Rubyjules' Bookcrossing Journal Bookring

Registered by rubyjules of Clifton Park, New York USA on 1/15/2004
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by rubyjules from Clifton Park, New York USA on Thursday, January 15, 2004
Well, it's my journal, so I'm going to rate it high! I am starting a journal that I am hoping will make it around the world and back to me again. If you are interested, then PM me, or you can just randomly mail the journal out. I have two main hopes for this book: 1) For it to go to Byron Bay (or somewhere close) Australia, and anywhere in Scotland. If it gets to these places, please include a photo. I'd appreciate it. 2) That it doesn't get released in the wild. I'd prefer to have controlled releases, just so we all know if got somewhere safely. Other than that, let's have fun with this little homemade project!

Thank you in advance!

Released on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at Postal Release in Postal release, Postal Release Controlled Releases.

Mailed to mlbish, to start it's wonderful journey.

Journal Entry 3 by mlbish from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Thanks, Julie! I will write in it and pass it along shortly. I'm looking around for a postcard or picture of Chicago to stick in!

Released on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 at Postal Release in Postal release, Postal Release Controlled Releases.

Sent to Marlene-TC along with relay book.

Journal Entry 5 by CrazyDutchwoman from Heemstede, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, March 11, 2004
I had accepted a book on the relay which arrived today send by mlbish . When I opened the package, I wondered 2 books? Didn't I only accept one?
So Then I noticed this journal book. First I thought I,d maybe forget I had signed up fpr this, but now I think this is not the case, so its just a very nice suprise

Great idea rubyjules and very clever to ship this together with a relay book mlbish :-)

I will do the same. First thing ofcourse is I am gonna read your entries and add my own.
I am happy that I just bought some nice postcards I can add.
When I am done I know ecactly the person I can send it to.
I have actually more options.
Or it can go to france or i can send it to somebody here in Holland?
I,l pm you or if you read this pm me ruby so you can tell me your preference ;-)

Thank you so much. I am loving this.

Released on Monday, March 15, 2004 at By Mail in Suprise for another Bookcrosser, RABCK Controlled Releases.

I received this a couple of days ago together with a relay Book I had accepted from mlbisch. It was a very nice suprise.
I had trouble to choose who to send it on next, cause I knew a number of people who would like to read and journal.
But because I noticed Ruby Jules would love it to go to Scotland, and I happened to send a book to GlasgowGal, I decided to send it to her.
So It is on its way to Scotland. Enjoy!
Marlene

Journal Entry 7 by BC-08041015142 on Friday, March 19, 2004
Well your journal has made it safe and sound to Scotland (yay! \o/ ) as you wanted! So I'll add a journal entry next week (when I'm feeling creative) and then send it on. I'm not sure I can get it to Byron Bay, but I'll see if I can get close!

;-)

Journal Entry 8 by BC-08041015142 on Friday, April 9, 2004
First of all ... apologies for keeping the journal so long. I've now made my entry and stuck in some postcards of beautiful Scotland as well. I've included it in a parcel I'm sending today to Katayoun in Iran.

I'm so pleased I was included on this journal's travels. It was so interesting reading the other entries.

Will be posted today!

Journal Entry 9 by BC-08041015142 at on Friday, April 9, 2004
Released on Friday, April 09, 2004 at BookRing in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Sent to Katayoun in Iran

Journal Entry 10 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Sunday, April 25, 2004
your journal is here, safe and sound and i must tell you, you should see it, it's great. will write and send it on, probably next week and probably to australia, one step closer to byron bay! :)

Journal Entry 11 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Monday, May 24, 2004
totally forgot to make a journal entry, this "Journal" is on it's way to newk in australia, been shipped on May 10

Journal Entry 12 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Monday, May 24, 2004
phew, you just got that entry in katayoun.
This is very sweet and I am amazed at what people have disclosed about themselves. Good on yas all of yas.
I shall try and move this closer to Byron Bay. But I shall keep it a few days so that I can fully read it all and think of something to write. Don't expect too much. I am very quiet and shy.
And Katayoun, do you by any chance happen to work for the Iranian Tourist Office???? :)))
Thankyou all before me in the line.

Journal Entry 13 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Wednesday, June 2, 2004
posted tonight to TQD coz she is closer to Byron Bay than me. Hopefully she can help it reach there!
Thanks Rubyjules and a big wave to the rest of you.

Journal Entry 14 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, June 7, 2004
Turned up last night! I'll see how close I can get it to Byron Bay!

(And it's lovely up there, I can see why you want your journal to get there, even if you can't. It's winter at the moment in Sydney and I'm cold in my unheated study, and would love to go and sit in the sun on the beach at Byron Bay!)

Journal Entry 15 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Okay, I've written my comments (and stuck in my postcards!) in the nick of time. I'm expecting a Mystery Bookcrosser (well, I know who it is, but you all don't) to turn up later this morning to take the journal on a whirlwind tour of the East Coast of Australia. I hope the journal gets many more travels in before it returns home!

[Sorry I've had it for so long, but the next Bookcrosser should be worth the wait!]

Journal Entry 16 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, July 8, 2004
I left Canberra 45 minutes late, and that delay carried over all the way to Sydney and my appointment to collect this journal – I was past Goulburn when Tania texted me to say she was in the park with her son and I was to look out for her and a little bundle of energy in black and red, and an hour later, well past the time we’d agreed on, she texted again to say she was returning home and hoped my schedule wasn’t amiss.

At that point I was battling with Sydney’s traffic. My daughter, who had only just gained her licence on the wide, empty and well-designed boulevards of the national capital, looked on with horror as I whizzed past buses, parked cars and oncoming traffic with bare centimetres to spare along narrow twisty streets all alike that had grown from the wallaby paths of centuries earlier. Lined with a festive smorgasbord of shops and houses crammed tightly together, each reflecting an architectural style of a previous age. It was the wonder of the world I didn’t get lost more than a dozen times. Or crushed under a pantechnicon. Or wiped out by a mad Greek, high on Ouzo and a World Cup win.

But we made it, and when Tania answered the door in response to a loud clang from the ocean-liner’s bell mounted on the front porch, I was able to wipe the cold sweat from my brow and smile when she picked me as a Bookcrosser. I must exude the aroma of the thousands, the countless thousands according to my inventory program, of pre-loved books that fill my house, each reflecting the literary style of a lost age. Or maybe it was the Bookcrossing 2004 convention T-shirt I was wearing.

She offered coffee, but although my whole being was crying out for a chance to escape from the bubbling whirlpool of Sydney traffic, and to sit down with a famous Bookcrosser to discuss books and Bookcrossing and life, philosophy, and all the rest of the cheerful, relaxing, thoughtful things that Tania could fill me full of for a few minutes, an hour, a week, a lifetime, I had to get back on the road. My sister was waiting with lunch for me in Gosford, a long hour’s drive away, and I still had many things I had to do in Sydney.

We smiled for the cameras – why do I look such a goose on film, I wonder, when in my mirror I am the very picture of sophistication – as Tania ceremonially handed over the journal. One camera, actually, and as I steered us back out into the traffic, my daughter who had been pressed into sudden action as the official photographer, eased my mind over the quality of the one photograph, wondering aloud whether she had correctly set the focus, pressed the right buttons, aimed in the right direction. How I love her!

Journal Entry 17 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, July 8, 2004
Governor Macquarie was the administrator who transformed the infant convict settlement into a decent example of Imperial British civilization, and if the chaotic jigsaw of Sydney’s streets today contains a few well-laid-out roads and streets and elegant sandstone buildings, it is mostly due to Macquarie. It was his wife’s pleasure in those days of improvement to stroll through the bush along a rocky peninsula to a natural outlook on the very end, and to gaze out on the wilderness shores of the harbour, contemplating the glorious city that would one day rise here.

Today, Mrs Macquarie’s Road leads to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, and the tourist may sit on the shelf of rocks where she parked her bottom, looking out on what must be one of the most beautiful harbours on earth, its sparkling blue waters alive with sails and ferries and pleasure boats, parks, houses and remnants of the original bushland forming a backdrop. And just across the perfect semi-circle of Farm Cove is the extraordinary shape of the Sydney Opera House, the curving shells of its roof echoing the bellying sails of today’s yachts and the vanished square-riggers that once dominated this bustling port. And beyond that is the famous bridge, carrying road and rail traffic high over the harbour. I once saw the Chilean Navy’s sail training ship, the four-masted Esmeralda, tack beneath the roadbed, with barely a metre to spare. I am sure that the white-uniformed cadet perched on the top of the mainmast must have reached up to touch the grey steel girders.

It is one of my favorite spots in all the world, and I would be more than happy to sit for a sunny afternoon in Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, drinking in the view and ruminating to myself on the glories to come.

The parking facilities here are reminiscent of the old convict days, and my face paled when I was lashed across the face of the parking meter and forced to pay a day’s wages for six minutes in a mean little space that had taken a year or so off my life to gain in the first place. Everyone wants to sit in Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, you see, and the busloads of camera-clicking tourists don’t aid restful contemplation. Nor do the lunchtime power walkers and jogglers who fascinated my teenage son as they bounced up the stone steps from the harbourside walk.

