Wednesday, 27 March 2013

End Of Your Life Book Club - My Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. The main thing I struggled with the most was all the hype around this book. There are thousands of web sites referring to it, there are book clubs around it, there are Facebook pages.  I only wanted to know about the characters and how books played a part in their life. I don't need to know about how many people around the world are affected by it.

Overall I enjoyed the story. I was looking forward to reading it and it took quite awhile to get my copy from the library.  I think the story without all the hype online and in the media would have been enough for word of mouth to get many people to read it.
Now I am a bit cynical about families such as this one. I wasn't raised in a Walton's family environment. This family is like Walton's on speed and with lots of money. Everyone loves each other, they are all productive, people who everyone loves. They are all very high achievers. They live in Boston enjoying a very affluent lifestyle. They didn't come from Walton's mountain in the deep south during the depression.

It is the story of Will Schwalbe's mother's journey through her cancer treatment until her ultimate death. Will is the oldest child and the family has always been completely immersed in books.  His father was an important person in the music business, his mother worked as an admissions officer at Radcliffe university for many years but she was better known for the work she did for refugees and raising money for a large donated library in Afghanistan.  She was very important in the charity world doing a great deal of work for Afghans and Pakistanis. Her children, all of them high achievers, were in awe of her, she is described very much as a super woman.

Will has one sister and one brother which don't get much of a look in through out this book but the author acknowledges this in the beginning dedication.  It is very much a story about him and his mother told both in flashbacks and as they sat together during her chemotherapy sessions. I felt this book was more of a therapeutic exercise for him to come to terms with her loss than anything that really focused on what they gained from the huge number of books they read. Others though may feel quite differently.

Books are mentioned on every page. The importance of them, the history of them within their family and during their childhood, even describing the last words she read upon her death.

The family, to me are described as being just very very............perfect.  I wanted a few books thrown across the room once in awhile in frustration as they all dealt with this very insidious disease taking the life of their beloved mother.  I felt Will really white washed the entire story just a little bit too much.

But then, being an American Australian I can say this, the Americans love their conquer all attitude to everything and a bout with cancer resulting in death is no different. It almost felt to me like , 'Hey it's okay she had cancer. It's a terrible thing, I'll miss her terribly but we shared the best times of our life together, we read millions of books and we have bonded now once and for all and it's all good. We have looked destruction in the face and risen above it."   I know this is not what the book is meant to be about but it was how it felt to me at times. I got irritated. I would have preferred a lot more balance between the difficult times and the times they felt they were on top of things.
Mary Ann Schwalbe photo from Guardian Magazine

I wanted a bit more reality about a two year bout of painful, horrible cancer invading  a body to not all be so wonderful because it brings the family together.  No doubt it did bring the family together and I really felt for all of them but sometimes the story seemed to be a bit of a podium with which Will could spontaneously combust about his life and his relationship to his mother, and the part he played in her dying.

Now if the reader can get through all of that there is a wonderful story underneath.  The relationship they had with each other and the list of books was quite lovely much of the time.  I suppose I was feeling a bit jealous of this family because I don't ever remember discussing books with anyone in my family and yet I spent a tremendous amount of time reading in my youth. I would have killed for someone to have asked me what I was reading, why I chose what I did, how I felt about all the books that were a part of my life when the rest of my family never seemed to read.  I am sure my own background tainted the way I viewed this story.

When Will's mother died her obituary appeared in the Guardian yet I am hard pressed to find her name (Mary Ann Schwalbe) because she is only really referred to as 'Mom".

The books they talked about together were really the most interesting part of the book to me but it didn't happen often enough. Will  did redeem himself when he described one of his favourite books being Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf.  I too read my little copy of Ferdinand hundreds, if not thousands of times when very young.  I loved Ferdinand and how he only wanted to sit in the field smelling the flowers and enjoying the sunshine instead of going into town to participate in the bullfights as all his macho friends wanted.

There are some conversations about the stories they shared in their own personal book group but they don't really go into it too deeply.  She does mention at one point how many times she's read and reread The Wings of the Dove (that comment is for you Alex). She also said she had yet to meet anyone who read CS Lewis and Tolkien and enjoyed both of them equally as young people. She firmly believed one is either a Lewis fan or a Tokien fan but not both.

At the end of the book are several pages with the names of every book mentioned in the tale listed. This appears to have turned into a reading challenge for people throughout the internet community.  I will not get roped into this list, as much as I love a good book list, I did enjoy it but then closed the book.

