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Skyring's Convention Journal
by As Many BookCrossing Friends As Possible! | Travel
Registered by skyring of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on 11/11/2004
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by skyring): to be read


86 journalers for this copy...

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Journal Entry 1 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, November 11, 2004

10 out of 10

I'm rating this book highly, because I'm starting it off on a journey which I hope will take it around the world to a neverending succession of Bookcrossing conventions and conferences and meetups. 


Journal Entry 2 by caldron from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Saturday, November 13, 2004

10 out of 10

A wonderful conference . . . congratulations to all those responsible for the organisation; it was a great experience and an absolute pleasure to finally meet you all . . . safe journeys home for everyone :)

Let's do this again!
 


Journal Entry 3 by k-j-h from Geelong, Victoria Australia on Saturday, November 13, 2004

10 out of 10

I can't believe I'm the first person to post an entry (unless Neesy or caldron beat me to it - they're sitting beside me)
 


Journal Entry 4 by Neesy from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Saturday, November 13, 2004

10 out of 10

It was fantastic writing in Skyring's journal - of course I couldn't stop writing so I managed to squeeze two entries into this wonderful journal!
It was fantastic meeting everyone in person - hope to see you all in Brisbane soon!
Hugs
Neesy 


Journal Entry 5 by Georgie-Shaw from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

This book has not been rated.

It was a great time - my journal entry was but a titbit of the fun I had. I still have a belly full of yum-cha and a mind full of lttle bamboo buckets of BC moments from the weekend that was. Ahhhh.

Now, let's hope the more creatively fluent amoungst us come and journal their entries here too.

 


Journal Entry 6 by BookFrog from Albion Park, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

This book has not been rated.

I managed to write a small blurb in it at trivia thinking I wouldn't make it to any other parts of the conference. But I did! I made it to yum cha and was amused to see charbono read the journal and comment - was bookfrog at trivia, I didn't see her and I could pipe up and say "yes I was". hee hee

hope everyone enjoyed themselves - great fun! 


Journal Entry 7 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

10 out of 10

I'm going to make a pig of myself in this journal. Not the physical book, which I'll pass on with the thought that everyone else has handwriting so very much neater than mine, but here online, where my atrocious typing isn't readily discerned and the backspace key rules.

After we heard about the great times the Christchurch Bookcrossers and the St Louis people had, we Aussies decided to hop on the bandwagon and hold a convention. Held a vote on our BCAUS Yahoo forum and Sydney came up on top. Because of the huge climate variations in Australia we decided to let each city hold their convention at a time of year that was appropriate, and besides, if Bookcrossers around the world hold their conventions at the same time in April, it will be difficult for people to go to more than one a year.

November is a great month in Sydney. Late spring and everything is green and lush and blooming. There are jacarandas everywhere, but I really liked this exuberant display I spotted from the window of the train taking me to the conference. 


Journal Entry 8 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

10 out of 10

My train pulled up at Central Station and I made my way to the youth hostel at Railway Square, which is a recycled building. The old Inward Goods Terminal at the side of the station, complete with its own platform at which four old "red rattler" carriages are drawn up, converted into accomodation in four, six, and eight bunk cabins.

The interior of the building is sparkling clean and modern, with the old wooden beams and doors of the terminal adding a retro touch. A fascinating place and I fell in love with it the moment that I announced I was a Bookcrosser and the young lady behind the counter replied with a huge smile that she was too!

An added bonus is that it is built almost on top of what I call the Evil Bookshop. Basement Books which has an extraordinary range of books, books and more books, all heavily discounted. Booklovers are sucked into its evil vortex and can only emerge several kilos heavier and several dollars lighter.

The hostel was the official Conference accomodation in the budget line. Cheap and cheerful, and that's what I like about youth hostels. 


Journal Entry 9 by servalan from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

10 out of 10

Lovely to meet the famous skyring at the ABC!

I'm looking forward to reading this journal's travels through the world.

Apologies for my appalling hand-writing - I can only type these days. :)

Cheers,


Journal Entry 10 by wingmeganhwing from Thornbury, Victoria Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2004

This book has not been rated.

meganh signing in to add my comments - great idea skyring. I had so much fun this weekend - Sydney really turned on the weather for us and the Sydney BCer's did a great job organising a variety of activities for us. The flashmob was brilliant - I wonder what those Japanese tourists will be telling their families at home about the strange Australian customs.
Great questions for the trivia night thanks to Jess - and no disputes from(uncompetitive) newk either.
My partner Andrew had a great time too, thanks to all for their friendliness - think he will soon have his own BC name.
Look forward to catching up with this at another convention somewhere in Oz or NZ. 


Journal Entry 11 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

There are two things that every hostelling Bookcrosser checks first up. The book swap room and the Internet cafe.

There was a swap shelf at the base of the main stairs, and it seemed to function as a bit of a clothing exchange as well. Things like half-full bottles of shampoo seemed to live there as well, something I found handy as I'd forgotten to pack any, yes thanks everyone for the thoughts about my rapidly disappearing hair, but I do try to keep what little I have left clean and tidy.

So yes, I'm a bit thin on top, and the book swap shelf was a bit light on as well. There were only a handful of books available. I grabbed a couple and left a couple. 


Journal Entry 12 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

This was Thursday evening by now, and I used some of my last free time to sort out the books I'd brought along. The photo shows the corner of my cabin in the carriage with some of the books and Bookcrossing supplies. This journal is in the photo - one of the other first things I'd done had been to go down to the Evil Bookshop and buy a blank journal, among other things - but it hasn't got its front cover on yet, and the green and mauve floral design is still visible.

The yellow tote bag was a blessing in the days to come. An incredible amount of books can be crammed into it, the Bookcrossing logo on the side is a great advertisement, there are pockets for bits and pieces, it has a stout zip along the top to keep books in and rain out, and it is strong as. Every Bookcrosser should have one!

