Saturday, July 17, 2010

From Penny Farthings to Punch and Judy

Where did the first half of the year go to?
For me, it has flown.
I think back and wonder what I have done. One thing’s for sure, I have failed to keep up my regular blog entries.
However, now I sit down and look back over that time, I can see why.
Firstly, I enrolled at the University of Tasmania to commence an Associate degree in Arts – a case of doing some more undergraduate units in areas which interest me.
Semester 1 consisted on History, Aboriginal studies and two units of Antarctic Studies.
One of the reasons for going back to study was to learn more of the history of early Tasmania – Van Diemen’s Land - as it was originally called. The Antarctic units were of interest to me because of my book, Floating Gold in which one third of the book is set in the Antarctic Peninsula. Read about Crevasse Roulette in another post.
What else have I been up to?

I’ve not been anywhere of significance, though in January I visited Cape Grim and the Woolnorth wind farm with my son (visiting from UK). We also went to Hobart and drove up Mount Wellington (see pic), and took a cruise down the Channel to Bruny Island.

In March, I went to the Penny-farthing races which are held annually at Evandale in northern Tasmania.
The Punch and Judy show reminded me of the words from one of my books, The Black Thread – ‘I’m coming to get you!’

During the past few months, I did the final edit on my latest book, Floating Gold and saw it published on 31 May. I did a modicum of publicity, though not as much as I would have liked, however, I am pleased to say that the early reviews are excellent. I just hope the reviews reflect in sales, plus an offer for a large print edition (though I would have expected that to be forthcoming by now).

June was University exam time – not something I enjoy – and afterwards I went to Hobart for two conferences – one on Antarctica and the other on Tasmanian Colonialism and its Aftermath.

The conference topics were interesting but not quite as interesting as some of the people I met, such as the Governor of Tasmania who I was introduced to at a reception at Government House. Also Alice Giles, international and world renowned harpist, and Jon Stephenson - the first Australian to the South Pole after Amundsen. After wintering on the ice, Jon drove a dog team to the pole - but more on Jon and dogs in a later post.

Sadly, a couple of months ago, my mother died in England aged 99. I had planned to go the UK in December to help her celebrate her 100th birthday, but that is not to be. Six weeks later, her sister, also passed away. I think she was 94. Sad time which marked the end of a generation.
So that brings me up to date.
Last week Semester 2 started and I have embarked on 3 History units and 1 unit of Indigenous Studies so, before I get bogged down in assignments, I thought I should update my blog.
Best wishes to you all. I promise my posts will be more regular in future.
Pics: My sons and I at the top of Mt Wellington, Hobart.
Penny farthing races and Punch and Judy at Evandale, Tasmania.
Penguin pic courtesy of email spam "There is always one idiot in every holiday snap!"

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