Tag: Books

Real-life adventure books

I love reading books about adventures, real life adventures, about real people, with maps and photographs. Video not so much, in my opinion it can take away from the spontaneity of the event and turn it into reality TV feel.

A well written book can take you to the location and make you feel part of the experience. I read ‘Wild’ By Cheryl Strayed a couple of years back, and listened to part of it on audio. I became so engaged with the experience of walking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 1,100 – mile hike, that when someone asked me if I had seen the film, I said yes, but I hadn’t seen the movie at all.

The events along the trail were real to me, I could see them in my mind’s eye, the breathtaking scenery and feel the weight of the backpack, and the blistered feet… it was quite incredible.

I’m still a kid inside, and adventure is adventure wherever you find it.  ~ Jim Dale ~

Gillian CallcottImpact books have

I wrote a post a while back, about finding your why, and exploring your childhood interests which sometimes can give us clues to finding our true purpose or direction in life, the things that make our heart sing.

Reading about real life adventures was something I loved when I was 12 years old. We lived in an old rambling beach side cottage at Burleigh Heads. In those days the land extended right from the Gold Coast Hwy to the Esplanade. The cottage has long since disappeared, and a multistorey building sits on part of the land.

An old musty smelling bookcase

I remember long hot summers and the incessant noise of cicadas when we walked, or should I say ran down to the beach, so our feet didn’t burn on the hot sand. The thing I remember most was a musty smelling bookcase, full of real life adventures books.

Life is either a great adventure or nothing.  ~ Helen Keller ~

Mum and Dad rented this cottage from an elderly couple, Benny and Jessie Morris, they owned quite a bit of property around the area. Benny Morris was proud of his purchase at an auction of a few hundred books, the bookcase was in the bedroom that I shared with my sister. I can still picture him, a short round man with a strange moustache, which resembled that of a famous German dictator.

He said that we could read the books, but we had to look after them, they were valuable and cost a lot of money at auction. I can’t remember the amount he said but I do remember that it wasn’t much. I can still picture that room with its white paint peeling timber window frames that opened out onto the back-garden’s lawn. The book case was in the corner of the room, packed with old books.

Future value

The first thing that struck me even has a 12-year-old, was that these books were old and smelly. The pages were yellowed, and small insects (book lice) would run into the book’s spine every time you opened one up. Hardly valuable in my opinion, I suspected that Mr. Morris was a bit tight fisted.

Valuable they were, many hours of reading I enjoyed in that bedroom, the damp musty smell of those books along with the book lice, never bothered me.

In fact, to this day, I have a problem getting rid of old musty smelling books.

There were real life adventures in that musty damp book case, life experiences of real people with photos and maps, journeys across the Sahara Desert in an old car, trekking through the jungles of the Amazon and archaeological expedition in the Middle East.

One of the last books I read from that book case, was of a woman who rode her push bike across Europe, she could fold it up and put it in a suitcase.

Can’t remember the titles

Over the years I have searched for those books, unfortunately the titles have alluded me, it was over forty years ago. Most of the adventures were already decades old even then.

Nonetheless it fueled, an adventurous spirit in me… although I haven’t been involved in anything epic. All those real-life adventure books gave me a little courage and an expectation of not wanting to miss out on opportunities.

Whenever I was hesitating about doing things on my own, however small, I was disappointed in myself if I didn’t try. I believe those adventure books gave me that mentality or maybe developed it to something almost tangible.

I still love watching documentary about people and places. I remember those musty books with fond memories….

Voyage of the Southern Sun – Michael Smith

I am on another adventure now, and what I love about a real-life adventure book is you can experience it wherever you are and whenever you want to escape. Imagine taking the same route that Qantas did more than 95 years ago, but doing it in a little sea plane, a flying boat if you will.

I am sixty pages in and loving it! The background of the adventurer is just as interesting as the journey itself. For all you book adventurers this is one you should read. I know I couldn’t embark on such an adventure, the planning involved would be a feat on its own.

But wouldn’t it be nice just to be in the cockpit of that Searey for just one leg of the journey and have some hair raising moments, you could tell the grand kids about around a family dinner.

That would be a treasured adventure of a lifetime. More interesting than the kids telling strangers that Nan’s got a YouTube Channel with her child

We are all on an epic adventure now!

Sometimes we can get so engrossed with what others are doing and accomplishing, that we forget that all of us are undertaking an epic adventure… called life. It’s our own unique experience, our own path and we get to create and walk it.

Sometimes life takes unexpected twist and turns, we have to deal with. But one thing is certain if you want to have your own epic adventure to some faraway place and that’s what you dream about, it takes finances and planning to do it. If this describes you there is an opportunity to do something about it. I am, because there are things I want to cross off my bucket list, it might not be someone else’s adventure but its mine.

