my existance!" The mission to have a good time was a great success, it seems!

I have to wonder if a certain note on Jack's record once he reached England has a coinciding comment in Reg's... anyway, the two were best friends basically for the rest of their lives - Jack died in 1942, Reg just over a year later.

Last year someone kindly offered to visit the war cemetery in Doullens, France when he was in that part of the world, these are a couple of pictures of Maurice Stubbs' (my great-great-uncle's) grave, after he died of wounds during the German Spring Offensive of 1918.
Maurice StubbsCollapse )

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Apr. 20th, 2007

11:28 pm - The Plaques

Oops, I know it's been a while - I'll post this now since I'd always planned to do this as a separate post, and catch up the rest of the month later.

So, last week the letter from Karrakatta came - the plaques have arrived from the engravers, and have been installed.

I met up with Mum at the little cafe at the main gates just after ten on Wednesday (I caught an earlier train since there's only so long I can be aimless in the city, even if I did go looking for a few dvds she needs). Our first stop was to visit Veronica's grave - last time we were up there the masonry had yet to be done and just had a wooden cross with her name in permanent marker. Now everything's complete, and looking much better, with a rather-informative-for-a tombstone, and little white stone chips across the top.

Then it was time to double back and find our plaques in the Columbarium - Veronica's grave is pretty much in the last section before you leave the cemetery so it was a fair walk, with a large flock of galahs expressing their approval of the kinds of trees planted, and their disapproval of some loud noises from construction crews. It's interesting what you may see though - one of the graves with an Army plaque added to it listed the man as being part of my Grandpa's battallion, although possibly from WWI.

Anyway, the plaques are in the corner of two of the inwards facing walls, with a garden bed in the top, so they're shaded by a liquidambar tree - just not as big as the one we had in the house's backyard back when we lived on Trinity College's playing fields.

Dad's plaque hereCollapse )

Sorry Dad, I know you would have said you didn't want a plaque or anything that I'd have to pay for, but you don't get to slip away like that!
Notice the border? Closest to a grape vine they had in the selection, wink wink...
Thankfully I thought to take a couple of shots without using the flash. I took a shot with the medals too, and they turned out quite nicely without the flash.

This plaque is for my great-great-grandparents, after their headstone was removed last year:

StubbsCollapse )

The words are adapted from what was written on the headstone.
The border on this one is the plainest one, for something my grandmother once said. When Grandma and her sisters were young, they often went to stay with their grandma. At the time, the fashion for girls was many ribbons and sashes etc. Elizabeth didn't hold with any of this. By all accounts, she was an elegant lady, but without any of those trappings, and so when the girls went to stay with her, she'd remove the ribbons and have them not wear the sashes - as the saying goes, vanity vanity all is vanity.

Mar. 22nd, 2007

10:10 pm - Jumpin' Jack Flash...

What to say, today was one big blast!

And I missed it! :P

Apparently at lunchtime a gas main burst in the park across the road. J was out there at the time, and said that there was a sudden burst about a hula-hoop wide of dirty brown gas that reached up to roof level. They evacuated the buildings along that stretch of Bennett St, and we heard about it when J (another one) came in talking about how they'd evacuated "everything south" of the park, and closed off the streets nearby, with cops guarding the area and trying to decide whether to evacuate our building.

Alas, nothing so interesting happened (not that it stopped some people from evacuating themselves), and I didn't hear anything in more detail. I had to ring Mum to ask her to listen to the radio newsbreaks to get anything at all after that - all the news sites are useless for current happenings in Perth city - that was how I heard that they were letting traffic back through just before I left at five.

All that was left as I walked by (closer than normal, since somehow the nearest doors to the park went "out of order"...) were a few council vehicles gathered around near the corner of I-don't-know-the-street, but it was the same spot I'd seen people drilling in the middle of the street on the way in this morning.

As for other news... that's on hold. I'm taking next week off, but that still means tomorrow I'm at work (all by myself!). I've heard from the company I've ordered the replacement medal from - poor people are waiting on their suppliers for the minitures - they've got other people in the same boat. So it'll probably get delivered to work on my week off, since everything else I ordered is ready. I'll get one of those multifunction devices for Mum on Monday too, so she can do some photocopying without having to go to the library each time, and I can scan her photos without having to take them to work.

Anyway, I'll be back when I get some real news, or at least more to waste everyone's time with ;)

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Mar. 15th, 2007

10:48 pm - We're the best, we're the beautiful, we're the only - Ghostbusters!