Would I recommend this book?  I think that is a hard one.  I wouldn't reread it. I didn't get that much out of it personally yet when I read other reviews about it on the web there is no end to how many people absolutely raved about it.  So I am very sure I am in the minority but I am quite a cynical person and many readers are not. I would say if you've been wanting to read it by all means please do so because you will probably really like it especially if you like a good old fashioned, saccharin feel good type of story.

Mrs. Schwalbe's obituary from the Guardian can be read. here .

Monday, 25 March 2013

Onwards with Wings of the Dove and The Black Dog Ride

Yesterday I had a look at how much of the Wings of the Dove I wanted to commit to during the next two weeks and I'll just do another 10 or 15 % of it. As I have it on a Kindle reader it is easy to gauge how far into it I am as they give a percentage at the bottom of completed text.  I find I really enjoy reading chunky books on a kindle (though this isn't one) because you can't see how much farther you have to read.  I just keep going until I either give it up or finish it. I quite like that.

So will get into that today or tomorrow. Tomorrow we finish Lysistrata in the play reading class and I am looking forward to another afternoon with my oldie mates having a great laugh. We have all enjoyed this play so much.  I'll let you know how we go with the ending.  Maybe I can get a photo of our group.  They're  such good fun. If so I'll post it here.

Yesterday I didn't read a word. It was the long anticipated Black Dog ride. As a national ride there were motor bikers in every state and territory of Australia who gathered for a one day motorbike charity ride to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. It is an organisation that deals with prevention of depression and suicide especially amongst men in rural areas.  It is such an epidemic and a wonderful cause. Anyone who has ever suffered from clinical depression can appreciate how difficult it is.  Having had my own issues in the past with the black dog I was happy to ride with them.  Treatment is available and people are encouraged to take advantage of it. But enough on that.  I am including a few of the photos from our ride.
Winston- the Black Dog Mascot

The ride for me began at 7:00 am and I rode up the centre of the state to Campbelltown which is a good hour and a half ride. But we had rain and gale force winds yesterday though when I left at 7:00 am it was beautiful, clear and the sun wasn't quite up yet. Our days are definitely getting shorter.

Just before Campbelltown I stopped in the historic town of Ross to have a strong coffee. I'd been battling wind and the rains were beginning and I wanted to get my wet weather gear on. Nothing worse than sopping wet leathers. So rain gear on, coffee beneath my belt and onwards with my ride to the registration area to help out with the regos.  Cross winds so bad I actually got blown into the next lane which I find quite frightening. I have never had that experience before and hope I don't again.  Even the very large bikes reported being blown out of their lane.
from the Examiner Newspaper Tasmania
The procession left at 11:30 for the east coast. The ride across the state to the east coast is 70 kms. The heavens poured for the previous two hours and we had many dripping wet bikers. At least it wasn't very cold being about 20 C (70F).  Off we went, big smiles and most of us with Winston the Black Dog on our bikes. A lot of very wet Winstons.

East coast of Tasmania with Tasman Sea in background.
Then another 35 kms to the north we arrived in Bicheno where we congregated, had photos taken, ate sausages from the Rotary and then everyone dispersed and went home after a very long day. I headed down the east coast south and half way home I hit a big hail storm that lasted 15 minutes.  You can tell we're keen riders because weather doesn't come in to it. Just makes things all that more exciting. A group of 8 of us met up for one final coffee at the southern end of the east coast ride before we headed back to Hobart. Another hour to go and this time into the heavy head winds. I arrived very happily home about 5:00 pm and my bed never felt so good.  I was too tired to even lift my Kindle much less a real book. All for a good cause and with wonderful people it was a great day out.  I'm now looking forward to the next few days of some quiet, a ride with friends and reading.

I am half way through The End of Life Book Club which I am enjoying. More on that to come.  I also received my photography course from The Great Courses with 34 lessons on DVD to watch and a workbook to go through. So lots of fun things to do.

Had a short bush walk with the dogs today so they'd be tired enough to settle tonight so I can read a bit before bed. Want to get the Wings of the Dove underway and see if I enjoy it more than Alex did and a couple of other bloggers I read. So far I am not minding it but now I've heard such negative reports I must hope they don't rub off on me.  I will give it up if I don't enjoy it but so far so good so will remain positive.

