Wednesday, June 27, 2007

to cure what ails you

I just spent a delightful two days with Nickemu the Mad Greek in the Hunter Valley, a wine growing area of New South Wales north of Sydney. Instead of coming home with the car boot full of wine, perhaps I should have purchased this remedy instead.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Sydney public sculpture is more usually the bailiwick of the good Reverend Anaglpyh, Cows passim or click on the medallion (suck it up, Radioactive Jam). But I feel I am able to make this post for two reasons. Firstly because this is not bad public art (the Rev's sub-specialisation). And secondly, it was a comment by the Rev himself which galvanised me into action.

So, I present Il Porcellino. He was made in Florence in 1968, and sent to Sydney as a "link of friendship between Italy and Australia". He sits proudly outside Sydney Hospital on Macqaurie Street. A plaque beneath his hooves reads: When you rub my nose and make a wish, your donation supports research, education and development at Sydney Hospital, Australia's first hospital.

The more eagle-eyed of you will already have noticed that some persons feel that rubbing another part of his anatomy may bring them more luck than that which is nasally bestowed.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rhinoceros unicornis

This gorgeous beast was made by Alfred Jacquemart in 1878. I don't know if I would be game to sit under that fierce head, but that's just me. You can visit him where he guards the entrance of the Musee D'Orsay.

If you really like rhinoceroses, there's a treat for you inside the gallery. There you will find two more.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

dejeuner sur l'herbe

Edouard Manet painted Luncheon on the Grass in 1863. Here some art lovers regard it in 2006.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Musee D'Orsay

I think my favourite Art Gallery is the Musee D'Orsay. It has a collection of paintings & sculptures covering the period 1848 to 1914 which is wonderful, naturellement. It also has an extensive collection of Art Nouveau & Art Deco objets. There is a marvelous room completely decked out in these exquisite pieces. Standing in it, you really know what the velvet rope is for.

I like very much the structure of the building itself. It's built in the old Orsay railway station, and the museum part is sitting inside the outer shell. So you get a double sense of architecture. I'll be going there during my Travels With My Aunt in September. She is a painter. She has never been to Paris. Oh boy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

bugger, tagged

Because it's the first time I've been tagged, and because it's Colonel Colonel, I will respond to the meme which requires me to quickly write 8 random facts/habits about myself.

1. I am very big on 'please' & 'thank you'. If I hold a door open for a stranger and there is no acknowledgement, I loudly say "You're welcome" with a bright smile. It pleases me to discomfort the rude & thoughtless in this fashion.

2. I would rather eat ice-cream out of the container than from a bowl.

3. When I cut into a passionfruit, the aroma makes my toes curl with an almost-sexual delight.

4. I smoked a packet of cigarettes a day for seventeen years. I haven't so much as touched one for ten years come this November - except the one I lit for my mother on her death bed. She also asked for a gin & tonic.

5. I am the second-worst housekeeper that I know. My apartment is constantly untidy & there are often several days' worth of dishes in the sink.

6. I am an excellent knitter. My tension is freakishly even.

7. I do not like being hot. I thrive in the cold. This morning I ducked out for the newspaper & a thing of milk. I was in a t-shirt. Everyone else had gloves, scarves, coats. I used to say I didn't feel the cold. But it is more Lawrence of Arabia - the trick isn't not to feel it. The trick is not to mind it.

8. I have many handbags.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Winter sea

Winter has come at last to Sydney. It is my favourite season. The cold makes me feel vibrant & alive. Not unlike a cigarette ad from days of yore.

This is my fifieth post. Which impels me to quote some poetry, viz:

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled.
His waistcoat buttons all had burst
And he was gorging bread.
"This is my fifteenth cup of tea,"
he cried with accent wild
"Just one more crust before I bust!"
He was a vulgar child.