Saturday, September 30, 2017

Annual Metung Getaway 2017

It's the AFL Grand Final on Saturday so as usual my wife and I, along with my sister-in-law this year, have ventured to Metung in Gippsland to stay at a B&B for the long weekend.  The drive takes just on four hours but as there are lots of towns with secondhand book stores along the way it takes us a little longer.  The good thing is, when you're on holiday, time doesn't matter.

First stop was Maffra where we visited Pingvin Books.  Unfortunately despite the sign on the nature strip the book store didn't appear to be open.  It was a public holiday though.

Next we stopped in Sale and visited Carousel Books but again because of the public holiday it was closed.  I did to grab a photo of the books through the glass window shop front but I always find doing that a little scary in case I see a Bond novel inside the store that I'm after.

Third stop was Bairnsdale Books.  They only had an Ian Fleming - James Bond omnibus hardback and I didn't take a photo.  The same book was there when we visited back in 2015.

And after we'd arrived and checked into our Metung accommodation, the following morning we visited Just Books in Lakes Entrance.  They had four John Gardner - James Bond novels published by Coronet, three from what I call the "Sniper Series" which was pretty amazing considering I haven't seen this many of the one set in one book store for ages.  I already have this set but I still purchased an extra copy of "For Special Services" as it was in such good condition.  I also like putting money into the local economy when I'm away, especially book stores.  The full series of these covers can be found here.  In my opinion they are a really nice set.

While in Lakes we visited the Griffith's Sea Shell Museum and I purchased some creatures made out of shells for my work mates.

Here's a sign we saw on another shop front while walking along the shops.

We also played a game of mini-golf.  Here's my sister-in-law trying to get a hole-in-one on the final hole.

 A photo from the hill looking down Myers Street toward the Lakes shops.

And here's a couple of photos of Metung including the view from our bedroom window over the water.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quick City Book Hunt

I'm just sitting at Flinders Street Station waiting for my train after a quick trip to the City to pick up some stuff.

I first made my way to the Saturday Book Market at Fed. Square where one stall had four Ian Fleming - Jonathan Cape hardbacks for sale.

Then Kay Kraddock Antiquarian Booksellers where I found another Fleming - Cape. 

I decided not to purchase any of the hardbacks however it's not everyday you see five Fleming - Capes for sale, all published in the 1960s.

Here's some other snaps I took today:
Side of the Forum Theatre with Fed. Square

Melbourne P.O. clock tower

New safety bollard covered in Lego by an anonymous artist

Some vintage buildings on Queen St

Side view of Flinders Street Station during renovations

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Weekend Book Fairs

Ok, it's been a while since I last posted on this blog.  My wife and I have been back in Oz for almost a month now after our fantastic time in Europe. 

It's certainly been busy since our return, however I'll be sure to complete my other blog entries from the trip with many still existing at the moment as drafts.

Anyway, last Saturday I got up early and visited the Oakleigh Anglican Church annual book fair.  Unfortunately I found no Bonds but it's always good to visit, especially as it's for charity.

Then I, along with my wife, her sister and parents drove to Yarragon in Gippsland for the annual country fire brigade book fair.  My wife and I visit this one every year and I've been fortunate in the past to find a couple of books there.

When we arrived at the hall in Yarragon it was packed with books and book hunters.
I managed to find seven Bond paperbacks amongst the thousands...
... and before I left I felt compelled to group them all together for another Bond collector to discover as I had them all.

No luck this year but I'll be back again next year with my fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

European Vacation - Northern Ireland - Belfast

The next stop on our European holiday was Belfast in Northern Ireland.  It was certainly strange to go from metric street signs to imperial ones as we crossed the soft border in our rental car.  And the same freeway from Dublin suddenly contained tractors, public buses and even garbage trucks stopping beside houses with their driveways adjoining the road.

As we had arrived late into Belfast, due to our stop in Newgrange, the book stores I intended to visit were already closed.  We visited the Giant's Causeway the next day so it was only on the morning before we caught our ferry from Belfast, NI to Cairnryan, Scotland that I was able to visit the three stores all located on Botanic Street.

The first was the charity book store War On Want, where I spoke to Tony, a volunteer, who was running the store today.  The store was really well categorised but to save time I asked him if he knew if there were any Bonds on the shelves.  He replied that they were not very common and he hadn't seen a Bond book in a while.  There were plenty of other great books to buy though. 

I then crossed the road to Oxfam Books, another charity store (if only we had charlty stores in Oz that specifically sold books!), and spoke to the volunteer there.  This time he told me they did have some Bonds and I took some photos but unfortunaly I had them all.

Finally I visited the new kid on the block.  No Alibis Bookstore has only been open for couple of months and is a great little store.  It sells crime, noir and thrillers (my words not theirs) and the books are both new and second-hand.  I found the owner very friendly and I hope he does well with his new venture.  This street seems to be a very lively and happening part of Belfast and the location of the three book stores so close together won't hurt either for other book collectors like me.

And finally some more photos from our holiday:

The Giant's Causeway (this place is amazing !)

Ulster memorial to "The Troubles"