What social issues interest you the most?
The environment and how we, as humans, deal with this problem of over population. Generally speaking, humans by nature are acquisitive and thus avaricious. Perhaps this is hard wired, due to atavistic urges for survival. This being the case, we cannot, as a globalised world, keep birth rates so high. Here in Australia it keeps going up. Originally it was 2 children per family, now it has gone up to around 3.5 per family, which is conservative compared to the developing world where birth rates average around 6 per family. It is unsustainable and mother-nature is suffering.
I am saddened by the thought that animals are the victims of this bloated human presence. I am also aware that if ALL humans lived a modest lifestyle (which is still very comfortable when compared to the years prior to the 1970’s), then there would be sufficient for future generations.
The problem is getting through to the pervasive extreme right wing forces of politics, who due to their strength in numbers are the makers of policy. Policies which are largely predicated on the selling of armaments and a resource intensive war industry; oil and polluting minerals – invasive practices requiring the land and sea to be drilled into.
There are so many alternatives that could offer a cleaner way forward. The old guard are powerful, stubborn, avaricious and unwilling to change.
It is those rare individuals who are driven by selflessness, benevolence and an inherent desire for social equity and a love of nature, who HOPEFULLY will save the planet.
Do you find the time to read?
Yes! I love reading. It is not a long session, but it is one I look forward to every evening before sleeping.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
Armadale by Wilkie Collins.
It is a thick book, which is fine, for I like my books big and challenging.
This is an interesting book and as with all Collin’s books, there are underhanded seedy characters scheming and plotting. The story largely is about a naive, new to wealth individual named Armadale. He befriends another who, unknown to himself, carries his name and a dark family history that links them together. This new friend goes under a different name now and although he is aware of this dark history, Armadale is not.
When both were children, the father was murdered by the other’s father who had stolen the victim’s name of Armadale.
As these 2 friend’s paths merge they become close. Then, having only recently come into wealth, Armadale falls in love with an older woman, who has been planted there to attract him due to this new found wealth.
Meanwhile the other friend falls for this vixen as well, and realising that she carries evil intent, he runs away, much to the chagrin of his close friend(half brother), who due to his guilelessness is none the wiser. This is the story so far, given that I am half way through.
Who do you admire?
Alive: Germaine Greer, Stephen Fry, Noam Chomsky
Dead: Martha Graham, Isadora Duncan, Picasso, George Eliot, Balzac, Dickens, Somerset Maughan(and all the guests at my dinner(see above))
The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.
Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.
Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house, and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.
Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.
In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16