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    Favourite and less-favourite things

    Posted in blogjune
    June 26th, 2016

    “When I’m feeling sad / I simply remember my favourite things…”

    Favourite things

    Despite the hype: Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, warm vegan mittens (especially with a baked potato in each pocket to keep hands warm, then, potato breakfast), brown paper packages with non-work books, cream coloured ponies and animals in fields, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, pussywillow, bunny rabbits, chocolate icing, no school, pillow fights, and presents…

    Bits and bobs: Lots of personal space! (conversely, high-quality massages) …cute decorations on food or anything else, patterned socks, flannel flowers, clothing with good textures or thumbholes or French seams, cleaning ears, watching pimple-popping videos, list-making, pruning daisy bushes, seeing butterflies, good-quality green tea, lifting heavy things, Dawson’s Creek, Barbie & the Rockers, Amy Sedaris, Sophie Calle’s art, and the best book on libraries: Bob Usherwood’s Equity and excellence in the public library: why ignorance is not our heritage (2007).

    Time: The 90s! But only for nostalgia, I wouldn’t want to be back there.

    “In many ways I am possibly still too close to see the 1990s clearly. It felt like a distant cousin.” (Rochelle Robshaw).

    Remember, the 90s was the decade of a lollipop advising kids how to respond to bullies! (don’t push me, push a push pop!)

    Paper flamingo, young coconut jelly and fruit

    Favourite and less-favourite

    To read: Margaret Atwood, YA, and more.

    To watch: Bad, cheesy or critically-panned movies. Troll II is my top pick (number 7 in the esteemed eonline’s 20 worst movies of the 90s). From that list – I’ve only seen Troll II, The Blair Witch Project, Anaconda, Spice World, and Super Mario Brothers (so there is some catching up to be had!).

    I enjoy most trashy TV shows, Gogglebox is an efficient way to catch up. I wish there was a way to summarise dating and tattoo shows, Adam zkt Eva, Dinner Dates and Come Dine With Me.

    To play: Shape games like Tetris, Pokemon Shuffle, and especially Hexic. And the classic Bloodsuckers.

    I’d like to pay more attention to Read Watch Play each month to more easily adhere to the themes!


    Less-favourite things

    Too much hype: Bright copper kettles, crisp apple strudels, doorbells, sleigh bells, animal schnitzel with noodles, wild geese flying at night (till I’ve actually witnessed this one day), girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, silver white Winters that melt into Springs (no melting! Spring all the time! No Winter), dog bites, bee stings…

    Food: Jelly, flummery, pumpkin, goji berries, persimmon, pistachios, licorice, tiramisu, Florentines, marshmallows, tapioca…

    Hair binding

    Posted in blogjune
    June 24th, 2016

    Sometimes I contemplate a dramatic haircut, but I worry because of not having an un-hair-do option. Maybe I shouldn’t worry, as my first hairdressing experience was when I cut my own hair.

    But my most recent haircut was last year, and it went too, too far to go back. It’s hard to tell someone to stop when they say “Oh I’m having so much fun!”. Cue looking down at the floor to see all my hair shed like a fur coat you didn’t know you wanted to keep – till it was ripped off.

    Recently we went to a costume party, and because of my laziness around organising a costume (reluctance manifested?), I thought I would just shave my hair into a mohawk. I didn’t end up doing it as we had no clippers. I cobbled together the kind of homemade costume where you find an outfit, then attempt to link it to a random character. I had evening gloves and a dress, so I pretended that I’d aimed to dress as Betty Blight (grandmother of Captain Planet character, Dr Blight). Yeah, it was a stretch.

    Multiple sized journals co-bound

    Co-bound haircut

    To make this library-relevant (I guess it’s a bit like pretending I purposefully dressed as Betty Blight?), I think that a haircut can look a bit like the binding of this serial title. All different formats co-bound, especially at the regrowth stage.

    Apparently in The Guinea Pigs feature (Captain Planet 3rd series, 7th episode) about animal testing, a monkey shaves off some of Dr Blight’s hair. I haven’t seen this episode, but ironically, Dr Blight’s revenge haircut is sort of what I’m seeking! You can scroll down on the gallery section of the Captain Planet wiki page to see the result! (last photos at the base)

    Thinking about Captain Planet, I was always into Wheeler (the Fire Ring guy). Now I wonder if Captain Planet was meant to be the one?

    Confessions of the great unread

    Posted in blogjune
    June 6th, 2016

    Reading pressure! My Mum quails at the thought that I am a Librarian Who Hasn’t Read the Classics (yes, that’s me! – in stark contrast to Ceridwyn’s love of Austen).

    I’m following the lead of Fiona, Rachel and Kate in considering the topic of #iconfessineverread

    …I guess I feel that I don’t always read the right things, which could also be why I try to restrict watching my movie consumption, to span only those that are critically panned. I guess I am trying to be “better”! (more healthy? More wholesome?) At the same time, I share Connie and Hannah’s feelings around not engaging in reading as much as is possible – but I also want to read for pleasure, not just reading something that is good for me?

    Books on my shelf

    A portion of my books

    This is a tiny section of our (also small) bookshelves at home – I don’t actually own many books (multiple reasons, including working in interlibrary loans for a long time, having expensive books damaged in a flood, etc.).

    Like Maya, I have some books just for the tactility and memories they offer – touchstones to a different time.

    In blogjune 2014, my collection was in a different cabinet – since that time, I’ve bought a few YA series I’ve kept, some books I’ve forwarded on, and received some lovely vegan cookbooks. There are some long-held Christian Boltanski ones that I love dearly, but try not to read/manhandle because I have that hangup of not destroying the pages. I used to work with a curator who purchased photography books as an investment, it seems rewarding – but I think she now buys in multiples (too hard to part with them).

    Some of the books you see are Norwegian ones – many years ago I thought I would read things in Norsk and at some point my brain would suddenly “click” and just get it. Obvious naivety there. So I really enjoy looking at ideas for becoming bilingual, such as a vocabulary wall. I did a Wiradjuri course last year, which really helped me to understand the mechanics of how I learn, as well as wishing that local languages and culture were embedded in school (but this is changing for the better now). Other books shown are about gardening, art and cooking. I feel like it’s a good topic overview shelf, but it also has other people’s books, so I feel like it also speaks to the work I need to do around boundaries.

    Achievement unlocked!

    Refresh, refresh.

    To balance concerns about not reading, I’ve included a screenshot of a mini-accomplishment – catching up on all the posts in my feedly blogjune category. Yay!

    Confession time:

    I would rather re-read Margaret Atwood’s novels and poetry, than try something super-new. Mr Sonja would say that this also reflects my attitude to “known” foods.

    There was a well-read books list in blogjune 2014 – I’m afraid I haven’t augmented my score much (read this as: at all) in the intervening 2 years.

    #iconfessineverread (classics, and then some non-classics so that I might actually remedy the situation!)

    • Same as Rachel and some of Kate’s: The Catcher in the Rye, War and peace, Catch-22, Lord of the Rings, Wuthering Heights, Huckleberry Finn, Lolita, Anna Karenina, Ulysses, and Frankenstein (however, I have read To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Little Women, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
    • Before going through the list of 100 must-read books about books, I’m betting that I haven’t read any of them. Aim low! (3 minutes later: A feeling of success! I have read “The Eyre Affair” and loved it, even though I didn’t get the references in it given that I don’ t know the classics, i.e. this post, comment and reading experience is the ouroboros. Also Matilda, Possession, and 84 Charing Cross Road. A 4% success rate! Best navel-gazing librarian badge awarded to me!)
    • 96 books about books (see above for individual list)
    • I’m also excited by the 100 wonderful, strange and unusual novels (okay, yes, it includes an Atwood book I haven’t read yet)
    • 10 must-read books recommended by Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose (6-year-old post, but I like the way that the video starts with potplants – even though I can’t quite make out what they’re saying)

    At the same time of having a guilt trip about what I don’t read, there are some things that are going to be on my “to don’t” list forever. Like Dickens.

    Watched and read list of 2015

    Posted in Books, Lifestyle
    January 31st, 2016

    My annual book and movie list!

    My tally for the year was: 46 movies, 42 books, 1 play, 2 web series, 1 comedy show, and 1 short online movie (a big book-reading improvement on last year’s tally of 55 movies, 17 books and 2 TV series).

    As for games, I spent a lot of time playing Pokemon shuffle, but that’s about it (I usually only like games with shape-matching but no characters, so it’s a bit limiting – although I had a go at Trials fusion and new Tetris). I didn’t visit the library as often as I’d like, but I bought a lot more books than I would normally (i.e. more than zero), and made sure that at least one other person read my copies to make them a bit greener. I also forgot to note which art exhibitions I saw, but that’s a goal for another year.

    2015 was definitely my year of reading Richelle Mead’s series: Bloodlines, Georgina Kincaid, Age of X and Dark Swan (Eugenie Markham). But now I need to read Soundless (from late 2015), and The Glittering Court is coming – when all I want is to petulantly demand another Age of X or Dark Swan book (they are pending/unknown). It was really pleasing to read the concluding book of the Bloodlines series – a colleague once said I was a “completionist”, and for sure, I do like it when things are done, I hate waiting on book release dates.  I was delighted to read the next Jewel series instalmentThe White Rose, but now have to wait for the next one, The Black Key, to be released this fall (in America – autumn is in late September, so maybe 235 days?). Yuck. This is why I read things after the hype is over and there is no waiting, but I guess it is good to support art and culture in-process, but sometimes I can’t stand the anticipation.

    It was also a big year of reading Cassandra Clare’s series: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices. And now to wait for The Dark Artifices. Life is just waiting for more books, it seems.

    I’ve continued my love of trashy movies, but made them a bit more educational with Norwegian subtitles, it would be so helpful if subtitle language availability was made clearer across library catalogues and other listings. And I read the very worst book in the world, Zelda’s cut, which was so frustrating and depressing. I made my mother-in-law read it so that we could bond through our mutual dislike of everything about the characters and storyline.

    Just browsing, thanks

    Arnold in library in Junior movie


    • Trolljegeren (Troll hunter, Norwegian movie with English subtitles)
    • Bloodlines series: 3, The indigo spell, 4, The fiery heart, 5, Silver shadows (books)
    • Jo Nesbo’s Jackpot (Norwegian movie with English subtitles)
    • Men in black (English movie with Norwegian subtitles)

    “Goddamn bugs.” = “Fordømte insekt.”

