Catacomb Categories

Friday Photos

I know it’s sometimes challenging to figure out which compliment/complement to use but this is a rather old shop and I’d expect they’d want to get this right. ‘Complimentary’ is right as they’re giving away a pair of earrings but ‘compliment’ is wrong as the earrings are not giving away nice sayings. They really want ‘complement’ as it will go nicely with any pearls.

Complimentary or complementary

Compliment or complement

I loved this number plate the other night. The lighting is not so good as it’s night time but you’re getting it anyway. It reminds me of my friend in Queensland whose Twitter handle was similar to this.



I knew the DUSA (Deakin University Students Association) Bookshop had moved recently but didn’t know where from. This is in the DUSA building and just happened to be open one day. A man came up and spoke to me as I was looking in so I asked if I could take a photo for my blog. Nice to actually get permission and even nicer that he promptly moved out of my phone’s line of sight. You might have noticed I don’t put many photos of people here.

Old DUSA bookshop

Old DUSA bookshop

T is for Tangea Tansley

I’m getting up to the interesting letters of the alphabet and just to illustrate that point I find the most interesting name with a fascinating history. She’s only had a handful of books published but this one has just gone on my GoodReads Want To Read list.

It seems Tansley’s had an interesting life, I reckon she has my Grandma’s itchy feet. About 20 years ago she sat down and wrote a list of addresses she’d lived in, there were 60! You can read her biography for yourselves, it makes for dizzying reading and she’s only put in the highlights.

Then there’s her family. You’ve heard of Kozminsky? The jewellery people in Bourke Street, Melbourne? If you haven’t then you should, their stuff is just gorgeous. It turns out Tansley is related and she didn’t know for quite some years and it was only when her sister looked at a book written by Isidore Kozminsky on their shelves that they started putting two and two together. The book pictured is the story of her family and it sounds like a fabulous story. I must read it…

Just some thoughts…

Because I’m stretched for time (when am I not?) I’m not doing anything in particular today. I’ve got a presentation tomorrow for my Communication tute with my topic being the Future of Games, it’s taken up too much of my time as my memory has challenges. The research I did early on I’ve forgotten so I’m grateful I’d made a file with all the articles and page numbers so it was easy to go back.

I have learned a lot about me and the way I need to work in order to work more efficiently just with this assignment. I need to remember my memory sucks and to document everything in one file so I can refer back to it, the fact that I also need this for referencing as we’re doing Harvard Referencing is good. I’ve learned that reading my writing aloud helps to figure out if I’m missing things or if things need to be written in a different order. It’s going to be interesting when I’ve got a book that needs to be read aloud for that purpose, it’ll take awhile.

With another assignment I discovered I needed to print the work out in order to edit it. So that’s another useful tip for me. That one I cut up into paragraphs so I could change the order more easily. I’m now waiting rather impatiently to see the comments from my teacher, I’m curious about the mark as well but I want the comments more.

I’ve discovered that where I used to have trouble looking at or listening to comments I’m now eagerly awaiting them. I used to see them as negative but now I want to find out what they are so I can incorporate them into my writing and improve. It’s interesting to see how I’ve turned 180º on this matter. If I ever get reviewed I’ll be interested to see how I react.

Classic book characters on Social Media

Some fabulous artwork here. Have a look at the one with Frodo using Google maps. There was a time if you used Apple maps you’d be totally lost.

Tilda Swinton!

She’s spending a few words talking about the change of the Ancient One in Doctor Strange. You might remember her as the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

People before Profit – Ken Koopman

People Before Profit by Ken Koopman

People Before Profit by Ken Koopman

Here we are, a book I haven’t had to read for uni! So excited!

If you’re gluten free you’ll have probably heard of Bob’s Red Mill, this company makes good gluten free flour as well as many other products. This is the story of the founder, Bob Moore. It has the ups and the downs as well as everything in between.

It’s not a business book and it’s not really about the business but then again it’s not really a biography. Why do I say that?

With every book of this type you first of all sit down and figure out what you want. Do you want a biography of a man with details of his family? Do you want a book about the business? Do you want a book about business that people can use as a blueprint to create their own business or to help them build their company to greater heights? And the question I ask of myself, what do I want from this book?

I feel these questions were never answered properly. I’ve read biographies and there are far more details of the family. I’ve read business books and noticed many more details of the nitty gritty. And I’ve read books about business and found much more about the workings of the business.

