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Friday, December 12, 2014

December 13 Meme - Happy Birthday, Bianca!

For my nephew Mark's lovely wife Bianca... Here are some things that happened on your birthday !

On This Day: 

Not much in history about books or writing that I could find, so I thought I'd go for exciting explorer stuff because of the sensawunda it inspires in SF, my first love.

1577 : Sir Francis Drake sails off from Plymouth on his first round-the-world voyage.

1642: Abel Tasman, after whom our beautiful Tasmania is named, reached New Zealand. This is the closest I can get to something Aussie-related.

1972 : the Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked on the moon. This is the last time, to date, that humans have walked there. I remember reading an interview with Michael Collins where he was asked if he'd accept an invitation to go back to the moon. He said no, but he'd be all for going to Mars if he could. My favourite of the three Apollo 11 astronauts!

Author Birthdays: 

Slim pickings here, but I did find one I'd read and enjoyed.

Lucia Gonzales, children's writer and librarian

Ross MacDonald, author of a lot of hard boiled detective fiction about a sleuth called Lew Archer, was known as the heir to Dashiell Hammett.

AND - Ta da! The wonderful Tamora Pierce, author of the Lioness books and many others. Her heroine was a girl who wanted to be a knight and swapped places with her twin brother, who had other ambitions, disguised herself as a boy and went off to be a page. Go read them if you haven't and ... many happy returns, Tamora, one of my Goodreads friends! Tamora blogs regularly and is one of the few big name author members of Goodreads I know who actually reviews other people's books and lets people friend her instead of just becoming "fans" who can't communicate. I get the feeling with some of these folk that they're only there on the advice of agents and publicists to get a social media profile.


Today, by the way, is St Lucy's Day (aka Santa Lucia). Thought I'd mention it because my much-valued and respected library technician us a Lucy/Lucia.

I gather it's a festival centred around light because it used to be the (European) winter solstice before the calendar changed. Which reminds me, time to get the Chanukah candles, as our own feast of lights begins Tuesday night. Time to stock up on potatoes for the traditional latkes and find my way down to the doughnut stand at Footscray railway station, as doughnuts are also a tradition(anything oily to eat, you see, though I don't recall chips being a tradition...)  

Below is a Public Domain image of Saint Lucy. See the eyes in the dish? Part of the legend, in which her eyes were poked out or maybe she poked them out herself to put off a suitor. Ew! Yuk! But she's the patron saint of the blind.


Satima Flavell said...

That story of a girl plucking out her eyes is very old: a similar one occurs in the pre-Christian Buddhist scriptures, although the young nun in that version sensibly only plucked out one of her beauteous orbs to give to an unwelcome suitor who kept telling her how much he loved them. Put him right off, it did! It's also told of another Christian saint, St Tredwell. (Useless knowledge that comes of majoring in Religious Studies!)

Sue Bursztynski said...

There are actually two versions of the Lucy story, one in which the eyes were poked at, the other one similar to the one you mention. "You like my eyes? Have them!" And they're supposed to have returned miraculously AFTER her death, when they were useless!

There was nothing sensible about your average Christian Saint, I'm afraid. It's one thing to die for your faith, but these stories are truly over the top especially the ones about the female saints, who die horribly and often absurdly for their virginity. The only one I like is St Elizabeth of Bohemia and the roses, who was spared, presumably so she could continue her good work.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sorry, that's "poked out." You can't edit these comments once posted.