Saturday, April 24, 2021

City Basement Books Visit

I'm currently relaxing with a beer while waiting for friends at the Transport Bar at Fed Square in the City.  

Prior to arriving here I made a quick visit to City Basement Books on Flinders Street.  For a second I was concerned the book store could have closed as I hadn't visited since late 2019, prior to the Melbourne Covid lockdown which affected, and still affects, many businesses. Fortunately the "Open" sign was still displayed on the front door.

On entry and after descending down the stairs I was pleased to see the store was quite busy.  As I had limited time I immediately made my way to Fleming and then Gardner.  There were no Ian Fleming titles on the shelf but I did notice one Anthony Horowitz and three John Gardner's.  Sadly nothing new for me today but I'll return again soon.

Friday, April 23, 2021

John Gardner's "For Special Services"

Last November, Orion Books republished John Gardner's second James Bond novel "For Special Services" almost 40 years after it was first released.

Since its recent re-release I've been searching book stores for a copy of the novel.  I know I could easily order it online but I'd rather buy it from a bricks-and-mortar store.  And tonight I found a great copy at a QBD Books at Southland Shopping Centre.  Here's some photos.  I'll be scanning the cover and adding it to as soon as possible.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Completed

Last May I received a Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5 as a birthday gift from some very generous friends.  I started construction in June at my parent's place... and then Melbourne went into a strict 110 day Covid lockdown and my car was trapped at their place.  In November the lockdown ended and I could finally rescue/continue building it.

My wife and I quickly completed Stage 3...

And then we finished Stages 4 and 5 in one sitting...

It's amazing.  So intricate and complex.  A working ejector seat, revolving number plates, hidden machine guns, opening doors, bonnet, boot, rear window bulletproof shield.  Wow... Wow... Wow !  Best Lego set ever.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

"Never Say Never Again" Japanese Film Programme

Back in the 1980's my family used to spend two weeks every Summer camping at Wilsons Promontory National Park found at the southern-most point of Victoria here in Oz.  During the Summer of 1983/1984 I remember watching "Never Say Never Again" for the first time at the open-air cinema at "The Prom".  I disliked it simply because there was no gunbarrel opening nor the signature Bond theme.  But this is an "unofficial Bond film".

Over the years my view of "NSNA" has changed.  I know the film has its faults, especially the conclusion of the film with the gunfight scenes in the Tears of Allah cave and the underwater battle, but in my opinion Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) proves to be a worthy adversary and it's great to see Sean Connery return to his most famous role for the last time. (I even like the film's theme song !)

So I now consider this film a guilty pleasure of mine and I've been hunting for a reasonably priced original film programme... which I found online in Japan a couple of weeks ago.  Last Friday it arrived in the mail and I couldn't be happier.  Here's some photos from the programme:

And finally a thank you note from the seller:

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Part 2: More Jonathan Capes Arrive

After purchasing the copy of "Dr. No" mentioned in my previous post I also noticed another couple of Jonathan Cape hardbacks at reasonable prices, both from the same seller.  I quickly placed bids and won, and two days ago they arrived accompanied by a thankyou note from the seller.

The first was Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger".  This edition was published in 1963 and is a fifth impression.  I think Richard Chopping's skull dust jacket/wrapper for Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger" is brilliant.

The second was Ian Fleming's "You Only Live Twice".  This edition was published in April 1964 and is a second impression.  Again it has a lovely Richard Chopping dust jacket/wrapper.

I doubt I'll find many other reasonably priced Jonathan Cape - Ian Fleming hardbacks for sale any time soon.  The Coronavirus pandemic around the world has resulted in a huge increase in online sales by people trapped at home and these types of books are now demanding inflated prices, but I'll be keeping my eyes open anyway.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Part 1: Jonathan Cape "Dr. No" Arrives

A few weeks ago I noticed a nice hardback copy of Ian Fleming's "Dr. No" for sale on eBay.  Printed in the UK by Jonathan Cape, it's a sixth impression from 1964.  I rarely see these hardbacks at reasonable prices here in Oz with dust jackets/wrappers that aren't badly damaged.  A bid later and it was mine.  Sure the price increased by more than 100% from it's starting price but it was still less than AU$75 including postage.  Here's some pics:

More to follow...

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Rosebud Vintage Bazaar

Yesterday my wife and I visited the Rosebud Vintage Bazaar which is just off Point Nepean Road on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.  It was pure luck finding this place as we didn't know it existed prior to noticing the sign at the front entrance.

Inside the large warehouse type building were many stalls containing hundreds of items for sale.  These included books, toys, clothes, knick-knacks, CD/DVD's and furniture.  

My wife and I scoured each stall for Bond related items and managed to find a hardback book club edition of John Gardner's "Licence Renewed" and three plastic Gilbert figures from the 1960's of Dr. No, Goldfinger and M.  The items were inexpensive however I decided not to buy them as I already had the book and didn't really need the figures.  I will definitely return though.