    • Ickle Pickle’s Cinderella (play)
    • Junior (English movie with Norwegian subtitles – DVD busted 40 minutes in)
    • Age of X series, 1, Gameboard of the gods (book)

    “Seeing the outside of her body was nothing compared to seeing the inside. Even now, he was probably analysing her outburst, and she already felt too raw and exposed. If she kept her back to him, maybe she could hide the hole in her that she felt he’d ripped open.” p. 300

    “She’d never heard of lingonberries but Nordics seemed to love them.” p. 358

    • Headhunters (Norwegian movie with English subtitles)
    • The boyfriend dilemma by Fiona Foden (book)
    • World class trains: the Polar Express (movie – I thought it’d be about Santa but it was about Sweden, this was probably due to my very general keyword search of Norway/Norsk/Oslo/Norwegian, which is why I also watched the DVD Sissel in concert: all good things)
    • Sweet land: a love story (movie)

    “Different kinds of happy”

    • Mortdecai (movie at the cinema)
    • Georgina Kincaid series, 1, Succubus blues (book)

    “The sweater and khakis combination looked both respectable and subdued, though the color scheme blended a bit too well with my light brown hair. It was a librarian sort of outfit. Did I want to look subdued? Maybe.” p. 43

    “I could still feel where his power had touched me, rather like a tactile version of the afterimage one sees with a camera flash.” p. 321.

    • Georgina Kincaid series, 2, Succubus nights (book)
    • Georgina Kincaid series, 3, Succubus dreams (book)

    “It twinkled like starlight, seeping into me.” p. 102

    • Georgina Kincaid series, 4, Succubus heat (book)

    “A flower of agony and euphoria burst open in my chest.” P. 356


    • Georgina Kincaid series, 5. Succubus shadows (book)

    “She was still using that librarian voice, but I had to admit she looked more like a succubus than the last time I’d seen her.” p. 80

    “Out here in the middle of nowhere, stars clustered the sky, and night insects rained down a symphony of chatter.” p. 177

    • Georgina Kincaid series, 6. Succubus revealed (book)

    “Our souls are like …oh, I don’t know. It’s like they’re encased in amber. They’re there, and I can see them inside us.” p. 253

    • The butcher’s wife (English movie with Norwegian subtitles)
    • Immortal: love stories with bite (book)
    • Pitch perfect (movie)
    • Bloodlines series, 6, The ruby circle (book)
    • Confidence (movie)

    “See this? That’s your love line, that’s your money line, and that’s looking very, very good. And that’s your life line going all the way down – uh-oh. See that little gap there. It means that at one point, you could have a little trouble. But it’s up to you to make it better.”

    • Asterix and the Picts (book)
    • Bleak: the web series
    • The Katering show episodes


    • Taffin (movie)
    • Age of X series, 2, The immortal crown (book)

    “You’re too entrenched in mortal thinking if you think this is a coincidence. Don’t you know I’m looking out for you?” p. 181

    • Norwegian wood (movie)

    “If I have left a wound inside you, it is not just your wound but mine as well.”

    • Eugenie Markham/Dark Swan series: 1, Storm born, 2, Thorn queen, 3, Iron crowned, 4, Shadow heir (books)
    • Little big man (English movie with Norwegian subtitles)

    “…it would’ve been deliciously wicked.”

    “Something snapped in my head. I decided life wasn’t fit to live, and the only thing to do was to mingle with the twinkling stars.”

    • Blue caprice (movie)
    • A somewhat gentle man [En Ganske snill mann] (Norwegian movie with English subtitles)
    • The Mortal Instruments series, 1, City of Bones (book)

    “…you’re an artist… That means you see the world in ways that other people don’t. It’s your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn’t make you crazy – just different. There’s nothing wrong with being different.” p. 29

    “The face of the angel was fierce and beautiful and sad.” p. 169

    • The world is a playground, comedy show by Chris Endrey
    • Zelda’s cut (book)

    “She had her hand clamped over her mouth as if to hold the kiss and the power of the kiss inside her. …Still she kept her hand over her mouth, still she felt, under the unconscious grip of her fingers, the heat and the power of his kiss.” p. 75

    “The messages became more and more of a ritual, a sacrifice to an unresponsive god…” p. 396

    • Worms in the night (book)

    “…if anyone saw me I’d look normal – not like a bogan or anything.” p. 1

    “…our sunroom: seagrass matting, cane furniture with lime-green cushions…” p. 14

    “He’s such a spunk, but he’s always distant.” p.17

    “The worms will come.” p. 22

    “The worms will get you,’ the voice said clearly. ‘The worms come in the night.’” p. 22

    “Look out for the worms. They’ll get you,’” p. 23


    • Before midnight (movie)

    “I don’t know where I’m from, but I’m very hairy.”

    “I just naturally feel bad about everything, and you give me that look, like it’s my fault.”

    • The Mortal Instruments series, 2, City of Ashes (book)
    • The tale of Desperaux (movie)
    • The Duff (movie at the cinema)
    • Leviathan (Russian movie with English subtitles at the cinema)
    • The Mortal Instruments series, 3, City of Glass , 4, City of Fallen Angels, 5, City of Lost Souls (books)
    • The Mortal Instruments series, 6, City of Heavenly Fire  (book)

    “Simon didn’t need a mirror to know he was wearing eye-liner. The knowledge was instant, and complete.” p. 133

    “And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out 707 of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.” pp. 706-7.

    • Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray (movie, but unsure which version)
    • Cinderella (movie)
    • Maleficent (again! movie)
    • The Infernal Devices series, 1, Clockwork Angel (book)

    “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” p. 93

    “He didn’t know what books 103 meant to her, that books were symbols of truth and meaning, that this one acknowledged that she existed and that there were others like her in the world.” pp. 103-104

    “…a lot of vampires were beautiful. Their beauty had always seemed to him like the beauty of pressed flowers – lovely, but dead.” p. 197

    “There was a clear picture in her head of the sea. It had drawn back entirely from the shore, and she could see the small creatures it had left gasping in its wake, flapping and dying on the bare sand.” p. 470

    • The Infernal Devices series, 2, Clockwork Prince (book)
    • The Infernal Devices series, 3, Clockwork Princess (book)

    “There were still flecks of dried blood around his collarbones, a sort of brutal necklace.” p. 78

    “…she had understood-oh, she had been told it before, had known it before, but that was not the same as understanding…” p. 159

    “Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like 372 a flower pressed between the pages of a book, and admired and recollected anew.” pp. 372-3.

    “She held his face between her hands as they kissed-he tasted slightly of tea leaves, and his lips were soft and the kiss entirely sweet. Sophie floated in it, in the prism of the moment, feeling safe from all the rest of the world.” p. 373

    “I feel like you can look inside me and see all the places I am odd or unusual and fit your heart around them, for you are odd and unusual in just the same way.” p. 412

    “’What you are, what you can do, it is like some great miracle of the earth, like fire or wildflowers or the breadth of the sea. You are unique in the world, just as you are unique in my heart, and there will never be a time when I do not love you.’” p. 537

    • Testament of Youth (movie at the cinema)


    • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, Notes by Robert Mighall (book)

    “If thought could exercise its influence upon a living organism, might not thought exercise an influence upon dead and inorganic things? Nay, without thought or conscious desire, might not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods and passions, atom calling to atom in secret love or strange affinity?” p. 103

    “He went towards the little pearl-coloured octagonal stand, that had always looked to him like the work of some strange Egyptian bees that wrought in silver…” p. 120

    “…getting the dainty Delhi muslins, finely wrought with gold-thread palmates, and stitched over with iridescent beetles’ wings…” p. 133

    • Not suitable for children (movie)
    • The unbecoming of Mara Dyer (book)

    “I was a goldfish without a castle to hide in.” p. 54

    “My shoulders sagged as if someone let all the air out of the smiley-face balloon that was my heart.” p. 274

    • The evolution of Mara Dyer (book)

    “I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.” p. 258

    “The papers flutter when I open or close the door, like the walls are breathing.” p. 305

    • The retribution of Mara Dyer (book)

    “I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” p. 453

    “…it feels like we’re alone in a sea of beating hearts and breathing lungs.” p. 466

    • Kung fury (online movie)
    • Rabbit Hole (movie)

    “Oh! I like the way it cracks.” “Mmm-hmm. Of course you do.”


    “My anxiety mushrooms; this deal could all go to shit.” p. 90

    “I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty.” p. 292

    “Anxiety blooms in my chest.” p. 379

    • Orange is the new black (book)

    “…I understood that these stories held their own accuracy.” p. 141

    “Lack of empathy lies at the heart of every crime…” p. 298


    • Fanny och Alexander (Swedish movie with English subtitles, at the cinema)
    • The skin I live in (Spanish movie with English subtitles)

    “…there’s a place where you can take refuge, a place inside you, a place to which no one else has access, a place that no one can destroy.”

    “I breathe. I know I breathe.”

    • Summer Coda (movie)

    “…I don’t really know you. But I feel like I do.”

    “…and we all have stuff that we wanted to say that we could’ve said. …we never put a time-limit on these things. They’re just so easy to put off. But just because he didn’t say it, doesn’t mean that you didn’t feel it. It just means that you’re the only one that will ever know.”

    • Angel (movie)

    “What in tarnation would I be doing with toys?”

    • Homesick (Norwegian movie with English subtitles)
    • St Trinian’s 2 – The Legend of Fritton’s Gold

    “I’d rather cover myself in jam and sit on a wasps’ nest.”

    About a puppy: “I bet if he could talk, he’d be trying to tell me just how much he loves me.”

    • Remember Me (movie)

    “Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”


    • Ironman (movie)
    • Faberge (movie at the cinema)
    • Hansel and Gretel (movie)
    • Jackass 1 & 2 (movies)


    • Mazerunner: The Scorch Trials (movie at the cinema)

    “People in the mountains? Mountain-people? That’s your plan?”

