Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Boxing Day

Boxing Day. The day to wake up late, snooze on the sofa, recover from the rigors of the day before, dream about the days to come.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The English Oak table

My big old English Oak (no longer available according to the repairman) table was damaged on the way across the Tasman and was so wonky I was afraid it might collapse on whoever leaned on it. Three weeks ago the specialist repairman picked it up and today it returned, solid as a rock.
English Oak table, 25 years old and as good as new.
I had become used to the scratches on the tabletop but it has been revarnished, so I will have to start taking care of it again. I made a set of batik chair covers to protect the chairs (re-upholstered in Dunedin) from the sticky finges of small guests.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Glass and Gandhi

Today I saw Philip Glass's opera Satyagraha about Gandi's life in South Africa, the latest of the New York Metropolitan Opera productions.  (If you are an opera fan and have not yet discovered the Opera in HD series being played at movie houses all over the world two weeks after opening night, you are missing something very special.)

Satyagraha reminded me of Wagner's operas because it plays on two levels at once. The words sung by Gandi and other characters in the opera are all discourses from the Indian philosophical text the Bhagavad Gita and are sung in Sanscrit. (Surtitles translate the essentials). The story is told in action and improvisational puppetry, performed in this instance by the wondrous The Skills Ensemble.

Satyagraha: Photo form the Metropolitan Opera Website
Sanscrit text and puppetry action sounds weird but it works. The weaving of philosophical questions through the action turns out to the intellectually and emotionally very satisfying. The music is both meditative and thrilling. If you have a chance, go and see it.

Review by Opera and Medicine 
Review by Jeffrey Johnson

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moon eclipse

I saw the moon eclipse last night. The moon was reddish as predicted and very eerie. It was unearthly in a strange way and I am glad I woke and saw it. A reminder of how small and insignificant we are. Judging by the news of squabbling at the climate summit in Durban, we are not only insignificant but not clever enough to save what we have from ourselves.
Moon eclipse begins, but my little digital camera did not capture the red tinge and eerie feel of the moon, let alone all the bright stars around it.
NASA has a great little video of what I saw.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Ceramic Violin Wall Plaque

There is something charming about ceramics that is hard to put your finger on. Is it because we know they are made from clay, or is it the colours? I am not sure. This 'ceramic violin' piece was made in 2010

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fly screens

In March when I painted the peeling window frames I took off the fly screens and put them in the garage to paint later.  I found them again the other day waiting patiently in the corner, so out came the paint pot. I finished the job today and screwed them back into place.
La Nina is bringing Sydney lots of showers and very cool weather, but hopefully summer will eventually turn up and I will need these screens.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Lights

If you need a little pre-Christmas cheer you should come to my house at dusk. You can't help but be impressed by the lights on the house across the road. As dusk turns to dark Christmas carols flood the street, lights twinkle and cars drive by slow motion, or stop to watch.
The proud owner tells me that buses will be driving by to have a look as well.