The Week: 3rd – 9th April

^^^^

Driving from Queanbeyan to Canberra on Thursday afternoon. A few hours later there was a terror attack in Queanbeyan, and this road was the one the attackers used to escape interstate (the state border is at the rise up ahead on the road). Now I’ll always think of that when I see this gorgeous picture.

More of that lower in this post.

^^^^

Visiting the Treasures of Versailles exhibition at the National Gallery yesterday. Canberra has had an exclusive exhibition from Versailles for a few months now (including stuff like Marie Antoinette’s harp and Madame de Pompadour’s furniture), but because I was overseas I didn’t get there until this weekend. We actually tried to visit last week, but it was so busy everywhere we couldn’t even find a place to park! Yesterday the queue to get into the exhibition was so long it ran the entire length of the building, but we were determined to visit! It ends next week.

Dropping my brother home in the city yesterday afternoon.

Gorgeous, sunny autumn afternoon.

Parrots everywhere in Canberra now the autumn berries are coming out.

There was an Islamic State-inspired terror attack here overnight from Thursday to Friday this week. Of course – because nothing makes the news unless it happens in Sydney or Melbourne – it was barely reported.

The details of it are appalling, and I won’t go into them, but two teenaged boys went on a fourteen-hour rampage. The final stabbing happened on my aunt’s street, a few metres from her front door – it could have been her.

The house one of the attackers lived in and that was raided by police is a few doors from the house my grandmother lived in until she died in 2015. The murder at the service station happened close to where I’d met people for lunch a few hours earlier, and near our Ukrainian hall. The two guys were caught across the border here in Canberra, a few streets from my house, on a road I’d been down twice that day.

Literally every location a crime was committed during the rampage was somewhere I’d been on Thursday, and also somewhere I had a personal connection to.

While Canberra is the capital city, Queanbeyan is basically a country town, a small community just over the state border, and it is so shocking that now terrorism can literally happen anywhere.

I’m so angry that it barely made the news, because things only get reported if they happen in “known” cities.

A Visit to Dr Johnson’s House

Meet the ‘Grammar Vigilante’ of Bristol

My review of A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

My review of Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World (Jane Austen Regency Life #2) by Maria Grace

Make a Date with Harlequin – Viking!

Make a Date with Harlequin – Cowboy!

A visit to Dr Johnson’s House

Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_ReynoldsPortrait of Samuel Johnson commissioned for Henry Thrale's Streatham Park gallery. BY Joshua Reynolds 1772.

My first full day in London in a while was a big one: a visit to Charles Dickens’ house, visits to two of the places I used to live, a night at the Royal Ballet… But before I got to the theatre I also visited the building I lived in the very first few weeks I was in England all those years ago: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese London England EC4 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney February 2017

Before that, I finally paid a visit to the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, the man credited with creating the first modern dictionary, amongst other things.

Stealing the Wikipedia introduction:

‘Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and is described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”. He is also the subject of perhaps the most famous biography in English literature, namely The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.’

It was another famous landmark I’d lived practically next door to, but never visited. Built in about 1700, the house is VERY different to the Victorian-era Dickens house I’d been to earlier on.

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney February 2017 Cat

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney February 2017 Sittiing Rooms.

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney February 2017 View

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney February 2017.

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney February 2017 Stairs to Basement

Dr Samuel Johnson's House London England EC4 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney February 2017