I went hunting up some food. Youth hostels generally have a small cafe attached, but part of the appeal to the budget conscious traveller is the well-equipped self-cook kitchen and associated dining room. I knew that I'd be having my breakfasts there, and consuming the odd cup of tea as I hunched over a computer monitor in the Internet cafe, so I went out and found a 7-11 across the road. And as luck would have it, there was a team of promotions people handing out sample packages of Moccona coffee sticks - little paper tubes full of instant coffee rather like the sugar sticks you get at cafes. Mmmm. Bought cereal, teabags and milk as well. Not much of a tea selection, but Liptons was running an "instant-win" competition so I selected a small packet of Liptons.

The old Paddy's Market building was nearby, and I wandered in there to look for some takeaway dinner. They didn't have a Subway shop, but they had some tantalising aromas, and I bought a doner kebab wrap, full of sliced kebab, salad and yummy sauce, wrapped up in a piece of flat Lebanese bread. I had my doubts about multiculturalism at first, but I've got to say that the influx of migrants from all over the world in the past 50 years has done wonders for Australian cuisine.

Back to the hostel and onto the Internet to catch up and make some release notes and register the books from the swap shelf. I had hoped for a network where I could plug my laptop in, but not at this hostel, not yet. 


Journal Entry 13 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

Next morning was Friday, the first of the three days of the convention, and the occasion of an unofficial "stunt".

It so happens that a popular national morning show is produced at studios fronting Martin Place in the centre of Sydney, with only glass walls separating public from performers. On Friday mornings they have a local band perform. So one of the Sydneysiders suggested that we could score a bit of publicity by doing a mass release outside. Sounded like a good idea to me.

I found k-j-h from Geelong, one of the other interstate early arrivals in the hostel when I got up in the morning, and we chatted as we made a few last-minute release notes. We had about seventy or eighty books between us, and we reckoned we could make a creditable display. We were to meet FuShMuSh from the organising committee, Kuju from the UK, and Neesy from Queensland at Martin Place and saturate the area with free books.

The Railway Square hostel is next to the train station, but it's still a long walk down a tunnel to the ticket office and another long walk to the platform for a train to Martin Place, and we were a bit late when we arrived to find FuShMuSh and Kuju pacing up and down, checking their watches and camera. Here's a picture Kuju took of us, blinking in the bright sunlight as we emerged from the subway station. 


Journal Entry 14 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

Jessica (FuShMuSh) and Natalie (Kuju) had obviously been going ga-ga waiting for us to show up with the books, but were having a good time anyway. It was possible to peer into the studio to see and hear what was going on, but outside was pandemonium. Quite apart from the commuters streaming past from the subway entrance, there were dedicated viewers of the program holding up placards and swooning over the stars, a group of people doing some sort of Oriental physical discipline, others dressed up like belly-dancers, a chap in a blue rhino suit advertising some nostrum, a team from a telecommunications company spruiking their wares and any number of odds and sods. Like us. 


Journal Entry 15 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

OK, they might not look it from the previous photograph, but Jess and Natalie are both very impressive people. Jess led the Sydney Organising Committee and runs a blog-type website, heavy on pictures at http://www.fushmush.net/

Kuju is an international person, moving around the world, but based in London. She is a superb photographer, and I've lifted several images from her site at http://63.166.77.4/gallery/albums.php

Neesy didn't show up - we heard later that she was under the weather and was profuse in her apologies for the rest of the weekend, littlemave had to get her three youngsters off to three different schools and turned up somewhat later, and everyone else was either not yet in Sydney, or too busy earning a living to turn up at an unofficial event.

Me, I was feeling very uncertain about the security guards and the vast amounts of people and the general air of hurry and scurry that marks Sydney in the morning rush hour. When I release books, I like to do it in a discreet fashion. It's a private thing, setting a book free, taking a photograph and writing up release notes later.

Natalie and Jessica helped me a lot by being bright and bubbly, informed and confident. 


Journal Entry 16 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

We quickly set to work. Kevin and I found a quiet corner and began pulling out books from our bags. We could have handed them out to passersby, but at the rate people were hurrying past, even our sizable supply wouldn't have lasted more than a few minutes.

I've lifted yet another picture from Kuju here. I pulled out my books and stuck "Free Book" postits on the front. Kevin had his own notes printed up, but needed to apply glue from an ingenious tape dispenser. 


Journal Entry 17 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

Business was slow at first as we began distributing books around the studio exterior. Placing them in view of the crowd peering in through the glass walls was a logical step. 


Journal Entry 18 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

We soon had our books forming a creditable lineup. 


Journal Entry 19 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

And attracting a bit of interest. 


Journal Entry 20 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

Books were everywhere! 


Journal Entry 21 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

This fellow was waiting for a bus. 


Journal Entry 22 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

And then this chap sat down on the seat at the book stop, er, bus stop.

The book was later found on a bus. We're not sure exactly how it got there. 


Journal Entry 23 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

This book has not been rated.

After a bit, we realised that our bold display of books wasn't working as well as it could, mainly because they were out of reach behind a security tape that only a few people dared to pass. The security guards were on our side - they hadn't stopped us putting the books against the studio window, and in fact had accepted books and bookmarks, but still, it wasn't the best location.

So we moved them out and lined the sides of the subway entrance in Martin Place. 


Journal Entry 24 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 15, 2004

10 out of 10

As Bookcrossers, we are always on the lookout for books left lying around suspiciously. sometimes we go looking for them. But it's rare to find a wild release, so imagine the surprise of this pair of Bookcrossers when after months of fruitless looking, they suddenly found dozens of books just standing around together in Martin Place!

Man, but you could have lit up the place after dark with the light of their smiles!

Kuju talked while I took photographs. One of the two on the left is PreshyLoo, who joined Bookcrossing in January 2004. 


Journal Entry 25 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

We had a bit of fun at the subway entrance, lining the books up on both sides, along the stair rails, at the top, in places where they would catch the eye.

It was all a bit bizarre. 


Journal Entry 26 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

This was one of Kuju's books, and I took a few shots of people climbing the subway stairs to emerge into a world scattered with books.

