reading

BerkelouW

???????????????????????????????With ideas of putting my self-proclaimed title of “Most Inconsistent Blogger in The Universe” behind me, I’ve decided to take you for a look around one of my favourite book stores. (I hear a collective gasp of “what, two posts in the one week?”) Of course, I cannot leave this shop without being poorer of pocket yet richer in knowledge, but hey, what is a great bookstore for, other than to go into them and buy books?

Reading nooks, so private, so peaceful...
Reading nooks, so private, so peaceful…

This place has atmosphere, it’s inviting, there’s even a coffee shop right next door. Comfy couches are in abundance, as are ladders and stools. The staff is friendly, helpful, and somehow manage to keep track of the ca-zillion books in the place. I browsed for hours in search of a book, any book, by Rumi. A couple of days later I returned and approached a helpful person who walked straight up to the shelf where Rumi could be found. (Hadn’t I already looked there?) These Rumi’s were new books. You may, she suggested, look in the used book poetry section (yes, they stock both new and second-hand books!) but she felt quite sure that any second-hand Rumi’s that came through the door were grabbed almost before they hit the shelves. I looked. She was right. Of course.

Shelf after shelf of books...
Shelf after shelf of books…

Some of the books are so valuable that they are displayed behind glass doors, under lock and key, behind the front counter. Other books are valued by their age, the price-tag being irrelevant to book lovers (like me!)

I love the matching series of books so often found here, in the second-hand section.
I love the matching series of books so often found here, in the second-hand section.

The Jane Austen series of five books that followed me home  (or I may have just purchased them, blind to the asking price) are a third edition hard back series, published in 1933, with each book selling individually at that time for the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence. I’m not brilliant at maths, but according to my calculations, (and some help from Google,) taking into account the basic wage of the day, conversions of pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents and the inflation rate, I estimate the books to have cost the equivalent of $125.00 AU in today’s money, each. Which leads me to a further thought, just how accessible were books back in those long-gone days, if the cost was so high? Or perhaps Jane Austen had reached a pinnacle in her popularity, increasing the value of her work?

My Jane Austen finds, safely tucked up on one of my book shelves at home.
My Jane Austen finds, safely tucked up on one of my book shelves at home.

Adding to the character and the atmosphere in the store is the polished cement floor throughout all the main area, reading rooms and comfy book viewing nooks.

Characterful, polished cement floors.
Characterful, polished cement floors.

Did I mention where these rooms of beauty, warmth and indulgence are? Just twenty kilometers inland from Noosa Heads (the destination of my very recent holiday) sits a sleepy little village by the name of Eumundi. The whole village comes alive every Wednesday and Saturday with a huge market-place, making Eumundi a must-visit area for those who prefer the non-commercialized village markets any day over a huge, ritzy shopping centre.

I may have written something about Eumundi way back in the archives of time. Let me check…..here ’tis, and it goes way back to the early days when this blog was just a baby in August 2010. I aptly named the post “The Town that Time Forgot”.

Surrounded by books, books high, books low, books everywhere.  :)
Surrounded by books, books high, books low, books everywhere. 🙂

I’ve lost track of the number of books I have read during this year, so I really must be more organised next year. (Note to self ~ add a Currently Reading tally into the side column of my blog. Further note ~ remember to read this note!) Currently, I’m reading “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is the follow-up to her earlier book and travel diary, “Eat Pray Love”. I swear that whilst reading the first third of the book, every mouthful of food I ate tasted better than ever before! (You’ll know what I mean if you have ever read the book!) Prior to that, I read Yann Martel’s “The Life of Pi” and before that I became inspired to read an Australian novel turned mini series, “Cloudstreet”, written by Tim Winton, when my son brought it home from school, being his novel to read during second term of school. I’ll have to think about what I read before “Cloudstreet”, that’s why I need to keep tally….

(no, wait, it was Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Dreams”!)

advice · challenges · freedom · knowledge

“Which Part of the Word “NO” Don’t You Understand?”

Dependable. Reliable. Trustworthy.

Unruffled. Problem Solver. Innovative.

I’m sure It would be an accurate assumption if I were to proclaim that everyone appreciates having a person in their lives, who possesses the above qualities.

When you miss the last bus home ~ they pick you up.

