Book Covers with Cats – The Master and Margarita

When I was compiling the most recent Top Ten Tuesday list dedicated to books with cats on the cover, I realised that I could have simply filled it with covers of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic, The Master and Margarita, since there were so many of them.

It seems that designers and illustrators just can’t resist Behemoth, the enormous demonic black cat who accompanies Satan on his visit to 1930s Moscow – and who can blame them? He is certainly my favourite fictional feline and makes for a great cover image. Here are some of the book covers I found.

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The Australian Garden

The Australian Garden, situated in Cranbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, must be one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets. It’s a long way away from the CBD and I wouldn’t think that it’s on the radar of most tourists, unless they come on some kind of organised garden-oriented tour. As for me, I’ve been driving past it pretty much every year on the way to Phillip Island, thinking that we should really make an effort to see it one day. After finally visiting last year, we were impressed enough to come back for another stroll.

The Australian Garden is all about celebrating the native Australian plants and landscapes, with plenty of photo opportunities. It doesn’t waste time and sets out to impress just as you walk in, with its most spectacular Red Sand Garden. Just like the last time, I wished I had a jet pack to get an aerial view of this stunning spot.

This is no pretty manicured garden, but it blends nature, art and architecture in its own unique and beautiful way, with exhibition gardens, waterways and imaginative displays inspired by the natural cycles. It was wonderful to visit again on a Sunday morning, before it became too hot and crowded.

Hampton Beach 2 Brighton Beach

Six Melbourne lockdowns later, there’s finally a cautious hope that The Most Locked Down City in the World is putting those times behind it. So to mark the occasion of eased restrictions, I thought I’d do a photo tribute to my favourite beach walk that helped me keep my sanity in 2020 and 2021.

If there’s any silver lining to the Covid era, it’s the fact that it got me walking outside in almost any weather, on an almost daily basis. There are a few nice parks and green areas around where I live, but nothing has done more for my mental health during lockdown than a brisk walk by the beach, and a chance to look out on that infinite horizon, breathe in the salty air and feel less boxed in. I loved watching the beach change from day to day, and couldn’t resist taking photos.

One of the most pleasant things about this walk is getting rewarded with a view of the city and the famous colourful Brighton Beach cabins from the top of a small hill; on occasions I would extend the walk and check them out.

The Cat of Kazan

One of my favourite cat-related pieces of art is this famous Russian “lubok” print from the 18th century, which may or may not be a satire of Peter the Great. I’ve loved it since childhood, but thanks to the Ye Olde Russian text I never realised that it is in fact a tad rude. It translates something like:

The Cat of Kazan, mind of Astrakhan, reason of Siberia,
he lived sweet, ate sweet, and farted sweet
.