[Later] Little did I know at the time of the extraordinary travels of this book in the days and weeks to come... 


Journal Entry 27 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This book has not been rated.

The area outside the studio was full of life, what with the commuters and the folk pressing their noses up against the glass, and apart from us there were others preying on the crowd. Kevin managed to give a copy of The Blue Lagoon to a Blue rhino advertising some potion, and the book was subsequently journalled. 


Journal Entry 28 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This book has not been rated.

We found a couple of guys promoting some new Internet cellphone technology (or rather they found us) and when one of them started to sell us on their product, we responded by demonstrating our product. "Here," I said "Go to www.bookcrossing.com and enter in this number..."

And he did! 


Journal Entry 29 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

Towards the end of the show, the presenters David Koch and Melissa Doyle came out to chat with the onlookers. 


Journal Entry 30 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

Bookcrossing.com got a mention on the show - here's the male presenter holding one of our books. I had earlier selected a copy of "Whisky Galore" as one to give him, but he hasn't journalled it yet. 


Journal Entry 31 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

Kevin (k-j-h) and Natalie (Kuju) managed to get the stars of the show to hold still for a photograph. Here they are with Melissa. 


Journal Entry 32 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

And all three of us had our picture taken with the cheery weather presenter Monique Wright.

I gave her a book by Rowena Summers, which was about as "weathery" as I could find amongst the books left.

I've shamelessly stolen Kuju's photographs from her online album and I'd like to give her a big thankyou for taking some fantastic shots. 


Journal Entry 33 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

Finally the excitement died down and we retired to a nearby coffee shop with Claire (littlemave) who had rushed over as soon as she could pack her three children off to three different schools, and Allison Rushby, who had been in town to promote her book "It's Not You It's Me!" a classic of the chick-lit variety.

We had a grand time discussing books and Bookcrossing, and I've stolen yet another of Natalie's photographs from her shot of the four of us together, with me waving my "Bookcrossing Through Middle-Earth" book.

[Later. Allison joined up and is now BookCrossing under the screen-name "Seealliread", which is incredibly witty. I've got one of her other books - AllMenAreBastards.com - which is a great yarn about the internet, love and girly relationships.] 


Journal Entry 34 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

10 out of 10

So that was the first event of the Convention, albeit an unofficial one. I left Kevin to make his way back to our hostel while I went shopping for books. Sydney has some superb bookshops, and I can heartily recommend Galxy Bookshop for those keen on science fiction and fantasy. It is huge!

I ducked into Dymocks stationery section for a pencil and some texta pens so that I could decorate this here journal, and I ran into an old army mate of mine, looking older and larger (like me). Hadn't seen him for six years since his wife led the Australian Democrats to defeat at an election and we met each other in the tally room where I was playing at political journalist.

And when I paid for my stuff, the young lady at the counter was a Bookcrosser too! I gave her a book called Blue Mountain which I had meant to give to the blue rhino guy but didn't get around to.

At this point, may I express my appreciation of the huge yellow Bookcrossing tote bags? I spent the whole weekend clutching mine, stuffed full of books, labels, books, ziploc bags, books, stickers, books, maps, books, a camera, books, all sorts of other stuff and more books. These bags are strong enough to hold a truckload of books and have a few pockets for things that aren't books. Plus they have a zip at the top to keep the rain out and the books in. Highly recommended to all Bookcrossers!

I went back to the hostel after a long and hot walk - my feet were almost falling off by this stage - pulled out my pens and had a bash at making a title page for this journal. I didn't want to copy the running book logo exactly, and I tried for a free-flowing interpretation, using green and gold to represent the national colours of Australia. 


Journal Entry 35 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This book has not been rated.

The afternoon wore on, and found k-j-h and I sweating over the computers at the Internet cafe, burning up the Bookcrossing site. Through the window in front of us we could see the YHA Sydney Central and on the sidebar before us we could see Charbono and Jenny-G making release notes.

With one eye on the forums and PMs, it emerged that like us, these two were Bookcrossing away in the other YHA. Charbono said she was heading over to say hello and I kept checking out the entrance to see who popped their heads in.

At one point I popped my head up, met the eyes of a young lady who promptly smiled. Hmmm. She was still smiling when she walked in the door a moment later and I gave her a big hug, the first of many throughout the convention. It was Charbono, right enough, and the first thing she told me was that I looked just like my picture on my bookshelf.

Well, it was hard to take the smile from my face throughout the convention. Grinning like a happy lunatic, I was.

She went off to check out our book swap zone - a rather humble affair with half a dozen books - and when she returned I put her to work making a journal entry while I finished off registering a few more books. 


Journal Entry 36 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This book has not been rated.

k-j-h and I and Charbono had a fine old time talking Bookcrossing and hostels as we walked down the street to her hostel. We looked in their Internet cafe and found Jenny-G, who gave me another great big hug. Hey, this is one cool convention if I spend my time cuddling gorgeous women!

I have got to say here at the moment of my first meeting them, that Charbono and Jenny-G have enormous enthusiasm and energy for Bookcrossing. Charbono spent the entire weekend peeling off Bookcrossing stickers and sticking them on phone booths, street signs, information maps and so on. Give her a roll and she'll go through the lot in a walk down the street.

And Jenny-G specialises in OBCZs. She writes to the managers of premises where books have been released with information about Bookcrossing, including a sign for them to stick up. These two inspired me with their drive and dedication.

We released a book at the front counter where a statue of Charlie Chaplin had a hand upraised that was just crying out to have a book stuck into it. Oddly enough, Charbono had such a book, and you can see it in the statue's hand. The young lady is Charbono, and that green bag is packed full of books. She's wearing her lucky U2 t-shirt, being their official number-one fan in Australia (hence her screen-name). 


Journal Entry 37 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, November 17, 2004

10 out of 10

We then went upstairs to the hostel's book exchange. Naturally this had been the first thing that Jenny-G and charbono had checked out, but it had been closed, as it only opened for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening.