What I found here is a mishmash. It’s a little of everything with very little of his family. Somewhat of his grandfather and father, with a little of his sons but not much of his wife despite us being told he discusses every big decision with her. We see photos of her and we see her taking his decisions on board and just getting on with the task of raising the kids, or moving house away from the place she’d set up as a home…actually we don’t see any of those things as there are no details, only the odd sentence where we’re told she did what was necessary.

Having panned this tome I have to say I did enjoy it. It’s nicely written with reasonable sentence structure and a good turn of the dramatic. So often we see the three things that made Bob Moore what he is today, a successful business man. Those three things are tenacity, a penchant for hard work, and being in the right place at the right time to see the exact building needed.

He does have an inspiring story and he really seems to be a nice man. He’s generous with his money and really looks after his staff. When one of his buildings burned down he kept going because of his staff. When he turned 81 in 2010 he turned the company over to his staff, his sons were already in successful businesses of their own so they didn’t need the money.

I’ve actually met Moore and hope to meet him again this year. He was at the Gluten Free Expo in Melbourne handing out free copies of this book. At the age of 85 he made the flight from his home in Milwaukie to Melbourne, a rather long trip just to stand and sign his book to give away. It just shows the dedication he’s put in through his life. It also occurred to me that meant Koopman wouldn’t get the profits from sales of the book as Moore is giving them away but I’m prepared to bet he paid full price for them.

Celebration and Giveaway!

Today I’m eschewing Friday Photos in favour of a giveaway. It’s been seven years since I started writing a blog and I’m celebrating but you’re the winner. I know many bloggers who have been blogging for much longer than me but I was reminded yesterday that seven years is fairly long for a blog so I’m just a little excited.

As with last year I’m giving away a digital subscription to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. It’s open worldwide and will finish at midnight on 29th April 2016. All entries will be laughed at and possibly cried at depending on how funny they are. I promise not to laugh if you tweet, but I might point and get excited.

To get you excited here’s a photo of one of their magazines.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 43

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 43

You won’t get this issue as they’re currently up to issue 63. What you’ll get is four issues into your inbox of mobi, epub or pdf. What the winner will need to provide me will be negotiated in due course but could include your left thumb print but not your right.

What you need to do!

You have two options. The first is find the url of your favourite April Fool’s Prank and enter it as prompted. The second is to tweet the link where prompted. Extra entries can squeezed out of me by tweeting once a day.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What will I do with your information?

Your private information will not be shared. Your urls will be shared on Facebook and Twitter with your handle (unless you beg me not to do so).

Your time has started!

S is for Taku Scrutton

Multicultural Me by Taku Scrutton

Today I’m celebrating multiculturalism alongside Taku Scrutton. She’s still young but has packed a lot into her young life.

Scrutton moved here from Zimbabwe at the tender age of 19, she came alone leaving behind parents and siblings. Since she came here in 2002 she’s carved out a niche for herself talking about how to become accepted. If you look at her website you’ll find she has a multitude of skills including public speaking and only added writing to her lengthy list of talents.

If her videos are anything to go by then I wish I could attend one of her talks, but, alas, Perth is so far away. The ones I’ve watched have cute cartoons and are poetry.

I know she’s only published one book but she’s got plenty of time and I see more in her future.

Around the traps

Supreme Court Rejects Google Books Appeal

I find this article a little confusing but that may be just me. I think there have been several court cases, each won by Google with this last one being dropped.

This case is about Google scanning in entire libraries of books and making them digitally available and searchable to anyone with the appropriate software i.e. anyone. The publishers were suing Google trying to get them to stop as Google weren’t compensating the publishers or the authors when scanning their works.

Ok, so the case has been dropped and the publishers have stopped shelling out huge sums of money to lawyers. My thoughts? The publishers should monitor the downloads of books and publish the more popular ones.

Original Valley of the Dolls manuscript heads to auction

Happy 50th birthday to Valley of the Dolls! It seems the original typewritten manuscript with corrections is now up for auction in California. They’re estimating between $25,000 and $50,000. I’ll do my best to find out the final price for you.

Did you know ‘dolls’ was slang for drugs? No, neither did I. It seems like an opportune time to add this book to my ever expanding To Be Read Pile.

Shakespeare First Folio Discovered on Isle of Bute, in Time for an Anniversary

Here’s one I must read to completion. Not the book but the article. The book mentioned was published seven years after Shakespeare’s death and includes 18 of his plays that had not been published in his lifetime.

