Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cyclones, sharks and pouring rain

Rain ... surprisingly hard to capture in a photo
Cyclone Debbie has smashed its way through northern Queensland and is now bringing floods to Queensland and heavy rain to NSW. Even here, just north of Sydney, it is belting down but fortunately the rain clouds are forecast to move offshore during the night.

People are warned constantly not to try to drive through flood waters, but still they try and still they need to be rescued. Fortunately no drownings have been reported as a result of Cyclone Debbie. (Addendum 3 April: three people have been reported drowned.)

Perhaps the warnings will be better heeded now that a picture of a shark washed inland during the cyclone is being circulated. There is is, sitting in the street waiting for dinner. 

From ABC news online:
the caption reads
'Authorities have warned
people not to swim in floodwaters'

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Faded flowers

My mother was an avid gardener with a wonderful garden. She loved flowers, particularly roses, and enjoyed having them in the house. She had a lot to choose from, so she always discarded flowers that were past their best and I grew up thinking wilted flowers were only good for the compost.

I have since learned differently. My friends in Hamburg leave their flowers in vases long after my mother would have thrown them out and I have learned to appreciate them as they fade.

Last year in Hobart I saw the most magnificent vase of slowly (or fast?) fading irises in a memorable antique store. The hedge of lovely white roses in front of the shop had initially attracted me and inside the door I discovered a shop full of the quaint, the old and the preposterous. And the wilted irises. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Daniil Trifonov in love

Daniil Trifonov plays
"It isn't about rapport with the audience, but total obsession with the instrument," said a man beside me to his friends. We were all waiting to cross the road after the Daniil Trifonov piano concert at Angel Place last night.

Yes, exactly, I thought. Those were the words I had been seeking.

I had made a few little pencil sketches of Trifonov as he began his concert but as time passed I found myself writing words instead.

Caress, I wrote.  Prayer, Abandonment, Touch, Determination, Structure (during the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues), Gentleness, Love.

Love. Yes, that is it really. Trifonov loves his instrument, is in love with his instrument.

Virtuoso pianist Martha Argerich is reported as saying of Trifonov, “What he does with his hands is technically incredible. It’s also his touch—he has tenderness and also the demonic element." 
I wondered what exactly we would hear and now I know:  a pianist in love with his instrument - with everything else irrelevant.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Wildlife and cobwebs

Long-tailed tit by Robert E Fuller
copied from his website
If you want a different perspective on cobwebs, have a look at the latest post by the wildlife artist Robert E Fuller.

He writes a wonderful blog about his observations of birds and other wildlife near his studio in rural England.

Scroll down his site to see videos he has taken by putting cameras in hollow logs and the like.

Here in NSW and the spiders are busy spinning their autumn webs.  It would be nice if the long-tailed tits Fuller describes could fly over here and take a few with them.