Your car runs out of petrol ~ they offer their car keys.

You’re flat broke and can’t pay your bills ~ they find money to lend to you.

You know the person I’m talking about. Right along the scale of extremes, ranging from something as simple as buying you a carton of milk, right through to providing you with a roof over your head when you lose your home, they’re there for you.

As a confidant, no one can surpass them. Your secrets are as safe as if they were locked in a vault.

This person thinks nothing of offering you their shoulder to cry on, only to find themselves drowning in your rivers of tears.

No, you say, they won’t drown, they’re invincible, solid as a rock, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…

But are they? How long can they tolerate being your whipping-post?

Just imagine this; what if one day, assuming as you do, that your back-drop will be there, patiently awaiting your latest life’s little drama, poised at the ready, waiting to run to you as you click your fingers. But they’re not available. What if they are busy, have commitments elsewhere, have an appointment. Worse still…

What if they say no?!

What would you do then? Think they were joking? Laugh it off? Try to persuade them that your life is more important than theirs? Your time is more valuable?

And they still say no.

What’s going on? This isn’t going according to the script. They must be on the wrong page. You explain to them the importance of your dilemma. Say please. Explain some more. Plead with them. Assume they will change their mind and get over their moment of insanity.

No, they further explain…it can’t be done.

Okay, you think to yourself, I understand. They’re having a bad day/don’t feel well/ran out of milk themselves. They’ll get over it. Right now. I need them to jump. According to my plan, this is where they ask me how high.

Hmm…here’s a thought, just out of the blue, thrown in from left-wing, just a random thought at that…What if they don’t have a problem? What if you are their only problem?

What part of NO don’t you understand? Is it the “N” you are can’t get your head around, or is it the “O”?

It’s time to look reality right in the face. You are responsible for yourself. No one else is. If someone offers an act of kindness, appreciate it, thank them, don’t take them for granted, value them.

That special someone in your life, the one with the heart of gold, is allowed to have a life of their own. They are entitled to make plans, showing no consideration to the likelihood of your impending latest life’s drama.

It’s well worthwhile to keep this simple thought in mind. When making a request to someone, the likely outcome can go two ways ~ they may say yes, or they may actually say no.

You asked the question, be prepared for either answer. With a dignified acceptance of the answer being no, your friend is more likely to say yes the next time, especially so if you thank them for their time, their assistance and their friendship.

You wouldn’t want that heart of gold to tarnish,  now would you?

basics · Changes · gratitude · happiness · knowledge · music · nostalgia

Do You Remember…?

Now I’m really feeling nostalgic! I received an email from a very dear friend this morning. He and his wife live in England and we often forward amusing emails to each other after we receive them.

Following my post yesterday, “Recycle, Reuse and Repair”, which found me lamenting to the tune of “whatever happened to the good old days when broken items could be repaired?” this email now has me thinking even more about “whatever happened to the time when…?”

Take a walk along memory lane yourself! Here is the email I received, along with a few interjections from me. 🙂

The email begins ~

“Someone asked the other day, “What was your favourite ‘fast food’ when you were growing up?”

“We didn’t have ‘fast food’ when I was growing up,” I informed him. “All the food was slow”.

“C’mon, seriously, where did you eat?”

“It was a place called ‘home’,” I explained. “Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.”

(Once every blue moon, my Mum would buy me a treat of hot chips, wrapped up in newspaper. But they weren’t fast; I waited forever for them to cook!)

“By this time, the lad was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.”

(I remember this very well; I had to ask, ‘please may I leave the table’, without interrupting any adult conversation!)

“But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I’d figured his system could handle it:

Some parents never owned their own homes, wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.”

(Credit cards weren’t even invented! When you wanted to buy something, you saved up to pay for it!)

“My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only one speed, (slow).

We didn’t have a television in our house until I was ten. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off air at 10pm, after playing the national anthem and epilogue; it came back on air at about 6am. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people…”

(Oh yes, I remember the black and white TV days; my kids think it’s hilarious that TV’s weren’t in colour!)

“I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line.”

(We didn’t have a phone in the house at all!)

“Pizzas were not delivered to our home…but milk was.”

(I had my first taste of pizza at age seventeen…boy oh boy, did I ever lead a sheltered life!)

