Book Review: Days in the History of Silence

By Merethe Lindstrom Image.

Merethe Lindstrom is a Norwegian writer and I confess I know little about her. I was drawn to this book because I quite like the Scandinavian style of writing (or is it how it ends up after being translated- no matter). It is quite spare in style, not florid, observant and some might even say dispassionate.

This book is all those things and I did not like it one bit!

It is the story of an elderly woman whose husband is becoming more distant and initially the thought is that he is purposely shutting her out. Later on it becomes obvious that dementia is more likely the reason. They have made decisions in their lives that have had an impact on the people around them and the reason I read to the end (when I would have normally given up) was that I wanted to see the woman express some regret about it all; no such moment came.

I would like to hear if anyone out there has read this book and enjoyed it, go on, convince me to change my mind!

It is hard to read a book when none of the characters appeal. I think I just have to put this one down to experience.

Beauty in the built environment

Can a hospital be a thing of beauty?

From the 1940′s to the 1990′s they certainly were not. The hospital where I work (a large part built in the 1930′s) has a lovely Art Deco entrance and  Image some lovely art deco touches like curved balustrades and terrazzo bathrooms) Image, but this building is not the norm in hospital architecture in Perth.

Anyway, in the course of my work I visit another hospital most weeks, it has had a lot of building works done and still in progress. Our new children’s hospital is building is being built on the site which has necessitated a lot of work in other areas.

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Image Gardens for staff, visitors and patients

I’m pleased that the function-only buildings of the 1980′s seem to be a thing of the past and aesthetics are playing a big part in  modern hospital design. There will always people who consider the addition of beauty to infrastructure is a waste of money, but I believe that to gaze upon a thing of beauty (no matter how mundane) can only be for the better. There are also people who will not agree with me that these buildings are beautiful, each to their own is a phrase that comes to mind!

Image I work in this gorgeous building, unsurprisingly blood is dealt with in here!

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Image Oncology (cancer) centre

Image Staff and visitors car parking (complete with artwork)

Now I know that styles come and go, so I am finishing with this cracker. My Dad worked for a while on the building of this wing (the original hospital) built in the mid 1950′s. I am sure at the time, that someone thought it was lovely, but I look at it and am left wondering what were they thinking?!  Image

 

Funky Pants of Awesomeness!!!

My trousers are finished and I am happeeeeeee! I chose this funky digital print out of the remnant bin at Knitwit in Nedlands (Perth), I just had enough for the pants, but had to do a bit of juggling. The print is so busy I doubt people will notice (and no-one has yet), but I had to fit the pattern pieces in opposite directions on the fabric… can you tell? My first pair are these, Image They are the Wendy Pants by StyleArc and I made them about a year ago (I think). They have served me well and I really wanted another pair, so thankyou for the incentive Monthly Stitch gals :)

Image I wore the new ones this morning to church and will wear them again tomorrow to work, thank goodness I work with funky people and can do this sort of thing! Image It was a bit sunny in the garden to see what was happening, but the colours really jump out in the bright light…off to the shade,

Image that’s better. I finish with the bum pic, not my favourite angle, especially as I pulled up my top to show off the waistband (it’s wide), but here we go… Image

Notes- the fabric is a two way stretch, woven cotton and the only adjustments I made were to add about 3cm to the back rise (the first pair sat a bit low for my liking) and I took 5cm off the leg length as I am a shorty. The beauty of StylArc is the patterns are one size..yours :)

 

More buildings

Just a couple of pics taken with the ‘phone and from the car, after picking my daughter up from volleyball…

Image The Windsor Hotel in South Perth. My husband and I used to go come here quite a lot before we got married.

Image Directly opposite, not sure, but I think it is the old South Perth Post Office.

