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I’d like to tell you I’m running out of photos of Israel for you but I suspect I’d be lying.

Closed shops in The Old City

Closed shops in The Old City

The Old City in Jerusalem has so many little shops in it. It’s really hard to see where one finishes and another ends so I took this opportunity to take photos of the outside of some closed shops. Some of the shops were totally outside as if someone had enterprise and just started selling outside without having the rights to sell, others opened up and displayed lots of wares outside.

Septebmer

Septebmer

This appeared on the computer, not sure why as the Free Bonus Issue is from Septebmer 2004 (or possibly September, but who am I to make fun of someone else’s typo?).

Sider

Sider

I loved this spelling of Cider. It goes back to an article I wrote a month ago on languages. There are two consonants in Hebrew with the same sound and if you’re not proficient in English it’d be quite easy to take both of them and mix up the English letters.

Fabulous signs

Fabulous signs

Really loved these signs. The second one harks back to the article I wrote about War and Israel, at times we visit despite the country being at war. And what I didn’t mention there is that the Jewish schools in Australia have guards outside, as do our synagogues.

P is for M. E. Patchett

It’s one of those days. Last night I’m looking for someone to write about and came across Mary Elwyn Patchett, so surprised as I didn’t know she wrote science fiction. This morning I thought I’d better check if I’ve written about her before just because she’s one of my favourite childhood authors and sure enough I have. You can see it here or not as you choose, it’s more me being annoyed with myself and also getting some facts wrong. So, having cleared my chest I’m going to write a little more sense and give you a photo.

Golden Wolf by Mary Elwyn Patchett

Golden Wolf by Mary Elwyn Patchett

Born in Queensland in 1897 and died in England in 1989 making her 102, most of her writing was done during her time there. It’s absolutely fascinating researching her on the web. She seems to have polarised people, they either talk about her animal books or her science fiction and it’s almost as if they’re two separate people but the actual facts merge to become one.

If you look at the SF Encyclopedia the only brumby/dingo book mentioned apparently has a fantasy element (I don’t remember the book so I can’t comment) and if you look at Jane Badger Books you only see the brumby/dingo books. The article on Jane Badger Books is quite good. And another one, Pony Mad Book Lovers focuses on the brumby books.

I’m going to try and find some of her science fiction works but it looks to be a challenge, Flight to the Misty Planet is available new but at a stupid price. I found The Chance of Treasure: A Skin-Diving Adventure co-written with Professor Tom Hickey but again, it’s at stupid price. I think I’ll have to come back and write an addendum when I’ve managed to read one of her science fiction books.

Study update

Early this year I made the decision to go back to study. The goal was to attend university for the very first time and complete a Bachelor of Arts. Knowing it was rather late in the enrolment process I checked Monash Uni’s website fairly thoroughly and emailed through a question. The answer duly came back that I’d have to complete two units. Nowhere did they happen to use the magic words ‘units at uni’ and I just assumed they meant year 12 units.

So, as the next day just happened to be enrolment day at CAE where I’ve studied before I trundled along there, filled in all the forms and spoke to someone who knew what they were doing, she did me the courtesy of listening to why I was choosing English Language and English before telling me I should be enrolling for the Professional Writing and Editing course instead but she was being selfish and keeping me there for their classes.

Imagine how I felt having someone tell me I should be doing something else but they wanted me there instead. She also wanted me to sign up for her experimental class but I chose to continue with my selection.

I’ve been doing reasonably well, I thought I needed 60% for uni and I think I’m going to get there with English Language despite its challenges, but I’m doing even better with English and I’m going to be getting something better but I’m not sure what as my marks vary between 70% and 90%.

Open Days

Cut to August for the university open days and I’m actually at Monash Uni talking to someone when I realise I needed to do uni units rather than VCE units. I’m realising the value in open days, you get to attend, look at as many courses as possible that you might possibly be interested in and everyone you need to talk to is there at the one time. Why do I say that? I only looked at the BA at Monash and now I need to go back and see if they have the Writing and Editing course. It’s a good idea to compare like with like at different studying places.

