Monday, June 30, 2014
Diana Wynne Jones is one of my recently discovered but very much loved authors. She is no longer with us so I was surprised to see a new book and then noticed that it was 'completed by Ursula Jones'. Oh dear I thought. My experience with other authors collaborating or continuing the work of a well known author hasn't been very good. However I looked a little closer and discovered that Ursula is one of the younger sisters of the author and the family had agreed that she should attempt to complete this last novel. There is a very touching afterword where this is explained and my fears were calmed.
I bought the book and am looking forward to a little more from Diana Wynne Jones.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
The first crop was a mixed success with the tomatoes and capsicums eaten by grubs but the beetroot and pumpkin were a great success.
The winter crop is cabbage, broccoli and onion. The wet weather has been great and they are thriving!
Saturday, June 28, 2014
As it turns out cars are not always designed for easy maintenance. And I am not the most mechanically minded person. I could get the lights changed when the car gets serviced but that is sometime away and driving with one headlight (or none) seems to go against my goal of improved safety.
The car parts place will change the globe for me for $10 but do I want someone barely old enough to drive themselves doing that job and costing me $10. No I don't.
In the front passenger side you have to remove the coolant bottle. On the driver's side you have to unclamp the battery and move it about two inches. Perhaps the designers never expected the car to outlast the light globes?
Long socket and the battery is unclamped and moved back a little.
Out comes the old globe taking careful note of how the spring clip works.
Job done. Money saved. Sense of satisfaction. Priceless.
Friday, June 27, 2014
She found the French edition of the fourth Harry Potter in the school library and after a long time (for her) she is near the end. Harry Potter is a good choice. She knows the books really well and they are amusing and interesting but not too difficult to read (they are kids books after all). Now she needs the rest and they are hard to find.
So off to the Amazon Kindle store, and then onto the Pottermore Store and finally we have the first three, in French, on the Kindle. Happy.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
'The Tuft of Flowers' was one of the poems I studied at school (as you can see from my annotations) that has always stayed with me. A sign of a great poem I think. You may like to read it online.
Chicken Soup (Julie Goodwin's excellent recipe) was what got me thinking. The makings had all been prepared by my better half who was out doing kids taxi service when I got home. I got busy making the soup which she enjoyed later. We made the soup together even though not together.
Robert Frost and Chicken Soup.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Above my desk.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
So many people in so many costumes. Modesty was sacrificed in the name of effect and the costumes ranged from the endearingly homespun to the awesomely effective. The young mixed with the old enough to know better.
We are so going next year.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
I think that moment of retirement makes us all reflect on the journey and take stock.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
It was strange for me visiting Amsterdam where the ship set forth. In the harbour there is a replica of a ship from the same company, itself wrecked in the English Channel. I didn't have time to visit the replica but having now been to Amsterdam I am looking forward to my next visit to the Batavia exhibit in Fremantle.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
At Leiden University Library I saw this 'post office' type arrangement.
Clients would request their book(s) via the catalogue and minions would retrieve them from the stacks and send them upward using mechanical means. The inventory control system would allocate them to a pigeon hole according to number and size etc.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The Royal Library in Copenhagen only permits access for clients via escalator to the upper floors. This give visibility and management of access.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Here are some recent stairs that caught my eye.
These are the side stairs within the Winter Palace of Queen Mother Emma of the Netherlands, which I visited because it houses the Escher Exhibition. These are not the grand stairs in the centre of the house but the more practical side stairs. Still pretty neat.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I've often said to myself and anyone who will listen 'never leave your hotel room without your camera and your map'.
The map may help you find your way home after you have inevitably gotten lost. Getting lost is an important part of exploring a new city. If you don't get lost then you aren't doing it right. And indeed the map in your pocket may not help you by itself especially if you have walked so far in the wrong direction that you are now off the map. I have done this recently. Or if the street names are so long, as recently mentioned by Con that they are hard to get your head around. However the map will help avert that sense of panic that comes from being completely lost, disoriented and jet lagged in a city that doesn't speak your language.
It is as important to never, never leave behind your camera. Even if you are just going out to buy some supplies or to have breakfast, even breakfast in the hotel, you never, never know what you will see and that demands to be captured. On my recent travels I took over 900 photos in 14 days. Treasures.
Here is an example. The Hockyroos were based in the same hotel in The Hague that I stayed. I thought it would be too intrusive to have taken their photo at breakfast but I did take a photo of their tables, set out for them each morning and with a nice touch of the Aussie flag. BTW, they were very nice, said hello when you passed them in the lobby and seemed so young, but tall!
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I heard on the radio about an address by an Admiral McRaven who's advice was to start the day by making your bed. You can see it for yourself at Change the World and I believe it has gone viral so you may have already seen it.
His point was that making the bed started the day on the right foot and that doing one thing and doing it well led naturally to doing the next thing and so on. And if your day was lousy at least you came back to a made bed! The psychologist on the radio said something that resonated with me, 'competence comes before confidence'. Doing something well, even something small, build confidence. He liked the 'make your bed' analogy.
Now in my job I can go days or weeks or months before something is successfully completed. It's the nature of the work but you don't get the satisfaction of a competed task everyday. So I compensate by doing the dishes. I really enjoy washing dishes (at home). I can turn a mess into orderly cleanliness and that always gives me a sense of satisfaction.
Yuk. Gotta clean that up!
Friday, June 13, 2014
For the winter crop we have cabbage, broccoli and onion. They are going well as you can see after the first month or so. If you look closely on the left hand side of the photo you can see some leftover seedlings planted into the uncultivated ground. Alive but a pale shadow of the crop growing in the composted soil. Our little control group.
Lots of rain in the last month which has also helped.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
I looked for one of my favourites series, Tintin, to see if they were there and found them, in all languages, including English.