    • The children’s Bach (book)

    “That’s what they should have on TV every night… Not that violent American rubbish. They should have the Sunset Report. Brought to you by the Federal Department of Nature Appreciation.” p. 35

    “There was no way he could have known that her heart, for the thousandth time, felt as if it had turned into a sharp splinter.” p. 77

    • The Bane Chronicles (book)

    “…her remembered face like the distant familiar beauty of stars, not to be touched but to shine in front of his eyes at night.” p. 17

    “Magnus had learned to be careful about giving his memories with his heart. When people died, it felt like all the pieces of yourself you had given to them went as well. It took so long, building yourself back up until you were whole again, ,and you were never entirely the same.” p. 34

    “This was what humans did: They left one another messages through time, pressed between pages or carved into rock. Like reaching out a hand through time, and trusting in a phantom hoped-for hand to catch yours. Humans did not live forever. They could only hope what they made would endure.” p. 42

    “Everything about this exchange was wrong. This was not how the reunion should have gone. It should have been coy, it should have had many strange pauses and moments of double meaning.” p. 283

    “The heart had its reasons, and they were seldom all that reasonable.” p. 331

    “…a trouble sundae with dark secret cherries on top.” p. 331

    “And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.” p. 396

    • Heart of Darfur (book)

    “seeing the overwhelming needs and fears in the world we can all be excused for wanting to withdraw.” p. 106



    • The Dressmaker (movie at the cinema)
    • Sex and the City 2 (movie)
    • The White Rose (book)

    “I wish I could unzip my skin and show him the place inside me where Ash lives, tangled up in blood and bone and muscle, impossible to separate or remove.” p. 117

    “I rub my eyes. There’s too much in my head, and not enough space for it all.” p. 172

    • Mockingjay Part 2 (movie at the cinema)


    • The Good Dinosaur (movie at the cinema)
    • Murder by the book

    “…the big cabinets where rare old books and memorabilia grew silently older and rarer behind glass.” p. 70

    • The Eyre Affair (book)

    “The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think: a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning.” [didn’t write down the pagination!]

    • 50 shades of grey (movie)
    • Magic Mike II (movie)
    • Death of a Butterfly (a Detective Sigrid Harald mystery)

    “The backs of his hands were lightly sprinkled with brown age marks, but the hands were still capable – a craftsman’s hands, strong and square, yet with the promise of lyrical, gentle touch.” p. 10

    • Magpies, squirrels and thieves: how the Victorians collected the world (book)

    “His relationship with his employer was edgy and barbed, liable to erupt in furious explosions.” p. 22

    “…Robinson was suggesting that it was not only beautiful objects themselves that were important, but also the very ‘pursuit’ of collecting them. Tracking down objects, studying them, comparing and treasuring them…” p. 69

    “This portrait… …was showing off the part of him that mattered – his collection.” p. 189

    “He became a collector of stories.” p. 343

    • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (movie)

    Grey vanilla pod

    Posted in blogjune
    June 28th, 2015

    I finished reading Grey, Christian’s perspective on the first of the 50 Shades trilogy. I had thought it was his summary of the whole three books, but it was just a blow-by-blow account of only the first book. Now I have to read two more books from the perspective of his brain and selected body parts (Mum says “you don’t HAVE to read them”, but damn, I am going to finish this thing).

    Grey bookface

    Grey bookface

    For all of his mixed feelings towards “vanilla”, really Christian Grey is actually vanilla extreme – the physicality of this perfumed seed. His body is the vanilla pod, a flesh farm, incubating something sweet which is periodically harvested. He identifies these growths as “anxiety mushrooms”, like a special chest fungi, reaching up from the darkness of his internal organs:

    “My anxiety mushrooms; this deal could all go to shit.” p. 90

    …and he also recognises when a harvest has been completed, perhaps the scrumping is during one of his nightmares?:

    “I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty.” p. 292

    …that’s right, that emptiness without your sweet, heady anxiety mushrooms. Back to the growth cycle, the crop regenerates as “anxiety blooms”:

    “Anxiety blooms in my chest.” p. 379

    You can see the cycle demonstrated in the progressive pagination of these quotes. People need to know.

    These human farms have been exposed in other stories, such as Georgina Kincaid in Succubus heat:

    “A flower of agony and euphoria burst open in my chest.” p. 356

    The next two books will reveal that Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. actually deals in the pricey ingredients grown in human bone gaols – vanilla, saffron, truffles. Christian doesn’t know the real reason that Mrs Lincoln helped him escape his life of vanilla cultivation. Her beauty salons need these exotic ingredients, but the greedy food industry is hogging the bulk of them. She subjected people to extreme genetic manipulation to grow and nurture these most expensive products inside them, to support her business venture’s wildly luxurious facials. He thought she’d cured his vanilla-growing, without realising that she was only taking him from a cycle that she herself had initiated. Mrs Lincoln breaks into the penthouse on a weekly basis to reap her precious Christian-ambergris while he slumbers.

    Will Christian realise that he is invested in Mrs Lincoln’s business, not just financially, but with his body, nay, his very soul? Will Ana save him from himself?


    My favourite shelf

    Posted in blogjune
    June 2nd, 2015

    This is the best section out of all the shelves at my library.

    Breathe in, breathe out

    The warmth of books

    There are so many things I love:

    • that I walk past each day but still get a little tingle of “nipple surprise”;
    • how a portion of the title on the spine, “heart” is kind of close to the relevant (in an emotional and physical sense) area of the chest;
    • the gradation of high pink to pale skin to earth, couched by a guardian moat of blue-green spine guards; and
    • the visual fleshy conversation between two of the book spines, which is even better because they both reveal work by Patricia Piccinini, so the text bodies are close together.

    Even when the library is closed, the books press against each other to keep warm, sleeping until we wake them to leaf through their pages.

    Goulburn vegan mini-break II

    Posted in Lifestyle
    May 10th, 2015

    We trekked up to Goulburn to research for an upcoming Arlis/ANZ (Arts Libraries Society, ACT chapter) roadtrip.

    Last year our chapter visited Braidwood. In the years to come perhaps we’ll go to Cooma, Gunning, Gundaroo, Murrambateman (nearby Crisp Galleries), Mittagong (antiques/crafts and I’m excited by veg*n places like nearby Berrima Health Vegetarian Café) or Crookwell (they have a Potato Festival! …need I say more?).

    Vegan breakfast at Grit Cafe, Goulburn NSW

    Vegan breakfast at Grit Cafe

    Our first stop was Grit café, which had been recommended for its vegan options. The food was nice (a modified big breakfast) but I’m sorry that I got a bit hangry with the lady at the counter, because she opened with the vegan options being salad. Regrettable.

    My modified big breakfast was still enjoyable and they are able to veganise smoothies with soy or almond milk. Next time it would be better to call ahead, to see if they had any raw vegan desserts like the scrumptious-looking ones in their facebook albums.

    I do feel bad about my poor manners, but it was also the disappointment of huge anticipation for their cakes and vegan-friendliness.

    Sex Bomb ad in Pub window, Goulburn NSW

    Sex Bomb ad in Pub window

    We enjoyed the toy shop in the main street which sells a projector painting set which claims “The children have it, with a color of the sky.” I remember having the sky when I was a kid. Less on the sliding scale of family-friendly was a painted sign in the pub’s window but sadly we weren’t there on a Wednesday.

    Detail of Marilyn Psuchake’s 3 Poles, Goulburn NSW

    Detail of Marilyn Psuchake’s 3 Poles

    Marilyn Psuchake’s 3 Poles were stunning, Here+Now was my favourite one, with the mosaics providing a preview of the local buildings. There is a great shot of them (as a group) by creakingbones. I should have been more organised and looked at the Art in public places brochure.

    The Lilac City Markets were just wrapping up and were high on the chutney index, and it was intensely windy so all the petals were flying off the nearby rose garden. I can see why it’s called the City of Roses (but the next festival isn’t till March). Apparently the “go-to” markets are 3rd-Sunday-of-a-month at Riversdale Homestead and the 4th-Saturday-of-a-month Goulburn Brewery Craft Markets.

    Detail of Amanda Stuart’s mongrel country (nil tenure), Goulburn NSW

    Detail of Amanda Stuart’s mongrel country (nil tenure)

    The Library was closed which was disappointing, but it helped us to find the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. These dogs (Amanda Stuart’s mongrel country (nil tenure), 2013) were guarding the outside. This image of another iteration of the sculptures out in the “wild”, which gives such a joyous and free feeling of bounding across open country.

    Inside, the Gallery’s gift shop had some inlaid coloured clay plates by Sugden/Hamilton (I recognised them from last month’s visit to Braidwood).

    The current exhibition is Rod McRae’s Wunderkammer, filling the gallery with installations focused on taxidermied animals (all ethically sourced), addressing environmental topics. It was confronting, but that’s what made it work – and I saw a sad connection with all the roadkill on the way back home.

    Hydrangeas growing in Goulburn, NSW

    Hydrangeas and a pretty window

    We had a few misses with antique shops, because Glenholme Antiques and Collectables is now closed (the owner has retired). I consoled myself by looking at the hydrangeas. These were one of my childhood flowers and the colours are an interesting indicator of soil condition.

    Café Book is also closed on weekends which was disappointing as I’d like to see their book stock. Other places that we should try next are Shaw’s Antiques, Michael’s Old Wares and Collectables, Accolade Antiques and Yarra Glen Pottery.

    We tried to find Gallery on track but must have taken a wrong turn, in any case we were treated to a small informal graffiti show under the bridge.

    The Argyle Book Emporium, Goulburn, NSW

    Just a small part of The Argyle Book Emporium

    We initially went to the old street address for The Argyle Book Emporium (don’t go to 176 Sloane Street, it’s now at 260 Sloane Street). We found them on the second go, and my goddess, it was astounding. Amazing. The building was previously the police station, and the strong holds are just full of books covering every surface, as though they’re melting Dali clocks draped everywhere. It was the highlight of our visit. They sell records too.

    Vegetarian option at 98 Chairs, Goulburn NSW

    Vegan option at 98 Chairs

    I had a great vegan dinner in June last year at 98 chairs, and they again made some custom menu options for us. The veganised roasted mushroom, garlic & Dutch cream potato soup was my favourite, then we had the vegetarian (for me, without cheese) combo dish (vegetable assiette, fresh spring rolls, kimchee, corn grain and miso salad, red cabbage, mushroom and leek pie). I liked the different elements on the dish but discovered I’m not evolved enough for kimchee. Mr Sonja loved the zucchini fritters too.

