Reading and Listening

Up until this past year I’ve been an “old school” reader preferring books to electronic forms of reading. A lot of people I know have been switching to downloading their books or listening to audiobooks instead.

I have a lot of books and I don’t necessarily want to get rid of them but I decided that some type of device would be useful for travelling. When I regularly travelled to Hobart and to Oatlands I usually had a “bus book” with me. However, I didn’t want to carry a huge pile of books when we went cruising so I bought a Kindle. Initially, I’d tried reading on a tablet but the Kindle is better as the screen is easier to read even outdoors.

I discovered that a lot of books are very cheap, some even free. A lot of those are a bit lightweight but sometimes when I’m tired I just want to read something and I don’t need it to be too deep. However, sometimes I find one I really like for just a couple of dollars, a bit like finding a hidden gem in a secondhand bookshop. I do have a wish list of books I’d like to read and some of those cost more but over time I’ll get them unless I find them in the Op Shop first of course.

More recently I decided to give audio books a try. I started off with Paul Theroux’s “Deep South”. I had mixed feelings about that. I had wanted to read the book for a long time but I didn’t like the reader’s voice that much.  I will get the rest of his travel books either in Kindle or regular book form. Then I bought “Fahrenheit 451”. I read that book in high school so I thought I’d enjoy it but I didn’t like that reader’s voice either and kept falling asleep listening to it.

Once I realised that voices mattered I decided to be more careful about selecting books. My next choice was “A Christmas Carol” read by Patrick Stewart. A favourite story of mine read by someone who has a really great speaking voice.

I bought a dramatisation of “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” read by some of the actors from the original radio series. I watched the TV version of this some years ago so that sounded quite familiar.

H2G2 UK front cover.jpg
Fair use, Link

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Book Cover.jpg
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Link




I also like Stephen Fry’s speaking voice so I am currently listening to him reading the Harry Potter books. I always meant to read them and have never quite got around to it until now. Having just got to the end of the first one I can quite understand why children loved them so much. In contrast, my current Kindle book is “The Last Librarian” by Brandt Legg.

I won’t stop reading “real” books but trying something different has helped me to branch out and read more books more often than I have for some time.

The Taste of Tasmania

As I had some time before my bus went after photographing the yachts I decided to visit The Taste of Tasmania. The Taste as we usually call it is held in and around one of the old wharf sheds every year at this time. As the name implies it is a food festival. Admittance is free, they did toy with an entrance fee a few years back but it was very unpopular. 

When I first visited the Taste in the early 2000’s it was contained in the old No. 1 shed and the adjacent waterfront area. Over the years it has grown so much that it has spread on to the adjacent Salamanca and Parliament lawns. 

I was pleased to see that there was lots of seating in the shade in these areas as in fine weather they are a great alternative to the big shed. I don’t go to The Taste every year. I’m not what you would call a foodie and I don’t like queueing for food when it is busy although I like to support the local producers. The shed can be humid and noisy and the seating is at long communal tables. I really dislike eating with strangers. However, all the new seating options meant that it was not as crowded and I was even able to grab one of the coveted waterside tables and have it more or less to myself.

Eating area at the Taste of Tasmania
In the Atrium.

I was also pleased to see that the venue had plenty of recycling bins and that most of the plates and cutlery were the recyclable type. There was also free drinking water available so people could fill their water bottles.

The food, well there was a huge variety, locally made smallgoods, seafood Ethiopian, Korean, Indonesian, you name it and it was probably there.  There were also locally made ice creams, individual Pavlovas, cakes, and of course beer, cider, wines etc.  It was rather expensive for me though. I certainly can’t afford to stay all day trying different things when hardly anything was under $10 a serve. In the end, because I was hungry I had a Korean pork belly bun which was nice and a Raspberry Delight, local raspberries with locally made Valhalla ice cream and whipped cream on top. I love these ice creams with fresh fruit and usually treat myself to one in the summer.

There are stages set around the area where live entertainment is presented and there are things set up for kids to do so it is a good day out especially combined with the other activities on the waterfront, harbour cruises, motorcycle rides, horse and carriage rides and the yachts of course.

Snapshot Sunday: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Two of Naomi’s Star Trek Action Figures

Well, this weekend the weather has been too wet and miserable for outdoor photography so instead, I’d like to share a photo of two of Naomi’s Star Trek action figures.

Naomi recently started adding to her small collection of action figures. She brought her Enterprise Bridge up to my house recently so I could see it. I took this photograph that day.

If you would like to see more of these and other action figures check out Naomi’s posts on our doll blog. You can find a link below.

