Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seize the Book

It was Book Week, and quite coincidentally I've been finding lots of good books.

Those who know me know that although books aren't my only weakness (OK, obsession), they are certainly up there in the top three. Due to a tightened personal fiscal policy, I've been avoiding bookstores and even online booksellers.

Unfortunately, the inclement weather last week had me strolling home from work via the protection of the verandas of the main street retailers. Paperbark Merchants yielded another in the Jim Butcher Dresden Files series, Ghost Story. My son lent me the previous books, but he said that he couldn't get this one at the time. I have it up next on the reading rota and am doing secret little happy dances, as I've missed Harry. Thursday was a book disaster in waiting, as I called into another local purveyor of book happiness with time on my hands and books on my mind. 

Sometimes you can drop into a bookstore and find nothing that makes you go weak at the knees. On this occasion, however, any self control was seriously compromised.  

I don't know about you, but I have an established pattern for bookshop browsing. First, the fantasy paperbacks, such as the previously mentioned Jim Butcher books, and, of course Terry Pratchett, my indisputable King.  I am re-collecting all of the Discworld books, having given my paperback collection to the boychild (I'd say having them prised from my grasp, but that would make me seem selfish). I noted a couple of possible acquisitions and moved on, pausing to briefly re-live the reader betrayal that was the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I reflected quietly on the hurt the woman had caused me, and decided that the wound is too raw for me to consider taking on another of her characters.

I moved on to Crime and Thriller, noting that a new Lee Child book in the Jack Reacher series was due out the next day. Happy Fathers' Day to me... They do know that lots of women read Jack, don't they?

Somewhere in Latest Releases, I found  my nomination for possibly best book jacket of all time. I wouldn't generally buy a book solely on it's cover, but this one made my heart beat faster. Luckily, I like Robert Drewe's books.

I moved onto Art, Craft. I need new and different in this category, original ideas, inspiration. Books which advise me on how to put curtains on wire across the front of cupboards simply don't cut the mustard. I grabbed Push Print, I loved the presentation, content - and with appalling restraint, put it's companion Push Paper back. There was just a schmick less new inspiration in the paper volume. 

I very nearly threw myself at Margaret Olley - love her work, an
amazing book, but once again, grown-up bill-paying need-to-eat-cannot-live-on-books-alone-dammit sensibility won out. I hate being a grownup.

I then move to Biography, Travel (books about Paris, mainly), History, non-fiction (general),and specials.

Friday's opshop round provided a mix of crime/thrillers, Karin Slaughter, Linda Fairstein, and so on, and I also picked up Evelyn Waugh's Scoop in Penguin paperback, as well as sundry others. 

Happy Book Week to me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I got home from work on the only halfway decent day this week, to a gift from my next door neighbour.

It's a strange squelchy tiny thing that looks like a tiny internal organ, wrapped in some seaweed and served on a scallop shell.

Not edible, and accompanied by a note explaining that my neighbour and my dog had been to the beach but found no interesting dead fish.

Such a lovely little parcel and a lovely surprise.

I've been spending far too much time trawling the far corners and darker recesses of the internet of late.  It's part of my strategy to avoid becoming a homicidal maniac as a result of watching election propaganda on television, and is an extension of my vow to read only the garage sales columns of newspapers. 

Since garage sales are sparse in the depths of winter, I've been reliant on the op shops to cheer my cold heart.  There have been a few bargains to cheer me, a Liberty of London silk scarf, and an excellent book detailing the correspondence between Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan.  

I love their references to breaking into the Paris art scene and their references to Picasso, who apparently spoke French with a Spanish accent. The descriptions of living in Paris as artists are sublime.

In a week which has not been in my top one thousand of weeks worth living through, I managed to break the adorable glasses which I found in Paris, after walking kilometres and searching every optician. I have broken one pair of glasses in my adult life, and it had to be the ones I loved most.

I hope my eyeglass obsession does not overrun a planned trip to Melbourne, the mecca for deluded Australian eyeglasses tragics. Luckily, I will be able to see, as I have spare pairs, and hopefully I will be able to distract myself, or be distracted, from any optical urges.

In the meantime, I picked up some tres chic classic French sunnies this week, so I shall not be squinting in the daylight as I venture out onto the streets of Melbourne.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Balls of steel

Spotted at the Kalamunda Markets this weekend, some of my favourite things: balls.  Spherical metallic constructions. Varying sizes. Different metals.  I could not restrain myself, I took a lot of photos. No self control, me.  Here they are.

Made by Martin Jaine.

In another location, all about wood, I found something called a nibbler.  A very nice man demonstrated it's use.  He had nine years experience and wielded it with great style.  It attaches to your drill, cuts wood, metal, perspex and plastic into curves, shapes and straight lines.  I'd heard of them, never seen one used.   I had to have one.  I have one now.  I shall nibble. My partner in trinket procurement for the day also satisfied a wanton desire for one.  We spent the rest of the weekend thinking of nibbling opportunities.  It was really quite thrilling. You will hear and see more of this from me.

The wood show at the Claremont Showgrounds also yielded some pics of some wonderful old tools, and a motorcycle hearse.  Wood is such a tactile material, wonderful textures.

I find it easier to manage than metal, since I can't weld, although this is a most desirable skill.

I didn't buy these lockers, spotted at the very fabulous Balcatta Tip Shop. (But only because I couldn't see how I could get them home.) I did buy the small oak shelf which is sitting on the red chair.  I can never have enough ways to store books.

The chair just happened to be there.  My collaborator in acquirement for the weekend got a red Webber kettle to repurpose as a herb garden, amongst other things.

And here is a small sculpture I completed on Thursday, instead of vacuuming the floors. In the spirit of the great philosopher Yosemite Sam: Ah HATES housework.