    I have yet to try the other vegan-recommended places (Ban Thai and Gouburn Workers Club).

    Mandelson’s luxury guesthouse foyer, Goulburn NSW

    Mandelson’s foyer, Goulburn

    We stayed at Mandelson’s, an 1846 historic guesthouse. It was very beautiful, and had the feeling of Professor Xavier’s mansion. There are lots of sitting rooms, they used to have high teas which I can vividly imagine.

    There is also an expansive quilting room which has lots of imported batik fabric (for sale!) and sewing detritus, which was why Claire (one of the owners) was keeping the door closed. The entryway has the original marble black-and-white checkerboard floor which would be suited to dramatic entrances (I wonder if the early Masonic presence in the town contributed to the choice of pattern? Pure speculation but could be an interesting theory!).

    Wataru the puppy

    Wataru the puppy

    No roadtrip is complete without some #PatADay action. We met another visitor, the owners’ grandpuppy, Wataru, who was just cuteness overload and so soft. He is bilingual so he can woof in Japanese (wan-wan).

    Goodman in Advertising. (1847, February 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842 - 1954), p. 1.

    Goodman’s ad (1847, February 11).

    Previous guests (back in the day) include photographer George Barron Goodman, who advertised for people to sit for portraits at Mandelson’s, when he was visiting in FebruaryMarch 1847 (Advertising. (1847, February 11). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW), p. 1.) and (Advertising. (1847, March 22). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW), p. 1.). He was making daguerrotypes, a precursor to the modern photograph.

    Goodman in Advertising. (1847, March 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842 - 1954), p. 1.

    Goodman’s ad (1847, March 22).

    Goodman also promoted his collection of views of Australia’s interior landscapes, which he employed as excellent embellished scenery for portrait backgrounds (Advertising. (1847, January 2). The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 1.). Perhaps Goulburn was added to this collection once he visited?

    Someone on Tripadvisor said Mandelson’s was “a bit like Cluedo” and I can see why – it would be a fantastic setting for a Murder Mystery party or lots of other events.

    The Big Merino's back view, Goulburn NSW

    The Big Merino’s butt, Goulburn

    On the way back, we didn’t visit the Big Merino (again) but here is a Merino butt pic.


    I was sorely tempted by Collector and the new café on the way past, but we ran out of time. I used to really enjoy Lynwood Café, and I agree with theyellowhouseintheU, it is a big loss, but she says that Some Café is really worth a visit – see yellow’s post. You can still buy Lynwood jam, though. I fell asleep for most of the way home.

    Watched and read list of 2014

    Posted in Books, Lifestyle
    February 1st, 2015

    A bit late! Oh well. I only read two books and a trilogy in the first nine months, and then I caught up with twelve more books in the remaining 3 months. Which makes this really more of a movie list, with 55 movies and 2 TV series (I didn’t see many movies growing up, I’m catching up). I didn’t count non-fiction books, because they’re work-related (but in hindsight, perhaps not an optimal decision). In making this list, I’ve realised that I’ll watch and read basically anything that’s available. This isn’t a highly sought-after superpower, but if a book or DVD feels neglected in a 1 km radius, I will give it some attention. I am still recovering from watching all of Dawson’s Creek over several months in 2013 (I loved it).

    Kate has a good, measurable goal of a book a month (plus many other “real person” goals) and to note them on Goodreads. As a binge-reader/watcher, my goal is to visit the library at least once a fortnight so I always have a pile of books or DVDs at home, ready for when I get the craving.

    Credit for reading list tracking to E, who got the idea from another archivist, and of course Read Watch Play.

    My word of the year (milquetoast) was from the movie Extra Man. I didn’t really have a favourite from the list, but I find that the more I enjoy something, the more I want to remember quotes so that I can keep it close (like pinning a butterfly to remember the colours, even if it is still faded from the real experience). Maybe it was Maleficent as I watched it twice. Magic Mike was fun but I forgot I had the DVD in the computer drive, so I spent ages trying to work out which internet tab was playing an interminable melody until I realised it was the DVD intro auto-play.

    I’m excited to read the rest of the Bloodlines novels (last one out in February) and the sequel to Jewel (White Rose), but it isn’t out till 6 October! Ugh. At least it’s a little closer with each passing moment.


    • Little red riding hood (movie)


    • 50 shades of grey trilogy (books)
    • Rewatching seasons 1-3 Game of Thrones (TV series)
    • I saw the devil (Korean movie with English subtitles)


    • Orphan (movie)
    • Män som hatar kvinnor (Swedish movie with English subtitles)
    • March hares (book)

    [in the British Museum reading room] “It was as indeed as good as a play, this marvellous aggregation of human dramatic possibilities surging tirelessly before him. He wondered that he had never thought of seeing it before.” P. 4

    [various notations about Pale flaxen hair picked with lemon in its lights and a Dainty rose-leaf of a chin]

    “Placing her elbows on the table, and poising her chin between thumbs and forefingers, she bestowed a frank scrutiny upon his face, as intent and dispassionate as the gaze which a professor of palmistry fastens upon the lines of the client’s hand.” P. 30

    “David piled up in reverie the loathly epithets upon the over-large bald head of his friend with savage satisfaction. “You preposterous clown!” he snarled at the burly blond image of the absent nobleman in his mind’s eye. “You gratuitous and wanton ass! Oh, you unthinkable duffer!” p. 139

    “Who the deuce could it be?” p. 156

    • Doughnut by Tom Holt (book) (lots of fun quotes)
    • The Hunger Games: Catching fire (movie)
    • Filth (movie)
    • The people next door (movie)
    • The gods must be crazy II (movie)
    • Lego (movie)
    • The hunt (Danish movie with English subtitles)


    • The other woman (movie)
    • Now you see me (movie)
    • Miss congeniality 2 (movie)
    • Butter (movie)
    • Jackass 3 (movie)
    • Magic Mike (movie)


    • Maleficent x 2 (movie) The first movie I’ve ever enjoyed enough to see twice at the cinema! I wrote about it twice during blogjune, perhaps my double-consumption was symptomatic of having to write as a daily habit.
    • Bruce Almighty (movie – couldn’t get through it)
    • Horrible bosses (movie)
    • Beasts of the Southern Wild (movie)


    • How to train your dragon 2 (movie)
    • The day of the triffids (series, 1981)

    Ep1: “You’ve got eyes, use them goddamnit”

    Ep 5? “The trouble with triffids is what we don’t know” “All the knowledge is there, in books, if only we’d take the time to read them.”

    • Midnight in the garden of good and evil (movie)
    • Café de flore (movie)

    “Antoine radiates happiness from every pore.”

    “Everything you touch turns to gold.”

    “Dickwad! Quit busting my balls! I’ll rip out your eyes, scumbag! I’ll rip out your eyes… scumbag! And kick your teeth out your ass!” “I’m proud of you, tiger. Don’t smile. Let’s go home. Don’t smile. You did great.”

    “Never wake up the monster who leaves its lair to eat little children!”

    “Do you believe in soul mates?” “I’m not sure”. “I like it. I like the idea. That someone, somewhere is made for you, forever.”

    “I just want to know more about my dreams. …I often dream about a little monster.”

    “We can’t give in to setbacks or the opinions of so-called fat cat specialists.”

    “It develops from the inside. It’s a matter of love, faith. Everyone can develop their paranormal abilities. It’s a question of desire and will.”

    • Extra man (movie featuring Katie Holmes as a vegan!)

    “It’s at a magazine. An environmental journal.” “I’m sure it’s all just a front for po***graphy.”

    “Don’t be such a milquetoast.”

    “I’ve never told anyone this, but sometimes, in my head I actually imagine there’s somebody narrating my life as if I’m the protagonist in a classic novel.”

    “I need to put on my eyemask.”

    • Finding Amanda (movie)
    • Blue is the warmest colour (movie)

    “A worm crawls out of a plate of spaghetti and says: “That was some gangbang!””

    Art school truth

    Art school truth

    • Straight As (movie)

    “Katherine alluded to the fact that you’re unreliable, so you have to promise.”

    “Wow. Just so you know, you’re kinda being a c***.”


    • Lucy (movie)
    • Prometheus (movie)

    “Nah, I’m out of here.” “Hey, Fifield! Where are you going?” “What? Look, I’m just a geologist. I like rocks. I love rocks. Now, it’s clear you two don’t give a shit about rocks…”

    • My life in ruins (movie)
    • Her (movie)

    “The past is just a story we tell ourselves.”

    “You’re failing your children! Lose 2000 Mom points!”

    “The point is to get there first ‘cause then you get extra Perfect Mom points because the other Moms then know you’re a perfect Mom.”

    “You’re always going to disappoint somebody.” “Exactly. So fuck it. I feel good. Ish. For me, I feel good.”

     “You think I don’t know that I’m not a person? What are you doing?”

    • Bernie (movie)


    • The Woman in Black  (movie)

    [looking at drawing] “Why do I look so sad?” “That’s what your face looks like.”

    • Rainman (movie)

    “Of course, I don’t have my books and, cos there are no bookshelves, I’m definitely going to be bookless.”

    • Mr and Mrs Smith (movie)
    • The Hot Chick (movie)
    • The Labyrinth (movie)

    “I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.”

    • Snow White and the Hunter (movie)
    • Season 4 Game of Thrones (TV series)


    • The door in the floor (movie)

    “…because of how it must feel against your skin.”

    “Don’t expect any mercy from me. I’m going to grind you into a fine powder.”

     “The whole rest of your life, whenever you need to feel brave, just look at your scar. Your hand will grow bigger, and your finger will grow bigger, but your scar will always stay the same size.”

    • Is anybody there? (movie)

    [on death:] “What happens is, you think the last thought you’re ever going to think.”

    “You accumulate regrets, and they stick to you like old bruises.”

    “You spend your life accumulating stuff, and then you can’t find anywhere to put it.”

    • The reckoning (movie)
    • The secret of Dorian Gray (1970) (only first 30 minutes as the DVD busted)

     “Ah, Mr Business and Miss Pleasure.”

    • Bliss (movie)

    “It’s got nothing to do with the doctor.” “He’s got sausage fingers.” “Yeah, I know.”

    “This was written in 1649.” “Yes.” “Well, it’s a bit out of date, isn’t it?” “We’re talking about eternity and you’re quibbling about 350 years! If it was true once, it must always be true.”