Soooo, I'm back in the saddle again! Me and my dualscreens (somehow I just happened to acquire an extra screen...) are now back in the library, where we all belong! Once more I'm getting an acting higher level, since I'm doing S's job while she does G's job who's gone off to another library.

Let us rewind to Friday - the one good thing I've found about daylight saving is that I now catch my bus in the quarterhour around sunrise. So as I was walking with the just predawn sky still dark blue (a single minute saw the sky lighten several shades), when a bright light draws my attention upwards - a shooting star! :D

Turning forward a few hours, I thought I'd just get one last box of files done (in other words: excuse to listen to last disc in the set) - people don't get that I might have the files and boxes on my desk in some kind of order... Anyway, with the disc listened to, emails sent and the usual 101 odd things I get called aside for, I spent the rest of the morning taking apart and putting back up my computer (so very many cables!). Lunchtime came, and I set out at a jaunty pace (well, my legs are longer, I don't like waiting around for people to keep up if I'm not bothering with the conversation). I grabbed a corner place so that a I'd have some room and b - best view of the outside from that part of the pub. Small talk and avoiding cameras, the usual, the not-quite hearing from further down the table, and the making the most of the window seat - I could see down Claise Brook (or what it's been turned into) and across the river, and a tree full of corellas shifting about.

The meals came, and we decided that our steaks had been switched, C and I... I'll just have to order mine extra-well-done next time to make up for it. Anyway, presentations and speeches were made, meals paid for (and somehow some NZ money ended up in my change...), and said goodbye to all our leavers who weren't coming back to work. I got back a tad late (but before many others), taking the time on my walk to see if there were now fish in the artifical lake (there are), and follow a red dragonfly...

But anyway, that was that. Back to the library, and now no bosslady... still feels more like a holiday fill-in, especially when doing certain things in the catalogue or to the shelves just because that's the way she liked them. Anyway, I'm back, and getting back into the swing of things (photocopiers only work when switched on! - unless they're like the one in that email that's going around with the person hiding inside...) and fight the piles of things building up/already built up due to lack of time for two people.

I've also been dealing with fire and water recently. Water, because we had a pipe leak out in the backyard just under the tap, and so a merry little brook was babbling up from under the pavers. Fun little ways to deal with it included cutting the house supply to half-flow, and yesterday when the plumber tried-but-couldn't get it all done having the water switched off entirely. Fun getting up in the pre-dawn hours, getting dressed and wandering out with torch to switch it back on long enough to take a shower / clean teeth etc! (actually, I wouldn't mind being out then more if I could see stuff, it's cool and there's no people). Anyway, that was finally fixed today so no more wasting water just by having it on. And today we had a fire drill. We could tell it wasn't the real thing by them repeating "simulation" and the fact the intercom guy wasn't having kittens like the one time in the last few years it wasn't a sim. That plus I overheard a couple of the fire wardens a quarterhour before... And if it had been the real thing, I'd've been rescuing our most rare and valuable books.

Anyway, that's about it for now - still waiting for any sign of that medal, and a few weeks to go yet before the plaques are ready... oh, I had the lights turned off on me in the basement - lucky I had my phone's light so I could still read and find my way out - yeah, I'm just rambling now...

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Mar. 5th, 2007

09:01 pm - Long weekend, and what went before - in colour!

So, there goes the hot long weekend! Yes, we've had Monday off here, Labour Day public holiday.

Being a long weekend, I figured I'd get out a little bit on Saturday, not spend the entire time at home and all. My plan? To visit a medal showroom to see about getting a replacement for Dad's long-missing General Service Medal. Sure, I could've ordered online (the company is based in Perth, although way up north), but I figured I'd leave it as something to do in the weekend.

Although the company is based in Joondalup, they have a showroom in Cannington - luckily just on the other side of the railway line, not near Albany Highway/Nicholson Road morass. Also "luckily" as in "it's near the station my bus ends at, so no need to actually catch a train". So, I just manage to catch the bus relatively late in the morning (since genius me managed to set the alarm for eight in the evening...), and take a brisk stroll down the road along the railway (and walk right past the right shopfront) to find... they're closed for long weekend! Well, nothing else to do but to turn right round and go back. Once back, I kept going on to Carousel shops - even quicker walk, and saw me come away with another audiobook (so that should see me right for as long as I need them) and a winning lotto ticket! Division 5, but still winning. ;)

So, that was my big tale of the weekend - I'll get round to ordering the medal online soon. I've spent the rest of the weekend continuing this week's big crash-course in Highlander - yeah, finally relented to someone's suggestions when I went to get the Rocky Horror 3-D poster on Monday...

