The wonderful story of Bob the Railway Dog is one of those quirky stories you come across frequently throughout Australia. This statue of Bob stands outside the Visitor Centre in Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. Back in the late 1800s Bob was a frequent traveller on the old steam trains travelling between Peterborough and other towns along the various lines leading out from Peterborough.
Bob has been recorded as travelling to Adelaide, Broken Hill and Port Pirie and other towns on the railway lines on many occasions. There is some thought that he even made it as far as Kalgoorlie in Western Australia on one adventure, and this site claims he ventured even further afield. He was also the friend of many local people and more than once had amazing adventures. The Visitor Centre sells a very interesting and readable book about Bob (or it can be bought online).
I didn’t see many books or bookshops during our meanderings in various cities and towns of Morocco. We probably didn’t go to the right places.
This one in the medina in Fes was a small shop in comparison to most bookshops we have here in Australia. It was, however, rather large when compared to most retail outlets in this part of Morocco. Space in the medina is limited, so the owner of the shop crowded as much material as possible into the available space. It looks like a very efficient use of the shelves he had to store the material. It all looks neat and tidy to me.
As I couldn’t read the language I can’t say with certainty what the books were about, but some of the covers indicated to me that the emphasis was on Islamic materials almost exclusively. It’s probably the equivalent of our church run bookshops here in Australia.
From time to time I feature birds on this travel blog. Birding is one of my major interests and I write about my sightings on Trevor’s Birding blog.
Many people carry a bird identification guide book with them on their travels. I make sure I always have one with me to help work out what I am seeing.
If you are a traveller – and interested in birds – I’d suggest that you find room for a bird field guide too. Most of them are compact enough to fit easily into a day pack or even a handbag.
Today sees the publication of a new field guide of Australian birds. The Simpson and Day field guide has been around since 1984 and has sold over half a million copies. Today the fully revised and updated 8th edition is published.
Over the last week I have travelled three times to Adelaide to attend the 2010 Adelaide Writers’ Week. This is an integral part of the biennial Adelaide Festival of Arts. Writers and readers come here from all over Australia for this important festival, one of the best of its kind in the world. A fine array of talented international writers are also on the speakers’ list or on panel discussions on books and writing.
The sessions run from 9:30am to 6pm every day for six days and admission is free to all sessions (except the evening sessions in the Town Hall). Sitting there all day is a marathon effort for both organisers and audience members. The audience would have to number well over 500 at any one time, often swelled for popular or well-known writers, or during the lunch break of workers in the nearby CBD, a five minute walk away.
Three large marquees are set up for the week in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens located beautifully between the CBD and the River Torrens. The East Tent and the West Tent host the writers’ talks and panel discussions, while the central tent is the Book Shop. The shop stocks many of the books of the visiting authors as well as stocks of new books launched during the week. Every guest speaker is encouraged to sit at tables in front of this tent for book signings, and to meet their readers.
Last week I travelled to Adelaide several times to attend this year’s Writers’ Week, an important feature of every Festival of Arts in the city. This special part of the festival runs for six days at the beginning of the festival. It attracts writers and readers from all over Australia for the day long sessions. The programme always features leading Australian writers as well as a significant array of international writers and publishers.
This year’s writers’ week was opened by leading Australian writer Tom Keneally (pictured above). Tom is probably best know for his book Schindler’s Ark which was made into a very successful movie. Tom is an entertaining speaker as well as very thought provoking for readers and writers alike.
During the first afternoon the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann (photo below), announced the Premier’s awards for writing in ten different categories.