But it was the evening opening time, and we jumped into the lift taking us up to the 8th floor - this is a big hostel, huge by Australian standards - where we found...

...that it was locked up.

But as we waited, a staff member came along and unlocked the door and we crowded inside to see, in stark contrast to the seven books available at the Railway Square hostel, several bookcases full of books.

My goodness, but you didn't need artificial lighting in that room, because the glow of our eight eyes lit up the place like paired searchlights!

See up in the top left hand corner of the photo, a book entiltled "Keeper"? I snaffled that one, intending NOT to keep it. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/2226260

And, as you can see from the journal entries, I released it at the trivia night (or possibly the Yum Cha brunch), where it was collected by k-j-h, who released it into the wild...

...back in the YHA library where it had come from! 


Journal Entry 38 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, November 17, 2004

10 out of 10

k-j-h constantly showed me up. A look at his bookshelf demonstrates that he is far more organised, with lists of books sorted by all sorts of criteria, scripts to gather information, all sorts of little things.

He even managed to make release notes before releasing books, which was something I had a lot of trouble doing during the convention.

He and charbono were ready to walk down to the first official event of the convention, the welcoming drinks at the Shellbourne Hotel, but I wasn't.

For a start, I had no books to release, and the thought of a Bookcrossing convention with no books is not to be thought of. Secondly, I didn't have this journal with me, and I very much wanted to get people to at least autograph it. I wanted everyone attending the conference to make a note in it and then I could send it to another convention and have the attendees there do the same, and then maybe it would keep on travelling and I'd catch up with it again somewhere, maybe in Fort Worth, maybe Toronto...

And thirdly, I wanted to have a shower and get into clean clothes before having a social evening. It had been a hot day and I'd done quite a bit of walking and sweltering.

So I raced back to the hostel, had a quick scrub, grabbed my tote bag and set off.

Something about a shower and clean clothes. I felt on top of the world and the prospect ahead was delicious - three days of Bookcrossing and Bookcrossers, and if the rest were anything like those I had met today, it was going to be a weekend to remember for a long while.

So I found Sussex Street and made my way along it. The hotel was at number 200, and the first numbers as I swung into Sussex Street were up around 500.

Not to worry. I was on top of the world and everywhere was hustle and life and peak hour traffic and I was stoked. Pumped. Primed. Happy as Larry and every man my brother.

The traffic was something else. We didn't have much of a rush hour in Canberra, but here the cars and trucks and buses swirled and throbbed and roared in an unceasing stream. I caught sight of a car with "L" plates and felt sorry for some novice driver having to learn to drive in this jungle.

As I came closer, I noticed that they were turning a corner into a steady stream of rushing traffic with a cell phone clamped to their ear. Obviously it was a different world here.

Even when I found the hotel and climbed three flights of stairs to get to the Bookcrosser section I was on a high.

As it happened, I was one of the first half dozen or so to arrive. I reported to Kirst040 who was ticking off names and handing out convention goodie bags - bookbags with the "Bookaroo" logo on them and crammed full of useful stuff like bookmarks, chocolates, maps of Sydney, pens, labels, book release sheets, lots of great gear!

Perhaps the most useful was the book release sheet, with spaces for BCID, title, date, time and place of release for about fifty books. This turned out to be vital.

The picture, which again I've lifted from Kuju, shows (L-R) Georgie-Shaw, charbono, jubby, and Kirst040 grouped around the sign-in table, grappling with maps and glasses of cool liquids. Vital on this hot day.

Georgie-Shaw and Kirst040 I hadn't met previously, jubby had come along to Canberra a few months earlier and sat around a pleasant autumn coffee table in Civic on the very last day of an Indian summer before I dropped her off at a special pre-release party at the National Gallery of Australia for the "Edwardians: Secrets and Desires" exhibition. 


Journal Entry 39 by charbono from Creswick, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Hello, all! Yes, the Convention/Conference was absolutely fantastic. My favourite release was the one in this journal entry (see photo). I started it by putting a book at the feet, and then newk hung books off the fingers. I couldn't stop laughing - what a sight. The pictures from Martin Place are wonderful too. So many books! Between us all we managed to release over 500 books into Sydney in 2 days!

It was wonderful to meet other BCers and go on crazy book-releasing sprees through the city, egging each other onto crazier and more attention-seeking releases. And yes, about 300 little stickers were stuck onto bus stops, traffic lights and public phones throughout the CBD.

The next pacific convention will be in Christchurch, New Zealand over Easter. I will definitely try & be there! I had an awesome time and can't wait to do it again!

I also just want to say that the organisers did a terrific job. We were each given calico goodybags on arrival (with the bookaroo logo on one side!) containing a page for listing BCIDs and release locations, a sheet of stickers for the front of books, an itinerary with maps, a pen and lollies! Everything we could possibly have needed. BYO books!

(And the bookshops in Sydney... oh my lord!!! I bought more books in 2 days than I have all year!) 


Journal Entry 40 by Jenny-G from Croydon, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, November 17, 2004

10 out of 10

Great weekend, everyone. Many, many thanks to the organisers who did such a great job.

Reading through all the comments here and from release notes and catches, it seems to have certainly caught a lot of attention and been great PR.

Sadly, the YHA were not interested in becoming an OBCZ due to "Security Issues" yet around 60 of their books now have blank bookmark labels inside for book-hungry travelling back-packers.

Wonderful to meet so many people ! No, I didn't attend everything (Too busy explaining and drumming up new members) and it was SO nice to spend time with my daughter.

Thanks, everyone ! 


Journal Entry 41 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 18, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Oh shucks, another opportunity to make a witty remark, to outdo the comment before (NOTHING will beat Skyrings!) and present some obscure photo from the convention!!!
Seriously though, we all had a great time. Met all those virtual friends we had, who now have faces (!) and REAL NAMES! BCAUS will never be the same again, me thinks.
Happy travelling little journal, may you attend many more conferences, mini-meets and general shebangs and bar-mitzvahs, and be sure to keep in touch, y'hear?
littlemave, now truly back to RL... 