Lots of things to keep boredom away this week. Hope everyone else is having a good week.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

New Penguins from an Unexpected Source

I have always believed that people are inherently good. Yes there are a few nasties who walk around out there but they don't seem to come into my area of life.  The other day as I sat at my computer I received a message from someone near Melbourne on the mainland who had read my blog.  Not only had she read it but she looked at my list of Penguin books I own in my collection. She then proceeded to tell me there was a big book sale happening near her and they seemed to have a lot of Penguin books.  She kindly wrote down 
the numbers on the spines along with the book titles and mailed them to me.  She asked me if I was interested in purchasing these books because they were going very cheaply. She had determined that I didn't own them already, she went to the post office and found out how much it would be to post the five books I was interested in.

I paid her through a bank transfer and they have now safely arrived.  Anne,I would like to say a great big thank you to you from both Travellin'Penguin and myself.

Such a lovely gesture. Three of them are Muriel Sparks books I didn't have. I quite enjoy Muriel's quirkiness but there are a couple of great covers as well. I am very pleased with such generosity.
Another happy Penguin story also occurred today.  I went into Imperial Books (second hand book shop) as I saw they had a sign out front stating "Stock Reduction Sale".  Can't go past that. Mike, one of the co-owners had set aside five Penguin Specials for me. I ordinarily don't seek out the specials.  They aren't usually books I would read as they are non fiction, very much out of date now and I do have to draw a line as to how many Penguin books I am prepared to buy in my life.

However when I saw these 5 Penguin Specials are from 1938 and 1939, in MINT condition, all of them with their dust jackets and pages as white today as when published. I can only guess they must have been stored in a very dark room for all these years or in a chest somewhere. For a 1939 paperback to be in such a pristine condition is unheard of generally in the world of Penguins in Australia. Remember they all had to travel here from Great Britain.

All of them relate to WWII and look really interesting. I may break my rule and actually read a bit of these but I am more than happy to keep them safe within my large collection.

The two below were also for sale and as I did not have first published copies of these I picked them up quite reasonably. All in all a very Penguiny time has been enjoyed.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

An Interesting Book Challenge I Will Think About.

Today was a day of running around doing errands and attending my Play Reading class. Part II of our reading of Lysistrata. We continue to have a great time with this bawdy read.  The F word is in this part of the play and some of our oldies weren't comfortable saying it, others were and it became quite hilarious to see how different people handled it.  One of the oldies came to the sentence that stated, "I just need a (the uncomfortable word) and she substituted the word 'treat' and everyone laughed uproariously.
We have one more session of Lysistrata and then will move on to another play.

I was reading through Facebook posting awhile ago when I saw that Random House Canada has posted up this photo of Book Bingo.  I think I will print it out and try to finish a book for each category. It isn't really an extra bit of work because no doubt it is easy enough to find books that will fit into each category.

I am continuing to work towards the end of Book II  of Henry James's The Wings of the Dove by Friday.  Alex in Leeds (here) got the ball rolling and two fellow bloggers myself and a woman in the USA have joined in.  I must say when I started it I wasn't completely in my comfort level simply because some of his sentences were so long that when I reached the end of one I couldn't remember the beginning of it.  He sure loved his sentences. Fortunately he uses punctuation accurately so I finally got into a rhythm and started to enjoy them. The following is an example of a single sentence description of Merton Densher (don't you love that name?) who is the man Kate is so fond of however her aunt will not accept him. He really is quite common.

"It was the accident, possibly, of his long legs, which were apt to stretch themselves; of his straight hair and his well-shaped head, never, the latter, neatly smooth, and apt, into the bargain, at the time of quite other calls upon it, to throw itself suddenly back and, supported behind by his uplifted arms and interlocked hands, place him for unconscionable periods in communion with the ceiling, the tree-tops, the sky."

Once I finished that sentence I was craving a book by Ernest Hemingway with his short succinct writing style. 

The story itself is an interesting story and I am looking forward to continuing with this mini group read.  I will find a slot for it on the Random House Canada Bingo board.

Lastly today I went out in the front yard to enjoy a lovely autumn day we are having here and played with the dogs.  As I'm currently studying photography and entering e-magazine competitions in the hopes of winning lots more photographic equipment I took my camera with me.   I am having great fun.

Odie LOVES his frisbee.
Tomorrow my bike mate Chris and I are riding south of town on a day that's expected to be 25C (80 F) and take photos by the river. I hope there are ducks. I love taking photographs of ducks.