I perched the journal on the seawall, flanked by a couple of books I planned to release – The Phantom of the Opera in deference to the building across the water, and From Here to Eternity as a nod to Arthur Stace, who wrote his one-word sermon half a million times on the deserted dawn footpaths of Sydney, and whose elegant copperplate was outlined in fireworks on the Harbour Bridge in the first moments of the year 2000 before a global television audience.


Journal Entry 18 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, July 8, 2004
Sydney Harbour has many prime residential sites on the hills rising from the water. People will wait thirty years and spend thirty million dollars for one of the best spots. And yet it is the animals who enjoy what must be the prize of prizes, making their home in Taronga Park Zoo in pricey Mosman on the North Shore. The collection of native Australian animals – koalas, kangaroos, platypodes and the like – draw international visitors here, and the native Australians swell the crowds to view the elephant, the polar bear and the tiger. And all the rest of the ark. If you get through half of it in a full day you are doing very well indeed and you may congratulate yourself as you soak your aching feet that evening.

Let us glide smoothly past the traffic horrors and the parking nightmares required to get there. Suffice to say that we parked illegally for long enough to take a picture outside the entrance, fled from onrushing traffic stormtoopers, and didn’t get to see so much as a giraffe’s head sticking out above the walls.

Journal Entry 19 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, July 8, 2004
It is a cold pre-dawn as I write these words, and I am sitting at a rugged redgum table in an extraordinary house planted above a hillside of grape vines. Below me in the cellars are rack upon rack of Australian wines, and if I go outside, I can stand under a sky so black and clear that the Milky Way takes my frosty breath away in its sparkling glory, the glittering Southern Cross against the pure black of the Coalsack high above me, and the Greater and Lesser Magellenic Clouds island galaxies in the glorious sight.

We don’t get this in my city home, but out here in the bush, surrounded by a State Forest where I may see kangaroos emerging from the trees to nibble the dewy grass, why but the locals barely glance at the splendour above and around them.

My high bedroom looks out, through a vast triangular window, at the quiet forest forming a green wall to the winery’s cellar door sales area, white sailcloth shades forming a startling contrast below to the green and earth colours around and the clear sky above. Cockatoos and kookaburras take shortcuts over the grape vines. What glory to live in such a house with such a view! My own house crammed with second-hand books and the suburban view out over my neighbours’ backyards seems impossibly cramped and cluttered in contrast to the outlook here.

We are spending the night at the house of my wife’s sister, outside Port Macquarie on the North Coast of New South Wales. In a little while I will take a morning walk, finding a place to give the journal a taste of the life here. And later today we will take the journal to Byron Bay as we continue north on our winter migration, along with the humpback whales we hope to see cruising past Cape Byron the most easterly point of the Australian mainland.

This little homemade book will have made its own migration, touching at some of the most wonderful locations in the world, and I hope that it will continue to travel before finally wending its way back to rubyjules.

It has been to 5000 year old cities - imagine that! Cities where the wilderness was once close in time as well as space. Cities where our shared humanity across the globe is not something to read of in books, it is there before your eyes. I shall go for my walk now and think deep thoughts in the clear air.

Journal Entry 20 by newk from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Friday, July 9, 2004
Oh my god, does that bloke know how to treat a bookcrossing journal or what?
Any efforts I can ever make will pale into insignificance.........says newk who has spent hours just trying to get a photograph up on his home page. And still has not.
Rubyjules, you must be so pleased!! And well done tqd. You know skyring? You are a legend.

Journal Entry 21 by rubyjules from Clifton Park, New York USA on Friday, July 9, 2004
tee hee... that's my journal in these pictures!!! I'm so excited. You are the most wonderful group of people in the whole world (literally!!!) Skyring, you brought tears to my eyes when I read your journal entries. Thank you so much for taking my journal on such a fantastic trip! I can't wait until it gets home and I can read everything you have all written!

Thanks again!

Journal Entry 22 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 9, 2004
It’s five o'clock on a Saturday
And the regular crowd shuffles in:
He’s bleary-eyed and unshaven
And his first act is to plug the pot in.

OK. It’s a few minutes later, I’ve got the first sips of my morning cuppa and a sin-filled triangle of chocolate inside me, and I’m sitting down in a little piece of the sky.

Almost at my feet, the Pacific Ocean rolls in, the white foam of the breakers the only sign in a vast eastward blackness. I can hear the thunder twenty floors up as the waves shatter and slide and die over the long stretch of wide, white beach. I’ll go down and walk on that beach a little later, once the sun comes up and they turn off the floodlights.

Southwards from my belvedere the horizon becomes visible as a thin line of golden points, sparse at first but becoming ever denser, ever brighter, ever closer until it swings around to rush at and engulf me, a treasureland of lights, flashing, blinking, glowing, spreading and merging to become Surfers Paradise - my holiday home for the next week.

There’s a chain of wide brown streams that must be crossed on the way north from Sydney, and it used to be that the schoolchildren of New South Wales learnt them by heart until they knew the names as well as their own. Tweed is the last one, appropriately marking the northern border.

We spent yesterday traversing the Northern Rivers one by one, sheep and cattle and thee odd vineyard giving way to bananas and great high fields of cane. In one town a refinery blew steam in a high streaming plume as it distilled the cane into great mountains of raw sugar somewhere below.

Hills and mountains appeared here and there on the western horizon as the misleading slopes of the Great Dividing Range drew closer to the coast. There’s a fair dinkum peak in the jagged crag of Mount Warning, which Cook, ever the pragmatical namer of features, took as a marker for Point Danger which jutted out into the ocean and almost swallowed up the Endeavour.

We passed Ballina after spending what seemed like an hour hugging the southern bank of one of those northern rivers, and my daughter who had ordered me out of the driver’s seat after lunch in Grafton in a startling display of moral authority, was herself ordered over by a policeman sampling the stream of traffic to undergo her first ever breath test. This was the moment of truth – would it emerge that the red wine vinaigrette sauce on the lunchtime sub sandwich had actually contained any alcohol?

With a maximum allowable level of zero on her provisional driving license, this was a subject of some concern to my daughter, but as I’d eaten the other half of the foot-long sandwich, I already knew the answer, and we were waved on our way without a second glance.

Journal Entry 23 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 9, 2004
If I could rate this 11, I'd do it.

I had thought parking was tight in Sydney, but here it was a hundred times worse. And more expensive. But somehow we fluked a spot, after seeing an episode of what I might call "parking rage" between someone who had waited far longer than we had - he was waiting when we drove up to check the top car park and still waiting when we came back down - and a blow in who just happened to drive in and head for the momentarily empty space in the instant before the first driver selected Reverse and backed into it.

As it happened, there was no damage, a few rude words were exchanged, and the right guy got the spot. And we just breezed into one that opened up under our noses. I was relieved in the extreme, because the alternative would have been a long and hot walk up the hill.

"Where are the whales?" I asked of a fellow sporting a huge pair of binoculars as we arrived on the top and contemplated the endless expanse of ocean.

"Hard to see them amongst the whitecaps," he said "But there's whales out there alright."

He was right. It was whitecaps all the way out, and doing a search of the great sweep of sea with my dinky little pocket binos wasn't going to be much fun. I kept my eye on the few people who were leaning over the outlook railing with bigger equipment than mine, trying to aim where they were looking and maybe see what they were seeing.

Hard to spot anything, and I handed my binoculars to my son, hoping his younger and keener eyes could find a whale where I couldn't, whilst I absorbed the view.

The lighthouse sat on the highest point of the cape, a classic white-painted building in the distinctive Australian style. A convict architect, Francis Greenway, designed the first example in Sydney, and ever since then his style has been copied where at all possible. This example had been built in 1901, but its elegant shape (was and is) timeless. There were a few matching buildings nearby, one of which housed the Visitors Centre, and another a refreshment kiosk. If I had time, I would have ordered a cappuccino, sitting at a bench to drink in the view while I drank the coffee.

Southaways there was a long, long surf beach reaching out as the edge of Australia tapered away. In any other place, such a glorious expanse of sand would be a national marvel, attracting tourists, retirees, developers, high-rise buildings and sprawling shopping malls, but here, well it's just part of the view.

Northwards is the curve of Byron Bay, where the residents are a part of the environment, and the surfers mingle with the millionaires.

Cape Byron is the easternmost point of Australia, and there is a track descending steeply down to the very edge of the land. A cliff, if I remember correctly, but it was a kilometre there and back again, too long a walk at the moment.

Years ago, as a schoolchild, I had watched a movie about a team of young adventurers travelling right across the middle of the continent in a trio of Land-Rovers. They had leaned over the cliff at Steep Point on the extreme western edge of Australia, pulled up a bottle full of Indian Ocean, lugged it all the way across the deserts in the middle, and tipped it ceremoniously into the Pacific at Cape Byron. In between they had explored ghost towns from the old mining days, careered up, down and sideways through the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert, got bogged on a hundred outback tracks, skidded across dry salt lakes, stormed past Ayers Rock in the middle of a rare downpour, the water cascading down the red flanks in a thousand temporary waterfalls, driven the Birdsville Track, and revelled in the greenery as they neared the East Coast.

And now here I was where they had finished their adventure. I didn't have a bottle of distant seawater, but I had a journal that had travelled the world, passing through the hands and minds of people in lands that I could only dream about. And I had brought it here to one of the places nominated by a young lady in Vermont, part of a chain of Bookcrossers spanning the globe and stretching the imagination.

