I’m always astounded by the television program, Border Security. I’m not interested in the immigration issues or drug busts – it’s the people bringing fruit, vegetables, live seafood and meat into Australia that is fascinating. Invariably, they’re in the ‘nothing to declare’ line when airport officials open their suitcases to find kilos of unidentifiable meat, plants and seeds, and they feign surprise. For my overseas readers, you basically can’t bring ANYTHING into Australia – we have the world’s strictest quarantine and biosecurity laws (remember Johnny Depp’s dogs?).
So it was with a mixture of interest and amazement that I read Gerald Durrell’s memoir, A Zoo in My Luggage. It’s an account of Durrell’s trip to what was then the British Cameroons in West Africa (now part of northern Nigeria and Cameroon), during which he and his wife captured animals to start their own zoo. The book concludes with their return to England, and how he managed his menagerie while he found a permanent home for them (they lived in his back yard and then later in the basement of a department store). Continue reading
Three thoughts on Undue Influence by Anita Brookner:
01. Never have I wanted to shake a character hard and say “Get a grip” as much as I have wanted to with Claire Pitt. Continue reading
Anticipating: the Marimekko exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery. Continue reading
I loved The Ice Storm by Rick Moody. It’s a brutal, sad story.
There’s not much to like about the characters but there’s lots to like in Moody’s words. This book was extremely visual for me – perhaps because I saw And Lee’s insanely good movie version of the story years ago, or perhaps it’s because Moody has created a distinct sense of place and time. Either way, writing a review wasn’t working so I’ve gone with an audio approach.
I Write the Songs / Barry Manilow
Once his dreams had been songs. He’d been a balladeer of promise and opportunity. Continue reading
I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.
I don’t mean this Taylor:
A friend and I have been talking about a weekend in Sydney for about four years – we finally made it happen. When we last travelled to Sydney together it was 1990 and we stayed at a youth hostel, went clubbing every night and recovered during the day. And laughed for a week. We had as many laughs this time but the focus was on fabulous restaurants and cultural activities other than clubbing.
We kicked off our stay with frosè and views at Henry Deane’s. Continue reading
01. YES. Finally. Now it’s up to the politicians to make it happen. Quickly. Continue reading
01. Converse make my feet hurt but I really want these or these (particularly because I missed out on these beauties from Gorman despite getting there on the day they were released). Continue reading
You know I hate the term ‘quirky’, right? Anyway, The Reminders by Val Emmich is an
quirky off-beat story – not as mad as something like The Portable Veblen but certainly a little odd.
Ten-year-old Joan Lennon Sully has an amazing gift – HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory). She remembers everything that has happened to her in detail. However, Joan knows that most people don’t have a memory like hers and after watching her grandma suffer from Alzheimer’s, she understands what it means to forget –
Grandma Joan had to throw me out of her brainbox so she could have enough room for the lyrics to all her favourite songs. She remembered those until the day she died (Saturday, October 8, 2011). Continue reading
There were only two things (very, very small things) that I liked about Nantucket by Harrison Young –
1. The house described in the book. I have very fixed and romantic ideas about US East Coast holiday destinations.
2. The fact that the main character’s wife greets guests arriving by plane or ferry with a thermos of gin and tonic. That seems sensible. Continue reading