Friday, January 30, 2009


I don't know about you, but I love peeking at other people's book collections (can't help it!) - and after days of searching and researching I've finally found a way of sharing some books from my library here on the blog- have a look in the side bar there - I found LibraryThing and my but an interesting thing it is too.

it's far more than a nifty widget - LibraryThing allows you to create a catalogue of your books, then to sort/edit book information, rate books, write reviews, find other books based on your catalogue, connect with other book lovers and all around have a marvellously booky time!

so a lot about LibraryThing felt like home to me - particularly when I came upon this line on their site:

'LibraryThing cares about books, not about SELLING books.'

It's not ideal - I won't be able to catalogue many of my books -as most of mine are old dears and LibraryThing's main data link is amazon... click on one of the cover pics and you'll see what I mean....) and even when I can list it in LibraryThing, often the cover art is not available...

still it seems nice to share some of my whacking huge book collection (even in this limited manner)

oh and if you click on the 'my library' part of the title you'll be whisked off to my LibraryThing catalogue - I've added a couple of comments here and there to some of the titles...

hope you enjoy the peek!

Monday, January 26, 2009

books, books and more books (and a special find too...)

This week I finally hit the mother lode... so large was the pile of unwanted encyclopaedias donated to the Rotary Club of Bega that I had to bring my long suffering Farmer Phil and his one tonne flat bed ute to collect them all...

I've been collecting unwanted encyclopaedias for a couple of years now - attending the twice annual Rotary Book Sale in Bega to snaffle them up.... I love when the Rotary members ask what is it I want to do with all these books... Farmer Phil just rolls his eyes skyward and mumurs something like 'she likes to see me flex my muscles' (this, I must say, is just a bonus)

In fact the large and growing stockpile of encyclopaedia have proved problematic for the Rotary - there isn't a huge demand for the old things (especially the Funk and Wagnalls or Colliers) - they are heavy to transport - and most have ended up in the skip...

this Rotary club member (Eric) had his shed filled up with them!

The ute load we collected this week equalled my tally at home - so I was totally thrilled.

Whilst rumaging around the shed, pointing to desired boxes (go use your brute strength dear..)
I stumbled over a small exercise book....

I'm sure most poeple would glance and move on- but this particular book stopped me in my tracks. I looked at the school badge 'BEGA HIGH SCHOOL' and the 'name' carefully written on the cover 'TAKAKO.M'.... I was stunned ~

I'm an ex-student of Bega High - I attended from 1979 to 1984 (yes you can rather easily guess my age from these dates). In 1982-83 the school hosted an exchange student from Japan - her name was Takako Miyamoto. As I looked at this little exercise book - lingering amongst the piles of unwanted books (the only little exercise book or like amongst the piles I must say...), I had no doubt that this was her book

My eyes welled as I was overcome with a wave of disbelief.

In the summer of 1983, just before she was due to go home, Takako drowned at Surf Beach in Narooma. It was, as you can imagine, a shocking tragedy - one that has remained vivid in my memory. I was elected a SRC (Student Representative Counsellor... or prefect) in 1983. One of the first duties that year was (along with fellow SRC) to officiate at the memorial service for Takako. I met her parents who flew out from Japan, and the Japanese Ambassador, numerous Australian MP's and more 'officials' from all levels than I care to remember .

The school under the direction of the SRC created a small rather lovely garden in Takako's honour (it's still there at Bega High - next to their hall... I wonder how many people know of its significance?)

I knew Takako from school - we had sport together. I remember her even today as a petite gorgeous creature with a ready giggle. I remember particularly her commenting on a pendant I used to wear - a chinese coin with a hole in the middle - I can't remember what she said, but I know she thought it was funny that I'd wear such a thing.

Finding that little book filled with Takako's 'english words' (her attempt to grasp the language) was a poignant and rather special moment.

It came home with me - the most special find.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

on the edge...

On Friday evening - after the day of cruising the local galleries, Jen and myself attended not one but 2 openings - a show at spiral gallery (lovely group show of the gallery's co-op artists)
and "On the Edge' - Semag's biennial exhibition held at the newly refurbished Bega Valley Regional Gallery.

And here's why.....

there... behind a couple of the roughly 60-ish strong opening night crowd... there is my piece selected for the show (yay!)

I posted a pic of this a little bit ago (then I was calling it 'white/black' I think...)

I finally managed to give the work a 'proper' title: "Things of White and Black: Memory"

The exhibition is on until Feb 14.... I think I have to go and do an artists talk on some day soon (note to self look at diary...)

Friday, January 16, 2009

gallery visits

I did the very touristy thing today of visiting some of the local galleries (with my friend and fellow artist Jeni) - we headed south and towards the coast - there are many fab galleries on the 'back road' from Bermagui to Tathra

for the first time I managed to visit Ivy Hill Gallery - the gallery of Ivy Hill is part of a lovely old home, set high on a hill - on coastal farming country. I really enjoyed the work by Sara Freeman on exhibition at the moment (in a group show)

just a little bit down the road we stumbled onto a lovely little studio with a fantastic garden (and a great eastern water dragon to greet visitors!)

And a few kilometres further south is Narek Galleries - the building is of course an old church (look at that architecture - there are a number of churches in this area that look just like this.. lovely proportions!). There was a great ceramic exhibition on show - with work from Janet De Boos, Kirsten Coehlo, Bronwen Kemp and (ohhh geez I've forgotten the other artist!). Jen (being a ceramic girlie) was in her element - Janet was one of her teachers - and she loved the new work. Me, I was more taken with Kirsten's delicious delicate bowls... so pure and unadorned... very nice!

We popped over to Bilyara Gallery (this one is on the coast road between Tathra and Merimbula) Yes there is a building in that there bush setting... and here we enjoyed the diverse range of arty bits on offer

It was a great day - we ended up in Bega for the opening of 2 shows (but I'll have to tell you about this next time...I'm all artied out right now)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

books books books

the Rotary book sale was on again this week at the Bega showground pavillion

(isn't it a lovely old building?)

and naturally I was there with bells on (and arrived of course in the opening minutes of the 3 day book sale)

I love the Rotary Boook sale - an event that occurs a couple of times each year in Bega - where unwanted/ unloved/ excess books are offered at very reasonable prices for all comers (and the proceeds go to fund Rotary projects) Its very much a win win situation

And a very popular event!

I've become (through no fault of my own I must state) something of a 'personality' with the Rotary book sale folk. In previous sales I've bought so many books that my poor car was unable to transport them home in one trip! - they do love me so the Rotary people - I always want the stuff that they suspect will end up in the skip at the end of the sale (NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I say!!!!!!!)

Here's one of my boxes from this year - a set of World Book encyclopaedias (I have been collecting encyclopaedia for a few years now - I'm preparing for A Very Large Work... hopefully I'll have enough to commence the piece this year...

by the way - if you have an old set of encyclopaedia just rattling around that you are preparing to send to landfill - why not GIVE THEM TO ME???? I promise to give them a new lease on life....