I called in my son to hold the book for me while I took a photograph to mark the occasion. Too windy here to let it go free, and if a gust snatched it away and down into the sea, I might as well throw myself after it. So there is my son, hair tousled by the wind, embarrassed before the eyes of a hundred tourists, holding up rubyjules' Bookcrossing Journal for a magic moment. How that little yellow running book gets around!

I stowed the journal away, took back the binoculars, and had a last look around the horizon.

"Look!" came a voice beside me, "Whales breaching up the coast."

It was one of the big-bino blokes, pointing out to sea, and I followed his line out to where a great splash of white showed clear against the blue. I aimed my binoculars at the spot, where the foam had died away, straining my eyes, ears, heart and soul to detect any glimpse of a whale.

And there it was. Sweet Glory, what a sight! Another flash of splash drew my eye and for one brief fantastic instant there was a huge grey body suspended in mid air, before falling back in an explosion of spray.

My heart was full. I could live and breathe, eat and drink on that sight for the rest of my life. I didn't need a photograph - that amazing image of a humpback whale flying through the air was permanently engraved.

I sighed happily and handed the binoculars to my son.

It was all a bit of anticlimax after that, but somehow the day was brighter, the winter sun brighter, and the air sweeter as I released a book, took a few more photographs, and walked back down the path to our car. With a cheery wave I pulled out and let another patient soul take my place, and we were back on the road through the increasingly lush green of Northern New South Wales.

Thank you, rubyjules, for sending me here!

Journal Entry 24 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, July 10, 2004
My wife’s sister, the one with the vineyard, married on New Years Eve 1989, which must have given them an unforgettable tenth anniversary party. The day and night before the wedding, in what was the first of many great ideas I have come to associate with this couple, was spent at a lodge high in the Gold Coast Hinterland, along with parents and siblings of bride and groom, as well as their partners and children.

It was a fairly spartan affair, with a lot of bare wood, small private rooms but large and comfortable common areas. The idea was that both extended families would get to know each other through sharing time, meals, bushwalks and other activities together, and it was certainly a time and place and experience I remember with a great deal of affection.

The lodge itself is set on the eastern slope of the escarpment, with a jumble of green hills and ridges running down to the distant coastline marked by the long row of beachfront towers. Here we were surrounded by high rainforest in an overgrown wood cabin, where birds flitted out of the trees and made the mornings joyous with their songs, and down below was the tawdry, flashy Gold Coast, its skyscrapers made small and remote by distance. The contrast and the setting had inspired many a comment in the lodge’s Visitor’s Book, especially from the many Christian groups who used the lodge as a retreat.

The lodge’s name was “First Sunrise”, so called because it was high enough that the first rays of the rising sun struck here before Cape Byron received so much as a glimmer of daylight, and for all I know it is true, because dawn in this place was a mystical moment, looking down from the mountains to the darkness of the Gold Coast and the endless ocean beyond.

I sit here writing these words in one of those dark towers, and I am reminded of the proper perspective for viewing the place. It is all too easy to be taken in by the neon and the hype, to be taken in by the spiel of the shonks and sharks, to be overwhelmed by the leisure lifestyle.

But in the end, the place is little more than glitter and flash in the grand scheme of things. A great place to spend a week, but it must surely be corrupting and decadent to live here on a permanent basis in one of these tall towers looking down on life. All too easy to forget that there are other eyes watching from even higher, eyes with a different perspective.

When you get down to it, the Gold Coast is an example of how NOT to develop a beach. The wide white sands stretch out, but they are rarely empty. The Nerang River looping behind has been tamed and developed within an inch of its life, with all the wetlands and backwaters turned into marinas and “canal developments” made up of shallow, lifeless canals dredged out into a maze of narrow roads flanked by large houses, the best to make use of every last millimetre of artificial waterfront.

Here and there are false towns, where a developer has managed to get hold of a large block of land, thrown up a shopping mall, laid out a road network and sold off the surrounding house blocks at a vast profit.

I realise that people have to live somewhere, but my heart cries out when I see these artificial towns full of people who don’t know their neighbours and contrast them with the dying communities of rural Australia, where there are shared histories going back for generations.

Having said that, let me now note that I am all too easily corrupted and led astray by these tall towers with their fabulous views. It is the contrast with my everyday life that seduces me away. At home I don’t get to sit on my balcony with a morning cuppa as I contemplate an infinity of ocean spreading out to a misty horizon in one direction, and crashing against the sand at my feet in the other. I don’t get to look down at people taking their morning walks with a sense of superiority based on height rather than any moral dimension. Nor am I able to laze my days away in idleness, which is the predominant occupation of far too many people on the Gold Coast, whether they be tourists taking a week here, or retirees spending their twilight years and the proceeds of the family home on a cramped apartment with a sprawling view.

Not that there has been much in the way of idleness for me. This is a bit of a working holiday, and I have spent the past two days at a charity bookfair, combing through the tens and hundreds of thousands of second-hand books that weigh down a great hall full of trestle tables at the local showgrounds. Hard on the feet to stand up for two days straight, taking no more than a few steps every few minutes, hard on the back and shoulders to be hunched over to examine the titles of the books, and hard on the eyes to be continually straining at an awkward distance.

But it is what I do, and out of those acres of books, I glean a few square metres that can be divided into two categories – those I can sell for a markup of a thousand percent or so, and those I can leave scattered around the countryside for others to find, the titles and themes making some sort of comment on the world. Here is a treatise on free black women in a Southern town, an easy twenty American dollars up from the dollar fifty pencilled onto the fly by some bored volunteer more used to mass market fiction. And here is Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow; a tense literary crime drama with an automaton lady detective who reads the snow and ice of her native Greenland and Denmark with a casual ease, and I stuff it in the “five dollar a bag” special that marks the final hour of the sale to leave it outside the nearby “Snow World”, a refrigerated mini theme park that offers winter delights to parched summer tourists.

The Gold Coast is full of such odd places and weird juxtapositions. You may leave your apartment crammed full of microwaves and digital televisions to take a medieval banquet, or find a slice of canned wilderness amongst the highrise. Swim with wild dolphins at a dollar a stroke in a tank full of artificial seawater. Forsake your lofty tower for an early morning lift in a hot air balloon.

See for yourself - as the sun came up this morning I looked out and saw three balloons against the backdrop of the hinterland mountains. Caught between a high place and the deep blue sea.

Journal Entry 25 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, July 10, 2004
My first impression of Queensland was heat. This was in the days of propeller aircraft back in the mid-Sixties when my family made a life-changing journey from cold, grey, rainy Melbourne to the sun-drenched Gold Coast. Not a holiday, we were moving for good, and that was doubly exciting for a seven year old savouring his first air trip.

Along the way I’d been glued to the window as much as possible, and I’ll never forget my first sight of the fabled Harbour Bridge looking like a toy far below us as we flew into Sydney to change planes for Coolangatta. It was the middle of winter when we arrived on the Gold Coast, but just walking from the aircraft to the terminal was enough to tell me that this was a whole new world, one where they didn’t have winter as we knew it.

School was a whole new game – the other kids in my class were unknowns, there were different ways of doing things, they dressed and spoke differently, and instead of walking to school I had to take a bus from Bilinga through Tugun and up the hill to the school overlooking Currumbin Creek. Along the way we passed a collection of holiday units, each block with a suitably exotic or witty name promising fun, leisure, excitement. Just down the road from us was a “holiday ranch” with a sign proclaiming a weekly Bar-B-Que. I didn’t know what that might be, but it sounded interesting, and I used to peek through the fence, hoping to spot whatever it was they were doing.

Some of the blocks had swimming pools. Imagine that! A whole ocean in their backyard and they had a swimming pool as well. Home wasn’t like this. It was years before I stopped thinking of foggy old Melbourne as my real home and myself as being on one long Queensland holiday. Sure they had school here, but we’d knock off at three, climb aboard a jolly Greyhound bus, shed our school clothes and go playing on the beach. We could swim or make sandcastles, or just walk along the water’s edge to see what had washed up.

The beach was wide in those days, not just the wideness of a world seen through young eyes, but really truly wide, maybe a hundred metres between the grassy dunes and the wet foam-covered sand where the breakers came sighing up to die.

And such sand! It was pure white, squeaking between our toes. A great broad Sahara of sand, and on hot days it burnt our little white Victorian feet as we scampered, racing each other down to find cooling comfort in the water.

We had two sets of cousins already in Queensland, brown and confident and comfortable in this holiday land, and they watched our antics with some amusement. Swimming in the middle of winter?

Forty years later I feel much the same way whenever we make the trip north. Southerners once more, it is pure joy to escape the cold clutches of Canberra’s winter and to walk in shorts and T-shirt barefoot along those glorious golden beaches. First thing in the morning and you may spot the locals – they are rugged up in tracksuits, grimly jogging along to keep warm, keeping to the firm hard sand, avoiding the foaming waves so as to keep their shoes dry.

Me, I stride straight on through the foam if it reaches me, and if my shorts get wet, so what? They’ll soon dry. And perhaps I might feel forty years younger, a boy delighted to feel the ocean splash around his knees and the salt wind ruffle his hair.