Stay tuned to see what photos and possible books emerge. There is quite a good second hand book shop in the town we're going to.  Mind you as you walk in it looks like a land mine has gone off. Books everywhere, in no particular order and I always have to walk sideways through the aisles in this poorly lit room until I get to the back wall and find a Penguin or two I don't  have. I guess that will be my goal for tomorrow.  To find 3 vintage Penguins I don't have and get a photo of a duck.  I think when one is retired it is good to have goals.

So until then...enjoy the Bingo Board.  Let me know if you'd like to participate. Could be a fun thing to share with other readers.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Beautiful, Bountiful, Bookless, Bothwell

The bakery is just to the right of this building. This is the local servo. 

Got up this bright sunny, if breezy morning, hopped on the bike and rode north out of town.  Met my mate Chris. We both had our cameras so decided to ride up to Bothwell which is a very old country town and quite pretty with a good deal of history. (At least as much history as Tasmania is capable of since white settlement.)

We're both studying photography at the moment so thought we'd go try to find some interesting shutter speeds, depth of field and play with our apertures.  Had a great day.

Arrived at Bothwell in about 40 minutes time, once I got to New Norfolk to pick up Chris with her Suzuki Boulevard cruiser. It takes about 40 minutes to get to her place.

Always enjoy a good plaque. The best way in the world to learn little bits of trivia. 
Had some lunch at the local bakery, sat outside at the picnic tables and talked to other bikers that were also out there enjoying the day.  Find a good bakery in Tassie and you find bikers. It is a golden rule.

After lunch and a coffee we walked around the little town. There is really only a couple of intersections but there are a couple of lovely looking churches and a very interesting graveyard at the back.

In fact the first recorded burial in Tasmania was at Bothwell in 1829 and the oldest existing headstone belonged to a young fellow, aged 25 who died in 1834. His name was James Dean.  We quite liked his name.  It wasn't Easy Rider's Peter Fonda but close.
Caught you out Chris. 
We enjoyed the scenery and took about 300 photos each, probably both of us deleting about 200 of them once home. The joy of digital cameras. We could never have afforded to do this had we still been stuck in the age of film. No comments from purists, we're not that developed....whoops-- bad pun.

Some of the old wrought iron work around one of the graves.
A very old porcelain rose decorated one of the graves. Sadly it has been broken in several places 
but I think it is still beautiful. the colours are lovely.
Looking across the old section to the countryside in the distance. 

This little dog stood on the grave of an elderly man who died earlier in the 1900's. I would love to have
known the story of this little terrier. I thought he was beautiful and it appears he's been guarding the grave now for several years. 

Our wonderful bikes that take us all over this great countryside.  I finished up today with another 200+ kms on the dial.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Books, Cats and Housework

Today was just a mish mash of things to catch up on.  I have finished two books recently that fall into Crime-Time.  After all it is summer, people drop in, dogs need to run and jobs around the house never go away. It's too hot some days to think.

I am a Michael Connelly fan. I read everything he writes and his latest book The Black Box was one of his better ones (or so I thought.)

Yes, I will also admit to reading James Patterson. Now everyone knows he turns out books like the local butcher churns out sausages but years ago I began the Alex Cross Detective series and it just goes on and on. The latest one,book number 20 in the series is Alex Cross Run.  It is on Kindle so I downloaded it as T. , my husband also reads them. Kindle is good value for a book you don't wish to keep and when there are two readers of the book in the same house and the wait at the library is more than 100 days.

I was disappointed with the last Alex Cross book but this one, although again kind of gory kept me turning the pages and I finished it in two sittings.  All I can say about both of these books is if you like Alex Cross this is one of the better ones.

I find most of these mass market crime books are formulaic with perhaps an odd twist but that isn't anything I ever expect. They are pure escapism and I enjoy them.

I am also part way through Gillian Mears' book Foal's Bread.  It is an Australian book and was short listed for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012 although it didn't win it. I will probably do a separate post on this book as I am enjoying it so far. It is going to be discussed at our Book Group meeting the first week of April so I will put up a post about it after that meeting. It certainly has a lot more substance though than the other two pictured above.

As mentioned in yesterday's post I thought I'd do a quick chat about the books I found in the Red Cross Op shop yesterday.  I started this summer in a bit of a reading slump. I think my own expectations were just too high of deep, chunky obscure classic books and it was just too hard when I attempted it. That is a winter project.  So I have been reading shorter, quicker books of different varieties and this is what I look for on my own shelves as well as the ones in the Op shops. I need to get my reading mojo back and I think it's happening.  I want something I can read in a couple of sittings and then move it on.  I quite enjoy releasing books into the wild on cafe chairs hidden under tables or bus stops.