Journal Entry 42 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 18, 2004

This book has not been rated.

I actually thought that a powerpoint presentation might be quite good.... ;-) 


Journal Entry 43 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 18, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Hey all, finally got back online after the convention. (I'm on annual leave, so I'm a little vague right now. It is Tuesday, isn't it?) 


Journal Entry 44 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, November 19, 2004

10 out of 10

The room was filling up with Bookcrossers, mainly women, and piles of books started to appear.

One of my quirks - and the purists will scoff at me for this - is to copy down the Bookcrossing IDs on books released at these sort of gatherings so as to bump up the figures for catches and finds. I always check the box that says "Still in the wild" so it doesn't disappear off the "Go hunting" pages. I generally also pick up a couple of books to read, and they go somewhere on top of "Mount Toberead". Gotta say that Bookcrossers tend to have excellent taste in books.

I found a quiet space to write down BCIDs and found that the most fascinating people would come along and tell me all sorts of interesting things. And people would drop some more books on the table. A never-ending job.

I got to meet jackiea, who had designed the "Bookaroo" convention logo. And beside her was MeganH, who had confused everyone by registering twice, the second time as a man. Then along came servalan, who is a dedicated volunteer proofreader for Project Gutenberg and had hunted up a list of freebie Wi-Fi networks for me. I suddenly remembered that I had a licence this weekend to cuddle beautiful women, and it was hugs all round the table.

It's nice to be a bloke in a female-dominated community.

The picture shows (L-R)
Pixette, who is cute as a button.
K-j-h who stayed at the YHA with me.
Servalan in a gorgeous dress which this photo doesn't do justice to.
Jackiea of "Bookaroo" fame.
MeganH, her mate Andrew doesn't have a Bookcrossing name, but is a good chap nonetheless. Work on him a bit more, Megan!
And me, hard at work. 


Journal Entry 45 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 26, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Walking around the city the week after the conference, little Miss Mave noticed a few things... Charbono was here! 


Journal Entry 46 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 26, 2004

This book has not been rated.

....and here too...!!!

Go Charbono! 


Journal Entry 47 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 07, 2004

10 out of 10

Oh Lord, but I've been hard at work! Here it is almost a month after the events I've been describing and I'm nowhere finished yet.

In my defence, dear reader, I've been writing a book about Bookcrossing. I had ten days of the National Novel Writing Month of November to get 50 000 words of fiction down, and I worked long into the sleep deprivation and coffee saturation zones to get the job done. I'm revising it at the moment because it got a bit choppy towards the end when my reserves were near gone! More on this Bookcrossing novel later.

But for now, let's get back to the story...

So there I was, head down, bum up, writing down BCIDs and snaffling the odd book for later consumption. Books kept on appearing on the table in front of me as more and more Bookcrossers arrived and the whole thing was beginning to appear like my own personal Mount Tobee.

Then someone asked for a couple of strong men to carry some luggage up. As k-j-h and I were about the only males in sight, strong or not, we wrenched ourselves away from beers and books to gallop down three flights of stairs where at street level we found the two New Zealand delegates, Lytteltonwitch and FutureCat. More cuddles. Awright, I'm sold on Bookcrossing conventions!

They had just flown across the Tasman and had vast amounts of baggage, mainly books and duty free booze. Heavy, heavy, heavy up the stairs, stairs, stairs, and I needed another beer at the end of it. I noticed that the pub was filling up with a rollicking Friday night crowd as I struggled up the steps. Next time, we have our welcome drinks on the ground floor, OK?

Here's a photo of the Kiwis refreshing themselves with calod drinks and hot books.

From left to right we see tqd, FutureCat and Lytteltonwitch.

Tania (tqd) is one of my all-time favorite Bookcrossers because a few months earlier she had passed along Rubyjules Bookcrossing Journal to take up to Byron Bay and I literally had a whale of a time on that adventure. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1266669 As I write these words, that particular book is in New Zealand on its long way back to Vermont.

FutureCat (Jennifer) and lytteltonwitch (Lesley) are two of the most awesome Bookcrossers you could hope to meet. They are into multiple thousands of books registered and released, and just brush off these enormous totals as dumb luck. I met them both in Christcurch in December 2003, a meeting that culminated in my first book, Bookcrossing through Middle-Earth.

Lesley had just had fairly major surgery, but you wouldn't know it. She was on top of the world the whole weekend long, and if you wanted to know where she was, why you just looked for the brightest clothing and smile. 


Journal Entry 48 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 07, 2004

This book has not been rated.

The New Zealand team, as mentioned, had brought several tonnes of books, and when I returned to my BCID-snarfing duties I discovered that people were shovelling even more books my way, including some fresh from the long trip over the Tasman.

They had a multitude of labels and stickers and presentations. Jenny-G put the most energy into her books, applying stickers and stamps and then a clear plastic "contact" cover over the lot, and some just had a BCID hand-scrawled on the first page. And everything in between. I was admiring a series of books with "This is a free book" labels stuck onto the front cover when I noticed that one of them had the word "free: crossed out and "cheat" inserted. Hmmm. Odd.

I opened it up and found that it was indeed a cheat book. There were clear rules on how to cheat with it. You weren't allowed to actually read the book, but if you so much as touched it you were honour bound to make a journal entry, preferably with a photograph of you actually holding the book. Bit like this one, actually.

Naturally, it was the idea of the Kiwis, but the concept was embraced over the weekend, and just about everyone managed to be seen with the cheat book. How it managed to escape being wild released on one of the release frenzies I have no idea.

Here is the front cover of the book, being held aloft by Charbono, though you can't see much of her in this shot. I think she was peeling off another sticker and applying it to a passing waiter. 


Journal Entry 49 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

Naturally, I had to have my photograph taken with the cheat book. 


Journal Entry 50 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

There was a strange mood in the air that night. 


Journal Entry 51 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

The New Zealanders' cheat book actually played an important and useful part in the proceedings. 