I’ve also been to Melbourne Uni and RMIT. Melbourne Uni is out for me as I just wasn’t enthused by the selections there, also they’re very selective and I’m nowhere near the criteria they want. RMIT is very probable, they have two courses to do with Communication and writing, one is only one year (Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing (Business)) and they reckon I’m definitely in, I just have to write 1,500 words in one to three files and they’ll snap me up. The other is three years (Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing) and I’m not eligible as I’m currently doing year 12 subjects, but once I’ve done the first one I can transfer across.

Once I’ve done the three year course at RMIT I can then transfer to a BA at Monash. Why do I want to study at Monash? Besides the location, I really don’t have an answer. I am leaning towards the one year at RMIT as it’s really tempting to be job ready in only one year. The course is amazing and formalises many of the things I’ve been doing over the past few years, but then the three year course does also.

The big question. Do I feel I’ve wasted my year? I want to say ‘yes’ but the answer is ‘no’. I’ve got so much from these two subjects, I’ve found I really do love writing and I do have some sort of talent, maybe not enough to be a published author but I’ll settle for helping other people along their journeys and am just waiting for a friend to finish his second book so I can proofread that before it gets published. I’ve met some lovely people and time out of the house studying is always a good thing.

Plague – Michael Grant

Plague by Michael Grant

Plague by Michael Grant

I’m almost there, with only two books in this series to go. It’s an interesting journey and I can’t help wonder why young adults like such dark writing, there are a few series out there at the moment with writing like this and they’re doing well.

Anyway, you probably know the premise by now, it’s a little like the TV series Under the Dome with undertones of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One day a barrier appears and everyone over the age of 15 disappears, some people have super powers and other develop them over time. The six books each deal with the problem of survival while looking at a specific problem within the community.

Gone deals with the issue of living without adults

Hunger talks about how they figure out the food situation

Lies goes on to deal with the lies people tell

Plague has an illness they can’t cope with, infectious and causes death

And the last two books are Fear and Light but I’m not reading ahead to find out what they’re about.

Plague has all the hallmarks of the first three books, well written, well imagined with some absolutely horrific circumstances. Some of the people are lovely and some aren’t. This is the book where we are introduced to an idea many politicians are aware of, lie through your teeth (what a strange phrase) and ignore the truth, when the people are in danger they’ll accept whatever you say.

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a fussy young adult then this is a good buy, I’ve linked to this particular book up above but I’m struggling to find a link to the entire set.

 

Friday Photos

Bookshelf, aptly named shop in Jerusalem

Bookshelf, aptly named shop in Jerusalem

Wish I’d had time to actually go inside this bookshop with its lovely name but we were on tour at that point and I didn’t want to hold people up. It looked very lovely.

I was taken by this coffee cup

I was taken by this coffee cup

We saw a few of these coffee cups dotted around the place, a bit like the big M signs we see here but hopefully better. I did the wrong thing and took this photo on the Sabbath, you can see the lack of cars and people in the streets – Jerusalem almost completely shuts down over the Sabbath, most restaurants are kosher and therefore not allowed to open on these days, it’s an interesting day.

Lift instructions

Lift instructions

I loved these instructions, they’re in formal English and some enterprising person has scratched out the age of the children, not that it mattered as children of all ages were using them with or without adult supervision.

Recycling

Recycling

This is a wonderful thing. We saw them scattered throughout Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in all sorts of areas. People were using them as intended and I presume some lucky person gets to come around on a regular basis to empty them. It reminded me of my childhood, we’d store newspapers for ages and when the boot of the car could be completely filled Dad and I would fill it up and take them down to the recycling plant where we could then push them through the chute…we sometimes saw someone else doing the same.

O is for Kate Orman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Orman

O is not a common letter when we’re looking at female science fiction authors and I had very few people to choose from, by the time I eliminated those I really wasn’t interested in I still had four and then I found Kate Orman and knew I’d found the one!