Anyway, let's have some pictures to make up for the not-updatingness and general boringness!
First off, the medal I bought the other week, for which I finally remembered my camera has a close-up setting...
1939-1945 StarCollapse )
It has a nice weight to it, and a nice look of age up-close.

Next, I managed to take a couple of pictures of the gecko while it was in the bin-bay under the counter (basically, the bit where a dishwasher would be if it was ever installed).
Gecko!Collapse )

Now to a few pictures from a trip to the zoo late last year - was good to get out then, although it was very very crowded in the tinyweek between Christmas and New Years, and as a result I think I'm addicted to Frosty Fruits iceypoles...

First up, a series of pictures from the Tiger exhibit - one of them was just pacing back and forth along the glass, turning at a specific spot for ages. One of the volunteers said she'd never seen this tiger behaving like this before...
Up Close and Magnificent. Four pictures.Collapse )
Good thing that glass was replaced sometime in the last year, otherwise we wouldn't have seen any of that amazing shot. As it was, we were just six inches from making a new friend...

And now for the fans out there:
Giraffes! Eight pictures.Collapse )
Even with the crowds, the giraffes were out and about and very easy to photograph that day! :)

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Mar. 1st, 2007

12:16 am - A Plaque of The Times / Ipi N'Tombi

OK, it's been a tad longer since I'd intended since updates - time to start pulling together all the little paragraphs lying around into an actual post.

I'm still in the disposals area at the moment, with work on the old files being stop-starty (only so much that can be done when you and your supervisor are more often than not not appearing on the same day), although that's about to change *again*, since Library-Bosslady has thrown a spanner in the steal-me works, by going and getting herself another job! She'll be leaving at the end of next week, so there hasn't been any time since she found out (four days after the interview, including the weekend) for TPTB to even think about hiring a replacement. So, S gets bumped up to take G's place, I get brought back to take S's place since I'm the only one who can do that level two, so things back to relatively normal for a couple of months anyway (just with a bit more money - helloooo higher duties!)

I've been catching up on my reading down in Disposition anyway... an advantage to working in the back room has been being able to put on headphones and have people try talking to me anyway ;). I got a bit bored with listening to music and battling pinchy or falling out earphones (my ears are a bit sensitive to earbud-style phones at the moment) and I got an idea - "don't they have books on audio cds these days?" A visit to Borders confirmed this (although I'm surprised by how much they had on *tape* still...) but I was a bit iffy about price-vs-length. A visit to the city library saw me right with the three volumes from the Beeb's The Return of Sherlock Holmes radioplay, and when I thought of it the ABC shop supplied me with a couple of the Doctor Who audiobooks, so I'll be right for the next few days - a top-up from the library and I'll have all I need for as long as I'm still in disposition. And thanks to the new better headphones my ears stay toasty warm as a benefit...

Anyway, it's been somewhere over a month... and really, the most remarkable day of the lot would be Thursday of last week, the 22nd.

After taking a day off to rest a twisted foot (ok, I *could* have gone in, but I knew I'd be walking the next day, and the foot was most grateful for a day without shoes), I went to meet Mum at Karrakatta for our appointment to arrange the plaques.

Yes, that's plaques plural. One for Dad, and another for my great-great grandparents, whose headstone was recently removed as part of the cemetery renewal program, and was in too poor condition to be re-positioned elsewhere - cue frantic online searching the night before when I realised that I had no birthdate for Elizabeth, only the year. Most of what I found was about her brother, and yay at finding the passenger list of the ship the family came to New Zealand, including a separate paragraph about the U'Rens, *with* the birth dates... *until* they get to Elizabeth and her younger siblings, where they just switch to years, ACK!

We couldn't really get a position near to the gravesite, and the kind of plaques to use there were rather small, so instead their plaque will join Dad's, which will be in the Columbarium - it's a good idea to go through with a guide! The first time I went through there, in May, I was by myself and a little lost (I didn't realise at the time that the "Niche Wall" I was looking for was near the end of the cemetary, and attached to one of the organised areas), and so only saw a part that was full of old old plaques and high walls all around. We went in with one of the customer service reps, and instead found ourselfs in a contained garden with graduated walls around it - much nicer! So the plaques will be on the second row of one of the higher inward-facing walls.