Action Figures

All The Fun Of The Fair: The Huon Show 2018

I haven’t been able to visit the Huon Show for several years and this year I really wanted to go. I was considering catching the bus to Ranelagh where the show is held when Ally called me and said that she and Matt wanted to go too. Could they come and stay with me on Friday night? Of course, I said yes. Saturday morning came and the weather was bright.  We set off early to be sure of getting a park close to the Showgrounds. Ranelagh is just outside of Huonville so we were there in less than half an hour.

Alpaca at the Huon Show

I love Alpacas.

We all wanted to see the animals more than anything else and we spotted the Alpaca enclosure as soon as we came through the gate. There are several breeders in the area and some others had come from other parts of the state to show off their animals.

Kids and calves

I also particularly wanted to see the cows this year. The reason for that is that I have been reading about the issue of de-horning cows in “Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss”  this week. The Swiss are having a vote on whether this practice should be continued. I do see the odd cow near my house but I wanted to see if the practice was widespread in Tasmania. Well, I saw several breeds of cows, Jerseys, Herefords, Friesian etc and nary a horn between the lot of them I’m afraid. I decided to look it up and found in the RSPCA knowledge base a document that says that it is legal to de-horn cattle in every state and territory in Australia.

This has to be the largest cow I’ve ever seen.

There are some guidelines about what age and how this should be done and apparently it is recommended that a procedure called disbudding be used instead.  Disbudding is the removal of horns before they attach to the skull but I wish it wasn’t done at all. At least the Swiss cows get a referendum to support their cause.

Popular with the children.

We went to see the dog judging. It’s a small dog show compared to a city show but it’s always fun to see the dogs. I find dog show people are a breed of their own too.

Golden Retrievers in the judging ring.

Bedlington Terrier. I had to look this up.

A group of dogs with their owners.

On the main arena, the Tasmanian Light Horse Society was giving a demonstration of riding and training exercises that the troops would have done. Of course, we stopped to watch this for a while and to look at the Draught Horses in their pens nearby. There was some show jumping too but I had not brought my long lens so I could not photograph that well.

A riding demonstration in WWI uniform.

Two of the horses in the riding demonstration.

Meeting the horses

Draught Horse

The Draught horses were popular with the crowds too.

We saw goats and poultry but missed the sheep who were penned in an area of deep shade. Good for the sheep as it was warm but not very interesting to photograph.

When I saw this guy I just thought of ZZ Top

Feeding goat.

This bird was a prize winner and I think she knew it.

Wyandotte, an American breed.

I am not sure if this is another Wyandotte. They come in different colours

There was wood chopping, which I forgot to photograph and wood carving with a chainsaw. There were carnival rides, sideshows, and Showbags.  There were vintage machinery and farm equipment, handicrafts and afternoon teas.

To finish off here are a few more photos. WordPress is not letting me do galleries today or it could be this computer because I can usually do them on the laptop. The computer is seven years old so I forgive it.

Working on a carving.

Chainsaw carving of a wombat.

A Seahorse carved with a chainsaw.

Another restored vehicle from the vintage machinery club.

Not sure what this if for but it makes a lot of noise.

The Laughing Clowns game.

Lucky tickets at the sideshows.

A carnival worker

Lethal Weapon Ride

Energy Storm ride

I think the recorded voice in these things is the same one I remember from my teens.


What Every Woman Wants To Know: Every-Woman’s Encylopedia

A friend of mine who used to have an antique store gave us boxes of old magazines for the Op Shop. He says they are not worth the bother of selling online as they have loose and missing pages and other faults but that we might still get something for them.

As Naomi and I love old stuff and I knew that we were running short of storage space at the shop I volunteered to have them at home and sort them out. Several boxes went back to the shop last weekend but there are odds and ends that got missed and I thought I’d share a couple of them today.

Two magazines circa 1911

These are two old copies of Every-Woman’s Encyclopedia which were on sale in installments. I could not find a date on them but it seems that King George V was on the British throne and there is no mention of WWI. I found a reference to 1911 in one of them so I’m going to say I think they are from that year or maybe early 1912. I found no reference to the Titanic in either and that was big news that year.

The magazines cover all sorts of subjects, there are recipes, tips on home nursing, childcare, fashion, and sewing as well as articles about prominent women.

Some helpful advice from a nurse.

Recipe pages.

Here are some interesting bits.

The Women’s Law Book

This chapter covers juvenile law and talks about such things as Parental Discipline, Juvenile Smoking, Intoxicating Liquor to mention a few. There is also a couple of pages about the law as it is applied to servants covering such things as Employer Liability, Workers Compensation, Burglary and “When the Master is Liable”.

An article about marriage

“Marriage”  by “Madge” (Mrs. Humphrey) includes helpful advice for husbands and wives about gift giving;

To bring home to an already overcrowded household a pair of vases which are “two things more to dust” is not the way to arouse rapturous sentiment in the bosom of one’s wife.

