Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oz culture

The magazine/book store at Sydney airport has stands and stands of motoring, computing, home and garden, baby and 'women's interest' mags but not a single art or music magazine. I wanted to read the article about Christine Goerke in Opera Today. Instead I bought 'The Economist'.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Siegmund painting

The painting Siegmund is finished and I have left it sitting on the easel so it will be the first thing I see when I walk back through my door. A full photo is online at artsmitten

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mortimer: clever and erudite

John Mortimer's clever and funny autobiography Clinging to the Wreckage turned up on the top of a pile of books during my spring clean and I have been taking great pleasure in re-reading it. (Mortimer is best known for his creation Rumpole of the Bailey.)

Today I am reading page 190 in which he writes about Peter Sellers being like a blank script which others could write on. 'I don't think it is common for actors to provide such a degreee of blankness for others to write on,' he writes and notes that the 'Peter Sellers character may be more common in daily life than is comfortable to realise.'

Monday, August 27, 2012

Street Art in Woy Woy

In Woy Woy this morning one of the laneways was being given a fresh look.
Street artists working in Woy Woy

The bit they had just completed

Friday, August 24, 2012

Siegmund takes over

I thought my visit to Wellington to sketch opera singers might result in several small oils on canvas but instead, when I got home, Siegmund (alias Simon ONeill) leaped onto the large (about a meter high) canvas I had on my easel. 
Siegmund - Detail of painting underway
I have been working on him over the last weeks, in between saving things from the gales. It is interesting how paintings have their own life. The artist is just there as a servant really.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hot and windy (and cold)

Far out! It was 29C today (after long weeks of cold weather) and so windy that anything not tied down was blown away. There are a lot of power outages and my lawn is covered with Eucalyptus branchs and twigs.  I picked the lone remaining daffodil (see below) and put it in a vase inside where it revived.
Addendum: (26 Aug) today at 10am it is 13.6C outside and not muuch warmer indoors. The heat pump seems to think winter is over - probaby needs a service.

Daffodils need springtime weather

Sydney doesn't do spring. Sydney has winter (and yes, often much cooler than people expect) and then summer. Between winter and summer there is a short period when you are not sure whether the day will be winter cold or really warm. I am reminded of this looking at my daffodils. 
In most places daffodils last long enough to enjoy them, but in Sydney you watch them poke through the soil in cold July but by mid August when they finally flower the season has changed. Today there is a hot wind blowing from the north and the few daffodils the birds didn't decapitate will only last a day or two. It's wiser to stick to hybiscus I suppose.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cheap but expensive

On the spur of the moment I bought a bag of licorice allsorts yesterday. I hadn't eaten licorice allsorts for years but liked them as a kid when they were half the size and probably twice as expensive. The ones I bought were large, beautifully formed and cheap but they were also inedible. Cheap licorice allsorts are an expensive way to fill your rubbish bin. 

They not only tasted disgusting, they smelled worse than new Ikea mattress I have airing out in my spare bedroom. Perhaps they both have the same chemical composition.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Things come in threes ...

The shed roof that was left hanging over the fence by the high winds was taken off last Sunday by the very helpful SES men. They folded it up (it was so rusty it almost fell apart) and put it inside the shed which they straightened and tied down.

I poured myself a glass of wine, congratulated myself on managing the damage and turned my laptop computer on, only to find ... oh dear, the blue screen of death.  I spent endless hours nursing the laptop to life again and then immediately burned my files to a DVD drive ... just as well as the computer updated itself then died once again and now no amount of nursing helps. So it will join the shed on the scrap heap

Then my TV died. I had had it repaired about a year ago so I looked up the documentation to see if it might still be under warranty. I eventually found the invoice (after deciding I really must update my filing system) which showed the TV was mended in September 2011. So that was good .... but before I took it to the repair shop I read the instructions again and discovered that I had been pressing the wrong start button. It still works if you press the right button. How do you forget which button is the start button so suddenly? Maybe I just expected everything to break.

In the meantime I hauled my very old laptop out of a storage box and eventually figured out the password. Then I discovered that it can't read DVD discs. So if I need any of my files I will have to wait until I have a new computer.  Perhaps I may never need them ....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blown off in the wind

The high winds blew the garden shed in last night and left the shed roof hanging over the back fence. As I moved boxes of ceramics this morning I was hoping the still strong wind gusts didn't blow the rest of the  shed down on top of me.  State Emergency Services say they will come and remove the roof later this afternoon so it doesn't do any more damage. I think the old shed is a goner.
Disappearing roof

Shed is a goner
I feel for those people who lost the rooves of their houses in the storm.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wild weather in Sydney

Wild winds and stormy rain showers have hit Sydney - it is cold, wet and rainy. The apparent  temperature is 3.8C (actually 11C) due to the very strong winds. Rooves are blowing off, there are power outages in some areas and all manner of stuff is blowing in the wind. As I ran out to take the washing off the line I was nearly hit by the top of a very rusty whirlygig that blew off  a neighbouring house.  I hear sirens as I write and am glad it is not me in the ambulance.

I am in Sydney and wondering what is happening up the coast. A woman who lives down the road from my place was on the radio saying that the tin roof of the house next door has just blown off and landed on her roof. Fingers crossed the big gum trees withstand the wind.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Valkurie in Wellington

  The Valkyrie paintings from rehearsals in Wellington, NZ, are now online .... with a little story.

Pietari Inkinen conducts the NZSO
Simon O'Neill sings Siegmund