365 Unusual Things: 15-21

15. Asked a French publisher a question by email (second question in two weeks) and she replied, ‘As I told you … ‘. Funny how this structure is normal in French, but abrasive in English. 16. Saw a huge woman in a bikini come out into her garden and lie on a sun lounge. BikinisContinue reading “365 Unusual Things: 15-21”

Black and white bridges

Following a news story about Sean Walker, a man with a severe form of colour blindness called rod monochromatism, meaning he sees only in black and white, I thought of the days when all our photos and films were only in black and white. Sean says that the world in black and white is beautiful.Continue reading “Black and white bridges”

365 Unusual Things: 8-14

8. Went to check out Canberra’s water supplies in the Cotter Dam and Corin Dam with Gibraltar Falls in between. They’re all connected. What’s unusual? We’ve never seen so much water in them. The trees look like they’re growing out of the water. And at Gibraltar Falls, people (just visible in the photo) dared toContinue reading “365 Unusual Things: 8-14”

365 Unusual Things:1-7

Every day this week I’ve been taking notes about things that made me look or listen, not quite believing what I was seeing or hearing. I’m pretty sure I’ll observe uncommon things 365 times this year. Here’s one thing from each day of this past week: 1. A neighbour has a back to front MerryContinue reading “365 Unusual Things:1-7”

Nine books I’m reading

Since taking up literary translation about ten years ago, I’ve read many more books on a daily basis than ever before. Always within arm’s reach is a combination of English-language books, French-language books and books translated from other languages. On any day I can name roughly eight books I’m currently reading. There’s one in myContinue reading “Nine books I’m reading”

365 Unusual Things: Intro

It’s midnight, 31st December 2021. Some are drinking to forget another year of a worldwide health crisis, while I’m writing to remember, not the pandemic, but lots of unusual things that happen around me every day. Normally I let them pass over my head, barely observed. But in 2022 I’m going to write them down,Continue reading “365 Unusual Things: Intro”

Six Unusual Things Before Christmas: Six

It’s a bit sad that this post is about something unusual that used to be usual. This is the first year in my life that I’ve received only one Christmas card in the post. Here it is. Arrived today, Christmas Eve.  I used to receive so many that I could string them up across theContinue reading “Six Unusual Things Before Christmas: Six”

Six Unusual Things Before Christmas: Five

As I strolled on the sand, a strange brownish bird flew past me and landed at the edge of a flock of seagulls resting on the beach. Instantly they all stood up and turned their backs to it, then moved away. The outcast walked up the sand to be alone. I couldn’t get closer withoutContinue reading “Six Unusual Things Before Christmas: Five”

Six Unusual Things Before Christmas: Four

A horde of seagulls followed a woman who I thought was a man as she dug through wheelie bins, pulling out recyclable bottles and throwing them into a shopping trolley. Occasionally she found a bit of food to throw to the birds that followed her from bin to bin through the park. ***