To buy cigars, socks, waistcoats or even ties for one’s husband puts him under a feeling of obligation, while, very often he execrates  the”vile taste”, of the wife as he considers it, with the best intentions , trodden on his tenderest sartorial feelings.

The article tells us that “it is very bad for any husband for his wife to fetch and carry for him in a servile way.” and that “Men are very careless, as a rule, about their own clothes.”

There is even a handy pull out first aid guide for the reader to hang on the wall.

A handy pull out chart.

It’s a fascinating glimpse into the world that our grandmother’s and great grandmother’s lived in.  My maternal grandmother was a young wife just before WWI so I can easily imagine her reading this perhaps with her older sisters in 1911.

RDP: Posh

 How To Talk Posh

I couldn’t think of the word posh without thinking of the story of Eliza Doolittle who wanted to learn how to talk like a lady.

I’ve seen the classic film “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison more than once and I’ve seen a couple of amateur productions of it on the stage.

For those who don’t know it “My Fair Lady” is based on a play by George Bernard Shaw called “Pygmalion”. The play in turn was based on Greek  mythology, the story of a sculptor who created a beautiful statue of a woman and fell in love with it.

In the film Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, asks Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics to give her lessons on how to speak properly so that she can get a job in a flower shop.  Professor Higgins was not really interested until his friend Colonel Pickering bet him that he couldn’t turn her into a lady who could mix in high society and not be found out.

I have to admit that although I like the film and the story I never cared for the Henry Higgins character. I thought he was snobbish and bad mannered. He may have been qualified to teach Eliza to speak nicely but he certainly did not act like a gentleman.  As I was only a teenager when I first saw the film I also wondered why on earth Eliza would fall in love with such a nasty man. Perhaps it was just Rex Harrison’s portrayal, the last time I saw it as a play the actor playing Professor Higgins, who was just an amateur in a small local repertory company, actually made me feel some sympathy for his character at the end when he realises he misses Eliza.

There are some great scenes though, not only the ones where Eliza is learning to talk posh. The scenes with her father Alfred P Doolittle are fun too. Mrs Higgins, the Professors mother, has a couple of good scenes as well.

Eliza succeeded in learning to speak like a lady and fooled everyone at a grand function . The way we speak can influence what people think of us as much as the way we look.

Straight From Rubbish Tip To You

One of my favourite Bloggers, Life in the Boomer Lane, recently wrote about her trials with flies around the house.

This prompted me to remember how trigger happy mum used to be with fly spray. I honestly don’t know if the fly sprays of the sixties and seventies are exactly the same formula as those of today but their smell was way stronger it seemed. Certainly by the time mum got through with it we were nearly choking.

When we were children  in the mid sixties fly spray was dispensed from a different type of container, aerosol cans were just coming on to the market I think.

By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) – Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0, Link

In Australia the most well known brand was Mortein which was advertised on television with a catchy little jingle sung by “Louie the Fly”. Everyone knew it.

Louie the Fly, I’m Louie the Fly
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
Spreading disease, with the greatest of ease.
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
I’m bad and mean and mighty unclean.
Afraid of no-one, ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein.
Hate that word Mortein.
One spray and Louie the Fly,
Apple of his old mother’s eye was Louie,
Poor dead Louie, Louie the Fly a victim of Mortein.

Out of curiosity I looked up Mortein and learned some interesting bits of trivia about the advertising campaign.

Mortein was first developed in Australia in the 1870s by German immigrant J. Hagemann, the name being a combination of mort (French: “dead”) and ein (German: one). Mortein was manufactured by Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd from 1937. The company is now owned by the British company Reckitt Benckiser.

Louie first appeared in 1957, the year I was born. He was drawn and animated by Geoffrey Morgan-Pike.

The famous jingle was created in 1962 by none other than Bryce Courtenay during his time at advertising agency McCann Erickson.

Louie was voiced by Australian actor Ross Higgins. Australians will remember him from “The Naked Vicar Show” and especially for his character “Ted Bullpitt” in “Kingswood Country“which was a popular sitcom in the early eighties. It might not be considered very PC now but David and I found it hilarious although like most sitcoms the later series are not as funny as the early ones.

As an aside I remember seeing Ross Higgins advertising rival product Pea-Beu in the eighties. Pea-Beu also had a catchy jingle.

At the end of this post you can see an early Mortein jingle from the sixties and one of the many commercials Ross Higgins did for Pea-Beu from around 1980. I  can still remember all the words to the Louie the Fly song. Only a year or so ago Mortein did an advertising campaign based on whether or not they should drop Louie.They didn’t and here is a piece about him on the Mortein website.