It goes on to talk about cataloguing of private libraries, a topic which has much interest for me. I’d read it now and summarise it for you but I must be out the door.

Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee

Disgrace by J M Coetzee

Disgrace by J M Coetzee

This is one of the books I’m studying this trimester, it’s another case of ‘I have no other books as I haven’t had time to read much besides uni stuff.’ I’m not going to apologise as it’s well worth the read despite the main character. This book is not for the faint hearted and I should put a trigger warning here and now.

Disgrace is set in South Africa after Apartheid. It’s the story of a man in his early 50s, he’s a university professor and he feels very much entitled to everything he can take. Yes, he’s white, however did you guess? He has an affair with a young student, this leads to him losing his job and finding himself at a loose end he decides to visit his daughter.

David is our protagonist and I finished the book thinking what a horrible man he was, I feel we’re not meant to like him. We see everything through his eyes and when his daughter is raped we’re shown more of the effect on him and his masculinity in not being able to help than how it affects her.

This is a great book as it shows us a slice of life in South Africa at a time which is still in major flux. There’s a lot we’re not shown as it’s all from a white man’s perspective. We don’t see what it’s like for a woman, although we do get glimpses of it albeit from the point of a view of a man who doesn’t understand what’s going on. We don’t see what it’s like from a black man’s point of view, that would be an entirely different book and one I’d like to read. We do see a black man owning property and making an offer to spread his protection over a white lesbian woman. Let me talk about some of this paragraph.

Apartheid was a time in South Africa’s history where black people were marginalised and had no say in the running of the country. Yes, there were more of them but they were downtrodden and ruled by white men. Nelson Mandela was a leading force in bringing about change and that change totally destabilised society. White men now feared backlash from the blacks for all their oppressive ways.

Once apartheid had finished the whole community was changed. Blacks were allowed to own land, were allowed to sit in the same places as whites and allowed to eat in the same places as whites. Much of the underlying tension came out with violence and it seems those who received the worst of it were white lesbian women who were able to support themselves financially. This was seen as an affront to the patriarchal society and many of them were raped, seen as ‘corrective rape’ whereby it would turn these women straight. I found a news article about it.

David’s daughter (David – protagonist, Lucy – daughter) was living with another woman and we’re meant to assume she’s lesbian. She’s supporting herself by her own output, living on her land and giving her a bit of muscle is Petrus, a black man. The outcome of Lucy’s rape is that Petrus offers to marry her. Lucy accepts the offer but refuses to live with him, this puts her under his protection and means she is now safe from being raped. David can’t understand nor cope with this new system.

It’s  a well written book. You do need to know some of the background surrounding apartheid and the ramifications of post apartheid in order to appreciate how good the writing really is. But even without some of that you can still get a good idea of how a man in this situation thinks.

Friday Photos

Magpie Lark

Magpie Lark

I took this photo of a magpie lark at the bus stop at Uni. I don’t think it wanted to get on my bus but it entertained several of us by wandering around in the undergrowth.

The Editor's Companion

The Editor’s Companion

One of the important things I did at O-Week was to join Deakin Writers. It’s a community of like minded people who get together to talk about writing and stuff to do with writing. Their first organised function was a little get together introduction and talk about the resources available to us. One lovely lady is more obsessed with grammar than me and I took photos of two of the books she introduced us to. It was awesome!

Poetry Pouch

Poetry Pouch

I admit to not having taken this photo so I couldn’t examine the pouch in detail. It could be an artwork or it could have poetry inside it waiting for people to read, or it could be for people to place their poetry inside. I don’t know but the idea is awesome.

R is for Heather Rossiter

Mawson’s Forgotten Men edited by Heather Rossiter

It’s always the unsung people who have the most interesting stories and it’s lovely to find Rossiter agrees with me. What would be even better is to find this book available for sale so I could link to it but, alas and alack, it isn’t.

Rossiter seems to have had the best of all worlds. She’s been a scientist and is also a writer, she’s taught and has also grown vines. Not only that but she’s also worked on three different continents!

She’s written a number of historical books that all look absolutely fascinating. Here’s a link to one you can buy Sweet Boy Dear Wife: Jane Dieulafoy in Persia 1881-1886 is the story of Jane Dieulafoy who travelled in Persia with her husband but dressed as a boy. She faced great tribulations should she have been unmasked as this is a country where women are veiled and enclosed.

Newsletter Sign Up
Thank You
I want to thank the Koolin people for their thousands of years of guardianship and caretaking of the area where I live.