Friday, 10 February 2017

Sweep of the region

Just noticed that I had a number of panoramic photos of the Grampians (which lend themselves to panoramic landscapes) and the general area, thought I'd share them.
So here is a quick tour of the region. 

From Mount Zero in the early morning -
to the late evening -  
onto to Lake Bellfield -
 and over the range to the Wartook Valley -
 and down the Southern Grampians -
 then back up to Green Lake for the sunset -
and further west to Mount Arapiles -
continuing west of Nhill for the dawn -
passing by Cockatoo Swamp -
then time at Lake Hindmarsh -
and finally a wattle close-up -

Monday, 6 February 2017

Buying a book

Twisted Sifter has a number of photographs of the beautiful Buenos Aires ‘El Ateno Grand Splendid’ bookshop inside a 100-year-old theatre. 

Situated at 1860 Santa Fe Avenue in Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires, you will find one of the most stunning bookstores in the world. El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the best known bookshops in Argentina. 

Designed by the architects PerĂ³ and Torres Armengol, with ceiling frescoes painted by Nazareno Orlandi and support columns sculpted by Troiano Troiani, the grand theatre first opened in May 1919 with a seating capacity of 1,050. In the late 1920s it was converted into a movie theatre, and then retrofitted into a flagship bookshop during 2000.

According to a recent study by the World Cities Culture Forum, Buenos Aires has more bookshops per inhabitant than any other city in the world – roughly 1 bookshop per 3,937 inhabitants (Melbourne is well back at 1 per 12,945. It does fare better with the number of public libraries – Buenos Aires has one library for 35,680 inhabitants, while Melbourne has one for every 29,213 – so maybe Melbournians just prefer to borrow rather than buy!).

Monday, 9 January 2017

You have been warned

Andy Lee’s bespoke “Do Not Open This Book” was penned for his nephew.

Comedian Andy Lee of Hamish & Andy fame, became a children's book author after publishing 'Do Not Open This Book' as a present for his nephew George's first birthday.

Andy told The Project that originally he "wanted to surprise my sister. I've got a nephew, George, who's about to turn one. I thought writing a book for him as his birthday present would be a nice thing to do."

"I wrote it up, I gave it to my best mate who's a kid's books publisher and I said 'Can you just make one copy for me?'. He rang me back a few weeks later and said 'I asked the other publishers and they'd like to print this'. I said 'Nah mate, give us the one copy'."

But Lee finally gave him the okay, provided that they held back until Andy had surprised Alex and George on his birthday.

"We did manage to surprise my sister. It was little George's birthday and we managed to set up a bookstore with the book in it and as I was taking my sister out to lunch I managed to show her the surprise."

Andy rigged up a bookstore with cameras to capture Alex's heartfelt reaction before Hamish swooped in to interview little George.

Funnily enough, his friends' children have actually been scared by 'Do Not Open This Book'. "Do not buy this book anyone," warned Andy (well you could buy it after you've borrowed it from your library).

"It is about this little character who's trying to convince the reader not to turn the pages. He uses all sorts of tricks, reverse psychology, all these things, but watching a couple of kids read it, I've taken it around to a few of my mates houses, and some of them are too petrified to get to the end."

Adults and parents though love it, a great combination between Andy and illustrator Heath McKenzie - borrow it!.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Don't play with your food

Just came across Carl Warner's work. Artist & photographer Carl began his career as a landscape and still life photographer - and he still is - but he has departed from the norm and struck out into 'foodscapes'. This leaves model-makers for dead!
'Spaghetti Western'
This is one of my favourites, it might be a more obvious choice of construct, but just check out that sky.
Never worry about getting kids to eat their greens if you provide them with a lettuce seascape.

 And when they have devoured their vegies, maybe they'd be allowed this pretty in pink number.

A nod to Australia with Ayers Rock, and to John Steinbeck with this Cereal Dustbowl.

 More at Carl's website
Stilton Cottage

Monday, 2 January 2017

Lost for words

Statistics can be boring, but they can also be enlightening.

Take for instance this message from the Geocache people -

We travel from geocache to geocache. We make friends. We are explorers (even if we sometimes get lost). We each have our own story, come in different shapes and sizes, hail from various corners of the planet (though the planet is round), and have our unique missions and goals.
But what brings us all together is this: We love geocaching.
As 2016 has come to a close, we want to say thanks. This game is co-created by people around the world like you: hiding geocaches, hosting events, sending trackables out into the wild, writing logs, and supporting the game

geocaches were logged. 

new geocaches were placed. 
So lets get out there and make 2017 a 3 million year of caches found! 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Merry Christmas To All
This year's Myers window
Salute to a great Christmas Tradition - Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Before Harry

Not that it needs any advertising, but J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic beasts and where to find them : the original screenplay" has been released.