The beach is much the same all along the Gold Coast, but it is only at Surfers Paradise that the skyscrapers rise up into an almost continuous cliff along the landward side, full of balconies and windows, turrets, towers, parapets and penthouses. Seaward it is all one – the surf rolling endlessly in, the ocean beyond a deep blue.

Or grey under a lightening sky when I take my dawn walk. At daybreak there are a few fisherfolk casting their lines into the waves, hoping for bream or whiting, sometimes tailor from the schools that show up dark just beyond the breakers. Here and there are surfers attaching leg ropes, snugging up their wetsuits and shaking their bleached locks as they wade in determinedly.

And the walkers, the joggers, the strolling couples and the lonely runners, they gradually make their way down the beach in the growing light before turning north or south as the fit takes them. Some will respond to a smile and a “G’day”, others are determined, head down, counting paces, staring at the magnificence around them with fixed eyes.

I revel in it, looking around me at the wildlife – the birds swooping on unwary fish, seagulls tugging at some scrap of food, the odd jellyfish or strip of seaweed. I look at the early surfers catching rides in before tumbling under in the spray. I gaze at the tall buildings, trying to judge their age from their architecture. The older buildings are blocky rectangles, mostly windows and maybe a small balcony, but the newer buildings are all jagged with interior corners, vast windows and bold expanses of balcony. Every inch of the view is welcomed inside and the only bare walls are those covering the stairwells and lift shafts. Some lifts are glass-walled, a stunning view as people are shot thirty or forty floors into the air.

And I look at the people as I pass, or they pass me. Here is a tall young Asian woman in jeans and jacket, handing out booklets to the morning walkers. She approaches me with a winning smile and a slogan on her lips, but squeals and retreats as a wave comes surging in around our ankles. I walk on, smiling as she turns to softer prey.

On another walk, earlier in the pre-dawn, I see a woman up on the beach performing a set of exercises. Yoga perhaps, though I am no expert and as I draw level with her, it seems to me that her movements are intended to promote some sort of sexual health, her pelvis rotating and her arms describing slow curves. Perhaps I should stay and watch the startling sight, but I’m suddenly counting paces and fixing my gaze on the horizon, thinking that if it were me doing such exercises, I’d want a decent amount of privacy.

Two days running I see a man in street wear crouched down by the water over a camera, waiting for some coincidence of light and wave for the perfect shot.

Children scrambling after a dog and a stick, parents watching fondly, hand in hand, from a central position.

Lifesavers emerging to erect their flags and ready their equipment, each in a uniform of speedos, sunnies and zinc cream, a yellow top against the chill emblazoned with their club’s name.

A thousand people up and down the beach in the growing morning. I turn at the end of my stretch, retrace my footprints, erased here and there in tidemarks, and eventually make the trudge up through the dry sand to the footpath and streets, where I put on my sandals, find a shop selling the morning paper and return to my unit for breakfast in balconied splendour.

Here's part of the view, a small part of the view, from my writing position high above.


Journal Entry 26 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, July 11, 2004
I took this journal with me on one of my morning walks, shielded from errant surfspray by the little purple bag Tania had provided in Sydney. As I write these words, the bag is beside me, full of postcards and souvenirs for me to illustrate my journey, but on this morning it was a handy way to carry this book and one I intended to release in what has become a bit of a trademark for me.

At the charity bookfair I found a copy of Nicholas Sparks' "Message in a Bottle", a tearjerker romance based on a premise very much like Bookcrossing. We toss our book-messages into the sea of life, hoping that we will reach somebody, touch a kindred spirit who will report back their feelings, their experiences.

And sometimes we do.

The temptation was too great for me to resist. I sealed up the book in a double enclosure of ziplock baggies, then threw it into the Pacific Ocean. A wave brought it foaming in to lie exhausted on the golden sand, and I seized the moment to snap a photograph, using the purple bag to shield this journal from the wet.

Journal Entry 27 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, July 11, 2004
I left "Message in a Bottle" in its ziploc bags (but carefully took up the journal) as I continued on my walk. Another fifteen, twenty minutes down the sandy strand and I turned back again into the light of the rising sun.

I approached the spot where I had released the book with some interest, but there was nothing to be seen. No book washed up on the sand, no package bobbing about in the waves. Nothing but thin lines of foam and bubbles on the smooth sand.

I wonder if I'll ever hear from the book again. did someone pick it up and carry it away to read in privacy? Did a fresh wave sweep it out into the vasty Pacific? Will it land in New Zealand or Hawaii or Chile or St Petersburg years from now to the delight and amazement of some tousle-haired girlchild?

We'll have to wait and sea!

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1838279

Journal Entry 28 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Just a placeholder until I can make a better entry. I'm typing this at an expensive Internet terminal in the Rockhampton YHA and don't have much time. There's a photograph to go with this entry, but I'll have to load it up later.

I left three books hanging off the "Skyring Creek Road" sign in Skyring, which is the closest I could come to a sign showing the name of the blinkandyoumissit place. I'm standing there, holding up this journal as well, clad in my Bookcrossing Convention T-shirt.

Journal Entry 29 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I released a book on the steps of the bandstand in a park in Gympie, one of the towns mentioned in the book. I posed this journal beside it and took a picture before getting back on the road again and heading north to Rocky. The book was picked up by one very unsure AnonymousFinder. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1838255

Journal Entry 30 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Here's the journal entering the tropics, the little yellow book jogging over the line marking the Tropic of Capricorn.

I strode down the main street of Rockhampton in my pyjamas yesterday. Not too many people around to notice, anyway – a few people preparing to open up their shops, a few finishing up their night activities, a few like me out for a pre-breakfast constitutional My normal sleeping attire is shorts and T-shirt, and I reckoned that this was just fine for a power-walk into the city centre to hunt up a newspaper to read with my corn flakes.

My hostel is located on the north shore of the Fitzroy River, a wide brown stream occasionally infested by a misguided crocodile, and I kept my eyes peeled for suspicious ripples in the water as I stepped out across the bridge. No such luck, I’m afraid – a fish or two and some waterfowl amongst the moored yachts.

(As I wrote those last words, sitting here in my Gold Coast unit, I happened to look out the window and became aware of a great grey head sticking out of the water just beyond the breakers. I leapt to my feet, called for the kids, and we watched in fascination as a humpback whale and her calf swam past us, occasionally lifting a flipper out of the waves, and at one time drenching the occupants of a fishing boat with their spouts. They eventually disappeared in the molten silver of the rising sun’s reflection, leaving me gasping in their wake. In my wildest dreams I never expected to see a mighty whale swimming amongst the surfers – I had been looking far out to sea, hoping for a glimpse of a distant spout on the horizon.)

I turned off the bridge and down onto Quay Street, Rockhampton’s riverside avenue full of grand old buildings from the mining days. The river bank itself has a paved walk amongst bench seats and garden beds, and the far side of the street is a gallery of glorious examples of colonial and Victorian architecture, all awnings and shady verandas against the summer sun. Even the warehouses have an elegance far removed from the slab-sided industrial parks of the modern day.

Perhaps the old Customs House, now the headquarters of the local tourist board, is the pick of the bunch. Three stories of golden sandstone, a huge copper dome over all, rhythmic arches harmonising the galleries overlooking the river. A little further along, a hotel stands on a corner, two levels of wide verandas with intricate cast-iron lacework turning it into a decorated cake of a building.

In the two centuries past the riches of the hinterland flowed through Rockhampton. Mount Morgan’s mines and cattle stations the size of counties headed the list, but up this river, and along the rail lines north and south (the main line still runs along the middle of one of Rockhampton’s ridiculously wide streets) passed goods worth millions - tens, hundreds of millions of guineas.

Most of it has long gone nowadays, but tourism takes up some of the slack, and I must admit that Rocky’s relaxed lifestyle mirrors the languid flow of the Fitzroy.

Journal Entry 31 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 16, 2004
I gave the journal a taste of fresh air at the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse at Point Danger marking the Queensland/New South Wales border.

Journal Entry 32 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 16, 2004
Here's the journal sitting above the sign at the bottom of the lighthouse. The book I released at the same time is beside it.

Journal Entry 33 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 16, 2004
And here is the journal sitting on the mailbox at rubyjules old beachfront house in a cul-de-sac of paradise at Suffolk Park just south of Byron Bay. Look at that little running book dance for joy!

Journal Entry 34 by rubyjules from Clifton Park, New York USA on Friday, July 16, 2004
Oh Skyring,
I know I've said this a million times, and I'll probably say it a million more before you finish up with this, but you are WONDERFUL!!! Thank you ever so much for taking a picture of the house. I know it's not that impressive looking from the front, but I recognized it right away. I still have a key to the front door! :-) Thank you a million times over for that picture (along with all the others!) You are the best!

Journal Entry 35 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, July 17, 2004
I'll bet nobody expected this book to get to Ayers Rock, but here's the photographic evidence!

Journal Entry 36 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, July 17, 2004
This one's no joke. I hunted up Arthur Stace's memorial in Sydney Square on a busy Saturday, and released an appropriate book here.

Journal Entry 37 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, July 19, 2004
Another 10-point entry! OK, this one is right out of sequence, but I'm home again now, and I have access to a reasonable image-handling program, so I thought I'd upload the picture(s) of the whale I saw from my unit in Surfers.

