On ebooks and The Straits

Ironic after my post about preferring actual books, but the last couple of days I have been happily downloading free ebooks – around sixty in all! I blame Denis Wright: My top 25 free eBooks released Jan 2012. He refers us to the joys of Gutenberg.  Indeed there are joys to be had there, and the quality of the product has improved too since the days when it was very basic text files.

Another good source is the University of Adelaide.

I don’t have one of those neat little reader things or an iPad, but I have found that using Calibre on Baby Toshiba offers quite a good alternative.



Last night I watched The Straits. It is no doubt very well made but I am adjusting to it…

Set among the turquoise waters and lethal wildlife of Australia’s Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait, The Straits is an exotic, darkly humorous crime drama.
The Montebello’s family business is transporting drugs into Australia and guns and exotic wildlife out – using ties of blood and loyalty in the Torres Strait Islands.
When Harry (Brian Cox) starts to plan his succession a power struggle is sparked between brothers Noel (Aaron Fa’Aoso), Marou (Jimi Bani), and Gary (Firass Dirani), and wife Kitty (Rena Owen) and daughter Sissi (Suzannah Bayes-Morton).

A part of the world better known to some of my relatives in Queensland, and testimony to the diversity of this country – and the considerable overlap between us and Papua New Guinea.  I thought very much of Lord Malcolm who would have watched it for sure had he still been with us. His opinion would have been well worth hearing.

Malcolm had a lot of good stories to tell. What I didn’t know at the time, though I learned of it later, was that he had already been very ill, almost losing the use of his legs. He had also had a torrid time following the death of his partner a short time before I met him. He was gregarious but also in many ways a private person. For years I had no idea he lived just a short distance from where I live. He was in many respects, politically for example, quite conservative; in other respects he was not averse to taking risks. He had been, after all, a pilot, often in very remote parts of Australia. He knew the Top End and the Aboriginal communities well. I can remember a night at The Shakespeare when he told many stories about that; we were in the company of my Aboriginal friend Kristina Nehm, who knew the places of which he spoke and had also known Malcolm’s partner.