Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Walking and Harry Potter

Okay, I've said I like walking and hiking. Especially in the non-summer seasons (in summer I swim-swim-swim). I trek all around the Wellington (NZ) hills. There are so many wonderful walkways through bush and along the coast. A few years ago, I'd trek with my cassette player, then it was my CD player (which I never really did learn to master because every time my backpack jiggled, a CD would skip tracks) and now, recently, I've got an MP3 player.

I love listening to books on CD. Especially Harry Potter as read by Stephen Fry. My goodness, he's absolutely positively fantastic doing all the accents and all the characters (oh, by the way Wellington's motto is 'Absolutely Positively Wellington'. We even have our own song, too, "You Can't Beat Wellington on a Good Day". Sigh, you can certainly beat it on a bad day. We're not known as 'Windy Wellington' for nothing.)

Anyway, while out walking I talk to loads of folk, any age, with or without dogs. A lot say "Hey, what are you listening to?" Because of my age, I rather suspect they like to imagine I'm listening to Brahms or Beethoven, or Barry Manilow or Cliff Richard. I've got to get over the fact that I'm embarrassed to say 'Harry Potter'. (or 'Red Dwarf'. or 'Blake's Seven'.) Usually, I fib.

Because the guys with so-called wisdom decided not to release the last Harry Potter book on cassette, I had to buy CDs (all 20 of them), then I had to buy an MP3 player, then learn how to transfer it all to my computer, then onto the MP3 player, then wipe it all off at the finish. Talk about a learning curve. I guess it's old age. I remember how I used to scoff at oldies in the typing room (when I was young) because they couldn't quickly learn to use electric or electronic trypewriters, or word processors. How the pigeons have now come home to roost, eh? It takes me hours to get one disc onto my MP3 player, darn-it. But I hate home-listening to CDs. I have to be on the move.

Stephen Fry does, I believe come to Wellington every now and then (scriptwriting "The Dam Busters}, and I live in Miramar, the hub of the Peter Jackson directorial empire (he's producing "The Dam Busters"). I hope I'll see Fry one day - I keep my eyes open - and he can autograph my HP talking books, along with the cassette "Moab is My Washpot", his autobiography which I also have, and love.

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