Wednesday, July 31, 2013

There and Back Again

Like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, we have been "there and back again" and, as with all good adventures, we are pleased to be safely home again, slowly remembering and returning to our usual routines.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Guthega, NSW, Australia

Our time in southern Africa was followed by a couple of weeks in the Snowy Mountains of Australia (although in the first week we thought that Rainy Mountains would have been more apt...)

Now, finally back in Canberra, the jonquils are out and the camellias are beginning to flower.  As Dorothy says in the last line in L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "And, oh Aunt Em! I'm so glad to be at home again!" 

Our dog is glad to see us and we have missed him too.

Although less than a month, it feels like it was a long time ago that we were at the Kids' Lit Quiz world final in Durban.

Long overdue congratulations to Roedean School, worthy winners of the 2013 World Final in a thrilling finish.  Congratulations also to all the finalists who contributed to the exciting competition and the wonderful spirit in the week of activities surrounding the final. 

Huge thanks to Marj Brown and her wonderful committee for organising a brilliant week in Durban. 

The farewell dinner was held at the Durban Yacht Club

If you would like to learn more about the World Final, have a look at South African author Rachel Morgan's blog which provides a terrific account of both the world final and the gala dinner.  You can also get an insight into the week of the world final on the Australian team's blog, here.

If you are a Facebook member, have a look at the Facebook pages of the Kids' Lit Quiz.  There are lots of photos on the South Africa, Australia and Canada pages. 

The competition also made the news in Durban.

While I've included a few photos in this post, there are lots (and lots) more photos of our South African adventure to sift through and experiences and stories to recount, retell and, quite possibly, embellish in the best possible way.  I'm working on it!

Sunrise in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Sunset in Chobe National Park, Botswana

In the meanwhile, what are you reading?

I'm reading Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge,  Diplomatic Pounds (and other stories) by Ama Ata Aidoo, a Ghanaian writer, and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.   I'm also re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

In no particular order, here are some of the other books currently floating about this house - I'm not sure who is reading what:

Horrible Histories by Terry Deary (Frightful First Wold War and Barmy British Empire)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Barduco
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
One Flew  Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
the merlin effect by T A Barron
Hunted by Kevin Hearne
Skymaze by Gillian Rubinstein
Spud by John van de Ruit
zero history by William Gibson
Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse
Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Have you read any of these books? (note that some of them are not children's books).  If so, let me know what you thought - leave a comment below or write a review (see left side bar for past reviews).

More from me soon.  As Sam says in the last line of the Lord of the Rings, "Well, I'm back". 

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