I mentioned the name to my DD who shook her head before the brain kicked in and the face lit up and the phrase ‘oh, her!’ burst forth. Orman means I get to give you links to the Facebook group of The Doctor Who Club of Victoria and their website before finally explaining what she’s done to deserve such treatment.

Orman writes Doctor Who novels, she was the first female to write Doctor Who novels and also the first Antipodean. That means she’s also the first female to have an entry in the Tardis Wikia, actually I’m only lying a little here as the first female would have to be Verity Lambert who was the very first producer for Doctor Who and made it what it is today. I’m just going to speculate that maybe Orman is following in Lambert’s footsteps, but speculating without any data at all.

Orman was born in Sydney but we won’t hold that against her. She’s written other things besides Doctor Who but has written more about the good Doctor than anything else.

More links so you can buy her books and make me a modest income of squillions of cents.

Blake’s Seven: Mediasphere – just to prove she’s written other stuff (this is with her husband, Jonathan Blum).

Doctor Who: Blue Box

Doctor Who: The Year of Intelligent Tigers – a story featuring Paul McGann!

Agog! Terrific Tales and published with some other awesome writers such as Lucy Sussex as she delves into the realm of short stories.

Thank you for your patience

They say patience is a virtue and those of you uninterested in my Israel travels have had your patience tested but I’m not going to return to my irregular schedule of talking about books. I managed to read a few books on my iPad during my time in the northern hemisphere (and on the plane, one of the planes had a poorly working video player so I read instead). And I’ve read a few other books since my return despite trying to mainly concentrate on getting through my backlog of magazines.

However, I do still have lots of photos of typos, book stuff and photos of interest I couldn’t fit anywhere else and I’ll use them up on Friday photos over the next little while. I also have much to write about my travels with my studies so you can learn from my mistakes and make your own.

Quotes from my as yet unwritten articles about these books:

Hooley Dooley! What a ride!

So intriguing.

Beautiful writing.

 

Churches

Mea culpa. During our tour of Israel we saw many churches and sites where Jesus had been. Before we our conference started we also did a tour of the tunnels under the Western Wall which included the area where Jesus would have overturned the money changers tables. Revolution! We saw so many churches I’m not only all churched out and not only in awe as to the work involved with these churches but I’ve also forgotten which photos are from which church…I should have written them down in order as we saw them. In order to not bore/overwhelm you I’m giving just a few pictures below.

Baptism

The Jordan River, where Jesus was baptised. You can see Jordan on the other side.

Here you can see how close Jordan is to Israel. This is the site where John the Baptist baptised Jesus and you can how it’s possible to walk down the steps and be baptised yourself, they do that there. It doesn’t show in this photo but Jordan have a similar area on the other side and they say Jesus was baptised on their side.

Beautiful stained glass

Beautiful stained glass

Loved the work in this stained glass window, there were many examples of this throughout.

Beautiful work

Lots of beautiful work

Some more beautiful work. Whatever I may think of churches I do admire the work people have put into them and many photos I took were just to admire the work.

Birth

Might have been where Jesus was born

I remember this church clearly but not what it was. You can see I’m inside a room looking at another structure and inside is another room which is rather important to Jesus. It’s highly regulated and took at least 40 minutes of queuing to get inside as only five people are allowed in at any one time, you can’t take photos, you get to the room by going through another small room and when you get inside you’re only given a minute or so just enough time to do a Hail Mary or something.

Built around it

Church built around an old church

Building a church around an old church or around an important site was fairly common. It must be an incredibly powerful service in one of these churches.

Carpenters dwelling

Where Joseph the Carpenter lived

I’m pretty certain this photo is where Joseph the Carpenter lived. I was under the impression he was fairly poor but we were told things must have been totally opposite to this as he had a cistern for water and lots of space.

Last Supper

The Last Supper was held here

This is the room where the Last Supper was held. I’m sure you all know this meal was actually for Passover and they would have talked about the story of the Exodus from Egypt during this meal.

Mosaic on the floor

Fabulous mosaic on the floor

Some more fabulous work. There were so, so many mosaics on floors in Israel and Jordan. We even visited a factory set up for disabled workers and the attention to detail is truly awe inspiring.

