Weekend Coffee Share…2nd September, 2019.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Since this is all about virtual sharing, I can offer you a slice of passion fruit sponge cake with a generous dollop of cream without having to fend you off with my fork. You see, in reality this cake is mine, ALL mine. However, I can be very generous with all of you. Almost all of you are too faraway to collect.

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Passion Fruit Sponge Cake (butter needed to be mixed in better…oops)

Yesterday, it was Father’s Day here in Australia. A day which promises so much, but frequently under delivers. Or, completely contrary to one’s hopes and aspirations is catastrophic. I know we all try to hold back the tide for special occasions, but it isn’t always possible. It is what it is. I explored realities versus expectations in yesterday’s post Not Quite A Perfect Father’s Day

Yesterday, was not only Father’s Day. It was also the first day of Spring…yippee! Sunshine here we come. I have to admit I’m looking forward to warmer weather, especially the in between months of Spring before the place turns into a furnace in Summer. The beach is only down the road as well…heaven on earth.

The last week was rather uninspiring. We had a few days of ferocious rain and wind, which while nothing like the force of Cyclone Dorian which is hitting the US, it was still quite intimidating and made its presence felt. By day, I bunkered down in bed underneath the doona reading Oliver Twist.

Indeed, speaking of Oliver Twist, I finally finished it over the weekend. Have you ever read it? I absolutely loved it. While I read A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities at school, Oliver Twist is the first of Dickens’ novels, I’ve read by choice. I also prefer to read shorter works. So, for me to actually make it through to the end of a 500 page novel, was also a personal triumph. I found myself completely absorbed in the story. Although I know the musical and we actually put it on when I was about 12 at school, I found the novel was in a league of its own. The characters were much richer and complex and the novel is deeply philosophical as Dickens explores the aftermath of the Poor Laws of 1832 and the horrors of the workhouse, child labour and the world of crime. London comes across as a veritable cesspit, a place to escape at all costs. Knowing that Geoff’s family was living through these times in London, further brings Dickens’ stories to life for me.  These weren’t just characters in a novel. These characters represented real people… thousands and thousands of people grappling with extreme poverty and crime as the only way out. I’m certainly glad I wasn’t living through these times.

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“Please, Sir. Could I have some more?”

Have you read Oliver Twist or any of Dickens other works? Are you a fan? Do you feel Dickens has a place in the modern era or belongs in the past?

The main reason I’ve been reading Dickens is that I’m working on writing a book of short biographical stories about our ancestors and the stories at the beginning are from this era, or even a bit earlier. To really tell a story well, there are so many details to absorb and yet these need to become the wallpaper and not the story itself or you’ll bore your reader to death. To be honest, I thought I’d have got there by now but I still feel like I’m having to process more before I’m quite ready to tell the story right. I’m not sure if this is the perfectionist in me or whether I’m not there yet. However, I’m trying to hang in there.

Meanwhile, my reading has gone off onto a different tangent. I was trying very, very hard to keep walking past our local bookshop Book Bazaar and  yet like a kid being lured into a candy shop, I ducked my head in through the door and spotted John Marsden’s: The Art of Growing Up. John Marsden is a distinguished Australian author of Young Adult fiction and was the founder and principal of two schools. As a writer myself, this had to be my kind of parenting book, although he’s quite hard-hitting and certainly not into free-range parenting by feel. Probably a good thing really. Anyway, thought I’d share a quote with you…

When I hear parents say ‘I want my children to enjoy their childhood; there’ll be time when they’re older to learn about those things’, I hear the voices of those who are scared of the vastness of the universe. These adults have a view of childhood as some kind of discrete interval, rather than just a few years from the continuum of life. How fortunate that the spirit, courage and curiosity of many young people remain largely undefeated by such adults.

-John Marsden, The Art of Growing Up

So, you could say that last week was book week.