There was also a wider range of customisations to the plaque designs than the others I'd seen, and was a lot less painful to the hip-pocket than I'd been prepared for! We saved a fair bit of money on the plaque for the Stubbses, since the cemetery let us have that one at cost since it was a replacement for the old headstone. So, those have been ordered, paid for, now we're just waiting for them to be made and installed - they put a rush on it, but they've still got to come from interstate. I also saw the original records of the Stubbs' burials, and found out why there was no sign of Elizabeth's details in their online database - one of their sons registered her as Margaret for some reason - unfortunately it's a bit too late to ask why he did that...

Afterwards it was back to the city for a spot of lunch (I only have a liquid breakfast, and was too busy with one last search of the Southern Cross newspapers for a birthday mention to get morning tea...) and to give Mum some stuff I'd found. But first, back to something I'd noticed that morning coming in off the bus. Purely because I realised I'd be way too early catching the CAT up to the State Library, I'd walked through the city up there, and passed the coin shop where City Arcade becomes Trinity Arcade (or the other way round). I'd noticed a medal in the window, a British 1939 - 1945 Star, and made a note of it, in case I could replace one of my grandfather John's medals since they'd long disappeared into between-sibling-space. Mum had a look at it and said it definitely looked familiar, so, a replacement! *reads the requirements for this medal* Ah yes, a day's service at Dunkirk would definitely fit - in fact, that's most of what I know about him!

The main thing I had to give Mum was a copy of the soundtrack to a play called Ipi N'tombi - The Warrior. I'd managed to find a CD copy in Dada (which was lucky, otherwise I'd've probably had to go to AmazonUK - I figured that now she has a cd-player (Dad's portable DVD), she needs a bit more range in the CD stakes (especially since she likes playing them loud to annoy certain neighbours ;)). Of course, the loudness is nothing new. Back when I was a tween, on a warm evening my parents would set up the chairs in the front yard, get a glass of wine, and send me in the crank the LP up to 11, and get out toot suite! (don't worry, we lived on a sports field, we didn't *have* next-door neighbours to annoy).The LP has been gone for a few years though, since they never got another turntable.

So, that's my memory of the album - Mum's goes back a leetle bit longer than that...
It was the year 1976, not that I knew about it at the time since I hadn't been born yet. At the time my parents lived in London, but had driven up to Edinburgh for my uncle Andrew's wedding. It was on the drive down that the radio started playing the first song or two from the musical. Dad went out and bought the whole album the next day. A little bit later they went and saw the stage show with a couple of friends of theirs. One of them was definitely interested in the play - or rather, the topless performers who he was watching through opera glasses. This made their other friend smack them out of his hand, and chew him out telling him not to be disgusting!

My aunt is now after a copy of the cd too, she says when she lived in Africa *everyone* was singing it.

At the start of the month I heard from Mum that over the weekend Dad's sisters got together and scattered his ashes over the graves of his parents. His sisters were there, but they couldn't get hold of his brother in time. Two of my cousins also went there.
And because the hits just keep on coming, we just heard that Dad's older sister has been diagnosed with cancer too. Not a good year-since-June really... At least the doctors in Edinburgh were able to start treatment much quicker, and from what another sister said they're hitting the ground running with the big guns of treatment. Anyway, haven't heard anything from over there for a few weeks - I had to remind Mum that maybe this sister wasn't the best person to ask for certain info right now...

I seem to have a new pet, kind of. It started yesterday morning, first thing, wake up, walk into the laundry and there on the wall above the washing machine is a lizard, one a bit larger than the little ones that we normally see around, like the ones that used to hang onto the shadecloth on the back verandah. It scurried out of site, I went on with my normal morning routine (I did have a bus to catch, no time for chasing what I can't see). Switch to nighttime, and I just push the laundry door open, and who should run past? I lost it when I went to find something to scoop it up with, although I searched around the rooms down the little hallway. Not really much I can do if I can't see it, and a gecko should be pretty harmless.

Oops, ok, no more new pet. I just got a drink a little while ago, and saw it scurry across the kitchen floor. Managed to catch the little gecko in the space where the bin and wireshelves live with an empty tub, and released it into the back yard.