Old church new church

A church built over an old church

Another example of a church near a church. In this one they left the old church where it was (with a synagogue next door) and built the new church over the old one, with external stairs.

Friday Photos

50 Shades and For Dummies

50 Shades and For Dummies

As you know I’m horrified by the 50 Shades phenomenon, the writing is very poor and the BDSM is so wrong (I have this from a BDSM friend who talks about an escape word which does not appear to be evident) so I was not happy seeing this book here. If you look down at the bottom shelf you’ll see some For Dummies books, several days after taking this photo I met one of the For Dummies authors, the photo would have looked rather different had I met her first.

Bridge in Jerusalem

Bridge in Jerusalem

This bridge in Jerusalem looks lovely from afar and as it was near our hotel I was able to use it as a navigation device. However, I found it rather challenging walking across it in the dark. Some bright spark decided to build clear bricks into the base and then put in lights so it looks not quite as if you’re walking on glass and my brain had so much trouble coping with this; I really struggle walking on something high up that I can see through. No photos, I dared not stop clinging to the rail.

Bus Stop Library

Bus Stop Library

I’ve heard about libraries at bus stops and was thrilled to find this one in Jerusalem. It has a mix of adult and children’s books.

Plate

Plate

Look at this plate and before you scroll down past my spoiler alert just have a think to yourself about how old it is.

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We found this in the Israel Museum. It was found in a cave carefully wrapped in palm-fibres, it was put there in the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt between 132 and 135 CE. It may have been manufactured in Alexandria, Egypt and is a very fine example luxurious, colourless glass. It belonged to Babatha, a resident of Ein Gedi. From its looks it could have been made today.

Tintin and Snowy

Tintin and Snowy

I was on the up escalator at Cinema City when I spotted this gem and got the best photo possible while travelling.

For those Tintin addicts who don’t have enough I found this box set in Booktopia and Tintin: Land of the Black Gold just happens to be the book I have on the back of my Tintin tshirt which I didn’t take to Israel.

N is for Andre Norton

Andre Norton is one of those iconic writers and if you haven’t read any of her books then I must recommend you rectify that pretty quickly. I know I’ve had some of my shelf but maybe they were transient due to borrowing from somewhere else. I always wondered about her name and why it looked like a male name, a quick google tells me she was born Alice Mary Norton in 1912 but changed it in 1934 to appeal to boys…it’s sad but you have to go where the money is and in those days more boys read science fiction and fantasy than females and adults didn’t admit to reading them.

Norton has done many things in her writing career and not because she wrote for 70 years putting around 300 novels under her belt but because she was so good.

She was the first woman to be Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy, first to be SFWA Grand Master, and first inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

She was also the only female founding member of Swordsmen and Sorcerers’ Guild of America (SAGA), a group founded in the 1960s and you only received entry by fantasy credentials alone.

Her books I recall most clearly are the Witch World series where she combined magic and technology. I also recall reading some of her more clearly delineated science fiction books but such a long time ago I don’t even remember the names of the books or anything about them. She’s one of those fabulous authors you absolutely must read if you’re reading any science fiction or fantasy (I know I’m repeating myself, if you read her works you’ll understand) and you’ll see her influence in some of our big writers including Greg Bear, Charles de Lint, Mercedes Lackey and Joan D Vinge.

Because you’re expecting a link or two so you can buy her books and get me squillions of cents here are:

The Time Traders (for 7 to 10 year olds)

Quag Keep the first book based on Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve read the sequel, yes, she had a hand in it but died before it could be published. Haven’t you always wished you could enter the game you were playing?

Tales From High Hallack Volume Two. High Hallack Library was full of science fiction and fantasy texts (only 10,000 of them plus videos and other media) for research purposes. Norton was instrumental in setting it up and it was near her home, it included three guest rooms so you could stay on-site. It was closed and everything was sold off in her last few months.

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I want to thank the Koolin people for their thousands of years of guardianship and caretaking of the area where I live.
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