A New Wall Calendar Every Year

Machu Picchu Citadel, Aguas Calientes, Peru + Photographed for Bartel Calendars The Last Diary Company, Mascot NSW Australia – www.bartelpublications.com.au

It’s usually five or six new wall calendars every year. Or more if they are a seasonal gift. They hang in various rooms in our home, sometimes two at a time and used constantly. Some are intensely written on, e.g. appointments, special events, new recipe, etc, while others are purely decoration.

As the new month is flipped over, there is always much comment on artistic merit. Some are better than others. Purchased early in December is better; the mundane scenery ones (even beach scenes can wear thin) are the last on the newsagent’s display rack.

“Hey, what is the meaning of the Andes Mountains Machu Picchu Citadel photograph?” you ask.

Well, as the year draws to a close, I looked at this final entry and thought “Wow, that camera is very good!” I looked closely and saw what every single tourist is doing, frozen in time! I could even see two people on top of a nearby mountain, perhaps the ones who photographed this shot using an aerial drone?

Young backpackers, trip-of-a-lifetimers, honeymoon couples, students and many nationalities. Guides and guards seem to be at various points. Did they know where their image would end up?

I hope you can see what each tourist is doing. My reproduction resolution may not be clear enough so let me explain a few:

Posing for photos, taking photos, taking off jackets, chatting, fixing hair, climbing with apparent degrees of speed up the ancient stone steps, the rocky terraces, the top platform. A young woman presses into a wall niche. At the pinnacle there is a man with his arms and legs spread as though shouting “Here I am, I made it.”

This mysterious, ancient citadel seems to be well treated and well preserved and hopefully will still be standing into another millennium or two.

Just to bore you, listed below are calendars hanging around here waiting to be removed from their wall-hooks to make way for the 2022 intake. No movies, no sport, no cars, but I am willing to bet you have had at least one of these in your home at some time or another:

  • Birds
  • Lighthouses
  • Anime
  • Cat calendar
  • Dog calendar
  • World cities
  • Tropical islands
  • Indigenous art
  • Birthday calendar

Remember Snoopy, Garfield and Gary Larson’s “The Far Side”? And what about Australia’s own Red Tractor Designs. I love their country calendars!

I like the ritual of changing a calendar over every month. It’s not a chore, it’s not a device, it’s not generated automatically, it doesn’t need recharging, it doesn’t make a noise. Except the lovely sound of rustling paper.

Real calendars give me back some masterly (mistressly?) control over my daily routine. No programming or click-tap-swiping, just me and a pen. In fact, that pen often doodles. Seeing as Christmas is coming, I have sketched a couple of jolly holly sprigs on my calendar entries. No doubt I will do a spray of fireworks for New Year’s Eve.

Wishing you safe, interesting and happy times ahead.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Photo Gretchen Bernet-Ward + Cat photo http://www.trio.bildarchiv.de/ + Christmas baubles https://www.petbarn.com.au/

My Wall Calendar Fetish

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The master of mysterious…

Do you keep a favourite wall calendar?  Do you keep an image from a favourite wall calendar?  Do you even buy a wall calendar?  Well, I do.

Each year late in December I peruse the newsagents and stationery stores for The One.  The wall calendar with good images and good size squares to write in.  The paper is also important, not too shiny otherwise the ink smudges, and not too thin otherwise the pages tear and have a tendency to flop forward.  I then have to resort to sticky tape to hold old months out of the way of a new month.  Sometimes I use glider clips (paper clips, metal things bent to slide over paper and hold it together) or if I don’t like the calendar much, I glue the old months together.

Occasionally it annoys me where the hole is punched in some wall calendars because it can affect the hanging process on my coat-hook (in the bedroom) the nail (in the kitchen) and the picture hanger (in the study) and enlarge the hole.

One of the calendar ‘things’ which has been a major item on our Christmas list for many, many years is a Bunch-Of-Dates.  A delightful play on words (perhaps conjured up by a light-hearted printer) it consists of a shaped metal frame which goes through the two holes in a square block of paper containing 365 day leaflets plus a tiny yearly calendar and national holiday dates.  An added bonus is daily quotations from inspiring people.

