Don’t lose faith, human inventiveness knows no bounds

If you need any evidence of how much energy, drive and determinedness human nature has inside, watch this video.

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Riding on the Great Ocean Road with no cars. Heaven.

What an amazing experience, cruising along the Great Ocean Road on your bike with no cars.
It’s only possible once a year at Amy’s Ride which raises funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation.
I did the Medio Fondo (just under 40km from Lorne to Apollo Bay) this year and it was absolutely brilliant. You should try it some time. There’s also a Gran Fondo for the more ambitious- a 120km loops up through Forrest and Dean’s Marsh with a brilliant downhill towards the end.
This stuff makes exercise seriously fun!

Pit Stop at Wye River.

Some crazy cats at the starting line.

Leaving the smoky opium dens of Bombay. Reluctantly.


Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
“Narcopolis”, set in the opium dens of Bombay has a languorous and dreamy quality appropriate to it’s narcotic theme. Essentially the story of Dimple, a beautiful eunuch who prepares pipes in Rashid’s opium den, the story slides in and out of the following characters whose paths cross hers. From the Hollywood adventures of the angry man, Rumi, to the poignant tale of Mr Lee’s upbringing and flight from Maoist China, these are essentially stories of lives beyond control. As one of the characters puts it: “This is our reality. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.”
These are experiences that can only be subdued with the pipe. But it is the introduction of heroin that begins to destroy their dreamy world. The unravelling of Rashid and Dimple’s world is written with enormous dignity, grace and empathy. And a new India emerges, shiny and bright, but full of the old melancholy.

For all it’s dreaminess and langour, the storytelling in the book has a strong sense of momentum. At the heart of this book are stories love, affection and longing.

I loved this book, I was completely enthralled in it’s world and missed them all once I was done. This is a book I will return to again and again.

How I picture Dimple

Nb. There are some fairly confronting sex scenes in the book- perhaps not for the fainthearted. I wouldn’t give this book to my mum for example.

Whisked away to a Bombay Opium Den of the 70’s


Have started reading Narcopolis. It has sucked me in like a Bombay opium pipe- loving it so far.
I’m finding it very visual.
So it sent me on a search for some imagery around the topic.
An incredibly romanticised topic, visually. I think the book may be about to hit me with the ugly side…

“She was about twenty-five then and she had a habit in those days of shaking the hair into her eyes and smiling for no reason at all, a sweet smile as I remember, with no hint of the changes that would overtake her.”
But for now, some pretty pictures!

Source: George Barbier – Art Deco Fashion Illustration courtesy of Steven Poke

Dita von Teese in her Opium Den. Source: Teas-O-Rama

Have you read the book?
please no spoilers ; )

Booker Buddies

ImageWelcome to what my bedside table will be looking like for the next month and a bit.  I have given myself the task to read as many of the shortlist as I can between now and October 16 (when the winner is announced).  

I will most likely fail miserably!  

Though to bolster self esteem, I’m thinking to start with some of the smaller books on offer!

I’d love to have some Booker Buddies, other crazies who want to have a crack too.

Then we can truly decide, which is the best novel, in the judges opinion (the surprisingly simple criteria of the competition)

Anyone care to join me?

 

If enough people are interested, I’ll set up one of those linky thingies.
Leave a comment if you dare.

#bookerbuddies