Alice on the Line

Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?
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Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?

Alice on the Line

Postby Pondero » December 8th, 2013, 4:19 pm

Alice on the Line, an Australian classic, by Doris Blackwell, the heroine, and Douglas Lockwood, an experienced journalist.Doris was called Bradshaw, before her marriage and the book is about the nine years she spent from the age of eight to seventeen at Alice Springs.Northern Territory.
Her father was in charge of the Alice Springs Telegraph station at the turn of the nineteenth century, connecting Adelaide to Darwin, to Java, and from there over to England. The station was manned night and day in case important messages were transmitted from the UK.
It was a lonely outpost for a young vibrant, full of life teenager.When asked in the mid sixties when she wrote this classic about where she was brought up and educated, she replied. "Alice... On the line." And she was justly proud of it.
It is a very well written book, detailing the daily life of the whites and 'blacks', aborigines, who lived side by side in Alice Springs.
Having walked by the dry river bed of the Todd river on a hot day and getting lost trying to walk a few miles to our hotel I know how it must have felt in the old days. I simply stopped exhausted at the first motel and called a taxi.I thought I was suffering from heat stroke!
As my Dad would say, if he were alive to read the book about the doings of the visitors and inhabitants, "there were some 'hard' (tough) cases." A very interesting book about human nature which I will read a second time soon.
We live at a time ...characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found. Benedict XV1.
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Re: Alice on the Line

Postby Pondero » December 8th, 2013, 4:44 pm

A humorous quote from the end of the book would be in order now. Doris and her six brothers/sisters arrived in Adelaide by train dressed in their best.(that would be in 1908 or 1909).
And on the platform, among the people there to meet us and our travelling companions, came the last catastrophe of the trip. That horrid valise, bulging to bursting point, played the last mean trick on us by spitefully opening its seams and allowing its contents to spill across the platform. All the dreadful relics of camping gear and our soiled clothes went tumbling and rolling around people's feet, tripping and confusing them and making them stop and stare at us.... The country cousins come to town. Conspicuous among our chattels, needless to say, was an indispensable bedroom utensil not usually rolled along a station platform. That caused everyone to laugh uproariously and an even greater crowd gathered to join in the fun. But for us, trying to look like little ladies and gentlemen in our lovely new clothes, kid gloves and all, it was a terrible moment of mortification and humiliation. We were glad when finally we were bundled into the Glenelg train and whisked away to the furnished house waiting for us there.
We live at a time ...characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found. Benedict XV1.
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Re: Alice on the Line

Postby Lyn » December 8th, 2013, 5:43 pm

Pondy, that is a marvellous book. I read it a very long time ago and your description has brought it back to me, thank you.
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Re: Alice on the Line

Postby Pondero » December 8th, 2013, 11:50 pm

Victoria Plum wrote:Pondy, that is a marvellous book. I read it a very long time ago and your description has brought it back to me, thank you.


I'm glad Victoria. It is a very "happy" book, we'll written and of a bygone age, never to return, but similar to the age I was brought up in in England. Sad.
This afternoon at an annual family Christmas party of 48 including 10 children I saw children, three of them, the oldest in grade 2 and three others younger watching the elder one play games on a mobile phone - after stuffing themselves first with a seemingly never ending supply of cookies.All eyes were glued to the phone.

Not all were so fascinated with the electronic wonder toy . Some of the children were crawling and crawled under the feet of smiling waiters. That was at the end of the festivities as before that they behaved themselves like little angels.
We live at a time ...characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found. Benedict XV1.
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Re: Latest from Pope Francis

Postby Pondero » December 19th, 2013, 12:13 pm

242. Dialogue between science and faith also belongs to the work of evangelization at the service of peace.[189] Whereas positivism and scientism “refuse to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences”,[190] the Church proposes another path, which calls for a synthesis between the responsible use of methods proper to the empirical sciences and other areas of knowledge such as philosophy, theology, as well as faith itself, which elevates us to the mystery transcending nature and human intelligence. Faith is not fearful of reason; on the contrary, it seeks and trusts reason, since “the light of reason and the light of faith both come from God”[191] and cannot contradict each other. Evangelization is attentive to scientific advances and wishes to shed on them the light of faith and the natural law so that they will remain respectful of the centrality and supreme value of the human person at every stage of life. All of society can be enriched thanks to this dialogue, which opens up new horizons for thought and expands the possibilities of reason. This too is a path of harmony and peace.


From the Pope's latest exhortation or short encyclical Evangellii Gaudium.
The main topic is about evangelizing the world, and how best to do it. Pope Francis is unsparing in his criticism of worldly priests, and of those whose homilies are given without much thought. The media has jumped on the sections which interest them and ignored all the others.
We live at a time ...characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found. Benedict XV1.
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