If lack of another income stream is holding you back from that adventure, click the form below and check out the Seven Day Video Series. This might be the answer to seeing your dreams becoming a reality.

How I Started Crocheting Patterns

Crocheting was something I did when the children were little. I crocheted a pony called Candy for my little girl and a giraffe name Jaffa for the boys. Jaffa I recalled had a very… very long neck and the boys would swing Jaffa around in their bedroom, out of sight from Mum. It wasn’t the best pattern in the world you had to lean Jaffa against a wall for him to stand up straight.

Knowing me I probably modified it in some way, a habit that is hard to break.

Candy and Jaffa survived the children’s rough games up to their adulthood. Candy is still around and became a star in my children’s books about the adventures of Zach & Candy.

She is with me now, just behind my chair in the junk cupboard.

Alas… Jaffa suffered another fate, no one will say, just a wall of silence… 🙁

The last time I saw him, he was in a cupboard at my son’s place, my son wanted him for his little boy. 

Leah with CandyBut I fear not everyone felt the same, he was old and couldn’t stand up straight, so he may have ended up in the old clothes bag going to ‘good will’, or worse still… in the rubbish bin. I like to think he’s got a good home somewhere. Enough about that, I’ve had my public lament time to move on…

Rebirth of something I loved

My granddaughter stayed with me one weekend and she brought a little hippo named Zack from kindergarten with her. Over the weekend this little hippo was to accompany her wherever she went and on the Monday morning at kindergarten, she had to bring a book of activities that she did with this little hippo, in story form to “show and tell”.

This was the start of my story telling, (in addition to when I was a child) and Zach’s Weekend Adventure with Friends was created and based on that weekend’s events. 

Crocheting – Prop Created

Anyway the whole point to this is, I started to crochet my first character from my book, Zach. I must admit he was a sorry sight, too large really for what I needed. I already had the storyline, I just needed the prop.

The children loved him straight away and he was a mess after they played with him, white filling oozing out, but they didn’t seem to mind. After they left I would get the scissors and trim off all the filling coming from the open weave style I had created.

I never imagined he would be so popular. They would both play for hours with Zach & Zach with JhettCandy along with all the super hero figures.

An Idea was Born

An idea was born, by this time I had already created a number of children’s books including, “Zach Gets Left Behind” which was inspired by my little grandson’s day of playing with Zach.

I decided I would crochet all the characters from my books and produce an easy to follow pattern I could sell online… surely it wouldn’t be that hard?

This is what happened.

Sorting out books

Over the weekend I’ve been doing some sorting out. It’s not a job I enjoy, the dust and mess is something I avoid like the plague. But nonetheless it had to be done. I love books in all forms, digital, paperback and hard bound books, their pages reveal the world and you can be there in an instant. Well written descriptive books are very intimate they melt into your mind and subconscious and shape your thinking and view of the world.

People have lost their lives to produce and distribute information in the form of books and pamphlets, whether it was aimed to preserve the Bible’s writings or fighting for a cause. The written word is powerful.

“A drop of ink may make a million think.”
~ George Gordon Byron ~

So with that thought in mind, books were the focus, old books with yellowed edges and smelling of dampness. This is the only downside to books if you live near the sea, they just absorbed the moisture in the air and before long they start to deteriorate.
This particular book was an old copy of ‘The Untold Story – Howard Hughes’ I remembered reading it, quite a fascinating read. I opened the yellowed pages and to my surprise I found three pressed flowers distributed through the book.

I had a habit when I was younger of putting flowers in books to preserve them, usually it was of a special event or someone I really cared about gave them to me. My dear old Mum would do it and I believe Granny Lewis (my mother’s mother) did it too. So the habit has been handed down. Some don’t like the thought of a book being used for such ends but a book becomes personal after you read it. At one time I would put money in books for safe keeping, but stopped that habit years ago.

Remember Me Like a Pressed Flower

And with that thought in mind, I instantly remembered why I had put the flowers there. I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten them. It’s fascinating how the mind works, many times I’ve looked at that book and thought I should throw it out or take it to ‘goodwill’ but something always stopped me.

I scanned the front matter of the book for printing dates; there it was… First Printing, March, 1996 the year my husband died. Up to this point I have been very comfortable writing about it, after all it’s over nineteen years ago.

However when I typed the year I found tears were filling my eyes, that’s one reason I hate sorting out stuff, memories surface… happy and sad.

“Remember me like a pressed flower in your notebook. It may not be having fragrance, but will remind you of my existence forever in your life.

~ Unknown ~

But I’ll glad I found these flowers and the book, I might just read it again or maybe download another copy onto my Kindle Reader…leave the original in a time warp.