The whale is travelling from right to left - that's south from the Antarctic north to the Great Barrier Reef where they spend their winters. The main picture shows the whale near a boat that was fishing just beyond the breakers - you can see the foam along the shore at the bottom of the picture, though not the beach itself. The whale is just beyond the boat. You may see the distinctive "humped" back and a little bulge that marks the tiny dorsal fin.

The inset was taken maybe a minute before, showing the whale approaching the boat. My daughter assures me that through the binoculars she could see a calf, but I didn't spot it.

The astonishing thing is that this is taking place *inside* the shark netting that protects the beaches and stretches for several kilometres. Occasionally whales get tangled up in the netting and have to be cut free, but obviously this one either entered at the southern end of the line, or swam over the top.

This went well beyond my wildest dreams of what I hoped to see from my unit - the whales on their migration would be more likely to take the shortest path from Point Danger well to the south and the tip of North Stradbroke Island further north, which would see them pass well out to sea from Surfers Paradise.

In a rather poignant addendum, news has just come through of a whale entangled in a shark net. Not the whale(s) I saw, but evidently others follow the same route. http://www.abc.net.au/goldcoast/stories/s1156689.htm

Journal Entry 38 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Took the journal along on a Bookcrossing trip. Got an alert that a book was about to be released amongst the catfood in Supabarn in Civic. A cat book. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1759061

As luck would have it, I was just about to drive in to pick up my son, so I hunted around for a cat book to release in the same spot and came up with "The Cat Who Came For Christmas". http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1868635

Left the one amongst the cat food, presumably to be collected within a few minutes by a surprised Bookcrosser, and took the other on, to travel some more.

Journal Entry 39 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 23, 2004
OK. Another Bookcrossing trip. I was testing out the new Beta site, which has Time-Zoned Releases, perfect for we people so far ahead of everything else. We release a book on Friday, it shows up as Friday, not whatever it is in Kansas.

Themed release. The Deep at a seafood shop in Belconnen. Perhaps I should have left it at a swimming pool shop. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1875110 refers.

Big news is that I've found someone to pass the journal on to, who will hand carry it to New Zealand, before making the big flight across the Pacific. Or rather, she found me. Serendipity rules!

Journal Entry 40 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, July 23, 2004
Just over the border from Canberra is Bungendore, a pleasant fifteen minute drive which passed easily with the help of an "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" episode on tape. The town is a small country town which would have died in the bum long ago if it hadn't been located on the highway down to the coast where generations of Canberrans have spent their summer holidays.

There are galleries and restaurants and antique shops and the like all along the main street. A few bookshops which I do my best to stay out of, and a heritage lollyery which is pure temptaition.

But my favorite is The Woodworks. The whole shop/gallery is a testament to brilliance, fine craftsmanship and artistry. I never fail to be amazed at the clever work that clever people can come up with.

Downstairs is given over to items in wood, ranging from letter openers and trinket boxes to statuary and large furniture items, all in fine wood, all beautifully put together. There are paintings on the walls, but the upstairs gallery always has a fresh exhibition by a local artist, and today it was Helen Fitzgerald, who does plants and animals - mainly birds. Some gorgeous pieces. We have a small watercolour of hers, a gem of botanical art and when I am in funds I will surely add to the collection.

There is an attached cafe, where we had Devonshire tea on this cold grey winter's day.

The photograph shows the journal on a lectern in silver ash before a display of bowls and vases all exquisitely turned. The book I released at the time is "My Brilliant Career", an appropriate title for a shop full of the works of brilliant minds.

Journal Entry 41 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, July 27, 2004
I've got to say that Mount Ainslie at Dawn is a cold and lonely place. As I drove up the winding road I passed a heroic cyclist puffing his way up, but he was the only other soul I saw at the top. Human soul, that is, if animals may be said to have souls, because there are birds aplenty at the summit. Currawongs, parrots of various kinds, magpies.

I was wearing a thick leather jacket and insulated beanie when I got out of the car, but my hands were bare in the below zero chill, not helped overmuch by a light breeze. I couldn't fiddle with the camera in the thick gloves I normally wear outside at this time of year, you see.

There were a few clouds around, but not enough to make photography unsatisfactory. I'd prefer one of those crystal-clear, still blue dawns that are normally so common, but I would settle for this just to show the journal with Canberra in the background.

The lookout is perched on the summit of Mount Ainslie and it must be almost unique amongst city lookouts because it is a focus of the city design. Stretching south is the grand ceremonial land axis of the National Capital, beginning at the War Memorial almost at my feet, stretching out in the long crushed red brick avenue of Anzac Parade, continuing over the lake through the white wedding cake of Old Parliament House and ending with Parliament House itself atop Capital Hill, the great pyramind of the flagstaff supports and the staff itself dwindling away against the sky.

Elsewhere in the view are other great avenues foreshortened from this viewpoint. Ainslie Avenue running from the brightly lit buildings of Civic to the mountain foot. Jerrabombera Avenue over past Kingston where there is a great sweep of waterside development going on.

A grand view, and for this journal it is a necessary stop in any tour of the city. Later on the tour buses will labour up the mountain road, but for the moment it is just me and the cyclist, who pauses to admire the view before taking advantage of his investment to freewheel all the way back down again - must be a chilly windy ride back home.

I've brought another book here to release - it's titled "Lost" and at first I thought I might leave it at one of those tourist locality maps found on the roads leading into Canberra, but this is so much better - it's a living map.

We'll explore this map later on. Like any other tourist, the journal has got to visit some of the great public buildings of the national capital.

Journal Entry 42 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, August 2, 2004
We visited the Australian National University today, pausing on the steps of the forum in the main square outside the Union, Refectory and Co-op Bookshop.

This is the archetypical modern university that, like Topsy, just grew. A sprawling campus with a vivid mix of architectural styles from faux-classic to modern, brutalist to post-modern. And a few odds and sods - some wartime buildings that resemble nothing more than cheap army barracks and a few old residences from the golden period of Federalist buildings.

Carparks, roads with lots of speed bumps, a few sports fields, many courtyards and windswept terraces and Sullivans Creek winding through on its way down to Lake Burley Griffin.

The other book is "The R Document" http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1895965

Journal Entry 43 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 4, 2004
I've made it to the Australian War Memorial, one of my favorite yet most terrifying places. I never fail to be moved when visiting, not just from seeing the displays and memorials, but from observing the reactions of the hundreds of daily visitors.

Here is the journal at the base of a gun turret from a Vietnam-era guided missile destroyer, where I released "Operation Seadragon", a thinly fictionalised account of a tour of duty aboard one of these destroyers.

Journal Entry 44 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Here is Simpson and his donkey. Odd, but of all Australia's military heroes, it is Simpson who commands the most respect and affection. He didn't destroy hundreds of enemy in a desperate attack, nor did he perform some bold feat of arms, in fact he didn't so much as fire a weapon or offer violence to the enemy - he was a stretcher-bearer.

A few hours after the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, Jack Simpson was bringing back a casualty from the front line slung over his shoulder when he saw a donkey intended for carrying stores up from the beach. Perhaps recollecting his childhood employment as a donkey-lad on the sands at South Shields, he took charge of the animal and used it to ferry wounded back to the casualty stations at Anzac Cove.

For the next three weeks he was a fearless fixture at Anzac, walking beside his donkey, whistling and singing amongst the bullets as he collected the wounded and took them to safety, holding them up on the donkey's back as they crossed the steep and broken ground.

Before he was struck down by a machine-gun bullet in the back, Simpson rescued more than 300 diggers, displaying an incredible disregard for his own life if he could save that of a comrade.

"Almost every digger knew about him. The question was often asked: "Has the bloke with the donk stopped one yet?"
"he was the most respected and admired of all the heroes at Anzac."

Captain C. Longmore, in 1933, remembered how the soldiers "watched him spellbound from the trenches... it was one of the most inspiring sights of those early Gallipoli days."

Colonel John Monash wrote "Private Simpson and his little beast earned the admiration of everyone at the upper end of the valley. They worked all day and night throughout the whole period since the landing, and the help rendered to the wounded was invaluable. Simpson knew no fear and moved unconcernedly amid shrapnel and rifle fire, steadily carrying out his self imposed task day by day, and he frequently earned the applause of the personnel for his many fearless rescues of wounded men from areas subject to rifle and shrapnel fire."

Jack was recommended for the Victoria Cross posthumously.

Journal Entry 45 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Here is a glimpse into the interior of the War Memorial. The journal is sitting in front of one of the two stone lions from the ruined Menin Gate in Belgium, through which so many passed, and so many never returned.

Beyond may be seen one of the many parties of schoolchildren who tour the memorial, and beyond them is the Pool of Remembrance, the cloistered lists of the fallen, and the great high domed Shrine where the Unknown Soldier lies in silence and peace.

Journal Entry 46 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Here is the view from the entrance to the War Memorial. It lies at one end of the great central land axis of Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle. An awkward spot to take a picture of a book, and I am sorry that it came out so dim in the shadow of the tall pylon above.

Immediately in front is a construction site where the slopes surrounding the Stone of Remembrance are being realigned to allow for better access for those with disablilities. Here every Anzac Day thousands of people stand in the cold silent predawn to take part in the service marking the time of the first landing at Gallipoli. The number attending grows every year, an increasing number of them young people who might reasonably be expected not to care about an event that happened so long ago and so far away.

