The story of Anne Frank

I visited the Bairnsdale Library last week as there is a new exhibition about Anne Frank on the top floor of the library.

The exhibition opened in The Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne and is now travelling around the country.

In 2015 the Anne Frank House introduced a new generation of travelling exhibitions: “Let Me Be Myself – The Life Story of Anne Frank”. Apart from the story of Anne Frank and the historical context of her time, it specifically highlights the contemporary relevance of the story of Anne Frank.

You can read more information on the exhibition here.

As well as the specific Anne Frank exhibition there is another part of the exhibition which relates to tolerance, racism, disability, religion, nationality, gender and how we view ourselves.  A very thought provoking exhibition and one that will be excellent for students as well as adults to view.

(You can click on the photos to enlarge and then click again to magnify).


Looking for inspiration.

I want to make some pictures to hang in our toilet but I am not sure quite what I want to do.  I decided to take a look at my Pinterest board for ideas and was surprised by the many and wonderful quotes that I had pinned there.  It will be difficult to make a choice.

If you click on the photo it will take you to the actual board where there are many more framing thoughts I have pinned.

The last of my May reads

These are two non-fiction reads this month.  Wake up was read in a sitting and it certainly shed light on many aspects of our use of digital technology.

“Your essential guide to the biggest revolution of the past century. David Fagan was at the forefront of this revolution as he helped take one of Australia’s largest media organisations from print to digital. In Wake Up, he explores the challenges and opportunities of the digital age from his position on the front line. He chronicles the rise of social media, online shopping, the Uber and Airbnb phenomena and the upending of traditional industries. Fagan observes the big emerging trends and examines the technologies leading this change, as the arrival of robots and artificial intelligence affects the way we live, work and play. If you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to wake up.” (Goodreads)

This is a great read and it will be interesting to see if his predictions come to pass.

Screen Schooled I borrowed as I had recently read an article where a school in Melbourne had returned to using textbooks rather than texts online.

“As two veteran teachers who have taught thousands of students, Joe Clement and Matt Miles have seen firsthand how damaging technology overuse and misuse has been to our students. Rather than becoming better problem solvers, kids look to Google to answer their questions for them. Rather than deepening students’ intellectual curiosity, educational technology is too often cumbersome and distracting, causing needless frustration and greatly extending homework time. Rather than becoming the great equalizer, electronic devices are widening the achievement gap. On a mission to educate and empower parents, Clement and Miles provide many real-world examples and cite multiple studies showing how technology use has created a wide range of cognitive and social deficits in our young people. They lift the veil on what’s really going on at school: teachers who are powerless to curb cell phone distractions; zoned-out kids who act helpless and are unfocused, unprepared, and antisocial; administrators who are too-easily swayed by the pro-tech “science” sponsored by corporate technology purveyors. They provide action steps parents can take to demand change and make a compelling case for simpler, smarter, more effective forms of teaching and learning.” (Goodreads)

This is a book, which if given to a group of parents or teachers would certainly provide lively debate.  Well worth the read.

I liked this comment from Maya on Goodreads.

“Just as dropping off a child at a library doesn’t guarantee that child will learn to read, so too does giving a child technology not guarantee that child will know how to use it appropriately.”

I suggest you go to Goodreads and read the reviews there if you are unsure if it is a book you need to read, particularly if you have school aged children.

I have also just finished A Gentleman in Moscow, apparently a mega bestseller about to be made into a tv series.  I gave it five stars so it was definitely one I loved but I will write about it in my June reads.

Memories stirred when cleaning out the computer documents.

A couple of days ago I spent nearly a whole morning working on tidying up documents on my computer.  I had been looking for a particular document on the computer and realised that I had a lot of “stuff” on the computer that I no longer needed.  I guess it was a bit like cleaning out a filing cabinet.

I did get rid of a great number of documents but while doing that I discovered documents that I had forgotten about.  One folderr of many documents is my mother’s book of memories.  When my mum died I scanned the whole book,105 pages, so that each member of the family would have a copy of what my mum had written.  The scanned pages were put on a CD.  I knew I had the scanned document on the computer but it was a while since I last looked at it.

What lovely memories it brought back.

Just the first page starts you on the journey of her memories.

Although I don’t have the physical copy of the book I can still read it when ever I want to and it is here for my children and grandchildren when they want to look at it.


Rabbie Burns Night is coming up. . .25th January

I wrote a post several years ago about Burns Night and thought that now was a good time to revisit that post.

25th January is the birthday of Robert Burns.  Some of you may be asking, “Who is he?’ He is probably the most well known of the Scottish poets.  There are links to many wonderful resources at this site as most of his works have been digitised.

When asked the source of his greatest creative inspiration, Bob Dylan selected “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns as the lyric that had the greatest impact on his life. Abraham Lincoln was also a fan of Burns, reciting his poetry from memory, and perhaps being influenced to emancipate slaves by the great Scottish poet’s forcibly stated belief in the equality of all human beings. Burns was certainly a freethinker and a man ahead of his time:  on the eve of the French Revolution, he was already writing “The Rights of Woman”.  What shines through the poetry of Robert Burns is his compassion for all human beings and living creatures: whether a young girl about to be judged for “loose morals” for loving a boy, or a field mouse whose nest was destroyed by an errant plow, or a mountain daisy cut down before its time, or himself when he had to part with someone he cherished. 
Poems by Burns inspired the titles of two classic novels: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and J .D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. A prolific songwriter, he collected hundreds of Scottish folk songs, often revising or adapting them, or writing new lyrics himself. His version of “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year) to usher in the new year—not only in Scotland, but around the world. His “Scots Wha Hae” has been called an unofficial Scottish national anthem.

Today, Burns has become a national hero and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. In 2009 he was designated the Greatest Scot, through a poll conducted by Scottish television channel STV. (The HyperTexts)

I find it difficult to name my favourite poem but after much consideration I think it would be Tam o Shanter.

My elder daughter had A Red Red Rose recited at her wedding.  My elder brother was the speaker.  A beautiful love poem recited by a loved one of mine for a loved one of mine.

Burns Night in Scotland is celebrated with gusto!

Many people and organizations hold a Burns’ supper on or around Burns’ Night. These may be informal or formal, only for men, only for women, or for both genders. Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns. Ceremonies during a Burns’ Night supper vary according to the group organizing the event and the location. The evening centres on the entrance of the haggis to the accompaniment of bagpipes.

A haggis is made from a concoction of ingredients that are mixed and inserted into a sheep’s stomach bag, which is then tied tightly at both ends and boiled. The ingredients include lambs liver, oatmeal, suet, stock, onion, salt pepper and other seasonings. In recent times the sheep’s stomach bag is often replaced with a collagen sausage skin. It may not sound very attractive but the end result is delicious. If you have not tried it do so at the earliest opportunity. You don’t know what you’re missing!

This is a haggis, cooked by my husband when we were in Scotland.

When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the “Address to a Haggis”. This is an ode that Robert Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.

We found this sign about haggis on one of our trips to Scotland.