    “Didn’t I notice you lift your eyebrow in a disagreeable way?”

    “Only a crazy man would write a love letter that takes 8 years to arrive.”

    “…and the trees …were not too busy to take this sigh back through their leaves.”

    • Gone girl (movie)
    • The glovemaker by Stacia Brown (book)

    “Sometimes, when Walwyn was working on something, he would read a sentence or two out loud, and she could hear where her thoughts streaked across the horizon of his words, like old stars that light up the night sky as they are falling.” p. 238

    “The words were beautiful. They swam toward her; they slid up onto the bank. the words became flesh and then the flesh took on wings and 337 then the wings made a picture; she could see things in her mind as she was going along. The words tapped at her, a woodpecker drilling a trunk. Then the tapping became new words and the new words grew, and what was grown was love.” pp. 336-7


    • Bad neighbours (movie in English with Norwegian subtitles)
    • X-Men: days of future past (movie)
    • The internet’s own boy: the story of Aaron Swartz (movie)
    • Canterwood crest series, 15: Comeback, by Jessica Burkhart (book)

    “He was wearing one of my fave colors on him – a fire-engine-red tee. The color looked amaze against his pale skin.” p. 121

    • Deliver me from evil: a sadistic foster mother, a childhood torn apart, by Alloma Gilbert (book)
    • Pan’s whisper, by Sue Lawson (book)

    “Sorrow swoops in my chest like a swallow.” p. 135


    • Life after Beth (movie)
    • W.E. (movie)

    “Your majesty, you certainly know your way to a woman’s heart!” “I wasn’t aiming that high.”

    • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (movie)
    • Vampire Academy (movie)
    • A Little Help (movie)

    ‘You’re pretty sassy for a hygienist, aren’t ya?’

    • The Inbetweeners 2 (movie)
    • Sightseers (movie)

    “What were you like at school Chris?” “I wasn’t like anything, I was like, invisible.”

    “It’s a bloody heritage place! …They’ve not been preserved for hundreds of years so that wankers like that can use them like a bloody toilet!”

    “…That tree won’t involve itself in low-level bullying.”

    “Poor boy. Those cheap crisps are full of horrors.”

    “No, no, no, you don’t want clutter. You just want some plants and cushions and pictures and a tablecloth there…”

    • Cold hands, warm heart by Jill Wolfson (book)

    “What little social know-how I did possess came by analyzing characters on TV shows like reruns of Degrassi (both classic and Next Generation). I figured that if I 50 decided which character I most resembled, I’d have my social blueprint for knowing how to talk and act.” pp. 50-51

    “So did he think I was nice at least? Being nice wasn’t a bad thing to be. No, nice was awful. the worst. Nice was coddled eggs and applesauce. Nice was totally bland and forgettable.” p. 58

    “Everyone keeps talking about finding a heart for me, as though one were hidden behind the couch in a game of hide-and-seek, or it had been misplaced along with someone’s cell phone.” p. 60

    “…the exposed heart beat back and forth like a small animal that had been chased and was breathing hard, cornered in a cave of strange red rock.” p. 80

    • Bloodlines series, 1, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (book)
    • Bloodlines series, 2, The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (book)

    “Was he supposed to kiss me? Was I supposed to let him? Had that been the real price of my salad?” p. 88

    • Ondine: the summer of shambles by Ebony McKenna (book – pleasant but with some clear anti-vegetarian rhetoric, p. 182 and a steak rant, p. 166)

    “Laundry duty washed away another layer of skin, so really, all she had were memories.” p. 82

    “He gave her a grin hot enough to melt her slippers.” p. 256

    • Maze runner (movie)
    • Bonechiller by Graham McNamee (book)
    • The memory keeper’s daughter by Kim Edwards (book)

    “A film closed over the past as she spoke, a barrier as brittle and fragile as ice forming. It would grow and strengthen. It would become impenetrable, opaque.” p. 88

    “…for an instant she stood again amid the sound of rushing water form the mill, happiness as full around her as the night.” p. 89

    “The geode was warm and damp. He gave it a sharp crack on the rock, splitting it open to reveal its crystalline purple heart. “So beautiful,” Norah murmured, turning it in her hand. “Ancient seas,” David said. “The water got trapped inside and crystallized, over centuries.” p. 111

    “And the distance between them, millimeters only, the space of a breath, opened up and deepened, became a cavern at whose edge he stood.” p. 115

    “…she was excluded from the conversation: object, not subject.” p. 181

    • Magic bunny series, Holiday dreams by Sue Bentley (book)
    • The year my voice broke (movie)
    • The Jewel by Amy Ewing (book)

    Books across my desk

    Posted in blogjune
    June 27th, 2014


    Today’s books, clockwise:


    Desk book grab


    Luminous world: Contemporary art from the Wesfarmers collection. (2012). Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Press.

    (catalogue and postcard): because the exhibition at the National Library ends this weekend. The page edges are silvered.


    Bawden, L., Paton, J., & Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2004). Lionel Bawden: the spring tune. Dunedin, N.Z.: Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

    “Every now and then someone with an ear for numbers and no eye for art brandishes statistical proof that the average gallery-goer spends no more than, say, 12.5 seconds with the average artwork. Bawden’s thingamajigs put a dent in those statistics, and remind us that there’s no such thing as an average viewer or artwork.” – Justin Paton


    Berg, C., Hay, P., & Carnegie Gallery (2010). Waterfront. Hobart: Carnegie Gallery.

    My favourite photographer, I once went to a Christl Berg exhibition at Helen Maxwell’s gallery in Braddon which was really moving. Cut-out photos of roses were backed with hot pink so that they reflected back on the wall near the edges.


    Davenport, J. (2006). Ladybird, ladybird: the secrets of a sophisticated lady. Byron Bay: Imaginality.

    One of my next career ideas is as an entomologist. “In and out of flowers fair in your spotted underwear, spreading pollen like magic dust…” p. 26


    Bowman, K., & Craft Victoria (2004). These are the things that hold me here (a house, a vessel, a shell, a ring) : Katherine Bowman, 29 January-6 March 2004. Melbourne: Craft Victoria.

    “Bowman knows a house and wishes to describe it and its purpose as vehicle or receptacle of keepsakes and tokens – guardians of personal memories.” – Robert Baines


    I have learnt that if I want to remember a book or artist, I need to note down the details or they will be forever lost in the book labyrinth.



    Wheeled conundrum

    Posted in blogjune
    June 25th, 2014


    Sometimes it takes a while for a word to be dredged up from memory, a creaky filing cabinet that says “I just made you look like a crossword, how annoying to know the definition but not the thing!”. This week it took me the longest time to remember “sacrum”. My brain’s clue was: something sacred-ish below the kidneys. No wonder I didn’t guess it.


    After seeing the collections of happy accidents in google book scans, I decided to never let a book go past if I wanted to remember something about it. So I take a quick picture because I’ve also realised that it will fade into the rest of the day, never to return. Faded book covers show memories, shelving and give a sense of how long the book has rested between being touched.


    Faded Manet book cover - front

    Manet approaches


    I like the faded Rothko-esque framing device – on both sides – of this Manet book. I imagine the books pressed their bodies together during a Yves Klein performance, they desperately tried to preserve the original colour of the cover before it altered like etching plates left out for a while (without proper cleaning).


    Faded Manet book cover

    Manet retreats


    The shadow makes it seem as though our covergirl is leaving, or that it’s a portrait in the round. I wish I’d checked the spine.


    Wheely thingys

    Wheely thingys


    It could be worse, though – what if you had to make a sign and could only think of “wheely thingys”? The picture is fuzzy because I was laughing, and trying to remember the proper term.



    Book collection in Candybar

    Posted in blogjune
    June 22nd, 2014


    My book collection – the entire sum of my own private library. I used to buy books all the time, but when I started doing interlibrary loans, I had less of an ownership need (unless we had a deep soul connection). I’ve borrowed from Snail’s admirable shelf by shelf approach. I am actually very gentle and careful with books from libraries and other people, and I considered restacking things before I took the picture, but at least this is real!


    Book cupboard



    Above the cupboard (not shown): pieces of bark, Perspex dollhouse, box, painted canvas.


    First shelf: sketch books (empty and filled), art catalogues, cookbooks, VHS, aromatherapy books, fiction, travel and Footrot Flats books belonging to Mr. S. Plus a tin that I bought at Benedict House and an icon that was a gift.


    Middle shelf:  cookbooks, spirituality/sex books (I normally hide these if someone is staying in the room), business cards, gallstone jewellery, fiction, art books and golden books (we bought these at a fete, having the crazy idea that they would be huge money spinners).


    Lower shelf: cookbooks/history and aquarium books belonging to Mr. S, Norwegian language books/sets, art books, and at least one book that I need to return to a friend. Plus a heart-shaped leaf and some breadtags.


    Gangles does a brave deed

    Gangles dancing by N. Young


    My favourite fiction book is Gangles (top shelf in the messy bit), it is by Ronald McCuaig (illustrated by Noela Young) and I’ve had it since I was little. Fitting, as I grew up in its setting of Canberra (although it is called Candybar). Even the Canberra Times is the Candybar Times.


    “Candybar is a city with gardens growing out of it, and houses, among them two Houses of Parliament, a university and the Governor’s palace.

    Gangles used to live on one of the mountains surrounding the city. When they put a lake in the middle of the city and a fountain in the middle of the lake, Gangles went to live on top of the fountain.” p. 1.


    If you look carefully at Captain Cook fountain, sometimes Gangles is dancing there.


    “Not everyone who comes to Candybar sees Gangles. …the spurts of water that rise and fall at the very top of the fountain are Gangles’ hair. It is long and bleached in the sun. And when the wind blows the fountain in a mist across the lake and the sun shines through in all those rainbow colours – that is Gangles’ dress.” pp. 124-[125].


    You can see what looks like the National Gallery on the right hand side of the picture. I used to have many more books but they were destroyed in a flood, so perhaps my reluctance to purchase books is really from unresolved grief.



    McCuaig, R., & Young, N. (1972). Gangles. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.