But they do, and I am touched that not only do they show up on a chilly morning, but they often go off on a pilgrimage to the battlefield itself, warmly welcomed by the Turks who in their turn are the descendants of our former enemies.

Past the roundabout, Anzac Parade is a path of crushed red brick leading down to the lake, and beyond the Old and New Parliament Houses rise from their green lawns.

The slopes of Red Hill and the Brindabellas on the horizon - here partially covered in snow - form a distant blue backdrop to the scene, one photographed by every tourist who stands here with a camera.

If you want to read about the War Memorial at greater length, an essay I wrote some time ago may be found at http://books.lulu.com/content/56992

Journal Entry 47 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, August 8, 2004
They say you need to understand the land before you can understand the people, and I decided to dig down to bedrock. In the very heart of Canberra, in between Old and New Parliament Houses, State Circle dives underneath Federation Mall through a deep cutting exposing some fascinating rock strata, including a feature known as an "unconformity".

Easy to see when you are whizzing past, but hard to get to. Tiny fossils may be seen in the lower levels of Canberra shale, and above the unconformity rich golden sandstone forms its own flowing patterns, especially now that two decades of differential weathering have eroded some of the softer seams in the once smooth rockface.

There is a small viewing platform located at the top of the south face of the cutting, along with a plaque describing and detailing the formation opposite. However the platform is hard to see, even from a few metres away, as it is sunk into the ground and somewhat camouflaged by the vegetation. There are footpaths and carparks nearby, but still it is one of Canberra's little secrets.

I took "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to release at this spot, also taking the opportunity to marvel at the layers of rock with their folds and faults exposed.

We're looking at 430 million years of geological record here, and the feature is considered so important that it is listed on the register of the National Estate. Apparently a "knuckle" of the unconformity is visible in one of the lower levels of Parliament House, but that site is even harder to reach than this little platform out in the open.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1821014 is the journal for "Picnic", a classic Australian mystery.

Journal Entry 48 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, August 8, 2004
Turning around, we see the steps leading up to the lawn of Federation Mall. There's a large six-sided foundation stone just short of the Parliament House forecourt, then that awesome whole cliff of white marble forming the front of this amazing building, half buried under the summit of Capital Hill, and the flagpole reaching up above all.

The temporary security barricades tend to spoil the view when moving closer, but from this point they are not too obtrusive. The lawns reach up to the very top of the building and are popular with people strolling up or down. Children especially like to run or roll down the long grass slopes. A flock of sheep was once driven up and over the roof of the building - surely a unique occurrence for any legislative assembly.

The four legs supporting the flagpole are prominent. They make an unusual building even more distinctive and provide one of Canberra's more interesting public spectacles when the flag flying from the mast is changed every four weeks. A crew of two squeeze into a tiny cabin which runs on a track outside one of the legs and is winched up, first along the sloping leg, and then tilting forward to climb the vertical mast to a tiny platform. Here the old flag is lowered and stuffed into a bag, the wind catching at the great billows and folds, and then the process is reversed with a freshly laundered flag before the elevator creaks and grinds its way down again.

It is usually changed before dawn, which must make for some uncomfortable moments in the frost and fog of a Canberra winter, but once or twice a year during school holidays the change is made during daylight for the benefit of visitors. The old flag is spread out on a patch of grass on the roof, and then lifted clear for children to scamper around underneath, before being taken away for cleaning and repair.

The view from the top of the building is stunning, with avenues converging on this point from around the compass. From the upper platform of the flagpole mast it must be thrilling indeed.

Journal Entry 49 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, August 8, 2004
For a long time following the First World War and the Great Depression, Canberra was a city of foundation stones scattered amongst sheep paddocks.

A stone's throw from Parliament House is the first of these foundations - the base of the never completed Commencement Column, which marks the selection of Canberra as the site for the national capital in March 1913, a dozen years after Federation, and the culmination of a search spanning decades.

It was unveiled by the Governor-General, Prime Minister, and Minister for Territories of the day, and more or less forgotten for 75 years until the permanent Parliament House was opened in 1988.

The old "provisional" Parliament House was not itself completed until 1927, and even then there were very few substantial buildings in Canberra.

But now the planned city is complete, and it is truly remarkable to be able to walk, cycle or drive around the Parliamentary Triangle, seeing the grand avenues, the spacious parks, the impressive public buildings and the overall uncluttered appearance of this city, so unlike any other. I am proud and privileged to be able to live here with such an embarrasment of riches a few minutes away from my front door.

Others might sneer at a major Australian city without an ocean beach, or one where it occasionally snows, but for my money, I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Journal Entry 50 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, August 8, 2004
Moving yet closer to Parliament House, details of some of the major features become apparent. That white marble facade is made from the entire side of a quarry, cut up into blocks and reassembled here. It forms the entrance portico to the building and ceremonial arrivals by the Governor-General, visiting heads of state and other dignitaries are made here, their vehicles driving in behind the columns and stopping outside the huge bronze and glass doors.

Above the facade may be seen a stylised representation of the Australian coat of arms, made up from strips of stainless steel. The two supporters of the shield are the kangaroo and emu, two large and uniquely Australian animals, neither of which is able to walk backwards.

Symbolism is important in this building, and the huge forecourt covered in ochre-coloured crushed brick is dominated by a great square tiled mural in a "dot-painting" Aboriginal design set in a pool of gently rippling water.

It represents the desert land of the outback, and pays tribute to the first Australians. Inside the foyer there is a forest of green marble columns, reminding the visitor of the unique trees and plants that greeted the first arrivals, both Aboriginal and European. It is a place of quiet majesty and meanings both large and small. I never tire of it.

However, those who occupy Parliament House are sometimes tiresome in the extreme, and that is perhaps why I chose "The Carpetbaggers" to release in this spot. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1917807

Journal Entry 51 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, August 9, 2004
Turning around outside Parliament House, we look down past the pool in the forecourt, the great green length of Federation Mall hidden behind the temporary security barricades, to the rear of Old Parliament House, the War Memorial dome a distant blur under the rising cone of Mount Ainslie.

Journal Entry 52 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Like the new Parliament House at the apex of the Parliamentary Triangle, Old Parliament House midway down has an Aboriginal mural in front. This one's about the same size and in much the same position relative to the front steps, but unlike the other, it isn't in any way official or sanctioned by authority.

It marks the entrance to the so-called Aboriginal Tent Embassy, a more or less permanent and certainly illegal camp here in the middle of the national capital. Originally a short-lived protest in the early 1970s, only a few years after the Federal Government was at last given the power to make laws for the benefit of Aboriginal Australians, it was removed shortly thereafter and only re-established some twenty years later, when the empty building of Old Parliament House was invaded and occupied.

It has since expanded to take in several hectares of prime public land and though there have been battles to prevent any form of permanent structure being established, successive governments of both major parties at Territory and Federal level have found it easier to turn a blind eye to all but the more outrageous publicity stunts.

As a protest it has long since passed its use-by date and has reached the stage where the occupants strive for some sort of relevance. Their primary message, that their native ancestors (it is a very rare Aboriginal Australian who does not have some European ancestry, mainly Irish, going by surnames) never surrendered sovereignty over the land, is one that is unlikely to be recognised by the justices of the High Court sitting a few hundred metres away.

However, there is some validity to its dishevelled appearance - "eyesore" and "rubbish dump" are two commonly-heard descriptions - in that Australians living in remote communities do not enjoy the same advantages of health or employment or education as those in other areas, a vicious circle that sees children living in poverty, sickness and ignorance. If there is a national shame, this is it.

Journal Entry 53 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Here's the view from Old Parliament House, looking from the steps towards the Aboriginal camp. The other two books are those I released at the same time. "Two Weeks in Lilliput" http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1884395 a description of the Constitution Convention, written by a comedian, and "Corroboree" http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1803272 based on the Aboriginal meeting ceremonies.

Journal Entry 54 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Old Parliament House from the end of the front carpark. I've spent many a happy hour inside this building, admiring the elegant old wood-panelled interiors, wandering through the National Portrait Gallery, or serving as a journalist for the Constitutional Convention in 1998, when the old building returned to life for two glorious, exciting weeks.

Journal Entry 55 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Here's the National Library of Australia, perhaps my favorite building in all the world. Its classical proportions - very conciously modeled on the Parthenon - and its lakeside setting make it stand out amongst the other grand public buildings as a model of elegance. The "stitched" photograph doesn't do the building justice, but you get the idea.

Inside, apart from the books, are some superb modern stained glass, sculptures above the door, a wonderful bookshop and a hall where they hold some great exhibitions from the library's collection and others.

I will never forget the time they showed the "Treasures of the World's Great Libraries" to mark the NLA's centenary. Original Jane Austen manuscripts, a Gutenberg Bible, ancient Chinese scrolls, Eddie Mabo's drawings of Torres Strait Islands, a hundred items from a hundred libraries lending one of their treasures for the exhibition.

It was simply glorious. I couldn't believe that I'd been able to see so much awesome stuff all in one place. Tolkien's drawing for the cover of The Hobbit. A patent drawing for the first telephone. A fifteenth century copy of one of Ptolemy's maps. A letter written by Gandhi. Darwin's manuscript for "The Origin of Species".