Journal Entry 52 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

I've probably said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but the best part of the convention wasn't the stunts or the books or the munchies or drinkies. It was the Bookcrossers, and I spent the weekend in a perpetual state of delight at meeting people who had only been names to me previously.

Obviously this feeling was shared, and here we see three delightful and delighted Bookcrossers - Quizzical, Markmcq, and LeafOfHumanTree.

The bright smiles helped lighten the increasing gloom as the bar staff surreptitiously wound down the lights and cranked up the sound system. 


Journal Entry 53 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

In a night full of happy meetings, one stands out in my mind, my encounter with Newk from Adelaid, who proved to have a sweet sense of humour, one which meshed well with my own. 


Journal Entry 54 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

The evening was full of conversation and books, and as a welcome function to begin the conference, it was an amazing success. We were so busy talking that the food was being ignored, and jubby took it upon herself to hand around portions of the succulent pizza, almost cramming it into the open mouths of those yacking away nineteen to the dozen.

I can take a lot of hand feeding by gorgeous Bookcrossers.

The disco ball becan to spin, the music was so loud that conversations were becoming strained and the final straw occurred when the lights were all but extinguished. Who could read books in such gloom?

So we decided to move to a coffee bar at the Queen Victoria Building a block or two away. Charbono and k-j-h made a detour, leaving a trail of books behind them, including some at the base of the newly erected Christmass tree under the main dome of the QVB, but most of us gathered at the Jet coffee bar, where we enjoyed the mellow night air and the high communal spirits of Bookcrossers near and far, young and old.

But it came to an end eventually, and we stood to leave. Oddly enough there was a book or two left on the tables, and the waitress cleaning away the cups discovered them. 


Journal Entry 55 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 13, 2004

10 out of 10

I think the waitress was pleased to discover Bookcrossing. No artificial lighting was used in this photograph.

Oh yeah. Remember that scratch-and-match game card I got with my packet of teabags? Well, it hadn't won anything, but by sheer Bookcrossing serendippity-doo-dah I found myself sitting next to Wombles from Queensland, who is heavily into competitions of all sorts and has a house filling up with the prizes she has won (and letters of appreciation from Australia Post for being their number one stamp customer).

So I was able to dig out the game card, hoping that she would be able to come up with the matching half and we could go on a tropic cruise together, leaving a trail of books liberated from the ship's library behind us.

I expect her to call momentarily. Please keep this line clear. 


Journal Entry 56 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

servalan reporting in. 


Journal Entry 57 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

Here are Kirst040 and puppymummy. 


Journal Entry 58 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

Neesy and FutureCat make an appearance. 


Journal Entry 59 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

lytteltonwitch and Pixette swap Trans Tasman Talk 


Journal Entry 60 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

Jackiea and Meganh ably perform their duty. 


Journal Entry 61 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 out of 10

Quizzical and LeafofHumanTree are happy to meet travelers. 


Journal Entry 62 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, December 17, 2004

10 out of 10

Servalan led us through the midnight streets of Sydney, where half the population seemed to be queueing to get into nightclubs. This doesn't happen back home in Canberra. Convention attendees peeled off into the night until eventually Kevin and I wearily tumbled into our bunks at the youth hostel.

Like hell we did. With a pages of BCIDs to journal and release notes still to be made from the morning, I hit the bank of PCs at the Internet cafe and k-j-h was there beside me.

I think it was during this session that we became aware of an ongoing crisis in the Bookcrossing community. Dan Clune, Bookcrossing.com's lead programmer had disappeared some days earlier and things were not looking good.

In the days and weeks to come, the feeling of a global community was enhanced, as Bookcrossers around the world quizzed each other for news, badgered media outlets to run stories on the disappearnce, raised rewards and generally comforted each other.

I found Dan's own Bookcrossing screen-name http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/dclune and bought him a pair of wings to carry him home - my own little contribution to the effort. 


Journal Entry 63 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 02, 2005

10 out of 10

Saturday morning and somehow Kevin and I lost track of each other on the way to get to the assembly point for the flashmob. We rang each other on our cellphones, each under the impression that the other was already there and about to leave.

As it happened, many other people, most notably FuShMuSh who was organising the event, were likewise late, so we milled about in fornt of Starbucks doing Bookcrosser type things, such as drinking coffee, talking and releasing books.

I must say that Sydney's Circular Quay on a sunny Saturday morning is a pleasant place for all the above activities. 


Journal Entry 64 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

I bought an iced tea from Starbucks as it was a broiling hot day, and examined the surroundings for possible release points. A nearby fountain, heavily ornamented by contemporary statuary suggesting the prehistoric Sydney Cove shore and the mouth of the Tank Stream that now runs beneath this spot in a vaulted tunnel, lent itself to a release. 


Journal Entry 65 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

Newk also wanted to drop a book into the fountain, and as I am regarded as an expert in dropping books into water, the famous case of the book I dropped into Lake Burley Griffin at midnight that washed up in Borneo to recruit SUJIE into Bookcrossing being something of which I am particularly proud, I was consulted on the method. Two ziploc bags, one inside the other, I saud, and Newk prepared a book, held it over the fountain... 


Journal Entry 66 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

Oh Yoko! If there was a worse moment to interrupt the flow of my narrative, you couldn't have picked a better one!

Here is Newk a split second later admiring his handiwork.

Actually, I am delighted that this little journal has arrived safely and has received a warm welcome in London. The actual handwritten journal entries are precious, each one representing another Bookcrossing friend and a few brief moments from a wonderful gathering, a part of the extraordinary fellowship that links Bookcrossers around the world.

I really should have knuckled down and gotten all my entries and pictures uploaded before now. It's been over a month.

So brace yourself for a flood over the next day or so! 


Journal Entry 67 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

We clustered around FuShMuSh, who was organising the event, as she gave out directions. We were to make our way around Circular Quay to the Opera House, where she would be sitting at the top of the steps, give her a book, and then sit down at the bottom of the steps, directly behind the person sitting there already. When we had everybody sitting in a line, she would begin handing down the books. As a book reached the person sitting at the head of the line, that person would put down the book, stand up and walk away, just another tourist.

