The Week: 16th – 21st April

Autumn Leaves Autumn Colours Sonya Heaney 20th April 2018 Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Blue Sky Sunny Afternoon Autumn Heatwave Garden Nature

Blue skies, summer temperatures, and autumn colours in Canberra this week.

This has been a beautiful week, weather-wise. Why we’re still having summer temperatures when it’s almost winter is very confusing!

We went out to lunch on Saturday (fantastic Spanish restaurant!), and we knew there was going to be back burning in the centre of Canberra, but we weren’t quite prepared to be driving past active burns RIGHT NEXT TO Federal Parliament and the US embassy! I don’t have a proper picture, but here is one from later that afternoon. You can see a sole fire engine on the right, but a few hours earlier the whole place was full of flames and fire engines with lights etc.

The Russian authorities have been making a joke out of everything they’ve done recently. This week they tortured several Crimean Tartars to death. Don’t expect to see it on the Western news…

They’re turning the Novichok assassination attempts in England into a joke, and they now have a food brand named after the poison (“Новичок” is the Cyrillic spelling for the nerve agent – it’s on the labels on the bottles here). And I’d love to know why people think the hammer and sickle symbol tens of millions died under is okay. Imagine if they used the swastika.

This week Twitter *finally* banned Russia’s Kaspersky from advertising on their site. Several years ago I had awkward conversations with young men working at computer shops (JB Hi-Fi – I’m giving you the side-eye!). They were all told to push customers to buy Russian internet security, and I got dirty looks and muttered comments when I told them that – under no circumstances – would I buy Russian-branded security software.

Now, of course, everyone says it. But I am so freaking tired of people refusing to listen to Ukrainians. It’s only been since America and England were touched by Russian misbehaviour that people stopped thinking I was discriminatory and alarmist. It breaks my heart how little everyone listens to people who KNOW.

Recommended Book: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Coming Soon from Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Roguish Runners Duo #1) by Theresa Romain

Cover Love

Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherland Sisters #1) by Anna Bradley

My review of How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

Getting Back on Track

Marry in Scandal (Convenient Marriage series #2) by Anne Gracie

Nineteen Years

Columbine_Shooting_Security_CameraColumbine High School massacre

Recommended Book: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

This is much more serious than I usually feature on here, but I’d like to recommended a book: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder.

A good review can be found HERE.

Nobody knows the complexities of Eastern Europe, its history, and its present like Snyder does. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine four years ago, he has been repeatedly called on by the world’s media to explain what the hell Russia is up to.

This book is going to attract Western readers because it brings America and Trump into it, but I HIGHLY recommended Snyder’s other books – especially Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.

Here is the blurb for The Road to Unfreedom:

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be absolute. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. But we now know this to be premature. Authoritarianism first returned in Russia, as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power. In the last six years, it has creeped from east to west as nationalism inflames Europe, abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare. While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns towards authoritarianism, the electoral upsets of 2016 revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries’ longstanding policies and values.

But this threat to the West also presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy. By showcasing the stark choices before us–between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood–Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.