“All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers…my brother delivered a newspaper, seven days a week. He had to get up at 6am every morning.

Film stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the films. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost anything offensive.”

(Those were the days!)

“If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don’t blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?”

The email continues, asking do you remember the following ~

  • Bottles with holes punched into the lids, for sprinkling water onto clothes before ironing them, because we didn’t have steam irons. (My Mum had one!)
  • Using hand signals for cars without turn indicators. (Yes!)
  • Sweet cigarettes. (Thinking he’s talking about lollies, and yes, I remember them).
  • Coffee shops with juke boxes. (They had one in the café next to where I worked at age 16!)
  • Home milk delivery in glass bottles. (The magpies (birds) liked to peck the silver foil lids off them, and the bottles were recycled!)
  • Newsreels before the movie. (Hmmm…Can’t say as I do).
  • TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning (there were only two channels, if you were fortunate). (Oh yes, this I do remember!).
  • Peashooters. (They were a boy thing…I remember boys having them confiscated at school!)
  • 33rpm records. (Still have some!)
  • 45 rpm records. (Yep, still have some 45’s too!)
  • 78rpm records. (Yes! My parents had a few! Wonder whatever happened to them?)
  • Hi-fi. (My parents had one; lasted for years!)
  • Wash tub wringers. (Funny…Mum had one and always told me not to stand too close, in case my hair got caught in it!)

Yes, I know…now I’ve ‘dated’ myself something shocking, and you have probably done the same thing! But would you have it any other way? We lived in an age when the world was younger and much more innocent. Those days cannot, and will not, ever be replaced…and we were lucky enough to have lived them! 🙂

The technology in the world advanced suddenly and with such a great volume of speed that at times it left our heads in a spin. Our children missed out on our ‘good old days’.

I wonder what stories will be told by our own children, when they tell their grandchildren stories of their own ‘good old days”?  😉

Australia · basics · challenges · knowledge

Recycle, Reuse and Repair

As a general rule, I’m not much of a one for standing on my proverbial soapbox and trying to convert the world, one way or another, on any given issue, nor do I write today with the intent of converting anyone’s beliefs.

However…once in a while, although only occasionally, an incident will leave me uttering certain statements and questions, such as “What the …”, “Why?” and “I really don’t see the point!”

Such an occasion has just reared its ugly head. Let me set the scene for you….The Man of the House (MOTH), decided the time was right to begin some outdoor house painting. At the back of our house, we have two fairly wide and rather long verandas, which look out over our incredible views of the Tweed Valley. The ceilings of these verandas are his latest target with the paint brush.

We have a total of four ceiling lights along the verandas, each light covered with an enclosed glass light shade (enclosed to keep the bugs out of the inside of the shade). The shade sits into a metal surround, with a rubber seal between the metal and the shade, to hold the shade securely in place.

We removed the light shades for ease of painting around the lights, only to discover that the rubber seals have perished, no doubt due to being subject to the elements for the last four years since we put them up.

Today, the MOTH has taken one of the old perished seals to various local stores to find replacements, as without the seals, the shades won’t hold in place on the metal surrounds, only to be told he will have high hopes in finding them.

Okay, so what are they suggesting? That we go out and buy four new replacement light shades, just because the seals are perished??? And what exactly do we do with the old shades? Oh, of course, throw them away!

A similar incident happened recently, although with a happier ending. The electrical lead on our son’s laptop wasn’t working; we had to buy him a new one. An initial price check revealed that once we had parted company with $80.00 we would become the proud owners of said lead. $80.00?!! The MOTH dismantled the point of the lead (yes, he has electrical expertise!), found the broken “bit” and bought a new one. Twenty five cents worth of parts and ten minutes labour on the MOTH’s part, and it was all fixed!

What is it with our consumer driven society these days? What happened to the good old days of “repairing items, when broken”? That’s if they ever did break down. I owned the same refrigerator for over twenty years. It didn’t miss a beat; however the doors were beginning to show spots of rust, all over, apparently caused by our use of magnets on the metal, when holding up our children’s works of art for all to enjoy.

For years, I waited patiently for that fridge to die, only to be eventually told, by a man in the know, that old fridges never die! Finally, I bit the bullet and bought a beautiful new refrigerator, only to be told I should get five years wear from it, perhaps seven, and ten if I was extremely lucky!