Jan. 21st, 2007

01:30 am - What has gone on since

Ok, so what's happened since that Thursday? Well, I've had a bit more time to get used to that whole working thing again, and using it to not dwell on anniversaries. S has returned, so I'm back to my normal level one job... or not the normal one. Once again, the interchangeable card has been played, and from next week I'm disposition guy for good, or until someone can finally convince people that change is bad, and the library really does need three people. So I've been trying to do all the little things I haven't had the chance to do for the last several months now I don't have to worry about things like loans anymore, and trying to think of all the operational knowledge I can give to S from the last several months.

I got a message back from the cemetery, and the headstone wasn't in good enough condition to put in the wall. So that's that. I might get a plaque made later in the year, depending on finances etc - I had been hoping to hear more from the other descendant families, but nothing so far, so I guess it's up to me. Anyway, first things first, still have to get a plaque for Dad. I've traded emails with one of my aunts (on Dad's side), so his family is pitching in. Mum sent part of the ashes back to Scotland last week, to be scattered on his parents' graves (I figured since we'll be scattering them at the same place as the ashes of Mum's parents there should be some there too, and said so).

I went to Mum's again last Friday. A to help out with some more shopping since I was catching a cab anyway since I saw some shelves she could use, and B because Dad's medal from the Malaysian Government arrived a few days before, and Mum couldn't bring it to me, so I went to photograph it and some other medals Mum has - Grandpa's WWII medals, Jack's Wings, etc.

Pingat Jasa MalaysiaCollapse )

The lighting and flash on the day made photography of the medals a bit difficult. Grandpa's medals didn't come out so well, but his Aunt Hilda's MBE came out much better.

Member of the Order of the British EmpireCollapse )

What else is there? Well, the DVD collection continues to grow mainly through imports since the local market just isn't getting the right cartoons released - heck, the last R4 DVD I bought was the second season of Galactica, and I've watched the whole thing now. Anyway, these imports teach me important lessons... like how to take over the world! :D

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the satirical ads about eating lamb for Australia Day last year, but I'm too lazy to go look it up, so I'm just going to say it's having pretty much the same effect as last year... I think by Thursday I'll be in the mood to just pick up a nice bottle of Irn Bru, and call out for some Chinese that night! ;)

Jan. 4th, 2007

09:26 pm - back in the jug agane

*backdated, and with apologies to n. molesworth*

So, today saw me go back to work after three weeks - the longest I've had off since I started here (and only feels like a lifetime longer). *streeeeetch* Yeah, getting back into the swing of things is taking a while...

Yesterday I went to the cemetery with Mum to pick up Dad's ashes, and to have a look in on some of the family - nice day for a walk, which was good since Veronica's grave is almost at the other end of the cemetery from the gates. The permanent headstone isn't up yet, but the grave is right under a huge tree. Also had a walk along to see some of the plaque options for Dad, and check out one of the walls that's having relocated headstones incorporated into it - hopefully the headstone of my great-great-grandparents is in good enough condition to be integrated into one of these walls (their section was just renewed in the last few months) - encouragingly there was an identical headstone in the wall we saw in an adjacent section.

Afterwards I went to put that Borders voucher I won a couple of months ago to work with some special ordering and a couple of things for Mum to use with the DVD player I helped set up for her the day before (I wonder if anyone here has heard of a series called Sharpe, hmmm? *isn't looking towards Adelaide at all, nope ;)*); when it was time to go our separate ways I almost forgot to hand Dad over - I'm just used to carrying stuff, I didn't really notice the weight. Thankfully Mum listened and caught a taxi back home - I didn't want her waiting around forever for the comparitively infrequent buses to her place at a deserted train station, thankyew.

Anyway, I escaped the madness that is lunchtime in the city and got home to find I'd had a little help in the DVD stakes too..

A big thank you! to justace, the DVDs arrived just in time for me to start watching them before going back, good way to start the evening! :D

Now I need to wait for either UK or US Amazon to get round to having more Ghostbusters DVDs.....

Dec. 25th, 2006

09:19 pm - Silliness

Things have been far too quiet or serious around here lately, I feel a need for something frivolous and silly...

Non-memers just skip this bitCollapse )

So I've been just trying to decompress and not think the last few days - so I've been indulging in large blocks of Justice League (the series), and my run-through of Battlestar Galactica has seen me finish the original series and near the end of the first season of the new, in between trying to best the little games on the mobile...