If I'd had any sense at all, I would have gone straight back in and savoured it some more, because as soon as the first visitors like us got out and told their friends, the queue got longer and longer and longer. We waited ten minutes and thought that was too long, but when the exhibition finally ended, people were flying in from other countries to see it, standing in a line at midnight for a ticket that let them in the next afternoon, and the exhibition hall was only closed for a brief period in the early morning for cleaning, such was the demand.

Journal Entry 56 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
This is where I left a second copy of "Evil Angels". (Remember the one I left at Ayers Rock?)

Lindy Chamberlain lost her newborn daughter to a dingo at Ayers Rock and in one of the most sensational miscarriages of justice in Australian history was jailed for murder - a life sentence. She was eventually pardoned and released but before that she appealed all the way up to the High Court here and wanted to go even further to the Privy Council in London but that avenue had been closed by the passage of the Australia Act.

So the book is appropriate here.

Journal Entry 57 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
I once spent three days inside the High Court, sitting beside Senator-Elect Heather Hill as she listened to the legal thunderbolts being hurled by and in front of the full bench of seven justices. Her future was on the line because although she had come to Australia as a child, taken out Australian citizenship and been duly elected to the Senate, a mean-minded case was brought against her on the grounds that she had not renounced the British citizenship she had been born with.

The argument hinged on whether Britain could be said to be a "foreign power", and although at Federation we were clearly an integral part of the British Empire and there was no such thing as Australian citizenship, over the century since at some point the United Kingdom had become a different nation and we had gained our full independence.

None of the justices could say exactly when that had happened, although they thought that the passage of the Australia Act was a major point in the process, but the end result was that Heather Hill, a delightful ex-nurse who would have made a determined and caring Senator, was denied her election when so many other Senators had not renounced their foreign citizenship. Quite unfair and petty.

But I got to watch in awe at the trappings of justice in this courtroom stretching up several storeys, the autumn sun streaming in through the vast windows. And I got to listen to some superb constitutional argument. As well as an ordinary citizen arguing his case and showing the learned judges a thing or two about the law they had not yet understood.

Terry Sharples was an accountant, not a lawyer, but he understood how elections worked, and I watched in amazement as he led the judges through the process, demonstrating that if Heather Hill's election was deemed invalid, then the process of recounting the votes might well unseat other Senators. A rare example of an ordinary Australian having an influence on Australian constitutional law at the highest level.

Journal Entry 58 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
To my mind the National Gallery of Australia is as ugly as the High Court without the grandeur. But it's got many hidden features, such as the mist garden adjoining the restaurant and the Australian galleries where many of our great masterpieces are held. I never tire of wandering amongst the greats of the Heidelberg School, or the stunning portraits by Hugh Ramsay, or the unique styles of John Brack or Jeffrey Smart.

The other book is "Expressway", which commemorates Smart's most famous painting "Cahill Expressway". http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1917703

Both books are nestled in a piece of modern art sculpture outside the stairs leading to the main entrance.

Journal Entry 59 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Of all the memorials on Anzac Parade, I like this one the most. It's not angular or warlike, it's made of sheets of sofly green glass in a curving, enfolding shape that soothes the viewer and hides the world for a while.

It's the Service Nurses Memorial, the most recent addition to the list, and I walk past it every day as I take my morning exercise.

Here I've left a book about service nurses, Colleen McCullough's "An Indecent Obsession". http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1917809

Journal Entry 60 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
I took this from the south side of Lake Burley Griffin looking north, more or less towards my house (not visible). Looking from left to right we have the journal nestling at the base of an ornamental light standard on the lake shore, the column of the Australian American Memorial with an American Eagle atop, wings upstretched in a "V" for Victory, and the Carillon on Aspen Island, a gift from the UK to mark the 200th anniversary of Captain James Cook's discovery for Great Britain of the east coast of Australia.

It's a white, triangular slab-sided affair, a bunch of bells right at the top and a tiny observation platform that can be hired for spectacular dinners - it has a table seating a dozen and a small kitchen and it costs a bomb.

I never tire of looking at it from all angles in all lights. Floodlit at night it is spectacular against the glittering background of the grand buildings. At dawn or dusk it is bathed in ruddy light or shrouded in mist. It's always different, always a rich and mysterious sight.

Journal Entry 61 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Here's a long shot of the Australian American Memorial in the middle of the Defence Force complex at Blamey Square. It's not really banana-shaped, it's just the way the pictures were "stitched" together.

The upswept wings of the eagle on the column are said to resemble the ears of a rabbit, so the memorial, visible from all around central Canberra, is commonly known as "Bugs Bunny".

The memorial commemorates the assistance given to us by the US in World War Two, and is an ongoing symbol of the alliance. Every year on the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea a service is held, wreaths are laid by the American Ambassador, and a troop of children from the local school file past, dropping poppies for remembrance into the pool at the base of the memorial. My children were selected in their appropriate years and it was sweet to see them in their gold and grey uniforms, pausing, bowing their heads as instructed, and moving on. Later on they were led back to school through the bush paths in a crocodile.

Journal Entry 62 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Here's the journal at the bottom of the column of the Australian American Memorial just down the road from my house. The other book in the shot is "The Journeyer" http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/1929151 because this Journal is certainly a journeyer!

Journal Entry 63 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
I felt a bit like a mother giving away a baby when I handed over this globe-trotting journal to amberjane. We've been together so long and shared so many great experiences.

Well, rubyjules, I was able to get your journal to Byron Bay and back, and that's all you wanted of me, but I had a lot of fun going that extra mile for you. And me. It's been an absolute ball thinking up books to release at significant places, taking pictures there, writing down my thoughts and doing my best to monopolise the online journal notes.

And now my life is empty.

Well, it just seems that way at the moment. But I'll always have fond memories of this little white book full of kind words and exotic photographs. Thanks rubyjules for starting it off.

And thanks, amberjane, for agreeing to carry this precious bundle on overseas. I'm sure it is in very good hands and you will give it some more adventures.

Pete, wishing very much that he could have shared the whole glorious trip from Vermont to the far side of the world and back again, rather than just a tiny part that is now but a happy memory

Journal Entry 64 by amberjane from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, September 15, 2004
It's been over a month since Skyring handed Rubyjules' Bookcrossing Journal over to me, sorry about the long gap! I think there's been a glitch on the site that wasn't letting me record a journal entry. I kept getting error messages every time I tried. Oh well, I managed finally.

I was excited to be able to be a part of this Bookring, especially since I'd never been in one before! Actually what appealed to me the most was that the journal had been to so many places; I like to travel myself. It's very interesting to read the entries from people in such varied parts of the world. I hope the journal manages to make it to many more countries. So I decided I could help it on its way by taking it with me to New Zealand, Wellington to be specific. This journal should have a passport!

Hopefully I'll be able to add some photos to these online entries at some stage, when I get a chance to borrow a digital camera. We'll see if I can take the journal on a bit of a tour while it's here in the "Land of the Long White Cloud". I'm a tourist here too, so we can explore together...

Journal Entry 65 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, November 3, 2004
When I received a pm from amberjane letting me know that there would be time for me to become involved with this journal before she starts her tour in the South Island I was very keen to make the short (20 mins) trip across town, along the edge of our glorious harbour, to pick up the journal. The street where aj is staying on this part of her travels is quite lengthy so I cruised slowly along and found a park near where I thought she'd be. Hopped out of the car with my S.O. who immediately spotted the BC sign on a book propped on a windowsill.
Guess that almost counts as a wild release/wild catch. However amberjane was standing a little further along the street watching for me. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to take part in this project and will be sure to return the book in time for its onward travel.
Thanks for letting me take part. First glances are very exciting.

Journal Entry 66 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, November 7, 2004
I've rated this delightful journal 10/10 because to me that is what it merits. It is one superb example of hands of friendship stretching around the world in fellowship and goodwill. Unknown people sharing their thoughts and experiences in a peaceful atmosphere. What a great ambassador it is being.
It has been a great experience to learn small things about the lives of other people in such diverse countries, those I know something about and those I don't. Thank you to those who've shared a piece of themselves with complete strangers, albeit friendly ones.
I've completed my writing and will be contacting Amberjane this evening to deliver Rubyjules' journal back so it can start it's venture into our South Island.
Over the weekend the journal visited Palmerston North and was introduced to some not as yet bookcrossers, meeting with general approval and some awe. Over that weekend I had some encouragement and instruction from a family friend in using digital cameras to effect, but not quite soon enough for this journal. Next time a journal comes my way I would like to do the clever things that Skyring has done on this page.

Farewell, little book. I have so enjoyed your teeny venture into my life.

Journal delivered to Amberjane Monday evening.

Journal Entry 67 by amberjane from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, November 11, 2004
Okay, I'm departing for the south island today. I have BX contacts in Dunedin and Christchurch; if I get to Dunedin first, I'll be passing the journal on to rarsberry or boreal. If I get to Christchurch first, I will give it to FutureCat. We're leaving it up to the weather to decide! :)

Hope to add a picture later. I've had fun adding to this fantastic journal and hope to take part in another some time in the future. Thanks everyone, I enjoyed reading your entries!

