Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scene of the Blog Featuring Sue of Whispering Gums!

How did I discover today's guest book blogger? It was a case of one excellent Aussie blog leading me to another. When I saw the blog name "Whispering Gums" I had to smile because it reminded me of the Gum Bark Trail at Boyce-Thompson Arboretum east of Phoenix. Towering gum trees line the trail, providing much needed shade in the desert heat, and I've been known to sit on a bench to rest and watch butterflies. (In other words, I found Sue's blog name to be very evocative.)

When I visited, I found lots of wonderful content from an Australian perspective. I discovered that she and I share an opinion of books that have been turned into movies, and I always learn something on Mondays when Sue muses on various Australian lit topics like The gum tree in the Australian imagination or a New Zealand-born Australian author named Ruth Park. (I'm tracking down Park's books to read!)

If you haven't stopped by Sue's blog, Whispering Gums, I hope you take a moment to do so-- and please don't forget to say hello! While I'm at it, just one more thing before Sue graciously shows us her blogging space: don't forget that you can click on each photo to view it full size.


First, thanks Cathy for inviting me to participate. What an honour.
Here is my favourite spot in our house – in the family room, on my cheery sofa, with my lapdesk and MacPro laptop. It’s where I spend much of my time since I took early retirement 3 years ago – blogging, emailing, cataloguing our digital photos, working on contracts and, oh, watching a bit of TV in between. (I find it impossible to do nothing while watching TV.) On the table is a recent acquisition – a basket woven by indigenous Australians from Martumili Artists in the Pilbara. In it are various cables – for my iPod, my camera, my Kindle – and a CueCat for cataloguing my books into LibraryThing. On the wall above me is a favourite painting – it’s by Slovakian naïve painter, Martin Jonas, and is titled The Conversation. I love the implied irony in the fact that they have their backs to each other, which brings me to …



My favourite writer, Jane Austen. Here are my shelves devoted to her – though not everything is there as I always have a few JA related books scattered around the house for dipping into. I love her wit and irony, and read her again and again for her wicked but knowing insights into human nature. On the lower shelf, among some old family photos, are two photos from the rather inaccurate-but-I-love-it-anyway Laurence Olivier-Greer Garson adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.



 
My books are scattered throughout the house. These shelves are from our bedroom bookcase, which contains my women authors, feminist books, plus various other bits and pieces. Male writers are relegated to the guestroom bookcase! These shelves, like many in the house, are double stacked. (The dots on the spines mean I’ve put them into LibraryThing).




Given my blog name, I had to include a gum tree. Most houses I have lived in (except when I’ve lived overseas of course!) have had at least one gum tree, and this house is no exception. This is a Snow Gum (Eucalyptus Pauciflora) and is in the front near our garage. It has an appealing weeping habit. The photo was taken in October last year, so you can also see some Spring colour around. After all, this blogger happens to live downunder and so is now looking forward to a lovely (hopefully long) summer.




I know what you mean when you say that you can't just sit and watch television, you must be doing something. I'm the same way, although I've learned that-- unless it's something like televised sports-- I find TV to be too distracting when I try to do anything on my netbook. On the other hand, I've been doing a lot of needlepoint because... if I do sit and watch television, in no time at all I'm sitting there snoozing away!

I like your cheery sofa, the painting on the wall and the basket, and I certainly enjoyed taking a look at some of your bookshelves (even though the gentlemen have been banished to the guest room). I usually find that how a booklover has his or her shelves organized is just as interesting as the titles of the books themselves. With your photos and other bits and bobs on the shelves, your bookcases are truly a glimpse into your personality.

Thank you so much, Sue, for allowing this glimpse into your home, your library and your blogging space. We really appreciate it!

Who will be the guest on Scene of the Blog next Wednesday? Stop by to find out. See you then!




28 comments:

  1. Love the bookshelves! And I'm a bit odd with TV - I find it so distracting that I can't get much reading or blogging done... so I just don't turn it on :) Lovely to see your blogging space, and the tree!

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  2. I hope to visit the land down under someday, but in the meantime I will check out Whispering Gum's blog.

    Great spotlight!

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  3. What a great space! I only watch TV when there's something on that I'm interested in, so all I do is watch it when it's on. It's a whole other story when commercials are on, though.

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  4. My husband wants the TV on all the time when he's in the house, and then he falls asleep but if I turn it off, he wakes up. So, I do crossword puzzles, needlework, jigsaw puzzles, but I can't read unless he's watching golf. The only time I just watch TV is when we're watching a sport I love.

    I wonder why it is we all seem to love looking at other people's bookshelves. I confess I'm just as nosy as everyone else and I love this weekly feature.

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  5. I think it's great that you devote time and space to promote fellow blogger's in this way, what an excellent idea.

    Have already nipped across and checked out Whispering Gum's blog, it's a great site and one to add to my favourites, without a doubt.

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  6. What a lovely space. And I find that Olivier P&P movie to be a hoot -- the clothes alone make me laugh. I'm impressed that you are putting all your books into Library Thing.

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  7. Barbara-- My husband tends to want the TV on a lot more than I do. I want to spend time with him, so as long as I can be doing something else, I'm okay with it. As far as other people's bookshelves... we spend time at our favorite blogs and it's only natural that we want to know more. Having glimpses into blogging spaces and seeing books on shelves makes us feel closer to these bloggers.

    fiction-books-- I'm so glad you like this feature, and that you've found a new blog!

