Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

See it now, folks. We don't know what is coming.

Up next: What is the meaning of the phrase 'map of tas' when applied to a lady? And: wombats & wallabies & devils, oh my!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

nudes in the news

Queensland's new Premier, Anna Bligh, is concerned that the Gold Coast's international reputation (sic) is being ruined. Apparently, some spectators at recent Indy car racing events were drunk and/or bare breasted. Ms Bligh finds this disgusting and lewd.

"The annual event at the weekend was marred by drunks stumbling around Surfers Paradise, topless and nude women cavorting on balconies in full view of other spectators, and prostitutes on balconies holding up signs advertising sex."

As the Government cannot control private parties, "all we can really do is appeal to people to behave sensibly".

That ought to work.

Friday, October 26, 2007

remember to wear a snake on your wrist

Phoebe Fay's wonderful post about orgasms reminded me of this gorgeous work from the Musee D'Orsay. It is Femme piquée par un serpent (woman pricked by a snake) made by Auguste Clesinger in 1847.

This sculpture caused a sensation, a scandale if you will, when it was first shown. A naked woman writhes in ecstasy, a small snake wound around one wrist. Auguste tells us by his title that the girl has been stung by the snake, and that this is the cause of her posture. Yet such is the erotic power of the work that we understand he has captured her at the moment of her orgasm.

Even the resting art lovers in my photograph are instinctively responding to the work. Just look at those curling toes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

everywhere I go there are nudes

Last evening, coming home from an execrable theatre performance which was mercifully brief, I was sitting wearily beside my companion as he steered the car down City Road towards Cleveland Street.

From nowhere, the road was filled with nude young men, weaving between the cars and running along the footpath. They gleamed in the streetlights and car lamps, these naked boys, all shapes and sizes, intoxicated with their own youth and daring. I swear they were giggling as they ran, shoed but unclothed, about twenty five of them. One held firmly onto his donger, but the others obeyed the Streakers' Code and let their flesh move as it would. They streamed past us, and turned into the forbidding Victorian stone gates of Sydney University, their buttocks winking their hilarious farewell at us, heavy and stationary in our cars, sad that we were old and clothed, and scrambling to remember the last time we raced through the dark in the nick.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So, farewell then, Townsville ...

Ah, Townsville. We've learned how to memorialise a military campaign, how to avoid irukandji, why green butts are sometimes good butts, the rewards of Rooball, the delights of roosting avifauna, and the answers to some pretty important questions.

It remains only to have a farewell drink at The Criterion (or The Cri, as it is called, we Australians being polysyllabically challenged) home of the longest running wet t'shirt competition in the Southern Hemisphere.

Here's a thing. When I was young and firm, I would never in a million years have entered. Now I am older, wiser & need the money, I would enter without a second thought, were it not that the inexorable migration south of the marvelous mammeries is well under way. Oh yes, they look fine with the application of clever and increasingly expensive foundation garments. But unfettered in the nude, or modestly shielded by wet stretch cotton, their once-famous generosity now brings to mind two ponderous dugongs wallowing in warm water.

So we say, farewell Townsville. We'll be back one day. The next post will come from Tasmania, home of the Devil, the Tiger and the original Tetherd Cow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oecophylla smaragdina

Green ants love the tropical coastal regions of Australia. Here are two busy workers attending to their nest made of living tree leaves in Little Victory's back yard. Don't let them nip you, though. That would hurt.

And if you are mining uranium in the Northern Territory, be careful not to disturb the eggs of the Great Green Ant, lest she re-emerge and consume the Earth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

why did the lobster blush?

One of the great things about hanging out with kids is making them laugh at stupid jokes from your own childhood. Laughing at the jokes yourself is a whole other thing. Here is Little Victory at the Townsville aquarium, contemplating the age-old question: Why did the lobster blush?

And finding the all-too-true answer: Because the sea weed.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Threskiornis aethiopicus

The Sacred Ibis is one of my favourite birds. Here is a tree full of them in a park in Townsville. These birds are a couple of feet tall. They stalk around Sydney, too, looking disreputable & disheveled, ignoring people & raiding rubbish bins. They have a wonderful long strong beak. They perch on the rim of the bin, and they grab rubbish & fling it all about in search of goodies.

One day I was walking through Hyde Park. An odd rustle/crackling sound caught my attention, and, looking around for the source, I saw a Sacred Ibis who had somehow got hold of an unopened packet of Twisties. He'd been going at the packet, shaking & rattling it, but the delicious extruded snack stubbornly refused to appear. Without thinking, I approached the bird, holding out my hand and saying "Oh, give me that". The Ibis dropped the packet and backed away a few steps, eyeing me intently. I opened the bag, put it back on the ground, and stepped away. Without a word of thanks, he dived in to grab the crunchy, golden treats and gobble them up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

the swimming pools of Townsville

You can tell that the public swimming pools of Townsville were build for the citizenry by the RSL who don't just run drinking clubs and denounce war protesters on Anzac Day.

This is the facade of the Tobruk Memorial Baths.

Here is Long Tan Memorial Pool.

Inside the UV rating was off the scale.

This pool commemorates the Kokoda campaign.

It is a lovely place to swim.

I may have mentioned that swimming always makes me happy.