January 2023

Blog Archive - February 2023

1 February 2023

Pictures at the Archibald Fountain

I took my children to an exhibition at the Australian Museum yesterday. Afterwards we walked back to the Sydney CBD through Hyde Park. The last few times we’ve been in here, the Archibald Fountain has been boarded up for maintenance. That’s now all finished, and the fountain was all open to be admired. My youngest loves Greek mythology, so I thought she’d love the fountain. She thought it was pretty good but was highly critical of the Pan section, pointing out that Pan is usually depicted with the horns and hindquarters of a goat, not as the human the fountain shows. She also didn’t like that the designer mixed Roman elements in with the Greek, by using Diana instead of Artemis. If only she gave her school work the same attention she gives to the Greek myths!

I couldn’t resist getting a photo of me reading The King Must Die, a retelling of the Theseus legend, in front of the fountain’s depiction of Theseus slaying the Minotaur. It’s the book I’m currently reading to be reviewed on this site. I also got another panorama shot for our front page, showing Apollo, Pan and Diana on the fountain. It currently is the first picture in a group that cycles near the bottom of our front page. If you miss it, refresh your page or just wait for it to return.

- Toriaz

6 February 2023

End of a slow start to the year

Due to a few family emergencies, the start of this year has not been as smooth as I hoped for the Reading Project. I’ve barely read anything and the intention to begin a couple of new special reading projects has not progressed as far as I planned. I am hoping that today will be the beginning of getting back on track with our goals.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things for this blog post. First, I wanted to mention Toriaz’s discovery of some bizarre erotic fiction. She reviewed Ice Planet Barbarians and Dick Fight Island last year because they were so silly they amused her. Over the weekend she brought my attention to even more bizarre sub-genres she stumbled across. Apparently, dinosaur erotica is a thing we didn’t know about. The title that particularly caught Toriaz’s eye was Wet Hot Allosaurus Summer. The blurb for this book tells us:

Tanis was a simple country girl, desperate to escape life on the farm. Big Al was everything she was lusting for . . . a sexy bad boy carnosaur from the wrong side of the food chain. Would their forbidden love tear her family-- or her flesh-- apart?

Dinosaur erotica was just one discovery Toriaz made. There was also a bunch of equally silly forms of erotica I won’t take the time to mention here. If you’re really interested, I bet you’d find them. Toriaz tells me that she has no intention of reading or reviewing any of this newly discovered material. I’m not sure if readers of the Reading Project would deem that a loss or not.

Wet Hot Allosaurus Summer by Lola Faust Tricteratops and Bottoms by Lola Faust

We also saw a post about a street library in Emu Plains (a suburb at the foot of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney) that is currently being supplemented by tables of books that have been donated by locals. We’ve been to this street library before, but we decided to go back and check out what was on offer. I discovered a nicely presented book, The Gospel According to Judas, which sounded intriguing. It’s presented as a traditional red letter Bible. I didn’t have a lot of time to look at it because I had Lucy with me, our Reading Project dog, who was somewhat distracted by another dog being walked in the street. I thought it might be an apocryphal text I hadn’t heard of, so I took it. A number of years ago I bought and read The Gospel According to Thomas, which is actually attributed to the first century apostle. But I discovered when I got home that my new book is a novella written by Jeffrey Archer and Frank Moloney which tells the events of the New Testament through Judas’s eyes (their names do not appear on the cover or title page). Still, it’s nicely presented and it might be interesting to read. The images, below, are of the street library, itself, along with a picture of me holding my new book, accompanied by Lucy, in front of the tables that flank the street library.

Street Library, Emu Plains Lucy and Me at Street Library

- bikerbuddy

8 February 2023

Much about Moomins!

I noted on 6 February that I’ve been pretty busy the last month. But the weekend before last I had to go to Leura in the upper-Mountains, and stopped to look at Megalong Books. I hadn’t intended to buy anything, but I happened upon a beautiful edition of a book about Tove Jansson and her work by Paul Gravett. It’s part of a series devoted to illustrators. Tove Jansson is the creator of the Moomin series of books for children. Her parents were artists and she also illustrated her own books. I read some of her books when I was a kid and I’ve reread and reviewed all her Moomin novels on this website. Naturally, I couldn’t resist buying the book which is full of illustrations I have never seen before.

It just so happened that my son was also going to Hawaii only a couple of days later. While he was there he sent me a text message with a picture of a sign on a walkway. It so happened that Hawaii, despite being a very different climate from the Finnish world of Jansson’s novels, has its own Moomin shop (there are none that I know of in Sydney). We had dinner with our son last night after he returned from Hawaii, and he presented me with a Moomin tote bag he bought in the shop. I was so pleased!

I love that the Moomins have adapted to the more tropical Hawaii in the tote bag picture!

- bikerbuddy

9 February 2023

Experimenting with Comment Boxes

Some time ago I added comment boxes to the end of all our reviews. I generally do this sort of thing to find out how to do it, but I found that we occasionally do get people wanting to make a comment or give feedback about our reviews, so I kept the feature.

I thought I’d experiment with comment boxes in this blog. Comments have been made a couple of times now about blog posts on our Neocities profile page, the platform that hosts this website, but that is not available to everyone who views this website.

This is going to be an experiment because one issue I face with it is permanently keeping any comments we receive when I copy the blog into our archive folder at the end of each month. (Access to the blog archive can be found on the right of the About/Blog page, listed by month and year). Because the comments are hosted by another website, any changes to the URL can be problematic.

As a result, it would be nice, if anyone is so inclined, to receive comments here for the purposes of the experiment. Even if it’s just to say hi! Otherwise, I will add a few generic comments of my own at the end of the month to test whether this idea is viable.


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- bikerbuddy

March 2023