Globe trotting

A few months ago I bought this old globe from Remedy at 70 Juta. I had been searching for one for a long time but couldn’t ever find one that I liked. In typical fashion, since I have bout this one I’ve come across several that I would like to own…

The globe doesn’t actually have a year on it anywhere – the guys at Remedy thought it was from the 60s but I could see just by looking at Africa that it had to be older than that. So on Tuesday night I sat googling the years during which the names of several countries on the globe had changed, to try and figure it out. I learnt that Bangladesh was once East Pakistan (didn’t know this) and that Benin was once Dahomey (didn’t know this either despite learning about African decolonization). Eventually we figured out that it was from around 1970/1 – because during the course of 1971 Republic of Congo became Zaire which it stayed until 1997. It was a really fun exercise – Ina super duper nerdy sort of way, which is right up my alley.

I can see myself buying random dateless old globes just so I can play this again…

Somewhere I have never travelled

I was photographing my globe for Project 365 and it made me think of my favourite (okay one of my favourite) ee cummings poems. His words always feel, not like poetry, not like music but like magical spells to me. I have a beautiful two-part hard cover collection of his poems on my bookshelf – after my camera it is the first thing I would grab in a fire.

somewhere i have never travelled

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

I also went to the Exclusive Books sale this weekend and for less than R120 I picked up copies of Great Expectations (which I used to own but some borrowed it and never gave it back), Tess of D’Urbevilles and The Bell Jar. I do however have about 20 other books which I have bought or received waiting to be read – I have to start catching the Gautrain to work so I have enough time to read.

Some of my finds at the Exclusive Books sale this weekend - Tess of D'Urbevilles, Great Expectations and The Bell Jar.
Tess of D'Urbevilles is mentioned several times in the special note at the beginning of my copy of Madame Bovary, which is why it caught my eye.