"Everyone understand?" I would have liked a piece of paper with written instructions, circles and arrows and maybe a map, but everyone was nodding and smiling, so I figured I'd follow someone who knew what they were doing. Littlemave was one of the local Bookcrossers, so she had a leg up already, and she'd also brought along her three young children, the youngest of whom was probably not going to make the several hundred metres to the flashmob location all the way under his own steam, so I could give her a hand with him. 


Journal Entry 68 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

We set off and I had to laugh. We were following a chain of Bookcrossers all heading in the same direction, and there were books being released everywhere, spiked on the harbour fence... 


Journal Entry 69 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, January 06, 2005

10 out of 10

...in little parks, on benches, in phoneboxes. 


Journal Entry 70 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, January 07, 2005

10 out of 10

After a bit, I picked up littlemave's tiniest, set him on my shoulders, and we marched along at a faster pace. This allowed littlemave, with her hands now free, to drag out a stream of books from her bookbag, releasing them as she went. The highlight was when she left a copy of Somebodies and Nobodies behind the same pot plant where she had made her first ever Bookcrossing wild catch, a copy of Harry Potter which had been released by a Canadian tourist. We always remember our first one.

We walked up a set of stairs into the Opera House forecourt. This has got to be one of the most incredible buildings in the world. Set in a perfect location, all but surrounded by the merry waters of the harbour, its curved white roof segments echoing the taut sails of the yachts passing by, the Sydney Opera House is a magnet for every tourist coming to Sydney. As we hurried up, we could see the flashmob assembling, beginning with FuShMuSh sitting at the top of the stares. 


Journal Entry 71 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, January 07, 2005

10 out of 10

Here's a close-up of FuShMuSh looking cool and gorgeous and remote, pretending not to read Angels and Demons. 


Journal Entry 72 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, January 08, 2005

10 out of 10

Hawkette selects a spot at the bottom of the steps and now all we need to do is fill in the middle. 


Journal Entry 73 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, January 08, 2005

10 out of 10

That's Jawin from Brisbane in the pink, and Neesy likewise just sitting down. 


Journal Entry 74 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, January 08, 2005

10 out of 10

Here's the first of my pictures as I approach, following Quizzical and Newk holding his hat on in the gusting wind. Female hair streams out to the side, and Neesy spreads her wings as if to take flight. Lesley (lytteltonwitch) is currently at the top of the lineup so far, and Kuju the keen photographer may be seen off to one side in black. 


Journal Entry 75 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, January 08, 2005

This book has not been rated.

At this stage there are five bookcrossers photographing the lineup. Newk is off to the left side, k-j-h also off screen left, I'm taking this picture, Kuju is crouching on the right side, and I couldn't swear to it, but I think that nicely turned bum belongs to Meganh, whose partner Andrew is visible in blue shirt and white hair about halfway up. 


Journal Entry 76 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

Bookcrossers got wings! Neesy's idea spreads up the line, Jawin hides her face in a book, her pink shoes matching her dress, and high above FuShMuSh has a pile of books ready to pass down. 


Journal Entry 77 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

The final few arrive. Yes, that's my backside as I bend over to take a photograph. My yellow bag gives me away! 


Journal Entry 78 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

The gusts were coming strong and fast now... 


Journal Entry 79 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

The place was full of tourists, and naturally we attracted a bit of attention. Everyone wave at the camera! 


Journal Entry 80 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

Littlemave's oldest is the last to find a spot and then the line is complete, apart from Kuju the official photographer. FuShMuSh begins handing down the books, disturbing the picnic that Newk and Quizzical are enjoying. 


Journal Entry 81 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

The first book is passed down, reaches the bottom, is left on the step and the thing begins! 


Journal Entry 82 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

A trail of books is left behind, some moving sideways as the wind reaches a gusting peak in the exposed area!

Here are Wombles (in blue) and Servalan setting off. 


Journal Entry 83 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

We tried to pretend we were a random mob of tourists as we distanced ourselves from the scene of the crime. Here I point out details of Sydney's skyline to k-j-h, Newk and Quizzical continue their gelato-munching, and MeganH passes a tubby gent wondering what all the books are doing. The first of many. 


Journal Entry 84 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

OK. Here's another tubby gent. Me this time. I'm taking my knees for a walk, and reaching into my pocket for my camera to join Kuju in recording the scene. We need official Bookcrossing shorts with lots of pockets to store books in.

Above me littlemave gathers in her chicks. 


Journal Entry 85 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

FuShMuSh, first to arrive, is last to leave. 


Journal Entry 86 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

No, Harry hasn't been left behind as a squad of tourists stoop to examine the offerings. 


Journal Entry 87 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

We milled around for a while at the foot of the Tarpeian Rock, the panorama captured at http://pics.livejournal.com/skyring/pic/0000b3wk/ before Kuju lined us up for a group shot. 


Journal Entry 88 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

After the frenzy was over, we repaired to a nearby pub, where we quenched our thirst with cold beer, exchanged books and swapped yarns. Here's k-j-h, torn between beer, books and bosoms. 


Journal Entry 89 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

The books kept on being released thick and fast. We were in a small beer garden on the edge of a park, bordered by monuments and statues commemorating various worthy things. One statue to pioneer motherhood was full of pointing fingers and niches to hang or hide books on or in. 


Journal Entry 90 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

Journal time! This book made a reappearance and an entry or two were made. K-j-h and Hawkette signed in.

And I noticed another journal being pulled out - my old friend the Downunder Bookcroosers' Journal #2 which I carried around New Zealand, complete with all the glued-in ticket stubs, maps and photographs of my entries at one page a day for a fortnight. Lord, but I do love to spread myself in a journal!