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  8. Amy, Bermuda Onion and Rural View...thanks for your lovely refelctive comments. My TV watching is like Cathy's. My husband turns the TV on and I like to be in the same room not squirrelled away. When I was in my 30s I would do patchwork, but now I'm in my 50s my eyes aren't so great for intensive night sewing and so the laptop - blogs, wordgames on Facebook with my daughter, and so on, occupy me! In my 40s at the height of family-work-community busy-ness for me I'd slump in front of the TV. Hubby would say, "Are you watching?" and I'd open my eyes and say "Yes" and hope he didn't ask me my opinion on what was going on!

    Funny thing is, hubby tends to walk in and out of the room, working on his computer in the study next door and so he doesn't concentrate on TV either!

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  9. DC Metroreader... you must visit sometime and if you do let me know. You live in your national capital and I live in ours. BTW Our son was born in DC (though we were living in Northern Virginia) in a lovely hospital that's been demolished, The Columbia Hospital for Women. Loved out 2 years in the area.

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  10. Fiction-Books, thanks. And I'll go check out yours - and the others who've so kindly commented here.

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  11. Beth F - Oh yes, those clothes. What were they thinking!? I mean, they are lovely 'n all BUT so is Regency dress. I love the Regency era for women's dress - so flattering but comfortable.

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  12. Cathy. Thanks for having me here, and for your very lovely intro. Loved hearing about the Gum Bark Trail.

    Have you seen this website: http://www.downunderontop.com/plantliste_x.htm about Aus natives in the US (it seems). It mentions gums and other Aussie natives re Phoenix (and other Arizona places) several times.

    Is that Arboretum anywhere near the Apache Trail? We did that drive in the early 90s - lovely drive.

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  13. Sue-- At one point in time, I ran into Aussies all the time. I still laugh when I remember a tall, bronzed Aussie male walking into the store one day. He was gorgeous. He asked me where something was, and before I could open my mouth, this young employee elbowed me aside. She got nowhere when she cooed over his accent and asked him what part of England he was from. It may have been 44°C. outside, but there was a definite chill around this young man!

    There also used to be a nursery specializing in Australian native plants not far from me. I had a big pot of kangaroo paw for several years. I may have to locate a photo and post it on Wordless Wednesday.

    Boyce-Thompson Arboretum is off US 60 running east through Phoenix, and the Apache Trail branches off it at Apache Junction and heads northeast.

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  14. LOL re Aussie male story. Kangaroo Paw is a lovely plant ... I do hope you can dig it out for Wordless Wednesday.

    And thanks re location of the Arboretum. Wish I'd known at the time. Have looked at it in the web and it looks like a lovely place.

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  15. LOL, Lola. That's me in the pink dress (a few years ago!) and husband is the boy in the photo next to it.

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  16. I love the shelves with your personal photos! That's how my bookshelves all look too, I think it's such a nice touch :)

    It looks like you live in a really beautiful part of the world!

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  17. I feel the urge to make a naughty little comment about the strange tidiness of the couch area, seeing as Whispering Gums is my mother and these "scenes" are of places I've spent much of my life meandering through... but I shall refrain. How tremendously exciting it is to see my family home, and my mother, presented in such a positive light!

    (They are both geniunely wonderful, although some might say I'm biased...)

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  18. Amused: Thanks for your kind comments. I like seeing bookshelves with those personal touches but when they're mine I feel they are messy...which brings me to
    Hannah: who's way too cheeky. I have no idea what she's talking about: ;-)

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  19. "... and asked him what part of England he was from."

    Ha. I'm Australian; when I was in the US the standard line from strangers was, "So, you're from London?"

    I never realised there was such a thing as, Pride and Prejudice: the Game.

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  20. Ha, back, Umbagollah. When I was about to return to Australia from the US - this time from California - one of our American acquaintances was moving to London. She was pleased she said because now she would be closer to us! Culturally perhaps (or perhaps not) but geographically? Nope.

    The game was sent to me by an online bookgroup friend in the USA, as I couldn't get it here and the site she found it on wouldn't mail it to Australia. It's a bit of a hoot.

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  21. Hannah-- I've had a look at your blog. Wayfaring Chocolate?!? I'm going to keep an eye on you! Thank you so much for stopping by. :)

    Umbagollah-- To prevent frostbite that day I jumped in quickly with "I think you'll find this gentleman is from Australia." To me, the accents are nothing alike, but then not every American has an English husband and friends who live in Perth!

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  22. Thanks Cathy! I'm about to explore around your blog a little bit too - I've gone through phases of reading crime fiction but it's been awhile since my last jaunt, sadly!

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  23. Thanks so much for having me here Cathy - and her readers. And I had to say, you won't have known it but green is my favourite colour, so the frame you chose for my photos is perfect.

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  24. Sue-- The frame color was chosen from your P&P board game. :)

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  25. Sue - thanks for sharing your blogging space with us. I espcially like the way you keep your cords/cables tidy in that beautiful basket.

    Cathy - thanks for the introduction to a new-to-me blogger!

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  26. Oh Cathy ... what lovely attention to detail. That made me laugh!

    And Dawn, thanks - glad you like my cable basket!

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  27. Dawn-- You're welcome. I'm always happy to bring people's attention to wonderful blogs!

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Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!