Wednesday, April 22, 2020

If the world is upside down, let's visit Sydney!

Hi Janet

Thought I’d send you a pic from my favourite bookshop, Gertrude & Alice in Sydney. It’s usually a cafe too but right now is surviving off takeaway coffee, book deliveries, and gift certificates. It was recently pointed out to me that purchasing vouchers and gift certificates is a good way to support the businesses we love so they can make it out the other end of this crisis.

Below is a photo of Bondi Beach - empty for the first time in memory and under police-enforced closure. I can’t tell you how much it runs against the grain for Sydneysiders to not be allowed onto our beaches. Still, it’s all for the greater good and a very tiny sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.

I hope you are bearing up ok and your beautiful city is soon returned to it’s irrepressible vigour and vibrance.--blog reader MA Hudson

I'm working on a contract right now so I didn't have much brain power left to write a blog post. My brain is so befuddled that I need to really concentrate and focus so I don't license rights on Mars when I mean Mauritius.


Colin Smith said...

Are there rights on Mars? (Apologies, David Bowie) ;)

nightsmusic said...


What a beautiful beach! And what a great name for a bookstore.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Beautiful beach and lovely, little bookshop. I miss the bookstores more than anything and our library. I suppose my love of running my hands over the spines of all those lovely books will be a thing of the past forever. I love the way books feel in my hands.

And if there are rights in Mars, my future agent better be able to get them. :)

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I once shipped 5,000 dollars of our custom camera gear to Mauritius.

Theresa said...

These photos reinforce my determination to visit Australia!

I was low on brain power yesterday so I researched rather than wrote, which was an effective enough use of time.

Hope everyone is still safe.

Sarah said...

I think of so many countries when I think of rights, but Mauritius?

I worked as a tutor for faculty children on a Semester at Sea voyage in 2016– an amazing opportunity for a high school teacher! We sailed from California to countries in East Asia . . . India . . . and Mauritius was a day stop on the way to South Africa.

It was breathtaking, and I was only able to do one waterfall hike. I told myself I'd go back . . . and then I saw the price for flights. I'll have to sell quite a few more books before I can return. :)

Amy Johnson said...

Agreeing with nightsmusic--"Gertrude & Alice" is a great name for a bookstore. I remember that a few years ago here on the Reef, we got into a fun discussion about the name "Gertrude."

Speaking of fun, reading today's post was especially fun because I won "Guess the OP." I'm guessing I wasn't the only winner today. (Waving to my friend in Sydney. Hi!) Winning that game was especially nice because I haven't been able to play one of my other games, which is "Try to Get an A at the Dentist's Office." My 6-month cleaning has had to be rescheduled twice recently because of the virus. (Not making light--it can be good to look for the fun/funny, especially when it's most needed.) The game isn't just about how well I've been brushing and flossing in between visits--behavior in the chair counts, too. More than two "Turn towards me, please"s, and the best I can get is a B-plus. I'm sure you all play a similar version of this game when you get your teeth cleaned.

Brenda said...

May I use your picture of the bookstore sign on twitter? I love it.

Claire Bobrow said...

I'm all for visiting Sydney. That bookshop looks perfect. And the beach! It's great to see M.A.'s photos* on the blog today and hear how her city is coping.

*if you don't follow M.A. on Instagram, you're missing a treat!

Casual-T said...

@Colin Smith... No, but I heard there's Fei Tsui Jade! (See what I did, there?)

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Hey, rights is rights. I'd be more than happy if tiny countries all over the world wanted to publish my books. Imagine the covers! :D

(with the Run With the Hunted series, I have made my own covers and am actually pretty pleased with them. I am obviously not a cover artist, however.)

Empty beaches are sad to see, unless you're there to take advantage of beachy and oceanic solitude! But, even were I in proximity to my favored beaches, I do agree that it is a small sacrifice to avoid them, in order to stem the viral spread. And also, I don't know about Australian beachgoers, but I can say my American counterparts do tend to litter, so it's nice for the beaches themselves, and adjacent wildlife, to have a break from that.

LynnRodz said...

I only wish some Americans would stop complaining and stay home like the people in Australia. Americans have the reputation of being spoiled and undisciplined, a lot of them are now living up to that reputation. It drives me crazy watching them protest and going to the beaches while the rest of the world (except Sweden) are staying quarantined, as we all should.

(Janet, you can delete this comment, I don't mind, I had to blow off steam.)

Unknown said...

Thanks, MA Hudson, for spreading the word about supporting local bookstores! Since reading levels seem to be increasing at the moment, it's nice that we can help keep independent bookstores afloat. In Canada at least, lots of small bookstores are offering free delivery.

Craig F said...

On this Earth Day, it seems almost prophetic to see a beach look so primal. Thank you Mary Ann.

Looks like the Covidiots will be bringing about the second wave of this beast.

It is good that the Australian government could see the beast while here it was called a hoax, like Bigfoot.

Too bad Tampa no longer has a good independent bookstore, like Gertrude and Alice's.

glevin said...

Thanks for sharing these pics, MA. Sydney has a very special place in my heart—it's where my wife's family lives. (Best in-laws ever.) It's also where I was when Janet officially added me to her client list in January. (Best HOLIDAY ever.)

Be well, and say hi to the harbor for me.


MA Hudson said...

Aw, thanks for featuring my photo's, Janet. Gertrude and Alice (in Bondi) is a wonderful bookshop and community hub. There's a whole bunch of people, some of them writers, who I've become friends with just from sitting at the communal table, and the spicy chai tea is the best I've ever had.

The beaches are set to open again after the weekend, with very strict conditions - 7am to 5pm and for swimming, surfing, or exercise only. Hopefully everyone will stick to the rules or otherwise they'll be closed again. We've been very lucky with the virus so far and were able to take heed of what was happening in Italy and then the US. But without a vaccine, the social distancing is going to have to be maintained for the foreseeable future and as humans are such social creatures, that's just unimaginable.

Amy - Hi! I love the sound of your games. I've never played that one at the dentist but if I ever get back there, I'll definitely try it. Anything to distract myself from all that horrible grinding, picking, and polishing!!

Brenda - Go for it! It's cute, isn't it?

Glevin - Wow! That's about the best possible memory to have of Sydney - not just becoming agented, but becoming best agented in the known universe. Congratulations!!

MA Hudson said...

PS. Claire's instagram posts are a treat too - lovely to have a glimpse into life in beautiful San Francisco. There's an exquisite Earth Day rose up today @clairebobrow
*waves at Claire*

Unknown said...

Hard to imagine Bondi so empty - even at 3am there were always people walking the beach - I used to live up the road in Vaucluse - miss it everyday

nightsmusic said...

MA, I have an author friend who lives in Thornbury, Victoria. The entire country is beautiful. I also have family in New Zealand, but that's an island unto itself ;)

Brenda said...

Followed you both. Thanks MA. I’ll credit you.

AJ Blythe said...

MA, I haven't been to that bookstore, but next time I am in that part of Sydney I will have to make time to visit.

And I think from Tuesday Bondi beach will be open again to swimmers and surfers.