More pics to come when I take them :)

Weekend Sewing

I have been waiting for this weekend as I am looking forward to making The Monthly Stitch”s April Challenge, double of one of my favourite patterns. I bought this fabric remnant  DSC_0495 from Knitwit in Nedlands about a year ago, it is a digital print, stretch woven cotton sateen. The print is so busy it is mindboggling! So I got 1.5m for $15 (about a third of the price), I was happy and knew what I wanted to do with it. Okay, it has taken the April Challenge to actually motivate me, but the intention was there ;)
I am making my second pair of StylelArc Wendy trousers, a lovely pattern with a brilliant fit.download_large I made them about a year ago and was very happy with them. I washed the fabric this afternoon and think this time, I may not have enough for full length trousers, so I am thinking a pair of capris with tapered legs…watch this space!

Thoughts on driving, a “necessary evil”

I drive a very nice car. People tell me it is a very nice car and I know that it fits that description, there really is only one problem with it…it is a car.Image (same model, not mine) Apparently it cost $136,000 new; but I would NEVER spend that much money on a vehicle (who would?). I have never owned a new car.

Cars for me are not an emotional subject. I have driven quite a few over the years and if they got me from A to B, I was happy. Driving to me is not a joyous thing to do, I can do it and that suits me. I have had a couple of minor scrapes, but nothing major in my 32 years of being behind the wheel.

I used to do a lot of driving in a previous occupation (I was a community palliative care nurse), it was essential to cover the vast distances that were involved and to get to a client/patient as quickly as possible. I do not miss driving as part of my work, some of the roads I was driving on seemed to be filled with “hoons” with a death-wish!

There are so many other things I would rather do than drive and lately my car has become the least preferred way of getting me to my workplace. The local council where my work is situated has just made most available parking 2 or 3 hourly! I absolutely refuse to get out of the office 3 times a day to shift my car, but I also do not want  a $90 parking fine. So lately I have been assessing my options (cycle, bus, train, walk) and the most logical seems to be walking and catching the train Image…I love train travel :) Also, with the 50 minutes of extra exercise I will be getting 4 days a week, I am hoping to shed a few kilos and get my fitness up a bit, it’s a win-win situation, I save money and get fit :)

Do you have a preferred way of getting places apart from driving?

My Town

This is my town (well, it’s really a small city), Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

Over the years, developers have done their best to destroy the older bits of Perth and during the eighties it was looking pretty dire. We had a mining boom and a property boom and we won the America’s Cup and… and… and… well it was pretty bad there for a while. The city went into a bit of a decline and started looking pretty seedy, it had a bit of a rough element and things were just YUK.

Then, a new Lord Mayor was elected. Image Lisa Scaffidi has been wonderful for Perth, innovative, forward-thinking, a real breath of fresh air after all the boys club Mayors (and she’s an alumna of my old school :) ).

So, while I was commuting to work this morning, I took a few pics with my trusty smartphone and I was happy to see that we still have a number of really nice old buildings in the city and some funky back alleys and in-filled spaces, here are a few of my shots:

Image Image the old technical school

Image Image front and back of the original Perth Boys School

Image the front facade (all that is left) of the Palace Hotel- a sore point for many Western Australians was the demolition of the rest of this beautiful building to make way for a skyscraper

Image the Queens Buildings on the corner of William and Hay Streets

Image The Wellington Hotel, returned to it’s former glory with lacework and a lick of paint

Image the old Globe Hotel (which was left to languish as a backpackers hostel until refurbished a few years ago) down it’s side alleyway there is an interesting courtyard of eateries and urban art projects Image Image

There are actually a lot more lovely buildings to see, these were just a few on my walk between changing buses this morning.

If you are interested this site has more pics

http://heritageperth.com.au/make-history/perth-heritage-gallery/

I will finishe with a pic of the newest (and my opinion quite gorgeous) building in the CBD, the BHP Billiton tower on St Georges Terrace, the pic doesn’t do it justice from this angle (it’s behind the boring brown one), but it is a beauty (yes, I like modern architecture too!) Image