Hidden Treasures

I started back at uni this week after having time off over summer. On my walk to the train station I stopped into the Little Library at Melbourne Central to have a browse, I’ve donated many books there throughout our BNN journey and love the old timely bookstore feel it has.

So I went in and had a quick scan of the books there and I saw the spine of one book that read ‘The Spend Less Handbook, 365 Tips for a Better Quality of Life While Actually Spending Less‘, Perfect, right up my alley I thought. When I got on the train I fished the book out of my bag and noticed a sticker on the front which initially I thought must be some award the book has won. I soon realised the sticker said ‘Books just wanna be free!’ – this grabbed my attention.
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A little while ago we had a comment from ‘CC’ Richards who’s blog is Daytripper Sippers. He bought our attention to the idea of ‘traveling books’ which I have heard a bit before but he jogged my memory on the theory behind them. Travelling books work on a ‘read and release’ theory, this means you leave a book which you have read or are willing to let go of ‘in the wild’ (such as on a park bench, on the train or the Little Library) so that then someone else can pick it up and enjoy it themselves. Travelling books have been around for ages, but the exciting part is that they have now gone digital – this means you can keep track of your books travels online instead of just hoping it’s gone to someone nice and never knowing. You see normally you would leave your name and location inside the front cover of the book, but now with the help of bookcrossing.com each book is assigned a registration number and can be logged online so all past and present holders of the book can see the journeys it makes.
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Anyway… The book I picked up is a bookcrossing book! I had the biggest smile on my face when I noticed this, it’s like I felt special, as if the book chose me – weird I know! So far the book has been a little gem with quite a few nifty tricks of the trade. It had a little story at the end of chapter one which I really enjoyed, it seemed to connect with me and our BNN journey really well.

A rich businessman while on holiday in a foreign land approaches a local fisherman who is relaxing next to his boat watching the waves gently rustle up the shore.

“Why aren’t you working?” he asks the man.

“Because I have already caught enough fish for the day,” the fisherman replies.

“But if you were out there fishing now you could sell all the fish you catch and make extra money,” urges the foreign businessman. “You could save up the extra money you earn and buy another boat. Keep on working like that and soon you could own a whole fleet of boats and start up a business in international trade”

“And why would I want to do that?” said the fisherman, barely looking up from under the brim of his straw hat.

“So that you could become rick enough like me to be able to sit back and enjoy life”

“But what” replied the fisherman “do you think I am doing now?”

What a great story, it resides so perfectly with some of the things we’ve learnt so far with BNN. Be grateful for what you have, live for now – don’t waste your time thinking ‘if I just had that I would be so much happier’ because if you really think about it, you probably wont. Experiences are what really stick with you, memories of laughter, smells and sights – not stuff.

I am so glad I’ve come across this book, it made my day. I look forward to reading more of it and then releasing it so it can go on and live another day.

Little xx

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Writing Wednesdays

When I was young my Mother, my Grandfather and Grandmother put a lot of energy into encouraging me and my cousins to express ourselves creatively. We come from a family of writers, my Great-Grandfather, was a writer for The Herald and Weekly Times. My Grandmother has studied writing and editing and although she is not yet published, I love seeing the joy she gets when she see’s or hears something which motivates her, her whole face lights up before saying ‘That would make a great story!’. My Grandfather recently had a hip replacement and has limited mobility whilst his body recuperates. We assumed the limited mobility was driving the two of them a bit stir crazy being cooped up in the house (Don’t get me wrong they have the most beautiful apartment in North Fitzroy, but I’m sure anyone who is mostly stuck in one place for a certain amount of time would be forgiven for feeling this way!). So we went off to visit on Sunday arvo. It was lovely, we bought some mini cakes and had fesh salad rolls from the bakery, we shared stories of all our recent accomplishments and ideas, all in all I had a lovely afternoon. As the sun was starting to set at around 5:25pm we were sitting in the lounge area when Mum suddenly remembered an activity we did when I was younger to encourage me to write – The activity is pretty straightforward, you pick an object, it could be anything: a saucepan, a remote, a coaster etc… Then everyone is handed a few sheets of paper and a pen and you all just sit and write for a solid five minutes. It’s so much fun to hear everyone reading out their stories and comparing them to your own, it’s amazing how one little object can be viewed in so many different ways.

Here is what we chose to write about – a little blonde boy ornament with a cane.

 
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And here are the stories each of us came up with

My Grandmother

Herman Windshuttle put on his little cap & his brother Wilhelm’s hiking boots. He was off to Munich to join the youth movement. 

“Farewell Murri, Farewell Greta don’t lets worry about the weather” became his walking song & the brolly top flapped along in counterpoint to his strides. 

He came to the river, which at this point was small enough & friendly enough to allow him to jump.

A loud booming roar came over the low mountain range to the north. Herman took off his cap and waved proudly. They were off to spread the news of Deutschland Uber Alles, to the English cousins.

Herman actually had a cousin in Sussex somewhere, Murri wilfully spoke of her some nights. 

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My Mother (Big Pop)

Wee blonde Angus went out one day. He had no boots to keep his feet dry – just slippers and socks. He went to the town square and there at the market he purchased a bonnie green felt hat. It fitted well and his thick blonde curls just peaked out from the brim. He looked at all the stalls full of colourful fruits, vegetables and tableware. He wished his home had lovely decorative items. On the ground he found a broken tea cup that had been discarded. He picked it up and studied the hand painted flowers that decorated the fine china. What a prize! He placed it in a handkerchief and kept it in his rucksack

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My Grandfather

It was a terrible day! The rain had been puring constantly for many hours and the roads and tracks surrounding the cabin were slippery and muddy, Gillford was quite down-hearted. He planned a days hiketo the canyon and had estimated that it would take him at least 3 hours to reach his destination and he would have a lovely picnic before returning home! What a disaster! 

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And Myself…

The boy was cold. He had nothing left but the clothes on his back and the cane he used to walk after injuring hid right leg trying to escape the nazis. He estimated he had been walking for 3 days although it could well be longer as the blizzard made it hard to distinguish day from night. His mother was a teacher and a sympathiser of our local jewish community, she was taken away after being found out to be educating the the ‘undesirables’ and his father died when he was very young. At this point his snow boots and cane were all he had left, he did not know what the future held for him – but he had hope and hope is something no man could ever take from him. 

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Little Pop, signing out!