Friday saw me wandering around town though, even though my meet-up was cancelled, I was still dressed and up early, so I went out and followed my feet about. My feet got to somewhere I wanted to check out far too early for it to be open, so I just had to turn them away from the Planet Bookstore and walk back again (plus I saw a photo processing place on the way out that I could get some prints done up at on the way back). I did want to go out and see Mum today, but even with my aunts helping I couldn't get back again - public holiday timetables... well, there's the new-year get together anyway. Ah, roll on normal shopping days again (none of this sale junk) and roll on Friday!

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Dec. 24th, 2006

09:42 am - On Books

OK, so I've been away from my "post entry" screen for a while, and saving the book stuff up as paragraphs here and there in my email for it's own entry since at least late September, since that's where we'll start with this piece about Jasper Fforde.

Friday, September 22nd - Jasper Fforde signed copies of his new book The Fourth Bear today at Dymocks in the city. I was naughty and took off just before lunchtime even though I was manning the fort by myself that day - nobody minded though. It was a fairly warm day, one of those spring days that's telling you it might be time to lose the jacket.

I got in pretty early, wandered a bit to let everything get sorted out, then came back to a line going a few metres down the front of the construction site next door - they'd set his table up at the front of the store, which drew a fair amount of interest from the passing lunchers. I heard from the nametagging assistant that the night before he'd been signing for about two hours (instead of the scheduled one) at their Cannington store (now *that* would've been a fun line to be in, Carousel Shopping Centre on late night shopping, and I know there's not much free room in that store, or to line up outside).

I didn't have any questions or anything myself, but he spent quite a bit of time talking to people who had questions, observations, etc. I just said hello and got my book signed (below), then made way for the other people in the line - I'm sure there were enough questions to keep him busy for the rest of lunchtime!

Title page under here!Collapse )

There was a minor bit of foufourah in the news a couple of months ago, with the Libs trying to get a book chucked out of a school library because it called former-Prime Minister Bob Menzies (aka Ming the Merciless and I'm not making that up) a tyrant. Well from the sounds of it it was more like the senators involved heard about it, saw red, then tried every trick in the book (as well as Mao's Little Red Book, which the Libs tell us is pushed on all students) to get it chucked out of the school for daring to not portray him as all goodness and caramel filling (luckily the principal held his ground).

Anyway, I had to laugh at all this when I rang Mum, and asked if she had any similarly seditious books lying around... and she said yes! :lol: Turns out she has a copy of A Radical Life by Russell Ward, son of the Headmaster when Grandpa was a scholar at Wesley (although a few years younger than Berwick). Being of a leftwards persuasion and his major works being considered very radical for the times (right in the middle of the Menzies era) he wasn't exactly a fan (and from what I've read, I'm sure had they met Menzies himself would have a few choice words - of course, they could have met for all I know, not having seen the book myself). I wonder what they'd make of a bookshelf that also has a copy of Child of the Hurricane...

I found SmartPops essaybooks in Boffins! Well, *a* book in that series. About a month ago I'd been looking for this definition since the Thursday afternoon (I really think the commonly used terms are somewhat different, but I'm told to look for this specific term), so I'd actually gone to the State Library to try and find any useful dictionaries there (no luck - anything I found was far too technical, given that what I want straddles the IT/Management divide), and then worked my way over to Boffins (our main bookstore for professional and technical topics) on Hay Street to see if they had anything. No dictionaries, but a couple of possibly-related books. But on my way out down the designed for far littler feet stairs I noticed "The Psychology of The Simpsons" from the SmartPops website, so hooray! It'll be good if they get more in, they're hard to find down here!

On the topic of Smartpops, I've become a bit of an inspiration. A couple of weeks ago I was in (oh gee, what are they calling themselves now?) Fantastic Planet (a sci-fi bookstore on Shafto Lane), looking for the BSG entry in their series since I found the Trek book there. No luck on shelf, so I requested they get a copy in for me. As I'm doing there a lady also in the store asks that they get a copy for her too! :lol: *stands around with a sandwich board*

So, that's what's been lingering around my email for a while, much like all the books I've been picking up at secondhand stores and the Discard Bookshop at State Library - such a good way of getting cheap books like a Ben Elton I missed, and some hardcovers of John Saul's earlier books... yes, if I ever go through the storeroom I am going to be in need of at least three new bookshelves!

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