    Ye olde loldogs

    Posted in blogjune
    June 13th, 2014


    Back in the day if you had a ravenous appetite for cute pictures, you were kind of stuck with joke books or terrible Anne Geddes baby photo albums. This was pre-lolcats, and I desperately wanted some squee in my life. I had lofty goals of a friendship with a cat or puppy, but I had to settle on having the Addams family equivalent: some dead grasshoppers in a matchbox (it was their little bed, pimped out with some comfy tissues). I used to pat them but they weren’t very interactive. True story.


    Now that I have 2 cats (don’t worry they are not the matchbox type), I sometimes borrow cat-related books in the hope that they might read them with me or be impressed that there are cats on the cover. I once knew a kitten who thought a large cat on a calendar was challenging his territory so he attacked it. The calendar fell over.


    Cat recipe book

    Lucifer liver


    This is a recent loan – I think the recipe titles give the impression that the person is cooking a cat to eat. Or is that just me?


    Dog reflections book

    Pocket dog!


    And for balance, ye olde loldogs! (there were overarching photographer credits in the frontispiece, I’m sorry I’m unsure who took these ones) This is a 1977 book on feeding pets, I like all the different words for animal-like human behaviour.



    Carter, Jean S. & Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Great Britain).  (1977).  Living with a gourmet pet : a most unusual bedside cookbook.  [Burwood, Vic.] :  Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


    Toshack, Marie.  (1997).  The kitty cafe : healthy, easy to prepare, homemade food for your cat.  Sydney :  Hodder Headline



    In the night

    Posted in blogjune
    June 11th, 2014


    This week I felt rather frustrated with ISBN barcodes being placed right near the spot where we put library barcodes. During the book design process, maybe someone thought it was a good or handy spot if the book was being sold – easy to scan and get the cash! However, think of the library staff who need to add a barcode so the item is trackable for their collection. Every time you try and scan it with the barcode wand, it picks up the ISBN barcode. In the midst of being annoyed – and I know it sounds petty, it’s just tedious as it happens a lot – I found this lovely quote from Karol Hiller in the usual barcoding area.


    "In the night which surrounds us only human creation traces the way". - K. Hiller, 1933

    “In the night…”


    Karol Hiller was a Polish artist in the 30s who invented heliographs, or “picture writing”. A negative (heliographic plate, originally glass and then transparent celluloid) is prepared with chemicals, powders and other materials for different textural effects. The plate is then exposed to light, if this is then pressed to sensitive paper, it provides a source of almost endless prints of the image (see Nakov’s essay for further details).


    I’m glad of having a nice surprise at opening a book instead of having the wrong barcode disrupt my enjoyment.



    Collages and reliefs: 1910-1945, essay by Jane Beckett and Hiller-heliographs, essay by Andrei Nakov. London: Annely Juda Fine Art, 1982.



    Book checkers

    Posted in blogjune
    June 2nd, 2014


    I often have overdue books. I like to think it’s because as a librarian, I spend a lot of time as a flesh equivalent of a due-date reminder for others about their own loans. At birth, we’re allocated a finite amount of brain power dedicated to returning books. Library professionals altruistically gift this allocation to their borrowers and in turn are constantly in the “recalcitrant borrower” shackles. Inspired by Hoi’s “Check in”.


    When I worked in a police library, it was a running joke to call librarians “book enforcement officers”. I am actually fairly relaxed, but borrowers with a guilty conscience see any library staff member, and gain an expression of melancholic despair (and sense of impending doom) as though they’ve suddenly noticed Jack Frost tapping on the windowpane. They back away slowly and whisper, “I was just about to return those…” I know of a library that has a lending policy date of several years, this alleviates their storage issues.


    Mr. Cat and library books

    Mr. Cat the voracious reader


    Here are some books we borrowed for a relative recovering for surgery – it’s luxurious being able to select lots of library books for someone as there isn’t the awkward burden of buying them the wrong book. However there is the need to return them! Shamefully overdue.



    Lorraine on looking great: my guide for real women by Lorraine Kelly

    I didn’t realise that Lorraine Kelly was famous, but I was lured in by the book cover which would be great to hold up to other passengers on the bus. Lots of exercise routines and a good suggestion of rolling a tennis ball under each foot (whilst sitting!) to soothe sore feet.


    The preserving book, editor-in-chief Lynda Brown with Carolyn Humphries and Heather Whinney

    I’d need to renew this to get the most out of it, I’ve only ever made jam in the bread maker and I was surprised at recipes like pickled walnuts – sounds dreadful!


    You are what you wear: what your clothes reveal about you by Jennifer J. Baumgartner

    The psychology of dress! Fun for understanding your own and others’ fashion choices. The thinking woman’s Colour me beautiful/confident. Lots of self-tests about overbuying and appearance anxiety, with chapters focused on lifestyle and not just clothing.


    Work your wardrobe... by Gok Wan, pp. [176-7].

    Handbag hoard


    Work your wardrobe: Gok’s gorgeous guide to style that lasts by Gok Wan

    An instance where you read the book in the author’s voice! There’s no way I could ever buy a white shirt despite it having “…such fabulous fashion potential!” p. [17]. I just don’t have it in me. A puzzling 2-page spread of a lady disrobed but for some handbags – a statement about leather? (pp. [176-7])


    Living normally: where life comes before style by Trevor Naylor; photographs by Niki Medlik

    “A show-home lifestyle is impossible for most of us. …Acres of paint, hours of TV and millions of pounds of advertising serve to idealize how our interiors should be.” – Naylor, pp. 6-7.


    A refreshing book that shows the importance of homes being welcoming and as working symbols of what is important, interior design programs do the same soul-crucifying work to houses as beauty magazines do to self-confidence.



    We did borrow books apart from ones focusing on appearance (which is a rather insensitive topic when someone’s been in hospital), but they have already been returned, so I guess these were the winners. Or as someone told me once “It took me longer to return this book because it was so boring, I needed more time to try and get through it.” At least both our patient and I enjoyed them, so that’s double value (like brewing tea several times – bargain! When you sacrifice your “return books” brain cells you need to save money somewhere to pay the overdue fines).



    Ten bashful mermaids

    Posted in blogjune
    June 1st, 2014


    Happy first day of blogjune! You can see all the participants on Flexnib’s list, she has also put together this blogjune file for your RSS reader.



    I’m trying to keep better track my reading this year by following another librarian’s example …but I realise that I’ve already changed the list parameters. I wasn’t counting non-fiction books which would greatly expand my count, but it’d also mean I was including books I hadn’t read cover-to-cover. Brings to mind a Cathy cartoon where she started a new year’s resolution of keeping a diary, but used the wrong colour pen so it was ruined. I will continue and aim for a December 2014 list of my inhaled fiction books & movies.


    Of the well-read books list from K, I have only read 6% which is a poor result:


    63. Life of pi by Yann Martel

    64. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

    65. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    99. 1984 by George Orwell

    100. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James



    I could work through the list, but so far I’ve focused on fun books like Tom Holt’s Doughnut, which is like a sweetly salted cookie packed with beautiful descriptive chocolate chips. My favourite quotes:


    “She’d sort of ground to a halt, and was looking hopefully at him, like a dog that can see the biscuit in its owner’s hand.” p. 21


    “That drip-drip noise you can hear is my heart bleeding.” p. 176


    Giraffe toys and toes in the tub

    Pink mermaids



    “He lay back and stared at his little pink toes,

    which rose up out of the froth like ten bashful mermaids.” p. 328


    You can even take a quiz on Holt’s site to find out the perfect love-match book for you. Spoiler: it seems to only choose between 2 of his titles! Doughnut is the first I’ve read by I’m happy to try out some bibliographic polyandry.



    Ampersand Duck studio visit

    December 9th, 2013


    The ARLIS/ANZ ACT chapter were very lucky to visit the studio of Caren Florance: book maker/designer, artist and letterpress printer.  Caren collaborates with writers and artists to produce traditional printing adventures (fine press volumes, chapbooks and broadsheets) and the less conventional (zines, mail art, artist’s books and digital works). Florance’s personal practice is undertaken through Ampersand Duck, “a private press with a twist based in Canberra” (Ampersand Duck (April 2008). Snail Mail One, p. [1].).


    ARLIS/ANZ with Caren Florance

    ARLIS/ANZ ACT chapter members with Caren Florance


    Finding the stories and process behind Caren’s beautiful letterpress creations was a revelation and rekindled the joy of touching deckle-edged, feathery papers of her books. Poetry married page through traditional printing, from heavily embossed imposed words to letters gently kissing the surface of the paper leaving ink remnants and memories. We saw works at the zygote stage with setting the letters and proofing, through to completed bound books with poetry by Rosemary Dobson and a typeset artist book with linocuts by G.W. Bot and poems by Anne Kirker.

    Caren also supports emerging artists through the Ampersand Duck Broadside Residency, by providing graduating students an opportunity to work in the studio and produce an edition of prints using handset letterpress. The studio is filled with work in progress by the residents, as well as completed books and prints by established artists. Nicci Haynes, an artist friend, has condensed the whole of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake – you can see it in the poster behind the cat below. Sadly we didn’t get to meet the other cats on this occasion.


    Materials in the studio of Caren Florance

    Materials with Nikki Haynes’ Finnegans Wake print


    We are delighted that many posters, artist’s books, zines (and even more!) made by Ampersand Duck are held at the National Library – they are also in other public and private collections nationally and internationally. One of the zines even has a view of Studio Duck, compare it with the photo from our visit (at the top):


    A view of Studio Duck as documented in Snail no. 2, November 2011.  Behind the zine: an Ampersand Duck poster.

    A view of Studio Duck from Snail no. 2.


    Thank you Caren for welcoming us to your studio and providing an insight into your working process. We look forward to having more artist studio visits during our 2014 program.

    To find out more about Ampersand Duck’s letterpress universe, see her site and personal blog. Or explore the various print offerings!



    Drugs library please with a cherry on top

    Posted in Lifestyle
    December 6th, 2013


    The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) has lost its funding, so their library is also out like the baby with the bathwater. ADCA provides a drug resource service (National Drugs Sector Information Service, NDSIS) to support those working to prevent or reduce the harm to individuals, families, communities and the nation caused by alcohol and other drugs. This includes non-government agencies (such as those addressing homelessness); government departments, police and prison services, health professionals, professional organisations and more.