The first book I picked up was by Clive James. I have never been a great fan of Clive James regarding his televised interviews. I think it is because he sounds too rehearsed, as though he is reading tele-prompters too much. But everyone I know who has read his writing swears by him. No idea if this is one of his better books or not but the topic appealed to me.  I also feel bad I have not read anything by him and I know he is very ill. According to the Guardian's blurb on the back it is his collection of unashamed first reactions to cities and countries after you get off the plane. Having travelled a fair bit I can understand the first impressions one gets as they drive in from the airport to their first port of call in the back of a bus or taxi. It sounds entertaining.

The Chinese Literature book is a 1987 compilation of fiction, poetry and art as can be seen on the photo of the front cover. I like the cover. I haven't read much Chinese Lit so thought this might be fun to dip into. At the cost of 50 cents, it's in good condition and I can flog it on eBay when I finish with it.

The next three books I picked up are classics. The first one is Around the World in 80 Days. I hesitate to say I have never read this book. I remember seeing the Walt Disney film years ago but it is something I have always wanted to tick off on a list. The other book I picked up on the same shelf is called The Four Beauties by H.E. Bates. I'm sure many book bloggers have read him but I haven't. I have a couple of his books in my vintage Penguin Book collection but this is a pretty sturdy copy and I can release it into the wild once finished. This copy is Penguin published book published in 1972 and that will fit nicely into my Century of Books challenge for that year. The book contains four novellas by someone who is well known for his short stories. I am looking forward to reading about these women. The last classic I picked up is called The Egoist by George Meredith. I know nothing of old George, never having read him but I liked the cover. It appears to be a bit dense in its format and evidently discusses ideas on egoism as the great enemy of truth, feeling and progress and comedy as the great dissolver of artifice. It states on the back that the theme of the book is, "the defeat of egoism by the power of comedy".  No doubt the British bloggers will know a lot more about Mr. Meredith than I do so any comments would be welcome if you have read it. It's part of Penguin's English Library series.

Last but not least I picked up a short book of John  Mortimer's plays.  Again I am not familiar with Mr. Mortimer but the three plays in the book are:  "A Voyage Round My Father"; "The Dock Brief"; "What Shall We Tell Caroline".  My play reading class has certainly spruiked my interest in plays outside the mainstream although if I lived in a large city perhaps these aren't so obscure. I have no idea but they appeal and that is a good enough reason to donate a dollar to the Red Cross.

Now I must finish up with a pet story. As most people know (who know me) we have 5 animals who share our lives. Four of them are rescue animals and the fifth was purchased 12 years ago from a used car salesman. Wally was in a box of 10 puppies. Same dad, two mums. He's another story.  Today I had jobs to do. After the tidying up and the laundry it was time to strip down the bed. Whenever I strip down the bed, Koko our beautiful oriental cross cat who we rescued several years ago loves to help change bedding.

He can be in a coma anywhere in the house but pull a sheet off a bed and he's there. He simply appears. His eyes go wide, his legs get longer and he races as fast as he can from corner to corner of the bed. Sometimes I put the sheet right over the top of him and just watch the bump run. This usually gets one of the dogs going as they love to watch him play out. It's usually them who are in the dog house so they like to see a cat get get into trouble.  However I can't scold him because he is just too funny.  Today I grabbed the camera that I haven't had out of my hands now for two weeks since I bought it and started snapping. It took ages to finish the bed because we were all having such a good time. Dogs barking at him, tails wagging, cat racing and I just laughed out loud and snapped photos. Hope you enjoy his effort... and mine!  Until next time.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Play Reading Classes Have Begun Again

the Philip Smith Centre (used to be a school years ago)
Term I of our U3A (University of the Third Age) classes began today.  It was an extremely hot day here in Hobart (34 C : 98 F). Our classes are held in the old Philip Smith Building up on the domain on the second floor. No air conditioning but big windows that opened.  I wasn't looking forward to being in that building in this heat but I love the class so much it wasn't enough reason to stay away.