Hawkette summed up the conference in three entries with pix and how many have I managed so far? http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/689710 


Journal Entry 91 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 09, 2005

10 out of 10

Charbono and I rushed back to our hostels to collect more books and made it back to Circular Quay in time for the Saturday arvo release frenzy. Jubby led a group through Glebe, tqd was guide for a tour of Newtown, and Servalan had on her walking shoes for a literary ramble through Sydney.

We met outside the old Customs House and set off underneath Circular Quay, which is a tri-level viaduct - ferries and buses at street level, train station above, and the Cahill Expressway feeding traffic to and from the Harbour Bridge. Here's one of the massive columns holding the whole thing up. I didn't leave a book here or anything, I was just struck by the weathering and textures. 


Journal Entry 92 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

I lived in Sydney before I moved to Canberra, and I've certainly knocked around the central city for a while, but I have got to say that Servalan took us to some sights and sites that were totally new to me.

Right from the start, when we filed into a big glass elevator that took us up to the top of the Cahill Expressway overlooking Circular Quay. I hadn't realised that there was a pedestrian walkway beside the traffic, but there is and the view is superb - Harbour Bridge to one side, Opera House to the other and the busy ferry wharves of Circular Quay at our feet. Sometimes a great white cruise liner parks beside the Rocks. http://www.x-zone.canon.co.jp/WebView-E/sites/java/sydneybay_j.htm is a webcam showing the scene. Anyway, it's a fabulous place and the only times I've been here before I've usually been whizzing past in my car trying to get a glance without running off the road.

And I'm really shirty because I had two copies of "Cahill Expressway" and I gave them to the groups going to Glebe and Newtown when here is the perfect spot to release them. Arrrgh!

Oh well, I found that I had a book to set free and so I did. 


Journal Entry 93 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

We crossed over Macquarie Street into the bottom of the Domain/Botanic Gardens precinct. Here was another hidden spot that I'd only glimpsed before. A sort of a graveyard of decorative bits from demolished buildings. Stone curlicues and columns and cornices. I was rapt. I left a book in a niche and photographed some of the groovier bits. Here's some of the party in the background.

I was able to show this bit to my family a few weeks later when we walked down to a performance at the Opera House and had to duck across to Circular Quay for dinner. I just led them up a grassy slope and there we were in this little-known part of the metropolis. 


Journal Entry 94 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

We moved along through the parkland and came upon a large stone building with an impressive set of columns and an even more impressive set of stairs. Littlemave, who was pushing along a slumbering Harry in his stroller, sort of gasped at this magnificent sight, and we didn't see her for some time until she went around to the side entrance, found a lift, and trundled through miles of corridors, but the rest of us climbed the steps, admired the entrance hall with it's wonderful sunny stone carved bookery quotation, then took a peek at the old reading room lit entirely by natural light streaming through the glass roof, and browsed amongst the exhibitions.

A wonderful place and there would be photographs aplenty if I hadn't somehow shifted my digital camera into movie mode which ate up a lot of the space on my flash card and puzzled me no end until I sorted it out in the Library shop.

I left a book there by the counter where I bought a postcard and snarfed up some of the freebie bookmarks and drooled over all the great books I'd love to buy. ***SIGH***

The picture shows Charbono, who either had more money or less willpower than I. Possibly both. 


Journal Entry 95 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

I bought a postcard of Trim, or at least the statue of Trim which stands outside the library.

Trim is a famous cat because he belonged to Matthew Flinders, one of the early navigators who mapped Australia - the first to circumnavigate the continent actually. He also gave the land its current name, as previously it had been known as New Holland or New South Wales or Terra Australis.

But Trim had been the subject of a small book by Matthew Flinders, describing the adventures of a cat who had made great and historic voyages, survived storm and shipwreck, war and captivity and finally died in mysterious circumstances in Mauritius.

More recently, he is a bit player in the book by Bryce Courtenay entitled "Matthew Flinders' Cat", an extraordinary novel of recovery, rescue and redemption. Some of the scenes in the book take place near the statue, and I was itching to see it.

Servalan led us out of the door, down Macquarie Street a short distance and there was Trim! This was a high point of the convention for me.

Naturally, I left a book there to mark the occasion. 


Journal Entry 96 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

Further up Macquarie Street is Parliament House, a charming colonial-era building in Sydney sandstone. 


Journal Entry 97 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

Next along is the old Sydney Hospital. Still a working hospital. Outside is a statue of a wild boar, heaven knows why, but one of the charming traditions is that people rub his nose for luck and deposit a coin in the box below.

And as you can see if you look closely, other parts of the brass statue are likewise rubbed bright. 


Journal Entry 98 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

Last (or first) building on Macquarie Street is the old barracks. Now a museum, it is a reminder that once Sydney was a remote outpost of the British Empire, and the soldiers were not so much as to defend against the aggression of other nations as to guard the convicts in the penal settlement. 


Journal Entry 99 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

We walked into Hyde Park, a straggling mob of Bookcrossers now. Littlemave was putting a book on every bench under the cool trees and I left one near the Archibald Fountain, which is usually a glorious confection of showers and sprays. The turtles have water spurting out of their mouths, and Diana on the left is half hidden between a fan of water.

But not today. the wind that had threatened to send our books at the opera House whirling into the harbour had forced the suspension of the waterworks of the fountain.

Still, it's a pretty baroque sight, and the place is full of tourists happily clicking away. And on this occasion Bookcrossers seeking the shade under the trees. A wide avenue of Port Jackson figs leads away to the south, and there are purple jacarandas, bright red Illawarra flame trees and other exotica. Sunbathers may be seen on the lush lawns, but decency prevented me from including them here. 


Journal Entry 100 by skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 10, 2005

10 out of 10

Sydney usually has some blockbuster performance on at one of the grand old theatres and in November 2004 it was The Lion King Musical. Some of the conference attendees were inside as we passed by and we left a few books outside for people to find.

By now we had walked all the way up from the harbour in the hot sun, the dryness and brightness of the day taking its toll in the mid afternoon. Servalan had already cancelled some of her planned visits to major bookshops, and we were wearing away with every step we took. 


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