    Identifying and disseminating this supporting evidence is a large task done by some of ADCA’s 15 staff members: librarians, library technicians and experienced library staff – it’s a small yet important organisation. This national information clearinghouse for the Australian alcohol and other drugs field was established in 1974, and the huge collection has made an invaluable contribution to our health legislation. In addition to assisting ADCA clients, another benefit (Shelling, 2006) arising from the continual task of collating and curating this information is the DRUG database through RMIT, Informit. Without monthly database updates, the reduced currency of the database will have detrimental impacts on the health professionals that rely on it to provide contemporary research outcomes, meaning that they cannot provide the best patient care.


    Jane Shelling (Manager NDSIS at ADCA), discusses the important role of the ADCA library:


    “Perhaps the biggest benefit of working for this NGO [ADCA], and the reason staff retention is so high, is that you truly belong to a special sector. The NRC [National Resource Centre, now NDSIS] is assisting people from all over Australia who are working in varying capacities to help those with alcohol and other drug problems. Many are not well paid and are themselves working for a non-government agency but are passionate about their work and grateful to library staff who help them with research and information gathering.” (Shelling, 2008, p. 11).


    In a presentient article, Shelling also observed the growing trend of library closures in the addiction field in the US, and how in Australia, “…librarians need to speak out, advocate within our own organisations and out in the real world for quality information, libraries, and LIS professionals… Infiltrate and promote at all opportunities: special libraries are worth the effort not just to LIS professionals or researchers but to everyone. Find your voice and make it heard.” (Shelling, 2012, p. 3).


    We all need to find our voice to stand up for ADCA library, as without their contribution, people working with those most at risk will be deprived of evidence-based research assistance. The ADCA library has such a diverse range of clients because “…alcohol and drugs can touch all parts of society.” (Shelling, 2012b), and it is to everyone’s benefit to maintain this service.


    The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is waging a campaign against the defunding, going directly to Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash’s home town of Young, NSW tomorrow during the National Cherry Festival. It is hoped that this presence will highlight the damage caused by the decision to cease funding ADCA’s vital work. Please join ALIA in fighting for ADCA library! You can find out more about the campaign, visit the National Cherry Festival this Saturday 7 December (tomorrow!), tell others about the issue with the hashtag #saveADCA, and sign the petition, or text “save the books” to 0426 143 349.


    If this isn’t enticing enough, the National Cherry Festival itself has a wonderful program so you can display your ADCA library support at all the different activities. I can testify that the Wilders Bakery Cherry Pie Eating Championships are a highlight, registration is at 2pm on Saturday. Here is my less than successful attempt from 2009 – I have spared you the most graphic shots. I took my strategy from a portly young man competing before me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have viewed him as a mentor, as he was a bit unwell after competing in several heats. It’s a long story!


    Wilders Bakery Cherry Pie Eating Championships 2009, Sonja

    Amy (Cherry Queen 2009) watches the carnage


    My thoughts and best wishes are with ADCA and their staff, I hope that the festival stall on Saturday will contribute to a revision of the funding decision. Remember to tear yourself away from the pies, and find out more about ADCA library at ALIA’s stall, then even visit Young’s own South-West Regional Library branch (open M-F 9-5 and Saturdays 9:30-2).





    Shelling, J. (2006). ADCA recommends… alcohol and other drugs resources for the health library. Incite. 27, 25.


    Shelling, J. (2008). Working for a Non-government Special Library. Incite. 29, 11.


    Shelling, J. (2012a). Collective amnesia – are we complicit in the closure of special libraries?. Incite. 33, 3.


    Shelling, J. (2012b). A push technology personal librarian project. Australian Academic & Research Libraries. 43, 135-145.



    Friday triangle perambulations

    Posted in Canberra
    August 17th, 2013


    Yesterday was a great balance of work and play – but not much rest as I’ve been a couch sleeper for a few days. This is because Ms Cat is healing from nerve damage, so she is isolated in her bedroom with Mr S, so Mr Cat and I are banished to the couch. If it meant that Ms Cat was rehabilitated, I would be happy to be a sofa lady forever.


    So to wake up a bit, I walked around the Parliamentary Triangle, and as I reached the summit of the little hill near the Gallery of Australian Design, two birds (swallows?) flew circles around me like they were using ribbons as a lasso in a charming Disney special. I hope it wasn’t an elaborate form of swooping, which gives the experience an air of malice. I will imagine it was a flying hug. The sun was finally gleaming and all the Reconciliation Place sculptures near the Portrait Gallery and Questacon were glistening.


    When I reached the National Library there was a swarm of children getting excited about Children’s Book Week winners. The winner’s list makes a nice little poem: Sea Hearts, Children of the King, The Terrible Suitcase, The Coat, Tom the Outback Mailman & A Forest.


    I managed to avoid the crowd and enjoyed Jyll Bradley’s City of Trees exhibition, but I forgot to collect my free poster. The first works in the exhibition are my favourite, the branches shimmer and sway as you walk past, like the twinkling of a heatwave. Outside, I noticed this sweet (yet savage) bike!


    Bike outside National Library of Australia, Canberra

    Angry bike


    Continuing with happy experiences, it was great that the National Library’s Bookplate restaurant was able to create a vegan salad on the spot for the same price ($15.90) as their “regular” Caesar salad. It’s my hope that one day there will be more options for diverse dietary choices in the Parliamentary Triangle.


    Shadow of Diamonds

    Diamonds’ shadow


    I walked past the National Gallery and saw that the cast shadow of Neil Dawson’s Diamonds (2002, Sculpture, aluminium extrusion and mesh painted with synthetic polymer automotive paints, stainless steel fittings and cables) casts a shadow reminiscent of the silhouette of an icon in popular culture.



    Enjoy the weekend, see some art, and remember to “Read across the universe” as advised by Children’s Book Week, 2013. Or just keep things horizontal a la Ms Cat.



    Working with words and puppies

    Posted in Books
    July 22nd, 2013


    Recently, ANZSI ACT’s Denise Sutherland hosted a “Working with words” talk which gave us an insight into her crossword and puzzle creation process. ANZSI is the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers, and Denise is one of their fabulous members – she’s a multi-faceted author, indexer, editor, graphic designer, puzzler and knitter, see her work at her app-book-puzzle-indexing site. The next ANZSI ACT event is a tour of the National Gallery of Australia Research Library (2 August), they usually do things like talks by information type guests, tours and offer training courses.


    Denise created a crossword puzzle before our very eyes, it included Baked Alaska (5, 6 …I can’t recall the description – perhaps, Scandinavian egg dish as it’s also known as Norwegian omelette). Part of this involved wildcard searching for words to fill in the puzzle blanks, a creative use of Boolean search operators. It was interesting to see the black-out shapes change in the different puzzle templates, Denise has also invented Secret Shapes, so when you finish the crossword puzzle, the remaining letter squares can be coloured in to make a picture.


    Canberra Puzzle Books by Denise Sutherland

    Denise’s Canberra Puzzles


    Denise is being mentioned a book about the Centenary of the Crossword – in a section about crossword censorship! (the mind boggles…) She wrote The Canberra Puzzle Book: Our History & Heritage in 2005 – a nice book to have in the coincidental Centenary of Canberra & Crosswords.


    Before this talk, my main experience with crosswords was mostly peripheral – my grandparents were keen puzzlers and would work on  their crosswords every day. Their favourite crossword dictionary was used so religiously that there was a hole in the front cover (where you place your left thumb while flicking the pages). There was a whole setup of the dictionary, crossword clipboards and magnifying glass on their coffee table. Denise and Ralph have designed several puzzle apps, and I know that if my Grandpa was still around he’d be very keen to use them – his interest in technology was lifelong . Back in the day he introduced punch cards into the ABS, and was always learning – he progressed to writing books on his computer and towards the end of his earthly life, was downloading classical music. I am sure he is a heavy app user now, if they’ve fixed the internet options in Valhalla.


    Petal with Denise’s publications

    Petal loves crosswords


    Supporting Denise’s talk were doggies Petal and Griff – like her Mama, Petal is a keen knitter. Petal also features in Denise’s co-authored Guide for Adults with Hip Dysplasia, and she and brother Griff also star in her puzzling blog – check out Petal in a top hat, adorable!


    In related news, the Canberra Library Tribe is very lucky to have Denise as one of the guest speakers for our upcoming Library Career Soiree, 6pm Friday 30 August at A Bite to Eat, Chifley shops. It’s a very informal event, and our speakers will chat about library career experience, or provide a different view of information careers like Denise’s experience as a captive cruciverbalist. RSVP at the Canberra Library Tribe facebook page or eventbrite.


    Thanks Denise for regaling us with your tales of crossword creation and publishing, and we look forward to your talk at the Library Career Soiree.



    Car strine

    Posted in blogjune, Books
    June 13th, 2013


    Today I described a less-than-ideal car to a colleague, and she labelled it a “brumby”. I thought this was very unusual, so I have checked for the term in many Australian slang books and I can’t find it listed anywhere. I would have usually labelled such a mechanical battler as a lemon or a bomb.


    Australian slang books

    Australian slang books


    One could say it “Handles like a bag of shit tied with a piece of string in the middle” (Howey, 2012, p. 17).


    I couldn’t find brumby listed for “dud car”, only as a “wild horse, similar to a mustang” (Tuffley, 2012, p. 11), a “wild outlaw horse” (McCulloch, 2010, p. 8) “…especially one descended from runaway stock.” ( Lambert, 2004, p. 30).



    A great project about Australian words is the Ozwords blog, they recently featured the distinctly Canberra words “guvvie” and “ex-guvvie”, I hadn’t realised it was a regional term.



    Here are some Australian slang words/terms I wish I hadn’t learnt:



    Bondi cigar = Turd in the water (Lumsden-Ablan & Ablan, 2011, p. 10)


    Rat coffin = A meat pie (Hunter, 2004, p. 87)


    Unit = Big muscle man (Lumsden-Ablan & Ablan, 2011, p. 68)


    Mystery bags = Sausages, so named because offal is sometimes used as a bulking agent. (Tuffley p. 36)


    Bride’s nightie = A level of great speed. ‘He took off like a bride’s nightie.’ (“Blind Freddy” & Miller, 1988, unpaged)


    Yonnie = Skimming stone (Lumsden-Ablan & Ablan, 2011, p. 74)



    A friend said that brumbies were  imported cars with a questionable reputation, so perhaps it is just a localised term. After writing all this and feeling thoroughly confused, I think I may have misheard, as I’ve now found a listing for:


    Brummy = inexpensive; of poor or inferior quality (Australian slang, 2008 p. 41).