In terms of blogging, I’ve done the following posts:

On The Run…Friday Fictioneers

A Festival of Red Doors…Friday Fictioneers

Hey, just when I thought I hadn’t done anything very exciting, I forgot that I revisited Heidelberg, Germany where I lived for six months back in 1992 when I was 22 years old. I had the time of my life there and made some life-long friends. We recently got a few crate loads of photos out of the shed, which included a second photo album of overseas photos. There was Heidelberg again. How beautiful. I showed the photos to my daughter and she asked why I came back. I must admit, I was wondering myself for quite a few years. Anyway, I ended up revisiting Heidelberg via Youtube. It was amazing. Here’s the link: Heidelberg Tour

So last week wasn’t quite so uneventful after all. How was your week? I look forward to hearing from you.

This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by  Eclectic Ali. We’d love you to pop round and join us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

9 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share…2nd September, 2019.

  1. tidalscribe

    I love Dickens, though I have not read as many of his books as I should and much of my enjoyment comes from great BBC television adaptations! My late aunt and uncle rediscovered Dickens when my younger son hit upon an idea for cheap Chriustmas presents; you could buy paperback classics in WH smith for only 99 pence! We inherited all my aunt and uncle’s books, so I have a shelf full of Dickens. I find every paragraph shouul be read properly, undisturbed as his prose is so rich in description of characters. Most of all I love the feel of London. I have stood on the bed of the Thames at low tide and picked up a broken clay pipe; I felt close to Dickens as the river is so much a part of life for many of his characters. Yes he is totally relevant because he portrays the layers of society in a big city; that does not change. People may walk the same pavement, but could be on different planets their lives are so remote from each other.

  2. Sagittarius Viking

    First I’d like to say that it’s good to have coffee with you! Spring? Wow! I am just so eager for summer to end here.. LOL. Germany is beautiful. My mom spent the first half of 1992 in Germany, what a coincidence. When I lived in Sweden I often visited Germany, as it was close by. YouTube is a great tool, when you want to visit another place. I use it for educational purposes with my daughter quite often. Thank you for the coffee and that delicious cake! At first I thought you had baked the same bread I made today, with chia seeds! Your cake looked similar 🙂 Have a great new week 🙂

  3. Rowena Post author

    What a coincidence your mother was in Germany in 1992 when I was there. I saw quite a lot of Germany, especially for an Australian. It’s not a country that’s top of the list for most Australian travellers. We tend to head for LOndon, Asia or USA. Paris is also very popular. I few into Amsterdam and then caught the train to Cologne and from there to Heidelberg where I stayed a few weeks before going to Rottweil and then down to Grenzach on the Swiss border near Basel. I stayed with freinds I’d met along the way at these places. Then I spent a week in Berlin staying in an East Berlin student house. Then to Mons in Belgium and to Paris for 6 weeks. Back to Heidelberg where I lived for 6 months and I had a week in London and a weekend in Florence. It was an incredibly time but I was incredibly homesick as well. So different being away back then without email, Facebook, mobile phones. It cost the earth to ring Australia.
    I see what you mean about the passion fruit seeds looking like chia.
    Still looking forward to that sunshine. Great to start getting out without all the layers on.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  4. Rowena Post author

    It was good, although I need to work on that sponge cake. My mother’s version was quite eggy and in a league all of it’s own. Her memory isn’t quite what it was and it’s been a good 5 years since she’s made it but I’m going to see if I can get her onto it.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  5. Sagittarius Viking

    I think it’s very good to do that kind of travel at some point in one’s life. To see more than your hometown, even if your hometown is fabulous 😊 I’m encouraging my daughter to travel, and spend time with people from different cultures.

  6. New Journey

    I enjoy a good Dickens book now and then. Love all the red doors. Sorry I have been absent, dealing with vertigo and not much you can or want to do when the room is spinning out of control Better now and working on making it go away!! We are entering fall here. Looking forward to the cooler weather, hopefully in a few weeks. Hope all goes well for you my friend. Dorian didn’t so to much damage to the US but the Bahamas got hit bad. Really feel for all the people down there. XXXXkat

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