Three Things #11

Bookshelf for ABC Radio 04

It has been awhile since I compiled a Three Things post.  Traditionally, it should be different things, Reading Looking Thinking, but sometimes I don’t quite stick to that plan.  The original post was started by Paula Bardell-Hedley of Book Jotter.  She has the best literary links in the blogging biz.

Let’s open with READING

Tensy Farlow And The Home For Mislaid Children
by Jen Storer

  • Published: 3 August 2009
  • ISBN: 9781742286495
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 348

Tensy Farlow and The Home for Mislaid Children by Jen Storer

MY REVIEW

A scary story for ages nine and upwards but personally I would not have read it at nine years of age.  Or if I did, I would have had my fingers ready to peek through.  But seeing as I was an adult when this story was written, it’s all a bit hypothetical really.

Abandoned in the River Charon as a baby, Tensy Farlow is found and raised by dear Albie Gribble until circumstances contrive to send her to a gothic children’s home which is anything but homely.  Tensy is a strong yet unusual protagonista with flame red hair.  She makes friends with the other foundlings and workhouse orphans, but as if Watchers-in-the-night aren’t bad enough there is a swampy creature with an evil agenda—and Tensy’s name is top of the list.

The characters are both funny and horrible, like despicable Matron Pluckrose, her assistant Mrs Beadle, foul Cook and very creepy buildings including a haunted chapel loosely based on Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne where Jen Storer had occupied a writing space.

Amidst the mayhem and dire food, there are nice people like GAs (guardian angels—although Tensy doesn’t have one) young Howard, Olive, good guys Guy and Magnus and… well, I think there were some other nice people.  When I wasn’t reading through my fingers (ahem) I steadily progressed to the climactic ending.  I did question the tenuous tying up of loose ends but over all it was a transcendental finale.  One for the Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket readers but with unique quirks and atmospheric twist-backs all its own.

IMG_9269AUTHOR Jen Storer of Girl & Duck is an award-winning author of numerous books.  She is a writing motivator, creative inspirationalist, founder of Scribbles, the international children's writers creative group for authors, poets, illustrators and all things kidlit.  Jen has worked both sides of the publishing industry and knows trillions of wise and wonderful things to encourage and guide emerging writers.

Listen https://soundcloud.com/girlandduck

Now a peek at LOOKING

Australian Art: Short Course

I joined many others on Zoom as Angela Goddard, Director of Griffith University Art Museum, took us on a 3-part virtual short course to discover a unique perspective on Australian art.

Using artworks on display in QAGOMA’s Australian Art Collection, this introductory short course explored aspects of Australian art history, from ancient Indigenous traditions through to the present day.  Each virtual session featured a focus lecture, followed by a Q&A with a contemporary artist.

SESSION 1: COUNTRY, LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY
SESSION 2: NETWORKS OF MODERNITY
SESSION 3: PATHS TO THE CONTEMPORARY

I could ask questions and discuss ideas with other attendees and panelists via the Zoom chat window.  It was fascinating to see how our art evolved from the European painters to a strong Australian identity and then recognition of the original Indigenous artists.

Link to images of several of the works of art under discussion:
https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/australian-collection

Campsite on Philip Island by FC Bernet c1950
Personal collection – Campsite Philip Island © FC Bernet c1950

And close with THINKING

After coming to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic, my city of Brisbane is learning how to get back into social activities and community events in a new socially acceptable way.

Apart from learning how to properly wash our hands and wear a face mask like the rest of the world, we are now embracing outdoor activities more than ever before.  In the cool calmness of morning, I do yoga in the park and share my mat with insects and fallen blossom.

I took this photograph (below) of the back page of November 2020 “What’s On” brochure which showcases some of the mostly-free Brisbane City Council activities on offer, from pottery and pilates to Shakespeare, cyclists and circus handstands. 

Hmm, I am thinking of attending the evening performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Roma Street Parklands, 14-15 November from 4pm.  Although the park is adjacent to the central business district and fine dining, I think a picnic would be nice.  The event states "live music and swordplay".  Nothing like munching on a sandwich while watching dueling swordsmen spouting Shakespeare.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward
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Brisbane City Council November 2020 “What’s On” Event Guide

Strolling Down by the River

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Came over the hill and the Brisbane River is to the right…

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And a line of waiting cars can be seen to the left…

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The Moggill Ferry is on the opposite bank…

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Here it comes, loaded with cars…

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With a clank, the metal plank is lowered and the cars drive off…

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A warning to boats cruising up the river…

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It is nice to sit on the river bank in the sun.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward


BACKGROUND INFORMATION  Moggill Ferry, a tolled vehicular cable ferry, crosses the Brisbane River between Moggill, Brisbane and Riverview, Ipswich, Queensland.  It has weathered several floods since 1920s and had various replacements.  The ferry was motorised in 1940s under joint control of the Ipswich and Brisbane City Councils.  It can carry 20 vehicles (car AU$1.90) GVM vehicle up to 4.5 tonnes (AU$16.30) pedestrians (free) and operates between sunrise and sunset—if you miss the last ferry, you have to take the long way via Ipswich Highway.  Services operate daily, except for Good Friday and Christmas Day.  The journey takes approximately 4 minutes on the vehicle ferry.  I think that depends on the pull of the current.  During the floods of 2011, the ferry cables broke and ferry staff lashed it to the riverbank so it would not get washed away.  It may look like a bygone era but it is well-used and only 19km (12 miles) from the centre of the city. GBW.