    I guess my hearing is a bit brummy, ay (a word used at the end of a sentence, Lumsden-Ablan & Ablan, 2011, p. 7).





    (2008).  Australian slang.  Camberwell, Vic :  Penguin books


    Blind Freddy. & Miller, Dennis.  (1988).  The Australian dictionary of insults and vulgarities.  Castle Hill, N.S.W :  Peter Antill-Rose and Associates


    Howey, Andrew.  (2010).  Aussie slang pictorial : what’s it like mate.  Melbourne, Vic :  Brolga Pub


    Hunter, Jenny.  (2004).  The true blue guide to Australian slang.  Frenchs Forest, NSW :  New Holland Publishers


    Lambert, James.  (2004).  Macquarie Australian slang dictionary : complete & unabridged.  Macquarie University, N.S.W :  Macquarie Library


    Laugesen, Amanda. (2013, May 22). Canberra word: guvvie (and ex-guvvie). Retrieved from http://ozwords.org/?p=4586


    Lumsden-Ablan, Melanie. & Ablan, Roque Bo.  (2011).  Oz’isms : a tourist’s guide & a giggle : Australian ‘fun’etic slangwich : it’s not wat ya say it’s ‘ow ya say it–.  Gordon, N.S.W :  Sagamore


    McCulloch, Marie.  (2010).  ‘Ripsnorter’ : book of Aussie words & sayings.  [La Trobe, Tas.] :  Marie. I. McCulloch


    Tuffley, David.  (2012).  Australian slang : a dictionary.  [Australia] :  Altiora Publications



    Floriography telephonics

    Posted in blogjune, Lifestyle
    June 4th, 2013


    Today I re-learnt how to use a cassette tape player, discovered the term “bridal brain” (thanks to a colleague!) and got some impromptu yoga tuition in the work hallway.


    I also started to organise a soiree for the Canberra Library Tribe (Save the date! It’s 6pm, Friday 30 August) which will remain mysterious until we release the invitation into the wild.


    Book, Language of Australian Flowers, 1891

    Floriography book, 1891


    Then I read about flower language for my bouquet “research”. I found a lovely little book from 1891, “The Language of Australian Flowers” in which the editor notes:


    “In the present edition it has been thought advisable to include a selection from the Flora of Australia and New Zealand, and it is confidently believed that the “LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS” will play no mean or unimportant part in promoting the federation of the Australian colonies.”


    Sounds like tall poppies! I was pleased to see that dandelions (our courtyard’s featured flower of choice) means “Permission to call.”


    I will be installing some little telephone boxes for the local flora and fauna to endlessly phone the beguiling and genuinely interested Podolepis acuminata.

    …they might put a hold on calls if they read Sandy Griswold’s ode to The Lowly Dandelion with its “lovely golden blossoms” and “pretty topaz diadem”. Permission to call!




    Canberra art exhibition opening crawl

    April 12th, 2013


    Last night there were four art exhibition openings in Canberra, all starting at 6pm. Is that a record? I attended them all – briefly – just to confirm it was possible! It took just under 2 hours and only 22 kilometres of travel. The sheer volume of exhibition openings demonstrates that there is a lot happening in Canberra, but perhaps it could be better coordinated – a similar issue to some of the Centenary events’ scheduling proximity. To address this kind of calendar bulge, Genevieve has suggested that ACT-based galleries could plan their exhibition openings with staggered starting times, with a dedicated arty bus for assisted crowd control.


    While the arty bus would need to be a regular, possibly fortnightly, endeavour, it has already occurred as a one-off celebratory occasion. This  project occurred in September 2012 – Craft ACT’s “Capital of Culture” bus tour. I heard it gave a wonderful experience of either North or South cultural tours during Floriade (possibly too much of a time chunk, though), but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend. The Tour Guide is worth downloading just for the lovely design, but could also be reused as a fun gallery Bingo sheet. Last night’s openings could have had a Bingo sheet! I wonder if anyone else was able to attend all of them?


    Visual Arts Graduate Season 2013

    ANU School of Art Gallery, ACT (till 27 April 2013)


    Artworks by Christina Clarke at ANU SoFA Gallery

    Modern tools by Christina Clarke

    2 artists are exhibiting their Doctor of Philosophy works, with Christina Clarke’s Greek Bronze Age vessel contrasting with James Steele’s photographic works exploring place and identity. There is so much movement and information in the exhibition, with James’ projected images as well as videos of Christina’s process for painstakingly creating a hydria, that it has to be seen in person.


    You can see Christina’s final piece in the 1/2013 exhibition catalogueLM IIIA1 Hydria (2012) on pages 12 and 13 and James’ work on pages 28 and 29. The image on the left shows part of Christina’s process for creating Greek Bronze Age vessels.



    100% Books by Canberra Artists, curated by Ampersand Duck

    Watson Arts Centre, 1 Aspinall Street Watson ACT (till 28 April 2013)


    Signage and artworks in 100% Books by Canberra artists exhibition, Watson Arts Centre

    100% Books with Shells by Genevieve Swifte

    20 artists from Canberra take part in the region’s long history of book production. Each artist is exhibiting both old and new work to show their developing interest in the book form. The exhibition hopes to “…challenge notions of what a book can be in an art context. From fine press through to more sculptural pieces to street press and zines, this exhibition provides a mere sample of the breadth of contemporary book arts.” (Watson Arts Centre, Sales Catalogue, April 2013, p. [1]).


    In the image you can catch a glimpse of Genevieve Swifte’s Shells (2006): Hand sewn boat-like structures, paper, linen impregnated with salt. The salty threads have a rhythmic sense of the tide that simultaneously give movement to the vessels but also anchor them in white space, like the flow of words in a conversation that sometimes get moored in a speech bubble.




    pod, Shop 11, Lonsdale Street Traders, 24 Lonsdale Street,  Braddon ACT (till 21 April 2013)


    FIVEFOLD exhibition installation at pod, Lonsdale Street Traders

    Jewellery by FIVEFOLD artists

    5 contemporary Canberra jewellers have joined forces as FIVEFOLD, an artist-run design collective, and this was their first inaugural exhibition. In the pod space, plinths have emerged like stalagmites bearing glittering trophies as sacrifices to the Lonsdale Street Trader entities. Danyka Van Buuren’s hoops have mysteriously transformed sequins into elegant colour blocks and the other pieces were enticing but tricky to get up close as there were lots of people!


    The exhibition invitation is a very pretty DIY five-fold brooch – I made mine in the car so the crumpled state didn’t fully reach the attractiveness potential, I also didn’t have a pin so I just stuck it down my shirt. Other more organised people had very smooth brooches and one of them would have won a limited-edition handmade Shibuichi sterling silver brooch. There are detailed folding instructions for the invitation from FIVEFOLD’s Tumblr. As a librarian it’s exciting to see unusual invitations, as art libraries collect art ephemera as information on artists and exhibitions. This means that people can see the brooch invitation in the future as a resource to contextualise the artists’ work, and to see ephemera (invitations, posters, business cards) as art in their own right.



    THROWAWAY: exhibition by Holly Granville-Edge

    Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS), 19 Furneaux Street, Manuka ACT (till 21 April 2013)

    Artworks in Holly Granville-Edge's exhibition

    THROWAWAY exhibition installation view



    Holly Granville-Edge’s photos play with the idea of manufactured sentimentality and value in the captured image. The exhibition includes a collection of “dusty junk-shop picture frames scrounged from op shops”, which charmingly contain their own portraits with eerie self-awareness of their new-found meaning and artistic elevation. Escape down the rabbit hole.






    Norwegian word a day

    Posted in Norwegian
    January 31st, 2013


    I’m cultivating a new habit to practice Norwegian every day, to make it easier when I visit there and make drawings amongst the fjords and mountains (plus it will help me communicate with my family!).


    After I spent a lot of money on “normal” language resources I realised it was more helpful to watch TV series with Norsk subtitles. Using different language subtitles with your favourite shows can also give you a better insight into the program’s subject matter. Desperate Housewives has such an intense focus on food – many repetitions of spise (eat) and middag (dinner), unsurprisingly another top hit was elsker (love). But if I had Will Powell’s realtime translation glasses then I wouldn’t have to do all that searching. In the meantime I’ll watch my backlog of Grey’s Anatomy first (in Norsk, naturally!).


    Norwegian sweater by my Farmor, gloves I bought from a Laplander, requisite Norsk dictionary and a little wolf (it had a nose but the cats ate it).

    Learn Norwegian kit!


    So how do you find which TV shows and movies have the subtitles you need? This is where extra information in library catalogue records comes in handy, if the subtitle information is included then of course it’s searchable. Here’s how to find DVDs with subtitles of your language of interest, keeping in mind that there will be display and menu variations between library catalogues:


    First, get a moment alone with your regular library’s catalogue, or for a bigger overview, use the general Trove site which is the library catalogue for the whole of Australia (I know! It’s mind-boggling).


    From the Advanced search option, use an “any keyword” or “general” field and type in your language, e.g. “Norwegian” and combine it with the word “subtitle*” (using an asterisk might be a help or a hindrance – at the moment you’re searching for subtitle/s, but if it doesn’t work just remove it).


    If you don’t get the results you seek, try using the name of the language itself, i.e. “Norsk”.

    Still no results? What about looking at the format menu (this tells you the materials being searched, so you can restrict your results to just one type), select limits of “All DVD” or video or video-captioned or AV materials. If these options aren’t available, another workaround is to include a general search term “videorecording”. Even if you want a DVD (not a VHS), this will still work for some items, as this word can be used in the title description. However, some libraries have changed this to state DVD.



    The results will really vary based on the Norwegian vs. Norsk search terms, “Norwegian” was certainly more successful in terms of results in this Trove example search. Notice how some results are in “Books” and after scrolling, some are in “Music, sound and video”. I’m sure someone has created a guided search to make getting these results in any library catalogue much easier!


    I’m tweeting my progress and will cluster the results to make a little vocabulary list so that my Dad can see that I’m doing my Norwegian homework! (or you might like to learn with me). #EttOrdOmDagen


    (note on the image: the orange jumper was knitted by my very talented Farmor, and the little wolf badge used to have a nose but the cats ate it.)