Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.
Henry Ward

It's the end of summer in Australia, Autumn really, but the weather at home we hear is hot - so summer seems to have arrived late this year.

We on the other hand are travelling - a holiday we had booked months ago before our working travel went berserk. Hard to relax sometimes when you know you have so much to do when you return; but we are working on it!

Which brings me to summer reading, just between laziness and labour...or perhaps airplane reading is the way I think about it. I tend to still read good books in summer, but when I travel I tend towards throw away and trashy novels.  Partly because I like to offload the books as we finish them, leave them here and there for others to collect on their travels and also to lighten the load in the bags. If I took good books with me all the time my bags would end up overloaded!

I like the idea of people coming across an English language novel in a foreign land and it keeping them company on their next train ride, or bus ride or plane ride. It might also come in handy for hotel staff who might be able to sell it on and make a few rupiahs, dong or dollars. I always leave a note so that staff know they can keep the book and not get into trouble for 'stealing'. For the random ones we leave behind in coffee shops we sometimes leave a note; but mostly let them be discovered for themselves.

We are in Hanoi - overcast, cool and misty. A fabulous city filled with sights and wonders and good food and coffee. Oh, and smells! We spend our days traipsing the streets, poking our heads into shops and alleys and temples...It also has one of the highest proportions of artists and art galleries that we have seen anywhere in our travels - so many wonderful paintings (and oh so many knock-offs as well - Van Gogh's sunflowers anyone? of perhaps Klimt's The Kiss?).

Wherever you are be safe and happy - we head home soon for a few days before starting another adventure.

Here is a shot from one of the palettes used by a talented knock-off artist...not a book or reading; but colourful!


  1. happy travels! (I must say when I first saw the palette pic - I thought is was a shot of squished fruit!)

  2. Lucky you Fiona. Hope you are going to Hoi An, the prettiest little place, with many galleries. Enjoy.

  3. Lovely photo Fi, and great to hear a bit about your travels xoxoxo

  4. Hi Fiona,
    I like hearing about your travel adventures-and the palette is wonderful!

  5. Hi Ronnie - I love how our brains anticipate something then need to be talked out of it!

    Jo - Not to Hoi An this time - we just love the north and the parts around it. BArry has been but I like hanging out up here!

    N- lovely globs of paint aren't they? I'm not so good at the travel chat - shall try do better!

    Jane - thanks for your interest in the travel ramble - will do some more soon! And oh yes, the palette is stunning I agree.

  6. I love hearing about other people's travels almost as much as enjoying my own! Thanks, F, for sharing. It does sound like you and B are having a good time and will come home having absorbed much in the way of visual inspiration! Your gesture of leaving books behind to be discovered is simply wonderful!

  7. Your travel chat is just fine and it's lovely to know you and Barry are having a holiday after all your busy weeks and months. I love that you leave notes in your abandoned novels, generous and considerate.

  8. It's great to hear you're a book crosser! I found a little book on the top deck of the bus the other night on my home from work and read it until my stop, left it where I had found it.....

  9. Enjoy your time exploring new sights, sounds, tastes and smells! You'll come home reinvigorated and ready for the next great thing! Cheers!

  10. G/TT - yes voyeuristic tourism is great! I like the idea of books having new lives when we are finished with them and that they might really be meaningful to somebody else...

    Carol - thanks for OKing the travel chat!

    Annie - a book crosser - brilliant! It's furtive in a way but also full of lovely moments.

    Patti - I always end up thinking and contemplating a lot whenever I visit developing countries and places. Leaves me pondering heaps about my life and the world in general; but also filled with wonder and amazement at our great diversity.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.