I must say the year got off to a rollicking start with the first part of the play Lysistrata by Aristophanes handed out to all of us. According to our wonderful instructor Marlene, this was one of the Peace plays attributed to Greek theatre. The themes this book encompasses include several. "The world is a much better place when men spend time loving their wives rather than their weapons. "  "War divides nations and families."  Although men hold power they lack the wisdom, good sense and gentleness of the women."
Lysistrata organises the women of the warring nations to come together and convinces the women to withhold sex from their men and lovers. They will resume their loving to the men once all the wars end and peace is declared.  We read the first section today and a bawdier play we have not read in this class.  Marlene gave us a good deal of information about Greek theatre at the time this was written (Just after 400 AD).
The play is described as a bawdy, slapstick, naughty comedy and it certainly lives up to that description.  Some of the descriptions of the positions the women will no longer be participating in had everyone in absolute peals of laughter. One old gentleman was quite fascinated by the term "cheesegrater" and insisted on the definition being looked up in the notes. When read aloud there were many twitters and snickers from some of our gentler ladies. Remember this is a group of oldies here.  Don't underestimate their energy or sense of humour. The young hold no power over this group, believe me.

We will continue the reading next week and I'll bet the attendance of the class once again will be high. I just hope everyone has good heart health.

After the class I fired up my scooter as "Tuesday after Class" is the day I generally go to the Op shops to Penguin hunt a bit.  I missed Vinnie's today because Motorworks is next door and I went into hassle them about why my new Italian Aprilia Max 300 scooter hasn't arrived yet. Still on that slow boat from Italy. News was good though because the wholesaler in Sydney who is ordering it on behalf of our guy in Hobart has 8 customers all waiting for one. Evidently I'm first on the backorder list. Isn't that good salesmanship to tell me that. Hey I fell for it.

Left Motorworks, no closer to knowing when it will arrive and headed down to my favourite charity shop, The Red Cross book store. On the way there I got waylaid again as I pulled over quickly when I saw an elderly woman had collapsed on the footpath and her friend was trying to hold her up. I parked the scoot and helped her get the woman in to a recovery position. Unfortunately the only thing we had to lay her down on was my bike jacket that is full of armour but still softer than the footpath. Her friend called the ambulance and they arrived in the next few minutes. Seems she had been overdoing the walking a bit. She hadn't had anything to eat but had a strong coffee. The heat was also a factor. People drop like flies here when it is hot. Once the ambos had it in hand I rode off to Penguin hunt. No I didn't hear any comments such as , "Who was that masked woman?"  You do what you need to do. We're boomers after all.

The Red Cross bookshop had some nice classics for next to nothing but no vintage Penguins. I will pop those books online tomorrow so you can see what my Op Shop Loot is for this week.
It was past time to get home and cool down. Nothing like biker clothes to keep the temperatures high but I wouldn't be without them. So until tomorrow

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Random and I get into Tasmania's landscapes.

Elaine (from Random Jottings) and I have had a very full on couple of days.  Yesterday we went to Richmond which is a very historic colonial village and from there we drove to the east coast and down the Tasman Peninsula.  The weather was a good temperature, about 22 C (about 74 F) and although there was a bit of drizzle it certainly did not dampen our spirits. Here are some of the photos and I hope everyone who sees them enjoys them and one day plans their own trip to this beautiful state.
 Many children come to the Richmond Bridge to feed the ducks.  I always love to connect with them (the ducks, not the children).
 Richmond Bridge built by the convicts (1823)who eventually settled this state. Oldest bridge in Australia
All of the bricks were made by hand. 
 Scenes from the lovely Lolly Shop. We had a lot of fun looking at everything. 
 Some flowers that were blooming on bushes near the Richmond Gaol. 
 One of the small churches in Richmond. Most of the buildings in Richmond are made from sandstone.
 The Richmond Gaol that was built to house original convicts and quite a few women at the time.
 Heading down onto the Tasman peninsula on the east coast you pass Dunalley Bay. The tide was out.
 The fog, the drizzle, yet the warm temperatures made for pleasant exploring.
 Elaine gets right into the Tassie spirit of searching the beaches. 
 So good to see green shoots appearing after our devastating bush fires earlier this year. 
 Raspberries are in season now. Need to get out there on the roadsides with a bucket. 
 The view over Pirates Bay towards the south of the state and the Tasman Sea. 
 The beach at Eaglehawk neck on the Tasman Peninsula. 
 Aren't spider webs beautiful when they have a bit of rain on them? They are so strong yet delicate.
 Clifftops and coastline. The south eastern coast of Tasmania is extremely rocky.
 Lovely plants growing on the seaside shrubbery.
 Things that wash ashore on to the beaches. 
The gum trees are very smooth to touch due to standing in the winds. Beautiful colours.