Oh Jonathon!

Australian slavery

I saw memorials to the blackbirded labourers (aka slaves) in Queensland in the 1990s. Not metropolitan elite Queensland – in like local history museums in northern Queensland adjacent to photos of Jo Bjelke Peterson.
Oh Jonathon!

Kenneth Grahame, Dream Days (1895)

I shall begin this review, with a quote by AA Milne. In his lesser known life (the entirety of his non-Winnie the Pooh writing), he reviewed books, including these comments on Kenneth Grahame.

'...I am going to speak of another discovery; of a book which should be a classic, but is not; of a book of which nobody has heard…. It [is] the last published book of a well-known writer. When I tell you his name you will say, “Oh yes! I love his books!” and you will mention So-and-So and Such-and-Such. But when I ask you if you ave read this book, you will profess surprise, and say that you have never heard of it….

Well, the writer of my book is Kenneth Grahame. You have heard of him? Good, I thought so. The books you have read are *The Golden Age* and *Dream Days*. Am I right? Thank you. But the book you have not read... is The Wind in the Willows. Am I right again? I was afraid so.'

This is the exact opposite of the current state of affairs, when Grahame is known solely for *The Wind in the Willows*. Much the same has happened with Milne.

The Wind in the Willows is a wonderful book, a strange combination of whimsy and chaotic energy.

His earlier works, Dream Days (1898) and The Golden Age (1895) are 100% whimsical. The books are a description of childhood, entirely nostalgic, entirely a paean to the joys of childhood now vanished.

The book lacks the energy that Toad brings to *The Wind in the Willows*; all that is left is the beautiful melancholy that Ratty and Mole have. It is a pretty book, but it lacks the touch of greatness of *The Wind in the Willows*.
Oh Jonathon!

Flu/Billabong

I can think of only one book I have read that referenced the 1919 flu epidemic as a contemporary event.


In *Back to Billabong* (1921) the flu sweeps through the District and the Lintons, as usual, come to the rescue. Norah and Tommy cook for the district hospital and Jim ferries people around in his Limo, being embarrassed about being thanked.
Any other examples?
Oh Jonathon!

(no subject)

Just did the shopping. Or some of it, as the shop did not have everything.

I found it incredibly stressful, mostly because Ruby is anxious and does not want to leave me and Pearl is so depressed (or pre-teenish) and does not want to leave her room. So I could not leave Ruby with Pearl and instead she stayed in the car while I ran in and out of the shop to show her I was still present.

This is an extremely inefficient way to shop and this, combined with the utter crowding of the shop, really stressed me. The floor was covered with signs about distancing (and people crawling about on the floor installing them) but there were about five actual people for every floor spot for two people so that just made me angry.

Plans for my next trip to the shops. I will be taking gloves.

I will have to go to a bigger shop next time, so I will either have to winkle Pearl out of her room or leave Ruby in the front yard of a nearby friend who can observe her from within their locked house.

I also went to work where I had to do ten minutes work on my computer (since I can't access all of it at home). Wound up getting a coworker to stand next to my car in the car park, talking-to Ruby through the window while I ran upstairs.

I am finding work extremely hard atm. Also life. Life is hard. For all of us.
Oh Jonathon!

2020

n 1997 I was working at Griffith University which was situated in beautiful bush land. Unfortunately, there was a bush fire. Which was put out by the freak hail storm. The heavy hail storm blew a hole in the roof of the library and did other damage around campus and to my house. Then the hailstones melted and caused a flood. Which made the animals flee the bush and charge into the university rooms. Like the cute possums and also the many, many snakes were just roaming the corridors.


So that was one four hour period of my life that was quite hectic.


2020 has felt like that four hour period, only continuing for month after month.
Oh Jonathon!

C19

I have decided what I will re-read in light of the current situation… the bit in Little House on the Prairie where they all go down with a fever and their neighbours rally around and help them out.


I think that’s quite a positive message.