The plot:
In New York, Newt Scamander, a young activist wizard from England, is on a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Inside his expanding leather suitcase hides a wide array of diverse, magical creatures that exist among us, ranging from tiny, twig-like ones, to majestic and humongous ones. 
Set in the 1920s (years before Harry's birth), times are troubled since the already fragile equilibrium of secrecy between the unseen world of wizards and the ordinary or "No-Maj" (American for Muggle) people that the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) struggles to maintain, is at risk. 
Meanwhile, the voices against wizardry keep growing with daily protests led by anti-magic crusader - Mary Lou Barebone and fuelled by the increasing disasters ascribed to the terrorising dark wizard - Gellert Grindelwald.
 At the same time, by a twist of fate, Newt's precious suitcase will be switched with the identical one of an aspiring No-Maj baker, Jacob Kowalski, while demoted Auror, Tina Goldstein, arrests Newt for being an unregistered wizard.
To make matters worse, with the suitcase in the wrong hands, several creatures manage to escape to unknown directions. Before long, this situation will catch Senior Auror Percival Graves' attention who will target both Tina and Newt amid panic caused by an invisible, devastating and utterly unpredictable menace that still wreaks havoc in New York's 5th Avenue. Is there a hidden agenda behind Graves' intentions and ultimately, what will happen to the remaining magical creatures still loose in the streets? 
How can you fit that storyline into just 290 pages of script and illustrations?
Find out by borrowing either the real physical book, or the ebook

Thursday, 8 December 2016

100 years of Gumnuts

The original Gum-Nut Babies

May Gibbs (1887-1969) is one of Australia's most beloved children's authors and illustrators, and one of her most famous characters is celebrating 100 years of publication.

Inspired by the Australian bush, as well as her English roots, she created characters that were essentially European fairies with gumnuts on their head and flitted around the forests of Australia.

She used them on cards sent to friends and included one on the cover of a book she illustrated before writing them into her own children’s book. On December 5, 1916, during World War I, Gumnut Babies was published.

 The Gumnut Babies became an instant hit when they first appeared in a booklet published by Angus & Robertson in 1916 although their most famous members, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie wouldn't appear for another couple of years.
The first edition sold out and Gibbs would publish many more works based on the idea of Australian bushland fairies. She also produced greeting cards, bookmarks, postcards and other merchandise carrying her distinctive images.

Nutcote, overlooking Sydney Harbour

May died in Sydney on November 27, 1969, and many of her books are still in print.

Her Sydney house 'Nutcote' in Neutral Bay, was threatened with demolition in the 1970s, but was saved by the efforts of her fans & children's librarians around the country. It is now preserved as a museum to May Gibbs and her characters.

The Bad Banksia-men still eternally battling the Gumnuts & Lizard, in the Nutcote garden >>

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Five do go adventuring again

In 2010, publisher Hachette updated the language to make “sensitive text revisions” to Enid Blyton’s 21 ‘Famous Five’ books in an attempt to make them appeal more to modern children. This followed market research that suggested children were no longer engaging with the tales about child detectives, due to their dated language.
Now though, Hachette has decided to abandon the idea because the new revisions were not received well by readers.Changes made included replacing the word “tinker” with “traveller”, “mother and father” with “mum and dad” and “awful swotter” becoming “bookworm” The revisions also made the language more gender-neutral, with the character Anne altered to enjoy teddies instead of dolls.
 “The feedback we have had six years on shows that the love for The Famous Five remains intact, and changing mother to mummy, pullover to jumper, was not required,” McNeil said. “We want Enid Blyton’s legacy to go on. Millions of readers have learned to read with her.”
Tony Summerfield, of the Enid Blyton Society, said it would mostly be adults who cared about the changes. “I think to a child it wouldn’t make any difference what edition they read. The 2010 versions will only be reverting back to the text of the already revised versions from the 1990s – so [they are] not even Blyton’s original texts, although those revisions were just small word changes, not completely rewritten like the 2010 editions. Chances are, a child who picks up the ‘classic’ edition is reading a different version to their parents anyway.”
Despite being criticised as racist and sexist, Blyton remains one of the most popular children’s authors. Hodder sells more than half a million copies of the Famous Five books a year, with Blyton amassing more than 500 million lifetime sales.
So everything is back-to-normal yes?

No way, now there is a series of Famous Five parodies, - the continued adventures of Julian, Dick, George and Anne as adults, along with Timmy the dog in “Five do dry January”, “Five Go Gluten Free”, “Five Go On A Strategy Away Day” and “Five Go Parenting”.
A few details from the “Five Go Gluten Free”, to give you a 'flavour' of what is in store: the gang “are all feeling really rather rum, and it’s been going on for days. Nothing seems to work, and with their doctors mystified, they’re driven to trying out various expedients to cure themselves. Julian goes online to self-diagnose that he’s got pancreatic cancer, bird flu and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Anne decides that the old methods are the best and decides to have herself exorcised – which proves to be an awful lot of bother for everyone, and such a mess. Dick goes to a witch doctor who calls himself a ‘homeopath’ but it’s George who discovers they need to go on an exclusion diet, so they enter a world of hard-to-find, maddeningly expensive specialist foods …”