Reading a lot…

I am still not online at home, so am only around the blog when I take my laptop to visit a free wifi somewhere. Fortunately there are a lot around.

Meanwhile I have really been digging back into the e-Books — over 2,000 in my Calibre library. For some reason I am revisiting D H Lawrence in a big way, including just lately the famous Lady Chatterly’s Lover, which actually is rather good. Really! Currently I am reading this:

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Yes, The Rainbow (1915). I suspect it is around fifty years since I last read it.

Also been reading The Book of Mormon. Politeness restrains me from giving too blunt an  opinion, beyond the fact that it must be one of the greatest unacknowledged works of 19th-century American fiction.

Been reading more besides. Alberto Ambard and  Amelia Mondragón, High Treason (2012), which I got free from Smashwords, is well worth discovering.

This passionate novel mixes the recent history of Venezuela, from the moment Hugo Chávez took power until he consolidated power. The novel helps understand the terrible situation Venezuela is experiencing today and it is an intimate image of the emotions felt by Venezuelan society in response to the radical changes the country has seen.                                                   

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Another October, and a birthday remembered

So September averaged 34 hits a day on this blog, slightly down. The best day was 7 September with 70 hits. It was this 2013 post responsible for half of those: Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories.

Aside from the home page, the top six posts in September have been:

Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories 43 views in September 2017
Tell us, when will these things happen? 30
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 29
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 24
More from the world of the Postal Survey 21
I’ve had my say… 15

Tomorrow, 3 October, would have been my brother’s 82nd birthday. See Ian Jeffrey Whitfield 3/10/1935 – 5/4/2017.

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Catch-up

Just 10 posts in August! There were 36 views a day average. Since 1 August the post viewed posts have been:

Home page / Archives 560 views
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 36
Living with the facts of our history 33
The search for the perfect burger 32
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 28
Poem of the day: W H Auden 26
Tomorrow when the war began… 24
I’m really a conservative…. 18

And from 2009:

East Redfern: M’s orchid 1

On a balcony overlooking South Dowling Street.

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So July 2017 goes too…

Stats here are down, but then you will have noticed I am not posting every day either. July stands at an average 35 visits a day, with the most viewed posts in July being:

Home page / Archives  502 views in July 2017
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 42
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay”  35
Death of a hero: Liu Xiaobo 1955-2017  26
Midnight Shift bar is now history  22
About  14
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames”  12
Random Friday memory 17 – Caringbah 1965  11
June gone already! And what a time for news! 11
Voyage to Surry Hills!  10
On Indigenous Australians…  10
Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong  10
More on the 2016 Oz Census  9

And an old post from Surry Hills:

Surry Hills 10: Little Lebanon

The area around the corner of Elizabeth and Cleveland Streets, right by where I live, is known as “Little Lebanon”. Here’s why:

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There’s Abdul’s — great for takeaway…

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Lebanese bread for Abdul’s…

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A mosque nearby…

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… always lots of traffic on Cleveland Street …

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… exotic things to see …

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… and these people do a mean chicken Lebanese roll or kebab. A number of famous footballers and boxers seem to frequent Fatima’s.

As you can see, Islamophobia is not really a good look where I live…

— original photos by Neil Whitfield 2008

June gone already! And what a time for news!

Just as well you aren’t depending on this blog to keep you up-to-date, as there has been a bit of a break here as I nursed my remaining data allowance. And in that time we’ve had so many things happen, most recently the charging of Cardinal George Pell for alleged historic sex offences against children. He will be fronting court in Melbourne next month. I can’t help wondering what an old internet friend, Father Ken Sinclair, who died in 2005, would have had to say. Back in 2001-2 he was foreshadowing some of this stuff in conversations we had on ICQ. See my post Back to very early days–and the strange immortality of the internet.

Then today we have had Donald Trump showing what a small-minded vindictive arsehole he really is. no great surprise surely. Presidential? Pull the other one… And we’re supposed to trust the judgement of this person on the most important issues in the world? God help us all!

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And here in Oz Tony Abbott is in full feral mode. Rather liked former leader of his party John Hewson on this today.

…say what he likes, Abbott is still quite bitter and twisted about Turnbull seizing his job, and getting worse with time. His IPA speech this week was a clear example of “disloyalty”. Sure, he dressed it up as a speech of “principle” and “conviction” and true conservative “ideology”, but it was blatantly a direct attack on Turnbull, and his more “centrist” strategy, designed to undermine, and constrain Turnbull.

And a major part of the data from the 2016 Australian Census was released this week. That part concerning religion interested quite a few of us. Here are a couple of graphics from the Daily Mail.

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41CA08B500000578-4641728-image-a-1_1498523288531The Daily Mail and the Sydney Daily Telegraph made much of a “surge in the number of Muslims”. As you might expect these days.  Headline:

Muslim population in Australia soars to 600,000 as religion becomes the nation’s second-biggest – a 77% jump in the past DECADE, according to Census

Soared to 2.6% of the population, of whom “radicals” must constitute… Well, you guess…

The really interesting figure was the rise of “No Religion” — whatever that might actually mean.

But now for the really important stats: in June the most viewed posts on this blog have been:

Home page / Archives   614 views in June 2017
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay”  21
Testing for English competence?   18
A week of multicultural yums   17
On terror — just for the record   15
65 years on I recall Vermont Street  12
Otto Warmbier’s death underlines plight of thousands of North Koreans  12
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames”   11
Going, going… Myers in Wollongong  11
Neil’s Family Specials — a reminder   10
Wollongong High: more on the centenary More stats 10
Flowers and grief: for my mother  9
Tom Thumb Lagoon   9
Some great stories, and some of them new to me…  9