Journal Entry 68 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Friday, November 19, 2004
I met up with Amberjane this morning at Dunedin's railway station, and she passed this treasure of a book on to me. There was going to be a photo of Amberjane and the book standing outside the station in the sun but unfortunately it was raining!
Anyway I am looking forward to reading all the entries and adding one of my own. As I write this my husband is sitting reading the journal and saying how interesting it all is.

Journal Entry 69 by amberjane from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, November 22, 2004
Well I had a fantastic time touring the south island of New Zealand with Rubyjules' Bookcrossing Journal. When I have more time I'll tell you all about it here. For now, I'm briefly passing through Wellington again as we head up north to see Rotorua and Waitomo Caves (we're leaving tomorrow morning). It was good to meet up with another Bookcrosser (hi boreal!), and Dunedin was a nice city despite the rain!
Cheers,
Amberjane

Journal Entry 70 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Saturday, November 27, 2004
Just thought I would tell you that the journal has experienced an earthquake! I had it with me at the school where I work to show it to a couple of the teachers, as I think a journal like this would be a wonderful thing for a class to do.
Anyway I was sitting at my computer in the library when I felt a gentle shaking motion, at first I thought I was imagining things but then I looked up and saw the lights swaying! Actually most people here didn't even feel it as although it was fairly large, its centre was about 200km south of NZ.
Anyway the attached photo show the journal in the library -shelved under "R".

Journal Entry 71 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Saturday, December 4, 2004
Last weekend 28 Novemeber we paid a visit to the Royal Albatross breeding colony which is situated very close to Dunedin at the head of Otago Harbour. These Albatross have a wingspan exceeding 3 metres and can live for up to 60 years.
We were lucky enough to see one flying and it certainly was impressive -seagulls looked like sparrows beside it! I didn't manage a photo sorry -wasn't quick enough; but attached is the view from the end of Tairoa Head where the colony is situated -sorry not a particulary good photo!

Journal Entry 72 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Saturday, December 4, 2004
I had hoped to take the journal to Central Otago where I grew up, it is a place of wonderful landscapes and wide skies -think Rohan from LOTR -but unfortunately we weren't able to go this weekend as planned. So instead today we went for a picnic to my favourite beach near here. It is called Murdering Beach and was formerly the site of a large Maori pa or village. In the early 1800's there was a dispute of some description between the Maoris and some sealers from the brig Sophia which resulted in the death of large numbers of Maori -hence the name. No traces of the Maori village remain and when I visit I often wonder where exactly it was and keep my eyes peeled in case the waves have turned up a Maori artifact -apparently the early European settlers who visited the area picked up greenstone adzes etc in great numbers.
Nowdays it is a quiet, beautiful place where you can often see seals and the odd penguin -we once saw a rare yellow-eyed penguin here and then there was the time I got to within metres of a seal without seeing it, it blended in so well with the rocks, it is a wonder I hadn't sat on it!!
Here is a photo of the beach from the fairly steep access road down the side of the hill.

Journal Entry 73 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Saturday, December 4, 2004
And here is the journal at the beach! Not a soul in sight, in fact there were only a couple of other people there for the whole time we were there -part of its attraction to me.
The picture looks north towards Long Beach and Purakanui.

Journal Entry 74 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Saturday, December 4, 2004
I promise this is the last entry for today:-)
I took this photo on my way home today -it is of the view up Otago harbour. Dunedin lies at the head of the harbour at the far top-right of the photo behind the hills, Port Chalmers is in the mid right, Portobello (hello Skyring!!) lies behind that jutting out peninsula bit on the left in the middle (near the islands), and at the extreme left is Harwood -if you drive past it a few kilometers you come to the Albatross colony mentioned in an earlier entry.
Tonight I am hoping to get my handwritten entry done and then I will pass it on to Rarsberry sometime this week.

Journal Entry 75 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, December 4, 2004
It is a delight to see this little handmade book continue its handmade travels. I remember the Albatross colony and the view from the outlook there very well. We looked over the edge and there far below we saw a pair of seals frolicking and playing in the water, their graceful tumbling shapes clear against the light reflected from the sandy bottom. On the cliff face beside us, almost within touching distance, were hundreds of seabirds on their precarious nests.

And an occasional regal presence overhead of those great albatrosses. I am looking forward to returning next Easter for a few short days in Dunedin and Christchurch.

As I meet more and more Bookcrossers in real life - I got to spend more than a few hurried minutes with tqd in November, but nowhere near long enough - I find myself more and more privileged to have been part of this chain of friends circling the globe.

And looking forward to seeing where this famous book will pop up next!

Journal Entry 76 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, December 12, 2004
Passed this wonderful book onto Rarsberry this afternoon. I didn't have my camera and it was raining (again!!) so there is no accompanying photo this time.
It has been a privilege to have been able to participate in this journal project and I will look forward to the future entries.
Happy travelling!

Journal Entry 77 by rarsberry from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Sunday, December 12, 2004
I met up with boreal this afternoon and she handed it over to me.
I shall now read everyone else's entries and decide what I shall put in for mine. :o)

Thanks to rubyjules for starting the journal, amberjane for getting it to Dunedin and boreal for passing it along to me.

Released on Friday, December 24, 2004 at about 1:00:00 AM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at Controlled Release in Dunedin, Otago New Zealand.

RELEASE NOTES:

On Christmas Eve I have released this to FutureCats care while at her house for dinner.
Sadly I didn't get the Christchurch pictures in, but I'm sure FC can do that for me. :o)

Journal Entry 79 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, December 24, 2004
The journal has been received into my care. We started handing it around everyone at dinner tonight (we had a little impromptu meetup at my place for a pre-Christmas dinner), but it got as far as MrPloppy and then rarsberry wanted to play Crazy Taxi (I'm blaming rarsberry, anyway!), and the poor journal was forgotten :-( So it'll just have my and MrPloppy's entries in it.

I was flicking idly through the journal while waiting for the computer to get onto the internet, and spotted a postcard from Persepolis in Iran - I've been there!!!

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Journal Entry 80 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Once again I have to apologise for how long I've kept this journal - it got put aside during some furniture rearranging, and then completely forgotten. But it's now about to head off on its travels again - tomorrow morning at some ungodly hour (my ticket says check-in is at 4 am, surely that can't be right?) I'll be on a plane to Brisbane, and this journal will be going with me. It'll be my first visit to Queensland, even if it is a bit old hat to the journal :-)

Anyway, hopefully I'll find someone at the BC-AUS convention to hand this over to, so it can continue its adventures.

Sorry again for the delay!

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Journal Entry 81 by Skyring from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Wow! I'm so excited at seeing this dear little book again, because tomorrow morning around morning tea time, I'll be strapping on a pair of jets and heading up to Brisbane too!

I've enjoyed rereadinging the journal entries and remembering the great times I had with this journal.

More recently I returned to Dunedin and Christchurch, where I had an absolutely awesome time, seeing albatrosses and seals and castles and Kiwis. In fact I met a delightful young Kiwi there, and she gave me a little companion to take travelling with me. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/2559779

Journal Entry 82 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, June 25, 2005
FutureCat reporting in from the Brisbane Convention to say that I've passed the journal on to Servalan, who I think was then going to pass it to Thebiblioholic, in the hopes that he'd take it home to America with him, and get it one step closer to RubyJules.

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Journal Entry 83 by servalan from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, June 26, 2005
FutureCat handed me this journal to write in & then it was passed around the ABC Trivia Night for others to sign. thebiblioholic now has his grubby mitts on it & hopefully it will be winging its way back to the US soon.

Greetings from Oz. rubyjules!

Journal Entry 84 by Toxic from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Sunday, June 26, 2005
I wrote about Trivia Night in Ruby Jule's journal last night at ABC 2005.

Journal Entry 85 by thebiblioholic from Riverdale, New York USA on Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Got it from FutureCat at the Australian BookCrossing Convention in Brisbane. The journal is now full. Brought it back to the States and will mail it back to Rubyjules.

Journal Entry 86 by rubyjules from Clifton Park, New York USA on Tuesday, July 5, 2005
YAY!!!!! My little journal made it home over the holiday weekend! I'm so excited. The entries are wonderful! Thank you to everyone who participated. I loved all the postcards that were included. And Amberjane, if someone isn't paying you for your artwork, they should be! Your drawings were just gorgeous! What talent! Thank you thebiblioholic for sending the book home to me. Skyring, you did such a wonderful job on the online entries, and I don't think I can thank you enough for taking a picture of "my house"! After reading all of your entries, I want to go on a world tour and visit all of you! GlasgowGal, I'll be in Glasgow exactly 1 month from today!!! :)

Thanks everyone!

Journal Entry 87 by k-j-h from Geelong, Victoria Australia on Saturday, July 9, 2005
This little journal crossed my path at the 2005 Australian BookCrossing Convention in Brisbane.
Made a tiny entry at the trivia night, or at the farewell Yum Cha lunch.
It was such a great weekend, packed with great memories - so they've gotten a little jumbled.

The rating is for the _rest_ of the book, excluding my entry.

Journal Entry 88 by rubyjules from Clifton Park, New York USA on Saturday, July 9, 2005
Oh Please!!! All the entries were wonderful, even the little short ones! Thank you everyone for your participation. Now I long to go to all the places you are!

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