This pre-internet invention sits on office desks and when the workers begin their day, they flip over yesterday’s date to reveal all the chores they have to do today.  Every job I ever worked in from 1970s onward had Bunches-of-Dates sitting on staff desks or the reception desk.  Yes, I actually still use this old-fashioned device and it is right beside me on my left-hand side.  The date at the top (see photo) with lines at the bottom.  Yesterday, Sunday 5th January 2020, it had approximately seven things written on it, e.g. shopping for a light bulb and To Do things like fill bird bath with water.

You can buy the Bunch-Of-Dates refills for a couple of dollars (a range of office calendars and diaries are printed by Collins Debden) and every year after 1st January, they are renewed across the country.

If they are not used by lazy coworkers who try to remember things and when they can’t, they blame it on you for not reminding them, their blank Bunch-Of-Dates can be used as scrap paper for note-taking.  I sometimes find some thin old wire, like a twist-tie, which I thread through the holes and firmly bind 365 unused days together.  Just the right size for cryptic notes to colleagues or wayward family members.

 

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Happy New Year 2020…

Lately I have taken to keeping the last year’s used Bunch-Of-Dates (with exclamation marks, little drawings, council reminders) because sometimes I jot down an important number and don’t transfer it over to my Contacts file.  At this point, I must mention that I have an electronic calendar.  It is most ingenious but no matter how ingenious, it still needs input.  I am very sparing with what I type into my electronic calendar otherwise a lengthy tirade will pop-up at me in the morning when I least expect it.

Another thing; I never ever put stuff on my mobile phone.  Silly, I guess, but they need to be charged and friends say ‘my battery died’ whenever they are late.  An old-school piece of paper in your pocket will never let you down.  That, and a pen, is all you need to survive in the world of words.

But, you ask, what about keeping your favourite calendar photographs?  Goodness, I don’t know where to start!

I have many beautiful scenery images, all totally scribbled on the back, all years old.  But I love them and I often remember the month that went with them.  Except for the one I framed which is three elephants and their passengers splashing down a river in a jungle.  The shallow water is jade green, as vivid as the lush tropical foliage.  There is a feeling of both pleasure and menace.

Anyway, a person in my familia has taken a shine to Polish artist Jacek Yerka’s fantasy style and I began to enjoy the ones where he puts hundreds of bookstacks in quirky settings.  I kept this one (see above) perhaps not his strangest, but I get a lot of pleasure out of it.

Every so often I have a surplus calendar, a gift or whatever, so I hammer in an extra nail and hang it up, not as prominent as those I love but I give it hanging space.

And this year?  Oh joy, this year I discovered an Australian Jumbo Big Huge calendar with gigantic squares!  It will take anything I wish to write on it and leave room for more—the down side of this extravagant calendar is no pictures.  There is a tiny strip along the top showing a beach or mountain or city but nothing else.  And one of these images is repeated, not a good look in my eyes.  Ho-hum, can’t have everything.

In the kitchen my next favourite is Chickens, not cooked, just hens displaying glorious feathers in beautiful country settings.  Pecking through, it looks like April hens are ahead of the flock photogenically.  I will have to let you know who gets preserved at the end of the year.  Just a minute, I’ll write a note on my calendar…

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

 

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This is not an advertisement, just a bit of calendar styling.

First of the Month

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Hopper Studios, Canada, and artwork by Sue Zipkin

When I was a kid we used to say “Pinch and punch for the first of the month” and I don’t know why.  A lot of our practical jokes involved physical actions which resulted in the receiver going “Ow, ouch” and glaring fiercely while rubbing their arm.

This beautiful calendar art was created by Sue Zipkin, produced by Hopper Studios, and I will be sad to see it go.  However, its final words are encouraging “Embrace Change”.  How many of us will actually do that next year?

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb

Gretchen Bernet-Ward