Share Your World –Week 41

October 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Family, Society | 13 Comments
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Here is week 41 of Cee Neuner’s Share Your World, where we answer Cee’s questions to share a little of ourselves and our world with others around the planet.

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Both hubby and I love to take photos, to record our lives as we live them. When we visit family, we are both busy taking photos of our kids and grandkids. We only occasionally get a look-in ourselves. We will often come home to find there are no photos of us among the hundred or two we have taken!

Although many people hate having their photo taken, I don’t mind it. I would like my family in the future to know what I looked like and how life changed me through the years. I look back on my childhood and mostly can only imagine what my family looked like, how we grew, what we did, where we lived and where we went.

There are very few photographs to see, because in those days – the 1940s to 1960s, the cost of a camera, film and developing was too great for struggling family. Nowadays, we can take as many photos as we like at little cost. We need to remember to print them though. If anything happens to digital photos or they are not accessible due to changing technology, then people in the future will be the same as we were in the past, with little or no record of their lives.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Last weekend, I was part of a Community Fair. My writing group had a stall to publicise what we do and how we can assist budding or novice writers to improve their craft. It was a beautiful day, with lots of people about browsing a myriad of stalls in the main street which had been blocked to traffic.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came over to look at the books and magazines our members have produced. Many of them stayed to chat about writing, and quite a few were interested in coming along to our meeting to see how we operate. The best was that two of those interested are young teenage girls.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. It is so hard to resist them!!

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

It is difficult for me to choose one. Instead of looking at the shape of the letter as many will do, I am listening to the sound of it. When I do that, there are several that could apply to me at some level.

B          I want to be myself and not other people’s versions of me;

I           I – me. There is a selfish gene on one side of my family history that I always have to fight. I am getting better at it, though I still often like to get in my opinion on something;

U         I am becoming more empathetic to others as I get older, and enjoy helping you where I can;

X         Some twenty-five years after being divorced from my first husband, he finally found someone else and allowed me to be his ex-wife;

Y         I often ask why. Why is there so much hatred in the world? Why do we have to destroy our environment for the sake of short-term financial gain? Why this or why that? Maybe I should rather be asking, ‘How?’: ‘How can we fix things?’

Here are a few bits of fun too: ‘A, what did you say?’ – ‘C, I told you so!’ – ‘E, that scared me!’ – ‘G, that’s amazing!’ – ‘L, not again!’ – O dear, that’s terrible!’ – ‘RUOK?’ – T and biscuits anyone?’

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Skype is a great way to keep contact with my children and grandchildren, who all live far away. It was great to talk with one of my sons and his family.

I have a fairly light week coming up, with few scheduled commitments. I am looking forward to doing some of the things I have been putting off.

(c) Linda Visman

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Reading To Escape

July 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Family History, History, Mental Health, Reading | 6 Comments
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This is the fourth in the series of posts about my reading life.

Quotation-Barbara-Kingsolver-life-reading-to escape

Reading in My Twenties and Thirties:
As a young mother in my twenties and early thirties, I had five wonderful sons, who were a joy to me. However I was in an unhappy marriage and reading provided a wonderful escape. I would find an author that I liked and borrow or buy every one of their books I could find.

My then husband didn’t like that I read a lot, and he once ripped up a lot of my books. However, that didn’t stop me from reading, even when I took on a librarianship course by correspondence (we lived in country areas).

Beau Geste PCWrenI read the complete set of Agatha Christie books; the Leslie Charteris books about The Saint; P.C. Wren’s three books about the French Foreign Legion: Beau Geste, Beau Sabreuer and Beau Ideal; Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel books, and all the Hornblower books by C.S.Forester. I read adventure books by the likes of Alistair Maclean and Hammond Innes. I owned the complete set of Nevil Shute’s books including A Town Like Alice.

After finding a couple of books by Dennis Wheatley at my parents’ place, I became hooked on both his thrillers, historical novels and his novels of the occult.Launching of Roger Brook Wheatley

This is what Wikipedia has to say about Wheatley’s novels:
Wheatley mainly wrote adventure novels, with many books in a series of linked works. Background themes included the French Revolution (the Roger Brook series), Satanism (the Duke de Richleau series), World War II (the Gregory Sallust series) and espionage (the Julian Day novels). Over time, each of his major series would include at least one book pitting the hero against some manifestation of the supernatural. He came to be considered an authority on this, satanism, the practice of exorcism, and black magic, to all of which he was hostile.
Needless to say, I found and devoured them all.

Dragonwyck AnyaSetonAlong with such adventure books, I also read escapist historical romances. Most of the authors were, of course, women, including Georgette Heyer, Anya Seton and Victoria Holt. I occasionally ventured into more risqué novels like those about the slave plantations in the American South, but I wasn’t comfortable reading them. I must be an old stodge!

Then there were the science fiction. I loved all the books the books by John Wyndham, both his novels and short stories. Parts of them come back to me even now, forty years later. I read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and I owned and read all the H.G. Wells books. I got into what we now call post-apocalypse novels: 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World and, later on, Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker.

war-and-peaceI tackled Leo Tolstoy’s massive War and Peace and got through it all – I even liked it! Then I read Theodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which I enjoyed, as well as Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.

It is amazing how many books one can read in a few years. There are so many that come to mind, of which I have only mentioned a few. I haven’t even mentioned all the other historical novels I read. These were set in a wide variety of times and places: the Egyptian, Roman and Greek empires; the Middle Ages in England and France; in Scotland, Africa or Australia.

So many books, so many authors I haven’t yet referred to. There is Xavier Herbert’s Capricornia; Leonard Cottrell’s historical novels set around North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean; Mary Renault’s Cretan books, Mary Stewart’s novels of the court of King Arthur; Wilbur Smith’s African novels; Nigel Trantor, Irwin Shaw.

Lust for Life -Irving StoneI loved the books by Irving Stone, an American writer known for his biographical novels of famous historical personalities. Those I read included Lust for Life about Vincent van Gogh, The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo, The Passions of the Mind, about Sigmund Freud, and The Origin, based on the life of Charles Darwin.

In my thirties, I took to religion as another means of coping with depression. During this time, I read a lot of books set in the early years of Christianity. Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur; Taylor Caldwell’s Dear and Glorious Physician, and others. I also devoured many books about living the Christian life and about Christians’ experiences of that life: A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall, and several others that she wrote, as well as books by Corrie ten Boom, and lots of others.

dear-glorious-physician

All of these books only take me to my mid-thirties. That’s when I met someone who changed my life completely. I divorced my husband and went back to work.

Quotation Irving Stone-books cure illness

Do you find reading to be an escape from the pressures and problems of life?

© Linda Visman

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