How society has changed over the years. It is sad to say, but I do believe that we are living in a disposable world. No sooner have you left the car yard with a shiny new vehicle than it has lost value and become superseded! The same applies for computers, mobile phones, television sets and CD players.

Advertisers prey on the vulnerability of consumers at large, especially the young, displaying the latest and greatest “got to have it” items. Just bring your credit card along!

Hmmm….the credit card….Australia has a population of over 22 million people. Our national credit card debt is at $40.4 billion dollars. Let me take that one step further ~ Australia’s national debt, including mortgages, credit cards and personal loans is currently at $1.2 trillion, which is up by 71% over the last five years. And, it gets even better…that equates to $56,000 debt for each and every man, woman and child in the country!

Quick, pass me the scissors; I’m cutting up my credit cards!

Just when you’re thinking it can’t get any worse, I have found even more statistics…each Australian produces, on average, a total of one tonne of rubbish each and every year!

Whatever happened to the idea of recycling, reusing or repairing? We are going further and further into debt, all in the name of owning the latest and the greatest, or being forced into buying new, when the old could be repaired. The old is tossed out onto the rubbish dump and we are burying ourselves in the waste!

Help!!! Am I missing something here?

Being a firm believer that every little bit helps, for years now I have encouraged my family to recycle, reuse or repair old items. We have a compost heap down the back yard, we use the recycled items garbage bins for glass, paper, etc. I take old clothing to the charity shops and believe that repairs and a good coat of paint gives renewed life to all walls and furniture.

The World Wide Web is a big place, so how about we all start sharing our own ideas on recycle, reuse and repair? I’m open to ideas on the three R’s; how about you?

Oh, and about those broken seals on our four light shades? The MOTH is working on improvising ~ he’ll come up with an idea! 🙂

~ All statistics information contained on this post was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. ~

Australia · inspiration · knowledge · winter

The Week That Almost Never Was

Today is Friday, and as I pondered the events of the past week this morning, at first glance the week appeared to have been mostly uneventful.

Hmm…I’ve been busy all week ~ doing what?

Further scrutiny has revealed the evidence, the clues scattered around my desk ~ hand written notes of “points to remember”. The “Mystery of the Vanishing Week” has been solved.

Every day this week has been occupied with research on the internet and we all know how fast time can disappear, in an instant, when engrossed on the net!

This time spent deep in research has indeed been worthwhile as all the right people are appearing, just when I need them, to take me to the next level in my quest for knowledge.

In fact, my week could very well be summed up by the following Buddhist proverb:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.

This week’s events in my life are yet another example that when you know what you want in your life, have faith and it will come to you. 🙂

Further thought has also revealed to me other events, for which I am extremely grateful. The university course information, requested by my daughter, has arrived. A week ago she began questioning whether she would be capable of successfully completing her chosen course. The arrival of this information has given her a new spark of interest and I am expecting the right people will be appearing in her life, helping her to make decisions regarding the next steps for her, after finishing school in a few months time.

My gratitude is also directed firmly towards the weather! Mundane, perhaps to some, but not to me ~ oh, how I am relishing the cold air, bestowed by the Gods of the Chill this week on Australia!

This leads me into even more gratifying thoughts…during next week I will have both my youngest children on school holidays, so we will spend some time together, without the burden of being conscious of the time! No wake-up alarms to set, no lunches to be packed, no getting-to-the-bus-on-time, no homework and no “go to bed early, so you won’t miss the bus in the morning”.

For a change to the usual routine, we could visit a lighthouse. There are two lighthouses, located within less than an hour’s drive from home. While we are there, we can go walking along the beach. Winter on the beach is wonderful in my area, on a sunny day.

It is perfect weather also to take a drive towards the Magical Mountain, which I photographed and wrote about this week. All we will need is a clear day and the camera, and off we will go!

Next week is shaping up to be an enjoyable week, just as this week has been, in a different way. I would call this week “The New Knowledge Week”. It would be appropriate to call next week “Freedom from School” week or perhaps “Quietly Adventuring Week”.

Either way, I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

How has your week progressed? I’d love to hear about the gratifying events of your days.